Laying The Smackdown
By Tony Kegger

Hi, I’m Tony Kegger and I will be reviewing Smackdown here at Wrestling Rambles. I am going to try to review everything on the show so if you missed Smackdown this week, you should be able to decide if Smackdown is worth watching. I will also try to give my opinion on the segments and matches.

Smackdown was in Orlando, Florida this week. Smackdown was dedicated to WWE Hall of Famer Chief Jay Strongbow who died on April 3 at the age of 83. Smackdown starts with David Otunga introducing John Laurinaitis who is now the General Manager of Smackdown after Team Johnny defeated Team Teddy at WrestleMania. Otunga and Johnny then walk into the ring. Johnny says he is the most powerful man in the WWE, but he won’t abuse that power. He will use that power for the WWE Universe. Johnny says that this is the era of People Power. Johnny invites former Smackdown General Manager Teddy Long to the ring so Johnny can thank him for his years of service to Smackdown. Teddy makes his entrance and enters the ring. Johnny starts talking to Teddy, but Teddy interrupts him. Teddy says, “Being out of a job actually has one benefit…it gives me the freedom to tell you to go to hell.” Teddy says that everybody in the back told Teddy that he was crazy to show up at Smackdown tonight, but Teddy could not walk away from Smackdown without thanking the WWE Universe. Teddy asks for a “Holla Holla Holla” from the crowd. Teddy thanks the fans again and starts to leave the ring. Johnny never got a chance to talk to Teddy so Johnny stops him from leaving the ring. Johnny says that Teddy rudely interrupted him and didn’t allow Johnny to finish what he was going to say. Johnny offers Teddy a job in his administration. Teddy says he needs a job, but he won’t work Johnny. Teddy tells Johnny to take his job and shove it. Teddy doesn’t say where to shove it, but I think we all know where he meant. I guess Teddy didn’t want to steal The Rock’s catchphrase. Before Teddy leaves, Johnny mentions Teddy’s grandchildren and their college education. Teddy doesn’t understand what Johnny is talking about so Otunga explains it. Otunga reminds Teddy that the WWE Board of Directors established a college fund for Teddy’s grandchildren. Otunga says the college fund is controlled by the Smackdown General Manager. Johnny again offers a job to Teddy and says that Teddy’s college fund will be safe if Teddy accepts the job. Johnny extends his hand. Teddy tries to shake it, but Johnny brings his hand back. Johnny says that Teddy has to tell everyone that Johnny is better than Teddy before Teddy can get the job and save his grandchildren’s college fund. Teddy says that Johnny is better than him, but it was too quiet so Johnny makes Teddy say it again. Teddy says it louder and Johnny says Teddy can start working on his job. Teddy asks what his job is and Johnny tells him that he has not figured that out yet. I’m not surprised to find out that Teddy will still have a regular role on Smackdown. I think he will eventually get his general manager job back.
Teddy leaves the ring and Johnny announces the matches for the night. Johnny says R-Truth will face Otunga, but Otunga makes Johnny change it to a handicap match. Otunga’s partner will be Mark Henry.

R-Truth vs. David Otunga and Mark Henry

R-Truth and David Otunga start the match. R-Truth looks good against Otunga, but Otunga tags in Mark Henry and Mark Henry dominates R-Truth. Mark Henry hits R-Truth with the World’s Strongest Slam, but Otunga asks Mark Henry to tag him back in so he can get the pinfall. Mark Henry tags in Otunga and Otunga pins R-Truth for the three-count.

The action was good when Otunga and R-Truth were in the ring, but this match turned into a squash after Mark Henry entered the ring.

Winners: David Otunga and Mark Henry

Rating: ½*

After the match, Kane’s entrance music starts and Kane walks to the ring. Kane vs. Randy Orton in a no disqualification match is next.

Randy Orton vs. Kane (No DQ match)

This match starts in the ring, but less than a minute after the match started, both men are fighting outside the ring. They fight near the announce table and the ring steps for a little bit and then fight on the entrance ramp. Orton and Kane then start fighting on the top of the entrance stage. Orton tries to knock Kane off the stage and then Kane tries to chokeslam Orton off the stage. Orton stops the chokeslam, but Kane hits the DDT and Orton’s head slams onto the entrance stage. After a commercial break, Kane and Orton are back in the ring. They go back-and-forth in the ring, and then leave the ring again. Orton whips Kane into the barricade and then clotheslines Kane over the barricade into the area where the timekeeper is. Orton tries to hit a DDT on Kane, but Kane counters it. Kane hits Orton with a kick to the face. While Orton is down, Kane throws four chairs into the ring. Kane tosses Orton into the ring and then gets another chair. Orton stops Kane from entering the ring. Orton does a rope hung DDT and Kane’s head smacks one of the chairs in the ring. Kane kicks out of a pin. Orton goes for the RKO, but Kane counters it. Kane picks up a chair and hits Orton a few times. Orton kicks out of a pin. Kane goes for a chokeslam, but Orton pushes Kane into an exposed turnbuckle and then hits Kane with the RKO. Orton pins Kane and gets the win.
This match was better than their WrestleMania match, but I thought this match could have been a little bit better. There were some good spots for a free TV match, but I think they are saving better spots for the Extreme Rules Pay-Per-View.

Winner: Randy Orton

Rating: ***

Sheamus vs. Albert Del Rio is advertised for later tonight. Lillian Garcia introduces Barry Stevens who is already in the ring. Barry asks Lillian for the mic. Barry says he is honored to be here tonight. He says he heard this was the happiest place on earth, but he says it looks like the crowd is the rudest people on earth. Whoa, a jobber cutting a heel promo? I don’t remember seeing that before. Before Barry says anything else, music starts playing. It’s Skip Sheffield…oops…I mean Ryback! Josh Matthews acknowledges that Ryback was on the first season of NXT, but he doesn’t say that Ryback’s old name was Skip Sheffield.

Ryback vs. Barry Stevens

Barry Stevens doesn’t get in any offense and Ryback easily and quickly defeats Barry. It’s good to see Skip Sheffield back. I liked him and I like his Ryback gimmick. I think he would make a great heel, but I’m happy to see he is a face. I think it will be easy to root for him, so making him a face is probably the right decision. I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets a nice push soon, because this was an impressive debut/return in my opinion.

Winner: Ryback

Rating: No Rating (NR)

Daniel Bryan enters the ring after getting introduced by Lillian Garcia. There are some “Yes” chants in Orlando, but they don’t seem to be as strong as they were in Miami on RAW. Daniel Bryan starts to talk about the moment when things went off the tracks after everything went so right, but then Daniel Bryan stops talking. AJ tells Daniel Bryan that he is a great wrestler and person. The “Yes” chants get a little bit louder. AJ tells Daniel Bryan to listen to the fans and remember all the fans at WrestleMania who had “Yes” signs in the crowd. AJ also reminds Daniel Bryan about the fans at RAW who were chanting “Yes” when Daniel Bryan wasn’t even in the ring. The crowd starts a “Daniel Bryan” chant. AJ says everyone is here to support him. Daniel Bryan grabs the mic back and says it feels like the crowd is mocking him. Daniel Bryan says if the crowd was really supporting him, they wouldn’t have chanted yes for The Rock. Daniel Bryan says all the “Yes” chants doesn’t make it better that AJ cost him the World Heavyweight Championship. Daniel Bryan starts yelling and says that all of his prior accomplishments leading up to WrestleMania 28 were flushed down the toilet in 18 seconds. Daniel Bryan says the good luck kiss he received from AJ right before Sheamus beat him at WrestleMania is the reason he lost. Daniel Bryan says that AJ told him the kiss was a good luck charm, but it was actually the Kiss of Death. Daniel Bryan says it is AJ’s fault and she ruined everything. Daniel Bryan says when he gets his rematch against Sheamus, he will do it by himself. Daniel Bryan says that AJ is dead weight and his WrestleMania kiss will be the last kiss AJ gets from him. Daniel Bryan tells AJ to leave the ring and it sounds like some of the fans are chanting, “asshole asshole”. That was a great promo by Daniel Bryan. I haven’t really enjoyed his heel turn that much, but I enjoyed that promo. I’m hoping Daniel Bryan starts cutting more promos like that and stops cutting those “I’m a vegan” promos. I hope he gets his rematch at Extreme Rules.

Cody Rhodes joins the announcers at ringside. He will be doing guest commentary for the next match.

Big Show vs. Heath Slater

Before the match, the titantron shows photos of Cody Rhodes losing to Big Show and it is titled, “An Embarrassing Cody Rhodes WrestleMania Moment”. Slater gets in some offense against Big Show, but the match ends quickly after Big Show hits Slater with a chokeslam. This was a squash match and it was close to the same time length as the Ryback match.

Winner: Big Show

Rating: NR

Backstage, Johnny and Sheamus have a conversation. Johnny wants Sheamus to be more professional. Johnny asked the referee to bring Sheamus and Alberto Del Rio together face-to-face before their match starts so Sheamus can’t do an unexpected Brogue Kick like he did to Daniel Bryan at WrestleMania and Del Rio on RAW.

Beth Phoenix vs. Nikki Bella

I guess Nikki Bella is a face now. Kelly Kelly comes down to ring and watches the match from ringside. Kelly Kelly distracted Beth Phoenix and that helps Nikki get the win over Beth. That’s the third quick match of the night. It was more of an angle than a match. Maybe there will be a Beth Phoenix vs. Kelly Kelly match at Extreme Rules

Winner: Nikki Bella

Rating: NR

After a commercial break, Smackdown shows a tribute video for Chief Jay Strongbow who died earlier this week. He retired from the ring in 1985, so I don’t know much about him. Strongbow was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 1994 and I would love to learn more about him some day. It is nice to see the WWE honoring their legends.
After the tribute video, a man named Damien Sandow is shown on the screen. I don’t know where he is because the background is completely black. Damien talks about entertainment and says people don’t care about Shakespeare or Mozart anymore. Today, entertainment in our society is at an all-time low according to Damien and people are entertained by Desperate Housewives and The Jersey Shore. He says today’s people will be remembered as lazy, mediocre, and complacent. Damien says he wants to save people from that ignorance. I’m interested to see what happens in the future, but that wasn’t a very impactful debut. Right now, I don’t care much about this Damien Sandow guy, but maybe he can impress me later. It was a good sneak preview, but I want to see much more before I can determine if I like this guy or not.
Smackdown recaps Brock Lesnar’s return to the WWE. After the video recap, The Three Stooges are announced at RAW guest stars for next week. Alberto Del Rio’s music starts and it is time for the main event.

Sheamus vs. Alberto Del Rio

This match went back-and-forth for most of the match with Sheamus hitting his usual moves. Alberto Del Rio brings a chair into the ring while Ricardo Rodriguez is distracting Sheamus and the referee. While the referee is still distracted by Ricardo, Sheamus stops Del Rio from using the chair. Sheamus picks up the chair and the referee disqualifies Sheamus because he thinks Sheamus hit Del Rio with the chair. Del Rio is the winner of the match. After the match, Sheamus hits the referee with the Brogue Kick. I didn’t really enjoy this match. There was a lack of interesting spots. Also, I don’t really enjoy the wrestling styles of Sheamus and Del Rio. It is not a great match-up in my opinion. It was announced on RAW that Del Rio would get a future title shot if he won on Smackdown, so I’m interested in finding out when that title opportunity will happen.

Winner: Albert Del Rio

Rating: **

Best Superstar of Smackdown: Daniel Bryan

Daniel Bryan had a great promo and he got another great crowd reaction from the crowd for the third WWE event in a row.

Best Moment of Smackdown: Daniel Bryan’s promo
I enjoyed Daniel Bryan’s promo. He spoke with a lot of emotion and anger. Great promos like that will make him a multiple time World Champion in the WWE.

Matches to Watch: Kane vs. Randy Orton, Ryback vs. Barry Stevens

Matches to Skip: R-Truth vs. David Otunga and Mark Henry, Big Show vs. Heath Slater, Beth Phoenix vs. Nikki Bella, Sheamus vs. Alberto Del Rio

This Smackdown wasn’t very good this week. It had some interesting moments like Daniel Bryan’s promo, Ryback’s return, and a good Kane vs. Randy Orton match, but most of Smackdown wasn’t very enjoyable. I expect Smackdown to get a little bit more interesting as they get closer to Extreme Rules. I hope you enjoyed my first Smackdown review. It was longer than I wanted it to be and I’ll work on making these reviews shorter in the future.