Smackdown Thoughts & Review [April 20, 2012]

by

Claudio Castagnoli makes his non-wrestling debut as Antonio Cesaro! YES! YES! YES!

London, England

Daniel Bryan comes out to the ring and receives a pretty good pop with scattered “YES” chants. It appears the post-Wrestlemania RAW crowd from Miami teleported here for this Smackdown taping. He starts his promo off with a “yes.” Bryan talks about his Wrestlemania loss to Sheamus and how Sheamus is a coward for taking the easy way to victory.

He blames his loss on AJ and calls her a distraction. Bryan says he’s going to win at Extreme Rules. He gives a shout out to Chicago and explains that’s where he won the Money in the Bank match. He ends with rhetorical questions so the crowd can answer them with “YES!”

AJ tries to come out but Daniel Bryan tells her to stop and turn away. AJ says she wants to talk about “their” problems but DB says that the only problem is her. She wishes DB good luck on his match at Extreme Rules and Bryan wishes that she was never even born. Harsh. He continues to tell her that there’s no chance that he will ever take her back. DB walks out while AJ stands in the middle of the ring crying.

~ Good opening segment. People don’t seem to realize just how good AJ’s acting has been. I’d say she’s tops right now in the WWE when it comes to making her emotions very convincing without going into novella territory. Nobody else comes to close and I doubt another diva could do the job that AJ is doing right now.

Daniel Bryan was gold as usual. I hope this leads to bigger and better things for Daniel Bryan no matter how much the ratings drop when he’s on. Bryan’s prick heel character is probably the second best thing going right now next to Brock Lesnar’s UFC-style promos (the pre-taped ones).

They return to commercial with AJ style crying and distraught.

Natalya defeats AJ via DQ (AJ goes apeshit on Natalya and gets DQ’d for not breaking her assault in the corner)

~ Cool. I’m down whenever Natalya gets a win. I wish they’d create a storyline for Natalya. A third generation superstar like her should be used in high profile feuds instead of midcard fodder.

Another Damien Sandow promo airs.

~ I hope this guy is good but I’m not curious enough to watch his FCW matches on youtube. All this does is make me want to see Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins in the ‘E. C’mon, WWE, send’em up already.

Brodus Clay w/ Hornswoggle pins Hunico w/ Camacho via the Running Splash

~ If I was a wrestling promoter I would have Hunico wrestling 15 minute wrestling clinics on every show. Hunico is so talented but so underrated. Brodus gets another squash and I just hope they continue his “serious” feud against the Dolph and company on Raw.

Darren Young and Titus O’Neil give Teddy Long a hard time for not signing them to Smackdown. John Laurinaitis butts in and puts on a Tower of London helmet on Teddy Long.

~ Jeez. Darren Young came off OK but Titus O’Neil came off like a major jerkwad. I know this is all a work but Titus left me with a bad taste in my mouth. Let’s hope he can wrestle.

Matt Striker interviews Randy Orton about Kane’s antics. Orton says that Kane’s going to find out how sick and twisted he can really be.

~ Orton was Orton. If he and Kane can deliver a match as good as their ‘Mania match then I look forward to seeing them wrestle again.

Titus O’Neil & Darren Young defeat The Usos via Modified Hart Attack Clothesline (from the second rope into a spinebuster)

~ Good match. Young seemed to do most of the in-ring work. I love their finisher to death and I hope they ease off the douchebag throttle. Usos were great as always and I wonder if any recent losses are punishment for Rikishi’s recent comments.

Alberto Del Rio pins Big Show after Cody Rhodes interferes and hits a Beautiful Disaster Kick

~ Smackdown is always better with Alberto Del Rio. I’m glad ADR is back in the World Title Scene. He’s the only other wrestler on the Smackdown roster that I would like to see the World Title on besides Daniel Bryan.

ADR hit a modified stomp onto Show’s chest at one point. Interesting. Show hit a nice running elbow drop that I don’t recall him using that often. Also Big Show’s kneeling Super Chop is priceless.

Ryback destroys Danny Lerman (local wrestler) via Modified Running Samoan Drop

  • Prior to the match, they cut to Heath Slater and Drew McIntyre watching the Ryback’s entrance on a monitor.

~ Standing ovation for Danny Lerman. The kid sold Ryback’s offense like a champ. Awesome squash and I really do have a good feeling about Ryback. #Goldberg

They show Teddy Long standing still in his uniform. William Regal gives him shit. Aksana walks out with Antonio Cesaro! Aksana says he’s a rugby player that wants to be a WWE superstar. Aksana acts like she and Teddy never had anything going on. John Laurinaitis invites Aksana and Antonio into his office.

~ Claudio Castagnoli in the WWE? YES! YES! YES! Let’s get at least three more of those talented FCW guys in here, WWE.

Big Show, Sheamus, & Randy Orton defeat Cody Rhodes, Daniel Bryan, & Mark Henry when the faces blast Henry with all three of their finishers

  • The Great Khali was originally the third member of the team. Cody Rhodes took his leg out before Khali got into the ring. Big Show came out as Khali’s replacement.

~ Very good main event tonight. Everybody wore their working boots in this match and delivered a great match. The storyline between Daniel Bryan and Sheamus continued to play out. Bryan dodged Sheamus for most of the match until the finish. I think pinning Mark Henry after three finishers was a sign of respect despite taking the fall.

All in all this was a good episode. We got to see Ryback destroy again, a new tag team with a sick finisher, and the non-wrestling debut of Claudio Castagnoli as ex-rugby player, Antonio Cesaro. I’ll take it.

I’m not sure if I’m excited at all for Extreme Rules but I am looking forward to what the Smackdown roster is going to bring us this year.

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