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Needs More Kane?
June 2, 2012

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

One of my favorite things about Netflix is that it allows me to revisit my childhood. Well, maybe thatís more of a statement of DVD releases of older stuff more than Netflix, but still, itís Netflix that allows me to watch all of them without absolutely destroying my bank account.
Case in point, not only has Netflix added almost all of the WWE documentaries (or whatever you want to call them), but Iím very interested in old cartoons that I grew up with. X-Men is probably my third-favorite cartoon of all-time, but even better, Netflix recently added the complete Sonic the Hedgehog series. Iím not talking about the recent re-release thatís all cute and cuddly and crapÖ

I mean the old one, back in 1993, when the series took a risk and showed that you donít have to be borderline retarded to appeal to kids. (Might want to take note of that, Vince.) They covered relatively mature storylines like the end of the world, pollution, and so on with a darker theme, yet peppered in enough humor and action that itís not like Sonic was turned into the Boondock Saints or anything.

The only problem is that, now that Iím an adult and understand the concept of, you know, actors, I get some weird realizations about shows from my past. Specifically for Sonic the Hedgehog, my brain imploded when I realized this guyÖ

Öwas played by this guyÖ

Sure, we now know what Jaleel White is capable of, even though he spends most of these days in a completely dark room with strangers and cameras, which means heís basically taking the Paris Hilton route to celebrity relevance without the fun parts. But even as nostalgia hits as I watch the series, my mindset itself goes back to 1993, can I have trouble believing that a cheese-obsessed lunatic can also be a rings-obsessed tree-hugger.

Now that Iíve wasted your time on all that, letís get to SmackDown. Iím feeling sick as hell and donít really have the energy to deal with the recap tonight, so this one is going to be pretty thin. Letís rollÖ

Segment 1: The always-hot Lilian Garcia introduces us to Sheamus, who hits the ring presently. He opens by talking about Alberto Del Rio, whom he blindsided last week as ADR celebrated on the top of the stage after winning the #1 contendership. This has been a point of contention among the IWC, as Sheamus is supposed to be or represent the anti-bully, when in fact his attack on ADR was about as bullying as you can get. (Note: I donít personally particularly care.)

Sheamus hand-waves it away by saying that he just wanted to send ADR a message that he ďwonít be kissing ADRís backside, but will be kicking it.Ē Whatever. Thatís a piss-poor reason, and as vanilla as you can get.

But then Sheamus goes on to cut ADRís heel promo for him, saying that ADR apparently thinks money can buy everything, including the fans. But Sheamus is going to show everyone, including ADR himself, that the World Heavyweight Championship.

Wuh-huh? How does any of that relate to ADRís character? You could pull off that argument against the Million Dollar Man, but not against ADR.

Anyway, David Otunga then comes out for some reason wearing his civvies. He reminds us that two weeks ago, Sheamus was ordered to apologize to Johnny Ace for bumping into him during a run-in, which Sheamus never did; ergo, Otunga is now ordering Sheamus to apologize again, and mean it this time. Sheamus replies by saying that heís going to make Otunga ďpick pieces of that coffee out of your arse for the next two weeks,Ē which gives me a horrible flashback to 1 Man 1 Jar; for the love of God, donít Google that.

ADR then hits ring and says that Otunga isnít getting an apology from Sheamus, because heís so totally stupid, and thatís why people like Sheamus work for people like them. And heís totally going to win the title at No Way Out, so donít worry about it.

Well, Otunga says, thatís all very nice, and heís totally sure the title will change hands too. But tonight, Sheamus needs ďmore immediateĒ consequences, so Ace has authorized ADR to pick Sheamusís opponent tonight. More words of no importance, then Sheamus hits Otunga with a Blarney Boot.

ADR runs away, Sheamus hits a stupid punch line, and weíre out with a tepid, boring opening.

Pre-Segment 2: As we come back from commercial, we hear Lilian Garcia open with ďAnd his opponent,Ē so we know whoís going to be winning this one.

Itís the return of Sin Cara, and I canít believe itís already been seven months. Or is that WWE fudging the space-time continuum again? [Ed. Note: it's closer to six than to seven, but regardless, it's a faster recovery than originally expected. Same injury to a guy on UD's basketball team was 9 months before he could play, and even then he wasn't 100%.]

Segment 2 [Singles Match]: Sin Cara defeats Heath Slater by pin. Back to the blue and orange mood lighting for Cara, despite his new red-and-silver outfit. The match wasÖ uhÖ underwhelming. We didnít see any finisher hereóCara won with a tilt-a-whirl arm DDTóand Cara didnít seem to have the silky smoothness that I know heís capable of. Was it ring rust or just a case of these two not clicking very well? Either way, their timing was pretty off for most moves.

I donít know if there were any botched or blown spots due to the nature of SmackDown, as things could have been edited to make them look better. The crowd was into it, which probably makes the whole thing a net positive, but itís going to be a while before Cara can really get back into the swing of things.

Also: Josh Mathews said after the match that ďSin Cara didnít have an ounce of ring rust.Ē That is about as blatant a lie as Iíve ever heard from him.

Segment 3 [Singles Match]: Damien Sandow defeats Ezekiel Jackson by pin. Something like a reversed reverse-squash, and I donít otherwise know how to word it.

So Sandow for once didnít grace us with a kickass promo as he got to the ring. However, after the bell rang, he demanded a mic and said he once again found himself in front of an ignoramus, so he totally wouldnít be competing, youíre welcome.

Well, Zeke wasnít having that, so he got punchy-punchy and put Sandow on his butt. But then Sandow remembered that Zeke is a jobber now, so heÖ uhÖ did the exact same moves in the exact same sequence against Yoshi Tatsu, except he threw in a theatrical elbow drop too. His finisher was the same cross-armed neckbreaker as well, and this time his missionary pin wasnít quite soÖ ďquestionable.Ē

Still disappointed. MaybeóhopefullyóSandow is hiding more talent and just isnít allowed to show it yet. [Ed. Note: I don't worry about the moveset so far; the guy's more than passable by today's WWE standards. I'd also contend that ol' Damien's already showed PLENTY of talent. The talent to cram as much into his character/persona/mannerisms as humanly possible. He's doing all the little things to make sure he's oozing "prick." I haven't seen a new guy this smooth on that front since Alberto debuted with that same clear-cut sense of awareness.]

Segment 4: Back in the locker room, ADR is trying to figure out who he wants against Sheamus, and then Dolph Ziggler arrives to pimp himself. ADR is fine with it and accepts.

Pre-Segment 5: Some Guy and Some Other Guy talk, so you know whatís going to happen.

Segment 5 [1-on-2 Handicap Match, Tornado Rules]: Ryback squashes Some You know what? You know whatís going on, so Iím not even going to bother typing the rest of the segment header.

Segment 6 [Singles Match]: Sheamus defeats Dolph Ziggler (w/ Vickie Guerrero) by pin. Damn fine match with a crazy-hot crowd; no noteworthy spots, but well-executed by both guys. Dolph continues to add to his value and credibility, and Sheamus maintains his momentum. Good stuff.

At the end, Jack Swagger tried to interfere by hopping on the apron. Sheamus hit him with a forearm to knock him off, though it gave Dolph a chance to recover from White Noise. Still, Dolph couldnít capitalize on his shot, as Sheamus dodged a charge and sent Dolph crashing into Swagger. Ziggler stumbled backward and directly into a Blarney Boot. Sheamus wins, and Ziggler appears mildly miffed at Swagger.

Segment 7: Back from commercial and we smash-cut to CM Punk, who is interviewed by Matt Striker. Apparently, Punk has to defend the WWE Championship against Kane tonight. Punk says that the only reason Ace ordered this match was because he (Ace) wants the title on anyone but him, and Punk and Ace hate each other because they represent everything the other doesnít like.

Then Punk cuts a vanilla promo against Kane. Trust me, youíre not missing anything.

Pre-Segment 8: The team of Titus OíNeil and Darren Young is now called the ďPrime Time Players.Ē That works, no complaints.

Segment 8 [Tag Match]: Santino Marella & Zack Ryder defeat the Prime Time Players by pin. Wait, really? I thought this one was a foregone conclusion. It was a subpar match with a pin out of absolutely nowhere. Practically a reverse-squash.

Post-Segment 8: After the match, the faces celebrated their way up to the stageÖ where Big Show came out of the back and started beating the hell out of them, especially Ryder, who got thrown back-first into the barricades and steel stairs. Showís finish was to sidewalk slam (or whatever itís called) Ryder onto the steel steps. Poor guy canít catch a break other than bones, can he?

Oh wait, no, Show isnít done. Show had basically opened the assault by sending Santino face-first into the metal onstage logo. Santino tried crawling away, but Show brought the stairs to the stage. He basically did a Greco-Roman Head Squish of Doom using the steps as assistance, followed up with a camel clutch to Santino on the steps, then finish by doing a WMD to Santinoís temple. Thatís about as hardcore a move as Iíve seen Show do in a long time.

Segment 9: Back from commercial, and we see a close-up of a CM Punk armband. But surprise, itís AJ! And thatís when Daniel Bryan pops up to mock her. Words are exchanged, and he tries to tell AJ that Punk doesnít care about her at all, and though DB doesnít anymore, he totally did once. AJ looks sad and conflicted.

Segment 10 [Singles Match]: Cody Rhodes defeats Tyson Kidd by pin. Decent little match but nothing really to speak of. Christian was on commentary for this, but the match was too short for him to really to say much of anything.

Though nothing came about during the match, Christian and Rhodes glared at each other after the match. No violence ensued, however.

Segment 11 [Singles Match for the WWE Championship]: CM Punk and Kane wrestle to a double disqualification, but Punk retains. Solid match with another extremely hot crowd (or rather, the same hot crowd from the Sheamus match). No noteworthy spots, but Kane looked much better than he has recently. He must click well with Punk.

Just like with Punkís last match, AJ came out to cheer for her guy. This time though, she made a positive contribution: while Punk was on a roll and went for his Five Moves of Doom, DB came down to be a jerk. AJ warned Punk, who took out DB with a flying crossbody.

Kane recovered after DBís interference, and the match got back underway in short order. Back and forth for a bit, and then DB came off the top rope with a split kick that nailed both Punk and Kane simultaneously.

Post-Segment 11: DB recovered, got rid of Kane quickly, then started working on Punk. Punk countered however and wanted to nail DB with the GTS, but Kane recovered and chokeslammed them both. Kane was satisfied and headed out of the ring.

And thatís when Johnny Ace decided to make an appearance with his People Power Rascal (and Eve, who seemed to be missing half the buttons on her shirt). Ace makes the obvious triple threat match, but he makes it for the No Way Out title match. Interesting. [Ed. Note: I wanted Punk/Bryan II -- with a stip, preferably submissions only -- at the PPV, and no more Kane. Now, I'm softening; that was just about the best Kane match in... I don't even know when. Years, probably; definitely better than any of the Cena or Orton matches he's had since re-masking. Fantastic main event. And that's even before Eve showed up looking like that. Suddenly, I'm not so offended that the No Way Out PPV title match got more Kane.]

Final Thoughts: Iíve said pretty much everything I want to say, and I feel like crap, so Iím calling it here. It was a pretty unexciting night overall, though Sheamusís and Punkís matches were pretty solid thanks to the crowd. You can safely pass on this one.

Episode Grade: C+ (Punk/Kane and Sheamus/Dolph), D+ (everything else)


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