The SmarKdown Rant – 05.18.12 Taped from Hershey, PA Your hosts are Michael Cole, Booker T & Josh Matthews Big Johnny is out to complain about UNFAIR TREATMENT from the board of directors. Even for someone “approaching 40” he’s still pretty flexible, but how can he be expected to compete against a top-level athlete like John Cena? That 40 line made me laugh, I’ll give him that. But before we can say a prayer on his behalf, CM Punk interrupts. It’s gonna be a party next week when Johnny gets fired, and he’s standing up for everyone bullied and harassed by Big Johnny. So he ends up booked against Kane tonight as a result. No need to punish us, too, John. Finally he flips out and blames everything on the audience, individually, and they can all go to hell. R-Truth & Kofi Kingston v. Darren Young & Titus O’Neil Why would you throw the NXT guys in with the tag champs already? Truth works Young over in the corner and Kofi comes in with the springboard bodypress for two, but he goes to the apron and Young drops him onto it with an atomic drop. OUCH. Back in, the NXTers control in their corner, but Kofi gets what I guess is the hot tag 2:00 in, and Truth runs wild on Young with the spinning elbow for two. Titus gets dumped and Truth finishes with the downward spiral at 3:00. Just a squash, although that was a nasty bump that Kofi took on the apron. * I like the NXT team, they have matching tights and everything. Speaking of tag teams, on the “new” NXT there’s an FCW team called The Ascension, and damned if that isn’t one of the best team names I’ve ever heard. Clearly this is a team that means business and is on the rise, because it says so right in their name. The best comparison I can make is Demolition, because you hear that name and you know shit’s ON. People named Demolition who dress in black leather spikes and have heavy metal music are generally there to kick your ass. So the Ascension already has one advantage over the other geeks in the tag division right off the bat. Damien Sandow v. Yoshi Tatsu Sandow once again is vexed by the unworthiness of his opponent, so once again he can’t lower himself to engaging in a wrestling contest with him. Tatsu, however, thinks that Sandow might be chicken, so we get the match after all. Sandow attacks from behind and hits a neckbreaker, but there’s no actual match. Guess we’re not worthy after all. Loving the Rick Martel color scheme on Sandow, though. Recap, recap, recap, and we get an interview with Sheamus and Randy Orton that I’m pretty sure is new material, although one can never tell anymore these days. Daniel Bryan v. Zack Ryder Bryan puts him down with forearms and gets two, and the dropkick into the corner gets two. Ryder comes back with the Broski Boot, but it misses and Bryan kicks his head off and finishes with the Yes Lock at 2:28. I don’t see Ryder’s pre-show match with Kane going well for him. * CM Punk v. Kane Kane bullies Punk in the corner, but gets clotheslined to the floor as a result. And we take a break. Back with Punk working on the leg with a figure-four of all things, only to have Kane casually punch out of it. He dumps Punk and uses the post to work on the arm, and into a lengthy chinlock on the mat, but Punk makes the comeback. Kane shrugs off the knee in the corner, but Punk gets a middle rope bulldog instead for two. Springboard clothesline gets two. Kane puts him down with a big boot for two and they head up, but Kane goes down and Punk follows with the flying elbow for two. Kane escapes the Vice with a sideslam, and goes up with a flying clothesline. Chokeslam is blocked by the high kick, and Kane ends up on the floor off that, so Punk follows with a tope suicida. Color commentator Daniel Bryan attacks Kane with a chair for the DQ at 12:00, which makes Kane think that Punk did it, and Kane does Bryan’s dirty work for him and decimates Punk. Finally an angle for this feud! Surprisingly entertaining match, too. **3/4 Cody Rhodes v. Santino Marella This was started by a TWITTER WAR. It’s going to get worse, sadly. Rhodes stomps him down and blocks a charge with an elbow, but a moonsault misses. Santino readies the Cobra, but Cody dropkicks him to stop it. Santino comes back with the Cobra out of nowhere for the pin at 1:56, however. What an epic champion v. champion match that was. ½* Recap, recap, recap. Thank god for DVRs. Randy Orton v. Patrick McPatrick They do the epic lockup battle to start and Sheamus works on the arm, but things get CATTY and they have a shoving match that turns into a slugfest. Orton takes him down with an STO and gives him the Garvin Stomp, but misses the kneedrop. Sheamus slugs away in the corner, but Orton fires back and follows with a clothesline to put him on the floor. They keep brawling out there and Orton meets the stairs, but Sheamus misses a Brogue kick and hits the post instead. Orton works the arm and we take a break. Back with Orton holding a chinlock and being all EVIL about it, but Sheamus slugs back again. Orton whips him into the corner, shoulder-first, for two, and keeps on the arm, but Sheamus tosses him. Back to the apron and Sheamus uses the forearms, and we take ANOTHER break. Back with Sheamus dropping knees for two and holding his own chinlock, but Orton fights out and walks into a knee. Orton makes the comeback, however, with the clotheslines and powerslam, and a BELLY TO BELLY?! Sheamus fights off the draping DDT, and slingshots in with the shoulderblock to make his own comeback. That’s a neat dynamic, with both babyfaces getting the comeback spots. Powerslam gets two for Sheamus. Orton fights out of the backbreaker, but a second attempt gets two. Sheamus to the top, but Orton brings him down with a slick superplex for two. They slug it out again and Sheamus bulls him into the corner, but misses the Brogue kick and puts himself on the apron. This allows Orton to finally get the draping DDT and set up for the finish. RKO is blocked, and Sheamus rolls him up with a schoolboy for the pin at 26:30. Wow, 30 minutes on free TV with a clean pinfall finish? Orton offers the handshake and then lays him out with the RKO anyway. I have no beef with this, and actually wish it would have been on PPV instead of the four-way. **** The Pulse: Thank god Smackdown isn’t going to three hours as well, because I don’t think they could do it without resorting to showing reruns of Duckman or something to kill time. Total nothing show, but a HELL of a main event because I guess they couldn’t find enough RAW recaps and website plugs to fill two hours and they needed to resort to wrestling instead. Strangely absent tonight: Del Rio, Jericho, Ryback, Cesaro, and of course anything to make me want to buy this PPV. Not that it matters because I’m out of town all weekend anyway, so WWE isn’t getting my $60 even if I was suddenly possessed by a desire to order this crappy looking show.