Smackdown Review 2/15/13
Written by Ross Jarvis
Decent segment to start the show, with Chris Jericho coming out to interrupt the Big Show before Booker T makes a match between them for later in the night. Big Show has been more aggressive in recent weeks, which has definitely helped with his promos, and Jericho continues the rock star thing with another super long EVERRRR. The mentioning of the history between them in Jeri-Show was a nice touch as well, although the fact that Jericho keeps claiming to everyone that he will win the Chamber match probably means he won’t.
Nice Hall of Pain promo, very similar to the one they used when he was World Heavyweight Champion. I’m glad they have brought him back as exactly the same character, his last run before he was injured as a dominant heel was definitely the best we have seen of Mark Henry, and long may it continue.
JBL continuing to shit on Josh Matthews this week, although it has to be said, he makes it easy for JBL with the continuous little mistakes he makes on commentary.
Good match between Randy Orton and Mark Henry, with both competitors getting their usual offense in. Ending the match by disqualification made sense too, as both need momentum heading into Elimination Chamber; Randy Orton can’t really afford another loss to Mark Henry and a loss for Henry would be detrimental since he has only just returned and is booked as a monster so shouldn’t lose very often. Thus, his post-match attack on The Viper after being hit with a steel chair allowed him to continue his dominant ways.
Effective promo from Mark Henry backstage after his match, mentioning the Elimination Chamber match and how dominant he is going to be, as well as the Hall of Pain. Maybe he could have hit the world’s strongest slam on Matt Striker for good measure, or perhaps that is just wishful thinking on my part.
Average match between Tamina and Layla, with Tamina picking up the victory to give her momentum somewhat heading into her Divas Championship match at Elimination Chamber. Quite a few of the moves in the match didn’t come off and the timing was also out on numerous occasions, but at least it lasted almost 5 minutes, which is longer than most Divas matches of late. Not sure why Kaitlyn couldn’t have been at ringside for the contest rather than watching backstage, since this was the only build to the Championship match, perhaps she could have been on commentary to attempt to plug the match a little better since little thought goes into the Divas division nowadays.
Excellent promo between The Rock and CM Punk, especially considering that Punk was ‘via satellite’ which must make it harder to have a good back and forth. The fact that The Rock didn’t come out with his belt was a nice touch too, storyline consistency is often a problem with the WWE but they played that well. The Rock was better than on Monday night, getting straight to the main points and losing most of the comedy than often makes his promos seem less serious than Punk’s. CM Punk was his usual self; delivering a brilliant promo and making the added stipulation feel important. The likelihood of him trying to get The Rock disqualified a la Wrestlemania with Chris Jericho but the other way around seems likely after the promo too, which will add another dimension to what should be a great match at Elimination Chamber.
Standard short match involving 3MB, with the team of Brodus Clay and Tensai picking up the win. 3MB managed to get some offense in, however the outcome of the match was never in any doubt, since its main purpose was to promote the YouTube pre-show for Elimination Chamber involving Rhodes Scholars against Clay and Tensai. As to why Rhodes Scholars are teaming together again for one show is beyond me, as is why Tensai and Brodus Clay are both have this same dancing gimmick, when they should be booked as unstoppable monsters. At least it keeps them relevant for the time being though.
The Shield came out after the conclusion of the match, obviously under the impression that Tensai and Clay’s current gimmicks are an injustice, a view shared by JBL on commentary. The powerbomb by Roman Reigns on Brodus Clay was pretty impressive in terms of a feat of strength. Dean Ambrose cut a short and effective promo after the attack, once again showing off his impressive mic work, and plugging Sunday’s tag match against Cena, Sheamus and Ryback.
Another match between Cody Rhodes and The Miz, this time ending with victory for The Miz via the figure four leg lock. The decision to let The Miz pick up the victory was a strange one, especially as a big deal was made of the injury to his shoulder, which was bandaged up, and shows that Cody Rhodes is due a main event push any time soon. It also gives The Miz some momentum heading into his US Championship match at Elimination Chamber, although Cesaro is still expected to defeat him, with this victory serving to cast a slight doubt in our mind about the outcome of the match.
Quick squash match involving Jack Swagger defeating Zack Ryder, who was joined once again by Zeb Colter. It was very similar to their match on Raw in that Zack managed to get a little offense in at the start of the match but it made Swagger look strong and gives him momentum heading into the Chamber match. Zeb Colter’s role as Swagger’s manager showed its importance after the match, as he delivered an excellent promo, getting a strong reaction from the crowd and gaining heat for himself and more importantly, Swagger.
Relatively pointless backstage segment with Ricardo using the Mexican Yes chant of Sí to answer Del Rio’s questions of what is going to happen at Elimination Chamber. Haven’t heard Daniel Bryan use it recently, so I suppose WWE had to put it in somewhere this week.
Good match to end the show, of reasonable length, with Jericho managing to show the technical side of his wrestling whilst also portraying Big Show’s dominance well. Jericho was never likely to win the match, but it doesn’t harm his momentum massively, and Big Show needed a win and to look strong heading into his championship match with Del Rio. Great ending to the match with the Knockout Punch coming out of nowhere, which shows how quickly Show could regain the WHC on Sunday.