The Samoan Submission Machine, now a SmackDown Superstar as a result of the Superstar Shake-up, promises to put The Big Dog out to pasture at WWE Backlash.04/19/2018 - 14:15
While AJ Styles teams with Daniel Bryan against Rusev Day, The King of Strong Style ambushes the WWE Champion for a third time, sending a message before their match at the Greatest Royal Rumble in Saudi Arabia.04/19/2018 - 14:15
Eck’s Factor: SmackDown 11/4 analysis
GREENVILLE, S.C. – Here are my takes on the big stories from Friday night’s SmackDown that the WWE Universe is talking about on Facebook, Twitter and WWE.com.
Talking point: Randy Orton defeats Cody Rhodes in a Street Fight
Eck’s Factor: What a way to kick off the broadcast. The former allies turned bitter rivals engaged in an entertaining brawl that took up nearly a quarter of the show. Ultimately, it was Orton who got his hand raised in victory, but by pushing Orton to the limit, Rhodes came out of this match a bigger star than he was beforehand. The match felt as if it was the final chapter in their rivalry, as Orton not only beat Rhodes, but he also placed one of Rhodes’ own paper bags over his head after it was over. In addition, Rhodes’ protective facemask was cracked during the match. I’m very interested to see where Rhodes goes from here. On a side note, as good as this match was, I miss the old days of pro wrestling when a street fight meant the combatants wore t-shirts and jeans (tucked into their cowboy boots). Who wears trunks and wrestling boots to a street fight?
Talking point: Rematch between World Heavyweight Champion Mark Henry and Big Show is set for Survivor Series
Eck’s Factor: After Big Show and Henry got into it physically following Big Show’s interference in the non-title match between Henry and Daniel Bryan, SmackDown General Manager Teddy Long announced that he was granting Big Show’s request for a title rematch at the Nov. 20 pay-per-view. I’m really looking forward to Round 2 of the battle of the behemoths. I’m also curious as to whether there will be any type of stipulation placed on the match. At the very least, I hope Long remembers to have the ring specially reinforced that night.
Talking point: Daniel Bryan considers cashing in his Money in the Bank contract on Mark Henry
Eck’s Factor: Last week on SmackDown, Bryan ended his losing streak, and for a split-second this week, I actually thought he might be winning the World Heavyweight Title from Henry. After Big Show delivered his knockout punch to Henry (which resulted in Bryan losing the match to Henry by disqualification), he convinced a half-conscious Bryan to take advantage of the situation and cash in his MITB contract. Just as Bryan was about to officially cash it in, however, Henry made it back to his feet and hit the World’s Strongest Slam on him. One thing I was reminded of as I watched this unfold is that the crowd really does care about Bryan when it is given a reason to. I’m interested to see if he ultimately ends up sticking to his vow of not cashing in the contract until WrestleMania XXVIII.
Talking point: Wade Barrett defeats Sheamus
Eck’s Factor: Sure, Barrett needed outside interference from Christian to attain the victory, but wins over The Great White have been so few and far between these days that even a tainted victory over him is impressive. Barrett – who seems to be getting on a roll again – and Sheamus have similar, hard-hitting styles, and I would love to see more matches between them. One thing about Friday’s match that didn’t add up for me, however, was that Sheamus kept kicking out of Barrett’s pin attempts at one, yet he wasn’t able to kick out of a simple roll-up after being distracted by Christian. I suppose it was the element of surprise. Either that or perhaps Sheamus was expecting his family member Beaker to make the save.
Talking point: Hunico interferes in Sin Cara’s match against newcomer Epico
Eck’s Factor: While I initially wasn’t too excited about the Sin Cara-Hunico rivalry continuing, I am somewhat intrigued by what appears to be a new wrinkle in the form of Epico. In his SmackDown debut, Epico was having a good back-and-forth match against Cara until Hunico came out and attacked his nemesis. After the match, Hunico and Epico proceeded to double-team the masked man. For those in the WWE Universe who keep an eye on WWE’s developmental promotion in Florida, the Hunico-Epico alliance doesn’t come as a surprise, as they have competed there as a tag team. Perhaps in addition to making life miserable for Cara, the tandem of Hunico and Epico will give a much-needed shot in the arm to WWE’s tag team division.
Talking point: Ted DiBiase defeats Tyson Kidd
Eck’s Factor: It was nice to see DiBiase in the win column for a change. DiBiase is obviously a talented in-ring performer, but for whatever reason, he’s had difficulty getting over to a significant degree with the WWE Universe. In retrospect, doing the Million Dollar Man Junior gimmick probably wasn’t the best idea for him. His Hall of Fame father was so good in that role that anyone else doing it simply comes off as a cheap imitation. DiBiase’s new man-of-the-people persona seems like a better fit, and I like the DiBiase Posse concept (DiBiase has been hosting tailgate parties with fans in the parking lot before WWE live events). However, DiBiase is going to have a tough time convincing people that he’s just a down-home guy who loves to hunt, fish and tailgate as long as he keeps coming out to the “I Come From Money” entrance music. Here’s an idea: Since Jesse and Festus aren’t around anymore, perhaps DiBiase can start using their old “Biscuits and Gravy” theme.