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Smackdown Recap – “Love, American Style”

“Born 2 Run” by 7Lions starts up and Smackdown is on the air!

Ring
Nine nights away from Elimination Chamber, the main event in Ontario, CA is a non-title bout between Cesaro and Orton. Should be a good match; Cesaro is definitely on the rise. Daniel Bryan’s music hits and we’re ready for our first match of the night.

Match 1
Daniel Bryan & Christian & Sheamus vs. The Shield (Ambrose [US Champ] & Rollins & Reigns)
Christian and Rollins start off. Reigns quickly tagged in. Christian tags Sheamus soon after. The two big guys slug it out a bit, Sheamus steamrolls Reigns, drops a knee and gets a quick 2. Ambrose tagged in but quickly knocked down. Bryan tagged in to a very loud crowd. Bryan goes fast and hard like he is known for. 2 count on Ambrose then a Yes Lock attempt which draws all six men into the ring for a standoff.

– Commercial-

Back from the break and Rollins has Bryan tied up. Sheamus tagged in and dominates Rollins leading to Sheamus’ clubbing blows to the chest. Ambrose distracts allowing Rollins to kick Sheamus and tag Reigns. Reigns kicks Sheamus on the apron and throws him into the barricade. Back in the ring Ambrose is tagged in. A few punches by Ambrose and Rollins tags in. Rollins keeps the pressure on Sheamus, gets a 2 counts and tags Reigns. Reigns throws fists, Sheamus tries to fight out of the corner but is stopped. Front face lock by Reigns, Sheamus powers up and gets the Irish Curse on Reigns. Rollins tagged in but misses Sheamus. Sheamus tags Christian, Rollins tags Ambrose. Christian dominates, gets a 2 that is broken up by The Shield. The match starts to break down. Bryan and Rollins go through the ropes. Inverted DDT by Christian on Ambrose, 2 count. Ambrose gets out of the Kill Switch which leads to Sheamus accidentally Brouge Kicking Christain. Ambrose takes advantage getting the 3 on Christian.
Result:
The Shied wins via pinfall (Ambrose on Christian)

Match Thoughts
Nice opening match. The Shield worked well as a team and didn’t show signs of distrust or breaking up. I think miscommunication will come back up within the next week before the Chamber, but there was no reason to have them lose this match. They needed to show strength and they did. Plus it adds tension for the Chamber match itself. Good stuff.

Backstage
In the back Vickie is on the phone. Zeb Colter interrupts with a box of chocolates for Vickie, but she has nothing of it. He’s probably too old for her anyway. Colter wants a title match for Swagger. Vickie agrees to an IC match if Swagger can beat Rey, Kofi, and Mark Henry in a four way match for the IC #1 contender spot. I approve.

-Commercial-

Video
The Queen of hearts Natalya wishes the WWE Univers a happy Valentine’s Day!

Backstage
Bryon Saxton talks with Cesaro. Cesaro looks confident but he;s not excited; he won’t be excited until he beats Orton. Which he can and will do. Good promo. Short and to the point.

Video
Next up is a video package of Lita as the next Hall of Fame inductee! Very cool and well deserved. She was definitely one of a kind in the WWE. I feel like I saw this every year, but damn, this is a good HoF so far!

Ring
Henry and Rey head to the ring before a…

-Commercial-

Video
Video package of WWE & Kaboom teaming to build a playground at a Louisiana school during Wrestlemania week. Nice.

Match 2
Fatal 4 Way IC Title #1 Contender (Langston [IC Champ] on commentary)
Mark Henry vs. Rey Mysterio vs. Jack Swagger vs. Kofi Kingston
Langston says he would like to face whoever wins, no preference. Kofi and Rey team up on Henry, go after each other, team up on Swagger, then Kofi flies! Then Rey with a seated senton on Kofi on the floor. Henry teases a dive but is taken out at the knee by Swagger. Kofi knocks Swagger down, Rey takes Kofi out, but Swagger flattens Rey with a clothesline. 2 Count on Rey. Rey gets an advantage but the 2 count on Swagger is broken up by Kofi. Cole references the ridiculous “controlled frenzy” line as Kofi gets the advantage. Henry gets a huge power bomb on Swagger! He’s dominating everyone until a chop block and Patriot Lock by Swagger. Hany manages to get out but Rey hits 619 on Henry’s gut followed by Trouble in Paradise on Henry! Swagger back in it with a double German suplex on Kofi and Rey! Rey going for 619 and runs into a Trouble in Paradise. Kofi tries to skin the cat and gets pulled into the ring with a Patriot Lock! He escapes, goes for Trouble in Paradise, but Swagger catches him again and gets the submission!
Result:
Jack Swagger wins via submission with the Patriot Lock on Kofi

Match Thoughts
Really good match! Better than the opener. Fast paced, exciting moves, really good finish! I don’t think Swagger will beat Langston whenever he gets his IC match but I could be wrong. It would be kind of cool to see Swagger win the title at the Chamber and have Cesaro lose in the Chamber match. It would turn the tables in the Real Americans team and lead to some good tension. I don’t want them to break up though. It could lead to Cesaro going after the US Title again if that happens!

Video
The Bella Twins wish us a happy Valentines Day before a…

-Commercial-

Video (RAW Recap)
We’re welcomed back with a video recap of Betty White on Raw. Poop jokes are even funnier without the poop…

Ring
Bad News Barrett rises from into the air on what I believe is a new platform. Looks taller. He has some bad news for us: Happy Valentine’s Day to women who will gorge on chocolate and feel bad about themselves. Classy, Mr. Barrett. Classy.

Ring
Goldust and Cody’s music hits and the brother are on their way to the ring before a…

-Commercial-

Video
AJ Lee thinks Valentine’s Day is stupid. Me too. I’m watching tape delayed wrestling by myself on Valentine’s Day. Uh, anyway, let’s move on.

Match 3
Eight Man Tag Team Match
Goldust & Cody Rhodes & The Usos vs. Curtis Axel & Ryback & The New Age Outlaws (Tag Champs)
No sing-along with Road Dogg this time. Match starts off with Goldust and Billy Gunn. Really glad these guys are getting another chance at the spotlight. Goldust especially looks as good or better than he ever has. Cody and Dogg in, Cody’s knee is taped, perhaps still selling the cage dive from their match with the Outlaws. Usos double team Dogg, Jey is legal. Dogg tags Axel and JBL and Cole wonder why Axel hasn’t done better than he has. I agree, he’s better than he was, but there’s still something missing. Ryback tagged in and bullies Jey. He’s another one that I’ve never really been that much behind. I liked “Yep yep yep, what it do” better…

-Commercial-

Ryback and Jey still in after the break but Gunn is quickly tagged. I think I heard a Goldust chant for a bit. I like this crowd. Jimmy and Dogg tagged in and the pace picks up. Gunn runs in but gets a Bubba Bomb from Jimmy. Break down starts and people start flying. Cody with a double jump plancha to the outside! Goldust flies! Jey flies! Jimmy with a Superfly Splash and pins Dogg!
Result:
Goldust, Cody Rhodes, and The Usos wins via pinfall with a Superfly Splash (Jimmy on Road Dogg)

Match Thoughts
Good match. Average with a nice high flying finish.

Backstage
Renee Young asks Orton about Cesaro and asks if he’s being treated unfairly. Orton doesn’t think so. Orton says Cesaro isn’t a real American. Is Orton a xenophobe? Or maybe he just doesn’t know what being an American means. Either way, he says he’ll win and become a stronger champion.

-Commercial-

Video (Promo)
Lana tells us that Alexander Rusev is not here to make friends, he’s here to make history.

Match 4
Singles Match (Titus O’Neil on commentary)
Damien Sandow vs. Darren Young
Titus says is wasn’t personal, he just wanted to send a message to the locker room. Cole says Titus deserved the beating Young gave him in backstage recently. Very quick match. A little back and forth, Damien goes for Terminus, Young rolls him up for the three. Titus attacks after the match but Young gets the better of him an rips O’Neil’s pants pretty much off.
Result:
Darren Young wins via pinfall with a rollup

Match Thoughts
The match was too short but it served its purpose of getting Young a win. I feel bad for Sandow though. He was the next World Champ and on his way to a babyface run last year, now he’s playing heel to bump up the good guys’ win percentage. I hope that changes.

Video
We are now treated to the Bella Twins telling us how to use the WWE Network. Did you know you need an HDMI cable for HD TVs with HDMI input? Or that devices with analog connections work on analog TVs? Yeah, so did I. Still, I’d rather watch the Bellas tell me stuff I already know than watch Cole download the WWE app on his phone again. Ugh.

Ring
Summer Rae and Fandango dance to the ring with a weak Fandangoing attempt from the crowd. Pretty sure that craze is over. And so is this segment.

-Commercial-

Video
The Great Khali with some words of love, or something.

Match 5
Singles Match
Fandango vs. The Miz
So is Miz a heel or what? He hits the ring and plays to the crowd, but he’s been vocal lately about being overlooked and has been a jerk to others in the booth. He’s better as a heel anyway. I don’t like him as a babyface, his smarmy face annoys me. But it doesn’t as a heel. Why? Don’t ask me. Fandango and Miz go back and forth a little. A bit of a miscue it looked like but they move on without missing a beat. Santino’s music hits and he and Emma goofball down to the ring. Summer gets in Emma’s face prompting a cat fight. Fandango looks over and gets a Cobra for his concern. Skull Crushing Finale and The Miz wins.
Result:
The Miz wins via pinfall with the Skull Crushing Finale.

Match Thoughts
Not much to say about the match. They keep building towards a mixed tag and I so want to see Emma actually wrestle! Her goofy dance is fun and all, but she can go in between the ropes. Lance Storm trained her after all! Emma vs AJ should be the feud of the summer. Oh, wow, I just thought of that. Super serious AJ vs fun and goofy Emma, and they can both wrestle. They would put on some great matches, no question. They could main event Smackdown or Raw if given the chance.

Video
Black History Month video package with Bobo Brazil. Maybe they should release a Black History Month DVD set, I’d buy it for sure. I’ve not seen many Bobo Brazil matches but ‘d love to.

Ring
Cesaro makes his way to the ring with Zeb Colter. Image in image of Triple HHH talking to Cole about how Cesaro can win the Chamber if people don’t take him seriously.

-Commercial-

Match 6
Non-Title Singles Match
Antonio Cesaro vs. Randy Orton (WWE World Heavyweight Champ)
As Orton makes his way to the ring JBL and Cole mention he has a losing record so far against the Chamber competitors. I think that’s another reason why he’ll probably win this one tonight. That leaves Sheamus and the rubber match on Monday. Cesaro starts off strong and gets an early 2 count. Series of uppercuts to Orton in the corner. They end up outside and Orton gets the advantage which leads us to…

-Commercial-

Still outside, Orton drops Cesaro back first onto the barricade and face first into the announce table. 2 count on Cesaro in the ring, into a rear chin lock. “We the people” chant starts up with Orton still in control. Cesaro fights back with uppercuts and headbutts but is stopped with a back elbow. Back outside Orton throws Cesaro into the barricade but he rebounds and knocks Orton down. On the way back in Orton goes for a second rope DDT, Cesaro escapes and hits a Cesaro swing after two attempts! 17 revolutions I think! Orton can’t as Cesaro sets up The Neutralizer. Orton back drops Cesaro who lands on his feet, off the ropes and Orton gets a power slam. Follows up with a 2nd rope DDT and Orton points to the Wrestlemania sign. Batista. Ugh. Orton goes for RKO but gets an uppercut to the back the a puch up uppercut! 2 count! Orton with a drop kick and a 2 count to catch a breather. Orton slams Cesaro face first into the post and goes for a superplex. Cesaro fights and gets a sunset flip powerbomb! European uppercut! Neutralizer! Goes for the pin and gets three! Cesaro wins!
Results:
Antonio Cesaro wins via pinfall with The Neutralizer

Match Thoughts
Very good match. Orton has lost most of these Chamber warmups, but the matches have all been good. I would have preferred if Cena hadn’t won now, but that still doesn’t diminish Cesaro’s win tonight. Good night for The Real Americans! I’m super happy for those guys. They are both great and deserve it. I hope they can keep up this momentum.

Impressions & Armchair Booking
I liked the show. Two really good matches, two nice ones, and two kind of throw away. At least the bottom two matches served a purpose and are building to matches that I want to see. I like Young and O’Neil and I think their eventual match will be good, but I think they were premature in breaking them up. I fear that the crowd just won’t really get behind the feud. People were pretty solidly behind the Prime Time Players late last year and they could have kept that momentum up if WWE could focus on more than a few tag teams at a time.

I’m looking forward to the Elimination Chamber even though after tonight there are still only four matches announced. Big E vs Swagger has good potential and they could go in a lot of directions with that. I could see Swagger winning and being really smug about it around Cesaro.

Wyatts vs The Shield will be a good match despite my wariness of heel vs heel matches. Reign is really the only babyface in the match even though he’s technically not one. Here’s what I’d like to see: Nice back and forth match between the six guys. The Shield and Wyatt’s both on the same page for most of the match. Towards the end Ambrose starts to try and do things by himself to prove that he’s better than Reigns (they’ve already established that Reigns can get Ambrose to do unwise things by questioning his toughness or credibility as champ). Reings gets tired of it and tags himself in, Ambrose argues and the distraction leads to Luke Harper getting the pin on Reigns with a clothesline. Ambrose could’ve broken up the count but doesn’t. He heads up the ramp as the Wyatt’s enter the ring with a downed Reigns. Rollins jumps in and tried to help Reigns but gets a Sister Abigail and is thrown on top of Reigns as Bray cuts a bad ass promo about being dominant and buzzards and sheep and stuff. Ambrose walks away with a fed up look on his face.

Here are the benefits of this scenario: Wyatt’s look good and can continue to dominate for as long as they want. Harper in particular gets a boost because he’s awesome. They all benefit. Reigns gets a babyface boost and this will allow his to shine as he starts to take more singles matches. Think about Harper vs Reigns on RAW the next night. Good, right? Ambrose gets a heel boost because he ends up looking like a huge jerk, but he doesn’t look bad. Rollins can try to be the voice of reason and if he does a lot of high flying damage in the match he can look good too. Think about the great tension this would build over the next month leading up to Wrestlemania. I can see a triple threat match with The Shield on RAW or even at Wrestlemania. Clear heel, clear babyface, and Rollins in the middle having to make a choice at some point. Benefits all around!

Well, that should wrap it up. Here’s one last thing.

Match of the Night
Antonio Cesaro vs. Randy Orton (Non-Title)

It was actually a really close call between this and the Fatal Four Way, but this was a big win for Cesaro and the finish was great.

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