WWE is here with its Pi-Day edition of Smackdown!
Smackdown starts with a video package highlighting the historical #OccupyRAW segment from this past Monday on Raw. This is a Smackdown review, but I am going to step onto my Smackdown soapbox and say this was the most exciting thing to happen on WWE TV since Stone Cold Steve Austin was driving beer trucks, monster trucks, cement trucks, and zamboni’s on a weekly basis. The Daniel Bryan vs. The Authority angle has been way better than the CM Punk vs. Lauruanitis/McMahon/Triple H angle from a couple of years back. That one fell flat. Bryan vs. The Authority has played out wonderfully with great performances by everyone involved. This will be looked at as one of the best launching pads for a superstar since Austin 3:16 whooped Jake Roberts’ ass. Daniel Bryan is on his way to becoming the face of the WWE and taking over for John Cena.
Triple H enters the ring to kick off Smackdown. Triple H mocks the crowd about how Monday was everyone’s “best night of their life”. Triple H announces that Daniel Bryan is not going to be on Smackdown tonight. Triple H then declares that he will end the “YES! Movement”. Triple H explains further how he was protecting Daniel Bryan since Summerslam. This is a great angle for Triple H to use. It makes since for his business directed character and it makes for a great excuse for a heel to use to avoid the obvious, which is that we all think/know that Daniel Bryan can defeat Triple H. Triple H then says that Daniel Bryan is just not good enough to succeed. Triple H then uses his “Cerebral Assassin” aka his “Batman” voice and declares he is going to crush Daniel Bryan and crush the YES! Movement. Triple H then says “At WrestleMania I am going to bury Daniel Bryan.” What a clever way to use “insider terms” while not being too “insider” all the while being the Triple H character all of the internet fans hate because he “buries everybody.” Genius.
Triple H then says he is going to start Smackdown with the guy that was supposed to be wrestling a match during the whole #OccupyRAW segment. Damien Sandow then comes out to the ring. Triple H starts ripping into Sandow about his insubordinate behavior on Raw. Triple H then threatens “severe consequences” for Sandow unless Sandow can look him in the eye and apologize. Sandow then apologizes and says it won’t happen again. Triple H says that is good enough for him. Triple H announces that Vickie Guerrero set up the match for Sandow, but didn’t tell him who Sandow’s opponent would be. The Shield’s music hits. Triple H throws down the mic and walks out like a mob boss who knows the guy who wronged him is going to get what’s coming to him from his trusted lackeys, but doesn’t want to witness the beat down for himself because he has more important business to attend to. Daniel Bryan is bringing out the best performances from The Authority much like Bryan brings out of 100% of his opponents in the ring.
Seth Rollins vs. Damien Sandow: Back from commercial, we see Seth Rollins in the ring beating down Damien Sandow. JBL and Michael Cole are arguing over whether or not Vickie Guerrero actually put this match together or if Triple H did it himself. Seth Rollins loses the advantage for just a moment until Rollins smashes Sandow’s face into the second turnbuckle, an enzuigiri to the back of the head and a Stinger Splash in the corner. Sandow tries to leave the ring and get himself counted out until Reigns and Ambrose surround the ring to stop him. Rollins then suicide dives to the outside and then back in the ring Rollins defeats Sandow with the Black Out. *1/2
Rollins’ moveset is definitely geared toward him being a major face. Rollins could be taking Kofi Kingston’s spot, and if he continues to improve at the rate he is then he will see himself in the WWE Title picture one day.
After the match The Shield are in the middle of the ring and we see Rollins and Reigns put their signature fists in the middle. Ambrose hesitates and runs out of the ring to grab Sandow. Ambrose throws Sandow into the ring and the Shield beats down Sandow and delivers a Triple Powerbomb to Sandow as Cole narrates that we have not seen this from the Shield in a long time. All three members then put their fists in the middle to signify their unity.
Big E Langston is making his way to the ring and Michael Cole talks about Big E’s entrance into the 30 Man Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal at WrestleMania XXX.
We get a video package highlighting Hulk Hogan’s announcement of the battle royal match at WrestleMania XXX.
Big E then is in the ring as Fandango makes his way to the ring. WrestleMania needs to have every championship defended. It is things like this that water down the importance of the mid-card titles. Why can’t Big E defend the Intercontinental Championship? The WWE surely can find 30 current and past stars to fill out this 30 man battle royal.
Big E. Langston vs. Fandango w/ Summer Rae: The match starts with Big E dominating the match. Early on Big E hits his signature big splash and Big Ending to win in a squash. *
Michael Cole then throws it to a Raw recap of The Undertaker’s return to Monday Night Raw complete with Paul Heyman’s microphone wizardry. The WWE is doing nothing to make anyone believe that Brock Lesnar stands a chance in this match.
Bad News Barrett then is seen from his super raised podium. Bad News announces that The Undertaker is 21 -0 at WrestleMania and that is an incredible achievement. Bad News announces that everyone’s children will be in tears when the Undertaker loses and then their parents will go to work the next day tired because their children were crying and fall asleep in the middle of a meeting and be subsequently fired. Michael Cole and JBL then joke back and forth about who would be idiotic enough to fall asleep in a meeting. Either this is an inside joke within the WWE or I am missing something that happened in the world. I don’t watch the news. Unless there is an impending storm coming, and this past winter the Mid-West, USA is breaking records. 1 to 2 inches on Sunday! WOO! Snow in March is about as fun as watching The Great Khali wrestle.
Michael Cole then announces that Bray Wyatt will be in action tonight and as well we will see The Brotherhood vs. The Real Americans.
Back from commercial we see The Real Americans make their way to the ring as Michael Cole discusses the ongoing tension between Cesaro and Swagger. This storyline has been really interesting in the slow build it has been given. When a tag team splits up all of a sudden it lessens the impact and dwindles away fast. (see: Impact Players) Cesaro makes a better heel than a face and Daniel Bryan is going to need some talented heels as fodder for the long title reign Bryan is going to have post-WrestleMania.
The Brotherhood (Cody Rhodes and Goldust) vs. The Real Americans (Jack Swagger and Cesaro) w/ Zeb Colter: The match starts off with Goldust and Cody trading tags to work on Swagger. Cody then makes his way into the ring with a spring board dropkick to knock Swagger off of the apron and Cody proceeds to knock Cesaro out of the ring. Cody goes for a flying body press to the outside, but Cesaro catches him and Cesaro tilt-a-whirl slams Cody onto the apron.
Back from commercial the Real Americans are double teaming Cody. Cesaro gives Cody the Cesaro Swing for an 8 count (according to the audience). Swagger tags his way in much to the chagrin of Cesaro. Swagger gives Cody a vertical suplex. Cesaro then tags himself in and gives Cody a vertical suplex himself. Swagger than tags himself in. The Real Americans begin to argue with each other until they realize that Cody is going for the tag to Goldust. Swagger runs and knocks Goldust off the apron. Cody then pins Swagger with a backslide for the three count. The Real Americans beat down Cody Rhodes together until the Uso’s run out to the ring to protect Cody Rhodes. Is this a sign that The Uso’s will defend their tag titles at WrestleMania against the Real Americans? Could be interesting.
We then get a recap of Bray Wyatt cutting his promo on Hogan and Cena from this past Monday.
Bray Wyatt w/ Luke Harper and Erick Rowan vs. Kofi Kingston: Bray starts the match off looking crazy and tries to destroy Kofi with a clothesline. Kofi dodges away and Bray laughs to himself. Kofi gets some of his quick high flying offense until Bray stops him in his tracks with an Avalanche Splash into the corner. Bray kisses Kofi and hits Kofi with Sister Abigail for the win. **
Say what you want about Bray’s in-ring work, but he is coming along. Bray’s facial expressions and how into his character he is makes his craziness believable. Bray is top notch and if given enough time to develop he can become a main eventer in years to come. Bray is beat Kofi down in a brutally vicious fashion. Bray seemed truly sadistic in this throw away match. But, this is how you properly use these throw away matches. In the same way the WWE used to use squash enhancement matches back in the day. It provides the wrestler the opportunity to show off their move set and get their character over in the ring. If Cena turns it on at WrestleMania then Bray could be made at WrestleMania.
We see the Shield in Corporate Kane’s office. Kane congratulates the Shield on their victories from this past week. Ambrose questions Kane on why Kane is not getting ready for his match vs. The Big Show tonight. Kane says he is going to show them how to take care of a situation. Kane orders that the Shield sit ringside during the Big Show vs. Kane match to see firsthand how to take care of a situation. Rollins fires back to Kane that he just wants the Shield out there to protect him against the Big Show. Rollins then says that the Shield doesn’t take orders from Kane. Reigns steps in and says, “But the Shield always does what’s best for business.” This is a great way to tie into the main event, and to be honest piqued my interest in a match that was 0% interesting when Cole announced it at the start of the show.
Back from commercial we see the Bella Twins in the ring as Tamina Snuka makes her way to the ring with AJ Lee.
Nikki Bella w/ Brie Bella vs. Tamina Snuka w/ AJ Lee: AJ Lee joins Cole and JBL on commentary. AJ Lee continues to be unimpressive. It could be after I watched Paige wrestle for the first time at NXT ArRival, but AJ Lee has not impressed me since she won the Divas title 271 days ago (according to Michael Cole). Paige and Emma put on the best WWE Divas match I have ever watched. Don’t give me that Lita vs. Trish stuff. They were better than anyone else, but not as good as what Paige and Emma put together at ArRival. Anyways, Nikki defeats Snuka and continues her path to being the #1 contender for the Divas title in a “Total Divas” vs. “Anti-Diva” feud of Nikki vs. AJ. ¼*
Alberto Del Rio vs. Dolph Ziggler: Del Rio claims his entrance in the 30 man battle royal at WrestleMania. This is unfortunate. Del Rio’s talent outweighs this battle royal. Del Rio needs a singles match at WrestleMania.
Ziggler gains the advantage early in the match by dropkicking Del Rio off of the aprons and to the outside. Back inside the ring Ziggler hits Del Rio with the heart stopping elbow drops. Del Rio regains the advantage with a stiff and awesome stomp to Ziggler’s chest as Ziggler hangs on the middle rope thus driving Ziggler into the ring.
Del Rio hits Ziggler with a stiff step-up enzuigiri. Del Rio goes on the top rope and jumps off. Ziggler hits Del Rio with a stiff dropkick on Del Rio’s way down off the top rope. Ziggler then hits Del Rio with the ten punches in the corner. A DDT from Ziggler gives Ziggler a two count pinfall on Del Rio. The crowd is in Japanese wrestling crowd mode. Silent between moves and lots of “OO’s” and “AH’s” with every single move. Del Rio goes for another step up enzuigiri and Ziggler ducks and hits Del Rio with a Famasser. These guys are hitting move after move and near fall after near fall. JBL is putting these guys over saying this is WrestleMania season and these guys are wrestling their hearts out to ensure their spot on the card. Ziggler hits Del Rio with a surprise ZigZag for the win. ***1/4
What a match. Del Rio is continuing to put on the best matches that no one will give him credit for. I promise you people, this man as talent. Call me crazy, but as far as in-ring work goes, this guy reminds me so much of Bret Hart.
Renee Young, is in the ring to interview Ziggler after the match. Ziggler then gives Renee an exclusive. Ziggler then officially puts himself into the Andre the Giant battle royal match. This battle royal is going to have a lot of name power in it. It has the chance to be something really special. I am glad guys like Del Rio and Ziggler are getting spots on the card when these returning stars keep taking all of the main spots, I just hope this battle royal is high profile and not a throw away.
We get the WWE Hall of Fame announcement of Carlos Colon. It is great that the WWE is finally dropping all of these exclusive things on Smackdown. From the entries into the Andre Battle Royal to Carlos Colon making the WWE Hall of Fame. Can I just beg the WWE for a minute to not have Epico and Primo break their Matadores gimmick to induct Carlos. Just have them induct him as Epico and Primo. The Los Matadores gimmick is one of my favorites going and I don’t want it to be watered down by some broken kayfabe goofiness. Besides Carlos deserves more than that.
Michael Cole then explains the WWE Network the fans until the Wyatts interrupt him. Luke Harper then starts off with a promo of his own. Luke is starting to shine within the Wyatt family. In the distant future Harper definitely has a future in this company. Bray then cuts promo of his own talking about John Cena being a hero to his people and Bray knows John is going to become a withered old man who is going to be lonely and filled with regrets. Bray must have seen the preview to Total Divas this Sunday where John tells Nikki that he doesn’t want to get married to her. I mean, that’s obviously what Bray is talking about, right?
We get a commercial for this coming Monday’s episode of Raw, previewing a Triple H/Daniel Bryan verbal altercation post- #OccupyRAW.
Corportate Kane makes his way to the ring to kick off the main event of the evening.
Corporate Kane w/ the Shield (Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose, and Roman Reigns) vs. The Big Show: The match starts off with The Big Show beating down Corporate Kane until the Shield make their way down to the ring and distract The Big Show. The crowd seems pretty dead for this big man vs. big man match. Kane locks in a rest hold on Big Show. That is exactly what a match between two behomeths should entail. Rest holds. Its like these guys are rookies or something. Kane signals for the chokeslamas Big Show makes his way to his feet. Both men grab each other’s throats in a stale mate for the chokeslam. Big Show breaks out of it with a kick to Kane’s stomach and hits Kane with a spear. Big Shwo goes to the top rope and Kane intercepts with a chokeslam from the top rope to the Big Show. Kane calls for the Shield to “get the Big Show”. The Shield jumps on the apron as if they are going to attack the Big Show. The Shield hops off the apron. Kane yells at them “Don’t you know who I am?! I’M THE BOSS!” and the Shield yells back “We don’t take orders from you.” Kane turns around and The Big Show hits Kane with a chokeslam and the victory. *
Overrall a good episode of Smackdown. It had more storyline development than past weeks. Only one really good match, but you can’t win them all.
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