You know, I try to go into Smackdown blind each week, avoiding spoilers, because it's more fun that way. This week it was impossible for me to avoid them, with how WWE was blaring them out via their social media kick. Even if I'd gone on Twitter vacation (not that hard) and avoided CRZ's thread here, as it turned out, some kids who shop at my store happily came in to talk about it with me. When spoilers are made that prevalent, you can't hide from them!
I think Smackdown being taped is one of the reasons that it winds up seeming like a second fiddle to Raw. With the threat of major events on the show being spoiled in advance (even by WWE themselves now), they simply tend to not have as many major events. It makes me wish the show would move to the live Tuesday slot full-time instead of just teasing it now and then. I appreciate the good, long matches Smackdown has, don't get me wrong! But I don't appreciate having to go on radio silence to have the Friday show be fresh.
Enough editorializing! You don't pay me for that. Actually, you don't pay me for anything. Smackdown is now!
From Indianapolis, Indiana, the show opened with the entrance of one Vincent Kennedy McMahon, as I check over to It's False's Impact recap to figure out how to colour-code names and then realize his name wouldn't get a colour anyway because he's not really a Raw or Smackdown superstar. Maybe next week. Vince was out to name a new General Manager of Smackdown, because even though the show somehow managed to exist the last two weeks without one, the position simply must be filled! He said that it wasn't easy to choose, as he needed someone with experience and qualifications, someone who could command respect and someone who the fans would approve of. But after his search, he had found the right man. Vince introduced us to... Booker T! And out came the new Smackdown GM. Him not being on commentary was probably a bit of a hint. Not as big of a hint as publicly spoiling in every other place you could
Okay. Sorry, I won't get carried away! Vince vanished with no fanfare, allowing Booker to address the fans. Booker said it was a new era with him as Smackdown GM, but before he could get into details, he was interrupted by Alberto Del Rio (w/o Ricardo Rodriguez), who walked down the ramp in a suit. Smart man! If he came down in ring gear, he'd be forced into a match. Of course, he already unbooked himself from competition up until Summerslam anyway. Can he do that? I guess he could without a GM. Del Rio congratulated Booker on his promotion and had the fans give him a round of applause. He sucked up a bit more before Booker cut him off, saying that if Del Rio wanted to kiss ass he should do a more convincing job. Now that doesn't seem a nice way to respond to a friendly welcome! Del Rio explained that he had greatness in his blood, whereas Sheamus was just a peasant, someone who grew up as a pasty fat kid and got bullied. Del Rio, on the other hand, had both wrestling and royalty in his genes. Before he could go further, Sheamus came down to offer counterpoint.
Sheamus also congratulated Booker on becoming GM, though he said that he really meant it unlike 'Berty', and he offered to take Booker out for a pint after the show. Booker chose not to take umbrage at this ass-kissing. Sheamus asked if Del Rio seriously intended to avoid wrestling any matches until Summerslam, suggesting he was worried he might damage his manicure. Booker said it would be a moot point, as they were both in matches tonight. This led to protests from Del Rio who insisted he wouldn't wrestle until Summerslam, but Booker wasn't having any of it. He booked Del Rio in a match against Randy Orton! The angry Del Rio left the ring. Booker then told Sheamus to get ready for some fisticuffs, because this would be his opponent. Cue the arrival of Tensai w/Sakamoto (and Smackdown chryon, isn't he on Raw?). Sheamus looked surprised at first, but then eager. To break!
Sheamus vs. Tensai w/Sakamoto: The match opened with a collar and elbow lockup, with neither powerhouse winning it. Sheamus grabbed a headlock, but after being shot off into the ropes neither went down from the resulting shoulderblock, though Sheamus got the worst of it. Sheamus went for an armwringer, which Tensai countered by popping him in the face, and the two traded blows. Sheamus cornered Tensai and started hammering on him, but the unimpressed Tensai simply slapped him and yelled to "Come on!". Sheamus was bearing visible welts from the Street Fight on Raw. Tensai dropped Sheamus and went for an elbowdrop, but Sheamus rolled aside. Running knees drove Tensai to the apron, and a low dropkick from Sheamus (!) knocked Tensai out to the floor. As Sheamus came out to get him, Tensai shoved Sakamoto at him, so Sheamus simply shoved Sakamoto back. Tensai seemed confused by that, before casually throwing Sakamoto into the barricade. Ha! Back into the ring for some more brawling. Sheamus was beaten down in the corner, but kicked out to stop Tensai's corner charge, and pulled himself up to the top rope. He leapt over the charging Tensai, then clotheslined him over the top rope. On the outside, Sheamus jumped off the apron at Tensai but was caught and flung back-first into the ringpost. Ad break!
Back from the break to a zoomed in shot of Tensai's bruising gut, as Sheamus pounded away on it. Tensai reversed a Sheamus whip to the corner and hit the Yaaaahvalanche, immediately following up with a Vaderbomb for a two count. To the bearhug, followed by a kidney shot. The second kidney shot was countered by a Sheamus forearm, but his attempt to bodyslam Tensai failed miserably. Tensai threw him hard into the corner, knocking Sheamus down, then climbed the ropes for another Vaderbomb. Sheamus popped up to stop him, hitting him in the hamstring and clubbing his back, before trying to set up an electric chair. Tensai would have none of that, punching his way out of it and forcing Sheamus to retreat, but Sheamus charged back in and shoved Tensai off the second rope to the floor! As Tensai clambered back into the ring, Sheamus caught him on the apron to hit his ten clubbing blows. Tensai cut him off at four with an elbow, but Sheamus simply restarted and wound up with fourteen as a result. Back into the ring, Sheamus did hit the big powerslam this time for a two count. Sheamus went for White Noise, but Tensai was just too big, slipping down his back and then taking him down with a big boot. Sheamus rolled out to the apron, but Tensai grabbed him with a double-choke, dragging him over the top rope back into the ring and then hitting the Baldobomb! Sheamus kicked out at two! Tensai signalled for the end and went for the running senton, but Sheamus was up to his hands and knees by the time Tensai got to him, so Tensai just landed a kick instead. Whip to the corner, but Sheamus dodged the Yaaaahvalanche, then went off the ropes to hit the dazed Tensai with the Brogue Kick. And that'll do it! Sheamus looked worse for wear after the win, but celebrated no less. And no show-off was to be seen.
Backstage, Eve Torres greeted Booker T in his office, congratulating him on his new position and offering her services in whatever position he might need. Booker said he'd take it under consideration. Right then, Teddy Long arrived to also congratulate Booker, and Booker said that meant a lot coming from Teddy. Booker said that he could use Teddy's help to live up to the standard that Teddy himself had set, but Teddy said he had confidence in Booker's ability. Booker repeated his offer, suggesting Teddy become Senior Advisor to the Smackdown GM, and Teddy accepted. They both looked over to Eve, surprised she was still there. Booker said all the positions in his administration were filled, so she could get to stepping. And she did, angrily.
Antonio Cesaro w/Aksana and Aksana's new hairstyle was out to say hello in five different languages. English, French, Italian, Swiss and German, for those keeping score at home. But he wasn't just greeting us, he had a match!
Antonio Cesaro w/Aksana vs. Santino Marella: This was another non-title match, at the demand of Santino to avenge last week's loss. Cesaro immediately beat Santino down. Wait, does Aksana's outfit have a zipper across her chest? Cesaro with the deadlift gutwrench for a near fall. Santino started a comeback with his usual, but Cesaro cut off the Cobra with a shot to the gut. He went for the Neutralizer, but Santino crawled between his legs and kicked him back into the ropes. And the Cobra hit! The ref made the count, but Cesaro's leg was under the bottom rope, so he stopped at two. Santino complained vociferously about the call as Cesaro rolled to the outside. "I didn't know that was a rule!" Santino went out after Cesaro, but got tossed hard into the barricade. Back in the ring, Cesaro adjusted his neck, and we all know what that means. Right? Cesaro hit the Neutralizer, and that's all she wrote. In came Aksana and her zippers for the post-match kissing. They do that a lot in Europe, you know! Later tonight, a 6 man tag: Kane, Chris Jericho and Christian vs. The Miz, Dolph Ziggler and Daniel Bryan!
Really? Arda Ocal is airing fan Touts during The Score's sports update breaks now? (Today's Top 5 is Chris Jericho nicknames, #4 during this break was Trash Stratus)
Backstage, Matt Striker had Daniel Bryan to interview. But first, a recap of Bryan's last few weeks. Striker asked if Bryan had any comment, and he responded no. That was a word that we'd hear a lot more often from him now, he said. The camera panned back to reveal Bryan was wearing a "No! No! No!" t-shirt. Bryan said that the fans had no right to steal his Yes! catchphrase, so of course, they started chanting it. This led to some Yes vs. No chants, until the introduction of Chris Jericho in the arena cut him off. The six man tag was next!
Just got into Bermuda and watching Smackdown. Let's see, Booker is GM so they need a commentator......Hmmmm.
Chris Jericho, Christian and Kane vs. The Miz, Dolph Ziggler w/Vickie Guerrero, and Daniel Bryan: Bryan pointed downwards and shouted "No!" as he came down the ramp, which oddly enough did nothing to stop the fans from chanting "Yes!". Miz tried to tell him to not let the fans get to him, but it didn't seem to work. Bryan and Christian started off, with a shoulder tackle taking Bryan down. The commentators talked about tweets from AJ and Vickie about how AJ did running Raw. I remember when the performers actually got to talk about things on TV rather than having to tweet and then depend on the commentators to bring it up during a match! Tag to Kane, who was in with a flying clothesline. The big boot followed for a near fall. Bryan countered with a drop toe hold into the corner, then kicked the ropes to stagger Kane and tagged out to The Miz. Miz came off the top rope with an axehandle but ate an uppercut from Kane. Jericho wanted the tag, so Kane brought him in. Jericho with a chop to Miz, then a bodyslam. He went off the ropes and got swatted in the head by Ziggler, distracting him. After Ziggler hopped off the apron to escape retribution, Jericho turned around into a big boot from The Miz. Now Ziggler wanted into the match, and Miz obliged. As Dolph entered, Jericho was playing possum and hit a double-leg, followed by punches. Whip into the corner, then a clothesline. Another irish whip, but Ziggler held onto the ropes this time and bailed out of the ring, having had quite enough. Jericho got a running start, intending on some sort of flying move to the outside, but Vickie got in the way and forced him to stop. She laughed, as they went to break.
Back from the break, instead of Jericho vs. Ziggler we have Miz wearing Christian down with a chinlock. During the break, Miz shoved Christian off the top rope to the floor to take control. Christian tried to vault over Miz to make a tag, and got a sunset flip out of it, but Miz kicked out and took him down with a clothesline. Tag to Bryan, who landed a series of NO!kicks, for a nearfall. Tag to Ziggler, as the heels work as a cohesive unit. Ziggler with the sweat-flinging elbowdrop, for two. Christian fought back, but ate a nice dropkick for another two. Jericho was trying to get the crowd fired up on the apron. Tag to Miz, and he hit a running kick to the face for another near fall. He went for his corner clothesline, but Christian got the feet up, then hit the second rope back elbow. Could Christian make the tag? Tag to Bryan, hot tag to Jericho! Shoulderblocks for Bryan! Jericho ducked Bryan's clothesline and took Dolph off the apron with a springboard dropkick! Kick to the gut on Bryan, followed by the bulldog. "Come on, baby!" Lionsault hits, but Ziggler interrupts at two! Kane in to dispose of Ziggler, then he went to chokeslam Bryan. Miz interrupted that with a kick to the knee, and he shoved Kane outside. Christian came into the picture with a crossbody to take Miz and himself out of the ring, with Miz hitting Kane on the way down. Back in the ring, Bryan went for the big kick to the head, but Jericho ducked and hit the double-leg takedown. He wanted the Walls, and he got them! Old-school Liontamer style with the knee to the neck! But Vickie hopped up on the apron for the distraction. Jericho let go of the Walls as Ziggler ran in with the briefcase, and Jericho hit a briefcase-assisted Codebreaker on Ziggler! But taking his eye off the legal man was a mistake, as Bryan rolled him up for the win. Bryan let out a couple of Yeses before realizing that the fans were chanting too, at which point he rolled out of the ring and started yelling No, getting in the face of the fans who kept chanting Yes.
Backstage, we were joined by Matt Striker, this time with Randy Orton. Orton was returning after a two month absence, and said that it was great to be back, that spending time away from WWE was like having air sucked out of his lungs. He had no intentions of missing any more time. Turning his attention to Alberto Del Rio, he said the only reason Del Rio was the #1 Contender is because he hadn't faced Orton. Orton promised to take him out with a perfectly executed RKO.
Jinder Mahal vs. The Ryback: The Ryback got an inset interview during his entrance, where he talked about it being an eat or be eaten world, and everywhere he looked among the roster he saw meals. Welcome to the food chain! Booker T arranged this return match because Mahal got himself counted out last week. Mahal decided to start the match with a taunt. Why would you do that? The Ryback stopped him before he could build any meter, running him into the turnbuckle and landing shoulders to the midsection, then a back body drop out of the corner. Clubbing blows and slams into the mat followed, then a belly to belly overhead suplex. As The Ryback charged Mahal in the corner, Mahal kicked him in the leg, then the head. A jumping knee finally took The Ryback down. He went for another knee, but this time was dodged and taken down with a spinebuster. The Ryback set up for The Meathook, but Mahal rolled out of the ring. He grabbed a microphone from the timekeeper's booth, and smacked The Ryback upside the head with it. All that accomplished was getting himself disqualified, because it certainly didn't hurt him at all. Mahal fled for his life after seeing that. Feed him more!
Backstage, Darren Young and Titus O'Neil were looking for millions of dollars. After doing a Matrix dodge at AW's behest, they came upon some merchandise backstage, complaining that Little Jimmy got a t-shirt and they didn't. Truth's shirt was tossed away (Kofi's was ignored), and they resumed their dancing. Darren Young versus R-Truth was next!
Okay, okay. The other Top 5 Chris Jericho nicknames from Arda Ocal's list were Mitchell Cole, Stinko Malenko, Ron Mysterio and Vance McMahon (there was a tie for #2). The top nickname (as suggested by another fan Tout)? Kirk Angel. Ah, the joys of this segment not being run by WWE itself, we can refer to people in other companies!
Darren Young w/Titus O'Neil and AW vs. R-Truth w/Kofi Kingston and Little Jimmy: Little Jimmy has apparently recovered from Daniel Bryan's punt, though Kofi has apparently urged fans to send him get-well Touts. AW still had his live mic, for those who might've been worried. Truth was on fire to start, beating Young down until Young hit an Orton-esque snap powerslam. Truth rolled all the way out to the floor as Young gathered his composure. AW sent Titus in to attack, though the referee spotted it and ordered him to stop. AW thus got up on the apron to complain, letting Titus kick Truth in the face. Kofi went around to attack Titus, leading AW to challenge Kofi, taking off his jacket and flinging it in Kofi's face. AW led Kofi back up the ramp, and as Truth was suplexing Young back into the ring, Titus clipped Truth's leg (the referee was watching AW/Kofi) and Young fell on Truth. Truth still rolled through it anyway as Titus didn't actually hold the leg down, getting his own pinfall out of it, but Young kicked out at two. Kofi had seen enough and was back down to attack Titus again, but he got taken down with a big boot before he could do anything. Truth kicked Titus through the ropes, but taking his eyes off D-Young was a mistake. Darren Young grabbed Truth and hit the double-knee gutbuster for the win. And that one's my request of the week! What's Darren Young's finisher called? Anyone?
Recap time! A look back to Raw at CM Punk's explanation and the Triple Threat match being set up, along with fan Touts commenting on it (a 50/50 split between Punk being justified and being cowardly/whiny, this time). Only one recap segment this week, that's better. Can we scale it back to none?
In his office, Booker T was talking to Layla, before they were interrupted by Cody Rhodes. Cody congratulated Booker on his new job, saying he was pleased that someone of Booker's age could find new employment after Cody ended his career earlier in the year. Booker told him to "back down, sucka", and Cody said not to call him sucker. Booker clarified, saying that he didn't call Cody sucker, he called him sucka. He then proceeded to book a match for next week, Cody Rhodes vs. Sin Cara. Cody looked distressed and left, while Booker and Layla went back to scheming. Layla probably wanted to discuss ways to appear in more backstage segments since the Divas never get to wrestle on TV anymore.
Randy Orton vs. Alberto Del Rio w/Ricardo Rodriguez: Del Rio started on the attack, punching and kicking to force Orton back into the corner, then wrapping his right arm around the ring ropes until the break. More offense from Del Rio, until it was cut off by an Orton clothesline. Orton got Del Rio in the corner and hit a ten punch countalong. Only six minutes left in the show, so this time it's not me cheating on the main event recap, it's just going to be a short match! Del Rio was back body dropped by Orton, then rolled to the outside. Orton grabbed him on the apron, looking for the second rope DDT already, but Del Rio stepped through to the ring and backdropped Orton over the top rope, though he landed on the apron. Del Rio gave him a neckbreaker over the top rope, then followed him outside to stomp on him and throw him into the barridace. "Why did you come back?" Back in the ring, Del Rio hit the chinlock, but Orton fought back to his feet and hit the 3.0 to put Del Rio down. He followed with an abbreviated Garvin Stomp, but missed a kneedrop. Del Rio whipped him chest-first into the turnbuckle, then did a springboard second rope kick to the kidney, as he apparently decided to work over every body part except the left arm in this match. As Orton got back up, Del Rio punched the mat, stealing Orton's taunt! More punches and kicks. Del Rio whipped Orton to the corner, then gave him a side kick to the face. To the other corner, but Orton went up and over Del Rio's charge, and Alberto hit the ringpost with his shoulder. Orton reclined on the top rope as the replay showed his dodge and the hit on the ringpost, and then as we went back to the live action he dropped down to roll up Del Rio for a near fall. Clotheslines by Orton, and then a Darren Young-esque snap powerslam! This time the second-rope DDT hits! But as Orton prepared for the RKO, Ricardo Rodriguez ran in for the ineffective attack, drawing the DQ. Del Rio hit the double-knees to the arm, but Orton fought back before the cross armbreaker could be locked in, shoving Del Rio to the corner. Del Rio blocked his charge with an elbow and climbed to the second rope, but Orton immediately connected with a dropkick, sending Del Rio spilling to the outside, the third time someone's fallen from that position tonight. As Rodriguez tried to lead Del Rio away, Sheamus ran up from behind to throw Alberto back into the ring. RKO for Del Rio! Sheamus gave us a "Welcome back, fella!", as Orton celebrated in the ring. And we're out!
MILLIONS OF DOLLARS MILLIONS OF DOLLARS MILLIONS OF DOLLARS MILLIONS OF DOLLARS MILLIONS OF DOLLARS
The best moment was Bryan's NO!/YES! with that fan in the front row. I'm hoping that guy wasn't a plant, they really got in each others' faces!
Best Tensai match since his return, right? He's a good big man brawler, it's just that gimmick...is Sakamoto the most useless manager (er, "worshiper") ever? And did Tensai have a cut across his belly halfway through the match? Oof.
"Welcome to the food chain" is a pretty great catchphrase. The fans are really getting into the FEED ME MORE chant too. I'm enjoying Ryback, hopefully his push isn't inexplicably halted* for six months like the company seems to do to every young star.
* = or, explicably halted if he's as sloppy in the ring as claimed.
"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
For as much as I've tried to avoid SmackDown in the last few months...I have to admit, I'd dig this.
Originally posted by ChumpstainJinder Mahal vs. The Ryback: The Ryback got an inset interview during his entrance, where he talked about it being an eat or be eaten world, and everywhere he looked among the roster he saw meals. Welcome to the food chain! Booker T arranged this return match because Mahal got himself counted out last week. Mahal decided to start the match with a taunt. Why would you do that? The Ryback stopped him before he could build any meter, running him into the turnbuckle and landing shoulders to the midsection, then a back body drop out of the corner. Clubbing blows and slams into the mat followed, then a belly to belly overhead suplex. As The Ryback charged Mahal in the corner, Mahal kicked him in the leg, then the head. A jumping knee finally took The Ryback down. He went for another knee, but this time was dodged and taken down with a spinebuster. The Ryback set up for The Meathook, but Mahal rolled out of the ring. He grabbed a microphone from the timekeeper's booth, and smacked The Ryback upside the head with it. All that accomplished was getting himself disqualified, because it certainly didn't hurt him at all. Mahal fled for his life after seeing that. Feed him more!
Since when is this stupid company concerned with protecting JINDER FUCKING MAHAL? Just feed him to Ryback already! This isn't exactly something that needs to be dragged out over the course of weeks! They've spent years making Jinder look like a loser (hell, they just did it again a week ago with Undertaker and Kane!), but he's too important to be Just Another Victim for Ryback? What is happening here?
I'd comment about how Santino jobbed yet again while still holding the U.S. title, but that's just beating a dead horse at this point.
Originally posted by WhattaburgerAnyone care to explain to me the appeal here? I find his voice and overuse of hyperbole pretty grating.
Hyperbole for an announcer is a good thing. It doesn't have to be to Tony Schiavone levels, but if the announcer is telling you that what's happening in the ring is important, then you become more invested in it. When an announcer is telling you that what's happening in the ring is stupid, a joke, or a waste of time, then you wonder why you're watching the show.
Too often with Michael Cole, we've been seeing the latter. Whereas ten years ago the commentary team would be putting over, for example, how plucky Heath Slater is that he keeps challenging Legends, we instead have that being dismissed as a joke segment and Slater being deemed irrelevant. When the first This Is Your Life segment happened, JR and the King never treated it as a stupid segment and it wound up drawing the highest rating ever. When he redid that with John Cena in the leadup to Wrestlemania, Michael Cole buried the segment as it was happening and it lost whatever effect it might have had.
JBL is a good talker, and he has a good head for the business. He can make things seem important, he can build up wrestlers as being worth watching, and he can be a heel announcer without making people want to change the channel. If you could pair him with Josh Mathews or JR on commentary, or with a non-heel Michael Cole again, I think that would go a long way to improving the TV product.
Originally posted by It's FalseSince when is this stupid company concerned with protecting JINDER FUCKING MAHAL? Just feed him to Ryback already! This isn't exactly something that needs to be dragged out over the course of weeks! They've spent years making Jinder look like a loser (hell, they just did it again a week ago with Undertaker and Kane!), but he's too important to be Just Another Victim for Ryback? What is happening here?
Goldberg booking 101. The Minifeud. Stretch it out over a few shows, gives the fans something to talk about in regards to your new big dog, never let it see PPV time because it makes TV more entertaining too and doesn't garner that yet. See: Jerry Flynn.
If you fail to see the point, we're discussing Jinder Mahal's matches.
(edited by Lexus on 5.8.12 0505) "Laugh and the world laughs with you. Frown and the world laughs at you." -Me.
Against all odds, Daniel Bryan has become the star of the company. He's reminiscent not only of 2001-02 Kurt Angle but also 2009 Chris Jericho, when he was the best overall guy in the company so they kept coming up with reasons for him to be all over both shows. YEEEEEES vs NOOOOOO was incredible.
Neither Randy Orton nor Rey Mysterio have programs going into SummerSlam. Sup Wade Barrett?
Originally posted by JustinShapiroAgainst all odds, Daniel Bryan has become the star of the company. He's reminiscent not only of 2001-02 Kurt Angle but also 2009 Chris Jericho, when he was the best overall guy in the company so they kept coming up with reasons for him to be all over both shows. YEEEEEES vs NOOOOOO was incredible.
And Daniel doesn't even win a lot. I think he's lost more than he's won on television since WrestleMania, plus he's been stood up at the altar, and it doesn't matter. He retains his status regardless.
“@ZackRyder: @CMPunk She played me bro” I got your back.
To be fair those guys are no different then people who follow bands around. Isn't one of the guys who travel have a tragedy and the WWE gives him and his wife/girlfriend front row tickets. That is pretty honorable.