WWE Smackdown - June 15th, 2012
Ah, the Smackdown before a PPV. That glorious time when the best shows are crafted to pull in as many extra buys for the Sunday...except in the case of WWE, who usually hands us a run of the mill show at best. Let's have a look-see at why we should buy No Way Out in 2012.
Because titles are secondary (and because Vince was involved), we open with a recap of Monday's Big Show/Cena shenanigans and Mr. McMahon getting KO'd by Big Show's fistwind. We roll into the credits and show proper starts. Our favorite little nut, AJ heads on down to the ring, still decked out in CM Punk gear. A quick recap of her kiss with Kane from Raw before she speaks. She smiles to the crowd nice and big. She kissed Kane on Raw because...EXCUSE ME. Vickie Guerrero interrupts the big reveal and says that the story tonight is about Dolph Ziggler and his quest for the World Heavyweight Championship. Vickie introduces Ziggler and they head to the ring. Dolph says his tag matches with Swagger have been "pointless", and it's hard to disagree at this point. Ziggler will be the next World Champion and he doesn't plan on AJ stealing his spotlight. AJ sasses Ziggler and says he won't beat Sheamus. She then calls Vickie Dolph's grandma and gets slapped for it; she smiles at Vickie, seemingly ready to pounce, and CM Punk makes his entrance. Cut to AJ and an enormous smile on her face.
Punk tells Vickie that just because she screeches "Excuse me", doesn't mean the WWE Universe has to. She's a broken record; she comes out, touting Ziggler, then Ziggler loses. Punk reminds Ziggler that they made the same claim for the WWE title, and Punk is still the champion. Since the ring isn't quite full yet, Daniel Bryan takes this opportunity to interrupt the proceedings and head to the ring himself. Bryan calls Punk AJ's knight in shining armor with a quick reminder of her actions on Raw. Bryan says AJ is manipulating Punk. AJ's "bad luck" circa Wrestlemania will be Bryan's good luck at No Way Out, and this brings Sheamus down to complete the members of the night's tag team match. Sheamus makes an arse joke at Bryan's expense, since he seems to talk out of it so much. Sheamus aims to move the tag match to the opener and a ref heads to the ring. AJ says she has "old business" to take care of and lunges at Vickie, but Punk catches her and restrains her.
Match 1: CM Punk (WWE Champion) and Sheamus (World Heavyweight Champion) vs Dolph Ziggler and Daniel Bryan
Winners: Dolph Ziggler and Daniel Bryan via pinfall
Apparently since Sheamus asked for it, that's enough to move the main event of the show into the opener slot. As if the titles don't regularly hit this spot on their own. Sheamus opens with the rolling fireman's carry. The word is that Sheamus is to be the "next Cena" and he's now doing the same silly things, like the use of signature moves to OPEN a match. AJ is in the corner of Punk and Sheamus for the match; it will be interesting to see if the same is true for No Way Out, since she is the x-factor in the situation and will more than likely play into the conclusion of the WWE title match. Punk holds Ziggler up in a stalling vertical suplex for a ludicrously long time, which is more than impressive. With some distraction from Ziggler, the challengers are able to take control and pin Sheamus down in their end of the ring. Sheamus makes an incredibly lackluster "hot tag" to Punk as the show heads to a commercial and AJ continues to show the most emotion and have the best facials of anyone on the roster.
Back from break, Punk is still fighting back but failing to take control. Bryan lands a head and arm suplex then ascends the top but comes up empty on a diving headbutt. Tags on both ends lead to Sheamus running wild on Ziggler. Sheamus pulls a Cena after Bryan and Punk eliminate one another and Vickie tries to distract Sheamus as he readies for the Brough Kick; AJ knocks her into the ring. Sheamus yells at Vickie to vacate and Ziggler capitalizes with a school boy and a cheap pin.
After the match, Vickie shoves AJ and she snaps - The little wildcat pounces on the cougar and the fight spills outside, leading Vickie to shove AJ backfirst into the ring apron and go down hard. Vickie runs away and Kane comes out and makes a beeline for AJ. Kane scoops AJ up and begins to carry her to the back. Punk attacks from behind, assuming Kane was abducting his favorite "crazy chick". Kane throws Punk into the ring, where Bryan attacks, but Kane gives him a chokeslam. One for the WWE champion, as well. Kane looks to AJ on the stage and she falls to her knees and begins to laugh, transitioning to a very blank look.
Brodus Clay and David Otunga will be the YouTube preshow match at 7:30PM EST on Sunday.
Brodus grabs a mic and complaints that Big Johnny has banned him from Raw and says if he goes anywhere near Big Show, he will be fired on the spot. Brodus continues that he is confident that John Cena will beat Big Show at No Way Out. Clay says he'll agree with the banning from Raw if he gets some real competition. About damn time one of these squash machines asks for this. Asking who's on deck, Brodus is greeted by Heath Slater, who got his ass kicked by Vader on Raw and Clay himself recently enough.
Match 2: Brodus Clay vs Heath Slater
Winner: Brodus Clay via pinfall
Clay hits Slater with a body attack, a t-bone and the big splash for his standard match. Clay's entrance and chat with the crowd were each longer than the match. David Otunga clips Clay's leg while he dances and continues to attack the knee. Nice to see a match get set up for the PPV; too bad it's the YouTube pre show match. Curious to see if Big Johnny's golden boy will get the first win over the Funkasaurus. Otunga continues to rip at the knee of Clay, leaving him laying in pain. I guess we're to assume that Otunga is this 'competition' that Clay asked for, even though nobody in their right mind would buy that.
Match 3: Beth Phoenix vs Alicia Fox
Winner: Beth Phoenix via pinfall
Layla is at commentary for this one. Alicia goes for her flipping leg drop finisher, but Beth dodges and goes on the offensive. A Glamslam while Beth stares down Layla is good for the win. Layla says she's not intimidated by the Glamazon. They meet at No Way Out for the Diva's title.
Raw 1000 moment from Hornswoggle - The Muppets visit Raw. Odd that so many of these Raw 1000 moments are from such recent shows. That's his best memory of his wrestling show...The Muppets. I mean, who doesn't love the Muppets, but come on.
Lillian Garcia introduces John Lauranaitis and he enters on a crutch. Apparently the People Power scooter that Mr. McMahon destroyed was the only one in existence and neither WWE's medical care (ha!) or Big Johnny's insurance wouldn't spring for a new one. Ace apologies to Vince for Big Show tagging him with the big hamhock on Raw and plays a summary of Raw's happenings. Admittedly, they managed to find the best angle and cut Big Show's WMD on Mr. McMahon so it actually looked like it made contact; kudos to the production team. Ace reminds us that at Wrestlemania and Over the Limit, his job was on the line as well, but he's still here. This time, for No Way Out, his job isn't in jeopardy because he's put his faith in Big Show. Big Show says he's not worried about much; even if he's sent home, he'll still sit at home and collect a paycheck because of his "iron clad" contract. Show drops Flair, Sting and Hogan namedrops as he discusses being held down in WCW. Show gives us his best Vince impression as he recounts Vince's advice to him as he came into WWE. Show says that he shouldn't just sit idly by while guys like Punk, Sheamus and Cena rose to the top; Show isn't happy being a "special attraction". At No Way Out, Big Show aims to be the giant he always should have been. The cage match with Cena will be Big Show's "first match" as himself, the way he should be. He guarantees victory. As Ace and Show leave, Michael Cole stops them and says that he has it "on good authority" that Cena will show up by the end of the night. Show welcomes Cena to come find him.
Match 4: Christian (Intercontinental Champion) vs Jack Swagger, non-title
Winner: Christian via pinfall
Once again, we're treated to a reminder of how Christian returned at Over the Limit and captured the IC title. Enough. We've seen this every week for a month and there's no need for it any longer. Jack Swagger heads to the ring with Vickie still at his side; seems to be a conflict of interest what with Ziggler talking about what a waste Swagger is, but logic be damned. Swagger comes out swinging, but Christian tosses him out of the ring before getting distracted by Vickie and allowing Swagger to take over again. Next to Christian, who isn't an especially small man, Swagger looks enormous; he really is the look WWE would usually push to new heights. Swagger counters the Killswitch and chases Christian to the top rope, but after a few headbutts and a shove, Christian is able to shove Swagger to mat and follow with the Frog Splash for a win leading into his title defense against Cody Rhodes.
|Christian takes to the sky to defeat Jack Swagger|
Match 5: Ari Cohen and Mike Testa vs Ryback
Winner: Ryback via pinfall via sheer, unadulterated dominance
The local "talent" talks trash and makes bad jokes while they await Ryback's emergence, one of them in a tiny pair of Samoa Joe's tights. Ryback's music hits and they seem surprised, as if they weren't SCHEDULED to face the man. Ryback shrugs off punches from Smalloa Joe while he sits atop his shoulders, calls him stupid and spins him around for a powerbomb. Ryback throws one into the other and then lands a pair of lariats. The fisherman samoan buster drop spells the end again. Ryback asks to be fed more, says "mental machine" and "done". He has three catchphrases but has never carried on a conversation on TV. Sure.
Match 6: Tyson Kidd vs Damien Sandow
Winner: Damien Sandow via pinfall
Kidd is in the ring, awaiting Sandow. This continues on from last week's Smackdown when Kidd hit the ring to help out Hornswoggle and was quickly dispatched by Sandow. This is the type of match where you could both keep Sandow strong and begin to get Kidd (one of the most underutilized talents on the WWE roster) over in the eyes of the fans who aren't watching NXT on a regular basis. I type this as I watch this match and my first instinct is that that is not about to occur.
Sandow lands a knee, a russian leg sweep and an elbow drop. Kidd fights back from the apron and lands a huge kick, followed by a Merosault (I would be supremely disappointed by anybody not getting that). Kidd goes for either the Sharpshooter or Dungeon Lock, but Sandow fights out with repeated knees and the Cross Arm Neckbreaker, still unnamed, for the win. Kidd gets a shining moment (literally a moment), but ultimately, it's the same match from Sandow. This is why nobody gets over, why people don't get behind anyone. It's just plain poor decision making. Would Sandow suffer in any way, shape or form to have a six minute match with Kidd getting a bit of real offense, then fighting out of his submission finisher to get a decisive victory instead of a one minute match? No. No it would not.
|So close, yet so far|
Raw 1000 Moment with Michael Cole: Cole is not-quite-knighted in England. These moments somehow keep getting worse and worse.
John Cena apparently made it to the arena in about 45 minutes, as he breaks into Big Johnny's office, to find it empty. Cena makes his serious face and heads toward the ring.
Cena does just that, making his usual entrance, which is entirely necessary after having made his serious face and looking for Ace/Big Show. According to Cole, Big Show is just waiting around for Cena to call him out. Cena runs down his usual trash talk method, making sure to drop "sell out" into the mix. Big Johnny comes out to join in the conversation. Ace sent Big Show home to protect Cena and No Way Out's main event. Cena says that he didn't show up just to talk; he came to fight. Cena says that Ace is next in command, so he can take the whooping. Ace says if Cena lays a hand on him, he's fired - Cena reminds him that he JUST SAID the show must go on for Sunday, so he can't fire him. Ace says he's happy to embarrass Cena, and Cena says the only embarrassment here is Ace himself. Cena fires off a chain of insults and says if Show loses at No Way Out, Ace is gone. Cena takes his t-shirt off and readies to take out Johnny. Ace shows some fire and says if Cena hits him, the first thing he'll do on Monday if the Big Show wins is fire Cena. Cena says after No Way Out, somebody is getting fired and pops Big Johnny one right between the eyes. If Cena beats Big Show, Ace is fired; if Big Show beats Cena, Ace will fire Cena first thing on Raw.
So this is the show that should motivate somebody to pay $50 to watch three more hours of it. I'm sure as hell not convinced. They even tell you that the outcome of the main event will be the first thing on Raw!
Which one plays out? Will the firing stick? Will anything anybody said on this show matter after No Way Out? Watch (and of course read right here at The Geek Asylum!) to find out!