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WWE Smackdown Report
PARKS' WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT 3/29: Complete coverage of Friday night show, including Henry vs. Ryback contest

Mar 30, 2013 - 12:26:31 AM
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WWE Smackdown review
March 29, 2013
Taped 3/26/13 in Hershey, Penn.
Aired on SyFy
By Greg Parks, PWTorch Columnist (Twitter: @gregmparks)



- The opening video package previewed The Rock’s appearance, plus the Jack Swagger vs. Alberto Del Rio rivalry and The Shield’s issues with Sheamus, Randy Orton, and The Big Show.

- The Rock’s music kicked on and he opened the show by coming to the ring. During his entrance, they showed The Rock giving the Rock Bottom to John Cena on Raw. Josh Mathews, Michael Cole, and JBL were all shown on commentary. Before saying anything, Rock took out a Hershey’s candy bar and showed it to the camera and the crowd. Rock began by saying a month ago on Raw, he did story time with The Rock. He briefly discussed that story and said he should continue here. He talked about his family moving when he was 15 to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Rock said he was already 6’4” and 220 pounds (with an ungodly mustache). Rock then asked the crowd if they wanted to see a picture of him at 15. They showed it on the TitanTron and actually, facially, he didn’t look that different. Rock said the benefit of living in Bethlehem was that he was an hour away from a special town that had a certain park. He and his friends would ride rides and eat as much chocolate as possible. He said it was a magical feeling and still is. That led to him doing his “Finally…” routine.

Rock said when he’d come to Hershey, he never could find a Hershey’s Whatchamacallit. He said he finally found one, but before he could grab it, someone stepped in and took it before him. However, something historic happened that night that changed the course of WWE history forever: “If you don’t put down that candy, I’ll kick your candy ass.” Rock said the old lady put the candy down (a good laugh from the fans for that reveal) and left. Rock said his story was about going to great lengths to get what you want. It was true then and it is still true for his match with John Cena at Wrestlemania. He said on Monday, Cena got in his face and he kicked Cena’s candy ass.

Rock said he’ll do it at Wrestlemania in front of the millions (and millions)…but before he could continue, the “People Power” theme of John Laurinaitis interrupted. Laurinitais walked to the ring. They went to break as he did so.

[Commercial Break]

- Back from break, the crowd was chanting “you suck” at Laurinaitis, who was in the ring smiling. Rock asked “who in the blue hell” Laurinaitis was. He said Rock knows who he is, and so does the entire WWE Universe. He said his old job titles like he used to, only with “former” in front of them. Rock said he didn’t give a crap and that Johnny interrupted story time with the Rock. Laurinaitis said Teddy Long gave him permission to come out. He said people expect him to talk to long and get Rock Bottomed, but that’s not going to happen. He said he and Rock were like two peas in a pod. The crowd started chanting “what” at this point. Laurinaitis said John Cena ruined his career, but also, is the reason he’s back. Rock said if Laurinaitis didn’t get to the point, Cena would also be the reason he’d get his ass kicked all over the arena. Johnny said Cena will do whatever it takes to beat The Rock at Wrestlemania. Laurinaitis then broached a business opportunity for The Rock. He offered to be in Rock’s corner for Mania. He said if that happens, there is no way, “and Big Johnny means no way!” Cena would win.

Laurinaitis said he and Rock were like Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups: Two great tastes that taste great together. Rock said it’s only fair to involve the people. Rock asked if they’d like to see the peanut butter that is Laurinaitis (and he said it in a derogatory way) team up with the chocolate that is The Rock. The people booed. Rock gave Laurinaitis a business proposition – but not a Rock Bottom. He suggested he and Laurinaitis send Cena a message…together. Laurinaitis liked the idea and asked Rock what he had in mind. Rock said the most important part of a deal is the handshake. Laurinaitis shook it, smiling like a weenie. Rock didn’t let go, but Laurinaitis wasn’t catching on. Eventually, Rock gave Laurinaitis a spinebuster and hit him with the People’s Elbow. Rock told Cena his candy ass is going down at Wrestlemania…again. “If ya smell what the Rock is cookin.’” I’m not surprised WWE felt they couldn’t pass up the comedic opportunities with Rock and Laurinaitis despite Laurinaitis not being on TV for some time.

- Sheamus, Randy Orton and Big Show face Team Rhodes Scholars and Antonio Cesaro tonight.

- Plus, Mark Henry and Ryback compete in a Bench Press Challenge.

- Chris Jericho’s music hit and he came to the ring for the first match of the evening. He takes on Wade Barrett next.

[Commercial Break]

1 – CHRIS JERICHO vs. WADE BARRETT

With Jericho in the ring, they showed how he got his black eye, from a kick by Fandango last week in Jericho’s match with Jack Swagger. The Miz joined the announcers at ringside. This match pits former NXT pro and his rookie here. Barrett was sent to ringside, showing frustration early on. Baseball slide by Jericho took Barrett to the arena floor. Back in, Barrett took over with kicks in the corner. Jericho tried to go to the top, but Barrett landed a big boot to take Jericho out of the ring. They went to break 2:02 into the match.

[Commercial Break]

Back at 5:32 of the match. Jericho worked out of a rear chinlock and knocked Barrett down with a shoulder tackle. Jericho hit a weak tomahawk chop off the top rope. Lionsault missed and Barrett hit his Winds of Change side-slam for a near-fall. Cross-body off the top for two by Jericho. Barrett tried to fight out of the Walls of Jericho, and did so. Then Jericho low-bridged him out of the ring. However, Jericho missed a springboard dropkick to Barrett from the apron. Barrett went to get Jericho and argued with Miz. The ref was counting Barrett out but only got to seven. Back in, he walked right into a Codebreaker for the win.

WINNER: Jericho, at 8:15. Fine finish. Miz really put over on commentary what it meant to be on the Wrestlemania card.

They replayed the finish. Afterward, he picked up a mic and said he’d like to celebrate the win with all the fans in the audience, but he pointed out the stage set-up and assumed Fandango would be making his grandiose entrance. He lamented the fact that he still can’t pronounce his name properly. He tried again and purposely messed it up several times. Eventually, Fandango and his dancer did come out. After a brief performance, Fandango and the young lady made their way toward the ring. Fandango left her in the aisle and approached the ring. Jericho invited him in, but Fandango declined amid “you can’t wrestle” chants. Instead, he and his lady went back up the ramp. More dancing!

- Next, a preview of the Brock Lesnar vs. Triple H No Holds Barred Wrestlemania match. And a very special interview with Paul Heyman.

[Commercial Break]

- The exterior of the Giant Center in Hershey was shown.

- The video package for Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar aired.

- The announcers talked about the possibility of Triple H having to retire after his match with Brock Lesnar. Then they threw it to a sit-down interview conducted by Josh Mathews with Paul Heyman. Heyman interrupted Mathews’ first question. And his second. Heyman said he’s doing the interview because Lesnar wants it on the record that Hunter is in a must-lose situation. They had a lot of makeup showing bruises around Heyman’s left eye. He said Brock is going to crush Triple H at Wrestlemania. He said Hunter then has to live vicariously through the superstars under his employ. He said Triple H will end up resenting the WWE locker room. He even questioned how Triple H can lead the locker room if he resents them. Then the locker room will rebel and rise up against him. Hey, haven’t we already seen that? Heyman said Hunter has made two major mistakes: One, he thought he could compete intellectually with Heyman. Then, he thought he could compete with Lesnar physically. But he was no match for either man.

- Up next, the Bench Press Challenge between Ryback and Mark Henry.

[Commercial Break]

- Teddy Long and Booker T. were atop the stage, ready for the Bench Press contest. Booker said this contest would prove who is the strongest. Booker said this is used in the NFL Combine and it’s the Bench Press (although it sounded like he said “bitch press”). Ryback was introduced first. Cole said the bar will contain 225 pounds. Booker was interrupted by Teddy Long, who introduced Mark Henry. Cole said the world record for that weight is 51 reps. Booker had to get between Henry and Ryback, lest they come to blows. Booker said if either of them violates his no-contact clause, they’ll be banned from Mania. Long said they flipped a coin to see who would go first, and it came to Henry. Scott Armstrong was out there as ref. JBL said it was like watching (Teddy) Arcidi and (Bill) Kazmaier in their prime. Henry took his time getting ready and utilized some smelling salts. The crowd counted along as Henry did the lifts with ease. It wasn’t until about 43 when he began to slow down. He finished with 53 reps, which would theoretically break the world record, you know, if this weren’t pro wrestling. “That’s what I do!” shouted Henry in Ryback’s face.

Ryback was up next. He got a “feed me more” chant going. Henry told him to save his energy. The crowd didn’t really count along with Ryback as they did with Henry. Ryback got to 53, then Henry pushed the ref out of the way and pushed the weight down into Ryback’s chest in throat to prevent a 54th. Ryback fell off the bench and began coughing. Henry told Booker he didn’t put his hands on Ryback. Trainers and medics came out to check on Ryback. JBL noted that Ryback was going to break Henry’s record. The crowd chanted “Feed me more” as Ryback got to his feet and they went to break.

[Commercial Break]

- A replay aired of Henry stopping Ryback from breaking his record.

2 – DOLPH ZIGGLER & A.J. LEE vs. DANIEL BRYAN & KAITLYN – MIXED TAG-TEAM MATCH

Given Kaitlyn’s warnings about Bryan when A.J. was dating him, this is somewhat of an odd pairing. They showed Big E. Langston taking out Kane two weeks ago on Smackdown. After Ziggler and Bryan had a brief exchange, the women tagged in. Ziggler distracted Kaitlyn, leading to A.J. taking over. Bryan made a hot tag and went to work on Ziggler. Hurricanrana off the top, but Ziggler rolled through for a two-count. Langston distracted Bryan, so Kane took him out. A.J. jumped on Bryan’s back when he went outside after Ziggler. Ziggler was back-dropped into the timekeeper’s area. Inside the ring, A.J. walked into a spear from Kaitlyn for the decision.

WINNERS: Bryan and Kaitlyn, at 3:17. A little surprised they put Kaitlyn over A.J. I think Kaitlyn vs. A.J. would make a worthwhile Divas title match at Wrestlemania were WWE so inclined.

- A Shield video aired. They addressed their Wrestlemania opponents. Dean Ambrose seemed to doubt the three men could get along at Mania. Seth Rollins said the faces don’t stand a chance against them. They said people will believe in The Shield at Wrestlemania.

- The Great Khali, Hornswoggle, and Natalya came to the ring. Khali was in store for singles action against Jack Swagger, next.

[Commercial Break]

- On his way to the ring, Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter cut a promo on Khali. Colter talked about making service calls and hearing a voice on the other end that sounds like Khali’s. He said Swagger “broke a bone to bind a country,” referring to the injury he inflicted on Ricardo Rodriguez. “We the people,” finished Swagger

3 – THE GREAT KHALI vs. JACK SWAGGER

Swagger avoided a Khali chop early on, but ran into an overhead chop. Khali managed to hit the chop to the chest in the corner. Khali went for the Punjabi Plunge, which Swagger avoided. Knees to the gut by Swagger, but he ended up walking into a big boot. Khali set up for the big overhead chop, but Swagger rolled out of the ring. Khali tried to go after him, but Swagger hung Khali’s leg on the top rope. More leg work from Swagger. The men fought outside the ring, where Swagger applied the Patriot Lock on Khali. The ref counted both men out.

WINNER: Double count-out, at 3:02. What was that about? They couldn’t have Swagger apply the move in the ring for the win?

After the match, Hornswoggle tried to break the hold, and just as Swagger seemed poised to put him on the shelf too, Ricardo Rodriguez limped out on a crutch and with a mic. Rodriguez came to the ring, but it was just a set-up so that Alberto Del Rio could attack Swagger from behind. Cross arm-breaker by Del Rio, but Colter pried Del Rio off Swagger. Rodriguez then nailed Colter in the back with the crutch. Del Rio swung and missed with the crutch twice, leaving Swagger and Colter to retreat.

- Next, how did C.M. Punk disrespect Undertaker this past week? We’ll see...next.

[Commercial Break]

- The Raw Rebound aired.

- The announcers talked about Punk vs. Undertaker.

- Cole threw it backstage to Renee Young (nee Paquette, from The Score in Canada), the newest member of the WWE broadcast team. She stood by with Sheamus, Randy Orton, and The Big Show. Before a question was asked, they showed footage of The Shield being handled by the three faces on Raw. Orton said they have a common enemy, so nothing else really matters. Sheamus and Show argued over who really had the problem, until Orton brought them back on the same page. He said being on the same page is bad news for The Shield. Their match is next.

[Commercial Break]

- It was announced that Arnold Schwarzenegger would induct Bruno Sammartino into the WWE Hall-of-Fame.

- Sheamus made his entrance first, then Randy Orton and The Big Show.

4 – SHEAMUS & RANDY ORTON & THE BIG SHOW vs. TEAM RHODES SCHOLARS & ANTONIO CESARO

Damien Sandow did mic work on his way to the ring, noting all three have a mutual disdain for ignorance. Cody Rhodes said their opponents are all common. Cesaro did some weird yodel, which I guess we learned on WWE Main Event this week. Sheamus aggressively went after Cesaro until Cesaro fought back with European uppercuts. Hip-toss was blocked and turned into a short-arm clothesline from Sheamus. Show tagged in and Cesaro tagged Rhodes. Some history between these two, specifically one year ago at this time. Show chopped Rhodes repeatedly in the chest. He also knocked Cesaro off the apron and chased Sandow to ringside. Big slam on Rhodes. They went to break at 2:00 of the match.

[Commercial Break]

Orton was attempting to fight out of the heel corner out of break. Frequent tags by the heels helped to slow the momentum of the babyface trio. Knee-lift by Rhodes put Orton down again. Sandow tagged in for two at 7:08. Orton fought out of a rest-hold applied by Sandow. His back-breaker evened things up at 8:06. Show shoved Cesaro off the top rope as he tried to interfere. Rhodes and Sheamus made the tags. Sheamus caught Rhodes on the apron and gave him a clubberin’. He did the same to Sandow. Rhodes came back in and walked right into White Noise. Things broken down with Cesaro and Sandow interfering. Show knocked out Cesaro with one punched and sent Sandow into an RKO. Show and Orton played cheerleader as Sheamus readied for the Brogue Kick. He connected on Rhodes for the win, despite Show and Orton not getting out of the ring (or even attempting to).

WINNERS: Sheamus, Orton, and Show, at 10:17.

The Shield’s music hit and they came through the crowd after the match. The babyfaces ran up the stairs to meet them, a tactic The Shield were not ready for. The fight ensued on the staircase, with Orton paired off with Rollins, Sheamus and Ambrose, Reigns and Show. They fought atop the arena until The Shield retreated through the exit. The faces stood tall to end the show as Orton’s music played.


Did you watch Friday's Smackdown episode? Send your 0-10 score & Reax to pwtorch@gmail.com for our TV Reax feature.

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 g_man9784@yahoo.com.


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