This week’s WWE Friday Night SmackDown opens with the reigning WWE Champion, The Rock, making his way into the arena. We are just about a week away from Wrestlemania, so I guess they are trying to give him as much screen time as possible. About a month ago on RAW, Rock did “Story Time With The Rock”. He felt it should continue tonight, and the reason why is because, at 15, he moved with his family from Nashville, TN to a little town about an hour away from here, that being Bethlehem, PA. At 15, he was 6’4” and 220 lbs., rocking a creepy mustache. He asks if we want to see a picture of him at that age, and we see the same picture that’s been floating around on the internet.
He calls himself “looking like a bouncer from Menudo”, then demands the picture be taken off the screen. One of the great benefits of living in Bethlehem, he was an hour away from a special town. In that town, he and his friends went to a special park, rode some rides and ate some chocolate (they’re in Hershey, PA, BTW). He rambles for another minute before doing his “Finally…” bit. He continues telling stories about his childhood, talking about trying to find a Whatchamacalit candy bar. He found one, but someone else grabbed it. That night, he said something to that person, and that something was, “If you don’t put down that candy, I’m going to kick your candy ass.” Just like that, two seconds later, that old lady put that candy down and got the hell out of that store. Bottom line is that “kicking your candy ass” started right here in Hershey. A man will go to great lengths to get what he wants. That means candy bars, as well as beating John Cena at WM29. Last Monday on RAW, Cena got in his face and Rock kicked his candy ass. At WM29, Cena will come back with more passion and fire, but Rock will keep kicking his candy ass if Cena steps to him, and he’ll do it in front of the millions and millions…
We’re back, and Johnny Ace is now in the ring with Rock. Rock asks who in the blue hell Ace is. Ace says everyone knows who he is. His name is Mr. John Laurinaitis. He is the former executive V.P. of talent relations, and the former GM of the WWE. Rock says he doesn’t give a crap, and Ace interrupted story time. Ace says Teddy Long gave him permission to talk to Rock right now. Everyone thinks he’s going to talk too long and end up getting a Rock Bottom. That won’t happen, though, because he and Rock are a lot alike: Rock is the “People’s Champion”, and Ace created “People Power”. He was the greatest GM of all time, and it was ended by John Cena. Cena is the same reason he’s back tonight. The point is, John Cena will do whatever he needs to do at WM29, so he’s got a business proposition for Rock. At this point, Ace offers to be in the corner of Rock at WM29. The people may not like it, but does he want to be popular, or does he want to win? With Ace in his corner, there is no way Cena will beat him at WM29. In Rock’s corner, Ace can guarantee victory. He then compares them to a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. Rock says he loves those cups, but he feels it’s appropriate to involve the people. He asks if the fans would like to see this stale, old, indigestible, stick to the roof of your mouth until you want to vomit piece of peanut butter team up with the most electrifying piece of chocolate the world has ever seen? The crowd obviously boos, so Rock has a proposition for Ace now. It’s not a Rock Bottom. How about together, they send Cena a message together? Ace likes the idea, and Rock says the first part of the business deal is a handshake. Ace shakes his hand, and Rock won’t let go. Rock smiles for a moment and pulls Ace in for a spinebuster before hitting the People’s Elbow. Rock then tells Cena his candy ass is going down again, if you smell what The Rock is cookin’.
MATCH 1: Chris Jericho vs. Intercontinental Champion Wade Barrett (non-title)
The Miz is on commentary for this match. He gets a shot at the IC title at WM29 as a result of defeating Barrett on Monday night in a non-title match. Lock-up starts the match, and Barrett turns it into a side headlock before shouldering Jericho off the ropes. Jericho comes back with chops and a back elbow. He follows up with a dropkick before clotheslining Barrett to the floor. Jericho baseball slides him before slamming him face-first into the apron. Back in the ring, Jericho lays in some kicks until Barrett fires off some rights and headbutts. He stomps Jericho down in the corner, and Jericho counters a corner whip. Barrett backdrops Jericho to the outside, where he lands feet-first on the apron. Jericho starts to climb to the top, so Barrett boots him to the floor. Commercials.
We’re back, and Barrett has Jericho locked in a rear chinlock. Jericho fights out and knocks Barrett down with a pair of shoulderblocks. Barrett tries to throw him to the floor, and Jericho lands on the apron, goes to the top and comes off with a double axe handle. Barrett dodges the Lionsault, and Jericho runs right into the Winds of Change for 2. Jericho blocks a corner charge and goes up top, hitting a cross-body for 2. Jericho comes off the ropes, and Barrett catches him over his shoulders Jericho counters into a crucifix and tries to turn it into the Walls, but Barrett fights out. He charges in at Jericho, and Jericho sends him to the floor. Jericho goes for an inside-out plancha, but Barrett moves out of the way, sending Jericho crashing to the floor. Barrett rolls Jericho into the ring before talking some trash to Miz. Barrett eventually gets back in the ring and runs right into a Codebreaker by Jericho.
WINNER: Chris Jericho. Jericho says he’d love to savor this victory with every single Jerichoholic in this arena tonight, but as we can all see, the stage set-up indicates the man he’ll be facing at WM29 will be making his grandiose entrance. The problem is Jericho still can’t pronounce his name proplerly, but he’s going to try again. Jericho makes fun of Fandango’s name a bunch of time, ending with a lyric from Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody”. Fandango’s music hits, and his anonymous broad comes first, followed by Fandango himself. Fandango begins to stomp down to the ring, so Jericho goes to the apron and invites him to come in as the “You can’t wrestle” chants begin. Fandango backs off and twirls his broad around a few times before heading to the back.
We get an interview from earlier today with Josh Mathews interviewing Paul Heyman. Heyman stops the interview and says WM29 is a “must-lose” situation for Triple H. He meant not just Triple H’s in-ring career with this match, but his corporate career. After this match is over, Triple H will have to sit back and watch everyone else do what he loves, because Lesnar will take that option away from him. As a result, Trips will resent the entire locker room, because he will be jealous of them. The locker room will rebel against that jealousy and rise up against him. After all these years, Trips made the two biggest mistakes of his life: first, Trips thought he could compete intellectually with Heyman. Second, he thought he could compete physically with Brock Lesnar. Trips is no match for either of them.
Up next, Ryback faces Mark Henry in a “Bench Press Challenge”.
We get a “From the Vault” segment, which features a women’s tag team match between The Glamour Girls and The Jumping Bomb Angels. I certainly don’t mind seeing these segments, but I’m not sure why they’re featured on the show in this way.
Booker T and Teddy Long are on stage with a bench press set up. Tonight, before their match at WM29, two of the most powerful men in WWE will prove who is the strongest. This contest is also used in the NFL, and it’s called the “Bench Press Challenge”. Book first introduces Ryback. We find out the barbell holds 225 lbs., and the contest will be who can do more reps. Before Book can introduce Mark Henry, Teddy Long cuts him off and does the introduction himself. Apparently, the record for this weight is 51 reps. Book steps in between Henry and Ryback and tells them not to violate the “no-contact” clause, or they will be banned from WM29. Teddy and book then argue over who is going first, and Long tells Henry he’s up first. Henry does 53, which would break the record, but no officials from Guinness are here, so I guess it doesn’t matter. Ryback ties it at 53, and as he goes for 54, Henry grabs the barbell and begins pressing it against Ryback’s chest and throat, attempting to choke him. Technically, Henry only touched the bar, so he hasn’t violated the clause. And yes, I realize this set-up probably wasn’t regulation and the weights may have even been props. I’ve been around powerlifting and bodybuilding long enough to know better.
MATCH 2: AJ Lee and Dolph Ziggler (w/Big E. Langston) vs. WWE Tag Team Co-Champion Daniels Bryan and WWE Divas Champion Kaitlyn (w/Kane)
I wish WWE would decide if AJ is going by just AJ or using the surname Lee as well. Seems like it changes every week. The guys starts off this match with Ziggler applying a side headlock and knocking Bryan down with a shoulder off the ropes. He runs into a deep armdrag by Bryan, but fights out of an armbar. Kaitlyn tags in, which mean AJ comes in by default. AJ kicks Kaitlyn in the gut and lands a roundhouse to the face for 2 before slamming Kaitlyn’s head into the mat. She then hits a neckbreaker, rolls through and hits another one for another near-fall. AJ hits a spinning back kick, but Kaitlyn runs through her with a shoulderblock and tags in Bryan. Bryan hits a running clothesline and follows up with a corner dropkick. On the middle rope, Bryan hits a super hurricanrana, and Ziggler rolls through into a sunset flip for 2. Bryan nails several No! Kicks as AJ is distracting the referee. Langston trips Bryan, which allows Ziggler to hit a nice dropkick for 2. Kane drops Langston on the outside, and Ziggler nails him with a baseball slide. Bryan goes for the No! Lock, so Ziggler tags out to AJ. The guys fight on the outside, so AJ jumps on Bryan’s back. Ziggler kicks Bryan before he gets backdropped into the timekeeper’s area. On the apron, AJ hotshots Kaitlyn. She gets in the ring, and is immediately nailed with a spear for 3.
WINNERS: Daniel Bryan and Kaitlyn. This match was a lot of fun for being so short. Very fast-paced and high impact.
The Shield is somewhere in the back, talking about WM29. Dean Ambrose mentions clichés, and says the biggest one is Sheamus, Show and Orton claiming they can put their differences aside. Seth Rollins says they don’t stand a chance against The Shield. Their opposition will be lucky if they don’t implode before WM29. This is not a game; this is a story of justice, and the final chapter will be written by The Shield. After Wrestlemania you will believe. Believe in The Shield.
MATCH 3: The Great Khali (w/Hornswoggle and Natalya) vs. Jack Swagger (w/Zeb Colter)
Khali throws Swagger back out of a lock-up, then backs him into a corner with another one. Khali misses an open-hand chop and fires off some rights before running into a clothesline. Khali throws him back into the corner and connects with a chop this time. He throws Swagger into the adjacent corner for another chop, which also connects. He calls for the Punjabi Plunge, but Swagger breaks free and hits a series of kneelifts in the corner. Khali throws him off and hits a back elbow, followed by a big boot. Another clothesline by Khali, followed by another. He calls for the brain chop, but Swagger sees it coming and rolls to the floor. As Khali follows out, Swagger hotshots the leg and gets back in the ring, where he hits a running shoulder into Khali’s leg in the corner. Khali rolls to the floor and Swagger goes for the Patriot Lock. Khali kicks him off, so Swagger boots him in the face before applying the Patriot Lock. The ref is still counting, and gets to 10.
WINNER: Double Count-Out. Hornswoggle tries to break the hold by grabbing Swagger’s leg. Swagger and Colter corner him, and Swagger rams Hornswoggle face-first into the barricade, becoming my favorite wrestler ever in the process. Ricardo Rodriguez appears on the stage on a crutch, and he challenges Swagger to take him out a third time as he limps down the ramp. Alberto Del Rio slides into the ring and begins attacking Swagger before applying the jujigatame. Colter rakes ADR’s eyes, so Ricardo nails him with a crutch. He throws the crutch to ADR and ADR swings for the fences, but Swagger ducks both times and bails to the outside.
Video package for Antonio Cesaro.
Some woman named Renee Young is in the back with Sheamus, Randy Orton and The Big Show. She says no one would assume they could work together as a team. This segues into this past Monday on RAW, when the three of them managed to one-up The Shield by attacking first. Back to the interview, Young asks Orton how they are getting along. Orton says they have a common enemy, so it doesn’t matter. Sheamus says he’s set aside his differences with Show, and Show says he never had problems to begin with, and it’s not his problem Sheamus has trust issues. Orton steps in and says they need to focus, since they have a match tonight. Show and Sheamus agree. Orton says they’re on the same page, which is bad news for their opponents tonight, and worse news for The Shield.
Arnold Schwarzenegger has confirmed that he will be inducting his long-time friend Bruno Sammartino into the WWE Hall of Fame, which is pretty cool.
MATCH 4: Sheamus, Randy Orton and The Big Show vs. WWE United States Champion Antonio Cesaro and The Rhodes Scholars (Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow)
Before the match starts, Sandow says that, unlike this motley crew they are about to face this evening, he, Damien Sandow, his best friend, Cody Rhodes, and their esteemed colleague, Antonio Cesaro are the quintessential six-man team. Not only do they possess superior intelligence, they share a mutual distain for ignorance. Rhodes takes the mic and says their opponents have nothing common except that they are common. He refers to his team as the “instruments of their (Orton’s team) downfall”, and Cesaro yodels for a moment. You’re welcome! Orton and Cesaro start the match with a Cesaro side headlock. Crisscross ends in an Orton back elbow. Orton follows up with a European uppercut and tags in Sheamus, who beats Cesaro down in the adjacent corner. Cesaro counters a charge, then hits a series of forearms and uppercuts. Sheamus blocks a hip toss and nails a short-arm clothesline before tagging in Show. Cesaro tags out to Rhodes. Show shoves him into the corner, hits a body blow and a series of open-hand chops to the chest. He knocks Cesaro off the apron and scares Sandow off before hitting a bodyslam on Rhodes and tagging out to Orton. Commercials.
WINNERS: The Big Show, Randy Orton and Sheamus. The Shield’s music hits, and we see them coming down through the crowd. Instead of waiting, Show, Orton and Sheamus jump the barricade and start heading through the crowd, leading to a brawl between the two teams. They brawl up to the top of the arena, where the faces are getting the best of the fight. The Shield eventually manages to get away and exit the building as Show, Orton and Sheamus pose for the crowd.
End of show.
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