"Tonight is all about Big Show and Sheamus."
General Manager Booker T dropped that line early in the broadcast of tonight's Smackdown.
So the show focuses on the World Heavyweight Champion and his challenger for the upcoming pay-per-view? What a novel concept. Maybe CM Punk should move to the blue brand.
I've praised WWE's treatment of Sheamus and Big Show in recent weeks, and their program continues to be well booked. The two are remaining, for the most part, physically separated.
Tonight's Smackdown revolved around the two, and while neither man was in the main event spot, they were both made to look strong.
The show opened with a force test to determine which move was more powerful, Sheamus' Brogue Kick or Big Show's Knockout Punch. The two took turns hitting a punching mall measuring the force behind their strike, and the result saw Big Show prevail by a nearly 50-percent margin.
Sheamus, who had been playing his role of John Cena-lite and making light of the situation and the Big Show, began taking a more serious approach to addressing Big Show's strength and power, but it was cut off by Tensai, who jumped him from behind.
Sheamus and Tensai had a decent match that saw the World Heavyweight Champion make quick work of his opponent with White Noise and a Brogue Kick. The match wasn't bad by any means, but anymore, a win over Tensai shouldn't be considered all that impressive.
Later in the show, Big Show soundly defeated Kofi Kingston in a pretty basic match. There wasn't much to this contest, and Big Show just completely blocking the finishing move of the number-one contender to the Intercontinental Championship with his arms seemed a bit odd.
The match certainly made Big Show look dominant, but it was weird to see Kingston in that position, less than a week before he faces The Miz on Main Event. Of course, it allowed the braggart Miz to taunt his downed body, but it still seems, to me at least, there could have been another sacrificial lamb inserted here.
The bottom line is that WWE has continued to make both Sheamus and Big Show look extremely strong heading into their Hell in a Cell confrontation. Now if Sheamus would drop the comedic insults, we'd be making even more great progress.
I still don't think Big Show and Sheamus will put on a five-star match, but it's great to see WWE trying to take a different approach and break the mold from their traditional approach to building a championship match.
The issues between Tag Team Champions Kane and Daniel Bryan and Dolph Ziggler and Alberto Del Rio have been a good distraction to keep the champs busy while the number-one-contender tournament has played out. Tonight, Kane had a really good match with Ziggler that ended when the latter nailed Kane with the Money in the Bank briefcase. In the main event, Bryan and Del Rio would have a fantastic television match that ended with Bryan taping out to Del Rio's cross-armbreaker. After the match, Del Rio trash-talked Randy Orton until the Viper came out and assaulted his new rival. Both of these guys have their haters and detractors, but I'd like to see them put on some good matches together.
A ginger, a Scotsman and an Indian played air guitar in the middle of a wrestling ring... No, that's not the start of a bad joke; it really happened on Raw. Heath Slater and Jinder Mahal of the newly christened stable "The Band" picked up a win over Santino Marella and Zack Ryder. The match wasn't half-bad, but the ridiculous air guitar act seems really out of place for Mahal and Drew McIntyre.
I really enjoyed the match between Sin Cara and Damien Sandow. They seemed to work well together, and while the match was designed to showcase Cara, it certainly didn't make Sandow look bad. He was caught off guard as the referee ejected Cody Rhodes, which allowed Cara to win with a roll-up. I'm excited to see the finals of the tag team tournament on Raw Monday.
The backstage segment with Layla, Kaitlyn, Eve and Teddy Long debating who attacked Eve was pretty bad. Does anyone really care to even contemplate the idea of Long in a wig being responsible?
Sheamus d. Tensai Heath Slater and Jinder Mahal d. Zack Ryder and Santino Marella Kane d. Dolph Ziggler by disqualification Big Show d. Kofi Kingston Sin Cara d. Damien Sandow Alberto Del Rio d. Daniel Bryan
Everything on tonight's show seemed to make at least some degree of sense. The choice of Kofi Kingston as Big Show's opponent was the most baffling decision of the night. But when the wrestling was on, it was on for the most part. The tag team match was better than expected, Kane and Ziggler had a good match, Sandow and Sin Cara delivered and the main event was great. Overall not a bad night for the blue brand.
Ring Posts' Adam Testa has teamed up with My 1-2-3 Cents (www.my123cents.com) and All American Pro Wrestling (www.aapwrestling.com) to bring you From the Rafters Radio,(www.facebook.com/RaftersRadio) a weekly pro wrestling talk radio show airing from 8-10 EST every Thursday on Monster Radio 1150 AM in Southern Illinois and streaming worldwide on wggh.net (www.wggh.net).