Tonight’s episode of WWE Smackdown was a special live “Blast From The Past” episode featuring a number of WWE legends. Not only was it not something that had never been seen before as the commercials kept touting (remember “Old School Raw” from last year?) but in my opinion it was a waste of time. I loved the Old School Raw last year and I am a huge fan of seeing certain WWE legends return to Raw and Smackdown for the occasional storyline here and there, but I felt like tonight’s show featured more segments and matches that were a waste of time than having the legends on TV was worth. After such a strong Raw last night and a strong showing for both Raw and Smackdown last week, I was pretty disappointed with tonight’s show overall.
The show kicked off with “Mean” Gene Okerlund in the ring and Sheamus. I was surprised to not see Sheamus on Raw last night, but last night’s show was pretty packed and there is supposed to be two distinct brands. Also, as I’ve said before, I am not a fan as Sheamus as the World Heavyweight Champion, so the less I see of him the better it is for me personally. Now my opinion of Sheamus had started to change last week when he kicked the referee in the head after awarding Alberto Del Rio the victory in their match, because I thought that maybe Sheamus was starting to head back towards being a heel (or at least a face with a mean streak), but that opinion quickly changed when Sheamus started off his segment by apologizing to the referee and all of us for his actions. Raw & Smackdown General Manager John Laurinaitis then came down to the ring and, after showing a clip from last week, made Sheamus apologize again and putting him on permanent probation, noting that if he touched a referee again he would be fired, and fining him $500,000, the largest fine in the history of the WWE. Laurinaitis then told Sheamus that he would be tagging up with Okerlund to face the team of Daniel Bryan and Del Rio.
Backstage, Cowboy Bob Orton gave his son, Randy Orton, a pep talk before his match against Mark Henry, who will face CM Punk for the WWE Championship next week on Raw. The match was great while it lasted, with both men getting in a ton of offense, but Kane interrupted on the TitanTron by saying that last week Orton proved that he can be every bit of a monster as himself and that he wanted to keep the fun going. When he showed a fallen Bob Orton on the floor, Orton left the ring and ran backstage to find Kane and his father. Orton found both, but Kane was hiding in the corner and attacked Orton with a steel pipe. I assume that these two will meet at Extreme Rules, but with them already having a no disqualification match last week, I’m curious to see what the stipulation at the pay-per-view is.
For the second week in a row, Ryback faced off against a local jobber, and for the second week in a row, that jobber was given the chance to speak. Also for the second week in a row, people gathered backstage to watch the match on the monitor. While it is perfectly in line with WWE creative to have a debuting Superstar face and defeat jobbers for their first few weeks/months, having the jobbers speak first and having a crowd gather backstage is new. Whether there is a purpose for either remains to be seen, but either way, Ryback unsurprisingly defeated the jobber in very quick fashion.
Heath Slater was shown backstage with Tyson Kidd, who had been teaming lately with Justin Gabriel, but Gabriel was recently injured, putting an end to the short-lived team. Slater tried to convince Kidd that he will be a better partner than Gabriel for their match against The Usos and that he even found a hall of fame manager to be in their corner – “Mouth of the South” Jimmy Hart. WWE legend Mick Foley also came out to do commentary for the match. In my opinion, if there is going to be a tag team match on Raw or Smackdown, it should feature the Tag Team Champions, Primo and Epico, but that’s just my opinion. I actually enjoyed the back and forth between Jimmy Hart (with his megaphone) and Mick Foley than I did the action in the ring between the active competitors. The match ended when Foley took out Socko to try and attack Hart, but Hart got scared and ran through the ring, distracting long enough to allow the Usos to hit a finishing move for the pin and the win (after the match, Foley hit Hart with Socko). I would be happy seeing more of either man on WWE TV, especially Hart as I feel like there are a lot of Superstars on the roster who could use a manager.
Rowdy Roddy Piper made his return next with Piper’s Pit, featuring Daniel Bryan as his guest. It is always good to see Piper and I hadn’t realized it had been six years since Piper’s Pit was on TV. Bryan came down to the ring back to his old self, screaming “Yes!” and jumping up and down. Piper asked why he was so happy after losing the World Heavyweight Championship in 18 seconds at Wrestlemania and Bryan explained it was because Laurnaitis had granted him a rematch against Sheamus for the title at Extreme Rules in a 2-out-of-3 falls match. Bryan added that AJ, who had cost him the title in the first place, would be nowhere near the ring for that match and Piper responded by inviting AJ to the ring. AJ came down and apologized to Bryan for costing him the match, begging him to take her back and saying that she could make it up to him. Piper tried to convince her otherwise, saying that she is stronger and smarter than to go crawling back to Bryan, but she left the ring when Bryan told her to do so anyway. Piper got in Bryan’s face after AJ left and told Bryan that you don’t treat a lady the way he’s treated AJ lately and that the best part of the Extreme Rules match is that he’ll get to watch Sheamus beat Bryan twice. Bryan then slapped Piper but left the ring before Piper could respond. This was a great segment because it definitely put a lot of good heel heat on Bryan, who the fans are very much behind after his loss at Wrestlemania. I hope that Bryan wins the match at Extreme Rules because I think he makes a much better champion than Sheamus.
Well, I guess having the Divas in a mixed tag team match without the presence of the Divas Champion is better than no Divas at all (which was the case on Raw last week) and this was our next match as the waste of ring time that is The Great Khali teamed up with Alicia Fox and Natalya Neidhart against Drew McIntyre and the Bella Twins. Although which is better – no Divas at all or the Divas match lasting less than two minutes? In this match we got the latter as after McIntyre left the match, saying he was better than a match like that, Alicia Fox quickly pinned Nikki Bella. After the match, Mae Young came out at the top of the rap to celebrate with the winning team, who kicked Khali in the knee to get him down to her heights and then kissed him. Sigh, what a waste of the Divas….
Damien Sandow (who was in the dark match before Raw last night) got another chance to cut a video promo, talking again about how much more sophisticated he is than us but how he is here to help us. He looked good in his match against JTG last night, so the only question now is what WWE Creative does with him once he debuts (a best guess is face Heath Slater in his first match) and how the fans react.
I had forgotten that Hunico even existed before he came out tonight with Kamacho to face Hacksaw Jim Duggan. Again, why is this man on TV when the tag team champions are not at all and the Divas only get a two minute match? Anyway, Kamacho tried to get involved in the match, which brought out Sergeant Slaughter. Duggan got disqualified by hitting Hunico with his 2×4, followed by Slaughter locking in the Cobra Clutch. I would have much rather seen the Divas given an extra few minutes than this match.
Cody Rhodes came out after the commercial break to address his loss at Wrestlemania, and I couldn’t agree with him more when he said that a “Blast From The Past” night is a waste of time and that the focus should be on the future. While talking about winning back his Intercontinental Championship from Big Show, Rhodes was interrupted by his father, “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes. Dusty scolded his son for instigating Big Show leading up to their match, then Big Show came out and showed a clip from when Cody was doing his “dashing” gimmick to try and embarrass him. As I wrote yesterday, I will be glad when the Rhodes/Show feud is over so Cody can move on.
The final match and main event of the evening featured Sheamus & Gene Okerlund vs. Albert Del Rio & Daniel Bryan. The match was quick and ended when all of the WWE legends came down and distracted Bryan, which gave Sheamus the opportunity to kick him in the head and pin him for the win. After the match, Michael Cole got in the ring and made fun of the legends, who beat him up, ending the show.