After last week’s live Smackdown, normal service resumed with a Friday edition of the Teddy Long-run show. The night began with the Great White, Sheamus entering the ring to address his opponent at Wrestlemania, Daniel Bryan. Sheamus delivered a message to his ‘Mania opponent by informing the WWE Universe that he is going to knock Sports Entertainment’s only vegan down a peg or two by teaching him some humility. The address was short-lived, however, as Vickie Guerrero and Dolph Ziggler interrupted who decided to show their support to John Laurinaitis in the battle to become General Manager of both Raw and Smackdown.
Dolph Ziggler Vs Sheamus
Dismayed by their support for his rival, Teddy Long set up a match for Ziggler to take on Sheamus. Ziggler was close to scoring a victory but the man who hopes to bring Daniel Bryan’s title run to an abrupt end sealed the fall with his trademarked White Noise.
Winner: Sheamus by pinfall
With both General Managers switching their respective roles next week, the ‘playa’ Teddy Long announced that his first act as Smackdown General Manager would be to set up a match between David Otunga, Laurinaitis’ right hand man, and The Great Khali. Otunga has been on a winning streak of late but he is going to be alert if he is to overcome Khali. It’ll take more than a few trips to his beloved Starbucks that’s for certain!
Santino Marella Vs Heath Slater
The next match saw the Milan Miracle Santino Marella take on Heath Slater. The one-man rock band had the early advantage by putting the boot to Santino in an aggressive start. Slater looked like he was going to capitalise on his favourable position by going to the top rope. However, the crafty Italian was quick to his feat and knocked Slater off by throwing himself into the ropes. Santino then reached into his ring attire (reminiscent of Mankind with Mr. Socko) and pulled out another Cobra puppet, (he had thrown the one he wore down to the ring into the crowd) and delivered a devastating Cobra. Slater dropped to the floor before Santino covered him for the three count, much to the delight of the Seattle crowd. At the end of the match Michael Cole referred the Cobra as another “Spinarooni”, poking fun at his co-commentator Booker T’s signature move. The likeness was greeted with a “watch yourself, Cole!”
Winner: Santino Marella by pinfall
Up next was a Divas match between Eva Torres and Natalya, the latter appears to be having some issues with her bowels of late. Before the match, backstage, Natalya thought she’d give Torres the what for regarding the Zack Ryder situation. She said: “What you’re doing to Zack is inexcusable; Zack is a really good person, a genuine person.” Torres, without any remorse or compassion responded coldly by saying: “At least I’m honest enough to admit I used Zack.” Natalya then left Torres with a parting gift, an air biscuit! According to Booker T it’s because of all the whey protein Natalya takes.
Eva Torres Vs Natalya
Their match followed immediately with Natalya showing her Hart pedigree with some textbook grappling. Natalya offered out a handshake to Torres, only for the “Hoeski” to reject emphatically with a slap to the face. The match then moved up a gear with Natalya displaying her take on the Lou Thesz press, a cat fight then ensued. However, Eva Torres defeated Natalya after reversing a roll-up to score an unlikely victory.
Winner: Eva Torres by pinfall
From one third generation superstar in Natalya to another, Cody Rhodes, addressed the audience with more jibes towards the Big Show’s someone unflattering record at Wrestlemania. The Big Show then interrupted but he claimed it was only so that they could watch the next video segment of Big Show’s failings together. However, Rhodes fled like a scaled dog into the crowd. The Big Show made suggestions that if Rhodes wasn’t going to come back he was going to go after him. Teddy Long entered stopping Show in his tracks but gave him some good news. Long confirmed what we suspected; a match between the Big Show and Cody Rhodes that will take place at Wrestlemania with Rhodes’ Intercontinental Title on the line.
Big Show Vs Mark Henry
Having two titans like Big Show and Mark Henry go toe-to-toe is a brave decision by those in charge as the dynamics between to heavyweights can sometimes be lacking. Do we all need reminding of Mark Henry’s match against Viscera at Now Way Out 2000? For those that can’t remember then it’s probably for the best. Henry dominated Big Show, taking the fight outside the ring. It has to be said that whatever it is that McMahon sees in Mark Henry I simply cannot. The man, in my opinion, is a spent force. What more, his apparent dominance over a man like the Big Show is a little farfetched. Although Big Show isn’t the lightest on his feet, he does have more agility than Henry. I have seen ocean liners turn quicker than the supposedly world’s strongest man. When was that then? 1991? Really the Big Show should be the world strongest man because he was carrying Henry all through the match. Big Show defeated Mark Henry with a powerful right hand, despite taking a World’s Strongest Slam. Big Shows right hook proved to be enough as Henry was out for the count, literally, as Big Show got the win giving him so momentum heading into Wrestlemania.
Winner: Big Show by pinfall
Up next was Drew McIntyre’s visit to last chance saloon. The Scot was told by Teddy Long that if he lost his next match he would be out on his ear.
We then heard from Randy Orton who was back after a concussion caused by the current Heavyweight Champion, Daniel Bryan. The Viper revealed how he was “back to normal” by which he meant he was “angry and cold-blooded” and declared his revenge on Bryan. The two were due to go one-on-one in the night’s main event.
Drew McIntyre Vs Justin Gabriel
The Drew McIntyre vs Justin Gabriel match followed with McIntyre showing good aggression and early domination. The Ayrshire-native went for the cover twice only to get a two count on both occasions. Justin Gabriel then hit McIntyre with a hurricane DDT before doing what he does best and showing his aerial prowess. An emphatic 450 splash followed and so did the three count for Justin Gabriel to defeat Drew McIntyre. With no real fanfare or drama heading into this apparent career ending match, it makes one wonder what is in store for the 26-year-old Scot.
Winner: Justin Gabriel by pinfall
Daniel Bryan’s bearded face appeared on the titantron in response to Randy Orton’s return. The current Heavyweight Champion revealed how he didn’t have butterflies heading into his match with the Viper and began patronising those that would listen how he is better off being a vegan and that he is still a role model. He also said that he is going to defy expectations and walk out of Wrestlemania the Heavyweight Champion. Let’s hope not.
Randy Orton vs Daniel Bryan
The match kicked off with chants of Daniel Bryan sucks from the watching fans in Seattle before Orton launched a full scale attack on Bryan. The matched spilled to outside the ring with Orton using the ring steps to his advantage but the match re-found its way back into the squared-circle soon after. Bryan showed some resistance by reversing Orton’s attempts in superplexing him off the top rope before hitting the Viper with a powerful dropkick to the head. Then it was Orton’s turn for a reverse with a dropkick of his own hitting Bryan as he came off the top rope. Orton then gathered some momentum before attempting to hit the Vegan with two RKOs. Bryan then fled the ring, seemingly having enough but Orton followed. Instead of using the ropes to elevate his DDT, Orton used the ring itself with Bryan’s head destined to bounce off the hard floor. That would have been the case if the Big Red Machine Kane hadn’t have interrupted. Bryan ran back into the ring to avoid being counted out whilst Orton set his sights on Kane. The referee gestured for the time keeper to ring the bell, Orton had been counted out but was focusing his attention on Kane’s intrusion. A chokeslame to Orton was followed by a “Welcome back, Randy. Welcome Back”.
Winner: Daniel Bryan by countout
With Barrett sidelined it seems that a new feud has been cooked up heading into Wrestlemania to keep both Kane and Orton relevant. There surely can’t be much room left on the bill for any more matches and if they are going to shoe-horn any more matches in then one would like to think they should build momentum up a lot sooner than 4 weeks away from ‘Mania.
Just before the curtain dropped on this week’s Smackdown we saw Otunga and Laurinaitis watching Kane’s exit from the safety of his office. Laurinaitis made suggestions about a match between Kane and Aksana next week on Smackdown. Clearly the feud between Laurinaitis and Long isn’t even reaching a simmer let alone boiling point.
All things considered it was a solid and well-thought out Smackdown with fans favourite Santino getting more in-ring time not to mention Big Show’s Intercontinental Title shot.