WWE SmackDown comes waltzing back into our lives last night (April 12, 2013) from the TD Garden in Boston, MA with a taped show on the SyFy channel featuring the fallout show to WrestleMania 29. 'Twas a solid offering from "The Blue Brand," and it's nice to be out of the "Road to WrestleMania" rut.
If you missed the show, or just want to go back and read the live blog again, click here. To the reactions!
- Dolph Ziggler began his World Heavyweight Championship reign in much the same way he spent his time holding the Money in the Bank contract. With people constantly trying to overshadow and one up him. During his victory celebration to open the show, Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter came out to say Ziggler owed his championship win to them. Which is a fair point! Swagger weakened Alberto Del Rio enough for "The Showoff" to take advantage. Of course they were very rude about it, but that's to be expected. Then Del Rio came out and praised Ziggler for taking advantage of the opportunity. Which is the right way to handle it! Del Rio chased in to win the WWE Championship back when he was a heel, and it would have been idiotic to ignore it. "The Mexican Aristocrat" will get his rematch soon enough. It's just a matter of waiting for the right time. Finally, Chris Jericho came out because...well, he's Chris flippin' Jericho and he can do whatever he wants. This set up the main event of Ziggler vs. Jericho, which is always a great match to book. And it played out exactly how it should have. Entertaining to watch, and ended with Ziggler walking away with the "W" after AJ Lee, Big E Langston, and Fandango all interfered. No reason to give away a clean ending this early. I have no complaints.
- It's fascinating, though, that it was Fandango who closed the show instead of the NEW World Heavyweight Champion. The man has struck gold with an outrageous gimmick and being blessed by the smarks in New Jersey, not to mention going up against Jericho. I don't know how long this will last. It can either be a Daniel Bryan situation where he gets over and stays over, or a Brodus Clay one where the fans realize there is nothing behind the gimmick. But for now, I'm enjoying the hell out of it. Let it be known, dear Cagesiders, that I was on Fandango's bandwagon since day one. I'll let you all on if you want, but just remember who is driving the damn thing.
- Triple H has a tendency to overdo things, but last night he played it perfectly. He came out and began a short little promo on the ass-kicking he gave Brock Lesnar, only for 3MB to interrupt him. Which, holy hell, how awesome was it to hear Heath Slater tell Trips to shut up? How is it Slater gets to do the coolest things while looking like a complete doofus? That's a talent they don't teach you in NXT Wrestling, folks.
- 3MB would do it's best Shield impersonation by surrounding the ring, only for The Shield themselves to come down and whoop some ass. Triple H actually looked scared of the trio, which should be obvious when it's a three against one advantage. But this is Trips, so it should be a statement on how much love The Shield is getting in the back.
- Team Hell No would rush down to make the save, as they did for The Undertaker on Monday Night Raw. The feud from TLC: Tables, Ladders, and Chairs (Dec. 16, 2012) looks to continue, which makes perfect sense. Daniel Bryan & Kane haven't dropped the belts to anyone yet, and the "revived" tag team division has nose-dived back into the gutter. So why not have The Shield raise the Tag Team Championship? Now the stakes become high, the belts actually mean something. Simple booking is simple.
- A final point. How awesome is it that Bryan stood tall next to The Undertaker on Monday, and Triple H last night? Championship belts are props that can be thrown around. Screen time comes and goes. But moments like those stand out in fans memories, and it may be the biggest sign of respect that can be given.
- It seems the Randy Orton, Sheamus, and The Big Show saga is winding down. Orton and Sheamus picked up a win -- albeit a count out -- over Show, and they seemed content with it. Following the match, though, Mark Henry wrecked Sheamus backstage. Now it looks like it will be Sheamus vs. Henry, and...maybe Orton vs. Show? Or, they both could spin off in their own directions. It's all up in the air right now, but I don't know where either man would go.
- Yep, Antonio Cesaro lost again. This time to the midcard superstar, Kofi Kingston. I hate the booking, I hate how WWE is treating the title, and I hate watching Cesaro trade losses with jobbers. It's pathetic.
- Hey look! Wade Barrett won a match! Yes, it was against Santino Marella, but at least it was something. Because why not have the Intercontinental Champion lose the title on Sunday, win it back on Monday, and knock out a jobber on Friday. Macho Man Randy Savage would be so damn proud.
- The six-woman tag team match is the exact reason why no one gives a crap about the Divas. You throw everyone into the ring together for no rhyme or reason, no one -- the talent, commentators, or audience -- cares about what is going on, and somehow everyone walks away looking weaker. I want to see Kaitlyn get into a feud with someone. I want to see a blowoff to The Funkadactyls and The Bella Twins. I don't want to see nonsense, which is what WWE continues to give us.
All told, a fun, entertaining episode of SmackDown. The midcard continues to suffer, but at least we have some intrigue in the main event. After suffering through the boring crap WWE was putting out for the last month, last night was a wonderful breath of fresh air.
What say you, Cagesiders? How did you enjoy the first SmackDown following WrestleMania 29? Let me know how right -- or how wrong -- I am in the comments.