By Jake Barnett
WWE Smackdown Live Review
Taped 4/1 in Washington, D.C.
[Q1] Mathews welcomed us to Smackdown and the last stop on the road to WrestleMania. Ryback's music hit and he headed towards the ring. The King joined Mathews on commentary and said he was looking forward to seeing Ryback in action. They both recapped the weight lifting contest from last week and both men said Henry is not a particularly nice person. Primo and Epico made their way to the ring with Rosa Mendes. Cole and JBL split screened from WWE Axxess and showed off some exhibits.
1. Ryback vs. Primo and Epico: Primo leaped at Ryback and got hit with a huge powerslam early on. Ryback then pulled Epico into the ring and threw him around, and the ref didn't argue and just called it a tag. Epico tripped Ryback on to the ropes on his throat, and then made a tag to Primo. They continued to make quick tags for a moment, trading off hitting stomps and grounding Ryback with head locks.
Ryback fired up out of a head lock and clotheslined Epico. Primo tagged in and took a back body drop and a clothesline. Shortly after, Ryback hit a spear on both men, and then hit Shellshocked on both men for the pinfall victory.
Ryback defeated Primo and Epico at 3:13.
The announce team put over Ryback vs. Henry for WrestleMania on Sunday. They then introduced a clip of Alberto Del Rio getting beaten with crutches by Swagger and Colter. They said we would hear from Del Rio later in the show. Mathews then said they would go live to Axxess when they got back...[c]
Barnett's Brief: The announcer audio sounded fine in the arena, but they promo audio from the studio or access sounded noticeably different. The match was pretty much the same squash that Ryback wrestled for most of his first few months on WWE television. There was a little more offense for the tag team than in those squashes, but not much.
[Q2] Vince McMahon's office was shown at WWE Axxess, which looked to be a replica of his arena offense at WWE shows. Cole and JBL plugged the Superstars for Sandy event that was hosted by WWE. They then mentioned Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar, and showed a long video package that encapsulated their entire feud. It was well done. JBL and Cole spoke about Ric Flair and Shawn Michaels retiring at WrestleMania. They then plugged a special look at Bruno Sammartino for next...[c]
Barnett's Brief: Suddenly getting sleepy.
JBL and Cole went over some of the exhibits at Axxess, including the life size statue of Andre the Giant. They showed some of the legends signing autographs and then shifted gears to the Hall of Fame. They said it could possibly be the strongest HOF class ever, and mentioned the show would air on Tuesday on USA Network. They then introduced a video about Bruno Sammartino. Cole and JBL then plugged the strong class of HOF inductors like Stephanie McMahon, Maria Menounos, and Arnold Schwarzenegger. They then plugged a look at Fandango and Chris Jericho's feud as next...[c]
Barnett's Brief: A very classy video for Bruno. Cole and JBL are doing a fine job of putting over how much respect everyone in the company has for it's Hall of Famers.
[Q3] DDP was shown signing autographs, along with CM Punk and 3MB taking photos. Cole and JBL spoke about Fandango and showed him dancing into the WrestleMania 29 press conference with NXT Diva Summer Rae. They then showed a video that promoted his television work so far, and then spoke about how he was getting into the head of Chris Jericho. They then showed a clip of Monday's Raw where Fandango beat down Jericho.
A Shield promo was then shown. Ambrose said this is the time of year where everybody wants to make history. He then said the eye of justice is always watching everybody. Believe in The Shield...[c]
Barnett's Brief: The Fandango stuff was pretty good and I am legitimately interested to see what he and Jericho pull off on Sunday. The Shield is treading water, and this promo wasn't any different than what's up.
A CM Punk and Undertaker commercial was shown for WrestleMania. I'm shocked they didn't show more footage of the Urn and the ashes from monday......ok not really.
[Q4] Cole and JBL mentioned the WrestleMania Preview on Youtube. They mentioned they are going to have some pre-show analysis for WrestleMania 29 from WWE Legends. They then showed a video for The Shield and Sheamus, Orton and Big Show's match at WrestleMania 29. After the video package was over, the Shield and Sheamus/Orton/Big Show's confrontation from last week's Smackdown. JBL said we would have a match from the arena next...[c]
Barnett's Brief: The video packages are well done, but this show definitely has the infomercial feel.
The Bella Twins entered with Pillows in their pants with Team Rhodes Scholars in fat suits and make up to parody Tons of Funk and the Funkadactyls. They were eating snacks and then Sandow said that a a wise man once said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. He then said while that is sometimes true, this time it was to show the lunacy of Tons of Funk. Cody said they were better looking and better dancers. Sandow said the bumbling behemoths and low rent cheerleaders don't belong in their ring. Rhodes then said they should leave the entertainment to the professionals. Sandow said they would end their dog and pony show once and for all. The Bella's then said you're welcome.
Tons of Fun and the Funkadactyl's then made their way to ring side and brawled all over the ring and cleared the heels from ringside. They then danced did their own dance act and we faded to a John Cena vs. The Rock WrestleMania commerical....[c]
Barnett's Brief: A pretty good promo and parody from Rhodes Scholars and The Bella's. Sandow has a lot to offer on the microphone if they allow him to take himself seriously.
[Q5] Cole and JBL went over the WWE Super Store at MetLife Stadium for WrestleMania weekend, and then introduced a video that recapped the WrestleMania 29 Press Conference. JBL chastised Cole for trying to horn in the photo at the press conference. They then changed topics and spoke about CM Punk and The Undertaker, and introduced a video package of their angle. Cole said CM Punk was waging a war of mind games around disrespect. The video package did not shy away from any of the Paul Bearer elements of the story. Cole and JBL reminded us that CM Punk does not have to pin or submit the Undertaker to win. JBL ripped on Cole's athletic ability, and they said a retrospective on Donald Trump was next...[c]
Barnett's Brief: More video packages. More contrived banter between Cole and JBL.
[Q6] Cole and JBL told fans to go check out Vince McMahon's twitter, and then showed a video that presented WrestleMania's global reach. Cole and JBL then talked about celebrities and their past involvement in WWE, and then showed a video for Donald Trump's induction into the celebrity wing of the WWE Hall of Fame. Cole and JBL then put over the WWE Hall of Fame and this year's strong class, and Cole said a special look at Rock vs. Cena II was next...[c]
Barnett's Brief: When do they induct Snooki into the WWE Hall of Fame?
They showed a few clips of from Rock and Cena's feud. At Axxess, JBL got very serious and told Cole that he has musical talent and Cole didn't. People have told him his performances on the Cenation audiobook. They then showed John Cena's promo from Monday in it's entirety.
[Q7] Then they aired The Rock's Promo from Raw in it's entirety. JBL said Cena is fighting to redeem his career, and The Rock is fighting to establish his legacy. Cole and JBL then said they would return us to the arena and bidded us farewell...[c]
Barnett's Brief: Chances are you've seen all that before. If you missed The Rock and John Cena's promo from Monday, check out Jason Powell's report of the show.
Renee Young was shown and introduce Alberto Del Rio. She said she wanted to take him back to Monday, and showed a clip of him getting beat up with crutches by Colter and Swagger. Del Rio grimaced and said it's a good thing for Jack Swagger that he's at Axxess and not at Smackdown tonight. He referenced the marks on his back and said his match about the World Heavyweight Championship. He said it doesn't matter if you're Mexican, American or anything else. It's about people coming together, and after WrestleMania he'll be proud to be the World Heavyweight Championship.
[Q8] Jack Swagger made his ring entrance with Zeb Colter. Kofi Kingston then followed.
2. Kofi Kingston vs. Jack Swagger: Both men tied up and Kofi backed him into the corner and hit some kicks. The ref broke it up and they reset. Swagger blocked an arm drag and put on a wrist lock. Kofi battled out and hit a wheel kick on Swagger. He then hit a wheel barrow kick in the corner and then hit a springboard body block for a two count. Swagger retreated to the outside to regroup...[c]
Barnett's Brief: Del Rio gave another uninspired promo. The opening minutes of Swagger and Kofi were slow but solid.
Swagger hit a big boot during the break and took control, according to PIP. Swagger continued the beat down of Kofi with clubs to the back. and hit one of his own. He followed up with a drop kick. Swagger caught him on a leap attempt, but he slipped out and hit another kick. Swagger caught Kofi again and tossed him into the corner. He went for a Swagger bomb, but Kofi got his feet up. Kofi then hit a springboard splash for a near fall. Swagger fired back with a gutwrench suplex. Swagger set Kofi on the ropes for a superplex, but Kofi sent him to the mat.
Kofi jumped at him, but got caught again. Swagger went for a powerbomb, but Kofi reversed and hit SOS for another near fall. Colter jumped on the apron and distracted Kofi. Swagger then took advantage and hit a chop block. He then applied the Ankle Lock for the submission victory.
Jack Swagger defeated Kofi Kingston at 10:01.
Barnett's Brief: A nice match to close the show, but Kofi hasn't meant anything in a while and I'm not sure it did much for Swagger. He looked impressive, don't get me wrong, but it wasn't a meaningful win over a contender that would have led you to believe he was a serious threat on Sunday.
Questions, Comments or Concerns? E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or find me on twitter @barnettjake.
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