Friday, May 4, 2012

WWE Friday Night SmackDown! 5/4/12

WWE Friday Night SmackDown
May 4th, 2012
Huntington Center, Toledo, Ohio
Attendance: Unknown at this time

Welcome back everyone to another edition of 411's WWE Smackdown report from yours truly. We're only five days removed from the Extreme Rules PPV and the colossal encounter that was Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena, but there's no time to rest as we're already only a few weeks away from the next PPV, Over the Limit. Tonight's show looks to be a solid one on paper with an Extreme Rules rematch between Sheamus and Daniel Bryan being advertised, so let's jump right into the thick of things and hope tonight's show is better than that dreadful RAW earlier this week.

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

We open the show with the World Heavyweight champion, Sheamus, making his way out to the ring. He tells us just how much he loves to fight, and that's exactly what he's come to do tonight with Daniel Bryan (big YES! chant starts up before Sheamus steals the thunder and starts leading the fans in the chant). Really? They're just going to take this incredibly over chant that was totally Bryan's idea and baby and just start handing it out to babyfaces just because the fans love to chant it and Bryan's a heel? Bryan, the number one contender to CM Punk's WWE title, interrupts and makes his way down to the ring as apparently we're going to kick-start the show with our Extreme Rules rematch

Sheamus (30-15-1) vs. Daniel Bryan (15-19-2)
Sheamus goes for a shoulder-block at the bell but starts favoring his arm, selling the injury from the Extreme Rules match (big points to Sheamus there). Bryan hits a drop-toe hold and tries for a wristlock but Sheamus just socks him in the jaw. Bryan comes back with a big armbreaker though and then stomps away at the Irishman in the corner. Sheamus drives his shoulder into Bryan's stomach in the corner and then clotheslines him out of the ring when all of a sudden Ricardo Rodriguez leaps into the ring and takes out Sheamus off the top rope with a cross-body to draw the DQ at 2:49. Del Rio hops in to give Sheamus the cross armbar afterwards and then Bryan gives him the YES! Lock as well to work over the injured arm even further. Well that wasn't much of a rematch, but it started off very good before the run-in. Hopefully this isn't the last we've seen of these two tonight though. *1/2

Backstage after the break Sheamus gets checked on by a doctor and writhes in pain.

Kofi Kingston/R-Truth vs. Hunico/Camacho
Oh, right, Kofi and Truth are the tag champs. I forgot about that in about twenty seconds. Non-title match here and Epico, Primo, Rosa Mendes, and A.W. all come out to watch. Truth and Hunico start off with Truth hitting a nice Japanese armdrag before tagging Kofi in, who hits a flying forearm from the top rope. Kofi gets sent out of the ring and Camacho lariats him behind the ref's back. Back in the ring Camacho tags in and hits a big legdrop on Kingston. Hunico tags back in with a slingshot dropkick in the corner and they tease the tag between Kofi and Truth with Hunico holding him back briefly before being monkey flipped, allowing Truth to get the hot tag. Truth hits Camacho with the corkscrew elbow and then launches Kofi over his head into mid-air where he gives Hunico a big hurricanrana out of the ring, taking a page out of the Billy Kidman/Rey Mysterio handbook. Truth hits Camacho with the Little Jimmy (god that name is terrible) to pick up the win at 4:07. Damn, that was a hell of an energetic little four minute match, I would have loved to have seen more of that. Truth and Kofi don't make much sense as a tag team but they do work well together and Hunico and Camacho make a great addition to the tag division. **1/4

"The Funkasaurus" Brodus Clay (4-4) vs. Jack Swagger (9-10)
Clay hits a belly-to-belly suplex right at the bell and then takes Jack's head off with a clothesline. Dolph Ziggler distracts Clay long enough for Swagger to tackle him out of the ring, where Ziggler eats another headbutt from Clay when he tries to interfere. T-bone suplex from Clay and he tries for the What the Funk splash, but Swagger leaves the ring...and gets intentionally counted out at 1:43. Wait, so Clay can squash Ziggler clean but they need to protect Swagger? Huh? Some little kids hit the ring to dance with Clay after the match. 3/4*

Highlights of the attack on John Cena by John Laurinaitis and Lord Tensai from RAW. OTL is going to bomb if Cena/Ace is the planned main event. Michael Cole informs us that Laurinaitis has taken a personal day tonight and isn't here.

Backstage Eve breaks up an arguing Daniel Bryan and Alberto Del Rio. Bryan says he would have beaten Sheamus if Del Rio didn't interfere but Del Rio doesn't care since he's the number one contender for the WHC. Bryan demands that he and Sheamus wrestle again tonight, and Eve tells him that she'll decide if they wrestle again after talking to the doctors.

Up next we've got Damien Sandow vs. Derrick Bateman, which is Sandow's debut after weeks of pretaped promos and he comes out to a deliciously pretentious choral rendering of "Hallelujah" (or some similar sounding hymn, I'm not great with those) as his theme music before cutting an excellent heel promo about how he doesn't want to wrestle a "miscreant" and "ignaramus" like Bateman for his debut. Bateman mentions that he apparently earned this match FIVE MONTHS AGO on NXT, so he wants to wrestle someone. Boy, what a prestigious prize. Sandow takes off and Ryback comes out as his opponent of course. Guess where this is going. Go on, guess.

Ryback (4-0) vs. Derrick Bateman (0-1)
Petty offense from Bateman while the crowd chants "Goldberg!" at Ryback. He hits a neat backpack chinbreaker and a lariat before finishing off Bateman moments later with the marching Samoan drop at 1:12. Squash city. 1/4*

Randy Orton/Big Show vs. Kane/Cody Rhodes
Not a bad looking match for the middle of the show. Orton and Rhodes start us off with Orton takes the upper hand with a lariat. Show tags in and drives his backside into Cody in the corner before bodyslamming him and tagging Randy back in. Dropkick from Orton and Cody tags Kane in. Kane goes to work on Randy's mid-section in the corner but Orton escapes and tags out to Show, who spears Kane and then tosses Cody into the ring for a big chop. Kane fires off a big DDT on Show as we take a commercial break. When we return Cody is working over Show before tagging out to Kane. Kane works over Show a bit before the big man is able to hit a huge back suplex and get the hot tag to Orton. Randy hits the powerslam on Cody but eats a right hand from Kane when he tries for the second-rope DDT so Orton just hits Kane with the DDT instead. Kane blocks the RKO and Cody low-bridges Orton out of the ring as the crowd goes from nearly exploding to dead in seconds (that's good heel work). Kane boots Orton outside the ring and covers him back inside for a two count. Cody tags back in and hits a big dropkick for his own near fall before tagging Kane back in. Orton is able to hit the over-the-shoulder backbreaker on Kane but he wanders into the wrong corner looking for a tag and the heels exchange tags again, cutting Orton off from his corner. Cody applies a chinlock but Orton fights it off and then counters the Cross-Rhodes attempt with a back body drop. Randy gets the tag to Show, who cleans house on Cody. He looks for the chokeslam, but Kane breaks it up with the top rope clothesline. He turns around right into an RKO from Orton however! Cody sends Orton out of the ring but Show hits him with the WMD fist for the win at 10:44 (shown). Another really solid tag match here, I wasn't sure how well this one would gel but by the time hey hit the finish with everyone trading big moves everything was gravy. **3/4

Backstage Matt Striker tries to get a word with Sheamus about whether he'll wrestle Bryan tonight, and Sheamus tells him yes.

Layla (8-8) vs. Natalya (9-14)
I must say, Layla returning to win the title is just superbly random (where's Kharma?). Layla tries a headscissors on the mat to start but Nattie escapes and they trade wristlocks. Sweet spinning lariat from Natalya gets a two count. She tries for a slam but Layla counters with a roll through and hits a big neckbreaker for the win at 1:58. Your usual quick divas TV match here though Nattie showed a bit of fire. Hopefully Layla's just a placeholder until Kharma returns for good. 3/4*

Backstage Antonio Cesaro (the former Claudio Casagnoli) and Aksana take some photos with a photographer while Eve talks them on. Eve thinks Antonio looks dry though and Eve orders Teddy Long to rub oil on Cesaro. Awkwaaaard.

Elsewhere backstage AJ is full of remorse over striking Kaitlyn last week and tries to apologize. Kaitlyn tells her she was just being her friend but that this "pity party" over Daniel Bryan needs to stop. AJ rears back and bitch slaps her again for that comment and storms off. I shouldn't enjoy two hot women slapping each other so much.

Highlights of Brock Lesnar's attack on Triple H this past week on RAW.

Sheamus (31-15-1) vs. Daniel Bryan (15-20-2)
Alberto Del Rio comes out to join the commentary team before the match starts. Bryan goes right to work on the injured shoulder of Sheamus (now taped up) with kicks. Nasty shoulder-breaker from Bryan, but Sheamus counters with a big tilt-a-whirl slam. He tries for the Brogue Kick but Bryan avoids it and sends Sheamus out of the ring as we take our last commercial break. When we return Bryan is diving onto the shoulder of Sheamus outside the ring. Sheamus tries to return to the ring but Bryan sends him back out again and then sends him shoulder-first into the steel post. Back in the ring Bryan hits the diving headbutt off the top rope for a two count. Bryan manages to unwrap most of the bandages on the shoulder, but Sheamus sends him shoulder-first into the steel post in a taste of his own medicine. Sheamus rips off the bandages like a badass and then lays in the ten hammer-fist forearms on Bryan in-between the ropes not once, but twice, leaving Daniel's chest beet red. Sheamus suplexes Bryan back into the ring, but Bryan kicks out of the pin. Bryan hits a knee but Sheamus hits the Irish Curse backbreaker in response and then begins kneeing the ever loving bejesus out of Bryan on the apron. Bryan drapes the injured shoulder over the top rope and hits the missile dropkick from the top, but now it's Sheamus' turn to kick out. Bryan continues the shoulder-work but Sheamus lariats him inside-out 360 degrees in one of the sickest damn clotheslines I think I've ever seen, that was downright Hansen-esque. Del Rio hits the apron but Sheamus sends Bryan into him to bump him off the apron. Bryan tries for another missile dropkick from the top, but Sheamus BOOTS HIS HEAD OFF with the Brogue Kick for the win at 9:27 (shown). I was already digging this quite a bit but by the last few minutes Sheamus was just murdering Bryan and he was taking all the bumps like a champ as they just kicked this one into overdrive for the finish. This feud continues to be awesome when they actually give them time to wrestle, what a shocker. Great TV match. ***1/4

We close out the show with Sheamus celebrating in the ring as Bryan lays dead and Del Rio storms off up the ramp with Rodriguez.

Bottom Line: This was an excellent show tonight from the blue brand, they gave time to several matches and the results were a few solid ones and an excellent main event between Sheamus and D-Bry. The tag match in the middle of the show was good as well and got time which is exactly the kind of stuff I'd rather see carrying the mid-section of the show instead of three or four more 2 minute matches to be honest. Damn good little show from Smackdown tonight and an easy Thumbs Up.

Rating: 8.0/10

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