Friday, March 16, 2012

WWE Friday Night Smackdown 3/16/12

WWE Friday Night Smackdown
March 16th, 2012
Nationwide Arena, Columbus, Ohio
Attendance: Unknown at this time

Welcome back everyone to another edition of 411's WWE Friday Night Smackdown report. We're inching ever so closer to Wrestlemania and the huge Rock/Cena showdown, but tonight the blue brand has a pretty big show lined up for us with the return of Captain Charisma, Christian, in his trademark Peep Show segment, along with a main event pitting Chris Jericho against Sheamus, so let's jump right into things.

Your hosts are Michael Cole, Booker T, and Josh Matthews

We start out the show tonight with Christian making his way out to the ring for the Peep Show segment. Nice pop for Christian despite his heel leanings. Christian introduces John Laurinaitis and David Otunga next, who make their way down to the ring. Next he introduces Teddy Long alongside Aksana. Christian wants to give each man a chance to convince him to join their team for the big Wrestlemania tag match, giving Teddy the first chance. Teddy just stares daggers at Christian, who snaps at him and decides to tell him that even the dumb people in Columbus know that he should get one more shot at the World Heavyweight title. Teddy tells him that if he wants a title shot, he'll need to earn it, when Johnny interrupts Teddy to tell Christian it would be an honor for him to be on Team Laurinaitis. He promises Christian a title shot if he joins his team, and Christian agrees to join Team Johnny. Teddy tries to book Christian into a match tonight but Johnny says he isn't medically cleared, so Teddy books David Otunga into a match instead, right now, against the newest member of Team Teddy, Kofi Kingston!

Kofi Kingston (14-14) vs. David Otunga (3-2)
We return from the break with this match already under way. Santino is at ringside with Kofi while Teddy and Johnny have joined the commentary team. Otunga blocks a monkey flip attempt and nails an elbow drop on Kofi. Otunga dominates for a bit, hitting a powerslam before pounding away at Kingston on the mat. Pretty long heat segment here on Kofi, but Otunga's offense is painstakingly boring so the crowd doesn't really give a shit until Kofi hits a huge cross-body off the top rope and starts his comeback. Christian trips up Kofi behind the ref's back but Teddy tells the ref what happened and the ref ejects Christian from ringside. Laurinaitis and Teddy start arguing and while the ref tries to break them up (shouldn't you be paying attention to the match?) Otunga pulls off his belt but Santino strips it from his hands, distracting Otunga long enough for Kofi to nail him with the Trouble in Paradise for the win at 5:39 (shown). Pedestrian stuff, started off boring with Otunga on offense and picked up a bit towards the finish, but nothing special. *1/2

Daniel Bryan is backstage, having AJ try on a fancy designer dress he bought for her (and looking stunning in the process). She claims it doesn't fit and Bryan says "Yeah, it looked so much better on the mannequin". Ouch, burn. He tells her they're the new power couple and she needs to start dressing for the part, comparing them to Randy and Elizabeth, Triple H and Steph, and Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. Bryan tells her he got her a match up next with a possible Diva's title shot on the line and they make out a bit before AJ takes off to change for her match.

AJ Lee (3-9) vs. Nikki Bella (0-0)
Bryan comes out after both ladies ring introductions just to hog a bit of the spotlight. AJ hits Nikki with a big dropkick at the bell but Nikki responds with a snapmare and some hair-pulling. Nikki applies a nice chinlock with AJ's arms tied up in Bella's legs behind her. AJ hits a spinkick out of nowhere and then hits a cross-body off the top. The Bella's try to do the old Twin Switcheroo but Bryan gets on the apron and alerts the ref to it. AJ rolls up Nikki to pick up the win at 2:29. Bryan celebrates (without AJ) like he just won the World title again. Match was the usual diva's fare but slightly more entertaining simply because the crowd was really into AJ and popped every time she hit a move. Don't look now, but a diva might actually be over. *1/4

After some highlights of the Rock/Cena rap/rock battle on RAW this week and an announcement of John Cena vs. Mark Henry for RAW next week, we cut backstage to Matt Striker who's with Cody Rhodes and wants to know how he expects to defend his Intercontinental title against Big Show at Wrestlemania. Cody says Show is a monster 364 days of the year, but on Wrestlemania day he's a choke artist.

Cody Rhodes (20-21) vs. The Great Khali (6-7)
Khali dominates to start with big chops, AKA 90% of his moveset. Cody hits an armbreaker and goes to work on the arm briefly before switching his sights to Khali's leg. Khali looks for another chop but Cody hangs him up on the top rope and dropkicks Khali's leg from out under him before nailing him with the Beautiful Disaster kick for the win at 3:14. Good win for Cody here against a giant as he heads into his 'Mania match with Big Show. Match itself was the usual plodding boredom that is every Khali match ever, but Cody looked good. 1/2*

We get some highlights of a recent WWE tour of South America and some words from Justin Gabriel, Natalya, and Sheamus.

When we return from commercial, Randy Orton makes his way out to the ring (with a spiffy new t-shirt) to tell us...that his name is Randy Orton. Okay. Orton says he's usually the one doing the hunting, but recently he's been the hunted because of Kane. We get an official acknowledgement of a match between the two men booked for Wrestlemania as Orton explains that unlike John Cena, he embraces hate and hate embraces him back. Orton calls out Kane for an explanation, and Kane obliges, coming out and telling Orton that he hasn't forgotten a match Kane and Orton had last summer (July 22nd, 2011 to be precise) in which Orton won and both men shook hands in a sign of respect afterwards. Kane says the man who shook Randy's hand is gone, replaced by someone without any humanity and he will not rest until he beats Orton. Randy thanks him for the explanation then challenges him to come to the ring and fight, and it looks like Kane is going to do just that, but he stops halfway down the ramp and thinks better of it, deciding to save Randy's demise for Wrestlemania. Good segment to further the feud between both men and give an actual explanation behind it.

Big Show (19-6) vs. Drew McIntyre (6-15)
Drew comes out to the ring first and Teddy Long introduces his
opponent as the Big Show. Drew tries to beg Show off at the bell but eats some chops for his troubles. Drew actually mounts a bit of offense, but Show hits him with the WMD fist and then chokeslams Drew before hitting another WMD fist to pick up the KO win at 1:27. I just don't get what the hell they're doing with Drew and this angle, and frankly, I no longer care at all. Match was just a squash for Show, which he doesn't need at all. 1/4*

Mark Henry (13-10) vs. Yoshi Tatsu (0-2)
You know what's better than one unnecessary squash of a small guy by a giant? TWO unnecessary squashes! Poor Yoshi doesn't stand a chance, even if he does show some fire with some kicks and chops at the bell. Henry just toys with Yoshi for a bit until finishing him with the World's Strongest Slam at 1:33. Just another pointless squash, why Yoshi though? Was Curt Hawkins busy? 1/4*

Chris Jericho makes his way out to the ring after the commercial break to address the comments he made about CM Punk and his father on RAW this week. Jericho says he's been bombarded on social media by fans to apologize, but he's not going to do that. Jericho claims to have figured out the real CM Punk and that every time he unleashes a "pipe bomb" it's because he wishes he could say those things to his father and family. Jericho says that Punk just wishes the demons would go away, but they won't ever. He reiterates that he, not Punk, is the best in the world. He refers to Punk and the fans as "Jeri-clones" (that's an awesome word) and then promises to walk out of Wrestlemania the new WWE Champion. He gives Punk the nickname of "CM Drunk" and then drops the mic like a pipe bomb as we take a commercial break and head into our main event of the evening.

Chris Jericho (0-0) vs. Sheamus (26-13-1)

Believe it or not I think this is Jericho's first match on Smackdown since atleast 2010. Jericho lures Sheamus out of the ring in a foot chase to start but Sheamus hits a huge slingshot shoulder-block on him back in the ring for a two count. Jericho gets dumped to the outside and Sheamus lays in the ten hammer-fists into his chest on the ring apron. He gives Jericho a delayed suplex back into the ring and it's really been all Sheamus so far. As soon as I say that of course Sheamus gets dumped to the floor and nailed with a dropkick into the barrier. World Heavyweight champion Daniel Bryan alongside his girlfriend AJ make their way out to ringside as we cut to commercial. When we return Sheamus is being catapulted throat-first into the bottom rope. Jericho delivers a back suplex to the Irishman then slaps on a chinlock. Jericho tries for the running bulldog but Sheamus just shoves him in mid-air into the corner. Irish Curse backbreaker from Sheamus, and he follows up with the Finlay roll but neither move can put him away. Sheamus blocks a Codebreaker attempt but misses the Brogue Kick, and Jericho nails him with a missile dropkick before hitting the Lionsault for a close near fall. Sheamus gets crotched on the top rope briefly but comes off with a diving shoulder-block anyways. Jericho blocks the Celtic Cross powerbomb and counters into the Walls of Jericho! Sheamus is just barely able to get to the ropes though. Jericho avoids the Celtic Cross again but gets clotheslined out to the floor. Sheamus follows him out and tosses Jericho into the general direction of Bryan and AJ, but he takes his eye off Jericho on his way back into the ring and gets dropkicked out. Jericho distracts the ref while Bryan attacks Sheamus on the floor behind the ref's back, and that's enough to get Sheamus counted out at 10:53 (shown). Really good TV match between these two while it lasted, it's good to see Jericho on Smackdown again and the only thing holding this match is the screwy finish. Otherwise though, great stuff. ***

After the match Sheamus chases Bryan up the ramp and then nails Jericho with the Brogue Kick back in the ring as we go off the air.

Bottom Line: Pretty good show tonight for the most part, we got a really solid main event with Jericho returning to Smackdown for the night as well as strong promos from Jericho as well as Randy Orton and Kane. Nothing really stood out in the first hour, but most of the major angles were advanced and the main event was a lot of fun, so overall this was another solid show from the blue brand and a Thumbs Up.

Score: 6.5/10


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the great recap of the nights events. I work late Friday nights at DISH and I usually miss that nights airing of Smackdown. I usually go to to get caught up. I just finished Fridays episode, I don’t think it was a let down, but it wasn’t the most exciting of episodes either. Between the lack luster return of Captain Charisma and the 2 squash matches I lost interest early on. The main event was a good match until the count out finish. Maybe Raw will be a bit more entertaining this week.

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