You know what I’ve come to notice all these months I’ve been recapping Smackdown? We haven’t really had a proper title sequence since that horrendous misuse of Green Day. We just get a cold open after a recap package week after week. It’s just one of those little things that irks me from time to time.
We’re in Jacksonville, Florida, as Big Show arrives in his chartered bus and….HOLY SHIT WE ACTUALLY HAVE A NEW OPENING SEQUENCE?! I swear I did NOT see that coming. How weird is that?
Big Show heads to the ring and apparently Alberto del Rio has been suspended for his actions in the hotel on Monday night. Show says that he knows the crowd doesn’t like him because he’s unpopular; yeah, it has nothing to do with you shitting on the audience week-in and week-out. He goes on and on about how he fights like a man and isn’t a bully or a coward. It’s sad that he’s trying to bait the crowd into chanting negative stuff at him and the fish are not biting. He blames Booker T for these double standards and calls the GM out on his jealousy. Are we hinting at a future match between the two at Wrestlemania? Booker comes out to respond and Show accuses him of giving del Rio his hotel information. Booker says that anybody at the hotel could have given Alberto that info since Show isn’t exactly a guy who’s hard to find. Tonight, Big Show needs to worry about his opponent….the Big Red Machine!
Apparently the line-up for the Elimination Chamber match was NOT set in stone last week, and thank God. Putting Khali and Swagger in there was a terrible concept. Actually, I’m more concerned with the PPV card as it stands. Four matches so far, and only three are set in stone (Cena’s match hasn’t been made official on TV yet) with one of those three with an incomplete line-up? Evidently The Rock vs CM Punk IS the only thing worth caring about, but you need more than one match to sell a PPV, right?
Kofi Kingston vs Cody Rhodes
The Emperor of Enhancement Talent versus the Master of the Mustache? I’m sold. A monkey flip from Kofi sends Cody to the outside, where he eats a baseball slide. Kingston attempts a leaping leg split onto Cody in the corner, but he misses the mark and Rhodes takes control. Rhodes misses a top rope axe handle and Kofi takes control with chops and the Boom Drop! He nails a leaping cross body off the second rope for two. After some countering, Kofi winds up on the outside and eats a Disaster Kick on the apron, followed by CrossRhodes and this one’s over rather quickly.
Kane is in the locker room and Daniel Bryan shows up to apologize for their ongoing issues. Bryan offers to come out tonight to lend Kane a hand. Yeah, that’ll end well. Kane tells Bryan to shut the fuck up and keep his mouth shut until after he defeats Big Show later tonight.
Josh Mathews actually thinks that Team Hell No should break up while JBL called him an idiot for even suggesting it; they ARE the Tag Team Champions, after all. I’d comment about tag teams here, but I wouldn’t want to anger James Alsop.
Raw Rebound 1: This one’s from two weeks ago, with Brock Lesnar causing Vince McMahon to undergo hip surgery. Then we cut to The Miz getting destroyed with a vicious F-5 last Monday. CB seems to think that Brock is going to be booked right this time, but I think it’s too early to say.
Then we get a Bruno Sammartino video package for his Hall of Fame induction announcement.
If ANYONE belongs in the WWE Hall of Fame, it’s Bruno. I’m going to MSG this year with my friend and his dad, and my friend’s pop is elated to be able to see guys like Sammartino and Backlund once again.
The Great Khali w/ Natalya and Hornswoggle vs Titus O’Neil
Did Josh actually say Khali is a future Hall of Famer? JBL says he’s lost his damn mind and I’m inclined to agree. The only thing worth sitting through a Khali match is JBL tearing these carnie-style matches apart. Darren Young was apparently too busy to show up for his partner (shades of a break-up) as JBL quips that Khali was impressive in Moonraker. In less time than it takes to chuckle at that remark, the match is over with a chop. Mark Henry shows up and decimates Titus O’Neil, followed by Khali.
I think we know who’s going into the Chamber match now.
When we return, Mark Henry is still in the ring and proclaims the Hall of Pain to be open for business. We revisit his assault on Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara as Henry blames Booker T for his actions. When Booker assembled the former World Heavyweight Champions last week, he overlooked Mark Henry. Henry threatens to destroy the entire roster if Booker doesn’t come out to explain himself. If Booker doesn’t put him in the Chamber match, he’ll take out everyone who’s already in the match. Booker responds with a match against Randy Orton; if Henry can defeat the Viper, he’s in the PPV match.
Big Show complains to his bus driver about his thermostat, toilet, and steak before heading back to the arena for his upcoming match. Meanwhile, slinking from around the corner is del Rio. I’m sure he won’t do anything reprehensible.
I’m not sure how I feel about Henry’s return. His big push came and went over a year ago; there’s no way he’s in any shape to get back into such a prime role. His “Thanks for your loyalty” title reign is over.
Big Show vs Kane
Show is in full control from the get-go as he works over Kane’s leg. He nails a huge Spear as we head to a commercial break. When we return, we get a Vader Bomb from Show as this one-sided fight continues. Weak “Yay” and “Boo” chants from the crowd as they trade punches….yawn. Kane drops Show with a leaping DDT and he climbs to the top rope for the flying clothesline. Show nails the WMD and this one’s in the books. That was a pathetic showing. Del Rio pops up on the TitanTron to tell Show that he made friends with Show’s assistant and made some changes to the tour bus. When Show lumbers to the outside, we find that his bus is resting on cinder blocks; the wheels are gone! Show: “How is that even possible?!” Del Rio dumps orange paint on Show from atop the bus and escapes.
I have to admit that the image of that bus on cinder blocks was pretty surreal.
Jack Swagger vs Justin Gabriel
Swagger seems to be channeling his inner Kurt Angle in his promos and mannerisms these days, which is certainly an improvement. Swagger obliterates Gabriel inside AND outside of the ring, pulling him off the apron as he nullifies an attempted high flying maneuver and ends the match with the Ankle Lock…or as it’s being called now, the Patriot Act.
Too many squashes tonight….there’s no substance to any of these matches.
Drew McIntyre w/ 3MB vs Tensai
Really? Another squash? Tensai seems to be the WWE’s new comedy act these days, but I can’t even begin to fathom how they thought the evil gaijin act would get over anyway, so I don’t care either way. This is yet another opportunity for JBL to rip the performers a new one as 3MB attacks Tensai to draw the DQ. Brodus Clay makes the save as JBL calls him the Great Pumpkin. He calls the inevitable face-off “Shamu meets Free Willy.” The two big men dance and I die a little more inside.
Thank Cthulhu that Blair didn’t recap this week’s show, or I’d never hear the end of it. This is worse than a 3-hour Raw.
Sin Cara vs Antonio Cesaro
I’m so done with these squashes that I’m not even going to recap the rest of this show. Seriously. Sin Cara lands a sweet head scissors/Canadian Destroyer combo but Cesaro wins in under two minutes with the Neutralizer.
Matt Striker interviews Randy Orton who says he’s not intimidated blah blah blah.
Raw Rebound 2: John Cena….I mean, Brad Maddox….calls out The Shield. Apparently the six-man tag team match was made officially in exclusive off-the-air footage. Way to promote a match on “live” TV, WWE.
I covered my thoughts on The Shield’s future in this week’s Stomping Ground.
Striker chats with The Miz, selling the lethality of Brock Lesnar. Cesaro interrupts Miz’s humility to gloat so “our hero” responds with an attack on the United States Champion. I mean, he is our hero, right? The piped-in cheers told me so!
Randy Orton vs Mark Henry
Orton does the usual “David and Goliath” shtick but it’s not enough as Henry counters an RKO with the World’s Strongest Slam.
Well this show sucked. That’s all I’ve got to say about it.
So long, and thanks for all the squashes….NOT.
Tags: 3MB, alberto del rio, Antonio Cesaro, big show, Bob Backlund, Booker T, brad maddox, Brock Lesnar, brodus clay, bruno sammartino, cm punk, Cody Rhodes, Daniel Bryan, Darren Young, Drew McIntyre, Elimination Chamber, Great Khali, Hall Of Fame, Hornswoggle, jack swagger, jbl, john cena, Josh Mathews, Justin Gabriel, kane, Kofi Kingston, Kurt Angle, Mark Henry, Matt Striker, Mike Gojira, Natalya, randy orton, rey mysterio, sin cara, Smackdown, Team Hell No, Tensai, The Miz, The Rock, The Shield, titus o'neil, United States Championship, vince mcmahon, World Heavyweight Championship, wrestlemania, WWE, WWE Tag Team Championship