We start with a recap video package of the Daniel Bryan vs. The Authority story arc from this past Monday Night’s episode of Raw. On the most recent episode of the Voices of Wrestling podcast, Joe Lanza promised me WWE TV is only going to get better, and that the WWE is going to save all of their best stuff for TV. Right? That’s what we all heard him say? So, Mr. Lanza I am expecting this episode of Smackdown to be top notch. And if its not then I am hoping Rich can use his supreme astrology skills (Editor’s note: It was ASTRONOMY!) to tell me when Smackdown will stop being “Friday Night Recap Raw” and start being must see TV.

Smackdown then kicks off with Batista coming wearing a leather vest, no shirt, and what appears to be my younger nephew’s jeans, because they are much too small for any grown man to be wearing. While Batista is making his entrance, Michael Cole and JBL banter back and forth about Daniel Bryan and the “Yes! Movement” vs. The Authority and “What’s best for business.”

Batista grabs a mic and asks where all of the real men in the WWE have gone. Heel Batista is so much more compelling than face Batista. At least, heel Batista can cut a decent promo even if he can’t wrestle longer than a 10 minute match.

Batista then talks about how he destroyed Dolph Ziggler last week and this past Monday he got a “Sawed off, Goat Faced Troll”. Batista then claims to have destroyed Daniel Bryan. Batista then claims that the fans paid to see Batista.  This is followed by a chorus of boos until Daniel Bryan’s music hits. YES! A main event promo to continue a main event storyline on Smackdown! Daniel Bryan starts by questioning Batista on why Batista thinks he is the “hero”. Batista then says, “You know went wrong with this business? They started letting fans in the locker room.” I am really digging Batista’s “Back in my day things were different” shtick. It counters the new era of the WWE so well. Fans love the self-made independent guys that can connect with the crowd and put on great matches. Batista is from the era of ‘roided up WWE guys with tribal tattoos. What a perfect heel for today’s fans.

Daniel Bryan then claims that Batista’s skinny jeans are too tight and they are cutting off the circulation to his brain. Bryan tells Batista that he should be embarrassed that a “fan” took him out this past Monday. Batista then claims to be “bigger, faster, stronger, smarter, and better” than Daniel Bryan. Bryan laughs at this, as does the rest of the world. Batista then claims that he only allows Daniel Bryan to exist in Batista’s universe out of the goodness of his heart. Bryan then retorts that he doesn’t want to exist in a world where people wear stupid vests, skinny jeans, sunglasses indoors, or have belly button tattoos. Finally! Daniel Bryan gets to make fun of someone else the way that people do to him when they call him “goatface” or a “troll”.

Batista then throws his sunglasses off and attempts to attack Daniel Bryan. Bryan ducks and punches Batista and throws Batista out of the ring. Bryan celebrates with the crowd with some “Yes!” chants. Corporate Kane’s music hits distracting Bryan. Batista runs into the ring and attacks Bryan from behind. Kane rolls into the ring. Batista and Kane start to stomp on Daniel Bryan repeatedly until the Big Show runs down to the ring to come to Daniel Bryan’s rescue. Batista and Corporate Kane escape from the ring. Vickie Guerrero comes out and announces the tag team match of Corporate Kane and Batista vs. The Big Show and Daniel Bryan. One would have to question if Corporate Kane’s “Director of Operations” power would allow him to veto this match. Does the D.O.O. have more power than the General Manager? Does the WWE creative team ever bring this up in a meeting?

Michael Cole then recaps Seth Rollins walking out on the Shield this past Monday as a graphic displays advertising “The Shield Summit” for later tonight. Which apparently means they are going to explain the state of the Shield in the middle of the ring tonight.

We come back from commercial with Christian entering the ring. We then get a replay from this past Monday on Raw with Christian attacking Sheamus back stage. My personal favorite, Alberto Del Rio is on commentary for this match! Dolph Ziggler than makes his way to the ring.

Christian vs. Dolph Ziggler: Cole, JBL, and Del Rio spend the majority of the beginning of the match talking about Aaron Paul and how Paul distracted Del Rio on Monday when Ziggler and Del Rio were having a match. Ziggler starts the match off with control and taunting Christian over and over again to utilize his showing off prowess. Christian gains the advantage with a flapjack face first to Ziggler onto the ring apron on the outside. Christian then catapults Ziggler into the steel steps. Is Ziggler not trying to avoid another concussion? His over-selling obviously is not getting him over anymore with the fans or the brass, he needs to stop trying to get over on his selling. Ziggler has got to learn to work matches different ways, both for his health and his career.

Back from commercial break Christian is working over Ziggler in the ring. JBL and Cole are putting over Christian’s new vicious streak. Christian then goes for his springboard sunset flip and Ziggler counters with a stiff dropkick right to Christian’s face. The match continues with both men trading nearfalls. Del Rio then stands on the announce table and distracts Ziggler the same way Aaron Paul did to Del Rio this past Monday. Christian hits Ziggler with the Killswitch for the victory. **

Joe Lanza’s favorite Renee Young steps into the ring to interview Christian after the match. Young asks Christian why he is directing all of his anger towards Sheamus. Before Christian gets a chance to answer Sheamus runs out and beats down Christian. Sheamus goes for the Brogue Kick, but Christian ducks and runs out of the ring.

After a commercial break, we can a small recap of the Uso’s winning the WWE Tag Team Championships over the New Age Outlaws then back week on Raw. Rybaxel is in the ring as The Uso’s make their first entrance with the tag titles.

The Uso’s (Jimmy and Jey Uso) vs. Rybaxel (Ryback and Curtis Axel): We start off with Curtis Axel and Ryback trading early tags to take down Jimmy Uso. Jimmy tags in Jey with Ryback in the corner the Uso’s take turns Ryback’s chest. Axel blind tags himself into the ring and causes Jey to tumble to the outside of the ring. Axel slams Jey’s back into the apron and rolls Jey into the ring for a two count. Jimmy gets the hot tag in and builds his comeback hitting Ryback with a superkick and the Rikishi butt thump. Both of the Uso’s hit Ryback with a double superkick. The Uso’s go into their victory sequence with one of them jumping over the top rope to the outside on top of an opponent as the other jumps off the top rope for a body splash onto Ryback for the 1,2, 3. * ½

The Uso’s celebrate their victory dancing with the tag titles.

Michael Cole then recaps the Raw Rewind of Paul Heyman’s “pipe bomb”.

We get the announcement that the deadman, The Undertaker will be on Raw this coming Monday.

Back from commercial, we have Byron Saxton in the back interview Corporate Kane. Corporate Kane claims that Daniel Bryan got lucky this past Tuesday on WWE Main Event. Corporate Kane is going to give Daniel Bryan an anger management lesson by ripping Bryan’s beard off and shoving it down Bryan’s throat.

In the ring we have Natalya and Eva Marie. AJ Lee and Tamina Snuka make their way way to the ring. Why can’t Paige and Emma wrestle every week on Smackdown? Paige vs. Emma on NXT ArRival was the better version of AJ Lee vs. Kaitlyn.

AJ Lee and Tamina Snuka vs. Natalya and Eva Marie: This march was the typical WWE Divas match.

Alberto Del Rio vs. Sheamus: The always underrated Alberto Del Rio has the early advantage after a superkick and a two count. Del Rio then smacks his wrist signaling for the cross armbreaker. Sheamus then turns the cross armbreaker into the Irish Curse Backbreaker for a two count. Del Rio slaps Sheamus into the cross armbreaker and Sheamus picks up Del Rio and slams Del Rio onto the mat to break the hold. Del Rio slams the cross armbreaker on again, this time Sheamus breaks the hold by getting his feet on the bottom rope. Del Rio argues with the referee and Sheamus hits Del Rio with the Brogue Kick for the win. ***

We get a shot of the Wyatt family in a dark place somewhere. Luke Harper is asking John Cena why he does what he does. Bray Wyatt then cuts a promo about John Cena’s legacy.

Byron Saxton then enters Batista’s locker room to ask Batista about his match later tonight. Batista claims he is going to run through Daniel Bryan and The Big Show by himself. Then Batista is going to win the WWE title at WrestleMania and finally a “real man” will be the face and champion of the WWE.

We then come back from commercial with the pre and post-game show panel of Josh Mathews, Booker T, Hacksaw Jim Duggan, and Alex Riley. Jim Duggan sounded more intelligent in this two-minute segment than I ever have given him credit for.

We then get Lana introducing Alexander Rusev. Here’s to hoping that Rusev is more than another Vladamir Kozlov. I have yet to see him in action having missed the Royal Rumble PPV and having my live feed cut when I was watching NXT ArRival.

We then get the announcement about Hulk Hogan’s big announcement this coming Monday on Raw.

Joe Lanza’s favorite, Renee Young is in the back with Daniel Bryan and Big Show. Young asks Daniel Bryan about Batista referring to Bryan as “not a real man”. Daniel Bryan claims Triple H is not a real man because he is always hiding behind people, even hiding behind his wife’s skirt. This gets a big, embarrassing, laugh out of The Big Show. The Big Show then asks Daniel if he should get some skinny jeans so he can be a “real man” too.

After the commercial break Corporate Kane and Batista are already in the ring ready for the main event. The Big Show and Daniel Bryan make their entrances separately for the main event of the evening.

Daniel Bryan and The Big Show vs. Corporate Kane and Batista: We start  with the members of the former Team Hell No, Daniel Bryan and Corporate Kane. Daniel Bryan hits Kane with a Lou Thesz press and mounting punches, shades of Steve Austin and then tags in Big Show. Kane then gets beat down by another guy he used to hold the tag titles with, The Big Show. Kane catches a breather after giving Big Show a drop kick to his knee. Kane tags in Batista. Kane and Batista go for a double suplex on The Big Show, Show counters with a double DDT. Big Show tags in Daniel Bryan and Bryan flies to the outside of the ring suicide diving on Kane and Batista to send us to commercial. Back from commercial, we have Big Show beating down Batista. Show tags in Bryan and Bryan delivers some stiff kicks to Batista in the corner. Bryan goes into his comeback knocking down Batista with the flying forearm, dropkicking Kane off of the apron. Batista is on his knees as Bryan delivers his signature kicks and misses the final kick to Batista’s head. Batista picks Bryan up for his signature spinebuster.

Batista tags in Kane. Kane sets Daniel Bryan up for a superplex. Bryan blocks Kane, throwing Kane off the top turnbuckle. Bryan flies off of the top rope with a missile dropkick. JBL continues to call Daniel Bryan a “garden gnome” a “farm animal” and “air goat” on commentary. Batista gets Bryan down and calls for the Batista Bomb, Bryan fights out of the Batista Bomb and kicks Batista in the back of the head. Big Show and Kane get the hot tags from their partners. Big Show shoulder blocks Kane down and tags Bryan back in. Bryan dives off the top rope with a flying head butt. Batista breaks up the pin. Big Show attacks Batista on the outside of the ring. Kane goes for a chokeslam on Bryan, but Bryan reverses into a sunset flip pin, Kane holds onto the top rope to prevent the pinfall until Big Show gives Kane the WMD punch and Daniel Bryan pins Kane for 1, 2, 3. **

This is a low rating for a Daniel Bryan match, but even Bryan can’t carry Big Show, Kane, and Batista all in the same match. This episode of Smackdown was better than last week’s. I am enjoying Daniel Bryan being the focal point of Smackdown recently. It makes me wonder how these shows would be playing out if CM Punk were still around.

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