After a recap of the Big Show/John Cena/Vince McMahon segment, Smackdown opened with AJ's entrance. She showed footage of what she did with Kane on Monday, to cheers from the crowd. She started to explain why she kissed Kane, but was interrupted by an "Excuse me!". Vickie Guerrero said that no one was talking about AJ, and no one was talking about John Cena vs. Big Show. Everyone was talking about the Fatal Four Way match from Raw, where Dolph Ziggler won to become the #1 Contender for the World Title. And on cue, out came Ziggler.
Dolph had a mic and talked about how he was doing what he promised he would earlier, proving he was better than being in pointless tag team matches. He rattled off rapid-fire insults at AJ in similar fashion to how he does on Zack Ryder's Youtube show. AJ responded that she didn't hear half of what he'd said, but she assumed that she should be offended. That almost sounds like the writers making a meta-joke about Ziggler's quick delivery. Vickie said that AJ should get out of the ring, or Vickie would throw her out, and she followed that up with a slap. AJ reeled momentarily from the slap, but then started smiling and licking her lips as she looked at Vickie, who seemed creeped out. Before AJ could do anything, cue CM Punk's entrance.
Punk got into the ring alongside AJ and belittled Vickie, saying that her voice was like nails on a chalkboard, and that she could say "excuse me" but nobody actually had to do so. He then started running down Ziggler, saying that he was all talk. It was the same as back in January when Ziggler was the #1 contender for the WWE Title against Punk, he said. The next interruption came from Daniel Bryan, who applauded Punk on the way down to the ring, calling him a hero for coming to AJ's rescue. He said that both Punk and Kane were making the same mistake he'd once made, falling for AJ. That had cost him the World Title at Wrestlemania, and it would wind up costing both Punk and Kane at No Way Out, ensuring that Daniel Bryan would become the new WWE Champion. Yes!
Sheamus was next out to dispute those claims. He asked if Bryan was still seriously blaming AJ for his loss, noting that he'd beaten Bryan several times afterwards. Addressing Dolph, he said that Ziggler's win on Monday was very impressive, but it was only one match. At No Way Out, Sheamus would shut Ziggler up again. And though the main event was scheduled to be Punk and Sheamus vs. Bryan and Ziggler, Sheamus wanted to have the match right now. Bring out a referee! As the referee arrived, AJ said there was one thing she had to take care of before the match, and she threw herself at Vickie. Punk quickly grabbed her before she could get her hands on the manager. The match is next!
Dolph Ziggler and Daniel Bryan vs. CM Punk and Sheamus: Punk and Sheamus were in control to start, dominating both Bryan and Ziggler in turn. AJ and Vickie were both at ringside supporting their teams. This one was the longest match of the night and I'm going to get something out of order if I try to transcribe everything that happened. Someday maybe I'll get a setup where I can watch and type! At the end, it was Sheamus and Ziggler as the legal men with Punk and Bryan taking each other out on the outside. As Sheamus set up for the Brogue Kick, Vickie got on the apron to try to distract him, but Sheamus wouldn't pay attention. AJ, still wanting vengeance, actually shoved Vickie all the way into the ring, which finally distracted Sheamus and let Ziggler get a schoolboy for the win. Sheamus proceeded to chase Ziggler, who fled for his life through the crowd with Sheamus in hot pursuit.
Vickie was laughing at AJ in the ring, so AJ attacked, pouncing on Vickie and ramming her head against the mat. Vickie shoved her off and tried to flee, but AJ chased her and attacked again outside the ring. Vickie shoved her off once more, and AJ hit the apron hard, getting stunned. Vickie high-tailed it, and as she was doing so Kane's pyro erupted. Kane walked down to the ring to survey AJ as she struggled with her injury. He reached down and scooped her up, carrying her off towards the back. But CM Punk wasn't about to stand for that! He attacked Kane from behind and the two brawled back down to the ring, where Kane threw Punk inside. Bryan immediately pounced on Punk, but only got a few shots in before Kane chokeslammed him. A second chokeslam followed to Punk. AJ watched on the ramp, seeming emotionless as she watched, but then she started smiling. She fell to her knees, the smile fading away as she seemed conflicted and crazed. Kane watched her with his curious puppy look.
They hyped Brodus Clay vs. David Otunga for the PPV pre-show on Youtube, and the Funkasaurus made his entrance. But he was here to talk! He brought up Laurinaitis banning him from Raw, and furthermore stating that if he went after Big Show that he'd be fired. He wasn't worried about that, because when 'his homie' John Cena beat Big Show on Sunday, Laurinaitis would be fired and then Brodus could get his revenge. Finally, Laurinaitis had also promised that Brodus would be on his back after his match tonight. Brodus wanted to see who Big Johnny had in mind that could do that to him. And what followed was surely the greatest challenge of the Funkasaurus' career.
Brodus Clay vs. Heath Slater: Or not.
After disposing of Slater without him getting any offense in, Brodus and the Funkadactyls began dancing, but David Otunga ran in behind their backs and took Brodus down with a chop-block. As Brodus writhed on the ground in pain, Otunga worked over his knee, fulfilling Laurinaitis' promise. Brodus needed medical attention by the time Otunga was done.
Hornswoggle recapped his favourite Raw episode to hype the upcoming 1000th episode. It was the episode where the Muppets guest-hosted. Various highlights from that show followed.
Alicia Fox vs. Beth Phoenix: Layla was on commentary. No one had entrances for this match, and Beth made short work of Alicia, evading a somersault legdrop and hitting the Glam Slam. Layla said she wasn't intimidated by Beth. They face each other on Sunday for the Diva's Championship!
John Laurinaitis was out next. He apologised publicly for what happened to Vince on Raw, saying that 'people of Vince's age should probably stay away from Big Show for their own safety'. A recap of the situation aired, leading Laurinaitis to introduce the Big Show. Big Show said he had no reason to lie about whether hitting Vince was deliberate or not, because his ironclad contract would ensure he'd still be paid even if he was fired. He then ran down Vince for the way he was treated after coming over from WCW (where he said he was held down by Hulk Hogan, Sting and Ric Flair). He even complained that he couldn't be called Paul Wight anymore, that instead Vince had forced him to become the Big Show. But even though he had acted like John Cena slapping high-fives with fans for a while, he was proud to say that he wasn't John Cena. And while what he did to Vince was an accident, what he'd do to Cena on Sunday would be deliberate. As they left, Michael Cole stood up to get their attention, saying that John Cena was reportedly heading over to the arena from his nearby home in West Newbury. Big Show said he'd be waiting.
Christian vs. Jack Swagger: Christian had the early advantage, but a distraction by Vickie let Swagger take control on the outside with a clothesline. Swagger couldn't keep control, and Christian made his comeback offense. Swagger picked the leg on a spear attempt and got the anklelock, but Christian escaped and threw him into the turnbuckle. As Christian went up top, Swagger jumped up to meet him, but he got shoved off and the frogsplash finished in a pretty quick match.
Ryback vs. Ari Cohen and Mike Testa: When the names are short, I can remember them! The jobbers told flat jokes before Ryback entered. They actually surrounded him and attacked in tandem, one jumping to grab a sleeper while the other threw punches. Ryback headbutted the first one out of the ring and lifted the other up into an electric chair, spinning him around to hit a powerbomb. A fallaway slam followed, throwing Ari onto Mike. Or was it Mike onto Ari? A corner clothesline hit both men, then individual clotheslines to drop both. The double running fisherman's buster finished. "Feed me three!"
Another Raw 1000th episode promo, with Michael Cole giving his favourite Raw moment, being knighted in London by 'Queen Elizabeth' and then forcing JR to kiss his foot.
Damien Sandow vs. Tyson Kidd: Last week's incident with Hornswoggle was recapped, and Sandow spoke eloquently as always as he came down to the ring. Of note, as Sandow pointed out Kidd as an ignoramus, Kidd raised his arm in pride to cheers from the crowd. Sandow quickly hit a russian legsweep and followed up with an elbowdrop, which Cole called by a Latin name, saying it translated to 'Elbow of Disdain'. Kidd made a short-lived comeback and went for his new Sharpshooter variant finisher, but Sandow powered out and laid into him with knees. The straitjacket neckbreaker finished the match, followed by another celebratory cartwheel. So what exactly makes a cartwheel a symbol of intelligence, exactly?
John Cena has arrived! He entered Laurinaitis' office, but it was empty. To the ring!
Cena made his entrance, talking about how his friends told him Big Show was talking smack and he just couldn't resist showing up to answer the challenge. He called out Big Show, but got Laurinaitis instead. Laurinaitis said that he'd sent Big Show home. The Board of Directors was upset over what had happened on Monday, and they'd demanded that no matter what the match between Cena and Big Show must happen. As a result, Laurinaitis had to keep the two of them apart until then. Cena said that he'd come to Smackdown to knock someone out, and if Big Show wasn't around, then he'd have to take it out on Big Johnny. Laurinaitis put a stop to that, saying that if Cena hit him he'd be fired. Cena asked if he even bothers to listen to himself speak. The match must happen, he'd just said! That means, he couldn't be fired. This led to some back and forth between the two, with Laurinaitis promising that if Big Show won and Lauriniatis kept his job, his first act on Raw on Monday if Cena hit him would be to fire him. Cena said that with that, no matter what, someone would be fired, and proceeded to deck Laurinaitis. As the crew checked on Johnny, Cena stalked off, now needing to beat Big Show at No Way Out not only to get Laurinaitis fired, but to save his own job as well.
I thought the opening half hour with AJ. Vickie, Dolph, Punk, Bryan and Sheamus was great fun. And the match wasn't bad either.
Ryback impressed me. Not only were there no Goldberg chants, there was a small Ryback one too. Very suspect with Smackdown being taped. And I figured out that Ryback's been wrestling all this time like he hears "Ryback" chants in his head. All his mannerisms - the up and down arm movements which made no sense at first, the stomping, the head bopping are geared toward soliciting and moving in time with them. He might be starting to get them. And "Mike Testa" is the greatest jobber name ever. Bring him back, again and again!
(edited by superfurry on 16.6.12 1105) twitter: @superfurry316
The Goldberg chants were probably edited it. I do find the further humiliation of JR as a great Raw moment. As Foley's title win or Jericho's entrance been played yet? I am sure there are more great moments than that one. I also wish Raw would finally hire someone to quiet Cole down.
Bringing up this is the third time in four PPVS that Johnny's job is on the line is probably not a good thing. Also another Cena is fired angle? No one is buying that. I am curious to see how the PPV goes, but not curious enough to buy it.
The Wee Baby Sheamus.Twitter: @realjoecarfley its a bit more toned down there. A bit.
"But if you think Vince McMahon's really gonna fire you, I'd like to take you back to three months ago when you got fired and it lasted all of about two weeks. It's not gonna happen. So you don't have that to worry about."
--CM Punk, to John Cena, during the Second Summer of Punk
And yet, they continue to replay this angle. Cena has immunity from termination; it's practically a natural law.
"Don't do anything I wouldn't do." --Stone Cold Steve Austin
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I was just thinking about Kane-- shouldn't he be deaf or hard of hearing by now?
For almost 15 years, every time he's made an entrance, he's been around a very loud explosion (those who've seen it live know what I mean). Wouldn't that cause some damage to the ears? Maybe he wears plugs and subtly removes them when the opponent is introduced.
Originally posted by superfurryI thought the opening half hour with AJ. Vickie, Dolph, Punk, Bryan and Sheamus was great fun.
A few weeks back I lamented the lack of reaction AJ was getting after Daniel Bryan dumped her, but things sure have changed. It helped that she went after heat magnet Vickie, but overall, outside of an uninterrupted Daniel Bryan promo or a happy comeback by happy Vader, AJ has been the most entertaining character on either show.
I could have sworn when she dropped to her knees on the metal ramp (ow!) she was going to raise her arms and control Kane's corner pyro. Maybe she will at No Way Out...
"This Guy. That's what I call him." - Booker T on Heath Slater
(edited by John Orquiola on 17.6.12 0901) @CMPunk “@ZackRyder: @CMPunk She played me bro” I got your back.
Originally posted by John OrquiolaI could have sworn when she dropped to her knees on the metal ramp (ow!) she was going to raise her arms and control Kane's corner pyro. Maybe she will at No Way Out...
I thought the same thing!
I just really hope there is an eventual reveal that she isn't just a "crazy chick" and has been playing mind games with all 3 of them, in 1 way or another... I mean, it's most obvious (?) with Kane...using her skipping to keep him occupied for that win on Monday, but it will also give some more depth to her whole storyline.
@WWEAJLee Can't wait for #NoWayOut in my home state of New Jersey. I know in my heart, tonight the best man will win.
I love how AJ and her choice of suitor has become the biggest unknown factor for No Way Out.
There are way too many undefeated streaks in the WWE right now. Baby Goldberg Ryback, Funkasaurus, now Sandow. I also find it quite weird that Ryback keeps asking to be feed more competition yet he's made no challenge to unbeaten Brodus or anybody relevant in the company. Oh well, I only care about the jobber's names anyway.
Mike Testa. I just got that! I wonder if he knew 80's jobber Kay Fabian?
If you have ever wondered how much they pump up the cheers/boos, or how many botches get covered up in post production, or what the backstage people are telling Cole and JBL in their headsets, this is a must see.