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Chair Shots: WWE Smackdown spoilers and reactions

A rare WWE title defense and the return of Sin Cara are the advertised highlights of this week's Smackdown, airing Friday on SyFy. But since I'm not going to get to watch it until Saturday morning and write a review until Monday or Tuesday, here's my take on this week's Smackdown spoilers, courtesy of prowrestling.net.

Sheamus, David Otunga and Alberto Del Rio were the cast for the traditional show opening promo, building to the World Championship match at No Way Out. Otunga demanded an apology from Sheamus for running into his boss, John Laurinaitis, a few weeks back and after Del Rio came out, announced that he would get to pick Sheamus' opponent for the evening. Sheamus Brogue kicked Otunga. Good times.

I don't like being able to "pick your opponent." It should be obvious who Del Rio would pick, and that's the Big Show, because he's a dominating beast right now (or maybe Ryback). At least the whole Sheamus bumping Laurinaitis thing hasn't been dropped yet, although didn't "Big Johnny" say moments before Sheamus bumped him that anyone who laid so much as a finger on him would be suspended and/or fired? I guess he doesn't want to do that to his World Champion.

Sin Cara made his return and defeated my favorite wrestler Heath Slater. Sounds like Sin Cara is still getting the stupid mood lighting for his matches. I want to like Sin Cara, but the lighting has got to go. I'm interested to see how round 2 goes for the faceless one (or is it round 3, considering his suspension?). After Sheamus is done with Del Rio, I wouldn't mind seeing a feud between him and Sin Cara.

Damien Sandow does his thing where he refuses to wrestle, but Ezekiel Jackson drags him back to the ring. Sandow wins in his obnoxious pink and purple gear, then does a cartwheel. I love this guy. Too bad my boy Big Zeke isn't going anywhere still.

Del Rio picked Dolph Ziggler to be Sheamus' opponent. That was dumb. Maybe Del Rio hasn't noticed, but Ziggler gets beat up a lot. You want to pick someone who is going to beat the tar out of Sheamus, right?

Ryback beat two jobbers again. This is quickly replacing Divas matches as the bathroom break match for the live crowd. Next.

Looks like Sheamus and Ziggler occupy the start of the 9 p.m. hour. Sounds like this was a solid match. My boy Jack Swagger apparently does a run-in to try to help Ziggler and ends up costing him the match. Hmmm. I don't like the idea of a Swagger-Ziggler feud. That means one of them likely turns babyface, and I get the feeling it'll be Dolph Ziggler. It won't work because there's not a place for him right now as a top tier babyface, there is definitely room at the top for another heel. I'm not saying turn Swagger face (a year ago, when the storyline was set for him to turn on Michael Cole, absolutely) just that both of these guys should remain heel right now, and just distance themselves from each other.

Team Co-Broski Santino Marella and Zack Ryder beat the Prime Time Players Darren Young and Titus O'Neill in two minutes. Boo! Young and O'Neill were doing well as a young tag team, now they are getting beaten by these guys? Please stop it. And why isn't Ryder upset that he never got his U.S. title rematch? Shouldn't he be challenging Santino rather than teaming with him? Just sayin'.

Big Show comes out and destroys Santino and Ryder. See that Del Rio? So, for the record, he's decimated every babyface comedy act on Raw. The smarks should be loving him. Great way for him to get heat with a lot of the fans though by unmercifully beating up their favorites.

There was a backstage segment with Daniel Bryan telling AJ that CM Punk is only using her.

Cody Rhodes defeated Tyson Kidd. Another two-minute squash. And here we thought Tyson Kidd might get a little push after his showing in the Over the Limit battle royal. He needs Justin Gabriel back so they can reprise their tag team. Christian did commentary, I think, and he and Rhodes jawed afterward. I assume they'll have an Intercontinental title rematch at No Way Out.

To likely no one's surprise, Kane and CM Punk fought to no contest when Daniel Bryan got involved, attacking both guys. Sounds like this one had a slow start but picked up the pace as they went. That's about right.

Equally to no one's surprise, John Laurinaitis came out and announced a Triple Threat WWE Championship match at No Way Out between Punk, Bryan and Kane. I'm by no means a huge mark for either Punk or Bryan, while I've defended Kane's work over the years, but does anyone really want to see this? Punk and Bryan have put on some fabulous wrestling matches together through the first part of this year. Kane has always been a solid, safe worker and had good matches with Cena and Orton in early 2012.

But why this? We couldn't come up with anything better? Honestly, I would've been fine with Punk vs. Kane at No Way Out, with Bryan to challenge the winner down the road, and maybe as the special guest referee or something. I hate Triple Threat matches, as I feel like it's just lazy booking to get more guys on the card and allow for cheap finishes. It should've been Punk-Bryan in a submission match. Hell, you could've even used the No Way Out theme in the promos. Bryan: "And once I get you in the Yes Lock, Punk, there will be No... Way... Out." It writes itself.

Kane was in the pre-show of last month's PPV for crying out loud.

Anyway, I'm not clear if the rest of this made TV or not, but apparently Kane chokeslammed both men and left the ring. AJ got in the ring and Bryan got up and tried to get her to leave with him, but she left without either him or Punk. Bryan slapped Punk a few times and Punk hit a GTS to send the crowd home happy.

Expect to see more Punk, as well as John Cena, at Smackdown shows in the near future. According to several online reports, both are being added to help drive up the live gate for the blue brand, which really isn't a thing anymore, because the brand extension is essentially dead with one general manager and talent able to show up on both programs. It really only exists for house show purposes, and even then, some of the heels are bouncing back and forth. Really, what it means is if you go to a Raw house show, you'll see Cena and Punk. If you go to a Smackdown house show, you'll see Sheamus and Randy Orton.

Hey, wait a minute. Where was Orton? Smackdown's "franchise player" can't even be bothered to be featured on the TV show? Did he have a dark match or something? Two TV shows this week and not a Cena or Orton sighting. Weird.

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