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Friday Night ZackDown
July 14, 2012

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

I’ve got things to do tonight, so no precap for you. Monday was a one-shot “treat” (or bore, depending on whether you actually like reading my precaps), so let’s get to SD…
Pre-Segment 1: Our one-time guest general manager hits the ring. Say hello to Zack Ryder! Apparently this is Friday Night ZackDown, and his first act is to make everyone do fist pumps. Yay? [Ed. Note: Ten out of ten for re-doing the graphics and chyron and everything for "ZackDown." Very neat. But minus several million for not having Zack make any decisions that any other random GM would have. Generic as hell.]

And here comes Alberto Del Rio. He says that Teddy Long was a shitty general manager, but Zack is even worse, especially with this “Internet Champion of the World” crap. See, this Sunday, ADR will be a real world champion. So there.

Zack says something slightly nonsensical, but gets to the point that he’s making matches, and ADR’s opponent for tonight is coming right the hell now… and it’s Sin Cara! Yay! Replays remind us that these two were supposed to have a match two weeks ago, but ADR just assaulted Cara before it started. I’m sorta glad for the recap of crap I’ve already recapped, because I totally forgot about it.

Segment 1 [Singles Match]: Alberto Del Rio (w/ Ricardo Rodriguez) defeats Sin Cara by submission. Decent match, nothing special, other than the fact that Cara fought like ADR peed in his coffee. There was less flash and more “drive my knee repeatedly into ADR’s nose” style. Neat, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the Cross Arm Breaker.

Segment 2: WWE is doing its new social media crap, called Tout, which is like if Twitter and YouTube had a baby: you can say whatever you want in a vlog, but you only have 15 seconds. They encourage us to visit WWE.com because that’s the only place in the multiverse where you can see Touts!

And then they play several on TV. [Ed. Note: society really needs to go back to the days of when people (a) realized nobody gave a shit about what they thought, and (b) they didn't have an outlet to tell you what they thought, regardless. Now, WWE goes and makes it worse by taking the ramblings of idiots off of the enabling website du jour, and broadcasts them on TV. Putting idiots on TV to make them want to watch your show on TV: that's so backwards, even the Amish thinks it's stupid.]

Segment 3: Teddy Long is in the back and tells Zack that he’s doing a totally awesome job as the guest GM… but then Big Show arrives to voice his difference of opinion. He feels he should be the GM of SmackDown, and readies the WMD. Not sure why punching a dude in the face would qualify you to take his place, and if the world was that simple, I’m pretty sure Jesse Ventura could work his way up to the White House.

So anyway, Show wants to punch Zack, but then Khali arrives and grabs his shoulder. They have a Staredown of Intense Rivalry, followed by Zack saying that these two are totally opponents tonight. Because that matchup is always exciting.

Pre-Segment 4: RRRRRROOOSSSAAA!!! She seems to have more pop in her hips this week, which obviously means she knew I would be watching in real-time and wanted me to have a good night. You’re so thoughtful, Rosa!

Segment 4 [Singles Match]: Primo (w/ My Rosa Mendes & Epico) defeats Darren Young (w/ Titus O’Neil & AW) by pin. An extended reverse-squash, Young beat the crap out of Primo for basically the whole match while AW (mic’ed up as always) screamed praise and put DY over. Which worked, until Primo did an out-of-nowhere pin counter to take the win. My Rosa was popping her hips all the way out of the ring too, bizarrely in Darren Young’s direction.

Segment 5: We get Christian’s RAW memory… this one of Edge’s retirement speech. This one is pretty interesting as Christian says that he knew what Edge was doing when he came to RAW, but it never really hit him until Edge was actually standing in that ring and making the speech. Christian says something like, “I realized that we were watching live the end of a storied career.” That’s more emotional than it had any right to be.

Segment 6: Zack is talking to Sheamus about something, and then Chris Jericho comes up to insult Zack and his inability to run SD. So, naturally, Zack makes the match, and CJ isn’t happy about it.

Segment 7 [Tag Match]: Dolph Ziggler & Cody Rhodes (w/ Vickie Guerrero) defeat Santino Marella & Christian by pin. Solid match, technically well executed, but no noteworthy or high spots. Dolph’s move-to-move abilities are just getting better and better, and now he’s got momentum as he heads into the Money in the Bank match on Sunday.

After the match, Cody and Dolph made eyes at each other, but no violence ensued.

Segment 8: We get a giant-ass long recap of RAW… and be “recap,” I mean they basically show the main event in its entirety. I’m hoping that’s because the backup plan to record SmackDown on Monday (thanks to the wildfires) caused them to have to ditch a lot of their SmackDown plans. If someone actually thought that the best use of 20 minutes of our time on Friday was to replay RAW, that person needs to be slapped with their own liver.

Segment 9 [Singles Match]: Big Show squashes Khali by pin. One punch. At least they made it mercifully quick.

Pre-Segment 10: Curt Hawkins and Tyler Reks get a full entrance for the first time that I’m aware of (Superstars excepted, since I’ve never seen an episode). Does Hawkins usually hit the ring with a dapper cane, or is that new? And: what the hell?

So last week, Ryback beat the shit out of Hawkins, and Reks thinks he’ll totally be able to beat Ryback this week because he’s better. Sure you will, buddy.

Segment 11 [Singles Match]: Ryback squashes Tyler Reks (w/ Curt Hawkins) by pin. To be fair, Reks delivered a few punches and body knees to start the match. But then the usual happened, and the stupider fans cheered.

Segment 12: Because this is ZackDown, we get a replay of Wolverine saying that his guest host appearance on RAW was his best memory.

Segment 13: Which is followed by more Touts, which are only available on the Internet. Obviously.

Pre-Segment 14: Damien Sandow? Finally: 90 minutes of boredom is finally snapped.

Segment 14 [Singles Match]: Damien Sandow defeats Justin Gabriel by pin. If these two didn’t work closely together in FCW, I’ll eat an entire sandwich of Rick’s bugs. The match was maybe two minutes long, but neither guy paused for a split-second for the entire thing. Gabriel’s unfortunate haircut aside, there wasn’t a flaw with the match given that it’s a one-off throwaway to build up Sandow’s momentum heading into Money in the Bank.

And any of my fears that Sandow may not have the workrate to backup his awesome mic skills have been completely erased at this point. I’m not saying Sandow is a technical marvel, but anyone who can hang that well with a speedy opponent has nothing worry about.

Segment 15: Another RAW Rewind, this time of the unveiling of the Anonymous RAW General Manager. WWE had to over-produce it to hide the fact that absolutely no one gave a shit, including adding a much bigger crowd reaction. Revisionist history, thy name is WWE.

Segment 16 [Singles Match]: Sheamus defeats Chris Jericho by pin. This one started as a “solid” match but slowly because “just flippin’ awesome” by the end of it. The crowd was super-hot and, starting with the last few minutes, no one was booing Jericho anymore; it was all cheers for both guys.

There weren’t any exceptionally noteworthy spots, but everything was executed perfectly. Their timing was fantastic, such as the ending sequence. This was launched with Jericho hitting a Codebreaker, but he wasn’t able to make the pin. Sheamus then crawled to a corner and, from a seated position, skinned the cat to get himself on the top rope. From there, he went for a flying lariat, but Jericho caught him in midair and hit a second Codebreaker!

But Sheamus kicked out of that too, then dragged himself to a different corner. Jericho backed away, screamed at him to get up, then charged him… and ate a Blarney Boot out of nowhere and took the pin.

Don’t let the last sequence fool you: it was an open match with back-and-forth action from bell to bell. This match, at least, is a should-watch; you definitely need to YouTube it.

If I’m allowed to be picky, my only issue with the match was an indirect effect of Jericho slapping on the Walls of Jericho for a good two minutes or more. That is, there wasn’t an effect: other than holding his back once, Sheamus never sold the long-term damage of the move, which I think is a mistake. It might be a storyline for Sheamus’s match against ADR, but Sheamus just moved too well and acted like being in the submission move for that long didn’t really bother him. Seems like he could have sold it by trying to lift Jericho, then selling the back and just harmlessly dropping Jericho, or something.

Post-Segment 16: After the match, Sheamus headed up the ramp and did his victory taunt… and then ADR’s music hit. His sweet ride appeared at the side of the stage, and Sheamus eyed it warily. Then ADR himself popped out from the gorilla position (which Sheamus was no longer facing), then hit Sheamus with a roundhouse kick to his temple.

Sheamus dropped immediately, so ADR kicked him again, sending him off the edge of the stage. As Ricardo got out of the car to laugh at Sheamus, ADR grabbed Sheamus’s arm and slapped on that ridiculously painful looking armbar using the stage to help with leverage. Jerk.

Final Thoughts: So Sheamus has a bad arm and, possibly, a bad back for his title match against Alberto Del Rio. That can certainly level the playing field and let ADR go full-on heel beatdown convincingly, regardless of the finish of the match. ADR doesn’t exactly thrill me, but ever since he’s dropped the destiny crap and become basically just an old-school heel, he’s become more tolerable to me.

And of course, that ignores the awesomeness of the Sheamus/Jericho match itself. Rick put on the teaser blurb that he heard good things from the spoilers, and they didn’t disappoint.

But, the rest of the show did. I’m not a slave to my word counts, but the fact that I’ve got under 1700 words for a two-hour show tells me something. There was a lot of filler. I’m sure the wildfires are to blame for a lot of it, but if RAW was any indication, WWE wasn’t exactly going to put its A-game on for us this week regardless of Nature being a jerk. [Ed. Note: I liked this SD a lot better than I liked Monday's RAW. The two RAW recap packages were easily FF'd, and while nothing actually happened, the in-ring wrestling was there all night. Sheamus/Jericho was as good a free TV match as you'll ever see, and both del Rio/Sin Cara and the MitB tag match were very good, too. Throw in the most competitive Ryback match yet, a spiffy little Sandow squash, and a more-amusing-than-it-had-any-right-to-be Young/Colon match, and I'll take it.]

I’ve got nothing more to add and I have plans, so I’m going to head out for the night. Rick will have the Money in the Bank recap up for you around midnight Sunday, so you should help him out by donating to the cause through PayPal (where all major credit cards are accepted!). Because hey: tossing a couple bucks OO’s way saves you hundreds a year on pay-per-views!

All right guys, have a good weekend, and I’ll see you on the other side of it for RAW.

Episode Grade: D+


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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