ECW on Sci-Fi #2 06/20/2006

Heyman’s 99th invasion of Raw is recapped with an un-named big titted vampire reading tarot cards (so you know you’re watching the Sci-Fi Channel). RVD gave Edge a Five Star Frog Splash and Sabu put Cena through the announce table so it’s RVD & Angle vs. Orton & Edge.

We’re in Albany, NY with Joey Styles & Tazz commentating. One of these men got slapped by Rob Van Dam and the other one KO’d JBL.

Read moreECW on Sci-Fi #2 06/20/2006

Smackdown – October 8, 2015

Smackdown
Date: October 8, 2015
Location: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Commentators: Rich Brennan, Booker T., Jerry Lawler

Things look a bit different coming out of Raw as New Day got all aggressive and violent to end the show. They even left John Cena and a few others laying in their first real display of dominance. It should be interesting to see where they go from here as they’ve been so goofy but now they have a new edge. Let’s get to it.

Read moreSmackdown – October 8, 2015

Smackdown – August 20, 2015

Smackdown
Date: August 20, 2015
Location: Resch Center Hall, Green Bay, Wisconsin
Commentators: Tom Phillips, Jerry Lawler, Jimmy Uso

It’s the final show before Summerslam, meaning it’s time to find out how many times they can talk about Brock vs. Undertaker in about an hour and a half. It’s going to be a mixture of matches getting the hype this week as the main event is an eight man tag with three feuds being combined into one match. Let’s get to it.

Read moreSmackdown – August 20, 2015

The SmarK RAW Rant–02.10.14

The SmarK RAW Rant – 02.10.14 Live from Los Angeles, CA Your hosts are Michael Cole, JBL & Jerry Lawler Betty White joins us to start, showing that Vince still has his finger on the pulse of America’s youth. This quickly leads into the usual Authority interview to start, as they’re RECONSIDERING other people as the Face Of The WWE. Is that like the new replacement for the dead World title now? Stephanie is wearing white so I guess they’re the babyfaces this week. Randy Orton comes out to protest as usual as we repeat the same skit it feels like we’ve seen for months. This “Face of the WWE” storyline is so stupid. Daniel Bryan now comes out and reminds us that he beat Orton last week, and he wants a match with Kane tonight. Sadly, Kane is on leave for a week and has a strongly worded letter coming to him. And HHH gives Bryan the week off as well. Wow, that was a thrilling open to the show. The Wyatt Family v. Cody Rhodes, Goldust & Rey Mysterio Rowan pounds on Goldust, but he comes back on Harper with a rana! Harper bails and Cody tosses Rey onto him in a cool spot as we take a break. Back with Goldust getting the heat, but he powerslams Harper and makes the hot tag to Rey. He runs wild with a tornado DDT for two and the 619, but Bray trips him up. Cody hits Bray with a dive and Goldust hits Rowan with one, but Bray catches Rey with a running Sister Abagail to finish at 8:35. I feel like a LOT was cut out of this match, as they came back from the break really late into Goldust’s heat segment. Hot match, though, as Goldust continues to be ridiculously motivated. *** Let us take you back to Royal Rumble, where Roman Reigns kicks everyone’s ass and sets the new record for eliminations. The Shield has no fear of the Wyatt Family, but Roman seems to give Renee the funny feelings in her special place. Renee questions Ambrose on his lack of title defenses, and Roman tells him to get on that shit. Meanwhile, the New Age Outlaws rescue Betty White from the Divas, because there’s rumors of someone playing a prank on her. Whoever said that RAW without the matches would be the worst show on TV is so completely right. The Real Americans v. Christian & Sheamus The crowd actually starts doing the “We The People” chant as Cesaro throws Christian around. Swagger comes in and walks into the corner kick, and a missile dropkick gets two. Over to Sheamus, who puts Cesaro down with a clothesline for two. The babyfaces work on Cesaro while the crowd chants for the heels, and then Cesaro and Sheamus get into an awesome slugfest with the crowd cheering Cesaro the whole way. Sheamus actually seems pretty amused by it. Sheamus gets clobbered off the apron as we take a break. Back with Christian taking the beating and it’s a GIANT SWING to get Cesaro even more over. That gets two. Swagger with a powerslam for two. Christian is finally able to fight them off and make the hot tag to Sheamus, and the Regal Roll on Swagger gets two. Cesaro breaks up the Brogue Kick to a big pop, and Swagger puts Sheamus in the anklelock. Christian saves, and the Brogue Kick finishes poor Swagger at 13:01. Hot crowd + Good tag team wrestling = Happy Scott. ***1/2 As usual, you follow the formula and good things result. It’s the like the opposite of the Lego Movie’s lesson. Alberto Del Rio v. Dolph Ziggler What a change from a year ago. Ziggler gets a quick burst of offense and a fameasser for two, but Del Rio finishes him with the superkick at 1:30. We’re getting into Zack Ryder territory now. Stupid fans, thinking that cheering Ziggler will lead to anything. Don’t you know he works too fast and tweets the wrong things? Batista saves poor Ziggler and the crowd boos the shit out of him. Batista puts Del Rio through the table with a powerbomb to continue this feud that literally no one cares about. US title: Dean Ambrose v. Mark Henry Ambrose gets overpowered to start, as expected, and bumps around the ring for Henry. We take a break and return with Ambrose going up and getting slammed off. Powerslam and the Shield runs in for the DQ at 9:13. * The Wyatts come out for a confrontation, and wouldn’t you know that Reigns is the one to call their bluff. And the Wyatts walk away. It’s kind of amazing in that they seem to have forgotten how to make anyone a star, except for Reigns, who they are doing everything completely right with. So clearly they know how to, and just choose not to. Libertarian Kane joins us, still on TV despite getting a week off. And Daniel Bryan attacks, also on TV after getting a week off. Cole calls Kane “the so-called Big Red Corporate Sellout”. I have literally never heard anyone call him that. Bryan chases Kane off. Randy Orton v. John Cena Whereas last week the importance was the possibility of being considered the new face of the WWE, this week the importance is that both men are looking to build momentum towards the Elimination Chamber. Cena works a headlock and Orton bails. Sign in the crowd: “Batista and Orton have great tattoos”. See, the fanbase isn’t ALL negativity! Back in, Cena with a bulldog for two. Orton pounds him down and tosses him and we take a break. Back with Orton in control and they do a slugfest where, god bless them, THE CROWD BOOS BOTH GUYS. That was awesome. Orton tosses Cena again and continues having a snarky dialog with the crowd, and we hit the chinlock. Orton with a DDT for two. He stops to antagonize the crowd some more and Cena makes the comeback, but Orton gets the backbreaker for two. Cena tries the FU and Orton reverses to the powerslam for two. They fight to the top and Orton brings him down with a draping DDT and then yells about how he’s never done that before. Nice to see him having fun with it for a change. Cena blocks the RKO with an STF, but Orton makes the ropes. He POINTS TO SIGN to show he means business, but misses the punt and then comes back with the RKO for two. Cena gets the FU for two. Back to the top, and the guillotine and FU finish at 22:18. CENA HAS SUCCESSFULLY BUILT MOMENTUM! It was a match. ***1/4 The Pulse This was basically cut down to three good matches and a minimum of crap, which makes for a really good show, even if it’s not building to anything I care about. The Real Americans match was clearly the highlight and they should have been the tag champions ages ago, though.

The SmarK RAW Rant–02.03.14

The SmarK RAW Rant – 02.03.14 WWE Network in Canada update for those who have asked me: Unblock-US is currently taking the stance of “We’re looking into it, so shut up and leave us alone.” There is a LOT of demand from Canadian fans for it, however, and it seems likely that someone will support it and thus meet the demand, whether it’s Unblock or Playmo.TV or one of the other VPNs. I heartily recommend Unblock-US anyway because of Hulu and streaming shows off the US network websites, but whoever can guarantee support for the WWE Network will get my money without reservation. Live from Omaha, NB. Your hosts are Michael Cole, JBL & Jerry Lawler Randy Orton starts us out, and he’s still having problems with the Authority while the fans immediately try to hijack the show with CM Punk chants. Jesus, Punk quit, why are you chanting for him? It’s not like WWE fired him or anything. So anyway, HHH and Steph interrupt, and this week they’re arguing with Orton again and are losing faith in him, because that’s how they’re written this week. Orton will face each of his Chamber opponents leading up to the PPV, and at stake is the possibility that someone else might be considered as the new face of WWE. That’s HUGE STAKES. And we start with Orton v. Bryan tonight. The Shield v. Kofi Kingston, Rey Mysterio & Big E Langston JBL actually brings up a good point for once, with Cole going on again about how Ambrose has been US champion for months and months and then JBL countering that it’s easy to be champion for 14 years if you never defend it. Which is true, I think he’s literally had less than a dozen title defenses since May. The Shield works Kofi over, but Rey comes in and runs wild on Rollins for a bit before he too falls victim to the Shield in the form of a Hart Attack that gets two. And we take a break. Back with Ambrose holding a chinlock, but it’s hot tag Big E, the perfect hot tag guy. Warrior splash on Reigns gets two. It’s breaking loose in Tulsa, but Big E walks into the superman punch and Ambrose finishes E with the bulldog driver at 11:09. Pretty blah stuff for the Shield. ** Why are they still beating Langston all the time? Broken down Rey was RIGHT THERE. Or more importantly, why put the title on him in the first place if they had no plans for him? Bray Wyatt pops up with a promo to creep everyone out. ALEXANDER RUSEV is coming, thankfully with Lana in tow. Christian v. Jack Swagger Christian evades a blind charge and dumps Swagger, but Swagger gets a cheapshot outside and takes over. Back in, he tosses Christian with a hiptoss for two and goes to a submission hold, but goes up and misses. Christian comes back with the missile dropkick, but runs into a knee. Unprettier gets two, however, and he goes up and lands in an anklelock. Christian escapes that and goes up again, but Swagger brings him down and also misses, allowing Christian to roll him up for the pin at 6:00. So yes, it’s the LOSING STREAK gimmick for Swagger leading to another team breaking up. Call your friends and tell them to start watching right now! *1/2 Cage Match, WWE tag titles: The New Age Outlaws v. Cody Rhodes & Goldust Thankfully they’ve dropped the escape rule for the tag team version of the cage match, because it was stupid anyway. Apparently this feud has been heated up by “interesting back and forth on social media, including one Tweet where Cody made fun of the Outlaws for their age!” TAKE ALL MY MONEY NOW! Road Dogg gets nowhere with Cody to start, and Gunn slugs it out with Goldust before Cody comes in with a small package for two. The Outlaws work Cody over in boring fashion while the crowd chants for Punk. Probably because they’re as bored as the announcers by this. Road Dogg and Goldust randomly trade armbars with absolutely nothing going on as the announcers posit that fans are so quiet because both teams are incredibly popular and thus fans don’t know who to cheer for. So are the Outlaws supposed to be faces or heels? I’m really at a loss here. Either way, this “CM Punk” guy seems to be the most over person in the match. So this drags on AND ON and finally Goldust hits a spinebuster on Dogg and makes the hot tag to Cody, allowing the faces to run wild. Disaster kick gets two on Billy, pissing off the crowd. And then Cody goes up to the top of the cage, totally whiffs on a moonsault that barely grazes Road Dogg’s arm, and Billy sneaks in with a fameasser to retain at 17:38 to kill the crowd again. -* This was AWFUL and completely exposed the Outlaws in every way, from the total lack of heat to everyone stumbling through the main portion of the match to Road Dogg being out of place completely for the big moonsault spot and nearly killing poor Cody as a result. Oh yeah, negative stars, I WENT THERE. This feud is rapidly eroding any heat that Cody and Goldust ever had and I still don’t know what the endgame is supposed to be. They break up another tag team and have a feud that no one wants to see with Cody becoming a midcard heel again? Because that seems to be where we’re ending up. Batista is out for some reason, and Alberto Del Rio is still UPSET with him. Batista laughs him off, so Del Rio attacks and they do some macho posturing as Batista is now also upset. You know, it would be nice if Del Rio would just add something like “I would also like that title shot and don’t think you should have won it” or something in order to give them an actual issue to feud over. The Wyatt Family v. Dolph Ziggler, R-Truth & XAVIER WOODS Finally, Woods debuts on the Hulu RAW after doing the intros for weeks! Not that I care about seeing him, but I just think it’s kind of funny in that I’ve literally never seen any of his RAW matches on this version of the show. The babyfaces get the advantage on Rowan, but Harper puts Truth down in the corner and the crowd chants for Ziggler. I don’t foresee that going as well for Dolph as it has for Punk and Bryan. But he gets the hot tag anyway and slugs away on Harper in the corner, with a DDT that gets two. Bray turns the tide, however, and finishes Dolph with Sister Abagail at 5:00, because OF COURSE they beat the guy getting all the chants. * The Shield responds on the Titantron afterwards, and Ambrose is also crazy and thus not afraid. BATTLE FOR THE OPPORTUNITY TO POSSIBLY BE THE FACE OF WWE IN THE EYES OF THE AUTHORITY FOR SOME REASON: Daniel Bryan v. Christian Jerry Lawler really lays it on the line here: If Randy Orton loses ANY of these matches, that’s really gonna affect the opinion of him with the Authority. So that’s now their idea of a storyline. Instead of fighting for titles, guys are fighting to impress HHH and Stephanie. Michael Cole restates it even more forcefully: If Daniel Bryan wins, then the Authority may have to rethink who the face of the company really is. Riveting. RIVETING. Orton puts him down with a headbutt as the announcers are already writing off Orton’s chance of winning at the Chamber, since it’s painfully telegraphed that he will be doing just that. Bryan throws kicks in the corner and the ADD directing is getting really obvious and annoying here. Going cut-kick-cut-kick-cut-kick is headache-inducing once you start noticing it. Bryan works on the knee and dropkicks it into the post. Cole notes that Orton is questioning the authority of the Authority. But that’s their NAME! That’s the one thing you can’t question about them! Maybe that’s why I’m supposed to boo Orton. Bryan puts Orton down with a forearm with two and goes back to the leg, and a backslide gets two. Orton bails to avoid further punishment, and Bryan follows and tosses him into Cole’s lap. Back in, he stays on the knee and follows with a top rope rana for two. Into the surfboard and a half crab, but Orton puts him on the floor and drops him on the railing to take over. Back in, Orton stomps away and powerslams him, and we take a break. Back with Bryan throwing kicks while the camera zooms in and out and continues to drive me crazy. Orton catches him with a throw, however, thus injuring the shoulder. Orton works on that and they head to the top for a battle up there, won by Bryan. He follows with a missile dropkick, but hurts the shoulder on the way down. He keeps coming with kicks, but Orton wrenches the arm to put him down again. Bryan catches him in the Yes-Lock and the camera cuts FIVE TIMES between Bryan reaching for the move and actually getting it. Corner dropkicks as Bryan makes the comeback, but Orton hits his own dropkick. Bryan escapes the RKO and goes up with the flying headbutt for two. Bryan with the kicks (ZOOM, cut, ZOOM, cut) but Kane comes out and gets dropkicked off the apron as a result. Bryan hits both Kane and Orton with a dive, and back in for the running knee to finish at 28:28. ****1/4 Kane and Orton deliver the beatdown afterwards, as the announcers posit that the Authority sent Kane down in case Orton was going to lose. Wasn’t the point that they WANTED Orton to lose because they didn’t have faith in him? I am legitimately confused by what the storyline is supposed to be. HHH doesn’t want Bryan as the champion, he doesn’t want Orton as the champion, but sometimes he does…who does he even want as champion? His buddy Batista? That at least would be a storyline that makes sense. What would make even more sense is HHH coming out and admitting that he wants HIMSELF as champion, and would probably be far more true to life and easier to build off at that. Cole closes by noting that Bryan might have had a chance to be the face of WWE, but Kane got involved, so now he can’t. What? How does that even…never mind, I give up. The Pulse Terrible show, great main event, which has been noted by many already. Unfortunately it also bombed in the ratings, so you know who’s gonna get blamed for that.

The Kyle Report: Wrestlemania 29 Review

Wrestlemania 29 was the 29th annual “Grand Daddy of Them All”,
held at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford New Jersey on April 7th, 2013. It
drew 80,676 fans according to WWE, becoming the second highest attended WWE
event ever, and about 1,048,000 ordered it worldwide. 

The initial video package
talked about Hurricane Sandy, and it focused on the strong people that assisted
those affected by it. Chris Christie, the Governor of New Jersey, narrated
the entire thing and then welcomed us to WrestleMania 29.
The wide-shot camera
angles showed the jammed-packed crowd in attendance. An enthused Michael Cole
said there were over 80,000 people there, and the event was sold out. Then, a
video package was shown of some of the classic moments in WrestleMania’s history
and slides of the wrestlers involved in this show.
Your Hosts Are Michael
Cole, Jerry Lawler, and John Bradshaw Layfield.
Opening
Match: Randy Orton, Sheamus, and Big Show vs. The Shield (Seth Rollins,  Roman Reigns, and Dean Abmrose)
As usual, the Shield arrived
through the crowd while Big Show, Sheamus and Randy Orton entered separately.
Their entrances foreshadowed the story of the match. The Shield worked
together as a cohesive team, while Big Show, Sheamus, and Randy Orton were
fragmented. The Shield went to hit the three-man powerbomb on Sheamus, but the Big
Show saved Sheamus by spearing Reigns. The problems between Team Sheamus started to happen
when Sheamus tried to tag in The Big Show, but Orton selfishly tagged himself
to be the legal man. Orton cleaned house, while the camera showed Big Show
visibly pissed off. Orton set up for the RKO on Dean Ambrose, but wound up
RKO’ing Rollins, who jumped off the turnbuckle, in mid-air. Out of nowhere,
Reigns speared Orton, allowing Ambrose to pick up the win by pinning Orton. JBL
speculated that the Shield might be the greatest team ever. After the match,
Big Show ended up punching both Sheamus and Orton in the face and then walked away in disgust.
Winners:
The Shield in 10:37
Thoughts: An adequate, inoffensive opening tag
match. The story of the match was that the Shield worked as a cohesive unit,
while team Sheamus, Big Show, and Randy Orton could not put their differences aside.
People speculated whether or not Randy Orton would finally turn heel, but WWE ended
up not pull the trigger on the turn. Like I said, it was solid, but the Shield
have had much better matches on free TV. ** 1/2
A video package was
shown hyping up the John Cena vs The Rock match
Ryback
vs. Mark Henry
Henry took control early
on by delivering a powerslam and then a clothesline. Ryback went for Shell
Shock, but Henry pushed him into the turnbuckle. Henry then applied a bear hug. The
crowd then started to chant “Sexual Chocolate”, illustrating how little the
crowd cared about this match. Henry applied another bear hug, only for Ryback to drive
Henry into the corner where he delivered a couple of clotheslines. The crowd
came alive when Ryback executed the “Feed Me More” clothesline. The crowd then popped
huge when Ryback got Henry up for Shell Shock, but Henry countered by grabbing
the ropes and landing on Ryback’s back. Henry proceeded to pick up the win by
pinning him in a very anti-climactic finish. After the match, Ryback hit Shell
Shock, which made Henry’s win rather pointless.
Winner:
Mark Henry in 8:20
Thoughts: The match was tedious, and the crowd only popped
for the big spots, but it was not as bad as it could have been. They did not try to do more than they could, so neither Henry nor Ryback were exposed
for being less than stellar workers. I still do not understand why Ryback lost
this match because he ended up becoming the number one contender the next
night. I also wonder if WWE has a long-term plan for Ryback losing every big
match on PPV in his WWE career. * 1/4
Tag
Team Championship: Team Hell No (Kane and Daniel Bryan) © vs. Dolph Ziggler and
Big E Langston w/AJ Lee
AJ kissed Ziggler at the
start of the match. Ziggler turned around only to be kicked in the head by
Daniel Bryan (in what was a convincing near-fall that played off how Bryan lost
to Sheamus last year). Ziggler tagged in Langston and Bryan tagged in Kane. Boo!.
Langston delivered Kane three backbreakers in a row, and then hit a running
body attack. He’s pretty strong, to be honest. The heels made some quick tags and worked over Kane, but Kane fought
back by hitting a sick-looking DDT on Langston. Ziggler pulled Bryan off the
apron, but Kane ended up hitting a sidewalk slam on Ziggler. The pace is really picking up. Kane went for a
top-rope clothesline, but Ziggler moved
out of the way. Ziggler botched a Fameasser and got a two count out of it. Afterwards,
Kane tossed Langston outside the ring, and Bryan nailed Langston in the head
with a stiff knee. Ziggler nailed the Zig Zag and got a close near-fall out of
it. AJ Lee preoccupied the ref, as Kane dodged a briefcase shot and then gave
Ziggler a Chokelsam. Kane tagged in Bryan, and he hit the Flying Headbutt on
Ziggler. It was good enough to pick up the win.
Winners:
Team Hell No in 8:22
Analysis: The de ja vu spot was a nice play off of last
year’s Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan match, and it was actually very believable
near-fall. All four men worked hard, and thus got the rather silent crowd
engaged into it. Overall, it was a rock-solid, energetic match, with all four
men playing their specific roles well. I just wish they had more time and that Bryan
and Ziggler wrestled together longer. ** ¾
John Cena discussed Make-A-Wish and told us that we can donate $10 by texting 80088.

Chris
Jericho vs. Fandango
Fan-dan-go! started by
doing a little dancing, only to get suplexed by Jericho. Bret Hart thought his dancing was more entertaining than a HHH match. Out of
nowhere, Jericho Codebreaker. (By the way, every time I say out of nowhere, Don West screaming on top of his lungs comes to my mind. God, I miss that guy.) Fan-dan-go! fell out of the ring, though.
Jericho then followed up by giving him a dropkick. Back in the ring, Fan-dan-go! started to control the match, but Jericho came back by hitting a double
axehandle and then a Thesz Press. Bah, gawd. Jericho then nailed a cross body block to
pick up a two count. Fandango, however, threw Jericho shoulder first into the ring
post. Fan-dan-go! hit a neckbreaker, and then proceeded to hit his unique Leg Drop
off the top rope, getting a close near-fall. Jericho attempted the Walls of
Jericho, but Fan-dan-go! reversed it and then executed a clothesline. Fan-dan-go! went to the top again, but it was Jericho grabbed the top rope. Jericho went for a
superplex, but Fan-dan-go! countered by hitting a headbutt. Fan-dan-go! went for his top-leg drop, but Jericho moved out of the way. Things got messy when it appeared
Jericho was supposed to hit the Liontamer, but Fan-dan-go! was too close to the
ropes. Jericho tried to cover the botch up by going for the Walls of Jericho,
but Fan-dan-go! countered with a sloppy inside cradle to pick up the win.
Winner:
Fan….dan….go! in 9:11
Thoughts:  I forgot to breathe in the A’s, I think. Anyway, another decent match. There was a good amount of
back-and-forth action and counter-for-counter wrestling exchanges. Jericho’s
mission was to make Fandango look good, and he did a good job of doing so. Aside
from the sloppy finish, Fandango appeared to have some wrestling ability.
Jericho is so good at being able to adapt with anyone and have a watchable match
with them, though. 

The next night, Fandango received a huge babyface reaction,
but the WWE failed to capitalize on it. The thing is the character never really
pissed people off and people never took him seriously. It was just a whacky,
cheesy, goofy, but rather entertaining character. The fans told WWE this, but they did not want to listen. Now, he is receiving
little-to-no reaction at all. ** ½

Diddy performed, which made me hit
the fast-forward button. I like it when they use a music performer to sing
someone’s theme, but to give them their own mini-concert would be equal to
Diddy allowing wrestlers to wrestle at his concerts. I mean people order WM to see
wrestling, not an eight-minute concert. The time wasted here should have been used for the mid-carders that were short-changed.
World
Heavyweight Championship: Alberto Del Rio w/Ricardo Rodriguez vs. Jack Swagger
w/Zeb Colter
Zeb Colter cut a promo
on just about every nationality to get cheap heat. Del Rio started aggressively
at the start until Zeb Colter sidetracked him, which allowed Swagger get the
upper hand by throwing Rio into the post. Del Rio got a hope spot in by rolling
up Swagger for a two count but then got a big boot to the face from Swagger. Del
Rio made his comeback by using clotheslines, a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker and
then a side kick for a two count. Swagger came back with a shoulder block to the
knee of Del Rio. Del Rio attempted an enziguiri, but Swagger ducked it. Swagger went
for the Swagger Bomb, but Del Rio countered and then hit a Backstabber for a
two. Del Rio tried to end it, but Swagger reversed it with a Gutwrench
Powerbomb for two. The work is solid but the crowd does not care. Swagger locked in the Patriot Lock, but Del Rio reversed it with
his Cross Armbreaker submission. Swagger countered back with the Patriot Lock. We Da People! Del
Rio managed to break the hold by kicking Swagger in the head. Colter put Swagger’s leg on the ropes
while Del Rio was pinning him. Rodriguez chased after Colter on his crutches, but Colter
ended kicking one of his crutches, which made Rodriguez fall to the ground. Honestly, I think Rodriguez and Cotler wrestling would have created more heat than this match. Del Rio was looking at what was going on outside the ring, which
allowed Swagger to attack him from behind. Suddenly, out of nowhere, Del Rio put in the
Cross Armbreaker, which made Swagger tap.
 Winner: Alberto Del Rio in 10:23
Analysis: Solid work, but
nothing remarkable. They had a rather decent scientific match that displayed some
quality mat-work, but the issue was that it just lacked emotion and intensity.
It  honestly felt like they were having an ordinary match, as it just lacked a sense of urgency and desperation and had no heat whatsoever. That could have been because the
feud was too complex for the fans to understand what it was all about. Or, because Del Rio and Jack Swagger’s characters are uninteresting. Or, because they
lacked a great deal of charisma in their particular roles. ** ½
 The
Undertaker vs. CM Punk w/Paul Heyman
Living Colour played Cult
of Personality” and received a big pop from the crowd. The Undertaker’s
entrance was somewhat weird. These goblins were trying to grab his feet but could not. Punk bitch slapped Undertaker in the face early on, only for Undertaker
to come back with a huge boot to the face. Outside the ring, Undertaker tossed
Punk into the security wall. He then threw Punk’s head right onto the announce
table and then into ring post. Undertaker executed a leg drop on the apron on
Punk’s throat. After, Punk took Taker down with an arm drag when Taker went for
Old School. Punk then hit the Old School Clothesline, and Punk dodged the Undertaker’s big boot, sending him knee first into the top turnbuckle. With Taker outside, Punk nailed a
double axehandle off the top to the floor and then inside the ring, he hit a
neckbreaker to get a two count. Undertaker attempted to mount a comeback via
punches, but Punk countered with a swinging neckbreaker for two. Punk went for
the top-rope Old School clothesline, but he was crotched on the top rope. Undertaker
punched Punk in the face, knocking him outside the ring. Undertaker tried
to dive outside the ring, but Heyman got on the apron, which allowed Punk to
attack with a top-rope clothesline.
Later, Punk went to the
top rope and hit the Flying Elbow, although the table did not break. Taker sneaked
into the ring before being counted out. Taker locked in the Hell’s Gate
submission, but Punk answered by rolling him up for two count. Punk locked in the
Anaconda Vice submission Undertaker, which led to a great visual when Undertaker
looked Punk sadistically into his eyes. Punk got out of the way of a Chokeslam
and hit the GTS. Undertaker bounced off the ropes and then hit a Tombstone,
only for two. Great spot. Punk hit a running knee in the corner, but  Undertaker caught him and went  for the Last Ride. Heyman gave Punk the urn,
and Punk nailed Taker in the back of the head. Punk only got a two, though.
Just an awesome exchange there. Punk went for the GTS, Undertaker countered and
hit the Tombstone Piledriver to for win. After the match, Taker walked off the urn that held Paul Bearer’s ashes.
Winner:
The Undertaker in 22:30
Thoughts:
This match was a perfect example of “it is not what you do, it is when and
why you do it”. Everything they did fit the context of the story they were
telling. Both men also had great body language, facial expressions, and
mannerisms, which helped elevate the match’s  drama and also helped transition the match to each different stage. They
also built the match off the audience’s reactions, had them in the palms of
their hands and sent them on a roller coaster ride.
Basically, CM Punk tried to defeat the Undertaker by using a
well-developed strategic plan. He did certain tactics to attempt to play mind games with the Undertaker (which is something that few little people have been able to pull off). Even though it
worked for a good portion of the match, it was not enough to defeat the
immortal Undertaker. 
Also, despite CM Punk going into the match with not a lot of momentum due to him losing four out of the five previous matches, both the Undertaker and CM Punk were able to fool a lot of people by making them believe that Punk had several chances of ending the streak. Just a terrific match. **** ½
No
Holds Barred: Brock Lesnar w/Paul Heyman vs. Triple H w/Shawn Michaels
They brawled right off
the bat, as HHH threw Lesnar into the security wall and then slammed him into the announce table. After, Lesnar
went after Triple H on the floor, but Hunter drilled Lesnar with a stiff
clothesline, which literally knocked Lesnar out. Lesnar had a chair in his
hands, but Triple H drilled him in the face with a knee. Outside, Lesnar drilled
a belly-to-belly suplex, and then Lesnar hit vertical suplex into a slam that
broke the Spanish announce table. After that, a lot of boring stuff happened. Brock Lesnar dominated Triple H forever. HBK tried to save his friend, but Brock Lesnar was having none of that, so he F-5’d HBK. Later
on, Lesnar drove HHH into the steps that were in the ring,but HHH applied the
Kimura Lock. He picked up HHH again and drilled him into steps. This time, Triple
H hung onto his head and drilled his head into the steps. Hunter hit Lesnar with a sledgehammer and then a Pedrigree onto the steps, picking up the win.
Winner: Triple H in 23:30 minutes
Thoughts:
They worked hard. They really did. The problem was nobody cared. The reason the fans did not care was because: (A) Not many people care about Triple H anymore. (B) They never believed he had a chance of losing. Or (C), the Undertaker and CM Punk match
burnt them out. Whatever the case may have been, the match just lacked that
“career on the line” atmosphere. The match also failed to top their brawl on
Raw, which was way more of a intense and bloody back-and-forth brawl, and most of all, I didn’t know who was going get the upper hand.
In my opinion, though, the biggest problem
with the match were the dynamics. Ass-kicker vs ass-kicker matches are
difficult to pull off, especially with WWE’s violence restrictions. I mean Lesnar is a good big man worker, but it is obvious that his
matches with bigger guys aren’t that impressive. His best matches come with
people who can bump like a fish in the water and take a beating (or at
least give off the illusion that they are taking a bad one). Triple H has been known to
take a good beating in the past, but due how fragile his body has become, he can hardly bump
anymore. So, basically, he was not the right size, character, and he could not take enough sick bumps in order to mesh with Lesnar. ** 3/4
A commercial for The
Rock’s next movie, Pain & Gain, is shown. There were clips from the Hall of
Fame ceremony too. Then Hall of Famers were on the stage.
.
WWE
Championship: The Rock vs. John Cena
Rock avoided a  Five Knuckle Shuffle and then hit a DDT. The Rock went for a Rock Bottom, but Cena countered with a Crossface. Rock countered it with a pinfall
attempt but only got two. Cena hits the spinning slam and then the Five Knuckle
Shuffle. Rock wiggled his way out of the Attitude Adjustment and then delivered a
Spinebuster. Cena locked in a the STF, but the Rock got out of it. Rock then hit a
Rock Bottom in for two. Then Cena hit the Attitude Adjustment for a count. Selling, no? Okay.
Cena went to the top
rope but missed a leg drop. The Rock connected with  Spinebuster and then the People’s
Elbow for a two count. Cena caught Rock in his arms and then went for the
Attitude Adjustment, but Rock hit the Rock Bottom for another two count. Again, really? Rock
wanted another People’s Elbow, but Cena reversed it with an Attitude Adjustment
for two. This is becoming stupid. They exchanged punches, and then Cena hit a Rock Bottom for a two
count. This is like a Davery Richards match on crack. Cena went for the People’s elbow; you
know, the same move that made him lose their previous match. Nice psychology….not. He then went
for the Attitude Adjustment, but Rock countered into Rock Bottom for two. Do they even have finishers anymore? Jesus. They
exchanged finishing move attempts again a few times, but neither guy could hit.
Rock hit a DDT. Rock went for a Rock Bottom, Cena slipped out, and hit the Attitude
Adjustment, which was enough to win the WWE Championship. It’s finally over! After the match,
they shook hands. Respect is earned! 
Winner
and new WWE Champion: John Cena in 20:23 minutes
Thoughts:
This match lacked psychology, any sort of strategy by either man, a story to follow, and rarely did either John Cena or the Rock played off their previous match at all. There
was no transitional period that elevated the match into the finisher galore stage of the match either. During the beginning, they should have worked over a body part or told some
sort of story. Instead, they used a cheap method to get the fans invested into the match. Trading finisher after finisher just devalued the credibility of their finishers, and it was a very lazy way to put together the supposed biggest match of the year. And, unlike CM Punk and Undertaker, Cena’s victory was never in doubt. I might get some heat for this rating, but I do not care. I
did not enjoy this match at all. * ½
Final
Thoughts:
The mid-carders on the show were evidently held down, so their matches would not
overshadow the main events. That would have been fine had the main events
delivered. However, a show should never rely on one or two matches, because this is what could happen. 

In addition, the crowd
was ready to go home after Undertaker’s epic match yet again. I’ve always believed that a title match should go on last, but I think the Undertaker’s Wrestlemania matches have become an exception to the rule. If Taker loses, the streak is
over, whereas wrestlers lose and then win back the title all the time.

Thumbs
in the middle, leaning down.

Smackdown – April 20, 2012

Smackdown
Date: April 20, 2012
Location: O2 Arena, London, England
Commentators: Michael Cole, Booker T, Josh Matthews

Reviewed by Tommy Hall

We’re still in England this week for the last TV show of the tour. I don’t remember anything being announced for tonight’s show so I’m really not sure what to expect from it. We’ll probably get more build to Bryan vs. Sheamus as well as hopefully a few more matches added to the thin card. Let’s get to it.

Do you know your enemy? Mine is an annoying piece of malware at the moment.

There’s a six man tag main event: Cody/Bryan/Henry vs. Orton/Sheamus/Khali.

Here’s Bryan to open the show. He talks about how Sheamus didn’t do anything better than him at Wrestlemania. Instead of facing him like a man, Sheamus took the coward’s way out and jumped Bryan from behind like he’s done to everyone. At Extreme Rules he won’t get jumped or be distracted. So now it’s back to Chicago where he shocked the world by winning the MITB case. He’ll beat Sheamus twice in the two out of three falls match and get back his rightful title. Did Sheamus cheat at Wrestlemania? YES! Will Bryan win the title back at Extreme Rules? YES!

Cue AJ to a lot of booing. How can you boo someone that looks like that? Bryan tells her to turn around and go away but she says this is the only way she can talk to him. AJ asks if she can just talk to him about their problems but Bryan says he has no problems. He had one, but he got rid of her. Bryan regrets ever going out with her in the first place and he wishes that she was never even born. That finally gets the people to boo Bryan. He asks if there’s any chance he’d ever take AJ back and answers with an emphatic NO before leaving.

AJ vs. Natalya

AJ starts off all stoic but suddenly explodes on Natalya, beating her into the corner. The referee pulls her off twice but AJ won’t let up, drawing a DQ at 48 seconds.

Damien Sandow talks about something Benjamin Franklin said and runs down Dancing With The Stars and Hoarders. At least with Dancing it’s about something that involves work and talent. Most of the other shows he criticizes I completely agree with him on.

Brodus Clay vs. Hunico

Brodus has something to say. He says cut the music and gets booed, prompting him to say it’s coming, so don’t worry. His little brother is supposed to be here so he sends the Funkadactyls (the girls) to go find him. And it’s Horny. Cole’s reaction is exactly what mind is. At least the Mama and the Bridge Club was something original. Brodus does his shaking and Horny gets in to do it as well. Hunico becomes my new hero by shoving him down. The squash commences and the splash ends it in 1:10, about 25 seconds of which was spent on the Hornswoggle part.

Horny hits the Tadpole Splash post match. I hope this isn’t permanent.

Teddy is looking for Aksana but finds Titus and Young who are new to Smackdown. They laugh at him for not signing them and now being a gopher. Ace pops up and they all make fun of Teddy. Titus/Young leave so Ace puts one of those big black furry Queen’s guard hats on Teddy who isn’t allowed to talk or move for the rest of the night.

Orton is in the back with Striker and we get a video on the attack on Cowboy Bob last week. Orton, with his growing mutton chops, says that his dad will be fine. On the other hand, Kane isn’t going to be fine. They have a match at Extreme Rules and it’s falls count anywhere.

Usos vs. Titus O’Neal/Darren Young

NXT comes to Fridays. I forgot how annoying Titus’ song was. Young starts with Jimmy who hits a spinning forearm for two. Off to Jey who hits some double chops before bringing Jimmy back in. Titus comes in and the fans do not care at all. He uses his power stuff and gets a small reaction off a European Uppercut. Back to Young who hits a neckbreaker for two. The fans are waking up a bit. A tag brings in Jimmy who gets the only solid reaction for the US shout to the crowd. Jey gets sent to the floor and a blind tag allows Young and Titus to hit a Hart Attack out of the corner for the pin.

Rating: D. It might be because I watched these teams fight so many times on NXT but I didn’t care at all about this match. Titus is ok but Young is so uninteresting that it stuns me that he got a main roster spot. I guess having another tag team on the show is good but this match is nothing of note. Another loss for the Usos doesn’t please me either.

The Raw ReBound is about Jericho vs. Punk.

Alberto Del Rio vs. Big Show

Non-title. Del Rio drives an Aston Martin here which is very appropriate. Del Rio has officially been traded to the Smackdown roster with no compensation announced yet. Big Show blocks Del Rio’s offense out of the corner and shoves him down. Show stands on his chest in the corner and chops it for good measure. An elbow follows for two. Show loads up the big punch but Del Rio kicks him in the knee to take him down.

More kicks to the arm by Del Rio follow and he hooks an armbar. Show shrugs it off but the chokeslam is broken up by a kick to the knee. The Codebreaker to the arm sets up the armbreaker but Show lifts him up with the bad arm into kind of an Angle Slam minus the spin. Show spears him down and calls for the chokeslam. Ricardo gets up on the apron and Cody comes in with the Disaster Kick, giving Del Rio the pin.

Rating: C-. Does any champion other than the world champions EVER get to pin someone? Oh right: Santino does. For the life of me I don’t get the point of why they keep having the champs lose. Have Cody come in for a DQ or something when Show has the match won. One of the biggest reasons the titles mean nothing is the champions lose every time and it’s frustrating because there are other ways to do the same story without having them lose like Show did here.

Cody runs away post match.

Drew McIntyre and Heath Slater are watching the following squash.

Danny Lerman vs. Ryback

Same deal as always but this time it’s a British guy. Lerman hits him and is promptly mangled. Clothesline and MuscleBuster variation win in 1:11.

We get the Brock interview from Raw.

Teddy is still standing in the same place although he’s now in a full uniform. Regal pops up for some jokes and leaves. Aksana’s music hits and HOKEY SMOKE THAT’S CLAUDIO CASTAGNOLI! He’s playing the Antonio Cesaro character here, a European rugby player. Ace pops out of his office and invites them in. I’m not British so maybe I don’t get it, but what’s the point of guards that aren’t allowed to move? Couldn’t that create some security risks?

Daniel Bryan/Cody Rhodes/Mark Henry vs. Sheamus/Great Khali/Randy Orton

Main event time. Cody jumps Khali and hits him in the knee as Khali is getting in. Trainers come out and say Khali can’t go. Big Show comes out to replace him.

Daniel Bryan/Cody Rhodes/Mark Henry vs. Sheamus/Big Show/Randy Orton

The match is joined in progress after a break with Randy pounding on Bryan in the corner. Tag to Sheamus so Bryan bails to the corner to tag in Cody. The champ knocks Cody around and hits the rolling fireman’s carry slam for two. Cody’s neckbreaker is countered and Sheamus throws him into position for the ten forearms. Cody reverses a suplex and sends Sheamus to the floor. A baseball slide by Cody sets up the knee off the apron from Bryan, which I think is the same thing that’s happened to him for three or four weeks in a row.

Bryan comes in to stomp on Sheamus now with a YES for each connecting boot. Henry comes in for some choking and it’s back to Rhodes. He works on the arm of the champ and then into a chinlock. Sheamus fights out of that as well and knocks Cody out of the air on the Disaster Kick attempt. Hot tag to Orton and it’s powerslams for all normal sized heels. Cody gets in a shot though and it’s time for a break.

Back with Henry holding Orton in a neck crank and it’s back to Bryan. A running dropkick in the corner gets two. A top rope splash misses and Orton makes the tag to Big Show who faces Henry. Cody manages a knee to the back and Mark clotheslines Show down. The heels beat on him and Cody hooks a figure four that his daddy would be ashamed of. While the hold is still on, Cody makes a tag to Henry who splashes Show for two.

Bryan drops an elbow for two. Hot tag to Sheamus to meet Bryan and the beating is on. Irish Curse gets two with Cody making the save. Rhodes rolls to the floor and lands right in front of Show who knocks him out cold with the WMD. YES Lock is blocked by Sheamus but the Brogue Kick misses as well. Tag to Henry and Sheamus kicks his head off. Show adds the right hand and the RKO gets the pin at 13:20 shown of at least 16:50.

Rating: B. That’s probably high but I was getting into this match at the end. First of all, the right guy got pinned. There would have been no reason to have Bryan or Cody lose before the PPV so Henry was the right choice. Second, they changed up the formula by having each good guy be in trouble which made the match more fleshed out and told a better story. Also the total destruction of Henry at the end was a nice touch.

Show was limping post match.

Overall Rating: B. This was a solid episode as everything moved pretty smoothly and a lot of people got on TV. We had a debut and a solid main event, plus a new match added to the PPV with Kane vs. Orton. The one thing I’m concerned about is we seem to only have five matches (Brock/Cena, Kane/Orton, Jericho/Punk, Sheamus/Bryan and presumably Cody/Show) and there’s a week left. They’ll need to add two or three matches in two shows which is possible but a bit rushed. Still though, good show tonight.

Results
Natalya b. AJ via DQ when AJ wouldn’t stop attacking Natalya in the corner
Brodus Clay b. Hunico – Big Splash
Titus O’Neal/Darren Young b. Usos – Hart Attack out of the corner
Alberto Del Rio b. Big Show – Pin after a Disaster Kick from Cody Rhodes
Ryback b. Danny Lerman – MuscleBuster
Big Show/Randy Orton/Sheamus b. Mark Henry/Daniel Bryan/Cody Rhodes – RKO to Henry

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Smackdown – April 6, 2012

Smackdown
Date: April 6, 2012
Location: Orlando Amway Center, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: Michael Cole, Booker T, Josh Matthews

It’s the first show of the new year on Fridays and we have a new boss. Tonight we have Sheamus vs. Del Rio where if Del Rio wins he gets a title match at some later date. It should be interesting to see where Bryan goes after this as he’ll certainly get a rematch somewhere. It’s always interesting to see where things go immediately after Mania, so let’s get to it.

We open with Otunga introducing Johnny Ace to trumpet fanfare. David is wearing what can only be described as a suit jacket over his shoulders that would be big on Viscera. Ace talks about how he’s going to bring charisma and leadership to this show as it’s never been done before. This is a new era of people power. Ace hopes Teddy will be professional during this transition. He asks Teddy to come out and is almost immediately cut off in his smug speech. Teddy says he can tell Ace what he really thinks of him now that he’s out of a job.

He was told it would be crazy to come to Smackdown tonight but he couldn’t just leave the job without thanking the fans. He’s had a great job being the GM and he’d like a holla holla holla before he leaves. Teddy goes to leave but Ace says hang on a second. He offers Teddy a job in the new administration but Teddy turns it down.

Ace reminds him of his grandchildren who need to go to college. Otunga points out that somehow Ace controls the college fund the company set up for Long’s grandchildren, so Teddy reluctantly takes the job of Ace’s lackey. Oh wait first he also have to say that Ace is better than him or it doesn’t happen. Teddy says it but Ace wants to hear it once more, with feeling. No word on what the job is yet but it likely won’t be good for him. Teddy leaves and Ace announces Kane vs. Orton in a No DQ match, but first we have this.

Mark Henry/David Otunga vs. R-Truth

Apparently Booker has to be in Connecticut for a closed door meeting next week with the WWE bosses. Otunga starts and is quickly taken down by a clothesline for two. Lie Detector gets two. Henry comes in who kicks Truth down with a big boot. Abraham Washington is watching in the back. Truth avoids a charge in the corner and hits a side kick, but the World’s Strongest Slam kills him so that Otunga can get the pin at 2:03.

With all three of them still in the ring, here’s Kane. I guess they’re just cutting down the time between matches because he doesn’t do anything to any of them.

Kane vs. Randy Orton

This is a No DQ match. Kane knocks him to the floor very quickly but Orton rams him into the barricade. Kane sees Orton’s barricade and raises him a table to take over. Orton throws him over the table and then into the steps. This is a total brawl so far. Kane punches him up the ramp and they slug it out on the stage. Orton almost knocks Kane off the stage but Kane grabs him by the throat. Randy fights out of that and tries the RKO but Kane DDTs him as we take a break.

Back with them in the ring and Kane taking off the turnbuckle pad. Clothesline gets two for Kane. Orton breaks up the top rope clothesline and dropkicks Kane down. Powerslam looks to set up the RKO but Kane bails to the floor. He pulls Randy to the floor and they slug it out even more. Kane gets dropped on the barricade and a clothesline knocks him over into the time keeper’s area.

Orton tries the elevated DDT on the floor but Kane fights out of it and big boots Orton down. Kane goes under the ring and throws five chairs into the ring. As he comes back in though Orton kicks him in the face and pops him with the chair a few times. The Elevated DDT onto the chair gets two. Kane picks up the chair and goes off on Randy with it but can only get two. Here comes the chokeslam but Orton shoves him into the exposed buckle and the RKO finishes at 10:20 shown of 13:50.

Rating: B-. I liked the match but I think the one at Mania was better. Orton evening the score here is good as he’s been jobbing a lot lately, but I’m not sure I get the idea of having this rematch five days after Mania. This wasn’t the best No DQ match on Smackdown that I’ve ever seen but it did its job well enough.

We get a package of stills from Bryan vs. Sheamus. You know, to make sure no one sees the full version of it.

We get a clip from Raw with Del Rio and Sheamus.

Jobber Barry Stevens gets to talk while the lower card watches in the back for some reason. He thinks the people in Orlando are rude.

Ryback vs. Barry Stevens

Ryback is more famous as Skip Sheffield and is acknowledged as being on the first season of NXT but his name isn’t given. I’m assuming the roster was watching for Ryback. Total squash with a kind of delayed fisherman’s brainbuster getting the pin at 1:08. It looked kind of like a MuscleBuster but more like a suplex than dropping him on the back of his head.

Here are Bryan and AJ to talk about Sunday. Bryan says he’s had a chance to think since Sunday…and he tails off. AJ takes the mic and says that Bryan is a great wrestler and a great person. She’s not the only one that thinks that, drawing a loud YES chant. She talks about the YES signs and chants at Mania and Raw, even when Bryan wasn’t in the ring, which causes a Daniel Bryan chant. Everyone is here to support him.

Bryan doesn’t think that it’s support, but rather mocking. Fans: “NO! NO! NO!” These people are sheep and they don’t make it any better, because AJ cost him the title. He screams at her about how he beat giants in the cage and how he won the Chamber but AJ just had to have her kiss and cost him the title. It was really the kiss of death.

AJ tries to defend herself but Bryan says she won’t make him the bad guy because it’s her fault. It was her clinginess and selfishness that cost Bryan everything. That’ll never happen again because they’re through. He tells her to go sit in her SUV and eat a cheeseburger. Dang those are some serious words. She begs him to talk about this but he dumps her anyway and throws her out of his ring. The fans give her the Goodbye Song.

Big Show vs. Heath Slater

Cody is on commentary. Before the match Show airs the same video from Raw with Cody getting knocked out. Show chops him a lot and throws him around as Cody says he isn’t sure what went wrong on Sunday. Show tackles him and the chokeslam ends this at 1:14.

Cody almost goes in to fight Big Show but changes his mind. Show knocks out Slater with the WMD.

We get the Punk/Jericho segment from Raw with the alcohol.

The Bellas are in the back with Ace when Sheamus comes in. This is his first appearance as champion: a backstage segment. The referee has been told to bring Alberto and Sheamus face to face tonight so Sheamus can’t kick him in the face. Sheamus says ok and only those that deserve it will get a surprise kick. He talks about his cousin who was a bully and how he was in charge until the people rebelled against him. Subtle.

Beth Phoenix vs. Nikki Bella

Kelly comes out for no apparent reason. Total dominance until Kelly comes to the apron for no apparent reason. She distracts Beth who then charges shoulder first into the post, letting Nikki hit an X Factor for the pin at 59 seconds. This enhanced the show so much for me.

Video on Chief Jay Strongbow who passed away earlier this week.

We get a video on newcomer Damien Sandow, who talks about how real entertainment is a lost art. Instead of listening to Mozart or reading Shakespeare, we now watch Jersey Shore and Real Housewives. He doesn’t blame the people for it, but he will save you from it. Sandow is Idol Stevens from OVW and went by Sandow in FCW.

We get some videos of Cena before Mania, talking about how he has to win. This is followed up by Lesnar’s return and the F5. Once again Cole screws up the return as he sounds like he’s calling a Superstars comeback.

The Three Stooges cast will be guest starring on Raw. I really hope that doesn’t hurt the hot streak WWE has been on.

Alberto Del Rio vs. Sheamus

If Alberto wins, he gets a future title shot. We have about 15 minutes of airtime left and this is the first live appearance of Sheamus. That goes a long way in telling you where he stands in the company’s eyes. There’s a break between the entrances and Tuesday will be a live Blast From The Past Smackdown. That should be fun. Josh talks about a WWE Magazine article about what Del Rio’s trunks signify. Booker: “They mean he has money. Don’t overcomplicate things.”

Del Rio tries to go after the arm but Sheamus comes back with the Finlay fireman’s carry roll which I can’t think of the name of. Josh says this is for the title and that isn’t disputed by either other commentator, but I’m pretty sure it’s not on the line here. Alberto works on the arm but the Armbreaker is broken up and Sheamus tries a Brogue Kick which is ducked. Del Rio heads to the floor and we take a break.

Back with Sheamus getting two off the slingshot shoulder. Sheamus hits the ten forearms to the chest but Del Rio escapes and a running enziguri puts Sheamus on the floor. He rams Sheamus’ shoulder into the steps and hooks an arm hold back inside. Sheamus tries a neckbreaker but Del Rio escapes and goes back to the arm.

Alberto charges into the Irish Curse and both guys are down. Sheamus destroys him with power moves and calls for the Brogue Kick but Ricardo pops up for a distraction. Del Rio brings in a chair but Sheamus takes it away. The referee sees him holding it and calls for a DQ at 7:39 shown of 11:09. Sheamus didn’t use the chair.

Rating: C. I wasn’t into this match at all and it really wasn’t a good way to start off Sheamus’ reign. At the end of the day, Del Rio is boring. There’s NOTHING to his character besides he’s rich, he’s Mexican, and he uses a cross armbreaker. That’s it. He was showing some signs of being very evil and sinister when he injured Christian and stood over him with that evil smile, but now that’s all gone. There’s nothing to him but he stays in the title picture non-stop. I don’t get it.

Sheamus kicks the referee to end the show. Nice guy.

Overall Rating: C-. I really wasn’t into this show. They did a really bad job of showcasing the new champion, as he popped up halfway through the show for a pointless backstage segment, had a weak match which he lost, and was treated like a second act. This show was about Laurinitis who is most well known for being boring. That’s not exactly something that makes me want to watch Smackdown, but hopefully things get better next week.

Results
David Otunga/Mark Henry b. R-Truth – Otunga pinned R-Truth after a World’s Strongest Slam
Randy Orton b. Kane – RKO
Ryback b. Barry Stevens – Delayed Fisherman’s Brainbuster
Big Show b. Heath Slater – Chokeslam
Nikki Bella b. Beth Phoenix – Facejam
Alberto Del Rio b. Sheamus via DQ when Sheamus was seen holding a chair

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Kyle’s News: Cena Turning Heel at Wrestlemania 28?

Bret Hart had an interview with Rob McNichol for The Sun‘s podcast One Sided Ring. He gave his predictions on the top four matches of Wrestlemania and had some interesting thoughts on Cena vs Rock, including him saying he wouldn’t be surprised if Cena turned heel.

We’ve talked about Cena turning heel since 2007.  If Cena was going to turn heel, this would be the best place to do so. The Rock being screwed in his hometown would start a possible riot. It would be nearly as crazy as when Hulk Hogan turned heel.

 The WWE has been foreshadowing his heel turn a bit with his more edgy character and him sounding like Stone Cold Steve Austin’s when he was telling the Rock “I will do ANYTHING to win” Lastly, it would explain why they’re trying to make the match 50-50 and that is so Cena has fans to turn on. 

If Cena turned heel, the product would become  more interesting. The most complained about thing about the  WWE is its by-the-book shows, and since Cena has been the top-dog of the company, he takes a good brunt of the frustration because of it. In other words, Cena as heel would make the product seem to the fans less cookie-cutter and more fresh.

On the other hand, a John Cena heel turn chances are would hurt WWE’s merchandising sales. John Cena has been the cash cow of the WWE for about 7 years. They’ve had wrestlers that came close, but nobody has surpassed him.  Plus, with the new “Cena sucks shirts”, it’s almost like he’s heel already. 

And with all due respect to CM Punk, he’s not ready to be the cash cow of the WWE because he’s not yet over enough and neither is Randy Orton. Thus, there’s nobody right now who I could think of that could become the cash cow of the WWE, but that doesn’t mean Cena cannot elevate a babyface to cash cow status After all, a great heel can always make a babyface more popular.  

Whether it will work or not, mostly comes down to how well or poorly the turn’s executed and then booked, though he’s somewhat tweener  right now so I personally don’t see them turning him because they’re getting money from the people who like him and dislike him. .

Thoughts?