Date: April 26, 2013
Location: O2 Arena, London, England
Commentators: Michael Cole, Josh Matthews, John Bradshaw Layfield
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
We're still in London and still in the 02 Arena for the blue WWE show. The main event tonight is a rare singles match on free TV for the Undertaker as he faces Dean Ambrose of the Shield. Other than that we've got Swagger vs. Del Rio in a No DQ match which should be good if it's anything like last week's match. Let's get to it.
We open with a recap of the six man tag from Raw where Shield beat Undertaker and HELL NO. We also hear a bit about the No DQ match tonight.
Alberto Del Rio vs. Jack Swagger
No DQ as mentioned twice already. Del Rio starts fast and clotheslines Swagger out to the floor. A suicide dive takes Swagger down and Del Rio's seems to be fine. Alberto pulls out a kendo stick but gets whacked in the now injured knee with it. Del Rio blocks a shot to the chest but gets sent to the floor, down onto the knee. They slug it out in the aisle and Del Rio suplexes him onto the ramp.
Del Rio pulls out a ladder and launches a charging Swagger face first into it as we take a break. Back with Swagger holding a front facelock on Del Rio after gaining control with kendo stick shots during the break. A belly to belly suplex gets two for Jack and he gets a chair from ringside. Since he's a heel though, Swagger talks a lot of trash and gets caught by an enziguri on the apron. Del Rio pounds away but Jack takes out the knee to slow him down again.
Swagger wedges a chair between the top and middle rope, only to walk into the Codebreaker to the arm. Some clotheslines to Swagger set up the tilt-a-whirl backbreaker, followed by some kendo stick shots to the back. For someone who uses an arm submission, Del Rio certainly works on the back a lot. A Backstabber gets two on Swagger but the armbreaker is countered. Del Rio settles for a low superkick for two but Swagger grabs the ankle lock from the mat. Del Rio rolls through into the armbreaker but Jack escapes and sends Alberto face first into the chair for two.
Jack knocks the chair to the floor and opts for the ladder instead, only to have Del Rio see-saw it into Jack's chin. Colter tries a cheap shot and the distraction is enough to let Swagger get a running ladder shot to Del Rio's face. The Vader Bomb hits knees and Del Rio puts on the armbreaker again. Colter slides in the kendo stick though and Swagger pounds away to break the hold. Jack beats on Alberto with the stick to escape, drops the ladder on his body and gets the pin off the gutwrench powerbomb at 11:00 shown of 13:30.
Rating: B-. Good match here but not as good as last week. It seems that the more time these two get the better matches they can have. This was designed to even things up going into the triple threat, but as usual it just makes both guys look the same while crippling the momentum that either guy has. But hey, wins and losses mean nothing in WWE right?
Layla vs. Aksana
Layla is her usual bubbly self again, so I guess the heel tease from a few weeks ago is added to the list of dropped angles. Aksana is sent to the apron where she poses, only to charge back in for some near falls. Layla gets caught by a running knee to the head for two before she starts working on Layla's hand. Aksana bends Layla's arm around the ropes and easily stops some martial arts from Layla. The British chick gets a running start and hooks a side roll after a bunch of flips for the pin on Aksana at 3:04.
Rating: D+. Dang it why did it have to break three minutes? This was just a way to have the home country girl get a win and look good in British flag shorts. As usual, the Divas continue to be nothing of note and a mere time filler on most of the shows. Aksana wasn't as terrible as she usually is here though.
Apparently the spinning side roll is called Infinity. They're naming glorified rollups now?
Video on the Divas show coming to E!
Video on Shield being awesome.
We get most of the six man tag match from Raw, as in over ten minutes of it.
Shield says justice prevailed on Monday when they broke the unbreakable. It's an injustice that HELL NO still has the tag belts but they won't be doing so for long. Ambrose wants to finish the job tonight against Undertaker. After tonight, Shield is going to be immortal instead of Undertaker.
Fandango vs. Justin Gabriel
Gabriel dances a bit to start and Fandango lunges at him. An armdrag and legsweep put Fandango down and the fans are singing the Fandango theme song. The fans keep getting louder as Fandango ties Gabriel up in the ropes for some forearms to the back of the head. Justin fires off some kicks including a nice spinning one to take Fandango down. He goes up top and dives into a knee to the ribs though, allowing Fandango to hit the spinning downward spiral and guillotine legdrop for the pin at 3:03.
Rating: C-. Not bad here and this is the kind of win that Fandango should have gotten last week. Gabriel is a good choice for a jobber as he's not going anywhere but is still good enough in the ring to believe there's a chance of a big upset. They seem stalled with Fandango though as there's nowhere to go with him from here. Hopefully he doesn't fall into the midcard abyss though as that would be horrible for him.
Big Show vs. Sheamus
Before the match we recap Sheamus' issues with Mark Henry. Show shoves him down to start but Sheamus pounds away in the corner. Big Show will have none of that and fires off chops to Sheamus' chest while the Irishman is tied up in the ropes. They head to the floor with Show in control, but as they come back in Sheamus hits a shoulder to the ribs, followed by the forearms to the chest.
Back in and Sheamus charges into a side slam followed by a big elbow drop for two. Final Cut gets the same and Sheamus is having trouble breathing. Sheamus fires off some right hands but Show falls on him during a slam attempt for two. Big Show keeps him on the mat as the pace slows down a lot. A hard slap to Sheamus' chest sounds like it's ripping skin off as we take a break.
Back with Sheamus being sent shoulder first into the post and out tot he floor. Show sends him into the steps as this is still one sided for the most part. Sheamus makes it back in at 8 so Show sends him into the buckle. Off to a top wristlock but Sheamus fights up and hits a DDT to get himself a breather. They slug it out from their knees with Sheamus taking over and hitting some shoulder blocks.
The top rope shoulder puts Show down but Sheamus can't hit White Noise. Scratch that actually as he escapes the chokeslam and connects with White Noise before loading up the Brogue Kick. Show bails to the floor so Sheamus dives off the steps to take him out. Back in again and Sheamus loads up the top rope shoulder, but here's Henry to distract him, allowing Big Show to knock Sheamus out with the WMD for the pin at 10:52 shown of 13:52.
Rating: B-. As usual these two have good chemistry together and they had the slow build going here. I've always liked seeing these two have their battles of the titans with both guys hitting each other with harder and harder shots until one of them can't get up. They did that here and it worked quite well, as always.
William Regal vs. Wade Barrett
Non-title here. Before the match, Barrett says there must be something to the idea of grave robberies in London since it's standing right there in the ring. Barrett pounds away to start but gets sent into the corner where Regal pounds away as well. The knee trembler misses though and it's the Bull Hammer from Barrett for the pin at 56 seconds.
We get the HHH/Heyman segment from Raw.
Randy Orton vs. Mark Henry
The World's Strongest Slam is attempted less than twenty seconds into the match but Orton slips over the back and pounds away with right hands. We head to the floor with Henry getting in some hard shots, only to head back inside and get stomped down. Henry runs Orton over again and beats him down in the corner but Randy comes back with clotheslines of his own. Orton covers but Henry kicks him out hard enough to have Randy land on his feet. The Elevated DDT puts Henry down but he rolls to the floor to avoid an RKO. Mark gets back in and walks into a Brogue Kick from an interfering Sheamus for the DQ at 4:19.
Rating: C-. No time to go anywhere here but the match wasn't bad or anything. This is where the WWE style of booking gets annoying as you knew the ending to this as soon as Sheamus vs. Big Show ended. Sheamus vs. Henry should be good and hopefully the match doesn't have some stupid gimmick that limits what they can do in the ring against each other.
Orton gives Henry an RKO post match and doesn't seem mad at Sheamus at all.
We look at the end of Raw with Foley, Ryback and Cena.
Undertaker vs. Dean Ambrose
This is quite the rub for Ambrose. Apparently HELL NO isn't here tonight so Undertaker is on his own. Ambrose takes it to the corner to start which is about the dumbest thing you can do against undertaker. As expected, Taker launches Dean into the corner and pounds away before hitting the apron legdrop. Back in and Taker misses a big boot in the corner, crotching himself in the process.
Ambrose sends him to the floor and goes off on the big man before sending him into the apron. Back in and Dean pounds away even more with that cocky/psycho look on his face. After a quick two count, Dean pounds on Taker's jaw and yells about justice. He shouts a bit too much though and gets grabbed around the throat. Taker tries to run the ropes but gets caught with a running knee to the ribs. That gets him nowhere though as Taker snaps off a chokeslam but he has to fight off Shield. Ambrose grabs a DDT for a VERY close two but walks into the Hell's Gate for the tap out at 4:40.
Rating: C+. You want to talk about a rub, look at what you just saw here. The Shield debuted just six months ago and now one of them is fighting the Undertaker in the main event of Smackdown. Ambrose had Taker in trouble too and never once looked like he was in over his head. This is one of the best initial pushes I've ever seen and is showing no signs of slowing down at all.
Post match the Shield attacks but Taker actually fights them off since Ambrose is down. He loads up a chokeslam on Rollins on the floor but Reigns hits the big spear through the barricade. Ambrose hits him with a chair and shouts that Taker didn't beat him. Shield TripleBombs Taker through the table, presumably writing him off TV for the a long time.
Overall Rating: B. This was a STACKED show with a Wrestlemania rematch, two matches which could headline the Smackdown half of a PPV, and a big rub to Shield. The matches were almost all decent to good and nothing on here was really bad. This is what Smackdown is known for and it worked quite well here. Very entertaining and big time show.
Jack Swagger b. Alberto Del Rio – Gutwrench powerbomb
Layla b. Aksana – Infinity
Fandango b. Justin Gabriel – Guillotine legdrop
Big Show b. Sheamus – WMD
Wade Barrett b. William Regal – Bull Hammer
Mark Henry b. Randy Orton via DQ when Sheamus interfered
Undertaker b. Dean Ambrose – Hell's Gate
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