Welcome to the 4-27-12 edition of WWE Friday Night SmackDown! I don’t care if this show is horrible tonight. After last night’s episode of Impact Wrestling, anything is going to be a breeze. Fortunately, I’ve seen the line-up for tonight without reading spoilers, and it looks like it could be a solid episode.
Tonight, our main event will be a rematch from Monday Night RAW, as Sheamus takes on Mark Henry. Josh Mathews is absent this week as a result from Brock Lesnar’s attack on RAW. We then see footage of Lesnar kill-sh*tting Mathews, putting him on the shelf for an indeterminate amount of time. Not sure why Mathews has been added to the Lesnar angle yet, but whatever. At least he’s been trained to wrestle, unlike other announcers who have no business being involved in a match of any kind, voluntary or otherwise.
[adinserter block=”2″]Daniel Bryan makes his way out to the ring to open the show. Bryan is smiling. He tells us he did it; he cut the umbilical cord and finally got rid of AJ. It feels so good, but there’s still something that’s bothering him, and he came out to set the record straight. The loss at Wrestlemania to Sheamus DOES NOT COUNT. If anything, that loss should go on AJ’s record, not his, because she’s the one who actually lost the match. And yet, Sheamus runs around with Bryan’s championship belt, as if he actually won something. But Bryan plans to rectify the situation at Extreme Rules on Sunday, because Sheamus can’t legitimately beat him once, let alone 2-out-3 falls. Regardless of Bryan’s personal feelings towards Sheamus, when John Laurinaitis asked him to guest referee this past Monday, he promised himself he’d call it right down the middle, and he did. However, there are some who have accused him of quit-counting Sheamus, but he thinks the footage speaks for itself. We then see the footage at normal speed, only it’s been slowed down during the actual count, making it look like Bryan counted fairly. See?
Absolutely nothing wrong with that count; yet, in typical Sheamus fashion, despite knowing he’d be fired if he touched Bryan as a referee, he lost his cool, and Bryan was forced to defend himself. We then see footage from after the match, where Bryan puts Sheamus in the Yes! Lock. I loved hearing Bryan scream “Yes!” as he cranked on the hold. Bryan says it’s now question and answer time. Did Mark Henry beat Sheamus on Monday? Yes. Did he make Sheamus tap out in front of the WWE Universe? Yes! Is Sheamus’ entire title run a fluke because he took advantage of a confused and not very intelligent woman? Yes. Will Bryan regain his title at Extreme Rules? Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Half the crowd is booing, but the other half is enthusiastically chanting “Yes!” Love it.
As Bryan wraps things up, Alberto Del Rio’s music hits, and he drives his car out to the stage as Ricardo Rodriguez introduces him. ADR has a microphone in his hand. Bryan is still in the ring. ADR asks the crowd if Bryan is making excuses about his title loss. Si! Is the winner of the Bryan/Sheamus match eventually going to lose to ADR? Si! (Rodriguez is doing the “Si!”, BTW) Will Daniel Bryan be forgotten when ADR becomes the next champion? Si! Si! Si!
As ADR continues, the IC Champion, The Big Show, makes his way down now. Show asks if it’s “Yes!” or “Si!” The crowd is going back and forth with this. He goes to duck Bryan, who slides out of the ring. ADR does the same. Rodriguez isn’t quite fast enough though, as Show grabs him by the jacket and pulls him back into the ring. He tells Rodriguez to calm down before asking him if it’s “Yes!” or “Si!” Rodriguez yells incoherently. Show says “Si.” Before chokeslamming him.
Up next, ADR takes on Show in a rematch from last week.
Back from the break, the match has already started.
MATCH 1: Alberto Del Rio vs. Intercontinental Champion The Big Show (non-title)
Show hits a clothesline in the corner, but ADR gets his feet up on a second corner charge. Show shakes it off and clubs ADR down. ADR reverses a bodyslam and kicks Show in the leg. Show takes ADR down with a shoulderblock, sending him to the floor. Show tries to pull ADR back up, but ADR hot shots the arm. He gets back in and begins kicking the left arm of Show before hitting the double-knee armbreaker. He looks for the rolling jujigatame, but Show holds on and turns it into a back suplex variation. Show hits a pair of clotheslines, a hip bump in the corner and a spear off the ropes. He signals for the chokeslam, but Cody Rhodes comes in from behind and clips the leg, causing the DQ.
WINNER VIA DISQUALIFICATION: The Big Show. ADR hits a step-up enziguri before leaving the ring. Rhodes pulls a kendo stick and a chair from under the ring. Show no-sells a stick shot, and then punches the chair out of Rhodes’ hand. Rhodes takes his belt off, but runs into a clothesline. Show pulls the shirt off Rhodes and begins whipping him with the belt, but can only get in a couple shots before Rhodes flees the match. How much you want to bet the stipulation for their match will be a Strap Match now?
Backstage, we see John Laurinaitis and Eve Torres. Ace tells her she’s doing a great job with her new position, and if she sees any changes that need to be made, let her know. Torres says she sees a lot of people in the back she doesn’t know, so he should make them wear nametags. He likes the idea. Teddy Long walks up and asks if Torres is his executive administrator, what does that make him. Ace says he’s just an employee, and now he reports to Eve directly. She orders him to go get a nametag.
We see footage of Nikki Bella winning the Divas title this past Monday from Beth Phoenix. Just so you know, Phoenix’s injury is a work, and Bella is the champion now in order to get squashed by Kharma, likely this weekend, as the Bellas are expected to leave after either Sunday or Monday due to their contracts being up. Although they could have re-signed, it doesn’t appear to be that way, and regardless, the plan is still for Kharma to squash Nikki Bella for the belt.
We get another promo from Damien Sandow. This one is about enlightenment. He talks about the “Age of Enlightment”, talking about people like Voltaire and Sir Isaac Newton, who understood enlightenment completely. He says something about how WWE superstars are full of stupid catchphrases and dumb entrance music, but he’s here to usher in a new “Age of Illumination” that we so desperately need. You’re welcome. I cannot stress how awesome this guy is.
MATCH 2: Alicia Fox vs. Nikki Bella (w/Brie Bella)
We learn that Beth Phoenix is okay and will be getting her rematch this Sunday. That’s surprising. I wonder if that plan will stick, or if the original Kharma plan will come into play. Nikki knocks Fox down and kicks her for 2. Nikki hits a rolling neck snap for 2. before locking in a modified rear chinlock. Fox elbows her way out before hitting an armdrag. Fox with a hair whip and a pair of dropsh*ts before botching the miserable hell out of a springboard back elbow off the middle rope. Nikki counters a Matrix with a hair pull. Brie switches out when the referee isn’t looking and hits the sit-out facebuster to score the pin.
WINNER: Nikki Bella. Not sure why the switch was necessary, since Nikki was already in control of the match. No cameltoe tonight. I can tell you’re all very disappointed.
Later tonight, Michael Cole will do an “exclusive” interview with Randy Orton. How is this exclusive? Orton does at least one long damn interview every week on this show. Is it exclusive because the toolbox known as Matt Striker is being replaced by the toolbox known as Michael Cole? Ooh, that’s something worth documenting.
Hopefully, I’ll have my Playstation Vita in the next couple of months after I’ve saved a little cash. Just saying.
Did You Know? Despite being the very definition of a “one-hit wonder” here in the U.S., the band A-Ha is one of the 50 highest grossing musical acts in the world today, and they are practically music gods in their native Norway.
We see Yoshi Tatsu warming up in the back. Titus O’Neil and Darren Young walk up. O’Neil says they’re two of the fastest rising stars in the WWE before being very politically incorrect in regards to Tatsu’s race. Ezekiel Jackson walks up and says he doesn’t like what he’s hearing. Zeke will be Tatsu’s partner tonight against O’Neil/Young. The heels then start some really stupid chant. Zeke says they won’t be joking much after the match.
We see Teddy Long in Ace’s office, dusting his things in a maid’s uniform. Aksana and her porn music walk in. Long says things have been unbearable, but knowing his grandkids’ college fund is safe and having her by his side, he feels a lot of better. Aksana says something about not knowing he had grandchildren. I don’t know. You can’t understand what she’s saying. Ace and Torres walk in and say Aksana’s new friend Antonio Cesaro will have a match tonight, and if he’s impressive, he gets a contract. He also makes Aksana the guest ring announcer, because that role carries any weight. Torres then tells Long he’ll have his own ringside commentary table, since Josh Mathews is out. Ace tells him not to worry, as Ace will be in his ear on headset the entire time, and won’t say anything without Ace’s approval. Ace gives him a “People Power” shirt as an alternative to his maid’s outfit.
MATCH 2: Ezekiel Jackson and Yoshi Tatsu vs. Titus O’Neil and Darren Young
We see Teddy Long at his own private commentary table, or the “Teddy Table” as Eve Torres oh-so-cleverly named it. Cole is bashing him for not signing O’Neil and Young when he was GM. Probably because they suck. Probably. Young and Tatsu start off in a tie-up. Young backs Tatsu into a corner. Tatsu reverses and nails some forearms. Young catches Tatsu with a Stun Gun off the ropes. O’Neil tags in and hits a forearm to the back off a snapmare by Young, which gets a 1-count. O’Neil hits a bodyslam. Young back in, and they hit a double shoulderblock. Young with an elbow for 2. Tatsu fires back some chops. Young dropkicks Zeke before kicking Young in the gut. O’Neil tags in, and they hit their version of the Code Red for the 3.
WINNERS: Titus O’Neil and Darren Young. I’m giving Young the nickname of “Choc Cena”. Probably won’t catch it on, but I don’t care. Tell me the guy doesn’t look like an African American John Cena. I dare you.
Up next, Cole’s “exclusive” interview with Randy Orton.
Back from the commercials, Michael Cole is in the ring, making an overly long introduction for Randy Orton. Orton makes his way out, looking over his shoulder every few seconds for Kane. Someone really needs to teach Orton proper beard-grooming. How does he look in the mirror every morning and not notice it’s all uneven? Cole is confident they can conduct this interview as two civil human beings. He mentions an edict that Laurinaitis has passed down that states any superstar who puts his/her hand on announcer will be suspended immediately. Orton says he’s aware, but when pushed too far, he doesn’t act rational. He’s a “shoot first, ask questions last” kind of guy. Cole shows us a video package for the feud between Orton and Kane. The basis for this feud is beyond stupid. After the long-ass video, Cole reminds Orton of Kane stating he has once again “become a monster”. How does Orton feel about a monster that was reborn because of Orton. Orton calls Cole “deep”. Orton says people say what happen at Wrestlemania goes down in history. In regards to his issues with Kane, they think about Kane beating him at Wrestlemania. This Sunday, Orton is going beyond pinning Kane in their match. Kane messed with Orton’s family. Even though there’s a part of him that wants to respect Kane, he refuses to accept it. At Extreme Rules, it’s Falls-Count-Anywhere, which essentially means there’s no rules Orton has to play by. Kane calls himself “the devil’s favorite demon”, but nothing the devil does can compare to the hell Orton will unleash on Kane this Sunday.
Jinder Mahal’s music hits for some reason. He still works here? Well, not for long, probably. He starts speaking in Farsi, before telling Orton that he and Kane will take each other down, and when they do, a new breed of stars will take their place at the top. Mahal basically calls himself better than Orton in various ways, and after Extreme Rules, Mahal will be waiting for him on the other side. He starts to leave, but Orton stops him. He asks if Mahal is an announcer. Mahal says no, before calling himself the “fastest rising athlete” (*snicker*)…Orton cuts him off, saying that while announcers are off limits…he drops the microphone and hits an RKO. Way to earn your paycheck, Mahal.
We see the outside of the building. Apparently, the show is taking place from Grand Rapids, MI.
MATCH 3: Tyson Kidd vs. Antonio Cesaro
Aksana does her awful ring announcing. I really hope Cesaro gets better music in the future, as his current theme is way too generic. Gotta say I’m excited about this match. Tie-up to start, with Kidd being backed into the corner. Cesaro hits a forearm to the gut, a kick and a headbutt. Sharp boot to the face before he grinds Kidd’s face into the mat. Elbow drop, followed by a delayed gutwrench suplex. Kidd reverses a bodyslam and hits a mule kick, but runs right into an elevated European uppercut by Cesaro. Awesome spot right there. Cesaro then hits a cradle facebuster that he apparently calls the “Gotch-Style Neutralizer” (according to the internet) and gets the 3.
WINNER: Antonio Cesaro. Total squash, but Cesaro looked damn good here, and that uppercut spot was vicious. I’m so glad to see him finally on the main roster. At this rate, WWE’s going to be stacked with young talent in just a couple months. After the match, Teddy Long gets ordered to raise Cesaro’s hand. Cesaro and Aksana then make out in front of him.
Now it’s time for a video package for Brock Lesnar that you’ve already seen numerous times.
We see Cody Rhodes heading towards the ring. He’ll be facing The Great Khali next.
“Total Blackout” might be one of the stupidest reality-game show concepts on television right now, and that’s saying something.
MATCH 4: The Great Khali vs. Cody Rhodes
I realize that Khali is still on the roster because he’s considered a huge star in India and helps WWE do big business when they tour there, but he needs to be kept booked strictly for those tours. His immobility is becoming on par with Giant Haystacks/Loch Ness, and it’s painful to watch. Rhodes immediately tries to take the legs out from Khali, but he blocks it and winds up hitting an open-hand chop to the chest. Rhodes chop blocks the leg, taking him down, followed by a leg DDT. Rhodes goes to the top and hits a missile dropkick for 2. Rhodes continues to work on the leg. Khali clubs him off with some forearm shots, but Rhodes stays on offense with a front chancery. Khali dumps him off awkwardly before hitting a couple clotheslines. He looks for the Punjabi Plunge, but Rhodes kicks him in the leg. Rhodes goes for the Beautiful Disaster, but Khali catches him by the throat and…hits the Plunge to get the 3? Really?
WINNER: The Great Khali. Why is Khali defeating Rhodes mere days before Rhodes’ IC title match, especially when Rhodes has easily beaten him in the past? Oh, and we learn that the stipulation for Rhodes/Show at Extreme Rules will be determined that night via a spin of a roulette wheel.
In the back, AW is laying into the WWE Tag Team Champions Primo & Epico, and Rosa. He says it’s embarrassing that they are the champions, yet still not on the PPV. He wants a decision from them by Monday in regards to representing them. Ryback walks by and simply stares them all down. AW follows him, wanting to talk to him.
We see the Usos watching this match in the back.
Before the match, Jacob Kaye says that Ryback’s streak of beating up nobodies ends tonight. He’s been waiting his whole life to escape this city, and he’ll be the first man to score a victory over Ryback.
MATCH 5: Jacob Kaye vs. Ryback
Kaye charges at Ryback, and Ryback throws him away. Ryback hits a big boot off the ropes, then chokes Kaye with his foot. Ryback hits a gorilla press powerslam before picking Kaye up by the ears. Ryback nails a big clothesline before hitting the running fisherman’s suplex for the 3.
WINNER: Ryback, who gets a pretty big pop upon victory. His finisher needs a really good name. Ryback screams “Give me more!” after the match. I like this gimmick.
We see video from last week, when Daniel Bryan officially dumped AJ, followed by AJ’s meltdown against Natalya. On a side note, you can’t see it in the video, but AJ actually split Natalya open in their “match”.
We see AJ walking in the back, when she’s stopped by Matt Striker. He asks her about her relationship with Bryan. She doesn’t answer. He asks about Bryan’s match on Sunday. She doesn’t answer. He continues with the questions, until Kaitlyn steps in and tells him AJ doesn’t need to answer these questions. After Striker walks away. Kaitlyn tells AJ this is a good thing, as Daniel Bryan is a jerk who didn’t respect or love her. AJ then slaps Kaitlyn in the face pretty damn hard before going back to her sulking.
[adinserter block=”1″]MATCH 6: World Champion Sheamus vs. Mark Henry (non-title)
Tie-up to start, with Henry powering Sheamus to the mat. Henry does it once again on a second attempt. Sheamus goes into a side headlock, which Henry quickly fights out of, backing Sheamus into the corner. He takes Sheamus down with a punch. Sheamus fights back with punches of his own. Henry hits a clothesline off the ropes. Henry goes for a short-arm clothesline, but Sheamus ducks, hits a chopblock and an armbar takedown for 2. Sheamus clubs the arm after an arm wringer, then twists again. Henry shoves him over the top rope with one hand before heading out himself. He throws Sheamus back in the ring, but Sheamus rolls to the apron. He gets to his feet after a punch to the face and follows up with a slingshot shoulderblock for 2. Henry slides to the floor as we go to commercials.
Back from the break, Henry hits a bodyslam off the ropes, but he misses the jumping splash. Henry rolls to the apron, where he’s in a prime spot for the tied-up forearm shots to the chest. Henry elbows Sheamus in the side of the head, then yanks Sheamus to the floor and into the barricade. Back up, Henry throws him into the barricade this time. Back in the ring, Henry gets only a 1-count. Henry with a headbutt before going into a double Trapezius claw. Sheamus fights back to his feet, but runs into a big boot off the ropes from Henry. Clothesline by Henry gets another 1-count. Sheamus slides to the corner, where Henry piefaces him down. Sheamus fights back again, but is once again taken down by a headbutt. Henry locks in a neck vice. Sheamus fights back one more time, hitting a pair of Irish Hammers of the ropes, followed by one to the face, finally taking Henry down. Sheamus lands a DDT for 2. Sheamus sets up for the Brogue Kick, which Henry sidesteps before hitting a hitting a clothesline for 2. Henry backs Sheamus into a corner, where he hits a forearm to the chest. Sheamus gets his boot up on the charge and goes up top to for the Battering Ram. Henry ducks, but Sheamus lands on his feet and rolls through, pops up quickly and nails the Brogue Kick for the 3.
WINNER: Sheamus. Daniel Bryan slowly makes his way out, applauding Sheamus from the stage. Sheamus challenges him to come down to the ring before grabbing a microphone. He then verbally challenges Bryan to come down here, fella. Sheamus accuses Bryan of being afraid of him since he can’t hide behind a referee’s shirt, or maybe he’s afraid of getting his head kicked off in 18 seconds. “18 seconds” chant starts in the crowd. Sheamus says Bryan got off easy at ‘Mania, but Danny Boy, come this Sunday, he won’t get off that easy. It won’t be a fluke. Will he kick Bryan’s arse to remain champion? The answer is Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes!
End of show.
Good episode tonight. I’m glad all of the new guys are being added to the SmackDown! roster, as it just makes my job that much more enjoyable. And the main event was surprisingly good, too.
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Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you next week.