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.
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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