By now I’m sure you’ve probably heard the news about the outcome of tonight’s main event (as even the WWE spoiled the results before the show aired), but I’d never do that to you. So here’s how we’re gonna do things: sit back, relax, and enjoy tonight’s offering as I recap the events of the show and completely disregard any spoilers heading into Smackdown. With that out of the way, let’s get this show on the road!
FINALLY…The Rock returns to Smackdown after over ten years! Honestly, they missed the boat by not having him on Smackdown at all last year or even the year before. Better late than never, I suppose. Oh, and we get a title match between Alberto del Rio and Big Show that wasn’t advertised prior between the World Heavyweight Champion and a guy who’s been off TV inexplicably for over a week.
Booker T comes out to say that Smackdown can do things better than Raw, especially when it involves pied-in cheers. Therefore, we’ll get a match between Randy Orton and Antonio Cesaro as well as an obviously edited-in announcement of del Rio vs Show in a Last Man Standing match for the WHC. Big Show comes out to complain that Booker T made the match simply to win over the Hispanic population of Miami (a bit too much of insider information out in the open, if you ask me). He accosts Booker, which brings out Alberto to make the save.
With Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara’s reliability in question (the former for Wellness and the latter for botches), the only other option for Hispanic hero is del Rio, and I can get behind that.
Randy Orton vs Antonio Cesaro
And we kick off the show with a huge match-up, just as we did over on Raw. Let’s see how long the WWE can keep this up before they start to slack off. Oh, and Cesaro is officially entered into the Royal Rumble. Cesaro gets the early advantage but the action spills to the outside and Cesaro eats a stiff clothesline. Back in the ring, Cesaro knocks Orton off the apron and reasserts control. He spends the majority of his offense wearing Randy down and preventing any and all comebacks until the Viper nails a snap powerslam! Cesaro counters Orton with a huge lifting uppercut for two! Randy tries to turn things around with his back breaker and draping DDT. He calls for the RKO……and here comes The Shield for the DQ! Triple power bomb connects again and The Shield has officially become the go-to guys for ending matches where neither opponent can afford to lose any heat.
Yet another Shield run-in. Can we give these guys some direction other than, “We fight what we perceive to be injustice despite never, EVER justifying our actions”?
Matt Striker is backstage with 3MB and I couldn’t give less of a shit. Slater tells them he asked his mom and she said they have a 10% chance to win the Rumble. Well good for them. Tonight they get revenge on Sheamus…or so they say. JBL flat-out says they have no chance at the PPV.
CM Punk and Paul Heyman taped a segment at Sun-Life Stadium, basically saying that since the Orange Bowl is no longer in existence (where Rock played college football), that also means the old WWE he dominated is gone too. Short and sweet promo, if you ask me.
I’m guessing The Rock will grace us with his presence at the end of the first hour.
Matt Striker chats it up with del Rio and Ricardo Rodriguez backstage. Alberto promises to defeat Big Show for sullying the good name of the Latino people and win the World Heavyweight Championship. The crowd, still unsure what to make of this completely-out-of-nowhere face turn, reacts with a mixture of boos and cheers.
Great Khali and Natalya w/ Hornswoggle vs Dolph Ziggler and AJ Lee w/ Big E Langston
JBL calls Khali and Natalya an “interspecies relationship” and I continue to love this man on commentary. Nattie totally owns AJ and applies the Sharpshooter, but AJ actually bites Nattie to force her to release the hold! She bites Natalya IN FULL VIEW OF THE REFEREE again and hits the Dudley Dog in the corner for the win. Big E and Dolph take out Khali and Hornswoggle is left alone to take Langston’s finisher.
Part two of Punk’s taped promo has the champ talking about how Rock has no chance at the Royal Rumble….despite the reported Wrestlemania main event of Rock/Cena 2 with the WWE Championship on the line.
I totally want a CM Punk “Knees 2 Faces” T-shirt.
The Rock hits the ring and it’s scary to think that a huge percentage of the audience has never seen this guy live, much less BEEN ALIVE for his in-ring career. Flo Rida’s in the audience and Rocky takes a second to give him a shout-out. He rags on Punk for no-showing Smackdown and plugs Miami U, Warren Sapp, Ray Lewis, and Miami in general. He crows about beating Punk’s “cookiepuss ass” at the Rumble and the crowd does NOT chant along. Thank God. Team Rhodes Scholars interrupts Rock and I mentally prepare myself for cheesy jokes at Cody Rhodes’s mustache’s expense. Damien Sandow introduces himself and “The Essence of Mustachioed Magnificence” to The Great One. Team Rhodes Scholars says that they deserve the spotlight and title opportunity instead of The Rock and threaten him to leave the ring or else. Rock calls the mustache a “dead caterpillar” and gives them credit for coming down to the ring dressed as they are. Sandow offers Rock a wager: answer three questions correctly and he can be Damien’s apprentice.
1. Who was the 19th President of the United States? “Rutherford B. Hayes, bitch.”
2. What film won the Academy Award for Best Picture in 1993? “Not The Tooth Fairy, right? Nah, it was Schindler’s List.”
3. The Rock gets to ask this one! What happens when you combine a geological aggregate of minerals with its lowest form? “You would get rock bottom.”
Cue Rock Bottom to Sandow! Cody eats a Spinebuster and People’s Elbow!
That was a fun little segment, especially between Sandow and Rock. More, please!
1-on-3 Handicap Match: Sheamus vs 3MB
Should I really care about this match? JBL says this isn’t fair because 3MB needs a few more people to even the odds. I agree. Heath Slater eats a Brogue Kick immediately and the match is over. Uh…..yeah.
……………What was the point of that?
Team Hell No vs The Primetime Players
Darren Young and Daniel Bryan start things off. The heels take turns working over Bryan’s knee but DB manages to avoid a Titus O’Neil charge and tags in Kane. Meanwhile, Josh Mathews attempts to get over Daniel Bryan’s moniker of “The Dazzler,” which hopefully never sticks because it makes him sound like a pussy. Kane wins with a Choke Slam on Young as the so-called renewed tag team division continues to swirl down the proverbial toilet.
You knew this match was going to be bad when the on-screen promo before the commercial break touted, “Team Hell No in Action Next.”
Last Man Standing Match for the World Heavyweight Championship
Big Show vs Alberto del Rio w/ Ricardo Rodriguez
Big Show dominates del Rio in the early stages and takes out a table from under the ring. He then proceeds to body slam Alberto through it! Del Rio gets up by 6 and Show continues to abuse the challenger. They get back into the ring and Show tries to wallop del Rio with the chair. Alberto counters and beats the shit out of him with the chair but can’t keep Show off his feet! Cross Arm Breaker is countered into a lift but Alberto uses his momentum to drape Show’s arm over the ropes! Del Rio drops and gets to his feet by 8 as we head to the final commercial break. When we return, the two men are trading shots at ringside. Show takes control and tosses del Rio back into the ring, then takes out another table. The table is propped in the corner of the ring but del Rio gets a second wind and puts Show through the table! Show is up by 7 and del Rio immediately applies a sleeper hold. Big Show manages to flip del Rio over his head but the Mexican aristocrat goes right back to work on the champ….but a leap off the second rope ends in a Choke Slam! Alberto gets up by 9 but eats a headbutt and falls outside of the ring. Show spears del Rio through the barricade by the time keeper and he manages to get up by 9 again! The WMD connects and it looks like that’s all, folks! Del Rio slides out of the ring and lands on his feet, so technically he’s standing at a 9 count! Show takes apart the ring steps and charges, but del Rio dodges and Show eats steel against the post! Alberto hits him repeatedly with the steps and Show falls behind the announce table! Alberto puskes the table onto Show and he can’t lift it up in time to survive the 10 count! The winner, and CAMPEON DEL MUNDO……..ALBERTO DEL RIOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
That was a fun match and, had the show results not been leaked prior, a great ending to Smackdown. Let’s see how long this lasts, though, because rumor has it that Sheamus and Orton will face-off for the title at ‘Mania.
So long, and thanks for all the fish.