Title This: WWE Smackdown Reaction May 31st, 2013

Josh Isenberg

WWE SmackdownThe Undercard

Curtis Axel defeated Sin Cara in what was almost exactly like last week's match. Axel got in control until Cara used his athleticism to get a few moves in. Axel hit a forearm to the back of Sin Cara's head and then hit the Perfect Plex for the win. The only difference this week was the finisher, which I am not in favor of. He wants to carve out his own legacy, so he cannot simply adopt all of his dad's moves. The Perfect Plex was perfect in the 90's. These days, it does not look like a finishing move with enough intensity.

Grade: C

Big E Langston defeated Alberto Del Rio thanks to some help from AJ Lee. I will be the first to admit that I am starting to like the progression we are seeing from Langston. He is a talented guy who is quicker in the ring that I assumed from the beginning. The biggest problem tonight was this is the FOURTH time he and Del Rio have fought over 2 weeks. Too much, too similar, and too forced. WWE desperately needs Ziggler back, so Del Rio can lose and move on. People just do not care about Del Rio in the long run. He is a generic face with little believability as that face. His ring work is great, but that is all he has. Langston has benefitted from Ziggler being hurt, but not enough to justify this feud with Del Rio.

Grade: C+

Ryback defeated Kofi Kingston . Kingston actually got more offense that I thought he was going to get. He hit a few moves and really grounded Ryback early on. The flying splash from the top rope, which landed him on Ryback, was perfect. You can tell the positives Ryback has in matches. His strength is such a factor in seeing vulnerability in his character. When he is down, it feels like it took SO much for him to get down. After the match, Ryback put Kofi through three tables and sent a message to John Cena. Why doesn't anybody ever save Kingston? Well, the elbow injury will send him on the sidelines for a month or two and hopefully he comes back as either a heel  (which won't work) or a more aggressive face with a new attitude.

Grade: B-

Chris Jericho defeated Cody Rhodes in an entertaining bout. Rhodes focused more on his ring work tonight, locking in a few submission holds. He slowed the pace down quite a bit, but it was needed. Jericho is so fluent in the ring, hitting a shoulder block and then hitting a bulldog with ease. He is one of the best at transition from one move to the next. Rhodes goes up for a disaster kick, but Jericho stops him in mid air and locks in a Walls of Jericho. My only complaint here is that Paul Heyman should have been shown either watching Jericho or "on the phone" with CM Punk. There needs to be more emphasis on this match. I still do not buy CM Punk wrestling at WWE Payback. Axel should take his spot.

Grade: B

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