Welcome to the 3-16-12 edition of Friday Night SmackDown! We’re in Columbus, OH tonight, and we’re two weeks away from WrestleMania.
Show is off to a good start already, as former 2-time World Champion Christian returns to SmackDown! Despite being a heel, he gets a pretty major pop. He’s here for a new edition of “The Peep Show”. He welcomes us to the show. It will be interesting, because earlier this week, it was reported on WWE.com that there would be a 12-man tag team match between teams chosen by Teddy Long and John Laurinaitis. It will affect the future of the company, as the representative of the winning team will become the permanent GM of both shows. Christian then introduces us to Johnny Ace, along with his team captain, David Otunga. Ace welcomes Christian back, and says that it’s an honor to be on “The Peep Show”. Christian says it’s an honor to have “Mr. Excitement” in the same ring as “Captain Charisma”. He then introduces Teddy Long, who is accompanied by Aksana. Christian reminds us of the WM match before he says it’s time for him to make an impact as well. He wants each GM to take a few minutes to try and convince Christian why he should be on their team. He asks Long to go first, but Long says nothing and instead rolls his eyes. Christian continues to berate him about how valuable he is of a superstar. Christian wants what he deserves, and everyone knows what it is, and that is one more match for the World title. Long doesn’t like Christian, but respects everything Christian has ever done. However, he’s not going to get on his knees and beg Christian to be on his team at Wrestlemania. At the show, when Team Long wins, if they want a championship match, they will have to earn it. If Christian wants an opportunity, he’ll have to earn it. If a superstar bothers him or annoys him about title matches though, they won’t get one. Laurinaitis says it would be an honor for Christian to join his team, and when his team wins, Christian will definitely get his title match. Christian says when he gets his opportunity, he won’t fail, unlike Long, who failed right now. Tonight will be the night that the scales tipped, because it is the night he joins “Team Johnny”. We now have three members of each team. Long stops the celebration and says that, since Christian is back, the time for talking is over. Christian will be in action tonight. Laurinaitis says that won’t happen since Christian isn’t medically cleared. Long says that, since Christian is unable to compete then, he’s going to put Otunga in a match right now. Long then officially introduces Kofi Kingston as a member of “Team Teddy”. Kingston makes his way out, accompanied by WWE US Champion Santino Marella.
MATCH 1: David Otunga vs. Kofi Kingston (w/Santino Marella)
Back from the break, the match has already started. Otunga and Kingston are trading kicks. Kingston eventually dominates and gets a headlock. Laurinaitis and Long are on commentary. Kingston hits a back elbow off the ropes, but Otunga blocks a corner charge and lands some punches. Elbow off the ropes by Otunga, followed by another one. Otunga hooks in a dragon sleeper before hitting a few forearms to the chest for 2. Otunga mounts Kingston from behind and hits a few more forearms to the back. Rear chinlock with a knee to the back by Otunga. Kingston lands a kick off the ropes, but runs into a really awful powerslam by Otunga for 2. Otunga hits a corner clothesline, a corner whip and another corner clothesline. Booker references the WBF as Otunga poses. Kingston blocks another corner charge and hits the misdirection cross body from the top for 2. Some chops to the chest by Kingston, followed by a nice dropkick. Kingston goes for the Boom Drop, but Christian trips him up behind the referee’s back, allowing Otunga to land a clothesline. Long tells the ref what happened, and Christian gets ejected from ringside. Johnny Ace gets in Long’s face as Otunga takes off his belt. Marella grabs the belt from Otunga, but gets decked. Otunga turns around right into the Trouble in Paradise, and this one’s over.
Outside the divas locker room, Daniel Bryan is pacing back and forth. AJ eventually comes out. She says she doesn’t want to be ungrateful, but the dress he bought her doesn’t fit. If by “doesn’t fit”, she means skin tight and amazing-looking, then she’s correct. Bryan says it looked better on the mannequin. He says they are the new power couple in WWE. He’s the World Champion, and he wants her to be a champion, too. He’s got her a match tonight, and if she wins, she could get a future Divas Championship match. He’ll be in her corner tonight, and all she has to do is listen to him. He says the match is next as she thanks him.
Did You Know? In the film Sukiyaki Western Django, none of the actors (aside from Quentin Tarrantino) knew how to speak English and learned all of their lines phonetically.
MATCH 2: Nikki Bella (w/Brie Bella) vs. AJ (w/Daniel Bryan)
Have I mentioned that I love AJ? I have? Good. Bella gets on her knees, making fun of AJ’s height. AJ dropkicks the hell out of her ugly face. Bella comes back with some shots and a rolling neck snap for 2. She stands on AJ’s hair while pulling her up by both arms. Bella gets a modified rear chinlock on, and surprisingly, it looks like a halfway decent move. AJ eventually fights out, but Bella kicks her back down. AJ ducks a kick and lands a beautiful roundhouse. She gets her feet up on a corner charge, goes up top and hits a cross body. The Bellas try to switch, but Bryan points it out to the referee. Behind the ref’s back, Brie Bella reverse hot shots AJ. Nikki tries to finish it at this point, but AJ reverses into a schoolgirl and gets the 3.
WINNER: AJ. I was worried AJ might have gotten hurt on the cross body, as her landing was ugly. She seems to be okay, though.
Later tonight, Sheamus will take on Chris Jericho for the first time ever.
RAW Rebound time. Well, at least we got a little bit of the old John Cena (including his vastly superior old entrance theme), if even for a few minutes.
Matt Striker is in the back with Cody Rhodes. Rhodes has been making light of Big Show’s embarrassing ‘Mania records. How does Rhodes plan to be successful against an angry giant? Rhodes says that, despite Show’s destructive behavior, at Wrestlemania, he’s a choke artist. Show has never won one-on-one at ‘Mania. How will he beat Show? Just watch.
Rhodes/Great Khali is up next.
MATCH 3: The Great Khali vs. Intercontinental Champion Cody Rhodes (non-title)
Rhodes hits a kick to the leg, but Khali blocks the second attempt. Khali no-sells a chop to the chest and lands a right hand. Rhodes goes into the corner, taking a big open-hand chop to the chest and another punch off the ropes. Rhodes gets backed into the corner again, taking another chop. Khali goes for the Punjabi Plunge, but Rhodes dropkicks the knee and hits an armbar takedown. Rhodes gets in some stomps before locking in an armbar. Khali punches his way out, but Rhodes quickly goes after the leg before Khali can get to his feet. Khali fights Rhodes off once again. Rhodes goes for a spinning toe hold, but Khali kicks him off into the corner. Rhodes goes up top, but jumps off right into another chop. Pair of clotheslines by Khali, as he looks for the brain chop. Rhodes ducks and lands a hot shot and a kick to the back. Rhodes goes to the middle rope and hits a dropkick to the knee. Rhodes lands the Beautiful Disaster and gets the 3.
WINNER: Cody Rhodes.
Randy Orton is in the back and he’s heading to the ring to address Kane after the commercial break.
Randy Orton makes his way out. Does anyone else ever find it odd when these guys wear t-shirts with their regular wrestling gear? It just looks strange. In case we’re all stupid, Randy Orton introduces himself to us. Apparently, those in the crowd are indeed stupid, because they go nuts for this. Normally, he doesn’t talk about people he has problems with; he hunts them down. Lately, he’s been the hunted, and Kane is the hunter. They’re both down a path that will lead to them destroying each other, but before that happens, he wants to know why Kane chose him. He’s not John Cena; he embraces hate and hate embraces him. Call it morbid curiosity, but Orton is calling Kane out. When it comes time to put Kane down, Orton wants to know why he had to do it. The pyro goes off and the arena goes dark before Kane’s music hits. Kane asks Orton if living in the unknown makes him uncomfortable. Normally, he’d enjoy seeing Orton wondering when and how Kane would strike next. Since Orton asked so politely, Kane will play along. Apparently, Orton forgot about something that Kane obsesses over. We see some footage from last summer, that being a street fight between the two that ended with Orton delivering the RKO on a chair. After the match, Kane shook Orton’s hand before leaving the ring. That was July 22nd, 2011. Kane watches that footage every day to remind himself of what he had become-a wretched, mangled wretch of humanity. The person who shook Orton’s hand is gone. He’s been replaced by someone who doesn’t have a single vestige of humanity left in him; he’s been replaced by the monster Kane should have always been. The journey isn’t complete, and the WWE isn’t big enough for the both of them. Kane needs closure. He will not become whole again until he has completely and utterly decimated Orton. Orton says that was very enlightening and thanks Kane for that before telling him to shut up and get in the ring to see if he can finish what he started. Kane starts to walk down, but stops on the ramp. Actually, Randy, slaughtering you right now would not satiate Kane’s craving for suffering. When Kane ends Orton, he wants it on the biggest stage possible; he wants Orton’s demise to happen at Wrestlemania. Kane then sets off the pyro around the ring.
We get a commercial for the Law Offices of David Otunga. Personally, I’d hire Jackie Chiles before I’d hire Otunga or any member of his family.
Drew McIntyre makes his way out to the ring. Teddy Long comes on the TitanTron and tells us that McIntyre signed a new 1-year contract last week. Long’s fine with it, as it gives him a chance to put McIntyre in the ring with this man:
MATCH 4: Drew McIntyre vs. The Big Show
Show immediately backs McIntyre into the corner and gets in some gut shots. Show does the next thing in the adjacent corner before hitting an open-hand chop to the chest and a pair of bodyslams. Back to the corner, Show goes in for a charge, but McIntyre gets the boot up, the proceeds to clip the knee. Show is down, allowing McIntyre to hit some stomps. He looks for the Future Shock, but Show breaks free and lands a spear. Show follows up with a big chokeslam, then knocks McIntyre out with the WMD. The ref stops the match before Show can even go for the pin, as apparently McIntyre is out cold.
WINNER VIA KNOCKOUT: The Big Show. We see Cody Rhodes watching on a monitor in the locker room area.
Did You Know? The show NewsRadio was going to end after four seasons when Phil Hartman died, but was brought back for a fifth when Jon Lovitz agreed to do the show as a tribute to Hartman, a very close friend.
MATCH 5: Mark Henry vs. Yoshi Tatsu
Yes, Tatsu is actually getting a SmackDown! match this week. Granted, he’s about to be squashed. Tatsu lands a dropkick and some kicks to the ribs. Henry no-sells it all after a chop. One headbutt takes Tatsu down immediately. Henry chokes Tatsu under the bottom rope before kicking him in the ribs. Henry picks him up, gets him in the forearm and clubs him in the chest with a forearm. Henry hits a running over-the-shoulder powerslam, then slaps Tatsu in the head. Henry very quickly lands the World’s Strongest Slam and gets the 3.
WINNER: Mark Henry.
We get some clips from Zack Ryder’s Z! True Long Island Story, with Zack petitioning to get a spot on “Team Teddy”.
Sheamus/Jericho is up next.
Chris Jericho makes his way out for the main event. Before the match, Jericho addresses what he said on RAW. A lot of people aren’t happy with what he said and want him to apologize. He’s not going to do that. You can’t go over the line when you’re telling the truth. The truth about CM Punk is he’s a fraud. He’s a man who has tattoos all over his body to hide the fact that he has an alcoholic gene running through his veins. He knows the real CM Punk, better than Punk knows himself. As a child, Punk stayed up late at night crying because of his father. Every time he unleashes a “pipe bomb”, it’s because he wishes he could do the same thing to his friends and family. Every time he comes to the ring and hears fans chanting for him, he really wishes the demons in his head would go away. Punk wishes he was the best in the world, but he is not; Jericho is the best in the world at everything he does while Punk only pretends. Punk wishes he was Jericho, just like everyone else. Night in, night out, he proves everything he says is true. He’ll prove it tonight, he’ll prove it at Wrestlemania, and he’ll prove it when he leaves ‘Mania as the new WWE Champion. At the ‘Mania after-party, he’s going to fix himself a nice, stiff cocktail, take a big drink, hold it up to the sky and make a nice toast, not just to himself, but also to CM Punk and his pathetic father. So, go ahead. For one of the last times, chant for CM Punk. Jericho begins chanting “CM Drunk” before dropping a “pipe bomb” of his own.
MATCH 6: Chris Jericho vs. Sheamus
People can make fun of Jericho’s coat all they want, but I guarantee each of those people would wear the hell out of it if they owned one themselves. Tie-up to start, with Sheamus powering Jericho down. Jericho with a kick to the gut and some punches, but Sheamus hits a few punches of his own. Back elbow off the ropes, followed by a European uppercut by Sheamus. Sheamus traps Jericho in the corner and hits some knee lifts. Jericho goes into the ropes, holds on and slides to the floor. Sheamus chases him back into the ring and hits a slingshot shoulderblock for 2. Sheamus backs Jericho into the corner again, and begins working the left arm over the top rope. Jericho fights back with some corner chops, but misses a charge off a corner whip, crashing to the floor. Sheamus pulls him back him up to the ring apron and lands the forearms to the chest. Delayed vertical suplex sends Jericho to the mat for 2. Jericho manages to low-bridge Sheamus off a bounce off the ropes, sending him to the floor. Sheamus gets back up, but Jericho baseball slides him back down again. World Champion Daniel Bryan and AJ begin making their way down to the ring as we go to commercials.
WINNER VIA COUNT-OUT: Chris Jericho. Sheamus gets back up and briefly chases Bryan up the ramp. As Jericho is celebrating, he turns around right into a nasty Brogue Kick from Sheamus.
End of show.
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