411's Instant Analysis 04.06.12: WWE SmackDown
Posted by Michael Ornelas on 04.06.2012
Randy Orton and Kane tear it up with a No DQ match, Alberto Del Rio returns to the ring, Daniel Bryan deals with AJ's distraction from WrestleMania 28, and People Power begins!
Hey everyone! I'm Michael Ornelas, your new SmackDown Instant Analysis guy. I'm going to get right to business, but at first, I just want you guys to know what my ratings and policies with the column will be:
-I do not watch or rate recaps or video packages (unless it's an impending debut or return).
-My ratings reflect full segments and are not indicative of star ratings for matches.
-I tend to watch with a positive outlook.
-There will be no TNA bashing here.
Let's jump into tonight's WWE SmackDown!
SEGMENT ONE: John Laurinaitis: People Power!
Johnny Laurinaitis got to be his smug, smiley gladhand self here as he gave Teddy a chance to say thank you. But then he got to be a slimy, self-serving ass on a power trip when he told Teddy to proclaim Johnny the better man under threat of Teddy's grandchildren's collegiate aspirations. Classic humiliation segment that didn't drag or anything. I honestly hated Johnny Ace's character on WWE TV when he debuted around Money in the Bank, but he's improved leaps and bounds towards being one of the better heel authority figures in recent history. You honestly believe that he thinks all of his actions are justified and fair through his twisted justifications. Good segment.
Rating: 7.0 out of 10
SEGMENT TWO: Mark Henry & David Otunga vs. R-Truth Match Result: David Otunga pinned R-Truth Match Length: Two minutes
I think we all knew what the result of this match was going to be. And despite being ass in the ring, I have been digging David Otunga's character. He's a great brown-nose, and didn't offend me in this match. Also, R-Truth's corkscrew elbow hit better than 90% of the time he tries it in this match. Of course Henry dominates, and I hope they're done with Henry's fall from grace. They should focus on rebuilding him as he was one of the best surprises of 2011. Segment was too short to be offensive, but obviously the match was totally skippable. Now that I'm doing the IA, segments like these will get a 5.0. They must be actively bad to dip below that. And my 10-point scale does NOT translate to star ratings. This was not a **1/2 match.
Rating: 5.0 out of 10
SEGMENT THREE: WrestleMania XXVIII No Disqualification Rematch – Kane vs. Randy Orton Match Result: Randy Orton pinned Kane Match Length: Ten minutes and a half minutes (shown)
Kane hit the ring as soon as the previous match ended and the three participants knew to bail. I love that even though Kane won at Mania, he still comes out like a monster – never satisfied and always hungry for more destruction. Anyways, Booker T said it best: "This is a fight." Their match last Sunday was much more of a match, and this was a brawl. The stakes have been raised and I fully expect a rubber match at Extreme Rules. This is one of few matches that I think was better from the placement of a commercial break. All we missed (I assume) is some brawling from the stage to the ring and Kane hitting one power move to gain control. Kane's WM28 victory seems to have motivated him. Very enjoyable match.
Rating: 8.0 out of 10
SEGMENT FOUR: Ryback vs. Barry Stevens Match Result: Ryback pinned Barry Stevens Match Length: One minute and ten seconds
To start this segment, Barry Stevens talked a little and I assume he tried to get some heat. I can't exactly tell if he succeeded or not because he was about the greenest talker I've seen in some time. WWE awkwardly cut to show Hunico, Camacho, Kaitlyn, the Usos, Alicia Fox, and Derrick Bateman in back watching the promo and laughing or talking over it, maybe to mask the fact that he was pretty bad on the mic? Well Ryback (the former Skip Sheffield) came out to stop this and promptly destroyed Stevens. This was aggressive power domination at its best. Ryback hit a sick military press/powerslam combo and finished with a running fisherman suplex. Good debut and a fun squash.
Rating: 6.0 out of 10
SEGMENT FIVE: Daniel Bryan Dumps AJ
Daniel Bryan came out to a great pop and a "Yes!" chant from Orlando. Bryan's overness continues as he got everything from "Yes!" to "No!" to "Eighteen seconds!" chants from the crowd. AJ tells Bryan he has support from the fans, but Bryan labels her kiss as the kiss of death and breaks up with AJ. Great performance from Bryan here, and the audience both supported Bryan and booed him mercilessly at different points through the segment. As far as actual acting goes, this may be Bryan's best since coming to the WWE.
Rating: 9.0 out of 10
SEGMENT SIX: The Big Show vs. Heath Slater Match Result: The Big Show pinned Heath Slater Match Length: One minute and fifteen seconds
First of all, I love Cody Rhodes on commentary. The Big Show played his "An Embarrassing Cody Rhodes WrestleMania Moment" video again, which Rhodes simply said "this is blatantly ripped off of what I did." Hopefully he doesn't regain the championship so he can elevate to the main event level. As expected, Show just wrecked Slater. And he also used THE POUNCE! I hope that becomes a regular part of his moveset, as it was sick. Quick win with the Chokeslam after that.
After the match, Rhodes tried to get one over on Show, but Show chased him off. Then KO Punched Slater during which Rhodes snuck into the ring. Show caught him and Rhodes bailed. I think I'm liking this feud more than I'm supposed to. Great performances all around.
Rating: 6.5 out of 10
SEGMENT SEVEN: Johnny Reprimands Sheamus for Poor Sportsmanship
Bryan wasn't ready at Mania! Del Rio wasn't ready on Raw! Sheamus can't just Brogue Kick guys just because they turn around, it goes against People Power and then something about Sheamus's cousin. Sheamus and Del Rio will be brought face to face by the referee before the match starts so Sheamus can't make any more cheap shots. Meh.
Rating: 5.5 out of 10
SEGMENT EIGHT: Beth Phoenix vs. Nikki Bella Match Result: Nikki Bella pinned Beth Phoenix Match Length: One minute
Beth got to dominate like a champion should in this match. But then Kelly Kelly distracted the Divas Champion long enough for Bella to hit the Bella Buster. I really wish they'd let Beth move on to a different feud, as she needs to regain some credibility after being booked like a jobber in the recent past. They should also let her dominate the next feud so the WWE actual has a challenge for Kharma whenever she comes back, if she so chooses.
Rating: 3.0 out of 10
Rest in peace, Chief Jay Strongbow.
SEGMENT NINE: Damien Sandow's Promo
I've seen a fair amount of FCW, but I almost exclusively watch content that includes the wrestlers I've followed on the indies: Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, Kassius Ohno, and Antonio Cesaro. I have overlooked Sandow, but this was a pretty impressive promo. It didn't come across as green; it was well-spoken, articulate, and pace just right. But what really blew me away here was the facial expressions Sandow gave us, along with pitch-perfect inflection. I don't know what to expect in the ring, but this was a very good start for Damien Sandow's WWE TV character.
Rating: 7.0 out of 10
SEGMENT TEN: Sheamus vs. Alberto Del Rio Match Result: Alberto Del Rio beat Sheamus by disqualification Match Length: Seven and a half minutes
This was a fun tease as to what these two men could do together in a match, and Alberto looked good in his return. I think the Eddie Guerrero finish was good in concept, but the execution I thought was a little sloppy. The timing was off and I feel Del Rio should have been selling the fake chair shot earlier, but that's a minor nitpick. This was a strong way to close the show and I just hope this feud doesn't eclipse Bryan's rematch (even though it'd be a good match, I don't really want to see a triple threat at Extreme Rules from a story standpoint). Also, who doesn't love Ricardo Rodriguez?! ALBERTO DEL RIO! ALBERTO DEL RIO! ALBERTO DEL RIO! That's the most excited I've seen someone about a win since the inception of the "Yes!" chant.
Rating: 7.0 out of 10
Segment of the Night: Daniel Bryan Dumps AJ
Trash Segment of the Night: Beth Phoenix vs. Nikki Bella
Final Analysis: This show followed the trend of good WWE programming since WrestleMania. I'm intrigued with the main event scene (and the handling of Daniel Bryan) of this brand and the debuts and returns of Ryback, Sandow, and Del Rio were all very solid. I like that they're keeping Teddy Long around as it just wouldn't feel like SmackDown without a little Holla Holla Holla!! The reign of Ace has begun and I'm looking forward to how that story progresses. Also: Randy Orton and Kane of all people had the best match of the night!
411 RATINGS SCALE:
0 - 0.9: Torture
1 - 1.9: Extremely Horrendous
2 - 2.9: Very Bad
3 - 3.9: Bad
4 - 4.9: Poor
5 - 5.9: Not So Good
6 - 6.9: Average
7 - 7.9: Good
8 - 8.9: Very Good
9 - 9.9: Amazing
10: Virtually Perfect
Check out the latest episode of my TV series "Shenanigans!"