The SmarKdown Rant – 04.27.12
Taped from Grand Rapids, MI
Your hosts are Michael Cole & Booker T. Josh Matthews is out thanks to making a stupid comment to Brock Lesnar, thus marking the first person in about 10 years to sell an injury past the end of the show.
Daniel Bryan (with ridiculous overdubbed boos on his entrance) comes out to talk about finally getting rid of AJ. The crowd apparently hates him despite tons of “Yes” signs on camera and everyone holding up their arms in time with him. Bryan wants the 18 second loss STRICKEN from his record and put onto AJ’s record, because it wasn’t his fault. He called the match on Monday right down the middle, and offers totally fair and undoctored footage to prove it. He leads the crowd in a YES chant, but Alberto Del Rio interrupts. Ricardo cheerleads with “SI!” chants because he’s awesome, but ADR doesn’t get to make his point because Big Show interrupts now. And he’s unclear on the whole “Yes/Si” thing but chokeslams Ricardo just because.
Big Show v. Alberto Del Rio
Show chases Del Rio out of the ring, but ADR goes to the arm to take over. He quickly goes for the armbar, but Show throws out of it. Show makes the comeback with the spear, but Cody Rhodes runs in for the DQ at 1:50. Show beats the crap out of him and whips him, which is an awesome way to make him seem like a threat before he regains the title. ½*
Meanwhile, Eve thinks that all the random crew members backstage should wear nametags. Big Johnny puts Eve in charge of Teddy Long, and his first job is to go get a nametag.
Damien Sandow talks about more smart person stuff. Next week, he wrestles.
Nikki Bella v. Alicia Fox
Nikki stomps Fox down for two and adds a necksnap for two. Fox makes the comeback with dropkicks and gets an ugly back elbow out of the corner, but the twins do the switch and Brie finishes with the carpet muncher at 1:45. Michael Cole speaks the truth: “It was actually Brie who won the match, but it doesn’t really matter.” Indeed. Booker adds his wisdom: “Shucky ducky, quack quack.” They PAY this man to do this job.
Meanwhile, Titus O’Neil and Darren Young harass Yoshi Tatsu, but Ezekial Jackson saves him and the fake crowd pops like they know who he is. Titus was pretty awesome here, cutting a sarcastic promo and showing personality. That’s half the battle, at least.
Meanwhile, Teddy Long is now in a maid uniform, just when Aksana pops in with Big Johnny. Tonight, Antonio Cesaro debuts, and Teddy gets to do commentary with Big Johnny in his headset.
Titus O’Neil & Darren Young v. Ezekial Jackson & Yoshi Tatsu
Apparently Young and Titus are from some show called NXT. Never heard of it. Tatsu pounds on Young, but walks into a stungun while we get the Teddy and Cole alleged comedy hour at ringside on commentary. They double-team Tatsu and Young drops an elbow for two, and they finish with a Doomsday Device variation at 1:49. Just a squash. ½* They look like a couple of generic black guys in black tights now that Darren Young cut his hair off. I’m sure they’ll get the tag belts in a couple of weeks because they’ve already gone through the Usos and Yoshi Tatsu, so really there’s no one else left to beat.
Randy Orton is out to talk about Kane and their impending falls count anywhere match. By the way, we’re two months into this feud and they still have no particular reason for even fighting. Blah blah blah unleashing hell, pain and suffering. And then here’s a random one for you, as Jinder Mahal interrupts. I don’t see this working out well for him. Jinder actually gets promo time, promising to pick up the pieces after Kane is finished with him. Orton gives him an RKO. What the fuck was the point of that? I think Orton’s promos are actually getting worse as he goes along, or maybe he’s just as bored by this feud as everyone else is.
Antonio Cesaro v. Tyson Kidd
CLAUDIO~! He is now apparently a former rugby player who was fired for being too violent. Hey, that’s a better backstory than most of these geeks get, so I’m down with it. Antonio headbutts Kidd down and adds a gutwrench suplex, which has Booker feeling nostalgic. Cradle flapjack finishes at 1:00 as he squashes the shit out of Kidd. Actually I think if he’s a rugby player, he should use Orton’s punt as a finisher. Claudio is money, hopefully they don’t fuck it up.
The Great Khali v. Cody Rhodes
Cody takes him down by the knee and goes to work on it, and adds a missile dropkick for two. Khali comes back and finishes him clean with the tree slam at 1:56. Well of course. ½*
Meanwhile, AW gives advice to the tag champs and gives them until Monday to decide if they’re with him or not.
Ryback v. Jacob Kaye
The jobber gets to cut a promo, as they continue to find the geekiest geeks who ever geeked for Ryback to squash. And this guy doesn’t fare any better than the others, as Ryback finishes with the lariat and muscle buster at 1:00. I’m fine with this career trajectory for him.
Meanwhile, AJ is still upset over getting dumped, but another chick attempts to cheer her up but gets slapped. I do not know this second person and they made no effort to introduce her, but she’s apparently AJ’s best friend.
Sheamus v. Mark Henry
The REMATCH. I’m a little sad that Henry’s role has exclusively become “guy with nothing else going on for bigger stars to beat”. Henry pounds away in the corner and dumps Sheamus, but he fights back to the apron and slingshots in with a shoulderblock for two. And we take a break. Back with Henry missing a splash and Sheamus uses the forearms on the apron, but Henry levels him with an elbow to take over again. He tosses Sheamus into the railing for a nice ragdoll bump, and back in for two. Sheamus comes back with a DDT for two and keeps trying to get “Brogue!” over as a thing, but runs into a clothesline for two. Henry charges and hits boot, and then the Brogue Kick finishes clean at 10:18. These two have good chemistry together. **1/2 Bryan comes out to applaud, but Sheamus asks if he’s going to kick Bryan’s head off and retain the title? The answer of course is “Yes!”
The wrestling was all brisk to say the least, but it sure makes for an easier show to watch than RAW most weeks. I still don’t think Bryan has a hope in hell of getting the belt back, but I’ll be happy if they get a chance to do a good long match this time.
See you Sunday for the PPV rant.