Welcome to Laying The Smackdown. WWE Smackdown is in Providence, Rhode Island this week. Smackdown starts with Randy Orton cutting a promo. Orton talks about facing Alberto Del Rio at Hell in a Cell. Then, Del Rio’s music interrupts Orton. Del Rio comes out and says the same stuff he has been saying during this feud. Del Rio says Orton is a garden snake and Del Rio is the new Apex Predator.  Orton says Del Rio is a spineless bottom feeder with no cojones. If you don’t know what cojones means, Orton is saying that Del Rio has no balls. Del Rio thinks about going down to the ring to fight Orton, but he says he will see Orton on Sunday and goes to the back. After Del Rio leaves, Wade Barrett attacks Orton from behind.

After a commercial break, Teddy Long talks to Del Rio backstage and he thinks Del Rio asked Barrett to attack Orton. Del Rio says he doesn’t know what Teddy is talking about. Then, Barrett joins them and he asks Del Rio, “Is that what you were looking for?” Del Rio’s reaction is hilarious. Del Rio didn’t say anything, but it looked like he was trying to say “Not now Wade…Teddy’s here” to Barrett. Teddy announces that Wade Barrett will face Randy Orton tonight.

Kane vs. Cody Rhodes

Kane won with the chokeslam. The match was short, but it was entertaining. Daniel Bryan and Damien Sandow were on commentary and they were fun to listen to. The combination of the match and the commentary makes this a match to watch if you haven’t seen it yet. The time length of the match was 3:16.

Winner: Kane

Rating: **1/4

Booker T talks to Big Show in the locker room. Booker tells Big Show that he expects Big Show and Sheamus to handle themselves professionally during their face-to-face segment later tonight. Big Show says Booker has nothing to worry about because he has nothing left to prove until the Hell in a Cell Pay-Per-View and Sheamus is too scared to do anything to Big Show.

The Miz vs. Yoshi Tatsu

The Miz won with the Skull Crushing Finale. This was a four minute squash match. I think Yoshi knocked The Miz down to the mat only one time during the match. Good performance by The Miz and he needed that win going into his match against Kofi Kingston at Hell in a Cell. Yoshi is not a challenging opponent, but good superstars beat the superstars they are supposed to beat. The time length of the match was 4:04.

Winner: The Miz

Rating: *1/4

Smackdown shows Ryback attacking CM Punk at the end of RAW last Monday and Paul Heyman’s comments about the attack from last Wednesday’s Main Event. This wasn’t a quick recap. It was four minutes of video footage taken from two shows that aired earlier this week and they were shown exactly as they were originally shown. Those four minutes could have been added to the Kane vs. Rhodes match. That is one of Smackdown’s biggest problems. They show too much video footage that the fans saw earlier that week. Everything on Smackdown should be new stuff except for brief highlights that are related to current Smackdown storylines. This stuff could hurt Main Event’s ratings if they show all the good stuff on Smackdown. Paul Heyman’s interview would have been the only thing I would have been interested in seeing on this week’s Main Event so why should I try to find the episode on YouTube when I can watch the Paul Heyman interview on Smackdown?

Smackdown shows another video next, but this video is acceptable because it is related to Smackdown. The video is Kaitlyn confronting Eve with an email she found on Eve’s iPad and that led to a big fight that included Layla. The fight happened on RAW, but this is a Smackdown storyline. I didn’t see much of RAW this week and that segment was one of the things I missed so I’m glad they showed it. After the video, Booker T, Eve, Layla, and Kaitlyn are all together in Booker’s office. Aksana is there too and Booker asks her if Eve sent her an email. Aksana says no…it was a text message. You can send text messages with an iPad? All of the women start yelling at each other and then Teddy walks into the room. Teddy explains that at Night of Champions, Eve sent a text message to Aksana and told her to take out Kaitlyn so Eve could replace Kaitlyn in the Divas Championship match. Eve denies it. She says she leaves her iPhone and iPad out anywhere and she thinks someone used it. Booker T is tired of the fighting so he decides that it should be settled in the ring. He books Eve vs. Kaitlyn vs. Layla for Hell in a Cell and Eve/Aksana vs. Kaitlyn/Layla for tonight.

Randy Orton vs. Wade Barrett

Wade Barrett won with the Souvenir Elbow after Del Rio distracted Orton. This match was a little bit better than I expected because it got enough time, but it was too similar to Orton’s other matches on Smackdown. Orton’s opponents are different, but the matches are usually the same. The finish of this match was predictable, but the second half of the match was enjoyable. The time length of the match shown on TV was 11:09.

Winner: Wade Barrett

Rating: **3/4

After the match, Del Rio and Orton fight a little bit in the ring before Del Rio runs back to the locker room. The post-match fight was just a small teaser before their PPV match.

Eve and Aksana vs. Kaitlyn and Layla

Eve won after Layla hit Kaitlyn with the Lay Out. Layla did not turn heel. She just accidentally hit Kaitlyn…I think. This match wasn’t terrible, but I have been watching Wrestling Society X and CM Punk indy matches this week and this match was nowhere near as entertaining as those matches. That’s not a fair comparison, but it’s hard to enjoy this match after seeing those matches.

Winners: Kaitlyn and Layla

Rating: *1/2

Smackdown shows the RAW Rebound (unfortunately the Ryback-Punk video shown earlier was not this weeks’ RAW Rebound). This week, the RAW Rebound features AJ resigning as general manager of RAW.

Backstage, Booker T talks to Sheamus and doesn’t want the face-to-face segment to get out of control. Why did Booker even make the segment if he’s so worried about it ending in a huge fight? Sheamus says he doesn’t believe that Big Show was telling the truth when Big Show told Booker that he would act professionally tonight. Sheamus says he can’t promise Booker anything.

Daniel Bryan is standing at the Gorilla Position waiting to make his entrance. Kane walks up to him and says the pressure is on Bryan because Kane won his match earlier tonight. A Bryan loss will prove that he is the weak link in their tag team. Before Bryan left to make his entrance, Kane slaps him on the butt and Bryan says, “No!”

Daniel Bryan vs. Damien Sandow

Cody Rhodes and Kane did commentary during this match. Damien Sandow won with his neckbreaker finishing move after Cody Rhodes attacked Daniel Bryan. The controversial finish hurt the match a little bit, but this match was not on pace to be as good as the Bryan vs. Ziggler match on RAW. Please watch the Bryan vs. Ziggler match if you haven’t seen it yet. I think it was better than the first CM Punk vs. Daniel Bryan match that happened on RAW earlier this year. The time length of the match shown on TV was 4:54.

Winner: Damien Sandow

Rating: **1/2

It’s main event time. The main event tonight isn’t a match…it’s the Big Show and Sheamus face-to-face segment. There are a lot of security guards in the ring to try to prevent a fight, but I think security guards won’t be able to stop these guys. Big Show thinks he has a big advantage in the Hell in a Cell championship match because Big Show doesn’t think Sheamus can hit him with the Brogue Kick. That Brogue Kick storyline is the most interesting thing about this feud. I don’t know how Sheamus is going to hit the Brogue Kick. It reminds me of when Big Show and John Cena had a submission PPV match in 2009 and the storyline was that Big Show was too big for Cena to lock in the STF. Sheamus responds to Big Show’s comments and says Big Show is a mountain that he will conquer. Big Show says that Sheamus will not conquer him and Sheamus is delusional. Sheamus reveals that he can Brogue Kick Big Show by chopping him down to his knees. I don’t know if it was a smart idea for Sheamus to tell Big Show his gameplan. Sheamus starts chanting, “The time for fighting is now.” As expected, the security guards do a terrible job preventing Sheamus and Big Show from getting near each other. They must be the same security guards from Sacramento. Big Show and Sheamus get rid of all of the security guards and then Big Show leaves the ring before Sheamus can attack him. Big Show is not being a coward…he’s just waiting until Hell in a Cell like Booker T wanted him to do. Smackdown ends with Sheamus and Big Show staring at each other.

Matches to Watch: Kane vs. Cody Rhodes, Randy Orton vs. Wade Barrett, Daniel Bryan vs. Damien Sandow

Matches to Skip: The Miz vs. Yoshi Tatsu, Eve and Aksana vs. Kaitlyn and Layla

Best Superstar of Smackdown: Randy Orton

Orton lost his match, but he had a good performance. I wasn’t expecting his match to be good, but it was a few more minutes and a clean finish away from being PPV quality. I expect him to have a ***+ match against Alberto Del Rio this Sunday.

Best Moment of Smackdown: Wade Barrett asking Alberto Del Rio, “Is that what you were looking for” with Teddy Long standing right next to Del Rio

Wade Barrett is not the smartest WWE superstar. Del Rio apparently asked Barrett to attack Orton in the ring and Barrett decided to get feedback from Del Rio while Del Rio was trying to convince Teddy Long that he didn’t know Barrett was going to attack Orton. I loved how Del Rio reacted to what Barrett said and I imagine Del Rio was thinking, “This is not the best time to talk to me. Please come back later.”

This was a good go-home Smackdown. The show focused heavily on PPV storylines and unfortunately the quality of the matches suffered a little bit because of it, but I like that they tried to make the PPV look more interesting. I would have liked to see better matches, but I admit that Hell in a Cell does looks like a more interesting PPV now. Smackdown tried to promote five matches (Orton vs. Del Rio, The Miz vs. Kofi Kingston, the Divas triple threat match, the tag team championship match, and Sheamus vs. Big Show) and I think they did a great job promoting all five of them. They also did a lot of promotion for the CM Punk vs. Ryback match without either of them appearing on the show. I can honestly say I am a little bit more interested in each match after watching this week’s Smackdown. There was nothing great on the show and the main event ending wasn’t fantastic or anything like that, but Smackdown did a good job promoting the PPV. It wasn’t one of the best go-home shows I have seen, but I think it might help WWE increase their Hell in a Cell PPV buys.

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