Date: April 6, 2012
Location: Orlando Amway Center, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: Michael Cole, Booker T, Josh Matthews
It’s the first show of the new year on Fridays and we have a new boss. Tonight we have Sheamus vs. Del Rio where if Del Rio wins he gets a title match at some later date. It should be interesting to see where Bryan goes after this as he’ll certainly get a rematch somewhere. It’s always interesting to see where things go immediately after Mania, so let’s get to it.
We open with Otunga introducing Johnny Ace to trumpet fanfare. David is wearing what can only be described as a suit jacket over his shoulders that would be big on Viscera. Ace talks about how he’s going to bring charisma and leadership to this show as it’s never been done before. This is a new era of people power. Ace hopes Teddy will be professional during this transition. He asks Teddy to come out and is almost immediately cut off in his smug speech. Teddy says he can tell Ace what he really thinks of him now that he’s out of a job.
He was told it would be crazy to come to Smackdown tonight but he couldn’t just leave the job without thanking the fans. He’s had a great job being the GM and he’d like a holla holla holla before he leaves. Teddy goes to leave but Ace says hang on a second. He offers Teddy a job in the new administration but Teddy turns it down.
Ace reminds him of his grandchildren who need to go to college. Otunga points out that somehow Ace controls the college fund the company set up for Long’s grandchildren, so Teddy reluctantly takes the job of Ace’s lackey. Oh wait first he also have to say that Ace is better than him or it doesn’t happen. Teddy says it but Ace wants to hear it once more, with feeling. No word on what the job is yet but it likely won’t be good for him. Teddy leaves and Ace announces Kane vs. Orton in a No DQ match, but first we have this.
Mark Henry/David Otunga vs. R-Truth
Apparently Booker has to be in Connecticut for a closed door meeting next week with the WWE bosses. Otunga starts and is quickly taken down by a clothesline for two. Lie Detector gets two. Henry comes in who kicks Truth down with a big boot. Abraham Washington is watching in the back. Truth avoids a charge in the corner and hits a side kick, but the World’s Strongest Slam kills him so that Otunga can get the pin at 2:03.
With all three of them still in the ring, here’s Kane. I guess they’re just cutting down the time between matches because he doesn’t do anything to any of them.
Kane vs. Randy Orton
This is a No DQ match. Kane knocks him to the floor very quickly but Orton rams him into the barricade. Kane sees Orton’s barricade and raises him a table to take over. Orton throws him over the table and then into the steps. This is a total brawl so far. Kane punches him up the ramp and they slug it out on the stage. Orton almost knocks Kane off the stage but Kane grabs him by the throat. Randy fights out of that and tries the RKO but Kane DDTs him as we take a break.
Back with them in the ring and Kane taking off the turnbuckle pad. Clothesline gets two for Kane. Orton breaks up the top rope clothesline and dropkicks Kane down. Powerslam looks to set up the RKO but Kane bails to the floor. He pulls Randy to the floor and they slug it out even more. Kane gets dropped on the barricade and a clothesline knocks him over into the time keeper’s area.
Orton tries the elevated DDT on the floor but Kane fights out of it and big boots Orton down. Kane goes under the ring and throws five chairs into the ring. As he comes back in though Orton kicks him in the face and pops him with the chair a few times. The Elevated DDT onto the chair gets two. Kane picks up the chair and goes off on Randy with it but can only get two. Here comes the chokeslam but Orton shoves him into the exposed buckle and the RKO finishes at 10:20 shown of 13:50.
Rating: B-. I liked the match but I think the one at Mania was better. Orton evening the score here is good as he’s been jobbing a lot lately, but I’m not sure I get the idea of having this rematch five days after Mania. This wasn’t the best No DQ match on Smackdown that I’ve ever seen but it did its job well enough.
We get a package of stills from Bryan vs. Sheamus. You know, to make sure no one sees the full version of it.
We get a clip from Raw with Del Rio and Sheamus.
Jobber Barry Stevens gets to talk while the lower card watches in the back for some reason. He thinks the people in Orlando are rude.
Ryback vs. Barry Stevens
Ryback is more famous as Skip Sheffield and is acknowledged as being on the first season of NXT but his name isn’t given. I’m assuming the roster was watching for Ryback. Total squash with a kind of delayed fisherman’s brainbuster getting the pin at 1:08. It looked kind of like a MuscleBuster but more like a suplex than dropping him on the back of his head.
Here are Bryan and AJ to talk about Sunday. Bryan says he’s had a chance to think since Sunday…and he tails off. AJ takes the mic and says that Bryan is a great wrestler and a great person. She’s not the only one that thinks that, drawing a loud YES chant. She talks about the YES signs and chants at Mania and Raw, even when Bryan wasn’t in the ring, which causes a Daniel Bryan chant. Everyone is here to support him.
Bryan doesn’t think that it’s support, but rather mocking. Fans: “NO! NO! NO!” These people are sheep and they don’t make it any better, because AJ cost him the title. He screams at her about how he beat giants in the cage and how he won the Chamber but AJ just had to have her kiss and cost him the title. It was really the kiss of death.
AJ tries to defend herself but Bryan says she won’t make him the bad guy because it’s her fault. It was her clinginess and selfishness that cost Bryan everything. That’ll never happen again because they’re through. He tells her to go sit in her SUV and eat a cheeseburger. Dang those are some serious words. She begs him to talk about this but he dumps her anyway and throws her out of his ring. The fans give her the Goodbye Song.
Big Show vs. Heath Slater
Cody is on commentary. Before the match Show airs the same video from Raw with Cody getting knocked out. Show chops him a lot and throws him around as Cody says he isn’t sure what went wrong on Sunday. Show tackles him and the chokeslam ends this at 1:14.
Cody almost goes in to fight Big Show but changes his mind. Show knocks out Slater with the WMD.
We get the Punk/Jericho segment from Raw with the alcohol.
The Bellas are in the back with Ace when Sheamus comes in. This is his first appearance as champion: a backstage segment. The referee has been told to bring Alberto and Sheamus face to face tonight so Sheamus can’t kick him in the face. Sheamus says ok and only those that deserve it will get a surprise kick. He talks about his cousin who was a bully and how he was in charge until the people rebelled against him. Subtle.
Beth Phoenix vs. Nikki Bella
Kelly comes out for no apparent reason. Total dominance until Kelly comes to the apron for no apparent reason. She distracts Beth who then charges shoulder first into the post, letting Nikki hit an X Factor for the pin at 59 seconds. This enhanced the show so much for me.
Video on Chief Jay Strongbow who passed away earlier this week.
We get a video on newcomer Damien Sandow, who talks about how real entertainment is a lost art. Instead of listening to Mozart or reading Shakespeare, we now watch Jersey Shore and Real Housewives. He doesn’t blame the people for it, but he will save you from it. Sandow is Idol Stevens from OVW and went by Sandow in FCW.
We get some videos of Cena before Mania, talking about how he has to win. This is followed up by Lesnar’s return and the F5. Once again Cole screws up the return as he sounds like he’s calling a Superstars comeback.
The Three Stooges cast will be guest starring on Raw. I really hope that doesn’t hurt the hot streak WWE has been on.
Alberto Del Rio vs. Sheamus
If Alberto wins, he gets a future title shot. We have about 15 minutes of airtime left and this is the first live appearance of Sheamus. That goes a long way in telling you where he stands in the company’s eyes. There’s a break between the entrances and Tuesday will be a live Blast From The Past Smackdown. That should be fun. Josh talks about a WWE Magazine article about what Del Rio’s trunks signify. Booker: “They mean he has money. Don’t overcomplicate things.”
Del Rio tries to go after the arm but Sheamus comes back with the Finlay fireman’s carry roll which I can’t think of the name of. Josh says this is for the title and that isn’t disputed by either other commentator, but I’m pretty sure it’s not on the line here. Alberto works on the arm but the Armbreaker is broken up and Sheamus tries a Brogue Kick which is ducked. Del Rio heads to the floor and we take a break.
Back with Sheamus getting two off the slingshot shoulder. Sheamus hits the ten forearms to the chest but Del Rio escapes and a running enziguri puts Sheamus on the floor. He rams Sheamus’ shoulder into the steps and hooks an arm hold back inside. Sheamus tries a neckbreaker but Del Rio escapes and goes back to the arm.
Alberto charges into the Irish Curse and both guys are down. Sheamus destroys him with power moves and calls for the Brogue Kick but Ricardo pops up for a distraction. Del Rio brings in a chair but Sheamus takes it away. The referee sees him holding it and calls for a DQ at 7:39 shown of 11:09. Sheamus didn’t use the chair.
Rating: C. I wasn’t into this match at all and it really wasn’t a good way to start off Sheamus’ reign. At the end of the day, Del Rio is boring. There’s NOTHING to his character besides he’s rich, he’s Mexican, and he uses a cross armbreaker. That’s it. He was showing some signs of being very evil and sinister when he injured Christian and stood over him with that evil smile, but now that’s all gone. There’s nothing to him but he stays in the title picture non-stop. I don’t get it.
Sheamus kicks the referee to end the show. Nice guy.
Overall Rating: C-. I really wasn’t into this show. They did a really bad job of showcasing the new champion, as he popped up halfway through the show for a pointless backstage segment, had a weak match which he lost, and was treated like a second act. This show was about Laurinitis who is most well known for being boring. That’s not exactly something that makes me want to watch Smackdown, but hopefully things get better next week.
David Otunga/Mark Henry b. R-Truth – Otunga pinned R-Truth after a World’s Strongest Slam
Randy Orton b. Kane – RKO
Ryback b. Barry Stevens – Delayed Fisherman’s Brainbuster
Big Show b. Heath Slater – Chokeslam
Nikki Bella b. Beth Phoenix – Facejam
Alberto Del Rio b. Sheamus via DQ when Sheamus was seen holding a chair
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