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A Night of Frenemies
January 19, 2013

by PyroFalkon
Master of the PyroFalkon Multimedia Empire, Incorporated
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If you’re a sports fan, you’re probably sick to death about reading about Lance Armstrong. If that’s the case, you, uh, might want to skip the precap tonight.
Then again, it’s not Lance himself that’s on mind. For better or worse, most of my pet peeves are ones that are subjective, and one my biggest is inconsistency. And with all this fallout over Lance Armstrong coming out of the doping closet, there’s only one question on my mind: why in God’s name does the media care this hard?

I mean, I get why the public cares, to an extent. There’s always a public fallout when athletes are found to be cheating, but it usually gets swept under the rug pretty quickly. Major League Baseball easily survived even though Barry Bonds may not get into the Hall of Fame for a while (and Sammy Sosa probably never will). We all just sort of stopped caring, and even baseball fans continued to watch afterwards.

So why is the media going absolutely crazy about this Armstrong thing? Is it because of the whole Live Strong movement? Is it because he fought so long against the accusations? It just confuses why the media would be going nuts about Armstrong’s doping when the sport of cycling is so far down the list of American Cares. [Ed. Note: from what I gather, it's the lying and fighting the accusations that make Lance especially dispicable. Because he didn't just defend himself, he went on the offensive against others, and cost myriad people a LOT of money, even more respect/credibility when he accused THEM of being the liar, and basically ruined a couple dozen lives all so he could insist upon his innocence. Even Roger Clemens only threw one guy under the bus in his execrable quest to be found innocent. The way Armstrong attacked anyone who dared speak out against him makes him a truly epic piece of shit. The Livestrong aspect probably doesn't help, though, since that means we all got fooled into liking such an epically shitty person.]

Oh well. I’m past the ad box, and I’m not getting anything accomplished by watching CNN anymore. Let’s switch over to Syfy and SmackDown, shall we?

Segment 1: After the TMZ-style trailer, we smash-cut to a mariachi band playing some song in the middle of the ring with a Latino woman dancing around. Ricardo Rodriguez is there to, and he welcomes us to “Fiesta Del Rio.” RR is so amped for this that he’s got a bowtie in the colors of the Mexican flag, and he announces Alberto Del Rio himself.

ADR hits the ring to an absolutely ridiculous pop. ADR opens with a heel-to-face speech that we fans may not have always seen eye-to-eye with him, but we’re all happy that the “fat jackass” Big Show is no longer the World Heavyweight Champion.

And here comes Dolph Ziggler, AJ, and Big E Langston to crash the fiesta. ADR calls them out for interrupting this party since it’s for him, Ricardo, and “all his friends,” referring to the fans. Dolph et al get in the ring, and Dolph proceeds to call bullshit on ADR’s assumption that the fans are his friends. Clearly ADR is delusional, and he’s also delusional about holding the World Heavyweight Title; Dolph says he owns the title, he’s just letting ADR borrow it until he cashes in the Money in the Bank briefcase.

ADR laughs that off and makes a generic threat, so Dolph makes a bigger threat indirectly with Big E. Things escalate, but then Big Show this the ring too. Show says nothing, but just stands with the heels and stares down ADR. Dolph says that ADR may not be good at math, but ADR is totally outnumbered here.

And then Sheamus hits the ring, because he wants to help with the numbers thing, and the fact that he totally wants to be a part of the fiesta. Sheamus runs down that he and ADR haven’t really gotten along, especially since “the last time I was here, I tried to steal your car.” Good job with continuity there, but c’mon Sheamus, I remember that episode! You were just totally “borrowing” it, right?

(Aside: Actually, I do remember that episode well, and I spent the recap railing against WWE for Sheamus maintaining the fantasy of being a face when he was, in fact , committing grand theft auto when ADR hadn’t actually done anything to him. I’m not normally that much of a stick-in-the-mud, but that angle really stuck in my craw for some reason.)

But anyway, Sheamus says he’s seriously out here just to give ADR some major props for beating Big Show last week, and that he totally deserves his title. So therefore, Sheamus wants the honor of being the first to shake his hand. ADR isn’t so sure at first, but the crowd is happy, so they do. Sheamus concludes that he’s going to make sure that none of these jerks are going to interrupt the party.

ADR smiles and thanks him for the gesture, but doesn’t want anyone fighting here. Sheamus is all, “Really?” And ADR is all, “Eh, maybe a little.”

So everyone gets ready to throw punches, and then Booker T arrives. He first says that that if Show ever lays his hands on him again (referring to last week), he’ll “ruin your day, sucka.” Then he books the obvious tag match, then ejects all four heels from the ring since they’re totally not invited.

The heels surprisingly leave in peace, and… well, and then we see a Spinaroony from Booker T, and Sheamus doing the Mexican hat dance. It’s entertaining, but this seems to go a little too long for my taste. Cute, and a crowd pleaser, so that’s just a personal annoyance.

Segment 2 [Singles Match]: Antonio Cesaro defeats Kofi Kingston by pin. Decent match, nothing special, and nothing to talk about other than the final spot. Kofi was on a roll and went to the top rope, then flew off and went for a huracanrana. Cesaro caught him and didn’t go down, but Kofi was still just sort of hanging there with his ankles on Cesaro’s neck. Cesaro simply put his hands up, locked them around Kofi’s leg, and delivered the Neutralizer out of nowhere. Good stuff.

Segment 3: Miz watched the last match from a monitor in the back and wasn’t pleased with the outcome. As he started to leave his spot, he was set upon by—


—by Epico, Primo, and My Rosa Mendes, who is wearing white for once. Good color on her, but red is better, and deep blue is the best. Then again, what color doesn’t look good on her? She could wear plaid and I’d still have to replace my chair padding when she arrived. Mmm… plaid…

What was I saying? Oh, right, what they said: so they arrive, and Primo is all, “Look, it’s Ric Flair’s new buddy?” And My Rosa is all, “Really?” And they say “Really?” back and forth several times. Miz sardonically says that was very clever, how they used his catchphrase against him, especially since they “haven’t talked in two years, and now that you have, you waste it on that.”

My Rosa, who has the voice of an angel, replies that they talk all the time. In fact, they just got done talking about how much Miz and Flair have in common! So, naturally, it was a short conversation. Cute… But Primo decides to smash in your face with the joke as he runs down Flair’s accomplishments and Miz’s lack of them.

Miz says he’s got a match with one of them, but they’re so interchangeable that he can’t tell them apart. He calls Primo “Epico,” then when Epico gets upset, Miz tells him that nobody cares. It sounds dumb in text but Miz’s delivery sold it. Miz finally says he doesn’t care which one them he faces, so he’ll leave the choice up to Rosa, telling her: “We’ll leave it up to your… whatever it is that you do.” That fiery Latin temper of hers makes her explode into Spanish, and she needs to be restrained by the guys so she doesn’t claw Miz’s eyes out as he leaves.

Ah, My Rosa speaking angry Spanish… That really butters my popcorn.

Segment 4 [Singles Match]: Khali (w/ Natalya) defeats Tensai. Meh. At least they kept it short.

Segment 5: Team Friendship is in the back and lamenting Dr. Shelby’s stupid idea of bringing Team Rhodes Scholars into their therapy session on Monday. Further, DB is annoyed at Kofi Kingston’s facial hair, since “Some people just don’t know when their facial hair starts to look ridiculous.” Kane is all, “Tell me about it.”

It takes DB a second to figure out what Kane said, and then we get into a “Yes! / No!” argument. Then they turn to see that Randy Orton has entered the locker room. Orton has grown out his beard again, though he’s shaved off the majority of the neckbeard. Good for him. [Ed. Note: as long as he can't grow the "connectors" between moustache and beard, he still loses at facial hair. Having the beard of a 14-year-old is no way to get the gravitas. It's a way to get points and giggles.]

Anyway, Orton is here because these three are half of an upcoming six-man tag match. Orton wants to know if Team Friendship is here to collectively be morons, or if they’re actually going to dish out some pain to their opponents tonight, Team Rhodes Scholars and Wade Barrett. Kane is all “Both!” before running off.

DB tells Orton that they’re not morons; they’re working through anger issues, and if anyone should know what that’s like, it’s Orton. And DB and Kane are now champions, and Orton wants to be a champion again, don’t you?

Orton is ready to be a champion, and totally will be after he wins Royal Rumble. DB cuts him off and says that tonight isn’t about Orton: it’s about a six-man tag match. It’s baby steps to get better! And once the match is over, the next baby step will be a group hug! Orton says he’s not much of a hugger, but DB assures him that “you will be” with a cheesy grin. That was really creepy.

Segment 6 [Six-Man Tag Match]: Randy Orton & Team Friendship defeat Team Rhodes Scholars & Wade Barrett by pin. Rapid-fire match that was pure formula but a little too short to be very entertaining. Nothing much to speak of here, with Orton’s only action coming as the savior. He went house of fire, beat the crap out of everyone, hit Sandow with the RKO, and that was it.

Post-Segment 6: Orton wanted to leave after the match but DB wanted a hug. Orton said screw that and turned around… right into Kane, who also wanted a hug. And you don’t say no to a guy who is obsessed with beating up Pete Rose, so Kane went ahead and applied the Hug of Love and Doom. DB got a little too overly excited and ran at Orton from behind, also hugging him and making an Orton sandwich, a phrase I’m sure absolutely none of you ever wanted to read on this site.

Orton looked uncomfortable (mostly) and kept his arms pinned at his sides, even after they released him and went away. Orton probably feels the need to take a chemical bath every hour for the rest of the week. [

Segment 7: An extremely dishonest bait-and-switch here, the commentators have been blathering all night about having a “Rock Concert” on SmackDown. Except: it was just a replay of the entire final segment of RAW. Stupid. Got me excited for nothing. At least WWE killed a good ten to fifteen minutes including commercials.

Pre-Segment 8: RRRRRROOOSSSAAA!!! …Yes, I know I did my catchphrase already, but when I skip through commercials and am rewarded with My Rosa Mendes doing what I’m now calling the “Pyro’s Lap Grind Dance” on the apron, well, that deserves another shout, and another laundry session.

Segment 8 [Singles Match]: The Miz defeats Primo (w/ Epico & My Rosa Mendes) by submission. Decent match, nothing too special. Standard formula, with Miz getting the early offense. Primo took over after that with the heel beatdown segments and entirely too many restholds. Miz started his comeback and went for the Skull Crushing Finale, but then Epico hopped up on the apron to distract him.

With Miz distracted, Primo did a shoulder chop block to Miz, causing My Rosa to jump in celebration, causing me to jump in celebration. Then Primo wanted to add insult to injury by slapping on the Figure Four, but Miz countered out by literally kicking him in the butt… which caused him to smack into Epico, who went flying off the apron.

With the heels contained, Miz decided to make the fans happy and applied the Figure Four to Primo. Primo resisted, but tapped out in short order. Rosa concluded the segment doing Angry Face, which against makes me happy for all the wrong reasons.

Segment 9: Kaitlyn, Alicia Fox, and… who… who is that? Is that Layla? Holy crap, she does not look good with overly highlighted hair. Go back to dark brown, girl!

Anyway, Alicia and Layla are showering Kaitlyn with compliments after winning the Divas Title on Monday. While Alicia jokes with Kaitlyn that she can buy tons of shoes with her fame now (and Kaitlyn joking back that she’s “not a ‘shoe’ girl” and prefers to keep her look casual), Layla takes the Divas Title and holds it. And, uh, caresses it. And stares at it. And studies it. And possibly imagines taking it to bed.

Kaitlyn has to pretty much verbally snap Layla back into reality so she can take the belt back and get to the ring for her match. Layla’s all “My bad!” but there’s a certain… look there. Hm.

Well, Kaitlyn and Alicia take a step back as Booker T and Teddy Long arrives. Nothing happens here, they basically congratulate her on the win as well. She walks off, and we go to commercial.

Segment 10 [Singles Match]: Kaitlyn defeats Aksana by pin. Not quite as good as their last outing, when we saw a different side of Aksana as she basically performed every type of headlock imaginable. Aksana was still pretty rough though, which was fun to watch, since that’s usually not the divas’ forte. It was a little sloppy, and very punchy-kicky, but it totally worked.

Aksana had control over the last half of the match, and had Kaitlyn trapped in the corner. Aksana did everything she could to completely beat Kaitlyn down, and the ref pretty much had to keep throwing her backwards to get her away. Finally, Aksana took a little too much time screaming at the ref, then ran toward Kaitlyn one more time… and got blasted with a STIFF AS FUCK Spear. Good god, does Kaitlyn do that well. She might be out-Edging Edge at this point. (Purely referring to the Spear, not anything else.) Of course, props to Aksana for selling the hell out of it, but I don’t think she needed to sell much… I’d be shocked if she didn’t walk away with a bruise or two.

Segment 11: Now that Mick Foley is going to the Hall of Fame, we get a quick video montage of his life here. It was a pretty good one too.

Segment 12: The Shield makes another handicam video. They explain that they tried to beat the crap out of Mick Foley on behalf of inducing justice for the billions of injuries he caused in the wake of Foley’s climb up the hardcore ladder. They momentarily address Ryback’s nonsensical line about them “giving back what they took from him,” with Roman Reigns saying “What’s done is done, and you’ll never get it back.” Just what the hell is “it,” anyway? Or is this an “item in the Pulp Fiction briefcase” situation?

From there, they lightly insult Orton and Sheamus, then declare that everyone will “Believe in The Shield.” And then Roman Reigns pulls an Ultimate Warrior by just screaming “Believe in The Shield” at the top his lungs while making Aggressive Sexual Misconduct Face, and absolutely horrifying combination. And that completely ruined his momentum and just made him cartoonish. Feh. Hope he’ll leave that stupidity behind next time.

Post-Segment 12: The Shield’s video was watched by Orton, who looks unconcerned but annoyed. Sheamus comes up and rhetorically “finds it funny” that The Shield acts tough when they’re juts recording on a handicam but are cowards when confronted in a fight. Orton, not realizing that words may have multiple meanings, says that it’s not funny at all, that The Shield is never funny, and they weren’t laughing when they kicked his ass last week. Sheamus apologizes for not being there to help out Orton like he did on Monday.

Now Orton gets upset because he so totally doesn’t need anyone’s help, ever. Sheamus reminds him that The Shield kicked his ass on Monday and that Orton was “doing great at fighting from his back.”

Orton bows his head and rhetorically asks “You have an answer for everything, don’t you, Sheamus?” Orton then says here is the funny part: in two weeks will be the Royal Rumble, and he needs and will get the win. So while Sheamus generally has an answer for everything, he won’t have answer for Orton.

Nice line, but it doesn’t impress Sheamus. And it’s a rivalry that I couldn’t care less about.

Segment 13 [Tag Match]: Alberto Del Rio & Sheamus (w/ Ricardo Rodriguez) defeat Big Show & Dolph Ziggler by countout. Solid match, though the ending was a little weak. Still pretty entertaining.

Before the commercial, we had the faces having all the offense against Dolph, including a rare moonsault from ADR. The moonsault whiffed, but ADR landed on his feet and rolled through backwards, then delivered a nice back body drop when Dolph tried to take advantage.

Dolph eventually tagged out, but the problems increased: Show started in with the offense, and Sheamus (legal at the time) went out of the ring. Big E Langston wanted to get involved, but Referee McDoucher wasn’t going to take that nonsense, so he ejected Langston from ringside. The ref got back in the ring, and so did AJ, who screamed in his face… so he threw her out too! That did nothing to mitigate AJ’s volume, but she and Langston left in relative peace as we went to commercials.

After that, we see ADR in Dolph’s scissored sleeper. But ADR got the (false) hot tag out to Sheamus two seconds later, so Sheamus went on a tear, and even went to the top rope… where was pushed off to the ringside mats by Sheamus. The heels are in control.

Show just absolutely dominated from there once he got tagged in. Sheamus had a couple hope spots but all were cut short. Show did all his signature moves, including the “Shh!” chop (without the shushing) and a Vader Bomb, but he couldn’t close the deal. Show tried a second Vader Bomb, missed, and Sheamus got the hot tag to ADR, signaling the end game.

Show also tagged out, but ADR went house of fire to Dolph and absolutely dominated. He couldn’t close the deal, but he slapped on the Cross Arm Breaker. Dolph resisted long enough for Show to break it up by doing a leg drop onto ADR’s face. Sheamus quickly slid in the ring and hid the always-impressive White Noise to Big Show. Show rolled out of the ring on the west side, then slowly got to his feet on the apron… just in time to eat ADR’s trademark enziguri, which he did by doing his jump off the center of the top rope, which must be significantly more difficult than doing it off the corner. Good god.

From there, Show shook the cobwebs away and started back for the ring again. Ricardo then pulled a bucket out from under the ring and handed it to ADR… it was full of water, and ADR dumped it all over Show. ADR then sorta tossed the bucket, which hit Show in the shoulder, which should probably technically be a disqualification. But the ref got to touch AJ earlier, so I guess he’s happy enough and is letting this go.

Show was quite offended and embarrassed… so he just up and left. And he was the legal man at that point… or maybe Dolph was? I’m pretty sure it was Dolph who was legal, but he wasn’t in the ring either, so… whatever. The point is, the ref counted to ten, and we were done.

As JBL pointed out, the only thing ADR really accomplished here was upsetting Big Show and making him uber-pissed. That may not exactly be the best idea, all things considered.

Red, white, and green balloons flooded the arena as ADR’s music played them out. Dolph was never seen again.

Final Thoughts: It was a safe episode and nothing overly newsworthy. Other than the opener, the faces won each match, so this was the week of moral victories, I guess. Some stories advances, and this new feud between Layla and Kaitlyn may be pretty fun (assuming it wasn’t a red herring). Time will tell. With Eve gone, it frees up some other matchups, since as long as she was here, she seemed to always be in the hunt for the Divas Title.

I’m done here, guys. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you on the other side of the weekend for the RAW recap.

Episode Grade: C+


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