2/28 Barnett's WWE Smackdown on SyFy Live Review: Batista, Daniel Bryan, AJ Lee, Sheamus, Cesaro and more...
By Jake Barnett
WWE Smackdown on SyFy Live Review
Taped 2/25 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
[Q1] Cole welcomed everyone to Smackdown and plugged the main event between Daniel Bryan and The Uso's vs. Kane and The New Age Outlaws. There will also be an Elimination Chamber rematch between AJ Lee and Cameron. Batista's music hit and he headed to the ring to a chorus of boos. He wore a tank top and a Ben Hogan hat, just to let everyone know he is a douchebag. They showed footage from Monday of Randy Orton and Batista's interaction, and it wasn't any better in recap form.
Batista started and said he “loves this business”. He loves the WWE and he didn't come back to be liked. He didn't come back to please the fans. He came back to be WWE World Heavyweight Champion. Batista told the crowd they don't have to support him, but they do have to deal with it. It's a fact that he can destroy anyone they put in front of him. He claimed he is the best representative of the WWE, and that includes Hulk Hogan and most definitely The Rock.
What happened to this business? Where are all the real men? Where is the attitude. Batista lamented that the fans chant the name of 195lb wannabes. They chant Yes, but it will never be. He asked the crowd if they honestly think their heroes are as good as him. He took of his shirt, and said that everything about his screams WWE World Heavyweight Champion. Batista claims he gets why they cheer for their heroes. They look just like them, and if they can be champion, so could they. Batista told the crowd that from this point forward he would destroy all their heroes, and told the fans to leave their fantasy world and get out of his.
He began to celebrate, and Dolph Ziggler's music interrupted him. Dolph told Batista that he doesn't get to tell the fans who to cheer for. They cheer for who they want. He called Batista a dinosaur, and sooner or later, dinosaurs become extinct. If he's looking for the real men in this business, one of them is standing right in front of him. He challenged Batista to a match, at which point Batista laughed and braced himself against the ropes. Batista grabbed the mic and accepted. Ziggler hit a standing drop kick and bailed out of the ring as Batista fumed.
Backstage, Henry and Big E were shown, as well as the real Americans. A match will be next...[c]
My Take: A nice opening segment. Batista stated his mission given the nature of his recent crowd reactions, and it set up Ziggler nicely to get the crowd behind him. Batista might be a pretty good foil for young babyfaces, but he and Randy Orton still have a long way to go to generate interest in their match.
[Q2] Cole said Ziggler and Batista will happen later tonight. Big E and Mark Henry made their ring entrance. The Real Americans were already in the ring.
1. The Real Americans vs. Big E and Mark Henry: Swagger and Big E started the match. Big E hit a nice belly to belly and knocked Cesaro off the apron. Henry tagged in and went to work on Swagger. Henry hit a nice powerslam, and tossed Swagger back into the face corner. Big E tagged in and hit a series of back breakers for a two count. Cesaro tagged in a moment later, and he and sent Big E out to the apron. Cesaro picked up Big E from the apron for a vertical suplex in an incredible display of raw power. Swagger made a blind tag and Cesaro was upset because the ref had to pull him off an attempt at a cover.
Swagger entered and hit a Swagger Bomb, but couldn't put Big E away. Cesaro tagged in and got back body dropped, which allowed Henry to tag in. Swagger tagged in and Henry picked him up for a powerslam, and Cesaro interfered by kicking Henry in the face. Big E got involved, but Cesaro took him to the outside and tossed him into the post. Swagger applied the Patriot Lock on Henry, but Cesaro made a tag into the match as payback. Cesaro then hit the Neutralizer for the win.
The Real Americans defeated Henry and Big E at 5:34.
Backstage, Del Rio approached Vickie Guerrero. He asked why Vickie hadn't congratulated him on his win over Batista on Monday. She said they were 1-1, so no congratulations were due. Del Rio said he was going to ask for the rubber match, but Batista is busy. He said he had a hot mamacita waiting for him, so he'll take the night off. Sheamus walked up and said that he'd like a match with “ol Berti” for old time's sake. He said if Vickie gave him the match, it would be like a night off...[c]
My Take: A nice match for the Real Americans. They got a relatively easy win, hindered only by their growing resentment of one another. Del Rio came off like a jobber in that backstage promo. He's got negative momentum in the worst way.
[Q3] Sheamus made his ring entrance, followed by Alberto Del Rio. Footage was shown of Christian's cheap shot on Sheamus that closed Smackdown last week. Sheamus had tape on his ribs and was bruised up a bit, presumably from the chamber match.
2. Alberto Del Rio vs. Sheamus: Del Rio targeted the ribs right away, but Sheamus caught a kick and sent him over the top rope and to the floor. Sheamus tossed him into the announce table and then back into the ring. Sheamus went for his clubs to the chest from the apron, but Del Rio hung him from the top rope and sent him to the floor. Christian's music hit at that point, and he headed towards the ring and looked eerily like Chris Jericho did when he donned a suit for his heel run several years ago...[c]
Christian joined on commentary as Sheamus hit an electric chair drop on Del Rio. Christian claimed on commentary that his attitude wasn't new, because he's been saying he was desperate since he returned. Del Rio went for his superkick in the ring, but Sheamus avoided it. He then setup Del Rio for his clubs to the chest, and hit all ten of them this time. He then attempted White Noise, but Del Rio escaped. He then hit kicked Sheamus in the ribs, and followed up with another one to the head for a near fall.
Del Rio measured up Sheamus, but missed an enziguri in the corner. Sheamus applied the cloverleaf at that point, but Christian interfered and the match was ruled a DQ. Del Rio got hit with a Brogue Kick after the bell, but Christian snuck up on Sheamus and hit him with the Killswitch.
Sheamus defeated Alberto Del Rio by DQ at 7:49.
Cole spoke about Daniel Bryan getting hosed in the Elimination Chamber, and showed footage of all of Daniel Bryan's match and promo from Monday. He plugged footage of Hulk Hogan for after the break...[c]
My Take: Seems like we're going to get Sheamus vs. Christian at Mania, or something close to that. Woohoo?
[Q4] A Hulk Hogan video reel showed the news coverage of his WWE return and some clips of Monday's Raw. After the video, Lana walked on stage and asked the people of America to rise for the Bulgarian brut Alexander Rusev. Rusev spoke, but the only words I understood were Alexander Rusev. Cole introduced more footage from Raw, this time of The Shield as they bickered about Dean Ambrose's disappearance at the Chamber PPV. Then, footage of the conclusion of the Reigns vs. Bray Wyatt was shown. Backstage, Reigns asked Ambrose if he had it together tonight, or if he was going rogue again. Reigns bickered about his losses, and Rollins told him to grow up.
Rollins said that they were left for dead at the Chamber, and they needed to show Bray Wyatt that it wasn't that easy to put them down. He said when you provoke the dogs, you get the teeth. Reigns said it was Wyatt hunting time. In the arena, Dolph Ziggler made his entrance...[c]
My Take: The Shield's bickering was actually pretty entertaining this time. The Rusev promo was pretty basic, but it got him over as an intimidating force. Lana hit the right tone. She might be my favorite part of this act.
[Q5] Batista made his ring entrance.
Batista vs. Dolph Ziggler: Ziggler sent Batista to the outside early one, and Batista sold frustration. Ziggler used his speed to hit some punches and a standing drop kick. Batista rolled to the outside to catch his breath. He pulled Ziggler to the outside, but got shoved into the post for his trouble. Batista pulled Ziggler down by his knee and then wrapped his leg around the post. Back in the ring, Batista hit a vertical suplex for a two count. Batista continued after Ziggler's knee until he missed a spear and ran into the ring post.
Ziggler tried for ten punches, and had to slip out of a Batista Bomb attempt after Batista walked out of the corner. Ziggler hit Batista with a Fameasser for a near fall. He then applied a sleeper, but Batista was right next to the ropes and a break was forced. Batista caught Ziggler rushing in and hit a spine buster. He then hit two more in the center of the ring. He then his a Batista Bomb for the win.
Batista defeated Dolph Ziggler at 6:28.
Cole and JBL said John Cena was very confident he would enter WrestleMania with the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, but he was stopped by the Wyatt Family. He then introduced footage of Cena getting injured on Monday...[c]
My Take: Meh. I didn't hate the match, but Ziggler gained very little if anything, and Batista gained absolutely nothing. More of a wasted opportunity than anything.
[Q6] The Wyatt Family made their entrance. Bray said that everything we thought we knew about our own loves is a lie. We break our backs to earn a little bit of cash, so we can buy ourselves fancy suits and sports cars to impress the women. He then said that women wear makeup, which is just a mask that society demands that they wear. Who is the man behind the billboard? It's the man who has a plastic smile and tells you everything you think you need to hear.
Bray then promised that with every fiber of his being and with the sword of his tongue, he will slay this dragon. He then said after he is slain, he will bend down and whisper to John Cena that the lie is over. At that point, The Shield made their entrance and stood on the apron to confront the Wyatt Family. Triple H's music hit and headed out on the ramp. Triple H said this is not going to happen now.
He said he has too much money invested into all six of them for this to happen right now. Hunter said they will have a match on Monday on Raw, and he told The Shield to stand down. Bray Wyatt told The Shield to go on, you heard your Daddy. Ambrose and Rollins dove on Rowan and Harper at ringside. Bray Wyatt pulled his team away and laughed. Cole and JBL plugged the Divas title match for next, and the main event for later in the show....[c]
My Take: I'm surprised that they are giving the rematch away on TV, considering how much of a selling point it was for the Chamber PPV. If they weren't so hell bent on putting Bray Wyatt with John Cena, another match between the family and The Shield would actually be a superior WrestleMania match in my opinion.
AJ Lee was in the ring with Tamina. Cameron then made her ring entrance. A video package then aired for Cameron based on Total Divas. Lilian did ring announcements in the ring. Cameron was announced from Planet Funk...
[Q7] 4. AJ Lee vs. Cameron: Cameron hit a bulldog early on. Tamina interfered early on and got ejected by the referee. It didn't matter though, as AJ made quick work of Cameron and tapped her out with the black widow about a minute later.
AJ defeated Cameron at 1:56.
Cole plugged a Raw Rewind featuring The Undertaker for next...[c]
My Take: Well, that was a waste of everyone's time. Nothing worthwhile happened there.
The Raw Rebound aired, and covered the final segment of the show that featured Brock Lesnar and The Undertaker. It focused heavily on the stabbing that revealed no blood, proving Brock Lesnar is in fact a Zombie like I've always suspected. Cole plugged Brock Lesnar's response for Monday's Raw. Cole threw to Josh Mathews, who sat with Booker T, Alex Riley and Big Show. Mathews asked Show what to expect from Lesnar and Heyman on Monday, and he said Lesnar is desperate. He was nervous about Big Show and showed it with all those chair shots, and the Undertaker is the baddest dog in the yard.
All the panel members agreed that Taker would continue the streak at WrestleMania. In the ring, The Usos made their ring entrance, followed by Daniel Bryan....[c]
Kane and the New Age Outlaws made their respective entrances.
5. Daniel Bryan and The Usos vs. Kane and The New Age Outlaws: Bryan started the match with Billy Gunn, but quickly tagged in Jimmy Uso. Billy Gunn took control and tagged in Kane. Kane worked him over for a short time and tagged in Road Dogg. Jimmy traded offense with Road Dogg and sent him to the outside...[c]
Billy Gunn hit a tilt-a-whirl slam on Jimmy Uso and tagged in Kane. Kane hit several clotheslines and stomps and tagged out. The heels made some quick tags and Kane was back in the ring quickly. He hit a sidewalk slam and a big clothesline. He took a cheap shot at Daniel Bryan and sent him to the floor. Road Dogg tagged in and knocked Jay Uso to the floor. He took a superkick from Jimmy, who made the hot tag to Daniel Bryan.
Bryan fired up and knocked around Billy Gunn. Bryan sent an interfering Road Dogg the floor. He attempted to hit a dive on Billy Gunn, but Kane stopped him. The Usos hit a double superkick on Kane, and then splashed Road Dogg and Kane at ringside. Billy Gunn hit a fameasser, but Bryan kicked out. Bryan hit a running knee on Gunn and got a pinfall.
Daniel Bryan and The Uso Brothers defeated Kane and The New Age Outlaws at 11:01.
Bryan and the Usos celebrated to close the show.
My Take: A very fun if not a little formulaic match to close the show. Maybe I'm just jaded, but I'm beginning to grow a bit weary of the six man tag matches that seem to make up so many WWE main events. It's not that the matches or the competitors aren't entertaining, it's just that these matches all run together after a while and lose their suspense. I enjoyed the show tonight, but it was only slightly better than average. Nothing really felt hot aside from the opening segment, and even then they didn't really deliver on it's promise. The Shield and The Wyatt's continue a build to something, and that's good, but I wish it would be something on the Mania card. I'll have more to say with Chris Shore in the Smackdown Podcast tomorrow.
Do you have questions, comments or concerns? You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org or on twitter @barnettjake.
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