Evidently either no one was able to or no one was willing to step in for me last weekend, so I apologize that there was no Smackdown Report last week. I did, however, have a great time on Windham Mountain, where I learned how to ski for the first time. Everything started out okay until I had to learn how to stop myself down a slope…that’s where things got complicated and one poor girl wound up with a ski up her arse.
In light of the as-of-yet-unknown repercussions of Jack Swagger’s ignominious run-in with the law, I’ll just go ahead and keep in kayfabe as I review a show that was taped the night he fucked up yet will take place in the WWE Universe three days later. Let’s see how long that lasts.
The show opens with a promo for next Monday night’s match between John Cena and CM Punk….even though their match is for a shot at a title NOT represented on Smackdown. And as if to make me chuckle even further, the World Heavyweight Champion opens the show officially as we are taped in Biloxi, Mississippi. Del Rio tells us that we are all going to Wrestlemania (well, I know I’ll be there) and now his attention is turned to Jack Swagger. Del Rio has such an easy job now as a face in this feud. All he has to do is pander to the people in the audience whose family immigrated here (read: everyone). I’m all for that, but let’s not forget his original gimmick was that of a Mexican aristocrat who used Ricardo Rodriguez as his personal gopher for two years. Anyway, del Rio talks about Swagger until Randy Orton interrupts. Orton complains that he was screwed out of a title shot at Elimination Chamber (by being fairly eliminated by Swagger) and wants a piece of the Real American tonight. Booker T pops up to say Randy has his match with Swagger while del Rio goes one-on-one with Wade Barrett.
Booker claimed there would be a champion versus champion match tonight and you KNEW the crowd slightly anticipated The Rock to face del Rio. Silly Universe; The Rock only wrestles on PPV!
Sheamus vs Damien Sandow
Sandow calls Sheamus a false idol that he will tear down. Uh, good luck with that. Sandow holds his own from the opening salvo but things get out of hand and Sheamus sends him to the outside. He tosses Sandow into the barricade and then back into the ring. Damien tries to get back into the fight but gets “clubbered” into a commercial. When we return, the editing team has fast forwarded to Sandow nailing the Elbow of Disdain for two. The heel continues to dominate for much of this segment and eventually goes to a rest hold to get the crowd back into the match. It does not work, sadly, and only seems awkward when Sheamus escapes to almost ZERO fanfare. Am I watching an episode of WCW Saturday Night? Sandow attempts the Terminus, Sheamus escapes and goes for White Noise, Damien escapes THAT and dodges a Brogue Kick, hits a low drop kick, but he gets caught in White Noise on the second attempt! Brogue Kick wakes the crowd up and Sheamus picks up the victory.
Sandow held his own in this one, but we’ve seen it all before in previous matches with Sheamus. Was this really necessary?
A promo for The Shield airs. I have to say; I’m impressed that the WWE stuck to their guns and is really putting over the effectiveness of this trio.
Kaitlyn and Layla vs Tamina and Aksana
Apparently Kaitlyn ran into Cody Rhodes backstage and told him she likes his mustache. All righty then. The heels double team Kaitlyn and get in a cheap shot on the outside. When she gets back in, Aksana continues the punishment but misses a splash and the two tag in their partners. Tamina rolls through the LOL but Kaitlyn tags in from behind and spears Tamina for the win. Layla continues to act as Gollum as she stares intensely at the Divas’ Championship belt. Heel turn coming soon.
Hey, remember when a big deal was made when Kaitlyn FINALLY beat Eve for the title…and then promptly disappeared from TV for weeks?
Raw Rebound 1: The Rock unveils the new WWE Championship.
Zeb Colter and Jack Swagger are walking backstage after ol’ Zeb paid Swagger’s bail (sorry, couldn’t resist) and meet up with Wade Barrett. Barrett says he’s on their side, but Colter calls Wade part of the problem. Before Wade can respond, Jack spouts off, “We the people” and they head toward the ring. Was that line supposed to be menacing?
Did you know that, according to The Wrestling Observer, Swagger was slated to WIN the title at Wrestlemania? I wonder if that’s still on the table…
Randy Orton vs Jack Swagger w/ Zeb Colter
Great Cthulhu, Swagger’s entrance song is horrendous. Jim Johnston, are you reverting back to your ’90s themes? Orton has the early advantage but Swagger escapes a head lock and takes control. A shoulder block knocks Orton on his ass but the Viper fights back with a standing drop kick and the patented Garvin Stomps. Swagger buys some time by rolling out of the ring and trips up Orton, slamming his leg into the turnbuckle post. An attempted Patriot Lock is foiled and Jack is sent outside the ring. Randy hits a nasty clothesline as we switch to commercials. Back from break, Orton and Swagger are trading punches in the center of the ring. Swagger avoids the draping DDT with a back body drop to the outside. He rams Orton’s shoulder into the steel steps and drags him back into the ring for a two count. He continues to smear Randy all over the ring but misses a charge as Orton tosses him to the outside. Back suplex from Orton to Swagger on the barricade! Swagger gets back into the ring first and takes out Orton’s leg with a low charge followed by a Swagger Bomb for two! A suplex attempt is reversed by Orton. Jack tries to charge at Randy again but this time eats the turnbuckle post and Orton nails his signature moves. The draping DDT connects right in front of Colter and he pulls Jack back to the apron. This allows Swagger to nail a thumb to the eye and roll Orton up AGAIN for the win!
That wasn’t too shabby. Swagger has the ability, but his past matches have lacked that “oomph” to get me invested. If he doesn’t lose his push/job and continues to get lengthy matches such as this one, I just might forgive him.
Raw Rebound 2: Vince McMahon wants to fight Paul Heyman.
The trailer for Dead Man Down plays, which may or may not have a non-speaking role for Wade Barrett in it. I don’t care either way. Matt Striker interviews the Intercontinental Champion and Sheamus pops in to make fun of Barrett’s wooden acting. Wade asks Sheamus if he was having as much fun losing to The Shield two nights in a row. BURN.
Cody Rhodes vs The Miz
Apparently The Miz is now officially engaged to Maryse, so at least he has one bright spot in his future…because this face turn is NOT it. Miz still has his shoulder taped up to sell the giant swing from Cesaro last week. Long story short: Cody works over the shoulder and Miz reverses an Alabama Slam into the Figure Fucked-Up. Winner by submission, The Miz.
Promo from Uncle Zeb and Swagger on immigration.
Henceforth I shall officially call Miz’s version of the Figure Four…the Figure Fucked-Up.
Alberto del Rio vs Wade Barrett
Swagger and Colter show up and watch from the ramp. Del Rio has the early advantage and Rodriguez taunts Wade, allowing del Rio to hit a baseball slide through the ropes as Barrett chases after Ricardo on the outside. We go to break one final time and, when we return, both men are back in the ring. Barrett tosses del Rio to the outside and obliterates him with the steel steps. A pin attempt only gets two so we get a rest hold to catch the crowd’s attention again…and this time it works! Del Rio escapes but Barrett immediately retaliates with a pumphandle slam. He sets up del Rio in the ropes, nails a series f knees, and finishes with a boot to the head that sends the World Heavyweight Champion to the outside. He sends del Rio back into the ring for some elbow drops and ANOTHER rest hold. Del Rio gets to the turnbuckle and hits a modified missile drop kick off the second rope! Alberto hits a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker and a nasty kick to the head for a two count! JBL: “Never fight an ugly guy; they’ve got nothing to lose. Barret’s got a broken nose so he doesn’t care.” Winds of Change from out of nowhere as Alberto charges at Barrett in the corner! Wasteland is escaped and del Rio nails Wade with forearm shots to the kidney and calls for the Cross Arm Breaker but Swagger distracts him and Barrett takes advantage. The Bull Hammer misses and Barrett taps out to the Cross Arm Breaker! Swagger and del Rio stare each other down as the show ends.
Two good matches saved this show from becoming something yawn-inducing. I wonder how the company is going to handle Swagger’s slip-up in the ensuing weeks.
So long, and thanks for all the fish.
Tags: aksana, alberto del rio, Booker T, cm punk, Cody Rhodes, Damien Sandow, Divas Championship, Elimination Chamber, Eve, Intercontinental Championship, jack swagger, jbl, john cena, Kaitlyn, Layla, Maryse, Matt Striker, Mike Gojira, Paul Heyman, randy orton, RAW rebound, Ricardo Rodriguez, sheamus, Smackdown, tamina, The Miz, The Rock, The Shield, vince mcmahon, Wade Barrett, World Heavyweight Championship, Wrestlemania XXIX, WWE, wwe championship, Zeb Colter