We continue the Road to Wrestlemania tonight on Smackdown in Cincinnati, Ohio. Wrestlemania is now two weeks away and WwE really have to bring out everything they got to secure the best build possible for their biggest show of the year!
So without any furtherado, lets see how the blue brand did tonight.
Quick Recap: The Miz wants to know who have Orton & Sheamus decided to be their partner now that Ryback has other plans. Orton wants Big Show but Sheamus is skeptical. Big Show comes out and says the Shield won’t be able to take them down as a team. Booker T comes out and wants to test how well all three can get along so teams them up to face 3MB in the main event.
Analysis: I usually can’t stand these Miz TV segments but this one got to the point and was about 8 minutes so I would say it was a good opener to the show. It progressed the story of Orton & Sheamus finding a partner and getting along. It also set up the main event perfectly and to think this was all accomplished in such short time.
Quick Recap: He caught Ryder in mid-air for the World’s Strongest Slam and pinned him. Afterwards, Henry proceeded to deliver two more slams until Ryback came out to confront him. After a lengthy stare down, Henry charged at Ryback, only to be met with the Meat Hook Clothesline.
Analysis: The match was filler but the post-match stuff was great build for Ryback vs Mark Henry at Wrestlemania. They really should not be touching this much before then though, but I love it so I can’t really complain.
Teddy Long & Booker T backstage. Teddy tells Booker about how he and Vickie Guerrero managed to set up Ryback vs Mark Henry for Mania. Booker says Teddy works for him but Teddy thought he was working with him.
Quick Recap: Ziggler hit Kofi Kingston with the Fame Asser on the outside, dragged his body back into the ring and hit a Zig Zag for the win. Post match, Big E entered the ring and hit the Big Ending on Kofi.
Analysis: Even though we’ve seen this match so many times, even on pay-per-view recently, it was still a good, smooth & athletic contest as always. Glad to see Ziggler continue his winning streak, this one being his fourth straight win. Hopefully WWE actually rebuild him and don’t just feed him again to guys like Ryback or Cena.
Backstage, Big Show & Sheamus are arguing with each other with Randy Orton in the middle of it. He tells them to stop and that they have to get along or else the Shield will get the best of them.
Quick Recap: Chris Jericho was going for the Lionsault but was kicked in the head at the rope part by Fandango. Swagger capitalized by hitting a running splash and pinning Jericho for the win. Post match, Fandango attacked Jericho and hit a diving leg drop to finish.
Analysis: Not as good as they match last week on Smackdown but it was still very good nonetheless, especially the energy that was being drawn from the crowd. It was given proper time before Fandango interfered so I liked that and I also liked the post match attack. Yes, its building a match between him and Jericho at Wrestlemania but I’m liking the build so far.
Backstage, Matt Striker interviews the Big Show. Show says he trusts Orton & Sheamus as much as they trust him. He tells Striker to trust him.
Fourth Match: Rhodes Scholars Fight Team Funk To A No Contest
Quick Recap: One of the Bellas gets on the apron to distract Tensai but Naomi and Cameron take her down until the other Bella came to even the odds. Tensai tried to control but it got out of control and the ref called for the bell.
Analysis: Looked like filler to me but this has been going on for a while now so I can see an eight person tag match coming from this at Wrestlemania: Rhodes Scholars & the Bella Twins against Team Funk & the Funkadactyls. That can spell disaster so I would have it in the one of the pre-show matches.
Backstage, Matt Striker interviews Sheamus who is accompanied by Randy Orton. Sheamus says that he and Orton trust Big Show as much as Big Show trusts them. He also tells Striker to trust him.
Fifth Match: The Miz Def. Antonio Cesaro
Quick Recap: The Miz dropkicks Antonio Cesaro’s leg as Cesaro misses Miz with the knee in the corner. Miz, in his second attempt locks in the Figure Four and Cesaro taps out quickly.
Analysis: First off, glad to see Antonio Cesaro is still alive. Second, why was he fed to the Miz like this when Miz is in a feud with the I.C champion?
Makes no sense, doesn’t this give Miz a future U.S title shot? What was the thought process behind this? Cesaro is doing absolutely nothing right now and he’s had his title well over 200 days now. Anyway, there doesn’t seem to be much build for Miz vs Wade Barrett at Wrestlemania. Hopefully that changes next week.
Main Event: Big Show, Sheamus & Randy Orton Def. 3MB
Quick Recap: Sheamus tagged himself in as Big Show knocked out Drew McIntyre. Sheamus hit Jinder Mahal with the Brogue Kick and pinned him for the win. Post match, Big Show argues with Sheamus about taking the pin and the Shield come out. Big Show, Orton & Sheamus all are about to fight but see the Shield and quickly secure the ring. The Shield leaves and the show ends.
Analysis: Because 3MB were involved, I would think of this as filler but it did play out the story going on between Sheamus, Big Show & Randy Orton so it was fine. I liked the ending to the show with all three men putting their difference aside to focus on the greater enemy known as the Shield. Really makes things interesting for Mania.
I thought this was a good solid episode of Smackdown this week. It had build for most of the undercard of Wrestlemania, which is really needed now. Action altogether was decent and match of the night goes to Chris Jericho vs Jack Swagger.
Nothing stood out a lot but the show had a nice flow all night. The recaps for Raw didn’t bother me that much as they were very few or simply were edited to perfection like the one with Undertaker & CM Punk. Mark Henry vs Ryback got some nice build, as well as the Shield vs Orton, Sheamus & Big Show and Miz & Wade Barrett’s potential match at the grand stage.
Only matches that didn’t get featured build were Alberto Del Rio vs Jack Swagger & Team Hell No vs Dolph Ziggler & Big E Langston. Only one side of both feuds were on the show. But other than that, I enjoyed this entire episode tonight and this makes three weeks of solid episodes for Smackdown.