An FCW gets a promo package. Skip Sheffield returns as Ryback. Alberto Del Rio and Sheamus tear the house down. Yes! Yes! Yes!
They honor Chief Jay Strongbow at the start.
A “Laurinaitis Era” graphic is shown.
David Otunga comes out in a burgundy double breasted cloak. Awesome. He introduces the GM Overlord, John Laurinaitis. The music they play upon JL’s introduction is hilarious. Think royal-themed music from animated movies. JL drops the “People Power” slogan again. JL praises Teddy Long and asks him to call out so he can thank him for his years of service.
Teddy comes out to a nice pop and a HUGE Teddy chant. Teddy says he likes being unemployed because it allows him to tell JL to go to hell. Teddy says he can’t walk away from the show and it’s the greatest show he ever had in his life. He panders to the crowd and asks them for one last “holla holla holla.” Before Teddy could leave, JL says he wasn’t finished.
JL asks Teddy to take a job in his new administration. Teddy says he can take his job and shove it. JL says that he now controls the WWE college education fund for Teddy’s grandchildren. JL says that the college fund is safe if he takes the job and admits to everyone that JL is better than him. JL makes a handicap match for R-Truth against David Otunga & Mark Henry.
~ For some weird reason I like this. I like rooting for Teddy Long. If Teddy Long is now playing some of underdog against the corporation roll, than I’m all for it.
Laurinaitis is killing this roll but I have a feeling that his heat is a mixture of good “Vicky” heat and legit “X-Pac” heat. Laurinaitis fumbles over his words and his delivery is so wooden that it looks like he’s reading cue cards for every spoken sentence. The only way this pays off is if he gets RKO’d or 619′d next year at Wrestlemania. Perhaps he’ll be destroyed by 5 finishers before he gives up control of the GM Overlord position. I hope it happens.
David Otunga & Mark Henry defeat R-Truth via Otunga rolling him up after Henry’s World’s Strongest Slam
~ Decent squash for Otunga and Henry.
It’s mind blowing to think how the WWE always cuts the legs off of midcarders right when they’re beginning to break into the upper echelon. R-Truth had the whole crowd in his hand for more than a few months last year and now I fear he has been regulated back to the mid card.
They show a commercial hyping Smackdown Blast from the Past that’s airing this Tuesday. Looks interesting.
No DQ Wrestlemania Rematch
Randy Orton pins Kane via RKO
~ Good match. I would have liked it more if Kane won but oh well. Orton always gets his losses back one way or another. I liked the near finishes that started near the middle of the match. Big moves, like an RKO on the outside and a chokeslam off the stage, were teased and added a lot of drama. The Second Rope DDT was sick.
Ryback (Skip Sheffield) pins Barry Stevens via Running Torture Rack/Samoan Drop combo
Prior to the start Barry cuts a promo on Orlando. He calls them rude.
~ You gotta love seeing a Gorilla Press into a powerslam. I’m getting a Goldberg vibe from Ryback and that’s a good thing. I’m thinking they should give him the Brodus Clay treatment and have him dominate the early mid card for the next 2 months before he gets a real feud. Excellent debut. Also, I hope I see Barry Stevens again. This generation needs a new Barry O.
Daniel Bryan cuts a promo in the ring. Bryan says he finally got a chance to think and figure out where and how it all went wrong. He’s at a loss for words so AJ grabs the mic. She tries to encourage him and the whole crowd breaks out with the YES chants. They continue with a big Daniel Bryan chant. AJ says that they’re all here to support him. Bryan questions it. He says that they’re just mocking him and that they’re sheep.
Bryan blames AJ for costing him the title. Bryan says that in 18 seconds, his Royal Rumble and his Elimination Chamber successes were flushed down the toilet. He calls their Wrestlemania kiss was the kiss of death. Daniel says that he’ll never let AJ ruin his life again. He says he’s going face Sheamus by himself and he’s ready to get rid of the “dead weight.” He tells AJ that they’re through and yells at her to get out of the ring. He turns his back to her and the editors screw with the sound to make it “more” dramatic.
Big Show pins Heath Slater via Chokeslam
- Cody Rhodes sat in on commentary and had a brief staredown at the end of the match.
~ Big Show’s version of the Pounce is just scary. I like that Show didn’t have to use his number one finisher to defeat Slater. I’m thinking that Big Show wins this feud over the next few months but Cody gets put in the main event scene after.
Sheamus and John Laurinaitis are backstage in his office. JL asks Sheamus to be more professional. Sheamus promises to only give the Brogue Kick to people who deserve it.
~ Fast forward this if you’re watching this later.
Non-Title Diva’s Match
Nikki Bella defeats Beth Phoenix with an Acid Drop after Beth was distracted by Kelly
~ Damn it. I wish they took the Divas division more seriously. You can’t have Beth Phoenix appear to have a dominant, meaningful title run with matches like this.
They show a well-done video tribute to Chief Jay Strongbow. Awesome.
Here’s a promo piece for FCW standout Damien Sandow. He talks about the current state of civilization. He wants to save us from ignorance.
~ This was interesting. I guess he’s going for an intellectual snob. He isn’t the first FCW wrestler I want to see called up but I’m glad to see someone new here.
They show Brock Lensar’s return and mauling of John Cena.
~ The great thing about this piece was the emphasis on crowd reaction. They showed the crowd’s reaction to the F-5 over and over again. Really great work here and I hope it translates into Brock destroying Cena again before he moves onto the next feud.
Alberto Del Rio defeats Sheamus by DQ via Eddy Guerrero Tactic, pretending that Sheamus hit him with a chair
~ Good match despite the goofy finish. I miss seeing ADR wrestle on my TV. His matches are always stellar and his storytelling is as good as anybody’s in the business.