Welcome to the 3-23-12 edition of Friday Night Smackdown! Before I begin, I’d once again like to congratulate the boss man here at CCB on his brand new, beautiful baby daughter. I think you’re really going to love fatherhood. I didn’t think I ever would want kids, but after I had my own daughter 3 years ago, I wouldn’t change any of it for the world.
Tonight’s main event will be a bit of a Wrestlemania preview, as WWE Champion CM Punk teams up with Sheamus to take on World Champion Daniel Bryan and the Miz. Speaking of Bryan, he is already making his way down to the ring, accompanied by the ever-lovely AJ. AJ fetches a microphone for the champion. The first thing he says is, “Yes! Yes! Yes!” Love that catchphrase. Bryan could talk about himself all night, but he’s instead going to put AJ on the spot. He wants her to tell everyone what it’s like to be in love with the World Heavyweight Champion. First of all, she has a match tonight with Bryan in her corner…Bryan cuts her off and tells her to just answer the question. She describes being with him as “Heaven”. Daniel caresses her, and he has the softest lips. And sometimes, at night, we spoon. She starts to call him “Danny”, but he says that they discussed not calling him that in public. She lists off a bunch of positive adjectives, describing Daniel Bryan. As a vegan, his body is his temple. His mind and spirit are pure. Above all of that, he makes her feel safe, and that’s why she really enjoys cuddling. I am loving this. Bryan whispers something in her ear to say, but she doesn’t want to say it, as it’s too personal. He convinces her to anyway, and that personal statement is that Bryan is a great lover. And at Wrestlemania, he’s going to make Sheamus tap out, and therefore continue on his path to become the greatest of all time.
We see Mark Henry in the back, and he’s facing R-Truth next. What’s even more interesting, though, is he’s talking to Abraham Washington. Remember him?
MATCH 1: R-Truth vs. Mark Henry
Team Johnny has announced 5 members thus far, with Team Teddy announcing only 3. With Evan Bourne now out with a broken foot, his WM dreams are over for the year, and rumor is Rey Mysterio will take his spot on Team Teddy. I hope this is only a rumor. I want Mysterio off my television screen for as long as humanly possible. Henry ducks a charge and hits some punches and kicks, but is immediately taken down by a Henry headbutt. Henry jerks the arm and drops a forearm. Truth fights back with more punches and kicks, but once again, the offense is cut short, this time by a clothesline. Henry throws Truth to the outside. Henry follows, and pushes Truth’s face into the steps before throwing him back in the ring. Henry follows and hits a stomp. Truth tries to fight back, but Henry knocks him back down with a forearm. He picks Truth up and drops him with a right hand for 2. Henry goes for an elbow off the ropes, but Truth rolls out of the way. Truth lands a low seated dropkick and a snap DDT for 2. Truth goes up top and goes for a cross body, but Henry catches him in the World’s Strongest Slam for the 3.
WINNER: Mark Henry. Team Teddy is looking really weak going into Wrestlemania, which means they’ll still probably win. Sadly, I actually hope this is the case. As insufferable as Long can be, Johnny Ace is much, much worse.
Later tonight, the Big Show will face Kane in a rematch from RAW. Does anyone really give a damn?
Did You Know? Despite being one of the most quoted lines in pop culture history, “Beam me up, Scotty” is never actually uttered even once in a single Star Trek episode or film.
We get a video for the newest member of the WWE Hall of Fame, Class of 2012, that being the former 2-time WWF Champion, the late Yokozuna. Very deserving in my opinion. Despite his size, Yoko was very quick and innovative (he was doing the uranage for years before the Rock made it popular), and had an incredible grasp on the science of pro wrestling. He knew exactly how to use his size and work within his limitations while at the same time still making smaller opponents look credible.
We get video from last Monday, as Zack Ryder was rallying to get a spot on Team Teddy at Wrestlemania.
In the back, Teddy Long, Aksana, Kofi Kingston, Santino Marella and Zack Ryder are watching the footage. Long likes the rally, but thinks Ryder might be too distracted with the Eve Torres situation. Ryder brings in Hornswoggle, who is carrying a Team Teddy flag. Long says he can use a mascot, but a mascot and rally isn’t big enough. Ryder brings in the Great Khali, who is dressed like Ryder. Ryder says that, if Long makes him a member, Khali will be on the team as well. Khali does Ryder’s catchphrase, and Long agrees to both of them being on the team. So now, there are five on each team, with one spot for each left to fill.
MATCH 2: AJ (w/Daniel Bryan) vs. Brie Bella (w/Nikki Bella)
We get a cut-away promo from the Bellas. Brie tells Nikki that, since she lost last week, Brie will show her how to get the job done. Brie gets a side headlock on AJ. AJ tries to break free, but Brie whips her back down. Apparently, Daniel Bryan is dating Brie in real life. He better wear about 25 condoms each time they have sex. Just saying. Brie goes back to the headlock. AJ manages to fight out and hit a back elbow off the ropes. AJ charges in, but Brie catches her in a botched hotshot. Some really sloppy stomps by Brie get 2. How do you screw up a stomp? Brie mounts AJ and bangs her head into the mat before getting another 2. AJ reverses into a sunset flip for 2 of her own. Brie comes back with a clothesline and a modified rear chinlock. AJ once again fights with punches and kicks. Brie gets a knee to the gut. AJ catches a headscissors off the ropes and turns it into an fujiwara armbar, but Brie fell too early and botched the move. Nikki causes a distraction on the apron. Bryan gets up to argue with Nikki, which allows Brie to attack AJ from behind. However, AJ sees it coming and ducks, causing Brie to nail Nikki in the head. AJ schoolgirls Brie up for the 3.
WINNER: AJ. After the match, Nikki says Brie should have listened to her. Apparently, they disagree on a lot of things. Nikki is rooting for Team Teddy at WM, while Brie is rooting for Team Johnny. Nikki tries to get the crowd to do a “Go Team Teddy” chant, which was completely pointless, and the crowd could care less. Have I mentioned how awful the Bellas’ voices are?
MATCH 3: Jack Swagger (w/Vickie Guerrero) vs. Zack Ryder (w/Hornswoggle)
As Zack Ryder came out, my 3 year-old just said, “Woo woo woo!” She’s being raised right, I tells ya. Lock-up to start, with Ryder taking advantage with a headlock. Swagger rolls out, but Ryder gets in another headlock. Swagger reverses into a front chancery and turns it into a top wristlock. Ryder ducks a clothesline and manages to catch a roll-up for 2. Ryder hits a nice dropkick before nailing a couple punches. Swagger trips Ryder into the turnbuckles before hitting a power belly-to-belly for 2. Swagger gets Ryder into the corner and beats him down to the mat. Swagger hits an over-the-shoulder arm drag, followed by a second before turning back to the wristlock. Ryder fights back to his feet. Swagger back drops him over the top rope, but Ryder lands on his feet on the apron, hits a knee lift, and catches another knee out of the corner once back in. A pair of clotheslines by Ryder, followed by a facebuster. Running forearm in the corner sends Swagger down, allowing Ryder to nail a vicious Broski Boot for 2. Ryder looks for the Rough Ryder, but Swagger catches him and powerbombs him into the turnbuckles. Swagger hits the Swagger Bomb, but only gets 2. Swagger begins dropping elbows to the gut as Hornswoggle chases Vickie onto the apron. Swagger intervenes, scaring Hornswoggle away. This causes a momentary distraction , which allows Ryder to land the Rough Ryder for the 3.
WINNER: Zack Ryder. Aside from the crap on the outside, this was a good (albeit short) match.
We see footage of Cody Rhodes beating the hell out of Big Show this past Monday. Sadly, I don’t think Rhodes is breaking Honky Tonk Man’s title record once WM is over.
Earlier today, Matt Striker caught Rhodes for an interview. Rhodes is enjoying embarrassing Show with the WM clips from the past, and he enjoyed beating Show in the head this past Monday. The biggest embarrassment is still coming when Show loses to him on April 1st. Rhodes leaves, as he apparently has a plane to catch.
Show/Kane is next.
MATCH 4: The Big Show vs. Kane
Kane nails Show with a boot and some rights. Show fights back with rights and a headbutt. Kane ducks a chop, lands an uppercut and a corner clothesline. Show comes back with a clothesline of his own, sending Kane to the floor. Show follows and lands a headbutt. He goes for a clothesline, but Kane ducks, sending show arm-first into the ring post. Back in the ring, Kane hits some kicks to the head and a low dropkick for 1. Kane goes into a rear chinlock, causing Show to spit everywhere for some reason. Show manages to armdrag him off, and they hit simultaneous clotheslines on each other off the ropes. Both guys are on their knees, trading punches. They both fight back to their feet, and Show dominates with a headbutt and a pair of clotheslines. Show nails the hip bump in the corner and a shoulder block off the ropes. He looks for the chokeslam, but Kane kicks him in the knee and lands a DDT off the ropes for 2. Kane goes up for the non-flying clothesline, but Show catches him by the throat and lands the chokeslam. Cody Rhodes runs in from the crowd to attack Show, causing the DQ.
WINNER VIA DISQUALIFICATION: The Big Show. Show chases Rhodes out through the crowd. Moments later, Randy Orton slides in the ring out of nowhere and lands and RKO on Kane. Remember when Kane returned with the mask, and was touted as once again becoming the monster he once was? Apparently, neither does anyone else, as he’s been getting his ass handed to him every week since he came back.
Brodus Clay is in action next.
We see video of Stephanie Helmsley, Big Show and David Otunga talking to a classroom for the B.A. Star program. God, even when he’s not in character and trying to be a good guy, Otunga can’t stop carrying that damn coffee cup around.
MATCH 5: Heath Slater Brodus Clay (w/Cameron and Naomi)
I still find it sad that the very first person eliminated from Tough Enough (Cameron) is the first one to appear on both the main rosters on a regular basis. Even sadder is that Slater still has a job. Clay has noticeably trimmed down in the few weeks he was off TV. He’s still a big dude, but he’s definitely trying to drop some pounds. Slater tries to lock up, but Clay immediately whips him down. Punch and an elbow drop by Clay. Slater comes back with a dropkick to the knee and a really weak Ghetto Blaster, which doesn’t even get a 1. Slater continues the attack, but Clay immediately stops him with a headbutt to the gut. Punch to the gut and a kneelift by Clay before he hits the exploder suplex and the running splash for 3.
WINNER: Brodus Clay. Hearing Clay yell, “Oh, my bad!” after the gut punch was hilarious.
We see a bunch of tweets from fans who supposedly love the new WWE.com site. You all give a damn, too. I’m sure of it.
Did You Know? The world famous Venus de Milo statue was found purely by accident in a mud pit.
Backstage, we see Zack Ryder heading to the locker rooms, celebrating his win. Eve Torres stops him and says that he’s not going to Wrestlemania; THEY’RE going to Wrestlemania. Ryder says she’s not only beautiful, but smart. Eve acts offended, thinking Ryder didn’t think she was smart before. She calls off their dinner later and storms off, smiling once she’s a bit of distance away.
RAW Rebound time. Undertaker, Triple H, HBK, blah, blah, blah.
For all you Albert/A-Train fans, Lord Tensai is coming soon. He’s actually improved dramatically since leaving WWE nearly 8 years ago, and is expected to receive a massive push after Wrestlemania. This could be decent.
Christian joins the announce table for this next match.
MATCH 6: The Great Khali (w/Teddy Long) vs. Dolph Ziggler (w/John Laurinaitis and David Otunga)
Ziggler ducks a lock-up attempt, then tries to land some blows. Khali pushes him off and hits a clothesline, sending Ziggler to the floor. Ziggler gets back to the apron and is hip-tossed into the ring. Khali with another clothesline and an open-hand chop in the corner. Khali throws Ziggler into the adjacent corner and lands another open-hand chop. Ziggler fires off a quick dropkick to the knee, then attempts to beat Khali down with punches and a jumping elbow to the back of the head. Ziggler goes into a front chancery. Khali gets back to his feet and throws Ziggler off. Another pair of clotheslines from Khali, but Ziggler ducks the brain chop. He goes into the sleeperhold, and all of a sudden, the bell rings. John Laurinaitis is the one who rang the bell, and announces that Ziggler won the match by submission.
WINNER: Dolph Ziggler. Teddy Long gets on the microphone and says he doesn’t know what Ace thinks he’s doing, but we don’t roll like that. This match isn’t over, and if Ziggler can’t get back in the ring by 10, he loses this match. Ziggler doesn’t bother answering the count, and as a result, Khali wins via count-out.
WINNER: The Great Khali. Kofi Kingston and Santino Marella run down and throw Ziggler back in the ring, where he’s met by a brain chop from Khali. So far, Team Teddy is 3 for 3 tonight.
We see the Miz walking with Daniel Bryan and AJ in the back. Miz is telling Bryan that he needs Bryan to do this for him. Remember how, about two years ago, Miz was seen as a main eventer and Bryan as nothing more than an indy flash in the pan? Ah, I love how times have changed.
Lockout: Luc Besson+Guy Pierce=action flick with a paper thin plot. I’m definitely down for it.
MATCH 7: WWE Champion CM Punk and Sheamus vs. World Champion Daniel Bryan and The Miz (w/AJ)
Again, just a year ago, Sheamus/Bryan was bumped to a dark match at WM, and even then, it got turned into a battle royal. This year, they are in one of the main events for the World title. How do you not love that? Bryan’s fake girlfriend is so much better than his real one. Bryan and Sheamus start off, but Bryan immediately tags out to Miz. Sheamus lands a hip throw into a side headlock. Miz gets back to his feet and tries a hip toss, but Sheamus blocks it and lands a clothesline for 2. Punk tags in and lands a double axe handle to off the top to the arm for 2. Sheamus tags back in and hits the slingshot shoulderblock for 2. European uppercut from Sheamus. He telegraphs a back body drop, but still manages to hit the Irish Curse. Only gets 1, as Bryan breaks it up. Sheamus hip tosses Bryan into the ring. The distraction allows Miz to boot Sheamus to the floor, where Bryan lands a dropkick behind the referee’s back. Commercials.
WINNERS: CM Punk and Sheamus.
End of show.
I’m really looking forward to Bryan/Sheamus at Wrestlemania. And is it just me, or has Sheamus’ Brogue Kick gotten more vicious over time?
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Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you next week.