‘Sup, Lords of Pain? Here we are, just a few days removed from Night of Champions and it already feels like a lifetime ago. Whilst a lot of that could be down to my holiday to Los Santos, it is also because a lot has changed since Daniel Bryan won his second WWE Championship. Bryan’s victory over Orton came as a big surprise on a PPV that, RVD DQ victory aside, went pretty much to the script everybody believed the WWE were working off. Most of the matches were decent, but nothing particularly memorable happened outside of Ryback becoming the new Paul Heyman guy. The main event was a decent match. We expected shenanigans that didn’t come and I think that probably had an impact on things. In the end we did get a touch of controversy in the form of a fast count that wouldn’t have made a spot of difference to the result. Some didn’t like it. I thought it was a stroke of genius. It gave Hunter an easy way to strip the title from Bryan. It gave Bryan a second convincing victory over a “made man” in as many months. It gave the fans what they wanted for the night before snatching it away again in the build to the next PPV. I can’t think of a way to explain the fast count but I am sure that will be revealed within the next couple of weeks. So overall, top stuff once again, but now it is time to get to the business at hand...
4-4-2 Review: SmackDown 20/9/13 (CPR Productions)
Sep 21, 2013 - 3:43:33 PM
1’ KICK OFF: We get things underway with a recap of the events of Raw and the latest Triple H sitdown interview with Michael Cole. These are doing an excellent job of continuing the gripping storyline and really selling Hunter’s belief that he is the good guy in all this and doing what is best for business.
6’ BEAUTIFUL SET-UP: The show proper starts with SmackDown General Manager Vickie Guerrero with a mic which means one thing. Heat. She introduces Daniel Bryan by highlighting just how short his two WWE title reigns were and as the former champ comes out, she tells him to come clean about what happened at Night of Champions. Bryan says Orton was knocked out and the ref could have counted to 20. Vickie said if she was in charge she would have fired him and Bryan retorts by saying that she has no power. Vickie then books a clusterfuckalicious 11-on-3 handicap gauntlet match with everyone who helped Bryan on Raw taking on the Shield one at a time, with DB saved for last. Colour me intrigued by that proposition. Equally excellent and awkward delivery by Vickie as usual. An absolute heat magnet dishing out ridiculously over the top punishment to impress her evil boss works for me.
18’ ON THE BACKFOOT: Total Divas may as well be an anagram for danger when it comes to the 4-4-2 Review (it isn’t, I checked). Here we are treated to 5 minutes of AJ taking on Naomi. The worst of the action doesn’t come in the ring but rather at the announce booth as Natalya proves she got her speaking skills from her mum’s side of the family. She trips herself up on a couple of occasions as the ladies in the ring have a short, inoffensive match. I like Naomi’s potential. She has a great deal of athleticism and does some nice moves. The problem is she has no idea how to string that all together right now. As dumb as this whole story is right now, if it leads to a proper feud between AJ and Nattie, it might be vindicated. In the meantime though I really hope somebody is working on deals to bring the likes of Michelle McCool and Beth Phoenix back in addition to prepping the talented NXT divas for a call up.
23’ WIDE: We follow this up with another short match, this time between Santino Marella and Jack Swagger. Zeb Colter has some fun before the match by stating that it is illegal to own a pet snake without the proper permit. It was actually quite fun whilst it lasted and we have a nice finish Santino hitting a crucifix for the three count after Swagger blocked a hip toss. Colter and Cesaro are too good to be wasting time around this level though, hopefully they have something to sink their teeth into soon.
28 TEKKERS: We get our third short match in a row which isn’t good for the “wrestling” show reputation. This time however it is pretty much to establish Ryback in his new role as the latest Paul Heyman guy. He squashes a jobber named Nick Nardone but not before Heyman puts himself over as the Best in the World from his wheelchair and Ryback continues to fight the good fight against bullying. He has Punk in his mind but for today he deals with Nardone who allegedly refused to give a little kid an autograph and intimidated him in the parking lot. Will Heyman managed to finally get Ryback past his booking nightmares? Time will tell I guess but I’d say there is probably a decent chance. As a side note, even Axel showed a glimpse of personality whilst apparently finding Nardone’s beating hysterical.
31’ GOAL: An Orton promo is never particularly pretty but it can get the job done and that is exactly what happened here. He blamed himself for his loss at Night of Champions and not the conspiracy between Bryan and Armstrong. He said it came about because he suppressed himself because that is what the fans wanted. He said he locked away the Viper but has now brought him back. He made an example of the Miz (in a beautiful beatdown on Raw). He says he will massacre and annihilate Bryan at Battle Ground and win the title back for him. It was cold and dry and whilst that is pretty much the only promo Orton can do, but in this situation it worked. Rumours are we are heading towards an ironman match at the next PPV and best believe that I would be extremely excited for that.
36’ CHANCE: Gauntlet time. Really been looking forward to this. Could be a great showcase for The Shield and give some faces a chance to show some heart in a no-win situation.
45’ TACTICAL FOUL/BOOKING/HALF TIME: First to run the Gauntlet is Darren Young who gets no offense whatsoever before Reigns spears him out of the match. His partner puts up a brief struggle but is pinned after a triple powerbomb. Ziggler is up next. He uses the hit and run method for a moment but The Shield are soon back in control. Dolph finds his second wind but the numbers catch up again and a brutal spear on the outside leads to a countout. Kofi is next and like Ziggler uses speed. He even manages a Trouble in Paradise and two count on Reigns but Ambrose makes the save and then hits his Bulldog thingy finisher. Next out is Rob Van Dam and he really takes it to them. He looks like he is actually about to end things with a 5 Star Frogsplash when King of Kings hits. Hunter calls off the match and in the confusion RVD gets knocked off the top rope. An absolutely intriguing concept nipped in the bud before we got to see The Shield destroy Zack Ryder. Oh well, it was fun whilst it lasted but not quite the goal it might have been if they had followed it through a bit further. Trips gets his weekly yellow card too for his evil deeds.
46’ SECOND HALF: We kick things off in the second half with Hunter giving Vickie a dressing down for making the match. He says she doesn’t know what is best for business and it could have caused a revolt. He promotes safe and fair competition and books DB and The Usos vs The Shield. After a break Zack Ryder and Justin Gabriel show up. Ryder acts like himself and so Hunter gives them a chance to prove themselves in a match. It probably won’t end well as Trips didn’t seem too impressed with being called Bro.
54’ OFFSIDE: And it doesn’t end well for Gabyder or, if you prefer, Rybriel as their opponents are the Wyatt Family. It ends well for me though as Luke Harper pretty much destroys poor old Zack. Gabriel and Rowan barely get a look in. Bray comes in after the match and hits his finisher too. It’s always fun to see Ryder get beatdown but you have to wonder just where the Wyatt Family are going. There is not much room for them to grow right now and they seem to be frying smaller and smaller fish on a week-to-week basis.
61’ HANDBALL: Van Dam is getting fixed up with the doctors when Trips shows up. He apologises for Vickie putting him in the gauntlet match and lets him know he will have a rematch with Del Rio at Battleground. As Trips leaves, ADR shows up and attacks RVD. At least there was a doctor already present I guess. The question coming out of this segment is was there intent on Hunter’s part or was it accidental. He could have tipped Alberto off but Del Rio may have just been listening with a glass at the door. It’s that doubt that keeps the story ticking over very nicely indeed.
69’ GOOD EFFORT: The segment is followed up with the World Heavyweight Champion in action. He defeats R-Truth with the cross arm breaker in a match which was better than it probably should have been. Del Rio continues his run of strong in-ring work for the year. With each passing week, the “get this guy away from the world title scene” sounds in the IWC get quieter and quieter.
73’ CHANCE: We get a chance to finish things off with a bang as The Shield are in six man action against Bryan and The Usos. Some good chemistry has been developed over the last few months between all these guys so I expect a strong main event.
90’ FULL TIME: No goal to finish things off but plenty of pressure. A good match once more. The Usos prove that they are probably the right choice as number one contenders to the tag straps. The just seem to click with the Shield and they have probably been overlooked in that division for a couple of years now. It was a nice finish which saw the Usos and the tag champs all in a pile of spots on the outside. Bryan had the Yes lock on in the ring but as Ambrose gets to the ropes, he gets attacked by Jimmy and Jey. This allows Bryan to land his finished and stand tall at the end of the match. Overall it was a good episode of SmackDown but probably not as good as recent weeks. Still, we come away with a 1-0 victory, some good storyline advancement and a fun main event.
It was a tough call for Man of the Match this week. Nobody really stood out a great deal. Orton had a good promo. Trips did some nice work walking that heel-face tight rope. Vickie did what she does, ADR did well with his minutes and Bryan was his normal self. In the end however...
MAN OF THE MATCH
...Roman Reigns doubles up. The Shield did technically beat 4 guys in addition to losing the main event and 3 of those wins were down to the power of group. Plus on top of that he put Van Dam in the doctor’s room and we got to see that spear more than once which is always a good little bonus. And with that we come to the end of this week’s 4-4-2 Review. I shall be back next week. In the meantime make sure you check out the latest edition of The Right Side of the Pond where Joey Shinobi and I talk a bit about the Night of Champions fallout and Plan and Maverick talk Rock-Cena I. The link is below along with the normal social media. I am off to once again waste my life away playing Grand Theft Auto 5. Until next time, peace!
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