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WWE Smackdown Report
PARKS' WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT 3/2: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of the show, including Randy Orton's return vs. Daniel Bryan

Mar 2, 2012 - 9:00:58 PM
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WWE Smackdown review
March 2, 2012
Taped 2/28/12 in Seattle, Wash.
Aired on SYFY
By Greg Parks, PWTorch Columnist (Twitter: @gregmparks)



- WWE Open.

- In slow-motion, they showed Daniel Bryan hitting Randy Orton with the World Title from Raw several weeks ago, the storyline explanation for Orton’s concussion. Tonight, Orton returns to take on Bryan.

- Smackdown Open.

- The usual fireworks and shots of the crowd opened the show. Oh, and there’s the Wrestlemania sign!

- Sheamus was the first to come out, and I believe I saw a middle-aged gentleman singing his theme ever so briefly. Josh Mathews, Michael Cole, and Booker T. were shown at ringside. Sheamus got the mic and said all he can think about is Wrestlemania. He talked about how Daniel Bryan has changed since he won the World Title, and how it reminds him of him when he won his first WWE Championship. Sheamus said he should’ve realized how lucky he was. He said he became something he despised his entire life: a bully. And he needed someone to knock his block off to help him realize what he achieved. Bryan needs that person too, and he volunteered for the spot. Before he could go any further, Vickie Guerrero interrupted and walked onto the stage with Dolph Ziggler.

Guerrero said that was a wonderful story, but her favorite part was when he finally stopped talking. She handed the mic to Ziggler, who asked if anyone really cares about his story. He said the people really want to see him in the main event at Wrestlemania, not Sheamus. Ziggler calmly told Sheamus that his hair was on fire. Sheamus said that joke is almost as old as Ziggler’s grandmother Vickie. Vickie told the “fella” that she’s not old, but experienced. Guerrero turned her attention to discussing the battle of general managers, putting her and Ziggler firmly in John Laurinaitis’ camp. She said she’s the only one without the surname McMahon who has been GM for Raw or Smackdown – I assume she meant Raw AND Smackdown. Teddy Long came out and said the only thing Vickie is going to run is Ziggler’s career, right into the ground. Long then told Ziggler he’d have to fight Sheamus. Right now. “Ratings, it’s all about ratings,” said Booker T. Where did that come from? What does that have to do with anything?

[Commercial Break]

1 – SHEAMUS vs. DOLPH ZIGGLER

Match was joined in progress, but it didn’t look as if it had been going for long. Ziggler caught Sheamus by surprise with a dropkick, but missed another not long after. Sheamus took advantage and beat on Ziggler in the corner, then clobbered Ziggler with forearms to the chest. Sheamus suplexed Ziggler from the apron into the ring to give him a near-fall at 1:55. Sheamus chased after Ziggler outside the ring, but Ziggler caught him coming in and took over. Neckbreaker by Ziggler, then he followed up with elbowdrops. Sheamus worked out of a chin-lock and back to his feet. Powerslam by Sheamus for two. Ziggler jumped up on Sheamus’s back to stop the onslaught. Sheamus went down to both knees in the middle of the ring. However, he reached his feet and slammed Ziggler back-first into the buckle, then dumped Ziggler to ringside. Ziggler went to the top, but Sheamus caught him for the Irish Curse back-breaker. Vickie hopped into the ring to put Ziggler’s foot on the rope, but they were further away from the rope than planned (I’d guess) and Vickie had to go all the way into the ring, making it unlikely the ref didn’t actually see it (though from the camera angle, they wisely didn’t show the ref and when he looked). Sheamus registered a few near falls. Vickie signaled for Jack Swagger when Sheamus began to signal for the finish. Sheamus Brogue Kicked Swagger off the apron, but Ziggler hit the Fameasser for a near-fall. Ziggler tried to go for the sleeper hold again, but Sheamus turned it into what he now calls the White Noise (Emerald Frosien) for the win.

WINNER: Sheamus, 8:22 shown. Another nice victory for Sheamus heading into ‘Mania, where he had to overcome Vickie and Swagger in addition to Ziggler.

- The announcers talked about the general managers switching shows next week. They discussed things over footage of the many finishes to last week’s main event of Punk vs. Bryan. They also showed highlights of Punk vs. Bryan from Raw on Monday.

- Teddy Long was walking backstage, talking on the phone. He walked into his office and told Aksana he’d have to call her back. John Laurinaitis and David Otunga were shown to already be in the office. Laurinaitis said he was going to be the better man, so he came to Smackdown…to get an apology from Long. He said he has a lower lumbar strain from Long shoving him down on Raw. Otunga said the criminal assault charges have been dropped, but he’s still considering civil action. Laurinaitis said he’d accept an apology instead. Long made a joke at the expense of Laurinaitis, but Laurinaitis said he’d show the Board of Directors how Smackdown should be run. Long said he’d do the same for Raw, and put Otunga in a match against Great Khali this Monday. He told them to get out of his office before he put some stank on them.

- Big Show vs. Mark Henry is tonight.

[Commercial Break]

2 – HEATH SLATER vs. SANTINO MARELLA

Slater tried to attack Marella as Santino’s back was turned, but he couldn’t connect. Santino hip-tossed Slater, but Slater got his knees up on a splash attempt. Booker and Cole talked about the GM battle with Booker saying Long is trying to keep the ratings up and keep Smackdown the #1 show on cable. Sidekick by Slater for only two. Thought for sure Booker would point out how that was one of his signature moves, but he was too busy prattling on about Long and Laurinaitis. Slater got crotched on the top rope and Marella hit the Cobra. Slater fell down and was pinned.

WINNER: Marella, at 1:55. There are worse guys to give a mini-push to than Santino. At least he entertains the crowd.

- Tonight, Randy Orton faces Daniel Bryan.

[Commercial Break]

- Cole plugged the latest WWE Magazine, a celebration of Wrestlemania.

- They showed the exterior of a farmer’s market in Seattle.

- Mathews threw it to a video package of Triple H vs. Undertaker, the one that was shown on Raw. This was a great video, partially because it reminded fans that Taker actually won last year, which hasn’t been emphasized much so far in the build-up to this year’s rematch. They plugged Shawn Michaels appearing on Raw this coming week.

- Eve was prettying herself in a mirror when Natalya walked up. She said they have a match, but there’s something she wanted to get off her chest: She said what Eve did to Zack Ryder was wrong, since Ryder is a really good guy. Eve said she’s been hearing that all week, and while Ryder may be a nice guy, he stinks. Nattie then farted and said, “no Eve, that stinks.” Mathews had to laugh at that as Cole said Nattie will “let it rip” against Eve next.

[Commercial Break]

- Mathews thanked MGK, featuring Ester Dean for “Invincible,” one of the theme songs to Wrestlemania.

3 – NATALYA vs. EVE TORRES

“Hoski” chant right off the bat for Eve. Some brief chain wrestling led to a roll-up from Natalya for two. Single-leg take-down by Eve, but they both kipped up at the same time. Eve rejected a handshake and slapped Nattie. Nattie brawled with Eve as Booker said irritable bowel syndrome runs in the family. “We want Ryder” chant. Eve reversed a roll-up and got the pinfall.

WINNER: Eve, at 1:42. Nice match, and they kept it on the ground, which was fine. Different from most other women’s matches.

- Big Show and Mark Henry collide once again, tonight.

[Commercial Break]

- Cody Rhodes came out to chat. He told the fans about profiling Big Show’s loss to Akebono at Wrestlemania 21. They showed a still image of that. Then on Raw, he talked about Floyd Mayweather knocking Show out. A still of that too, with the old school Wrestlemania logo. Rhodes said he’s at the top of his “you know what” list because he cost Show a shot at a title at Wrestlemania. Rhodes claimed he saved Show the embarrassment of floundering on the grandest stage of them all. Rhodes said at the Big Show, the Big Show is a choke artist. Rhodes wanted to continue listing Show’s failures at ‘Mania, but Show had heard enough, so he came out.

Rhodes exited the ring and left through the crowd before Show could get his hands on him. Show asked Rhodes where he was going. He said he just wanted to watch another video as he’s not afraid to laugh at himself. Show said they could watch it together, like friends. Show said if Cody isn’t coming down, he’ll have to go get him. Before Show could head after Rhodes, Teddy Long came to the ring. Long said he can’t have Show bursting through the audience like it’s the running of the bulls. Long granted Big Show a match against Cody Rhodes at ‘Mania in a match for the Intercontinental Title. But for now, Show has Mark Henry to deal with.

4 - THE BIG SHOW vs. MARK HENRY

Henry clotheslined Show over the top rope and to ringside just :20 into the contest. Headbutt by Henry outside the ring, then he whipped Show into the barricade, and Show took a bump over it and into the area where the timekeeper sits. The count was on as henry was in the ring. Show made it back to the apron at eight. Henry had exposed the turnbuckle and Show was shoved into it by Henry. Show was back on the outside when they went to break at 1:43.

[Commercial Break]

Back at 5:15 with Henry still in control and Cody Rhodes on commentary. Henry rammed Show back-first into the ringpost. Henry grabbed the steel steps and tossed them at Show, but Show was able to move. Big splash in the corner on Show. Henry went for a Vader Bomb and covered for two. Show got his boot up on Henry and speared him. Both men were down at 7:35. He signaled for the chokeslam, but Henry broke out. World’s Strongest Slam but Show kicked out. After arguing with the ref, Henry charged at Show and ran right into the WMD. Show held his ribs, injured from the shot to the turnbuckle before the break, and slowly made the pin. He got the three-count.

WINNER: Show, at 8:49. Not only does Henry job, but Show kicks out of Henry’s finisher. Not a good sign for those who hope for a return to Henry’s dominating ways from a few months ago.

- Teddy Long was walking backstage. He found Drew McIntyre, who Long said he had been cutting a lot of slack lately. Tonight is due or die though, and if McIntyre loses, he’s fired. McIntyre tried to beg, but Long made his speech short and sweet. No mention of an opponent.

- The announcers talked of Orton’s return tonight, when he faces Daniel Bryan. They showed clips of Orton vs. Show and the finish of the match, plus Bryan striking with the title belt.

- Matt Striker was backstage with Randy Orton. He asked Orton how he feels and Orton said he’s fine and back to normal, which of course means “angry.” He said he’s looking for revenge against Daniel Bryan, who cost him the opportunity to walk into Wrestlemania as World Champion. Orton said Bryan will have to pay a steep price for that, and he’ll collect tonight.

[Commercial Break]

5 – DREW MCINTYRE vs. JUSTIN GABRIEL

McIntyre was already in the ring. Gabriel is somewhat of anti-climactic opponent for McIntyre. Big boot by McIntyre for a two-count. McIntyre was close to getting disqualified in the corner, but Gabriel hit a tornado DDT. Gabriel went to the top rope and hit the 450 splash, with the camera catching it from a cool angle. That finished it.

WINNER: Gabirel, at 1:43. I’m guessing McIntyre gets fired, only to be rehired by Laurinaitis next week.

Long came on the video screen and said he gave McIntyre lots of chances, but he has to let him go. McIntyre was nearly in tears in the ring. The “Goodbye Song” didn’t really pick up much steam.

- The announcers discussed McIntyre’s dismissal and Mathews segued from Long enforcing his rules here to pitching it to the trailer of Edge’s new movie, “Bending the Rules.”

- Later tonight, Randy Orton vs. Daniel Bryan.

- Next, we’ll see clips from the final segment of Raw.

[Commercial Break]

- They showed the Space Needle in Seattle.

- The Raw Rebound aired, featuring some of the Rock’s promo and Cena’s response. No mention of the notes on the wrist, by the way.

- The announcers discussed Cena vs. Rock, then sent it backstage to Matt Striker, who was with Bryan. Bryan was smiling huge with an extreme close-up on him. Too close. AJ was there too. Bryan said there was no apprehension in fighting Orton tonight, and he took issue with Sheamus’s opinion that he has changed. Bryan said he’s the same person he’s always been, the one who grew up in Aberdeen, Washington. Cheap pop on that, but he said he moved to Vegas as soon as humanly possible. He said he’s still a vegan, he still doesn’t have a TV and he’s still the love of AJ’s life. That’s funny. Bryan ran down his accomplishments, beating giants and surviving the Elimination Chamber. He said he’ll defy expectations by walking into and out of Wrestlemania as World Champion.

- Randy Orton’s music played and he came out. He faces Daniel Bryan next.

[Commercial Break]

6 – RANDY ORTON vs. DANIEL BRYAN

AJ accompanied Bryan to the ring. Orton was all over Bryan and even took the fight to the outside, where he stomped Bryan’s head atop the steel steps. Orton took Bryan to the top rope and tried to suplex him off, but Bryan headbutted Orton to the mat. He held the back of his head as he tried to get to his feet. Bryan crouched in the corner, smile on his face. Running dropkick in the corner found the mark. Single-arm DDT for a two-count at 2:50. They went to break 3:00 in.

[Commercial Break]

Back at 5:58 of the match. Bryan was stomping Orton in the corner, continuing to work over the left arm of the Viper. Orton showed signs of life, but Bryan cut him off by bringing him down throat-first over the top rope. He then went to the top rope, only to be met with a dropkick on the way down. Orton hit his patented DDT, but his arm was still held tight to his side. He signaled for the RKO, but Bryan treid to counter into the LeBell Lock. Bryan couldn’t hook it in, then hit ringside and apparently tried to leave. Orton got him before he could go far and continued his assault. Orton was about to DDT Bryan with Bryan’s feet on the ropes. Suddenly, Kane’s pyro hit and he came out. The bell rang after Bryan scampered back into the ring.

WINNER: Bryan, via count-out, at 9:21.

Kane attacked Orton and the two brawled at ringside. Kane got into the ring and eyed AJ, but Orton went back after him. They continued to fight at ringside and at the announce table. Kane ran Orton into the ring post, shoulder first. Hey, if there’s anyone who embraces the hate, it’s Orton, so what’s Kane’s beef? Chokeslam by Kane laid Orton out. Kane grabbed a mic and welcomed Orton back. That’s all. Laurinaitis and Otunga were shown watching the proceedings on a screen backstage. Laurinaitis said that’s nowhere near the destruction he’ll bring next week. He proposed a match between Kane and Teddy Long’s girlfriend, Aksana, next week. “Really?” was all Otunga could say in response. They cut out with Laurinaitis and Otunga watching the monitor.


What do you think? If you saw this show, we invite you to send your thoughts. Send your name, hometown, a 0-10 score rating the quality of the show, your picks for best and worst segments, and then a brief paragraph of thoughts on the show that we can publish in the Reader Reax segment later tonight or tomorrow. Send to pwtorch@gmail.com.

Greg Parks has been covering WWE Smackdown for PWTorch.com since January of 2007. Follow him on Twitter @gregmparks for live Tweeting during Raw, Impact, and PPVs, as well as other bits of wisdom. Comments, questions and feedback are welcome, and can be sent to g_man9784@yahoo.com.


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