October 20, 2013
Matt Peddycord
The Place to Be

WWE: Smackdown
October 11, 2013
Columbus, OH
Nationwide Arena

The current WWE champs are as follows:
WWE Champion: Vacant (9/16/2013)
World Heavyweight Champion: Alberto Del Rio (6/16/2013)
WWE Intercontinental Champion: Curtis Axel (6/16/2013)
WWE U.S. Champion: Dean Ambrose (5/19/2013)
WWE Tag Team Champions: Roman Reigns & Seth Rollins (5/19/2013)
WWE Divas Champion: AJ Lee (6/16/2013)

We kick off the program with a video package of everything that led up to the Big Show finally knocking COOHHH out. For more details in case you missed it, check out Scott’s Raw Recap, who I’m sure was very concerned about Triple H’s condition.

Your hosts are Michael Cole and JBL.

Out comes the Smackdown GM Vickie Guerrero to the ring. This past week on Raw, Alberto Del Rio tried to get in her good graces with a kiss on the cheek and giving her his black scarf. He even went as far as to call her “sexy”. Seeing right through the facade, Vickie first gave Del Rio a match with Ricardo Rodriguez and then during the match, announced that he would be facing the returning John Cena at ‘Hell in a Cell’ with the World Title on the line. This shocked ADR so much, that Rodriguez was able to schoolboy him for the upset. To make people hate her again, Vickie announces that there’s now a ‘for sale’ sign in Big Show’s front yard and that he’s now unemployed. Alberto Del Rio interrupts and tries to get Vickie to change her mind about his title match with John Cena. All of a sudden, her tone changes and she’s likeable again. Did Vince McMahon just turn off her mind control device when Del Rio walked out? Vickie toils with him a bit and gets him to kiss her. It starts with a kiss on the cheek. When Vickie is disappointed, Del Rio pecks her on the lips. Not good enough, Vickie wants to be kissed like a Mexican. Del Rio dips her over and gives her a good one, I assume. Now she wants a French kiss, but then decides maybe he should just kiss her behind instead, meaning she will not reconsider his match at ‘Hell in a Cell’. Here comes Damien Sandow. He calls Del Rio a ‘phony’ and says that Vickie is beautiful because of her superior intellect. Then he states the obvious about Del Rio being afraid of Cena. So therefore, Vickie makes a non-title match between these two for later in the show. Once Vickie walks away, a fight ensues and Del Rio is left running scared. Sandow is either shouting at ADR or the audience at home as he says, “Please come back!” Don’t worry, Sandow. I *have* to be here.

- WWE Intercontinental Champion Curtis Axel (w/Paul Heyman) vs. R-Truth
We just saw this at Battleground, right? Tons of nearfalls on Axel, but nothing too interesting happening. Truth hits the Scissors Kick, but Axel grabs the bottom rope to save his title. Axel snaps Truth’s neck on the top rope and delivers the Hangman’s Facebuster for the win in 8:00 shown. *½

- Los Matadores (w/El Torito) vs. Los Locales
Los Locales are masked jobbers who are – get this – a team of local wrestlers. Their masks look like Ultimo Dragon and Super Dragon masks. Standard Los Matadores squash with the Double Samoan Drop finish on Super Dragon in 4:00. Afterwards, Ultimo Dragon receives a bullcanrana and the finish only this time El Torito springboard sentons to make it a trifecta of sorts.

- The Funkadactyls & Brie Bella (w/Nikki Bella) vs. Kaitlyn, Eva Marie, and Natalya (w/JoJo)
Whoa, Brie just did the Canadian Maple Leaf. Coming from a Diva, it didn’t look too bad. After Brie plays face in peril (I think?), Naomi takes a nasty spear by Kaitlyn. The ring gets cleared out, leaving only Kaitlyn and Naomi. O’Connor roll to Naomi, but she rolls through and pins Kaitlyn in 3:00. ¾*

In the back, Renee Young meets with Cody Rhodes & Goldust. They thank everyone for their support when they defeated the Shield last weekend at ‘Battleground’. Tonight, they got the Wyatt Family.

- Non-title match: World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio vs. Damien Sandow
Just a fight to find out who is the better man. That’s Wrestling 101, ladies and gents. Like most of his TV matches, Del Rio underestimates the competition and grabs his title belt looking to just take the loss by countout. Of course, Sandow brings him back into the ring. Crowd is chanting “USA” like it’s the Reagan era. That should tell you how much these people care about Sandow. I’m surprised that Cole and JBL never mention what a problem this match will be for John Cena with Del Rio’s finisher being a cross armbreaker. It’s the most obvious logic in the world. All they talk about is how resilient Cena is to come back from injuries so quickly, but c’mon. Sandow runs his shoulder into the post, but clotheslines Del Rio out before that can be followed up. Commercials. When we return, Sandow mounts another comeback and hits the Elbow of Disdain for two. Superkick to a kneeling Sandow gets two. Cross Armbreaker fails and Sandow delivers the Edge-O-Matic for two. Another nearfall for Sandow off a corkscrew neckbreaker. As Del Rio retreats to the apron, Sandow starts putting the boots to him, leaving his knee exposed that he injured at ‘Battleground’ to a kick from Del Rio. With Sandow worried about his knee, Del Rio slaps on the Cross Armbreaker and gets the tap-out. (12:00 shown) Lots of nearfalls and good moves, but Sandow just cannot have an interesting match to save his life. Maybe one day. **

Michael Cole announces that Triple H could not only have a concussion, but also have a broken jaw and might have to get his mouth wired shut. It’s alright, H. Spit it through the wire, man. Also, Pittsburgh police could be putting out a warrant for the arrest of the Big Show with charges of criminal trespass and assault with a deadly weapon = his fist. Well, it is a WMD, right?

- The Prime Time Players & Great Khali vs. 3MB
PTP and 3MB have their own little formulaic match until Khali walks in and Tree Chops Slater for the win in 5:00. Time killer. *

- Cody Rhodes & Goldust vs. Luke Harper & Erick Rowan (w/Bray Wyatt)
Another test to see how the Rhodes boys work as a team. Goldust has a moment with Erick Rowan wearing that creepy sheep mask. Goldust punches it off and tags Cody. Commercials! When we return, Goldust gets a hot tag and he is rockin’ and rollin’ all over these boys. Harper avoids the Bulldog though and avalanches Goldust in the corner to turn the tide. Headlocks and chinlocks ensue. Rowan absolutely manhandles Goldust in a bearhug. Chyna shaking Marlena back in the day comes to mind. In another cool moment, Rowan busts out the Claw from 1984 and flings Goldust from one corner to the next. Goldust hits the Bulldog out of nowhere and makes the tag to Cody. Disaster Kick to Harper gets two. The Wyatt family get dumped out to the floor as Rhodes levels Rowan with a plancha, but then stands up into a big boot by Harper. That gives Bray a good laugh. Back inside, Harper gives Goldust a Discus Clothesline. He whips Cody into the corner, but a Jack Brisco rollup surprises Harper for the 1-2-3 and the first loss for the Wyatt family. (10:30 shown) Match of the night. Cody and Goldust are fired up right now and they may look the best they ever have. **½

Final Thoughts: This is how Smackdown should be. Leave the angles for Raw, show the video montages building the feuds, and concentrate on the wrestling. A little light on the stars this week, but that has more to do with the international tour going on than anything else.

Matt’s Smackdown Top Five:
1) Goldust (The old man is fired up. I haven’t liked him this much since the ‘Natural’ days.)
2) Cody Rhodes (He should be fired up and I’m glad he is.)
3) Alberto Del Rio (Every week, he’s the hardest working man on Smackdown.)
4) Damien Sandow (He’s got potential, he just needs that breakthrough match.)
5) Erick Rowan (This is the first time I’ve really seen him let loose. He’s good.)

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