Sigh...so it's story time. I remember back in 2009 when I was more than happy to step in and try my hand at recapping shows. Matt Tracker left the SmackDown slot open, so I gave it a shot. I liked SmackDown. It was a nice little show, hosted by Todd Grisham and Matt Striker, which didn't have a whole lot in the way of angles, but offered up some quality wrestling. And it had just enough silliness that I could air out some snark. It gave me something to look forward to every Friday.
Then came September of 2010. SmackDown moved to Syfy and somebody thought it would be a good idea to move Michael Cole to SD. Because, in The E's mind, when the fans overwhelmingly reject someone, the right thing to do is to DOUBLE DOWN! So the shows became a lot more annoying to recap, but at the very least, I still got a different show than what I was getting on Raw. And at that point, Raw was becoming a very stale product, packed with the Same Old Crap alongside a bunch of other silliness.
And then came April of 2012. A lot of people complained about John Laurinaitis and, of course, because this is The E, their response was to DOUBLE DOWN and decide that the poor man's Vince McMahon needed to come onto SmackDown every week and recycle the same stale heel GM act that we've seen for years and years and YEARS! And now I suddenly had to put up with the exact same shit that initially made me turn off Raw for a 3 to 4-month period back in 2011. Here we are, maybe six weeks into the John Laurinaitis Era and I'm just about ready to call it quits. If I have to witness real-life VP of Talent Relations and retired midcarder (and that's being generous) John Laurinaitis get a PPV main event payday while getting the biggest act in the company to lay down for him, regardless of the reason, then I want no part of this show or this company. I refuse to support such an arrogant, boneheaded, short-sighted move meant to accomplish nothing other than to troll the fanbase. So welcome, my friends, to what may very well be my final SD recap. Onwards and backwards!
TONIGHT! It's the go-home show for Over The Limit, so expect to see some final build for the World Heavyweight Championship 4-way. And maybe you'll get some John Laurinaitis, too! SmackDown is NOW!
WWE - The Champ Is Here!
Let's kick off this edition of The John Laurinaitis Project by airing footage of last Monday's final segment.
No opening credits, as we start with...hey, what a surprise! We're starting off with JOHN LAURINAITIS for an opening talk segment. Let's try and breeze through this. Laurinaitis talks raspy and says nothing. Interruption comes from CM PUNK, who isn't on this show, but at this point, who's even keeping track anymore? Punk says he can't wait to watch Laurinaitis lose his job, which sounds an awful lot like the exact same promo he gave Big Johnny before Wrestlemania. Way to shake things up, guys! Big Johnny books Punk against Kane tonight. Whoopee!
Your hosts are the three dimwits. Cole yells a lot and says absolutely nothing of substance, as usual. Tonight, Sheamus faces Randy Orton.
R-TRUTH & KOFI KINGSTON v. DARREN YOUNG & TITUS O'NEIL: NON-TITLE MATCH So much black-on-black violence! We see a graphic for the tag champs defending their titles against The Vickie Family at Over The Limit. The NXT contingent are now wearing matching lime green tights.
Truth and Young lock up to start before Young works over Truth in the corner. Truth quickly comes back with rights. Truth tags out and Kofi comes in with a springboard crossbody. Kofi catches Young coming with a high kick counter and knocks O'Neil down with a dropkick. Booker has the temerity to interrupt Cole's diatribe about Big Johnny by actually...wait for it...CALLING THE MATCH! Imagine that! Young hits an apron back suplex drop onto the apron, which is a pretty sweet move! Cole just TRIES to get on my bad side by interrupting Matthews and Booker to talk more about Laurinaitis and NOT the match and, OF COURSE, Booker takes the bait and we have yet another announcer argument. O'Neil hits a corner charge, but a second one is countered. Tags are made on both sides and Truth makes the babyface comeback. Lie Detector and DDT get 2! Pier 4 breaks out, as Air Truth disposes of O'Neil with a double dropkick. Kofi takes out O'Neil with a pescado, while Truth finishes Young with the What's Up in a 2-minute special.
WINNERS: R-Truth & Kofi Kingston - Too short to be worth anything.
Here's some footage of the Be A Star initiative moving into the Bronx.
Backstage, Zack Ryder is taping an episode of Z! True Long Island Stories...on his iPhone. The camera pans out to reveal Damien Sandow, who looks none too pleased with these proceedings.
"THE SELF-PROFESSED INTELLECTUAL SAVIOR OF THE MASSES" DAMIEN SANDOW v. YOSHI TATSU Tatsu gets no entrance, because he's...oh, wait, Sandow has the mic, first...
"Allow me to beg your indulgence for one moment. My name is Damien Sandow and I am here to help all of you. As the WWE's intellectual savior to the masses, it is my duty, nay, it is my passion to set all of you free from the chains of ignoranace. One fortnight ago, I stood on the precipice of ushering in a new era of enlightenment that you, the ignorant masses, have desperately yearned for. However, much to my dismay, upon my arrival at ringside, I saw that I was pitted against an unworthy opponent. An opponent that I rejected so as to not subject any of you to witness such an abhorrent contest. Sadly, I find myself in that same vexing scenario this evening. This alleged 'Superstar' is an unworthy opponent. Therefore, I cannot and will not demean myself by engaging this ignoramus this evening. And as always, I do this for the benefit and the well-being of all of you. You're welcome!"
Sandow decides to take his leave and exits up the ramp. Tatsu doesn't appear happy with this, so he picks up the mic and calls Sandow a CHICKEN! Ohhhh, them's FIGHTING WORDS!!! Tatsu clucks like a chicken, clearly taking cues from Arrested Development! Man, who knew I'd wind up linking to that video TWICE over the course of my tenure? Sandow takes umbrage to this terrible chicken impersonation and fights on behalf of fowl everywhere by attacking Tatsu from behind! A neckbreaker will quickly end Tatsu's night. Hit Sandow's music!
Later tonight, we'll look at The Big Show getting fired. The chyron reads "WHY?" Insert that old "shoot comments" line here!
Ad break - Over The Limit promo
We are taped from Hershey, PA! We take a look abck at Raw from 2 weeks ago, leading to Sheamus/Del Rio turning into a Fatal 4-Way. We then fast-forward to last Monday where Sheamus cost Orton a match against Chris Jericho.
That takes us backstage to the demoted Matt Striker standing with both Sheamus and Randy Orton. Sheamus looks forward to showing what kind of champion he is this Sunday. Orton notes that he doesn't have to pin the current champion to win the title, but would prefer to beat Sheamus. Sheamus points out that he could kick the shit out of Orton right, but chooses not to because he's a nice guy. Orton points out that he, himself, is not a nice guy and exits.
"LONG ISLAND ICED Z" ZACK RYDER v. DANIEL BRYAN Announcers note that Ryder's facing Kane on the Over The Limit pre-show on YouTube! THANK GOD they spent nearly six months having Kane kick Zack Ryder's ass so they could build up to that climactic blowoff! Once again, Daniel Bryan proves himself to be a magician, because I can HEAR him getting booed out of the building, while I can SEE a bunch of people going "YES! YES! YES!" That's amazing!
Bryan begins with European uppercuts and hits a kneedrop for 2. Ryder tries to come back, but gets nowhere. A second Ryder comeback is quickly cut off. Bryan hits a YAAAAAAH corner dropkick for 2! We quickly hit the armbar! Ryder comes back with an elbow and second-rope dropkick. Broski Boot misses and Bryan nails Ryder with a kick to the head. The YES Lock will end this one in less than two minutes.
WINNER: Daniel Bryan - SQUASH! Remember when Zack Ryder was relevant?
Backstage, we see an EXTREME CLOSE-UP of Kane's face! He faces CM Punk next!
CM PUNK v. KANE: NON-TITLE MATCH Daniel Bryan barely broke a sweat in disposing of Zack Ryder, so he's opted to stay out for commentary.
Kane powers Punk down to start. Kane muscles Punk into the corner, but Punk comes back and clotheslines him over the top rope. That'll take us to an ad break at a whole minute in!
We come back with Punk working over Kane's leg and hitting a DDT for 1. Punk clamps on a Figure Four (WOO!) until Kane hammers out of it. Kane shoves Punk to the outside. Kane tries to give chase, but Punk hangs him on the top rope. Punk's springboard is caught with an uppercut and Kane sends Punk into the corner before Kane nails him with a baseball slide. Shoulder thrusts get 2. Let's hit the bear hug! Backbreaker gets 2, before we hit the body vice! Chokeslam is countered with a swinging neckbreaker for 1. Kane's corner charge misses and Punk hits the corner knee, but the bulldog is countered with a shove to the corner. Punk manages to hit with a second-rope bulldog for 2. Springboard clotheline gets 2. Punk can't get the GTS, so Kane wipes him out with a big boot for 2! Punk fights out of a superplex attempt and hits the Savage Elbow for 2, before quickly attempting the Anacanda Vise! Kane fight out of it and hits a side slam for 2! Kane's top-rope clotheline hits! Kane grabs the GOOZLE, but eats a roundhouse to the head! Punk follows with a suicide dive, but here's Bryan with a chair! Punk catches him, so Bryan opts to hit Kane, instead! And...yeah...
WINNER BY DQ: Kane - That was kinda silly, but the post-match angle more than makes up for it.
Post-match, Kane thinks it was Punk that whacked him with the chair, so he destroys Punk with the chair! Kane slams Punk on the announce table and chucks him into the barricade. Chokeslam hits! Kane picks up a prone Punk and hits a second chokeslam! Bryan enjoys all of this from the comfort of the top of the ramp. Hit Kane's music!
Later tonight, Sheamus faces Randy Orton!
Ad break - Wrestlemania Blu-Ray promo
WWE Rewind is brought to you by STP! CM Punk destroys Cody Rhodes during last Monday's tag match.
SANTINO MARELLA v. CODY RHODES: NON-TITLE MATCH Santino's Wrestling Challenge promo sees Santino making verbal love to the United States title. This match came about because of words exchanged on Twitter. Yes, folks. They're actually using Twitter to set up feuds now.
Santino knows KUNG FU to start! That leads to a wrestling sequence and a brief stand-off. Rhodes works over Santino and stalls. Santino's corner charge eats elbow, but he manages to avoid Cody's moonsault attempt! Santino tries for THE COBRA~!, but eats a dropkick for 2! Santino ducks a clothesline attempt and hits THE COBRA~! to finish this one in about a minute. Yup.
WINNER: Santino Marella - Yeah, I can totally see why they bothered to put the IC title back on Rhodes.
Your hosts are the three dopes. They shoot it off to the opening segment, because we need to see MORE of John Laurinaitis!
Coming up next, did you say you wanted EVEN MORE John Laurinaitis? That's exactly what you'll get when we recap the inane Big Show angle!
Your hosts are the three parasites. They shoot it off to the Raw Rebound, featuring John Laurinaitis and the insipid Big Show angle. That's followed by a bunch of tweets from various WWE superstars about the firing. I can't believe they got this many people to play along with this stupidity.
"THE APEX PREDATOR" RANDY ORTON makes his entrance for tonight's main event. He faces Sheamus next!
"THE APEX PREDATOR" RANDY ORTON v. SHEAMUS: NON-TITLE MATCH We begin with a lengthy lock-up and end with a stand-off. Sheamus grabs a side headlock and hits a shoulderblock, but runs into a standing dropkick. Orton grabs an armbar, but we end with another stand-off, leading to both men shoving each other. Orton counters a hiptoss with a clothesline. Kneedrop misses and Sheamus hits a running shoulderblock. Both men trade blows in the corner. Orton clotheslines Sheamus over the top rope. The fight moves to the outside where Sheamus chucks Orton into the steel steps! Sheamus Brogue Kicks the steel post and has his armed yanked into the steel post! Orton bashes Sheamus good over the steel steps to take us to our next ad break!
We come back with Orton working over Sheamus along the ropes and the apron. Sheamus tries to come back, so Orton puts him down with a single-arm DDT for 2. Time to hit the chinlock! Orton continues to work over the arm and sends Sheamus shoulder-first into the corner. Orton works the arm over some more until Sheamus chucks him to the outside. Sheamus is able to hit the ten-count chest strikes and bump Orton into the barricade! That'll take us to our final ad break of the night!
We come back with Sheamus driving knees into Orton. Now he hits the chinlock! A running knee gets 2. Running fireman's carry hits. Sheamus wants the High Cross and Orton counters with his backbreaker. Orton makes the babyface comeback. Sheamus tries to come in with a clothesline, so Orton counters that with a belly-to-belly suplex! Orton gets hung off a Hanging DDT attempt. Slingshot shoulderblock hits for Sheamus and he makes his own babyface comeback. Orton tries for a clothesline, but it's caught with the Irish Curse for 2! Sheamus climbs up top and gets crotched. Top-rope superplex hits and only gets 2 for Orton! Both men exchange blows, leading to Sheamus crotching himself on a Brogue Kick attempt! That leads to the Hanging DDT! VIPER COIL! Sheamus shoves out of an RKO attempt! Brogue Kick is ducked, but a second RKO attempt is turned into a schoolboy for the pin at about 24 minutes shown!
WINNER: Sheamus - Took a while to get going, but this was an awesome main event! One of the best TV matches in a long time!
Post-match, both men face-off after a hard-fought match. Orton offers the Hand of Friendship and Sheamus accepts...before getting wiped out with the RKO. Yeah, that Randy Orton...he's quite the babyface, isn't he? Hit Orton's music BECAUSE HE LOST!
End credits and we're out!
Well, if this is it for me, the show sent me out on a high note. That's a fine main event. It did enough to counteract the stupidity of a 90-second Ryder and Rhodes squash, anyway. And as far as go-home shows go, it was much better than the Extreme Rules go-home show, which featured a bunch of people that weren't even booked on the card. At least tonight's show tried to sell the PPV!
Recapping this show has been a lot of fun and I hope there's more fun to come. If Cena wins on Sunday, at least I can be convinced that there might be a new direction coming. Of course, if Cena loses to a retired jobber after overcoming the $5M UFC badass, then I can't be bothered with this company anymore. We'll see what happens at the PPV, which I'll catch at Buffalo Wild Wings, because you're BONKERS if you think I'm paying for that nonsense!
Until next week...maybe.
(edited by It's False on 19.5.12 1811)
"This is DIET Double Dew, Kyle! It only has half the caffeine and sugar of Double Dew!"
I liked the Titus/Young tagteam. I like that when they finally agreed to team up and run together after all the long flights and dark matches they decided that neon green tights was going to be the best way to represent themselves. I would like to touch Darren Young's hair, as it looks incredibly soft. I would like them even better if they came up with some kind of silly midcard tagteam name.
In about a month, we've had the debuts of Antonio Cesaro, Damien Sandow, and the NXT duo. Four heels. This show doesn't need more heels.
Look at the official WWE.com Smackdown roster:
Booker T (who wrestles rarely), Ezekiel, Khali, Hornswoggle, The Usos, Randy Orton, Ryback, Sheamus, Sin Cara, Ted Dibiase, Undertaker (who we see once a year), and Yoshi Tatsu. That's all the faces. Everyone else wears a suit, a bra, or a scowl. 13 male face wrestlers out of FORTY-SEVEN cast members. This show needs some face turns immediately.
Sandow is a weak side dish so far. The cheapest of heat, the "least masculine" color scheme (in a gimmick that nearly demands a female valet, her absence is suugestive), a neckbreaker for a finisher.
"To be the man, you gotta beat demands." -- The Lovely Mrs. Tracker
Did you notice how they made Booker T say that the IC title was more prestigious than the US title? Hey, they might not be building new stars or getting good ratings, but they scored another victory over WCW, and that's what counts. B^}
Originally posted by DionysusThank you for writing these recaps over the years. It has been a pleasure reading them. (And has saved me from having to watch the show, which is much appreciated.)
I would like to chime in and second this. I enjoy your recaps very much and hope that you reconsider and keep on doing them.
My thanks as well.
I've appreciated your recaps as well -- the spoilers give basics, but it's good to get details.
However, it's become pretty clear that you don't enjoy doing them. The last six months or so, you've been injecting more and more of your personal distaste into the recaps. I certainly understand why, but speaking from the POV of a reader trying to get a review of the show, it's distracting and frustrating.
So while I would miss your reviews, perhaps it's better for you to take a break and a deep breath for a bit.
Regardless of which way you go (posting more SD thread recaps or not posting any more of them) thanks for the ones you already did. It's been helpful since I haven't been able to watch the show since it moved to SyFy. I don't have that channel.
But, I also do understand wanting a break, so it's your call. But thanks for the ones already done.
Squash matches aren't the best forum for displaying wrestling skill. All you have to do is come out, do a token sell of your opponent's offense, and then start no-selling and hit a few impressive-looking moves for the pin. Cf.