Welcome to a very somber edition of the Not-So-Live Smackdown Report. I want to thank everyone who offered to join me in the Obnoxious Smackdown Breakdown for the foreseeable future. I haven’t yet made a decision, but this week I wanted to go it alone out of respect for Kelly Floyd, who has taken a leave of absence from her duties here at the site. By this time next week things will return to some semblance of normalcy and I’ll have another person to shoot the shit with.
Let’s get started!
We open with a recap of last Monday’s assault on CM Punk by Ryback which has led to the kayfabed reason for Punk’s knee surgery and subsequent removal from the TLC PPV. Way to go, WWE…you’ve made your unstoppable monster look like an inept fool who cost himself his title opportunity. Then we get a written statement from Vinnie Mac to make the main event of TLC a six-man tornado tag team match with TLC rules, but pinfall or submission stipulations, pitting Ryback and Team Hell No against The Shield. This could turn into another train wreck.
Booker T is in the ring with the live audience as we get the generic piped-in cheers to everything he says. Booker tells us he has to “make a tough decision” concerning Sheamus and Big Show, but won’t say what’s so tough about it as we cut to the recent antics between the two big men. Oh, his “tough decision” is to have Sheamus and Show sign a “no contact clause” until the TLC PPV. Well at least we get the stupid contract signing out of the way early. Sheamus gives us an analogy about how waiting 9 days to hit Big Show is like waiting to open a Christmas present. Big Show retorts that Sheamus’s real Christmas present is the protection granted by this new clause. He threatens to end the Great White’s career at TLC and says his experience allows him to have the edge. Big Show flips the table onto Sheamus, then signs the contract! Sheamus is about to blow his top but Big Show hilariously holds up the contract like it’s a magical shield. Booker tells Sheamus he’ll take out his frustrations on del Rio tonight and Big Show will take on Daniel Bryan…right now!
It’s very rare that we get a contract signing to OPEN the show. In fact, I don’t even remember if that’s EVER happened. It still isn’t getting me to care about this feud.
Big Show vs Daniel Bryan
This is your typical Bryan vs Show match. DB hits his series of kicks, Show knocks him down, Bryan hits his kicks, etc. Show eventually dominates his way through the first commercial break of the match. And when we return, Daniel Bryan IS A HOUSE OF FIRE…no, just kidding. Big Show’s still in control. Bryan manages to survive long enough to nail some more kicks. He goes for a head shot but Show grabs him by the throat! Choke Slam is reversed into a DDT! More kicks take Show’s head off and DB climbs the turnbuckle for the diving headbutt! The Shield distracts Bryan from the crowd long enough for Show to nail a top rope Choke Slam and it’s all over. The Shield get into the ring and pick Daniel Bryan apart until Kane interrupts to get a beating of his own, ending with a three-man power bomb through the announce table.
Gotta love directionless heels “making a statement”.
Damien Sandow’s in the ring to look for his latest apprentice. I love his snarky asides: “This gets worse every week.” Here are the three questions this week:
1. What is 5+5?
2. Who is the current President of the United States? (for what it’s worth, the audience boos the mention of Obama’s name)
3. What 17th Century genre of art focused on still-life paintings depicting mortality and transience?
The Miz shows up to ask Sandow a question of his own: “What 21st Century WWE Superstar wears his daddy’s bathrobe and buys his pink trunks from Victoria’s Secret?” This effectively shuts Sandow up and…Miz just leaves?
This Miz face turn is just as absurdly forced as Punk’s heel turn following Raw 1,000. Why, WWE? Why?!
Brodus Clay and The Usos vs 3MB
Remember when Clay was relevant and people thought he was an interesting gimmick that would go over well and take him far? Me either. Oh, and the tag team division was totally revived and going strong? I think you know where I’m going with this. I REALLY want to comment on the tag team scene, but as promised I’ll wait until after Wrestlemania to discuss that false hope. Got to give the WWE time to “build the angle” so to speak. Aaaaand just as I finish my little diatribe, McIntyre pins one of the Usos for the win.
If we’re supposed to believe that 3MB is a pathetic gathering of jobbers, why are they getting such a push? Don’t get me wrong; I’m glad McIntyre is getting this opportunity, but I’d prefer he go it alone and actually make something of his singles career. After all, word on the street is that Triple H is pretty interested in what the guy’s capable of.
Randy Orton vs Wade Barrett
Kofi Kingston is on commentary to promote his title defense at TLC against Orton’s opponent tonight. Barrett cheap shots Randy in the corner to take control but Orton fires back and whips him into the turnbuckle. Barrett counters with a boot to the face as Kofi says he’s been in a holding pattern for a while and it’s time to put himself in a new frame of mind. JBL asks the pertinent question of why it took so long to grow a set and Kingston stumbles through a rather blah response. I love shoot comments that try to skirt under the radar. Barrett sends Randy out of the ring and trash talks Kofi from the apron. Of course, Wade’s smarmy attitude backfires as orton returns to the ring and hits all of his signature moves…RKO is countered and Barrett goes to expose the turnbuckle. Kofi runs interference which allows Orton to nail the RKO and pick up the victory! JBL actually agrees with Josh Mathews that Barrett shouldn’t have taken his eye off the ball and deserved to lose for it. Michael Cole would have blamed Kingston and whined all night about it.
An inoffensive match, but I get the feeling tonight is all about just taking it easy for WWE Creative, and that’s NEVER a good sign.
The Great Khali and Hornswoggle w/ Natalya vs Epico and Primo w/ Rosa Mendes
You know, i don’t usually brag about something unless I’m totally spot-on, but putting a legit tag team like Epico and Primo in a match against two comedy attractions is not a good sign for the division. Hornswoggle causes Rosa to trip over him on the outside and she chases him, running right into a Nattie Neidhart clothesline. Sigh. Whatever; I’m not recapping this absurdity of a match. Khali hurts his leg when he misses a boot to the face and topples to the outside as Hornswoggle plays face-in-peril. Of course, this being Hornswoggle, he makes short (HA!) work of the former WWE Tag Team Champions and Khali comes to the rescue. One Tadpole Splash later and this one’s done.
Anyone still think the tag division is revitalized? Anyone?
Raw Rebound: The lie detector test wherein CM Punk cuts a string of shoot insults directed at The Miz.
I love how the one question Punk may have “lied” about was actually opinion-based. I mean, I get how he may have lied about how he felt toward beating Ryback alone, but how is it relevant to what Miz was trying to do? Oh yeah, cheap humiliation tactics. I get it.
The Shield finds a camera on the floor and makes a snuff film about how they know all about injustice. I enjoy when the WWE finds a buzzword to use and rapes the holy hell out of it until it’s lost all its meaning. Anywho, The Shield talks about why they’ve beaten up Miz, Ryback, Orton, and Team Hell No before giving us an homage to The Joker’s shaky cam from The Dark Knight.
These guys would come across as more imposing if they didn’t talk so much about being a shield from injustice. Thrusting them into the TLC main event puts the company in a tight spot. The only thing I’m interested in seeing is how they’re handled at the PPV.
Antonio Cesaro is evidently facing R-Truth in a rematch for his United States Championship at TLC. He’s in the ring talking about how America used to be a Superpower, but now this country is just lazy. He says those of us who strive for the American Dream actually LOOK LIKE “The American Dream” (cue a pic of Dusty in the polka dots, if you weeeeeeeeel). R-Truth shows up and the crowd “What?”s him. Truth, once again forgetting where and who he is, tells them not to do that to him. Truth, you’re a face now. You’re supposed to embrace the fans. He gets them to chant “USA” as Antonio says R-Truth is everything that’s wrong with America: he’s all bark and no bite. Truth responds with the worst insult I’ve heard in quite some time. “When you kick my dog, I’m gonna kick your cat!” They brawl but Cesaro escapes.
What. The. Fuck. “When you kick my dog, I’m gonna kick your cat”? Is that his way of calling Cesaro a pussy? I’m speechless.
Sheamus vs Alberto del Rio
Well, perhaps their 438th meeting will be their best one yet. It hasn’t even been a full week and I’m already missing Kelly. Sheamus unleashes hell on del Rio in the opening moments as I patiently wait for the point where del Rio will escape the ring for the obligatory commercial break. Instead, del Rio actually returns some offense and makes me look like a tool for trying to predict the pacing of this match. They brawl to the outside and del Rio gets his head rammed into a table before he manages to escape and take Sheamus down. Big Show lumbers onto the stage and NOW we get our commercials. We return with del Rio working over the arm of the Celtic Warrior. Wow, del Rio hit a nice moonsault! I did not see that one coming. Sheamus prevents a leaping attack with a desperate double axe handle and the ref starts his standard ten count. Both men get up in time and they brawl until Sheamus gains the advantage and hits axe handles, a knee lift, and his clubbing blows in the ropes. JBL: “Oh, I wish he’d do that to you, Josh.” Del Rio ends the momentum with a Backstabber and goes for the Cross Arm Breaker! Sheamus escapes and after all the counters he gets nailed in the head with a vicious kick! Del Rio goes for another moonsault, but Sheamus rolls and del Rio lands on his feet in a beautiful sequence! He charges in but eats the Irish Curse backbreaker! Texas Cloverleaf applied! Del Rio taps out?! After the bell, Big Show heads to the ring to tempt Sheamus into hitting him. Sheamus feigns the Brogue Kick and Show closes his eyes awaiting the shot, but instead Ricardo Rodriguez gets tossed into Show’s gut! By that logic, using a chair would be a loophole because the chair made contact, not Sheamus. Sometimes I hate WWE logic.
I wouldn’t mind the Barrett/Orton and Sheamus/del Rio matches…if we hadn’t seen them ten times over already. Other than The Shield’s recording and the opening segment, you could skip this show and not miss a damn thing.
If anyone’s still interested in joining me for a spell in commentating on Smackdown, the phone lines are still open. I’ll make my decision by Thursday’s Stomping Ground, so don’t hesitate!
So long, and thanks for all the fish.
Tags: 3MB, alberto del rio, Antonio Cesaro, big show, Booker T, brodus clay, cm punk, Damien Sandow, Daniel Bryan, Drew McIntyre, Dusty Rhodes, Epico, Great Khali, Hornswoggle, jbl, Josh Mathews, kane, Kofi Kingston, Michael Cole, Mike Gojira, Natalya, Primo, R-Truth, randy orton, Ricardo Rodriguez, Rosa Mendes, ryback, sheamus, Smackdown, The Miz, The Shield, the usos, TLC, triple h, United States Championship, vince mcmahon, Wade Barrett, World Heavyweight Championship, WWE