The SmarK DVD Rant for WWE Superstar Collection: Sheamus

The SmarK DVD Rant for WWE Superstar Collection: Sheamus Maybe it’s my old age talking, but I much prefer these 90 minute bite-sized collections to the mammoth 9 hour marathon sessions that WWE pumps out on a monthly basis. Five matches, and it’s only $7 on Amazon right now, no fuss no muss. Yeah, the cheaply produced cover makes Sheamus look like he’s constipated, but it’s the content that counts. Plus this is the kind of disc that’s perfectly suited to Netflix or PPV. And there’s no documentary or anything, just a quick video intro and then the matches… RAW World title, tables match: John Cena v. Sheamus From TLC, December 13 2009. This was of course very early in Sheamus’s run as a heel, as he was basically just up from ECW and beating midcard guys. Cena had been trading the belt with Orton for the previous few months, including overcoming getting blown up (literally) to win an Iron Man match. Why was this a tables match? Good question. Cena gets a MIGHTY negative reaction for his entrance. It was kind of funny, because leading up to this I was wondering why Sheamus was getting pushed like this when he wasn’t over, and the people in WWE at the time who were talking to me about it basically said “Oh, well, HHH likes him, so he’ll probably get a pretty good push in a while.” That was about two weeks before this. Cena attacks him in the corner to start, but Sheamus takes him down and pounds away on the mat. The crowd is booing both guys, and they brawl outside and try to retrieve a table. Cena gets it first and puts Sheamus on it, but shockingly 2 minutes is enough for him to recover and Sheamus comes back in the ring. Sheamus with a powerslam and Cena bails to the apron and we get a goofy spot with Cena JUST BARELY able to hang on and not fall through his own table. Matt Striker notes the irony of that, showing what an insufferable clod he was becoming. THANK YOU CAPTAIN OBVIOUS. They fight on the floor again and Sheamus works on the back and tries a powerbomb through that darn table, but Cena fights back again with a suplex on the ramp. They brawl into the crowd and back to ringside, but Cena takes too long setting up the table and Sheamus catches him with a brogue kick (called “the Irish Curse kick” by Cole, as he cycled through four or five moves with that name before finally settling on the backbreaker for good.) Sheamus puts a table in the corner and tries to powerslam him through it, but Cena OVERCOMES THE ODDS and it’s the FIVE MOVES OF DOOM. He sets up another table and puts Sheamus on top for an FU, but Sheamus fights him off and John slips on the proverbial banana peel and falls through the table at 16:23 to give Sheamus the belt. What kind of a bullshit fluke finish was that? Sheamus hung in there with Cena pretty well, but this was pretty dull stuff and it did nothing to establish Sheamus as a top guy. **1/2 RAW World title: John Cena v. Edge v. Randy Orton v. Sheamus From Fatal 4 Way 2010. Michael Cole listing off all the World titles between the competitors is supposed to sound impressive, but really all it does is emphasize how cheap and meaningless the titles have become. Cena starts with Orton and almost gets the FU, but Edge and Sheamus toss Orton and double-team Cena. They stretch it out so the crowd can do a dueling Cena chant, but Edge turns on Sheamus and rolls him up for two. Second rope clothesline gets two. He goes up again and Orton follows for a superplex attempt, but Sheamus breaks that up. The end result is Edge getting a high cross on Sheamus for two. Orton clears the ring, but Cena returns from the dead and gets suplexed back into the ring for his troubles. Orton slowly works him over, but Sheamus comes back in and takes Orton out with a clothesline. So now Orton gets to roll out and play dead for 10 minutes while Cena and Sheamus do their sequence. Sheamus with a backbreaker for two and sets up for the finish, but Edge breaks it up and then gets tossed again. Orton hits Sheamus and Cena with the hanging DDT and gets two on Sheamus, but Cena comes back with his VINTAGE CENA offense on Edge. Orton dumps him and goes after Edge, but Sheamus dumps Orton and beats on Edge himself. This match is going nowhere. Cena clears the ring now and puts Edge in the STF, but Sheamus breaks it up and gets two on Edge. Clothesline gets two. Can we just skip to the NXT run-in already? This is boring. So magically the ring gets down to two guys again, with Cena trying the FU on Edge, but Orton sneaks in with the RKO on Cena for two. Sheamus grabs the ref to stop the count, and Cole points out that there’s no DQ in a Fatal Four-Way match. Really? Sheamus with the bicycle kick on Orton for two. Everyone brawls to the floor and it’s a big trainwreck, but backstage the NXT guys attack the poor guys who have to stand there pretending to watch the match instead of showering. So with Cena alone in the ring, the NXT crew storms out and destroys everything, and Sheamus pins Cena to win the title back at 17:27. *** The whole match was just the setup for the run-in, much like the nWo days. King of the Ring finals: Sheamus v. John Morrison I don’t know who the chick doing ring announcing here is, but the less said about the job she does here, the better. Morrison gets booted to the floor and we take a break, and return with Sheamus covering for two. Sheamus works on the injured arm with a divorce court for two. Sheamus pounds away on the mat and goes to an armbar as Cole notes that the winner will be crowned the nineteenth King of the Ring. I was initially questioning that one, but Wikipedia confirms it. Meanwhile I miss a bunch of the match while doing that research, but it’s pretty dull anyway. Sheamus goes for the Razor’s Edge, but Morrison fights out and gets a tornado DDT for two. Morrison goes to finish with the Shining Wizard, but Sheamus blocks it and sends him into the corner. Morrison goes up, and Sheamus slams him onto the bad shoulder for two. Sheamus slaps on a Fujiwara armbar (called as such by CM Punk, something I never thought I’d hear on this show), and he’s really cranking on it, but Morrison uses the POWER OF PARKOUR to escape. Starship Pain misses, however, and the Brogue Kick and Razor’s Edge crowns Sheamus at 8:31. Good “Big heart in a bad situation” effort from Morrison here, but this didn’t end up doing much of anything for either guy. ***1/4 Sheamus and his kingship seemed to be setting him up for a beating from “King of Kings” HHH, but he just turned into kind of a joke. US title: Daniel Bryan v. King Sheamus From RAW, March 2011. So weird to see clean-shaven babyface Bryan now. Sheamus was doing a losing streak gimmick at this point, one of the few that actually ended up paying off for the guy doing it. Bryan evades him and kicks him to the floor, then follows with a suicide dive. Back in, missile dropkick gets two. Sheamus bails and we take a break. Back with Sheamus holding a chinlock and then throwing the forearms on the apron. Back in, that gets two. Bryan cradles him for two and backdrops him to the floor, injuring the ankle. Bryan takes him down wit the YESLOCK, but Sheamus makes the ropes. Bryan reverses the Razor’s Edge into a rollup for two and they slug it out, with Bryan kicking him down for two. Bryan goes up…and lands in a brogue kick to give Sheamus the US title at 5:45. That of course wouldn’t be the last time Bryan felt that kick. This did nothing for Sheamus, as he quietly dropped the belt to Kofi Kingston a few weeks later and then finally caught fire after a babyface turn around Summerslam. Royal Rumble 2012: Sorry, but this is clipped to Sheamus making his entrance at #22. I kind of figured they wouldn’t be able to put the entire match on a 90 minute DVD. So you get the last 20 minutes of the match and the big sequence at the end with Jericho and Sheamus, leading to Sheamus winning his first Rumble. The Pulse Oh well, still a pretty decent set of stuff for a few bucks, featuring most of Sheamus’ big title wins, although couldn’t they fit the 18 second win over Daniel Bryan on there as well? Cheap and lazy collection from WWE, but it’s a hell of a deal for the price, especially if you’re a fan of his. I think this is exactly the kind of format they can use to showcase guys like Kofi and Ziggler or Miz, who wouldn’t otherwise get a DVD set, but who newer fans might be interested in enough to drop $8 on a DVD primer. Zack Ryder just got one of these last month, in fact. Recommended.

Smackdown – April 20, 2012

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

Reviewed by Tommy Hall

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

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

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

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

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

AJ vs. Natalya

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

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

Brodus Clay vs. Hunico

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

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

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

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

Usos vs. Titus O’Neal/Darren Young

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

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

The Raw ReBound is about Jericho vs. Punk.

Alberto Del Rio vs. Big Show

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

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

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

Cody runs away post match.

Drew McIntyre and Heath Slater are watching the following squash.

Danny Lerman vs. Ryback

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

We get the Brock interview from Raw.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Show was limping post match.

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

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

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The SmarKdown Rant–04.10.12

The SmarKdown Rant – 04.10.12 Live from Hampton, VA. Your hosts are Josh Matthews, Michael Cole and Booker T. Most of the roster is on the way to Moscow, so tonight is the Blast From The Past show, although there’s no cool set like for the Old School RAW show. Mean Gene brings out Sheamus to start. He apologizes for attacking the referee last week, but this brings out Big Johnny. The replay of the incident reveals a weird logic from Michael Cole, as he notes that the ref believed that Sheamus laid out Del Rio with the chair, so he had to DQ him because “he can only call what he sees”. But he didn’t actually see it, so I’m left confused. Johnny makes Sheamus apologize to referees all over the world, but that’s not good enough for him, so if Sheamus ever touches another ref, he’s fired. And fined $500,000. So tonight, it’s Daniel Bryan & Alberto Del Rio v. Sheamus & Mean Gene. Meanwhile, Randy Orton gets some advice from dad. Randy Orton v. Mark Henry The recap of last week before the match would suggest that in fact Kane v. Orton is not done yet. Slugfest in the corner to start, but Henry puts him down with a headbutt. Powerslam gets two and we take a break with Cowboy Bob looking on backstage. Back with Henry holding a neck vice, but Orton slugs out until Henry slams him and hits the big splash for two. Henry with an avalanche for two. Another splash attempt misses and Orton makes the comeback with a DDT for two. Henry bails to the apron, but suckers Orton into trying the draping DDT and sets up for the Slam. Orton escapes that and tries the RKO, but Henry tosses him and they brawl outside. Henry meets the post and Orton comes in to beat the count, but Kane appears on the screen for the Sports Entertainment Finish at 9:13. Just a match. ** So yes, the Kane feud MUST CONTINUE. And Kane has attacked Bob Orton, so Randy runs backstage and gets ambushed like an idiot. Moments Ago: Stuff we just saw happen. Benny Camer v. RyBack The legends look on at the jobber before the match and celebrate that it’ll be a “good old fashioned squash match.” This is the best use for the Blast From The Past theme they can think of? RyBack destroys the jobber with a clothesline and finishes with the muscle buster at 0:35. Nothing squash, but the clothesline sell was epic. Meanwhile, Heath Slater recruits Tyson Kidd to be his tag partner against the Usos. Managed by Jimmy Hart. Heath Slater & Tyson Kid v. The Usos Tyson slingshots in with a nice rollup on Jimmy, but Slater kicks him out of the ring and hits a rebound neckbreaker himself, for two. Slater with the chinlock while Jimmy Hart annoys Mick Foley at ringside. Jey comes in with a butt splash in the corner for two and they get rid of Kidd, but Foley goes after Jimmy Hart, thus distracting Slater and allowing the Usos to finish with the flying splash at 2:33. This was just a backdrop for the Mick-Jimmy comedy routine. * “Rowdy” Roddy Piper is out for Piper’s Pit, with special guest Daniel Bryan. This crowd is a bit more receptive to the heel persona, as they chant “18 seconds” at him. Bryan announces that he’s got a title shot at Extreme Rules, a 2/3 falls match. Thank god they backed off the Del Rio plan. Piper brings out AJ, who is still defending him and thinks he’s a good person. Deep down. And it was all her fault. Piper plays therapist and tries to build her up again, but Bryan orders her to leave again if she really loves him. And so she does. Piper’s not done with him, though. He informs Bryan that real men don’t tell women to shut up or use them as human shields. I’m pretty sure Piper did both of those things in the 80s, more than once. Piper is looking forward to seeing Bryan lose twice at the PPV, so Bryan slaps him and leaves. Glad to see the crowd actually reacting how they wanted so they didn’t have to freak out any further. Drew McIntyre & The Bella Twins v. The Great Khali, Natalya & Alicia Fox This has to be a rib on everyone, right? Drew immediately walks out of the match, leaving Fox to pin a Bella with a suplex at 0:52. And then Mae Young comes out and dances and kisses Khali. Damien Sandow once again educates us on sophistication. Meanwhile, Sheamus is pretty sure that he’s not winning tonight, but he’s just in it for the fight anyway. Drinks are on him either way. Hacksaw Jim Duggan v. Hunico Duggan slugs him out of the ring right away and brings out Sgt. Slaughter to even things up, but then uses the 2×4 and gets disqualified. No match. None of this got over. Cody Rhodes comes out to cut a promo, but Dusty Rhodes interrupts. He looks like hell. Cody is immediately embarrassed by his dad and goes to leave, but Big Show interrupts. Oh great, is Cody going to job to Big Dust now, too? Show’s embarrassing moment this week: Dashing Cody Rhodes applying lip balm. No way, Dashing Cody was awesome. And Cody just leaves while Dusty sort of dances. Another segment that was total death with no point. Alberto Del Rio & Daniel Bryan v. Sheamus & Mean Gene Okerlund I’ve only got 10 minutes left on my DVR and I’m ready for this show to end, so hopefully they wrap this up quickly. The babyfaces get Howard Finkel to introduce them. Del Rio slugs it out with Sheamus to start and the heels work Sheamus over, until he gets dumped and Gene is forced to come into the match. The heels surround him, but the other legends run out and make the save, allowing Sheamus to pin Bryan yet again with the kick at 3:30. Again, not really a match. And then everyone beats up on poor Roberto for some reason. And then when everyone is posing, Michael Cole comes in to wrap things up, and he gets punched out too. OK then. The Pulse Well that was…uh…something. If you were expecting Old School RAW Part 2, you sure didn’t get it. In fact it was probably one of the worst wrestling shows I’ve seen in years, with none of this stuff getting over in the least. Not to mention the whole point was supposed to be promoting Legends House and they didn’t even say if, when or where it was going to air on TV at any point. Just a massive disappointment given that I was pretty excited to see this leading into it.

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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Sheamus

Does WWE not know how to build up babyfaces anymore? Sheamus started getting over as a babyface by standing up to people and fighting them like a man. After WrestleMania and Raw they seem to think that him cheap shotting people when they’re not looking makes him a badass. I’m a huge Daniel Bryan fan so obviously I was upset that they didn’t get a chance to put on an actual match. Then on Raw Del Rio comes out and talks to him face to face and Sheamus waits until Del Rio turns around to get a new mic before kicking him in the face when he wasn’t ready. So why is anyone supposed to cheer for Sheamus?

Because they tell you to, fella.  I don’t blame Sheamus in all this, I like him just fine, but he’s in a really bad position at the moment.  And honestly, no, they don’t know how to build up babyfaces.  Just look at poor Zack Ryder.