What up wrestling fans, I'm the WrestlingNerd bringing you another written review. Today, we take a look at WWE Smackdown 2/17/12. I'm not gonna lie. I was originally going to skip out on this review and do an Elimination Chamber Rundown, but recent events on SD have forced me to talk about this episode. I will talk about EC after the review is over, but I won't go into as much detail if it was a rundown. Without further delay, let's begin the review.
We open up the show with a video package. It turns out that Randy Orton got a concussion from the Daniel Bryan head shot on Raw this past week. Because of this, Randy won't be medically cleared to compete. This most likely has to be a legit injury since it would be kinda silly to take out one of your bigger stars in an important PPV match. Randy isn't having a good year since this is the second time he has to miss in-ring time. Hopefully, Randy can get a speedy recovery and get back in time for WM. Then again, concussions aren't something you can take likely. As Teddy Long informs Randy the bad news, Teddy says security will escort Randy out of the building since he's concerned about Randy's heath and temper. I would make jokes about how Randy looks constipated in this shot, but I will let it slide. He's been through enough this week. We will get informed a little later in the show that there will be a Battle Royal to determine Randy's replacement in the EC match. I know people want me to talk about that, but I will save that for when the time comes.
Match #1: Big Show and Great Khali vs Wade Barrett and Cody Rhodes
This was a short match. The finish comes when Show Choke Slams Wade for the clean victory. Wade has yet to win with that new entrance theme. It's a trap!!! After the match, Show punches Khali. Did you listen to that punch? Damn, that was a solid sound.
Backstage scene where we see Mark Henry show up. He tells Teddy to do the right thing and put him in the EC match. Show interrupts and says he wants Todd Ingram tonight. Being vegan just makes you better than most people. Yes, I will stop with the Scott Pilgrim references….Maybe. Anyway, Henry proceeds to talk smack to Show. Show ends up KO punching Henry and destroy Teddy's office. Yeah, take that…Um, couch? He also punched the TV. Dammit Show, Teddy still had two more payments on that. So, I guess that means Henry won't be replacing Randy at EC. I actually agree with this. You took him off TV to recover from his injuries. What kind of sense is it if you bring him back in two weeks? Let him heal up and then bring him back when he's ready. Teddy eventually sets out on a mission from God…..Or the Board of Directors, to get the giant out of the building. Since Show is pissed off, he would cause more harm than good. Unfortunately, they off-screened Show leaving the building. Almost makes you wonder why this scene made it on the show. Seriously, why is this here? Whyisthishere…….AHHH!!!
Match #2: Ted DiBiase vs Hunico
This was a short match. It was similar to their match last week. The finish comes when Camacho lands a cheap shot on DiBiase. Hunico is able to take advantage and gets a rollup victory. Like I said last week, this rivalry seems to be missing something. They just keep going back and forth with the same storyline. Its like they forgot to do actual build-up and storyline progression with these two. They need to go back to the drawing board with this one. I mean, try something different. Have DiBiase act like a homie and trick Hunico and Camacho. Have DiBiase steal the lowrider bike. Hell, have Hunico and Camacho crash the DiBiase Posse party. Something…ANYTHING!!!
Winner via pinfall: Hunico
Match #3: Usos vs Primo and Epico
The tag division seems to be getting worse in WWE. It seemed like they were getting back on the right track when they created Air Boom, but Evan Bourne couldn't stop being a high flyer and plans had to change. Then again, part of me isn't surprised they just stopped with creating new tag teams. Anyway, this was a decent match. Nothing amazing, but it was fair to watch. The finish comes when one of the Usos goes for the Snuka Splash. Primo is able to counter it by raising up his knees. Primo hits the Backstabber and gets the victory. I'm fine with Primo and Epico as tag champs, but bring them some new competition or build-up actual rivalries. It doesn't really work when it's only the Usos.
Winner via pinfall: Primo and Epico
Time for Mr. Vegan to cut a promo. Daniel Bryan talks about winning. He's winning because he has vegan blood flowing through his veins. He's actually proud of what he did to Randy and Show and claims they are afraid of him. He also goes on a rant in how he proved the WWE Universe wrong since they had no faith in Bryan. Daniel walks up to Lillian Garcia and wants her to declare Bryan the winner as a result of a forfeit. Once she does the announcement, Bryan goes around saying, "YES". Teddy comes out and says he found a replacement for Bryan. Out comes Sheamus to challenge Bryan. I have a bit of an issue with this. Sheamus is the Royal Rumble winner and Bryan is the champ. In other words, its like they have giving you a preview of a possible WM match. To be fair, it's not a guarantee that Bryan will still be champion after EC, but I still don't like the idea of giving away the match. Save the real match for the big event, not on an episode of SD. They didn't give away too much with the match, but that's what tag team matches are for. It kinda bothers me for some reason, but I guess it isn't the worse thing in the world.
Match #4: Daniel Bryan vs Sheamus
This was a fair match. The finish was kinda odd. There was a moment where Bryan was making Sheamus angry. The ref was having a hard time restraining Sheamus. That wasn't the strange part. The real strange part was Bryan did a motion to Sheamus, then the camera cut away to an audience member, then the camera is back in the ring where Sheamus is even more out of control. Based on how it was edited, I almost think that Bryan flipped off Sheamus. In that case, it would make sense for WWE to not show it on TV. Still, I would like to know what really happened. Maybe Bryan pulled down his pants? Either that or he was dancing? Anyway, the ref disqualifies Sheamus and Bryan is still winning. That vegan blood is no joke. If these two lock it up at WM, consider this match as an early preview for things to come.
Winner via DQ: Daniel Bryan
Match #5: Jinder Mahal vs Ezekiel Jackson
Did a Superstars match randomly make it on SD? It was just odd for this match to make it on the show. They are either planning something for Jinder or they really ran out of ideas. The match was pretty boring. Then finish comes when Jinder makes Zeke tap out with the Camel Clutch. All that muscle and he still can't win. This guy needs to think of another career option. WWE Superstar isn't working for you, Zeke. It's rumored that the more Zeke's muscles increase, the more personality he loses. Remember, it's just a rumor…..Started by me!!! Muwhahahahhaha.
Winner via submission: Jinder Mahal
Match #6: Tamina and Alicia Fox vs Beth Phoenix and Natalya
I think this was the first time outside of PPV that I saw a diva match last longer than one minute. A new record!!! Natalya was mostly in this match. There was a moment where she had the Sharpshooter applied on Alicia, but the ref had to back away because Natalya farted during the match. If the farting deal is making it into wrestling matches, I guess that means they are going somewhere with it. At the same time, how much can you really do with just farts? This farting thing is kinda stupid….And embarrassing. Tamina gets tagged into the match, hits Snuka Splash, and pins Natalya for the nine-millionth time. After the match, Beth tries to get a cheap shot on Tamina, but she scouts it. She about to hit a second Snuka Splash, but Beth gets out of the way and retreats. Hopefully, this rivalry will last longer than one match. They really should roll with this one for a while. Not sure if you want Miss Pull My Finger at this moment in time.
Winner via pinfall: Tamina and Alicia Fox
Match #7: Wild Card Battle Royal; winner is the sixth participant in the SD Elimination Chamber match
There was a scene in which John Laurinaitis arrived and put in the most charismatic guy he can think of, David Otunga, into this battle royal. Seriously, THIS is you ace in the hole? I honestly wouldn't expect any less from Mr. Excitement. The rules to this match is anyone from Raw, SD, and NXT were allowed to compete in this match. There was no major stars in this match. A lot of lower to mid card talents involved with this one. I kinda like how they are giving a chance to someone that's a little more hidden, but I also have a couple of theories as to why they did this. In this match, we had Otunga, Zeke, Jinder, Darren Young, Yoshi Tatsu, Derrick Bateman, Tyson Kidd, Jimmy Uso, Jey Uso, Primo, Epico, Heath Slater, Johnny Curtis, Titus O'Neil, Percy Watson, Camacho, Hunico, Ted DiBiase, Michael McGillicutty, Curt Hawkins, Santino, Drew McIntyre, Justin Gabriel, Tyler Reks, and Alex Riley. Holy crap, I need to catch my breath……..Okay, I think I'm good. I may have left out a name or two, but I think I got the majority of participants. I won't go into the elimination order, but I will talk about a few interesting moments. Primo actually eliminated his own tag team partner. This probably won't be addressed after tonight, but it could be an interesting spot if they decide to do anything with it. Hunico wanted to get a cheap shot on an already eliminated DiBiase. He ends up screwing himself over as Ted eliminated him. What a dumbass. I also enjoyed the exchange between Gabriel and Primo. It was interesting. I can see a lot of people not liking this match since there was no star power, but I liked it. I thought it was a pretty fair battle royal to watch. Still, I think the interest level for this match would've been a lot better if WWE didn't spoil who won the match on their website. It would've been more of a surprise if WWE didn't announce anything. Then again, that won't stop the internet from talking about it. I wouldn't be surprised if the people who hated this match are the same people who complain about WWE not giving younger stars a chance to shine. Yeah, I just went there. The final four was Santino, Zeke, McIntyre, and Otunga. McIntyre was pretty good in this match and it seemed like the crowd was starting to give him a chance. Then again, time for that cocky nature of Drew to come out. He starts to get a little full of himself and Santino ends up eliminating him. So, it seems Drew is trying to find his identity. I'll admit they tailed off with Drew's storyline, but I don't think they have completely bailed out on it. That's at least what I hope and I'm sticking to it. The final two was Santino and Otunga. Who the hell thought you'd see a main event match between Santino and Otunga in 2012? The finish comes when Santino actually eliminates Otunga and Santino will be in the EC match. I want to point out that Santino was really over with the audience. Despite many people on the internet not liking this move, the casual fans were okay with this. Back in a second.
Winner and NEW participant in SD EC match: Santino
So, this decision making by the WWE has gotten a lot of mixed opinions. Most of them being negative, while others seem to be fine with it. Regardless, most people aren't happy about a comedy character like Santino being put in a match like this. Now, you have to admit that SD was running out of options. Henry is injured and Christian hasn't been written back to the show yet or is still recovering. There's just a lot of injuries on SD, and kinda makes sense to roll with the majority of what casual fans were pulling for. Still, I realize there are better choices available. Santino is not the cream of the crop and there was better options, but I have a theory into why WWE picked Santino as opposed to someone like Drew or Hunico. I will get to that in a second. I think most people would've rather seen anyone besides Santino get into this match. Here's the thing. While Santino might not sit too well with the hardcore wrestling fans, casual fans (aka: 90% of the wrestling fan-base) actually like Santino. Did you listen to the audience during the match? They were pulling for Santino and they seemed pretty satisfied that the fellow goof ball won this type of match. The other 10% might not like what WWE has done here tonight, but WWE isn't here to please the IWC. Vince has never geared to please those fans since they don't make up the vast majority of revenue. Its casual fans who drive in most of the WWE's business. At the end of the day, the WWE is a business. What's the main goal of a business? To make large amounts of money and succeed. I think WWE just decided to go with the crowd favorite tonight, thus giving casual fans what they wanted to see. As for me, I have mixed views on the move. Was there better choices available? Of course. Was this the worse choice possible? Not at all. They definitely could've picked someone worse. Hell, I think someone like Jinder or Slater would've been a worse choice. Besides, I never thought Santino was that bad of a worker. He's no Eddie Guerrero in a wrestling ring, but he's decent enough to give you a fair match. The reason I'm not bent out the shape with Santino winning is because I try to not take it so seriously. I learn to have fun with it and have come to terms that pro wrestling will have its silly/stupid moments. The other reason I'm not angry about this move is because it opens the door for Daniel to win this match in a better fashion. I can actually see a scenario where it's down to Bryan and Santino. The crowd is really pulling for the goofy guy, but Bryan ends up beating him with the Le Bell lock. Thus, Bryan is still WHC and continues to brag about how awesome he is. Besides, Santino isn't going to win a match like this……At least I don't think they would do that. I'm fine with Santino getting in the match, just as long as he doesn't win the world title. Then again, we'll talk about that after EC. The other theory I see happening is Santino being taken out of the EC match and replaced by someone else. Maybe before the PPV hits the air, we see Santino taken out backstage. Teddy has to make a last minute decision and out comes someone like Alberto Del Rio or Christian. If you had someone like McIntyre win this match, don't you think it would be kinda stupid to have him written off the show like this? Not to mention it wouldn't make much sense. With a comedy character like Santino, it's easier to get away with him being taken out and replaced by a returning star. Just don't throw the book at them just yet. Just wait and see where they are going with this, THEN we can give our complete thoughts into this whole deal. I try to keep an open mind about these things, so I'll wait and see what happens at EC. Damn, that was a mouthful. I didn't think the rant would last that long, but I had a lot of stuff to address since I think some people are blowing it way out of hand. People have the right to be disappointed or angry about the choice, but let's see what they are planning here until we throw the book at them.
Regardless of how you felt about the battle royal winner, you have to admit it was a unique episode of SD. Santino won the rumble, which completely comes out of left field and nobody would've predicted that prior to the spoiler being posted. You would think this would be more of a filler show, but that wasn't the case. With Randy's injury, they definitely had to make a couple of changes. I actually liked tonight's SD since it was different and I don't think we will have another finish like that again. Come on? What are the odds that another comedy character who has never been taken seriously will get a shot at a world title? It just doesn't happen very often. That of itself makes this a show worth checking out. I know I'm gonna get a lot of crap for this, but I actually liked tonight's episode. Then again, I have never been the wrestling fan to take it so seriously and I try to have fun with it. This is very similar to how I write my reviews, so I don't think this should come as too much of a surprise to the majority of my readers. The matches were fair to watch and the show had it's moments. Still, I expect to get a lot of crap from the internet with this review. It's a difference of opinion and there's nothing I can do about that. People have the right to be angry with WWE's choice, but I'm gonna wait and see where they are going with this. I still think Santino won't even compete in the actual match, but who knows? At least Santino can tell his grand kids how he was ALMOST a world champion. That's going to do it for the review and I hope you enjoyed it. As always, tell me what you thought of my review or tonight's show. I will see you guys and girls on the next WrestlingNerd show. See you next time.
-----Oh, I probably should give some thoughts for the EC PPV. The card looks promising, but it can be a little too predictable. Then again, that seems to be a running theme with EC.
Beth Phoenix vs Tamina for Divas Championship: The rivalry just started and I hope they roll with this for a while. If they want this to continue, it makes sense for Tamina to get a DQ victory and Beth pulls off some shenanigans to keep her title.
John Cena vs Kane in an Ambulance Match: Not sure if Cena will embrace the hate or not, but it's pretty clear that Cena will win at EC.
SD EC match: I'm leaning towards Bryan, but I'm expecting some type of curveball with this match. When you have Punjabi giants and clowns in this match, there has to be a surprise in the works. Something along the lines of a surprise return? Strangely enough, this might be the most unpredictable match out of the bunch. Isn't that a good thing? I would think so.
Raw EC Match: This will come down to CM Punk and Chris Jericho. For the time being, I'd say Jericho will win the WWE title.