Tonight, Smackdown comes from England! After losing to Alberto Del Rio on Monday, Jack Swagger has a chance for revenge, as he'll face Del Rio in a No DQ match! Also, will there be fallout from the Shield vs. the Brothers of Yes-struction on Monday? The Undertaker will face Dean Ambrose! And after seeing that being advertised, I am not feeling much more like writing a full recap! This is Smackdown!
A REAL AMERICAN JACK SWAGGER w/ZEB COLTER vs. ALBERTO DEL RIO w/RICARDO RODRIGUEZ, the White Scarf of Purity and the Mexican Bucket 'O Fun: We're starting with this match, huh? A fan's sign is questioning whether or not Swagger has a work permit. Del Rio's knee is bandaged, as is Swagger's elbow. You know, Dolph Ziggler doesn't have any bandages. Just saying! Swagger immediately tries a bunch, but Del Rio blocks and lands a series of his own, before clotheslining Swagger over the top rope to the floor. Del Rio gets a running start and pursues with a suicide dive! 'Si' chants start up, as the English fans apparently know roughly as much Spanish as I do. Swagger's arm is taken to the ringpost, and Del Rio gets a kendo stick. Swagger is on him as he gets back into the ring, though, stomping away and then swinging the kendo stick. He swings again and hits the injured nee! And again to the good leg! Now he's wailing away on Del Rio's torso. Del Rio catches the next attempt, and the two struggle over the stick. Del Rio wins the struggle with a kick to the gut, but his charge gets backdropped all the way to the floor. Swagger follows him to taunt. "I'm gonna break you!" As he goes under the ring for more plunder, Del Rio pounces, and they trade shots up the aisle. Del Rio sets him up and hits a suplex on the steel ramp! That hurt both men. Del Rio heads back to the ring and smirks as he sees something underneath it, pulling out a ladder He sets it up to bring it into the ring, but sees Swagger charging in and flapjacks him onto the ladder! Lets take a commercial break!
We return with Swagger applying a front facelock to Del Rio, as the crowd is apparently Fandangoing. During the break, there were more kendo stick shots to give Swagger the advantage. Del Rio tries to fight out, but Swagger catches him with his high slam for two. Swagger shoos MARK YEATON out of the way to grab a steel chair. Unfortunately for him, he's mouthing off to the crowd as he gets back on the apron, letting Del Rio hit the stepladder enziguiri! Both men back in the ring, they trade blows until Swagger kicks the knee. A clothesline follows, getting two. Swagger goes back out for the chair, and wedges it in the corner. He picks Del Rio up, but Alberto hits the Codebreaker on Swagger's bad arm! Now he takes Swagger down with a clothesline, then another. Swagger's clothesline is ducked, and Del Rio hits the tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. He wants the superkick, but Swagger rolls out to the apron, so Del Rio catches him there to start his ten punch kidney shots.. but he stops at one, as Rodriguez throws him the kendo stick instead. 9 kendo stick shots follow, with a Backstabber to finish it off! Swagger kicks out at two, as Colter grabs the kendo stick to get it out of the way. Now Del Rio wants the cross armbreaker! Swagger pulls out of the attempt and shoves Del Rio to the corner where the chair was set up, but Del Rio catches himself safely against the turnbuckle, then superkicks Swagger! He goes for the cover, but Swagger kicks out. Del Rio goes to pick Swagger up, but Swagger picks the ankle and gets the Patriot Lock! Del Rio rolls through and applies the cross armbreaker instead! Swagger maneuvers him into a pinning position, but Del Rio kicks out. Swagger isn't going to get caught with a flash rollup this time, instead throwing Del Rio head-first into the steel chair in the corner! Del Rio kicks out at two! Swagger goes out for the ladder, sliding it into the ring, but Del Rio catches it halfway and uses the Joey Mercury Memorial Pendulum attack to smack Swagger and send him down on the floor. When Del Rio goes outside, Colter is ready with the kendo stick. His presence is enough of a distraction to let Swagger recover and smack Del Rio in the head with the ladder! The ladder is slid back into the ring, and Del Rio is thrown in after it. Cover, kickout at two. Del Rio is in perfect position for the Swagger Bomb, though. The Swagger Bomb is blocked by Del Rio's knees, and he immediately pulls Swagger into the cross armbreaker! But Colter slides Swagger the kendo stick, and Swagger smacks his way out of the hold. He continues to wail away on Del Rio, before grabbing the ladder. The ladder is thrown onto the fallen Del Rio! The gutwrench powerbomb follows. 1, 2, 3, Swagger wins! And later tonight, Sheamus vs. the Big Show and Randy Orton vs. Mark Henry!
AKSANA vs. LAYLA: The Blonde Layla experiment has thankfully come to an end. She is, of course, wrestling in her home country, against a fellow European. It just shows how distinct different parts of Europe are, with Layla hailing from the homeland of fish and chips, and Aksana facing a beating with shovels should she dare to return to her native Lithuania. Lockup, and Aksana pushes her off, so Layla delivers a kick to the gut, followed by a butt-butt. Layla tries to go up and over in the corner, but Aksana punts her off the apron to the floor. She proceeds to crawl suggestively across the apron, so Layla dropkicks her to the floor. Back in, they trade covers, and Aksana throws a tantrum, then gets thrown by the hair. Layla gets hung up over the top rope, then kneed in the face, for a two count. Aksana starts to work on Layla's left.. hand. She stomps on it, and applies a devastating finger-hold. Some posing for the crowd, then she whips Layla to the corner, yanking on the arm in the ropes. Snap-mare and a kick to the back. Layla lands some counter0kicks, but Aksana catches a kick and shoves her down. An elbowdrop gets two. Aksana has had enough, so she applies the devastating side headlock! Nobody can escape that signature hold! Layla tries ineffective shots to the ribs, and Aksana shows mercy by letting go of the hold on her own to deliver a clubbing forearm. Whip to the ropes, but Layla floats over and rolls all over the place and somehow winds up with a double chicken-wing cover to get the win! Apparently Layla calls that move 'Infinity'. We promptly plug the upcoming show on the E network, 'Total Divas', a WWE diva reality show coming this summer. Um, yeah. Up next, Raw recaps!
We return to highlights from Monday, where the Shield beat the Brothers of Yes-struction. We saw this on Raw! That brings us to the Shield hanging around backstage with their camera for a promo. "Rollins." "Reigns." "Ambrose. Monday night we stood face to face with the tag team champions Team Hell No, and the Phenom himself the Undertaker." "And what happened? What always happens. Justice prevails, and the Shield are victorious." "We broke the unbreakable. It's an injustice that Team Hell No are still holding the tag titles." "Not for long, the true injustice is that the Undertaker escaped Raw with his soul still intact." "Not for long. Yeah, we did what we said we were gonna do on Monday night, but it still feels like something's missing, I don't feel total satisfaction. I think it's because the Deadman is still walking, is still breathing. Tonight I face the Undertaker one on one and I've got an itch that needs scratching. I'm gonna do what nobody's been able to in 21 Wrestlemanias, tonight I'm going to beat the Undertaker, when I say that you'd better believe that if it's the last thing I do, I am going to beat the Undertaker tonight, and justice, not you, will be immortal." "Undertaker, at the hands of the Shield, you will not rest in peace." "But you will believe in the Shield." The camera is set down, and they depart.
FANDANGO w/DANCER vs. JUSTIN GABRIEL: No entrance for Gabriel. Fandango dances to open, so Gabriel mocks the Fandangoing, and Fandango stomps away. Vertical suplex, but Gabriel lands on his feet. Armdrag by Gabriel, followed by a leg sweep and an Oklahoma roll for one. Fandango bails out. Back onto the apron, he lands a shoulder-block, but gets armdragged once re-entering the ring. The crowd chants for Fandango, who grabs the hair and lands a cheapshot behind the ref's back. Knee to Gabriel's head. Gabriel is tied up in the ropes, and Fandango lands forearm shots to the back of his head. He then flips out to the floor and kicks Gabriel in the face! Back in, 1, 2, kickout. Some more dancing and posing follows,. Gabriel takes advantage, landing a series of kicks. Whip, reversed, Gabriel goes up and over, then hits a spinning kick. Crossbody in the corner, followed by a springboard move, which Fandango blocks with a kick to the gut! Fandango sets Gabriel up for.. a Russian leg sweep? Cole says "we saw this on Monday night", but no, we saw the Mic Check on Monday night and this is something different. Fandango leaps up to the top rope, where he does a little mocking Fandangoing of his own before smirking at the crowd, and hitting the guillotine legdrop! That's his move! 1, 2, 3, Fandango wins. His dancer provides him with the mic. "It's... FAHHHN DAHHHN GOOOO!" Much Fandangoing ensues from the crowd. Up next, Sheamus vs. the Big Show!
SHEAMUS vs. THE BIG SHOW: The Sheamus/Mark Henry attacks are replayed during Sheamus' entrance. The two lock up, and Show wins that, obviously, shoving Sheamus down. Another lockup, but this time Sheamus leverages Show into the corner. He starts pummeling Big Show, until Show lands a gut punch and a headbutt to cut him off. Show lands five big chops on Sheamus against the ropes. Sheamus again fights back, but Show just shoves him over the top rope to the floor. Show pursues Sheamus outside the ring, as the Irishman actually retreats for once. Show clobbers Sheamus and throws him back inside. As Show gets up on the apron, Sheamus hits a shoulder to the gut, then a headbutt. Sheamus ties him up in the ropes for the ten punch clubbering! Show follows up by just headbutting him like nothing. Sheamus blocks a corner charge with raised boots, but then runs right into a side slam. Running elbowdrop by Big Show gets two. Show chokes Sheamus on the second rope. A headbutt drops him again. The Final Cut hits! 1, 2, no. Sheamus delivers some punches, and tries a scoop slam, which is unwise. Big Show falls on him for two. Show stands on his gut for fun. Headbutt to Sheamus, then a kick. Show chops Sheamus from the floor while he's lying on the apron. Lets take a break!
We return to Sheamus running into a Big Show knee, and then getting thrown shoulder-first into the ringpost. Sheamus spills to the floor, as Show lingers in the ring. Okay, now he goes out after Sheamus. Show whips him into the ring steps! A 'Big Show sucks' chant kicks up. Sheamus makes it back into the ring at nine. Show hammerlocks Sheamus and throws him against the turnbuckle. He drops his body weight on Sheamus' arm, apparently now having picked a body part. Show surveys him in the corner, daring him to get up. Show blocks Sheamus' punches, then clubs him to take him down. Top wristlock applied by Big Show, as the crowd Fandangos. Sheamus punches Show in the face, then kicks him in the gut and hits a DDT! His arm is still hurting. Both men on their knees, trading punches (Big Show's to the chest, of course). Off the ropes, Sheamus takes Show down with flying forearms! Charge in the corner, followed by the running kneelift. Sheamus goes up top! Battering ram hits! Sheamus wants White Noise, but Show blocks it. His chokeslam attempt is evaded by Sheamus, who hits his White Noise this time! And we all know what that sets up. Sheamus calls for the Brogue Kick, as Show gets up in the corner. Show escapes by rolling out of the ring, but Sheamus flies off the apron after him! Show drops Sheamus there with a headbutt, then retreats into the ring again. Sheamus hangs Big Show by his arm on the top rope, then climbs up top again. As he waits for Show to turn around, MARK HENRY has made his presence known, shoving the ring steps under Sheamus out of the way. As Sheamus looks down to see the source of the noise, Big Show delivers the knockout punch! Sheamus falls off the top rope into the ring, and Show's pin is academic. The knockout punch gets several replays. Later tonight, Mark Henry will be back to face Randy Orton! Also, the Undertaker has his first match in nearly three years on Smackdown against Dean Ambrose!
WILLIAM REGAL vs. #31 WADE BARRETT: Barrett brings a mic out for this all-British matchup! "Now I've heard all the stories of London's infamous grave robberies. But to be quite honest, I've never believed them until today, because today it would appear that there's a body missing from a crypt here in London. And I know that because it's stood right there in the ring. But don't worry, Regal, you're about to get sent back to whence you came, at the hands of the great Barrett Barrage." Barrett opens with a kick to the gut, but his short-arm clothesline misses. Regal lands forearm shots, then gets another one after a whip. Regal lands knees in the corner, but Barrett lands a kick to the chest to slow things down. Barrett pulls down the elbowpad already, looking for the Bullhammer, but Regal ducks! Exploder suplex by Regal! Now he wants the Knee Trembler, but Barrett evades. Bullhammer! 1, 2, 3. That was criminally short.
Hey, it's Paul Heyman and Triple H from Monday. We saw this on Raw! Randy Orton's match is next!
RANDY ORTON vs. MARK HENRY: The two circle each other warily to start. Lockup, Henry shoves Orton into the corner, and immediately avalanches him. Henry goes for the world's Strongest Slam ten seconds in, but Orton flips out over his back and lands punches, leading Henry to bail to the floor. Orton chases him and keeps pummeling, until Henry rakes the eyes. Henry scoops him up over his shoulder, but Orton slides down the back and shoves Henry into the ringpost! Both men back in the ring, and Orton stomps away. "I can't quite hear ya!" Orton fires up the crowd, but Henry gets back up and takes him down with a punch. Henry chokes him over the second rope, then lands shoulderblocks in the corner. "That's what I do!" Orton fight back with kicks and punches. The clothesline gets nowhere, but a second one off the ropes works! DDT on the kneeling Henry hits. 1, 2, no! Henry rolls to the apron, which is not where he wants to be. Orton wants the second-rope DDT, and gets it! Orton plays to the crowd, but Henry rolls out of the ring before he can coil. When Orton goes out after him, Henry grabs him and runs him spine-first into the ringpost! Back into the ring, the cheers of the crowd herald the arrival of SHEAMUS from behind, as he lands the Brogue Kick on Henry. If Orton's upset that Sheamus just cost him the match, he's hiding it well, because he follows up with an RKO on Henry! Orton poses to his music, which is playing for some reason even though he lost. A promo for No One Lives follows. Up next, Raw recaps!
John Cena, Mick Foley and The Ryback all interacted on Monday. We saw this on Raw!
THE UNDERTAKER vs. DEAN AMBROSE w/ROMAN REIGNS and SETH ROLLINS: I'm not sure what I'm more surprised by, that the Rock showed up on several Smackdowns in the buildup to the Royal Rumble and Wrestlemania, or that the Undertaker's wrestling on free TV again. It's good to see that he's willing and able to put in the time again! And since it's basically been three years since he's had a proper ring intro for a match, I guess I should mention that LILIAN GARCIA bills him as being 299 pounds. As the Shield members confer on the outside, the commentators mention that Daniel Bryan and Kane aren't here tonight, as they're part of the Raw overseas tour. That might not bode well for the Deadman. Ambrose keeps his distance to start, and Rollins pops on the apron for a brief distraction, but Ambrose can't take advantage. Now Reigns pops up, and Ambrose pounces on the distracted Undertaker, beating him down and taking him to the corner with a series of punches. The ref pulls Ambrose away, so Undertaker grabs Ambrose by the throat and hurls him to the corner, landing punches of his own. Ambrose is thrown over the top to the floor, and Undertaker goes out after him, despite the presence of the rest of the Shield. Ambrose is run into the barricade, then rolled halfway back into the ring. Taker stares down the other Shield members, then drops the apron legdrop on Ambrose! He gets back into the ring, as Ambrose has fled to the corner. The running big boot by Undertaker misses, and Ambrose pounces, hammering away on the outside. He rams Undertaker into the barricade and tosses him back in. He lands a knee to the face, then an open-handed slap. With Undertaker in the corner, he grinds his forearm against Taker's face. He ties Undertaker up in the ropes, then lands a running dropkick! Undertaker kicks out at two. Ambrose grabs a neck vise. Undertaker gets back to his feet, but Ambrose turns it into a neckbreaker! Undertaker esapes at two again. Ambrose lands some free shots on the kneeling Undertaker, dropping him again. Ambrose mocks the throat-slashing gesture over the fallen Undertaker, so Taker grabs him by the throat! Ambrose kicks out of the choke, and the two trade punches. Undertaker tries to go off the ropes, but Ambrose chases him into them and lands a knee to the gut. Now Ambrose goes off the ropes, but he's caught by the throat. Chokeslam hits! Rollins is smacked off the apron, and Undertaker signals for the Tombstone! But Reigns is up on the apron, and Ambrose takes advantage to land a low blow behind the referee's back! A big snap DDT connects! 1, 2, no! Undertaker stays alive! What is Ambrose's finisher, anyway? As Ambrose stoops to pick Undertaker up, Undertaker grabs his arm and locks in Hell's Gate! Ambrose taps out, but almost immediately Reigns and Rollins are in, stomping away on the Undertaker. He throws Reigns into the barricade, then Rollins into the crowd! Taker grabs a steel chair, nailing Ambrose in the gut with it. Rollins is back up on the barricade, but Undertaker grabs him by the throat before he can jump! Before Undertaker can chokeslam him off of the barricade, though, Reigns flies in to spear Undertaker through the barricade into the timekeeper's area! Ambrose immediately starts taunting the fallen Undertaker, before grabbing a steel chair. He smacks Taker across the back! "You didn't beat me!" Another chairshot, as the crowd starts chanting "You tapped out" at Ambrose. Rollins and Reigns start dismantling the announce table. Undertaker is fed to Reigns, and the triple powerbomb hits through the announce table! Reigns gives him the stare of death, as Rollins and Ambrose celebrate. "We are the new guard! We are the hounds of justice!" Undertaker has been left laying. That's all for tonight!
I was all set to complain about the main event's result when I just saw "Undertaker beats Ambrose in five minutes" in the spoilers but this was a really competitive match. It was almost like the Coles Notes version of WM27, as Ambrose was really taking it to UT and Taker had to bust out his desperation submission hold to steal the win. The Shield still look as strong as ever.
With the post-match beatdown, will that be how Undertaker is written off for another 10 months or will he be back for revenge at some point?
"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
Overall not too bad. Swagger and DelRio delivered. For as bad as Aksana still is ( and probably always will be ) Layla carried her to a semi decent outing that actually got more than a few minutes with some fun moments. Fandango/Gabriel was good too. Even though Summer Rae isn't lighting the world on fire with her attempts at dancing, she's a nice stable addition to the Fandango character. Her promo work at NXT has been improving so maybe we'll see her become more of a true manager type and some interaction between them. Always good to see Regal in the ring. Ambrose/Taker while short was allright & Ambrose has the experience to make the older man still look ok in the ring.
I had no idea they were going to use Ambrose in a singles match on a throwaway Smackdown, so I had to dig this out of my DVR. Short match, but a lot of fun. Ambrose really does that crazy Pillman kind of craziness to him. He's a load of fun to watch.
That was about as efficient a five-minute match as you'll see and it was far from a normal five-minute UT squash.
I've been saying this for a while: Goldberg vs Lesnar could have WrestleMania main event potential. I'm not saying they're building to that right now, but they certainly could. Some other cross-brand feuds I'd like to see: