5/4 Kester's WWE Smackdown Live Coverage Review: Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan for the World Heavyweight Championship, Kane and Cody Rhodes vs. Big Show and Randy Orton, the debut of Damien Sandow, and more
By Ryan Kester
Smackdown on SyFy
Taped 5/1/12 in Toledo, Ohio.
[Q1] The show opened with the usual videos and pyro. Josh Matthews welcomed us to the show and checked in along with Michael Cole and Booker T. Matthews hyped a recap of the various talking points from Raw for later in the evening…
Sheamus' music hit and he made his way to the ring. Sheamus grabbed a mic and said he was out here to do what he loves. Sheamus said he loves to fight. It doesn’t matter where, he simply loved to fight. He said tat's exactly what he will do in a few minutes, and he turned his attention to Daniel Bryan. Sheamus put over Bryan's performance at Extreme Rules, and he said Bryan wanted to finish the job tonight. Sheamus said when he was asked to fight tonight, he said "yes." He led the crowd in a yes chant.
Sheamus' chant continued as Bryan made his entrance with a perturbed look on his face. Sheamus didn't relent until Bryan made it to ringside.
1. Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan for the World Heavyweight Championship. Sheamus had control briefly, but Bryan was able to focus his attack on Sheamus' injured shoulder. Bryan worked over Sheamus' shoulder with a series of knee drops and rest holds.
Sheamus began to battle back and nearly lost his cool when the referee pulled Sheamus off of him. Sheamus threw Bryan to the floor, turned around, and ate a surprise high cross body from Ricardo Rodriguez.
Sheamus defeated Daniel Bryan via DQ in 2:47.
Alberto Del Rio locked in the crossarm breaker on Sheamus before giving up the hold for Bryan to lock in the Yes! Lock. After Bryan relented, Sheamus crawled up the ramp while Alberto del Rio and Daniel Bryan bickered…
Ryan's Reaction: Very solid opening segment that put plenty of heat on Bryan and Del Rio and managed to get the crowd into the action. Sheamus looked sympathetic after the multiple submissions that were applied to his injured arm.
[Q2][C] The announcers recapped the ending of the opening match…
Backstage, Sheamus was clutching his arm in pain as trainers attended to him…
Epico, Primo, Rosa Mendes, and A.W. took seats on the entrance ramp to "scout" the following match.
2. Kofi Kingston and R-Truth vs. Hunico and Camacho in a non-title match. Hunico and Camacho gained control early when Camacho floored Kingston with a clothesline on the floor. The heels worked a quick series of tags to wear Kingston down. Kingston had a handful of hope spots but was beat back by Hunico.
Kingston eventually got the hot tag to R-truth, who ran through his move set on Camacho. Hunico attempted to interfere only to be disposed after a Kingston huracarana. R-truth hit Little Jimmy on Camacho to pick up the pinfall victory…
Kofi Kingston and R-Truth defeated Hunico and Camacho in 3:46.
Ryan's Reaction: That was a decent enough effort, but the match was a bit too short to make the hot tag feel meaningful. It's also a bit difficult to take the tag division seriously at the moment, but I hope that A.W and his "All World" stable are able to breathe some life back into the whole affair.
[C] After Brodus Clay made his entrance, Vickie Guererro introduced the man that she claims will derail the Funk Train, Jack Swagger.
[Q3]3. Brodus Clay (w/ The Funkadactyls) vs. Jack Swagger (w/ Dolph Ziggler and Vickie Guererro). Swagger attacked Clay in the early going and dumped Clay to the floor. Dolph Ziggler attempted to attack Clay but ate a huge headbutt for his efforts.
Back in the ring, Clay hit his suplex and set up for his running splash, but Swagger rolled form the ring. Swagger and Ziggler limped away from the ring as the referee counted to ten.
Brodus Clay defeated Jack Swagger in 1:41.
Several kids joined Brodus and his Funkadactyls in the ring for the post-match celebration...
Ryan's Reaction: The crowd had some fun with Brodus, but they really need to do something new for Brodus. I enjoy him as much as the next guy, but it's time for the next chapter.
[C] The announcers set up the violin-laden recap of Brock Lesnar and John Cena's match at Extreme Rules and Cena's subsequent beating from John Laurinaitis, Lord Tensai, and Sakamoto…
Michael Cole defended Laurinaitis' actions during that video package. Cole said Laurinaitis took a personal day…
Daniel Bryan and Alberto del Rio argued in front of Eve backstage about who deserved another shot at the World Heavyweight Championship. Bryan demanded a match for later in the evening. Eve put him in his place and asserted her authority before telling everyone to get out of her office…
Damien Sandow was shown walking backstage…
[Q4] [C] Sandow made his way to the ring wearing a robe with an orchestral version of "Hallelujah" as his entrance music.
Sandow cut a brief promo before his match that got a great reaction. Sandow said he wasn't going to wrestle Bateman tonight, but he said no one would learn from watching the Enlightened One take on an Ignoramus. He told the fans that they were welcome before walking away to his entrance music.
Bateman demanded to have the match he said he earned months ago on NXT. Ryback made his entrance, complete with pyro.
4. Ryback vs. Derrick Bateman. Ryback knocked Bateman down early and the crowd chanted for Goldberg. Ryback hit his backpack stunner before a following up with a stiff clothesline.
Ryback hit his fisherman muscle-buster finisher for the pinfall victory...
Ryback defeated Derrick Bateman in 1:07.
Ryan's Reaction: Good work from Red Flag, I, um, mean Ryback. No, I am not original with my jokes. Sandow's promo work before the match was spectacular, and I like what I see from the gimmick thus far. I want to see his in-ring work, but the robe and entrance music fit very well with this "Enlightened One" persona.
[C] Boom goes the Kane pyro. Kane was quickly joined by Cody Rhodes, Big Show, and Randy Orton.
[Q5] 5. Kane and Cody Rhodes vs. Big Show and Randy Orton. Rhodes and Orton started, with Orton quickly getting better of the Intercontinental Champion. Orton tagged in Show, who worked over Rhodes's midsection. Show and Orton continued to work some quick tags as they wore down Rhodes.
Rhodes caught Orton with a throat thrust and he tagged in Kane. Kane quickly caught Orton in the corner and worked him over with a series of punches. Orton managed to escape and got the hot tag to Show.
Show pummeled both Rhodes and Kane, but Kane caught show with a clothesline and the show went to break at 4:00 into the match…
[C] Back from commercial at 7:56, Rhodes was stomping a hole in Show's chest. Rhodes tagged in Kane and the two heels took turns putting the boots to the fallen Big Show.
Show eventually got the hot tag to Orton after hitting Kane with a side-slam. Orton stormed the ring and hit his move set on Rhodes. Orton set up for the handing DDT, but Kane punched Orton in the face. Orton hit the hanging DDT on Kane instead.
Orton went for the RKO, but Kane shoved him off. Rhodes pulled the ropes down and Orton went tumbling to the floor. Kane attacked Orton on the outside and he threw him back in the ring for a near fall. Kane and Rhodes worked another set of quick tags. Rhodes hit a nice dropkick for another near fall on Orton.
Orton finally got some momentum after catching Kane with his over-the-shoulder backbreaker. Rhodes was able to tag in, however, and he locked in a rest hold on Orton. The crowd chanted Orton to his feet, but Rhodes set Orton up for CrossRhodes. Orton fought out and got another hot tag to Show.
Show hit a back body drop on Rhodes and went for the chokeslam only to eat a flying clothesline from Kane. Orton took out Kane with the RKO. Rhodes took out Orton and went for Beautiful Disaster on Show only to eat a WMD. Show covered Rhodes for the win.
Randy Orton and Big Show defeated Kane and Cody Rhodes in 14:13.
[Q6] Striker stood outside the training room when Sheamus emerged with a bandaged arm. He said he was going to fight tonight and he made his way towards the ring…
Ryan's Reaction: Did anyone else just have a flashback to Triple H bursting out of the trainer's room to go fight a heel Sheamus? No? Ok then. The tag match was a well-done effort, but I found difficulty getting lost in it. I simply don't care for either feud, and I cannot fathom why WWE is working so tirelessly to take any heat off of Rhodes that they can.
[C] A "Do Not Try this at Home" video aired…
6. Layla vs. Natalya in a non-title match. The two women worked some chain wrestling to start the match, but Natalya quickly gained control.
Natalya hit a discus clothesline for a near fall. Layla responded quickly with the Lay-Out neckbreaker for the quick victory…
Layla defeated Natalya in 1:56
The announcers set up a hype video for John Cena's appearance in Dream Machine…
Aksana and Antonio Cesaro were posing for a photo shoot. Eve directed traffic and made Teddy long apply oil to Cesaro's body…
Ryan's Reaction: Layla showed that she can certain sell well in that match, but otherwise it was pretty much a standard throwaway WWE women's match. The Teddy long torture segments are just old at this point.
[Q7] [C] Backstage, AJ and Kaitlyn spoke. AJ apologizes for what she did last week and she said it wasn't the real her. Kaitlyn said she felt betrayed last week and all she was trying to do was be there for her friend. Kaitlyn told AJ her pity party has to stop, so AJ nearly took Kaitlyn's head off with another slap. Kaitlyn looked up at the camera stunned and saddened by the slap.
Ryan's Reaction: Good work from both AJ and Kaitlyn. I like the dynamic between them.
The Raw Rebound focused on Brock Lesnar's attack on Triple H, complete with added bone-snapping sound.
Matthews and Cole recapped Triple H's kayfabe injuries and Cole called for Lesnar being fired, but he said that they had heard nothing yet. Cole said they should hear something at least by Monday Night Raw…
Alberto del Rio made his ring entrance with Ricardo Rodriguez as the announcers recapped Del Rio and Daniel Bryan's assault on Sheamus from earlier in the evening. Del Rio joined the announce team…
[C] Back from the break, Daniel Bryan was already in the ring. Sheamus gingerly made his way to the ring.
[Q8] 7. Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan for the World Heavyweight Championship; take 2. Daniel Bryan dominated the early going focusing his kicks and holds on Sheamus' bandaged arm.
Sheamus hit a one-arm tilt-o-whirl backbreaker, but Bryan quickly dropkicked Sheamus to the floor. Sheamus sold while the show went to commercial at 2:33 in the match…
[C] Back from the break at 6:52, Bryan hit Sheamus with a flying knee. Bryan went right back to working over Sheamus' arm. Bryan removed Sheamus' bandages.
Sheamus finally got some distance after reversing Bryan's attempt to throw him shoulder-first into the steel post. Sheamus began working through his move set and he hit a series of hammerfists on Bryan's chest.
Sheamus hit Irish Curse for a two count before blasting Bryan with a series of knee drops. Bryan hit a kick to Sheamus' arm before ascending the ropes for a missile dropkick. Bryan stomped on Sheamus until the referee pulled him off, and Sheamus hit Bryan with a huge double-axe handle.
Sheamus set up for the Celtic Cross, Alberto del Rio jumped on the apron, Bryan attempted to capitalize with the Yes! Lock, but Sheamus threw Bryan into Del Rio. Bryan went back up top for another missile dropkick, Sheamus caught him with the Brogue kick for the 1-2-3.
Sheamus defeated Daniel Bryan in 13:29.
Sheamus celebrated with his championship as the show went off of the air.
Ryan's Reaction: Great match. I love how WWE is allowing Bryan to work as a tactical heel, and Sheamus sold well for his mat-based offense throughout the match. It feels a bit weird seeing these two go so much while Del Rio is trying to feud with Sheamus and Bryan is set t go after Punk, but it's very difficult to complain about such a well-wrestled contest.
Overall, this was a very solid edition of Smackdown with plenty of wrestling content available. Not every segment was a home-run, but it's enjoyable to see so many younger members of the roster getting some focus. Thanks for following along with me this evening.
If you have any questions or comments or just wish to chat with a fellow wrestling fan about whatever, then feel free to email me at email@example.com or follow me on Twitter at @TheRyanKester.
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