“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 big fireworks display. Michael Cole and Booker T welcome us to the show. Tonight’s main event will see Sheamus take on Mark Henry in a rematch from Monday Night Raw. Cole mentions that Josh Mathews is recovering from injuries suffered at the hands of Brock Lesnar on Raw. They then show a replay of what happened. We’ll see a replay of the contract signing between John Cena and Brock Lesnar from Raw.
Daniel Bryan’s music hits, and he makes his way to the ring to a nice reaction. Bryan says, “I did it.” He says he cut the umbilical cord and finally got rid of AJ. He says it feels good, but something is still bothering him, and he’s here to set the record straight. That 18-second loss to Sheamus at WrestleMania does not count. If anything, that loss should go on AJ’s record and not his. AJ lost that match – not him. Yet, Sheamus runs around with his championship as if he actually won something. Bryan plans to rectify that situation at Extreme Rules this Sunday. Sheamus cannot legitimately beat him once, let alone twice in two-out-of-three falls.
Despite his personal feelings for the Great White, when General Manager John Laurinaitis asked him to be the special referee for Sheamus’s match against Mark Henry on Raw, he promised himself that he would call it right down the middle. The crowd is obviously chanting, “Yes” but it’s being covered up with boos. He called it right down the middle, but some people have accused him of quick counting Sheamus’s shoulders to the mat. He then says the footage speaks for itself, and he rolls the footage from Raw. Bryan dared Sheamus to hit him, knowing that Sheamus cannot hit a referee. They then did slow motioning on his fast count, making it look legitimate. Bryan says there was nothing wrong with the count. In typical Sheamus fashion, he lost his cool, and he was forced to defend himself. Bryan then shows footage of himself taking Sheamus down and applying the Yes Lock. Bryan has them pause it, and he says that’s a beautiful picture.
Now it’s question and answer time with Daniel Bryan. Did Mark Henry beat Sheamus on Monday? Yes! Did he make Sheamus tap out in front of the entire WWE Universe? Yes! Is Sheamus’s entire World Title run a fluke because he took advantage of a confused, and quite frankly not intelligent woman? Yes! Will he regain his World Heavyweight Championship at Extreme Rules? Yes! Yes! Yes!
Alberto Del Rio’s music hits, and he drives into the arena in a 2010 Bentley Continental. Ricardo Rodriguez comes to the stage to introduce Del Rio to the ring. Del Rio asks if Daniel Bryan has been making excuses since he lost the World Heavyweight Championship in 18-seconds at WrestleMania? Rodriguez says, “Si!” Is the winner of the Bryan/Sheamus match eventually going to lose to the next number one contender Alberto Del Rio? Rodriguez again enthusiastically says, “Si!” Will Daniel Bryan be forgotten when Alberto Del Rio becomes the next World Heavyweight Champion? Rodriguez goes nuts saying, “Si” over and over again.
Big Show’s music hits, and the Intercontinental Champion makes his way to the ring. The crowd gives him a great reception. Big Show asks if it’s “Yes” or “Si.” The crowd seems to be into “Si.” Big Show scares Bryan and Del Rio off with a WMD, but he catches Rodriguez. Big Show tells him to calm down. Big Show asks him if it’s “Yes” or “Si.” Rodriguez lets out a guttural groan. Big Show says, “Si” before Chokeslamming him down.
Big Show will take on Alberto Del Rio in a rematch from last week, next.
Alberto Del Rio vs. Big Show
We join the match in progress, and we see Big Show chop Del Rio’s chest. Big Show sends him to the corner, and he runs into Del Rio’s boots. Big Show quickly comes back and clubs him down. Del Rio gets out of a body slam and goes into the ropes, but Big Show runs him over with a shoulder block that sends him out of the ring. Big Show pulls him up to the apron by his head, and Del Rio snaps his arm off the top rope. Del Rio begins to assault the arm, and he hits an arm breaker. Del Rio goes for the Cross Arm Breaker, but Big Show counters out with a back suplex. Big Show hits a pair of clotheslines, sends him to the corner, hits a butt bump, and he finishes him off with a spear. Big Show signals for his Chokeslam, but Cody Rhodes sneaks up behind him, and he hits a chop block. The referee calls for the bell.
Winner by Disqualification: Big Show
Match Rating: N/A
Del Rio quickly takes Big Show down with a step-up enzuigiri, and he leaves the ring. Rhodes grabs a kendo stick and a steel chair from under the ring. Rhodes hits Big Show over the head with the stick, but Big Show just stares at him. Rhodes grabs the chair, and Big Show punches it out of his hand. Rhodes takes his belt off to hit Big Show with, but Show kicks him down. Big Show rips Rhodes’s shirt off, and he whips him a few times with the belt. Rhodes eventually runs out of the ring, and Big Show stares angrily at him.
John Laurinaitis is walking backstage with Eve Torres, his new executive administrator. Laurinaitis says he wants her to feel welcome at Smackdown, so anything she feels needs to be changed then she should just let him know. Eve wants everyone to wear nametags so she can learn their names. Teddy Long comes up, and he wonders what job title he has. Laurinaitis says Long will report to Eve. She tells Long to get a nametag.
They show footage of Nikki Bella winning the Divas Championship on Raw after Beth Phoenix sprained her ankle. Nikki Bella will face Alicia Fox, next.
Damien Sandow is back with another vignette. Sandow talks about the age of enlightenment, and he mentions names like Isaac Newton. Sandow says the standard has fallen by the wayside. WWE has false idols, but salvation is one week away. WWE will go through an age of illumination when he debuts. “You’re welcome.”
Alicia Fox vs. Nikki Bella w/ Brie Bella
They lock up, and Nikki takes her down with a jawbreaker. Nikki kicks her in the face for a two count. Nikki chokes her on the ropes before hitting a snapmare and a neck snapper for a near fall. Nikki applies an abdominal stretch, but Alicia fights up. Alicia takes her down by the hair and hits some nice dropkicks. Alicia hits a back elbow and ducks under a clothesline. Brie switches with her sister, and she hits Alicia with the Bella Buster for the win.
Winner by Pinfall: Nikki Bella
Match Rating: N/A
Michael Cole will have an exclusive interview with Randy Orton later tonight.
Yoshi Tatsu is warming up backstage when Titus O’Neil and Darren Young walk up. They talk about how they’re the fastest superstars today. They then do some Japanese stereotypes. They wonder who his partner is tonight, and they make fun of his Japanese accent. Ezekiel Jackson walks up, and he says that he will be Yoshi’s partner. O’Neil says Jackson has no guts, and they sing.
Teddy Long is in John Laurinaitis’s office wearing a maid’s outfit with a nametag. He’s dusting. Aksana’s music plays, and she walks up. Long thanks Aksana for sticking by his side. She says she never realized he had grandchildren when he was a General Manager. John Laurinaitis and Eve walk up, and he says that he’s giving Aksana’s friend, Antonio Cesaro, a tryout match. If he likes what he sees, he’s going to hire Antonio. Aksana gets giddy, and she thanks him. Laurinaitis says she’ll be the guest ring announcer, and she acts excited before leaving. Eve then says that Teddy will have his very own ringside commentary table. Since Josh Mathews was taken out, they need an extra voice on commentary. Laurinaitis says he’ll be on the headphones, and he’ll instruct Long on what to say. Laurinaitis then gives him his t-shirt to wear.
JOBBER ALERTS: Ezekiel Jackson and Yoshi Tatsu are in the ring with no TV entrance.
Teddy Long is at ringside at a little desk with “People Power” logos all over it. Michael Cole tries to talk to him, but won’t respond. Then he responds flatly that he’s fine. Laurinaitis is feeding his lines to him backstage.
Ezekiel Jackson and Yoshi Tatsu vs. Titus O’Neil and Darren Young
Darren Young and Yoshi Tatsu lock up. Young punches him, and Yoshi quickly comes back with some of his own. Young flapjacks him on the top rope before tagging in O’Neil. O’Neil clubs him for a one count. O’Neil hits a body slam before tagging Young back in. They hit a double-team shoulder block for a near fall. Yoshi comes back with some chops. Young quickly kicks him and knocks Jackson off the apron. O’Neil is tagged in, and he sets Tatsu up in a powerbomb position. Young comes off the top rope to help slam him down, and they nearly spike Yoshi on his head. They pick up the win.
Winners by Pinfall: Titus O’Neil and Darren Young
Match Rating: N/A
Michael Cole will have another “worldwide exclusive.” Coming up next, he’ll interview Randy Orton.
Michael Cole interviews “The Viper” Randy Orton
Michael Cole asks for the crowd’s attention. General Manager John Laurinaitis has granted him an interview with the man who is involved in a rivalry with Kane. This rivalry has gotten very personal in the past few weeks, and it will be settled in a Falls Count Anywhere match this Sunday at Extreme Rules.
Randy Orton comes out to the ring to a tremendous reception. Cole welcomes him to the interview. Cole says that he’s confident they can have this interview as two civil human beings, despite what happened with Brock Lesnar and Josh Mathews. Cole also reminds him of the edict that John Laurinaitis handed out that states if any superstar touches any announcer, that superstar would be suspended. Orton asks if that was a question. Orton says he’s aware, but he asks if Cole is aware that when he’s pushed just right, he tends to not act so rationally. Orton says he’s a shoot first and ask questions last kind of guy. Cole says that’s dually noted.
Cole shows a video package of Orton’s feud with Kane. Cole mentions that Kane has said he feels like a monster again after beating Orton at WrestleMania. Cole asks how Orton feels about going into a match at a monster that Orton created after his failures at WrestleMania. Orton says that what happens at WrestleMania goes down in history. When people think about his issues with Kane they’ll think about WrestleMania, but that was a wrestling match. At Extreme Rules, he plans on going above and beyond pinning Kane’s shoulders to the mat. He messed with his family. Even though there’s a part of him deep down that wants to respect him for that, he will not accept it. Falls count anywhere this Sunday, but that’s just the beginning. Nothing is holding him back from making Kane suffer. The devil is incapable of unleashing the hell that he will bring this Sunday.
Jinder Mahal’s music hits, and he makes his way to the ring speaking in his native tongue. Mahal says he believes that he and Kane will both take each other down. When they do, a new breed of superstar will emerge. Orton’s time at the top is over. Mahal says he’s younger, smarter, richer, and hungrier than Orton. Mahal says he’ll be waiting for him on the other side. Mahal backs away, but Orton tells him to stop. Orton asks if he’s an announcer. Mahal wonders why he asks. Orton asks again, and Mahal says he isn’t. Orton says announcers are off limits, and then he gives Mahal an RKO.
Sheamus will take on Mark Henry later tonight in the main event.
Aksana is in the ring, and she introduces Tyson Kidd, who is already in the ring. She then enthusiastically introduces Antonio Cesaro to the ring.
Tyson Kidd vs. Antonio Cesaro
Charles Robinson, my favorite referee in the world, is the official of this match. They lock up, and Cesaro powers Kidd to the corner. Cesaro takes him down with some strikes, and he rubs Kidd’s face into the mat. Cesaro drops an elbow on the back of his head. Cesaro then lifts him up, and he hits a nice gut-wrench suplex. Cesaro kicks him in the back of the head and goes for a body slam, but Kidd gets out of it. Kidd kicks him before going to the ropes. Cesaro tosses him up in the air and catches him with a European uppercut. Cesaro then sets him up for a cradle piledriver, and he turns it into a face-buster for the win.
Winner by Pinfall: Antonio Cesaro
Match Rating: N/A
Aksana enthusiastically announces him as the winner, and they hug. Cesaro celebrates in the ring. Teddy Long says on the headsets that he doesn’t want to do something, but he eventually concedes. Long slowly gets in the ring, and he’s forced to raise Cesaro’s arm. Cesaro and Aksana then kiss in front of Teddy Long, and he looks like he’s going to cry. He sadly leaves the ring as they celebrate.
They show a video that hypes up the John Cena/Brock Lesnar rivalry.
Cody Rhodes is walking backstage. He’ll be in action against The Great Khali, next.
The Great Khali vs. Cody Rhodes
Before the match begins, they show footage of Cody Rhodes taking Khali out of the main event last week by attacking the knee. They then show footage of Rhodes’s clash with the Big Show earlier tonight.
Khali powers Rhodes to the corner, and he chops him down. Rhodes soon takes Khali down by the knee, and he DDTs the limb. Khali kicks him away, but Rhodes quickly takes him down with a missile dropkick for a two count. Rhodes continues attacking the knee. Khali clubs out of a leg lock, and Rhodes goes to the front face lock. Khali powers up and throws him off. Khali hits a few clotheslines, and he goes for the Punjabi Plunge. Rhodes gets out and goes for the Disaster Kick, but Khali counters into the Punjabi Plunge for the win.
Winner by Pinfall: The Great Khali
Match Rating: N/A
Abraham Washington is backstage with Epico, Primo, and Rosa Mendes. Washington offers his services to them, and he talks about how its ridiculous that the Tag Team Champions were held off WrestleMania and Extreme Rules. Washington says he needs a decision by Monday. Ryback passes by, breathes heavily, and walks off. Washington chases after him since he could be a potential client.
The Usos are watching backstage. There’s another jobber in the ring named Jacob Kaye. Kaye grabs the microphone, and he talks about how he’s watched a bunch of losers fail every week on Smackdown. All his life, he’s been trying to escape Grand Rapids. Tonight, he’ll become the first man to score a victory over Ryback.
Jacob Kaye vs. Ryback
Kaye charges Ryback, and he gets thrown off. Ryback takes him down with a big boot, and he chokes him right after. Ryback hits a gorilla press powerslam. Ryback lifts him up by the head and viciously clotheslines him down. Ryback screams, “Finish him!” Ryback hits a fisherman’s suplex bomb for the win.
Winner by Pinfall: Ryback
Match Rating: N/A
The Usos are laughing backstage at what they just watched. Ryback yells, “Give me more!”
They show footage of Daniel Bryan reiterating last week that he would not take AJ back. AJ then viciously assaulted Natalya during their match. AJ is seen walking backstage, and Matt Striker asks about the status of her relationship with Daniel Bryan. She looks troubled. Striker asks some more questions, but Kaitlyn walks up to tell him to leave her alone. Kaitlyn says what happened is a good thing. She says that Daniel Bryan is a jerk and he never loved her. Kaitlyn says he did nothing for her, and AJ slaps her! AJ immediately looks sorry about what she just did.
Sheamus makes his way to the ring for his match against Mark Henry. That’s next.
Sheamus vs. Mark Henry
They lock up, and Henry quickly powers Sheamus down. Sheamus quickly pops up, and he gets powered down again. They circle the ring, and Sheamus applies a side headlock. Henry punches him to the corner, and he beats him down. Sheamus punches back, but Henry quickly comes back with a clothesline. Henry talks some trash. Sheamus ducks a short-arm clothesline, and he takes Henry down with an arm breaker for a near fall. Sheamus twists the arm and clubs away. Henry grabs him by the throat and pushes him over the top rope. Henry puts him back into the ring, and Sheamus rolls to the apron. Sheamus punches him back and hits a slingshot shoulder block for a one count. Henry rolls out of the ring to recover.
We come back from the break to see Henry body slam Sheamus down. Sheamus avoids a big splash, and Henry rolls to the apron. Sheamus ties him up in the ropes and clubs away at the chest. Henry elbows him away, and he rips him out of the ring. Henry viciously throws him into the barricade before throwing him into the ring for a one count. Henry head-butts him down before applying a nerve hold. Sheamus fights up. Henry sends him to the ropes, but he lowers his head and eats a kick. Sheamus goes for a shoulder block, but Henry doesn’t go down. Henry clotheslines him down for a one count. Henry smothers him in the corner. Sheamus fights back, but Henry head-butts him down. Henry applies a neck vice, but Sheamus fights up again. Sheamus tries to take him down with some axe handles, but it doesn’t work. Sheamus then hits the ropes hard and takes him down.
Sheamus hits a DDT for a near fall. Sheamus smiles and gets the crowd into it. Henry sidesteps a Brogue Kick, and he takes him down with an avalanche for a near fall. Henry can’t believe it. Henry clubs him in the corner. Henry backs up and runs into the boots. Henry runs under a battering ram attempt, but Sheamus immediately comes back with a Brogue Kick for the win!
Winner by Pinfall: Sheamus
Match Rating: * 1/4
Sheamus celebrates in the ring. Daniel Bryan comes out to the stage, smiling and clapping for Sheamus. Sheamus invites him to the ring, but Bryan doesn’t oblige. Sheamus gets on the microphone, and he asks if Bryan is afraid since he can’t hide behind a referee’s shirt. Maybe he’s afraid he’ll kick his head off in 18-seconds. Sheamus gets the crowd to chant “18-seconds.” Sheamus says he got off easy at WrestleMania, but this Sunday he won’t. It won’t be a fluke and he won’t be able to blame AJ. Will he kick his arse to remain World Heavyweight Champion? The answer is Yes! Yes! Yes!
Quick Match Results
Big Show def. Alberto Del Rio via DQ (non-title)
Nikki Bella def. Alicia Fox (non-title)
Titus O’Neil and Darren Young def. Ezekiel Jackson and Yoshi Tatsu
Antonio Cesaro def. Tyson Kidd
The Great Khali def. Cody Rhodes
Ryback def. Jacob Kaye
Sheamus def. Mark Henry (non-title)
Bump of the Night: O’Neil and Young nearly killing Yoshi Tatsu!
Match of the Night: Sheamus vs. Mark Henry * 1/4
That was a pretty basic “go home show” segment to open the show. Daniel Bryan, despite not really having any true build with Sheamus at any point in this feud, had to say something to drive home the fact that he’s facing Sheamus this Sunday at the PPV. If you didn’t know the card, you’d think he was facing AJ at the PPV since that’s the only feud they’ve given any real build to. It’s interesting when the World Heavyweight Champion, the guy who is supposed to be the face of this show, is the third wheel in a feud between a man and a woman. So while the talk of Sheamus seemed forced because they really don’t have a real feud other than Sheamus has his title and he wants it back, I did enjoy the question and answer thing with Daniel Bryan. That’d be great to incorporate into his promos every week. I also enjoyed Ricardo Rodriguez’s enthusiasm with the “Si” line. I get such a kick out of him, and he had me cracking up when Big Show got hold of him. Not a bad way to end that segment at all.
The match with Big Show and Del Rio was pretty short and sweet. The DQ finish ensures that no one looks bad coming out of it, and Cody Rhodes got some face time in the ring with Big Show.
The soon to be departing Bella Twins were in action against Alicia Fox tonight. They’re just holding the title so they have an excuse to be out there this Sunday when Kharma comes back. I really think that’s going to happen. It’ll be interesting since Kharma debuted at Extreme Rules last year. The Bella Twins made fun of her last year as she was on her way out, so that’ll be some nice payback for her. It’s also a good way to send the Bella Twins out convincingly.
That was a pretty scary moment when it looked like Young and O’Neil spiked Yoshi Tatsu on his head. That was pretty careless. It’s only two weeks in, but if they want Titus O’Neil to be taken seriously as a strong best, they need to a.) Let him do more than one power move in the squash tag team matches, and b.) Never let him dance and sing with Darren Young backstage ever again. That was terrible.
I wasn’t a fan of the Randy Orton interview tonight. I mentioned earlier that I thought that Daniel Bryan talking about Sheamus felt forced. Well that feud seems like Austin/McMahon compared to Randy Orton and Kane. You want to talk about forced? This is as forced as it gets. The whole premise for the feud is ridiculous, and everything that’s happened since WrestleMania has been overkill. It’s just no good, and I cannot wait for this Sunday so it can finally end. Good god I hope it ends. Speaking of things that need to end, when will Jinder Mahal give up the idea that he’s going to be the top guy? Every time he appears on Smackdown, he has a little promo saying that this particular night that he’s competing will be the one that puts him over the top. It didn’t happen again as he got served an RKO. I guess they needed some way to get the crowd happy after a boring and emotionless promo.
Wow, I felt horrible for Teddy Long after that match. The poor guy is heartbroken. However, at the same time I was feeling bad for him, I was laughing at Cole’s comments about her being out of Long’s league and him having grandkids. It was a strange mix of emotions. This was a solid debut for Antonio Cesaro. He looked good in the ring, and I’m excited to see more from him in the coming weeks.
They’re definitely playing up the fact that absolutely nothing is going right for Cody Rhodes since losing his title at WrestleMania. Tonight, in a match that people heading into a PPV usually win, he loses. Granted, it is The Great Khali, but still he shouldn’t have lost. I’m predicting another big embarrassment for Rhodes this Sunday.
Ryback had another match tonight. I still think he looks goofy as all hell, but the commentary is what was bizarre tonight. They talked about how Ryback is putting fear into all the boys in the back, but if that’s the case, why do they feature them every week laughing at these squash matches? That’s not exactly instilling fear in them. That aspect of the gimmick I don’t get. I get he’s a wrecking machine (how many of those have come and gone?), but I’ll never get the jobbers laughing at this. Jobbers laughing at jobbers. Hello pot – meet kettle.
AJ is simply amazing. I could write a million superlatives to describe what I think about her, but it would take me forever. I was really hoping she would do to Matt Striker what Brock Lesnar did to Josh Mathews on Monday. She is acting crazy and all. That would have been awesome. Still, an excellent segment and she didn’t even utter a word.
Tonight’s main event was ok. I thought it was a little poorly planned before the commercial break. They always have to have the face on top heading into the break, but it didn’t seem like they remembered that until like ten-seconds before the commercial so it led to an awkward comeback. It picked up a bit after that, and the match wins my “Match of the Night” award on default because it was longer than two minutes. Sheamus’s promo on Daniel Bryan was just as forced as Bryan’s promo on him was earlier in the night. Gosh, I’ve been using the word “forced” a lot in this recap. Anyway, thus far (and it’s only a few weeks old) Sheamus’s title reign has been flat. Is it too soon to say he needs a good showing on Sunday to save it? I think he does.
Final Rating: * 3/4
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Thanks for reading! Enjoy Extreme Rules 2012!