Saturday 14 April 2012

SmackTalk 13.04.12

With this week’s SmackDown being billed as a Blast From The Past it would have been very easy for WWE to overload on nonsensical skits and forget about their regular performers. Thankfully that didn’t happen. The Legends’ (yep, WWE uses a capital L when referring to its retired performers) involvement was kept to a minimum, most of them acting as filler in backstage segments rather than monopolising the show. That was the right thing to do.

The central Legend of the show was ‘Rowdy’ Roddy Piper. As you’ll read during my tweets I’ve never been a massive fan of ‘Hotrod’. That could stem from him having been long gone from the WWF by the time I started watching in the late nineties. Although it can’t help that I’ve only ever experienced him returning to WWE occasionally and that he’s never really elevated anyone on the roster. I find it hard to find a reason to like him.

His contribution to the show was Piper’s Pit (that’s an interview in front of the crowd with the ring decked out in tartan). That turned out better than expected, thanks mainly to Piper’s guest: Daniel Bryan. At the start of the segment the former ROH world champion received cheers and chants of “Yes!” which he did nothing to discourage. There was no point trying to force the audience into booing him early on: it clearly wouldn’t have worked. Bryan took the smart approach and let them realise for themselves that he’s not playing a nice guy and they turned on him quickly enough.

Piper’s Pit was the best thing on the show as it got Bryan over as the heel and furthered the breakup storyline between him and AJ. It was also announced that Bryan will receive his rematch for the World Heavyweight championship at Extreme Rules in a decidedly un-extreme two-out-of three falls match. The twist (revealed during the show’s opening segment) is that Sheamus will be fired if he lays his hands on a WWE official (because of his actions on last week’s show). That could indicate a title change or loss of a fall for Sheamus but it’s too early to be sure.

The Kane v Orton feud rumbled on. It’s still ridiculous and a waste of time but WWE is going to see it through so there’s no point complaining about it. At least Kane seems to understand that it’s not the liveliest feud ever and is attempting to envigorate things up with hammy acting. It’s appreciated, Glenn.

The final thing worthy of mention is the use of Heath Slater. After months of aimless drifting ‘The One Man Rock Band’ may have found his niche as a comedic pseudo-tweener foil to Tyson Kidd’s babyface straight man. Their brief interaction backstage on SuperSmackDown was enjoyable for WWE’s mid-card. I hope the writing team noticed and keep the two together as a regular combo. It’s the best work I’ve seen Slater do in his two years on TV and it will get Tyson Kidd more television time. Two birds. One stone.

Opening segment, featuring Sheamus, John Laurinaitis and Mean Gene Okerlund

Tweet 1: SuperSmackDown Blast From The Past starring Hillbilly Jim. There's no way THIS can go wrong.
Tweet 2: Bryan and AJ's breakup was just referred to as "devastating and shocking". Hilarity is ensuing.
Tweet 3: Mean Gene opening the show! Let me tell you something, brother...
Tweet 4: Sheamus is one of Gene's favourites. That'll get the champion over.
Tweet 5: "Thank you, Mean Gene. It's an absolute honour to be in the ring with a legend such as yourself." That's not how you address, Gene...
Tweet 6: You should ALWAYS start with either "Let me tell you something, brother" or...
Tweet 8: Anyway... Sheamus was just apologising for kicking a referee in the face and now John Laurinaitis has joined him.
Tweet 9: There were chants for Daniel Bryan as Sheamus was talking.
Tweet 10: Ricardo Rodriguez is brilliant.
Tweet 11: Sheamus gets fired if he touches a referee. Just don't touch a ref then. Simple.
Tweet 12: Sheamus gets fined half a million dollars. Course he does.
Tweet 13: Mean Gene wrestling on this show will be painful.

John Laurinaitis is not a Sheamus fan

Kane v Randy Orton

Tweet 14: Randy Orton saunters to the ring looking like a baby oiled reprobate.
Tweet 15: Orton v Henry. This match happened on pay-per-view twice last year. Henry won clean. His push has slowed down since then.
Tweet 16: If this is a Blast From The Past episode then shouldn't there be some old school commentators? How about Jim Ross and Mick Foley? Or JBL?
Tweet 17: As you may have gathered the match isn't really holding my interest.
Tweet 18: I like the idea of Mark Henry and Booker T talking about championships backstage.
Tweet 19: I have JUST realised that the Mark Henry v CM Punk match they're talking about will main event the RAW I'm seeing. I'll enjoy that.
Tweet 20: Where's Abraham Washington? Click here.

Kane and randy Orton’s surreal backstage shenanigans

Tweet 21: Oh no. Kane's pyro and music. And now Kane's going to cut one of his legendarily terrible promos on the Titantron!
Tweet 22: Kane has attacked 'Cowboy' Bob backstage. How villainous!
Tweet 23: Orton struggled to open some door handles there. He should've RKO'd them.
Tweet 24: "I'm a sucker for family reunions" - Kane, having just attacked Bob and Randy Orton backstage
Tweet 25: That Kane line took the Kane v Orton rivalry even further into the realms of unmitigated lunacy.
Tweet 26: How much will Kane’s fine be?
Tweet 27: "That was just... a blast!" - Booker T, somehow making the nonsense worse

Ryback v Benny Camer

Tweet 28: Benny Camer promo time is interrupted by Ryback. If he carries on like this Ryback is going to get some serious heat.
Tweet 29: Pat Patterson enjoyed that showing from the muscular youngster.

Heath Slater and Tyson Kidd v The Usos

Tweet 30: #HeathSlatercomedysegment
Tweet 31: I think the Tyson Kidd and Heath Slater pairing could work if they got vignettes like that every week. Slater actually works as a babyface foil.
Tweet 32: Mick Foley doing commentary. No reason has been given but why not?
Tweet 33: I like Jimmy Hart being at ringside. I'm not so keen on the Usos green trunks...
Tweet 34: Jimmy Hart talking about being the best manager ever. He's not. That's Bobby Heenan.
Tweet 35: The Usos win by pinning Slater after an elevated Samoan drop and a top rope splash. Took a lot to keep him down.
Tweet 36: Mick Foley looks like he's been volunteering at a soup kitchen.

Piper’s Pit with Daniel Bryan and AJ

Tweet 37: Piper's Pit. I've never been a huge fan of Piper.
Tweet 38: "Roddy looks great," says Michael Cole. He doesn't.
Tweet 39: I want Bryan to refer to AJ as a succubus.
Tweet 40: Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes!
Tweet 41: YES!!
Tweet 42: I love the "Yes!" chants. Click here.
Tweet 43: Bryan v Sheamus in a two-out-of-three falls match at Extreme Rules. That's an extreme stipulation right there.
Tweet 44: Bryan needs to stiff AJ with an elbow as she comes through the ropes.
Tweet 45: She's getting light boos. AJ comes across as whiney. Very few people will cheer her over Bryan.
Tweet 46: "I've been watching you since your debut" - Roddy Piper to AJ
Tweet 47: Daniel Bryan. Heel extraordinaire.
Tweet 48: I can see the Sheamus v Bryan match going to Bryan after Sheamus gets DQed on the third fall.
Tweet 49: Bryan bitch-slapping Roddy Piper? Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes!

The Great Khali, Natalya and Alicia Fox v Drew McIntyre, Brie Bella and Nikki Bella

Tweet 50: Great Khali dancing? Really?
Tweet 51: This show has been noticeably light on Blasts From The Past so far.
Tweet 52: Alicia Fox pins a Bella. It doesn't matter which one. They're interchangeable.
Tweet 53: Yeah, that was a great use of Natalya.
Tweet 54: Mae Young. Michael Cole gets in early with an age gag. It was probably supplied by Jerry Lawler.

Damien Sandow, a RAW recap and Sheamus and Mean Gene in a locker room

Tweet 55: The Damien Sandow gimmick is just good enough for me to overlook the fact that he looks like Sylvester Terkay.
Tweet 56: The "You're welcome" catchphrase is a nice heel touch.
Tweet 57: RAW footage. I wonder if Triple H tries to enforce the WWE dress code with Lesnar.
Tweet 58: Mixed reaction for Cena. What a shock.
Tweet 59: David Otunga is ridiculous. #Otungapose
Tweet 60: "How can you smile?" - Mean Gene to Sheamus (while smiling)
Tweet 61: There was something sinister about Sheamus putting his arm around Gene there...

Hunico v ‘Hacksaw’ Jim Duggan

Tweet 62: Hunico on a bike!!
Tweet 63: Hunico on the mic!!
Tweet 64: Hunico is cutting a promo about people not caring about legends. That means he'll lose to Jim Duggan.
Tweet 65: Sergeant Slaughter has pretty cool entrance music.
Tweet 66: Hunico jobs to Duggan, Slaughter and a piece of wood. Brilliant.
Tweet 67:  The highlight of that segment was Cole's comment about Slaughter being "straight from World War One."

Cody Rhodes promo

Tweet 68: Cody's right. We should look forward to him being IC champion again.
Tweet 69: Dusty Rhodes interrupting Cody Rhodes. Last time he appeared on WWE TV he turned heel on Mysterio. That won't be referenced.
Tweet 70: #eefyooweel
Tweet 71: 'Dashing' Cody Rhodes was a great gimmick. I enjoyed seeing that clip again.
Tweet 72: That was a peculiar segment. The commentary team didn't know what to make of it either.

Father and son

Daniel Bryan and Alberto Del Rio v Sheamus and Mean Gene Okerlund

Tweet 73: Aberdeen, Washington. Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes!
Tweet 74: Ricardo Rodriguez time…
Tweet 75: Albertooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo Del Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiioooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!
Tweet 76: Did I just hear that Extreme Rules is going to be in Chicago? If that's right then I predict that Bryan will get heavy cheers.
Tweet 77: #Finkelpop
Tweet 78: Anyone else the bizarre Howard Finkel heel turn on Lilian Garcia and Trish Stratus?
Tweet 79: "They have till a five count" - Michael Cole on Alberto Del Rio and Daniel Bryan #Ihavetillfive
Tweet 80: Roddy Piper is clearly going to come out.
Tweet 81: Not just Piper but a whole bundle of old-timers.
Tweet 82: Even the commentary team laugh at Pat Patterson.
Tweet 83: Ricardo taking bumps from everyone is a solid end to the show.
Tweet 84: Scratch that. It was topped by Sheamus hugging Patterson and smacking him on the backside. Suddenly this World title reign makes sense.

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