We continue the Road to Wrestlemania tonight on Smackdown, which comes to us from the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
Tonight was no ordinary episode too as it is themed “Social Media Smackdown”, which apparently means there will be live commentary, interactive fan polls, touts, live tweets from superstars and much more! It seems confusing as this is a taped show but let’s see how they pulled it off.
On this week’s episode, Jerry Lawler joins the commentary team, replacing JBL, who was in Argentina doing charity for kids by climbing a summit. Big Show vs Randy Orton is advertised as the main event.
Ricardo Rodriguez opens the show and introduces Alberto Del Rio, who comes out for a match with Damien Sandow. Sandow then is out next and cuts a promo on the Mexican Aristocrat, ripping on him and Ricardo. Del Rio rebuttals by saying “You need to wash your mouth, because it smells like ca-ca!”.
Alberto Del Rio Def. Damien Sandow
Good back and forth opening match. Sandow lasted a fair amount of time in the ring with the world champion and looked pretty strong as well so I was content with the end result of the match.
We get a video recorded during the commercial break on WWE active, featuring Del Rio after his match. He says since its “Social Media” Smackdown, he wants the WWE universe to pick his opponent for next week.
Solid match. The first fall was won by Cesaro after hitting a neutralizer, the second fall was won by the Miz during a commercial break after making Cesaro tap out to the figure four and the third fall was won by Cesaro after rolling up the Miz and grabbing the tights.
The way the second fall went down kinda hindered this match for me, I mean, really? During a damn commercial? Anyway, I still enjoyed the match nonetheless and the right guy went over as I don’t why Miz needs the U.S title when Cesaro has been doing a fantastic job with it.
We get a tout from JBL, who is on his way to climb Mt.Aconcagua in Argentina, part of his “Seven Summits For Kids” project. This explains his absence on commentary.
Strong segment with an excellent exchange of words between Zeb and Ross. Jack Swagger stayed quite most of the time.
Del Rio later came out when Swagger started backing Ross into a corner and did very little as he only said a few words on the mic.
Pretty similar to what they did on Raw but had some noticeable differences this time. I liked it started off with all three men on the same page but then turned into conflict, relating to being a real American. Very well done. I am looking forward to more of these segments in the coming weeks.
We’re shown the three choices for Del Rio’s opponent next week and that the WWE universe can vote on Twitter and determine who will it be. The choices were Dolph Ziggler, Wade Barret and Antonio Cesaro.
Primetime Players Def. Team Hell No
The end came when Daniel Bryan tagged himself in and Kane, being blindfolded attempts to chokeslam Bryan but stops when he realizes its him and meanwhile, Titus O’Neal comes from behind and rolls up Bryan for the win.
Afterwards, Kane takes off the blindfold and realizes the goat Daniel Bryan put on it. Kane then puts the blindfold on Bryan and uppercuts him, causing him to fall down.
The downfall of Team Hell No continues.
Backstage with Matt Striker who interviews the Big Show. Show says this is the Road to Wrestlemania and he needs to make an impact by chokeslamming Randy Orton tonight.
Michael Cole takes us to Chris Jericho in Australia via Skype. Jericho promotes Fozzy and plugs his Robot Combat League show and says the premier episode will re-air after Smackdown. He also says he’ll be back soon.
Backstage with Matt Striker again who this time interview the debuting Fandango. Striker doesn’t seem to get his name right and this causes Fandango to delay his in ring debut until Striker can say it right. Well, I can see them delaying Fandango’s debut until after Wrestlemania but that’s a pretty long time from now.
The results of the poll from earlier are revealed and Del Rio’s opponent for next week will be Dolph Ziggler….again.
Randy Orton and Big Show fight to a no contest
Boring filler main event. The only purpose this had was for the Shield to close the show, which they did when they came out from the crowd and surrounded the ring. Sheamus then hit the ring to back up Randy Orton and the Shield proceeded to attack anyway.
Roman Reigns bumped into Big Show, who then knocked him out with the W.M.D, which cause both Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins to retreat and head back into the crowd with Reigns. Big Show then chokeslammed Orton would receive a brogue kick from Sheamus shortly after, thus ending the show.
Analysis: The whole live social media theme was confusing to me, but made this episode seem a little more special than normally.I thought there were only two good matches, one good segment and the rest was filler, recaps and really made the show drag after a while.But there was some feud progression for Del Rio and Swagger, Miz and Cesaro and the angle involving the Shield, Randy Orton and Sheamus. So I wouldn’t say this was entirely meaningless, but the show as a whole wasn’t necessarily worth going back to. We’ll see what happens from here on out and don’t forget about “Old School” Raw this upcoming Monday, can’t wait!