Smackdown – April 10, 2012 (Live Tuesday Show)

Smackdown
Date: April 10, 2012
Location: Hampton Coliseum, Hampton, Virginia
Commentators: Michael Cole, Josh Matthews, Booker T

This is another special live show with a theme of Blast From The Past. That means that we have the legends coming out again for their semi-annual appearances which don’t mean much other than us getting to say “hey, I know you.” It still should be fun though as most of these shows are. Also we might even get some fallout from last week with Sheamus. Let’s get to it.

Do You Know Your Enemy? Mine is the Indians’ bullpen. How can it be this bad?

We get a quick clip of Bryan breaking up with AJ last week. Bryan is in Piper’s Pit tonight.

Here’s Mean Gene for an interview in the ring with Sheamus. Ok so by interview it means introducing him and standing in the corner. Sheamus talks about there being a code of honor as champion and he didn’t follow it last week. There was a Daniel Bryan chant as he started talking but it wasn’t a huge one. He publicly apologizes to all referees including Chad Patton. Everyone makes mistakes and he always learns the hard way from them.

Ace’s new trumpet music cuts him off. He shows us the clip of the ending of last week’s main event and the Brogue Kick after the match. Ace wants to know who Sheamus thinks he is and demands a public apology. Sheamus says he just did that and Ace says he didn’t hear it so do it again. He does it again and Ace wants an apology to all of the other referees and we get the same exchange with the same result. Now Ace wants an apology to the world which brings a smirk to Sheamus’ face.

Ace says apologize now which Sheamus does, almost laughing at the same time. That’s not good enough apparently and Sheamus is on permanent probation, meaning that if he touches a referee by accident or on purpose, he’s fired. Also he’s being fined $500,000. Also tonight it’s Del Rio/Bryan vs. Sheamus/Okerlund. As long as we don’t see him in trunks again I’m ok. This was an attempt at making us care about Sheamus and while it’s nothing new at all, it’s certainly better than nothing.

Bob Orton wishes his son good luck in his upcoming match.

Randy Orton vs. Mark Henry

Henry misses a charge and Orton pounds away with right hands. He tries to climb the corner to punch even harder but gets slammed out for two. Bob is watching in the back as we take a break, 80 seconds into the match. Back with Orton fighting out of a neck crank. We see a clip from the break of Orton avoiding a charging Henry to send him into the stairs. Back to the neck crank and then a slam sets up a splash for two. Orton gets his feet up to stop a charging Henry and hits him clotheslines which don’t work.

A low DDT like Miz uses gets two. RKO is countered with Henry throwing Orton to the floor. Orton comes back and rams him into the post twice and slides in when Kane’s pyro goes off. Kane pops up on the screen and says by beating him at Mania, he became a monster again. Last week Orton proved he can be just as evil as Kane is. Kane says it shouldn’t end now, so we pan back to see Bob Orton laid out in front of him. The match just stops at about 11:00.

Rating: C-. This was watchable but not much more. I have no idea why it was a no contest instead of the logical countout win for Henry. Henry has a world title match on Monday so you need to keep him strong, but at the same time you don’t want Orton to look weak. The perfect solution? Countout loss, but for some reason that’s not what we get because WWE has no idea what they’re doing for the most part with basic things like that anymore.

Randy runs to the back and finds his dad but Kane drills him with a pipe and says he’s a sucker for family reunions.

Back and we recap what we saw four minutes ago.

DiBiase and Atlas are watching from the back. Atlas says this is going to be a squash match.

Ryback vs. Benny Camer

Patterson and Hillbilly Jim are watching in the back as well. Ryback KILLS HIM with a clothesline right after the bell and then puts him in a torture rack position and falls backwards for the pin at 35 seconds. WAY better than both Lord Tensai matches so far as Ryback looked like a killer.

Heath Slater is trying to talk Tyson Kidd into teaming with him tonight. Slater even has a Hall of Fame manager for them that says Slater could be the next Honky Tonk Man. It’s Jimmy Hart, who looks exactly the same as he did 20 years ago. Take that for what you will.

Mick Foley comes out to do commentary.

Heath Slater/Tyson Kidd vs. Usos

Cole actually references Countdown to Lockdown (not by name) when talking about Foley’s commentary history. We get the Megaphone which never goes out of style. Jimmy starts with Tyson in this NXT special. They exchange cradles and Slater tags himself in. Off to a chinlock and Jimmy says that he’s had more tag champions than anyone in the history of the WWE. I think Captain Lou might have something to say about that. The Usos make the hot tag and clean house, hitting their toss into the Samoan Drop. Mick gets tired of Jimmy and chases him off with Socko, allowing the Superfly Splash to end this mess at 2:40.

Jimmy takes Socko post match. These legends bits aren’t working at all for the most part.

Time for the Pit with Bryan as the guest. He looks pretty good. Old but good. He’s not as big as a house if nothing else. Piper says he misses being here and says Bryan is the guest tonight, getting a somewhat mixed reaction. We see the breakup clip for the fourth time tonight and here’s Bryan. There’s a brief but solid YES chant but it dies quickly. Piper says Bryan looks happy for someone that lost the title in 18 seconds. Bryan says he’s been granted his rematch and the fans chant 18 seconds. The match is at Extreme Rules and it’s 2/3 falls. AJ will be nowhere to be found.

Piper isn’t sure about that but he does know that AJ is here tonight. He likes AJ and since this is his show, AJ, COME ON DOWN! AJ comes out and is very excited to be in the Pit. She says hi to Daniel and Piper is surprised. AJ defends Bryan and says that deep down, he’s a good person. Piper says in the Pit you don’t have to be politically correct. AJ insists it was her fault and begs forgiveness. She wants to talk to Bryan and Piper tries to talk her out of it. Bryan cuts them off and says if AJ loves him, she’ll leave right now. Piper says she doesn’t need to listen to Bryan but AJ leaves anyway, getting a reaction out of it too.

Bryan goes to leave but Piper goes into Hot Rod mode and talks about Bryan’s YES YES YES shirt. Piper says he has a lot of children including four girls, four ladies. Piper says you don’t tell a lady to shut up. That’s a No. You don’t yell at a lady. That’s a No. You don’t use a lady as a human shield, because that’s a coward, and that’s Bryan, also a No. Piper says he’s looking forward to seeing Sheamus kick Bryan’s head off twice. Bryan slaps Piper and runs away. Piper was on here and it worked well.

Drew McIntyre/Bella Twins vs. Great Khali/Natalya/Beth Phoenix

Men vs. men and women vs. women. The men start but Drew gets chopped and tags out. He says he doesn’t need this and walks out. Alicia hits a northern lights suples on Brie for the pin at 56 seconds. What was the point in this match existing?

Mae Young comes out and kisses Khali. I guess that’s why the match existed.

Damien Sandow explains how sophisticated he is. He doesn’t like social media because it furthers the moral decay of society. Preach it brother.

Another clip of Kane and the Ortons earlier.

Raw ReBound.

Gene thinks Sheamus has a plan for tonight. Sheamus says they’re probably going to lose tonight but he’s not going to let Ace have the satisfaction of seeing Sheamus sweat. If they survive, the first pint is on Sheamus. They’ll either drink to remember or drink to forget.

Jim Duggan vs. Hunico

Duggan knocks him to the floor where Camacho is waiting. Duggan calls out Sarge and I think we have a tag match on our hands. Well it is Smackdown after all. Or maybe Sarge throws Duggan the 2×4 and it’s a DQ at 1:00. Hunico takes the Cobra Clutch post match.

Here’s Cody to complain about life in general. He’s looking forward to a future where he’s the champion again and where these legends don’t hog the spotlight. This brings out Dusty for what could be interesting. Dusty says that he’d do anything for his son, but he doesn’t quite get what Cody has been doing lately. Cody has been poking a grizzly bear lately in Big Show. Dusty gets cut off as Cody says Dusty is embarrassing him and they can talk in the back.

Cody goes to leave but here’s Big Show. He does the required Dusty impression and says he’ll show the real Cody Rhodes. It’s one of the Dashing Tips videos, this one being him putting on lip gloss. Cody looks stunned and Dusty looks…..uh…….I think the right word is disappointed. Show says that was embarrassing and leaves. Dusty doesn’t say anything but does get to dance to his music. I still stand by my theory that Dusty’s kids are the biggest ribs in the history of pro wrestling.

Alberto Del Rio/Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus/Gene Okerlund

The Fink does Gene/Sheamus’ entrance, making it instantly better. Sheamus starts with Del Rio but the heels double team him down quickly. Gene is in a Sheamus t-shirt and pants thankfully. Del Rio puts on a facelock but gets backdropped quickly. Sheamus throws both of them around but the Brogue Kick misses. Bryan dropkicks him to the floor and Del Rio kicks his head off.

Gene gets in for some reason and is surrounded. Ricardo is in there too. The Legends Army comes out to distract Bryan, allowing Sheamus to kick his head off for the pin at 3:23. I’m not going to rate it as most of that was Gene getting trapped and the Legends coming in, but the match was nothing at all of note anyway.

The legends all beat up Ricardo and celebrate to end the show. We’re not done yet though as Cole gets in the ring and says he knows they have to get back to the retirement home so let’s get a quick photo. They surround him and Patterson gives him a weak right hand to knock him to the floor. Atlas has some GUNS on him.

Overall Rating: C+. This is a hard one to grade. First of all, if you’re looking for the Smackdown version of Old School Raw, you didn’t get it here. This was more like a regular episode of Smackdown with some legends thrown in rather than the other way around. Now that being said it still worked okish, with the Pit being a highlight. The Sheamus vs. Ace stuff is decent as it gives Sheamus what he needs more than anything else: something people can relate to.

Since he turned face back in August, all he’s really done is beat people up and tell the occasional funny Irish story. That’s only going to get him so far and I think we reached that back in January. This is something a little different and while it’s something we’ve seen before, I liked how Sheamus handled it. It’s something I want to see continue and that’s a really good sign. This was a good show overall, but it’s not a great one.

Results
Randy Orton vs. Mark Henry went to a no contest
Ryback b. Benny Camer – Torture Rack Drop
Usos b. Tyson Kidd/Heath Slater – Superfly Splash to Slater
Great Khali/Natalya/Alicia Fox b. Bella Twins/Drew McIntyre – Northern lights suplex to Brie
Hunico b. Jim Duggan via DQ when Duggan hit Hunico with the 2×4
Sheamus/Gene Okerlund b. Alberto Del Rio/Daniel Bryan – Brogue Kick to Bryan

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The SmarKdown Rant–04.06.12

  The SmarKdown Rant – 04.06.12 Taped from Orlando, Florida. Your hosts are Michael Cole, Booker T & Josh Matthews Executive Vice President of Talent Relations and General Manager of Smackdown Johnny Ace joins us to start the era of People Power on the shows. He brings out Teddy Long, who cuts a goodbye promo and goes to leave. Ace cuts him off and offers him a job, but Long refuses. So Johnny goes the evil lawyer route, and threatens to cut off his grandchildren’s WWE college fund. I’m pretty sure a real lawyer would have something to say about that. So Long is forced to accept a job and kiss Johnny’s ass. R-Truth v. Mark Henry & David Otunga This would be Truth’s punishment for losing at Wrestlemania. He gets a leg lariat on Otunga for two and a spinning elbow for two, but Otunga tags out to Mark Henry. Henry pounds away while Abraham Washington looks on in the back. World’s Strongest Slam and Otunga tags in for the pin at 2:00. It was what it was. ½* Randy Orton v. Kane This is NO DISQUALIFICATION, so both guys can embrace the hate fully without fear of repercussions. Normally you’d have to break on five while embracing the hate. NOT HERE. They brawl outside and Orton gets sent into the table and introduced to the stairs, and they fight up the ramp and over to the entrance. Orton tries the RKO and gets foiled, and both guys hit the ramp as we take a break. Back with them in the ring, and Kane gets two. Seated dropkick gets two. Kane goes up and gets crotched by Orton, and he gets the dropkick and makes the comeback. Powerslam and Kane bails to the apron, which of course sets up the DDT, but Kane blocks with a necksnap and they fight on the floor again. Orton clotheslines him into the timekeeper’s cubicle , but Kane boots him down again and loads up the plunder in the ring. However, he makes the rookie mistake of tossing Orton in first, resulting in the draping DDT for two. He sets up for the RKO, but Kane EMBRACES THE HATE and beats him down with a chair for two. Orton escapes the chokeslam and it’s RKO and goodbye at 12:18. Gotta love 50/50 booking. This was much better than Wrestlemania. *** Barry Stevens v. Ryback Stevens is just cannon fodder for the repackaged Skip Sheffield. Ryback tosses him around and hits a press slam into powerslam, then finishes with a muscle buster at 1:00. I don’t know that “Ryback” is any better of a name, but the booking is more important anyway. I approve of more squash matches like this. Daniel Bryan joins us for a promo. You’d think the social media-obsessed WWE would make sure to take note of Bryan’s grassroots explosion online or the random crowds at sporting events who are unknowingly supporting a WWE Superstar with their “YES” chants and maybe play it up to make it seem like the cool thing to do, but no. As usual, they ignore it because they don’t know how to deal with it. Anyway, he’s dejected, but AJ tries to cheer him up while the fans do the “YES” chants despite the production crew’s best efforts to mute it. Bryan thinks that the fans are mocking him, and blames AJ for distracting him with the kiss at Wrestlemania. And they’re DONE. He’s gonna get his rematch and win it by himself. And she can take her cheeseburgers that she loves so much and hit the road in her SUV! Uh, I don’t think AJ has eaten many cheeseburgers lately. The fans don’t seem terribly concerned with her departure from Bryan’s life. Big Show v. Heath Slater Show pounds away and puts Slater down with a chop from his knees, then finishes with the spear and chokeslam at 1:08. He chases Cody Rhodes away afterwards, so THIS FEUD MUST CONTINUE. Really? Because Show won it pretty decisively at Wrestlemania, I’d say. Meanwhile, Big Johnny pitches the concept of People Power to Sheamus. So because of Sheamus’ sneak-attacks, he’s expecting that Sheamus will be held to a higher standard as champion. Beth Phoenix v. Nikki Bella Kelly Kelly joins us, so I guess we’re going around with Beth v. Kelly AGAIN. Beth chokes away on the ropes to start and pounds Nikki in the corner, but a blind charge misses due to Kelly’s distraction, and Nikki gets a carpet muncher for the upset pin at 1:00. Wait, are we supposed to be cheering for Nikki? Damian Sandow is here to educate us and make us better people. Let us take you back to RAW, where Brock beats up John Cena and KICKS HIS HAT in a demonstration of hatred and brutality unseen on the show since many years ago. And next week, THE THREE STOOGES. God I hate this company sometimes. Next Week: OLD SCHOOL SMACKDOWN! I’m so there. Sheamus v. Alberto Del Rio Sheamus overpowers him and blocks a blind charge, then hits the Regal roll for two. ADR goes to the arm to take over, but can’t get the armbar and he bails as we take a break. Back with Sheamus pounding away with the forearms on the apron, but Del Rio puts him on the floor with the enzuigiri. Back in, ADR works on the arm for a while, until it’s the pre-approved time for Sheamus to make the comeback and ignore all the pointless working of the arm. He stops to beat up Ricardo, but grabs an errant steel chair and gets DQ’d at 10:40. What a pointless main event. Del Rio didn’t even get an attempt at the armbar, they just kind of wrestled back and forth and went nowhere and then had a random DQ finish. So now ADR is apparently the #1 contender after that awesome effort. *1/2 The Pulse This was basically the anti-RAW. No excitement from the crowd, a bunch of meaningless and forgettable matches, and nothing to build on the momentum from Monday. It was fine to watch, but absolutely nothing you need to watch. Next week’s “blast from the past” live show should be pretty awesome, though.

Smackdown – April 6, 2012

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

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

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

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

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

Mark Henry/David Otunga vs. R-Truth

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

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

Kane vs. Randy Orton

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ryback vs. Barry Stevens

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

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

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

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

Big Show vs. Heath Slater

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

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

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

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

Beth Phoenix vs. Nikki Bella

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

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

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

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

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

Alberto Del Rio vs. Sheamus

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Smackdown – March 30, 2012 (Wrestlemania Axxess Show)

Smackdown
Date: March 30, 2012
Location: Phillips Arena, Atlanta, Georgia
Commentators: Josh Matthews, Matt Striker

Reviewed by Tommy Hall

This is going to be a different kind of show. There were only a few matches taped on Monday and if this show is like last year’s, the majority of this show will be partially taped from Miami and Axxess. It’ll mostly be a big commercial for Wrestlemania with some wrestling thrown in on the side. That’s the same thing the shows all week have done and it’s really all they can do this week. Let’s get to it.

Do You Know Your Enemy? Mine is the Louisville Cardinals. They’re evil and need to be destroyed.

As some of you probably know, usually I watch this show online on Friday afternoon so I can save time in the reviews. Well I did that today, and the show had no new matches and was a collection of old Mania matches. Apparently that’s totally different than what the US broadcast had so this is the second Smackdown I’ve done tonight.

Zack Ryder vs. Drew McIntyre

Drew starts off with a slam but Zack comes back with some speed and a dropkick. They go to the corner where Drew gets punched in the face. He manages to throw Zack up in the air and brings up a knee to take over. Off to an armbar now and Ryder is in trouble. A gutbuster puts Ryder down and Drew hooks a combination camel clutch/armbar. Ryder escapes but charges into a boot to put him right back down.

McIntyre does the go to the middle rope and jump off with the clear intention of jumping into the other guy’s raised boot spot. Ryder makes his comeback and hits the Broski Boot but walks into ANOTHER big boot for two. Zack escapes a powerbomb and Drew chases him into the corner but runs into a pair of knees. The Rough Ryder gets the pin at 5:38.

Rating: C. This was all you needed it to be. It covered both teams and hyped up the match a little bit. Not a great match or anything but it’s good to see Ryder getting clean wins, even over someone like McIntyre. I’m thinking Eve is going to play a role in the Mania match though, which isn’t a good thing.

We go to Miami where Lawler and Cole are on a set at Axxess. We see some of the stuff there, such as Undertaker’s Graveyard and the entrance you could walk down.

Video on Taker vs. HHH for the End of an Era.

Video on the Divas tag. I have no issue with looking at Maria Menunos. We’re never going to talk about Beth and Eve’s teased feud over Ryder again are we?

We see some of the art auction which goes to a children’s cancer center. Nothing wrong with that.

Recap of Punk vs. Jericho, I believe the same one from NXT.

Cole and King get in a flag waving contest.

We go back to Raw for the segment on Teddy vs. Johnny with the end of Otunga vs. Santino (they can’t show a full 90 second match?) which resulted in Miz joining Team Ace. We also get the Christian beatdown where he was put out of the match, and finally the Henry vs. Khali bit where Booker made the save for Teddy and joined the team.

Here’s Big Show in the ring to talk about his match on Sunday. He’s had some good success in this business. He won the world title in his first match and he’s won more since, but he doesn’t have a Wrestlemania moment. Wrestling in the main event for the world title isn’t a Wrestlemania moment? He says this is a bit different than most times he’s been at Mania. He can feel it in his mind, his gut and his heart. Cody is going to lose. Cody’s career isn’t going to get made. It’s going to get broken.

Video on Bryan vs. Sheamus.

Some legends weigh in on the Cell match.

Kofi Kingston vs. Chris Jericho

Jericho grabs the arm to start and works a hammerlock. Kofi speeds things up and hits a jumping back elbow followed by a clothesline to send Jericho to the outside. Back inside Kofi tries a springboard but Jericho takes out the ropes to knock him down and we go to a break. Back with Jericho in control but Kofi grabs a rollup for two.

A knee to the head gets two for Jericho. Jericho misses the crotch to the back of Kofi’s head while Kofi is in 619 position (that really needs a name) and Kofi hits the SOS for two. Boom Drop hits but Chris avoids Trouble in Paradise. The top rope cross body gets two. Lionsault eats knees but Kofi’s kick is countered into the Liontamer for the tap at 11:12.

Rating: B. Pretty solid TV match here but the ending was never in doubt. There was no way Jericho was going to lose two days before a world title match at Wrestlemania. I wish Kofi didn’t have to do the job, especially when he’s in a big match on Sunday but when you have 12 people in one match, that’s hard to avoid. Good match though.

We get the Rock vs. Cena segment from Raw to end the show.

Overall Rating: B. This was a very good final push for Wrestlemania. I get that a lot of people aren’t going to be fans of this and that’s ok. The wrestling we got was limited but fine, as there was no way they were going to run the risk of a bunch of injuries. I’m really surprised Jericho performed at all. Good final push for the show, as this was more about getting us fired up for Mania than a regular show.

Results
Zack Ryder b. Drew McIntyre – Rough Ryder
Chris Jericho b. Kofi Kingston – Walls of Jericho

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Smackdown – March 23, 2012

Smackdown
Date: March 23, 2012
Location: Prudential Center, Newark, New Jersey
Commentators: Michael Cole, Booker T, Josh Matthews

Reviewed by Tommy Hall

We’re closing in on Wrestlemania even more now and the main event tonight is, you guessed it, another tag match. For some reason Miz is in this match instead of Jericho, teaming with Bryan to face Punk/Sheamus. I don’t get that: why not have all four of them in the same match? Either way, having Sheamus and Bryan in the same ring is a good thing as they need all the help they can get at this point. Let’s get to it.

Do You Know Your Enemy? Mine is the Indiana Hoosiers. They need to be eliminated.

Here are AJ and Bryan to open the show. Good heat on the champ here. Bryan celebrates before saying anything else. AJ is asked what’s so great about being Bryan’s girlfriend. He has soft lips, he caresses her and sometimes they spoon. She calls him Danny and gets corrected before going into a list of his better traits. Being a vegan is a good thing. She isn’t as thrilled about this batch of them. Most importantly AJ feels safe. Bryan whispers something to her to say and she says it’s a little personal. He says say it, so AJ says he’s a great lover. Oh and he’ll keep the title at Wrestlemania.

Bryan starts a cheer for himself but here’s Sheamus. They’ve at least been having these two interact a bit which has been a plus. Sheamus says he threw up in his mouth a bit back there listening to this. He makes fun of the soft lips stuff and says he doesn’t want to go there, but he does want to go to Wrestlemania. Sheamus calls him Danny which is corrected and also starts a chant. He calls Bryan Danny Boy which doesn’t sit well with the champ either. “If you don’t like that, you’ll hate being called the former World Heavyweight Champion.” Sheamus says he’ll kick Bryan’s teeth down his throat. I liked this a lot.

R-Truth vs. Mark Henry

Truth hammers away which works about as well as any other attacks by average sized men on monsters. Truth gets knocked down by a headbutt and is sent to the floor. Henry crushes Truth’s head against the steps and they go back inside. Henry misses an elbow drop and Truth hits a seated dropkick and a low DDT for one. Truth goes up and jumps into the World’s Strongest Slam for the pin at 2:59. Total squash. Team Johnny wins again. I know they’re winning at the PPV but at least make it look possible. Please?

Big Show vs. Kane again tonight.

We get what might be a first: the debut of a Hall of Fame announcement on Smackdown. It’s Yokozuna. No issues with that. Mil Mascaras is mentioned as going in with this class, which I believe is the first time that’s been mentioned on WWE TV.

We get a clip from Raw of Ryder’s rally and cut to Team Teddy in Long’s office. Teddy says he needs more convincing so Horny comes in with a Team Teddy flag. He’s the official mascot of the team now. Khali comes in wearing Ryder gear and says Woo Woo Woo You Know It. Ryder and Khali are on the team now. Well it’s better than no appearance at all. His stuff with Kane and Cena is never going to be mentioned again is it?

AJ vs. Brie Bella

AJ is the home state girl being from Jersey. An inset interview from the Bellas has them talking about how Brie doesn’t want Nikki’s advice because Nikki lost last week. Booker apologizes for one of his statements about AJ recently. Which statement that is he doesn’t list but whatever. Brie controls to start and stomps away at AJ. Bryan’s advice: do better. Off to a chinlock which is pretty quickly broken. AJ hooks a Fujiwara Armbar and a decent one. Nikki gets up on the apron to distract AJ but Brie rams into Nikki and is rolled up for the pin at 2:48.

Post match we find out that Brie is Team Teddy and Nikki is Team Johnny. Brie leads a T-E-D-D-Y cheer. That’s just what this feud needed: THE BELLAS!

Jack Swagger vs. Zack Ryder

Apparently Lillian legitimately screwed up the entrance and called Ryder “The Long Island Iced Z, Jack Swagger.” The fans are WAY into Ryder. They better be careful or he’ll get sent down to NXT. He controls to start and hammers on Swagger but Jack moves out of the way in the corner. Swagger uses almost a judo throw to take Ryder down and throws on a top wristlock.

Ryder gets his knees up in the corner and starts his comeback. He slams Swagger’s face into the mat and hits the Broski Boot for two. Rough Ryder is countered into a buckle bomb followed by it’s Vader cousin for two. Horny chases Vickie onto the apron and the distraction allows the Rough Ryder to get the pin at 4:30.

Rating: C-. I’m glad to see Ryder get his win back but it’s negated by the general annoyance factor brought on by Hornswoggle being out there. That guy gets annoying fast. Anyway, decent match and it’s good to see Ryder back and winning matches (mostly) clean. Him getting on Mania will be good too, even though he’ll be on the losing team.

We get a clip from Monday of Cody attacking Big Show.

Earlier today, Cody says he’s been enjoying embarrassing Big Show lately. The biggest embarrassment is going to be at Mania though. Knucklehead 2 perhaps? Cody leaves, saying he has a plane to catch. Then why did you come to the arena?

Big Show vs. Kane

Show starts off fast and runs over Kane. He hammers away and Kane bails to the floor. Kane sends Show into the post and hits the low dropkick back in the ring. Kane hooks a chinlock but Show gets up and they clothesline each other. Show gets up and starts pounding on Kane but the big fried freak comes back with a DDT for two. Kane goes up but jumps into a chokeslam. Cody runs in for the DQ at 3:45.

Rating: D. This continues to be nothing. These two never have clicked at all so keeping it short like this was probably the best idea. Cody running in was pretty obvious as he did the same thing on Monday. I guess they were out of stuff to do in this feud so they’re just having Cody cost Show matches, even though he gave him a win here.

Show chases Rhodes into the crowd. Orton comes in and RKOs Kane.

Same anti-bullying video from Raw.

Brodus Clay vs. Heath Slater

Brodus is in green tonight. Notice that the announcers have stopped seeming to have a blast when he comes out. It’s like they’ve been told to cool it or something. Slater dropkicks the knee out and hits an enziguri, perhaps becoming the first person to ever cover Brodus. Brodus comes back with his usual and the splash ends this in 1:24. This guy needs a feud in the worst way. Throw him on Team Teddy if nothing else.

Ryder runs into Eve in the back and they say they’re both going to Wrestlemania. Zack says she’s beautiful and smart, which Eve takes as an insult because she thinks Ryder sounds like it was a recent development. She storms off, saying their dinner is off. This is going to go on for a long time isn’t it?

Raw ReBound is about the three way talking session that didn’t say anything new from the end of Raw.

Great Khali vs. Dolph Ziggler

Christian is on commentary. Cole again points out how one sided the team situation is and how serious one side is while how goofy the other is. Christian gets a text from Johnny, who is all of 8 feet from him. Khali throws Ziggler around and chops him down. Ziggler gets in a shot and hammers away as Booker argues with Booker. Christian wants Cole to be Team Johnny’s mascot. Khali comes back with his array of clotheslines but the chop misses. Sleeper goes on and Ace rings the bell at 2:42, Montreal style. Yep, that just happened.

Teddy says hang on a minute and restarts it. Ziggler is given to ten to get back in and doesn’t get back in. Santino and Kofi throw him in anyway and Khali chops him down. I’m already sick of this feud because there are SO many people in it and there are still two more to be added.

CM Punk/Sheamus vs. The Miz/Daniel Bryan

Is there any logical reason for Jericho not to be in this? Sheamus and Bryan start but Bryan immediately tags out. Sheamus takes over with a headlock and clothesline and it’s time for Punk. The slingshot shoulder brings Sheamus back in and gets two. Irish Curse gets two. Sheamus pulls Bryan in but the distraction lets Miz knock him to the floor and Bryan adds a knee to the head as we take a break.

Back with Miz kicking Sheamus in the head and putting on a chinlock. A backdrop gets Sheamus out of trouble and he makes the tag to Punk. The champ comes in with a springboard clothesline and the running knee/bulldog combo takes Miz down. He loads up the Macho Elbow but Bryan distracts him down. Miz hits the low DDT for two and it’s time for champion vs. champion.

Bryan chokes Punk out and we get a Danny Boy chant. Booker says Miz has been surpassed by his former pupil. Miz gets in a shot to the back to keep Punk from getting momentum and then adds a kneelift for two. Punk takes Miz down and there’s the tag, resulting in Bryan running for his life. Sheamus cleans house and hits the forearms to the chest of Bryan. The Brogue Kick kills Miz at 6:43 shown of 10:13.

Rating: C-. I wasn’t really into this one because the ending could be seen coming a mile away. Bryan running from Sheamus is kind of interesting I guess because it’s the story of his title reign, but I’m hoping at Mania that he finally gets caught. Other than that, nothing to see here because Punk has no reason to want to fight either of his opponents here.

Overall Rating: C. This was an ok show and that’s about it. They’re in full on Mania push mode at this point and that can become a problem. Much like Raw, there’s not much to see on these shows because the PPV has been set for weeks now. Not a bad show or anything, but other than Ryder and Khali being added to Team Teddy, there’s nothing here that’s new material.

Results
Mark Henry b. R-Truth – World’s Strongest Slam
AJ b. Brie Bella – Rollup
Zack Ryder b. Jack Swagger – Rough Ryder
Big Show b. Kane via DQ when Cody Rhodes interfered
Brodus Clay b. Heath Slater – Big Splash
Great Khali b. Dolph Ziggler via countout
CM Punk/Sheamus b. The Miz/Daniel Bryan – Brogue Kick to Miz

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Smackdown – March 23, 2012

Smackdown
Date: March 23, 2012
Location: Prudential Center, Newark, New Jersey
Commentators: Michael Cole, Booker T, Josh Matthews

Reviewed by Tommy Hall

We’re closing in on Wrestlemania even more now and the main event tonight is, you guessed it, another tag match. For some reason Miz is in this match instead of Jericho, teaming with Bryan to face Punk/Sheamus. I don’t get that: why not have all four of them in the same match? Either way, having Sheamus and Bryan in the same ring is a good thing as they need all the help they can get at this point. Let’s get to it.

Do You Know Your Enemy? Mine is the Indiana Hoosiers. They need to be eliminated.

Here are AJ and Bryan to open the show. Good heat on the champ here. Bryan celebrates before saying anything else. AJ is asked what’s so great about being Bryan’s girlfriend. He has soft lips, he caresses her and sometimes they spoon. She calls him Danny and gets corrected before going into a list of his better traits. Being a vegan is a good thing. She isn’t as thrilled about this batch of them. Most importantly AJ feels safe. Bryan whispers something to her to say and she says it’s a little personal. He says say it, so AJ says he’s a great lover. Oh and he’ll keep the title at Wrestlemania.

Bryan starts a cheer for himself but here’s Sheamus. They’ve at least been having these two interact a bit which has been a plus. Sheamus says he threw up in his mouth a bit back there listening to this. He makes fun of the soft lips stuff and says he doesn’t want to go there, but he does want to go to Wrestlemania. Sheamus calls him Danny which is corrected and also starts a chant. He calls Bryan Danny Boy which doesn’t sit well with the champ either. “If you don’t like that, you’ll hate being called the former World Heavyweight Champion.” Sheamus says he’ll kick Bryan’s teeth down his throat. I liked this a lot.

R-Truth vs. Mark Henry

Truth hammers away which works about as well as any other attacks by average sized men on monsters. Truth gets knocked down by a headbutt and is sent to the floor. Henry crushes Truth’s head against the steps and they go back inside. Henry misses an elbow drop and Truth hits a seated dropkick and a low DDT for one. Truth goes up and jumps into the World’s Strongest Slam for the pin at 2:59. Total squash. Team Johnny wins again. I know they’re winning at the PPV but at least make it look possible. Please?

Big Show vs. Kane again tonight.

We get what might be a first: the debut of a Hall of Fame announcement on Smackdown. It’s Yokozuna. No issues with that. Mil Mascaras is mentioned as going in with this class, which I believe is the first time that’s been mentioned on WWE TV.

We get a clip from Raw of Ryder’s rally and cut to Team Teddy in Long’s office. Teddy says he needs more convincing so Horny comes in with a Team Teddy flag. He’s the official mascot of the team now. Khali comes in wearing Ryder gear and says Woo Woo Woo You Know It. Ryder and Khali are on the team now. Well it’s better than no appearance at all. His stuff with Kane and Cena is never going to be mentioned again is it?

AJ vs. Brie Bella

AJ is the home state girl being from Jersey. An inset interview from the Bellas has them talking about how Brie doesn’t want Nikki’s advice because Nikki lost last week. Booker apologizes for one of his statements about AJ recently. Which statement that is he doesn’t list but whatever. Brie controls to start and stomps away at AJ. Bryan’s advice: do better. Off to a chinlock which is pretty quickly broken. AJ hooks a Fujiwara Armbar and a decent one. Nikki gets up on the apron to distract AJ but Brie rams into Nikki and is rolled up for the pin at 2:48.

Post match we find out that Brie is Team Teddy and Nikki is Team Johnny. Brie leads a T-E-D-D-Y cheer. That’s just what this feud needed: THE BELLAS!

Jack Swagger vs. Zack Ryder

Apparently Lillian legitimately screwed up the entrance and called Ryder “The Long Island Iced Z, Jack Swagger.” The fans are WAY into Ryder. They better be careful or he’ll get sent down to NXT. He controls to start and hammers on Swagger but Jack moves out of the way in the corner. Swagger uses almost a judo throw to take Ryder down and throws on a top wristlock.

Ryder gets his knees up in the corner and starts his comeback. He slams Swagger’s face into the mat and hits the Broski Boot for two. Rough Ryder is countered into a buckle bomb followed by it’s Vader cousin for two. Horny chases Vickie onto the apron and the distraction allows the Rough Ryder to get the pin at 4:30.

Rating: C-. I’m glad to see Ryder get his win back but it’s negated by the general annoyance factor brought on by Hornswoggle being out there. That guy gets annoying fast. Anyway, decent match and it’s good to see Ryder back and winning matches (mostly) clean. Him getting on Mania will be good too, even though he’ll be on the losing team.

We get a clip from Monday of Cody attacking Big Show.

Earlier today, Cody says he’s been enjoying embarrassing Big Show lately. The biggest embarrassment is going to be at Mania though. Knucklehead 2 perhaps? Cody leaves, saying he has a plane to catch. Then why did you come to the arena?

Big Show vs. Kane

Show starts off fast and runs over Kane. He hammers away and Kane bails to the floor. Kane sends Show into the post and hits the low dropkick back in the ring. Kane hooks a chinlock but Show gets up and they clothesline each other. Show gets up and starts pounding on Kane but the big fried freak comes back with a DDT for two. Kane goes up but jumps into a chokeslam. Cody runs in for the DQ at 3:45.

Rating: D. This continues to be nothing. These two never have clicked at all so keeping it short like this was probably the best idea. Cody running in was pretty obvious as he did the same thing on Monday. I guess they were out of stuff to do in this feud so they’re just having Cody cost Show matches, even though he gave him a win here.

Show chases Rhodes into the crowd. Orton comes in and RKOs Kane.

Same anti-bullying video from Raw.

Brodus Clay vs. Heath Slater

Brodus is in green tonight. Notice that the announcers have stopped seeming to have a blast when he comes out. It’s like they’ve been told to cool it or something. Slater dropkicks the knee out and hits an enziguri, perhaps becoming the first person to ever cover Brodus. Brodus comes back with his usual and the splash ends this in 1:24. This guy needs a feud in the worst way. Throw him on Team Teddy if nothing else.

Ryder runs into Eve in the back and they say they’re both going to Wrestlemania. Zack says she’s beautiful and smart, which Eve takes as an insult because she thinks Ryder sounds like it was a recent development. She storms off, saying their dinner is off. This is going to go on for a long time isn’t it?

Raw ReBound is about the three way talking session that didn’t say anything new from the end of Raw.

Great Khali vs. Dolph Ziggler

Christian is on commentary. Cole again points out how one sided the team situation is and how serious one side is while how goofy the other is. Christian gets a text from Johnny, who is all of 8 feet from him. Khali throws Ziggler around and chops him down. Ziggler gets in a shot and hammers away as Booker argues with Booker. Christian wants Cole to be Team Johnny’s mascot. Khali comes back with his array of clotheslines but the chop misses. Sleeper goes on and Ace rings the bell at 2:42, Montreal style. Yep, that just happened.

Teddy says hang on a minute and restarts it. Ziggler is given to ten to get back in and doesn’t get back in. Santino and Kofi throw him in anyway and Khali chops him down. I’m already sick of this feud because there are SO many people in it and there are still two more to be added.

CM Punk/Sheamus vs. The Miz/Daniel Bryan

Is there any logical reason for Jericho not to be in this? Sheamus and Bryan start but Bryan immediately tags out. Sheamus takes over with a headlock and clothesline and it’s time for Punk. The slingshot shoulder brings Sheamus back in and gets two. Irish Curse gets two. Sheamus pulls Bryan in but the distraction lets Miz knock him to the floor and Bryan adds a knee to the head as we take a break.

Back with Miz kicking Sheamus in the head and putting on a chinlock. A backdrop gets Sheamus out of trouble and he makes the tag to Punk. The champ comes in with a springboard clothesline and the running knee/bulldog combo takes Miz down. He loads up the Macho Elbow but Bryan distracts him down. Miz hits the low DDT for two and it’s time for champion vs. champion.

Bryan chokes Punk out and we get a Danny Boy chant. Booker says Miz has been surpassed by his former pupil. Miz gets in a shot to the back to keep Punk from getting momentum and then adds a kneelift for two. Punk takes Miz down and there’s the tag, resulting in Bryan running for his life. Sheamus cleans house and hits the forearms to the chest of Bryan. The Brogue Kick kills Miz at 6:43 shown of 10:13.

Rating: C-. I wasn’t really into this one because the ending could be seen coming a mile away. Bryan running from Sheamus is kind of interesting I guess because it’s the story of his title reign, but I’m hoping at Mania that he finally gets caught. Other than that, nothing to see here because Punk has no reason to want to fight either of his opponents here.

Overall Rating: C. This was an ok show and that’s about it. They’re in full on Mania push mode at this point and that can become a problem. Much like Raw, there’s not much to see on these shows because the PPV has been set for weeks now. Not a bad show or anything, but other than Ryder and Khali being added to Team Teddy, there’s nothing here that’s new material.

Results
Mark Henry b. R-Truth – World’s Strongest Slam
AJ b. Brie Bella – Rollup
Zack Ryder b. Jack Swagger – Rough Ryder
Big Show b. Kane via DQ when Cody Rhodes interfered
Brodus Clay b. Heath Slater – Big Splash
Great Khali b. Dolph Ziggler via countout
CM Punk/Sheamus b. The Miz/Daniel Bryan – Brogue Kick to Miz

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The King's Recap: WWF Smackdown 4.19.2001

WWF SMACKDOWN
Thursday, April 19th, 2001

Taped (4/17) from the Gaylord Entertainment Center in Nashville, TN

List of WWF Champions at the time:
WWF World Heavyweight Champion: Stone Cold Steve Austin (4/01/2001)
WWF Intercontinental Champion: Triple H (4/16/2001)
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 clips from the IC Title rematch on Raw and the subsequent events. Michael Cole then welcomes us to the show along with Tazz and announces tonight Chris Benoit & Chris Jericho will face the Dudleys in a tables match. And maybe some other stuff as well. Maybe they’ll even remember they have a pay-per-view in 10 days and actually book something for it.

~ Things kick off with Commissioner William Regal making his way to the ring. Regal gets on the mic and demands the Undertaker and Kane come out and face him in the ring. The brothers quickly answer and Regal chasises them for interfering in Steve Austin and Triple H’s business, warning them it will not be tolerated. Regal suggests Taker and Kane stay away from Austin and Triple H feeling they will do the same to them. Regal then tells Kane he looks ready for action and orders him to defend his Hardcore Title right now then proceeds to bring out Kane’s opponent which turns out to be…

  • WWF Hardcore Title: Kane © (w/The Undertaker) vs. Rhyno (w/Edge & Christian)

Rhyno rushes the ring with his pals but Kane works him over him while Taker takes care of E&C and the brothers clear the ring. Takes and Kane go out after their foes and Taker works over E&C then tosses them over the barricade and chases them in the crowd. Rhyno rams Kane into the ringsteps and tees off on him before tossing him back in the ring. Rhyno goes for a whip but Kane reverses it and hits a boot then climbs to the top rope and connects with the flying clothesline. Kane plants Rhyno with the chokeslam when Steve Austin and Triple H run in the ring brandishing chairs and nail Kane in the back before beating him down with them, especially targeting the arm. Triple H tells Rhyno to cover Kane and Rhyno does so for the 1..2..3 to win his first Hardcore Title. (2:31) Oddly enough they’re playing Triple H’s music even though Rhyno was the one who won the title. Taker rushes back to the ring and chases Austin and Triple H away but is far too late for Kane. NR

~ Back from break we get a replay of Austin and Triple H vicioulsy attacking Kane, followed by footage of Kane painfully making his way to the back while holding his arm.

  • The Right To Censor vs. The Acolytes & Kaientai

The RTC is on a massive losing streak and they’re hoping to turn things around here. Steven Richards starts off against Sho Funkai who tries to intimidate Richards with a sumo stance but Richards doesn’t go for it and attacks Funaki in mid-pose. Richards whips Funaki but Funaki comes back with a headscissors. Funaki tags Taka Michinoku in and trips Richards with a drop toehold then goes into a camel clutch and holds Richards while Taka dropkicks the face. Richards drives Taka into his corner where the RTC triple-team him before Val Venis tags in to take over. Val whips Taka into a and chagres but Taka sidesteps him only to eat an elbow in return. Val climbs to the top rope and misses a corkscrew crossbody but comes back with a clothesline. Val whips Taka and hits a spinebuster then goes into a submission hold but Bradshaw breaks it up. Goodfather tags in and beats Taka down then throws him across the ring and hits a suplex. Goodfather covers but Faarooq makes the save and Val comes in without a tag and stomps Taka. Bull Buchanan tags in and helps Goodfather whip Taka and hit a double elbow. Buchanan clotheslines Taka and sets him on the top rope then goes up but Bradshaw throws him off to the mat. Buchanan knocks Bradshaw off the apron and everyone pours in the ring while Taka is still perched on the top rope. Goodafther tosses Funaki over the ropes while Faarooq clotheslines Buchanan over as well. Bradshaw powerbombs Richards while Buchanan comes over and tries to whip him but Bradshaw reverses and Faaoorq helps him hit a double spinebuster. Taka follows up a kneedrop from the top rope and that gets the pin to continue the RTC’s woes. (4:21) The Acolytes celebrate with Kaientai while the RTC are shocked that they lost again. What you’d expect. *

~ Cole and Tazz now hype Saturday’s XFL Championship game between the San Francisco Demons and the L.A. Xtreme and we even get a special video look at Xtreme quarterback Tommy Maddox’s journey through the XFL season. That’s this Saturday on NBC!

~ Backstage Undertaker is promising Kane they’ll get even as he asks some backstage guys where Commissioner Regal’s office is. Once they point the way the brothers head off but not before Taker tells the guys to call 911 as we go to commercial.

~ Back from break Grandmaster Sexay admires his reflection in Eddie Guerrero’s European Title belt when Eddie comes up and tells Sexay to keep his hands off his property. Sexay tells Eddie to chill while calling him dawg but Eddie takes offesne to being called a dog and Sexay tries to tell him not to be so hot, calling him tamale. Eddie takes offense to that as well and Sexay decides to show him his hip hop moves in the ring. Eddie takes that as a challenge so he grabs his title belt and storms off.

~ Elsewhere backstage a WCW1 limo arrives in the parking lot meaning Shane McMahon is here tonight.

~ Still elsewhere William Regal is enjoy his tea when The Undertaker and Kane barge into his office and angrily clear off his desk. Taker grabs Regal by his coat and accuses him of setting them up earlier then demands he give them Austin and Triple H, and after that Edge, Christian and Rhyno as well. Regal claims he’s not inclined to grant such a request so Kane responds by setting Regal’s trashcan on fire and that convinces Regal to grant Taker and Kane a tag team title match with Edge and Christian tonight. Taker feels that isn’t enough and Regal is at a loss of what he wants until Kane sets a nearby plant on fire. Regal finally caves in and tells Taker and Kane if they win the titles they can have Austin and Triple H. Taker and Kane seem satisfied and start to depart when Regal mentions their tag title match is no disqualification. The brothers walk off but not before Kane sets Regal’s desk on fire on his way out as we go to commercial.

~ Back from break we get a replay of Undertaker forcing Regal to give him and Kane a tag title match. Cole reminds us of Taker and Kane win the titles they’ll they their shot at Austin and Triple H.

  • WWF European Title: Eddie Guerrero © vs. Grandmaster Sexay

Sexay leads the crowd in a cheer and busts a move that allows Eddie to attack him from behind. Eddie whips Sexay and hits an elbow then whips him again but Sexay slides under him and hits a neckbreaker. Sexay goes for a whip, Eddie reverses him into a corner and charges at him but eats a boot. Sexay hops onto the middle rope and leaps off, Eddie ducks him but Sexay comes back with a DDT for a two count. Eddie bails out to the floor but Sexay hits a baseball slide then brawls with Eddie up the ramp before bulldoging him onto it. Sexay throws Eddie back in the ring and climbs to the top rope and goes for a flying crossbody but misses it. Eddie hits a double stomp to the chest followed by shoulderblocks in a corner. Eddie whips Sexay into the opposite corner but Sexay stops himself then tosses Eddie his head onto the turnbuckles. Sexay hits an euzuigiri then whips Eddie and hits a backdrop and dances a big before hitting a right hand. Sexay goes for a whip, Eddie reverses him into a corner and Sexay lifts himself over Eddie then grabs Eddie with a waistlock. Eddie switches into his own waistlock when Sexay elbows him away and goes for a Figure Four but Eddie kicks him into the ringpost and rolls him up for a two count. Eddie hits a back suplex then climbs to the top rope looking for the Frogsplash but Sexay cuts him off then goes up and hits a superplex. Instead of covering Eddie, Sexay climbs to the top rope himself but Eddie grabs the referee’s ankle and causes him to bump the ropes, straddling Sexay on the buckle. Sexay falls to the mat and Eddie rolls him up with his own feet on the ropes for the win. (4:38) Eddie did his best but this match still had no heat.

~ Backstage Vince McMahon, Steve Austin and Triple H demand an explanation from William Regal about the match he set up and Regal assures them they can use the no-DQ stipulation to their advantage. Vince decides to add some entertainment and asks the other three to see what happens to Shane later then departs while the others continue their discussion as we go to commercial.

~ Back from break Lillian Garcia interviews Edge and Christian about their tag title defense later as well as Rhyno’s controversial Hardcore title win. Edge responds by saying controversy rules and there’s a huge problem in their match tonight but it’s The Undertaker and Kane’s, not theirs. Edge says he and Christian are the big game hunters and any bets placed on them will pay big dividends. Christian adds they’ve been up against big obstacles before but have always walks out still tag team champs. Christian says they have a plan that reeks of awesomeness before the three of them depart.

~ Out in the arena Vince McMahon hits the ring because we just have to get our McMahon promo time in. Vince gets on the mic and talks about how Shane McMahon came back to the WWF some time ago and attacked him in the ring then stole WCW from under his nose and kicked a trash can in his face. Vince then suggest Shane is stalking him after appearing on Raw and pulling up in his limo tonight. Vince claims he never wanted WCW in the first place then feels Shane has something important to say so he dares Shane to come out and confront him face-to-face. Shane does make his way out and grabs a mic and apologizes to Vince … for not beating him up a long time ago after Wrestlemania. Shane says things are getting hot in WCW just like the issues in his personal life after his speech on Raw, which Linda and her attorneys found in very interesting. Shane tells Vince to have a nice day and starts to head out but Vince stops him and tries to explain himself, claiming what he said on Monday wasn’t about divorce, it was about the sanctity of marriage. Vince brings up the conversation Shane had with The Big Show and even shows it on the OvalTron before reminding him that Shows’s working for the WWF.

Vince then invites Show to the ring for a public conversation and Show comes out and shake Shane’s hand. Vince accuses Show of trying to impress Shane when Shane sees him just as the world does, the single biggest dissapopintment in the WWF. Vince feels Shane is trying to recruit Show to WCW behind the scenes and congradulates him on his accquisition. However Vince tells Show once he gets to WCW he’s going to get some of the pep talks Shane used to give him and shows a clip from Smackdown last year of Shane calling Show an pathetic, pea-brained, unmotivated slob. Vince then shows a still of Shane breaking a cement block over Show’s head at Judgment Day last May, followed by a series of clips of Shane making fun of Show over the past year as well. Vince tells Show he may have squandered his oppertunites but still has the potential to be WWF Champion before asking him to decide his path, whether he remains in the WWF or goes with Shane to WCW. Show grabs Vince by the throat but then turns and grabs Shane by the throat and proceeds to chokeslam him. Vince stands over Shane and tells him he will face Big Show at Backlash, in a Last Man Standing match. Vince and Show leave Shane laying in the ring and hey, we finally have a match booked for the pay-per-view.

~ Back from break we get a replay of Vince asking Show to make a decision and Show answering with a chokeslam.

~ Out in the arena The Dudleys make thier way to the ring for the tables match followed by Chris Benoit & Chris Jericho, who are teaming up for the first time. However before the match starts William Regal comes out to the stage along with Kurt Angle. Regal gets on the mic and mentions that Backlash is just 10 days away then tells Jericho he won’t be getting off that easy because the two will wrestle each other again, this time in a match under ‘Duchess of Queensbury’ rules which he will explain in due course. Regal then tells Benoit he will fight Angle on the card as well, in a 30-minute ultimate submission match where the most submissions wins. So we got three matches booked for Backlash, all in the span of five minutes. Anyway Regal then demands the tables match start just as the Dudleys attack Benoit and Jericho from behind.

  • The Dudley Boyz vs. Chris Benoit & Chris JerichoTables Match

Bubba Ray tosses Benoit through the ropes and goes after him on the floor while Jerricho tees off on D’Von in a corner. Jericho goes for a whip, D’Von reverses him into a corner and eats a boot but catches Jericho with a powerslam as Angle looks on. D’Von whips Jericho and hits the jumping elbow then whips him again but Jericho comes back with a forearm followed by a dropkick. D’Von rolls out to the apron when Jericho connects with the springboard dropkick but Bubba comes in and plants Jericho with a Samoan Drop. Benoit comes in and hammers away on Bubba then Benoit goes for a whip, Bubba reverses him into a corner and eats a double boot but nails Benoit with the Bubbabomb. Benoit fights back with chops and goes for a whip but Bubba reverses him into a corner and slams him. Bubba then sets Benoit up as D’Von climbs to the top rope and hits the “Wassup” headbutt as Angle continues to observe. The Dudleys go out and grab a table when Jericho goes for a baseball slide but the Dudleys raise the table up and ram it into Jericho’s face. The Dudleys set the table up in the ring then go for a double flapjack on Benoit through the table but Jericho moves it just in time. Jericho nails D’Von with a spinning heelkick but eats a right hand from Bubba. Bubba places Jericho onto the table as D’Von climbs to the top rope but Benoit cuts him off. Bubba clubs Benoit in the back but Jericho knocks Bubba through the ropes. Benoit and Jericho then go to superplex D’Von through the table but Bubba moves it to prevent that as well. Bubba clotheslines Jericho over the ropes when Benoit grabs him with a waistlock, Bubba fights out of it and goes for the Bubbabomb but Benoit counters into a German suplex. Benoit holds on for a second German then goes to put Bubba through the table with a third German suplex but D’Von moves it to save Bubba. Jericho climbs to the top rope and connects with a missle dropkick on D’Von. The Chrises set the table up and Benoit places D’Von on it while Jericho goes for a Liondsault but Bubba trips him from the floor. Benoit climbs to the top rope looking for the diving headbutt through the table when Angle runs down and shoves Benoit off the top through the table, which somehow gets the Dudleys the victory. (4:31) Entertaining match there but can someone explain how Angle putting Benoit through the table means the Dudleys win? **½

~ Back from break we get a music video about the Undertaker and Kane set to Marilyn Manson’s “Fight Song”.

~ Backstage Vince wishes Edge & Christian luck in their match but something tells him they won’t need it. Vince then joins Steve Austin and Triple H in looking at highlights of them beating down the Hardys on Raw. I guess this is suppsoed to make us think the Hardys are still in the main storyline but we know better.

~ Elsewhere Johnathan Coachman interviews Molly Holly on her chances of winning the Women’s title tonight. Molly feels her chances are fair and she may not be as big is Chyna but is still going to do her best.

~ Chyna is then shown heading to the ring for her aforementioned title defense as we go to commercial.

~ Back from break we get an exterior shot of the Gaylord Entertainment Center and also find Jevon Kearse of the Tennessee Titans in the crowd tonight.

~ Backstage Kevin Kelly interviews the Undertaker and Kane (who has his left elbow taped up), asking if they’re ready for their title shot. Taker chastises Kevin for asking the dumbest questions sometimes then asks why Steve Austin and Triple H feel beating up women and commentators makes them such bad dudes. Taker says once he and Kane finish Edge and Christian they’re going to show them who the real bad guys are, and while E&C are 7-time Tag Team champions they’re going to lose the titles for the seventh time. Taker finishes by saying E&C will make a name for themselves because he and Kane are going to make them famous.

  • WWF Women’s Title: Chyna © vs. Molly Holly

Molly grabs Chyna with a waistlock to start, Chyna counters into a hammerlock, Molly reverses it and Molly goes into a headlock but Chyna shoves her into the roeps and hits a shoulderblock. Molly locks up with Chyna and applies an arm wreinger but Chyna reverses into her own armwringer. Molly flips out of it and goes into an armbar but Chyna throws her to the mat and hits a press slam. Chyna charges at Molly in a corner but Molly sidesteps her and hits a bulldog for a two count. Molly climbs to the top rope and connects with a flying crossbody but that only gets two as well. Molly comes off the ropes but runs into a clothesline and Chyna powerbombs Molly for the pin. (2:15) And Chyna’s burial of the Women’s division continues. *

~ Backstage we find Kurt Angle telling someone off camera not to come out until he says it’s time because they’re going to teach Chris Benoit about the three I’s as we go to commercial.

~ Back from break Cole and Tazz again shill the XFL Championship game this Saturday night. They really want is to watch it, dont they?

~ Kurt Angle comes out to the ring as Tony Chimel announces this as a five-minute submission exhibition. Angle gets on the mic and says how he’s been beating opponents his whole life which he calls his ‘thang’ and pinning opponents is great but leaves him a little empty since he just pins them to the mat. Angle says there’s no better feeling than humilitaing his opponent by making them submit to his Olympic wrath. Angle says he wanted the ultimate submisison match promising 30 minutes of torture for Chris Benoit at Backlash because he’s going to make Benoit squeal over and over. Angle feels the fans don’t get what he’s saying so he’s recruited a trio of local wrestlers and brings them out for a submission demonstration. Angle says he will give each of them the chance to make him submit and hopes Benoit is watching his future. The first guy moves in but Angle takes him down with a headlock/armbar combo and forces him to tap. The second guy charges but Angle trips him and hits a front facelock slam that gets a submission. The third guy grabs Angle with a waistlock but Angle hits a Fireman’s carry and forces a tapout with an armbar. The thrid guy tries agan but Angle throws him over his shoulder and slaps on a jujigatame for the submission. Angle hits the second guy with a belly-to-belly throw and forces him to quit with a Dragon sleeper. Angle helps the guy up but kicks him in the back of the knee and locks in the Anklelock for a tapout. The other two guys are hesitant to lockup again so Angle offer to be in the mount position for them. The third guy moves in with a waistlock but Angle rolls forward into the Anklelock for another tapout. Angle drops to the mat again but has his back to the ramp and I bet you’re thinking “I wonder if Benoit is going to come out, replace the scrub when Angle isn’t looking and slap on the Crossface.” Well, that’s exactly what happens as Benoit slips in the ring and tosses the remaining guy over the ropes behind Angle’s back then slaps on the Crossface and Angle is the one who’s forced to tap out. Benoit refuses to let go at first but eventually does and leaves Angle laying in the ring.

~ Edge, Christian and Rhyno are all shown heading to the ring as are The Undertaker and Kane which means main event time is next. We then see Steve Austin and Triple H getting up and heading somewhere as we go to commercial.

  • WWF World Tag Team Titles: Edge & Christian © (w/Rhyno) vs. The Undertaker & KaneNo-DQ Match

We opened the show with these five guys and it looks like we’re going to close with these same guys. Edge, Christian and Rhyno triple-team Kane while Taker rides to the ring on his motorcycle. Taker heads in and manages to clear Edge and Rhyno out then goes out after Edge leaving Christian and Kane. Kane plants Christian with a sidewalk slam and hits a clothesline then Christian goes after Kane’s bad arm but Kane swats him away and pounds him down in a corner. Christian slips out of the corner and gets in his own shots then goes for the count-along punches but Kane shoves him off and decks Edge off the apron. Kane manages to hit a one-arm powerslam then brings Edge in the ring and hits him with a big boot. Kane goes for the ropes and Rhyno nails him from behind to distract him as Christian moves in but Kane backdrops Christian over the ropes where Taker meets him with a right hand on the floor. In the ring Kane grabs Edge by the throat for a chokeslam but Rhyno comes in and Gores Kane. Edge lays the boots to Kane and kicks at the bad arm. Kane kicks him away and crawls to his corner but Edge cuts off the tag, even thought it’s no-DQ and Taker should just be able to come in whenever he wants. Edge applies an armwringer on the bad arm and Kane tries to fight back but Edge hits an amrbar slam. Taker breaks up the pin but is ordered out of the ring by Earl Hebner, again even though the match is no-DQ. Christian comes in without a tag and tees off on Kane’s bad arm then locks in a short-arm scissors. Kane manages to roll over and get to his feet with Christian on his arm and suplex him. Kane crawls over to his corner and makes the tag to Taker but Edge distracts Hebner who misses it. Making me ask why they’re doing the false tag spot in a no-DQ match?

Hebner orders Taker out of the ring while E&C pull Kane to their corner and Edge lays the boots to him. Both men exchange punches and Edge goes for a whip but Kane slings Edge into a corner and hits a suplex. Christian comes in but Kane clotheslines him down then crawls to his corner and makes the hot tag to Taker. Taker takes it to both E&C and whips Christian hitting a backdrop then nails Edge with a big boot. Taker works over E&C in opposite corners before clohteslining Edge over the ropes. Taker grabs Christian by the throat when Rhyno comes in with a chair and whacks Taker in the back. Christian crawls over and covers Taker but only gets a two count. Rhyno starts to work over Taker when Kane grabs him for a chokeslam but Rhyno kicks the bad arm and clotheslines him over the ropes. Kane lands on his feet on the floor as Rhyno goes out after him but Kane boots him down on the ramp. E&C double-team Taker in the ring while Kane chokeslams Rhyno on the ramp. Steve Austin and Triple H run out and beat Kane down on the floor as E&C continue to assault Taker. E&c bring a pair of chairs in the ring and go for the ConChairto but Taker ducks the shot. Taker pops Edge then plants Christian with the Last Ride and gets the three for the belts! (8:14) Taker and Kane get their first tag titles as a duo as well as a match with Austin and Triple H. Okay main event but got overbooked toward the finish and it would mark the end of E&C’s last tag title run together. **

Austin and Triple H prevent a celebration by rushing the ring and double-teaming Taker. Kane comes in swinging a chair with his good arm and manages to clear Austin and Triple H from the ring and we have a staredown to finish the show. Hmm, Austin is World Champ, Triple H is Intercontinential Champ and Taker and Kane are Tag Team Champs. I wonder if there’s any type of match to take advantage of this fact.

Conclusion: Unusual but mediocre show as the WWF scrambled to put together Backlash, which was only 10 days away. The matches weren’t anything noteworthy other than the opener and main event, both of which, oddly enough, had the same cast of characters and featured title changes. Plus there was too much talking to build up the three matches suddenly made for the supercard so far. But that’s what happens when you squander three weeks with very little happening and are left with only three shows (four if you include Heat, which you’ll have to) to build the pay-per-view, kind of like the 2011 NBA preseason. So unless you want see Taker and Kane win the belts or Rhyno capture his first WWF gold, go ahead and skip this one.

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

The King's Recap: WWF Smackdown 4.19.2001

WWF SMACKDOWN
Thursday, April 19th, 2001

Taped (4/17) from the Gaylord Entertainment Center in Nashville, TN

List of WWF Champions at the time:
WWF World Heavyweight Champion: Stone Cold Steve Austin (4/01/2001)
WWF Intercontinental Champion: Triple H (4/16/2001)
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 clips from the IC Title rematch on Raw and the subsequent events. Michael Cole then welcomes us to the show along with Tazz and announces tonight Chris Benoit & Chris Jericho will face the Dudleys in a tables match. And maybe some other stuff as well. Maybe they’ll even remember they have a pay-per-view in 10 days and actually book something for it.

~ Things kick off with Commissioner William Regal making his way to the ring. Regal gets on the mic and demands the Undertaker and Kane come out and face him in the ring. The brothers quickly answer and Regal chasises them for interfering in Steve Austin and Triple H’s business, warning them it will not be tolerated. Regal suggests Taker and Kane stay away from Austin and Triple H feeling they will do the same to them. Regal then tells Kane he looks ready for action and orders him to defend his Hardcore Title right now then proceeds to bring out Kane’s opponent which turns out to be…

  • WWF Hardcore Title: Kane © (w/The Undertaker) vs. Rhyno (w/Edge & Christian)

Rhyno rushes the ring with his pals but Kane works him over him while Taker takes care of E&C and the brothers clear the ring. Takes and Kane go out after their foes and Taker works over E&C then tosses them over the barricade and chases them in the crowd. Rhyno rams Kane into the ringsteps and tees off on him before tossing him back in the ring. Rhyno goes for a whip but Kane reverses it and hits a boot then climbs to the top rope and connects with the flying clothesline. Kane plants Rhyno with the chokeslam when Steve Austin and Triple H run in the ring brandishing chairs and nail Kane in the back before beating him down with them, especially targeting the arm. Triple H tells Rhyno to cover Kane and Rhyno does so for the 1..2..3 to win his first Hardcore Title. (2:31) Oddly enough they’re playing Triple H’s music even though Rhyno was the one who won the title. Taker rushes back to the ring and chases Austin and Triple H away but is far too late for Kane. NR

~ Back from break we get a replay of Austin and Triple H vicioulsy attacking Kane, followed by footage of Kane painfully making his way to the back while holding his arm.

  • The Right To Censor vs. The Acolytes & Kaientai

The RTC is on a massive losing streak and they’re hoping to turn things around here. Steven Richards starts off against Sho Funkai who tries to intimidate Richards with a sumo stance but Richards doesn’t go for it and attacks Funaki in mid-pose. Richards whips Funaki but Funaki comes back with a headscissors. Funaki tags Taka Michinoku in and trips Richards with a drop toehold then goes into a camel clutch and holds Richards while Taka dropkicks the face. Richards drives Taka into his corner where the RTC triple-team him before Val Venis tags in to take over. Val whips Taka into a and chagres but Taka sidesteps him only to eat an elbow in return. Val climbs to the top rope and misses a corkscrew crossbody but comes back with a clothesline. Val whips Taka and hits a spinebuster then goes into a submission hold but Bradshaw breaks it up. Goodfather tags in and beats Taka down then throws him across the ring and hits a suplex. Goodfather covers but Faarooq makes the save and Val comes in without a tag and stomps Taka. Bull Buchanan tags in and helps Goodfather whip Taka and hit a double elbow. Buchanan clotheslines Taka and sets him on the top rope then goes up but Bradshaw throws him off to the mat. Buchanan knocks Bradshaw off the apron and everyone pours in the ring while Taka is still perched on the top rope. Goodafther tosses Funaki over the ropes while Faarooq clotheslines Buchanan over as well. Bradshaw powerbombs Richards while Buchanan comes over and tries to whip him but Bradshaw reverses and Faaoorq helps him hit a double spinebuster. Taka follows up a kneedrop from the top rope and that gets the pin to continue the RTC’s woes. (4:21) The Acolytes celebrate with Kaientai while the RTC are shocked that they lost again. What you’d expect. *

~ Cole and Tazz now hype Saturday’s XFL Championship game between the San Francisco Demons and the L.A. Xtreme and we even get a special video look at Xtreme quarterback Tommy Maddox’s journey through the XFL season. That’s this Saturday on NBC!

~ Backstage Undertaker is promising Kane they’ll get even as he asks some backstage guys where Commissioner Regal’s office is. Once they point the way the brothers head off but not before Taker tells the guys to call 911 as we go to commercial.

~ Back from break Grandmaster Sexay admires his reflection in Eddie Guerrero’s European Title belt when Eddie comes up and tells Sexay to keep his hands off his property. Sexay tells Eddie to chill while calling him dawg but Eddie takes offesne to being called a dog and Sexay tries to tell him not to be so hot, calling him tamale. Eddie takes offense to that as well and Sexay decides to show him his hip hop moves in the ring. Eddie takes that as a challenge so he grabs his title belt and storms off.

~ Elsewhere backstage a WCW1 limo arrives in the parking lot meaning Shane McMahon is here tonight.

~ Still elsewhere William Regal is enjoy his tea when The Undertaker and Kane barge into his office and angrily clear off his desk. Taker grabs Regal by his coat and accuses him of setting them up earlier then demands he give them Austin and Triple H, and after that Edge, Christian and Rhyno as well. Regal claims he’s not inclined to grant such a request so Kane responds by setting Regal’s trashcan on fire and that convinces Regal to grant Taker and Kane a tag team title match with Edge and Christian tonight. Taker feels that isn’t enough and Regal is at a loss of what he wants until Kane sets a nearby plant on fire. Regal finally caves in and tells Taker and Kane if they win the titles they can have Austin and Triple H. Taker and Kane seem satisfied and start to depart when Regal mentions their tag title match is no disqualification. The brothers walk off but not before Kane sets Regal’s desk on fire on his way out as we go to commercial.

~ Back from break we get a replay of Undertaker forcing Regal to give him and Kane a tag title match. Cole reminds us of Taker and Kane win the titles they’ll they their shot at Austin and Triple H.

  • WWF European Title: Eddie Guerrero © vs. Grandmaster Sexay

Sexay leads the crowd in a cheer and busts a move that allows Eddie to attack him from behind. Eddie whips Sexay and hits an elbow then whips him again but Sexay slides under him and hits a neckbreaker. Sexay goes for a whip, Eddie reverses him into a corner and charges at him but eats a boot. Sexay hops onto the middle rope and leaps off, Eddie ducks him but Sexay comes back with a DDT for a two count. Eddie bails out to the floor but Sexay hits a baseball slide then brawls with Eddie up the ramp before bulldoging him onto it. Sexay throws Eddie back in the ring and climbs to the top rope and goes for a flying crossbody but misses it. Eddie hits a double stomp to the chest followed by shoulderblocks in a corner. Eddie whips Sexay into the opposite corner but Sexay stops himself then tosses Eddie his head onto the turnbuckles. Sexay hits an euzuigiri then whips Eddie and hits a backdrop and dances a big before hitting a right hand. Sexay goes for a whip, Eddie reverses him into a corner and Sexay lifts himself over Eddie then grabs Eddie with a waistlock. Eddie switches into his own waistlock when Sexay elbows him away and goes for a Figure Four but Eddie kicks him into the ringpost and rolls him up for a two count. Eddie hits a back suplex then climbs to the top rope looking for the Frogsplash but Sexay cuts him off then goes up and hits a superplex. Instead of covering Eddie, Sexay climbs to the top rope himself but Eddie grabs the referee’s ankle and causes him to bump the ropes, straddling Sexay on the buckle. Sexay falls to the mat and Eddie rolls him up with his own feet on the ropes for the win. (4:38) Eddie did his best but this match still had no heat.

~ Backstage Vince McMahon, Steve Austin and Triple H demand an explanation from William Regal about the match he set up and Regal assures them they can use the no-DQ stipulation to their advantage. Vince decides to add some entertainment and asks the other three to see what happens to Shane later then departs while the others continue their discussion as we go to commercial.

~ Back from break Lillian Garcia interviews Edge and Christian about their tag title defense later as well as Rhyno’s controversial Hardcore title win. Edge responds by saying controversy rules and there’s a huge problem in their match tonight but it’s The Undertaker and Kane’s, not theirs. Edge says he and Christian are the big game hunters and any bets placed on them will pay big dividends. Christian adds they’ve been up against big obstacles before but have always walks out still tag team champs. Christian says they have a plan that reeks of awesomeness before the three of them depart.

~ Out in the arena Vince McMahon hits the ring because we just have to get our McMahon promo time in. Vince gets on the mic and talks about how Shane McMahon came back to the WWF some time ago and attacked him in the ring then stole WCW from under his nose and kicked a trash can in his face. Vince then suggest Shane is stalking him after appearing on Raw and pulling up in his limo tonight. Vince claims he never wanted WCW in the first place then feels Shane has something important to say so he dares Shane to come out and confront him face-to-face. Shane does make his way out and grabs a mic and apologizes to Vince … for not beating him up a long time ago after Wrestlemania. Shane says things are getting hot in WCW just like the issues in his personal life after his speech on Raw, which Linda and her attorneys found in very interesting. Shane tells Vince to have a nice day and starts to head out but Vince stops him and tries to explain himself, claiming what he said on Monday wasn’t about divorce, it was about the sanctity of marriage. Vince brings up the conversation Shane had with The Big Show and even shows it on the OvalTron before reminding him that Shows’s working for the WWF.

Vince then invites Show to the ring for a public conversation and Show comes out and shake Shane’s hand. Vince accuses Show of trying to impress Shane when Shane sees him just as the world does, the single biggest dissapopintment in the WWF. Vince feels Shane is trying to recruit Show to WCW behind the scenes and congradulates him on his accquisition. However Vince tells Show once he gets to WCW he’s going to get some of the pep talks Shane used to give him and shows a clip from Smackdown last year of Shane calling Show an pathetic, pea-brained, unmotivated slob. Vince then shows a still of Shane breaking a cement block over Show’s head at Judgment Day last May, followed by a series of clips of Shane making fun of Show over the past year as well. Vince tells Show he may have squandered his oppertunites but still has the potential to be WWF Champion before asking him to decide his path, whether he remains in the WWF or goes with Shane to WCW. Show grabs Vince by the throat but then turns and grabs Shane by the throat and proceeds to chokeslam him. Vince stands over Shane and tells him he will face Big Show at Backlash, in a Last Man Standing match. Vince and Show leave Shane laying in the ring and hey, we finally have a match booked for the pay-per-view.

~ Back from break we get a replay of Vince asking Show to make a decision and Show answering with a chokeslam.

~ Out in the arena The Dudleys make thier way to the ring for the tables match followed by Chris Benoit & Chris Jericho, who are teaming up for the first time. However before the match starts William Regal comes out to the stage along with Kurt Angle. Regal gets on the mic and mentions that Backlash is just 10 days away then tells Jericho he won’t be getting off that easy because the two will wrestle each other again, this time in a match under ‘Duchess of Queensbury’ rules which he will explain in due course. Regal then tells Benoit he will fight Angle on the card as well, in a 30-minute ultimate submission match where the most submissions wins. So we got three matches booked for Backlash, all in the span of five minutes. Anyway Regal then demands the tables match start just as the Dudleys attack Benoit and Jericho from behind.

  • The Dudley Boyz vs. Chris Benoit & Chris JerichoTables Match

Bubba Ray tosses Benoit through the ropes and goes after him on the floor while Jerricho tees off on D’Von in a corner. Jericho goes for a whip, D’Von reverses him into a corner and eats a boot but catches Jericho with a powerslam as Angle looks on. D’Von whips Jericho and hits the jumping elbow then whips him again but Jericho comes back with a forearm followed by a dropkick. D’Von rolls out to the apron when Jericho connects with the springboard dropkick but Bubba comes in and plants Jericho with a Samoan Drop. Benoit comes in and hammers away on Bubba then Benoit goes for a whip, Bubba reverses him into a corner and eats a double boot but nails Benoit with the Bubbabomb. Benoit fights back with chops and goes for a whip but Bubba reverses him into a corner and slams him. Bubba then sets Benoit up as D’Von climbs to the top rope and hits the “Wassup” headbutt as Angle continues to observe. The Dudleys go out and grab a table when Jericho goes for a baseball slide but the Dudleys raise the table up and ram it into Jericho’s face. The Dudleys set the table up in the ring then go for a double flapjack on Benoit through the table but Jericho moves it just in time. Jericho nails D’Von with a spinning heelkick but eats a right hand from Bubba. Bubba places Jericho onto the table as D’Von climbs to the top rope but Benoit cuts him off. Bubba clubs Benoit in the back but Jericho knocks Bubba through the ropes. Benoit and Jericho then go to superplex D’Von through the table but Bubba moves it to prevent that as well. Bubba clotheslines Jericho over the ropes when Benoit grabs him with a waistlock, Bubba fights out of it and goes for the Bubbabomb but Benoit counters into a German suplex. Benoit holds on for a second German then goes to put Bubba through the table with a third German suplex but D’Von moves it to save Bubba. Jericho climbs to the top rope and connects with a missle dropkick on D’Von. The Chrises set the table up and Benoit places D’Von on it while Jericho goes for a Liondsault but Bubba trips him from the floor. Benoit climbs to the top rope looking for the diving headbutt through the table when Angle runs down and shoves Benoit off the top through the table, which somehow gets the Dudleys the victory. (4:31) Entertaining match there but can someone explain how Angle putting Benoit through the table means the Dudleys win? **½

~ Back from break we get a music video about the Undertaker and Kane set to Marilyn Manson’s “Fight Song”.

~ Backstage Vince wishes Edge & Christian luck in their match but something tells him they won’t need it. Vince then joins Steve Austin and Triple H in looking at highlights of them beating down the Hardys on Raw. I guess this is suppsoed to make us think the Hardys are still in the main storyline but we know better.

~ Elsewhere Johnathan Coachman interviews Molly Holly on her chances of winning the Women’s title tonight. Molly feels her chances are fair and she may not be as big is Chyna but is still going to do her best.

~ Chyna is then shown heading to the ring for her aforementioned title defense as we go to commercial.

~ Back from break we get an exterior shot of the Gaylord Entertainment Center and also find Jevon Kearse of the Tennessee Titans in the crowd tonight.

~ Backstage Kevin Kelly interviews the Undertaker and Kane (who has his left elbow taped up), asking if they’re ready for their title shot. Taker chastises Kevin for asking the dumbest questions sometimes then asks why Steve Austin and Triple H feel beating up women and commentators makes them such bad dudes. Taker says once he and Kane finish Edge and Christian they’re going to show them who the real bad guys are, and while E&C are 7-time Tag Team champions they’re going to lose the titles for the seventh time. Taker finishes by saying E&C will make a name for themselves because he and Kane are going to make them famous.

  • WWF Women’s Title: Chyna © vs. Molly Holly

Molly grabs Chyna with a waistlock to start, Chyna counters into a hammerlock, Molly reverses it and Molly goes into a headlock but Chyna shoves her into the roeps and hits a shoulderblock. Molly locks up with Chyna and applies an arm wreinger but Chyna reverses into her own armwringer. Molly flips out of it and goes into an armbar but Chyna throws her to the mat and hits a press slam. Chyna charges at Molly in a corner but Molly sidesteps her and hits a bulldog for a two count. Molly climbs to the top rope and connects with a flying crossbody but that only gets two as well. Molly comes off the ropes but runs into a clothesline and Chyna powerbombs Molly for the pin. (2:15) And Chyna’s burial of the Women’s division continues. *

~ Backstage we find Kurt Angle telling someone off camera not to come out until he says it’s time because they’re going to teach Chris Benoit about the three I’s as we go to commercial.

~ Back from break Cole and Tazz again shill the XFL Championship game this Saturday night. They really want is to watch it, dont they?

~ Kurt Angle comes out to the ring as Tony Chimel announces this as a five-minute submission exhibition. Angle gets on the mic and says how he’s been beating opponents his whole life which he calls his ‘thang’ and pinning opponents is great but leaves him a little empty since he just pins them to the mat. Angle says there’s no better feeling than humilitaing his opponent by making them submit to his Olympic wrath. Angle says he wanted the ultimate submisison match promising 30 minutes of torture for Chris Benoit at Backlash because he’s going to make Benoit squeal over and over. Angle feels the fans don’t get what he’s saying so he’s recruited a trio of local wrestlers and brings them out for a submission demonstration. Angle says he will give each of them the chance to make him submit and hopes Benoit is watching his future. The first guy moves in but Angle takes him down with a headlock/armbar combo and forces him to tap. The second guy charges but Angle trips him and hits a front facelock slam that gets a submission. The third guy grabs Angle with a waistlock but Angle hits a Fireman’s carry and forces a tapout with an armbar. The thrid guy tries agan but Angle throws him over his shoulder and slaps on a jujigatame for the submission. Angle hits the second guy with a belly-to-belly throw and forces him to quit with a Dragon sleeper. Angle helps the guy up but kicks him in the back of the knee and locks in the Anklelock for a tapout. The other two guys are hesitant to lockup again so Angle offer to be in the mount position for them. The third guy moves in with a waistlock but Angle rolls forward into the Anklelock for another tapout. Angle drops to the mat again but has his back to the ramp and I bet you’re thinking “I wonder if Benoit is going to come out, replace the scrub when Angle isn’t looking and slap on the Crossface.” Well, that’s exactly what happens as Benoit slips in the ring and tosses the remaining guy over the ropes behind Angle’s back then slaps on the Crossface and Angle is the one who’s forced to tap out. Benoit refuses to let go at first but eventually does and leaves Angle laying in the ring.

~ Edge, Christian and Rhyno are all shown heading to the ring as are The Undertaker and Kane which means main event time is next. We then see Steve Austin and Triple H getting up and heading somewhere as we go to commercial.

  • WWF World Tag Team Titles: Edge & Christian © (w/Rhyno) vs. The Undertaker & KaneNo-DQ Match

We opened the show with these five guys and it looks like we’re going to close with these same guys. Edge, Christian and Rhyno triple-team Kane while Taker rides to the ring on his motorcycle. Taker heads in and manages to clear Edge and Rhyno out then goes out after Edge leaving Christian and Kane. Kane plants Christian with a sidewalk slam and hits a clothesline then Christian goes after Kane’s bad arm but Kane swats him away and pounds him down in a corner. Christian slips out of the corner and gets in his own shots then goes for the count-along punches but Kane shoves him off and decks Edge off the apron. Kane manages to hit a one-arm powerslam then brings Edge in the ring and hits him with a big boot. Kane goes for the ropes and Rhyno nails him from behind to distract him as Christian moves in but Kane backdrops Christian over the ropes where Taker meets him with a right hand on the floor. In the ring Kane grabs Edge by the throat for a chokeslam but Rhyno comes in and Gores Kane. Edge lays the boots to Kane and kicks at the bad arm. Kane kicks him away and crawls to his corner but Edge cuts off the tag, even thought it’s no-DQ and Taker should just be able to come in whenever he wants. Edge applies an armwringer on the bad arm and Kane tries to fight back but Edge hits an amrbar slam. Taker breaks up the pin but is ordered out of the ring by Earl Hebner, again even though the match is no-DQ. Christian comes in without a tag and tees off on Kane’s bad arm then locks in a short-arm scissors. Kane manages to roll over and get to his feet with Christian on his arm and suplex him. Kane crawls over to his corner and makes the tag to Taker but Edge distracts Hebner who misses it. Making me ask why they’re doing the false tag spot in a no-DQ match?

Hebner orders Taker out of the ring while E&C pull Kane to their corner and Edge lays the boots to him. Both men exchange punches and Edge goes for a whip but Kane slings Edge into a corner and hits a suplex. Christian comes in but Kane clotheslines him down then crawls to his corner and makes the hot tag to Taker. Taker takes it to both E&C and whips Christian hitting a backdrop then nails Edge with a big boot. Taker works over E&C in opposite corners before clohteslining Edge over the ropes. Taker grabs Christian by the throat when Rhyno comes in with a chair and whacks Taker in the back. Christian crawls over and covers Taker but only gets a two count. Rhyno starts to work over Taker when Kane grabs him for a chokeslam but Rhyno kicks the bad arm and clotheslines him over the ropes. Kane lands on his feet on the floor as Rhyno goes out after him but Kane boots him down on the ramp. E&C double-team Taker in the ring while Kane chokeslams Rhyno on the ramp. Steve Austin and Triple H run out and beat Kane down on the floor as E&C continue to assault Taker. E&c bring a pair of chairs in the ring and go for the ConChairto but Taker ducks the shot. Taker pops Edge then plants Christian with the Last Ride and gets the three for the belts! (8:14) Taker and Kane get their first tag titles as a duo as well as a match with Austin and Triple H. Okay main event but got overbooked toward the finish and it would mark the end of E&C’s last tag title run together. **

Austin and Triple H prevent a celebration by rushing the ring and double-teaming Taker. Kane comes in swinging a chair with his good arm and manages to clear Austin and Triple H from the ring and we have a staredown to finish the show. Hmm, Austin is World Champ, Triple H is Intercontinential Champ and Taker and Kane are Tag Team Champs. I wonder if there’s any type of match to take advantage of this fact.

Conclusion: Unusual but mediocre show as the WWF scrambled to put together Backlash, which was only 10 days away. The matches weren’t anything noteworthy other than the opener and main event, both of which, oddly enough, had the same cast of characters and featured title changes. Plus there was too much talking to build up the three matches suddenly made for the supercard so far. But that’s what happens when you squander three weeks with very little happening and are left with only three shows (four if you include Heat, which you’ll have to) to build the pay-per-view, kind of like the 2011 NBA preseason. So unless you want see Taker and Kane win the belts or Rhyno capture his first WWF gold, go ahead and skip this one.

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

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.