WWE Smackdown 3/23/2012
“Yes sir, we promised you a great main event…” The WWE video leads us into the show.
The Smackdown video plays, and we’re brought into the arena with a big fireworks display. Michael Cole, Josh Mathews, and Booker T welcome us to the show. Tonight’s main event will see Sheamus partner with CM Punk to take on Daniel Bryan and The Miz.
The World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan makes his way to the ring with AJ. Bryan says, “The first thing I’d like to say is, ‘Yes, yes, yes!'” Bryan says he could talk about himself all night, but he’s going to put AJ on the spot. Bryan tells her to tell everyone what it’s like to be in love with the World Heavyweight Champion. AJ says she has a match tonight and he’ll be in her corner. Bryan takes the microphone away and tells her to answer the question. AJ says its heaven. AJ says that no one knows this, but he caresses her. He also has the softest lips. Sometimes, at night, they even spoon. She calls him “Danny,” and he takes the microphone away. He says they discussed never calling him that in public. She apologizes, and she says he’s brave, courageous, and generous. As a vegan, his body is his temple. His mind and spirit are pure, and above all, he makes her feel safe. That’s why she really enjoys cuddling. Bryan whispers in her ear, and AJ acts offended. She says what he said is personal. AJ then says, “Daniel Bryan is a great lover.” AJ looks embarrassed after saying that. Bryan then gets her to say that he’ll make that “Irish brute” tap out at WrestleMania, and he’ll continue on becoming the greatest of all time. Bryan asks the crowd to let him hear it for AJ, and then he tells them to cheer him. Bryan screams, “Yes!”
Sheamus’ music hits, and the number one contender to Daniel Bryan’s World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania makes his way to the ring. Sheamus says it’s no disrespect to AJ, but before he came out he threw up in his mouth. Sheamus asks if she really thinks her boyfriend is brave and courageous. AJ nods, and Sheamus says he thinks Bryan is a sniveling little coward. Sheamus laughs at the fact that AJ said his lips are soft. Sheamus says he doesn’t even want to go there. Sheamus does want to go to WrestleMania. Sheamus calls him “Danny,” and Bryan quickly corrects him that it’s “Daniel.” The crowd chants “Danny” at him. Sheamus then calls him “Danny Boy,” and the crowd chants that as well. Sheamus says if he doesn’t like being called that then he’ll hate being called “Former World Heavyweight Champion.” Sheamus says he’ll kick his teeth down his throat at WrestleMania.
Mark Henry is seen chatting with Abraham Washington backstage. Henry will be in action next.
R-Truth vs. Mark Henry
R-Truth ducks a lock up, and he begins punching away at Henry. Henry quickly punches him down and wrenches the arm. Henry talks some trash, and R-Truth begins to punch back. R-Truth goes into the ropes, and Henry annihilates him with a clothesline. Henry throws him out of the ring, and he says he’s taking out the trash. Henry goes outside, and he presses R-Truth’s head into the steel steps. Henry sends him into the ring, and he stomps him. R-Truth tries in vain to fight back, but Henry punches him down. Henry covers for a near fall. Henry goes for an elbow drop, but R-Truth moves. R-Truth hits a low dropkick to the face. R-Truth hits a DDT, but Henry kicks out at one. R-Truth goes to the top rope, and Henry catches him. Henry quickly gives him the World’s Strongest Slam for the win!
Winner by Pinfall: Mark Henry
Match Rating: 1/2 *
Later tonight, we’ll see Big Show take on Kane in a rematch from Raw.
Yokozuna will be the next inductee into the WWE Hall of Fame: Class of 2012. Banzai!
They show a replay of Zack Ryder’s rally that he held outside the stadium in Philadelphia before Raw. Ryder was lobbying to be a part of Team Teddy at WrestleMania.
Teddy Long is seen watching the rally backstage with Santino Marella, Kofi Kingston, and Aksana. Zack Ryder walks in, and he says that’s what he needs on Team Teddy. Long says the rally was off the chains, but he’s worried about Ryder’s situation with Eve. Ryder asks if he’s serious, and Santino says he is. Ryder then calls Hornswoggle into the room, and he’s waving a flag with Teddy’s face on it. Long says he could use a mascot, but a mascot and a rally just isn’t big enough. Ryder then calls The Great Khali into the room, and he’s dressed in Ryder’s gear. Ryder says if he’s on the team, then Khali is too. Long asks if that’s true, and Khali says, “Woo, woo, woo – you know it!” Long congratulates them all because they’re now a part of Team Teddy. They all celebrate and give a big, “Woo, woo, woo – you know it!”
AJ is in the ring with Daniel Bryan when we return from the commercial. They show a pre-taped video of The Bella Twins. Nikki tries to give her advice on AJ, but Brie says she lost to her last week. Brie says she’ll show her how it’s done.
AJ w/ Daniel Bryan vs. Brie Bella w/ Nikki Bella
Bryan kisses AJ before the match starts. They lock up, and Brie quickly gets a headlock applied. Brie powers her down, and she mocks Daniel Bryan. Bryan talks to AJ in the corner, giving her advice. Brie kicks her down, and she applies a headlock. AJ fights out, sends her to the ropes, and hits a nice back elbow. AJ charges her, and Brie drops her on the ropes. Brie kicks away at her, and she talks some trash. Brie picks up a near fall. Brie bounces her head off the mat a few times. Brie picks up another near fall. AJ quickly rolls her up for a one count. Brie immediately takes her back down with a clothesline. Brie applies an abdominal stretch, and Bryan says, “You better not tap!” AJ fights up, and she fights out. AJ kicks away at her, but Brie knees her in the midsection. AJ quickly comes back with a head-scissor into an arm bar. Nikki Bella gets on the apron to distract the referee, and Bryan yells at her to get down. Brie tries a sneak attack, but she accidentally hits her sister Nikki. AJ quickly rolls her up for the win!
Winner by Pinfall: AJ
Match Rating: 3/4 *
Daniel Bryan celebrates like he just won the match himself for the second week in a row. Bryan tells her that she has to listen to him more.
Nikki Bella gets on the microphone, and she says Brie should have taken her advice. Nikki says she and her sister disagree on a whole bunch of things. At WrestleMania, Brie is rooting for Team Johnny while she’s rooting for Team Teddy. Nikki asks the crowd to help her give support. She then gets the crowd to spell out “Teddy,” and they cheer.
Sheamus teams with CM Punk to take on Daniel Bryan and The Miz in the main event.
EXCUSE ME! Vickie Guerrero comes out to massive heat, and she introduces Jack Swagger to the ring.
Jack Swagger w/ Vickie Guerrero vs. Zack Ryder w/ Hornswoggle
They circle the ring and lock up. Ryder gets a side headlock applied, and Swagger takes him down. Ryder quickly hits a drop-toe-hold, and Swagger quickly comes back with a front face lock. Swagger rolls him around the ring, and he applies an overhead wristlock. Ryder whips him off, leapfrogs him, and Ryder rolls him up for a one count. Ryder hits a nice dropkick, and he punches away at Swagger. Swagger quickly comes back by shoving him face first into the turnbuckle. Swagger slams him for a near fall. Swagger beats him down in the corner. The referee backs him up. Swagger takes him down, taunts the crowd, and he takes him down again. Swagger applies an overhead wristlock again. Ryder fights up, and he punches out. Swagger drops him to the apron, but Ryder kicks him in the face.
Ryder catches him charging with his knees. Ryder ducks a clothesline and hits a few of his own. Ryder hits a face-buster, and he hits a forearm shiver in the corner. Ryder gives him the Broski Boot for a near fall. Ryder sets up for his finisher, but Swagger counters into a powerbomb in the corner. Swagger hits the Swagger Bomb for a near fall. Swagger elbows him in the ribs. At ringside, Hornswoggle chases Vickie Guerrero to the apron. She tries to get Swagger to help her. Swagger scares Hornswoggle off the apron. Ryder quickly surprises him with the Rough Ryder for the win!
Winner by Pinfall: Zack Ryder
Match Rating: *
They show a replay of Cody Rhodes beating up the Big Show on Raw this past Monday. Cody Rhodes is seen walking backstage earlier in the day, and Matt Striker stops him. Striker asks him about what happened on Raw. Rhodes says he’s enjoyed showing Big Show’s embarrassing WrestleMania clips. It reminds people of what Big Show does on the grandest stage of them all: chokes. Rhodes enjoyed embarrassing him on Monday and he couldn’t do a thing about it. The biggest embarrassment is coming at WrestleMania on April Fool’s Day when the biggest fool in all of WWE loses to him. Rhodes says he has a plane to catch, and he leaves the arena.
Big Show will take on Kane next.
Big Show vs. Kane
The bell rings, and Kane quickly kicks and punches away at Big Show. Big Show quickly comes back, but Kane escapes. Kane hits an uppercut, and he clotheslines him in the corner. Big Show quickly comes back with a shoulder block. Kane rolls out of the ring to recover, but Big Show follows, punching him around. Kane eventually sidesteps him, sending Big Show into the ring post. They get back into the ring, and Kane kicks away at him. Big Show pushes him back, but Kane comes back with a low dropkick to the face for a two count. Kane applies a chin lock, but Big Show won’t give up. Big Show fights up, and he whips Kane off. They go into the ropes, and they take each other out with a double clothesline.
They trade punches with Big Show coming out on top with some head-butts. Big Show hits some clotheslines, and he sends him to the corner for a butt bump. Big Show quickly follows up with a shoulder block, and he signals for the Chokeslam. Kane fights him off, and he drops Big Show with a DDT. Kane covers for a near fall. Kane goes to the top rope for his lariat, but Big Show catches him with a Chokeslam! All of a sudden Cody Rhodes runs in, and he attacks Big Show for the disqualification.
Winner by Disqualification: Big Show
Match Rating: *
Big Show quickly shoves Cody Rhodes down, and he chases him through the crowd. Rhodes quickly escapes, and Big Show isn’t happy about that. All of a sudden Randy Orton appears in the ring, and he gives Kane an RKO! Orton stands tall in the ring, and he poses for the crowd.
Later tonight, we’ll see Sheamus and CM Punk take on Daniel Bryan and The Miz. Coming up next, the Funkasaurus will be in action.
They show footage of Big Show, David Otunga, and Stephanie McMahon promoting the WWE’s anti-bullying campaign in Bridgeport, Connecticut.
JOBBER ALERT: Heath Slater is in the ring with no TV entrance.
Heath Slater vs. Brodus Clay
Slater circles Clay, but he’s quickly taken down. Brodus giggles a bit before punching Slater down. Brodus drops an elbow, and he sends him into the ropes. Slater quickly kicks him in the face, and he dropkicks him in the knee. Slater takes him down for a one count. Slater punches away at him, but Brodus pushes him off. Brodus hits a head-butt, punches him in the midsection, and hits a high knee to the face. Brodus hits a suplex, and he finishes Slater off with a splash for the win.
Winner by Pinfall: Brodus Clay
Match Rating: N/A
We’ll see the Undertaker/Triple H/Shawn Michaels encounter from Raw.
Zack Ryder bumps into Eve backstage, and he says he’s going to WrestleMania. What she told him to do worked. Eve says they’re both going to WrestleMania. Ryder says she’s beautiful and smart. Eve asks if that’s a recent discovery. Eve asks if he thinks she’s smart. Eve tells him to forget about the dinner they planned. She’ll go with someone else. She walks off on Ryder, and he’s left confused. She smiles as she walks away.
The Raw Rebound plays, and it highlights the Undertaker/Triple H/Shawn Michaels encounter from Raw.
Tonight’s main event will see CM Punk and Sheamus take on Daniel Bryan and The Miz.
A promo video for Lord Tensai plays.
Christian is seen joining the commentary table.
The Great Khali w/ Teddy Long vs. Dolph Ziggler w/ John Laurinaitis and David Otunga
Ziggler ducks under a lock up attempt, and he struts around the ring. Ziggler punches him, but it doesn’t hurt Khali. Khali gives him a big clothesline, and Ziggler rolls out of the ring. Ziggler regroups next to Laurinaitis and Otunga. Khali brings Ziggler into the ring the hard way, and he clotheslines him down. Khali chops the chest, puts him in another corner, and he chops him again. Ziggler comes back with a dropkick to the knee. Ziggler punches him down, and he drops an elbow on the back of the neck. Ziggler applies a front face lock, but Khali fights up. Khali powers him off, and he hits some clotheslines. Ziggler ducks a Brian Chop, and he applies a Sleeper Hold! The bell rings!
John Laurinaitis, who ordered the timekeeper to ring the bell, says that Ziggler won by submission. Teddy Long gets in the ring, and he says that Laurinaitis is going to learn that they don’t roll like that. Long says the match isn’t over. Ziggler has until the count of ten to get in the ring or the match is over. The referee counts, but Ziggler doesn’t get in. Khali wins by count-out.
Winner by Count-Out: The Great Khali
Match Rating: 1/2 *
Kofi Kingston and Santino Marella surprise Ziggler, and they throw him into the ring. The Great Khali gives Ziggler a Brain Chop, and they all celebrate in the ring.
The Miz is backstage with Daniel Bryan. He says after all he’s done for Bryan, he needs to do this for him. The Miz says they need this. The main event is next.
CM Punk and Sheamus vs. The Miz and Daniel Bryan w/ AJ
Bryan kisses AJ before the match starts. Bryan will start the match out against his WrestleMania opponent, Sheamus. On second though, Bryan immediately tags out as soon as the bell rings. The Miz and Sheamus lock up. Sheamus gets a quickly side headlock, and he takes him down. Sheamus goes back to the headlock. The Miz whips him off. Sheamus blocks a hip toss, and he clotheslines him down for a one count. Sheamus wrenches the arm and he makes the tag. CM Punk comes off the top rope with a hammer to the shoulder. Punk quickly hits a body slam for a one count. Punk wrenches the arm, and he drives his shoulder into him. Sheamus tags in, and Punk whips The Miz into Sheamus’ springboard shoulder block for a near fall.
Sheamus gives him a big uppercut before sending him to the ropes. The Miz kicks him in the face, and Sheamus quickly catches him with an Irish Curse. Daniel Bryan quickly breaks up the pin. Sheamus brings Bryan into the ring the hard way, but Bryan escapes the ring. The Miz then kicks Sheamus out of the ring. Bryan quickly follows up with a dropkick at ringside.
We come back from the break to see Miz kicks Sheamus in the face. Miz applies a chin lock, but Sheamus quickly fights up. Miz goes for a DDT, but Sheamus gives him a back body drop. Punk is tagged in, and he hits a springboard clothesline. Punk hits a spinning neckbreaker before following up with his high knee/bulldog combo. Punk hits a body slam before going to the top rope. Bryan distracts him, and Punk knocks him off the apron. Miz quickly catches Punk with a DDT for a near fall. Bryan is tagged in, and he kicks away at Punk. Bryan drops a knee on his face for a one count. Bryan applies a surfboard stretch, but Punk fights up. Punk chops the chest, but Bryan quickly comes back with a knee to the midsection.
The Miz is tagged in, and he knees away at Punk for a near fall. Miz applies a neck vice, but Punk fights out of it. Miz counters out of a GTS with a backbreaker. Miz goes for a neckbreaker, but Punk lays him out with a roundhouse kick. Bryan is tagged in, and he grabs Punk. Punk makes a desperation leap, and Sheamus is tagged in! Sheamus clotheslines him down a few times, lays him out in the corner, and he viciously clubs away at him in the ropes. Sheamus hits a powerslam, and he sets up for his finisher. Bryan quickly tags in Miz. Sheamus chases Bryan, and Miz kicks away at him. Sheamus immediately comes back with a Brogue Kick for the win!
Winners by Pinfall: CM Punk and Sheamus
Match Rating: **
CM Punk and Sheamus celebrate in the ring as Daniel Bryan looks on from the top of the ramp with AJ.
Quick Match Results
Mark Henry def. R-Truth
AJ def. Brie Bella
Zack Ryder def. Jack Swagger
Big Show def. Kane via DQ
Brodus Clay def. Heath Slater
The Great Khali def. Dolph Ziggler via CO
CM Punk and Sheamus def. The Miz and Daniel Bryan
Bump of the Night: Daniel Bryan dropkicking Sheamus at ringside
Match of the Night: Punk and Sheamus vs. Miz and Bryan **
The show kicked off with a fun little segment with Daniel Bryan and AJ. Being there live, a lot of the crowd around me got a big kick out of AJ spouting all that garbage about Daniel Bryan. Her relationship with Daniel Bryan continues to be one of my favorite things on this show. It’s definitely better than the build for Bryan’s title match against Sheamus. Speaking of which, it was nice to actually see the two of them in the ring without any lame speeches being made. The last time they were chatting in the ring with Michael Cole, I thought I was watching one of those political debates. At least tonight there was a tiny bit of tension. Still, Bryan was taking out Randy Orton and Big Show with belt shots a month ago. Did he forget how to swing the hardware? Can they at least put the tiniest thought in people’s minds that Bryan might actually retain the title? Can the guy look a little more devious?
They followed this up with the first of a few matches hyping up the General Manager match at WrestleMania. Mark Henry handled R-Truth in a quick little match. It was actually more like a squash match.
AJ was out next with Daniel Bryan, and she had a much better outing against Brie Bella than she did against her sister last week. The ending was a little lame, but it continues building things up with AJ. Then Nikki Bella got on the microphone. I thought for sure that was something that was either just for the crowd or it’d be cut out. It was really awkward at the event and it looked just as awkward on TV. I’m not sure why they felt the need to shoehorn that little build for the General Manager match into this considering how much they built that match tonight. It was just bizarre and it felt completely unnatural.
The match with Zack Ryder and Jack Swagger was ok. The best part about it didn’t even make TV, not that it should have. Lilian Garcia messed up the introduction for Ryder and called him, “Long Island Iced Z Jack Swagger.” I really enjoyed the little backstage segment that saw Teddy Long add Ryder and Khali to his team. That was pretty funny, and it definitely drove home the idea that they really are a rag tag, land of the misfit toys team heading into WrestleMania.
The Big Show and Kane match was ok for a big man match. I don’t think we needed to see that match twice in the same week but whatever. The Cody Rhodes run in was quick and necessary. I also loved his promo that he cut before the match. The Randy Orton run in had the crowd rocking, and it was a good way to remind everyone of his upcoming match with Kane. The build for it was hokey last week, so I’m sure a few people were happy not having to sit through another Kane promo talking about what a wretched, mangled, wretched, twisted, wretched soul he is. And by a few people, I mean myself.
The Funkasaurus was in town tonight. The reaction for him wasn’t that overwhelming at the event, so they had to pipe in the fake cheers tonight.
They had another segment for the General Manager match with The Great Khali and Dolph Ziggler wrestling. There’s not much here. It’s just more build for a match that’s already been built up really well.
The main event was a fun little match. It was your usual tag team main event on Smackdown. It should come as no surprise to anyone that The Miz took the fall. I think everyone knew that was going to happen as soon as this match was advertised during Raw. It’s funny, though. As much as he’s been losing, and the talk is he won’t have a match at WrestleMania, I have a feeling that The Miz is going to play a huge part in the big show, and I’m not talking about the wrestler. I could see The Miz interfering in the World Heavyweight Championship match at WrestleMania. What better way to make a big impact than alter the course of a title match? It’d also be nice to have him come over to Smackdown. Of course that’s all speculation on my part, but I probably did more to plant doubt about Sheamus winning the title than WWE has.
Final Rating: ** 1/2