Whether his reign as new Smackdown GM will be a good thing will be known shortly down the road, but there’s already one bright spot: We won’t have to hear Booker’s lackluster commentary anymore.
In fact, Booker is much better in this role. Why didn’t they do this before?
1: Sheamus vs. Tensai (w/Sakamoto): This felt more like a brawl than a wrestling match, but plenty of hard hits as these two have good chemistry in the ring. Tensai charged at Sheamus in the corner and came up empty. Sheamus bounced off the ropes and hit the Brogue Kick. 1-2-3. Great match, almost main-event quality.
2: Antonio Cesaro (w/Aksana) vs. Santino Marella: A harmless short match. Cesaro hit his Gotch-Style Neutralizer finisher to get the win over the current United States Champion. Perhaps a future title shot is in order?
3: Chris Jericho/Christian/Kane vs. The Miz/Dolph Ziggler/Daniel Bryan (w/Vickie Guerrero): A smart way to pack three feuds in one match. Everybody looked good. With Christian, Kane and The Miz knocked down on the outside floor, Jericho had Bryan locked in the Walls of Jericho in the ring. Vickie Guerrero distracted the referee while Ziggler attempted to attack Jericho with his MITB briefcase, only to be hit by the Code Breaker. Bryan took advantage and wrapped Jericho up in a School Boy pin and grabbed his tights for good measure. Great TV match as well.
4: Jinder Mahal vs. Ryback: We’re finally beginning to see some depth added to Ryback’s character, as displayed with his pre-taped promo before the match. Ryback slammed Mahal down with a Spinebuster. Mahal rolled out of the ring and went for the ring bell. Ryback followed him and Mahal struck him with it, which caused a DQ. Ryback chased Mahal into the ring, but Mahal escaped and sprinted up the ramp. Not much of a match, but at least they advanced their feud.
5: R-Truth (w/Kofi Kingston) vs. Darren Young (w/Titus O’Neal and AW): Lots of action, short time. Kingston charged at O’Neal outside the ring, but O’Neal hit him with a big boot. R-Truth kicked O’Neal down through the ropes. R-Truth turned around and Young caught him with his finisher for the win.
6: Alberto Del Rio (w/Ricardo Rodriguez) vs. Randy Orton: Smackdown main events as of late have been lengthy, stellar matches. On paper, this should have continued the trend, but six minutes is simply not enough to do it. Orton hit his second rope DDT and had the RKO all set up, but Rodriguez ran right in, which caused a DQ. Del Rio went for Orton’s arm and tried to put on the Cross Arm Breaker, but Orton got out of it and knocked Del Rio out of the ring with a dropkick. Del Rio and Rodriguez began to leave. Sheamus came out and rolled Del Rio into the ring and Orton hit the RKO.
Final Thoughts: Things started off hot, but slowed down plenty towards the end. Not that any of the matches were bad per se, but this didn’t feel like a show that’s three weeks away from one of WWE’s biggest PPV’s, “Summerslam.” Watch this show for Sheamus-Tensai and the Six-man tag, but the rest can be skipped. On the flip side, Daniel Bryan’s “No” antics have been hilarious and the feud for Ziggler and Jericho continues to move along nicely. Plus, Booker T is in a much more suitable role for him. Smackdown shows promise, but they’re not quite there yet.