One night removed from the spectacular “NXT ArRival” show that the WWE premiered on the WWE Network we have Smackdown from the Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
We start with a preview of our main event tonight that is a six-man tag team match. Daniel Bryan teams with the Uso’s to take on Corporate Kane and The New Age Outlaws.
Batista then comes out to a sea of boo’s. Bootista has decided to bring back the skinny jeans, but this time has adorned them with a white tank top and Sami Zayn’s hat. He looks like Howie Mandel and Joe Dirt got into a fight in
Then we get a heavily edited recap of the Randy Orton/Batista exchange on this past Monday’s episode of Raw. Heavily edited aka the production team edited out every one of Batista’s gasps for air. For anyone who watched Raw, you know the production team was working overtime to complete this.
Back in the ring, Batista has a mic and says “Let me start by stating, I love this business. I love this company…..I did not come back to be liked. I did not come back to please all of you. I came back to be WWE World Heavyweight Champion. So, you don’t have to support me. But, you’re going to have to deal with it. It is a fact that I can destroy anyone they put in front me. FACT!.” He continues. “I don’t get it. What the Hell has happened to this business? I mean, where are the real mean? What happened to the attitude? You chant the names of the 190 pound wannabes? You chant ‘YES! YES! YES!’, but they’ll never be me. DEAL WITH IT! Do you honestly think your heroes are as good as me?” Then Batista awkwardly takes his tank top off. “Everything about me screams WWE World Heavyweight Champion…..From this point on I will be systematically destroying your heroes on my way to WrestleMania to become WWE World Heavyweight Champion.”
Batista then poses, flexes his arms and stands on the top turnbuckle. Okay, I am glad they have turned Batista heel. But c’mon, Batista. Can you please work on your cardio? And I’ll believe that Diet Dr. Pepper actually tastes like regular Dr. Pepper before I’ll believe any of your promos. You might be saying, “I love this business. I love this company.” But, what we are hearing in your voice is, “I came here to collect a paycheck. If the WWE isn’t going to gain an extra dollar by me being here. Then DEAL WITH IT.”
As Batista is on the second turnbuckle posing, we hear Dolph Ziggler’s music. Ziggler grabs gets in the ring with a mic and says “I know you’ve been gone a long time, Dave. But, you don’t just come out here and tell these people who to cheer for.” Who is writing this? Batista obviously said, “You don’t have to support me.” Contradictory to Ziggler’s opening statement, but let’s move on. Ziggler continues, “I got news for you, Jack. You’re a dinosaur. And sooner or later, dinosaurs become extinct. You’re looking for the real men in this business? You’ve got one standing in front of you, Jack! And I want a match with you tonight.” Batista mockingly falls over laughing, and then says “You want it? You got it.” Dolph Ziggler then dropkicks Batista and leaves the ring. Batista gets up furiously and yells at Ziggler.
Before commercial, we see a split screen of Big E, Mark Henry, and the Real Americans walking out to the ring.
Big E and Mark Henry make their way to the ring with the Real Americans already in the ring.
Big E and Mark Henry vs. The Real Americans (Cesaro and Jack Swagger) w/ Zeb Colter: Big E and Swagger start the match off with a collar and elbow tie up. Big E then hits Swagger with an over the head belly to belly suplex. Big E tags in Henry. Henry works over Swagger with his power until tagging Big E back in. Big E scoops up Swagger and delivers three rib breakers to Swagger followed by a pinfall for two. Swagger tags in Cesaro. Big E gorilla presses Cesaro until Cesaro shakes loose and throws Big E out onto the apron. With Big E on the apron Cesaro climbs the turnbuckle inside the ring to attempt to superplex Big E from the apron into the ring. Cesaro does it! But, unbeknownst to Cesaro, Swagger blind tags himself in. Cesaro realizes this as he attempts to pin Big E and the referee refuses to count. Cesaro looks at Swagger in disbelief. Cesaro and Swagger makes amends with some double team moves. Mark Henry tags in and takes care of business with Swagger. Clotheslines, shoulder blocks, scoop slams. Cesaro comes into the ring and kicks Henry’s head off. Swagger shoulder blocks Henry’s knee and then goes for the Patriot lock. Cesaro tags himself in and gives Mark Henry the neutralizer. Cesaro picks up the win. * ½
JBL and Cole discuss that Zeb has his hands full trying to keep these two together.
Backstage we get the incomparably underrated, Alberto Del Rio stepping into Vickie Guerrero’s office. Alberto questions Vickie on why she has yet to congratulate him for beating Batista on Raw. Vickie retorts that she has not congratulated Batista for defeating Del Rio at Elimination Chamber. Del Rio then flirts with Vickie as Sheamus walks in. Sheamus then says he is always “ready for a fight” and proposes a match with “Albertie”. Vickie agrees and tells Del Rio that his match starts now.
Sheamus makes his way to the ring as Michael Cole discusses Sheamus’ love for fighting and Sheamus’ recent issues with Christian. Michael Cole narrates a recap of Sheamus and Christian’s last match. Del Rio makes his way to the ring.
Sheamus vs. Alberto Del Rio: We start with the collar and elbow as Cole and JBL dispute Del Rio’s claims to be the true #1 contender after having defeated Batista this past Monday. Del Rio delivers some stiff kicks to Sheamus’ ribs until Sheamus catches his foot. Sheamus takes Del Rio and flips him over the top ring rope to the outside of the ring. Sheamus then runs off the apron to deliver a shoulder block to Del Rio. Sheamus then grabs Del Rio’s head and slams it into the announce table. Sheamus rolls Del Rio into the ring and delivers some elbow strikes to the back of the downed Del Rio. In the midst of this action, Cole and JBL reminisce about Sheamus and Del Rio’s feud from this past year when Sheamus took Del Rio’s car to the Alamo and filled it with Mexican Food. Back in the ring Sheamus attempts to give Del Rio the clubbing forearms from the apron until Del Rio counters and drop kicks Sheamus off the apron and to the outside. Christian music blares through the speakers and Captain Charisma comes out wearing sunglasses to show his “new attitude” joins Cole on commentary.
With Del Rio on the top rope, Sheamus picks him up on his shoulders and gives Del Rio the electric chair drop. Sheamus goes for the Brogue Kick and misses. Del Rio then delivers the back stabber to Sheamus for a two count. Sheamus then successfully gives Del Rio the clubbing blows to the chest and sets Del Rio up for White Noise, but Del Rio drops down and gives Sheamus a super kick to Sheamus’ injured ribs. Del Rio then connects with a super kick to Sheamus’ face. Del Rio gets a two count. Del Rio then stalks Sheamus as Sheamus crawls to his feet. Del Rio goes for the inzuguiri and Sheamus ducks. Sheamus ties Del Rio up in the Texas Cloverleaf. Christian runs into the ring to break up the cloverleaf. Sheamus wins via DQ. **
After the match, Del Rio attacks Sheamus until Sheamus knocks Del Rio out cold with the Brogue Kick. From behind Christian grabs Sheamus and gives Sheamus the Killswitch. PS. Del Rio continues to impress me and no one else. Who is the problem? Me or 99% of the wrestling fans in the world?
We then get a recap of Daniel Bryan challenging Triple H from this past Monday on Raw and a preview of the next segment following a commercial break. The return of Hulk Hogan from Monday on Raw. More recaps. Again, why do they show Raw recaps on Smackdown? I challenge anyone to find me someone who only watches Smackdown and doesn’t watch Monday Night Raw.
We get a recap of Hogan’s comeback on Raw. We also get clips of Hogan on the Today Show. It is a great idea to have Hogan as the host of WrestleMania XXX and as a spokesperson for the WWE Network. The WWE really needs those nostalgic fans who no longer watch the current product to latch onto the Network. These fans can watch some classic PPV’s and the WWE can earn their interest in today’s product with the live streaming PPV’s.
Lana then comes out to introduce Alexander Rusev. Rusev comes out and steps on top of a podium as if he just won a gold medal in Sochi. Alexander grabs the microphone. Alexander cuts a promo presumably in Bulgarian. Cole and JBL then declare their interest in seeing Rusev in action.
Cole and JBL then recap the Shield’s continued demise from this past Monday. They show the tail end of the Reigns/ Bray Wyatt match.
Back live in the dark hallways we see the Shield. Roman questions whether Ambrose is going to leave them again. Ambrose says Reigns is just mad about losing. Seth tries to keep the peace between the two.
Back to the ringside area, we see Ziggler making his way to the ring before a commercial break.
Dolph Ziggler vs. Batista: Ziggler and Batista get the match started with some fast paced brawling. Batista steps out of the ring to catch his breath. Seriously. Batista is walking up the ring steps less than 25 seconds into the match gasping for air. Ziggler takes it to Batista again with flurry of punches and a dropkick that sends Batista out of the ring once again. Batista grabs Ziggler and pulls him out of the ring. Batista slams Ziggler’s head into the barricade. Batista slams Ziggler’s back into the apron. Batista picks Ziggler up on his shoulder and attempts to ram Ziggler into the ring post, but Ziggler counters by jumping off of Batista’s back and shoving Batista into the ring post. Batista rolls Ziggler into the ring and Batista rolls out of the ring grabbing Ziggler’s left knee and slams it into the ring post. JBL and Cole are doing a great job putting Batista over, but it is not helping Batista’s case. Batista is still moving around the ring slowly. Batista is still gasping for air. Batista does not appear to give a crap about putting together an entertaining match. Batista works over Ziggler until he attempts to drive his shoulder into Ziggler’s ribs and Ziggler steps out of the way ramming Batista’s shoulder into the ring post. Ziggler then attempts a Stinger splash and Batista shoves him away.
Ziggler goes for another splash and connects then starts to punch Batista in the corner. Batista counters and goes for the Batista bomb. Ziggler jumps free of Batista and chops Batista in the leg. Ziggler stomps viciously on Batista’s knee. Ziggler then passionately screams at Batista to get up. Ziggler is on his “A” game tonight. Ziggler delivers the Fameasser to Batista for a two count. Ziggler then goes for the sleeper hold. Batista throws Ziggler off and hits Ziggler with a spine buster. Batista hits Ziggler with a second spinebuster. Batista then hits Ziggler with a third spinebuster and calls for the Batista bomb. Batista then gives Ziggler the Batista Bomb. 3/4*
Ziggler saved this match and worked his butt off to make this match somewhat compelling and failed due largely to Batista’s lack of effort.
We then get a recap of John Cena calling out the Wyatt family from this past Monday on Raw.
Up next, we are going to get a message from the Wyatt family to John Cena.
The Wyatt’s make their way to the ring as we get a recap of the Wyatt’s interfering in the Elimination Chamber match from this past Sunday night. In the ring and Bray talks about how we are living lies in our lives. Bray is on fire here. Bray is comparing society and our need to impress people to John Cena and his “plastic smile”. Bray says that Cena plays hero for everyone and tells everyone what they want to hear. Bray then sings, “I think to myself. It’s a wonderful world.” Bray then says the world vilifies him even though he tells people the truth. This might be Bray’s best promo. It is creepy. He sounds like a preacher. Typical stuff, except the things he is saying are relevant and pertain to his current feud with John Cena. Bray then drops to his knees and says “Follow the Buzzards” as the Shield’s music hits.
Bray sells being angry as Rowan and Harper search for where the Shield is coming from. The Shield hops the barricade and jumps on the apron. Triple H’s music hits before the Shield and the Wyatt’s can engage in a fight. Triple H tells the Shield and Wyatt’s that he has too much time and money invested in the 6 men to let this war happen here and now without any promotion. Triple H announces that this match can happen on Monday Night Raw this coming week. Triple H tells the Shield to stand down. Harper and Rowan exit the ring. Bray grabs his mic and mocks the Shield saying “C’mon, boys! You heard your daddy.” This ticks off Roman Reigns as Reigns steps into the ring with Ambrose and Rollins follow.
Bray steps back into the ring. Rollins and Ambrose run and hit Harper and Rowan with a pair of suicide dives. Rollins and Ambrose run back into the ring to stand 3 on 1 vs. Bray. Bray gets out of the ring and hold Harper and Rowan back from getting back into the ring for revenge on the Shield. Bray then smiles and laughs.
We then get a preview of tonight’s main event and the next match of AJ Lee vs. Cameron.
We get a still shot recap of the Diva’s title match from the Elimination Chamber. AJ is already in the ring as Cameron makes her entrance.
Diva’s Championship Match AJ Lee w/ Tamina Snuka vs. Cameron: We start with a recap of Cameron’s time on Total Divas. Because that is how you set up a challenger for a championship match. Show the competitor acting like a fool dancing around the locker room and yelling at pedestrians.
AJ starts the match right away by attacking Cameron. AJ Irish whips Cameron into the turnbuckle and AJ pins Cameron for a two count. Cameron then screams like a banshee only to anti-climatically clothesline AJ. Cameron continues screaming. This screaming is annoying. Why is a babyface Diva trying to get over by annoying the crowd? Tamina then gets kicked out from ringside. AJ then forces Cameron to tap out with the Black Widow. AJ retains the title. Paige and Emma totally put these two to shame. Give me some more Paige and Emma and I’ll care about the Diva’s division.
Before the commercial break, we get a preview of another recap from Raw. The Undertaker returns! Recap. Recap. Recap.
We get a preview showing that Lesnar will respond to the Undertaker this coming Monday.
At the Smackdown pre-show booth we see Matthews, Booker T, Big Show, and Alex Riley. They discuss the upcoming match between Brock Lesnar and The Undertaker at WrestleMania. Booker T says no matter if it is Undertaker or Frank Mir, Brock Lesnar comes to fight. Matthews asks the group if the streak will end at WrestleMania XXX. Booker and Big Show say Undertaker will win.
Alex Riley says he will look foolish if he doesn’t agree and goes with the Undertaker as well. Rich and Joe talked about how Brock Lesnar stands no chance at WrestleMania on the most recent episode of the Voices of Wrestling podcast, and this drives that point home more. Can’t at least one of these guys put Brock Lesnar over as a threat?
The Uso’s then make their signature entrance followed by Daniel Bryan. The crowd is going nuts for Daniel Bryan. Whenever Bryan is out there the crowd looks like an Attitude era crowd again.
Daniel Bryan and the Uso’s (Jimmy and Jey Uso) vs. Corporate Kane and The New Age Outlaws (Road Dogg and Billy Gunn): Wait, isn’t this crowd going to wonder why the Outlaws are teaming up with Kane? Don’t they remember Kane and X-pac feuding with the Outlaws? No? Why not? Oh! Because that happened 15 years ago! Why are the Outlaws the Tag Team champions and why are they still wrestling every week? Give us more of Los Matadores!
The match starts with Billy Gunn and Daniel Bryan. Gunn delivers a shoulder block to Bryan’s injured shoulder. Bryan gets up and gets Gunn in the corner for some signature Daniel Bryan kicks. Bryan tags in Jey Uso. Jey quickly loses the advantage in the match and Kane tags in followed by Road Dogg as the heels beat down Jey Uso. Jey tags in Jimmy and they double-team Road Dogg with an elbow drop. Jimmy throws Road Dogg out of the ring and Road Dogg sells not wanting to re-enter the ring.
Back from commercial, we have Jey Uso giving Gunn some text book arm drags. Billy Gunn then gives Jey a tilt-a-whirl slam and tags in Corporate Kane. Kane slam Jey into the turnbuckle with an avalanche. Kane gets a two count. Kane hits Jey with a sidewalk slam and gets another two count. Jey hits Kane with a chin breaker. Kane turns around and gives Daniel Bryan the big boot to knock Bryan off the apron. Kane tags in Road Dogg. Jey Uso hits Road Dogg with the swinging inzuguri that Shelton Benjamin made famous. Jey tags in Daniel Bryan. Bryan goes into his signature comeback on Billy Gunn. Bryan is kicking Gunn in the chest. Bryan goes for the final kick to Gunn’s head when Road Dogg runs into the ring to break it up. Bryan throws Road Dogg out of the ring and drop kicks Gunn out of the ring. Bryan goes for the suicide dive only to be interrupted by Kane with a clothesline. The Uso’s come to Bryan’s aid. Kane goes for a double chokeslam. The Uso’s counter with a double superkick. Jey Uso jumps over the top rope onto Road Dogg and Jimmy jumps over the top rope on Kane. Gunn re-enters the ring and gives Daniel Bryan the Fameasser. Gunn only gets a two count. Daniel Bryan fights back and hits Gunn with the Busaiku Knee for the win. **
The episode of Smackdown had many recaps, which is what happens during WrestleMania season, but the matches were not good enough to make up for it. Normally, that is the endearing part of Smackdown, unfortunately, tonight we were stuck watching Batista, Cameron, and the New Age Outlaws wrestle in premiere matches.