Mike Tedesco’s Smackdown Thoughts
March 30, 2013
By: Mike Tedesco of Wrestleview.com
Smackdown kicked off last night with an unexpected appearance from the WWE Champion, The Rock. Rock continued to prove that if you’re super over, you can get away with just about anything, as he did a few weeks ago when he first came out with the “story time” thing. It reminded me of the time when “Stone Cold” Steve Austin came out and recited the lines from the theme song of “The Beverley Hillbillies” just for the hell of it, and it went over big. The Rock was having some fun. He even brought an old picture of himself at age fifteen. It took a little while to get to the point, but he somehow tied John Cena to his search for a Hershey Whatchamacallit. That’s kind of pro if you can do that.
Then an even bigger surprise happened. John Laurinaitis made his return! Mr. Excitement! I’ve forgotten just how funny this guy can be. In fact, I almost forgot about him completely. Laurinaitis was hilarious in his naïveté over the danger he was in while giving his bogus proposal to The Rock. He was particularly hilarious as he nailed the “and Big Johnny means no way” line and the comparison he made between the two of them to a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. Once the handshake happened, you knew something was going to happen. I loved how as The Rock held on to his hand, Laurinaitis kept patting him on the arm as if he was completely oblivious to what was about to happen. This was a really fun segment to open the show, which is the final real Smackdown before WrestleMania. Those who have followed Smackdown for years know that the final Smackdown before WrestleMania is usually chockfull of video packages and one or two absolutely, completely meaningless matches.
Chris Jericho kicked off the action with a very good non-title match against Wade Barrett. It’s funny to think that a few years ago, Jericho was his mentor on NXT. They had a good little back and forth match before Barrett got a little ahead of himself arguing with The Miz, who was on commentary, and getting beat by Jericho. After the match, Jericho continued to fail in saying Fandango’s name. Jericho even pulled out Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody while attempting it. Fandango came out, but they didn’t come to blows. He danced and left. I’m truly looking forward to this match at WrestleMania. I still can’t believe that his first match will be at WrestleMania, along with Big E. Langston as well. That’s kind of incredible. It’ll be tough for them not to feel the pressure.
Paul Heyman’s interview with Josh Mathews was very well done. Heyman nailed it, of course. Heyman did a great job of explaining why he and Lesnar had chosen the stipulation of Triple H’s career being on the line.
The Bench Press Challenge with Mark Henry and Ryback was pretty impressive. Both guys are powerhouses and blew by the old World Record of 51 repetitions at 225-pounds. I think it’s neat that they’ll share a spot in the record book at 53 repetitions. Henry’s poor sportsmanship was a nice touch to add. How much strength does one need to have to make it look like 225-pounds is choking you after 53 repetitions without it actually crushing your throat? This is another WrestleMania match that I’m definitely looking forward to.
Another thing to note about the Bench Press Challenge was the continuation of Booker T and Teddy Long not really being on the same page. Long interrupted Booker’s introduction of Mark Henry and did it himself. I still don’t get it. Maybe Long will manage Mark Henry just like old times? I don’t want that to happen. I’m just throwing it out there for the heck of it to try to make sense of the situation. It’s doubtful anyone cares or even notices this thing going on with Booker and Teddy.
The inter-gender tag team match was fine for what it was. About the only thing of note is it looks like we’re going to get a Diva’s Championship match at WrestleMania between Kaitlyn and AJ Lee. That would be the feel-good story of the show, as AJ grew up not far from MetLife Stadium.
Jack Swagger taking on The Great Khali wasn’t much of a match. The post-match attack by Alberto Del Rio was well done. Zeb Colter even got involved in the scuffle as he took a stiff shot from the crutch of Ricardo Rodriguez. The buildup for this WWE World Heavyweight Championship match was pretty botched from the beginning. It started out very promising with Dutch Mantel being involved, but Del Rio’s lack of ability to emote and be angry really hurt it. I’m happy they’ve been able to salvage it a little bit by completely eliminating Del Rio on the microphone and just letting Colter do all the work.
The main event wasn’t bad. It was just more of Big Show, Sheamus, and Randy Orton proving that they are completely unified as a team. The melee that ensued after in the crowd with them attacking The Shield was well done. It was a fun and intense ending to the show.
Bump of the Night: The brawl through the crowd at the end of the show
Match of the Night: Chris Jericho vs. Wade Barrett * 1/2
Final Rating: ** 1/2
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Thanks for reading!
Mike Tedesco is the official recapper of WWE Smackdown for Wrestleview.com.