While WWE is on their way to the PPV that is Extreme Rules, they are still in England for WWE SmackDown. In this edition, we find out if there is maybe another chance for AJ and Daniel Bryan to work things out. If these two kids can’t make it, who can? We also get a continuation of the back and forth between Cody Rhodes and WWE Intercontinental Champion Big Show and the first rumblings of RyBack. These are my musings of WWE SmackDown and what all of it could possibly mean for Extreme Rules.
Note: All columns analyzing the television products put on by WWE and TNA are done from an entertainment standpoint. While “insider” terms such as “face” and “heel” may be used, commentary stated is focused on the storytelling and characters – just like any other TV show we’d critique.
Daniel Bryan/AJ Lee
We open up with Daniel Bryan giving a promo in the ring. He states that at Extreme Rules, he is going to outwrestle Sheamus and win back the World Heavyweight Championship. At Extreme Rules, we will be going back to where it all began; where Daniel Bryan made his prolific rise to the top; where he won the Money In The Bank briefcase. Bryan makes a promise that we will see a new World Heavyweight Champion at Extreme Rules…YES!
Daniel Bryan is interrupted by his former girlfriend, AJ as she makes her way to the ring. AJ, as always, has the sheepish look on her face and looks to the ground as she confronts Daniel. She says that this is the only way that she can get him to talk to her, because he won’t answer her messages. Daniel tells AJ to turn right around and go away. He thinks that she is out there to distract him so that Sheamus can come up behind him and kick him in the face. AJ pleads with Daniel, only to continue to be rebuffed. Daniel ends the segment with telling AJ that there is no chance of reconciliation and that he wishes she had never been born.
As we come back from break, we see that AJ Lee is still in the ring as Natalya is introduced as her opponent for the evening. The bell rings, signaling the beginning of the match, but AJ just stands there, looking like she is on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Natalya waits for AJ to be ready to begin the match, and as it looks that AJ will never be ready, Natalya puts a hand on AJ’s shoulder seems to be sympathetic. For all of Natalya’s efforts, she is met by a series of blows by AJ, backing her into the corner. The referee tries to control AJ several times, as AJ keeps rushing the corner and attacking Natalya’s head with swift blows. The match is finally thrown out by disqualifying AJ, leaving her as a crying heap in the middle of the ring.
The WWE finally did something that I never thought they would be able to do; they made me feel sorry for AJ Lee. I didn’t like her when she started off on NXT, I didn’t like her when she was tagging with the lovely Kaitlyn, and I sure didn’t like her when they started pairing her with Daniel Bryan. With this storyline, the WWE had made me, a naysayer, feel compelled to cheer for AJ, feel her pain and get in her corner. Like I said after RAW, there has to be some payoff from all of this. AJ is going to have to become her own woman, step up to Daniel and possibly cost him the title on purpose. If we can get the payoff of her coming off as a strong woman, then this will all be worth it. I still am a fan of bringing in Bryan’s real life girlfriend, Brie Bella, as a Sensational Sherri type valet as when Macho Man dumped Elizabeth to turn into the Macho King.
RyBack made his weekly showing on WWE SmackDown, against the hometown favorite, Danny Lerman. Before the match, Lerman said that his Mom was in the audience and that he was dedicating the match to her. Backstage, Heath Slater and Drew McIntyre are shown taking bets on who will win and making fun of the mismatch that is about to happen. RyBack makes short work of Lerman and yells into the camera that he wants to be fed more.
I have been a huge fan of Ryan Reeves ever since she was on the very first season of NXT as Skip Sheffield. Reeves was on a rise, even then as a founding member of the group called NeXus, but that would all be cut short due to injury. Since then, his fans have anxiously been awaiting his return and now we have it. I see a bright future for RyBack and can already see that we are going to have a replay of this each and every week on SmackDown. Possibly, he will continue to be “fed” with enhancement talent until there is a healthy streak and he has his first real competition by someone on the actual roster.
Cody Rhodes/Big Show
This week, the back and forth one-upmanship between Big Show and Cody Rhodes took another turn. While Big Show was doing battle with superstar Alberto Del Rio in the ring, Cody snuck to ringside and delivered his patented Disaster Kick to Show’s temple, thus allowing Del Rio to pick up the victory. Before Big Show can figure out what to make of what happened, Cody already was on his way up into the stands to escape the giant.
At the beginning of the Main Event, Cody Rhodes delivered a kick to Great Khali’s leg. Khali has been having troubles with his legs and this effectively took him out of the mega six-man tag. Just as Cody thought that his team had the upper hand, Big Show’s music goes off and we get Big Show as a last minute replacement. The face team wins after Cody gets put through the ringer of an RKO, a Brogue Kick and a Choke Slam. The show ends with Big Show seeming to get the last laugh in this series.
Big Show and Cody Rhodes have been going at it for weeks now, even before WrestleMania. I like it when a feud has a slow build up like this. We saw Big Show take the Intercontinental Championship away from Rhodes and I believe that that is the only way that this feud can end, with Cody winning back the title. Big Show doesn’t need the Championship, I mean come on, the man is a former WCW/WWE/ECW/World Heavyweight Champion. The man has been the top man on every show he has been on. This will only elevate Cody Rhodes even more and give him the push to the Main Event that he needs once he does defeat the giant. Until then, we will continue to see this back and forth with Cody poking at stick at the big man.
- Natalya defeated AJ Lee via disqualification.
- Brodus Clay AKA The Funkasaurus defeated Hunico with the Sheeplex.
- Titus O’Neil and Darren Young defeated the Usos with a huge clothesline from the turnbuckle.
- Alberto Del Rio defeats Intercontinental Champion Big Show in a non-title contest with a little help from Cody Rhodes.
- RyBack defeated Danny Lerman in a squash match.
- Big Show/Randy Orton/Sheamus defeated Cody Rhodes/Mark Henry/Daniel Bryan in a six man tag match. The faces pick up the victory on the road to Extreme Rules.