Friday Night SmackDown started with the Great White Sheamus. He can’t wait for WrestleMania and ran down Daniel Bryan.
Bryan reminded him of himself when he won his first WWE Championship. They both thought they were the greatest ever, but he became what he hated most—a bully.
He changed, and now Bryan needs to do the same. Sheamus will force that change when he wins the title.
He’s interrupted by Vickie Guerrero and Dolph Ziggler. Vickie liked his story but enjoyed it more when he stopped talking. Ziggler doesn’t think anyone cares and thought he should be in the main event.
Vickie and Dolph officially endorsed John Laurinaitis and she was about to throw her name into the hat when Teddy Long came out. He booked Ziggler vs. Sheamus then left.
I thought this was a good segment. Sheamus has definitely improved on the mic over the past year and he knows how to play to the crowd as a face.
Vickie is still incredibly annoying, but she’s doing her job as a heel.
Ziggler really needs to ditch her, though. He needs to find his own voice and show everyone that he can be successful without Vickie.
Sheamus vs. Dolph Ziggler
Sheamus picked up the victory with White Noise. I enjoyed this match; it was quite good.
The match had a lot of good action, was very back-and-forth and had a nice pace to it.
At one point it looked like Ziggler may actually defeat the winner of the Royal Rumble and I thought that was great.
Sheamus has been dominate as of late and has had decisive victories. He has seemed like the Irish Superman for a while but this match made him look human.
While he did win the match, WWE made it seem like Ziggler really had a chance.
Sheamus has improved immensely since his debut and is becoming one of the best WWE has.
The same goes for Ziggler. He’s come a long way from being Nicky of the Spirit Squad.
Both wrestlers performed very well and it made for an enjoyable match to watch!
Backstage, Teddy Long is on the phone. He entered his office and John Laurinaitis was waiting for him. He wanted an apology for being pushed on Raw and David Otunga threatened a lawsuit.
He wasn’t getting one because everyone enjoyed it. When he fell he looked like a combination of a cow on ice and Big Bird.
Teddy then booked Otunga vs. the Great Khali for Monday’s Raw.
This was a decent segment that advanced the general manager war nicely. I got a major laugh out of the “Big Bird” line so I enjoyed it.
And I can’t wait to see Otunga get squished by Khali on Monday!
Santino Marella vs. Heath Slater
Santino picked up the win with the Cobra. This was a decent match that if given more time could have been quite good.
The commentary was beyond annoying, though.
You had Josh Matthews actually trying to call the match but he kept getting cut off by Cole and Booker as they argued about the general managers.
Please WWE, get rid of Michael Cole so that the action in the ring can actually be called for once!
Santino has proved to be very good in the ring and can have a great match if given the time. Slater can be good in the ring as well but WWE never gives him the chance to do so.
When the annual roster cuts happen, I think we’ll be saying goodbye to Heath Slater.
I’m actually surprised that Santino’s push isn’t bigger. He gets a better crowd reaction than half the faces on the roster.
The fans love him and he deserves to be pushed. WWE should get him a partner and give them the tag titles!
Backstage, Eve is staring in a mirror when Natalya walked up to her. She said that what she did to Zack Ryder was wrong and that he was a good guy.
Eve doesn’t care and said he stunk. Natalya then farted and said “No, now that stinks” before walking away.
I’m already bored with Eve’s heel turn. She bored me as a face and she’s boring me as a heel.
It’s still incredibly disappointing what they’re doing to Natalya. She’s one of the very few legit wrestlers on the Divas roster and she’s treated like garbage.
Natalya, when your contract expires please go to TNA. You’ll be able to have a real match there!
Natalya vs. Eve
Eve picked up the win with the Diva rollup of doom. This actually started out as a decent match until it broke apart when Eve slapped Natalya.
Natalya showcased skill in the ring but that doesn’t matter as her push died when WWE dropped the ball with the Divas of Doom.
While Eve has improved a lot since her debut with the Diva Search, I’m honestly surprised she lasted this long with the company.
Natalya should be the one getting the push here, not Eve.
Cody Rhodes then made his way out. He talked about the embarrassing WrestleMania moments the Big Show has endured including his match with Akebono and getting knocked out by Floyd Mayweather.
He’s a choke artist and was about to show another moment when the Big Show made his way out. Rhodes immediately ran out and Big Show said they could watch his next moment like friends.
Big Show was about to go get Rhodes when Teddy Long made his way out and booked Cody Rhodes vs. the Big Show for the Intercontinental Championship at WrestleMania.
This was a good segment that saw some good mic work from the Big Show and great mic work from Cody Rhodes.
I’m glad to see Big Show in a real match this year but I think Cody Rhodes deserves better.
At the same time, I’m glad to see the Intercontinental Championship actually get defended at WrestleMania!
Fans last saw the title on the line at WrestleMania 25 in a 21-second match. The last time it was defended in a legit match was 10 years ago at WrestleMania X8 when William Regal defended the title against Rob Van Dam.
It’s been way too long; I just wish Rhodes’ opponent was someone else.
Big Show vs. Mark Henry
The Big Show picked up the win after hitting the WMD. This was an overall squash with Henry dominating the entire match until Big Show punched him in the face out of nowhere.
I’ve seen this match way too many times and let out a huge groan when it was announced as happening again.
Please get them away from each other!
Backstage, Teddy Long approached Drew McIntyre. It was do or die for him and said that if he lost then he was fired.
So what Teddy Long is really saying is this, “I’ll fire you, but then give you another chance next week.”
Elsewhere, Matt Stryker is with Randy Orton. He’s fine but is angry. He will get his revenge against Daniel Bryan in their match later on.
I’m glad Orton is back but I hope he didn’t come back too soon.
Drew McIntyre vs. Justin Gabriel
Justin Gabriel got the win with the 450 Splash. Post-match, Teddy Long appeared on the TitanTron and fired McIntyre.
This match was disappointingly short. Both Gabriel and McIntyre are very good in the ring and they could have had a great match if given the time.
I’m a bit disappointed that WWE dropped the Gabriel/Rhodes feud as a match between them at WrestleMania would have been awesome!
As for McIntyre, I can see John Laurinaitis rehiring him on next week’s SmackDown when he’s in charge.
Backstage, Stryker is with Daniel Bryan and A.J. Lee. Bryan isn’t nervous at all about facing Orton. He then went into Sheamus and put himself over as being the same person as he always was.
He’s still a vegan, still the champion, still this and still that. He’ll defeat Orton and still be champion after WrestleMania.
Bryan delivered another good promo here and once again got under the skin of the crowd.
He’s playing his heel character very well, and he’s the best he’s ever been since debuting with WWE.
Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton
Daniel Bryan won by count-out when Kane’s entrance distracted Orton enough to get pushed into the ring post by Bryan.
This was a decent match but I was kind of expecting better. Both Bryan and Orton are good in the ring and have had a good match together before.
I think the main purpose of this match was the beginning of the Orton/Kane storyline, though.
Post-match, Kane and Orton brawled all around the ring until Kane delivered the choke-slam to the Apex Predator.
Kane then got on the mic and simply said “Welcome back, Randy.”
Both Kane and Orton needed something to do for WrestleMania so why not put them together in a match?
It certainly looks like WWE is going in that direction and I’m fine with that.
Backstage, Laurinaitis and Otunga are watching Kane. Laurinaitis then said he may book Kane vs. Aksana for next week’s SmackDown.
What’s worse than Otunga vs. Khali? Laurinaitis gave us the answer to that right here.
I got a feeling this whole general manager swap is going to be a train wreck next week.
Overall I thought this week’s episode of SmackDown was a good one. There were a few low points in the night but matches like Sheamus/Ziggler and a few segments cancelled those out.
I remember a time when SmackDown was better than Raw almost every week, though.
The Blue Brand needs to step up their game!