This is my first installment of reviewing the “blue brand” show. I will be following a similar format that Seth has implemented for reviewing Impact Wrestling. I will also be posting reviews on RAW as well.
The show started with a video preview of the night’s main event. Randy Orton vs World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan. This is a “grudge match” as Orton is looking for revenge for being concussed by the Champ.
Opening Segment: Sheamus Promo
We are greeted by the 2012 Royal Rumble winner: Sheamus. Josh Matthews welcomes us to Smackdown along side Michael Cole and Booker T. They talk about Booker’s “Fave Five” which is very annoying to say the least. Sheamus is out to cut a promo. Speaks of how his mind is on WrestleMania since winning the Royal Rumble. He’s looking forward to being in front of “eighty towsend members of the WWE Universe.” He speaks on DB’s heel turn but of course it’s coined as being a “changed man”. In a moment of good creativity, Sheamus says DB reminds him of himself when he won his first WWE Championship. You know…. back when he was a heel. Of course, the way Sheamus tells it, he was a bully. He says that someone showed him the way and it was the wrong way. He says that he will be that man for Daniel Bryan come April 1st when he kicks his arse and becomes the new World Heavyweight Champion.
Sheamus is interrupted by the all-too-familiar shrieking “Excuse Me!” that makes most men’s blood curdle. Vickie Guerrero is out on the stage and she’s flanked by Dolph Ziggler. She lays in to Sheamus that her favorite part of Sheamus’ story was when he stopped talking. Speaking of talking, it’s the Show Off’s turn to speak, and he says no one cares about his little sap story. Ziggler says he deserves the main event spot instead of Sheamus. Ziggler then warns Sheamus that his hair is on fire.
“Really, fella? That joke is about as old as your grandmudder Vickie there!”
Vickie fires back with a “fella” of her own, but not quite as good. She says she’s not old, but experienced. Then she goes on to say how she prefers John Laurenitis over Teddy Long. She rambles some more before Teddy Long comes out and books Sheamus vs Dolph Ziggler and says the match is next.
Segment Two: Dolph Ziggler vs Sheamus
Match is joined in progress coming out of the commercial but it looks like there wasn’t much that was missed. Must be a high alcohol content in the arena, as there is an “I <3 Vickie” sign in the front row. In the first half of the match, instead of calling the action, the announcers spoke more about the WrestleMania match between Sheamus and Daniel Bryan. Sheamus controlled the offense early on, but after going to the outside and throwing Ziggler back in the ring, Dolph was able to hit a neckbreaker in the middle of the ropes, and was able to keep the upper-hand since that point. That is, until he tried his sleeper, to which Sheamus flipped him over the top rope and to the floor. While Sheamus was recovering, Ziggler leapt to the top rope and tried a high-flying offensive strike, only to be caught by the Irish Curse for a two count. It was a two because Vickie slid under the bottom rope and placed Ziggler’s right foot on the bottom rope.
A couple of more near falls, and Sheamus was back in control. Vickie signaled to the back for Jack Swagger who tried to interfere but was met with a Brogue Kick for his troubles. Ziggler took advantage of the distraction and hit the ZigZag; however Sheamus kicked out at two and a half. Ziggler tried for the ZigZag again or perhaps his sleeper, but Sheamus caught him and powered him into his newest finisher, the White Noise, for the 1-2-3.
Winner: Sheamus by pinfall
Segment Three: Video re-cap of Super Smackdown Live! + backstage with Teddy Long
They reviewed what happened in the Champion vs Champion match last week and how it’s lead up to the GM switcheroo for this coming week where Big Johnny will run Smackdown and Teddy Long will run RAW’s Supershow. After the recap, they cut to Teddy talking to Aksana on the phone as his walking to his office. He stops once inside and tells Aksana that he’ll have to call her back. That is because he noticed that Laurenitis and Otunga were standing there waiting for him. They accused Teddy of inappropriate behavior with his Superstars. Then Laurenitis asks for an apology for Teddy’s “attack” on John last week. Long refuses to apologize and says they need to get to steppin’; that is after he booked David “Coffee Mug” Otunga against The Great Khali for Monday’s Supershow. Laurenitis and Otunga leave but not before telling Teddy he needs to calm down and try yoga (veiled DDP or Trish Stratus plug?).
Big Show vs Mark Henry is pimped for later in the show.
Segment Four: Heath Slater vs Santino Marella
Basis throwaway match featuring the comedy fodder of the show. I don’t know what they see in Heath Slater, so I’d imagine he might be in danger of being FE’d after WrestleMania when spring cleaning begins. Another match where the announcers are putting over a semi-related story, where they talked on and on about the GM feud. End of the short match comes when Slater goes up top only to be crotched when Santio “falls into the ropes” and then the Cobra strikes for the finish. Best part came immediately after when Michael Cole said “The only think sillier than the Cobra, is the Spinaroonie.” To which Booker T chimed in with “Watch yourself, Cole.”
Segment Five: Video recap from WrestleMania XXVII
This is the same recap that aired on RAW hyping up HHH vs Undertaker. It’s not even new, this was run in weeks following WrestleMania last year. They have just brought it back since it’s a rematch.
Segment Six: Backstage with Eve and Natalya
Natayla walks up on Eve in the Divas locker room and immediately tells her what she is doing to Zack is wrong, because Zack is a sweet and genuine guy. Eve retorts that it’s no newsflash, and thanks for the TMZ story of the week. Eve says something about “it stinks” and then Natalya “farts” and says… “No, THAT stinks”, and then walks out while Eve is choking on the fumes. *sigh* At least Nattie didn’t run away in shame this time. She owned it…. I guess that’s improvement. So it looks like they are going to turn Natalya face with this flatulence gimmick. I’m sure there were 1 million better ways to do this, but I guess not.
Segment Seven: Eve vs Natalya
Eve does her same entrance from when she was a face, now she just gets boos. Great double kip-up during the match. Eve showed some aggression in the ring. A “We Want Ryder” chant broke out during the match. Eve wins with a roll up reversal. At least Nattie didn’t fart during the match.
Segment Eight: Big Show vs Mark Henry
Cody Rhodes is introduced, and the announcers recap the history between Rhodes and Big Show. He ran down the last two WrestleMania embarrassing moments he has shared. Cody ran down Show some more and was about to share another WrestleMania moment, when Big Show came out and interrupted. Big Show entered the ring, and Rhodes fled. Show tried to get Cody to come back and then said he’d just go get him himself. Teddy Long came out and he said he can’t have Big Show sending people flying by running into the crowd. So he gave Big Show what he wanted and announced Cody Rhodes will defend his Intercontinental Title against The Big Show at WrestleMania (so much for Brother vs Brother).
Mark Henry makes his way to the ring for their match. Henry starts out strong and sends Big Show over the top rope and to the floor. He sends Show over the guard rail and into the time keeper’s area. The Big Show makes it back by the count of eight but then Henry rams his shoulder into the exposed portion of a turnbuckle pulley.
Back from break and Cody Rhodes has joined the broadcast team to provide commentary on the match. Meanwhile Mark Henry continued to dominate The Big Show on the outside, including using the ring steps, by throwing them at The Big Show, but TBS was able to duck out of harm’s way. Mark Henry continues on the offensive and even hits a corner “Vader Bomb” for a count of two. Big Show made it back to his feet in the corner and avoided a charging Mark Henry by nailing him with a boot to the mush. TBS was back on the attack and nailed Henry with a spear. TBS was favoring his ribs from the pulley shot earlier. TBS signaled for the Choke Slam, but it was blocked by Mark Henry and turned into the World’s Strongest Slam, but TBS was able to kick out at two. Henry argued with the ref about a slow count, and meanwhile TBS was trying to recover in the corner while still favoring his ribs. Mark Henry charged in and ran straight into the WMD for the three count. Big Show pointed to the WrestleMania sign and mocked Cody after the match.
Segment Nine: Backstage with Teddy Long and Drew McIntyre
Teddy tells Drew that if he loses tonight – after being very lenient with him – he will be fired.
Segment Ten: Backstage Matt Striker with Randy Orton
Randy says he’s feeling back to normal and ready for revenge on Daniel Bryan for costing him the opportunity to be World Champion going into WrestleMania. Tonight, Randy collects on the price to pay from DB.
Segment Eleven: Drew McIntyre vs Justin Gabriel
Short match, but a great Tornado DDT by Gabriel followed by the 450 splash and gets the three count. Drew looks sad afterwards, and Teddy Long appears on the Titan Tron to call out Drew and tell him he’s been let go. Drew starts crying in the ring. Crowd gives him a weak version of the na-na-na-na-Goodbye treatment. Just a thought, but this long-running gimmick is going to be a gigantic waste of time if Big Johnny just re-hires him next week.
Segment Twelve: Movie trailer for “Bending the Rules” starring Edge.
Not funny at all. Wouldn’t even see this for free.
Segment Thirteen: RAW Recap of the Cena/Rock segment
You’ve seen it most likely. However it looked better as an edited video package than live on Monday. They edited out Cena calling Rock out on his crib notes.
Segment Fourteen: Striker backstage with World Champion Daniel Bryan and AJ Lee
DB accuses Sheamus of lying when he said DB’s changed since winning the world title. He gets the cheap pop for being born in Washington, but then heels it up by saying he moved to Las Vegas as soon as humanly possible. He runs down his recent resume of his winning streak. (Remember when we were worried about his losing streak in 2010?)
Segment Fifteen: Main Event – Randy Orton vs Daniel Bryan
Orton out first, and the champ second with his girlfriend AJ Lee. Booker T goes over how he liked “D-Bryan” and was in his fave five, but he changed since winning the title. Cole calls him out on it saying when he was champ, he pretended to be a king. “I just told you, it changes you, Cole!”, retorted Booker T.
The Viper had a lot of violent offense in the beginning of the match, completely dominating the champion. (side note: there’s actually a “Mike Knox” sign in the front row in the area of where the “I <3 Vickie” sign was) Orton was setting DB up for a move off the top rope, but DB pushed him to the mat, where Orton landed on the back of his head and he sold the concussion. Bryan nailed Randy with a dropkick to the head in the opposite corner. D-Bryan continued the offensive by keeping the upper-hand with a flurry of moves including working on the historically injured shoulder of the Viper.
Back from break and the champ is still in control. Meanwhile Booker T is having a conniption fit over calling DB “D-Bryan” and says from this point on it’s just “Daniel”. (Yawn) Good move where DB leaps off the top rope and right into a dropkick from Orton. The Viper does his “vintage” DDT through the ropes, sells the head injury a bit, and tries for the RKO but it’s countered into the LaBell Lock which is countered by Orton. The Champ tried to flee, but was caught by Orton on the outside. Orton was about to hit the DDT on the floor when Kane’s pyro exploded.
Orton forgot the match and went right after Kane, but Kane took the upper hand. Both went into the ring, and DB fled leaving AJ in the ring alone, but Kane turned his attention back to Orton. AJ scurried out of the ring and her and the Champ headed for higher ground. Huge brawl between Orton and Kane at ringside that eventually went back in the ring. Kane threw Orton into the corner, shoulder first into the ringpost and then nailed him with a chokeslam. Kane asked for a mic and just said “Welcome back, Randy. Welcome back!”
In the back, Big Johnny and Otunga were watching Kane on the monitor and Laurenitis teases that he’ll book Kane vs Aksana next week. (Good. Maybe she’ll go back to FCW.)
Overall Show Thoughts: Not horrible, but I’ve seen better. The focus isn’t always where it should be when the announcers are talking about something that isn’t the match going on the ring. Some good wrestling. Too many backstage segments for my liking, but the show flowed together for the most part. I’m not sure how next week will be with John Laurentis and Otunga all over the place.