WWE SmackDown opened with Alberto Del Rio pacing in the parking lot. He was holding what looked like a lead pipe and was waiting for The Big Show.
There hasn’t been a really good parking lot brawl in a long time, so I hope this turns into something intense and exciting.
In the ring, general manager Booker T was with Teddy Long. He announced that Team Hell No, Randy Orton, Sheamus, The Great Khali and Dolph Ziggler would be competing to see if they could impress Booker enough to enter into the Elimination Chamber.
That brought out a returning Jack Swagger, who wanted in on the action. Ziggler then declared that he wanted nothing to do with the Chamber since he had his Money in the Bank briefcase, so Booker put him in a match with Del Rio instead.
Well this was certainly different than the usual SmackDown opening segment. Most of the time they end with Booker making a tag team main event, but this time around, singles competition will be getting the spotlight.
It’s good to see Swagger back. It’s been far too long since he’s been around. He’ll add some much-needed depth in the main event scene on SmackDown, or the midcard if that’s where he ends up.
Team Hell No vs. Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara
Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara picked up the victory here after Mysterio hit the 619/Dropping the Dime combination on Daniel Bryan. This was a good tag team match right here. It featured solid back-and-forth action as both teams performed very well.
It’s good to see both Mysterio and Sin Cara back, especially as a team. They’ve been gone for so long that I forgot how well they work together. Mysterio alone was great in this match. He was quicker than he usually is these days and seemed at the top of his game.
I wonder if this victory will lead to Team Hell No having to defend their WWE Tag Team Championship against Mysterio and Cara. With the champions still arguing about what seems like everything, their team won’t be lasting much longer.
I figured that Team Rhodes Scholars would take the belts from them, but I was wrong. Perhaps Mysterio and Cara are the ones to take the belts from Team Hell No, and then go onto WrestleMania to face each other much like Mysterio and Eddie Guerrero did at WrestleMania 21 when they were champions.
The Great Khali vs. Jinder Mahal
The Great Khali picked up the win here after hitting the Punjabi Plunge on Jinder Mahal. He also took out Drew McIntyre while Heath Slater was busy chasing Hornswoggle under the ring. This was the typical Khali match that saw Mahal get in a few shots before Khali beat him.
I really hope that Khali doesn’t make it into the Elimination Chamber match. There are much more deserving Superstars than him. I give Khali props for still getting into the ring despite barely being able to walk, but to me, he’s just not a believable WrestleMania opponent for the World heavyweight champion.
If WWE is set on putting former World champions in the match, then please just put in another former champion.
After the match, Booker T told Teddy Long that Khali looked impressive in the match. That turned into Teddy telling him that it was his idea to bring back Swagger, but before Booker could really respond, Team Rhodes Scholars walked in.
They announced that they were breaking up, and that lead to Booker putting Damien Sandow in a match against Sheamus. I am saddened by the breakup of Sandow and Cody Rhodes.
They made such a great tag team. At the same time, it may be good that they go their separate ways. The main event scene in WWE needs some fresh faces, and both of them would make great additions if built up right.
Sheamus vs. Damien Sandow
The match ended in a no-contest after The Shield’s music hit and Sandow just ran off. Sheamus stayed in the ring, which resulted in a Brogue Kick for Seth Rollins, but an overall beatdown for the Celtic Warrior.
The match was going pretty well until it was stopped due to The Shield. I enjoyed their Tables match on Raw, so I was looking forward to see what they could do in a regular singles match. Unfortunately, they didn’t get to have a definitive finish.
I am starting to grow bored with The Shield. It’s the same thing every week, and they have the same targets. Now that it’s been revealed that Paul Heyman and CM Punk have been paying them, what does that do to the whole “fighting injustice” storyline?
I think it kind of cancels it all out, unless they were doing what they said and were just helping Punk and Heyman as a side project. I wish they’d speak up more often. At least that way they’d be doing something other than attacking Sheamus, Ryback and John Cena.
Randy Orton vs. Wade Barrett
Randy Orton would defeat the intercontinental champion in this match after an RKO. This match was a solid contest, but it’s one I’ve seen so many times. I’ve lost count of how many times Orton and Barrett have faced off.
The Viper seems to have a set amount of people that he faces. Barrett is one of those Superstars, while Antonio Cesaro seems to be another one. He and Barrett always deliver in their matches, but I would like to see something different for a change.
Thankfully Barrett looks to be starting a feud with Bo Dallas, while Orton may be getting back into the World Championship picture. Their paths will most likely cross again, but hopefully not until one of them has the World Heavyweight Championship.
After the match, Matt Striker tried to interview Barrett backstage. The interview was cut short when Barrett noticed Dallas standing nearby. He ran over to him, beat down the NXT Superstar and then walked away.
I am so glad that Barrett finally has a feud over his Intercontinental Championship. Well, it’s not over the title yet, but it most likely will be. He hasn’t really had a feud since beating Kofi Kingston, so it’s great to see him finally have one.
Win or lose, this is going to elevate Bo Dallas in a big way. It’s good to see WWE bringing in NXT wrestlers. There’s a lot of talent on that roster, and it’s time the fans get to see some of it.
Jack Swagger vs. Kofi Kingston
In his return match, Jack Swagger defeated Kofi Kingston with the Ankle Lock. I thought that this was a good match, though thanks mainly to the intensity of Swagger. Kingston was his usual self, which I’m getting a bit bored with.
He is still exciting in the ring sometimes. It’s just that he tends to do the same thing every single match. He should mix it up once in a while, or maybe even turn heel. Kingston needs a fresh start.
Swagger hasn’t lost a beat in the ring. He’s just as good as he was when he left, and it’s great to see him back. I don’t think he’ll last too long in the main event, but he’ll make a strong midcarder.
I was hoping that he’d be a babyface, especially with a foreign Superstar as United States champion. Who better than to dethrone him than the All-American American? I guess WWE doesn’t see him as a good guy, which is a shame. He should at least get the chance to see if he could get over as one.
The Big Show Is Late For Work
Throughout the night, WWE showed Del Rio pacing back and forth in the parking lot waiting for The Big Show. After the Swagger/Kingston match, the former World Heavyweight champion finally showed up in his massive bus.
Del Rio quickly went on the attack, which included a broken window and The Big Show landing hard on the roof of a car. Big Show then escaped in a conveniently placed running car with nobody in it.
That was a lot less exciting than I thought it was going to be. It was intense seeing Del Rio swing a pipe at The Big Show and Big Show simply saying “Come on, man!” to try to get him to stop. Overall, though, I was hoping for the pipe to actually hit him a few times.
Alberto Del Rio vs. Dolph Ziggler
Before the match, Del Rio told Ricardo Rodriguez to stay backstage. That left Ricardo looking sad, and me thinking “Well, looks like he’ll be Big Show chow.”
In the ring, the champion defeated Ziggler here with the cross armbreaker in a good match. With solid back-and-forth action, Del Rio and Ziggler delivered a good main event for the WWE Universe. Both Superstars performed well with one another here, and that gives me hope.
Logic says that Del Rio is going into WrestleMania as the champion, and with Ziggler still holding that briefcase, it’s only a matter of time before he cashes it in on the Mexican Aristocrat. That’ll incite a feud between the two, and if this match was any indication, then a feud should be quite good, match-wise at least.
Post-match, The Big Show appeared on the titantron and ultimately knocked out Ricardo again. The roles are being reversed this time around. Heading into the Royal Rumble, Del Rio was angering The Big Show. This time, Big Show is angering Del Rio as they head into the Elimination Chamber event.
It’s good to see Big Show actually be a monster again instead of just whining.
Overall, I thought this was a solid episode of WWE SmackDown. Most of the matches delivered, while storylines were advanced nicely as well. The only thing that confused me was the Elimination Chamber participants.
Booker T said that the wrestlers in the ring during the opening segment had to impress him to get into the match, but does that mean their opponents could get into the match by impressing instead? Who are the participants?
It would have been good to see Booker or Teddy Long announce the Superstars entering into the match before the main event. I suppose we’ll just find out next week on SmackDown, but I personally don’t want to wait a week. I want to know now!
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