TONIGHT! We continue on the Road to Wrestlemania, as John Laurinaitis takes over SmackDown! That's as much of a recipe for disaster as any, so let's dive in with my Cynical Eye of Despair! Or is that my Cynical Eye of Drunkenness, because I've had quite a few going into this one? SmackDown is NOW!
WWE - The Champ is Here!
The ad for tonight looks at Teddy Long removing John Laurinaitis from Raw. Tonight, the tables are turned! Jeeze, even in the SHOW PROMOS Laurinaitis is boring as hell! Listen to that monotone!
No opening credits, as we start out inside in the ring. The camera pans under a steel cage hovering over the ring. DAVID OTUNGA introduces SUPER DAVE LAURINAITIS and, oh boy! We start the show with Laurinaitis TALKING! Laurinaitis offers to start tonight's show with a cage match. Well, at least his bit was short.
SANTINO MARELLA v. "THE ALL-AMERICAN AMERICAN" JACK SWAGGER (w/VICKIE GUERRERO & DOLPH ZIGGLER): UNITED STATES CHAMPIONSHIP STEEL CAGE MATCH Santino takes a lap around the ring and takes a moment to lay on the announce table. We look at what happened last Monday, where Santino won the U.S. title. Cole's arguments makes absolutely zero sense. It's one thing to be a heel announcer, but it's another to talk out of your ass and be a jerk. Your hosts are the three dipsticks. Cole's seated in the center of this Threeway of Hell, holding up a stupid-looking Laurinaitis face-on-a-stick.
Swagger chases Santino and pounds on him in the corner. Overhead drop gets 2. Swagger tosses Santino into the cage and poses. Short-arm clothesline gets 2. A second one misses and Santino tries to escape. Swagger gets shoved off and Santino tries a cross-body, but it's caught and Swagger sends Santino into the cage. Swagger poses some more. Santino's already punch drunk and Swagger toys with him. Santino makes the comedy comeback and gets 2 off a diving headbutt. He takes out the Cobra Sock, as Dolph tries to climb the cage. Santino pokes at Dolph's hands to get him off the cage. Swagger tries to take advantage with a back suplex, but Santino counters with THE COBRA~! and both men are down. The ref removes Dolph from the match as we go to our first ad break of the night.
We come back with Swagger working over Santino. Swagger removes Santino's Cobra sock and stomps on it. Announcers talk as if this will totally stops Santino from using the Cobra. Because Santino's move can't be used without A SOCK! God, these three are idiots! Santino gets a quick schoolboy for 2. Swagger picks up Swagger, but Santino gets a sunset flip for 2. Swagger hits a running Vaderbomb for 2. Swagger tries to climb out, but gets crotched for 2. Santino tries to escape, but Swagger catches him and both men fight along the ropes. Swagger slaps Santino before Santino catches him with a Tornado DDT! Santino tries to escape through the door before Santino catches him. Santino pushes him off, but Swagger catches him with the anklelock! Vickie grabs the door and accidentally slams it on Swagger! Santino slips out for the win at 9 minutes and change.
Post-match, TEDDY LONG congratulates Santino atop the ramp.
Later tonight, Michael Cole interviews Daniel Bryan and Sheaums. Lovely. Also, Sheamus teams up with Randy Orton and The Big Show to face Daniel Bryan, The Miz, and Cody Rhodes!
Ad break - Raw promo, which promises a Rock concert and a John Cena rap. Well, that could either be really cool or a huge trainwreck.
We are taped from the Mohegan Sun casino! We get a replay of the end of the last cage match.
That takes us backstage to John Laurinaitis and David Otunga. Teddy Long enters the picture. Laurinaitis threatens Long with the Kane/Aksana match for tonight. Long pleads for Aksana's life. Laurinaitis demands an apology for what happened last Monday, so Long gives him one. Laurinaitis wants more, so he makes a match between himself and Long tonight. Long wants the Kane/Aksana match to be called off if he wins. Laurinaitis tells Long that if Long wins, the match is on. Sigh...I don't want to see either Long, Laurinaitis, or Aksana wrestle tonight. Do I get a choice here?
Your hosts are the three jerkwads. They say nothing of note, as per usual. They shoot it off to what happened last Monday between Triple H and Shawn Michaels.
DREW McINTYRE makes his entrance. Announcers act all surprised that he's here, because insulting your intelligence is FUN! We take a look at what happened last week, when McIntyre lost to Justin Gabriel to supposedly get fired. McIntyre grabs the mic and I guess it's promo time.
Drew: Yes, last week, Teddy Long fired Drew McIntyre! However, I'm here and I'm here because of one man. Mr. Excitement, Mr. Opportunity, Mr. John Laurinaitis had the wisdom and good business sense to know that I am the future and he has given me an opportunity to regain my job if I defeat a mystery opponent of his choice. There's not much else to say. Big Johnny, who've you got for me?
THE GREAT KHALI comes out. McIntyre doesn't look happy with this.
Oh wait, here's DAVID OTUNGA, who asks Khali to go ringside, instead. Otunga introduces McIntyre's actual opponent.
DREW McINTYRE v. HORNSWOGGLE Yup.
WINNER: Drew McIntyre - McIntyre's first win in months and it's against the midget. So that's it? THAT'S the payoff to this miserable angle? Blow me!
Post-match, Khali lays out McIntyre with a JUDO CHOP~! Hit Khali's music. So McIntyre can't even have THIS! They STILL have to make him look like a complete loser! What a waste of a segment!
Backstage, Teddy Long prepares for his match. Aksana comes in with a level of acting on par with Eve Torres. Long says he knows what he's doing.
Later tonight, six-man action!
Ad break - Rock DVD promo
Backstage, John Laurinaitis prepares for his match with super tight leggings. Yikes! David Otunga enters the picture and assures Laurinaitis that Kane's one angry monster.
EZEKIEL JACKSON v. "THE WORLD'S STRONGEST MAN" MARK HENRY When you need a losing streak stopped NOW, just call Zeke!
WINNER: Mark Henry - SQUASH! Hopefully, this means they're building up Henry again, because burying him at this point makes zero sense.
John Laurinaitis and David Otunga are seen backstage walking towards the ring. Elsewhere, Teddy Long walks backstage. God, SHUT UP, Aksana!
Well, let's get this clown show over with.
JOHN LAURINAITIS (w/DAVID OTUNGA) v. TEDDY LONG (w/AKSANA) Why are THESE TWO getting championship intros? Get out of here with that shit!
We get a staredown that's epic on the level of Hogan/Andre! Laurinaitis removes his coat and looks like an Olympic luger. Laurinaitis grabs the mic and threatens Long with Kane's presence. He tells Long to lay down. Long refuses, so Laurinaitis waves Kane over.
So through Hellfire and Brimstone, here's KANE for some ridiculousness. And yet the most painful thing about this segment is the announcers arguing for the millionth time. Why can't Kane beat THEM down? Kane gets on the apron, but he's suddenly jumped by RANDY ORTON, who wipes out Kane with the RKO! Laurinaitis yells at Orton, so Long rolls him up for the pin.
WINNER: Teddy Long - I'd ask if the bell even rang, but that would imply that I gave two shits about this. Let's just move on!
Later tonight, six-man madness!
KOFI KINGSTON & R-TRUTH v. PRIMO & EPICO: NON-TITLE MATCH Your hosts are the three fuckwits. They say nothing of note again. Why do they even bother?
Kofi starts with Epico. Epico pounds away before Kofi hits a monkey flip. Tag is made and we gets a double-team armdrag. Truth hits a split-legged fistdrop and break-dancing legdrop for 2. That reminds me of when CRZ used to make that joke that went something like "Surely if I dance, this move will be more devastating!" That's pro wrestling for you! Tag to Kofi, so Truth leaves Epico with a spinning heel kick. Primo lowbridges Kofi, which gives the heels control. Announcers again fall over themselves to talk about what a great move that was, which gives the heels ZERO heat! The whole point of that sequence is to get the audience pissed about the heels cheating and the announcers choose to praise them instead, which defeats the entire purpose. It drives me CRAZY! The heels work over Kofi in the heel corner. We hit the abdominal stretch. The hot tag is teased, which allows the heels to work over Kofi some more. Primo hits a dropkick and shows off before covering for 2. Here's a chinlock. Another hot tag is teased, so Kofi kicks Primo off and tags out. Truth makes the babyface comeback. Lie Detector gets 2 before Epico saves. Pier 4 breaks out. Kofi high kicks Primo and Truth will finish with the What's Up for the pin.
WINNER: Kofi Kingston & R-Truth - Never mind that Truth got jobbed out in a minute on Monday, they need SOMEBODY to challenge for the tag titles, so here you go!
Later tonight, Michael Cole masturbatory goodness!
We are taped from the Mohegan Sun casino! Your hosts are the three idiots. They shoot it off to the Raw Rebound.
Once that's done, we go to the ring for MICHAEL COLE for some inane shit, so I FFWD until he brings out SHEAMUS, which takes us to our next...
Michael Cole brings out DANIEL BRYAN (w/AJ). We get seven YES's this week! Alright, so let's get some promo fun in!
Cole: Ok, let's start with you, champ!
Daniel: Champ? It's "champ" now, is it?
Ok, I have to stop here. That's a subtle piece of FUCKING AWESOMENESS from Bryan right there, acknowledging the last few years of continuity. Great stuff!
Cole: Listen, Daniel. How much can you attribute luck to your success thus far in WWE?
Daniel: I haven't been lucky at all. Because when you're good, you don't need luck. It wasn't luck when I cashed in my Money in the Bank contract against The Big Show and won the World Heavyweight Championship! It wasn't luck when I defeated Mark Henry in a Lumberjack Match. It wasn't luck when I defeated The Big Show AND Mark Henry inside of a steel cage at the Royal Rumble. And it certainly wasn't luck when I defeated five of the top SmackDown superstars at the SmackDown Elimination Chamber to defend my World Heavyweight Championship. No, it hasn't been luck at all. It has been the pure knowledge and application of scientific wrestling. It has been living a clean VEGAN lifestyle...that keeps me mentally and physically fit. Plus, it's my charisma, it's my undeniable sex appeal that contributes to ALL of my success!
Cole: You know, Sheamus. I don't think there's any denying that it takes some luck to win the Royal Rumble match, like you did this year. I guess in your case, we can call it the...luck of the Irish.
Sheamus: You know, Michael, everybody needs a bit of luck. I've been lucky all my life. I mean, I'm proud of where I come from, the country of Ireland. But I'm lucky to be here in the United States of America. I'm lucky to be here in the WWE. And I'm damn well sure lucky to be standing here in front of all of you tonight. But I'm also a firm believer that you make your own luck and that's exactly what I've been doing. Night after night, match after match, I have fought my way back to the top. Sure, I've had a bit of luck, but at least I didn't try and hide behind a 99-lb. little girl who looks like she should be wearing a Catholic school uniform.
AJ: Well, from my point of view...
Daniel: AJ, shut up. AJ has had nothing to do with my success! If anything, she's gotten in the way! And I mean that literally, sweetheart.
Sheamus: You know, Daniel? It's not AJ who should be wearing the skirt. It's you. I don't know why, but I get the impression that you're an arrogant, annoying, self-delusional, whiny little wimp. But fella, at Wrestlemania, your luck is gonna run, because I'm gonna beat you for the World Heavyweight Championship.
Interruption comes from CODY RHODES, of all people. Oh, that's because it's main event time, apparently! We take a look at Cody's recap of Big Show's most embarrassing Wrestlemania moments. THE BIG SHOW makes his entrance next, because we're clearly doing the entrances all ass-backwards again. Anyway, our main event is next.
Ad break - Raw promo
"THE GREAT WHITE" SHEAMUS, THE BIG SHOW & "THE APEX PREDATOR" RANDY ORTON v. DANIEL BRYAN, CODY RHODES & THE MIZ Hmm...five guys with Wrestlemania feuds and one guy that doesn't have one. Gee, who do YOU think is doing the job here?
We start with Sheamus and Rhodes. Sheamus ties up Rhodes and tags in Orton, which gives us a Legacy mention that Booker brutally butchers to hell. Cody takes control with a dropkick and tags out to Bryan. Bryan hits the YAAAAAAAH corner dropkick for 2. Orton quickly comes back with a dropkick and tags out to Big Show. Show pounds on Bryan in the corner and hits a bodyslam. Bryan tags out to Miz, who doesn't look pleased to be getting the tag. Show toys with Miz for a bit and hits the big chop, so Miz tags out to Rhodes. Rhodes comes in and immediately tags back out to Miz. Show brings Miz in the hard way to take us to our final ad break of the night.
We come back with Sheamus beating the hell out of Miz. Short-arm clothesline turns Miz inside-out and gets 2. Miz gets a few hits in, but eats Irish Hammers and a rolling fireman's carry for 2. Rhodes nails Sheamus from behind, but Sheamus takes Miz down with an Irish Hammer and nails Rhodes with the ten-count chest strikes. Sheamus knocks Bryan off the apron and Miz finally stops the Sheamus train and knocks him off the apron. Bryan puts Sheamus down with a flying knee. Bryan tags in and stomps away. Both men exchange blows and Bryan can't seem to keep Sheamus down. Bryan hits a flurry knees to finally keep Sheamus down and he tags out to Miz, who hits a running kick to the head for 2. Rhodes tags in and stomps away some more. Bryan comes in with Tajiri kicks, which are now accentuated with YES's! HA! So it's now time to redub this sequence! Ahem...Bryan comes in with YES kicks, which get 2! Miz tags back in and hits the chinlock. Rhodes tags in and hits the full nelson. Sheamus tries to come back with the High Cross, but Cody counters with the Russian legsweep for 2. Now we hit the armbar. Sliding Goldust uppercut hits, but Sheamus quickly hits the Irish Curse! Tags are made on both sides and Orton is a house of fire. Show muscles Rhodes over the top rope with one hand! Rhodes runs away with Show giving chase, as Orton hits Miz with the Hanging DDT! VIPER COIL! Bryan misses with a roundhouse kick, but hangs Orton before he can nail the Hanging DDT! Sheamus rushes Bryan and they fight on the outside! Their fight moves into the crowd. Meanwhile, in the ring, the Skull-Crushing Finale is countered with the RKO for the pin at about 16 minutes.
WINNERS: Randy Orton, The Big Show & Sheamus - Oh gee, Miz jobbed again. What a shock. Foregone conclusion aside, this was a pretty good main event.
Post-match, KANE tries to ambush Orton from the outside! They exchange blows and take their fight to the announce table. They continue exchanging blows through the ringside area, taking their fight to the crowd. Cole says they're "taking their fight into the Universe!" Oh, fuck you and your buzzwords! JUST SAY IT! They're taking their fight into the CROWD! The fight continues through the seats. Exactly what is Scott Armstrong following, anyway? This isn't a match. And so our show ends with Orton and Kane continuing their fight through the CROWD, not the UNIVERSE, you moronic dipshits!
I'll be honest, I expected a lot worse from a show run by John Laurinaitis, but this turned out to be very watchable...whenever the GM's weren't on-screen. I'm growing very tired of the GM feud and I'm not expecting good things moving forward.
As for the rest of the show, we got a good opener, a good main event, and what's hopefully the start of Mark Henry's image rehab. The only thing that rang a little painful was the continuing stupidity of the Drew McIntyre angle and even that didn't last very long. Good show this week.
Random musing: You've gotta love how Randy Orton has already gotten the better of Kane in one week when it took John Cena nearly three months. That's pretty funny.
I actually find myself enjoying the GM feud. I like the talent involved in the matches and it reminds me of the other good feud Eric and Steph had until he kissed her then it went to down the tubes. Santino showing he can be more than a joke champ is a good thing. Kane and Orton is an ok feud. It is amazing once you take Cena/Rock, Punk/Jericho and HHH/Taker out of the equation, you still have some good matches to look forward to at Mania.
The Wee Baby Sheamus.
Twitter: @realjoecarfley its a bit more toned down there. A bit.
I actually thought the McIntyre thing worked. He's now indebted to Laurinaitis for getting his job back, but the Kali thing means that he's got no real reason to actually like him. It moves Drew's story forward, and it still feels like it's going to be the pivotal point in the GM feud.
My favorite thing on last night's show, though, was Ziggler selling the shit out of the Cobra strikes to his hands. He was retreating up the ramp like his hands had been permanently disfigured.
I LAUGH EVERY TIME. Like, it's so mean and uncalled for but without being over the top wrestling heel grr.
Originally posted by Tenken347I actually thought the McIntyre thing worked. He's now indebted to Laurinaitis for getting his job back, but the Kali thing means that he's got no real reason to actually like him. It moves Drew's story forward, and it still feels like it's going to be the pivotal point in the GM feud.
I thought so too. I'm not sure how deep the teams are going to be but it seemed to me to involve McIntyre and Khali with either side. I'm sad to lose my dream of McIntyre getting a big win for Teddy but it's a positive for him to get rolled into this, if in fact he does.
I think Long and Laurinaitis' feud has been surprisingly strong. They get great heat and Laurinaitis' acting is a lot better when he's browbeating Teddy than it was when he'd tried to recite his lines at Punk.
Supposedly we're getting the teams officially named on Monday, where they might unearth some heels and perhaps some faces who've been injured. As for Miz, There's Been Speculation (tm c&p sites) that he's going to be left off Wrestlemania altogether and then interfere in the Rock/Cena match, which I'll believe when I see.
The World Heavyweight Championship match at WrestleMania feels very fait accompli, doesn't it? Sheamus won the Royal Rumble, he is getting his designated title shot, Daniel Bryan happens to be the reigning champion, and thus they will wrestle. It's all very perfunctory. No heat at all.
“@ZackRyder: @CMPunk She played me bro” I got your back.
I didn't like D-Bry (FYI, Booker's promise to never call him that lasted about 1/2 a match) telling her to shut up. I wish he had said "(please) be quiet" instead of something so harsh. You wanna gently dip into the Macho Madness.
I'd guess the last two men are returning Rey Mysterio (even if he's still not 100 percent, he can be protected in a 12-man match) and some surprise cameo by a Hall of Famer. Maybe Ron Simmons, since he's going in this year and has a history with Teddy Long.
"It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone." --- Bart Giamatti, on baseball
Originally posted by Matt TrackerTeddy, do you need a sixth man? There's a very easy answer.
SOMEBODY CALL HIS MAMA.
That would be a fantastic way to bring Clay back. Maybe even make it a plot point that Long can't find a sixth man and leave it as a mystery until the night of the match. The surprise return pop for the Funkasaurus in front of the Wrestlemania crowd would be deafening.
Lloyd: When I met Mary, I got that old fashioned romantic feeling, where I'd do anything to bone her. Harry: That's a special feeling.
I would have personally liked to have seen Chad Collyer make it to the show. But that is only because I went to college with him and he is one of the nicest guys that I have ever met. He's good and determined. I'm sure he will be there one day.