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Deja Vu All Over Again
August 25, 2012

by Rick Scaia
Exclusive to OOWrestling.com


Pyro's off tending to personal business, so for the next week or so, you're stuck with me and my penchant for usually-much-more-than-you-need-to-know. Luckily, I'm fully recovered from my own personal business, which was conducted up in Canada, where I was leading a bloody jihad, attempting to get those silly canucks to admit that Canadian "bacon" is, in fact, ham.

Ah, I keed. I was actually up there for my brother's wedding, and could not have had a lovelier time. The in-laws are awesome folks, Vancouver was a great town (if ludicrously expensive), and I was introduced to something called "poutine." Imagine, if you will, cheesy fries. Then imagine them a billion times tastier, because you slathered them in gravy.
Tip o' the hat, Canada. Tip o' the hat.

I still have zero desire to ever visit my brother where he lives (which is Los Angeles, a town where 9 out of every 10 people deserve to be punched in the eyeball, as near as I can tell). But if he and his new wife spend any significant time up north of the border, I'll gladly visit them there. Hey, gotta make use of my brand new passport... but perhaps not too much use; everything about Customs and border security is retarded and time-wasting beyond belief.
I digress. I'll save back a few thoughts/observations/me-bragging-about-Cuban-cigars for a preRamble next week... let's just cut to the chase. Here's last night's SmackDown:

Video Package: Sheamus beat Alberto del Rio at SummerSlam, but the ref missed Alberto's foot on the bottom rope, so it was a tainted win. Controversy will be settled.... TONIGHT!
Opening Theme/Pyro/Etc., and we're live in Bakersfield, CA, and wasting no time. Randy Orton is on his way to the ring to kick things off...
Three Men and a Title Shot Theatre
So Orton gets in the ring and grabs a mic. And promptly wastes no time reminding us of why this is a bad idea. He dum-dums his way to declaring that he's throwing his hat into the WHT ring, on the grounds that even though he respects Sheamus he "lives for confrontation." So just in case you forgot the guy is one of the world's leading twatwaffles, here he is, reminding you that he, Randy Orton, will always seek to cause drama and violence where none are needed, because he requires these things to survive. What a load. [OK, so yes, I know he obviously meant to say "competition" instead of "confrontation," and I should just let it slide. But he's him -- a mantard of epic proportions -- and I'm me -- who doesn't suffer idiots lightly -- so I'm underscoring his latest promo failure.]
But Sheamus -- who seems like much more of a "live and let live" kind of fella -- hits the ring and agrees with the general thesis that Orton should be in line for a title shot. Sheamus thinks del Rio has used up all his shots, and would welcome the fresh challenge.
Enter GM Booker T, who says he's been thinking about the World Heavyweight Title situation, and has a few thoughts... but first, he asks the fans what they think of Orton as #1 Contender. Predictably, they approve.
Just as predictably, here's Alberto del Rio (with Ricardo) to interrupt and insist that he deserves another shot, because the ref cheated him at SummerSlam. He goes on to lambaste the ref for sucking, Sheamus for accepting the tainted win, and Booker for letting it stand. He paints himself as a victim of either conspiracy or incompetence, and isn't standing for it.
Booker says that he was actually leaning towards giving Alberto the next title shot.... but he doesn't like being accused of incompetence or favoritism, so he's changed his mind. Instead, tonight's main event will be a #1 Contender Match between Alberto and Randall. Now can you dig THAT, sucka?
Announcer Table Interlude: We are reminded that Josh Mathews suffered heinous injuries at the hands of the Clangy Poles on Sunday, so he's not able to be here tonight. Michael Cole informs us that he'll be joined by a different guest commentator for each match.
Ryback vs. Jinder Mahal
Teddy Long was on commentary, and really didn't bring much to the table. Then again, this was a 2 minute Ryback quasi-squash, so what's a man to do?
Your Winner: Ryback, via pinfall, in 2 minutes. And so this thing with Mahal is done. It's about damned time. I mean, Ryback's clearly got a bit of the "it" and fans seem to want a chance to care, but this 2 month program was 10 pounds of giving-a-shit in a 50 pound bag. It's completely logical and sounds OK on paper, but in execution, it was a big fat bleh.
Layla vs. Alicia Fox (Non-Title Match)
Kaitlyn -- now the #1 Contender to Layla's women's title -- is on guest commentary. She immediately scores points by noting that she's so happy with her recent Battle Royale win that she's been going around hugging everybody in sight. She then immediately declines to hug Cole. Atta girl.
Match was super-time-compressed, but laid out so that Alicia could work over Layla's SURGICALLY REPAIRED~! knee before Layla's comeback and win.
Your Winner: Layla, via pinfall, in about 2 minutes. To be honest, I thought Kaitlyn came out as a bigger "winner" by virtue of having what seems to be some genuine personality and awareness. She managed to work in thoughts about AJ (her "best friend" since the NXT days, turned nemesis, turned friend again, maybe) and Natalya (who wants a one-on-one shot at Kaitlyn to prove she's a "fluke" challenger), all while conveying excitement at the prospect of getting her own title shot. Then again, maybe I'm just saying that because I really like Kaitlyn. In my pants.
RAW Rebound: I don't recap recaps.
Backstage: Dolph Ziggler and Vickie are talking about Monday (they're happy to have sent Jericho packing, but upset at how close he came to losing his MitB Briefcase due to Crazy AJ)... that's when Sheamus walked up and said he's rested and ready, so why not cash that briefcase tonight, Dolph? Dolph considers only briefly before saying "You wish. On my time, Potsie." Sheamus seems disappointed, but that's when we see that Teddy Long has been listening in, and he declares that as "senior advisor" to Booker T, he's going to suggest a Sheamus/Ziggler non-title match for tonight. Which means you can pretty much book it...
Sin Cara vs. Heath Slater
So... OO does not recap squashes, right? Well, OO has to recap this one, on the grounds that Cody Rhodes was the one sitting in on guest commentary. He mostly just did his lame, juvenile schtick of talking about how Sin Cara must be really uglyl under his mask (complete with his Artist's Rendition of Unmasked Sin Cara, which I am betting is a Jerry Lawler Original; anyone want to take that action?).
But Cody also waits for his moment, and while Slater distracts the ref, he pearl harbored Sin Cara and then turned his masked around (so the eyeholes were in the back and he couldn't see). Slater hit his move (that's his move!), and that's that.
Your Winner: Heath Slater, via pinfall, in 2 minutes. Yep, 3 matches tonight, total elapsed time: 6 minutes. Exciting~! After the match, Cody administered a beatdown till refs broke it up.
Sheamus vs. Dolph Ziggler (Non-Title Match)
Vickie sat in on commentary for this one. This just in: she thinks Dolph Ziggler is the bee's knees.
So... I had this pegged as a kick-ass mid-show anchor match. Bzzt. Dolph gains nominal control after about 45 seconds, administers a 3 minute heel beatdown, then Sheamus starts his comeback. At this point, Vickie leaves the commentary table and hands Dolph the MitB Briefcase, which he promptly uses to plaster Sheamus in the skull. Ding ding, that's a DQ.
Dolph briefly teases that he'll cash in MitB while Sheamus is dazed, but Sheamus puts an end to that by getting to his feet quickly after the briefcase shot. Ziggler and Vickie skedaddle.
Your Winner: Sheamus, via disqualification, in 5 minutes. In the micro, utterly disappointing, especially on a night that has already had a dearth of in-ring action. But in the macro, you can sort of see how this fits together by creating a foundation of prickly heat between Sheamus and Ziggler, upon which they can build in coming weeks/months. Or: later toniight, even.
In Case You Missed It, There's a New US Champ
So, on the youtube PPV pre-show on Sunday, Antonio Cesaro actually beat Santino Marella for the US Title. A meaningful result on the PPV pre-show? I know, I'm as shocked as you are... for all WWE's attempts to get people to give a shit, the PPV pre-show on youtube is averaging less than half the viewers that Zack Ryder's show gets every week. Which means you didn't see it, and they have to do this segment to remind you what happened.
So yeah, Cesaro beat Santino (due to Santino's Cobra getting distracted by Cesaro's girlfriend/valet, Aksana) and is the new US Champ. And Santino's out tonight to talk about his loss, and how he intends to make it up to all his fans by training harder than ever and regaining his belt. "It's not how many times you fall down, it's how many times you get back up" and other Rocky quotes.
Finally, Antonio and Aksana have heard enough, and interrupt. [Note: new entrance music for Cesaro. Instead of the vaguely appropriate pan-Euro pop-punk, it's just generic elevator rock.] Aksana informs us that Antonio will once again be addressing us in 5 languages. And he does. Today's word: "winner." That's what he (Antonio) is, and what Santino is not. Santino decides thems is fightin' words, and attacks.
He actually gets the better of Cesaro until he decides to load up the Cobra... and the Cobra is once again smitten with Aksana, allowing Cesaro to recover and beat the crap out of Santino.
Yeah, it's a bit silly. But hey, it's also Santino, who makes silly fun. Well, sometimes. FWIW, I'm choosing to have fun by laughing at Standards and Practices for not realizing that this is another case of the Cobra ceasing to be an innocent armsock, and once again being a half-entendre. IT'S HIS PENIS, GET IT?!?!?!??
Kofi Kingston and R-Truth vs. the Colons (Non-title Match)
The Prime Time Players (Titus and Young) are on guest commentary, saying a whole lotta nothing, but saying it well. These guys have a chance at following the New Age Outlaw path to success: thrown together as a tag team, nobody expects much, but they go into business for themselves and have enough charisma to get noticed despite being utterly average workers. WWE already thought enough of them to blow-up planned stories so that AW could be their manager; even though AW is now gone, I suspect they'll get a run with the gold soon enough.
Oh, the match? Yeah, it was another 2 minute job. Yay?
Your Winners: Kofi and Truth, via pinfall, in 2 minutes. I know WWE's bringing back Saturday morning wrestling for the first time in over 15 years, but that doesn't mean I want SD reminding me of Superstars of Wrestling.... [digression: the new Saturday morning show debuted today on the CW as part of their kiddie block. True story: it comes with a disclaimer that all moves to the head and neck are banned, as they are not compatible with a TV-G rating. I'm not making this up.]
Crap You Can See in a Theater: there's a new WWE Studios movie out. If you don't see it this weekend, it probably won't be there the next. Of note, it features zero WWE stars, and has one of the hobbits from Lord of the Rings in it. But I'm sure it still sucks. [Another true story: the next WWE Studios movie has David Otunga in a bit part, but stars Halle Berry. Yes, THAT Halle Berry.  Oscar-winning Halle Berry. Oh, honey... if things are going that badly for you, you really should have given me a chance to console you before just giving up completely. Note: by "console," I probably mean "grope." Still, it'd have been more fun for both of us than you doing a WWE Studios movie.]
Backstage: Matt Striker is talking to Kofi/Truth about the state of the tag division. Immediately, the PTPs show up and declare they should get a title shot. Then, the Usos materialize with a dissenting oppinion. And the Colons. And finally Justin Gabriel/Tyson Kidd (hey, they're still A Thing?). A Pier 10 Brawl breaks out, and ref swarm to contain it...
Backstage: Booker and Teddy Long are lamenting the messy tag title situation, with Teddy offering no useful advice... in walks Administrative Assistant, Bespectacled Eve. Although she's evil and a noted Hoe-ski, she's also in Brownnoser Mode. So she has a detailed report and spreadsheet covering all tag team matches and results for the past 6 months, which she hands to Booker. She figures it'll help him sort out the #1 Contender problem. Booker is impressed. He's even more impressed when she says she's going off to get started working on next week's SD.... she departs with a bitchy look at Teddy.
Video Package: Lesnar and Triple H. I don't recap recaps.
Randy Orton vs. Alberto del Rio (#1 Contender Match)
By the time we do all the ring entrances (including Ricardo supplanting Lilian for del Rio's, and an extra entrance for Sheamus, who is doing guest commentary), we get all of 60 seconds of "action" before we need to break for....
Back, and Orton's getting a taste of his own medicine: a dreaded chinlock. We're left to envision the ad break, during which del Rio did a 4 minute heel beatdown... but now that we're back, Orton basically starts his babyface fire-up, and we enter what passes for End Game. In this case, that means about 3 minutes of back-and-forth and near falls that don't quite feel compelling given that we're only 6-7 minutes into the match.
Orton finally seemed to gain control when he landed his Hangman DDT (on his second attempt to do so). But when he set up for the RKO, del Rio grabbed the ropes to pull himself out of harm's way. Orton RKO'd thin air, and was off balance, so del Rio immediately took advantage by floating over and locking in the cross-arm-breaker. Half-hearted attempt to get to the ropes, but then Orton tapped out. Wow. Completely clean.
Your Winner, and NEW #1 Contender (Same as the OLD #1 Contender): Sheamus, via submission, in 9 minutes. As disappointingly short and unexciting as this was, the finish sure provided a big surprise. Then again, for most, it's not a good surprise: even if you're as bored of Orton as OO is, it's not exactly like you were clammoring for Sheamus/Alberto Chapter 37. Then again, is that what we're really gonna end up getting?
After the Match: Alberto decided to antagonize Sheamus, who immediately got int he ring. But the dirty backfighter, Ricardo, was laying in wait, and the two managed to get the better of Sheamus. Cue Ziggler, who is brandishing the MitB Briefcase, looking to take advantage of Sheamus. Del Rio decides to yield right of way, this time, but Orton isn't feeling so kind... he RKOs Ziggler before anything can happen. Ziggler's down, Sheamus is down, del Rio is scurrying out of the ring, so let's play Randall's music as we fade to black! Whee!
And so ends the show. Don't know quite what to make of that ending, but I figure it's one of two things: (1) SD ends up doing a 4-way title match at the PPV (which would be the better match and fresher story, and opens the door for a cool angle where Ziggler can "lose" in the real match, but then pick his spot and win the title outside the context of the 4-way), or (2) SD ends up doing yet anotehr Sheamus/del Rio match, with Ziggler/Orton as a strong supporting match on the undercard (which is less exciting, but still workable).
Either way, that ending and its implications for the WHT scene are about the only thing worth giving a shit about tonight. And now that I've laid it out for you, you don't need to bother wasting another nanosecond ont his week's SmackDown. No youtubing necessary, no further pondering recommended. It just wan't that strong an outing. I wasn't kidding when I said this felt more like an edition of "Superstars of Wrestling" when I was 10 years old, than like SmackDown. Even SD's usual strength -- the in-ring action -- was lacking pretty badly on this night.
See you again on Monday night/Tuesday morning with the RAW Recap. Till then, stay classy, kids...

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



Rick Scaia is a wrestling fan from Dayton, OH.  He's been doing this since 1995, but enjoyed it best when the suckers from SportsLine were actually PAYING him to be a fan.



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