“Yes sir, we promised you a great main event…” The WWE video leads us into the show.
The Smackdown video plays, and we’re brought into the arena with a fireworks show. Josh Mathews, Michael Cole, and Booker T welcome us to the show. Tonight we’ll see WWE Champion CM Punk take on the WWE World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan. We’ll also see Big Show take on Mark Henry.
Lillian Garcia asks the crowd to welcome the WWE World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan to the ring. Daniel Bryan comes down to the ring celebrating like crazy with his girlfriend AJ. The announcers recap how Sheamus chose Daniel Bryan at Elimination Chamber. Bryan says when he won the Smackdown Money in the Bank contract in July and said he was going to main event WrestleMania, not a single person believed him. No one believed him, yet here he stands as the World Heavyweight Champion. He’s also heading to the main event of WrestleMania. Santino Marella tried to channel Rocky Balboa heading into the Elimination Chamber, but he is a role model. He is the real “Rocky” story. Santino, The Great Khali, Cody Rhodes, Wade Barrett, and the Big Show – he beat them all. You want Rocky? He grabs AJ and says, “Yo AJ, I did it!”
As he was celebrating, physically spent after defeating five other men in one of the most grueling, barbaric matches ever constructed, his moment was ruined. Sheamus ruined his moment. Well not it’s his turn. He is going to ruin Sheamus’ moment at WrestleMania. He will show Sheamus and everyone watching around the world that he will be victorious. Tonight, he will be victorious against CM Punk.
The Miz’s music hits, and he makes his way to the ring. The Miz says that Bryan is the World Heavyweight Champion, but he says Bryan is wrong. He wasn’t the only one that believed he would become a World Champion; he knew Bryan would. The Miz says he mentored and molded Bryan into becoming a World Champion. From his first day on NXT, he knew he would become a World Champion. The Miz isn’t here to get thanks or steal the spotlight; he’s just out there to say congratulations. The Miz congratulates him on being in the main event of WrestleMania, just like he did last year. As Bryan continues to follow in his footsteps and embarrass Sheamus at WrestleMania, they should form a tag team one day.
Sheamus’ music hits, and the number one contender for the World Heavyweight Championship makes his way to the ring. Sheamus rips the microphone out of The Miz’s hands, and he goes face to face with Bryan. Sheamus congratulates Bryan on being a massive arse and a hypocrite. Bryan is no role model. He’s just a coward. He’d rather hide behind a woman’s skirt than stand up and fight like a man. Sheamus also congratulates him on hanging out with someone almost as conceited as Bryan, meaning The Miz. Sheamus says no one will congratulate Bryan at WrestleMania. They’ll say he got exactly what he deserved. The Miz takes the microphone, and he says Sheamus deserves to be taken down a notch or two. The Miz says Sheamus interrupted him and tried to steal the thunder from the World Champion. Sheamus tells The Miz to let the lads who actually have a match at WrestleMania do the talking.
Out of nowhere, Daniel Bryan punches Sheamus and immediately bolts from the ring. The Miz starts to attack, and Sheamus comes right back. Sheamus throws him out of the ring, and he stares at Bryan as he goes up the ramp.
The Miz vs. Sheamus
Teddy Long booked this match during the break. Sheamus has The Miz down in an overhead wristlock. The Miz fights up, gets sent to the ropes, and he kicks Sheamus in the face. The Miz charges, and Sheamus drops him to the apron. Sheamus catches him with the vicious clubs to the chest. The Miz falls to the outside. Sheamus follows, and he kicks Miz as he talks a little trash. Sheamus puts him back in the ring, and he shoulders Miz in the gut. Sheamus hits a slingshot shoulder block for a near fall. The Miz rolls to the apron, and he snaps Sheamus’ arm off the apron. The Miz tries to charge, but Sheamus takes him down with a clothesline. Sheamus sends him to the corner and goes for a diving shoulder, but The Miz moves. Sheamus hits the ring post hard, and he falls to the outside.
The Miz follows him to the outside, and he sends Sheamus into the ring post. The Miz puts him back in the ring, ducks a clothesline, and hits an arm breaker for a one count. The Miz applies an arm bar, but Sheamus fights out. Sheamus sends him to the ropes, but Miz holds on. Sheamus charges into a boot, and Miz shoves him to the corner. The Miz rakes at his face before backing up. The Miz hits his patented clothesline, and he goes to the top rope. Miz hits a double axe handle, and he quickly follows up with a running boot to the face for a two count. The Miz applies an overhead wristlock. Sheamus fights him off, but Miz comes right back. Miz goes into the ropes, and he eats a clothesline.
Sheamus hits some clotheslines, and he catches him in the corner. Sheamus hits an Irish Curse backbreaker for a near fall. Sheamus puts him in the corner and runs into a back elbow. Sheamus nearly catches him with a powerslam, but The Miz counters into the Reality Check for a near fall. The Miz sets up for his finisher, but Sheamus fights him off with elbows. Sheamus sends him off. The Miz ducks a Brogue Kick and rolls him up for a near fall. Sheamus catches him with the Celtic Cross for the win.
Winner by Pinfall: Sheamus
Match Rating: * 3/4
Teddy Long is backstage with Aksana, and the cheesy saxophone music is playing. Aksana says she wants Long to be the General Manager of both Smackdown and Raw. Long says he hopes so. Aksana says, “On top of every man is a good woman.” John Laurinaitis walks in, and Aksana leaves. Laurinaitis says Long is unprofessional, and that’s why he should be the General Manager of both shows. Long says since this is a live Smackdown, he hopes he and Otunga are comfortable. Long says he has a special place for their office. It’s a place where Laurinaitis and his bow-tie wearing friend can hang out. It even has a bathroom. You can find it by looking for a sign that says, “Men”. Otunga says Long’s office should be in a dumpster because that’s where Long will be after he beats Ezekiel Jackson again. Long tells them to not forget to flush.
Kofi Kingston and R-Truth vs. Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger w/ Vickie Guerrero
EXCUSE ME! Vickie Guerrero introduced her “super” tag team of Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger to the ring.
R-Truth will start it out against Jack Swagger. R-Truth gets a side headlock applied, but Swagger whips him off. R-Truth hangs on the ropes, does a little dance, and punches Swagger. R-Truth knocks Ziggler off the apron, and Swagger takes him down. Swagger hits his Vade Bomb for a one count. Ziggler is tagged in, and he hits a snapmare. Ziggler shows off and drops an elbow. Ziggler applies a modified chin lock, but R-Truth fights up. Ziggler pushes him to the corner, runs into a boot, and misses a splash.
Kofi Kingston is tagged in, and he hits a springboard forearm. Kingston knocks Swagger off the apron, hits Ziggler with some chops, and hits a nice dropkick. Ziggler sidesteps a splash, but he can’t avoid a pendulum kick. Kingston hits a cross-body block for a near fall broken up by Swagger. R-Truth attacks, but Swagger knocks him over the top rope. Kingston clotheslines Swagger out of the ring, and Vickie falls down screaming. Ziggler pokes Kingston in the eyes and hits the Zig-Zag for the win!
Winners by Pinfall: Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger
Match Rating: *
They play a scene from the SyFy show Face/Off. Michael Cole says that Booker T would be great on the show. They then talk about the Big Show vs. Mark Henry match for tonight. They show Big Show knocking Mark Henry out last week.
They play the video for the latest inductee into the WWE Hall of Fame, Ron Simmons. Damn!
They have another Santino Marella warm up video playing. There are a bunch of cups set up on the table, and the Cobra rises. The Cobra strikes a few times, and he stops it from striking him. Santino says this is supposed to be target practice. Heath Slater walks in and knocks all the cups off the table. Santino says he shouldn’t have done that since this is no ordinary Cobra. The Cobra spits in Slater’s eyes, and he screams in pain.
They talk about the “Twitter War” CM Punk and Chris Brown are involved in. We’ll see CM Punk take on Daniel Bryan in a Champion vs. Champion match later tonight.
WrestleMania XXVIII is 40 days away!
JOBBER ALERT: Drew McIntyre is at ringside complaining to the announcers about this match.
Drew McIntyre vs. The Great Khali
The bell rings, and McIntyre tries to beg Khali off. McIntyre shoves him and runs away. Khali quickly grabs him and gives him a Brain Chop. Khali quickly follows up with a Punjabi Plunge and picks up the quick win.
Winner by Pinfall: The Great Khali
Match Rating: N/A
They play the end of the Battle Royal from last night’s Raw. They talk about the issue with Cody Rhodes and Big Show. Rhodes assisted Chris Jericho in eliminating Big Show.
Matt Striker is interviewing big Show. Big Show says Cody Rhodes is on the top of his “you know what” list. Big Show says if he gets his hands on Rhodes in the parking lot, the arena, or the swimming pool, he’s going to snap his neck. Big Show will take on Mark Henry next.
Mark Henry vs. Big Show
Big Show immediately unloads some punches on Mark Henry at the sound of the bell. Big Show punches him in the corner, backs up, and delivers a splash. Henry ducks a WMD, and he takes Big Show down with a clothesline. Henry stomps at him and drops a forearm. Henry head-butts him in the back for the head and pushes him down. Big Show fights back with some punches, but Henry takes him down with another clothesline. Henry talks some trash, and he knocks Big Show down as he was getting up for a two count. Henry pushes him to the ropes and stands on him. Henry yells at the referee, and he goes back to punching Big Show. Henry chokes him with a knee, and he screams for Big Show to sneak up on him. Henry talks some serious trash, and he stomps Big Show in the corner. Henry whips him hard to the corner and runs into a boot. Big Show takes him down with a big clothesline.
Big Show hits a few more clotheslines and finishes up with a spear. Cody Rhodes’ music hits, and he comes out to the stage. Rhodes says Big Show Chokeslamming someone can’t be WrestleMania. Rhodes then shows Big Show’s match against Akebono at WrestleMania. Rhodes says Big Show made an “ass” of himself. The video is called, “Another Embarrassing Big Show WrestleMania Moment.” Big Show was staring at the screen, and he turned into a body slam from Henry. Henry hits a big splash for a near fall. Henry argues with the referee. Henry grabs Big Show, and Big Show comes back quickly with a WMD. Cody Rhodes looks stunned. Big Show then leaves the ring to chase down Rhodes. The match appears to be over.
Match Rating: *
They play the Raw Rebound, which highlights Triple H accepting Undertaker’s challenge for WrestleMania… only for it to be in a Hell in a Cell match.
Tonight’s main event will be WWE Champion CM Punk taking on WWE World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan.
Lillian Garcia asks the crowd to welcome Smackdown’s General Manager Theodore Long. Long comes out to simply welcome Ezekiel Jackson to the ring. John Laurinaitis, mocking Teddy Long’s dance, does the same for David Otunga.
Ezekiel Jackson vs. David Otunga
They show a pre-taped promo from Ezekiel Jackson. Jackson says he let down Teddy Long and the entire Smackdown brand last night on Raw. Tonight, it’s David Otunga that’s going down.
The bell rings, and Otunga quickly takes Jackson down. Otunga clubs the chest a few times. Jackson no sells some clubs, and he grabs Otunga by the throat. Jackson sends him into the ropes and hits a shoulder block. Jackson punches him down in the corner, and he clotheslines him. Jackson sends him to the opposite corner and hits a splash. Jackson follows up with a sidewalk slam. Jackson goes for a Torture Rack, but Otunga grabs the ropes to go to the apron. Otunga snaps him off the top rope and hits a Standing Spinebuster for the win.
Winner by Pinfall: David Otunga
Match Rating: N/A
They show another scene from the SyFy show Face/Off. Tonight, we’ll see CM Punk take on Daniel Bryan in a Champion vs. Champion match.
They play another Raw Rebound, and they highlighted Eve Torres showing her true colors. This led to a public humiliation at the hands of John Cena.
Matt Striker is backstage with WWE Champion CM Punk. Striker says it’ll be CM Punk vs. Chris Jericho at WrestleMania. Tonight, he’ll go one on one with Daniel Bryan. Striker asks for his thoughts. Punk says he’s happy to be back on Smackdown, his home for many years. He likes the General Manager here, unlike on Raw. Teddy Long is competent, and he should run both the shows. Punk says Laurinaitis should be the spokesman for “Men’s Warehouse”. Punk says Daniel Bryan has let the championship go to his head. Punk says he thought he was radical on Smackdown with his drug free thing. If Bryan asks AJ to shave her head, he’s going to sue for gimmick infringement. Punk says he’s going to teach Bryan how to lose tonight.
Michael Cole mentions how the CM Punk vs. Chris Brown “Twitter War” has exploded over the past hour. It’s on the front page of TMZ right now.
WWE World Heavyweight Champion vs. WWE Champion
Daniel Bryan vs. CM Punk
They circle the ring, and they lock up. They tussle to the corner, and we get a clean break. They lock up again, and Bryan takes him down with a single leg. Bryan wrenches the arm, but Punk twists out. Punk gets a side headlock applied, but Bryan whips him off. Punk takes him down with a shoulder block and avoids a dropkick. Punk rolls him up, but Bryan rolls through for a two count. They trade takedowns and headlocks for a stalemate.
We come back from the break to see Punk trapped in a side headlock. Punk fights up and whips Bryan off. Punk catches him with a knee to the midsection. Punk cannonballs him for a near fall. Punk goes for a whip, but Bryan catches him with a modified arm breaker. Bryan kicks away at him in the corner and sends him across the ring. Bryan runs into a boot. Punk goes for a slingshot cross-body, but Bryan sidesteps him. Punk is selling his left arm as being injured. Bryan wrenches the arm and snaps it off his shoulder. Bryan sets the arm up and stomps on it a few times. Bryan kicks him down a few times, and he bends Punk’s arm. Punk punches out, but Bryan takes him down with a slam. Bryan sets the arm up and stomps on it again. That looks nasty. Bryan hits some kicks, but Punk blocks one. Bryan gets out of the way of an elbow drop, and he goes right back to work on Punk’s arm. Bryan applies a surfboard stretch. Punk tries to fight out, but Bryan takes him back down with the move. The crowd gets behind Punk, and he fights up. Punk twists out and hits a back suplex. They’re both down.
They’re up at the referee’s count of six, and Punk kicks away at Bryan. Punk sends him into the ropes and hits a nice jumping calf kick. Punk hits a clothesline, and Bryan twists the arm. Punk ducks a kick and goes for the GTS, but Bryan gets out. Bryan goes for the LeBell Lock, but Punk fights out of that. Bryan avoids a roundhouse and gets out of the ring. Bryan wants to leave the match, but Sheamus runs down and throws him into the ring. Punk hits a roundhouse kick to the skull and picks up the win!
Winner by Pinfall: CM Punk
John Laurinaitis comes out, and he says he will not allow this to happen as the Executive Vice President of Talent Relations and Interim Raw General Manager. This match will be restarted.
WWE World Heavyweight Champion vs. WWE Champion
Daniel Bryan vs. CM Punk
Punk quickly kicks Bryan and chops away at him on the ropes. Punk sends him into the ropes, and he knees him in the midsection. John Laurinaitis takes a seat at ringside.
We come back from the break to see Bryan kicking away at Punk. Bryan snaps Punk’s arm off his shoulder. During the commercial, Punk sent Bryan into the barricade and mocked his celebration. Bryan rolls Punk up and grabs the ropes for the win.
Winner by Pinfall: Daniel Bryan
Teddy Long comes out to the ring, and he says the match isn’t going to end like that. Long and everyone in the arena saw what happened. Daniel Bryan used the ropes. Long and Laurinaitis argue, and Long says he’s the General Manager of this show. Long orders the referee to restart the match.
Match Restarted (Second Time)
WWE World Heavyweight Champion vs. WWE Champion
Daniel Bryan vs. CM Punk
They trade forearms with Punk coming out on top. They trade waist locks, and Punk gives Bryan a back suplex over the top rope! Punk quickly follows up with a nice suicide dive, but he may have spiked his head into the barricade. Punk puts him in the ring and hits a springboard clothesline for a near fall. Punk hits a high knee in the corner and goes for a bulldog, but Bryan takes him down by the arm. Bryan sets up in the corner, and he hits Punk with a running dropkick for a near fall. Bryan uppercuts him, and he sets Punk up on the top rope. Bryan hits a hurricanrana, but Punk rolls through for a near fall. Bryan hits some kicks, but Punk ducks one for a quick roll-up. Bryan counters into a LeBell Lock attempt. Punk gets out and catapults Bryan to the corner. Punk hits a roundhouse kick to the skull, but Bryan gets his foot on the bottom rope!
The crowd is chanting for CM Punk. Punk goes to the apron and gets on the top rope. He’s shaking feeling into his arm. Bryan takes him down on the top rope, and he drags Punk back up. Punk fights Bryan off, and Bryan pops back up to attack again. Bryan goes for a superplex, but Punk shoves him off. Punk stands on the top rope, and Bryan cuts him off again. Bryan finally hits his superplex, and he flips over for a pin, but they wind up pinning one another. The referee counts the pin, but he doesn’t know who won.
Teddy Long and John Laurinaitis argue at ringside over who actually won the match. Laurinaitis gets in the ring, and he raises Daniel Bryan’s arm. Teddy Long gets in, and he raises CM Punk’s arm. Long and Laurinaitis go head to head in the center of the ring and they scream at each other. They take their jackets off, and Long throws his in Laurinaitis’s face. Laurinaitis throws it back, and Long walks off. The crowd is chanting for Teddy Long.
Match Rating: ***
Quick Match Results
Sheamus def. The Miz
Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger def. Kofi Kingston and R-Truth
The Great Khali def. Drew McIntyre
Mark Henry NC Big Show
David Otunga def. Ezekiel Jackson
Champion vs. Champion: Daniel Bryan NC CM Punk (non-title)
Bump of the Night: CM Punk giving Daniel Bryan a back suplex over the top rope!
Match of the Night: CM Punk vs. Daniel Bryan ***
I had to keep checking my calendar to make sure this was actually Tuesday and this was a live Smackdown because this show didn’t suck like a live Smackdown usually does. The show opened up with a nice little promo from Daniel Bryan gloating about his win and how nobody ever believed in him. This is exactly the type of promo he’s needed to cut; unfortunately, we had to go through a lot of him throwing stuff at the wall and seeing if it sticks, i.e. the Vegan thing. Thank goodness that’s over with – at least I hope. The Miz came out, and I was immediately intrigued, given their tumultuous history dating back to Bryan’s NXT days. Now that both men are on the same side of the line, Miz did a very nice job of putting Bryan over. This eventually brought out Sheamus, and he did a great job as well. Sheamus zinged Bryan pretty good about his manhood, and it did a nice job of setting up the basis for their WrestleMania feud. His complete dismissal of The Miz also did well in setting up the opening match.
This isn’t a radical idea – I truly think that The Miz will be one of the guys coming over to Smackdown in the draft. I feel like he’s completely lost on Raw, and a move to Smackdown would get his head above water again, where it belongs. Sheamus vs. The Miz is a feud I’d like to see in the future, if that move does happen. I think they match up well, and I thought they looked good against each other tonight. This was a good showing for Sheamus heading into WrestleMania, and a nice look at a possible new member of Smackdown in the future.
The tag team match was just there for me. There wasn’t anything wrong with it nor was there anything great about it. I did enjoy Vickie Guerrero’s involvement, and the temper tantrum she threw at ringside when Jack Swagger nearly landed on her. Sometime after that they threw in a Great Khali squash that was what it was.
I enjoyed the Mark Henry and Big Show match tonight. Mark Henry is such a joy to watch. Henry has, without a doubt, the best trash talk in the wrestling business. When he was shouting at the Big Show it was completely believable. I’m so glad this guy is back on the roster. The match itself was fine until the end. Big Show knocks him out and, instead of pinning him, chases after Cody Rhodes. Rhodes was unimpressive in antagonizing Big Show with the video. He didn’t set it up well, and the video did all the talking for him. I did get a kick out of the music they used for the video and the shots. It looks like they’re setting up for Cody Rhodes and Big Show at WrestleMania, so that kills the rumored Shaquille O’Neil matchup everyone was talking about. Maybe it’ll be a tag match? It also kills off the Cody vs. Goldust match I was hoping for, though I think I was one of the only ones hoping for that.
David Otunga handily defeated Ezekiel Jackson much like he did last night on Raw. This isn’t the story. The story is John Laurinaitis vs. Teddy Long. This angle dominated a lot of this show, including the main event. That’s fine with me. Set up the little stuff now so the big feuds can take the main spotlight as WrestleMania gets closer. I kind of like the feud – it may seem silly to you, but I spend a lot of time with this show every week. Smackdown has almost become like a sports team for me. If it’s going to be the Raw GM vs. the Smackdown GM, as much as I’ve criticized Teddy Long, I’m going to be rooting for Teddy Long. It’s an interesting little storyline, and it’ll be a good way to get some guys a WrestleMania payday and also be involved in a pseudo-meaningful feud. I’ll come back to this feud during the next section.
I thoroughly enjoyed CM Punk and Daniel Bryan’s unofficial 2-out-of-3 falls match tonight. These two, obviously, matchup well, and I think they definitely delivered a fun, visually satisfying match. The crowd was definitely eating up everything they did. How nasty was that stomp Bryan was doing to Punk’s arm? That looked absolutely painful. It ended with Sheamus throwing Bryan back into the ring (he was trying to retreat), and Punk pinned him. John Laurinaitis came out, said Punk cheated, and the match restarted. Bryan soon pinned Punk by holding the ropes, and Teddy Long came out (to quite possibly the biggest reception he’s ever gotten) to restart the match once again. The final part of the match wound up with the two of them pinning one another, and no winner was declared. Long and Laurinaitis argued over which guy won, and they really got in each other’s faces. I loved this. When they started taking their jackets off I was starting to get really psyched. I was ready to root on my Smackdown guy. I don’t know how they’re going to keep this fresh and interesting for the next 40 days, but this was some good stuff tonight. Oh yeah, and the two world champions were involved in this somehow. This was probably one of the best live Smackdown episodes they’ve ever done. This actually felt like a Smackdown, and I really enjoyed it tonight.
Final Rating: ***
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