There were no titles changing hands or even being defended on Tuesday night's taping of SmackDown for March 22, but the folks in Cincinnati got to see plenty of chess pieces moved in major storylines.
In the continued buildup to WrestleMania XXIX, the biggest question remains who Randy Orton and Sheamus will be teaming up with when they take on The Shield. We got at least a glimpse of those answers on Tuesday evening, as the duo got a (somewhat) surprising partner for a six-man tag match main event.
Elsewhere, Fandango wasn't set to make his "debut," but we all knew he would make his presence felt somewhere. And with plenty of other big names getting into action in and out of the ring—this was a Miz-heavy show, folks—there was plenty of thrilling action to be seen.
With that in mind, here is a complete breakdown of everything that happened during Tuesday night's SmackDown taping for March 22. (Results are courtesy of WrestlingINC.com)
|Mark Henry def. Zack Ryder via pinfall|
|Dolph Ziggler def. Kofi Kingston via pinfall|
|Jack Swagger def. Chris Jericho via pinfall|
| Brodus Clay & Tensai and Team Rhodes Scholars fought to no-contest|
|The Miz def. Antonio Cesaro via submission|
|Randy Orton, Sheamus and The Big Show def. 3MB|
|Randy Orton, Sheamus and Ryback def. The Shield (Dark Match)|
Orton and Sheamus Find a Partner for WrestleMania?
Tuesday evening's festivities kicked off with a special edition of "MizTV" with Randy Orton and Sheamus. The two partners, who will face off in a six-man tag team match versus The Shield at WrestleMania XXIX, were lamenting the fact that they need a third man to head up the team.
Randy Orton, Sheamus and Big Show: Destined for greatness or destined for doom?
It had seemed that Ryback would be the man, but the status of their partnership was still very much up in the air heading into this week's SmackDown taping. While spitballing a possible third man for their team, Orton mentions The Big Show. Sheamus disapproves, noting that very few have ever teamed with The Big Show and been happy about the way it ended.
This exchange prompts The Big Show to come out and plead his case as a good partner. Seeing this entire process going nowhere, Booker T comes out and books the night's main event—Orton, Sheamus and Show versus an opponent to be named later (it turned out to be 3MB).
Completely unsure of whether to trust The Big Show, it turned out Sheamus was the one pulling the heel moves on Tuesday night.
Just when The Big Show had a member of 3MB defeated, Sheamus tagged himself into the match and scored the victory that could have belonged to his teammates. The two men got in an argument after the match, at which point The Shield came out and tried to cause a ruckus.
That caused The Big Show and Sheamus to at least stop their bickering momentarily and get into a good 'ol fashioned stare down with The Shield. That's when we faded to black, leaving open the possibility that Show and Sheamus could coexist—if only because they hate The Shield.
It's an interesting subplot, and one that certainly isn't over—especially considering Ryback's appearance in the dark match.
Fandango Strikes Again
Supposed to make his debut in the ring versus The Great Khali last week before backing out (again), Fandango continued to make his presence felt on SmackDown. This time, his target was Chris Jericho.
Attacking Jericho following his matchup with Jack Swagger, Fandango unleashed a flurry of shots on the former champion. He then went up to the top rope and came crashing down on Jericho with a vicious leg drop. Jericho lay motionless on the mat after Fandango's seemingly random and opportunistic attack.
One has to wonder where Fandango's storyline is headed. It could be that he'll have a long-term feud with Jericho and that this is the start of actually seeing the hyped-up star in action. Or it could be yet another misdirection—it's really hard to tell at this point with Fandango.
As of now, he just comes out, sneak-attacks people and then yells his name loudly into the microphone. It seems he either isn't a fully fleshed-out character in the writer's room or they're just not sure where to take him yet.
Either way, until he shows some actual in-ring skills, Fandango's best skill remains his ability to elicit a heel reaction from fans.