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Alberto is Back
April 7, 2012

by PyroFalkon
Master of the PyroFalkon Multimedia Empire, Incorporated
Read Pyro's Words
at Blogspot --/-- View Pyro's Videos at Youtube


You’d never know if I didn’t write it down, but I had to do this recap over two days. Last night (Friday night) was tiring as hell. Nothing bad happened, it was just one of those days, the kind where, when you come home from work, literally the only thing you want to do is sleep. Right before the main event, I just said “fuck it,” fired a quick e-mail to Rick, and crashed.

Maybe it’s the weather changing that’s made me so tired, because I’ve been exhausted for the past couple of days, and it’s not like I haven’t gotten my sleep. Yesterday was the first in a couple months where I actually had to wear a jacket on my commute to work, and today looks absolutely gorgeous and warm outside. I think I’ll go for a walk later, even if it’s just get to get some Doritos Tacos. 

And with that bit of inanity, I’m past the ad box, and my precap obligations are fulfilled! Let’s roll…

Segment 1: We’re pretty much cold-opening to the ramp where David Otunga pops out just to introduce Johnny Ace. Meanwhile I go grab a Samuel Adams Cherry Wheat, a leftover from WrestleMania, and apparently because I don’t care if what I’m drinking tastes like turtle shit. [Pyro’s own editor’s note: I wrote that last night. Don’t worry, I’m not having a breakfast Sam Adams. Especially not one that could be called “Ninja Turtles: The Rim Job Edition.”]

Anyway, Ace pops out presently, and the guy finally has music straight from a high school’s brass section. Ace assures us that despite his newfound power in WWE, he so totally won’t abuse it, because this is People Power time! And speaking of people, let’s get to Teddy Long: Ace is going to bring him out to thank him for his years of service, and he’s sure that T-Long will be professional about the whole thing.

Long hits the ring presently, and immediately tells Ace to “go to hell,” since he’s now unemployed and has the freedom to say what he wants. He also wants to say thanks to the fans for being the ones who made him what he is, and he hopes we’ve all had as much fun watching the show as he’s had in running it. He calls for a “Holla holla holla!,” which the fans oblige him, and he is out!

…Except he’s not, because Ace wasn’t done: he offers Long a job in his “administration,” but Long forcibly declines. But Ace brings up Long’s grandchildren’s college education.

Uh… what? Long is confused, and Otunga explains an insanely convoluted story that WWE established a college fund for Long’s grandchildren, but it’s officially controlled by “whoever has the title of SmackDown General Manager.”

And it’s at this point that I stop giving a shit entirely. Now I may not have a law degree, but I’m pretty sure this would, you know, never happen. I can only suspend my belief so far, WWE, and when you ask me to stretch the limits of it for a dick-measuring contest between two general managers, you ask too much.

The short-and-curly of it is that Long accepts the job after all. He leaves, Ace announces a couple matches, including the next unfair one, and we move on.

Segment 2 [1-on-2 Handicap Match, Tag Rules]: David Otunga & Mark Henry defeat R-Truth by pin. Truth beat the shit out of Otunga, who tagged out to Henry, who beat the shit out of Truth. After a World’s Strongest Slam, Otunga begged to be tagged back in. Henry reluctantly did so, and Otunga just did a posing pin to end the match.

Pre-Segment 3: It’s difficult to ever argue in favor of a kid getting hurt, but we’ve got a kid in the audience wearing John Cena’s T-shirt and hat but doing the Ultimate Pose of Douchebaggery when Randy Orton hits the ring. Pretty sure that’s against WWE bylaws and they’ll have to confiscate his merch.

Also, Kane didn’t blow his corner pyros. He may not win, but he’ll totally be the last one standing.

Segment 3 [No-DQ Singles Match]: Randy Orton defeats Kane by pin. Decent match, with Orton getting his ass kicked for most of it. They fought all around the ring and even up the ramp, where Orton ate a DDT on the stage.

Once the fight went back to the ring, Kane maintained control, but he took a moment to fling in a bunch of chairs into the ring. Orton took that moment to get some momentum back, and eventually he managed to hit Kane with his Hangman’s DDT onto the steel chair. More back-and-forth, and the end game saw Kane pushed chest-first into an exposed turnbuckle. Orton followed that up with an RKO, and that was that.

I guess Kane was just too bored to blow his corner pyros at all tonight… maybe someone stuffed them with confetti.

Pre-Segment 4: Some Guy is in the ring and cuts a retarded half-promo to get some quick cheap heat, which almost doesn’t work. But then we get the debut of someone I’ve never heard of named Ryback… is that Skip Sheffield from NXT Season 1? Where the hell has he been?

Segment 4 [Singles Match]: Ryback squashes Some Guy by pin. Military press drop to forward power slam. Neat.

So I guess Ryback/Sheffield is a face? And the only way to debut a power guy as a face is to have him squash a dude who called the Floridian audience “the rudest people on Earth”? Whatever.

Segment 5: Daniel Bryan hits the ring with AJ, who may or may not be rocking with the ass cleavage with those extremely low-rider black jeans. DB says that the only positive he’s taken from WrestleMania is that he’s had time to think, and he knows that the moment the match went off the rails was—

AJ quickly cuts him off and patronizingly encourages him, but the fans fire up a pretty solid “Daniel Bryan!” chant, and cheer for him, and loudly agree with AJ. She says that we’re all here to support him!

Well DB isn’t having that shit: he feels like they’re mocking him. And the fans cheer that too. He also shows awesome continuity and says that if they wanted to support him, they wouldn’t have been chanting “Yes! Yes!” to The Rock. And even if they meant it, they’re sheep, and he hates sheep. And besides that, it’s all AJ fault that DB lost the title anyway.

AJ makes a sad face that makes me just want to comfort her. Especially when DB starts screaming at her, and oddly enough, it doesn’t feel uncomfortable (even though a guy screaming at a woman like that normally makes me feel uncomfortable even in a WWE context). DB keeps hammering in that it’s AJ’s fault for quite a bit, culminating in him dumping her. Once he finally screams at her “GET OUT OF MY RING!,” then it feels a little uncomfortable. The fans don’t make it better, since even though that was about as much heel heat as you can get, over half the fans start chanting the goodbye song.

Jesus. DB could have shoved a kitten into a blender and drank a kitty protein shake, and the crowd would have just asked for some to share.

Segment 6 [Singles Match]: Big Show squashes Heath Slater by pin. Cody Rhodes was on commentary and was basically pissed the whole time, especially since Show prefaced the match with another clip of Rhodes’s loss at WrestleMania.

After the match, they eyed each other, and Show even invited him the ring. Rhodes started to oblige, but changed his mind and left in peace. So Show hit Slater with a WMD to, I don’t know, send a message? Pretty sure the title alone does that for him.

Segment 7: The Bellas are hanging out with Ace in the back, and then Sheamus arrives. Ace isn’t happy that Sheamus kicked DB “before he was ready,” and that he kicked Alberto Del Rio on Monday when ADR was just trying to have a conversation. He wants his champion to be professional, so I guess WWE is going to take a page out of Ring of Honor’s playbook and make ADR and Sheamus shake hands before their match tonight.

Sheamus says that he’ll totally be professional from now on, and will only kick people who deserve it. But then he implies that DB and ADR deserved it, and idly and indirectly threatens Ace, basically implying that Ace’s power will only last as long as The People allow him to have it.

Segment 8 [Singles Match]: Nikki Bella reverse-squashes Beth Phoenix by pin. So, since Brie Bella rooted for Team Johnny, he gave her the night off, and Nikki had to go in alone.

And that was a mistake, because Beth beat the hell out of her. But Kelly Kelly arrived to watch the match, and she distracted Beth at the right moment. No contact, but it gave Nikki the chance to hit a sit-down facebuster out of nowhere to make the win.

Cut Scene: They announce that Chief Jay Strongbow, an old wrestler from way back in the day, passed away. They do a tribute to him, and it was pretty nice quality.

Segment 9: Some guy who looks like he’s dressed for the opera gives us a to-camera interview. Ah, his name is Damien Standow, and I feel like I should know that. It seems his gimmick is an old man who bemoans the terrible youth of society and how he’s above it all, since we’re all just stupid and lazy. He assures us that he doesn’t blame us: he’ll save us.

Good promo to be a douchebag, and I mean that honestly: I’m intrigued. Hopefully he keeps up that quality as he debuts.

Segment 10 [Singles Match]: Alberto Del Rio (w/ Ricardo Rodriguez) defeats Sheamus by disqualification. Decent match but nothing special. I am singularly unqualified to state whether ring rust is on returning wrestlers since I seem to be physically unable to detect it even when it’s there, but he looked good to me and there weren’t any blown spots. Rick or the forums will probably be able to give you more details if ADR did look like he missed a step.

It almost all back-and-forth, but given that I still don’t really care about ADR all that much, I wasn’t very excited. Technically speaking, it was a fun match, but it just didn’t rope me in, you know?

The end game saw shenanigans from the heels, with ADR grabbing a chair, and RR distracting the ref and Sheamus at the other side of the ring. RR started climbing the ropes to scream at Sheamus, and in a neat little spot of hilarity, Sheamus just up and kicked the ropes, sending RR tumbling into the ring.

As the ref checked on him, ADR popped up and went to swing the chair, but Sheamus reacted too quickly and hit him with a double axe handle in the face. But then Sheamus picked the chair, and started screaming at ADR. The ref turned around and saw the chair in Sheamus’s hand.

And what followed was an absolutely brilliant bit of subtlety that I think I would have missed if this had still been last night. ADR was selling his face, but he was doing it lightly. The ref turned and saw this, then turned back to Sheamus and yelled at him about the chair, asking if he used it. ADR heard this apparently, because when the ref turned back to ADR, ADR suddenly started overselling the face, kicking his legs like he was starting to have neurological malfunctions, and he started to groan louder. In other words, he decided to pull an Eddie Guerrero once he heard the ref start to question Sheamus about the chair.

Well, the legendary EG would have been proud, because the ref called for the bell at that point and DQed Sheamus. Lilian Garcia—hot as always—started to announce the winner, but RR apparently ripped the mic from her hands and screamed “Alberto Del Rio!” in a way that only he can… and he shouted it as he and ADR sprinted away up the ramp.

Sheamus paced back and forth in the ring, clearly pissed, and decided the best way to release his anger was to hit the ref with a Blarney Boot. (He’s lucky he didn’t do that to Justin King, who would have no-sold it and used Sheamus as a lawn dart.) Obviously, Johnny Ace isn’t going to like his champion being so disrespectful to the stripes, but we’ll find out the fallout next week.

Final Thoughts: I’m uncomfortable about giving the episode a grade because I think my fatigue had a lot to do with me not giving a shit last night. But given that qualification, I didn’t find SmackDown very exciting. It wasn’t bad, and I don’t think it was boring, it was just… meh. The main event finish subtlety was awesome but it’s hardly going to erase two hours of average WWE production.

While Ryback’s debut couldn’t be more floptastic (that phrase alone just gave me two words to add to my custom OO dictionary), Damien Standow’s was intriguing. I don’t know who the guy is, I have no idea whether he can keep up that promo quality, I don’t even know if he can wrestle. But he was solid, and I always get a kick out of heels who try to “fix” the audience instead of just talk down to them. For example, DB’s current shtick is saying how much better he is than the rest of us for being a vegan and all that. CM Punk’s heel shtick was similar when he was running the Straightedge Society, but he always took the view of trying to “help” us (and Festus and Serena), and it made him more interesting I think. If Damien is going to actually do heelish things ostensibly to help random fans or wrestlers, I think it’ll be cute, especially if he works with some of the more vocal faces.

Or not. I’m over-thinking and fantasy booking it off one promo. We’ll see though… my point is that his debut, even in promo form, was way more effective than Ryback squashing Some Guy.

It seems WWE both specifically reads Online Onslaught and hates me, because the guests for next week’s RAW are the Three Stooges from the new movie. I may have no soul, but I can’t see how this could possibly end without me throwing a brick through my TV. For the delight of slapstick fans everywhere, you know we’re going to see one of their ridiculous slap fights at some point (which hopefully Zack Ryder won’t feel the need to get in on), and I’ll be rolling my eyes so hard that the Undertaker is going to stop by my apartment for lessons. But hey, if you’re crazy enough to like them, you’ve got that to look forward to on Monday.

Next week will be busy aside from them because we’ll have a live Tuesday edition of SmackDown. It’s called “Blast from the Past” and will apparently be 80s-themed. Just like the last time they did this, I will absolutely lose my shit if they switch to the red, white, and blue ropes. The refs dressing in the old powder blues and bowties were great too, and I hope they pull those out of the closet as well. It should make for a fun Tuesday, and you can be sure we’ll have recaps to those shortly after. Even if they don’t do the ropes thing, it’ll be cool to see some of the older wrestlers, especially the ones who still have some of their abilities, like Ricky Steamboat.

Okay guys, enjoy the rest of your weekend, and we’ll see you next week for both recaps!

Episode Grade: C


SMACKDOWN RECAP: Bonding Exercises
RAW RECAP: The New Guy Blows It
PPV RECAP: WWE Night of Champions 2012
RAW RECAP: The Show Must Go On
SMACKDOWN RECAP: The Boot Gets the Boot
RAW RECAP: Heyman Lands an Expansion Franchise
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Losing is the new Winning
RAW RECAP: Say My Name
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Deja Vu All Over Again
RAW RECAP: Dignity Before Gold?
PPV RECAP: SummerSlam 2012
RAW RECAP: Bigger IS Better
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Hitting with Two Strikes
RAW RECAP: Heel, or Tweener?
RAW RECAP: CM Punk is Not a Fan of Dwayne
SMACKDOWN RECAP: The Returnening
RAW RECAP: Countdown to 1000
PPV RECAP: WWE Money in the Bank 2012
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Friday Night ZackDown
RAW RECAP: Closure's a Bitch
RAW RECAP: Crazy Gets What Crazy Wants
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Five Surprising MitB Deposits
RAW RECAP: Weeeellll, It's a Big MitB
RAW RECAP: Johnny B. Gone
PPV RECAP: WWE No Way Out 2012
RAW RECAP: Crazy Go Nuts
RAW RECAP: Be a Star, My Ass
RAW RECAP: You Can't See Him
RAW RECAP: Big Johnny Still in Charge
PPV RECAP: WWE Over the Limit 2012
SMACKDOWN RECAP: One Gullible Fella
RAW RECAP: Anvil, or Red Herring?
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Everybody Hates Berto
RAW RECAP: Look Who's Back
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Care to go Best of Five?
RAW RECAP: An Ace Up His Sleeve
PPV RECAP: WWE Extreme Rules 2012
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Sh-Sh-Sheamus and the nOObs
RAW RECAP: Edge, the Motivational Speaker?
SMACKDOWN RECAP: AJ is Angry, Jilted
RAW RECAP: Maybe Cena DOES Suck?
RAW RECAP: Brock's a Jerk
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Back with a Bang
RAW RECAP: Yes! Yes! Yes!
PPV RECAP: WWE WrestleMania 28




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