WWE Smackdown Report PARKS' WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT 3/23: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of the show, including Sheamus & CM Punk vs. Daniel Bryan & The Miz
Mar 23, 2012 - 9:00:18 PM
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WWE Smackdown review
March 23, 2012
Taped 3/20/12 in Newark, NJ
Aired on SYFY
By Greg Parks, PWTorch Columnist (Twitter: @gregmparks)
- WWE Open.
- Smackdown Open.
- After the usual fireworks, Josh Mathews opened the show and Michael Cole plugged the main event tag team match of Sheamus & CM Punk vs. Daniel Bryan & The Miz.
- Daniel Bryan was introduced by Lilian Garcia. AJ appeared to be in her wrestling gear. Bryan did his over-the-top celebration, then AJ handed him a mic. He gave a few shouts of “yes!” on the mic before beginning his promo. He said he could talk about himself all night, but he’s going to put AJ on the spot. He asked her to tell everyone what it’s like to be in love with the World Champion. AJ first wanted to talk about her match and how Bryan is going to be in her corner…so Bryan pulled the mic away and told her to just answer the question. She answered it by saying “heaven.” She said Bryan caresses her and has the softest lips. And at night, they spoon. She called him “Danny,” so Bryan pulled the mic away and told her off-mic never to call him “Danny” in public. She apologized and went on complimenting her boyfriend. AJ said he makes her feel safe, which is why she really enjoys cuddling. He whispered something in her ear and she was taken aback. She shook her head and told him it was a little personal. Then she said “Daniel Bryan is a great lover.” She put her head down as Bryan had a look of self-satisfaction on his face. “And at Wrestlemania?” Bryan asked. AJ talked up Bryan as if she were reciting lines, but purposely, not accidentally like how most Divas (and some Superstars) give interviews. Bryan took the mic and addressed the crowd while AJ appeared to try to go in for an embrace. Sheamus interrupted and he walked to the ring.
Sheamus said he threw up in his mouth before he came out because of what AJ said. He questioned Bryan’s bravery and courageousness, then called him a coward. Sheamus turned his attention to Wrestlemania and called Bryan “Danny.” Bryan angrily corrected him, saying his name is “Daniel.” That allowed a “Danny” chant to catch on. Sheamus called him “Danny boy,” and the crowd began to chant that too. Sheamus said if he doesn’t like that, he sure won’t like being called “former world heavyweight champion.” That did not turn into a chant. He ended the segment by promising to kick Bryan’s teeth down his throat.
- Backstage…is that Abraham Washington chatting with Mark Henry? Anyway, Henry faces R-Truth next.
1 – R-TRUTH vs. MARK HENRY
A short burst of offense by Truth went nowhere. Henry had his way with Truth and caught him with a clothesline as Truth was coming off the ropes. Truth was thrown outside the ring and Henry just pressed Truth’s head into the top of the ring steps. Henry missed an elbowdrop at 2:11 of the match. Truth reached his feet first and landed a seated dropkick. Truth went to the top rope and dove at Henry with a cross-body, but Henry caught him and gave him the World’s Strongest Slam to end things.
WINNER: Henry, at 3:01. Team Johnny has some momentum thus far heading into Wrestlemania, thanks in large part to Henry’s resurgence. No problem with how this match developed.
“That could be you! You could be next!” Henry shouted to no one in particular as he went back up the ramp.
- Kane vs. Big Show is set for tonight.
- The exterior of the Prudential Center in Newark was shown.
- Josh Mathews sent it to a video package of the latest WWE Hall-of-Fame inductee: Yokozuna. Included were comments from JR, Gerald Brisco, The Miz, Rikishi, and Steve Austin. Mil Mascaras was shown in the Hall-of-Fame Class of 2012 graphic, despite the fact that I don’t believe he got a video package on TV.
- Another video showed Zack Ryder from Monday night outside the arena, trying to rally the crowd to help get him on Team Teddy for Wrestlemania.
- Kofi Kingston, Santino, Aksana and Ryder were all gathered with Teddy Long in his office. Long said he doesn’t know if he wants the Eve-related distractions on his team. Ryder brought in Hornswoggle, who was waving a giant blue flag with Long’s mug on it. Ryder said Hornswoggle could be the mascot. Long said a mascot and a rally just isn’t big enough. Ryder then brought in The Great Khali dressed as Ryder. Ryder said if he’s on the team, Khali is in as well. Khali gave a “woo woo woo, you know it.” That sealed it: Ryder and Khali are officially part of Team Teddy. Everybody in the office celebrated this announcement.
2 – AJ vs. BRIE BELLA
AJ was already in the ring, getting no doubt important advice from her boyfriend. An inset interview with the Bellas aired during their entrance. Nikki tried to give Brie advice about fighting AJ, but Brie reminded Nikki that she lost to AJ last week, so Brie will show her how it’s done. A kiss between AJ and Bryan before the match. Hair pull took AJ down so Bryan got on the apron to give her some more advice. Side headlock by Brie, but AJ came back with a reverse elbow. Brie ended up bringing AJ down throat-first over the top rope. Cover for two by Brie at 1:09. Lots of hair pulling and yelling from Brie. Hard clothesline (yes, you read that right) by Brie, who then hooked AJ in a potential submission move. “C’mon AJ, you better not tap!” shouted Bryan from ringside. Headscissors by AJ into an arm-bar by AJ. Nikki got on the apron, so Bryan got up to yell at her. Brie tried to hit AJ from behind, but somehow AJ ducked and Brie grazed Nikki, knocking her sister off the apron. AJ with a roll-up for the win.
WINNER: AJ, at 2:45. The best you’re going to get out of a Bellas match.
Bryan celebrated after the match and lectured AJ about needing to play to her strengths as they headed up the ramp. Back in the ring, Nikki got a mic(!) and told Brie she should’ve listened to her. She told the fans they actually disagree on a lot of things – like at Wrestlemania, Brie is cheering for Team Johnny, while Nikki is cheering for Team Teddy. She led the crowd in a cheerleader routine in cheering for Teddy (“Give me a T!” etc). That was strange, but it did make the tag match seem like a bigger deal in an “everyone is talking about it” way.
- Punk & Sheamus vs. Bryan & Miz is the main event tonight.
- Vickie Guerrero walked onto the stage and introduced Jack Swagger.
3 – JACK SWAGGER vs. ZACK RYDER
Hornswoggle came out with the flag to second Ryder. Is Dutch Mantell booking now? The announcers made it clear that the only reason Ryder made the team was because he brought Great Khali along with him. Ryder shrugged off a wrist-lock and turned a knee-lift into a roll-up for one. High dropkick found the mark on Swagger. Slam by Swagger for two at 1:16. Cole brought up the recent history between these two, which revolved around the United States Title. Swagger worked the arm of Ryder. Ryder got the double knees up in the corner as Swagger charged at him. Face-plant by Ryder, then a charging elbow. He lined Swagger up for the Broski Boot. It connected, and Ryder got a very near-fall off of it. Ryder lined up for his finisher, but Swagger caught him and powerbombed him into the corner. Swagger Bomb for two. At this point, Hornswoggle chased Vickie around ringside. They both found their way to the apron, and Swagger tried to provide a safe haven for Vickie. However, Swagger turned around into a Rough Ryder leg lariat for the victory.
WINNER: Ryder, at 4:30. With Vickie and Hornswoggle at ringside, you knew both would get involved somehow.
- Cole talked over a video of Cody Rhodes and his attack on Big Show from Monday night.
- At 1:09 pm earlier today, Matt Striker caught up with Rhodes backstage. Rhodes said he has enjoyed showing off the Big Show clips of him choking at Wrestlemania. And he also enjoyed beating up Show on Monday. But the biggest embarrassment will come at this year’s Wrestlemania, on April Fool’s day, when the biggest fool in WWE loses to him. Rhodes scurried away saying he had a plane to catch. So why even come to the arena?
- Big Show vs. Kane is next.
- Flo Rida will star at Wrestlemania this year. He’ll play Rock to the ring before Rock’s match against John Cena.
4 – THE BIG SHOW vs. KANE
The two big men began the match by hammering away on each other. Show mowed over Kane with a shouldblock. Kane rolled to the outside and Show went after him. He missed a charge into the post though and sold the arm. Back in the ring, Kane booted Show then hit a low dropkick. Rear chinlock by Kane. Off the ropes, double clothesline. The men traded rights on their knees, then got to their feet and continued the brawl. Show with a few clotheslines and a shoulder tackle. Chokeslam set up but Kane kicked out of it and hit a jumping DDT. Don’t know if it was the camera angle or what, but that one looked good and Show’s selling of DDT’s. Kane went off the top, but Show caught him and gave him a chokeslam. A shirtless man in jeans ran into the ring to attack Big Show for the DQ. It was Rhodes. Rhodes ran back through the crowd as Show chased after him. And Randy Orton took advantage of the situation by coming in to RKO Kane.
WINNER: Show, via DQ, at 3:43. Watchable big man match-up.
- One more plug for the tag-team main event.
- But next, the Funkasaurus is in action.
- The announcers talked about Wrestlemania week then they showed the Be A Star campaign with Big Show, David Otunga and Stephanie McMahon in Bridgeport, Connecticut.
5 – “FUNKASAURUS” BRODUS CLAY vs. HEATH SLATER
Clay took Slater down after a collar-and-elbow tie-up. Elbowdrop followed, but Slater dropkicked the knee and sent Clay down. He even got a one-count. Mathews noted that Slater is a former three-time WWE Tag Team Champion. Wow, I’d forgotten about that terrible statistic. Clay turned the tide with a headbutt to the mid-section. Right hand to the stomach by Clay, followed by a “my bad.” Overhead throw then a splash for the win.
WINNER: Clay, at 1:25. And now, who knows when we’ll see Clay again.
- Up next, we’ll see clips of the encounter between Triple H, Undertaker, and Shawn Michaels from Raw.
- Zack Ryder was walking backstage. He came upon Eve Torres, and Ryder said her plan to get him on Wrestlemania worked. She corrected him and said THEY are going to Mania. He said she’s smart in addition to being hot. Eve was offended that Ryder was just realizing she was smart so she canceled dinner and walked off. Ryder kept calling after her apologizing, and Eve gave an evil smile as the camera followed her.
- The Raw Rebound aired.
- A graphic was shown for Triple H vs. Undertaker, Hell in a Cell, at Wrestlemania.
- A vignette for Lord Tensai aired.
- Christian joined the commentary team for the next match.
6 – THE GREAT KHALI vs. DOLPH ZIGGLER
Teddy Long came to the ring with Khali, while John Laurinaitis and David Otunga accompanied Ziggler. No Vickie Guerrero, though. Khali sent Ziggler into the ropes and connected with a forearm to the head. Ziggler went to ringside to heal up. Khali with a hard slap to the chest once back in the ring. Another chop in another corner. Dropkick to the leg of Khali and Ziggler tried to keep him down. Jumping elbowdrop. Christian suggested Michael Cole be the Team Johnny mascot at Mania. Khali tossed Ziggler off and landed more forearms. Brain chop missed and Ziggler jumped on Khali’s back with the sleeper. The bell began to ring before the ref signaled the end of the match. It was revealed that John Laurinaitis was ringing the bell, and he got on the mic to announce Ziggler’s win via submission.
WINNER: Ziggler, via submission, at 2:36.
Teddy Long got on the mic and scolded Laurinaitis for his actions, saying the match is not over. He said Ziggler has ‘til the count of ten to get back into the ring or he loses the match. The ref then began the count. Ziggler had no plans to get back into the ring.
WINNER: Khali, via count-out, at 2:36. The Laurinaitis screwjob was actually funny for some reason, rather than eye-rolling like so many other versions of the Montreal finish have been.
Kofi and Santino ran out and grabbed Ziggler, sending him back in the ring for a Brain chop by Khali. Laurinaitis and Otunga looked on with disdain from the ramp.
- Miz and Daniel Bryan were walking backstage (with AJ a few steps behind). Miz talked up Bryan and said how they need this win. The main event is next.
7 – CM PUNK & SHEAMUS vs. THE MIZ & DANIEL BRYAN
Sheamus clotheslined Miz down and made a quick cover for only one. Tag to Punk, who came off the top with an elbow to the arm. After beating on Miz some more, Sheamus brought Bryan in the hard way. It didn’t work, as eventually, a distraction by the ref allowed Bryan to take out Sheamus outside the ring. They went to break at 2:05.
Back at 5:37 with Miz in control of Sheamus. Back-drop by Sheamus created some separation for him. He made the tag to Punk at 6:07. He was a house afire and when he kneed Miz in the corner, he told AJ to give him a call sometime. He went to the top, but Bryan began to walk over toward him. Punk jumped off the top to confront Bryan allowing Miz to go on offense. Running knee-lift by Bryan to keep Punk grounded. Miz tried the back-breaker/neck-breaker combo, but Punk caught him with a boot to the back of the head. Both men were down at 9:00 and Bryan made the tag first. Bryan couldn’t keep Punk from tagging his opponent for Wrestlemania, Sheamus. Powerslam by Sheamus. As he was going to go for the Brogue Kick, Bryan tagged an unsuspecting Miz. Sheamus chased Bryan around ringside and eventually went back into the ring, shoved Miz off and landed the Brogue Kick for the win.
WINNERS: Sheamus and Punk, at 10:11.
The babyfaces celebrated in the ring as Bryan, World title over his shoulder, and AJ looked on from the top of the ramp.
What do you think? If you saw this show, we invite you to send your thoughts. Send your name, hometown, a 0-10 score rating the quality of the show, your picks for best and worst segments, and then a brief paragraph of thoughts on the show that we can publish in the Reader Reax segment later tonight or tomorrow. Send to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Greg Parks has been covering WWE Smackdown for PWTorch.com since January of 2007. Follow him on Twitter @gregmparks for live Tweeting during Raw, Impact, and PPVs, as well as other bits of wisdom. Comments, questions and feedback are welcome, and can be sent to email@example.com.
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