It's been a few weeks since I've done a match of the week article, but a bout happened on Smackdown this Friday that I had to talk about. My last match of the week was a throwback, however as I mentioned before, this one actually happened just this week.
On Smackdown, The Authority continued stacking the odds against Dolph Ziggler by making him defend his title in a triple threat elimination match against Cesaro & Tyson Kidd. When I heard that this match was taking place, I was immediately excited.
I was excited simply because Dolph Ziggler & Cesaro have been producing quality matches over the IC Title for several weeks now and adding someone like Tyson Kidd to the mix would be a nice change of pace. Also considering Kidd's past history in multi-man matches (the NXT four way), I had a feeling these guys would steal the show.
As soon as the bell rang, that initial feeling of these three stealing the show came to fruition as we got a flurry of fast paced exchanges and roll ups to begin the bout. They cut to a quick commercial break which frustrated me because of how invested I was in the match. However, we return from the break and the match continues to unfold with a variety of double team maneuvers.
In fact, that's one of the things that made this match so good. They didn't follow the basic multi-man match formula by using the same old spots. We saw some unique moves such as a tower of doom variation, Cesaro suplexing Ziggler & Kidd at the same time, multiple submissions involving all three men, Ziggler holding Cesaro across his knees as Tyson came down off the top rope thus driving Cesaro's back further onto Dolph's knees, and Ziggler hitting a DDT/Facebuster combination on both Cesaro & Kidd.
The second thing I loved about this bout was the story. Going into the match, it was all about Ziggler having the odds stacked against him once again and they played into that story very well during the match. While Ziggler & Kidd did work together briefly on a few occassions, the majority of this match saw Ziggler take the beating only to keep fighting back.
While all the aforementioned things were great, what I liked most about this match was that they were given time to create something special. In the past we've seen elimination matches have an elimination within the first five minutes which leaves you questioning, why even have that guy in the match? Thankfully, we got nearly 15 minutes of these three men all going at it here and it was something to behold.
Tyson Kidd provided the first shock of the match by taking advantage of Ziggler hitting the Zig Zag on Cesaro and pinning him. That alone was huge for Kidd, but he was no where near done as he immediately took it to Ziggler with an array of impressive maneuvers. Some of these include a hurricanrana into the steel steps and Kidd running the barricade and delivering a stiff kick to the chest of Ziggler.
The action then ventured back into the ring where we had a fantastic back & forth exchange with several near falls. For a moment there, I thought Kidd might pull the upset. In the end, Dolph Ziggler would overcome the odds and pin Tyson Kidd after an incredibly hardfought match to retain the IC Title.
I honestly think everyone came out of this match looking better than they went in. The purpose of this match was to put Dolph Ziggler over even more than he already he is. It was almost a John Cena style "overcoming the huge odds" booking for Ziggler which is something we've never seen before for Dolph.
While Ziggler came out of this looking fantastic, I think Tyson Kidd benefited most from this match. He's been back on TV for a few weeks now, but wasn't given time to show what he could really do until this bout. Kudos to Tyson for taking advantage of this big opportunity. He put it all out there and blew away the WWE Universe in the process. One can only hope this will lead to a permanent main roster spot for the Hart Dungeon graduate.
As for Cesaro, he may have been the one to take the pin from Kidd however he still had some big moments here. From using the swing for the first time in months to showcasing his power on multiple occassions, Cesaro impressed and recieved a huge pop in the process.
I hope WWE capitalizes on the buzz that this match created. Ziggler's future is clear from this point on since he's booked in the main event of Survivor Series. However that leaves Cesaro and Kidd with nothing. Actually, it doesn't. Kidd pinned Cesaro which was a huge upset. That means we're due for a rematch between the two and I'm certainly looking forward to that.
I think WWE book a Best of 3 Series between Cesaro and Tyson Kidd to determine the #1 Contender for the IC Title. It would work out pretty well because they could have two TV matches next week and then the big final match in the SERIES at the Survivor SERIES PPV. It would also give both men a credible story even if it's only for a week and a half. Both men would benefit along with the IC Title itself.
None the less, before I start fantasy booking the IC Title picture for the next three months - I highly recommend checking out the Triple Threat Elimination Match from Smackdown if you missed it. It's one of the best TV matches of the year and totally worth going out of your way to see.