Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to my weekly Main Event and SmackDown recap list. I always appreciate my loyal readers, but for those of you who are new, each week I recap SmackDown with a long list.
The entries are made up of equal parts observations, humor, recap, play-by-play, revelations, speculations, questions, answers and anything else I notice during the show. I sometimes comment on commercials, too, just because I get bored during them.
I try to interject some fun into these lists, so I hope you have fun reading this week's list of the things we learned, loved and hated from the shows.
1. For some reason the opening video on Main Event always gets me pumped up.
2. LET'S DO THIS!
3. Don't get me wrong, the song they use is something I wouldn't prefer over silence, but the video and song together rock.
4. Nice. I love these "Royal Rumble by the Numbers" videos.
5. After the video we get an interview with Ryback.
6. Matt Striker tries to make a joke, and Ryback doesn't laugh.
7. Ryback tells a joke and then has to tell Striker it was a joke so he could laugh.
8. Ryback says "I can be funny, too" and then walks away.
9. I have to disagree.
10. Antonio Cesaro comes out decked out in red, white and blue, and he talks some trash to Miz before talking about Ryback.
11. The Swiss Sensation calls America a beautiful country, which is a little surprising given his recent comments about America.
12. Maybe he can convince Tina Turner to stay.
13. On second thought, they can have her. She has lived there since the '90s anyway.
14. Ryback's music interrupts him as he talks, and it looks like the match is about to get underway.
15. I like how Cesaro defiantly waves the flag while Ryback makes his entrance.
16. The bell rings after the break and we get going.
17. Michael Cole talks about how Miz will get a U.S. title shot on Sunday during the pre-show.
18. Ryback whips Cesaro across the ring by his head.
19. Ryback locks in a headlock and then yells "Who's the man?"
20. If Ryback keeps getting more confident like he has been recently, then his skills might catch up to his booking someday.
21. Cesaro launches off the middle rope and hits a huge European uppercut to get a near fall.
22. I know exactly three things to be true in this world.
23. 1. "All Along the Watchtower" by Bob Dylan is the greatest song of all time.
24. 2. Ron Swanson is the greatest TV character of all time, only recently surpassing Kramer.
25. 3. And Cesaro has the best European uppercut in the history of the sport. He can hit is so many ways, and it always looks unbelievably brutal.
26. Honestly, I am shocked he hasn't killed a man with it yet.
27. Ryback hits a Thesz Press after the break, and I cannot help but wonder why everyone looks weird hitting that move except Steve Austin?
28. Cesaro tries to get himself counted out, and Miz throws Cesaro back in the ring.
29. Cesaro hits a jumping stomp and a big running knee for a pair of near falls.
30. Ryback comes back with a bunch of power moves and then hits the Meat Hook.
31. Cesaro rolls out of the ring, and this time he is successful in getting himself counted out.
32. Ryback has certainly improved a lot in recent months, but his limitations were pretty clear in this extended match with Cesaro.
33. Cesaro made him look great, though.
34. After another break, we get a replay of the attack on The Rock by The Shield.
35. Enough with the attacks. I want to see Ambrose go nuts on someone in a singles match.
36. Considering WWE's stance on blood in recent years, I am a little surprised how much it has featured The Rock bleeding from the mouth.
37. At least we know that The Shield doesn't hold back just because they are dealing with someone like Rocky.
38. Matt Striker is interviewing Big Show after a recap of how he lost the title.
39. Show says the WWE reeks of weakness.
40. The Usos comes out for the final match. They still have the best entrance in WWE.
41. I think all these two need is a run with the titles and a YouTube show and they will be as popular as Kofi Kingston.
42. Kofi might seem like an odd comparison to use right there, but think about it. He is very popular with kids and adults, and he is one of the most PG superstars WWE has.
43. Even the IWC loves Kofi. I have heard him called the new Ricky Steamboat a few times.
44. After the break, Damien Sandow and Cody Rhodes come out and deliver a great promo.
45. There is some guy in the crowd behind them with a sign that says "Got Mensa?" With the words (I do!) right below in those brackets.
46. That might be the most obscure Damien Sandow sign ever created. Give that man a MacArthur Genius Grant right now.
47. One of the Usos makes fun of Cody's mustache, and he gets upset and tags Sandow in.
48. Sandow reverses the momentum in his favor until Jey comes back with some big chest chops in the corner.
49. Cody tags back in and he and Jey have a slugfest.
50. The Usos hit a nasty double-team on Rhodes which ends in his neck being slammed against the top rope.
51. The Usos and Rhodes Scholars have a nice exchange of offense throughout this match.
52. Sandow pulls a bodyscissors out of his bag of tricks. Could this guy be anymore of a throwback wrestler?
53. I say that in a good way. He reminds me of guys like Bob Backlund, The Genius and Harley Race.
54. Jimmy gets the hot tag and takes it to Sandow.
55. At the last minute, Rhodes Scholars use some nice teamwork to avoid the Superfly Splash, allowing Sandow to pin Jey.
56. Cole hypes an Intercontinental Cup for a shot at Barrett's title that starts next week on Main Event.
57. I like that idea. WWE needs to utilize the tournament format a little more often.
58. The "Main Event" of Ryback and Cesaro was out-shined by the secondary match between The Usos and Rhodes Scholars.
Dwayne Johnson @TheRock
Seconds away from my music hittin' & walkin' thru that curtain.. Adrenaline. #Smackdown #JustBringIt http://t.co/GLbh7rPy2013-1-26 01:54:15
59. The Show opens with a look at the lineup for the Royal Rumble card.
60. I would like to point out that Vince McMahon says that CM Punk will lose his title if The Shield interfere. He did not say anything about anyone else interfering on his behalf.
61. Team Hell No come to the ring to kick off the show.
62. Bryan's beard is getting insane. He is approaching ZZ Top status.
63. Ugh. They reshow the hugging segment from last week.
64. That was a low point for the team, in my opinion. I saw the value if it was pulled off right, but in the end it fell flat for me.
65. Big Show comes out during their promo about how they are still kind of angry and both men think they will win the Rumble match.
66. Either one of them winning would be fine with me.
67. Show talks about how he will definitely regain his title from Alberto Del Rio.
68. He tells them that they would be stupid to choose to face him at WrestleMania should either man win the Rumble.
69. Bryan reminds Show that he beat him for the title, and Show says he doesn't want any of his crap right now.
70. Show orders them to leave the ring, and Kane says they are the tag team champions and they are not going anywhere.
71. Bryan gets a No/Yes chant going, and then Damien Sandow's music hits and Rhodes Scholars come out.
72. I love how Rhodes adds a little Ed McMahon laugh after Sandow tells a bad joke.
73. Alberto Del Rio comes out and I am beginning to smell a six-man tag match for later.
74. Booker comes out and makes it a reality, but he throws in the twist of making it an elimination match.
75. Seeing one of those outside the period before Survivor Series is kind of rare.
76. Big Show tries to attack Del Rio and ADR avoids him.
77. The crowd chants "Si Si Si."
78. Josh Mathews hypes a promo from Punk for later.
79. The Rock will apparently also get some mic time to talk about The Shield.
80. After the break, we get Sheamus vs. Wade Barrett.
81. These two have fought several times in recent months, but they have never really had an all-out feud. I want to see it.
82. They could have a European feud in WWE. The UK vs. The Republic of Ireland.
83. Barrett chose to wear the long coat instead of his shirt.
84. Barrett and Sheamus have great chemistry. The first few minutes of this match is a great exchange between the two.
85. JBL really gets into some of the matches he calls. He is clearly loving watching these two go at it.
86. On an unrelated note; JBL's LayfieldReport.com has been featuring Bleacher Report articles. I consider that a good sign.
87. We return from break to see Barrett controlling the match.
88. Sheamus comes in off the apron with a battering ram and the momentum turns.
89. Sheamus hits all his signatures.
90. Barrett kicks out of everything Sheamus throws at him.
91. Mathews asks "The longer this match goes, who has the advantage, Sheamus or Barrett?"
92. JBL says "The fans."
93. Awesome. JBL mentions how Finlay used to use one of Sheamus' moves.
84. After some back and forth, Sheamus hits White Noise and then lines up for the Brogue Kick.
95. He nails Barrett in the face and gets the pin.
96. I am a little surprised at how that went down. Usually when Sheamus is facing someone of nearly equal status he has to hit the kick out of nowhere instead of being able to tune up the band, so to speak.
97. Maybe it is a non-existant detail.
98. We get another replay of The Shield attacking Rocky.
99. One of these weeks I am going to use a stop watch to see exactly how much time is spent on recap videos.
100. Punk and Heyman are shown talking backstage before we got to the ring for a match between Natalya and Rosa.
101. The fact that Natalya is coming out to Khali's music pisses me off. Am I the only one who is pissed off by that?
102. I guess the fact that she has been featured regularly in recent weeks is a good thing in itself. She deserves some time in the spotlight.
103. Hornswoggle and Khali are on commentary. I liked him better when he didn't talk.
104. Nattie shows some of her agility early on.
105. Primo and Epico are also on commentary. JBL asks them what purpose Rosa serves and they don't really have an answer.
106. I like how Primo asks them to focus on the action in the ring.
107. Rosa and Nattie are having a mildly entertaining match, but the crowd response is just killing it.
108. Natalya winning with the Sharpshooter got what looked like a decent pop.
109. That was a slow-moving segment.
110. After a break, we get CM Punk and Paul Heyman coming out to address everyone.
111. Punk says he is afraid of his own potential.
112. He says there is one thing that can make his 432-day reign go up in smoke.
113. The crowd chants for The Rock and Punk says no, he is talking about The Shield.
114. Heyman produces a letter with the stipulation about how CM Punk loses the title if The Shield gets involved in the match.
115. Punk calls out The Shield to the ring.
116. They surround the ring, and he tells them to stay out of his way.
117. The Shield exit through the crowd and leave without incident.
118. The more Punk talks, the more I want him to beat The Rock.
119. Punk says he is the greatest of all time and this brings out The Rock.
120. Seeing The Rock on Raw and SmackDown two weeks in a row gives me hope that his title reign wouldn't be a series of messages via satellite.
121. Punk holding the title up in front of him as The Rock talks is a nice touch.
122. There was a serious editing lapse at one point during Rock's promo.
123. The Rock gives a great promo as well.
124. Randy Orton is shown backstage walking toward the ring for a match as we head to commercial.
125. The Royal Rumble commercial in the restaurant drives me nuts. I don't like it one bit.
126. Orton is facing Drew McIntyre. There was one time when people thought this would have been a World title feud by now.
127. JBL compares 3MB to the Mean Street Posse.
128. Jinder Mahal comes in and causes a DQ, but he eats an RKO for his trouble.
129. Orton hits the rope-hung DDT on D-Mac and then finishes off Slater with an RKO.
130. D-Mac makes it to his feet, and Orton hits one last RKO to end the match.
131. 3MB has been served up to a few individual superstars lately to make them look good.
132. I wonder if they will ever gain any titles as a group. It seems like a run with the tag titles under "Freebird Rules" would be interesting.
133. For those who don't know, The Fabulous Freebirds were a three-man group consisting of Michael PS Hayes, Terry Gordy and Buddy Roberts, and while they held the tag titles, they would alternate which two would defend the belts.
134. WWE did a nice job highlighting their epic feud with the Von Erich family on their WCCW DVD. I am pretty sure it is on NetFlix for those who want to check it out.
135. Antonio Cesaro is on commentary after we return from the break, and Miz makes his way out for a match.
136. Darren Young got the jobber entrance for this match.
137. I am a little surprised WWE didn't put Titus on commentary for this match.
138. Cesaro is absolutely right when he says Ric Flair attacked him from behind.
139. Young takes control of the match right off the bat and gets a near fall.
140. Cesaro puts over the Swiss education system while Miz reverses momentum following a chop from Young in the corner.
141. Miz hits his running corner clothesline and then goes up top for a double axe handle.
142. Young avoids the Skull Crushing Finale, but Miz ends up locking in the Figure Four and gets the submission victory.
143. He didn't botch it this week. Progress.
144. Cesaro waves the American flag while Miz celebrates a victory.
145. We get a replay of the end of The Rock's promo from 15 minutes ago.
146. Del Rio is out first after the break for the main event elimination match.
147. Code and Del Rio start things off, and they trade some holds until Cody backs Del Rio into the corner.
148. Del Rio comes off the ropes and hits a rolling headscissors.
149. Rhodes makes his way to the corner and tags Sandow.
150. Del Rio tags in Bryan and Bryan puts Sandow's face into the turnbuckle with a drop-toe hold.
151. Bryan tags in Kane, who hits a low dropkick to Sandow.
152. Sandow gets hit with a Chokeslam out of nowhere, and he is the first man eliminated.
153. Big Show comes in and Kane takes him into the corner and hits some clotheslines.
154. He follows up with a big DDT for a near fall on Show.
155. Kane goes up top and hits a flying clothesline before taking himself and Big Show over the top rope with a clothesline.
156. Big Show hits the KO Punch to Kane on the outside and Kane gets counted out, which gives Show a chance to prove he can keep someone down for a 10-count with his finisher.
157. Bryan and BIg Show end up in the ring together and Bryan avoids a chokeslam by kicking Show in the leg over and over.
158. Bryan leaps off the top rope into a chest chop.
159. Bryan skins the cat only to get hit with the KO punch and knocked right out of the ring.
160. Big Show counts to 10 with the ref as Bryan gets counted out as well.
161. Del Rio looks a little concerned as he now has to face Show and Rhodes.
162. Del Rio comes in hot and gets caught with a Chokeslam.
163. He rolls out of the ring and Show counts along with the ref again.
164. Del Rio makes it back in the ring, and then he rolls back out so the ref has to restart the count.
165. Show goes outside the ring and rolls Del Rio back in.
166. Del Rio hits Show with a few nasty kicks to knock him off the apron, and now the ref is counting him out.
167. Show gets counted out, and Rhodes comes in and tries to roll up Del Rio for a near fall.
168. He knocks Del Rio's teeth down his throat with a dropkick and then proceeds to stomp away at the World champion.
169. Cody misses a Disaster Kick, and Del Rio starts building a head of steam.
170. Del Rio hits a running side kick for a close two count.
171. Del Rio hits the running Enzuigiri in the corner and gets the pin for the win.
172. I like that Rhodes made it to the end with Del Rio.
173. Big Show comes in and spears Del Rio out of his boots to end his celebration early.
174. Show orders the commentators to move away from the table, and then he grabs Del Rio and hits the KO punch before burying him under the table.
175. He counts to 10 as Del Rio lay under the table.
176. He counts to 10 in Spanish to prove his point again.
177. Why did it seem like Show had a harder time lifting the table than Del Rio did?
178. Overall, this was a pretty good show.
179. We got a couple decent matches and some good promos from Punk and Rock to send us into the Rumble on Sunday.
180. The worst segment of the night was the Divas match simply because there were too many people on commentary and no crowd response to what was happening in the ring.
181. Make sure to come back on Sunday and join me as I cover The Royal Rumble here on Bleacher Report.
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