We start things off with a recap of Daniel Bryan hijacking RAW. And did Steph and Trips only employ two security guards or did whoever was managing them do the math and think: ‘this looks like a job for the Chrome Domes’?
Here’s COOHHH, and Cole bitches about there not being an interview him this week. Sometimes a man needs to talk to his boss whilst not wearing trousers, as my father used to say (I rarely stay in any job for long). Triple H mocks the crowd for caring about a main event face, and I guess it has been a while since they’ve done that. Daniel Bryan’s not here tonight, as this is now a main event storyline, and so can only be lightly dealt with on SmackDown. Triple H promises to end the ‘Yes’ Movement. Oh God, is he going to get Lawler to endorse it? He says he’s done everything to protect Daniel Bryan for us, because he represents hope for all of us. Daniel Bryan is apparently just like all of us: just not good enough to succeed. Damn, he’s right: I suck. At WrestleMania, Triple H is going to end it all and says ‘I bury Daniel Bryan’, probably because he’s addicted to people making memes of him.
But the show goes on, and he welcomes Damien Sandow out here. Kick his ass, Sandow. Wouldn’t that be amazing? If Sandow decided he wasn’t going to take shit from anyone anymore and just beat up the man in his mid-forties? Why does the abuse of older people always seem heroic to me? Triple H demands an apology for Sandow being unable to wade through a sea of underpaid actors. Sandow does apologise, but he’s got a match with the Shield.
Aw Man. Next Time, I’ll Fight The Desperate Actors
We come back from the break as Seth Rollins runs at Sandow, gets backdropped out onto the apron and then kicked off onto the ground. Sandow tries to follow, but the Shield stare him down. Rollins rolls back in and gets stomped before Sandow tries to throw him up and slam him; Seth flips backwards in mid-air and throws Sandow into the turnbuckle, following it up with a kick to the back of the head. Splash to the corner, then another kick knocks Sandow down. Rollins goes up, but Damien rolls out of the ring. Ambrose and Reigns block Sandow’s escape, and Seth dives out on him. Blackout hits and Rollins wins.
Quite a quick curbstomp affair considering the contestants. Not complaining about anything in the match, but I could have watched a much longer one. 2 Stars.
After the match, Ambrose teases dissension, but leaves the ring and brings Sandow back in for a beatdown and a triple powerbomb. See? Ambrose knows that guys sometimes gotta be guys. Aw, they look so happy.
Yet More Tag-Team Tragedy
We come back with the Real Americans busting onto the scene. We see a recap of Monday’s confrontation which ended with Cesaro’s Superman-General Zod handshake. Their opponents are the Rhodeses. Goldust and Swagger tie up, with Goldust shooting Swagger off the ropes and taking Dust down; Goldy comes back with a hiptoss, uppercut and the tag. Swagger’s kept down from a drop-toehold by Goldust as Cody drops the knee. Swagger powers out, driving Cody into his corner to tag Cesaro. Cody rolls out of a backdrop, hits a clothesline and an uppercut of his own. Springboard from the apron by Cody, hitting Swagger off the apron with a dropkick, then he backdrops Cesaro out of the ring. He vaults out of the ring onto Cesaro…holy fuck, Cesaro just caught him. I mean, actually, Jesus. That is ridiculous. He slams Cody onto the ring apron and then vaults over the ropes to stamp on his chest.
Tag to Swagger, because Cesaro’s awesome must be rationed, but apparently not by much as he tags back in, locking Cody into a sleeper. Cody slips out, throwing hands as Swagger tags in, but Jack gets a bearhug cinched in. Cody boxes Jack’s ears, because we’re in a British children’s novel, and Jack clotheslines him, which is what more British children’s novels needed (The Famous Five were lesser adventures for the lack of lariats). Both Real Americans stomp Cody as JBL advises sending Zeb to Ukraine. Wow, Wrestler’s Court got severe. Cody’s bleeding from the bridge of his nose, but manages to toss Swagger out of the ring. Cesaro catches him mid tag-attempt, and it’s CESARO FUCKING SWING TIME.
Swagger in now for the Swagger Bomb, but Cody gets the boots up. Sunset flip to Swagger as Jack tags out; Cesaro jumps Cody, stomping him into submission yet again. Cesaro moves in for the kill, but Jack tags himself in like a dick. He hits a snap suplex, and then Cesaro tags himself in, because if you’re going to be a dick, don’t do it for a fucking snap suplex. Cesaro hits a delayed vertical suplex, which might be bit better, but Swagger doesn’t agree and tags himself in in protest against the decadence that is a delayed vertical suplex. Kids, this is how Holy Wars used to start. Cody almost tags out, which is like a metaphor for Jerusalem or something, but Swagger Spanish Armadas Goldust (it may be becoming apparent that neither of my degrees is in History). Cody flapjacks Swagger, but Goldust is lying on the outside; Cody ducks a clothesline, gets a backslide on Swagger and wins!
Enjoyable, certainly. I appreciate that this match was used to advance storyline, but it was very entertaining whilst it did so. Seriously, watch this match for Cesaro’s deadweight catch on Cody; insane stuff. 2.5 Stars.
The Real Americans don’t appreciate the irony of their situation, and express their objections in the form of a mugging to the Rhodeses, leaving Goldust laying and tossing Cody into the ring post. The Usos make the save, running the Real Americans off. Will the Real Americans stay together long enough for a title feud?
We replay the Langston vs. Fandango match from last Monday, because why even repeat matches in person when we’ll happily watch literally exactly what we’ve already watched? Admittedly, this does give me a chance to hop on over to Skyrim and steal yet more horses; I don’t know why I’m playing as a horse thief, but I am.
Then we watch the confrontation between the Undertaker and Paul Heyman, and I think it’s always been for me the case that the build to Streak matches has never been an issue; the issue is the danger to the Streak rather than what else is thrown in. Admittedly, Heyman on the microphone is a bonus in any situation.
A mighty phallic object rises above us, and here’s Bad News Barrett. I still say they should have had him come out to Punk’s music in Chicago, adding dick move to his dick podium and other dick paraphernalia. He says the Streak will end at WrestleMania 30, our children will cry, we’ll be up all night, we’ll be tired at work and we’ll get fired. Holy hell, this guy thinks things through.
We get a recap then of Wyatt and Cena, and as we get closer to Wrestlemania there won’t be any actual matches or promos; recaps of things that never existed will play and we’ll watch them with a sense of ‘I’d even settle for another Fandango match if it actually takes place here’.
This Could Be Kofi’s Night!
Speaking of ‘here’, that’s where the Wyatts are. Oh, and he’s facing Kofi Kingston. Looks like this could go either way: Kofi could lose or the entire universe could collapse and all life as we know it could end.
Bray powers Kofi into the corner, but Kofi ducks away and smacks the fatty. Bray laughs, catching a kick and taking down Kofi. He misses a splash and Kingston back-kicks Wyatt in the face, knocking him out of the ring. Kofi jumps Wyatt as he comes back in the ring, but Wyatt puts him down with a punch. Bray firmly in control here, but Kofi catches him with a kick on corner, then takes him down with springboard punch for two.
Kofi tries for a monkey flip, and good luck with that one, but Wyatt pushes him over the ropes and out of the ring. Wyatt throws Kingston back in the ring and back-splashes him as Michael undersells any chance of Bray beating Cena because when the announcers try to conceal the outcome of things it’s like a child trying to bluff at poker. Kofi hits a jawbreaker and a dropkick, then splashes Bray in the corner. Boots to Wyatt in the corner, but Wyatt catches Kofi and puts him down with a ura-nage. Hard running clothesline in the corner to Kofi, then a Sister Abigail finishes it.
Smart choice of opponent for Wyatt; Kofi can take a beating whilst still getting in offence but Bray still dominated here. Entertaining to watch as well. 2.5 Stars.
God, shut up, Michael Cole.
The Shield are backstage with Kane as Rollins tries to explain to Roman why Renee might have thrown her underwear at him earlier. Kane congratulates them (on winning a match rather than the underwear thing), and Dean decides to be a douche anyway because why would we want him to change? Kane orders the Shield to be at ringside so he can teach them a thing or two. Seth’s not buying it, but promises to do what’s best for business. I’ve never seen Reigns appear to be short except when standing beside Kane; that’s a weird visual.
Oh God, another fucking recap. It’s called ‘RAW Exclusive’, but it’s not because they’re showing it on SmackDown. This is the Christian and Sheamus feud, and it would be remiss of me not to mention this little wonder (I would also massively endorse Botched Spot in its entirety; some wonderful humour on here).
Should Have Stuck With The Usos
Goodness gracious me, actual SmackDown content. Not sure that we’re worthy of it. It’s Tamina vs. Nikki with AJ on commentary. Cole’s still mentioning the title record thing, but that’s more about the WWE’s inability to come up with ideas than it is AJ actually retaining. Nikki dodges Tamina several times, and then hangs her up on the middle rope. Wristlock attempted, but Tamina slams Nikki, who slams her back. Shoulder block to Tamina, but she kicks AJ’s legs out from under her. On the outside, Tamina drives Nikki into the apron and that referee has quite the voice on him. Samoan drop to Nikki and Tamina heads up for the Superfly Splash. Nikki rolls out of the way; Tamina telegraphed it and lands on her feet but eats a clothesline anyway, then a dropkick, then…a backdrop? Probably. Tamina’s face gets rocked off Nikki’s knee, but she comes back with a superkick for a near fall. AJ comes off commentary as Brie dives off the apron onto her. Tamina heads out there and hurls Brie off her with one hand. Back in the ring, another superkick misses, Nikki hits the Torture Rack and that’s it.
Not bad, really. No idea what they’re going to do with the Divas’ Title come the Show of Shows, but this was fair enough. 2 Stars.
Remember When We…You Know…Cared?
There is a lot of love for Ziggler from this crowd, and he seems fired up. Del Rio cost Ziggler a match against Christian last week, and it seems like Del Rio’s going in for the Memorial Battle Royal. It’d be a prestigious prize if it wasn’t a code for ‘you’re the best of a group of guys with a lot of nothing going on’.
Both members of this ‘classic rivalry’ lock up and Del Rio tosses Ziggler in the corner, kicks him down and stomps him. Hey, just like that title match. Ziggler manages to backdrop Del Rio over the ropes and then dropkick him to the floor. On the outside, he rocks Del Rio’s head off the apron, then drops elbows back in the ring. Del Rio reverses an Irish whip and stomps on Ziggler’s chest as we go to break.
Back to the action as Dolph is on fire, hitting a crossbody and then punches in the corner, following it up with a neckbreaker. Zig-Zag’s attempted, but blocked, then Del Rio hits a titl-a-whirl backbreaker. Ziggler plants Alberto with a DDT for a near-fall. As Ziggler gets Del Rio up, he gets hit with the armbreaker and then the superkick for two. Alberto stalks Ziggler as he reaches his feet and attempts the cross-ambreaker, but Ziggler counters, as does Del Rio; the corner enziguiri is turned into a fameasser and that’s a near fall for Ziggler. Dolph heads up to the top rope, but Del Rio was playing a little possum, knocking Ziggler’s leg out and hitting an inverted superplex, but Dolph kicks out again. Del Rio tries the cross-armbreaker; Ziggler pushes him away, then scoots over his shoulder, hits the Zig-Zag and gets the win!
That was definitely the match of the night, and I say that with the night not yet over. A poignant reminder of what a feud these guys could have had under different circumstances. 3 Stars.
Renee Young comes in to interview Ziggler and asks if he thinks he’s hitting his stride. Ziggler proclaims that this is ‘two in a row for the good guys’, which would look a lot better if it wasn’t matched up against a lot in a row for the bad guys. He says he’s going into the Memorial Battle Royal, so apparently you can just say you’re going in for it and you get in. Fine; I’m going in. I may only have had one match ever in front of a crowd, but apparently that’s fine with this criteria. Also, Dolph needs to slow down on the energy drinks. He says he’s going to win the Andre trophy, which will be his WrestleMania moment. Wow, aim for the stars, Ziggler.
The next entrant into the WWE Hall of Fame is Carlos Colón, Sr. Mostly the only thing I know about him is that he was one of the wrestlers who testified at José González’s trial. And didn’t he have some kids?
The Shield Occasionally Just Want To Be Jerks
Here’s the Big Red Middle Manager, and he’s facing the Big Show tonight. Seems like the Shield came to the conclusion they could always beat the shit out of Kane if he gets mad and so decided not to show up.
The two guys tie up, with Kane getting Big Show in a headlock, Big Show shooting him off and hitting a shoulder block. The Shield comes out now, distracting the Big Show by…walking slowly, and Kane starts throwing hands. Didn’t he used to not be able to touch talent? More punches thrown, but Big Show used to be a boxer so wins that exchange. Big slap to the chest of Kane as the Shield watch; apparently they decided that this could actually be pretty funny. Kane hangs Big Show up on the rope, then takes him out at the knee and keeps booting him to the ground before hitting a dropkick to the face. Kane wrenches the leg of the Big Show before Show smacks his leg into Kane’s face. Michael asks why Triple H blew him off last week, and it seems like the kind of thing you’d want to know. And also if you owed him money for it. I’d love to see Renee do the interview with Triple H, partly because she looks like she would punch him in the face until he stopped lying and also because, as we’ve ascertained, neither interviewer nor interviewee wear pants in those sessions.
Kane hits a DDT for a near fall, and then stalks Big Show for the chokeslam. Show gets his own hand on Kane’s neck, then both men get the other off them and Big Show knocks Kane silly with clotheslines before hitting a spear. Big Show heads back into the ring, then decides to head up to the top and Kane hits a chokeslam from the top rope for the near fall. Kane then decides to get the Shield involved, because it’s not like he had Big Show on the ropes or anything.
The Shield get up on the apron, but that’s as far as they’ll go for now; they’ll need way more yelling to actually do anything. Kane happily supplies some yelling, but the Shield are still out on this one, and no amount of yelling will do anything. Kane turns back to the Big Show, gets chokeslammed and pinned.
This wasn’t all that great, but it’s not like that was really expected. Considering the three most exciting guys down there weren’t even in the match. 1.5 Stars.
The Shield head off out of there, but Kane pulls Rollins into the ring for a chokeslam, but Reigns spears the shit out of him. Because Roman needs someone to be his wingman for this whole Renee situation, and you just know that Seth Rollins knows what women want (it’s Seth Rollins).
That was better than last week. Nothing insanely awesome, but certainly a return to form. Encouraging, really, as we’re three weeks away from ‘Mania. Major credit to Ziggler and Del Rio, and a seven for the show.
Tags: aj lee, alberto del rio, big show, Bray Wyatt, Brie Bella, Cesaro, Cody Rhodes, Damien Sandow, Daniel Bryan, dean ambrose, Dolph Ziggler, Erick Rowan, goldust, jack swagger, jey uso, jimmy uso, kane, Kofi Kingston, Luke Harper, Nikki Bella, Renee Young, Roman Reigns, seth rollins, Tamina Snuka, The Bella Twins, The Real Americans, The Shield, the usos, The Wyatt Family, triple h, Wade Barrett, Zeb Coulter