3/22 Barnett's WWE Smackdown on SyFy Live Review: Mark Henry, Jack Swagger and Chris Jericho in action, plus MizTV and more for this week's show
By Jake Barnett
WWE Smackdown on SyFy Live Review
Taped 3/19 in Cincinnati, Ohio
[Q1] The WWE Narrator focused on Jack Swagger and his assault on Ricardo Rodriguez on Monday. He then changed subjects to The Shield backing away from Orton/Sheamus/Big Show on Monday.
In the arena, Miz welcomed us to MizTV, and he asked the crowd to welcome his guests Randy Orton and Sheamus. Miz said their world had been turned upside down because Ryback was pulled from their team by Vickie Guerrero. Miz asked who their partner would be at WrestleMania.
Orton said his choice would be the man who came down to their aid on Monday when The Shield was ready to pounce. Miz asked Sheamus if he agreed, and he said he agreed that The Shield would have kicked their arse on Monday. Sheamus said he didn't trust him. Orton agreed and said it's the devil you know vs. the devil you don't. He said he wants Big Show on their side at WrestleMania.
Miz asked for Big Show to come out, and he did immediately. Miz reminded Show that he knocked him out to end their tag team, so he only trusts him as far as he can throw him. Show said he's dated women bigger than The Miz, so he should shut up. Show then said he's done something nobody else has, and that's knock out a member of The Shield.
He said if they work together, nothing can stop them. Sheamus said they've had wars together, and Show was one of the toughest men he's faced. Sheamus agreed. He then said he's also the most devious, and he wants to be sure he won't bail out and leave them hanging. Show said if he was the kind of guy who just ran away, he wouldn't have beaten Sheamus for the World Heavyweight Championship.
Orton begged them to work it out, and Miz chimed in and said it was preposterous that Orton was trying to be the voice of reason. Booker T then interrupted and said he also needs to know if they can get along, and then booked the three men in a six man tag team main later tonight. He then did his catchphrase and all three men were left staring at one another. The announce team said Jericho and Swagger will have a rematch later tonight as well...[c]
Barnett's Brief: Ok opening segment, but the Miz sucks as a talk show host. He's always talking when he should be silent, and he's always silent when the segments are dying a slow death. Show and Sheamus were ok here, but Sheamus is still struggling to find a character. Orton was Orton. If he could find a way to inflect and show some emotion in his promos it would help him a lot.
A video recap was shown of The Shield taking out Ryback on last week's Smackdown, and then Mark Henry's attack that followed. Henry then made his ring entrance. Zack Ryder was already in the ring.
[Q2] 2. Mark Henry vs. Zack Ryder: Henry hit an elbow and then tossed Ryder hard into a turnbuckle. He then picked Ryder up and tossed him into the opposite buckle. Henry then picked up Ryder, but he slipped off and hit the ropes. Henry caught him in a World's Strongest Slam off the ropes for the pinfall.
Mark Henry defeated Zack Ryder in 0:48.
After the match, Henry hit a duo World's Strongest Slams on Ryder. He yelled at Ryder and asked how many he could take. Ryback's music then hit and Ryder was rolled out of the ring. Henry and Ryback stared each other down, and then both charged each other. Ryback took Henry down with a clothesline, and Henry rolled to the outside and walked up the ramp. He stopped about half-way to point at the WrestleMania sign.
Backstage, Teddy Long walked up and asked what he thought of him working with Vickie Guerrero to make the Henry and Ryback match for WrestleMania. Booker said he like the match, but not how Teddy handled his business. Booker reminded Teddy that he worked for him, and Teddy said he thought he was working with him...[c]
Barnett's Brief: I don't know why you have Ryback and Henry getting any more physical here. The whole attraction of the match is the monsters finally colliding, and they are trying hard to give it away for free. The Booker and Teddy appears to be leading to a conflict, but I can't say I'm terribly interested in it.
Cole plugged the Hall of Fame, and then showed Booker T's HOF video. Dolph Ziggler then made his ring entrance with AJ and Big E. Kofi Kingston then followed.
[Q3] Kofi Kingston vs. Dolph Ziggler: Both men traded strikes early and traded the advantage. Kingston hit a drop kick and a boom drop. He fired up for Trouble in Paradise, but Big E distracted him and Ziggler took advantage with a dropkick. He covered for a two count...[c]
Both men traded punches, and Kofi Kingston hit a wheelbarrow kick from the corner. Kofi then climbed the top rope, but got caught by Ziggler and sent into the ring. Dolph took advantage and hit some stomps. He then followed with a headlock. Kofi turned the tables and avoided a charging Ziggler in the corner and sended him shoulder first into the post. Kofi hit some strikes and then surprised Ziggler with a flying cross body for a near fall. He tried a springboard splash, but Ziggler got the knees up.
Ziggler hit the ropes, but had to hold on to avoid Trouble in Paradise. He then locked in a sleeper hold, which Kofi escaped after a moment. Kofi hit SOS, but was too close to the ropes and only got a two count. Ziggler left the ring to get a breather. Kofi went for a suicide drive, but had to stop because Big E got in the way. Big E attended to Ziggler, so Kofi hit him with a diving cross body. Ziggler then hit him with a fameasser onto the floor. Ziggler then dragged Kofi into the ring and hit the Zig Zag for the win.
Big E hit his “Big Ending” finisher after the match.
Dolph Ziggler defeated Kofi Kingston at 10:20.
Barnett's Brief; Good match with a predictable outcome. I really feel bad for Kofi, as he's got the crowd behind him and he's great in the ring but his character is non-existant.
[Q4] A clip aired of Chris Jericho busting Fandango's balls on Monday. The announce team then plugged Jericho vs. Swagger for later tonight. They then said a recap of Punk and Taker from Monday's Raw will be next...[c]
Backstage, Orton, Sheamus and Big Show argued backstage about their match later in the show. Orton said if they can't put it together and make it work, they would be sitting ducks. Sheamus and Show looked at one another and shook their heads. The announce team then showed a clip of Jack Swagger as he broke Ricardo Rodriguez's ankle from Monday. They said Del Rio and Rodriguez were not at the show tonight, as they were home tending to his injuries. Jack Swagger then made his ring entrance with Zeb Colter. Cole said he wanted JBL's thoughts on Swagger's Youtube channel after the break...[c]
Barnett's Brief: Considering his political leanings, I'm interested to see what they have the heelish JBL say about immigration.
Swagger emphatically welcomed us to “his” America. Colter said what happened to Ricardo Rodriquez on Monday was unfortunate but necessary. He said it will pale in comparison to what happens to Del Rio at WrestleMania. He said in Jack Swagger's America, if bones need to be broken, they will. He said it was a reminder to everyone, including Chris Jericho, of what happens to people who defy what they say. Swagger started his 'We the People' chanting, and Jericho interrupted with his lite brite jacket and pyro for his ring entrance.
[Q5] JBL said it was a brilliant move to break Ricardo's ankle.
3. Chris Jericho vs. Jack Swagger: Jericho started in with chops as JBL said what Ricardo did to Big Show with duct tape justified Swagger's action. Jericho continued on offense, and knocked Swagger down with a clothesline. Swagger rolled outside and pouted, but Jericho hit a baseball slide and sent him into the guardrail.
Swagger hit a shoulder block to Jericho's knee as he got in the ring. He hit some stomps and insulted Jericho. Swagger hit the ropes, but ate a dropkick for his trouble. He then caught Jericho coming off the ropes and tossed him into the turnbuckle. Swagger set Jericho on the top rope and slapped him. Jericho hit a few return strikes, but Swagger still climbed up to meet him. Jericho pushed off Swagger and hit a cross body for a two count. Swagger rolled outside, but Jericho jumped at him from a springboard to hit a diving elbow...[c]
Jericho hit a chop and hit the ropes, but ate a big boot from Swagger for a near fall. He then applied a head lock for a moment, and then clubbed Jericho over the back to send him to the mat. Swagger then applied a hammer lock and hit forearm blows to the kidney. Swagger missed a splash in the corner and Jericho capitalized with a shoulder block. He then hit an axe handle from the top rope. He climbed the rope for the 10 punches trope. After a series of reversals, Swagger had Jericho in the Ankle Lock. Jericho did a forward roll and sent Swagger to the outside. He then hit a springboard drop kick that sent Swagger to the floor.
Fandango's music then hit and he made his way to ringside. Swagger hit a slam and and got a near fall due to the distraction. Jericho attempted a Codebreaker, but Swagger held onto him. Jericho slipped out of the reversal and attempted the Walls of Jericho. Swagger twisted out, but Jericho hit him with a bulldog. He then attempted the Walls of Jericho, but Fandango kicked him in the face. Swagger then hit a Swagger bomb for the win.
Jack Swagger defeated Chris Jericho at 12:21.
[Q6] After the match, Fandango put a beating on Jericho and hit a top rope dropkick. He then crouched over Jericho and reminded him of the pronunciation of his name. He and his partner then danced on the ramp and posed. Backstage, Big Show told Matt Striker that he was putting his whole heart into his WrestleMania Tag Team, and that Sheamus and Orton should trust him as much as they trust each other. He then told Striker to trust him.
Barnett's Brief: Well, the Swagger and Jericho match was very good, but it felt like they repeated a lot of their previous match. Fandango's assault was also well done, but all we know about him so far is that he's a salsa dancing narcissist. I have increasing apathy for it as a wrestling character. Big Show was at the right level of sincerity for his backstage promo. It introduced a nice wrinkle into that rather mundane story.
Cole plugged Cena's appearance on Muscle and Fitness, and then introduced the Rock vs. Cena video package from Monday. I still wish John Cena could convey the tone of this video package consistently on television.
The Bellas and Team Rhodes Scholars were in the ring. Rhodes said they brought the crowd a special gift. Sandow said that he and his best friend were happy to introduce the class of the Divas Division, and continued to be completely obsequious while introducing the Bella Twins. Tensai and Brodus then entered with the Funkadactyl's...[c]
4. Brodus and Tensai vs. Team Rhodes Scholars: Tensai was in control early until Rhodes avoided a running splash. Tensai managed to tag Brodus. Brodus came in and hit a splash in the corner on Rhodes. Nikki Bella climbed on the apron to distract Brodus, and a brawl broke out at ringside with all 8 people. The Bell was called and it ended in no contest.
The match ended in no contest at 0:40.
[Q7] Backstage, Sheamus told Matt Striker that he and Randy trusted each other, and they also trusted the Big Show as much as he trusted them. He then told Striker to trust him and walked off screen. He then came back and got all creepy in Striker's face and said “trust me” once again.
Barnett's Brief: So an 8-person tag match at WrestleMania? I guess. I must admit, the fact that only one Bella got a boob job makes covering these matches a lot easier. Sheamus is a total creeper.
Antonio Cesaro was in the ring. Wade Barrett was at the announce booth. The Miz followed with a ring entrance.
5. The Miz vs. Antonio Cesaro: Miz rolled up Cesaro early after a reveral for a one count. Cesaro hit a big knee to the chops and a double stomp for a two count. Cesaro then hit a gut wrench suplex for another two count. Miz got back into the match with a neck breaker and a clothesline in the corner. Miz then hit a low drop kick and a applied the figure four leg lock for the win.
The Miz defeated Antonio Cesaro at 2:28.
After the match, the Miz stared down Wade Barrett. He then reapplied the Figure Four on Cesaro and he writed in pain. Miz eventually released the hold and jawed with Barrett as he left the announce area. Cole then introduced a recap of the premiere for the “The Call”. They then plugged a Lesnar and Triple H recap for after the break...[c]
Barnett's Brief: Wow, that was all kinds of terrible. They continue to deflate Cesaro with these clean losses on TV. The Miz's character is still not resonating, as evidenced by the lack of crows reaction for his victory and near silence for his trash talk with Barrett. And why Cesaro, couldn't anybody have fit here? WWE can't stop reinforcing the narrative that these mid card titles are essentially worthless.
A video recap was shown of Triple H and Brock Lesnar segment from Monday. Cole then reiterated that Triple H's career is on the line at WrestleMania.
[Q8] Randy Orton them made his ring entrance. Sheamus then followed...[c]
Big Show stood with Sheamus and Orton and Cole mentioned their “solidarity. 3MB then made their entrance as the opponents. JBL even acknowledged the fact that under “ordinary” circumstances, the babyfaces would mow them down. LOL.
6. Orton, Sheamus and Big Show vs. 3MB Orton dominated Jinder early, and tagged in Sheamus. He continued the beating, and hit White Noise while Big Show clapped. Sheamus quited the crowd and hit a big slap to Mahal's chest. Show laughed and tagged in. McIntyre tagged in and charged Big Show. Show dropped McIntyre over the top rope and hit Sheamus' clubbing blows to
McIntyre's chest. 3MB tagged each other in rapidly, only to get thrown around by Big Show. Orton tagged in and dropped a jumping knee on Slater.
He then followed with a powerslam, and tried for a hanging DDT on the ropes but didn't get it due to a Mahal distraction. Slater hung him on the ropes and hit a clothesline for a two count. Slater worked Orton over for a bit, but climbed the ropes and jumped right into an Orton drop kick. Show tagged in and hit a spear on Slater. McIntyre ran in and hit a Big Boot to Show. Sheamus tagged himself in, and Show KO'd McIntyre. Sheamus ran in and took out Slater with a Brogue Kick for the victory.
Sheamus, Big Show and Orton defeated 3MB at 5:20.
After the match, the Shield's music hit and they entered the arena. Big Show and Sheamus fought briefly until Orton split them up. They got it together in time for The Shield managed to get to ringside, and fended them off. Cole questioned their loyalties as the Show went off the air...[c]
Barnett's Brief: Meh. That match didn't do much for me. 3MB is just dead to me, so that weighs heavily here. The post match Shield attack didn't have as much impact as the one on Monday did. I'm not sure it was wise to repeat it. I would rather have seen The Shield say something. I'll have more to say with Chris Shore tomorrow on the All Access Smackdown Podcast.
Questions, comments or concerns? Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or on twitter @barnettjake.
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