WWE takes a look back at some of the best WrestleMania matches of the past including the Rock vs. Hulk Hogan, Edge vs. Undertaker and more! Check out 411's WWE Smackdown report for all the details!
Hello and welcome! We have arrived at the final Smackdown before Wrestlemania! I seem to be a bit more excited for the big show than most of my colleagues. Most people have some pretty valid reasons for not ordering the show this year, whether it be the rematches, the less than exciting build, or the high price point. I'm excited for all of the action and drama that comes along with the "Showcase of the Immortals" though. I can't help it. Anyways, stick with me and scroll down. You'll get the results. That's the Benjamin guarantee. It's also a rule I have to abide by.
Championship Roll Call: WWE Champion: The Rock World Champion: Alberto Del Rio US Champion: Antonio Cesaro IC Champion: Wade Barrett Unified Diva's Champion: Kaitlyn WWE World Tag Team Champions: Kane & Daniel Bryan
WWE Smackdown Report 4.05.13
- Then. Now. Forevz.
- I'M COMING HOME. I'M COMING HOOOOOME.
- Tonight, Smackdown presents the Road to Wrestlemania. Matt Striker and Renee Young are backstage hosting the show in front of the standard interview set. They pimp The Rock vs. John Cena before Renee asks Matt if he can remember the last time John Cena won a WWE Championship match at Wrestlemania. Striker takes us back to Wrestlemania 26 where John Cena wrestled Batista. Well, I'm not going to complain about this. I thought I'd be reviewing 93 minutes of video packages so this is a welcome surprise.
WWE Championship: John Cena vs. Batista (Wrestlemania 26)
No entrances. I wanted to hear Batista's music. YEAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. At this point, Cena was an eight time world champion and Batista was a six time world champion. Batista wins the first grapple and applies a side headlock. Cena whips him into the ropes and Batista hits a thunderous shoulder block in retaliation. Cena makes it back to his feet and corners Batista to a chorus of boo's! Batista whips Cena into the adjacent corner and hits a nice lariat to the back of John Cena's neck. John Cena's injured neck is a pivotal part of the story telling in this one. Cena reverses a suplex from Batista into a suplex of his own before hitting a bulldog for the first near fall of the match. He lifts Batista up for the Attitude Adjustment and Batista reverses it into an awesome looking DDT! TWO! Cena manages to sits up before getting hit with a running boot to the face by Batista. Batista goes for another pinfall and gets two. He locks in a sleeper hold to maintain control. Cena makes it to his feet with Batista on his back! Impressive. He breaks Batista's grip! They exchange "BOO" and "YEAH" punches before Batista hits a reverse DDT for TWO.
A voice over from Renee Young brings us back to the action as a camera zooms from the rafters to the ring. This is a good time to mention that Renee Young is doing an excellent job in her new role. Batista has an overhead sleeper applied to Cena as we return to the action. Cena back body drops him off. Batista charges at Cena in the corner and gets hit with a boot to the face! FIVE MOVES OF DOOM~! Cena goes for the Five Knuckle Shuffle and gets hit with a spine buster by Batista! The animal has been unleashed! Batista lifts him up for the Batista Bomb and Cena reverses into the STF! Batista makes it to the rope and Cena has to let go. Cena turns around and gets hit with a spear out of nowhere! KICK OUT AT TWO! Batista corners Cena and delivers a couple of shoulder thrusts before taking him to the top rope for a superplex! Cena locks Batista's hand up top and we have a test of strength on the top turnbuckle! Cena throws a right and Batista falls to the mat! FIVE KNUCKLE SHUFFLE FROM THE TOP ROPE! Cena follows up with the Attitude Adjustment but Batista grabs the top rope! He escapes and hits Cena with a Batista Bomb! 1... 2... NO! Batista goes for a second Batista Bomb and John Cena counters! He sets up for the AA but Batista slides off! Batista goes for a powerslam and Cena slides out and hits a HUGE AA on Batista! Cena covers and Batista kicks out at two! Cena goes back to the top rope as Batista makes it to his feet. BATISTA CATCHES HIM MID AIR WITH THE BATISTA BOMB! He goes for one more Batista Bomb and Cena rolls through and applies the STF in the middle of the ring! Batista has nowhere to go and no choice but to tap! This match is a great standard to hold all power matches up to. It was basically nonstop action from bell to bell. Though we're not seeing the matches in their entirety, I'll be giving my ratings for the full matches. John Cena walks out of Wrestlemania 26 as a nine time world champion!
OFFICIAL RESULT: John Cena @ 13:10 aired via submission
- A pretty good CM Punk video package airs, covering his heel turn, championship reign, and his overall dominance. You can never go wrong with a WWE video package.
- We join Striker and R-Young backstage again. They put over CM Punk's title reign before Renee confesses that she isn't sure if CM Punk is the man to end Undertaker's undefeated streak. This takes us back to Edge trying to beat the streak at Wrestlemania 24 while defending his World Heavyweight Championship.
World Heavyweight Championship: Edge vs. Undertaker (Wrestlemania 24)
We join the match in progress as Undertaker delivers a huge high knee to a cornered Edge, which sends Taker to the outside. I'm guessing they started the match there because they both started in separate corners. Undertaker gets back on the apron and Edge delivers a SPEAR to Taker from the apron into the barricade. Edge is looking to get a count out victory. Undertaker almost makes it into the ring by five but Edge delivers a sliding dropkick back into the barricade. The ref restarts the count for whatever reason. Edge's feet never hit the ground so the ten count should continue. Taker tries making it back into the ring again and Edge delivers a reverse neckbreaker on the top rope. Taker finally sneaks back to the inside and Edge corners him, delivering a spear in the corner. Coach and Cole aren't going to call it a spear until it's an actual finisher. Coach is doing a terrible job calling the match. Edge delivers a nice elevated dropkick to maintain control. He goes to the top rope but Taker makes it to his feet and shoves Edge to the outside! Taker follows up with an AWESOME looking plancha over the top rope! He sets Edge on the apron and delivers his vintage leg drop, Edge rolls in and Taker attempts to pick up a pinfall victory but only gets a two count! The phenom goes for the last ride, but his injured back wouldn't allow him to pick Edge up! Taker hits the rope for a clothesline but Edge delivers a nice boot to the face! Back outside and Edge delivers a reverse suplex onto the barricade! Edge drags Taker back into the ring and only gets TWO! Edge locks in a half Boston crab in attempt to injure the Undertaker's back further. Taker counters it into roll up! Edge escapes at two and locks in a full Boston crab. Taker fights him off and the two men exchange "BOO" and "YEAH" punches. They begin slugging it out too fast for the crowd to chant along with and Taker comes out on top. He delivers two clotheslines to Edge in the corner and hits him with the snake eyes on the top turnbuckle! Taker follows through with a big boot and Edge counters! DDT BY EDGE! He crawls over for the cover and only gets TWO AND A HALF! Edge sets up for the spear but gets a knee to the face! CHOKESLAM BY UNDERTAKER! 1... 2... NO! Edge counters Old School and crotches Taker on the top rope! He climbs upstairs and delivers a huge superplex! He crawls over to Undertaker but only gets TWO! Taker reverses the ten count punches and gets Edge on his shoulders! Edge counters a Last Ride into a neck breaker but only gets TWO! Taker goes for it a second time and delivers it! 1... 2... NO! It's gonna take a tombstone, Taker!
Taker goes for the tombstone but Edge reverses with a neck breaker! Taker fights him off and finally hits Old School! He follows up with a big boot but Edge moves out of the way and Taker collides with the ref instead! Edge hits a low blow on Undertaker. He heads outside of the ring and grabs a television camera! He knocks Undertaker out with it! Taker sits up! He still has life! Edge goes for his own Tombstone but Taker counters and hits his own! Taker goes for the cover but the ref is still out! A second official runs to the ring and Edge kicks out! Maybe they should have sent a second ref out the second the original ref got knocked out. Just saying. Hawkins and Ryder run down to the ring! Hawkins gets on the apron but Taker choke slams him on to Ryder! He turns around and gets NAILED with a spear! ONE... TWO... NO! Edge hits a second spear! He goes for the pin fall but Taker locks in the triangle choke hold! Edge can't make it to the ropes! TAP OUT! It's over! The Undertaker is 16-0 at Wrestlemania! This is EXACTLY the kind of match CM Punk should be looking to deliver this Sunday. This was all Edge with a few Taker spots thrown in. Still though, it's easily one of the best Wrestlemania main events of all time.
OFFICIAL RESULT: The Undertaker @ 12:00 aired via pinfall
- We get another awesome video package, this time hyping up The Shield.
- Striker and R-Young run down the Mania card for us. Okay, get over the rematches. As long as everything delivers like it should, this should be a great show. Seriously, split the price with your friends and check it out.
WWE Championship: Randy Orton vs. Triple H (Wrestlemania 25)
The library of Wrestlemania matches is so huge and here we are watching Orton/Triple H. Ugh. Okay, we're going to pick up in progress as Triple H chokes Orton up on the bottom rope. He delivers three knees to the side of the face of Orton. JR is doing his best to make this match seem better than it is. Triple H lifts him up and delivers a reverse neck breaker and Orton rolls to the outside. Orton reverses an Irish whip and sends Triple H into the steel steps. He follows that up with another Irish whip that sends Triple H over the barricade. He rolls into the ring and tries for a count out victory. Triple H rolls back in and Orton delivers a plethora of stomps. Orton turns Triple H on to his stomach and delivers a nice knee to the back of H's head for TWO! Triple H reverses a side headlock into a back suplex. Both men make it to their feet. Triple H charges at Randy Orton and Triple H hits a powerslam for two. He locks in a chinlock and the crowd goes mild. Did they even fucking talk about their game plan before this match? This is awful. The Game fights out of the chinlock and they exchange "YES" and "NO" punches before Triple H delivers a high knee. Orton counters a Pedigree and pushes Trips off but Trips come back with a resounding high knee, HHH lifts Orton up to the top rope and Orton slips down to the mat and delivers the snack eyes on the top turnbuckle. Orton goes upstairs for an axe handle and Triple H gets his foot up. Orton grabs the foot and gets a roll up for TWO. Triple H rolls Orton up for TWO! Orton gets up and hits the ropes but Triple H nails him with a spinebuster. Orton turns around and gets caught in a Pedigree setup! Orton reverses that into a reverse back breaker! Triple H REVERSES THAT into a roll up for two. Triple H goes upstairs and Orton catches him with a dropkick in mid-air.
Orton sets up for the punt and runs at Trips! Triple H catches his foot and sends him flying over the top rope! Triple H holds a television monitor over Randy Orton but the ref tells him that he'll lose the title if he gets himself disqualified. Triple H decides to roll Orton on the Spanish announce table to deliver a Pedigree. Orton back body drops him on to the other announce table and the table doesn't break. I hate that spot so much. If the cover is off both announce tables, it's BLATANTLY obvious that the spot will be reversed on to the other table. Orton rolls into the ring and breaks the count. He rolls back out and hits an elevated DDT off of the announce table. Triple H barely makes it into the ring in time and Orton stomps the shit out of him upon his entry. Orton sends Triple H shoulder first into the ring post but the ref is in the way! That takes down Trips and the ref! Orton rolls to the outside and grabs the sledge hammer. Orton climbs back into the ring and Triple H hits him with a punt out of nowhere! Triple H grabs the hammer and nails Orton in the skull with it! He drops the sledgehammer beneath the apron cover as the ref makes it back up! Triple H pummels Orton on the ground with a battering of punches to the skull. The ref stops him from continuing before he gets DQ'd. Triple H lifts up Orton for the Pedigree. ONE. TWO. THREE. What an awful ending. The match itself isn't as bad as people in the IWC make it out to be, but the finish absolutely sucked. It reminds me of Triple H vs. Booker T at Wrestlemania 19. So anticlimactic. Not to mention, the wrong man went over here. I stand by that to this day.
OFFICIAL RESULT: Triple H @ 20:00 aired via pinfall
The Rock vs. Hulk Hogan (Wrestlemania 18)
Watching this, I still can't believe it didn't go on last. We're going to pick up right at the stare down to begin the match. We start with a vintage collar and elbow tie up. Hulk sends Rock flying into the corner and the crowd goes fucking ape shit. This is what wrestling is all about, folks. Hogan locks in a side headlock and Rock fights his way out. Hogan hits a clothesline take down and taunts The Rock as the crowd continues to lose their shit. Has there been a crowd as hot as this since this match? Rock hits the ropes and Hogan shoulder blocks Rocky down for another huger pop. Rock ducks a clothesline and knocks Hogan down to NUCLEAR heat. They exchange shoves before Rock blocks a right hand from Hogan and pummels Hogan. Hogan rolls to the outside and Rock immediately follows him. Back into the ring, The Rock continues the clubbering, much to the crowds chagrin. He attempts a Rock Bottom but Hulk fights him off! Hulk sends him into the ropes and nails Rocky with a clothesline to the skull. Hogan hits a nice back suplex on Rock for TWO. Hogan locks in the abdominal stretch and delivers a few blows to the ribs of Rocky. He cradles Rock for TWO. BACK RAKE BY HOGAN! The crowd is going crazy for back rakes. That's why this match is so good. Hogan climbs upstairs to deliver the ten count punches! After four, he bites Rocky in the forehead and crowd loves it! The Rock turns the tables on Hogan and delivers a series of chops in the corner. Rock charges at Hogan and Hogan hits him with the Rock Bottom! The announcers didn't call it a Rock Bottom (much like they didn't call Edge's spears a spear in the previous match), and now they're both brawling on the outside. Rock tries to hit Hogan with a chair and the ref grabs the chair out of his hands! Hogan hits Rock with a clothesline and sends Rock back into the ring! REF BUMP! Hogan threw Rock right into the ref! Rock fights back with a spinebuster and the crowd is livid. King is killing me with all of the excuses for the crowd cheering Hogan. Just call it like it is and don't blame it on the city. The Rock locks in a Sharpshooter and Hogan makes it to the ropes! The ref is still down though! Rock drags him to the center of the ring and Hogan begins to tap! Of course, the ref doesn't see this so Rocky lets go of the hold. Rock tries to revive the ref and hits Rock with another Rock Bottom! The ref makes it back to his knees in time to count! 1... 2... NO! Hogan takes off his belt and whips Rock with it over and over while the ref conveniently turns around. Rock battles back and grabs the belt for himself! He whips Hogan like crazy with it and the crowd is PISSED! Hogan gets up and walks right into a Rock Bottom. HOGAN KICKS OUT AND HULK'S UP! THE CROWD IS GOING CRAZY! The Rock's offense is having no bearing on Hogan! Three punches and a big boot by Hogan! Leg drop! THE ROCK KICKS OUT! Hogan lifts Rocky up and delivers another big boot! He attempts a second leg drop and Rock moves out of the way! Hogan walks into another Rock Bottom as the crowd boos the hell out of The Rock! Rocky lifts him up and delivers one more Rock Bottom! He kips up and delivers the People's Elbow! It's over! The crowd made the match but you can't give the crowd sole credit for the match. This is the type of audience support these two had built up over the span of their careers. It was lightning in a bottle. This was an amazing match and like I said at the beginning, it should have went on last.
OFFICIAL RESULT: The Rock @ 17:00
- They air the Rock/Cena video package. The first time I saw it, I thought it was brilliant. I'm so sick of it at this point though, probably because I have to actually sit through it and recap any changes that are made. For the record, there were none.
OVERALL: This was all about hyping Mania. Their approach was to simply show their current top stars big matches on the grandest stage of them all. Hey, if you're looking for some fun wrestling, you should check it out. I would have probably done a bit more to hype Wrestlemania 29 than just showing old matches though. Still, it was a fun show to watch, as I haven't seen a lot of these matches in awhile. Thumbs up. I'll be throwing my two cents into the Wrestlemania Instant Analysis feature this Sunday night so I'll see you guys there with my knee jerk reactions! As always, thank you for reading.
...BUT THAT'S NOT ALL.
Here's a SECOND recap of Smackdown. I tracked down the version that the majority of you guys saw and I'll be doing a quick review of the show. I apologize if I gloss over a bit.
WWE Smackdown Report 4.05.13 Version 2
- Then. Now. Forevz.
Handicap Match: Ryback vs. Primo and Epico (w/ Rosa Mendez)
Josh Matthews and King are on commentary as Michael Cole and JBL are at Axxess. This match will be contested under tag team rules. Primo runs into a powerslam from Ryback and quickly tags in Epico. Ryback isn't going to wait for Epico to enter the ring and tosses him in. Ryback lifts him up and drops him down to the mat. Primo tags back in and hits a nice springboard dropkick off of the top rope! Primo locks in a headlock and Ryback lifts him up and nails a jaw breaker. Primo and Epico try double teaming him for a moment but end up getting double speared! Follow that up with a double Shellshock! It's over.
OFFICIAL RESULT: Ryback @ 3:00 via pinfall
- Michael Cole and JBL join us from Axxess and hype up Brock Lesnar vs. Triple H and they shoot us over to a pretty good video package for their rivalry.
- JBL and Cole join us again and talk about Bruno Sammartino's induction into the Hall of Fame briefly.
- They air the Bruno Sammartino video package. I'm so glad that Triple H made this happen. He was one of the few glaring omissions.
- FAN... DAN... GOOOOO
- They air an AWESOME video package of Fandango trying to teach people to pronounce his name. His work with the local radio stations over the week has been hilarious. I love that he just storms out when the DJ's can't pronounce his name. It doesn't hurt that he wears his wrestling attire everywhere he goes either. Brilliant stuff.
- JBL puts over Fandango for a moment before Cole sends us back to Raw when Fandango blindsided Jericho and beat the ever living shit out of him.
- A quick Shield interview airs. Believe in them!
- Michael Cole and JBL speculate as to whether Big Show, Randy Orton and Sheamus can co-exist at Wrestlemania to defeat The Shield. They send us back to Smackdown last week, when all six men brawled through the crowd.
- Damien Sandow, Cody Rhodes, and the Bella's come out to Brodus Clay's theme song. Cody is dressed as Tensai and Sandow is dressed as Brodus Clay. Yes, there are fat suits and yes, the Bella's stuffed the back of their shorts. They're not sure if the crowd understands the finer points of satire. Sandow says that Tons of Funk don't belong in the same ring as them. Tons of Funk and the Funkadactyls make their way down to the ring and they don't seem to find the humor in the Rhodes Scholars spoof. The faces clear the ring and the crowd seems pretty into it. This rivalry needed a segment like this. It's better than another tag match that ends in a hot mess. It's good for Brodus and Tensai to have a serious side too.
- Next up, they air some quick spots from the Wrestlemania press conference. Nothing to see here.
- They air the CM Punk vs. Undertaker video package. This is easily the most intriguing storyline heading into Mania. I was afraid it'd be phoned in at first. I thought that running a fatal four way to determine Undertaker's Wrestlemania opponent was a bit lazy but they've made up for that.
- They air a video package of WWE fans singing the Wrestlemania theme song. Okay, now I HAVE to order the show.
- JBL says "we're coming home" before turning to Cole and saying "I wish you'd go home." I love his deadpan delivery.
- They air the Donald Trump Hall of Fame video package.
- Michael Cole and JBL have a little back and forth bickering before sending us to John Cena's promo on Raw. The Cenacrats/Rockpublicans line was awful. I like the heel turn teases, though I can't see them following through on them.
- Next up, They air Rock's promo from later on in the night.
- Renee Young joins us from Axxess and interviews Alberto Del Rio. They air the clip of Swagger's beat down on Del Rio this Monday. I thought the beat down was far more effective than a lot of others did. Swagger makes up for his lack of promo skills with an overabundance of intensity. They shoot back to Renee and Alberto. ADR cuts a quick promo about retaining his World Heavyweight Championship at Wrestlemania. Nothing too inspiring.
Jack Swagger (w/ Zeb Colter) vs. Kofi Kingston
Poor Kofi. At least he's main eventing? Kofi and Swagger lockup to start. Kofi backs him into the corner and stomps a mud hole in him before the referee pulls him away. They grapple again and Swagger comes out on top of this one with arm wringer. Kofi tries to escape but Swagger cuts him off in painful looking fashion. Swagger's going to work on the left arm of Kofi now. Kofi finally escapes with an arm drag. Swagger hits the ropes and Kofi hops over him twice before hitting a dropkick. Kofi delivers a nice springboard clothesline from the apron for two. Jack Swagger rolls to the outside as we head to our last commercial break.
We're back with Swagger in complete control. He backs Kofi into the corner and delivers a couple of knees. He charges at him again and Kofi gets hit foot up! Kofi's sticking and moving! He hits a couple of dropkicks but Swagger catches him! He goes for the doctor bomb but Kofi escapes! Swagger escapes the S.O.S. and knocks Kofi Down! Swagger attempts to capitalize with a Vader Bomb but Kofi gets his knees up! Kofi hits a springboard plancha off the middle rope for two. Swagger turns the tides immediately with a nice suplex. He picks Kofi up and sets him on the top rope. Superplex time? Kofi headbutts Swagger down! Kofi jumps off the top rope but Swagger catches him! Kofi escapes and hits the S.O.S. TWO! Colter distracts Kofi. Swagger chop blocks the leg of Kofi and locks in the Patriot Act. It's over. This was a pretty fun match.
OFFICIAL RESULT: Jack Swagger @ 7:30 aired via submission
OVERALL: Well this version of Smackdown wasn't as fun but it was far more effective than airing four Wrestlemania matches from the past. Alright, well that's it for me. I've seen more video packages today than I can handle. I'll see you guys on Sunday with all of my knee jerk reactions in 411's Wrestlemania Instant Analysis.