Facts from Friday Night Smackdown taping, not live from London, April 23rd 2013
Tonight I headed back down the Jubilee line to the O2 Arena, courtesy of the WWE’s very nice PR firm, and took my complimentary seat to witness what looks like it’ll be a pretty good Smackdown. (They also taped Saturday Morning Slam and Main Event, but we in the UK will never get to see them, so it doesn’t really count.) Again, spoilers…
The first chant ringing round the arena tonight was a raucous “We want Barrett!” demand.
There was ACTUALLY a sign that said “Singh is King!” – look out for it behind the announce table.
Alex Riley got a massive massive pop, and I was really glad for him.
Santino got a Boris bike and rode it around a lot. I half-expected Hunico and lol Camacho to challenge him to a race.
Natalya is wasted dancing alongside the Great Khali and his glass knees.
Zeb Colter seemed to be claiming that Dolph Ziggler is gay because he has bleached blond hair. I wasn’t quite sure what he was talking about, to be honest.
Jack Swagger repeatedly shouted, “WE THE PEOPLE,” to little effect.
Lilian Garcia, having missed out on her annual assault on our eardrums at Wrestlemania, chose to perform God Save The Queen. A cappella. No, really.
This instantly became the best night ever when they announced first up that the evening’s main event would be the Undertaker v Dean Ambrose, at which point I screamed again.
Alberto Del Rio and Swagger had a great no disqualifications match in which Ricardo was, inevitably, the star.
I have now had to watch Aksana wrestle in three separate matches in a 24-hour span.
The O2 crowd got their wish – not only did they get Wade Barrett, they also got William Regal.
It’s really quite disturbing to hear small children singing, “Beat him up, beat him up! Break his neck, break his neck!”
An irritating child next to me misheard “Sexual Chocolate” as “Let’s go, Chocolate” and got upset about it being racist. I did think about correcting the misapprehension but felt it would open a massive can of worms, and he’s probably right about the lingering racism anyway.
WWE crowds, you have absolutely no need to chant for an RKO. It is INEVITABLE so you are wasting your breath. Ditto the brogue kick.
The Shield cut a great promo on Taker, principally led by Ambrose, obviously, who talked at length about wanting to make the Dead Man actually dead. And what’s more, you believe that he wants that. Oh, the Shield.
The match itself was quite brief – understandably so. Ambrose tapped to Hell’s Gate, and then Taker was unceremoniously destroyed in a beatdown, culminating in a triple powerbomb through the announce table. One presumes and hopes that this is setting up Taker’s match at Wrestlemania XXX, when he must surely be considering passing the torch to the next generation.
DX ran in at the end to save Taker, but I imagine that would be off-air. At least I hope so.
A really good show all in all. Particularly if you believe in the Shield.
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