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Smackdown - March 9, 2012

Date: March 9, 2012
Location: Mohegan Sun Casion, Uncasville, Connecticut
Commentators: Josh Matthews, Booker T, Michael Cole

Reviewed by Tommy Hall

Johnny Ace is in charge tonight and if it's the same as when Teddy ran Raw on Monday, then we're in for a very uneventful night indeed. Other than that I don't think we have much else announced for tonight. Hopefully we get anything on the story for Sheamus vs. Bryan as we need any reason to care about them. Let's get to it.

The opening video is about Ace hosting tonight and implying he's out to steal the job permanently.

We open with a cage being lowered. Otunga and Ace are in the ring. Tonight we're starting with a championship match in a cage because Teddy has never done that.

US Title: Santino Marella vs. Jack Swagger

Swagger throws him into the corner and pounds Santino down followed by a modified powerslam for two. Clothesline gets two. This has been all Swagger in the first two minutes. Santino tries to escape but Swagger launches him face first into the steel. Santino comes back with some punches and his signature stuff. Headbutt gets two and here comes the Cobra. Ziggler tries to climb in so his hands get hit by the Cobra to knock him to the floor.

Swagger grabs Marella in a belly to back suplex but Santino hits the Cobra to escape and both guys are down. Ziggler is ejected and we take a break. Back with Santino taking a knee to the ribs to put him down. Swagger takes the Cobra glove off and throws it to the floor. Rollup gets one for Santino and a sunset flip gets two. Swagger throws him down and hits a Vader Bomb for two.

He tries to climb but gets crotched and covered for two. Santino gets most of the way over but Swagger saves and they're both back inside now. Santino comes back with a tornado DDT and crawls for the door. Santino kicks Swagger off and dives again but Swagger grabs the ankle lock. Vickie tries to slam the door on Santino's head but hits Swagger instead, allowing Santino to crawl out to retain at 7:33 shown of 11:03.

Rating: C. This was fine all things considered. Why this was in a cage is beyond me, but I guess it's to further the Ace vs. Long feud somehow. The match was just ok as neither is particularly great in the ring but the crowd was way into Santino. It's better than Swagger having the title as he actually gets on TV too. I guess this is Ryder's push too.

Teddy comes out to celebrate with Santino.

Teddy comes to see Ace/Otunga and doesn't want Aksana to have to face Kane. Ace enjoys seeing Teddy squirm and Teddy begs a bit. Ace proposes a match between himself and Teddy. If Ace loses, Aksana will face Kane. Ok then.

Shawn will confront Undertaker on Monday.

Here's Drew McIntyre in his gear. Is anyone surprised by this? Drew says that Ace will rehired him if he wins a match against a mystery opponent.

Drew McIntyre vs. Great Khali

And never mind as Otunga says Khali isn't in the match, so here's the real opponent.

Drew McIntyre vs. Hornswoggle

So why did Khali come out there at all? Horny is terrified despite regularly beating full sized guys before. Drew dominates him and keeps pulling him up after slams. The referee stops it at 1:39.

Khali chops Drew post match.

Aksana is scared for Teddy but he says it's ok.

Ace is warming up in a track suit.

Ezekiel Jackson vs. Mark Henry

So the word on the street is that Henry is in hot water for not being tough enough for working through his injuries, despite being out there almost every week working through his injuries. There's your lesson guys: don't work hard, don't enhance your character, don't work through injuries, or you might be in danger of being released. Slugout to start but Zeke gets beaten down quickly. Zeke comes back with the clotheslines in the corner but Henry runs him over again. World's Strongest Slam for the pin at 1:41. Well Jackson is moving up. Now he's getting squashed by bigger names.

John Laurinitis vs. Teddy Long

Remember if Teddy wins, it's Aksana vs. Kane. This gets big match intros. Ace grabs a mic after the bell rings and tries to talk Teddy out of this. Ace yells at Teddy to do the right thing and lay down, but Teddy won't do it. Aksana freaks so Ace waves down Kane. Orton runs through the crowd and RKOs Kane, allowing Teddy to roll Ace up at about 2:30. Is this company aware the Wrestlemania is in three weeks? So to clarify, as soon as Kane gets up, he has to face Aksana right? Right?

According to the announcers, Teddy did that because Kane has been taken out so there won't be a match. I'm as shocked as you are. Teddy and Aksana leave to have a nice dinner.

Kofi Kingston/R-Truth vs. Primo/Epico

Uh oh. Kofi was starting to get over as a legit guy again so we better put him in the black tag team of the month. Now the Kane vs. Aksana match isn't happening because Teddy and Aksana left. So why didn't Teddy just send Aksana away earlier in the night? Epico and Kofi start with Epico being monkey flipped to the corner. Off to Truth who dances around and hits a spinning legdrop for two.

Back to Kofi and Primo hooks the rope to send Kofi to the floor. Booker praises the cheating for being the right move. See, that's what most commentators are horrible at: being subtle. Things settle down a bit and it's Kofi in trouble against Primo. Kofi comes back with a knee to the head and there's the hot tag to Truth. Everything breaks down and the Little Jimmy gets the pin on Primo at 5:11.

Rating: D+. This wasn't much but the tag champions get to job AGAIN to these two that have teamed together what, three times now? Why did Bourne have to get all drugged up when the division was actually getting some stability to it? This wasn't a particularly good match, mainly because you knew the champions weren't going to win.

Three minutes on Cena vs. Rock from Monday.

Here's Cole in the ring to talk to Sheamus and Bryan. Yes, they're actually talking about this match. Cole's first question is to Bryan, asking how much of a role luck has played in his title reign. Bryan says you don't need to be lucky when you're good like he is. Nothing has been luck in any of his accomplishments, which he lists off. It's been living a vegan lifestyle and scientific skill that has given him the title. That and charisma and sex appeal.

Sheamus says everyone needs a bit of luck. He's lucky to be from Ireland and to be in WWE and in America and in front of all these people here. You make your own luck however and Sheamus has fought his way here. He also hasn't hid behind a 99lb girl who looks like she should be in a Catholic schoolgirl uniform. AJ: “Well from my point of view...” Bryan: “AJ shut up.” Sheamus says Bryan should be wearing the skirt. At Wrestlemania, Bryan's luck runs out.

Sheamus/Randy Orton/Big Show vs. Cody Rhodes/Daniel Bryan/The Miz

The staredown got cut short for Cody's entrance, meaning once again this match gets like 3 minutes a week if it's lucky. Sheamus vs. Cody gets things going. Quickly off to Randy as we hear again about Legacy and their history together. Orton stomps him down but Cody gets in a dropkick and the tag to Bryan. Cole says he's starting to respect Bryan. Off to Big Show who throws the champion around a little bit more.

Bryan finally gets away and tags in his former NXT Pro. You know, in ancient history when NXT actually had a structure to it. Show throws Miz around too so Miz tags out to Cody. Cody comes in and tags out to Miz immediately. Show doesn't care and brings Miz back in as we take a break. Back with Sheamus pounding on Miz. Miz comes back with some lefts in the corner but Sheamus comes back with a rolling fireman's carry slam.

Off to Cody who gets the ten clubbing forearms in ropes. Miz finally gets in a shot to send him to the floor and Bryan adds the knee off the apron. Bryan vs. Sheamus now and Sheamus towers over him. Bryan keeps taking him down and strikes away with the knees and feet. Off to Miz who hits a running boot to the chest for two. Cody comes in as the heels are moving in and out well.

Back to Daniel who shouts YES with every kick in a funny bit. Miz hooks the chinlock and the knee to the back gets two. Here's Cody again (see how fast they're tagging?) as Cole makes fun of GI Bro. Celtic Cross out of nowhere is countered into a Russian legsweep for two. Irish Curse takes Cody down and there's the hot tag to Randy. Everything breaks down and Show stalks Cody up the ramp. Elevated DDT takes Miz down but Bryan avoids it. Sheamus LAUNCHES Bryan into the barricade and they fight into the crowd. The Finale is countered into an RKO for the pin at 10:39 shown of 14:09.

Rating: C+. This was a good main event tag, but I'm really not sure why Miz was involved. Was Kane that injured off a single RKO? At least we got some in ring time for the two matches, although I'm worried that they're going to give the title to Big Show which is one of the last people that they need to put a title on. Good match overall though.

Kane comes out post match and pulls Orton out to the floor. Kane knocks him into the crowd (called the Universe by Cole to make me roll my eyes) and they fight up the steps to end the show.

Overall Rating: D+. I REALLY didn't like this show. It's like the main matches are being pushed back for the sake of the Teddy Long and Johnny Ace and Aksana. As I said earlier, do they realize that there are three weeks before Wrestlemania? I know Ace vs. Teddy is going to be lead to a match at Mania but the rest of the show felt thrown together. We have an unneeded gimmick match, Drew being rehired again, meaning that weeks of losses add up to nothing, a Henry squash, and the tag champions losing again. This show had no focus at all and it was a pain to sit through as a result. Bad show.

Santino Marella b. Jack Swagger – Marella escaped the cage
Drew McIntyre b. Hornswoggle due to referee stoppage
Mark Henry b. Ezekiel Jackson – World's Strongest Slam
Teddy Long b. John Laurinitis – Rollup
Kofi Kingston/R-Truth b. Primo/Epico – Little Jimmy to Primo
Randy Orton/Sheamus/Big Show b. The Miz/Cody Rhodes/Daniel Bryan – RKO to Miz

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