This week on WWE Friday Night SmackDown!, The Rock returns in his hometown of Miami, FL. This will be his first appearance on the show in 10 years. Also, Alberto Del Rio faces The Big Show for the World Championship.
In the arena, Lilian Garcia welcomes Smackdown! GM Booker T to the audience. Book has a major announcement in regards to tonight’s big title match, according to Josh Mathews. He welcomes us to the show, and promises we’ll kick of 2013 with a bang. He calls this past week’s RAW epic, and anything RAW can do, SD! can do better. Book isn’t taking a backseat to anyone, so here’s what’s going down. RAW gave us Dolph Ziggler vs. John Cena. Tonight, he’s giving us Antonio Cesaro vs. Randy Orton. RAW delivered “The Great One”, and tonight, after 10 years, the most electrifying man in sports entertainment is here. He then announces ADR vs. Show in a Last Man Standing Match for tonight, so there’s your big announcement.
ADR’s music hits, and he hits the ring, nailing Show with several kicks and knocking him out of the ring with the step-up enziguri. Book holds ADR back in the ring as Show screams at him to bring it on.
We get a video clip of Rock retaining the WCW World title against Shawn Stasiak. Weird clip to show, since probably no one remembers this match.
MATCH 1: Randy Orton vs. WWE United States Champion Antonio Cesaro (non-title)
Cesaro does a cut-away promo, saying he takes advantages of opportunities America gives him, and as a result, he will enter the Royal Rumble and win the match. He says, “thank you”, and that he will proudly wave the U.S. flag. He then does a sarcastic, “U-S-A” chant, which makes me smile. Cesaro starts the match with an armbar into a hammerlock. Orton reverses into a side headlock, then knocks Cesaro down with a shoulderblock. Cesaro boots him, then hits some European uppercuts. Orton recovers and throws him to the floor, then hits him with a clothesline outside. Commercials.
We’re back, and Cesaro is in control with a cobra clutch. Orton fights out, but Cesaro drops him with a clothesline for 2. Deadlift gutwrench suplex by Cesaro gets another 2. In the corner, Cesaro fires off some body blows, hits a snapmare and goes back to a modified cobra clutch. Orton breaks free and counters a corner charge with an Oklahoma Roll for 2. Cesaro ducks a clothesline and hits a Michinoku Driver #2 for another 2-count. Orton comes back with the Four Moves of Boredom, but before he can hit the DDT, Cesaro blasts him with a Very European Uppercut for 2. Orton ducks a clothesline and hits the 3.0. Cesaro rolls to the apron, and Orton plants him with the suspended DDT. RKO is signaled, but before he can connect, the Shield hit the ring and triple team him.
WINNER VIA DISQUALIFICATION: Randy Orton. The attack by the Shield continues, culminating in a triple powerbomb.
Matt Striker is in the back with 3MB. They have announced they are in the Royal Rumble. Each guy takes their turn talking about the Rumble, and between them, Heath Slater’s mom says they have a 10% chance of winning the match. Drew McIntyre says they have an Irish tenor to tend to first, and Slater says they’ll beat Sheamus like an Irish drum. Josh Mathews asks JBL if they have a chance to win, and JBL has the line of the night by simply saying, “No”.
We get a video of CM Punk and Paul Heyman from the Sunlife Stadium, home of Wrestlemania 28 and the Miami Hurricanes. Everyone thinks that, based on what happened on RAW, Punk is going to ruin Rock’s homecoming tonight. That’s not true. Punk is actually a huge fan of Rock’s, especially his college career. Punk puts on a “JOHNSON” Hurricanes jersey, then says he’s a college football aficionado, so he wanted to come to where Rock played college ball. Only he never played in Sunlife Stadium, and played in the Orange Bowl. But, they tore down the Orange Bowl. The place where Rock lived his college glory days is gone. Same with the place he became a wrestling star. This is Punk’s house now, and we live in the CM Punk era. Rock doesn’t have a future in WWE as long as Punk is his opponent. WWE is heralding Rock’s return to Miami tonight, and Rock will stand in the ring and say that he’s finally come back to Miami. While Rock can come back to Miami, he can never go home.
Before the next match, Striker interviews ADR about what happened earlier tonight. He tells him the title match will be Last Man Standing. ADR calls Show the most insecure person in the world, attacking Ricardo Rodriguez and running down the Latino people. Tonight, he’s going to make sure Show gets a perfect picture of what “La Familia” means, and tonight, the last man standing will be the new World Champion.
MATCH 2-Mixed Tag Team Match: AJ Lee and Dolph Ziggler (w/Big E. Langston) vs. The Great Khali and Natalya (w/Hornswoggle)
AJ is wearing tall socks and knee-high Chuck Taylors, so I’m already a happy guy. The guys start, and Ziggler hits some shots before Khali drops him with a clothesline. Open-hand chop in the corner by Khali, followed by one in the opposite corner. Another clothesline by Khali, and he signals for the Punjabi Plunge. Ziggler tags out before it can happen, so now the women are legal. AJ skips around Khali for a moment, and as he goes to tag Nattie, she jumps on his back with a sleeper. Nattie yanks her off by the hair, then rams her head into the mat. Discus clothesline by Nattie before she goes for the Sharpshooter. AJ bites Nattie’s hand before she can turn the move over, so Nattie attacks her in the corner. AJ then bites her in the ear and hits a Sliced Bread #2 for the 3.
WINNER: AJ Lee and Dolph Ziggler. Langston comes in and levels Khali with an avalanche, and Ziggler hits him with a rocker dropper. Hornswoggle comes into the ring, and Langston drops him with Sudden Impact. Okay, he earned some points with me for that. He still sucks, but anyone who beats up Hornswoggle must have some redeeming qualities somewhere.
Another video from Punk and Heyman. Punk says that, on Monday night, Rock told him, “Time’s up” in a reference to him being champion. Rock has convinced himself he can beat Punk, like he’s a superhero who is going to save the people. The people can rot in hell. THAT is what the people deserve. He’s the best in the world. He’s better than the people, and better than Rock. Heyman says Rock isn’t as talented as Punk, but that’s because Punk is the best in the world. The people’s vision is that Rock is the conquering hero, that he’ll beat up the bad guy and ride into ‘Mania as champion. Punk has made a career of stomping out dreams, and he doesn’t share the people’s vision. In the era of Punk, it doesn’t matter what Rock’s vision is. Punk takes off the jersey and throws it on the ground of the field.
Another video for The Rock. This time, it’s a montage of the Rock ‘n’ Sock Connection days. God, were they funny together.
The Rock makes his way out to the ring, and he actually looks a little choked up by the response from the crowd. After a couple a minutes, Rock does his “come back…home” bit. This is a special show, and a special night. Rock wants to introduce someone, and that is Miami’s own Flo Rida, who is sitting in the crowd. Not only is he back tonight, he’s back on a show that was named after him. He’s excited to come to his home city, and wants to continue what he did on Monday. You can imagine how disappointed he was that CM Punk decided not to show up as a result. Punk wants to run down his hometown, so he has to make something clear. He talks about being a part of the Hurricanes in college, listing off all his accolades there, saying everything he’s ever accomplished started here in Miami. Home is not just being here on Smackdown!; home is the Royal Rumble, where he kicks Punk’s “cookie-puss” ass and becomes WWE Champion. Since Punk didn’t want to come have fun, Rock is going to have fun on his own.
Before this goes further, the Rhodes Scholars head down to the ring. Damien Sandow asks to beg Rock’s indulgence for one moment. His name is Damien Sandow, and he is the intellectual savior of the unwashed masses. This is his tag team partner and best friend, the essence of mustachioed magnificence, Cody Rhodes. They are out here not only to help Rock, but to correct him. Rhodes tells Rock he is not to become champion; they are. They beat Team Hell No! on Monday and will become tag champs. All things considered, these two don’t think Rock deserves this time, and they do. He has a suggestion-get out of the ring before he doesn’t have a choice. Rock says these two have the nerve to get in the people’s ring, calls Rhodes’ mustache a dead caterpillar on his lip, dressed like this? That takes a lot of guts. Sweet tap-dancing Jesus, what is on Rhodes’ face? Rhodes says he’s an adult, and if he wants to grow a mustache, he’ll grow a mustache! Sandow offers a wager. Recently, Sandow has embarked on a futile quest to hire an apprentice. He has asked members of the audience to answer three questions correctly. Not surprisingly, he hasn’t found one who has been able to do so. Seeing as Rock is the “people’s champ”, let’s see if he can do what they couldn’t. You answer three questions correctly, and you get to stay. You don’t, you leave. Rock tells him to just bring it. Rhodes doesn’t think he can answer the questions, since he went to Miami. Question #1: Who was the 19th President of the United States? Rock answers with, “Rutherford B. Hayes, bitch!” He gets it right, and Rock says Sandow looks like Abe Lincoln got busy with a gremlin. Question #2: What film won the Academy Award for best picture in 1993? Rock correctly answers Schindler’s List, then calls Rhodes a Craigslist stalker. Question #3: …before Sandow can ask, Rock has a question for Sandow. Since he was so nice to interrupt Rock in his hometown, he has a question, and if he gets it right, he gets a nice prize from Rock and Miami. The question is, what happens when you combine a geological aggregate of minerals with its lowest form? Sandow answers “rock bottom”, and Rock says he’s correct before hitting him with a Rock Bottom. Rhodes charges at Rock, and runs into a spinebuster, followed by the People’s Elbow.
MATCH 3-3-on-1 Handicap Match: 3MB (Jinder Mahal, Drew McIntyre and Heath Slater) vs. Sheamus
Slater starts the match for 3MB, and immediately rolls to the floor. He runs back in and gets dropped with a Brogue Kick for 3.
WINNER: Sheamus. Yes, that’s literally all of the action that took place in this match.
MATCH 4: The Prime-Time Players (Titus O’Neil and Darren Young) vs. WWE Tag Team Champions Team Hell No! (Daniel Bryan and Kane) (non-title)
Young and Bryan start the match, and Young immediately attacks the bad knee before firing off some rights. Bryan hits an elbow and mounts the middle buckle, but Young whips him down by the leg. Titus in, and he stomps Bryan down before hitting his weird gutwrench throw. Bryan counters a 3-point stance with a pair of boots and tags in Kane as Titus tags in Young. Kane hits some rights on both heels, hits a corner clothesline on Young and a sidewalk slam for 2. Young hits a hotshot from the apron and goes up top, getting nailed with an uppercut in the process. He goes for a double chokeslam on PTP, but they boot him in the gut and send him into the corner. Kane puts on the brakes as Bryan comes off the top with a double knee strike. Kane hits the chokeslam on Young and gets the 3.
WINNERS: Team Hell No!
The main event is up next.
MATCH 5-Last Man Standing Match for the World Championship: The Big Show (Champion) vs. Alberto Del Rio (w/Ricardo Rodriguez)
ADR starts off with strikes, but Show shoves him down and hits a chop to the chest. ADR tries more strikes, but he’s clubbed across the back. Show hits a bodyslam, and the 10-count starts. ADR gets back up before the count and hits a mule kick to the gut. More strikes by ADR, but Show headbutts him down. He sets ADR against the ropes for another chop, hitting a series of them. Outside, Show pulls out a table and sets it up. He drags ADR to the floor, then bodyslams him through the table. 10-count starts again, and ADR is up at 7. Show headbutts him again, then grabs a chair. Back in the ring, ADR kicks Show, then nails him with the chair. More chair shots before ADR goes for the rolling jujigatame. Show blocks it and picks ADR up, dumping him to the floor. However, ADR keeps the hold on over the top rope until Show picks him up once more and drops him on the apron, sending ADR to the floor. Count starts again, and ADR makes it up at 8. Commercials.
WINNER AND NEW WORLD CHAMPION: Alberto Del Rio. ADR and Ricardo celebrate in the crowd as the show goes off the air.
End of show.
So-so show tonight. The bulk of the show was one-sided matches that were very short, but the Rock/Scholars segment was fun, and the main event was enjoyable.
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