ThunderStruck: Smackdown! Analysis 03/02/12

Smackdown opens with Sheamus coming to the ring. Sheamus says all he can think about it WM since winning the Rumble. He says he can’t wait to step in the ring with Daniel Bryan. He says Bryan has become conceited and obsessed just like himself after he won his first WWE Title and became wrapped up in his own ego. He says he became a bully and needed somebody to remind him where he came from and to knock his block off. He says Bryan needs the same thing, and on April 1st he will be more than happy to show him. Vickie Guerrero interrupts with Dolph Ziggler at her side.



Vickie said Sheamus told a great story and the best part was when he stopped talking. Dolph says no one cares about his story. Dolph says the fans deserve to see him in the main event at WrestleMania, not Sheamus. He tells Sheamus his hair is on fire. Sheamus says that joke is as old as his Dolph’s grandmother, Vickie. Vickie says she is not old, but experienced. She says there is all this talk about the GMs running both shows, and that she and Dolph prefer Laurinaitis over Long. Teddy Long comes out and says the only thing Vickie is going to run is Dolph’s career into the ground. He books Sheamus vs Dolph Ziggler right now!

^Short and concise. That’s how a show should start. You hear a few words from two guys and then they go to battle. Absolutely perfect way to start this show out. Vickie is still annoying. Sheamus wants us to believe he’ll beat Bryan at Mania. We’ll see about that. Let’s see how the match goes!

Sheamus dominates the start of the match until Dolph nails a dropkick. They grapple again and Sheamus mounts an offense. Sheamus does his battering blows to Dolph and suplexes him into the ring for a two count. Dolph takes a break on the outside to recover. Sheamus throws him back into the ring. Dolph counters and hits a neckbreaker between the ropes on the great white and gets a two count. Dolph stomps on Sheamus. Dolph hits the jumping elbow and gets another two count. They exchange blows but Sheamus gets the upper hand and hits a powerslam for a two count. Dolph has Sheamus in the corner and Sheamus throws him off his back and to the outside. Dolph comes back and goes up top but gets caught by Sheamus and nailed with the Irish Curse backbreaker. Sheamus gets a two count as Vickie pulls Dolph’s foot to the ropes. Sheamus goes for the Celtic Cross but Ziggler falls out and goes for a rollup but gets a two count only. Sheamus comes back and gets another two count, then goes on offense. Sheamus knocks Swagger off the apron as he runs down to help, and Ziggler hits a nearly botched fameasser on Sheamus but gets another two count only. Ziggler goes for the zig zag but is caught by Sheamus who hits the white noise slam on Ziggler for the three count pinfall.

^I’d like to see these two go at it again after watching this match. Dolph’s performance only adds to my argument that he should already have a major match booked for himself at WM. Vickie is a great manager, love her or hate her. She’s annoying, but she’s good at being the heel manager and distracting the referee and pissing off the crowd. She does exactly what any good heel manager would do. I like the win for Sheamus in this match as the Smackdown writers try to make it believable that he’ll beat Bryan for the title at WM.

Backstage segment with Teddy Long on the phone with Aksana until he walks into his office and sees Laurinaitis and Otunga. Laurinaitis says he came here for Teddy to apologize for shoving him on Raw. Laurinaitis says he has a lower lumbar strain. Otunga says he is threatening a civil action against Long. Teddy won’t apologize and says everyone enjoyed it. Teddy Long says Otunga will be going one on one with the Great Khali this monday on Raw.

^I love the idea. Otunga squashed Ezekial enough. Let’s see him nail that spinebuster on Khali.

Santino defeats Heath Slater in a short match. Santino uses the cobra on Slater when he falls from the top rope onto the turnbuckle to get the win. Santino does his celebration after the match.

^I don’t get it. Santino was booked big to win that battle royal and put on a great performance in the Chamber match. Now, you have him lose to Daniel Bryan in a quick bout and then put him on tv with the same low card guy that he is clearly going to beat every time. Santino had the biggest ovation of the NIGHT. Why? Why? Why? I feel like Daniel Bryan, only I’m asking why instead of saying yes repeatedly. I understand that Santino will never be a world champion or a main event level guy regularly, but why wouldn’t you capitalize on his popularity during a time where you’ve just pushed him? Wouldn’t that be good for business?

Eve is backstage looking in a mirror. Natalya comes up and tells her off for her actions with Zack Ryder as of late. Eve says at least she was honest about her actions. Eve said Zack stinks despite being a good person. Natalya rips one. She says that stinks.

^No comment.

Eve and Natalya wrestle a short match. The announcers talk about Natalya’s problem throughout the match. This is ridiculous. Natalya goes for a rollup but Eve counters into a rollup on Natalya and gets the three count.

^First of all, I’m glad this was kept short, especially when it’s booked so ridiculously. Eve’s attitude reminds me of Sable when she did the whole “men who came to see me, women who want to be me” angle. The only difference is that Eve’s is far more annoying. Natalya is in a different boat. It’s the most ridiculous thing in WWE right now. Enough said on this.

Cody Rhodes is in the ring. He shows the videos of Big Show losing at WrestleMania again. He puts over Show mockingly and says at the big show, he is a choke artist. Rhodes says WWE has extensive archive of Show’s losing at WM and says for example and then gets interrupted by the Big Show. Show gets in the ring and Rhodes runs into the crowd. Show asks where he is going. Show says he wants to see Rhode’s next video segment. He says he can laugh at himself. He says if Rhodes won’t come back to the ring, he’s just going to have to go get him. Teddy Long comes out. Long says this isnt’ Spain and he can’t have Show in the audience like the running of the bulls. He says it’s a done deal. He announces Cody Rhodes vs the Big Show for the Intercontinental Title at WrestleMania. Long tells Show he has some other business to take care of now with Mark Henry.

^Rhodes cut a great promo on the mic. I’m impressed with the WM card so far. We have actual matches being booked and not joke celebrity bouts or anything ridiculous. Great build so far by WWE. Did I just say that?

It’s time for Mark Henry vs the Big Show. After brawling, Henry knocks Show out of the ring and tells the ref to count him out. Show gets on the apron and Henry knocks Big Show’s head off the steel post and Show falls to the outside again. Rhodes is on commentary. Henry smashes Show’s back into the ring post on the outside. Henry throws the steel steps at Show’s head and Show ducks out of the way. Henry continues to dominate Show in the ring. Henry hits the big splash and Big Show kicks out. Show comes back and hits the diving shoulder block on Henry. Show goes for another chokeslam and Henry hits the WSS and Show kicks out again. Henry charges Show in the corner and gets hit with the weapon of mass destruction on Mark Henry. He rolls Henry over and gets the three count victory.

^I have zero problem with Big Show winning a match. However, what the hell happened to Mark Henry? Did this guy not have a huge dominant run from July to December last year? Do his WSS and big splash no longer have the same effectiveness that they did when he was on his run? WWE, wake up and make some sense. This guy got squashed by Sheamus recently as well. C’mon man! As for Big Show, his match with Rhodes is one that I’m looking forward to for the elevation of Cody Rhodes.

Drew McIntyre is shown backstage with Teddy Long. Long tells Drew that tonight is do or die. He says that he is fired if he loses tonight.

^I’m not sure what the point of this dragged out storyline has been for Drew, but I hope it’s not him legitimately being released from WWE. It would just be terrible use of somebody that has a lot of talent.

Matt Striker interviews Randy Orton, who is returning to Smackdown tonight. Orton said he is angry and cold blooded, and hell bent on getting revenge on Daniel Bryan. He says Bryan cost him the opportunity to walk into WM as World Champion. He says Bryan will have to pay, and tonight he will collect.

^Orton doesn’t have to do all that much to be intimidating in his promos. You can tell he means business here. I’m disappointed with his lack of being in the World Title match at WM.

Drew McIntyre takes on Justin Gabriel next. They battle and Drew hits a big boot for a two count on Gabriel. Drew continues to dominate. Drew goes for a backbreaker but Gabriel counters into a ddt. He goes up and hits a 450 splash on McIntyre for the three count. Teddy Long shows up on the big screen and tells Drew that he has to let him go. McIntyre appears to be really upset.

^Good match here for Gabriel. Drew appears to never get the proper push. I wonder if John Laurinaitis will hire him back next week.

Flashback of Rock/Cena from Raw on Monday. Cena was put over. They wanted him to get some momentum. Good work, WWE.

Matt Striker interviews Daniel Bryan. Bryan says he isn’t nervous to face Orton tonight. He says Sheamus is wrong about him changing and that he is the same person he’s always been. He says he’s still a vegan and doesn’t own a tv, which means he is better than everybody else. He says he is still a role model and still the one who won his match at the Royal Rumble and won the Elimination Chamber. He says he will beat Randy Orton tonight and defy everybody’s expectations by defeating Sheamus at WrestleMania.

^Perfect heel champion promo from Bryan. Couldn’t ask for anything else from this guy. He knows how to act like a jerk and the fans love to hate him.

Orton and Daniel Bryan is our main event of the show. Orton dominates Bryan to start the match and throws him to the outside early. He beats on Bryan outside the ring and tosses him into the steel steps. He continues to dominate Bryan in the ring until Bryan pushes him off the ropes. Bryan hits a running dropkick in the corner on Orton. Bryan hits an armbreaker for a two count. Commercial. Bryan kicks Orton twice but Orton counters and hits his off the ropes DDT on Bryan. Bryan blocks the RKO and goes for the labell lock. Orton counters out and goes for another RKO and Bryan counters and runs to the outside. Orton follows. Orton attacks Bryan on the outside until the pyro goes off and down comes Kane. Bryan wins the match by countout as Orton goes after Kane. Kane throws Orton in the ring and Bryan runs out of the ring leaving AJ with Kane. Orton attacks Kane and AJ gets out. Orton and Kane brawl to the outside. Orton goes on the offense until Kane counters in the ring and hits the chokeslam on Orton. Kane gets on the mic and says welcome back Randy, welcome back. Kane leaves the ring.

Backstage John Laurinaitis and David Otunga are shown talking. Laurinaitis tells Otunga he might book Kane against Aksana next week on Smackdown. The show goes off the air.

^I assumed Kane would face Zack Ryder at WrestleMania. Looks like it will be Kane and Orton one on one instead. Hopefully this means Ryder will face Swagger and win back the US Title. Orton and Bryan worked a solid match. It wasn’t spectacular, but it worked for the angle they were trying to put over. Laurinaitis running Smackdown might change the writing of the show a bit next week. Should be interesting.

The show was solid all around. You saw a little bit of diva action(thankfully not too much), Santino being himself(which I always love), well built strong feuds for big Mania matches(smart to do with only four weeks to the big event). Overall, I’m not disappointed with what I saw. I’ll be back with Raw on Monday and NXT on Wednesday. I don’t know if anything will come up in between, but it’s always a possiblity. Until next time, you’ve been ThunderStruck! – add me

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