Daniel Bryan cuts a promo to open the show. He talks about how happy he is to get rid of AJ. He talks about the loss at Mania not counting against him. Bryan finishes the promo asking his questions, and the crowd actually chants no very loudly when he asks if he will defeat Sheamus on Sunday. Alberto Del Rio comes out and mocks Bryan by having Ricardo chant “si”(yes, in Spanish) to all of his questions. Big Show interrupts Del Rio’s promo. He scares Bryan and Del Rio out of the ring and hits Ricardo with a chokeslam.
^Big Show appears to be getting a pretty good push. I like this one a lot better than his chase for the World Title late last year. His character isn’t horrible at all right now and I hope WWE continues to book him properly. Bryan is getting better at making the crowd not like him; this is good in the sense that it is exactly what WWE wanted.
Del Rio goes one on one with Big Show. Show has the upper hand and calls for the chokeslam when Cody Rhodes comes down and attacks Show. Show wins the match by DQ, but Del Rio and Rhodes attack Show after the match. Show recovers and ends up whipping Cody with his own belt before Cody rolls out of the ring..
^Del Rio and Show have now wrestled four or five times on tv, and it’s virtually been the same match every time. Does WWE really think this matchup is something special to watch? This Rhodes/Show rivalry is reaching it’s end, and it’s probably about time. Big Show needs to step up and defend the title against all the mid card heels on Smackdown, and Rhodes needs to go after bigger fish.
Backstage segment with Eve suggesting to John Laurinaitis that all the backstage employees wear nametags. Teddy Long comes into the scene and JL tells him that he now reports to Eve. She tells him to go find a nametag.
^I love the cruel humor that you get with heels in power. It makes them more despicable as characters and gets across the point that we’re supposed to hate them.
Damien Sandow cuts a promo on enlightenment. He says salvation is just one week away.
^Can’t wait to see Sandow develop into a star on Smackdown!
Alicia Fox goes one on one with Nikki Bella. Nikki switches places with Brie when the ref is distracted and Brie hits the x-factor and scores the pinfall on Fox.
^The Bellas could hold onto that title for quite some time with this booking trick, but I wonder how long before I find it stale.
Backstage segment with Darren Young, Titus O’Neil, and Yoshi Tatsu. The duo harasses Tatsu until Ezekial Jackson comes into the scene and says that he is Yoshi’s partner tonight.
^These two are funny together. Ezekial and Yoshi are on their way out the door.
Another backstage segment with Teddy Long and Aksana. They flirt a bit until JL and Eve come in. JL tells Aksana that he’s giving Antonio Cesaro a tryout match tonight and she can be the guest ring announcer. They tell Teddy that he will be doing commentary, but he won’t say a word unless JL tells him to. They make him wear a JL People Power t-shirt.
^Teddy Long must make a pretty nice paycheck to be willing to take the kayfabe humiliation week in and week out.
Yoshi Tatsu and Ezekial Jackson team up and face Darren Young and Titus O’Neil. Young and O’Neil win the match in less than two minutes.
^Young and O’Neil’s chemistry continues to shine in the ring together. Beating a pair of guys that are on the way out the door seems somewhat ironic when you consider how new these two are to the roster. Yoshi can still wrestle a great match, and it disappoints me that WWE didn’t take advantage of his character and talent to make something special out of him.
Michael Cole interviews Randy Orton in the ring. Orton tells Cole that not even the devil himself is capable of unleashing the Hell that he will bring this Sunday. Jinder Mahal interrupts the interview. Mahal tells Orton that he believes Kane and Orton will bring each other down. He says the time for a new breed of younger talent is now. Orton asks Mahal if he’s an announcer, because announces are off limits. Mahal says no and Orton nails him with an RKO.
^Jinder Mahal is another name that’s on the fence. I see Mahal being released within a few months. Orton has tons of steam going into this ppv, and I expect him to win his match on Sunday. Anybody else disappointed that Cole wasn’t on the receiving end of an RKO?
Antonio Cesaro goes one on one with Tyson Kidd. Cesaro gets the quick win using a modified piledriver/dominator when he slams Kidd down to the mat while facing down.
^I’d call this the match of the night, or maybe a tie with the Young/O’Neil tag match. Cesaro looked solid, but seeing him beat Kidd like that makes me think WWE is going to continue to use Tyson to make other guys look good in the ring. It disappoints me, but at least as a fan I can know that Tyson is one of the best wrestlers not being used on the main programs every week.
The Great Khali goes one on one with Cody Rhodes. Khali defeats Rhodes in exactly two minutes.
^Talk about confusing. A big win for Khali? Or is it a bad loss for Rhodes? I’m going to say it’s both, and I’m just trying to understand what the point of Rhodes losing was. Is Khali going to chase the IC Title if Rhodes wins it back on Sunday? Is Rhodes about to be held down for a longer amount of time and not move into the World Title picture like I’ve been hoping for?
Backstage segment with Abraham Washington convincing Primo and Epico to let him represent them and fix the problem with their lack of exposure as champions. Ryback comes through and Abraham wants to talk to him.
^Primo and Epico aren’t booked for Extreme Rules yet. I find this disappointing; the duo is a talented team that deserves to be treated with more relevance each week.
The Usos are shown backstage before jobber Jacob Kay goes one on one with Ryback. Ryback makes quick work of Kay.
^Another Ryback squash. I want to compliment the guy and say that I’m excited for him, but what I’m more excited for is his first major rivalry along with his first match that lasts more than two minutes. I want to see this guy do more! Maybe that’s what WWE is trying to do by having him come and go so quickly. Leaving the viewer wanting more…what a concept.
Backstage segment with AJ and Matt Striker. AJ won’t answer his questions and Kaitlyn walks up. She tries to talk sense into AJ. AJ slaps her.
^I’m hoping AJ costs Bryan the match on Sunday. On the other hand, this would be quite the work if her and Bryan were scheming and this was all an act to help Bryan win the title back from Sheamus this Sunday.
Sheamus takes on Mark Henry in the main event. Sheamus wins the match after about eight minutes with the brogue kick. Bryan comes out and stares at Sheamus from the top of the ramp. Sheamus calls Bryan a coward and asks the fans if he will beat Bryan on Sunday. Sheamus leads the crowd with a yes chant as the show goes off the air.
^Well, WWE accomplished it’s goal. The yes chants are now being used against Bryan,and more fans are booing than cheering him. Bryan’s a great wrestler, but WWE wants their PG product to make sense and wants their villains to be hated by the majority of the audience. They’re actually doing a pretty decent job of making that happen. Henry loses this week, and doesn’t get to be dominant. I assume next week he’ll squash somebody?
This was a solid show, but it didn’t really feel like a go home show for the pay per view this weekend. Regardless, I’m looking forward to Extreme Rules on Sunday. I’ll have my ROH column up next. Make sure to check out Thunder and Lightning’s take on Extreme Rules if you get the chance. Until next time, you’ve been ThunderStruck!
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