Smackdown v. RAW

Hey Scott, Here’s one for you and your readers: Ever since the roster split, WWE has teased the fans on numerous occasions for a full-on RAW vs. Smackdown feud/war. In fact, we’ve seen such “wars” as storyline modes as recent as Smackdown vs. RAW 2011. On the nights when they would have draft picks, we’d have things like a battle royal between red shirts and blue shirts (huh…kinda like Team Fortress, come to think of it). Yet they’ve never fully pulled the trigger on that storyline. Any thoughts as to why? Of course, these days – and for the last couple of years – the so-called roster split is much less important than it used to be. It’s almost to the point of non-existence, now. Still, there was clear interest from the fan base – at least judging by crowd reactions – for this sort of angle. Whatcha think?

I think no one actually believes in the premise and they’d burn it out within a week or two.  Plus the endgame would have to be one brand being declared superior to the other, and you’d be burying one side for no reason.  It’s better served as a cold war where people have the occasional rivalry without settling anything.  That way people are always left wanting more. 

Smackdown v. RAW

Hey Scott, Here’s one for you and your readers: Ever since the roster split, WWE has teased the fans on numerous occasions for a full-on RAW vs. Smackdown feud/war. In fact, we’ve seen such “wars” as storyline modes as recent as Smackdown vs. RAW 2011. On the nights when they would have draft picks, we’d have things like a battle royal between red shirts and blue shirts (huh…kinda like Team Fortress, come to think of it). Yet they’ve never fully pulled the trigger on that storyline. Any thoughts as to why? Of course, these days – and for the last couple of years – the so-called roster split is much less important than it used to be. It’s almost to the point of non-existence, now. Still, there was clear interest from the fan base – at least judging by crowd reactions – for this sort of angle. Whatcha think?

I think no one actually believes in the premise and they’d burn it out within a week or two.  Plus the endgame would have to be one brand being declared superior to the other, and you’d be burying one side for no reason.  It’s better served as a cold war where people have the occasional rivalry without settling anything.  That way people are always left wanting more. 

Smackdown v. RAW

Hey Scott, Here’s one for you and your readers: Ever since the roster split, WWE has teased the fans on numerous occasions for a full-on RAW vs. Smackdown feud/war. In fact, we’ve seen such “wars” as storyline modes as recent as Smackdown vs. RAW 2011. On the nights when they would have draft picks, we’d have things like a battle royal between red shirts and blue shirts (huh…kinda like Team Fortress, come to think of it). Yet they’ve never fully pulled the trigger on that storyline. Any thoughts as to why? Of course, these days – and for the last couple of years – the so-called roster split is much less important than it used to be. It’s almost to the point of non-existence, now. Still, there was clear interest from the fan base – at least judging by crowd reactions – for this sort of angle. Whatcha think?

I think no one actually believes in the premise and they’d burn it out within a week or two.  Plus the endgame would have to be one brand being declared superior to the other, and you’d be burying one side for no reason.  It’s better served as a cold war where people have the occasional rivalry without settling anything.  That way people are always left wanting more. 

Smackdown v. RAW

Hey Scott, Here’s one for you and your readers: Ever since the roster split, WWE has teased the fans on numerous occasions for a full-on RAW vs. Smackdown feud/war. In fact, we’ve seen such “wars” as storyline modes as recent as Smackdown vs. RAW 2011. On the nights when they would have draft picks, we’d have things like a battle royal between red shirts and blue shirts (huh…kinda like Team Fortress, come to think of it). Yet they’ve never fully pulled the trigger on that storyline. Any thoughts as to why? Of course, these days – and for the last couple of years – the so-called roster split is much less important than it used to be. It’s almost to the point of non-existence, now. Still, there was clear interest from the fan base – at least judging by crowd reactions – for this sort of angle. Whatcha think?

I think no one actually believes in the premise and they’d burn it out within a week or two.  Plus the endgame would have to be one brand being declared superior to the other, and you’d be burying one side for no reason.  It’s better served as a cold war where people have the occasional rivalry without settling anything.  That way people are always left wanting more. 

Smackdown v. RAW

Hey Scott, Here’s one for you and your readers: Ever since the roster split, WWE has teased the fans on numerous occasions for a full-on RAW vs. Smackdown feud/war. In fact, we’ve seen such “wars” as storyline modes as recent as Smackdown vs. RAW 2011. On the nights when they would have draft picks, we’d have things like a battle royal between red shirts and blue shirts (huh…kinda like Team Fortress, come to think of it). Yet they’ve never fully pulled the trigger on that storyline. Any thoughts as to why? Of course, these days – and for the last couple of years – the so-called roster split is much less important than it used to be. It’s almost to the point of non-existence, now. Still, there was clear interest from the fan base – at least judging by crowd reactions – for this sort of angle. Whatcha think?

I think no one actually believes in the premise and they’d burn it out within a week or two.  Plus the endgame would have to be one brand being declared superior to the other, and you’d be burying one side for no reason.  It’s better served as a cold war where people have the occasional rivalry without settling anything.  That way people are always left wanting more. 

Smackdown – March 16, 2012

Smackdown
Date: March 16, 2012
Location: Nationwide Arena, Columbus, Ohio
Commentators: Michael Cole, Booker T, Josh Matthews

Reviewed by Tommy Hall

It’s that time of the week again. It’s time for absolutely nothing being done about Bryan vs. Sheamus because that match means nothing in the grand scheme of Wrestlemania. Odds are we’ll hear more about the battling GM’s and that’s about it. I haven’t heard anything announced for tonight yet so it’ll be a surprise to me as well. Let’s get to it.

Do You Know Your Enemy? Mine at the moment is Iowa St. They need to be defeated Saturday.

Here’s Christian to open the show with the Peep Show. He looks healthy now at least. Christian gets a nice reaction but Booker informs us that Christian is looking down at all of us. He talks about the 12 man tag match at Mania and says that it’ll change a lot in WWE. Christian brings out Ace and Otunga as well as Teddy who comes out with Aksana. R-Truth is officially part of Team Long.

Christian says let the bidding begin on his services and Teddy gets to go first. Teddy looks at him so Christian goes on a small rant and says make it worth his while. He says to give Christian what he deserves: one more match. Teddy tells Christian he’s awesome but won’t beg him to be part of the team. Once Teddy takes over both shows, you have to earn title shots and they won’t get one if they get on his nerves. So in other words, earn it, but make sure you suck up at the same time?

Ace says that Christian should be on his team and guarantees Christian a title match if Team Ace wins. Christian says he won’t fail, unlike Teddy. He officially joins Team Ace. Christian’s music plays but Teddy says hang on a minute. He says Christian will be in action tonight but Ace says no because he isn’t medically cleared tonight. Instead, Otunga gets to face the newest member of Team Teddy.

David Otunga vs. Kofi Kingston

This is joined in progress as we come back from a break. Ace is on commentary and Christian and Santino are at ringside. Teddy is on commentary too. Kofi kicks away to start but Otunga avoids him to take over. Cole and Teddy argue as Otunga pounds away. Christian can’t compete because of an ingrown toenail. Powerslam gets two for David. Teddy and Ace argue about ingrown toenails as Otunga poses.

Off to a chinlock as Cole talks about baseball. Thankfully Josh actually talks about the match even a little bit to get us back to some sanity. Otunga hits a clothesline in the corner and then a second one. Booker says Otunga would have been better off in the WBF. That’s allowed to be mentioned? Kofi comes back with a cross body for two and a dropkick to put David down. He loads up the Boom Drop but Christian trips Kofi. Teddy points it out so Christian is ejected. The GM’s argue and Cole says something about the IC Title. Otunta tries to hit Kofi with his belt but Santino stops him. Trouble in Paradise ends this at 5:40.

Rating: C-. In a roughly five and a half minute match, we had attempted weapon use, two interferences, a fight between the GM’s, and a WBF reference. Who in the world thought this match needed that much to it? The match was just ok and it’s good to see Otunga getting some time to be on offense.

Bryan is outside the Divas locker room and AJ comes out in a little black dress. AJ says this dress Bryan bought her doesn’t seem to fit. Bryan: “It looked much better on the mannequin.” Bryan talks about how they need to be the new power couple so he’s gotten her a match tonight where a win could get her a Divas title match.

AJ vs. Nikki Bella

Bryan comes out to be in AJ’s corner. Nikki gets on her knees because AJ is short so AJ dropkicks her in the face. Bryan is coaching AJ from the floor. Nikki stands on AJ’s hair and pulls her up. Booker thinks AJ doesn’t want to be in the ring. Off to a chinlock as Booker goes on a long and stupid rant about how AJ shouldn’t be in there and doesn’t want this. Josh and Cole agree that it’s stupid because she’s a wrestler and that’s her job. AJ comes back with a cross body and Twin Magic fails. AJ grabs a rollup for the pin at 2:27.

Bryan celebrates post match. Booker says Bryan is ruining AJ’s career and that wasn’t a win. WHAT IS HE TALKING ABOUT???

Sheamus vs. Jericho later.

Raw ReBound shortens the Rap vs. Rock deal to about three minutes.

Cody talks about how dominant Big Show is 364 days out of the year, but at Wrestlemania he’s a choke artist. This match also has more story than Sheamus vs. Bryan.

Great Khali vs. Cody Rhodes

Khali easily overpowers him to start and chops Rhodes a lot. Cody grabs a single arm DDT which Khali can’t sell right so Cody works over the arm. Booker says go for the legs, even though Cody has Khali down already. Now it’s to the knees for a bit but Cody goes up and jumps into a chop. Khali loads up a chop but Cody heads to the apron and hits an enziguri. A dropkick to the knee sets up the Beautiful Disaster for the pin at 3:13.

Rating: C-. Cody beating a giant is a good idea heading into Wrestlemania. It worked for Luger when he was getting ready to face Giant back in 1996. It might work a littl ebetter if there was more than one face giant to face before Big Show but you get the idea. Cole called this a huge upset for no apparent reason.

Video on the Central American tour.

Here’s Orton with something to say. He says he usually doesn’t come out here to talk when he has a problem with someone but instead he hunts them down. However he feels like he’s being hunted by Kane. Orton wants to know why Kane has chosen him. Kane wants people to embrace hate and Orton is embracing it as well. He calls out Kane for an explanation. Well forced exposition is better than no exposition I guess. Orton wants to know why he’s putting Kane down when it eventually happens.

Here’s the Big Fried Freak who talks about how Orton doesn’t like being in the unknown. Usually he’d like to see Orton all unsure but since Orton asked, Kane will tell him. At least he’s polite. We get a clip from last year where Orton beat Kane in a street fight and post match Kane offered a handshake which Orton accepted. I don’t remember that but maybe it was a post show thing.

Kane says he watches that footage every day because it reminds him of what he had become: something with humanity. Kane says he’s a monster again but he needs closure, which he’ll get by destroying Orton. Orton says come get me but Kane says we’ll do it at Wrestlemania. That gets us to eight matches which is acceptable.

Go to the David Otunga law offices!

Here’s Drew for a match. Teddy pops up on screen and says Drew has a one year contract that can’t be broken. Here’s Drew’s first opponent.

Drew McIntyre vs. Big Show

Show powers him around to start with pure power. McIntyre comes back with some kicks but Futureshock is broken up and Show spears him down. Show chokeslams him but decides to punch him instead of covering him. Show goes over to him and the referee stops it at 1:52. That’s an odd ending.

Mark Henry vs. Yoshi Tatsu

Yoshi immediately dropkicks him but Henry glares at him. Henry takes over with power and powerslams Yoshi into dust. World’s Strongest Slam ends this in about 2:00.

Here’s Jericho to talk a bit before the main event. He talks about how he’s been requested to apologize for what he said on Monday about Punk’s family. There’s no need to apologize for the truth. Punk has all the signs of an alcoholic such as the tattoos and trying to hide. Jericho talks about how the Pipe Bombs are things Punk wants to say to his parents. He’s the best in the world and he’s going to prove it by winning the world title at Mania. Afterwards, he’s going to make a stiff cocktail and toast Punk and Punk’s father. He starts a CM Drunk chant and says Pipe Bomb.

Sheamus vs. Chris Jericho

Sheamus knocks him into the corner to start and Jericho bails to the floor. That goes nowhere as Sheamus takes him back inside and gets two. Jericho gets sent over the corner and out to the floor in a crash. There are the ten forearms to the chest which Booker calls musical chairs. A delayed vertical suplex gets two for Sheamus. This has been one sided thus far.

Just as I say that, Jericho low bridges him to send Sheamus to the floor. A baseball slide sends Sheamus into the barricade. Bryan and AJ (now in matching colors) come out to watch as we take a break. Back with Jericho still in control. The big red welt on Sheamus’ back is still there after crashing into the table on Monday. Jericho hits a belly to back suplex as we hear about Jericho’s Vengeance 2001 accomplishments.

Jericho loads up the running bulldog but Sheamus sends him into the corner to counter. Sheamus comes back with his double ax handles and the Irish Curse for two. The rolling fireman’s carry slam looks to set up White Noise but Jericho counters into a Codebreaker attempt. Sheamus puts him on the top rope but the Brogue Kick misses. Jericho hits the bulldog and Lionsault for two. Sheamus pulls himself to the top but gets crotched. Jericho gets knocked to the mat and Sheamus hits the top rope shoulder for two.

Celtic Cross is loaded up but Jericho rolls down the back and counters into the Walls. Since Sheamus is a top face though he manages to get the ropes to break it up. Another Celtic Cross is loaded up but Jericho escapes again. They go to the floor and Sheamus throws Jericho over towards Bryan and AJ but they move. Sheamus stares at Bryan but Jericho rams him into the table. Bryan kicks Sheamus in the head as Jericho is getting back in and Chris wins by countout at 10:52 shown of 14:22.

Rating: B. I was digging this one and I can live with the ending because it serves a better purpose. It was obvious neither guy was going to go over clean here which is ok, but they still need to give us something else to care about with Sheamus vs. Bryan. The AJ stuff is kind of there on the side and I don’t know if they’re going to be able to have it mean anything for the PPV.

Sheamus kicks Jericho’s head off to end the show.

Overall Rating: B. I like this one more than I’ve liked most of their shows lately. This did a good job of pushing a lot of the matches for Mania which is really all you can do with two weeks left. Orton vs. Kane has a story (not a great one but a story nonetheless) now and we FINALLY get a little friction between Bryan vs. Sheamus. It doesn’t mean anything but it’s better than leaving them apart. Good show here though and a good Mania build show.

Results
Kofi Kingston b. David Otunga – Trouble in Paradise
AJ b. Nikki Bella – Rollup
Cody Rhodes b. Great Khali – Beautiful Disaster
Big Show b. Drew McIntyre by referee stoppage
Mark Henry b. Yoshi Tatsu – World’s Strongest Slam
Chris Jericho b. Sheamus via countout

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Smackdown – March 16, 2012

Smackdown
Date: March 16, 2012
Location: Nationwide Arena, Columbus, Ohio
Commentators: Michael Cole, Booker T, Josh Matthews

Reviewed by Tommy Hall

It’s that time of the week again. It’s time for absolutely nothing being done about Bryan vs. Sheamus because that match means nothing in the grand scheme of Wrestlemania. Odds are we’ll hear more about the battling GM’s and that’s about it. I haven’t heard anything announced for tonight yet so it’ll be a surprise to me as well. Let’s get to it.

Do You Know Your Enemy? Mine at the moment is Iowa St. They need to be defeated Saturday.

Here’s Christian to open the show with the Peep Show. He looks healthy now at least. Christian gets a nice reaction but Booker informs us that Christian is looking down at all of us. He talks about the 12 man tag match at Mania and says that it’ll change a lot in WWE. Christian brings out Ace and Otunga as well as Teddy who comes out with Aksana. R-Truth is officially part of Team Long.

Christian says let the bidding begin on his services and Teddy gets to go first. Teddy looks at him so Christian goes on a small rant and says make it worth his while. He says to give Christian what he deserves: one more match. Teddy tells Christian he’s awesome but won’t beg him to be part of the team. Once Teddy takes over both shows, you have to earn title shots and they won’t get one if they get on his nerves. So in other words, earn it, but make sure you suck up at the same time?

Ace says that Christian should be on his team and guarantees Christian a title match if Team Ace wins. Christian says he won’t fail, unlike Teddy. He officially joins Team Ace. Christian’s music plays but Teddy says hang on a minute. He says Christian will be in action tonight but Ace says no because he isn’t medically cleared tonight. Instead, Otunga gets to face the newest member of Team Teddy.

David Otunga vs. Kofi Kingston

This is joined in progress as we come back from a break. Ace is on commentary and Christian and Santino are at ringside. Teddy is on commentary too. Kofi kicks away to start but Otunga avoids him to take over. Cole and Teddy argue as Otunga pounds away. Christian can’t compete because of an ingrown toenail. Powerslam gets two for David. Teddy and Ace argue about ingrown toenails as Otunga poses.

Off to a chinlock as Cole talks about baseball. Thankfully Josh actually talks about the match even a little bit to get us back to some sanity. Otunga hits a clothesline in the corner and then a second one. Booker says Otunga would have been better off in the WBF. That’s allowed to be mentioned? Kofi comes back with a cross body for two and a dropkick to put David down. He loads up the Boom Drop but Christian trips Kofi. Teddy points it out so Christian is ejected. The GM’s argue and Cole says something about the IC Title. Otunta tries to hit Kofi with his belt but Santino stops him. Trouble in Paradise ends this at 5:40.

Rating: C-. In a roughly five and a half minute match, we had attempted weapon use, two interferences, a fight between the GM’s, and a WBF reference. Who in the world thought this match needed that much to it? The match was just ok and it’s good to see Otunga getting some time to be on offense.

Bryan is outside the Divas locker room and AJ comes out in a little black dress. AJ says this dress Bryan bought her doesn’t seem to fit. Bryan: “It looked much better on the mannequin.” Bryan talks about how they need to be the new power couple so he’s gotten her a match tonight where a win could get her a Divas title match.

AJ vs. Nikki Bella

Bryan comes out to be in AJ’s corner. Nikki gets on her knees because AJ is short so AJ dropkicks her in the face. Bryan is coaching AJ from the floor. Nikki stands on AJ’s hair and pulls her up. Booker thinks AJ doesn’t want to be in the ring. Off to a chinlock as Booker goes on a long and stupid rant about how AJ shouldn’t be in there and doesn’t want this. Josh and Cole agree that it’s stupid because she’s a wrestler and that’s her job. AJ comes back with a cross body and Twin Magic fails. AJ grabs a rollup for the pin at 2:27.

Bryan celebrates post match. Booker says Bryan is ruining AJ’s career and that wasn’t a win. WHAT IS HE TALKING ABOUT???

Sheamus vs. Jericho later.

Raw ReBound shortens the Rap vs. Rock deal to about three minutes.

Cody talks about how dominant Big Show is 364 days out of the year, but at Wrestlemania he’s a choke artist. This match also has more story than Sheamus vs. Bryan.

Great Khali vs. Cody Rhodes

Khali easily overpowers him to start and chops Rhodes a lot. Cody grabs a single arm DDT which Khali can’t sell right so Cody works over the arm. Booker says go for the legs, even though Cody has Khali down already. Now it’s to the knees for a bit but Cody goes up and jumps into a chop. Khali loads up a chop but Cody heads to the apron and hits an enziguri. A dropkick to the knee sets up the Beautiful Disaster for the pin at 3:13.

Rating: C-. Cody beating a giant is a good idea heading into Wrestlemania. It worked for Luger when he was getting ready to face Giant back in 1996. It might work a littl ebetter if there was more than one face giant to face before Big Show but you get the idea. Cole called this a huge upset for no apparent reason.

Video on the Central American tour.

Here’s Orton with something to say. He says he usually doesn’t come out here to talk when he has a problem with someone but instead he hunts them down. However he feels like he’s being hunted by Kane. Orton wants to know why Kane has chosen him. Kane wants people to embrace hate and Orton is embracing it as well. He calls out Kane for an explanation. Well forced exposition is better than no exposition I guess. Orton wants to know why he’s putting Kane down when it eventually happens.

Here’s the Big Fried Freak who talks about how Orton doesn’t like being in the unknown. Usually he’d like to see Orton all unsure but since Orton asked, Kane will tell him. At least he’s polite. We get a clip from last year where Orton beat Kane in a street fight and post match Kane offered a handshake which Orton accepted. I don’t remember that but maybe it was a post show thing.

Kane says he watches that footage every day because it reminds him of what he had become: something with humanity. Kane says he’s a monster again but he needs closure, which he’ll get by destroying Orton. Orton says come get me but Kane says we’ll do it at Wrestlemania. That gets us to eight matches which is acceptable.

Go to the David Otunga law offices!

Here’s Drew for a match. Teddy pops up on screen and says Drew has a one year contract that can’t be broken. Here’s Drew’s first opponent.

Drew McIntyre vs. Big Show

Show powers him around to start with pure power. McIntyre comes back with some kicks but Futureshock is broken up and Show spears him down. Show chokeslams him but decides to punch him instead of covering him. Show goes over to him and the referee stops it at 1:52. That’s an odd ending.

Mark Henry vs. Yoshi Tatsu

Yoshi immediately dropkicks him but Henry glares at him. Henry takes over with power and powerslams Yoshi into dust. World’s Strongest Slam ends this in about 2:00.

Here’s Jericho to talk a bit before the main event. He talks about how he’s been requested to apologize for what he said on Monday about Punk’s family. There’s no need to apologize for the truth. Punk has all the signs of an alcoholic such as the tattoos and trying to hide. Jericho talks about how the Pipe Bombs are things Punk wants to say to his parents. He’s the best in the world and he’s going to prove it by winning the world title at Mania. Afterwards, he’s going to make a stiff cocktail and toast Punk and Punk’s father. He starts a CM Drunk chant and says Pipe Bomb.

Sheamus vs. Chris Jericho

Sheamus knocks him into the corner to start and Jericho bails to the floor. That goes nowhere as Sheamus takes him back inside and gets two. Jericho gets sent over the corner and out to the floor in a crash. There are the ten forearms to the chest which Booker calls musical chairs. A delayed vertical suplex gets two for Sheamus. This has been one sided thus far.

Just as I say that, Jericho low bridges him to send Sheamus to the floor. A baseball slide sends Sheamus into the barricade. Bryan and AJ (now in matching colors) come out to watch as we take a break. Back with Jericho still in control. The big red welt on Sheamus’ back is still there after crashing into the table on Monday. Jericho hits a belly to back suplex as we hear about Jericho’s Vengeance 2001 accomplishments.

Jericho loads up the running bulldog but Sheamus sends him into the corner to counter. Sheamus comes back with his double ax handles and the Irish Curse for two. The rolling fireman’s carry slam looks to set up White Noise but Jericho counters into a Codebreaker attempt. Sheamus puts him on the top rope but the Brogue Kick misses. Jericho hits the bulldog and Lionsault for two. Sheamus pulls himself to the top but gets crotched. Jericho gets knocked to the mat and Sheamus hits the top rope shoulder for two.

Celtic Cross is loaded up but Jericho rolls down the back and counters into the Walls. Since Sheamus is a top face though he manages to get the ropes to break it up. Another Celtic Cross is loaded up but Jericho escapes again. They go to the floor and Sheamus throws Jericho over towards Bryan and AJ but they move. Sheamus stares at Bryan but Jericho rams him into the table. Bryan kicks Sheamus in the head as Jericho is getting back in and Chris wins by countout at 10:52 shown of 14:22.

Rating: B. I was digging this one and I can live with the ending because it serves a better purpose. It was obvious neither guy was going to go over clean here which is ok, but they still need to give us something else to care about with Sheamus vs. Bryan. The AJ stuff is kind of there on the side and I don’t know if they’re going to be able to have it mean anything for the PPV.

Sheamus kicks Jericho’s head off to end the show.

Overall Rating: B. I like this one more than I’ve liked most of their shows lately. This did a good job of pushing a lot of the matches for Mania which is really all you can do with two weeks left. Orton vs. Kane has a story (not a great one but a story nonetheless) now and we FINALLY get a little friction between Bryan vs. Sheamus. It doesn’t mean anything but it’s better than leaving them apart. Good show here though and a good Mania build show.

Results
Kofi Kingston b. David Otunga – Trouble in Paradise
AJ b. Nikki Bella – Rollup
Cody Rhodes b. Great Khali – Beautiful Disaster
Big Show b. Drew McIntyre by referee stoppage
Mark Henry b. Yoshi Tatsu – World’s Strongest Slam
Chris Jericho b. Sheamus via countout

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Smackdown – March 9, 2012

Smackdown
Date: March 9, 2012
Location: Mohegan Sun Casion, Uncasville, Connecticut
Commentators: Josh Matthews, Booker T, Michael Cole

Reviewed by Tommy Hall

Johnny Ace is in charge tonight and if it’s the same as when Teddy ran Raw on Monday, then we’re in for a very uneventful night indeed. Other than that I don’t think we have much else announced for tonight. Hopefully we get anything on the story for Sheamus vs. Bryan as we need any reason to care about them. Let’s get to it.

The opening video is about Ace hosting tonight and implying he’s out to steal the job permanently.

We open with a cage being lowered. Otunga and Ace are in the ring. Tonight we’re starting with a championship match in a cage because Teddy has never done that.

US Title: Santino Marella vs. Jack Swagger

Swagger throws him into the corner and pounds Santino down followed by a modified powerslam for two. Clothesline gets two. This has been all Swagger in the first two minutes. Santino tries to escape but Swagger launches him face first into the steel. Santino comes back with some punches and his signature stuff. Headbutt gets two and here comes the Cobra. Ziggler tries to climb in so his hands get hit by the Cobra to knock him to the floor.

Swagger grabs Marella in a belly to back suplex but Santino hits the Cobra to escape and both guys are down. Ziggler is ejected and we take a break. Back with Santino taking a knee to the ribs to put him down. Swagger takes the Cobra glove off and throws it to the floor. Rollup gets one for Santino and a sunset flip gets two. Swagger throws him down and hits a Vader Bomb for two.

He tries to climb but gets crotched and covered for two. Santino gets most of the way over but Swagger saves and they’re both back inside now. Santino comes back with a tornado DDT and crawls for the door. Santino kicks Swagger off and dives again but Swagger grabs the ankle lock. Vickie tries to slam the door on Santino’s head but hits Swagger instead, allowing Santino to crawl out to retain at 7:33 shown of 11:03.

Rating: C. This was fine all things considered. Why this was in a cage is beyond me, but I guess it’s to further the Ace vs. Long feud somehow. The match was just ok as neither is particularly great in the ring but the crowd was way into Santino. It’s better than Swagger having the title as he actually gets on TV too. I guess this is Ryder’s push too.

Teddy comes out to celebrate with Santino.

Teddy comes to see Ace/Otunga and doesn’t want Aksana to have to face Kane. Ace enjoys seeing Teddy squirm and Teddy begs a bit. Ace proposes a match between himself and Teddy. If Ace loses, Aksana will face Kane. Ok then.

Shawn will confront Undertaker on Monday.

Here’s Drew McIntyre in his gear. Is anyone surprised by this? Drew says that Ace will rehired him if he wins a match against a mystery opponent.

Drew McIntyre vs. Great Khali

And never mind as Otunga says Khali isn’t in the match, so here’s the real opponent.

Drew McIntyre vs. Hornswoggle

So why did Khali come out there at all? Horny is terrified despite regularly beating full sized guys before. Drew dominates him and keeps pulling him up after slams. The referee stops it at 1:39.

Khali chops Drew post match.

Aksana is scared for Teddy but he says it’s ok.

Ace is warming up in a track suit.

Ezekiel Jackson vs. Mark Henry

So the word on the street is that Henry is in hot water for not being tough enough for working through his injuries, despite being out there almost every week working through his injuries. There’s your lesson guys: don’t work hard, don’t enhance your character, don’t work through injuries, or you might be in danger of being released. Slugout to start but Zeke gets beaten down quickly. Zeke comes back with the clotheslines in the corner but Henry runs him over again. World’s Strongest Slam for the pin at 1:41. Well Jackson is moving up. Now he’s getting squashed by bigger names.

John Laurinitis vs. Teddy Long

Remember if Teddy wins, it’s Aksana vs. Kane. This gets big match intros. Ace grabs a mic after the bell rings and tries to talk Teddy out of this. Ace yells at Teddy to do the right thing and lay down, but Teddy won’t do it. Aksana freaks so Ace waves down Kane. Orton runs through the crowd and RKOs Kane, allowing Teddy to roll Ace up at about 2:30. Is this company aware the Wrestlemania is in three weeks? So to clarify, as soon as Kane gets up, he has to face Aksana right? Right?

According to the announcers, Teddy did that because Kane has been taken out so there won’t be a match. I’m as shocked as you are. Teddy and Aksana leave to have a nice dinner.

Kofi Kingston/R-Truth vs. Primo/Epico

Uh oh. Kofi was starting to get over as a legit guy again so we better put him in the black tag team of the month. Now the Kane vs. Aksana match isn’t happening because Teddy and Aksana left. So why didn’t Teddy just send Aksana away earlier in the night? Epico and Kofi start with Epico being monkey flipped to the corner. Off to Truth who dances around and hits a spinning legdrop for two.

Back to Kofi and Primo hooks the rope to send Kofi to the floor. Booker praises the cheating for being the right move. See, that’s what most commentators are horrible at: being subtle. Things settle down a bit and it’s Kofi in trouble against Primo. Kofi comes back with a knee to the head and there’s the hot tag to Truth. Everything breaks down and the Little Jimmy gets the pin on Primo at 5:11.

Rating: D+. This wasn’t much but the tag champions get to job AGAIN to these two that have teamed together what, three times now? Why did Bourne have to get all drugged up when the division was actually getting some stability to it? This wasn’t a particularly good match, mainly because you knew the champions weren’t going to win.

Three minutes on Cena vs. Rock from Monday.

Here’s Cole in the ring to talk to Sheamus and Bryan. Yes, they’re actually talking about this match. Cole’s first question is to Bryan, asking how much of a role luck has played in his title reign. Bryan says you don’t need to be lucky when you’re good like he is. Nothing has been luck in any of his accomplishments, which he lists off. It’s been living a vegan lifestyle and scientific skill that has given him the title. That and charisma and sex appeal.

Sheamus says everyone needs a bit of luck. He’s lucky to be from Ireland and to be in WWE and in America and in front of all these people here. You make your own luck however and Sheamus has fought his way here. He also hasn’t hid behind a 99lb girl who looks like she should be in a Catholic schoolgirl uniform. AJ: “Well from my point of view…” Bryan: “AJ shut up.” Sheamus says Bryan should be wearing the skirt. At Wrestlemania, Bryan’s luck runs out.

Sheamus/Randy Orton/Big Show vs. Cody Rhodes/Daniel Bryan/The Miz

The staredown got cut short for Cody’s entrance, meaning once again this match gets like 3 minutes a week if it’s lucky. Sheamus vs. Cody gets things going. Quickly off to Randy as we hear again about Legacy and their history together. Orton stomps him down but Cody gets in a dropkick and the tag to Bryan. Cole says he’s starting to respect Bryan. Off to Big Show who throws the champion around a little bit more.

Bryan finally gets away and tags in his former NXT Pro. You know, in ancient history when NXT actually had a structure to it. Show throws Miz around too so Miz tags out to Cody. Cody comes in and tags out to Miz immediately. Show doesn’t care and brings Miz back in as we take a break. Back with Sheamus pounding on Miz. Miz comes back with some lefts in the corner but Sheamus comes back with a rolling fireman’s carry slam.

Off to Cody who gets the ten clubbing forearms in ropes. Miz finally gets in a shot to send him to the floor and Bryan adds the knee off the apron. Bryan vs. Sheamus now and Sheamus towers over him. Bryan keeps taking him down and strikes away with the knees and feet. Off to Miz who hits a running boot to the chest for two. Cody comes in as the heels are moving in and out well.

Back to Daniel who shouts YES with every kick in a funny bit. Miz hooks the chinlock and the knee to the back gets two. Here’s Cody again (see how fast they’re tagging?) as Cole makes fun of GI Bro. Celtic Cross out of nowhere is countered into a Russian legsweep for two. Irish Curse takes Cody down and there’s the hot tag to Randy. Everything breaks down and Show stalks Cody up the ramp. Elevated DDT takes Miz down but Bryan avoids it. Sheamus LAUNCHES Bryan into the barricade and they fight into the crowd. The Finale is countered into an RKO for the pin at 10:39 shown of 14:09.

Rating: C+. This was a good main event tag, but I’m really not sure why Miz was involved. Was Kane that injured off a single RKO? At least we got some in ring time for the two matches, although I’m worried that they’re going to give the title to Big Show which is one of the last people that they need to put a title on. Good match overall though.

Kane comes out post match and pulls Orton out to the floor. Kane knocks him into the crowd (called the Universe by Cole to make me roll my eyes) and they fight up the steps to end the show.

Overall Rating: D+. I REALLY didn’t like this show. It’s like the main matches are being pushed back for the sake of the Teddy Long and Johnny Ace and Aksana. As I said earlier, do they realize that there are three weeks before Wrestlemania? I know Ace vs. Teddy is going to be lead to a match at Mania but the rest of the show felt thrown together. We have an unneeded gimmick match, Drew being rehired again, meaning that weeks of losses add up to nothing, a Henry squash, and the tag champions losing again. This show had no focus at all and it was a pain to sit through as a result. Bad show.

Results
Santino Marella b. Jack Swagger – Marella escaped the cage
Drew McIntyre b. Hornswoggle due to referee stoppage
Mark Henry b. Ezekiel Jackson – World’s Strongest Slam
Teddy Long b. John Laurinitis – Rollup
Kofi Kingston/R-Truth b. Primo/Epico – Little Jimmy to Primo
Randy Orton/Sheamus/Big Show b. The Miz/Cody Rhodes/Daniel Bryan – RKO to Miz

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Smackdown – March 9, 2012

Smackdown
Date: March 9, 2012
Location: Mohegan Sun Casion, Uncasville, Connecticut
Commentators: Josh Matthews, Booker T, Michael Cole

Reviewed by Tommy Hall

Johnny Ace is in charge tonight and if it’s the same as when Teddy ran Raw on Monday, then we’re in for a very uneventful night indeed. Other than that I don’t think we have much else announced for tonight. Hopefully we get anything on the story for Sheamus vs. Bryan as we need any reason to care about them. Let’s get to it.

The opening video is about Ace hosting tonight and implying he’s out to steal the job permanently.

We open with a cage being lowered. Otunga and Ace are in the ring. Tonight we’re starting with a championship match in a cage because Teddy has never done that.

US Title: Santino Marella vs. Jack Swagger

Swagger throws him into the corner and pounds Santino down followed by a modified powerslam for two. Clothesline gets two. This has been all Swagger in the first two minutes. Santino tries to escape but Swagger launches him face first into the steel. Santino comes back with some punches and his signature stuff. Headbutt gets two and here comes the Cobra. Ziggler tries to climb in so his hands get hit by the Cobra to knock him to the floor.

Swagger grabs Marella in a belly to back suplex but Santino hits the Cobra to escape and both guys are down. Ziggler is ejected and we take a break. Back with Santino taking a knee to the ribs to put him down. Swagger takes the Cobra glove off and throws it to the floor. Rollup gets one for Santino and a sunset flip gets two. Swagger throws him down and hits a Vader Bomb for two.

He tries to climb but gets crotched and covered for two. Santino gets most of the way over but Swagger saves and they’re both back inside now. Santino comes back with a tornado DDT and crawls for the door. Santino kicks Swagger off and dives again but Swagger grabs the ankle lock. Vickie tries to slam the door on Santino’s head but hits Swagger instead, allowing Santino to crawl out to retain at 7:33 shown of 11:03.

Rating: C. This was fine all things considered. Why this was in a cage is beyond me, but I guess it’s to further the Ace vs. Long feud somehow. The match was just ok as neither is particularly great in the ring but the crowd was way into Santino. It’s better than Swagger having the title as he actually gets on TV too. I guess this is Ryder’s push too.

Teddy comes out to celebrate with Santino.

Teddy comes to see Ace/Otunga and doesn’t want Aksana to have to face Kane. Ace enjoys seeing Teddy squirm and Teddy begs a bit. Ace proposes a match between himself and Teddy. If Ace loses, Aksana will face Kane. Ok then.

Shawn will confront Undertaker on Monday.

Here’s Drew McIntyre in his gear. Is anyone surprised by this? Drew says that Ace will rehired him if he wins a match against a mystery opponent.

Drew McIntyre vs. Great Khali

And never mind as Otunga says Khali isn’t in the match, so here’s the real opponent.

Drew McIntyre vs. Hornswoggle

So why did Khali come out there at all? Horny is terrified despite regularly beating full sized guys before. Drew dominates him and keeps pulling him up after slams. The referee stops it at 1:39.

Khali chops Drew post match.

Aksana is scared for Teddy but he says it’s ok.

Ace is warming up in a track suit.

Ezekiel Jackson vs. Mark Henry

So the word on the street is that Henry is in hot water for not being tough enough for working through his injuries, despite being out there almost every week working through his injuries. There’s your lesson guys: don’t work hard, don’t enhance your character, don’t work through injuries, or you might be in danger of being released. Slugout to start but Zeke gets beaten down quickly. Zeke comes back with the clotheslines in the corner but Henry runs him over again. World’s Strongest Slam for the pin at 1:41. Well Jackson is moving up. Now he’s getting squashed by bigger names.

John Laurinitis vs. Teddy Long

Remember if Teddy wins, it’s Aksana vs. Kane. This gets big match intros. Ace grabs a mic after the bell rings and tries to talk Teddy out of this. Ace yells at Teddy to do the right thing and lay down, but Teddy won’t do it. Aksana freaks so Ace waves down Kane. Orton runs through the crowd and RKOs Kane, allowing Teddy to roll Ace up at about 2:30. Is this company aware the Wrestlemania is in three weeks? So to clarify, as soon as Kane gets up, he has to face Aksana right? Right?

According to the announcers, Teddy did that because Kane has been taken out so there won’t be a match. I’m as shocked as you are. Teddy and Aksana leave to have a nice dinner.

Kofi Kingston/R-Truth vs. Primo/Epico

Uh oh. Kofi was starting to get over as a legit guy again so we better put him in the black tag team of the month. Now the Kane vs. Aksana match isn’t happening because Teddy and Aksana left. So why didn’t Teddy just send Aksana away earlier in the night? Epico and Kofi start with Epico being monkey flipped to the corner. Off to Truth who dances around and hits a spinning legdrop for two.

Back to Kofi and Primo hooks the rope to send Kofi to the floor. Booker praises the cheating for being the right move. See, that’s what most commentators are horrible at: being subtle. Things settle down a bit and it’s Kofi in trouble against Primo. Kofi comes back with a knee to the head and there’s the hot tag to Truth. Everything breaks down and the Little Jimmy gets the pin on Primo at 5:11.

Rating: D+. This wasn’t much but the tag champions get to job AGAIN to these two that have teamed together what, three times now? Why did Bourne have to get all drugged up when the division was actually getting some stability to it? This wasn’t a particularly good match, mainly because you knew the champions weren’t going to win.

Three minutes on Cena vs. Rock from Monday.

Here’s Cole in the ring to talk to Sheamus and Bryan. Yes, they’re actually talking about this match. Cole’s first question is to Bryan, asking how much of a role luck has played in his title reign. Bryan says you don’t need to be lucky when you’re good like he is. Nothing has been luck in any of his accomplishments, which he lists off. It’s been living a vegan lifestyle and scientific skill that has given him the title. That and charisma and sex appeal.

Sheamus says everyone needs a bit of luck. He’s lucky to be from Ireland and to be in WWE and in America and in front of all these people here. You make your own luck however and Sheamus has fought his way here. He also hasn’t hid behind a 99lb girl who looks like she should be in a Catholic schoolgirl uniform. AJ: “Well from my point of view…” Bryan: “AJ shut up.” Sheamus says Bryan should be wearing the skirt. At Wrestlemania, Bryan’s luck runs out.

Sheamus/Randy Orton/Big Show vs. Cody Rhodes/Daniel Bryan/The Miz

The staredown got cut short for Cody’s entrance, meaning once again this match gets like 3 minutes a week if it’s lucky. Sheamus vs. Cody gets things going. Quickly off to Randy as we hear again about Legacy and their history together. Orton stomps him down but Cody gets in a dropkick and the tag to Bryan. Cole says he’s starting to respect Bryan. Off to Big Show who throws the champion around a little bit more.

Bryan finally gets away and tags in his former NXT Pro. You know, in ancient history when NXT actually had a structure to it. Show throws Miz around too so Miz tags out to Cody. Cody comes in and tags out to Miz immediately. Show doesn’t care and brings Miz back in as we take a break. Back with Sheamus pounding on Miz. Miz comes back with some lefts in the corner but Sheamus comes back with a rolling fireman’s carry slam.

Off to Cody who gets the ten clubbing forearms in ropes. Miz finally gets in a shot to send him to the floor and Bryan adds the knee off the apron. Bryan vs. Sheamus now and Sheamus towers over him. Bryan keeps taking him down and strikes away with the knees and feet. Off to Miz who hits a running boot to the chest for two. Cody comes in as the heels are moving in and out well.

Back to Daniel who shouts YES with every kick in a funny bit. Miz hooks the chinlock and the knee to the back gets two. Here’s Cody again (see how fast they’re tagging?) as Cole makes fun of GI Bro. Celtic Cross out of nowhere is countered into a Russian legsweep for two. Irish Curse takes Cody down and there’s the hot tag to Randy. Everything breaks down and Show stalks Cody up the ramp. Elevated DDT takes Miz down but Bryan avoids it. Sheamus LAUNCHES Bryan into the barricade and they fight into the crowd. The Finale is countered into an RKO for the pin at 10:39 shown of 14:09.

Rating: C+. This was a good main event tag, but I’m really not sure why Miz was involved. Was Kane that injured off a single RKO? At least we got some in ring time for the two matches, although I’m worried that they’re going to give the title to Big Show which is one of the last people that they need to put a title on. Good match overall though.

Kane comes out post match and pulls Orton out to the floor. Kane knocks him into the crowd (called the Universe by Cole to make me roll my eyes) and they fight up the steps to end the show.

Overall Rating: D+. I REALLY didn’t like this show. It’s like the main matches are being pushed back for the sake of the Teddy Long and Johnny Ace and Aksana. As I said earlier, do they realize that there are three weeks before Wrestlemania? I know Ace vs. Teddy is going to be lead to a match at Mania but the rest of the show felt thrown together. We have an unneeded gimmick match, Drew being rehired again, meaning that weeks of losses add up to nothing, a Henry squash, and the tag champions losing again. This show had no focus at all and it was a pain to sit through as a result. Bad show.

Results
Santino Marella b. Jack Swagger – Marella escaped the cage
Drew McIntyre b. Hornswoggle due to referee stoppage
Mark Henry b. Ezekiel Jackson – World’s Strongest Slam
Teddy Long b. John Laurinitis – Rollup
Kofi Kingston/R-Truth b. Primo/Epico – Little Jimmy to Primo
Randy Orton/Sheamus/Big Show b. The Miz/Cody Rhodes/Daniel Bryan – RKO to Miz

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The King's Recap: WWF Smackdown 4.12.2001

WWF SMACKDOWN
Thursday, April 12th, 2001

Taped (4/10) from the First Union Center in Philadelphia, PA

List of WWF Champions at the time:
WWF World Heavyweight Champion: Stone Cold Steve Austin (4/01/2001)
WWF Intercontinental Champion: Triple H (4/05/2001)
WWF World Tag Team Champions: Edge & Christian (4/01/2001)
WWF European Champion: Eddie Guerrero (4/01/2001)
WWF Hardcore Champion: Kane (4/01/2001)
WWF Women’s Champion: Chyna (4/01/2001)
WWF Light Heavyweight Champion: Crash Holly (3/18/2001)

~ Smackdown comes on the air with stills of Steve Austin and Triple H brutailizing the Hardys and Lita on Raw. Michael Cole and Tazz then welcome us to the show and add their thoughts on the vicious Austin/Triple H alliance before reporting Matt Hardy and Lita are resting comfortably at home tonight after a brief hospital stay.

~ Things kick off with Triple H and Stephanie McMahon heading to the ring and they’re quickly joined by Steve Austin. Triple H gets on the mic and talks now how the WWF was a rosy place just a month ago with The Rock as champion. Triple H comments on how things have changed since and where they stand just a few short weeks after Wrestlemania. Triple H first brings up how Rock often called Wrestlemania a meeting of the two most dominant forces in the WWF but Rock was mistaken because he and Austin are the two dominant men in the WWF, now and forever. Triple H says he and Austin destroyed Rock and took the both WWF and IC titles because no one can stop them. Triple H then says the Hardys and Lita dared to stand in their way on last Monday and look what happened to them. Triple H says people everywhere are telling them how they went too far before but they will decide when it’s enough. Triple H finishes by saying he is that darn good, Austin is that cold, and together the two of them are that unstoppable. Austin takes over the mic and brags that he annihilated Rock with the chair at Wrestlemania just because he wanted to. Austin then brings up how he viciously assaulted Jim Ross last week, accusing him of riding his coattails for a living. Austin says he beat and bloddied JR becasue he could and because there isn’t a soul backstage who could stop him. Austin next talks about what they did to the Hardys last week because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Austin gloats about beating Matt Hardy with a chair and seeing Lita covering him, hoping that he’ll show some mercy. Austin says Lita was mistaken and laid into her with everything he had, and if given the chance he would do it again. Austin rants that could have been anyone when Jeff Hardy charges in and whacks Austin and Triple H with a chair! Stephanie slaps Jeff in the face and Jeff responds by laying her out with the Twist of Fate then dashes to the back! Triple H and Austin are left fuming in the ring while we wonder if Jeff has a death wish as we go to commercial.

~ Back from break we get a replay of Jeff Hardy getting payback on Steve Austin and Triple H and even Stephanie. Backstage Commissioner William Regal is watching a monitor when Triple H bursts in and yells about Jeff’s ambush then demands a match with Jeff tonight and doesn’t even care if he has to put his Intercontinential Title on the line. Regal promises to take care of it and Triple H storms off but not before saying Jeff Hardy is a dead man.

  • Spike Dudley (w/The Dudley Boyz) vs. Albert (w/X-Pac & Justin Credible)

Spike wants some payback after Albert destroyed him on Raw, but after his encounters with Bam Bam Bigelow and Mike Awesome you’d think Spike would learn to stop challenging bigger men. In any case Both men stand nose-to-nose with Albert looking down at Spike when Spike tries to get in the first shots. Albert swats Spike down but Spike is back up and gets in more offense but Albert decks him with a hard right. Albert tosses Spike across the ring and walks over his chest then picks him up by his pants and slams him. Albert headbutts Spike then whips him into a corner and goes for the Avalanche but Spike headbutts his chest. Spike goes for a Sunset Flip but can’t get Albert over so Albert goes for a sit-down splash and that misses. Spike dropkicks Albert’s head then climbs to the top rope but straddles the buckle after Albert bumps the ropes. Albert climbs up but Spike fights him off and connects with a double stom then follows up with the Acid Drop, or as Cole and Tazz now refer to it, the Dudley Dawg. X-Pac and Credible hop on the apron and Spike knocks them off then covers Albert but only gets a two count. The Dudleys attack Credible and X-Pac on the floor while Spike comes off the ropes but runs right into a bicycle kick and that pretty much is all she wrote. (2:36) Nothing more than a squash. DUD

Albert celebrates when the Dudleys run in and plant him with a double back suplex. Bubba sets Albert up while D’Von climbs to the top rope and connects with the “Wassup” headbutt. Bubba sends D’Von out for a table and D’Von sets one up at ringside when X-Pac jumps him and takes him out with the X-Factor on the floor. Bubba poinds on Albert in the ring but X-Pac and Credible head in and nail Bubba with a double superkick. Spike tries to get a piece of Albert but Albert Baldobombs him from the apron through the table.

~ Backstage Debra is walking somewhere when he comes across Dave Hebner and asks where Jim Ross is. Dave shows her the way to JR’s dressing room and Debra walks off as we go to commercial.

~ Back from break we find William Regal sitting in his office when Jeff Hardy comes in to answer his summons. Regal informs Jeff that Triple H wants to face him tonight so he congradulates him on his Intercontinential Title shot but warns him that if he ever besmirches Stephanie McMahon again, he will never ever get another title match. Jeff says that’s fine with him, feeling he might not need another title shot because he just might take the strap tonight. Jeff departs just as the Big Show comes in and takes a moment to tell Jeff that Triple H is going to bust him in half. Show then tells Regal how The Undertaker and Kane made a fool of him last week and demands a match with them. Regal is about to give Show the go ahead but Show says he wants some help to take Taker and Kane out for good. Regal agrees to book Show and two partners of his choosing in a 3-on-2 handicap match and Show seems satisfied.

~ Backstage Lillian Garcia interviews Crash on him and Hardcore challening Edge & Christian for the tag team titles. Crash says ever since he came to the WWF they’ve been knocking him down but every time he gets right back up. Crash also says how Hardcore’s back and thus he feels the Hollys are up to the challnge of winning the tag titles. Crash says Rhyno isn’t an issue when Rhyno suddenly flies into the scene and Gores Crash into a closed garage door!

~ Elsewhere Jim Ross is looking over some papers when Debra comes in and talks about some things bothering her. Debra tells JR that she feels really bad about what Steve Austin did to him last week but claims she wasn’t involved in it JR believes Debra and tells her that he knows what kind of person she is, unlike her husband who he thought he knew and Debra says she’s confused at what Austin does. At that point Austin enters the room and accuses JR of flirting with his wife before ordering him to get lost. Austin then turns and tells Debra to pack her bags because they’re leaving right now.

~ Back from break we get footage of Steve Austin and Debra leaving the building during the break.

~ Backstage Triple H looks on as the trainer checks on Stephanie who complains about her neck hurting then whines about Jeff Hardy breaking her diamond earrings. Triple H promises to take care of him and also decides to dedicate the match to her then warns the trainer to do a good job with here and departs.

~ Out in the arena Cole announces the Tag Team Title match has been scrubbed due to Crash being taken out. Cole says Edge and Christian will instead team with Kurt Angle and Regal against Chris Benoit & Chris Jericho.

  • WWF Women’s Title: Chyna © vs. Ivory (w/Steven Richards)

This is Ivory’s rematch after Chyna crushed her at Wrestlemania. Only tis time Ivory has her pal Richards in her corner so maybe that’ll make a difference. Or not. Chyna hammers away on Ivory to start and slams her then sets her on the top rope and throws her to the mat. Chyna shoves Ivory into a corner and goes for the handspring elbow but Ivory sidesteps it and hits a bulldog. Ivory gets in her offense with a series of elbowdrops and follows up with a legdrop to the neck for a two count. Ivory snaps Chyna back then applies a chinlock but Chyna gets to her feet and throws Ivory off her back. Chyna goes for the ropes but Richards pulls her out to the floor and clotheslines her then tosses her back in. Ivory hits an elbowdrop and taunts the fans before covering Chyna for a two count then applies a facelock. Chyna counters it into a delayed vertical suplex then hits a powerslam followed by a pair of clotheslines. Chyna whips Ivory back and forth between the corners then presses her up and slams her and gets the pin. (3:53) And thus would being Chyna’s burial of the Women’s division. Richards comes in ready for a Stevenkick but Chyna catches him and spins him around into a DDT. DUD

~ Backstage Big Show knocks on the Acolytes’ door and asks them to team with him against Undertaker and Kane. Bradshaw and Faarooq make fun of a 7′ 3-ton giant needing their help and Show accuses them of being chicken. The Acolytes say they’re too busy and Show tells them not to come crying to him if they need a giant and storms off.

~ Back from break Chris Jericho is conversing with Chris Benoit about having to face four opponents tonight. Jericho reminds Benoit how they humilaited William Regal on Raw and feels he’s obviously out to get his revenge tonight so they’re being set up for a screwjob. Benoit ponders this then suggests he and Jericho go with it.

  • Kurt Angle, William Regal, Edge & Christian vs. Chris Benoit & Chris Jericho4-on-2 Handicap Match

Interesting how many future world champions are in this match. Benoit and Jericho both rush the ring and take it right to their four opponents, actually getting the advantage. Benoit tosses Regal over the ropes while Jericho hits Angle with a low blow then clotheslines Christian over. Edge tries to whip Benoit but Benoit counters into a suplex and Jericho follows up with the Lionsault on Edge. Angle comes back in and Jericho catches him with a right while Benoit and Regal are fighting it out on the floor. Benoit rams Regal into the apron then climbs to the top rope and connects with the diving headbutt on Edge. Benoit covers Edge but Christian is in to make the save then hits Benoit with a Slop Drop and stomps at him. Regal tags in and gets in his stomps on Benoit then caps off with a European uppercut before tagging in Angle. Angle stomps away at Benoit and hits a suplex before Edge tags in and takes over on Benoit then slams him. Christian tags in as Benoit comes back with chops when Christian whips him into a corner but eats a boot. Benoit hits more chops when Christian goes for a Slop Drop but Benoit counters with a Northen Light suplex. Both men crawl toward their corners and Christian tags in Angle while Benoit makes the hot tag to Jericho. Jericho clotheslines Angle, catches Edge with a clothesline, pops Regal off the apron and hits Angle with a chop. Jericho goes for a whip, Angle reverses but Jericho comes back with a flying forearm then goes for the bulldog. Angle ducks it and goes for the Olympic Slam, Jericho counters and goes for a backslide but Angle blocks that. Jericho puts Angle in the Walls of Jericho and Regal is in but Benoit intercepts him and slaps on the Crossface. Before either man submits Chrsitian is back in but Jericho releases Angle and puts him in the Walls of Jericho. Edge then tries to save Regal from Benoit with the spear but Benoit ducks it and slaps the Crossface on Edge. Again before either man taps Angle nails Jericho to break his hold then hits the Olympic Slam and grabs the pin. (3:28) Okay stuff but it was obvious Benoit and Jericho weren’t beating the odds. **

After the bell Benoit goes after Regal but Angle nails him from behind and the two proceed to double-team him. Regal then takes a swing at Jericho but Jericho ducks it and takes him down the puts him in the Walls of Jericho. Benoit comes back against Angle and gets him in the Crossface and both Angle and Regal are tapping like mad. Edge and Christian try to come back in for the save but Jericho and Benoit knock both of them off the apron. Angle then retreats with his crew up the ramp while Benoit and Jericho are the ones standing tall in the ring.

~ Back from break Jeff Hardy is preparing for his match when Test comes in and wishes him luck against Triple H. Test also gives Jeff props for him laying Stephanie out earlier, saying how many times he’s wanted to do that himself.

~ Cole and Tazz then recap Linda McMahon’s chat with Vince last Monday on Raw ending with her divorce demand. The announcers mention that Vince isn’t here tonight, perhaps still suffering from the shock of Linda’s request.

  • Hardcore Holly vs. Rhyno

As mentioned earlier Hardcore and Crash were to get a tag title match but Rhyno taking Crash out changed that, so Hardcore is out for payback instead. Both men start exchanging shots and go all around the ring until Hardcore hammers away at Rhyno in a corner. Hardcore then goes for a whip, Rhyno reverses him into the other corner and charges at him but eats a boot. Hardcore continues teeing off on Rhyno but Rhyno gets the advantage before both men start exchanging chops. Hardcore takes control with a clothesline then drapes Rhyno on the top rope and kicks him in the chest. Rhyno fights back and lays the boots to Hardcore then comes off the ropes and connects with a running boot. Rhyno clubs Hardcore’s back but Hardcore takes Rhyno down and unloads on him in a corner then chokes him. Hardcore continues his assault when the referee pulls him off but Rhyno comes out and Gores both men ar once. Suddenly Molly Holly runs out and tosses a trash can to Hardcore who knocks Rhyno through the ropes with it. Rhyno backs away up the ramp and they’re showing replays so I guess that’s the match. (3:17) Not much to see here. DUD

~ Backstage Big Show meets with Grandmaster Sexay and asks if he and Steve Blackman might be his partners tonight. Sexay declines, telling Show that he has somewhere else to play so Show needs to start steppin’ and hit the bricks. Show decides to step on Sexay instead when Blackman comes in brandishing his nunchucks and Show backs away.

~ Back from break we get a look at WWF New York which is sporting a giant ‘XFL Championship’ poster. We also get a shot of Triple H taping up his wrists in the back for his big IC Title defense later tonight.

~ Backstage Kevin Kelly interviews Jeff Hardy on his chances of winning the Intercontinental Title. Jeff says winning the title would be great but tonight is all about payback and revenge for Matt and Lita.

~ Elsehwere backstage Test is checking out a magazine when the Right to Censor walks up to try and recruit him. The Goodfather says how they’re trying to make a difference in the WWF and the workd and it starts with all of them. Val Venis then tells Test how the world is being choked out by abomination and he can change that by joining them. Test laughs about how he can give up women and his beliefs and dress just like them before telling them to get lost. Val responds by challenging Test to face him tonight and show how deep his convictions lie and Test accepts.

~ Again elsehwere Big Show is walking when he comes across Kaientai and their interpretor asks them to tag with him. The interpretor asks Taka and Funaki then tells Show they’ll accept his invitiaton because he reminds them of Godzilla. Show mentions something about soup and wantons then walks off with them as we go to commercial.

  • The Undertaker & Kane vs. The Big Show & Kaientai3-on-2 Handicap Match

The participants file out but Kaientai get scared since Show didn’t mention who their opponents were. Show tries to pull his team together and asks one of them to start us off but they’re hesitant to get in the ring. Eventually Sho Funaki is in to start off but Taker says he has no beef with him and allows him to tag Show in. However Show refuses so Taker boots Funaki to get thigns started then drags him by the arm to Show’s corner. Show again refuses and hops off the apron when Taka Michinoku tags in and tries to get a sleeper on Taker. Taker just walks over to his corner and tags Kane in and Kane knocks Taka off Taker’s back with a right hand. Kane presses Taka up and slams him then goes for the ropes when Show nails him, finally getting involved. Kane turns and grabs Show by the throat when Funaki tries to fight him off but Kane decks Funaki in response. Taka then dropkicks Kane in the knee before Show finally comes in and hits a clothesline but Kane sits right up. So Show brings Funaki in the hard way and decides he’s had enough as he heads out and abandons his partners. Kane grabs Funaki when Taka climbs to the top and leaps ofg but Kane grabs him and chokeslams both guys. Taker then convines Kane to hit a Last Ride and Kane sets Funaki up but tosses him over his head instead. Taker decides to do a proper Last Ride to Taka and Show is throwing a fit while Kane powerbombs Funaki to finally end this. (2:54) Nothing more than a comedy match, and an uniteresting one at that. DUD

~ We get a shot of Jeff Hardy preparing for his big match backstage as we go to commercial.

~ Back from break Cole and Tazz hype the XFL playoffs this weekend. San Francisco/Orlando Saturday night on NBC and Los Angeles/Chicago Sunday night on UPN. Just two more weeks of the XFL, folks.

  • Test vs. Val Venis (w/The Right to Censor)

Test pounds on Val to start and goes for a whip, Val reverses but lowers the head and Test kicks the face. Test goes for the big boot but Val fakes him out so he goes for the ropes but Goodfather trips him from the floor. Test then pulls Goodfather onto to the apron but that allows Val to nail him from behind and get in his offense. Val distracts the referee while the others get in their shots from the floor then stomps Test down in a corner. Val chokes Test with his shoe and hits a suplex then applies a submission hold before clubbing him in the chest. Val slams Test and hits a kneedrop for a two count then goes for a whip and Test reverses but lowers the head. Val kicks the face then comes off the ropes but runs right into a tilt-o-whirl slam that gets Test a near fall. Test whips Val and hits him with a backdrop and Val begs him off before pulling him out through the ropes. Val distracts the referee again while Buchanan nails Test with a bicycle kick on the floor and tosses him back in. Val covers Test but only gets a two and Val argues the count but Test comes back with the pump-handle slam. Test covers Val when Goodfather distracts the referee while Buchanan comes in and nails Test for the save. Bucnanan holds Test as Steven Richards goes for the Stevenkick but Test escapes and Buchanan takes the shot. Raven then runs in and drills Richards with the Evenflow DDT but Val decks him and kicks him out to the floor. Val then scoops Test up but Test floats over him and shoves him into Goodfather, knocking him off the apron. Test then nails Val with the big boot and is finally able to get the three count. (4:08) Yawn. DUD

Test departs when Buchanan and Goodfather start shoving each other while Richards tries to calm them down. However Goodfather and Buchanan both drop Richards with a right hand before Val clotheslines both guys. Everyone starts fighting everyone else around the ring and end was finally beginning for the RTC angle.

~ Jeff Hardy and Triple H are both shown heading to the ring which means main event time as we go to commercial.

~ Back from break they replay the video package we saw at the beginning of the show, just in case you missed it.

  • WWF Intercontinential Title: Triple H © vs. Jeff Hardy

Amazing how this would be a world title match in seven years. Triple H wastes no time beating on Jeff and hammering away on him in a corner. Triple H throws Jeff through the ropes then brings him back in as we see Stephanie watching from the back. Triple H whips Jeff but Jeff comes back with a headscissors followed by a dropkick and hits a second dropkick. Triple H regains control and goes for a Pedigree but Jeff counters with a takedown and hits the double legdrop. Jeff dropkicks Triple H in the face then hits the count-along punches in a corner but Triple H shoves him off. Triple H whips Jeff into a corner but Jeff runs up the turnbuckles and connects with the Whisper in the Wind. Triple H throws Jeff under the ropes then goes after him but Jeff blocks Triple H and rams him into the steps. Jeff runs across the barricade and dives at Triple H but Triple H catches him into a slightly-botched powerslam. Triple H goes for a whip. Jeff sends him into the barrier then leaps off the apron but Triple H powerslams him. Triple H whips Jeff into the steps before rolling him back in the ring when Jeff desparately tries to fight back. Jeff goes for a whip but Triple H reverses it and connects with the high knee then continues assaulting him. Triple H chokes Jeff on the middle rope then beats him down some in a corner and chokes him with his boot. Triple H whips Jeff and slaps on a sleeperhold and Jeff begins to fade but counters the hold with a jawbreaker. Jeff follows up with a Russian legsweep and climbs to the top rope but Triple H pulls the referee into the ropes. Jeff straddles the turnbuckles and the referee repremands Triple H for that but Triple H just shoves him down. Triple H goes up and sets up for a superplex … when Matt Hardy runs in and clobbers Triple H with a chair! Triple H is down as Jeff connects with the Swanton Bomb and gets the 1..2..3!!! (8:06) Jeff upsets Triple H and wins his first singles title. Fun main event there with some nice bumping by Jeff and halfway-decent selling by Triple H. Now you’d figure this win would have elevated the Hardys to the next level but … well, you’ll see in the next review. **½

Matt quickly helps Jeff out of the ring with Jeff’s new title in hand and Stephanie is shocked in the back as while Triple H starts throwing a fit as the Hardys look on from the stage. However Tazz feels Jeff may be the champion but in his eyes he’s a dead man as Smackdown goes off the air.

Conclusion: Other than the main event, a pretty forgettable show. Most of the matches weren’t worth your time and the WWF seemed to be in a holding pattern as very little was progressed toward the next pay-per-view. The main event was fine and actually featured a happy ending, which was nice after three shows with downer finishes. Again Jeff’s win over Triple H should have made him and Matt the next big stars and could have even started a program between them and Austin & Triple H leading up to Backlash but again we’ll cover that in the next review. Since you can find the Jeff Hardy/Triple H match on the WWF Action DVD, there’s no real reason to track this show down.

For more reviews visit my archive at: http://kingsrecaps.wordpress.com

The King's Recap: WWF Smackdown 4.12.2001

WWF SMACKDOWN
Thursday, April 12th, 2001

Taped (4/10) from the First Union Center in Philadelphia, PA

List of WWF Champions at the time:
WWF World Heavyweight Champion: Stone Cold Steve Austin (4/01/2001)
WWF Intercontinental Champion: Triple H (4/05/2001)
WWF World Tag Team Champions: Edge & Christian (4/01/2001)
WWF European Champion: Eddie Guerrero (4/01/2001)
WWF Hardcore Champion: Kane (4/01/2001)
WWF Women’s Champion: Chyna (4/01/2001)
WWF Light Heavyweight Champion: Crash Holly (3/18/2001)

~ Smackdown comes on the air with stills of Steve Austin and Triple H brutailizing the Hardys and Lita on Raw. Michael Cole and Tazz then welcome us to the show and add their thoughts on the vicious Austin/Triple H alliance before reporting Matt Hardy and Lita are resting comfortably at home tonight after a brief hospital stay.

~ Things kick off with Triple H and Stephanie McMahon heading to the ring and they’re quickly joined by Steve Austin. Triple H gets on the mic and talks now how the WWF was a rosy place just a month ago with The Rock as champion. Triple H comments on how things have changed since and where they stand just a few short weeks after Wrestlemania. Triple H first brings up how Rock often called Wrestlemania a meeting of the two most dominant forces in the WWF but Rock was mistaken because he and Austin are the two dominant men in the WWF, now and forever. Triple H says he and Austin destroyed Rock and took the both WWF and IC titles because no one can stop them. Triple H then says the Hardys and Lita dared to stand in their way on last Monday and look what happened to them. Triple H says people everywhere are telling them how they went too far before but they will decide when it’s enough. Triple H finishes by saying he is that darn good, Austin is that cold, and together the two of them are that unstoppable. Austin takes over the mic and brags that he annihilated Rock with the chair at Wrestlemania just because he wanted to. Austin then brings up how he viciously assaulted Jim Ross last week, accusing him of riding his coattails for a living. Austin says he beat and bloddied JR becasue he could and because there isn’t a soul backstage who could stop him. Austin next talks about what they did to the Hardys last week because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Austin gloats about beating Matt Hardy with a chair and seeing Lita covering him, hoping that he’ll show some mercy. Austin says Lita was mistaken and laid into her with everything he had, and if given the chance he would do it again. Austin rants that could have been anyone when Jeff Hardy charges in and whacks Austin and Triple H with a chair! Stephanie slaps Jeff in the face and Jeff responds by laying her out with the Twist of Fate then dashes to the back! Triple H and Austin are left fuming in the ring while we wonder if Jeff has a death wish as we go to commercial.

~ Back from break we get a replay of Jeff Hardy getting payback on Steve Austin and Triple H and even Stephanie. Backstage Commissioner William Regal is watching a monitor when Triple H bursts in and yells about Jeff’s ambush then demands a match with Jeff tonight and doesn’t even care if he has to put his Intercontinential Title on the line. Regal promises to take care of it and Triple H storms off but not before saying Jeff Hardy is a dead man.

  • Spike Dudley (w/The Dudley Boyz) vs. Albert (w/X-Pac & Justin Credible)

Spike wants some payback after Albert destroyed him on Raw, but after his encounters with Bam Bam Bigelow and Mike Awesome you’d think Spike would learn to stop challenging bigger men. In any case Both men stand nose-to-nose with Albert looking down at Spike when Spike tries to get in the first shots. Albert swats Spike down but Spike is back up and gets in more offense but Albert decks him with a hard right. Albert tosses Spike across the ring and walks over his chest then picks him up by his pants and slams him. Albert headbutts Spike then whips him into a corner and goes for the Avalanche but Spike headbutts his chest. Spike goes for a Sunset Flip but can’t get Albert over so Albert goes for a sit-down splash and that misses. Spike dropkicks Albert’s head then climbs to the top rope but straddles the buckle after Albert bumps the ropes. Albert climbs up but Spike fights him off and connects with a double stom then follows up with the Acid Drop, or as Cole and Tazz now refer to it, the Dudley Dawg. X-Pac and Credible hop on the apron and Spike knocks them off then covers Albert but only gets a two count. The Dudleys attack Credible and X-Pac on the floor while Spike comes off the ropes but runs right into a bicycle kick and that pretty much is all she wrote. (2:36) Nothing more than a squash. DUD

Albert celebrates when the Dudleys run in and plant him with a double back suplex. Bubba sets Albert up while D’Von climbs to the top rope and connects with the “Wassup” headbutt. Bubba sends D’Von out for a table and D’Von sets one up at ringside when X-Pac jumps him and takes him out with the X-Factor on the floor. Bubba poinds on Albert in the ring but X-Pac and Credible head in and nail Bubba with a double superkick. Spike tries to get a piece of Albert but Albert Baldobombs him from the apron through the table.

~ Backstage Debra is walking somewhere when he comes across Dave Hebner and asks where Jim Ross is. Dave shows her the way to JR’s dressing room and Debra walks off as we go to commercial.

~ Back from break we find William Regal sitting in his office when Jeff Hardy comes in to answer his summons. Regal informs Jeff that Triple H wants to face him tonight so he congradulates him on his Intercontinential Title shot but warns him that if he ever besmirches Stephanie McMahon again, he will never ever get another title match. Jeff says that’s fine with him, feeling he might not need another title shot because he just might take the strap tonight. Jeff departs just as the Big Show comes in and takes a moment to tell Jeff that Triple H is going to bust him in half. Show then tells Regal how The Undertaker and Kane made a fool of him last week and demands a match with them. Regal is about to give Show the go ahead but Show says he wants some help to take Taker and Kane out for good. Regal agrees to book Show and two partners of his choosing in a 3-on-2 handicap match and Show seems satisfied.

~ Backstage Lillian Garcia interviews Crash on him and Hardcore challening Edge & Christian for the tag team titles. Crash says ever since he came to the WWF they’ve been knocking him down but every time he gets right back up. Crash also says how Hardcore’s back and thus he feels the Hollys are up to the challnge of winning the tag titles. Crash says Rhyno isn’t an issue when Rhyno suddenly flies into the scene and Gores Crash into a closed garage door!

~ Elsewhere Jim Ross is looking over some papers when Debra comes in and talks about some things bothering her. Debra tells JR that she feels really bad about what Steve Austin did to him last week but claims she wasn’t involved in it JR believes Debra and tells her that he knows what kind of person she is, unlike her husband who he thought he knew and Debra says she’s confused at what Austin does. At that point Austin enters the room and accuses JR of flirting with his wife before ordering him to get lost. Austin then turns and tells Debra to pack her bags because they’re leaving right now.

~ Back from break we get footage of Steve Austin and Debra leaving the building during the break.

~ Backstage Triple H looks on as the trainer checks on Stephanie who complains about her neck hurting then whines about Jeff Hardy breaking her diamond earrings. Triple H promises to take care of him and also decides to dedicate the match to her then warns the trainer to do a good job with here and departs.

~ Out in the arena Cole announces the Tag Team Title match has been scrubbed due to Crash being taken out. Cole says Edge and Christian will instead team with Kurt Angle and Regal against Chris Benoit & Chris Jericho.

  • WWF Women’s Title: Chyna © vs. Ivory (w/Steven Richards)

This is Ivory’s rematch after Chyna crushed her at Wrestlemania. Only tis time Ivory has her pal Richards in her corner so maybe that’ll make a difference. Or not. Chyna hammers away on Ivory to start and slams her then sets her on the top rope and throws her to the mat. Chyna shoves Ivory into a corner and goes for the handspring elbow but Ivory sidesteps it and hits a bulldog. Ivory gets in her offense with a series of elbowdrops and follows up with a legdrop to the neck for a two count. Ivory snaps Chyna back then applies a chinlock but Chyna gets to her feet and throws Ivory off her back. Chyna goes for the ropes but Richards pulls her out to the floor and clotheslines her then tosses her back in. Ivory hits an elbowdrop and taunts the fans before covering Chyna for a two count then applies a facelock. Chyna counters it into a delayed vertical suplex then hits a powerslam followed by a pair of clotheslines. Chyna whips Ivory back and forth between the corners then presses her up and slams her and gets the pin. (3:53) And thus would being Chyna’s burial of the Women’s division. Richards comes in ready for a Stevenkick but Chyna catches him and spins him around into a DDT. DUD

~ Backstage Big Show knocks on the Acolytes’ door and asks them to team with him against Undertaker and Kane. Bradshaw and Faarooq make fun of a 7′ 3-ton giant needing their help and Show accuses them of being chicken. The Acolytes say they’re too busy and Show tells them not to come crying to him if they need a giant and storms off.

~ Back from break Chris Jericho is conversing with Chris Benoit about having to face four opponents tonight. Jericho reminds Benoit how they humilaited William Regal on Raw and feels he’s obviously out to get his revenge tonight so they’re being set up for a screwjob. Benoit ponders this then suggests he and Jericho go with it.

  • Kurt Angle, William Regal, Edge & Christian vs. Chris Benoit & Chris Jericho4-on-2 Handicap Match

Interesting how many future world champions are in this match. Benoit and Jericho both rush the ring and take it right to their four opponents, actually getting the advantage. Benoit tosses Regal over the ropes while Jericho hits Angle with a low blow then clotheslines Christian over. Edge tries to whip Benoit but Benoit counters into a suplex and Jericho follows up with the Lionsault on Edge. Angle comes back in and Jericho catches him with a right while Benoit and Regal are fighting it out on the floor. Benoit rams Regal into the apron then climbs to the top rope and connects with the diving headbutt on Edge. Benoit covers Edge but Christian is in to make the save then hits Benoit with a Slop Drop and stomps at him. Regal tags in and gets in his stomps on Benoit then caps off with a European uppercut before tagging in Angle. Angle stomps away at Benoit and hits a suplex before Edge tags in and takes over on Benoit then slams him. Christian tags in as Benoit comes back with chops when Christian whips him into a corner but eats a boot. Benoit hits more chops when Christian goes for a Slop Drop but Benoit counters with a Northen Light suplex. Both men crawl toward their corners and Christian tags in Angle while Benoit makes the hot tag to Jericho. Jericho clotheslines Angle, catches Edge with a clothesline, pops Regal off the apron and hits Angle with a chop. Jericho goes for a whip, Angle reverses but Jericho comes back with a flying forearm then goes for the bulldog. Angle ducks it and goes for the Olympic Slam, Jericho counters and goes for a backslide but Angle blocks that. Jericho puts Angle in the Walls of Jericho and Regal is in but Benoit intercepts him and slaps on the Crossface. Before either man submits Chrsitian is back in but Jericho releases Angle and puts him in the Walls of Jericho. Edge then tries to save Regal from Benoit with the spear but Benoit ducks it and slaps the Crossface on Edge. Again before either man taps Angle nails Jericho to break his hold then hits the Olympic Slam and grabs the pin. (3:28) Okay stuff but it was obvious Benoit and Jericho weren’t beating the odds. **

After the bell Benoit goes after Regal but Angle nails him from behind and the two proceed to double-team him. Regal then takes a swing at Jericho but Jericho ducks it and takes him down the puts him in the Walls of Jericho. Benoit comes back against Angle and gets him in the Crossface and both Angle and Regal are tapping like mad. Edge and Christian try to come back in for the save but Jericho and Benoit knock both of them off the apron. Angle then retreats with his crew up the ramp while Benoit and Jericho are the ones standing tall in the ring.

~ Back from break Jeff Hardy is preparing for his match when Test comes in and wishes him luck against Triple H. Test also gives Jeff props for him laying Stephanie out earlier, saying how many times he’s wanted to do that himself.

~ Cole and Tazz then recap Linda McMahon’s chat with Vince last Monday on Raw ending with her divorce demand. The announcers mention that Vince isn’t here tonight, perhaps still suffering from the shock of Linda’s request.

  • Hardcore Holly vs. Rhyno

As mentioned earlier Hardcore and Crash were to get a tag title match but Rhyno taking Crash out changed that, so Hardcore is out for payback instead. Both men start exchanging shots and go all around the ring until Hardcore hammers away at Rhyno in a corner. Hardcore then goes for a whip, Rhyno reverses him into the other corner and charges at him but eats a boot. Hardcore continues teeing off on Rhyno but Rhyno gets the advantage before both men start exchanging chops. Hardcore takes control with a clothesline then drapes Rhyno on the top rope and kicks him in the chest. Rhyno fights back and lays the boots to Hardcore then comes off the ropes and connects with a running boot. Rhyno clubs Hardcore’s back but Hardcore takes Rhyno down and unloads on him in a corner then chokes him. Hardcore continues his assault when the referee pulls him off but Rhyno comes out and Gores both men ar once. Suddenly Molly Holly runs out and tosses a trash can to Hardcore who knocks Rhyno through the ropes with it. Rhyno backs away up the ramp and they’re showing replays so I guess that’s the match. (3:17) Not much to see here. DUD

~ Backstage Big Show meets with Grandmaster Sexay and asks if he and Steve Blackman might be his partners tonight. Sexay declines, telling Show that he has somewhere else to play so Show needs to start steppin’ and hit the bricks. Show decides to step on Sexay instead when Blackman comes in brandishing his nunchucks and Show backs away.

~ Back from break we get a look at WWF New York which is sporting a giant ‘XFL Championship’ poster. We also get a shot of Triple H taping up his wrists in the back for his big IC Title defense later tonight.

~ Backstage Kevin Kelly interviews Jeff Hardy on his chances of winning the Intercontinental Title. Jeff says winning the title would be great but tonight is all about payback and revenge for Matt and Lita.

~ Elsehwere backstage Test is checking out a magazine when the Right to Censor walks up to try and recruit him. The Goodfather says how they’re trying to make a difference in the WWF and the workd and it starts with all of them. Val Venis then tells Test how the world is being choked out by abomination and he can change that by joining them. Test laughs about how he can give up women and his beliefs and dress just like them before telling them to get lost. Val responds by challenging Test to face him tonight and show how deep his convictions lie and Test accepts.

~ Again elsehwere Big Show is walking when he comes across Kaientai and their interpretor asks them to tag with him. The interpretor asks Taka and Funaki then tells Show they’ll accept his invitiaton because he reminds them of Godzilla. Show mentions something about soup and wantons then walks off with them as we go to commercial.

  • The Undertaker & Kane vs. The Big Show & Kaientai3-on-2 Handicap Match

The participants file out but Kaientai get scared since Show didn’t mention who their opponents were. Show tries to pull his team together and asks one of them to start us off but they’re hesitant to get in the ring. Eventually Sho Funaki is in to start off but Taker says he has no beef with him and allows him to tag Show in. However Show refuses so Taker boots Funaki to get thigns started then drags him by the arm to Show’s corner. Show again refuses and hops off the apron when Taka Michinoku tags in and tries to get a sleeper on Taker. Taker just walks over to his corner and tags Kane in and Kane knocks Taka off Taker’s back with a right hand. Kane presses Taka up and slams him then goes for the ropes when Show nails him, finally getting involved. Kane turns and grabs Show by the throat when Funaki tries to fight him off but Kane decks Funaki in response. Taka then dropkicks Kane in the knee before Show finally comes in and hits a clothesline but Kane sits right up. So Show brings Funaki in the hard way and decides he’s had enough as he heads out and abandons his partners. Kane grabs Funaki when Taka climbs to the top and leaps ofg but Kane grabs him and chokeslams both guys. Taker then convines Kane to hit a Last Ride and Kane sets Funaki up but tosses him over his head instead. Taker decides to do a proper Last Ride to Taka and Show is throwing a fit while Kane powerbombs Funaki to finally end this. (2:54) Nothing more than a comedy match, and an uniteresting one at that. DUD

~ We get a shot of Jeff Hardy preparing for his big match backstage as we go to commercial.

~ Back from break Cole and Tazz hype the XFL playoffs this weekend. San Francisco/Orlando Saturday night on NBC and Los Angeles/Chicago Sunday night on UPN. Just two more weeks of the XFL, folks.

  • Test vs. Val Venis (w/The Right to Censor)

Test pounds on Val to start and goes for a whip, Val reverses but lowers the head and Test kicks the face. Test goes for the big boot but Val fakes him out so he goes for the ropes but Goodfather trips him from the floor. Test then pulls Goodfather onto to the apron but that allows Val to nail him from behind and get in his offense. Val distracts the referee while the others get in their shots from the floor then stomps Test down in a corner. Val chokes Test with his shoe and hits a suplex then applies a submission hold before clubbing him in the chest. Val slams Test and hits a kneedrop for a two count then goes for a whip and Test reverses but lowers the head. Val kicks the face then comes off the ropes but runs right into a tilt-o-whirl slam that gets Test a near fall. Test whips Val and hits him with a backdrop and Val begs him off before pulling him out through the ropes. Val distracts the referee again while Buchanan nails Test with a bicycle kick on the floor and tosses him back in. Val covers Test but only gets a two and Val argues the count but Test comes back with the pump-handle slam. Test covers Val when Goodfather distracts the referee while Buchanan comes in and nails Test for the save. Bucnanan holds Test as Steven Richards goes for the Stevenkick but Test escapes and Buchanan takes the shot. Raven then runs in and drills Richards with the Evenflow DDT but Val decks him and kicks him out to the floor. Val then scoops Test up but Test floats over him and shoves him into Goodfather, knocking him off the apron. Test then nails Val with the big boot and is finally able to get the three count. (4:08) Yawn. DUD

Test departs when Buchanan and Goodfather start shoving each other while Richards tries to calm them down. However Goodfather and Buchanan both drop Richards with a right hand before Val clotheslines both guys. Everyone starts fighting everyone else around the ring and end was finally beginning for the RTC angle.

~ Jeff Hardy and Triple H are both shown heading to the ring which means main event time as we go to commercial.

~ Back from break they replay the video package we saw at the beginning of the show, just in case you missed it.

  • WWF Intercontinential Title: Triple H © vs. Jeff Hardy

Amazing how this would be a world title match in seven years. Triple H wastes no time beating on Jeff and hammering away on him in a corner. Triple H throws Jeff through the ropes then brings him back in as we see Stephanie watching from the back. Triple H whips Jeff but Jeff comes back with a headscissors followed by a dropkick and hits a second dropkick. Triple H regains control and goes for a Pedigree but Jeff counters with a takedown and hits the double legdrop. Jeff dropkicks Triple H in the face then hits the count-along punches in a corner but Triple H shoves him off. Triple H whips Jeff into a corner but Jeff runs up the turnbuckles and connects with the Whisper in the Wind. Triple H throws Jeff under the ropes then goes after him but Jeff blocks Triple H and rams him into the steps. Jeff runs across the barricade and dives at Triple H but Triple H catches him into a slightly-botched powerslam. Triple H goes for a whip. Jeff sends him into the barrier then leaps off the apron but Triple H powerslams him. Triple H whips Jeff into the steps before rolling him back in the ring when Jeff desparately tries to fight back. Jeff goes for a whip but Triple H reverses it and connects with the high knee then continues assaulting him. Triple H chokes Jeff on the middle rope then beats him down some in a corner and chokes him with his boot. Triple H whips Jeff and slaps on a sleeperhold and Jeff begins to fade but counters the hold with a jawbreaker. Jeff follows up with a Russian legsweep and climbs to the top rope but Triple H pulls the referee into the ropes. Jeff straddles the turnbuckles and the referee repremands Triple H for that but Triple H just shoves him down. Triple H goes up and sets up for a superplex … when Matt Hardy runs in and clobbers Triple H with a chair! Triple H is down as Jeff connects with the Swanton Bomb and gets the 1..2..3!!! (8:06) Jeff upsets Triple H and wins his first singles title. Fun main event there with some nice bumping by Jeff and halfway-decent selling by Triple H. Now you’d figure this win would have elevated the Hardys to the next level but … well, you’ll see in the next review. **½

Matt quickly helps Jeff out of the ring with Jeff’s new title in hand and Stephanie is shocked in the back as while Triple H starts throwing a fit as the Hardys look on from the stage. However Tazz feels Jeff may be the champion but in his eyes he’s a dead man as Smackdown goes off the air.

Conclusion: Other than the main event, a pretty forgettable show. Most of the matches weren’t worth your time and the WWF seemed to be in a holding pattern as very little was progressed toward the next pay-per-view. The main event was fine and actually featured a happy ending, which was nice after three shows with downer finishes. Again Jeff’s win over Triple H should have made him and Matt the next big stars and could have even started a program between them and Austin & Triple H leading up to Backlash but again we’ll cover that in the next review. Since you can find the Jeff Hardy/Triple H match on the WWF Action DVD, there’s no real reason to track this show down.

For more reviews visit my archive at: http://kingsrecaps.wordpress.com

Smackdown – March 2, 2012

Smackdown
Date: March 2, 2012
Location: Key Arena, Seattle, Washington
Commentators: Michael Cole, Josh Matthews, Booker T

Reviewed by Tommy Hall

Orton is back tonight and he’s facing Daniel Bryan after Bryan gave him the concussion that put him out. I don’t remember if I ever heard how legit that injury was. Anyway, that’s the main event and it should be good, but I’d be shocked if we got a clean finish to it. Expect more of the Bryan vs. Sheamus build as well as some more Ace vs. Long stuff. Let’s get to it.

We open with what looks more like a commercial for the show than an opening video. It’s about the main event.

Do You Know Your Enemy? Mine is bronchitis.

Here’s Sheamus to open the show. He says he’s thinking about Wrestlemania and being in front of over 80,000 members of the WWE Universe. FANS. THEY’RE CALLED FANS. When did that become a dirty word? I know “Members of the WWE Universe” has been their term for it for years now, but why is fans such a bad thing to say? Anyway he can’t wait to face Bryan. Bryan has become a changed man since he won the title, just like Sheamus did two years ago.

When Sheamus won his first world title, he became wrapped up in his own ego. However, he was lucky. He should have known that the WWE Title was the greatest trophy he could have earned. He became a bully instead though. You mean like he was before he won the title? What Sheamus needed was for someone to knock his block off. Bryan needs the same thing.

This brings out Vickie and Dolph for some reason. She liked his story but her favorite part was when Sheamus stopped talking. Ziggler says the people deserve to see him in the main event, not Sheamus. He says Sheamus’ hair is on fire. Sheamus says that joke is as old as Dolph’s grandmother Vickie. For some reason this leads to Vickie talking about Ace/Teddy and saying she’s the only non-McMahon to be GM of both shows. Teddy comes out and makes Dolph vs. Sheamus right now. I liked Sheamus’ promo here. He’s not the best talker in the world so keeping it simple is something that works well for him.

Sheamus vs. Dolph Ziggler

The match is joined in progress after a break but it doesn’t look like we’ve missed much. There was an ad talking about how Ace will run Smackdown next week so the announcers talk about that for awhile. Ziggler hits a dropkick but Sheamus keeps smiling. Sheamus comes back with forearms to the back and the ten in the ropes. The fans clearly really like Sheamus but they’ve given him no character development at all. It’s a lost art in WWE anymore.

Ziggler goes to the floor. Booker says stay on your bicycle Dolph. There’s an image for you, complete with Benny Hill music. Ziggler grabs a neckbreaker coming back in to take over. Another neckbreaker gets two so Dolph drops some elbows for the same result. Sheamus fights out of a chinlock and hits his power shots to come back. Powerslam gets two. Ziggler locks on a sleeper but Sheamus powers out of it by ramming Ziggler into the corner and out to the floor.

Dolph comes off the top but jumps into the Irish Curse. It gets two as Vickie puts the foot on the ropes. Sheamus loads up the Celtic Cross (Sheamus’, not Finlay’s). Irish Curse The Sequel gets two. Sheamus pounds his chest and shouts Brogue so Vickie calls out Swagger. The Kick takes him down but Ziggler hits a Fameasser. That only gets two so he tries the Zig Zag. Sheamus holds the ropes and catches Ziggler in the new finisher which is now called the White Noise.

Rating: B-. Pretty good match here with Sheamus continuing to roll over the upper midcard. Since they’re not going to give him and Bryan a concrete story, this works as well as anything else. Also it makes Sheamus look a lot stronger going into the PPV. At the end of the day though, he needs to pin Orton clean to really make himself look like the top challenger on Smackdown and I’m not sure I can see that. The other problem is that Bryan needs to be made to look strong also and I don’t think that’s going to happen.

We recap the Bryan vs. Punk stuff from Raw with the Battling Bosses.

Ace and Otunga are in Teddy’s office when Teddy comes in. Ace wants an apology for the attack by Teddy on Raw. Apparently Ace has a bad back now and its because of Teddy. Otunga is considering a civil suit against Teddy. Ace says an apology will do instead. Teddy says no because it made Ace look like “a cow on ice crossed with Sesame Street Big Bird.” Otunga vs. Khali on Monday. Ace suggests Teddy try yoga.

Heath Slater vs. Santino Marella

Santino attacks to start but the headbutt lands on knees. The announcers talk about Ace and Teddy. Cole: “See how tough he is?” Booker: “He used to have a skateboard. That’s how tough he is.” Anyway, Slater hits a Harlem Side Kick for two. He goes up but gets crotched and the Cobra ends it at 1:53.

Video on HHH vs. Undertaker, the same from Raw. The match simply isn’t as good as they’re trying to make it out to be. It’s very good. It’s a great match. It’s not this masterpiece that they’re pushing it as.

Natalya yells at Eve about Zach. Eve goes off on her about it and guess what Natalya winds up doing. You either want the Divas to be serious or you don’t. Pick one.

Natalya vs. Eve Torres

Natalya controls with a headlock and Booker has a thing for Eve. Now Booker diagnoses Natalya’s stomach issues. Eve slaps her so Natalya takes her down and pounds on her. Eve reverses a rollup into one of her own for the pin at 1:32.

Here’s Cody who has held the title for a very long time. If my math is right, if he holds the title until April 10, he’ll have held if for the longest reign since Rock’s in 97/98. Cody talks about Big Show’s Wrestlemania losses and shows some stills from the Akebono and Mayweather matches. Cody says Show should be thanking him for keeping Show out of Wrestlemania because Show would just floudner again. He’s got another Wrestlemania clip but Show cuts him off.

Cody runs into the crowd as soon as Show gets to the ring. Show says hang on a second. He wanted to watch the new clip with Cody like friends. Since Cody won’t come back though, Show better go get Cody. Cue Teddy who says hang on a minute. This isn’t Pamplona, Spain and Show can’t be running into the crowd like a bull. Show vs. Cody for the title is announced for Wrestlemania. That’s the second time the IC Title will be on the line at Mania since 2002.

Big Show vs. Mark Henry

Show takes him down to start but Henry fights back and clotheslines Show to the floor. The fans chant Sexual Chocolate as Show is sent into the timekeeper’s area. He gets back to the apron at 8 but Henry rams him into the exposed buckle as we take a break. Back with Henry pounding him down and Cody on commentary. Back to the floor and Henry rams Show’s back into the post.

With Show still against the post, Mark throws the steps at him. Since that would result in probable death, Show moves. Henry knocks him down again and hits a Vader Bomb for two. Show hits a superkick and a “spear” (it was a shoulder block) to take Henry down. Show sets for the chokeslam but gets caught in the Slam for two. So long Henry, hope you enjoyed your time in the main event. Henry charges into the corner but walks into the WMD for the pin at 5:22 shown of 8:52.

Rating: C-. It’s such a shame to see someone like Henry who has raised his game so much over the last six months and shocked the world by becoming a legit world champion to be sent down to this because of the way the WWE main event pushes work. Instead of going and feuding with a midcard face, they need to have him against other top good guys and losing, making his whole summer of dominance seem like it was nothing at all. Such is life in the WWE anymore.

Teddy tells Drew if he loses he’s fired. Again.

Orton says he’s back to normal, which means angry and wanting revenge. Bryan decided to pay the price and tonight Orton is going to collect.

Drew McIntyre vs. Justin Gabriel

Drew starts by blocking a kick and getting a clothesline for two. Another spin kick misses and Drew hits a big boot for two. Into the corner but Drew’s tilt-a-whirl slam is countered into a DDT. Gabriel goes up and hits the 450 for the pin at 1:44. Justin hit two moves the whole match.

Teddy pops up on screen and fires Drew. At least until next week when Ace rehires him because he sees a lot of potential in him or something. They mentioned that Ace discovered Drew and brought him to WWE in the first place during the match.

We get ALL of Rock and Cena from Monday. The version I watch is divided into 6 fifteen minute parts. I literally skipped all of part 5 because of this. There was NOTHING in there they could clip?

Daniel Bryan says he hasn’t changed since he won the title. He’s still the same down to Earth person who was born and raised in Aberdeen, Washington. However he moved to Vegas as soon as possible. He calls himself a role model and talks about how he beat Giant and Henry in a cage and five others in the Elimination Chamber.

Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton

The fans are split on Bryan. Orton sends him to the floor quickly and throws Bryan into things. He sends Bryan into the steps and kicks Bryan’s head into them. Back in Orton loads up a superplex but Bryan shoves him off and takes over. Knee to the head gets two as we take a break. Back with Bryan working over the arm and shoulder. Booker says that he’ll never call Bryan D-Bry again. Bryan stays on the shoulder but Orton hits a dropkick to get some seperation.

Booker runs down AJ now, calling Bryan her meal ticket. Is AJ really a heel, or does she just associate with one? I’m not exactly sure. The dropkick gets two. Bryan kicks him in the shoulder so Orton throws him into the Elevated DDT. RKO is countered twice and Bryan heads to the floor. Orton follows him and loads up the Elevated DDT on the floor….but here’s Kane. Didn’t see that one coming. The bell rings, presumably for a countout since Kane hasn’t touched anyone, at 6:30 shown of 10:00.

Rating: C. Well we knew it wasn’t going to be a clean finish. I’d assume this is going to set up Kane vs. Orton at Wrestlemania. That’s a feud I’ve always wanted to see as I’m a fan of both guys. It’s as good as anything else they’re going to get and it gives them both something to do. The match was just ok though as they didn’t have the time to get anything good going.

Orton goes straight at Kane for no apparent reason. Kane might have been coming to ask Booker if he wanted to buy some Girl Scout cookies. They go into the ring but Kane is clotheslined to the floor. He pulls Orton out and they brawl on the floor for a bit. Back inside and Orton’s shoulder goes into the post. A chokeslam puts Randy down and Kane wants a mic. He says welcome back Randy and that’s it.

Ace says it’s Kane vs. Aksana next week.

Overall Rating: B. I liked this show a lot. This is more the Smackdown style: steady as it goes and set up matches for the PPV. Here we set up the IC Title match, Kane vs. Orton and they furthered the Smackdown world title match. With four weeks to go until the PPV, that’s a pretty solid show as far as building to the PPV. I could have done without 1/6 of the show being about Cena vs. Rock though. They could have cut that down to about five minutes and it would have been fine. Better show than most recent ones here though.

Results
Sheamus b. Dolph Ziggler – White Noise
Santino Marella b. Heath Slater – Cobra
Eve Torres b. Natalya – Rollup
Justin Gabriel b. Drew McIntyre – 450 Splash
Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton went to a double countout

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Smackdown – March 2, 2012

Smackdown
Date: March 2, 2012
Location: Key Arena, Seattle, Washington
Commentators: Michael Cole, Josh Matthews, Booker T

Reviewed by Tommy Hall

Orton is back tonight and he’s facing Daniel Bryan after Bryan gave him the concussion that put him out. I don’t remember if I ever heard how legit that injury was. Anyway, that’s the main event and it should be good, but I’d be shocked if we got a clean finish to it. Expect more of the Bryan vs. Sheamus build as well as some more Ace vs. Long stuff. Let’s get to it.

We open with what looks more like a commercial for the show than an opening video. It’s about the main event.

Do You Know Your Enemy? Mine is bronchitis.

Here’s Sheamus to open the show. He says he’s thinking about Wrestlemania and being in front of over 80,000 members of the WWE Universe. FANS. THEY’RE CALLED FANS. When did that become a dirty word? I know “Members of the WWE Universe” has been their term for it for years now, but why is fans such a bad thing to say? Anyway he can’t wait to face Bryan. Bryan has become a changed man since he won the title, just like Sheamus did two years ago.

When Sheamus won his first world title, he became wrapped up in his own ego. However, he was lucky. He should have known that the WWE Title was the greatest trophy he could have earned. He became a bully instead though. You mean like he was before he won the title? What Sheamus needed was for someone to knock his block off. Bryan needs the same thing.

This brings out Vickie and Dolph for some reason. She liked his story but her favorite part was when Sheamus stopped talking. Ziggler says the people deserve to see him in the main event, not Sheamus. He says Sheamus’ hair is on fire. Sheamus says that joke is as old as Dolph’s grandmother Vickie. For some reason this leads to Vickie talking about Ace/Teddy and saying she’s the only non-McMahon to be GM of both shows. Teddy comes out and makes Dolph vs. Sheamus right now. I liked Sheamus’ promo here. He’s not the best talker in the world so keeping it simple is something that works well for him.

Sheamus vs. Dolph Ziggler

The match is joined in progress after a break but it doesn’t look like we’ve missed much. There was an ad talking about how Ace will run Smackdown next week so the announcers talk about that for awhile. Ziggler hits a dropkick but Sheamus keeps smiling. Sheamus comes back with forearms to the back and the ten in the ropes. The fans clearly really like Sheamus but they’ve given him no character development at all. It’s a lost art in WWE anymore.

Ziggler goes to the floor. Booker says stay on your bicycle Dolph. There’s an image for you, complete with Benny Hill music. Ziggler grabs a neckbreaker coming back in to take over. Another neckbreaker gets two so Dolph drops some elbows for the same result. Sheamus fights out of a chinlock and hits his power shots to come back. Powerslam gets two. Ziggler locks on a sleeper but Sheamus powers out of it by ramming Ziggler into the corner and out to the floor.

Dolph comes off the top but jumps into the Irish Curse. It gets two as Vickie puts the foot on the ropes. Sheamus loads up the Celtic Cross (Sheamus’, not Finlay’s). Irish Curse The Sequel gets two. Sheamus pounds his chest and shouts Brogue so Vickie calls out Swagger. The Kick takes him down but Ziggler hits a Fameasser. That only gets two so he tries the Zig Zag. Sheamus holds the ropes and catches Ziggler in the new finisher which is now called the White Noise.

Rating: B-. Pretty good match here with Sheamus continuing to roll over the upper midcard. Since they’re not going to give him and Bryan a concrete story, this works as well as anything else. Also it makes Sheamus look a lot stronger going into the PPV. At the end of the day though, he needs to pin Orton clean to really make himself look like the top challenger on Smackdown and I’m not sure I can see that. The other problem is that Bryan needs to be made to look strong also and I don’t think that’s going to happen.

We recap the Bryan vs. Punk stuff from Raw with the Battling Bosses.

Ace and Otunga are in Teddy’s office when Teddy comes in. Ace wants an apology for the attack by Teddy on Raw. Apparently Ace has a bad back now and its because of Teddy. Otunga is considering a civil suit against Teddy. Ace says an apology will do instead. Teddy says no because it made Ace look like “a cow on ice crossed with Sesame Street Big Bird.” Otunga vs. Khali on Monday. Ace suggests Teddy try yoga.

Heath Slater vs. Santino Marella

Santino attacks to start but the headbutt lands on knees. The announcers talk about Ace and Teddy. Cole: “See how tough he is?” Booker: “He used to have a skateboard. That’s how tough he is.” Anyway, Slater hits a Harlem Side Kick for two. He goes up but gets crotched and the Cobra ends it at 1:53.

Video on HHH vs. Undertaker, the same from Raw. The match simply isn’t as good as they’re trying to make it out to be. It’s very good. It’s a great match. It’s not this masterpiece that they’re pushing it as.

Natalya yells at Eve about Zach. Eve goes off on her about it and guess what Natalya winds up doing. You either want the Divas to be serious or you don’t. Pick one.

Natalya vs. Eve Torres

Natalya controls with a headlock and Booker has a thing for Eve. Now Booker diagnoses Natalya’s stomach issues. Eve slaps her so Natalya takes her down and pounds on her. Eve reverses a rollup into one of her own for the pin at 1:32.

Here’s Cody who has held the title for a very long time. If my math is right, if he holds the title until April 10, he’ll have held if for the longest reign since Rock’s in 97/98. Cody talks about Big Show’s Wrestlemania losses and shows some stills from the Akebono and Mayweather matches. Cody says Show should be thanking him for keeping Show out of Wrestlemania because Show would just floudner again. He’s got another Wrestlemania clip but Show cuts him off.

Cody runs into the crowd as soon as Show gets to the ring. Show says hang on a second. He wanted to watch the new clip with Cody like friends. Since Cody won’t come back though, Show better go get Cody. Cue Teddy who says hang on a minute. This isn’t Pamplona, Spain and Show can’t be running into the crowd like a bull. Show vs. Cody for the title is announced for Wrestlemania. That’s the second time the IC Title will be on the line at Mania since 2002.

Big Show vs. Mark Henry

Show takes him down to start but Henry fights back and clotheslines Show to the floor. The fans chant Sexual Chocolate as Show is sent into the timekeeper’s area. He gets back to the apron at 8 but Henry rams him into the exposed buckle as we take a break. Back with Henry pounding him down and Cody on commentary. Back to the floor and Henry rams Show’s back into the post.

With Show still against the post, Mark throws the steps at him. Since that would result in probable death, Show moves. Henry knocks him down again and hits a Vader Bomb for two. Show hits a superkick and a “spear” (it was a shoulder block) to take Henry down. Show sets for the chokeslam but gets caught in the Slam for two. So long Henry, hope you enjoyed your time in the main event. Henry charges into the corner but walks into the WMD for the pin at 5:22 shown of 8:52.

Rating: C-. It’s such a shame to see someone like Henry who has raised his game so much over the last six months and shocked the world by becoming a legit world champion to be sent down to this because of the way the WWE main event pushes work. Instead of going and feuding with a midcard face, they need to have him against other top good guys and losing, making his whole summer of dominance seem like it was nothing at all. Such is life in the WWE anymore.

Teddy tells Drew if he loses he’s fired. Again.

Orton says he’s back to normal, which means angry and wanting revenge. Bryan decided to pay the price and tonight Orton is going to collect.

Drew McIntyre vs. Justin Gabriel

Drew starts by blocking a kick and getting a clothesline for two. Another spin kick misses and Drew hits a big boot for two. Into the corner but Drew’s tilt-a-whirl slam is countered into a DDT. Gabriel goes up and hits the 450 for the pin at 1:44. Justin hit two moves the whole match.

Teddy pops up on screen and fires Drew. At least until next week when Ace rehires him because he sees a lot of potential in him or something. They mentioned that Ace discovered Drew and brought him to WWE in the first place during the match.

We get ALL of Rock and Cena from Monday. The version I watch is divided into 6 fifteen minute parts. I literally skipped all of part 5 because of this. There was NOTHING in there they could clip?

Daniel Bryan says he hasn’t changed since he won the title. He’s still the same down to Earth person who was born and raised in Aberdeen, Washington. However he moved to Vegas as soon as possible. He calls himself a role model and talks about how he beat Giant and Henry in a cage and five others in the Elimination Chamber.

Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton

The fans are split on Bryan. Orton sends him to the floor quickly and throws Bryan into things. He sends Bryan into the steps and kicks Bryan’s head into them. Back in Orton loads up a superplex but Bryan shoves him off and takes over. Knee to the head gets two as we take a break. Back with Bryan working over the arm and shoulder. Booker says that he’ll never call Bryan D-Bry again. Bryan stays on the shoulder but Orton hits a dropkick to get some seperation.

Booker runs down AJ now, calling Bryan her meal ticket. Is AJ really a heel, or does she just associate with one? I’m not exactly sure. The dropkick gets two. Bryan kicks him in the shoulder so Orton throws him into the Elevated DDT. RKO is countered twice and Bryan heads to the floor. Orton follows him and loads up the Elevated DDT on the floor….but here’s Kane. Didn’t see that one coming. The bell rings, presumably for a countout since Kane hasn’t touched anyone, at 6:30 shown of 10:00.

Rating: C. Well we knew it wasn’t going to be a clean finish. I’d assume this is going to set up Kane vs. Orton at Wrestlemania. That’s a feud I’ve always wanted to see as I’m a fan of both guys. It’s as good as anything else they’re going to get and it gives them both something to do. The match was just ok though as they didn’t have the time to get anything good going.

Orton goes straight at Kane for no apparent reason. Kane might have been coming to ask Booker if he wanted to buy some Girl Scout cookies. They go into the ring but Kane is clotheslined to the floor. He pulls Orton out and they brawl on the floor for a bit. Back inside and Orton’s shoulder goes into the post. A chokeslam puts Randy down and Kane wants a mic. He says welcome back Randy and that’s it.

Ace says it’s Kane vs. Aksana next week.

Overall Rating: B. I liked this show a lot. This is more the Smackdown style: steady as it goes and set up matches for the PPV. Here we set up the IC Title match, Kane vs. Orton and they furthered the Smackdown world title match. With four weeks to go until the PPV, that’s a pretty solid show as far as building to the PPV. I could have done without 1/6 of the show being about Cena vs. Rock though. They could have cut that down to about five minutes and it would have been fine. Better show than most recent ones here though.

Results
Sheamus b. Dolph Ziggler – White Noise
Santino Marella b. Heath Slater – Cobra
Eve Torres b. Natalya – Rollup
Justin Gabriel b. Drew McIntyre – 450 Splash
Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton went to a double countout

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The SmarK SUPER SMACKDOWN Rant – 02.21.12

The SmarK SUPER SmackDown Rant – 02.21.12

LIVE from somewhere not mentioned.

Your hosts are Michael Cole, Josh Matthews & Booker T.

Daniel Bryan and AJ start us out, as Bryan gloats about main-eventing Wrestlemania.  Although “main event” is a bit of a stretch given he’ll be fourth from the top at best.  He claims to be the real Rocky story, but the Miz interrupts.  Whoa, dig the STAR POWER.  Miz takes credit for Bryan’s development into a star and wants to form a team, but now Sheamus interrupts.  Miz is mortified, but Bryan attacks Sheamus and runs off, leaving Miz to get walloped.

Sheamus v. The Miz

Apparently Teddy Long booked the match during the break.  We join it in progress with Sheamus holding an armbar, and dumping Miz to the apron for the forearms.  Sheamus slingshots in with a shoulderblock for two, but Miz necksnaps him.  Sheamus misses a charge and hits the floor off that, allowing Miz to work the arm for a bit and hit the running corner clothesline.  Double axehandle off the top gets two, and they slug it out, but Sheamus comes back with elbows and his own corner clothesline.  Backbreaker gets two.  Miz gets the neckbreaker for two and sets up for the Finale, but Sheamus escapes and misses the big kick.  Emerald Frozen finishes at 5:55, however.  I’m guessing they can just call that the Emerald Isle and they’re golden.  Fine TV match.  **1/2  Miz really needs something different to do at this point, though, because he’s going to get stuck in the wrestling equivalent of the Friend Zone and never escape.

Meanwhile, Aksana continues putting the moves on Teddy Long, but Big Johnny and his lawyer interrupt.  So Teddy announces that their office is the men’s room tonight.  Oh, burn.

Kofi Kingston & R-Truth v. Dolph Ziggler & Jack Swagger

Must suck to be the Usos.  WWE is so desperate for tag teams that they throw R-BOOM together on RAW to bolster it, and the Usos still can’t even get off Superstars.  Swagger quickly gets the pump splash on Truth for two, and Ziggler drops the elbow and does situps.  Blind charge misses and Kofi gets the hot tag and runs wild, hitting a high cross on Dolph for two.  It’s BONZO GONZO and Truth takes yet another hard dump to the floor, allowing Ziggler to finish Kofi with the Zig Zag at 2:43.  I think this was actually Ziggler’s first win in something like two months, although I don’t get why you put the new team over the tag champs one night and then job them to another heel team the next night.

Meanwhile, Santino is training with the Cobra, but Heath Slater interrupts and gets spit on.  By the sock.  Yeah.  Luckily, Michael Cole helpfully points out that this was funny.

The Great Khali v. Drew McIntyre

Still not fired, I see.  Khali squashes the shit out of him at 0:27 with the tree slam.  This McIntyre storyline makes no sense.  So Teddy Long, weeks ago, says that he needs to win or he’s fired.  So he loses and loses and loses and loses and loses and loses and loses…and then nothing, he’s still there, and still losing, and now there’s not even any stakes to it, he’s just a guy who loses.  So what was the point?

Meanwhile, Big Show is really quite upset at Cody Rhodes.  They still need to get to Shaq for Wrestlemania, so maybe they’ll go with Show & Shaq v. Cody & Barrett instead?

Big Show v. Mark Henry

Good god, let poor Mark take a month off and heal.  Show hammers him in the corner but misses the knockout punch, and Henry pounds him down to take over.  Mark steps on him and chokes him out on the ropes, laying down some quality trash-talk.  Henry misses a blind charge and Show comes back with clotheslines and the spear, but Cody Rhodes interrupts.  For some reason, Show stops wrestling and stands there staring while Cody shows a video of Show v. Akebono at Wrestlemania 21.  And he turns around into a slam and splash for two.  Henry must have the WORLD’S STRONGEST GROIN if he can bodyslam a guy with his injuries.  Show, however, puts Henry down with the Kassius Ohno punch and that match just stops at 5:00 or so with no winner announced.  What the fuck kind of finish was that?  *1/2

Ezekial Jackson v. David Otunga

As much as they do the fake laughter for dumb stuff, Johnny Ace coming out and doing the Teddy Long dance with no music is legitimately hilarious.  And Zeke cuts a DROP IN PROMO before the match so we know he means business.  Hopefully he lasts longer than 90 seconds this time then.  Otunga pounds away, but Zeke gets a pair of clotheslines in the corner followed by a splash.  Otunga escapes the torture rack by grabbing the ropes, and finishes with the spinebuster at 1:14.  So no, in fact Zeke lost even faster this time.  ½*  I think perhaps Teddy Long should consider upgrading his avatar in this feud.

Meanwhile, CM Punk talks up Teddy Long and hypes the main event tonight.

Daniel Bryan v. CM Punk

We’ve got half an hour left so that’s gotta be a good sign.  Michael Cole goes crazy for a “Twitter War” between Punk and Chris Brown, which is apparently about how Brown wants Hacksaw Duggan and Bret Hart to come back or something.  Hey, how about Punk & Rihanna v. Brown & Eve Torres for Wrestlemania!  They trade headlocks while Cole once again talks about how “#1 trend worldwide” means “most talked about subject on Twitter”, which is completely a lie.  That is totally incorrect and they are pathetic trying to make it sound like it’s true.  We take a break and return with Bryan hurting Punk’s arm and working on it in the corner, but a blind charge misses.  Punk whiffs on a springboard bodyblock, landing right on the arm to hurt it further.  By the way, add “developing story” to my list of annoying Michael Cole-isms.  It joins “building momentum” among many others.  Bryan throws the kicks, but Punk slugs back with forearms until Bryan takes him down by the arm again.  Bryan gets a nice dick heel move, grinding his knee into Punk’s face on the mat, before going to the surfboard hold.  Punk fights out of that with a backbreaker and either blows out his knee in the process or does a spectacular job of faking it.  That was just sloppy.  Apparently he’s fine because he fights back with the high kicks and tries the GTS, but Bryan goes the arm to escape and then exits the ring.  Sheamus tosses him back in and Punk finishes with the high kick at 9:42.  BUT WAIT!  Executive Vice President of Talent Relations and Interim GM of RAW Johnny Ace WILL NOT STAND for this injustice, and the match MUST CONTINUE.  He’s got a point.  So we take a break and return with Bryan getting a rollup and holding the ropes for the pin at 11:32.  BUT WAIT!  Teddy Long continues wrecking a perfectly good match with overbooking bullshit and he also decrees that the match MUST CONTINUE.   Punk hits a tope suicida and back in for a springboard clothesline that gets two.  Back in, Bryan takes over again and gets a dropkick into the corner for two.  Top rope rana is reversed by Punk on the way down for two, and Punk blocks the seated kicks with a rollup for two.  Bryan reverses that into the Lebell Lock, but Punk escapes with the catapult and levels him with the high kick for two.  Punk goes up for the big elbow, but Bryan crotches him and they fight for the superplex attempt.  Punk puts him down twice, but Bryan just won’t die and finally gets his superplex…which Punk immediately turns into a small package for the pin at 17:29.  However, both shoulders were down, so apparently there’s no winner here either.  Long and Ace argue over it, and for some reason Long is endorsing Punk while Ace is endorsing Bryan, which is bizarre because you’d think they’d support the champions of their own show, personal feelings aside.  At least that’s what HHH told us a couple of weeks ago.  Anyway, great match, STUPID ending.  These were some spectacularly bad finishes tonight, although it’s tough to ruin Punk v. Bryan.  ****

The Pulse:

This was basically RAW part 2, and the entire show was god-awful up until the main event saved it, so please do yourself a favor and seek out that match, and feel free to ignore the rest of this crappy show.