Date: March 29, 2013
Location: Giant Center, Hershey, Pennsylvania
Commentators: Michael Cole, Josh Matthews, John Bradshaw Layfield
This is the last real Smackdown we’ll have before we go on to Wrestlemania. Next week’s show is likely going to be the Wrestlemania Axxess show which is a glorified commercial for the PPV. Therefore tonight we’re likely to hear more about the PPV and not much else. There’s also a weightlifting contest between Henry and Ryback. Let’s get to it.
After the opening preview, we open with The Rock. Well that’s a good way to kick things off. During Rock’s entrance we see the physical part of the showdown with Cena on Raw. Bret not moving at all during the Rock Bottom is amusing. Rock holds up a Hershey bar before saying it’s time for another Storytime with the Rock. He talks about moving with his family to about an hour away from her in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania when he was fifteen.
We get a picture of Rock at age fifteen in white shorts and “looking like a white bouncer for Menudo.” Rock talks about coming to Hershey Park here in Pennsylvania with his friends and eating a ton of chocolate. Now as an adult, FINALLY he has come back to Hershey. Rock talks about going around looking for a Whatchamacallit (it’s a Hershey product) but after going to seven stores he FINALLY found one. As he was reaching for it though, someone stole it. However, that person was the inspiration for Rock’s Candy catchphrase. Apparently it was an old lady but who cares?
The point of the story is that you might go to great lengths to get what you want, including beating John Cena at Wrestlemania. On Monday Cena got in his face and got beaten up for it, but Cena is going to be back at Wrestlemania. Rock talks about doing this in front of the millions and millions but is interrupted by…..Johnny freaking Ace. After a break Rock wants to know who Ace is. In case you don’t remember, he’s John Laurinitis, as in the former Vice President of Talent Relations and GM of both Raw and Smackdown.
Rock isn’t impressed but Ace says he isn’t going to talk too long and wind up getting a Rock Bottom. Ace says that he and Rock are a lot alike because Rock is People’s Champion and Ace created People Power. Apparently Cena was the reason that Ace was fired but is also the reason he’s back. Johnny offers to be in Rock’s corner at Wrestlemania because it’s a guaranteed win. Ace rips off the “and the Rock says” catchphrase before saying he and Rock are like the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup.
Rock thinks we should ask the people if they want the stale peanut butter to team up with the most electrifying piece of chocolate the world has ever seen. Instead of a Rock Bottom, Rock offers to team up to send a message to Cena. The first part is a handshake and I think you can figure it out from here. There’s the Rock Bottom (JBL: “What does Rock have against peanut butter?”) and the People’s Elbow for good measure before Rock says Cena goes down again at Wrestlemania. Classic Rock here.
Chris Jericho vs. Wade Barrett
Non-title here and Miz is on commentary. Barrett takes him down to start but Jericho clotheslines him out to the floor to get himself a breather. A baseball slide puts Barrett down and we head back inside with the champion taking over again. Barrett kicks Jericho off the apron and we take a break. Back with Jericho hitting some shoulder blocks and a top rope fist to the face.
The Lionsault has to be aborted with Jericho landing on his feet, allowing Wade to come back with the Winds of Change. Jericho comes back with a cross body for two but has to escape Wasteland. Barrett punches his way out of the Walls but misses a charge and falls to the floor. Jericho’s springboard cross body misses and Barrett throws him back in, but the champion stops to argue with Miz. Back in and the distraction allows Jericho to hit the Codebreaker for the win at 4:43 shown of 7:43.
Rating: C. It was nice while it lasted and I can live with the idea of Barrett losing here for the sake of advancing his feud with Miz. The problem here is that Barrett hasn’t won a match in weeks that I remember, which is a bad sign for a champion going into Wrestlemania. Nothing of note here but they were setting up a chess match for awhile there.
Post match Jericho says that he’s happy about winning the match but since he can see Fandango’s entrance, apparently something is about to happen. Jericho does the bit where he can’t remember Fandango’s name and here’s the dancer himself. Chris holds the ropes open for him but Fandango backs off.
We get the same preview for HHH vs. Lesnar from Raw to eat up a few minutes.
Earlier today Josh Matthews sat down with Heyman to talk about the potential end of HHH’s career. After Brock ends HHH’s in ring career, it means the end of HHH’s office career because not being able to get in the ring when he wants to will cripple HHH. Then the locker room will crumble with no leadership, and it’s all because HHH loses to Brock at Wrestlemania.
Here are Booker T and Teddy Long to introduce the Bench Press Challenge. Booker introduces Ryback but Teddy cuts him off and introduces Henry himself. If there’s physical contact between these two they’re both banned from Wrestlemania. Henry won a coin toss and gets to go first. He does 53 reps which is allegedly a new world record. Ryback does 53 and goes for 54 but Henry chokes him ala Barbarian and the Road Warriors from back in the 80s. Ryback has the bar shoved onto his throat and can barely breathe.
Dolph Ziggler/AJ Lee vs. Kaitlyn/Daniel Bryan
The guys start things off here and they fight over arm control to get us going. Off to the girls with AJ hitting some rolling neckbreakers for two. Kaitlyn runs her over though and it’s back to the guys. Bryan tries a top rope rana but Ziggler rolls through into a sunset flip for two. Langston interferes but Kane takes him out as the girls come in. AJ jumps on Bryan’s back on the floor as JBL tries to keep track of AJ’s love life. AJ goes back in and walks into the spear by Kaitlyn for the pin at 3:15.
Rating: C-. This was too short to mean anything but there’s nothing wrong with taking two feuds and throwing them together into a single match. Kaitlyn does nothing for the title so having her lose soon wouldn’t be a problem at all. Nothing to see here due to the time but it’s nice to see them taking out two birds with one stone.
Shield talks about the big moment coming up on the grandest stage of them all. Ambrose thinks a viper, a giant and a Celtic warrior don’t mix and that they’re going to implode. That is if Shield doesn’t destroy them first. Believe in the Shield.
Great Khali vs. Jack Swagger
On their way to the ring, Colter and Swagger talk about breaking Ricardo’s ankle to strengthen America. Swagger pounds away in the corner to start but gets chopped in the head to put him back down. Khali hits the overhand chop in the corner but Swagger comes back with some knees to the ribs.
The giant comes back with clotheslines but Jack bails to the floor to avoid the big overhead chop. Khali goes after him but gets his own leg wrapped around the post, giving Swagger an opening. They head to the floor again with Swagger putting on the Patriot Lock long enough for the double countout at 2:58. This was short and did no favors for Swagger whatsoever.
Colter and Swagger go after Hornswoggle but here’s Ricardo for a distraction. Alberto runs in but Colter stops the armbreaker. Del Rio swings Ricardo’s crutch at Swagger but Jack bails to the floor.
We recap Punk vs. Undertaker from Raw.
The new backstage chick Renee Young is with Orton, Sheamus and Big Show and we see a video of the three of them on Raw teaming up to fight Shield. They say they’ve put their differences aside to fight Shield but Sheamus and Big Show almost fight over who put their differences aside first.
Arnold Schwarzenegger is inducting Bruno Sammartino into the Hall of Fame.
Sheamus/Big Show/Randy Orton vs. Rhodes Scholars/Antonio Cesaro
Sandow talks about his opponents having nothing in common and how the Scholars have a disdain for ignorance. Cesaro yodels a bit. JBL: “Every time he yodels Daniel Bryan comes running out of the locker room.” Orton and Cesaro get things going and it’s Randy taking over with some elbows and shoulders. Off to Sheamus to pound away on Cesaro in the corner before cranking on the arm a bit.
Off to Big Show which sends Cesaro running off to Cody. Show offers Rhodes a free shot before chopping the skin off Rhodes’ chest in the corner. Sandow runs away from Big Show as we take a break. Back with Sheamus holding Sandow by the beard so Orton can come in and pummel Damien in the corner. Sandow finally shoves Orton into the heel corner for some triple teaming.
Cesaro comes back in for his gutwrench suplex for two. Cody cranks on the arm for a bit before Sandow hooks the Russian legsweep and drops the Wind-Up Elbow for two. A chinlock is quickly broken by Randy and there’s the over the back backbreaker to give Orton a breather. Cesaro tries to interfere but Big Show makes the save, allowing for the double tag to Sheamus and Rhodes. There are the ten forearms to Cody’s chest and ten for Sandow as well. Cody tries to jump Sheamus and is caught in White Noise. The WMD takes out Cesaro and it’s an RKO for Sandow. Brogue Kick ends Cody at 8:14 shown of 11:14.
Rating: B-. Now THIS is what you do to test Orton/Sheamus/Big Show. It doesn’t prove anything to have them beat up guys like 3MB, and while these three weren’t much better, they at least gave the super best friends a challenge. Not a good match or anything but it was the basic tag formula and that’s going to work all the time.
Shield’s music hits but this time Orton/Sheamus/Big Show go after them. Why has no one thought to do that before? Shield gets beaten up in a box of some kind to end the show.
Overall Rating: C. This wasn’t the best show in the world but as mentioned, what else are they supposed to do with Wrestlemania this close? The best thing they need to do is push the World Championship match, as that has fizzled terribly, going from one of the more interesting matches on the card to nothing at all. Rock was fun as expected, but at the end of the day Wrestlemania isn’t coming in all that well.
Chris Jericho b. Wade Barrett – Codebreaker
Daniel Bryan/Kaitlyn b. Dolph Ziggler/AJ Lee – Spear to Lee
Jack Swagger vs. Great Khali went to a double countout
Big Show/Sheamus/Randy Orton b. Rhodes Scholars/Antonio Cesaro – Brogue Kick to Rhodes
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