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Ricardo Rodriguez: Dirty, Job-Stealing Foreigner~!
May 4, 2013

by Rick Scaia
Exclusive to OOWrestling.com


Ahhh, the first Saturday of May... Mint Julep Season is officially open.
And I guess there's some stupid horse race I have to pretend to care about that is somehow related to julep season, but honestly, don't we all know it's just a flimsy excuse to drink the finest of bourbon in its only acceptable form, other than "on the rocks"?


Of course we all know that. Which is why I vote we get you to your SmackDown results, post haste, so that I can get to my juleps, post hastier...
Opening Theme/Pyro/Etc., and we're live in Detroit. Cole, JBL, and Mathews are our hosts, and promise a fine show tonight, to be capped off by Dean Ambrose taking on Kane. But right now, it's time to pick up, sort of, where RAW left off...
Daniel Bryan vs. Ryback
Ryback enters first, and cuts a quick pre-match promo, talking about how he abandoned Bryan/Kane as a partner on Monday, and how it was really all Cena's fault for trying to be a hero and work injured and stuff. I'd summarize/paraphrase it thusly: "Suck it, babyfaces."
The match kicks off with Bryan just throwing random kicks at Ryback's legs any chance he gets, and then trying to scurry away from Ryback's power offense. Ryback didn't seem super-hurt by the kicks at this point, but was also not hitting more than one or two moves in a row before Bryan would interrupt and do more incremental damage. This pattern continues for several minutes until a frustrated Ryback tosses Bryan out of the ring, creating an opening for...
Back, and Ryback is now firmly in control with a chinlock, which soon gives way to other heelish offense, including dribbling Bryan's head like a basketball off the mat. After a couple minutes of that, Bryan starts trying to fire up, but the most he can do by throwing punches is to drop Ryback to one knee... so Bryan returns to peppering Ryback's legs with kicks. The cumulative effects seems to be catching up to Ryback, and when Ryback goes for a slam, Bryan is able to roll through and lock in a half Boston Crab.
Off the crab, Bryan gets a solid 2-3 minute heat sequence, throwing everything he had at Ryback's left leg, and even getting a convincing near fall after a top rope headbutt. But when Ryback tried to powder out to ringside, Bryan made the mistake of following... when Bryan caught up to Ryback, Ryback just tossed him into the steel ring post. Then did it again. Then tossed Bryan into the ring.
A quick grapple led to a powerbomb, which led to the Shellshock. Thanks for playing Daniel Bryan.
Your Winner: Ryback, via pinfall, in 12-14 minutes. Surprisingly good. I mean, Ryback's had some really good PPV matches, but that was thanks to gimmicks/stipulations. This was good just as a plain ol' fashioned wrestling match, which Ryback had never shown us until tonight. Then again, his opponent was Wrestling Midas, which no doubt helped. Very entertaining, and more importantly, very EFFECTIVE, as not only did Ryback look good (in the wanker/match-quality sense) but he looked good (in the "strong, dominant challenger to Cena's title" sense).
Backstage: the cute new Canadian Interviewer Babe (Renee Paquette from The Score, but I haven't caught her new WWE name, yet; if WWE ever lets her actually just talk, instead of being a prop, I'm sure you'll all join me in having a little bit of a crush) tries to get a few words with Ricardo Rodriguez, but Ricardo is spazzing out with excitement over winning a match on Monday. So Alberto shows up to calm him down, and smooth it on the chick, just a little bit. Also, it is revealed in there somewhere that Ricardo is wrestling again later tonight.
Zack Ryder vs. Fandango
A glorified squash, notable for two reasons. (1) It seemed more obvious than usual that WWE was "sweetening the sound" during this match, which might mean that "Fandangoing's" 15 minutes are up. And (2) JBL was once again in his Old School Self-Serving Prick Mode, as Cole and Josh tried to point out that Ryder has ditched the wacky glasses and spiky hair to focus more on being a serious wrestler, and JBL just shat on it. He did the same thing to Kofi last fall. Dude is a great commentator 90% of the time, but he's got a wicked blind spot when it comes to the difference between being a heel and being counter-productive.
I digress.
Your Winner: Fandango, via pinfall, in 3-4 minutes. Nothing to see here.
Backstage: Kaitlyn is holding some flowers, and lamenting to Nattie that she's not the kind of girly girl who gets into anonymous displays of romance, but for some reason, she's kind of into it this time. Nattie, sensing Kaitlyn's inner conflict, says that Khali always has the BEST relationship advice in the history of the multiverse. So Khali enters the frame, and mumbles several indecipherable sentences. Nattie says, "See, he's so smart." Kaitlyn is mostly confused. Me, too, honey.
Cena Makes Wishes Happen: I don't recap recaps.
Backstage: the new chick now gets words from Ricardo's opponent tonight, Zeb Colter. He claims the only reason he lost on Monday was because he was sick with a 102 degree fever. So he's asked for this rematch tonight to prove a laundry list of his standard borderline-racist points. Nothing we haven't heard before, but Zeb's certainly good at running at the mouth. In fact, it's the reason why he's here, since that's the precise thing at which Jack Swager sucks.

Ricardo Rodriguez (w/ Alberto del Rio) vs. Zeb Colter (w/ Jack Swagger)
Of note: Dolph Ziggler and AJ are on guest commentary, with Big E. Langston standing nearby.
Zeb tries to have a serious match, with locking up and headlocks and so forth. But Ricardo is in it for the comedy, so he's stomping on Zeb's toes and pulling on his moustache, and stuff like that. Zeb rakes the eyes, causing Alberto to get up on the apron, causing Swagger to get into the ring.
And all hell breaks loose, and the ref rings the bell.
But before a BS no decision can be made official, here's Teddy Long to do the obvious: turn it into a tag match. A tag match that starts RIGHT NOW, playa. By which he means, after these...
Alberto del Rio and Ricardo vs. Jack Swagger and Zeb
We join the match in progress, with Swagger in control. For about 30 seconds. Then a fire-up by Alberto, and all of a sudden, he cinches in the cross armbreaker.
Just as quickly, Ziggler and Langston bolt from commentary to attack del Rio. Take my word for it, it's best not to try and think too hard about the reason why. Here in the real world, a champion would just let his two upcoming challengers beat the shit out of each other. But on this night, the champion decided to put himself in harm's way by stopping a possible injury to a fellow heel.
Oh, and here's Teddy Long again. Yep, you guessed it.
Alberto del Rio and Ricardo vs. Jack Swagger and Zeb vs. Dolph Ziggler and Big E.
After two quasi-matches that were both less than 90 seconds long, it appears this is now a real contest. Or at least: the contest that will finally have a result.
Langston starts against Alberto, and dominates as a result of the previous post-"match" attack. Ziggler tags in once he thinks it's safe, but Alberto's able to rally against him. Swagger and Colter try to aid their fellow heel, but Ricardo joins in, and we've got ourselves a Pier Sixer.
Eventually everyone powders out (Langston hitting the floor with a thud after being lowbridged), leaving del Rio and Ziggler alone in the ring. Dolph gets a near fall with a DDT, but after another grapple, he ends up in the cross armbreaker, and has to tap.
Your Winners: Alberto del Rio and Ricardo Rodriguez, via submission, in 6-7 minutes (after two previous 90 second no contests, making for a total segment length around 15 minutes, I'd wager). The "expansion" of the original match wasn't exactly creative or surprising, but it did result in the best possible pairing getting the most amount of ring time: del Rio and Ziggler work very nicely against each other. Harmless fun that continues the story of del Rio almost seeming like the favorite heading into the PPV ladder match.
Backstage, in ShieldVision (tm): it's the standard cellphone cam, but it's obviously been laid down on a table, and off screen, we hear the sounds of someone getting his ass kicked. Then the Shield walk into view and pick up the phone, and take credit for breaking John Cena and the Undertaker in their two most recent outings. Then they make a bevy of threats towards Kane, on the grounds that he's gonna be alone tonight. His brother was taken care of last week, and now, they've taken care of his partner. Believe in the Shield! They set the phone down on the floor as they walk away, and we can see Daniel Bryan convulsing in pain.
Backstage: trainers and EMTs are tending to Bryan, who will be leaving the building to get examined, and not present later when Kane takes on the Shield. DRAMA!
Randy Orton vs. Damien Sandow
So remember how Orton was, improbably, one-half of the potential Match of the Week back on Monday, against the other half of the Rhodes Scholars? Well, this wasn't that. Not even close.
Orton off to a fast start, then Sandow takes a bump to the outside, which is all of 90 seconds into the match, but enough of an excuse to look at some....
Back, and Orton's still in control. Then Sandow gets a sort of rally, culminating with not one, but two Elbows of Distain. Weird. It's like they're structuring this match in reverse, and Sandow's the long-suffering babyface who took a beating and then came back and did his signature Taunt Move twice, in joyous celebration of his vengeancing.
Except: OO is the only one who likes Damien Sandow, so this didn't exactly go over well with the crowd. It played as Orton doing his standard boring-ass offense, then the heel making a comeback nobody wanted to see. Like I said: weird. And more to the point: flat and dull.
Then Orton had enough of Sandow showing him up, hit the Hangman DDT, and followed up with an RKO for the easy win.
Your Winner: Randall ORton, via pinfall, in 7-8 minutes. But 3 of those were a commercial, and like I said, the rest were just awkward and not engrossing. So it was not only half the length of the Monday match, I'd say it was about half as good, too. Which multiplies out to being about 25% as entertaining.
Hype: rundown of the lineup for Extreme Rules, so far. The official song of the PPV is by Airborne, who give off a bit of an AC/DC vibe. This is meant as a compliment.
Let's Not and Say We Did Theatre

So Mark Henry has challenged Sheamus to an Arm Wrestling Match after Monday's Tug o' War.
Do you have any desire to read about this? Because I have no desire to write about it. So let's not, and say we did.
[OK, super short version: Henry won the first go 'round. Then Sheamus challenged him to best of 3. Then Sheamus just punched Henry in the face in the middle of the second round, and beat him up. Because, once again, Be a Star, Fella!]
As Charles Barkley would say, "Turrible." Also, it seems like they are headed to the PPV with the intent of doing Orton/Show and Sheamus/Henry, instead of the tag match that might actually have some compelling subtext, now. Oy.
Kane vs. Dean Ambrose
They do entrances, and then the Shield attacks before the bell. But Kane is able to fend them off, and finally gets in the ring, alone with Ambrose. The ref finally calls for the bell, but Kane's been compromised. Ambrose tries to capitalize by jabbing and moving, but Kane's a man possessed.
When Kane follows Ambrose outside, he's able to keep Rollins and Reigns at bay with Evil Eyes (much as Taker did last week), and finally dumps Ambrose over the barricade and into the crowd. While the ref tries to restore order, we break for our final....
Back, and Ambrose is in full command. We do a pic-in-pic replay, and find out that Ambrose was able to chop-block Kane after a distraction, and has been working the ankle ever since. Ambrose keeps on working the leg, but can't really get any convincing near falls or submissions, or anything. The vibe is more that Kane's leg is hurt, but he, himself, is still feeling strong and can swat away Ambrose's more serious attempts at big moves.
At about the 9 minute mark, Kane began a rally, in earnest, and he even managed to hit a chokeslam for a very convincing 2 count. But as much as fans were convinced that might be the end, so were the Shield, so they took that as a sign to get involved. With Ambrose toasted, Rollins and Reigns both took turns running interference.
Both ended up on the wrong end of the stick, but their combined efforts were enough to allow Ambrose to recover. Attacking from behind, he chopblocked Kane again, and followed up with his finisher, that sort of inverse STO thingie ("That's His Move!"). Much to my surprise, Kane did not kick out.
Your Winner: Dean Ambrose, via pinfall, in 10 minutes or so. Very basic/simple match in terms of lay-out, but very well executed, and engrossing due to the Shield's ever-growing aura. The finish seemed to come out of nowhere and was a bit anticlimactic (one often overlooked benefit of watching a show on DVR is not knowing exactly when the top of the hour is; I thought the show had 10 more minutes, so when Kane didn't kick out, I was genuinely surprised), but in the big picture, it serves its purpose.
After the Match: Kane recovered, and challenged the Shield to get back in the ring with him. Bad idea, dude. The Shield took him up on it, and beat the piss out of him for the show's final moments. Then, as we faded to black, the took the tag titles (Kane brought them with him to the ring), and posed with them. Jerks.
And so endeth the show. For me, it was all about the bookends. Ryback/Bryan was just way better than it had any right to be, and the main event was solid with some more excellent booking for the Shield. In between was a mish-mash of harmless entertainment and throw-away crapola.
I might be convinced to give it a 2.7 on a 5.0 scale. Or, if I channelled Pyro, maybe call it a C+. Nothing offensive, but certainly a step down from last week's sneaky-good SD (with all that damned wrestling) and Monday's just-plain-good RAW.
Speakiing of Pyro, he's back on Monday for RAW. He'll see you then. I'll see you again on the Forums. Unless you're not signed up, in which case, I'll see you for Extreme Rules. Later on, 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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