That Being Said: The WrestleMania Expedition – Part 4 of 13 – WWE SmackDown! 02.01.2013 (The Rock, John Cena, CM Punk)

Welcome! This is the fourth out of thirteen stops on “That Being Said: The WrestleMania Expedition”. For anyone unfamiliar with my work or recaps, I have disclaimers at the bottom of the article along with the “Expedition” schedule.

Ugh. SmackDown? Seriously? Who came up with this recap schedule, anyway?

So, a heads-up – I don’t totally know exactly what SmackDown is. It’s been about 10 years since I’ve watched it. I mean, it’s on a Friday night. I keep up with what’s going on, but it seems like nothing of import EVER happens on SmackDown in the last… well, about a year after they split the brands I think, up until a couple weeks ago when Del Rio won the World Title out of nowhere.

I know it had it’s own set of guys, but I know that changed within the last few years. I think they still HAVE guys listed as RAW and SmackDown superstars, except that SmackDown superstars still go to RAW pretty much all the time. But RAW guys don’t often go to SmackDown… right? Is that how it works? If it is, that doesn’t make much sense, because SmackDown is the show that not a lot of people watch, so why wouldn’t you send the RAW guys to SmackDown more often, instead of the other way around so that you could try to pull SmackDown up? Or do they not really care about SmackDown and prefer to focus all their attention on RAW now? I guess that’s more likely since RAW is 3 hours. Is that what’s happened? Is SmackDown bascially Velocity now?

Whatever. I don’t know. I don’t think it matters. I HAVE heard that they tend to run more matches on this show, and I do believe that you get to see some guys that you wouldn’t see on RAW, so maybe I’ll see some new guys that I haven’t seen before. And Gojira seems to think it’s okay a lot of the time.

Let’s get this episode of Velocity going.

 

That Being Said: The WrestleMania Expedition

Part 4 of 13: WWE SmackDown! – 02.01.2013

Opening video package highlights Lesnar’s return to RAW. The theme was “no one saw it coming”, aside from all those people who saw it coming. Big Show / Del Rio recap as well. That Ricardo guy is even creepier with his shirt off.

Your commentators are Josh Matthews and JBL. Del Rio is waiting in the parking lot with a bat. He’s pissed about Ricardo. JBL says he’s been looking outside for Big Show all night long.

There’s a bunch of wrestlers in the ring  with Teddy Long and Booker T – Great Khali, Kane, Bryan, Shaemus, and Randy Orton. Dolph Ziggler is standing with Biggie and AJ. Booker is wondering who is going to face Alberto Del Rio for the World Heavyweight Championship. Booker wants to put them in an Elimination Chamber match.

Holy fuck.

Swagger’s music hits, and this is the most apathetic return reaction from the crowd that anyone has ever received upon a return.

Swagger cuts another amazing promo, saying he’s been busy “living the life of a real American”. He doesn’t approve of the direction WWE is heading. He wants to be in the Elimination Chamber. Booker says he has to earn his spot, and that there are 7 wrestlers out there – Swagger said it would be pretty dumb for him to go in the Elimination Chamber match while he has the Money In The Bank briefcase, which is true. He walks out – Booker says he’s chickening out of the Elimination Chamber, but he can’t chicken out of his match against Alberto Del Rio which is taking place tonight. Ziggler says he doesn’t care. Well, that could be all right.

Booker says that the remaining six guys are all in matches tonight, and that the 6 guys have to impress them to get in the Chamber. He then says “the tag-team champions will team up to face the team of Rey Mysterio & Sin Cara”. He introduces Rey Mysterio, to Mysterio’s hometown crowd, and they are pretty excited.

Commercial.

 

Kane & Daniel Bryan .vs. Rey Mysterio & Sin Cara

This match could be all right. Kane & Mysterio starts off. Kane powers him in the corner, but Rey flips off an irish whip and takes him down for two. Kane charges and Rey ducks, and Kane falls out of the ring. Dropkick to the outside by Rey, followed by a senton to the floor. Kane gets back in and Rey dropkicks him to his knees – he tags Sin Cara and they both kick Kane in the head. Kane picks him up and kicks him before bodyslamming him.

Bryan tags in and the crowd starts going nuts as usual – they start chanting “YES” as Bryan hits his kicks, but Sin Cara takes control and hits a dropkick. This is hard to keep up with – Rey tags in and jumps over Sin Cara for a dropkick. Rey tries to hurricanrana Bryan, but Bryan dumps him and tags Kane. Kane all over Mysterio while the crowd chants “619”. Chops by Kane, followed by a clothesline. Bryan tags in, and Kane slingshots him into a dropkick in the corner on Rey. Ouch. 2-count for Bryan. Rey surprises Bryan with a kick and sets up a 619, but Bryan bails and goes “NO” and the crowd starts chanting with him.

Commercial.

We’re back with Bryan in control of Kane – Sin Cara runs into a boot but Sin Cara hits Bryan on the second rope with a dropkick. Cara tries a hurricanrana but Bryan pushes him off and hits a missile dropkick and goes “NO!” The crowd chants – ha, Bryan is awesome. Bryan puts Sin Cara in his awesome ROH surfboard submission and tags Kane – Kane comes in and dropkicks Sin Cara. 2-count for Kane. Sin Cara escapes to the top rope, but Kane catches his jump – Sin Cara compensates by tornado DDT’ing him – very cool move. Sin Cara tags Rey and Bryan tags in – Mysterio is a house of fire on Bryan, eventually hitting a senton on Bryan and a dropkick in Kane – hurricanrana on Bryan and a dropkick from Mysterio to the head of Bryan. OUCH. 2-count. Bryan set up for the 619, but Mysterio runs into Kane’s hand who preps for a chokeslam. Sin Cara runs for it as well but Sin Cara takes Kane out of the ring.

Bryan from behind with the “NO” Lock, but Sin Cara comes in and dropkicks Bryan in the face. He then goes up top with a single leap and flies onto Kane. Mysterio hits the 619 on Bryan and hits the diving headbutt / frog splash for the pin. SHADES OF… never mind.

Winners: Rey Mysterio & Sin Cara

Wow, that was actually… yeah. That was good. Especially for TV. Very nice indeed. Dang.

Bryan and Kane argue on the outside – Bryan goes “WHERE WERE YOU?!?!” to Kane. Sin Cara takes Rey up on his shoulders and the crowd is happy.

 

Video package and recap for Del Rio / Big Show from Royal Rumble & RAW.

Matt Striker tells Del Rio that he has a match against Ziggler tonight. He asks Del Rio is he is waiting for Big Show. Del Rio is just like “… I’m just getting some air, man.” while he walks around with a bat. I’m not sure if that was intended to be funny or not, but it was.

Commercial.

 

Good match to start. I’m pleasantly surp…

The Great Khali (w/ Natalya & Hornswaggle) .vs. Jinder Mahal (w/ Drew McIntyre & Heath Slater)

Is this for real? I guess Khali is with Natayla & Hornswaggle now, which is surprising, because I thought that was more or less an urban legend of some sort. So, they recap something from Monday where 3MB interrupted Khali and Ryder doing karaoke with Hornswaggle.

Hijinx ensued at ringside. Khali swatted all 3 guys in 3MB a bunch. That’s literally all there was.

Winner: The Great Khali

 

Booker T and Teddy Long are backstage, talking about how impressive Great Khali was. Booker says he’s surprised about Jack Swagger being back, but Teddy says he was the one who brought Swagger back because he’s a former World Champion. Unfortunately the only reason anyone remembers this is because it’s such an odd bit of trivia.

Sandow and Cody come in and dissolve their shitty tag-team of 3 months… but promise to remain best friends. Sandow quotes a scholar of some sort, and they hug for a while. Their shit is boring, but this was actually the first thing they ever did that I actually thought was a bit funny. Booker puts Sandow in a match against Shaemus tonight (fuck) and Cody says “I’ll be with you in spirit” and walks off. That’s kinda funny too. Booker and Teddy laugh.

Commercial.

Vince McMahon / Paul Heyman / Brock Lesnar video recap. JBL and Matthews go all serious over the situation, as if Vince McMahon hasn’t had his ass handed to him worse than that six dozen times. Apparently Miz TV (fuck) has Paul Heyman on tonight.

Commercial.

Del Rio is marching around the parking lot, and we recap Cena winning the Rumble and his speech on RAW. The announcers wonder who he’ll face.

 

 

Shaemus .vs. Damien Sandow

Two future WrestleMania main-eventers going at it here. Another AMAZING reaction for Shaemus here, let me tell you. I love watching the crowd during Shaemus entrances. Sandow seems to have NO heat with the crowd. This should be a great match.

Kicks by Sandow, until Shaemus catches a kick and… shoves him. Shaemus clubs Sandow until he escapes the ring… Shaemus catches up with him and hits… clubs. He gets back into the ring. Sandow gets on top of him and hits… kicks. And, a jumping kick. #DiverseMoveset

Strikes by Shaemus, until Sandow reverses and irish whip by Shaemus (Shaemus highspot) and hits a russian leg-sweep (Sandow highspot). This gets him two. Sandow gets up and hits… kicks. Shaemus powers out of this and hits… kicks. Shoulder and… clubs by Sandow. I really try to find good stuff to say about these kinds of guys, people, I REALLY do, but… I just… I got fucking nothing to work with here, man. Shaemus powers out with… more clubs. He eventually hits a shoulderblock and a KNEELIFT. FOR FUCK’S SAKE. DO SOMETHING YOU IMMOBILE HACKS.

Retard clubs in the corner, and the crowd counts with Ginger Abortion. This match has completely disconnected all the important parts of my brain. Then The Shield’s music hits, immediately making them my favorite wrestlers of the night for interrupting this match.

Winner: No Contest

They come down to the ring, and Rollins hits a Brogue Kick. The other two jump Shaemus and overpower him, but Shaemus is back up and tosses Roman out of the ring. Numbers still ahead of Shaemus, and they all beat him down. Some “FEED ME MORE”. He never comes because no one likes Shaemus. Even Cena only calls Shaemus when he needs someone to help him move.

Regarding the match, I’m going to try and be nice about this in an attempt to be sensetive to the very few Shaemus supporters that still exist in this world. This match was “thurough”. Especially if you liked axe-handles and clubs. There was TONS of material in this match for axe-handle and club enthusiasts.

 

Commercial. John Cena is on the Fruity Pebbles box.

 

Randy Orton .vs. Wade Barrett

Randy Orton out to the pop of the night thus far. It’s amazing that he’s still this over given the year he had, and how long and WHO he’s been jobbing to. Wade comes out to his usual NAPALM HEAT reaction, and this starts out slow. Orton takes Barrett out of the ring, but he comes back in and takes control. Barrett showing his diverse offense as well, trying to follow up on that impressive Shaemus showing by hitting some boots and a BIG boot in the corner. 2-count.

Orton pulls Barrett over his shoulder from a submission, and hits a powerslam. Orton follows him outside, but Barrett runs him into the corner. Barrett gets ready to hit his shitty Ice Capades elbow, but Orton moves and he hits the ringpost. Orton sets up his hangman DDT, and hits it. Orton powers up and hits the RKO.

Winner: Randy Orton

Well, that was… something.

Commercial.

Matthews is interviewing Wade Barrett about his loss. Barrett abandons this interview to attack Bo Dallas from behind. He kicks his ass amongst some equipment.

 

Kofi Kingston .vs. Jack Swagger

Ha ha ha, oh my fucking God, poor Kofi. Swagger grapples Kofi down, stays on top of him and gives him a powerslam. Kofi tries to power out but runs into his shoulder. He bounces him off and Kofi jumps him a couple times, but Swagger grabs him and tosses him to the mat. Swagger then hits a Vader-Bomb but only gets 2. Swagger hits a couple glorified hip-tosses and chokes Kofi on the ropes. Kofi hits some punches and a springboard crossbody, but he only gets 2. Swagger then hits a clotheslines and yells, finally this gets him some boos.

Armbar by Swagger, and Kofi gets taken back down to the mat. Swagger is on Kofi in the corner, but Kofi bounces back with a leapfrog. Couple of clotheslines and a dropkick by Kofi, followed by a Boom Drop. I’m surprised Kofi even got this far, sadly – he powers up for the Trouble In Paradise, but Swagger counters – Kofi dodges him by hitting that awesome pendulum kick and Swagger falls to the outside. Kofi follows him, jumps the stairs and dives off to hit a nice clothesline.

Crowd is into this now, but Kofi tries a Trouble In Paradise and misses, and his leg hits the table. Kofi’s leg is busted now, so Swagger rolls him into the ring and hits the ankle-lock. Kofi taps.

Winner: Jack Swagger

Well, Swagger is pretty shitty, there’s no doubt about that. But at least he’s better than Barrett or Shaemus, and at least that match was better than Orton / Barrett or Shaemus / Sandow. Still pretty lame though.

Why does Swagger look like he’s aged 20 years since he’s been gone? Unless… TIME TRAVELLING JACK SWAGGER?!?!

 

The cops are outside, telling Del Rio to back off. Didn’t they hear him? He’s just getting some air! The cops leave, and no less than 3 seconds later a bus pulls up and Del Rio goes and lies in wait. Big Show slowly makes his way off the bus, and Del Rio attacks him. Big Show hits him and gets some distance, and tries to get into a different car, but Del Rio comes back and smashes a car window.

THEN shit gets weird… Big Show takes about 30 seconds to climb on TOP of the car while Del Rio just lets him go. At first this was just funny and lame that Del Rio waited for him to attempt an escape, but then Del Rio hits Big Show RIGHT in the leg with the bat, and Big Show DROPS flat on the top of the car. It looked like it hurt. A lot.

 

Big Show rolls off the side of the car after a minute, and gets into another car and drives away. Usually these things are lame, like with Barrett’s beatdown of that NXT kid, but this was decent. Can’t believe Big Show took a dive on top of a car.

Rock / CM Punk recap from RAW.

 

Ricardo meets Del Rio backstage in a neckbrace – Ricardo wants to help Del Rio, but Del Rio says that he’s hurt, so stay backstage. Aww, isn’t that sweet. I kinda like this Del Rio thing.

Alberto Del Rio .vs. Dolph Ziggler (w/ Big E & AJ)

This could be all right. Certainly not the best reaction for Del Rio I’ve heard, but not bad either. They start up trading armlocks, and Del Rio flips out of Ziggler’s and into his. “Let’s Go Ziggler” chants in the background, which turns into a duelling chant. Slam by Del Rio as he tries to power up the crowd – Del Rio does a SECOND-rope moonsault, which is new to me, but Dolph dodges it. Del Rio responds to this by giving him that kick that makes you shit piss and piss shit. Ziggler then dodges a charge and Del Rio hits the post, then Ziggler hits a DDT for 2. Ziggler with a neckbreaker for another 2. Elbow by Ziggler, this gets 2 as well. Sleeper by Ziggler.

Del Rio ducks a clothesline and hits a NICE german suplex, then gives him the piss-shit kick again. I fucking love that kick. Del Rio goes for his 2nd-rope-moonsault again, but AJ distracts the ref and Big E dumps him off the rope. Ziggler covers but only gets 2. Del Rio then dodges a Ziggler dropkick and dropkicks Big E instead of Ziggler, then he grabs Ziggler and dumps him on his head. Big E gets up on the rope, but the ref ejects him. Decent so far.

Commercial.

We are back, and Del Rio and Ziggler are kicking the shit out of each other, and Ziggler gets the better of it with a dropkick. Del Rio kicks Ziggler on the ropes, and gives him a superplex of the 2nd rope. They’re both slow to get up, and they’re trading shots again – Del Rio hits another RIDICULOUS kick to the head, and dodges a Ziggler charge, and Ziggler hits the corner. Del Rio with clotheslines and a nice backbreaker. Del Rio firing up the crowd, and then they start chanting “si” as Del Rio hits ANOTHER nice kick to the head on Ziggler.

Del Rio calling for the armbar – he goes for it, but Ziggler turns it into the FameAsser – I thought that was it, but it only got 2. Both guys slow to get up, and Ziggler ends up on the ropes – Del Rio drops him off with that backstabber move I’ve always liked. Del Rio is up to the top rope as the crowd starts chanting “si” again – he dives but Del Rio dropkicks him in mid-air. This also only gets 2. They volley around a bit more, and Del Rio takes down Dolph with the armbar. Dolph taps.

Winner: Alberto Del Rio

Damn. REALLY good match.

Big Show is on the big screen. He’s holding Ricardo hostage. Big Show talks for a bit, and threatens Ricardo. Ricardo is crying. This is… surprisingly sympathetic, and I’m not an easy guy to get roped into this kind of stuff. Anyway, Del Rio doesn’t want Show to hit Ricardo, but Show eventually just knocks him out anyway. Del Rio goes running to the back and they check on Ricardo.

Show over.

 

Well, this was… not a bad show. I can’t believe I’m fucking saying that because I didn’t expect it. At all.

It was also a lot better than RAW or Main Event, which surprised the shit out of me. I liked that it was built more around matches, and yeah, the middle of the show had two really shitty matches and one… almost okay match? But, it also had Mysterio & Sin Cara against Kane & Bryan, which was good, and Ziggler against Del Rio, which was really good.

Del Rio and Ziggler was actually the best match so far of any of the shows I’ve watched. Color me surprised – and the Del Rio / Ricardo thing is looking pretty good as well. Hopefully the crowd reacts accordingly.

This is probably just a dream though. I’ll go to bed, wake up, and it’ll be Friday morning, and I won’t have actually recapped this yet. Fuck.

 

The 5th stop on That Being Said: The WrestleMania Expedition will take place in a week and a half, where I will review this NXT show. So, if someone wants to leave me a comment letting me know where to find it, that would be fantastic. The last NXT show I saw was Bryan’s first night, when he had a kickass match against Chris Jericho. I assume the show is maintaining that match quality?

I’m getting a big scared as well, because in a few weeks I have to tune back into TNA again. I haven’t seen THAT show in a while, but I do know that Hulk Hogan is teaming up with his daughter Brooke and his son-in-law Bubba Ray Dudley to take on a motorcycle gang led by D-Von Dudley, comprised of guys that no one remembers that WWE either fired or passed on. This week, it was announced that they are taking their show “on the road” and leaving the Impact Zone.

Frequent commenter Joseph Hargrove asked how long this would last. I figure some day next week, Dixie will realize that not only have they not planned any storylines for their new travelling show, but also that no one has booked an arena or made any travel arrangements. Then she will tell whoever she said could have the Impact Zone space that she was kidding and take it back.

Then, she will do a press release saying that this is the next step forward in paving their path to wrestling’s future, and how they can’t wait to return to the Impact Zone. Then they can play that same horrible “Coming Home” song that WWE is using for WrestleMania before she talks again about how WWE always copies them.

 

Well, that’s all the time we have for this week. Again, any and all comments and thoughts are always appreciated, or you can feel free to e-mail me at bdouglas@insidepulse.com. Also, feel free to follow me on Twitter @BDInsidePulse if you’re into such things.

This has been “That Being Said”. Thanks for reading and I’ll see you next week.

I’ll be in my trailer.

 

Disclaimers:

DISCLAIMER #1: These recaps should in NO way be treated as a professional and unbiased play-by-play of whatever the show in question is. Inside Pulse has no shortage of professional and live coverage, so if that’s what you’re looking for, I refer you to Mike Gojira, Scott Keith, Justin Czerwonka, or another of their ilk. Rather than a recap per se, I look at this as an ongoing 3-month narrative from someone who doesn’t normally watch full shows beginning to do exactly that for WrestleMania season. The reason this idea sounds like fun to me is that this time period is usually when many casual or former fans will tune back in anyway. So I know that as I’m tuning back in, many others will be as well.

DISCLAIMER #2: Quite often, when myself or another writer rips on a show (justifiably so or otherwise), they will get their fair share of people believing or commenting that they believe the recapper thinks that wrestling now is worse than it’s ever been. Usually it’s something like “WHAT, SO THE ATTITUDE ERA WAS SO GREAT?!?! THOSE MATCHES SUCKED TOO!” or something like that, even when you haven’t mentioned the Attitude Era at all. In fact, that’s a popular opinion out there right now in general – that wrestling is worse now than it’s ever been. Me personally, just for the record – I definitely think 2007-2009 and 2003-2004 definitely hold up worse than the current product. Not MUCH worse, mind you – and I do believe that current shows are pretty lame. But if I’m being honest, it’s not as bad as it’s ever been, much as it may feel that way sometimes.

DISCLAIMER #3: In the spirit of Disclaimer #2… I am going to do my best to go into these shows with an uncynical and unjaded eye. I’m hoping to like what I see – there is some stuff going on that COULD be promising depending on where they go with it and who they decide to feature prominently. But I promise nothing in terms of what’s going to come out of me if I don’t like the shows. Anyone who read any of my TNA recaps or the odd WWE recap that I did knows that I have very little tolerance for stupid or boring stuff. If, an hour into a 3-hour RAW, they decide to give me Shaemus against Cody Rhodes for 20 minutes while Michael Cole tells me they’re the future of the business and that I still have Ryback against Wade Barrett to look forward to in the second hour, then I’m going to feel like putting my fucking dick through a bone decalcinator, which means that me feeling like putting my fucking dick through a bone decalcinator is something you’re probably going to hear about.

DISCLAIMER #4: The obvious one – the opinions and views I express are my own, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Inside Pulse or it’s owners, staff, or numerous writers.

DISCLAIMER #5: Regardless of how it all turns out, weather I find the shows good, boring or bad, if nothing else, I’m going to try my best to to have fun with these recaps over this 3-month period. I’m a guy who can usually have fun with a recap even when watching a show I don’t enjoy. For me, that’s the point of this experiment – or of anything else I may write for Inside Pulse – to have fun. Worst case scenario, I lose all patience and have a rage blackout like I’ve done on on the odd recap before, and sometimes even that can be entertaining. Regardless, the point is – this is for fun – and I hope you have as much fun reading this season as I’m hoping to have writing it.

 

“That Being Said” WrestleMania Tour Schedule:

PREMIERE – Jan 14: WWE RAW (20th Anniversary)
Jan 23: WWE Main Event
Jan 27: WWE Royal Rumble

Feb 01: WWE SmackDown
Feb 14: WWE NXT
Feb 17: WWE Elimination Chamber

Mar 07: TNA Impact
Mar 10: TNA LockDown
Mar 14: TNA Impact

Mar 18: WWE RAW
Mar 29: WWE SmackDown
Apr 01: WWE RAW
FINALE – APR 07: WrestleMania

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