4/27 Shore's WWE Smackdown Live Coverage: Final hype for Extreme Rules, Antonio Cesaro makes his in ring debut, Michael Cole interviews Randy Orton, and Sheamus vs. Mark Henry
By Chris Shore
WWE Smackdown on SyFy
Taped on 4/24 in Grand Rapids, Mich.
[Q1] The opening video aired, followed by the pyro, and Michael Cole and Booker T checked in on commentary. Josh Matthews must still be dead. They hyped the Sheamus vs. Mark Henry main event and then showed video of Brock Lesnar killing Matthews. Cole said Matthews was suffering from stiffness in his neck and abrasions.
Daniel Bryan made his ring entrance and said he finally cut the umbilical cord and got rid of AJ. He said the record still needed to be set straight. He said the loss to Sheamus at WrestleMania does not count, and should go on AJ's record, not his. He said Sheamus is running around with "his" championship as if he actually won something.
He said he would fix all that Sunday because Sheamus couldn't beat him once, let alone two out of three times. Bryan said his feeling for Sheamus aside, when John Laurinaitis asked him to ref the match on Raw, he called it right down the middle. He said people had accused him of fast counting Sheamus, but the video told the truth. They played a replay of the end of the match, but the count was shown in slow motion. Nice.
Bryan said Sheamus couldn't control himself after the loss, so he had to defend himself. They replayed Bryan putting Sheamus in the Yes Lock. He had the video paused as the camera showed him wrenching on Sheamus. He said it was Q&A time. He asked if Henry beat Sheamus on Raw, and answered "Yes." He asked if he made Sheamus tap out on Monday, and again answered "Yes." He asked if he was going to win his title back at Extreme Rules, and started a "Yes" chant.
Alberto Del Rio's music cut him of, and Ricardo Rodriguez introduced him. Del Rio asked if Bryan was making excuses since he lost in 18 seconds. Ric Rod said, "Si." He asked if whoever wins at the PPV is going to eventually lose to the number once contender, Alberto Del Rio. Ricardo again answered "Si." He asked if Bryan would be forgotten after he loses the title to Del Rio. Ricardo chanted "Si" and then Del Rio did it too.
Big Show's music hit and he came to the ring. He asked which it was, yes or si. He went after Bryan and Del Rio who both bailed. Ricardo tried to but Show caught him. He asked Ric Rod which it was, and Ricardo just whined. Show said, "Siiiiii," and then chokeslammed Ricardo...[C]
Shore's Slant: More good stuff from Bryan. It got a little busy there at the end, but not bad. I apologize for not spelling "Si" correctly, but I don't know how to do the correct "I" with the accent mark.
[Q2][C] 1. Big Show vs. Alberto Del Rio. The match was joined in progress. Cole announced that the Big Show vs. Cody Rhodes match stipulation would be determined by spinning the wheel on the pre-show. Show was beating Del Rio when Cody Rhodes ran in and clipped Show to cause a DQ. Cody pulled a kendo stick and chair from under the ring. He hit show with the stick, which only pissed Show off. He tried for the chair, but Show punched it away. He pulled his belt off, but Show kicked him, ripped his shirt off, and then whipped him with his own belt until Cody fled...
Big Show defeated Alberto Del Rio by disqualification in 1:50 of TV time.
Backstage, Johnny Ace and Eve talked about Eve taking care of things for him. Eve suggested everyone get name tags. Ace said it was a good idea and called Teddy Long over. Teddy asked if Eve was the executive administrator, what was he. Ace said just an employee, and Teddy now answers to Eve. Eve told him to go get a name tag and Teddy walked away...
The announce team replayed a video that showed Nikki Bella winning the Divas title on Raw, and then the Bellas were shown walking backstage...[C]
Shore's Slant: Well, booking 101 says Cody will win Sunday because of this. I hope so, because this is terrible. And the spin the wheel gimmick? As long as the wheel is gimmicked better than we've seen in the past. I have to say, I know that Beth's injury is a work, and yet it still looked nasty on the replay.
Damien Sandow cut a promo on "enlightenment," and said salvation was one week away, meaning he should debut next week...Alicia Fox was in the ring. The Bellas made their entrance and Cole announced Beth would get her rematch at Extreme Rules...
[Q3] 2. Alicia Fox vs. Nikki Bella (w/Brie Bella) for the WWE Divas' Championship. Nikki was winning, and yet they still pulled twin magic to get the win...
Brie, er, Nikki Bella defeated Alicia Fox at 1:52
Michael Cole hyped his interview with Randy Orton...[C]
Shore's Slant: Damien Sandow debuting next week is hook enough for me. If Smackdown becomes where the young stars go to cut their teeth, I will be a very happy man.
Backstage, Darren Young and Titus O'Neal walked up on Yoshi Tatsu and proceeded to do some racial mockery. Ezekiel Jackson walked up and challenged them to a match. O'Neal and Young started chanting about Zeke not having any "cuts" and danced away...
Teddy Long was dusting Johnny Ace's office in a maid's outfit with a giant "My name is" badge on his chest. Aksana walked in and Teddy fell all over himself thanking her for being there for him. She said she didn't realize he was old enough to have grandkids. Ace and Eve walked in and told Aksana she would be the guest ring announcer when Ace gave Antonio Cesaro a tryout match later.
She left to get ready, and Eve told Teddy he was going to be on commentary at the Teddy table. Ace told Teddy not to worry, Teddy would have a headset on, and Ace would have one in the back with a microphone. He told Teddy not to say anything except what Ace told him to say. Ace gave him a People Power t-shirt and told Teddy to change...
Shore's Slant: I cannot believe I typed any of that. This shit is terrible.
[Q4][C] 3. Yoshi Tatsu and Ezekiel Jackson vs. Darren Young and Titus O'Neal. Teddy was on the headset, but wouldn't respond unless something was said to him, and then he delivered it totally deadpan. Zeke never got in the match and squashed Tatsu...The Randy Orton interview was hyped for next...[C]
Darren Young and Titus O'Neal defeated Yoshi Tatsu and Ezekiel Jackson in 1:45.
Shore's Slant: I'm all for squash matches to get young guys over, so I'm not going to hate on this, but it is the third sub two minute match in a row. Not exactly exciting stuff either.
Michael Cole was in the ring and introduced Randy Orton. Cole antagonized Orton and then said Ace had instituted a rule that if any Superstar touched an announcer, they would be suspended. Orton asked if that was a question. He said when pushed, he didn't always act rationally. He said he was a shoot first, ask questions last kind of guy. Cole swallowed hard, and setup the Kane vs. Orton feud video.
[Q5] Cole asked Orton how he felt about going into a match Sunday with a monster who was reborn because of Orton's failures at WrestleMania. Orton said, "Wow, Cole, that was deep." Orton rambled on about there being no rules and how he can make Kane suffer at Extreme Rules. He closed by saying Kane may be the Devil's favorite demon, but not even the devil can unleash the hell he will on Kane this Sunday.
Jinder Mahal's music hit and he came to the ring speaking Punjabi. He said Orton and Kane would take each other out at Extreme Rules, and when they did, a new breed of Superstar would rise. He said he would be waiting for Orton on the other side. He started to leave, but Orton stopped him and asked if Jinder was an announcer. Mahal said no, so Orton hit the RKO...The announce team hyped the main event...[C]
Shore's Slant: A year ago, Randy Orton was arguably the best thing on Smackdown. Today, he might honestly be the most boring. What a shame. I also see no reason to bury Mahal there unless it sets up a legit feud after the PPV. Obviously we'll have to wait and see, but I doubt that was the reason.
Back from commercial, Teddy was back at his announce table and Aksana was in the ring. She introduced Tyson Kidd, who was already there. She introduced Antonio Cesaro, who entered tot he worst pop music in the history of ring entrances...
4. Tyson Kidd vs. Antonio Cesaro. All Cesaro. He hit a huge popup European uppercut and finished with a Styles Clash type finisher. Post-match, Teddy was forced to get in the ring and raise Cesaro's hand. As soon as he did, Cesaro and Aksana made out. Teddy left the ring, crying...
Antonio Cesaro defeated Tyson Kidd at 1:25.
[Q6] The Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena hype video aired...Cody Rhodes was shown heading toward the ring...[C]
Shore's Slant: Squash match from Cesaro, but he looked crisp. He had his quads wrapped, which is a new look for him. We didn't see any signature Claudio spots except for the pop-up European uppercut, but how much can you do in 1:25? Good first impression as Michigan was gasping at his moves.
Great Khali made his ring entrance while a video showed Cody Rhodes taking him out of the six-man match last week. Cody was out next as a video showed his altercation with Show from earlier...
6. Great Khali vs. Cody Rhodes. Cody attacked the leg at the bell and worked it for a minute, but Khali shoved him away. Cody went for the Diaster Kick, but Khali caught him and hit the Punjabi Plunge for the win...
Great Khali defeated Cody Rhodes at 1:58.
Backstage, AW was talking to the tag champs and Rosa. He gave his sales pitch and said he needed to know by Monday if they wanted him to represent them. Ryback walked up and stared at them. He walked off after a moment with AW in tow trying to sign him as well...
Shore's Slant: Cody lost in less than two minutes to Great Khali. That makes me believe his match with Big Show will be good at Extreme Rules. I mean, it's not like Show is a giant like Khali or anyth...oh, wait.
The Usos marked out getting to watch Ryback on the monitor. His opponent, Jacob Kaye, cut a pre-match promo on getting out of Grand Rapids as soon as possible...
6. Jacob Kaye vs. Ryback. Ryback hit a big boot and walked it down until he was stepping on Kaye's throat. He hit the big stiff clothesline and his finisher for the win...
Ryback killed Jacob Kaye in 1:07.
A video recapped Bryan's verbal lambasting of AJ, and her subsequent mental breakdown, last week. Matt Striker grabbed AJ backstage and asked he if she wanted to give an update on her relationship with Bryan. She shook her head no. He asked if she wanted to make a prediction on the match at Extreme Rules. She shook her head no again. Striker started to ask her about her breakdown, but Kaitlyn walked up and shamed him away.
Kaitlyn tried to talk to AJ. She told her it was a good thing because Bryan never loved her. She told AJ Bryan never did anything for her, and AJ slapped her. Kaitlyn sold it and then stormed away. AJ looked sad and a little crazy...Sheamus made his ring entrance...[C]
Shore's Slant: More good stuff from AJ. More killing by Ryback. Not much to add.
[Q8] Mark Henry made his ring entrance while a video recapped their match from Raw...
7. Sheamus vs. Mark Henry. Sheamus took quick control, but Henry shoved him out of the ring with one hand. Sheamus hit a slingshot shoulder tackle getting back in and Henry took a powder to recover...[C]
Back from commercial, Henry was in control and slammed Sheamus. Sheamus had a hope moment and went for the Brogue kick. Henry ducked and hit a clothesline for two. Henry whipped him to the corner and charged. Sheamus got the foot up and went to the top. He jumped over Henry and hit the Brogue kick for the win.
Sheamus defeated Mark Henry at 11:04.
Post-match, Daniel Bryan walked out on the ramp and clapped. Sheamus took a mic and asked him to come to the ring. He asked Bryan if he was scared that he might kick his head off in 18 seconds. The crowd chanted "18 seconds." Sheamus said he would beat Bryan at Extreme Rules, and he wouldn't be able to blame AJ. He said the question was, would he kick Bryan's head in at Extreme Rules. He said the answer was "Yes" and chanted it with the audience to close the show...
Shore's Slant: Good sell for the PPV to close, but the rest of the show pretty much dragged on and on. That was the longest two hours in some time. There were good moments, and I'm hopeful for the new talent, but a bad go home show. I'll have more to say tomorrow on the hitlist and All Access podcast. Thanks for watching and I'll see you then.
Questions? Comments? Anyone, anyone? Let me hear from you. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet me @TheShoreSlant with whatever is on your mind.
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