Hey, it’s WWE Smackdown! It’s that show where Mark Henry interacts with Roman Reigns!
The show opened with that awesome Brock Lesnar interview from Raw, where he told us he was put on this earth to seek and destroy people.
Roman Reigns came down to the ring to cut a talky. He said that Paul Heyman & Brock Lesnar thought they could intimidate him. Then Mark Henry’s music hit, and the World’s Strongest Man* came out. (*Mark Henry is NOT the world’s strongest man – that’s Žydrūnas Savickas. You’re welcome.)
Henry said that last week he wanted to see what Reigns had and Reigns showed him something. Well, he punched him & speared him for no good reason, so I guess that’s something. They showed video of that.
Henry said that he got what he deserved but it had convinced him to put all his money on Reigns to win at Wrestlemania. That’s never a great idea.
Seth Rollins came out, accompanied by Kane and J&J Security, and Kane said he couldn’t believe that Henry really thought Reigns could win at Wrestlemania. Why do The Authority care?
Rollins held up his tatty gold suitcase and said anything could happen at Wrestlemania and that Orton was not in the building tonight. His crack security team had secured every entrance, and he was doing this for Orton’s own safety. He’d be saving all his revenge for Wrestlemania but fancied a tune-up tonight, so Kane made a match of Reigns & Henry versus Rollins & Kane for the main event.
The Bella Twins were shown walking down a corridor. They’re on next.
Hey, it’s Paige! She was already in the ring, waiting to face Brie Bella. AJ Lee & Nikki Bella were on commentary.
So they had a two-minute match and it was average to poor. Paige won with a roll-up off a pin attempt by Brie, and AJ skipped around the ring to celebrate with her.
At the arena’s loading dock, J&J Security were giving instructions to their security team about not letting Randy Orton in. Christ.
Hey, it’s Dean Ambrose! He came down to the ring as the first man in a gauntlet match, featuring all the challengers in the Intercontinental Title Ladder Match at Wrestlemania.
First out to fight him was Stardust. They showed a terrible inset promo where Stardust argued with himself. In an alternate dimension, Cody Rhodes is having a heated feud over the NWA United States Heavyweight title with, I don’t know, Alex Riley.
Ambrose was on top early doors, but Stardust tricked him using the old “roll out of the ring, wait for him to follow, roll back in and be ready to kick him when he rolls back in” trick. You know, that one.
Stardust went for a sunset flip but Ambrose sat down, hooked Stardust’s legs, and got the pin, in under two minutes.
After the match, Stardust attacked Ambrose and threw him, shoulder-first, into the corner post. Twice. R-Truth came out, the next entrant in the gauntlet, and threw Stardust out of the ring, then waited for the ref to ring the bell to re-start the match.
The ref did just that, but Stardust jumped up on the apron and distracted Truth, and Ambrose pinned him with Dirty Deeds in TWELVE seconds. Sucks to be R-Truth.
Luke Harper was out next. He also cut an inset promo, and said that he’ll piece himself back together at Wrestlemania or something.
Harper and Ambrose had a back and forth, with Harper working on Ambrose’s injured shoulder. Ambrose bit Harper’s hand to escape a crossface, and fought back with chops and kicks and a nearfall off an inside cradle.
Harper got the win after four minutes or so, with a discus clothesline and a sit-out powerbomb. It kind of came out of nowhere, which is good, because God knows these matches can get very predictable sometimes.
Backstage, more security goons (who looked suspiciously like Area Jobbers) were being given instructions by J&J Security. A geek walked through a door and was pounced on but he wasn’t Randy Orton, okay?
Hey, it’s Daniel Bryan! He was the next man out in the gauntlet match, and because goon-based comedy was more important, this was joined-in-progress.
Bryan worked over Harper’s leg, using kicks and a surfboard, and Harper had to dump him out of the ring just to get a breather.
Back in the ring, Harper got on top, and tried to throw Bryan out of the ring again, but he skinned the cat, headscissored the big man out of the ring instead and hit a topé suicida.
Back in the ring, Bryan hit some kicks and Harper dropped him right on his head with an overhead suplex. Harper went for a powerbomb but Bryan locked on a heel hook and Harper quickly tapped.
Dolph Ziggler was the last man out, and he did an inset promo making fun of his ladder match opponents, almost calling Bryan a turd again. Brilliant.
So they had a match and it was very good. I guess this is the match they might have had at Wrestlemania if Ziggler had gotten his wish for a singles bout between the two.
They went back and forth, and got nearfalls, and Bryan tried to hit the running knee but Ziggler hit a superkick. Later, Bryan applied the Yes! Lock but Ziggler made the ropes.
The finish came when they fought over a backslide, and Bryan got a nearfall. When they stood up, Ziggler hit a Zig Zag out of nowhere for the win at the eleven minute mark.
After the match they shook hands because this was a fight with HONOUR! Bad News Barrett, who’d been shown watching the fight on a backstage monitor throughout proceedings, came out and laid out both men. He stood over them, ranting. This was good stuff and a marked change from the goofiness of this feud for the past few weeks.
J&J Security did more stuff with more goons.
Hey, it’s Los Matadores! And Torito! That means it’s time for the six-BEING interSPECIES tag-team match between them and Tyson Kidd & Cesaro & Natalya.
Now here’s a thing. Torito isn’t actually a bull. He’s a tiny man in a costume that doesn’t even resemble a real bull. So fuck off with getting my hopes up of a REAL interspecies match. Oh, and when Natalya tagged in, they said Torito had to tag in – why??? They’re not even the same species, apparently, let alone the same sex. Or are they saying that tiny bulls equals women? Or am I thinking about this too much?
Anyway, Kidd & Cesaro & Natalya won when Natalya pinned Torito after a powerbomb. That’s all you have to know. So fucking dumb.
Roman Reigns came out for the main event but he was NOT joined by Mark Henry. They cut to the back, where Mark Henry had been assaulted by PERSONS UNKNOWN. Zack Ryder, Titus O’Neill, Darren Young and a doctor attended to him. In the best hands there.
So Seth Rollins and Kane came out and this was now a handicap match. J&J Security marshalled some goons to keep a watch on the ramp, because no-one comes to the ring from any other direction. No-one. Oh, there is that one guy, but he probably wasn’t around to remind them of this DESPITE BEING IN THE FUCKING RING.
This was mercifully short. Well, five minutes. Which is long enough. Reigns took out four men – Rollins, Kane, and J&J Security – and pinned Kane after a spear. It didn’t make Reigns look strong, it just made the others look like geeks.
After the match, Reigns left. BUT! there was still five minutes left! What could possibly happen? Yes, I am Jack’s complete lack of surprise. Randy Orton’s music played and the security goons faced the ramp, ready for him. Only Orton came through the crowd – in full wrestling gear, mind – and attacked Rollins.
He gave RKOs to Noble and Mercury, and beat up the security goons, too, and stood tall in the ring while Rollins high-tailed it. And that’s your show.
This was an Average Show. It wasn’t terrible, and the in-ring for the gauntlet match was very good. But, for Christ’s sake, this was the second show in FOUR DAYS to treat the audience like total idiots in laying out a “surprise” that Helen Keller could see coming. Not that she could tell you about it, mind….