Welcome to the new version of the Smackdown Report (as mentioned here)! Let’s get right into the listing!
1. Opening Video Package: As the voice-over asks “Is this a glimpse into Jack Swagger’s America?” when we see footage of him “breaking” Ricardo’s ankle, I immediately thought “Ankle Locks for Immigrants” would make a great propaganda poster.
2. MizTV w/ Sheamus and Randy Orton: Guess we’re not wasting time, as Orton and Sheamus are already in the ring with our host. Orton reveals that Big Show is their tag team partner for Wrestlemania and the crowd doesn’t exactly warm to that announcement. Show takes a crack at Miz by saying he’s dated women bigger than Mizanin and tells him to shut his mouth. They do the whole “frenemies” deal where they can’t trust one another blah blah blah. The microphone sounds a little tinny, which is actually starting to annoy me more than the back-and-forth banter. Booker T comes out to pull a “Teddy Long tag team match” out of his arse by pitting the three of them against 3MB.
3. Mark Henry vs Zack Ryder: It says a lot about a company like the WWE when they embrace Zack Ryder’s initiative to involve social media to get over and then, like a pack of hyenas, take all the credit and bury him. And, in the time it took me to type that rant, Henry wins. On the plus side, I do enjoy Henry’s trash talk after he destroys his opposition. “HOW MANY CAN YOU TAKE?!” he screams at Ryder as he drops Zack three times. Ryback makes the save and Henry talks more shit. They charge at one another and Henry gets dropped! I gotta say…I marked out for that little exchange. Is that bad? Backstage, Booker is miffed that Teddy worked with Vickie to make the Ryback/Henry match at Wrestlemania without consulting him and their bromance is showing signs of stress fractures.
4. Booker T in the Hall of Fame: I was honestly surprised that Booker T was announced for the 2013 Hall of Fame, but I’m not complaining; the guy deserves it. Every time I see the video package, though, I chuckle at the use of the infamous “We comin’ for you, nigga!” line made famous by Botchamania.
5. Dolph Ziggler vs Kofi Kingston: News of a possible Kofi Kingston heel turn doesn’t sit well with me. I admit that he needs something new, but I don’t think a 180 will solve that problem. As usual, Kingston and Ziggler have a great outing. AJ Lee is on commentary and the announcers discuss her past relationships, mentioning how Kane thinks she’s crazy. AJ’s response: “That’s like the pot calling the kettle unstable.” Big E Langston provides the distraction again and Kofi pays for it with yet another loss. I wonder how Kelly Floyd feels about that….
6. Raw Rebound #1: CM Punk drops the urn and the S-Word. I’m glad that Paul Bearer’s kids signed off on their father’s use in this storyline, but that just further cements CM Punk’s loss to the Undertaker at Wrestlemania. Well, that and the reports of Punk’s mini-vacation for the month following ‘Mania; one does not defeat the Undertaker and disappear for four weeks without crowing about it.
7. Jack Swagger vs Chris Jericho: Alberto del Rio is not here tonight, attending to Ricardo’s broken ankle. Also, we got a recap of Jericho meeting Fandango for the first time earlier in the night….so I expect a run-in from Johnny Curtis to set up the rumored match with Y2J in two weeks. I don’t get the logic of saying that Swagger will be unstoppable if he wins the title from del Rio. He’d still spew the same bigoted rhetoric and doesn’t gain any actual power in kayfabe OR reality. Josh Mathews argues that Ricardo didn’t deserve what happened to him, but JBL counter-argues that Rodriguez has a history of getting involved in del Rio’s matches. I love how JBL straddles the line between heel announcer and proponent for free speech. He’s not condoning what Swagger says/does, but agrees that he has every right to say/do it. And here comes Fandango for the interference, kicking Y2J in the head as Zeb Colter distracts the ref. Swagger wins with the Swagger Bomb and Fandango attacks Jericho after the match, nailing a top rope leg drop.
8. “John Cena vs The Rock II” Video Package: Thank Cthulhu for the WWE’s editing department; if it weren’t for video packages like this one, absolutely NO ONE would give a fuck about their rematch.
9. Team Rhodes Scholars w/ The Bella Twins vs Brodus Clay and Sweet T w/ The Funkadactyls: Is…is Tensai wearing a coonskin cap?! How long until a Superstar or Diva makes fun of Brie’s implants? I give it two weeks. The ref throws the match out as the Bellas and Funkadactyls brawl outside the ring.
10. Antonio Cesaro vs The Miz: Wade Barrett is on commentary as my concerns for Cesaro’s status on TV have been alleviated. Josh Mathews is 0 for 2 tonight as he complains about how Barrett won his match Monday night. I have to agree with Wade here, Josh: rolling up your opponent in a triple threat is perfectly acceptable. Miz forces Cesaro to tap out to the Figure Fuck-Up and we get a stare down between Miz and Barrett after the match.
11. Raw Rebound #2: Triple H beats up Paul Heyman and signs a retirement match against Brock Lesnar. Fail.
12. Randy Orton, Sheamus, and Big Show vs 3MB: I could shut off the DVR right now as I watch the entrances and know the outcome of this match: the faces beat the comedy heels and The Shield tries to get in a sneak attack only to be repulsed by the united front of Sheamus, Show, and Orton.
Overall, the show was inoffensive this week. We got two good matches in Ziggler/Kingston and Swagger/Jericho, a further development in the newly-minted Jericho/Fandango feud, and the squashes were kept short. My only disappointment was in how Cesaro was treated as a pathetic jobber against The Miz.
So long, and thanks for all the fish.
Tags: 3MB, aj lee, alberto del rio, Antonio Cesaro, Bella Twins, big e langston, big show, Booker T, Brock Lesnar, brodus clay, chris jericho, cm punk, Dolph Ziggler, Fandango, Funkadactyls, jack swagger, jbl, john cena, johnny curtis, Josh Mathews, Kofi Kingston, Mark Henry, Mike Gojira, MizTV, Paul Bearer, Paul Heyman, randy orton, Ricardo Rodriguez, ryback, sheamus, Smackdown, Sweet T, Team Rhodes Scholars, Teddy Long, Tensai, The Miz, The Rock, The Shield, triple h, undertaker, Vickie Guerrero, Wade Barrett, wrestlemania, WWE, zack ryder, Zeb Colter