Friday, May 11, 2012

WWE Friday Night SmackDown! 5/11/12

WWE Friday Night Smackdown
May 11th, 2012
Roanoke Civic Center, Roanoke, Virginia
Attendance: Unknown at this time

Welcome back everyone to another edition of 411's WWE Smackdown report, I am your loyal recapper as always. Hard to believe we're little more than a week away from the next PPV, but that's the norm in the modern WWE. With the World Heavyweight title match at the PPV being changed from Sheamus/Del Rio to a fourway including Chris Jericho and Randy Orton, which was definitely the right choice because I don't think anyone could have given less of a shit about a Sheamus/Del Rio match or feud. Without any more preambling, let's jump into the thick of things.

Your hosts are Michael Cole, Booker T, and Josh Matthews

Sheamus/Randy Orton vs. Chris Jericho/Alberto Del Rio

Solid looking tag involving all four men in the fatal fourway to kick off the show, I like it. Orton and Sheamus trade angry tags to start against Jericho, teasing the dissension already. Del Rio tags in and goes right to working on Orton's arm. Randy shoves him off and tags Sheamus back in, who delivers a rolling senton to Alberto before being low-bridged out of the ring by Jericho on the apron. Jericho tags in and works a loose Fujiwara armbar on Sheamus. Sheamus breaks it up and tags Orton back in. Powerslam from Orton on Jericho and he follows it with the second-rope DDT. You know what's coming next. Jericho shoves off the RKO attempt only to turn around into a dropkick from Orton though. Del Rio and Sheamus hop in now to join the action as well and barely two seconds pass before the ref is already calling for the bell to throw out the match at 5:18. Are you kidding me? Since when did referees throw out tag matches because all four men were in the ring for a whopping 5-10 seconds? That has to be the cheapest cheap finish in the history of cheap finishes, I have never in my life seen a referee throw a match out because all four men were in the ring for barely FIVE SECONDS. To call that a stupid and insulting finish would be an understatement, which is a shame because the match was going along quite nicely until that monumentally dumb ending. *3/4

After the match all four men continue brawling into the commercial break. When we return Cole informs us that Sheamus will take on Chris Jericho and Orton will take on Del Rio later tonight. That almost makes up for the finish to that tag match.

AJ (5-10) vs. Kaitlyn (1-9)
The battle of the BFFs! Total catfight to start with AJ going right for the hair-pulling and clawing. She hits an awkward dropkick to her mid-section and then finishes Kaitlyn off with a nice Shining Wizard at 0:35 seconds. Not much of a match obviously, just something to set up what's about to happen. 1/4*

After the match Daniel Bryan makes his way out to the ring, and he seems impressed by how ruthless AJ was in the ring with her former best-friend. Bryan says he's seeing her in an entirely new light and that he's ready to move past all of the tension in their relationship (once he's become WWE champion at Over the Limit of course) and ready to move on...TO KAITLYN! He laughs in AJ's face and she storms off in a rage. Bryan heels it up some more with some YES! chants just to close up this entire golden segment. Bryan is taking the slimy, narcissistic heel boyfriend character to new levels of awesome and I can't wait to see how this plays out now that he has his eye on Kaitlyn, AJ's best friend.

Daniel Bryan (15-21-1) vs. Big Show (24-6)
We return from the break with Bryan still in the ring for his match-up against the Big Show, who of course dominates to start with those frying-pan sized hand chops. Bryan tries to fire off some kicks but eats another slap. Show looks for the spear but Bryan kicks his leg from out under him. Bryan locks in the YES! Lock and the bell rings before the submission is even fully locked in and without Show ever tapping at 1:17. Johnny Ace pops up from the timekeeper's table out of nowhere to announce Daniel Bryan as the winner, as yes, they can't even give Bryan a half-way decent win going into his WWE title match at the PPV, opting instead for the ten thousandth Montreal Screwjob rehash. Boy they are really killing any interest I had in this show with these atrocious finishes. 1/4*

After the match Bryan takes off as Ace hits the ring to make Show apologize for mocking his voice on RAW this week. He makes him call him "Sir" and then tells him to prepare for another apology on RAW. Don't care.

Heath Slater is in the ring when we return. He lisps his way through a mediocre heel promo on Ryback, so you can guess where this is going.

Ryback (5-0) vs. Heath Slater (4-30)
Ryback has pyro now apparently to go along with his transition from squashing no-name jobbers to in-house jobbers. Well, atleast he's progressing. Your usual Ryback squash match follows with Slater trying to get in some feisty offense to start only to be totally dominated and pinned with the marching Samoan drop at 1:18. Your usual 1998 Goldberg squash match. 1/4*

Antonio Cesaro (1-0) vs. Alex Riley (0-1)
Riley doesn't even get an entrance anymore, poor schmoe. Cesaro is with Aksana again. Cesaro tosses Riley to the mat with a vicious waistlock to start and then boots him in the face in the corner. Vicious gut-wrench suplex from Cesaro, who really shows off his strength by tossing Riley around like he was a pillow. Riley is able to get some offense in with a few clotheslines, but Cesaro grabs Riley by his EAR of all things and then finishes him with the cradle-piledriver slam at 2:24. Claudio/Cesaro continues to look absolutely stellar each week and though it may be a bit early to say I think he's got a promising future ahead of him in the WWE. After the match Aksana tells Teddy that Antonio's her lover. SHOCK! *1/4

Randy Orton (30-10-1) vs. Alberto Del Rio (11-9)
Orton takes it right to Del Rio from the bell, catapulting him throat-first into the bottom rope. Del Rio goes for the armwork again, bodyslamming Orton to the mat with his arm trapped behind him. Del Rio blocks the second-rope DDT and hits a nice step-up enziguri on Orton for a two count. Orton responds with the over-the-shoulder backbreaker but Del Rio counters with a vicious armbreaker. Orton blocks the cross-armbar attempt and then DDTs Del Rio from the second rope in the corner. Orton sets up for the RKO but Ricardo Rodriguez leaps into the ring to interfere and gets RKO-ed in mid-air, which still somehow calls for the DQ at 5:18. Definitely the best match of the night so far up until the non-finish, but this time you expected it and it really doesn't particularly hurt either man so I'm okay with it. **

R-Truth (8-5) vs. Jack Swagger (9-11)
Apparently Truth and Kofi will be defending the tag belts against Ziggler and Swagger at the PPV, and that could actually be pretty good if given time. Truth hits the dancing leg-drop to start for a one count while Primo, Epico, and company watch on from backstage. Swagger tries a chinlock but Truth breaks it up with a DDT. Corkscrew elbow from Truth, but Ziggler pulls Truth out of the ring at the count of two. Kofi takes out Ziggler outside the ring but this provides the distraction for Swagger to ambush Truth. Kofi hits the Trouble in Paradise on Swagger behind the ref's back and then Truth finishes him off with the Little Jimmy at 3:19. Nothing wrong with this match and segment here, just a quick thing to move along the tag team title program. Harmless stuff. *

Titus O'Neill/Darren Young vs. Zack Ryder/Santino Marella
Remember when we thought Ryder was actually getting a push? Good times. Titus starts off dominating Santino, then tags Darren in. Young delivers a back suplex to Santino then tags Titus in, who gives his own partner a gourdbuster onto Santino's chest in a nice display of teamwork. Santino manages to escape a chinlock and tag Ryder in, who cleans house on the heels before hitting Darren with the Broski Boot for a two count. Titus trips Ryder up so Santino goes after him with the Cobra, but Young wipes him out from behind. Ryder and Young are the legal men back in the ring as Titus hops back in to drape Ryder over his knee while Young hits an elbow drop off the top rope, a double-team move Booker calls the "Ghetto Blaster", to pick up the win at 3:04. O'Neill and Young are starting to look more comfortable together and could actually make a decent heel tag team believe it or not, despite how badly each man sucks individually they aren't half bad together. After the match Titus and Young get on the mic to dance and taunt the fans a bit about their "millions of dollars" (that's a funny one).  *

Backstage Matt Striker is with Damien Sandow, who cuts another smarmy and pretentious promo about how he's here to save all of us poor cretins.

"The Funkasaurus" Brodus Clay vs. Hunico
Camacho jumps Clay with Hunico before the bell ever rings, but the beatdown only serves to pump him up more for when the match actually starts. Clay flattens Hunico with a backdrop then tosses him halfway across the ring with a big t-bone suplex before pinning him with the What the Funk splash at 0:57 seconds. You know I was just thinking to myself that this show needed more short squash matches. 1/4*

Sheamus (32-15-1) vs Chris Jericho (2-0)
Main event time though we've only got less than ten minutes left in TV time and you know damn well this isn't going to finish clean so I'm not expecting much. Booker tries to claim Jericho's return has been a huge success, despite him thoroughly and cleanly losing every feud and big match he's been involved in since that return. Sheamus uses his power early, getting Jericho tied up in the ropes and laying in the ten hammer-fists before bouncing Jericho off the mat and into the barricade as we take our last commercial break. When we return Sheamus hits a slingshot shoulder-block on Jericho for a two count. Jericho targets the injured shoulder of Sheamus and then dropkicks him off of the apron to the floor. Back inside Jericho hits another dropkick then lands on his feet in a Lionsault attempt. Sheamus hits him with a running knee but then gets caught in the Walls of Jericho but he gets the rope break eventually and then back-drops Jericho out of the ring. Del Rio runs out and tosses Jericho into the steps for the DQ finish though at 5:45 (shown). About as good as the Del Rio/Orton match from earlier, though the commercial break hurt it's flow a bit. Another cheap finish, but again, this one was atleast expected. **

After the match all four men involved in the fatal fourway hit the ring, where the faces give Del Rio their finishers while Jericho sneaks off as we go off the air.

Bottom Line: Well that was...a show. I wish I had something good to say about the show but outside of some angle advancement this was pretty much two hours of filler TV, chock full of 2 minute matches with shitty finishes. It seems like everytime this show builds up some good will with me after a good show like last week's, they return the next week with a stinker like this one. Feel free to skip this whole show as there's really nothing here worth your time outside of a quick and interesting development in the Bryan/AJ angle. Thumbs Down.

Score: 3.5/10

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