They show a graphic that dedicates the broadcast to the memory of WWE Hall of Famer Chief Jay Strongbow.
“Yes sir, we promised you a great main event…” The WWE video leads us into the show.
They show some still photos from the General Manager match at WrestleMania XXVIII. The Laurinaitis Era begins tonight, and it’s all about people power.
David Otunga’s music hits, and he comes out to the stage. Otunga takes a sip of coffee and says it’s his esteemed pleasure to introduce us to the Executive Vice President of Talent Relations and the General Manager of Raw and Smackdown, Mr. John Laurinaitis. Laurinaitis walks out smiling to some heroic music. They walk down to the ring together. Laurinaitis welcomes the crowd to Smackdown, and he says they must be as excited as he is for his first Smackdown as General Manager. They should be because Smackdown will have the fair and competent leadership that it’s lacked in the past. Laurinaitis says hello to Booker T, who was on the opposing team at WrestleMania. Laurinaitis says he may be the most powerful man in the WWE, but he won’t abuse that power. He’ll use it for the WWE Universe. This is the age of a new era, and that new era is people power.
Talking about people, he’d like to talk about Teddy Long. In this transition, he hopes Teddy Long will be professional and classy, and he’s sure he will be. That’s why he and David Otunga ask that Teddy Long come out so he can thank him for his years of service to Smackdown. Laurinaitis asks Teddy Long to come to the ring.
Teddy Long’s music hits, and he sadly makes his way to the ring. The crowd chants, “Teddy.” Laurinaitis says the last couple of days must have been really crazy for Long. Long interrupts him, and he says being out of a job actually has one benefit. It gives him the freedom to tell Laurinaitis to go to hell. Long says he didn’t come out to whine and complain about what happened this past Sunday. What’s done is done, and he has to live with it. People have been saying he’s crazy to show up and go out to the ring. The fact of the matter is he could not walk away from Smackdown, the greatest job he’s ever had in his life, without thanking the people who made it happen: the WWE Universe. Long hopes that all of them have had as much fun watching Smackdown as he’s had being its General Manager. Until they meet again, he asks for a “Holla, holla, holla.” They give it to him, and his music hits.
Laurinaitis orders his music to stop. Laurinaitis says Long didn’t allow him to finish. Laurinaitis wants Long to take a new job in his administration. Long says he does need a job, but not working for him. Laurinaitis can take his job and shove it! Laurinaitis says Long is a proud man, but he’s forgetting something about his grandchildren and their college education. Long asks what he means. Otunga says the WWE Board of Directors established a college fund for his three grandkids. Otunga says he reviewed the paperwork and it turns out that the college fund is technically controlled by whoever is the Smackdown General Manager. Long says they’re going too far, and he warns them not to mess with his grandkids.
Laurinaitis says he’s offering him the job, and he suggests he take it. His grandkid’s college education will be safe. Laurinaitis says his word is golden so he can trust him. Laurinaitis extends his hand, but he quickly takes it away when Long goes for the shake. Laurinaitis says he needs Long to do one thing: tell everyone that he’s better than Long. If he does that then his grandkid’s college fun will be secured. Will Long choose his pride or his grandkid’s college education? Long thinks about it before quietly saying that Laurinaitis is better than him. Laurinaitis makes him repeat it, and Long does. Laurinaitis says that’s the best decision he’s ever made in his life. Laurinaitis tells him to go to the back to start his new job. Long asks what it is, and Laurinaitis says he hasn’t figured it out yet, but Smackdown has a lot of jobs.
Laurinaitis asks the crowd to cheer for Teddy Long. Laurinaitis says tonight will be a great show. We’ll see Randy Orton take on Kane in a WrestleMania XXVIII rematch with no disqualifications! We’ll also see Teddy Long’s R-Truth take on Team Johnny’s David Otunga and Mark Henry! The crowd boos, and Laurinaitis says that’s what the people want!
They show some great still photos from WrestleMania XXVIII.
David Otunga and Mark Henry vs. R-Truth
David Otunga will start the match for his team against R-Truth. Otunga kicks, and R-Truth punches back. They trade back and forth before Otunga kicks him. Otunga sends him to the corner, but R-Truth slingshots over, does a cartwheel, and he dances. R-Truth splits under a clothesline and hits a jumping calf kick for a one count. R-Truth asks, “What’s up” before punching Otunga. Otunga reverses a whip, but R-Truth comes right back with the Lie Detector for a near fall. Mark Henry is quickly tagged in. R-Truth ducks a lock up, and he punches away at him. R-Truth goes into the ropes, and Henry takes him down. Abraham Washington is seen watching backstage. Henry talks trash to R-Truth.
Henry sends him to the corner and R-Truth sidesteps a splash. R-Truth goes for a jumping calf kick, but Henry catches him with the World’s Strongest Slam. Otunga yells that he can get R-Truth now. Otunga is tagged in, and he picks up the easy win.
Winners by Pinfall: David Otunga and Mark Henry
Match Rating: 1/2 *
As Mark Henry and David Otunga celebrate in the ring, Kane’s pyro explodes on the stage. They quickly get out as the Big Red Machine makes his way to the ring. He’ll take on Randy Orton in a WrestleMania XXVIII rematch next.
WrestleMania XXVIII Rematch – No Disqualifications
Kane vs. Randy Orton
Charles Robinson, my favorite referee in the world, is the official for this match. They circle the ring, and Orton punches away at Kane. Kane punches him back, and he lands a nice uppercut that takes Orton down. Kane clotheslines him out of the ring, and he quickly follows. Orton kicks and punches him before sending him into the barricade. Kane quickly comes back, and he bounces him off the announcers’ table. Orton blocks a move into the stairs, punches Kane, and he sends him over the table. Orton punches him back, but Kane blocks a stair shot. Kane then bounces Orton’s face off the stairs. Kane takes him to the other steps, and he slams Orton’s head into it. Kane punches him up the ramp, and Orton comes back with some punches of his own. Kane quickly cuts him off, and he slams his face on the stage. Orton punches him to the edge of the stage, and Kane catches him with a Chokeslam attempt. Orton fights out, and he kicks Kane in the knee. Kane blocks an RKO, and he DDTs Orton the stage! Orton appears to have a cut on the top of his head as we go to commercial!
We come back from the break to see Kane kick Orton in the head. Kane exposes the turnbuckle, but Orton blocks a move into it. Orton punches him back and goes to whip him into the exposed turnbuckle, but Kane blocks it. Kane sends him to a corner and clotheslines him there for a two count. Kane punches away at him, hits a snapmare and a low dropkick to the face for a near fall. Kane goes to the top rope, and Orton crotches him up there. Kane falls to the mat.
Orton clotheslines him a few times, but Kane doesn’t go down. Orton hits a picture perfect dropkick that takes him down. Orton hits a powerslam and goes for the hanging DDT, but Kane counters by snapping him off the top rope. Orton goes to the outside, and he blocks a whip into the barricade. Orton sends Kane into the barricade before clotheslining him into the timekeeper’s area. Orton goes for a hanging DDT onto the floor, but Kane counters into a powerslam attempt. Orton slides off and sends him to the ring post, but Kane holds up. Kane then big boots him down. Kane throws a bunch of chairs into the ring.
Kane puts Orton into the ring, and Orton kicks him as he comes in. Orton bashes the edge of the chair off Kane’s head a few times before hitting a hanging DDT onto the chair! Orton covers him for a near fall. Orton goes for an RKO, but Kane pushes him off. Kane hits him with the chair a bunch of times before covering for a near fall of his own. Kane can’t believe it. Kane puts a chair in the middle of the ring, and he signals for a Chokeslam. Orton gets out of it, and he pushes him sternum first into the exposed turnbuckle! Orton hits a quick RKO for the win!
Winner by Pinfall: Randy Orton
Match Rating: ** 1/2
We’ll see what The Rock and John Cena had to say on Raw, and we’ll see the return of Brock Lesnar. We’ll see some footage of World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus, next.
They show some still photos of the 18-second World Heavyweight Championship match between Daniel Bryan and Sheamus. They then show some footage of Alberto Del Rio confronting Sheamus on Raw, only to get a Brogue Kick. Sheamus will take him on later tonight.
JOBBER ALERT: Barry Stevens is in the ring with no TV entrance. He even gets on the microphone, and he says the people of Orlando are the rudest people on earth. They show some WWE superstars backstage making fun of him.
Barry Stevens vs. Ryback
Ryback is the former Skip Sheffield. They lock up, and Ryback quickly powers him to the corner. Ryback drives his shoulder into him, and he clubs him down. Ryback throws him down, picks him up, and gives him a military press powerslam! They show the superstars laughing at him. Ryback gives him a running fisherman’s suplex for the win.
Winner by Pinfall: Ryback
Match Rating: N/A
Daniel Bryan is seen walking backstage with AJ. He’ll address the World Heavyweight Championship situation, next.
They show some more still photos from WrestleMania XXVIII, including John Cena hugging Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees.
Daniel Bryan addresses the World Heavyweight Championship situation
The crowd showers him with “Yes” chants. Bryan says if there was one positive thing to come out of this week, it’s that he finally had a chance to think. He had a chance to think about how everything was going so right, and then it went so wrong. Bryan realizes the moment it went off the tracks. Bryan puts his head down, and AJ takes the microphone. AJ says he’s a great wrestler and a great person. She’s not the only one who thinks that. The crowd loudly chants, “Yes.” AJ tells him to listen to the people, and she reminds him of the WrestleMania and Raw chants. They’re all here right now to support him.
Bryan takes the microphone back, and he sarcastically says the people are supporting him. They chant, “Yes.” Bryan says it’s funny because it feels like they’re mocking him. If they were supporting him, they wouldn’t have chanted “Yes” for The Rock. They’re mocking him, and even if they mean it, all the “Yes” chants from these sheep doesn’t make it better that AJ cost him his World Heavyweight Championship. Bryan screams, “18-seconds” at her. He defeated two giants inside a steel cage match at the Royal Rumble, overcame five other superstars at Elimination Chamber, and in 18-seconds at WrestleMania it was all flushed down the toilet – all because AJ just had to have that kiss. AJ looks like she’s going to cry as the crowd chants, “18-seconds.” That kiss was supposed to be his good luck charm, but it was the kiss of death.
AJ tries to explain, but Bryan says she doesn’t get to rewrite the story and make him the bad guy. This is her fault. He had everything going for him. It was his first ever WrestleMania, and he was walking in as the World Heavyweight Champion. He dreamed about that ever since he was a little kid, and AJ ruined everything. She just had to steal the spotlight. Her unbelievable selfishness and clinginess cost him what should have been the greatest night of his life. He hopes she’s happy with herself because he will never let her ruin his life like that again. AJ pleads with him, and Bryan says he has a rematch clause with Sheamus. When he gets that match he’ll do it the right way – by himself. Bryan tells her to get in her gas guzzling SUV and cry over her disgusting cheeseburgers that she loves so much because he’s ready to get rid of all this dead weight. AJ pleads to talk backstage, but he says no. He says he hopes the kiss at WrestleMania was worth it because it’s the last one she’ll ever get from him. They are through!
Bryan tells her to get out of the ring. She pleads with him, and then he screams for her to get out. Bryan turns his back on her, and she leaves the ring. You can hear over the fake boos that the crowd is chanting, “Na-na-na-na” at her.
They show some still photographs of the “End of an Era” match between Undertaker and Triple H.
Cody Rhodes is on commentary for the next match. He’s not happy about being reminded that his Intercontinental Championship reign came to an end at WrestleMania. Heath Slater is in the ring with no TV entrance.
Heath Slater vs. Big Show
Before the match begins, Big Show shows a video called, “Another Embarrassing Cody Rhodes WrestleMania Moment.” It’s some photos of Big Show giving Rhodes the WMD to win the Intercontinental Championship at WrestleMania.
Big Show powers Slater to the corner, but he quickly gets out. Big Show soon catches him, chops the chest, and head-butts him down. Big Show keeps chopping the chest before sending him into the corner. Big Show runs into the boots and gets taken to a knee. Slater hits the ropes, and Big Show chops him down. Big Show sends him into the ropes and runs him over with a shoulder block. Big Show hits a Chokeslam for the win!
Winner by Pinfall: Big Show
Match Rating: N/A
Big Show invites Cody Rhodes into the ring, but he gets scared off. Big Show picks Slater up, and he gives him the WMD. Big Show then quickly turns around as Cody Rhodes runs into the ring. Rhodes quickly gets out, and Big Show celebrates with the championship.
They show footage of Chris Jericho attacking CM Punk with a whiskey bottle. Michael Cole announces that Punk suffered some contusions on the back of his head.
John Laurinaitis is backstage with the Bella Twins. He tells Brie that she made the right choice. Sheamus walks in. Laurinaitis says it’s a new era of people power. Laurinaitis says Daniel Bryan wasn’t ready at WrestleMania, and he kicked his head off. Last Monday, Alberto Del Rio wasn’t ready, and he kicked his head off. Laurinaitis says that wasn’t fair. Laurinaitis says he expects him to be fair as a champion. Tonight, he’s ordered the referee to make sure they’re face to face before the match starts. Sheamus says he’ll make sure the only ones that get their heads kicked off are the ones who deserve it. He then tells a story about his cousin that is similar to Laurinaitis’s story. Eventually, people wanted to see how far they could shove his cousin’s head up his arse.
They show some more great still photos of WrestleMania XXVIII, including one of John Cena after his match with The Rock.
Beth Phoenix vs. Nikki Bella
Before the match begins, Kelly Kelly makes her way to ringside to observe the match.
Beth grabs Nikki and clotheslines her down. Beth punches and kicks away at her. Beth smothers her with her knee. Beth sends her to the corner hard, and she punches away at her. Beth tries to grab at Kelly before turning her attention back to Nikki. Nikki sidesteps her, and Beth hits the ring post shoulder first. Nikki hits the X-Factor for the win.
Winner by Pinfall: Nikki Bella
Match Rating: N/A
We’ll see footage of Brock Lesnar’s return, next.
They play a tremendous video package for Chief Jay Strongbow.
They show a pre-taped promo with Damien Sandow. He says anyone who tries to make a distinction between entertainment and education doesn’t know the first thing about either. That’s a quote from a sociologist. Sandow talks about how the standards of entertainment have dropped since the days of Shakespeare. Sandow says he’s here to save the people.
They show footage of John Cena talking about his defeat at WrestleMania only to be interrupted (and given an F-5) by Brock Lesnar.
The Three Stooges will be the guest stars of Monday Night Raw next week.
Ricardo Rodriguez introduces Alberto Del Rio to the ring. This is Del Rio’s first televised match of 2012, and his first match on Smackdown in over six months. He’ll take on the new World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus, next.
Alberto Del Rio vs. Sheamus
They circle the ring, and Sheamus quickly takes him down with a side headlock. Del Rio fights up, and he whips Sheamus off. Sheamus takes him down with a pair of shoulder blocks for a one count. Sheamus wrenches the arm, and Del Rio quickly kicks him down. Del Rio punches him in the corner, gets backed up, and he runs into the boots. Sheamus goes to the top rope, but Del Rio sidesteps him. Sheamus quickly hits a rolling fireman’s carry for a two count. Sheamus drops a few knees before getting backed up by the referee. Del Rio snaps the arm off the top rope, and he kicks away at the newly injured arm. Del Rio applies an arm bar, but Sheamus fights out. Del Rio head-butts him down and goes for a Cross Arm Breaker, but Sheamus gets out. Del Rio ducks a Brogue Kick, and he quickly gets out of the ring to regroup with Ricardo Rodriguez. Sheamus smiles as we go to commercial.
We come back from the break to see Sheamus hit him with a slingshot shoulder block for a near fall. Sheamus kicks him, and he catches him with the clubbing blows in the ropes. Sheamus applies a front face lock before being backed up. Sheamus charges, and Del Rio pulls the top rope down, sending Sheamus out of the ring. Del Rio then hits him with a quick enzuigiri that puts Sheamus outside again. Del Rio slams the arm off the steel steps, and then he throws Sheamus into them. Del Rio throws him into the ring for a one count.
Del Rio quickly applies an overhead wristlock. Sheamus fights up, and he goes for a neckbreaker, but Del Rio kicks him in the knee. Del Rio kicks the arm and picks up a near fall. Del Rio goes back to the arm bar. Sheamus pulls the hair, and he punches Del Rio off. Del Rio comes back with a head-butt. Sheamus reverses a whip, but he lowers his head and eats a kick. Del Rio charges into the Irish Curse Backbreaker. Both men are down now.
They both get up at the five-count, and Sheamus hits some hammer throws. Sheamus clotheslines him in the corner, and he clubs him down. Sheamus hits a powerslam, and he sets up for the Brogue Kick. Ricardo Rodriguez gets on the apron, and Sheamus takes him down. Del Rio comes into the ring with a steel chair, but Sheamus clotheslines him down. Sheamus picks it up, and the referee yells at him for having it. Del Rio acts like he got hit with it, and the referee disqualifies Sheamus!
Winner by Disqualification: Alberto Del Rio
Match Rating: **
Ricardo Rodriguez gets on the microphone, and he screams that Alberto Del Rio is the winner. Sheamus goes to chase them, but the referee holds him back. Sheamus then gives the referee a Brogue Kick! Sheamus stares at them as the show ends!
34-year-old currently living in Syracuse, New York. Long-time fan of the New York Mets, Chicago Bulls, and Minnesota Vikings. An avid fan of professional wrestling and write reviews/articles on the product. Usually focusing on old-school wrestling.