Welcome to Laying The Smackdown. WWE Smackdown is in Memphis, Tennessee this week. The show starts with MizTV. Miz is now the former Intercontinental Champion after losing to Kofi Kingston on WWE Main Event last Wednesday. Miz says he is invoking his rematch clause and he will face Kofi at the Hell in a Cell Pay-Per-View. Miz’s guests tonight are Daniel Bryan and Kane.

Miz mentions that he was Daniel Bryan’s pro on NXT and that surprises me because I thought WWE forgets about anything that is more than two years old. I guess since Daniel Bryan is a babyface now, Miz can start hating him again. I wouldn’t mind another Miz and Daniel Bryan feud. Miz thinks Daniel Bryan is going to be the reason his team loses the tag team championship at Hell in a Cell. Daniel Bryan starts to respond, but Kane stops him and says that he will handle this. Kane talks about his past tag team success and says that if Daniel Bryan is the problem, Kane is the solution. Daniel Bryan says he is the reason they will win because the devil’s favorite demon is nothing without the world’s toughest vegan. Kane says that’s like being the world’s tallest dwarf. Miz wants to say something, but Kane and Daniel Bryan both say no. Bryan says he is a former World Heavyweight Champion and he won that title by ending a giant’s title reign that lasted only 45 seconds. Daniel Bryan and Kane then get into another of their “I’m the tag team champions” arguments. They get interrupted by Big Show. He says he doesn’t have a problem with Kane, but he has a problem with Daniel Bryan. Big Show thought Bryan would keep his mouth shut after Big Show defeated him last Monday on RAW. Big Show calls Daniel Bryan’s title win the biggest fluke in history and after he knocks Sheamus out at Hell in a Cell, nothing like that is ever going to happen to him again. Big Show wants to knock Bryan out right now, but Kane protects him. Kane says they don’t have to wait until their match on RAW next Monday. Dolph Ziggler comes out. Ziggler talks about cashing in his briefcase after the Sheamus and Big Show match at Hell in a Cell. Everyone in the ring except for The Miz starts to argue with each other until Booker T comes out. I think I know what Booker is going to say and so does Miz because he interrupts Booker and says that Booker is going to book some sort of tag team match that involves everyone in the ring. Miz also says that Booker will end his speech by saying “Can you dig that sucker”. Miz is right…Booker is so predictable. Booker says that actually he was not going to say that. Really? What Miz said sounded exactly like what Booker was going to say. Booker has booked two main event caliber matches tonight. Booker announces Team Hell No vs. Dolph Ziggler and Big Show. Booker says thank you and starts to leave. Miz tells Booker that he said two and Booker says he almost forgot about Miz. Booker says Miz will face…this man and Randy Orton’s music plays.

The Miz vs. Randy Orton

This match was joined in progress. Alberto Del Rio and Ricardo Rodriguez watched this match from a skybox. Matt Striker interviewed Del Rio during the match, but Del Rio didn’t say anything interesting. Orton won the match with the RKO. I wanted to like this match, but nothing happened in this match that impressed me. It wasn’t a bad match, but I don’t want to watch it again. Miz got busted open a little bit where his stitches are and the blood was cleaned up during the commercial break in the middle of the match. The time length of the match shown on TV was 7:32.

Winner: Randy Orton

Rating: **1/4

Backstage, Sheamus talks to Teddy Long. Sheamus is upset that Big Show is ruining his matches with Wade Barrett. Sheamus wants one more match with Barrett. Teddy says he will talk to Booker and he will try to make it a lumberjack match. Eve is hiding in the back and I guess she was secretly listening to the entire conversation.

Team Rhode Scholars vs. Tyson Kidd and Justin Gabriel

Cody Rhodes won the match by hitting Tyson Kidd with the Disaster kick while Kidd had Damien Sandow in the Sharpshooter. I enjoyed this match a lot. It had great spots from start to finish, but the match was too short. I wanted at least five minutes. The match got me more interested in the finals of the tag team tournament on RAW next week. The time length of this match was 3:16.

Winners: Team Rhode Scholars

Rating: **3/4

In Booker T’s office, Booker is talking to Eve and Teddy enters the room. Teddy tells Booker about his lumberjack match idea and Eve says that was her idea. Eve thinks Teddy is trying to take credit for Eve’s idea and Booker seems to believe Eve. Booker and Eve leave the room and Teddy looks at the iPad that Eve left in the room.

Team Hell No vs. Big Show and Dolph Ziggler

Daniel Bryan forced Dolph Ziggler to submit to the No Lock. It was another good Team Hell No match. I don’t think I have seen a bad match from them yet.

Winners: Team Hell No

Rating: ***

After the match, Team Hell No is attacked by Team Rhode Scholars. Does that attack mean Team Rhodes Scholars will win the final match of the tournament this Monday?

Before the next match, Smackdown shows a pre-taped segment of Antonio Cesaro  in Memphis.

Antonio Cesaro vs. Ted DiBiase

Ted DiBiase is back, but it looks like he has returned as a jobber because his ring entrance wasn’t shown on TV. Cesaro won with the neutralizer. I was expecting a squash match, but DiBiase got in a lot of offense. They got in a lot of good spots in a short amount of time. The time length of the match was 2:46.

Winner: Antonio Cesaro

Rating: **

Smackdown announces that WWE will present a Rolling Stone concert on PPV. Then they show the RAW Rebound which focuses on the WWE Championship contract signing last Monday. After the video, Smackdown uses the WWE ’13 video game to show a preview of what the match might look like.

Heath Slater vs. Brodus Clay

Before the match, 3MB cut a promo. I can’t believe WWE thought this is the right way to use Jinder Mahal and Drew McIntyre. They don’t look like guys who should be in a band. Jinder definitely doesn’t look like someone who should be in a band. The gimmick works well for Heath Slater, but not the other guys. Unfortunately, both of them weren’t getting much TV time before this so they aren’t going to demand that they be removed from the group. I think McIntyre is just happy to be still employed and Jinder probably thinks this is a little bit better than being one of Ryback’s jobbers. I don’t see how this will help either of them. Someone like CM Punk would never let something like that happen to him. Slater won this match after Clay was distracted by Slater’s band members. The time length of this match was 1:55.

Winner: Heath Slater

Rating: *

Wade Barrett is interviewed by Matt Striker in the locker room. Barrett says Sheamus is stupid because he asked for a match against Wade Barrett less than two weeks before his World Heavyweight Championship match. Barrett says he will do Big Show a huge favor by damaging Sheamus before Big Show’s match at Hell in a Cell.

Natalya vs. Layla

Eve did guest commentary during this match. Layla won with Lay Out. The announcers barely paid any attention to this match and talked to Eve during the match. The time length of the match was 1:52.

Winner: Layla

Rating: *

Backstage, Teddy Long shows Kaityln what he found on Eve’s iPad. They don’t reveal what is on the iPad, but it’s important enough that Kaitlyn uses her phone to take a photo of the iPad screen.

Wade Barrett vs. Sheamus (Lumberjack Match)

Sheamus won this match with the Brogue Kick. The lumberjacks got into a huge fight during the match and Team Hell No came out to attack Team Rhode Scholars. Why weren’t with the other lumberjacks when the match started? This match was okay, but I expected it to be better because it was the main event match. The time length of the match was 7:23.

Winner: Sheamus

Rating: **1/2

After the match, Dolph Ziggler teases a Money in the Bank briefcase cash-in, but Big Show knocks him out. Big Show is on top of the entrance ramp now and says to Sheamus that he will knock Sheamus out at Hell in a Cell just like he knocked out Ziggler.

Matches to Watch: Team Rhode Scholars vs. Tyson Kidd and Justin Gabriel, Team Hell No vs. Big Show and Dolph Ziggler, Wade Barrett vs. Sheamus

Matches to Skip: The Miz vs. Randy Orton, Antonio Cesaro vs. Ted DiBiase, Heath Slater vs. Brodus Clay, Layla vs. Natalya

Best Superstar of Smackdown: Daniel Bryan

Many superstars on the show had great performances, but no one had a performance that was clearly better than everyone else. I would say that Daniel Bryan was the best superstar this week because I enjoyed his performance during his match and his match was the best match of the night. I also liked his line about being the “world’s toughest vegan” at the start of the show. Bryan looked better against Big Show on Smackdown than he did on RAW last Monday. I hope he will get more singles matches, but his tag team matches are fun to watch.

Best Moment of Smackdown: The Miz predicting what Booker T was going to say

Not too long ago, The Miz used to be one of my favorite superstars in WWE. I enjoyed listening to him talk to Booker T and predicting what Booker T was going to announce to the WWE Universe. Miz reminded me why I used to be a big fan of him.

I liked this episode of Smackdown. It wasn’t great and it still needs better matches, but it was better than last week. Out of the seven matches, only two of them were bad matches that wasted my time. Some of the other matches were matches I wouldn’t see again, but I didn’t hate them. All of the backstage stuff was good this week and Teddy Long/Eve/Booker T/Kaitlyn/Layla storyline is surprisingly interesting enough that I want to know how it ends. I’m done expecting great stuff from Smackdown, but I thought this episode was good and better than other weeks.

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