Welcome to the 3-9-12 edition of WWE Friday Night SmackDown! Tonight’s show will be run by RAW general manager John Laurinaitis, and he has made a match between Aksana and Kane. However, considering the match Teddy Long made for RAW last Monday (Khali/Otunga) never happened, something tells me this one won’t stick, either.
In the arena, we see a cage being lowered over the ring. David Otunga and Johnny Ace are in the ring as the cage comes down. Otunga introduces Ace. Ace tells us he is the man to run both shows, and he’s going to prove it. Teddy Long has never given us a championship cage match to open a show, which is exactly what he’s giving us right now.
MATCH 1-Cage Match for the WWE United States Championship: Champion Santino Marella vs. Jack Swagger (w/Vickie Guerrero and Dolph Ziggler)
I love how Lillian Garcia says “The only way to win is by pin, submission, or escaping the cage.” The fact that there are three ways to win the match means you can’t use the word “only” when explaining the rules. I have a feeling Marella’s short run is ending tonight, and that’s unfortunate. I like Marella with a singles title. The guy deserves it. Swagger throws Marella into the corner and fires off some punches, knocking him down to the mat. Corner whip by Swagger, and Marella runs into a belly-to-belly from Swagger for 2. Swagger drops some elbows before talking trash. Santino gets sent into the cage. Swagger’s new haircut sucks, BTW. Swagger hits a short-arm clothesline for 2. He goes for another one, but Santino ducks. He ducks a couple more clothesline attempts and jumps to the cage, trying to escape. After a first failed attempt, Marella comes off the cage with a cross body. Swagger catches him and lawn darts him into one of the cage walls. Marella manages to come back with some punches and a hip toss. The saluting headbutt connects for 2. Marella pulls out the sock, and signals for the Cobra. Ziggler begins trying to climb up the cage, but Marella knocks him off. From behind, Swagger looks for a back suplex, but Marella hits the Cobra on the way down. Referee Mike Chioda ejects Ziggler from ringside as we go to commercial.
WINNER AND STILL CHAMPION: Santino Marella. Honestly, I’m very pleasantly surprised here, not to mention that this was a damn good match. Marella’s “ultimate underdog” saga continues. Teddy Long meets him on the stage in order to congratulate him.
Later tonight, Michael Cole will be doing a face-to-face interview with Sheamus and World Champion Daniel Bryan. Also, the main event will be Sheamus, the Big Show and Randy Orton vs. Bryan, the Miz and IC Champion Cody Rhodes in a six-man tag team match.
We see a replay of Marella retaining his belt moments ago. Back in John Laurinaitis’ office. Ace is pissed, but David Otunga is trying to calm him down. Teddy Long walks in. Ace says that the match between Kane and Aksana will still take place tonight. Long wants to put their differences to the side. Ace isn’t having it. Long doesn’t want Aksana put in harm’s way. Ace asks Long to say “please”, which he does. Ace says he never got an apology for Long’s behavior when Long shoved him. Long apologizes, but Ace says it isn’t good enough. He wants to settle it man-to-man in the ring tonight. Ace says if Long beats him, the Kane/Aksana match will still happen tonight. Yeah, that makes sense.
RAW recap time for the HBK/Triple H/Undertaker saga.
Drew McIntyre makes his way out in his gear, with a pissed-off look on his face. The commentators are wondering why he was here since he was officially fired by Teddy Long last week. McIntyre grabs a mic and reminds us of him being fired last week. However, he’s here because of one man, and that is John Laurinaitis. Laurinaitis has given him an opportunity to regain his job tonight if he defeats a mystery opponent of Laurinaitis’ choosing.
MATCH 2: Drew McIntyre vs. The Great Khali
Yep. The mystery opponent is, surprise, Khali. However, before the match starts, David Otunga comes out and tells Khali he needs to have a seat at ringside, as he’s not actually in the match. Well, that was pointless. Otunga then introduces McIntyre’s actual opponent, which happens to be Hornswoggle.
MATCH 2: Drew McIntyre vs. Hornswoggle
Hornswoggle just runs around until McIntyre grabs him by the shirt and faceplants him in the mat. McIntyre hits a bodyslam for 2 before ending the pin attempt himself. Another bodyslam. McIntyre goes for the pin again, but again pulls up at 2. McIntyre picks him up, hits a backbreaker and just throws Hornswoggle off to the side like a piece of trash. The referee calls for the bell at this point, due to Hornswoggle being unable to continue.
WINNER: Drew McIntyre. Okay, can we get back to pushing this guy now? Oops. Before I can finish typing that, Khali comes in and lays McIntyre out with a brain chop before checking on Hornswoggle.
We see Teddy Long putting his gear on in the locker room. Aksana comes in crying, saying she’s scared for him. Long says he has to do this in order to make a good impression on the Board of Directors. Ace needs to be taught a lesson, and he’s gotta be the one to do it.
Did You Know? Andrew Jackson was the first president to have an assassination attempt against him? After his would be assassin fired on him with two pistols, missing both times, Jackson proceeded to beat the man nearly to death with a hickory cane.
We see John Laurinaitis in his locker room, warming up.
MATCH 3: Ezekiel Jackson vs. Mark Henry
Anyone else think that Zeke looks like a jacked up Ron Simmons now that he’s growing his hair out? Too bad for him he’ll never get to Simmons’ level of success. The match starts with the two big boys trading blows. Zeke ducks a clothesline and hits a corner clothesline of his own. He looks for the backbreaker, but Henry blocks it and begins knocking Zeke down with punches. Henry hits a hard bodyslam, but misses an elbow off the ropes. Zeke gets back up and hits a pair of corner clotheslines. Some punches follow. He looks for another clothesline, but Henry comes out of the corner with a forearm shot. One World’s Strongest Slam later, and this one’s over.
WINNER: Mark Henry, who is bleeding from the nose. Henry’s losing streak is also over, but I still wonder about his future in the company.
Long/Laurinaitis is up next.
MATCH 4: John Laurinaitis (w/David Otunga) vs. Teddy Long (w/Aksana)
Lillian Garcia gives the formal introductions for this match, and man, does she look tired. Ace is wearing the tightest Under Armour gear known to man. Before the match begins, Ace asks Long if he really wants to do this, as Kane is waiting in the wings. He tells Long to be a man and do the right thing, lay down, and show the WWE Universe who the better man is. Long refuses, so Ace calls for Kane. As he makes his way down, Aksana climbs into the ring instead of, you know, running away through the crowd, which would make more sense. As Kane begins to get in the ring, Randy Orton appears out of nowhere and lays Kane out on the floor with an RKO. So much for Kane being an indestructible monster since returning. As Ace is looking on, Teddy Long snags a quick schoolboy to get the 3.
WINNER: Teddy Long.
We see Long and Aksana very quickly leaving the building as Ace and Otunga continue to pace around the ring, looking all angrypants.
MATCH 5: Kofi Kingston and R-Truth vs. WWE Tag Team Champions Epico and Primo (w/Rosa Mendes)
So much for Truth’s main event push. Actually, both he and Kingston’s main event pushes got halted before they really ever got started, so I guess this makes sense. Rosa somehow got hotter this week. Wasn’t sure that was possible, but she did it. Epico starts off with Kingston, nailing some punches. Kingston blocks a hip toss with a monkey flip. Truth tags in, and he hits a double hip toss with Kingston. Dancing legdrop gets 2. Truth with an arm wringer as Kingston tags back in. Truth hits a jumping side kick, allowing Kingston to go for the pin, which only gets 2. Kingston ducks a clothesline and bounces off the ropes, but Primo holds them open, causing Kingston to fall to the floor. Primo tags in and hits some mounted punches on Kingston, who is now back in the ring. Epico tags back in and hits another punch. Kingston fires back from his knees, but Epico stops it with a butterfly suplex for 2. Epico goes into an abdominal stretch, which only works if your name is Antonio Inoki. Kingston fights out, but Epico quickly cuts him off with a front chancery. Kingston manages to tag Truth, but the referee doesn’t see it. Primo tags back in and hits a dropkick for 2. Rear chinlock by Primo now. Kingston fights his way back up and manages to kick out of the hold, but Primo hits a drop toe hold as Kingston tries to tag out. Kingston gets back to his feet and kicks Primo off, making the tag to Truth. Truth with a pair of clotheslines and an uppercut. Truth hits the Lie Detector off the ropes, but only gets 2 as Epico breaks it up. Kingston back drops Epico to the floor and hits Primo with the pendulum kick. Truth capitalizes and nails the What’s Up for the 3.
WINNERS: Kofi Kingston and R-Truth. Hopefully, this will lead to a Tag Team title match at WrestleMania for these four guys.
Did You Know? The role of Peggy’s uncleon “Married…With Children” was originally supposed to be heard rather than seen and was to be played by famous cross-dresser Divine. Unfortunately, Divine passed away before ever getting a chance to play the part.
More RAW recap time as we look at the issues between John Cena and the Rock.
Michael Cole is in the ring now, as it’s time for the face-to-face between Sheamus and Daniel Bryan. Sheamus makes his way out first. Commercials.
World Champion Daniel Bryan makes his way out after the break, accompanied by the oh-so-lovely AJ. I love the skull shirt and matching headband. Seriously. I do. Cole asks how much luck Bryan can contribute his success to. Bryan says when you’re as good as he is, you don’t need luck. It wasn’t luck when he won MITB. It wasn’t luck when he cashed in. It wasn’t luck when he beat Mark Henry in a lumberjack match. It wasn’t luck when he beat Henry and Show in a cage match at the Royal Rumble. It certainly wasn’t luck when he beat five other men at the Elimination Chamber. It has been the knowledge and scientific application of scientific wrestling, living a vegan lifestyle and charisma & undeniable sex appeal that contributes to his success. Cole tells Sheamus that his run lately has been about luck, including winning the Royal Rumble, and we could call it the “luck of the Irish”. Sheamus says everyone needs a bit of luck. He’s been a little lucky all of his life. He’s proud of his Irish heritage, but is also proud to be in the U.S. He’s lucky to be where he is, to be in the WWE, and to be wrestling in front of everybody. However, he has fought his way to the top. He’s had a bit of luck, but at least he didn’t hide behind a 99-pound little girl who looks like she should be in a Catholic school girl’s outfit. I completely agree, Sheamus. WWE and AJ, make it happen. Now. AJ starts to talk, but Daniel Bryan tells her to shut up. Bryan says she has nothing to do with his success, and if anything she’s gotten in the way, and he means that literally. Sheamus says it’s not AJ who should be wearing the skirt; it’s Daniel. He doesn’t know why, but he gets the impression Daniel Bryan is a whiny little wimp. At Wrestlemania, Bryan’s luck runs out when Sheamus beats him for the title.
Cody Rhodes’ music hits, as we’re about to start our main event.
MATCH 6: World Champion Daniel Bryan, The Miz and Intercontinental Champion Cody Rhodes (w/AJ) vs. The Big Show, Randy Orton and Sheamus
Sheamus and Rhodes start things off. Rhodes with a waistlock. Sheamus elbows out and hits a clothesline. Arm wringer by Sheamus as Orton tags in. Corner punches by Orton. Rhodes reverses a whip, and Orton counters with a clothesline and a stomp for 2. Rhodes snaps off a nice dropkick before tagging in Bryan. Bryan with some boots for a 2-count. Bryan fires off some corner punches, hits a corner whip and a dropkick for another 2. Orton hits a dropkick of his own before tagging in Show. Show knocks Bryan down with a headbutt, then lands a gut shot in the corner. Hard corner whip by Show, followed by a bodyslam. Bryan tags in Miz, who cautiously enters the ring. Miz tries for a kick, but Show catches the foot and shoves him down. He hits an open-hand chop in the corner before Miz tags out to Rhodes. Rhodes immediately tags Miz back in before jumping down to the floor. Show hip tosses Miz into the ring as we go to commercial.
WINNERS: The Big Show, Randy Orton and Sheamus. After the match, Kane comes in through the crowd and pulls Orton to the floor. They begin brawling at ringside, no-selling each others’ offense in the process. This is going to make for one boring-ass match at ‘Mania. Kane uppercuts Orton over the barricade, and they are now brawling in the crowd.
End of show.
Weird way to end the episode. Honestly, the best match of the night was the opener, although the tag team match was pretty solid, too.
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