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 show.
1. The show opens with a video package looking at Kofi Kingston's US title win.
2. Antonio Cesaro gives an interview backstage about his rematch with Kofi tonight.
3. I like the addition of the beret and aviators to his attire. It gives him a very "Foreign heel" look. He reminds of Jeaques Rougeau a little bit.
4. Thank God there is no yodeling from Cesaro on his way to the ring.
5. The bell rings and they immediately start trading holds and counters.
6. Kofi and Cesaro are improvising a little from the looks of it.
7. The crowd chants for Kofi as he takes down Cesaro by the leg for a two count.
8. The first few minutes are all wrestling, no strikes or Irish whips of any kind.
9. Kofi gets yanked down to the mat by the hair to give Cesaro the advantage.
10. Cesaro catches Kofi in the middle of a leap frog and slams him down, and then without letting go he gets back up and hits the delayed gutwrench.
11. Kofi comes back with a headscissor takedown and a springboard splash for a two count.
12. Cesaro takes a break outside the ring right as we head to a break.
13. So far this match has been very different than I expected. Kofi is holding his own in the mat-wrestling department against Cesaro.
14. Cesaro is in control when we return, hitting a big European uppercut for a two count.
15. Cesaro hits a double-underhook suplex for another near-fall.
16. Kofi gets on a roll and hits some of his signatures, but Cesaro is able to roll out of the ring before Kofi can hit the Trouble in Paradise.
17. Cesaro pulls Kofi down on the ropes and Kofi's leg gets wrapped up, giving Cesaro a target.
18. Kofi ends up hitting the SOS for a two count.
19. The crowd is really into this match now.
20. Cesaro hits a Michinoku Driver out of nowhere for another close two count.
21. Cesaro hits a running uppercut in the corner and still can't get the three count.
22. He grabs Kofi around the waist and picks him up, but Kofi rolls it into a pinning combination, which Cesaro counters for yet another near-fall.
23. We head to another break as Cesaro yells at the ref.
24. This is turning into one hell of a match.
25. We return to see Kofi turn things around and send Cesaro out of the ring.
26. Kofi jumps over the top rope and gives Cesaro a huricanrana into the steel steps.
27. Cesaro catches Kofi in midair, but Kofi is able to roll him up for a near-fall after Cesaro has trouble getting Kofi up to his shoulder.
28. Cesaro answers back with a huge uppercut and then a jumping stomp to the bad leg of Kofi.
29. Kofi gets rolled over into a half Boston Crab.
30. Kofi manages to escape and tries for the TIP, but he gets caught.
31. Cesaro grabs him by one leg and hits half a Giant Swing before locking in the half Crab again.
32. Wow! Cesaro gets on the middle rope and superplexes Kofi into the ring from down on the apron.
33. That is pure power.
34. Cesaro hits a scoop slam and another jumping stomp for a two count.
35. He goes right back to Kofi's leg with a half Boston Crab.
36. Kofi manages to break free, but Cesaro comes right at him with a dropkick to the face.
37. Cesaro tries for the Neutralizer, but Kofi breaks free and hits the TIP to the back of Cesaro's head for the pin and the win.
38. That was an incredible match.
39. I can honestly say that this is probably the best match in Kofi's career.
40. There were so many things and little details during the match that really made this a fun encounter.
41. Matt Striker asks Kofi how it feels to be US champion again and Kofi talks about his new baby and being proud to be champion.
42. I wonder if Kofi's baby will grow up with a Jamaican accent until he hits puberty, and then inexplicably have no accent?
43. Then Triple H will make fun of him for it.
44. I only wish Cesaro and Kofi had been given the chance to have that match in front of a bigger audience like Raw.
45. Kofi is shown backstage after the break and Cesaro runs into him and attacks him.
46. He rips a couple of Kofi's braids out of his head before leaving.
47. I know it was fake, but seeing someone have a huge clump of hair torn off their head is always a little unsettling.
48. After several recap videos, we get Heath Slater vs. Justin Gabriel.
49. I really like the trailer for the Mick Foley DVD they show. I might have to pick that set up.
50. Foley seems like one of the most genuinely interesting people on the planet. If you have never had a chance to listen to the interview he gave to Chris Hardwick on his Nerdist Podcast, I suggest you check it out. It is over an hour of funny stories and Foley plugging all his projects.
51. To think of the kind of damage he did to himself and to see how sharp and witty he still is really is amazing.
52. Former tag team champions square off after the bell.
53. Gabriel hits a couple armdrags and then mocks 3MB by playing air-guitar.
54. Did JBL really just say "Slater is nuttier than a pet coon"?
55. Slater tries to fight back, but he keeps getting taken down by Gabriel.
56. JBL talking about Drew McIntyre: "I tried to talk to him the other day and I had to leave while I could still read."
57. Gabriel and Slater keep up a quick pace and end up having some good exchanges.
58. The ref boots D-Mac and Mahal from ringside when they try to get in the ring.
59. We head to a break with Gabriel in control.
60. Gabriel and Slater are clearly trying not to disappoint after that awesome match between Kofi and Cesaro.
61. They are going back and forth, barely taking any time to rest and hitting a variety of moves.
62. None of this changes the fact that Slater looks like a combination of Budnick from Salute Your Shorts and the lead singer of Danger Danger.
63. Gabriel ends up winning a pretty good match with the 450 Splash to send the crowd home happy.
64. This was a great show. Both matches were entertaining, with the US title match becoming an instant classic.
65. This is how WWE should make use of this hour every week.
66. After the standard recap video, Ryback comes out to kick off the show.
67. Either WWE is editing in this reaction or his heel turn is going really well.
68. Ryback gives a little promo about John Cena before Daniel Bryan comes out to face him.
69. Kane is not by his side tonight, which is surprising given how Ryback walked out on both of them on Monday.
70. Bryan starts off with some kicks to the leg of Ryback as he uses his quickness to avoid the big man.
71. Ryback finally hits a kick to the gut, but he telegraphs a back drop and Bryan takes advantage.
72. Ryback uses his power to stop any momentum Bryan tries to build.
73. Bryan uses his speed to bait Ryback into going outside the ring and then hitting him with a suicide dive.
74. Bryan keeps going back to the leg of Ryback with kicks any time he gets a chance.
75. Ryback presses Bryan above his head and throws him outside the ring as we head to a break.
76. If anyone can make Ryback look good, it's Daniel Bryan.
77. Guys like Bryan and Ziggler are both gifted and cursed in that way. They can always make someone else look awesome, which is usually what they are used for.
78. We return to see Ryback continuing to control the match.
79. Ryback does a move where he spins Bryan from one shoulder to another before slamming him and it looks really impressive.
80. Bryan comes back and he keeps hitting kicks to the leg.
81. Ryback tries for a Thesz Press and Bryan counters into a half Boston Crab.
82. Bryan starts to build a head of steam with some of his signature moves.
83. He ties Ryback's leg up in the rope and then dropkicks it.
84. Bryan hits a huge dropkick from the top rope for a close two count.
85. Ryback catches Bryan during a kick to lift him for a powerbomb, and they both end up going over the top rope.
86. Bryan comes off the apron and Ryback catches him and runs him into the steel ring post.
87. Ryback hits two powerbombs before lining up and nailing the Meat Hook.
88. He hits Bryan with the Shell Shocked for the pin and the win.
89. That was Ryback's best match. I actually enjoyed the whole thing.
90. I am curious to see if The Shield challenge for the Tag titles and which two it would be going after them. I predict it would be Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins, but any combo of the three would work.
91. What is the name of the new backstage interview girl Ricardo Rodriguez just stole a kiss from?
92. Zack Ryder faces Fandango after the break. The crowd seems pretty into doing the Fandango dance.
93. Josh Mathews can be so random. He just said Ryder had more Twitter followers than Hayden Panettiere and Robert Griffin III. How is that even a comparison?
94. Ryder looks like he just said "Screw it" and dumped the whole bottle of oil on himself, judging from how shiny he is.
95. Ryder and Fandango trade offense throughout the match.
96. Mathews actually mentions how Ryder is trying to be a little more serious lately, but Cole and JBL don't think it's worth talking about.
97. Fandango gets a quick win over Ryder with the diving leg drop.
98. He says his name into the mic before leaving with Summer Rae.
99. Kaitlyn is backstage with some roses and she explains to Natalya how she got them from the same secret admirer that sent her the spiked hat.
100. Khali tries to pass on some words of wisdom and it doesn't work so well.
101. Natalya seems to think it went great. What the hell is up with this pairing? Why put them together if they are never going to have any feuds or storylines?
102. Cole tells us that it's Renee Young I was asking about earlier.
103. Zeb Colter calls her Ronda and it looks like she tries not to laugh.
104. Ricky is facing Colter after the break. He comes out wearing his best Hammer pants.
105. Ziggler is on commentary for this one.
106. Nice. Ziggler compares Colter to Ivo "Eggman" Robotnik from Sonic the Hedgehog. Great video game reference.
107. Swagger gets involved and Ricky wins the match by DQ.
108. Teddy Long comes out and makes it into a tag match. Classic Teddy.
109. We return to see the match in progress, with Swagger in control of Ricky.
110. Swagger runs into the ring post when Ricky moves and Del Rio gets the hot tag.
111. Ziggler rips into Cole for asking what his nickname was instead of calling the match. I love it.
112. Ziggler and Langston invade the match and cause a no contest.
113. Teddy comes out again and turns it into a Triple Threat Tag Team match.
114. Well, that's a little different.
115. Ziggler gets beat on by Ricky and Del Rio for the first few minutes.
116. Langston comes in off the tag and proceeds to rip Alberto Del Rio apart.
117. Ziggler takes a hard hit when he misses a splash in the corner.
118. Del Rio builds some momentum and he takes out everyone in the match.
119. Del Rio ends up in the ring with Colter, but Ziggler makes the save with a jumping DDT.
120. Ricky saves Del Rio from being pinned, but he ends up being flattened by Langston.
121. Swagger takes out Langston before he gets a kick to the head from Del Rio.
122. Del Rio ends up getting Ziggler to tap to the Cross Armbreaker to give he and Ricardo Rodriguez the pin and the win.
123. We hear someone being beaten up off camera and then The Shield pick up the camera and deliver a promo about Kane.
124. After the promo we see it was Daniel Bryan they were beating up.
125. Bryan is shown being helped by some officials after the break.
126. We go back to the ring and Randy Orton makes his way out to a huge pop.
127. Damien Sandow comes out without his best friend by his side.
128. Sandow has some very shiny trunks on to keep with his trend of unusual attire choices.
129. Is it me or does Orton look a lot younger with his hair grown out like it is?
130. Sandow takes control of the match early on and he keeps Orton grounded.
131. Orton gets in a little offense, but Sandow sends him off the apron into the barricade as we head to a break.
132. If Orton hadn't already defeated Sandow numerous times, I would be more excited about this match.
133. Sandow hits a DDT for a two count when we return.
134. Sandow pulls down his elbow pad before hitting two Elbow of Disdains for a near-fall.
135. Orton hits a dropkick to take back control of the match.
136. After a rope-hung DDT we see Orton nail the RKO to get the pin and the win.
137. Big Show comes out and runs down Orton for losing the match at WrestleMania.
138. Sandow attacks Orton and hits his finisher while Big Show laughs like a cartoon villain.
139. Matt Striker asks Kane for an update on Bryan and Kane says he is going to make The Shield pay for what they have done to Undertaker and Bryan.
140. Kane says he knows this is a no-win situation for him, but he will take down as many of them as he can in the process.
141. Kane is really underrated on the mic. He is always on point in his promos.
142. It's really too bad his gimmick will always place him in the shadow of The Undertaker.
143. Sheamus and Mark Henry are having an arm wrestling contest to continue Henry's streak of non-wrestling competitions.
144. Sheamus puts up a good fight, but Henry eventually wins.
145. I am shocked JBL and Cole resisted the urge to make a ton of Over The Top references during that segment.
146. Sheamus challenges Henry to use their left arms in a rematch.
147. Sheamus calls Henry "Lumpy" and almost immediately you can hear a section of the crowd start chanting "Lumpy, Lumpy."
148. Henry gets in Sheamus' face when he calls him a coward and he ends up accepting the challenge.
149. Sheamus takes a cheap shot right as the ref starts the match and then he hits a Brogue Kick to end the segment.
150. I like when babyfaces take cheap shots from time to time.
151. Now I want to go watch Over The Top. Fun Fact, Terry Funk is in that movie.
152. The Shield make their way out after the break.
153. Roman Reigns has Bryan's Tag title with him as Ambrose prepares to face Kane.
154. Kane goes after all three members of The Shield right from the get-go.
155. He takes out Reigns and Rollins before the bell and then he goes to work on Ambrose once the bell rings.
156. Kane controls the match through the first break.
157. We return to see Ambrose working over the leg of Kane.
158. Ambrose does some damage to Kane's leg around the ring post.
159. Kane catches Ambrose on the top rope and he sends him flying across the ring.
160. Kane starts to build some momentum as he hits the clothesline from the top rope.
161. I really like the way Rollins and Ambrose are participating from the outside with instructions.
162. Kane hits the Chokeslam to Ambrose, but he doesn't make the cover.
163. Kane calls for the Tombstone, but he gets distracted by Rollins on the apron.
164. Kane kicks Rollins from the apron to the announce table and then he throws Reigns into the steel steps.
165. Ambrose ends up hitting what must be his finisher when Kane gets back in the ring, and he pins the Big Red Monster.
166. After the match The Shield regroup on the outside and Kane actually seems to challenge them to try and take him on.
167. He actually survives the first wave of attacks, but they surround the ring and gang up on him.
168. Kane fights them off when they try to hit the Triple Powerbomb, but Reigns hits him with a Spear to take him back down.
169. They hit the Triple Powerbomb on the second attempt and then Ambrose goes and gets both tag titles.
170. He and Rollins each hold one, which could indicate which duo would take on Team Hell No in a title match.
171. The show ends with The Shield standing tall over Kane.
172. This was a solid show, but it felt like the segments involving Ziggler, Swagger and Del Rio went on for too long.
173. JBL was great on commentary, which made the slower segments seem better.
174. The match of the week has to go to Kofi and Cesaro on Main Event. They both pulled out all the stops in that one.
175. Ryback had his best match to date against Daniel Bryan, and Kane managing to give The Shield a run for their money was a nice change of pace.
176. This week's "Blast from the Past" match is one that features two icons from both WWE and WCW having a match on Raw.
177. Kevin Nash and Scott Hall were rivals long before they were the founders of the NWO, and this match is just one of their encounters in the then-WWF.
178. This match took place almost 20 years ago when both men were in the best shape of their careers.
179. I hope Scott Hall is doing well following his surgery and I hope you enjoy watching (or re-watching) this week's "Blast From the Past" match.
On a final note, I am not someone who normally listens to podcasts, but Chris Hardwick has done three of the best interviews with wrestlers I have ever heard, and they talk very little about wrestling during any of the interviews. Here are links to the interviews with CM Punk and Chris Jericho. Mick Foley's interview is in the video featured above.
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