What’s up, folks? Another week, another Smackdown! Last week I was pleasantly surprised with the Alberto del Rio/Jack Swagger match, and tonight we get a return bout AS WELL AS the return of The Undertaker! Should be an interesting show in London….
1. No Disqualification Match: Alberto del Rio vs Jack Swagger
And we open with one half of the night’s main events! A kendo stick battle ends with Swagger eating a kick to the face as del Rio no-sells the bum knee throughout the opening minutes. They brawl to the outside and del Rio introduces Swagger to a ladder as we head to the first commercial break. When we return, del Rio was apparently the victim of a kendo stick beating. Remember, aspiring heels: commercial breaks are kryptonite to babyfaces. Now the two men start to sell their injuries as we get Alberto’s kidney forearms in the ropes, additional kendo stick shots, and a backbreaker for two. Del Rio eats a turnbuckle chair shot for two but manages to prevent Swagger from bringing in the ladder. Del Rio deflects a Swagger Bomb with his knees and turns it into the Cross Arm Breaker! Zeb Colter hands Jack a kendo stick to break the hold and he nails del Rio with the gut wrench power bomb for the clean win. This wasn’t as good as last week’s battle simply because of the weapon gimmick, but I suppose Swagger had to get his win back to return to equal footing with del Rio.
2. Layla vs Aksana
Hometown girl Layla was teasing a heel turn the last time we saw her in a one-on-one. I guess that’s on the back burner since AJ is the number one contender, but I wouldn’t put it past the company to ignore all of that. The fans in the front row boo Aksana and she tells them to shut up or they’ll be next. That’s the most entertaining part of this snoozefest. Layla wins with some new pinning combination she calls “Infinity,” which is a roll-up that hooks Aksana’s arms under Layla in a crucifix-like pin.
3. Promo for “Total Divas”
The Divas match segues into a promo for the new Divas reality show on E! this summer. Yeah, nothing screams ratings like a reality show about female wrestlers who spend 90% of their career watching the boys wrestle from backstage monitors. It boggles my mind how the WWE could greenlight a show like this, yet treat the division like a fucking joke. Expect more of a focus on the ladies this summer, followed by a complete remission as soon as the show reaches its season finale.
4. Raw Rebound #1: Undertaker, Kane, and Daniel Bryan vs The Shield
We first recap the ending of Monday night’s six-man tag before we get a cool promo from The Shield, and especially Dean Ambrose, who vows to defeat the Undertaker tonight. They also name-drop the Tag Team Champions, hinting at wanting a title shot.
5. Fandango vs Justin Gabriel
Meh; this was inoffensive as far as squashes go. Fandango’s got some innovative offense with his kicks, I’ll give him that.
6. Sheamus vs Big Show
Hmmm….I wonder if this isn’t just an excuse for Mark Henry to come out and show Sheamus THAT’S WHAT HE DO. A stereotypical Big Show/Sheamus match wherein Big Show dominates and the fans are so bored that they start Fandango-ing midway through. Big Show avoids the world’s most obvious Brogue Kick and Sheamus follows him to the outside. They brawl back into the ring and Sheamus climbs to the top rope, but a Mark Henry distraction allows Show to KO Punch Sheamus off the turnbuckle for the win. I’ll admit that was a cool finish. The majority of the match? Not so much.
7. William Regal vs Wade Barrett
William Regal for Intercontinental Champion…there, I said it. BOOK IT. Regal dominates for the entirety of the match until he misses the Knee Trembler and eats a Bull Hammer. Yeahhhhh….maybe he’s not ready for another title run……..
8. Raw Rebound #2: Triple H Makes a Fool Out of Paul Heyman
So the match with Brock Lesnar is on….and I don’t give two shits.
9. Randy Orton vs Mark Henry
Why do heels do such stupid things? I mean, Henry cost Sheamus his match less than 15 minutes ago. Please tell me he’s not expecting Sheamus to just sit back and watch his match. And, as expected, Sheamus interferes and hits the Brogue Kick on Henry (and thereby costing Orton the match via DQ). Please turn Orton heel soon; he appears to be just going through the motions these days as a face.
10. Raw Rebound #3: John Cena and Ryback
Rumor has it that Cena and Ryback will take on The Shield on Monday night. Hey, another Shield victory is always a good thing.
11. Undertaker vs Dean Ambrose
I can’t believe this match is even happening, honestly. I thought for sure we’d get some sort of backstage beatdown to prevent it…and yet here we are at the end of the show and Dean Ambrose gets to go one-on-one with the Phenom. What an honor. Ambrose begins by unloading on Taker and I’m immediately reminded of the style of one Mick Foley. Taker fights back and hits the leg drop on the apron. A running boot is dodged and Taker crotches himself on the top rope and tumbles to the outside. Ambrose is in charge as he traps Taker in the ropes and hits a running missile dropkick, followed by a neckbreaker. Undertaker gets back to his feet and they go punch for punch but Undertaker nails a Choke Slam! The Shield runs interference, allowing Ambrose to hit a low blow and DDT for two! Taker traps Ambrose in the Hell’s Gate! AMBROSE TAPS OUT!!!!!!! The Shield attacks Undertaker after the match and the Deadman is holding his own! Reigns spears Undertaker through the barricade! Ambrose assault Undertaker with a steel chair! Triple Power Bomb through the announce table!
That was an average show with a cool ending. One more thing of note: two weeks in a row WITHOUT the World Heavyweight Champion?! WASSUP WIT DAT?!
So long, and thanks for all the fish.
Tags: aj lee, aksana, alberto del rio, big show, Brock Lesnar, Daniel Bryan, dean ambrose, Fandango, jack swagger, john cena, kane, Layla, Mark Henry, Mike Gojira, Paul Heyman, randy orton, ryback, sheamus, Smackdown, The Shield, triple h, undertaker, Wade Barrett, William Regal, WWE, Zeb Colter