WWE Smackdown!- Feb 22, 2013
-Our hosts are Josh Mathews and John Bradshaw Layfield.
-We kick things off with Ricardo Rodriguez introducing World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio. The champ puts over his recent accomplishments and turns his attention to recent statements made by Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter. Del Rio reminds everyone that this country was built by immigrants and I don’t think he’s quite getting the reaction from the crowd he’s looking for (they‘re in red state, Mississippi). He refers to Swagger as a “real jackass” and calls him out. Randy Orton surprisingly joins Del Rio in the ring instead. Orton is sore about getting rolled up by Swagger in the Elimination Chamber and asks Del Rio to step aside tonight so he can get his revenge. Booker T interrupts and books Del Rio against Wade Barrett, and confirms Swagger vs. Orton.
Sheamus vs. Damien Sandow
Sandow cuts a promo during his entrance and refers to Sheamus as a false idol. They trade shots and Sheamus blocks a hip toss and nails a clothesline. Sheamus dumps Sandow to ringside and drives him into the barricade. Slingshot shoulder tackle by Sheamus, but Sandow comes back with a clothesline. Sheamus clubs the chest but Sandow blocks a suplex to send us to commercial. After the break, Sandow is working a, you guess it, chinlock. Sandow works Sheamus over for a bit. Sheamus makes his inevitable heroic comeback. Sandow steals Edge’s un-named back plant and blocks Sheamus’ finishers. White Noise and the Brogue Kick ends it at 8:23 (shown). This wasn’t interesting enough to justify the length. Felt like a televised house show match.
-Fandango still hasn’t debuted so here’s another annoying teaser video.
-During a commercial, Cody Rhodes bumped into Kaitlyn, who admits to liking the mustache. They don’t seem to know what to say to each other. Are these grown adults or junior high kids?
Divas Champion Kaitlyn and Layla vs. Tamina Snuka and Aksana
Layla and Askana start with a dance off, but Layla ambushes (what a baby face). Kaitlyn tags and applies a chinlock (again, what a baby face). Aksana dumps Kaitlyn, allowing Tamina to sneak in a clothesline at ringside. Aksana takes control with a side slam. Layla tags and cleans house on Tamina. Snuka rolls through the LOL but Kailtyn charges in with a spear. Kailtyn gets the win at 3:29. This was your usual divas outing.
Winners: Kaitlyn and Layla
-Layla spends a bit too much time gazing at the Divas title before letting Kaitlyn have it back.
-Zeb Colter and Jack Swagger are approached by Wade Barrett, who approves of their message. Colter tells Barrett that’s part of the problem for stealing a job from an American. Barrett tries to talk some sense into them, but Swagger cuts him off.
Randy Orton vs. Jack Swagger (with Zeb Colter)
I believe it was right after this taping that Swagger got arrested for DUI and possession of marijuana, so his ‘Mania push continues here. Swagger is now playing a full-blown Tea Party character, complete with the “Don’t Tread On Me” flag in his entrance video. They lock up and Orton takes control with an uppercut. Back suplex by Orton gets a 2 count. Swagger reverses an Irish whip but Orton bounces back with a clothesline. Cue the Orton chinlock. Swagger escapes and takes control with a shoulder tackle. Orton surprises with a roll-up and stomps a circle around Swagger. Jack starts softening the ankle but suffers a Lou Thesz press on the floor. Orton delivers a hard clothesline to send us to commercial. After the break, they’re trading punches in the ring. Swagger blocks the Spike DDT but reverses a whip into the ring steps. Swagger takes control shortly before getting dumped back over the ropes. Back suplex onto the barricade by Orton! Back to the ring, Swagger tackles the leg and nails the Swagger Bomb. Swagger reverses a suplex but misses a charge and hits the turnbuckles. Orton hears voices and builds momentum in typical fashion, countering the Swagger Bomb along the way. Spike DDT by Orton, but Colter pulls Swagger under the ropes to protect him from the RKO. Swagger thumbs the eye and picks up the win at 13:20 (shown). Strong back and forth match here, ***.
Winner: Jack Swagger
-Matt Striker interviews Wade Barrett backstage. Before he can say anything, Sheamus interrupts, making fun of Barrett claiming to be the star of Dead Man Down. Barrett takes Sheamus’ abuse in stride and asks how he feels about losing to The Shield two nights in a row. That took the smirk off Sheamus’ face.
The Miz vs. Cody Rhodes (with the love-stache)
Miz’s shoulder is still taped up, but he brings the fight to Rhodes. Cody drives the elbow of Miz into the ropes in sickening fashion. Rhodes hammerlocks the injured arm. Knee to the face by Cody gets 2. Rhodes goes after the arm for a bit but Miz rebounds with a big boot to the face. Rhodes sidesteps, causing Miz to hit the turnbuckles hard. Miz surprises with the Figure Four leg lock for the win at 3:52. This was good for a 4 minute match.
Winner: The Miz
-Zeb Colter and Jack Swagger dish out some propaganda in front of the Gadsden flag. They spew their hate and promote their Youtube page.
Intercontinental Champion Wade Barrett vs. World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio (with Ricardo Rodriguez)
Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter show up on the stage to watch. Del Rio plants Barrett with a hip toss. Barrett throws some punches, but Del Rio responds with some kicks. Barrett takes a breather and chases Ricardo for mocking his injured back. Del Rio knocks Barrett down with a drop-kick through the ropes to take us to commercial. You won’t believe this, but Barrett is in control after the break. You’ll be even more surprised to hear that Barrett utilizes a chinlock. Del Rio absorbs some punishment but retaliates with a missile drop-kick. Del Rio build some momentum with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Super-kick to the face by Del Rio gets 2. Del Rio runs into the spinning side slam but manages to kick out. Waste Land is blocked and Del Rio delivers repeated shots to the lower back, setting up the backstabber! Del Rio is in winning position, so Swagger distracts, allowing a close roll-up by Barrett. The Bull Hammer misses and Del Rio applies the cross arm breaker for the win at 8:44 (shown). Perfectly acceptable wrestling here.
Winner: Alberto Del Rio
Final Thoughts: Swagger’s DUI arrest might make this episode irrelevant if he loses his push and title shot over it. It’s a shame, because the Swagger/Colter team really built some steam here, with strong promo work and a good match with Orton. I still say that far too much time on Smackdown is wasted with Raw recaps and other video packages (I got through this 2 hour show in about 70 minutes) but there was enough good stuff here to warrant a recommendation. Thumbs up.
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