Sooooo….yeah. I have to say, there are A LOT of people passionate about The Rock this week. It seems like all you have to do around here these days is mention The Rock in your column title and you’ll get an absurd amount of hits. And an absurd amount of emotional feedback along the lines of I HOPE HE CAN WALK AGAIN and IT’S STILL REAL TO ME, DAMN IT! I’ll just use this whole Dwayne Johnson deal as an excuse for why my column seems to have fallen by the wayside and move on.
But if you haven’t yet read my rather brilliant early analysis on how Wrestlemania’s midcard is shaping up, go ahead and click here. I’ll wait.
As I brought up this past Thursday, Kelly Floyd won’t be with us for the next few weeks but should return right around ‘Mania. If anyone is interested in chatting like Kelly and I have about the show and want to see their name is shiny, bold letters next to mine, hit me up via my e-mail. Now let’s get on with the show!
We open with a recap of Daniel Bryan’s head shot on Randy Orton with his title belt, which segues into the announcement of tonight’s main event. Can you guess what it is? Cue Green Day, and if there was ever a song that could be deemed inappropriate for a show like Smackdown, that would be it. It gives Nickelback a run for their money, that’s for damn sure.
Sheamus heads to the ring for what appears to be a promo. Hell, it beats watching him squash someone in two minutes just to get in a Sheamus appearance. I’d recap it in Andrew Wheeler’s Sheamus voice, but I don’t have his patience. The Great White compares Daniel Bryan’s change of attitude with his own when HE first won the big one. He says he turned into the worst thing in the world: a bully. He says he needed someone to knock his block off and set him straight and now so does DB, which Sheamus will be more than happy to do April 1st.
The promo comes to a screeching halt courtesy of Vickie Guerrero (see what I did there?) and Dolph Ziggler. Dolph makes a lame joke about Sheamus’s hair, which leads to the Great White calling the joke as old as Dolph’s “grandmother” standing next to him. Ah, cheap heat. Vickie says she’s not old; she’s experienced. So does that make her a Hoeski? Teddy Long interrupts after Vickie calls him a nincompoop as a GM and makes a match between Ziggler and Sheamus for right now. Well, after the commercials.
So Dolph is scheduled for another JOB. I’m not complaining, as I expect him to carry this match and make it worth my time. I just can’t wait for the WWE to actually make him a serious threat again.
Sheamus vs Dolph Ziggler
And we’re back with the match underway thanks to the editing room as Ziggler and Sheamus bounce off the ropes, ending with a dropkick to the Great White. They redo the sequence, but this time Sheamus puts on the brakes and holds onto the ropes, forcing Dolph to miss his dropkick. Sheamus traps Dolph in the corner and then hits his pounding blows in the ropes, followed by a suplex back into the ring. Ziggler rolls out of the ring to safety and Sheamus follows. Dolph gets back in the ring and, as Sheamus follows, Dolph catches him with a guillotine and is now firmly in control. He hits his elbow drop series but it only gets a two count. Sleeper hold is applied to get the crowd behind the (pale)face and Sheamus fights out of it. Dolph attempts the FameAsser but it’s avoided and the Great White comes back with his axe handle smashes. Powerslam gets a near fall but Ziggler manages to apply his leaping sleeper for the momentum shift. Sheamus rams Dolph into the turnbuckle and then dumps him over the top rope to escape! Ziggler gets back in and eats an Irish Curse backbreaker! Vickie grabs Dolph’s leg and drapes it over the ropes to prevent a loss, so Sheamus decides to go for the Celtic Cross (or Razor’s Edge) and Dolph rolls through for a two count! Sheamus nails a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker that looked impressive thanks to Dolph’s selling. Jack Swagger runs down for the distraction but gets knocked off the apron! This allows Ziggler to hit the FameAsser for a near fall as the crowd comes alive! Dolph tries for the ZigZag by the ropes but Sheamus catches him and turns it into his new finisher, the modified Emerald Fusion/Celtic Cross (depending on who you ask) that now has its own name: the White Noise. One, two, three, we’re done.
Teddy Long is on the phone with Aksana as he walks into his office to find Johnny Ace and Otunga waiting for him. Laurinaitis asks for an apology from Teddy Long for his actions on Monday but Long instead puts Otunga in a match Monday night against the Great Khali. Now I want an apology.
That was a fun opening contest. What does that mean for the rest of the show? Lots of crappy two-minute squashes until the main event. By the way, has anyone seen those new Kayfabe T-shirts? Half the damn audience has no idea what that word even means. I wonder if anyone from the IWC will actually go around wearing them.
Heath Slater vs Santino Marella
We recap the “Spitting Cobra” shtick from last week. Remember when Santino should have gotten a title shot at Wrestlemania? Ahem. Santino’s in control and hits all his spots, except for the diving headbutt as Slater gets his legs up to block it. Heath pounds away at Marella and nails a side kick for two. He climbs to the top rope and Santino “accidentally” stumbles into the ropes to crotch him. Cobra to the throat knocks Slater off his perch and you get what comes next.
I never thought I’d see a Santino squash match that involved Santino doing the squashing. Makes me glad I never saw much in Heath Slater.
We’re back with a recap of last year’s Triple H/Undertaker match which leads into the announcement that HBK will be on Raw this Monday.
Eve is fixing her make-up backstage when Natalya interrupts to turn face and call Eve a terrible person. Eve says that Zack Ryder is sweet and genuine, but he stinks. Aaaaand then Natalya farts, prompting her to say “No, THAT stinks.” Ugh. Where’s Kelly when I need her? She would have “loved” that moment. Wait…Michael Cole just said “Natalya lets it rip against Eve next.” DID THEY JUST USE FLATULENCE AS AN EXCUSE FOR COLE TO SEGUE A PUN INTO A MATCH ANNOUNCEMENT?!
Natalya vs Eve
Hoeski chants hit the airwaves as Booker T admits he’d let Eve use him even though he’s a married man. I wonder if Sharmell is down with that. Eve and Natalya trade lock-ups until both get knocked on their asses. They kip up at the same time and I’m quite impressed. Natalya goes to shake hands but Eve slaps her and Nattie goes ballistic, leading to a roll-up reversal by Eve for the victory. Meanwhile, the announcers continue to talk about Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
Ladies and gentlemen, IBS: trending worldwide.
Cody Rhodes heads to the ring and recaps his clip show of Big Show’s Most Embarrassing Wrestlemania Moments. Cody says that although he may be called the Big Show, AT the “Big Show” (read: Wrestlemania), he’s a choke artist. Before Rhodes can give us another clip, Show interrupts and chases Cody into the crowd. He tells Rhodes to stop running and admits he wanted to see the next segment in the ring with him. When Cody refuses, Show offers to drag him into the ring. Teddy Long stops him and says Cody will face Show at Wrestlemania for the Intercontinental Championship. Damn it, I correctly predicted the match but I hoped they’d keep the belt out of it.
Mark Henry vs Big Show
I don’t feel like recapping this. We know Henry is still hurt and we know allegedly he’s retiring when his contract is up. He’s got no reason to make any effort. Henry obliterates Show and sends him to the outside. As the ref begins to count, Henry removes the turnbuckle pad. When Show predictability climbs back on the apron Henry rams his head into the turnbuckle, which causes a commercial break.
Playstation Vita: Sony’s apology for the PSP.
As we return, Cody Rhodes is on commentary. Mark Henry continues to dominate. For those who don’t understand why, it’s because he can’t risk getting knocked down so he’ll fall down once and probably stay down when he does. Henry throws the ring steps at Show’s head but Wight ducks. He gets Show back into the ring and nails a Vader Bomb for two! Big Show manages to nail a Spear from out of nowhere and calls for the Choke Slam, but eats a World’s Strongest Slam! Show kicks out of Henry’s finisher and delivers a huge KO to turn Henry into dead weight for the win. Okay, so I was wrong. Henry hit the mat TWICE.
Teddy Long is backstage with Drew McIntyre and tells him that if he doesn’t win tonight, he’s fired. Sounds familiar………
Matt Striker is in the locker room to interview Randy Orton. The Viper says he’s mad at DB costing him the chance to walk out of Elimination Chamber with the title and he will make the World Heavyweight Champion pay tonight.
I smell a Triple Threat at ‘Mania!!!
Drew McIntyre vs Justin Gabriel
The two guys trade blows, ending with a ducked roundhouse kick and a boot to the face from Drew. McIntyre sends Justin to the corner but Gabriel fights back with a wicked DDT, followed by the 450 Splash. McIntyre’s career is over. That is, until John Laurinaitis reinstates him next week when he runs Smackdown and he starts his new gimmick.
Just saw the trailer for Edge’s new film, Bending the Rules. It actually seems like it could be funny. I still won’t pay a dime to see it, you understand.
Rock’s promo recap. I still maintain he was SUPPOSED to look like a tool, but don’t tell that to the diehard Rock marks. Hey Dwayne, why not show up on your flagship show sometime this month, eh?
Matt Striker chats it up with Daniel Bryan and AJ Lee. DB says he hasn’t changed in the least, contrary to what Sheamus said earlier in the night. He is a role model, he is a vegan, he has defied the odds before, and he will defy the odds again tonight and at Wrestlemania.
True story: one of my students told me the other day that she was becoming a veterinarian. I congratulated her and asked her what made her interested in becoming an animal doctor. Her response? “Doctor? I’m just gonna stop eating meat.” I had to explain the difference between “vegetarian” and “veterinarian” to an 8th grader.
Randy Orton vs Daniel Bryan
Orton angrily tosses Bryan into the corner, then out of the ring, then into the barricade, then into the ring steps. Damn. Orton throws DB into the ring and Randy slithers after him into the corner. Orton props the champ on the top rope but the superplex attempt is blocked with a headbutt. Orton sells the “lingering effects” of his concussion as Bryan runs him over in the opposite corner. Bryan works over Orton’s shoulder as we head to the final commercial break.
So Immortals is now out on Blu-Ray with two alternate endings. Maybe one of them will make it a watchable film.
Booker T angrily says he’ll never call Daniel Bryan “D-Bryan” again. That should make the champ mad. Bryan continues to work on the shoulder and climbs the turnbuckle. As he leaps, Orton catches him in midair with a drop kick of his own! Booker calls Randy’s appearance “lackadaisical.” To quote Inigo Montoya, “I do not think that word means what you think it means.” Randy hits his hanging DDT and Bryan reverses an RKO attempt into the Lebell Lock but Orton fights out of it. They head to the outside when suddenly the lights go out…BAH GAWD, it’s Kane! The ref counts Orton out as he confronts the Big Red Machine and they brawl into the ring. DB leaves AJ all alone but Randy makes the save, clotheslining Kane to the outside. Kane lands on his feet and drags Randy outside with him. They fight by the announce table and back into the ring, but Kane rams Orton shoulder into the post and hits the Choke Slam. He calls for the mic and says, “Welcome back, Randy. Welcome back.”
Laurinaitis and Otunga are watching backstage. Ace threatens to unleash Kane vs Aksana next week when he runs Smackdown.
Never mind my prediction of Orton getting thrown in the title picture. Part of me suspected Kane vs Orton, but I wasn’t sure how the company would get the ball rolling on that one. Stupid me; I should have assumed they’d have Kane show up for no real reason like he did with Cena.
All in all, we had a decent opener and a decent main event marred by Kane’s interference. The rest of the show was “meh.” It was still better than in recent weeks. See you all next time.
So long, and thanks for all the fish.
Tags: aj lee, aksana, big show, Booker T, Cody Rhodes, Daniel Bryan, David Otunga, Dolph Ziggler, Drew McIntyre, Eve, Great Khali, Heath Slater, Intercontinental Championship, jack swagger, John Laurinaitis, Josh Mathews, Justin Gabriel, kane, Lillian Garcia, Mark Henry, Matt Striker, Michael Cole, Mike Gojira, Natalya, randy orton, Santino Marella, shawn michaels, sheamus, Smackdown, Teddy Long, The Rock, triple h, undertaker, Vickie Guerrero, World Heavyweight Championship, WrestleMania XXVIII, WWE