Welcome to Laying The Smackdown. WWE Smackdown is in Miami, Florida this week. Smackdown starts with Booker T and he enters the ring. Booker announces two matches…Antonio Cesaro vs. Randy Orton and Alberto Del Rio vs. Big Show in a Last Man Standing Match for the World Heavyweight Championship. Big Show comes out and he is angry. Big Show thinks Booker made this match so the crowd will embrace Del Rio and get behind him because Del Rio is Latino and Miami has a Latino population. Big Show wants Booker to change his mind. Del Rio comes out and attacks Big Show. Del Rio kicks Big Show out of the ring and Booker stops Del Rio from going outside the ring to where Big Show is.

Smackdown shows highlights of The Rock on Smackdown from the September 13, 2001 episode.

Randy Orton vs. Antonio Cesaro

This match ended early when The Shield entered the ring and attacked Orton. The match was good before the disqualification ending. The time length of the match shown on TV was 5:45.

Winner: Randy Orton via DQ

Rating: **1/4

Matt Striker interviews 3MB backstage. 3MB talk about the Royal Rumble match.

Smackdown shows a pre-taped segment of CM Punk and Paul Heyman at Miami’s Sun Life Stadium. That is the stadium that hosted WrestleMania 28 last year. Punk puts on a Dwayne Johnson Miami Hurricanes football jersey because Sun Life Stadium is the home of the Miami Hurricanes (the team The Rock played for in college). Punk says The Rock didn’t play there. He played at the Orange Bowl, but that stadium is gone now just like the WWE The Rock knew and loved is gone. This is CM Punk’s WWE and he says we live in the CM Punk era. Punk says The Rock can come back to Miami, but he can never go home.

Matt Striker interviews Del Rio in the locker room. Del Rio says the last man standing in the ring will be Alberto Del Rio and he will be the new World Heavyweight Champion.

Dolph Ziggler and AJ vs. The Great Khali and Natalya

AJ won after hitting Natalya with Sliced Bread #2. Quick match and that’s a good thing because I don’t think it would have been a good match. The time length of the match was 2:46.

Winners: Dolph Ziggler and AJ

Rating: *1/4

After the match, Big E. Langston hit Hornswoggle with his finishing move.

Smackdown goes back to Sun Life Stadium for another CM Punk pre-taped segment. Punk and Heyman talk about Rock thinking that he will become the new WWE Champion at Royal Rumble and that he is as talented as Punk, but he won’t and he’s not. Punk ends the segment by taking off The Rock’s football jersey and dropping it onto the field.

Smackdown shows another highlight video of The Rock on Smackdown. This video shows highlights of the Rock & Sock Connection. Mick Foley was one-half of the Rock & Sock Connection and WWE has officially announced on their website that he will be inducted into the 2013 WWE Hall of Fame. Foley is my second favorite wrestler of all-time and I have met him two times. I’m happy for him and this news doesn’t surprise me because Foley deserves to be in the WWE Hall of Fame.

Finally it has happened…The Rock has returned to the show that was named after a word The Rock used many times in his promos. And finally I am writing about The Rock in the column that was named after a catchphrase The Rock used many times in his promos. It’s been 10 years since WWE has seen The Rock on Smackdown, but it’s been longer than that for me. The last time I saw The Rock on Smackdown was when it was the WWF and not WWE and it was the Attitude Era and not the PG Era. The Rock does his ring entrance and enters the ring. The Rock talks a little bit about CM Punk, but mostly he talks about Miami. He gets interrupted by Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow. They want him to leave the ring, because they think they deserve the ring time more than Rock does. The Rock doesn’t leave the ring and he jokes about Cody’s mustache. Sandow decides to give Rock a quiz just like he did when he did when he was looking for his apprentice. Sandow asks Rock a question and Rock gets it right. Cody asks Rock the second question and Rock gets that question right too. Sandow starts to ask Rock the final question, but Rock wants to ask them a question. The Rocks says if they get it right, they will get a prize from The Rock. The question is: what happens when you combine a geological aggregate of minerals with its lowest form? Sandow says you get rock bottom and Rock hits Sandow with the Rock Bottom. Then, Rock hits Cody with the People’s Elbow.

Sheamus vs. 3MB

Sheamus won after hitting Heath Slater with the Brogue Kick. I’m not sure, but I think that is a new record for the shortest handicap match won by the person who had the disadvantage. The time length of this match was 0:45 and it would have been even shorter if 3MB didn’t leave the ring right after the match started. If the match officially started when Slater returned to the ring, the time length of the match would have been 12 seconds.

Winner: Sheamus

Rating: No Rating (NR)

Team Hell No vs. The Prime Time Players

Kane won with the chokeslam. This match wasn’t bad, but it was too short. The time length of the match was 2:20.

Winners: Team Hell No

Rating: NR

Smackdown announces Kaitlyn will face Eve for the Divas Championship on RAW this Monday.

Alberto Del Rio vs. Big Show (World Heavyweight Championship Match)

For matches, I usually just write one or two sentences about what happened in the match and one or two sentences about my thoughts of the match, but for this match, I will do play-by-play. Del Rio starts the match with some kicks to Big Show’s leg and then Big Show hits Del Rio with a headbutt. Big Show slaps Del Rio’s chest in the corner. Del Rio tries to fight back, but Big Show hits him on the back. Del Rio falls down. Big Show picks Del Rio up and slams him down to the mat. The ref begins to count. Del Rio is up at 4. Del Rio attacks Big Show’s knees, but Big Show hits Del Rio with another headbutt. Big Show puts Del Rio next to the ropes and slaps Del Rio’s chest. Big Show leaves the ring and sets up a table. Big Show pulls Del Rio out of the ring and slams him through the table. The ref counts and Del Rio is up at 6.

Big Show grabs a chair and tosses Del Rio back into the ring. Big Show is in the ring and Del Rio kicks Big Show. The chair is dropped. Del Rio picks up the chair and hits Big Show with it. Big Show is down on one knee. Big Show gets up and the ref didn’t count because only Big Show was not completely down. Del Rio knocks Big Show down to one knee again. Del Rio goes for the cross armbreaker, but Big Show tries to counter it. Big Show tries to toss Del Rio out of the ring, but Del Rio holds on. Del Rio’s back is on the ring apron, but he has the cross armbreaker on Big Show’s arm. Big Show lifts Del Rio a little bit and then slams him onto the ring apron. Del Rio releases the hold. Del Rio is on the floor outside the ring. The ref counts and Del Rio is up at 7.

[Commercial Break]

Big Show sets up a table next to the ring corner. Del Rio dropkicks Big Show through the table. Big Show is up at 6. Del Rio is on Big Show’s back…it’s a sleeper hold. Big Show gets Del Rio off him. They attack each other and then Big Show hits Del Rio with a chokeslam. Del Rio gets up at 8. Big Show knocks Del Rio out of the ring and then spears him through the ringside barrier. Del Rio gets up at 9. Del Rio and Big Show are back in the ring. Knockout punch by Big Show!  Del Rio is down! The ref is counting and Del Rio is slowly sliding out of the ring and his feet land on the floor at 8. The ref stops the count because Del Rio is on his feet. Big Show leaves the ring and picks up the steel steps. Big Show charges at Del Rio by the ring post, but Del Rio gets out of the way. The steps hit the ring post and Big Show is in pain. Del Rio picks up the steel steps and hits Big Show with the steps three times. Big Show is down behind the announce table. Del Rio flips over the announce table onto Big Show! The table is on top of Big Show and he can’t get up! The ref counts to 10! Del Rio wins! Del Rio is the new World Heavyweight Champion! The time length of the match shown on TV was 14:11.

Winner: Alberto Del Rio

Rating: ****

Smackdown ends with Del Rio and Ricardo Rodriguez celebrating in the crowd.

Matches to Watch: Randy Orton vs. Antonio Cesaro, Alberto Del Rio vs. Big Show

Matches to Skip: Dolph Ziggler and AJ vs. The Great Khali and Natalya, Sheamus vs. 3MB, Team Hell No vs. The Prime Time Players

Best Superstar of Smackdown: Alberto Del Rio

The Rock made his return to Smackdown, but this was Del Rio’s night. Great win over Big Show.

Best Moment of Smackdown: Alberto Del Rio winning the World Heavyweight Championship

I thought I would have given the “Best Moment” to The Rock’s return to Smackdown, but the “Best Moment” was Del Rio winning the World Heavyweight Championship. It was a better moment than I thought it would be and JBL had a great call. Here is what JBL said after Del Rio flipped the announce table onto Big Show:  “Big Show’s underneath that! Big Show’s underneath that! Oh my! You got to be kidding me! You got to be kidding me! Del Rio’s down as well! Big Show’s buried…Del Rio’s down! Del Rio’s up! This is it! This is it! We got a new World Heavyweight Champion! Ten! Unbelievable! Unbelievable! Unbelievable!” That was a great call at the end of a great match.

I think this Smackdown was very good. Not everything was great, but I loved the CM Punk segments, The Rock segment, and the World Heavyweight Championship match. I think that was the best Smackdown I have seen in years and one of the best endings to Smackdown I have ever seen.

This will be the last Laying The Smackdown for now. I am not sure it will ever return to Wrestling Rambles. I will be starting a new column in two weeks. Smackdown coverage will continue at Wrestling Rambles, but as of right now, I don’t know how Smackdown will be covered. If this is the final Laying The Smackdown at Wrestling Rambles, I think a Smackdown episode that had The Rock’s Smackdown return and a major title change is the best way to go out.


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