Smackdown was the first WWE show after CM Punk ‘walked out off the WWE’ but as it was only leaked after the taping on Tuesday took place there wasn’t any reaction from the crowd on this topic. Very interesting will be coming RAW. I still think that it’s a work but just communicated between Punk and Vince McMahon to make sure everyone thinks it’s for real. The only important thing is that Punk finally can get some rest. The other thing is up to him.
But now for Smackdown!
The show started off with over FOUR minutes of retakes from last RAW’s DB vs. The Authority vs. The Shield vs. The Wyatts and I keep asking myself if the WWE thinks that wrestling fans have only a long-term memory of two days. It’s OK when you show some pictures that happened some months ago but when half of Smackdown and now even a good part of RAW basically consists of repetitions I wonder if you just don’t have material to fill the shows with or if you just think that wrestling fans are prick dumb. I think, you, WWE, think that the latter is the case. And I tell you: there is no need for endless repetitions when there are hardly story lines that last for more than three weeks right now. Just leave it and show us longer matches with new and interesting story lines.
But after that first little frustration there was a great first match between Antonio Cesaro and Dolph Ziggler for one of the last two remaining places in the Elimination Chamber match for Randy Orton’s collection of championship belts. Cesaro won easily and spectacular with some great moves and in entertaining manner. He won’t have a chance in the EC match and probably will go out as the first guy. But I hope that he can stay inside for quite a while to show off some of his qualities. It’s definitely no accident that CM Punk is a fan of him. Oh, and if you have a spare hour to fill then listen to ep.48 of The Art of Wrestling and Colt’s chit-chat with Claudio Castagnoli (Cesaro’s real name). Side note: Zeb Colter’s messages are getting weirder and weirder: this time he’d telling us that “Illegals make me ill. / I prefer ‘aliens’ from Mars.” (David Bowie would probably agree on the second statement.)
Next segment was another great Shield promo right in the ring. There were some tensions again between DA and Roman Reigns (yeah!) initiated obviously by DA. And the subject was the Royal Rumble. I don’t really know why it wasn’t a subject on RAW, maybe because of the Punk drama, but at least we finally got Jon Moxley back (or the Dean Ambrose of FCW). Seth Rollins played the peacemaker between his ‘brothers’ again and got them back on the road for their real enemy: the Wyatt Family. And that culminated in DA’s challenging words to them:
“If The Wyatt’s want a new world, we’ll give them a new world! If The Shield isn’t gonna win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at Elimination Chamber, we’ll do the next best thing. We’ll do the next best thing and WE WILL WIPE THE WYATT FAMILY OFF THE FACE OF THE EARTH! And Wyatts, consider that a challenge!”
Look here for a great interview with DA at The Classical.
Vickie Guerrero was about to make that a real match but Triple H interfered, joined The Shield in the ring and basically treated them like little kids who aren’t to play their own way. Then came Reigns to tell Triple H that The Shield don’t need his approval and that was it. Hunter asked the WWE universe if they would like to see The Shield vs. The Wyatt Family. Because the fans want that for months their reaction wasn’t really surprising. So that match was scheduled for the Elimination Chamber. Inside a steel cage would be great but I doubt that this will happen because that would basically steal all the attention making the supposed ‘main event’ for Orton belt collection almost meaningless.
The following match Fandango vs. Xavier Woods caught my attention just a few times. One time when I recognized that Woods shaved off his porn tache. And then when R-Truth on commentary talked about the U.S. Championship belt again. It’s quite certain now that the WWE only wants the most meaningless competitor for Dean Ambrose so can’t take off that much attention from Roman Reigns. If Woods indeed wins against Ambrose and take the belt from him then Jon Moxley will be back. I sincerely beg for it!
Most notable point from the next segment – the match between Ryback & Curtis Axel vs. The Prime Time Players – happened after the match. Titus O’Neil wasn’t involved during the whole match and after Darren Young lost against Curtis Axel O’Neil turned on Young, told him that he doesn’t like to be a loser like he would be in a team with him. Then he beat Young up and left him. Bye, bye, Prime Time Players. Could be interesting to see now what will happen with the only openly gay wrestler, Darren Young.
For everyone out there, who didn’t know already that Jake “The Snake” Roberts would join the Ultimate Warrior into the Hall of Fame there was another nice little segment about this upcoming event. And after that there was the first promo by Alexander Rusev from NXT, who will join – probably – Smackdown very soon. We have seen him first at the Royal Rumble but I’m not impressed. Just another big, strong guy who’s mission is to destroy everything that comes his way. Seriously, WWE, if you continue like that Dean Ambrose once will be the only guy left, who stands out with his psycho gimmick. You see one match by Brock Lesnar and you know what you get. You see several matches by Dean Ambrose but you still never know what’s he doing next. We will see how much psycho he is allowed to do.
The next match was for the last remaining spot in the Elimination Chamber with Randy Orton and this time another comeback guy got that very spot: Christian. He had to fight it out against Jack Swagger of the Real Americans and although I haven’t seen much of this match the frog splash by Christian at the end was quite impressive. Could be interesting how long he’ll stay injury-free this time.
So, just for the records: the participants in the Elimination Chamber are: Randy Orton (DC), Antonio Cesaro, Sheamus, Super Cena, Daniel Bryan, Christian.
And after Kofi Kingston defeated Damien Sandow in a very short match and Cody Rhodes earned The Brotherhood another re-match for the Tag Team Championship against the Road Dogg of The New Age Outlaws the main event of Smackdown was about to happen:
The Shield vs. Rey Mysterio & Sheamus & DB. But before the match started Bray Wyatt had something to say via the Titanthron to the three Shield members, who already waited inside the ring. Even Luke Harper directed some words towards The Shield, stating that “You picked a beautiful hill to die on.” Luke Harper is a poet!
The match itself was very entertaining and pretty much main event worth. Just enjoy it and have fun while watching. Just some notes on it: Sheamus did his best to make the audience forget that the WWE lives in PG times. He once again made DA naked and there are even official pictures from this part of the match by the WWE (as you may have noticed already on the top of this page). Then I think Roman Reigns has began to take ‘facial expressions’ and ‘trash talk during matches’ lessons from DA and Seth Rollins. And now he’s trying out in the ring. It’s not perfect so far but at least he slightly improves in that department. Otherwise he could become boring very fast when he’s finally on his own. Almost at the end of the match DA hit Sheamus onto his bad shoulder. Sheamus then wasn’t seen anymore only right at the end when he joined Rey and DB in the ring. He was holding his shoulder and I hope it’s not a setback. Because Sheamus is the one, who was about to replace Punk not only on RAW and Smackdown but also on the Live Shows.
Ah, I’ve forgotten one tiny thing: Roman Reigns won the match with a spear on Rey Mysterio. Someone is not impressed: