Opening Segment: John Cena Opens Smackdown
John Cena comes out to his usual reaction, and I have to say he cut a pretty lame promo. Essentially it was a recap of WrestleMania and Raw, you know the shows we all saw. A more intriguing talking point from Cena would have been discussing what his mindset was throughout his match with Bray during WrestleMania. We all saw him nearly lose his marbles, talk about how much Wyatt got in your head man, build Bray up a little bit. Speaking of, Bray Wyatt showed up on the tron to cut yet another awesome promo, I still think every time this guy speaks it is pure gold. He teased an Extreme Rules match during the segment. This is the perfect PPV to continue the concept of Bray trying to unleash the monster in Cena and I’m looking forward to what these guys put together.
Cesaro vs. Big Show
Cesaro makes his way to the ring with Paul Heyman to a mixed reaction. It was pretty obvious after the initial surprise of Cesaro being the new Heyman guy wore off, the fans wouldn’t know how to feel really feel about it. Heyman has been nothing but a figure fans love to hate, and it is an interesting move putting him with a man who has been getting the fans behind him as of late. Cesaro & Big Show had a pretty quick, impressive match, it’s highlight being Cesaro performing his finishing move on Show . As I suspected, once the fans are reminded of what Cesaro can do in the ring, they are going to find it difficult to boo him. The match ended with Swagger attacking Cesaro, with Big Show coming to Cesaro’s aid, and getting assaulted by Cesaro for his trouble. Cesaro is an intriguing place right now, and I am looking forward to seeing him settle into his new role, I’m expecting good things.
Rybaxel vs. Los Matadores
Rybaxel I must say are a pretty impressive tag team, they work well together. Seeing these two teams work together is a treat to see, as they are polar opposites in style. Los Matadores rock that high flying style that the fans love and I am glad to see they have carved themselves a nice little spot in the tag team division in their own right. What we saw was a pretty standard tag team match that showcased the talents of both teams. Rybaxel picked up the win after Axel performed a neckbreaker on Fernando to pick up the victory. I am interested to see where the tag team division goes from here, with the rumors of NXT’s Ascension being called up, business might be just about to pick up as good ol JR would say.
Damien Sandow vs. Rob Van Dam
Man it’s good to see RVD back in a WWE ring, it seems the man hasn’t lost a step and to Sandow’s credit he’s the perfect opponent to help RVD shake off any ring rust. This was also a pretty physical match with some pretty impressive spots. One being while Sandow was outside the ring, RVD thought it would be an opportune moment for a moonsault out of the ring onto his opponent, but nobody home. RVD picks up the win after a Five Star Frog Splash on Sandow. I hope they do something substantial with RVD during his current run, maybe a run with the Intercontinental Title perhaps. He can still go in the ring and the fans still love him, he’s money.
Hulk Hogan Segment
The point to this segment was a feel good moment. Hogan makes his way to the ring to introduce your new WWE World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan. Bryan makes his way to the ring and marks out over Hogan praising him for the childhood memories. Hogan’s music hits and for a minute straight Daniel joins Hogan in the much loved Hogan poses. It was as simple as the past meeting the future and it’s always a good moment, this segment will be used in countless video packages in the future, mark my words brother!
Bad News Barrett vs. Kofi Kingston
Conflicting thoughts here, once again I love seeing Bad News Barrett competing in a ring again. But poor Kofi. I wish there was truth to the rumors that Kofi Kingston was getting repackaged with a new push to compliment it, the man once again showcased in this match that he has a lot to offer and I wish he could be given a feud with substance to showcase that he can be more than just a spot monkey. On the Barrett side, I hope we begin to see a lot more from him. What he showed us here is that he still has the force and the charisma to be a top talent heel if they give him something to work with. The fans eat up his current gimmick, they know that he loves it, and they love him for it. A quick match, with Barrett picking up the victory…and I think this served a purpose. Only the coming weeks will tell.
Fandango vs. Santino Marella
A quick match, that served mainly to show off Fandango’s new squeeze Layla, and boy is she ten different kinds of beautiful. You don’t expect much out of these matches, but both these men are talented individuals and both got in some pretty good offense in the matches short run time. Before long, Santino went for the Cobra but Layla interfered by abducting Santino’s “weapon” giving Fandango room for the roll up and the victory. I see a feud building between Layla and Summer Rae being built out of this if anything, and you won’t see me complaining.
Daniel Bryan & The USO’s vs. Randy Orton, Batista & Kane
Now here’s what surprised me about this match, and pleasantly I might add, is that the on the good guy side of things The USO’s got the majority of the ring time in the match. Great booking building up Bryan’s appearance in the festivities as it got a great pop when it finally happened. The match itself was great with Orton, Batista, and Kane each getting sufficient time to make our heroes suffer. They played on the rib injury Jimmy suffered at the hands of Batista on Raw and they reminded him of it as often as they could in the match.
After some great in ring action, the action spilled to the outside and the ref called the match. Orton & Batista make short work of the USO’s and Kane threatens a chokeslam on Bryan on the announce table, enter THE SHIELD. The Shield attacks Kane, and looks to repeat the treatment to Orton & Batista, but they run like scalded dogs. It’s a very good decision to keep the physicality between these men to a minimum, makes the fans hungry for it. The night ends with a powerbomb on Kane with the same image of Bryan and The Shield standing tall on the apron to close the show. Decent action, decent show. Can’t wait for RAW.
Smackdown Grade: B
Review written by Paul Huffman