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Chair Shots: Super Smackdown, Punk vs. Chris Brown, Show vs. Shaq and WWE WrestleMania card predictions

Ratings are in for Tuesday's Super Smackdown Live special, and they are extremely disappointing. Smackdown had its lowest viewers since a 2010 episode. Was it a lack of promotion for the show, the fact the last live Smackdown (the Christmas in November special with Mick Foley as host) kind of stunk, or just too much WWE in a span of three days? Whatever it was, it didn't deliver, even if the show wasn't that bad.

The headline match of WWE Champion CM Punk vs. World Champion Daniel Bryan was fun, essentially turned into a 2-out-of-3 falls contest, and booked to make both brand's champions look evenly matched. The finish with the superplex into a double pin reminded me of something out of the 1980s.

Mostly, the match was a way to further the rivalry between interim Raw General Manager John Laurinaitis and Smackdown GM Theodore Long. Funny that the Smackdown champ has the Raw GM on his side, and vice versa. I know a lot of fans don't seem to be too interested in a power struggle between brand authority figures, but I think it opens up a lot of possibilities and gives us a reason for even more brand crossover than usual on the Road to WrestleMania. ...

Oddly, right after I posted a blog entry Tuesday about the possibility of a multi-man match between Team Laurinaitis and Team Long at WrestleMania, reports of that being discussed by WWE officials started surfacing on the Internet, with essentially the same participants. So looks like I might've finally got one right. I doubt my idea of turning Orton heel in the match would go over though. ...

Punk has been getting a lot of mainstream press for his Twitter war with singer/woman-beater Chris Brown. WWE jumped all over this and brought it up multiple times during the live Smackdown. And I don't blame them, it's great publicity heading into WrestleMania for their WWE Champion. Some of criticized WWE for trying to be associated with Brown, because of his transgressions, but those same people seem to believe that WWE would offer Chris Brown a big payday to appear at Raw or WrestleMania. I don't think that's going to happen. Brown is best to just let it lie and not give WWE or CM Punk any more free publicity. ...

Speaking of celebrities and WrestleMania, despite WWE.com issuing an official announcement that NBA great Shaquille O'Neal will NOT be competing at WrestleMania, Shaq continues to say he will. While a report last week only indicated that Shaq confirmed he'd be in attendance, and WWE.com squashing rumors of him competing Tuesday, Shaq was on an ESPN radio show on Wednesday saying he would wrestle. I'm inclined to believe WWE.com here.

I do believe Shaq will be at 'Mania in Miami, where he guided the Heat to a championship a few years back, and may even have a run-in with the Big Show. And I do think Shaq will wrestle in a WWE sometime soon. But with Cena-Rock and Taker-Triple H already announced for WrestleMania, do they really need another draw like Shaq? Probably not. Could they use him down the road to spike buyrates when WWE visits the place where Shaq had his most success -- Los Angeles -- for SummerSlam in August? You betcha. ...

Big Show, meanwhile, seems to have a brewing feud with Cody Rhodes that will likely culminate at WrestleMania. During a short match with Mark Henry, Big Show was distracted by Rhodes, who came to ringside to insult the World's Largest Athlete's WrestleMania follies. The distraction didn't keep Big Show down, and he kicked out of Henry's body slam/big splash combo, then knocked out Henry before chasing Rhodes backstage. ...

Henry was booked like a beast in the early goings, but ended up looking like a chump since he couldn't finish Show off despite the distraction. Not good for a man who was booked as an unstoppable World Champion a few months back. ...

Sheamus, who squashed Henry on Raw, had a nice match with the Miz to start the show. Miz interrupted Daniel Bryan's promo to, shockingly, praise the current World Champion. Bryan never got a chance to respond, as Sheamus interrupted as Miz was proposing a tag team with Bryan. Miz was on-point here and his match with Sheamus was pretty good, so it seems he's shaken whatever seemed to have him off his game a few weeks ago. Another strong win for Sheamus as he continues to build momentum toward WrestleMania. As for that Miz and Bryan tag team, hmmm. I'm interested to see if this goes anywhere, or was just to solidify Bryan's heel turn and set-up the Miz-Sheamus contest.

Sheamus noted that Miz didn't have a WrestleMania match-up yet, and while it's still early, I wonder if there isn't another angle brewing here. As the card begins to take shape, there doesn't seem to be an obvious spot for him right now.

A day after beating the tag team champions, Kofi Kingston and R-Truth (R-Boom?) lost to Vickie Guerrero's pairing of Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger. I guarantee the tag team titles are going to get injected into a feud here, as WWE likely doesn't have a lot of confidence in Primo and Epico being on the WrestleMania card, but also doesn't have any current angles for these four upper mid-carders. ...

Two squashes -- Great Khaili over Drew McIntyre and David Otunga over Ezekiel Jackson (again) -- rounded out the Smackdown card. Move along, nothing to see here. ...

So after the "Big Four" matches already announced for WrestleMania, an the announcement that Shaq won't be part of the card, here's what I think the rest of the show looks like:

Intercontinental Championship

Big Show vs. Cody Rhodes

Tag Team Championship

Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger vs. Kofi Kingston and R-Truth

Eight-man tag team match for determine GM for both Raw and Smackdown

Team Laurinaitis: Alberto Del Rio, Christian, Mark Henry and David Otunga (w/ John Laurinaitis)

vs.

Team Long: Randy Orton, Rey Mysterio, The Great Khali and Santino Marella (w/ Teddy Long)

Kane (w/ Eve Torres) vs. Zack Ryder

Divas Championship

Beth Phoenix vs. Kharma

This leaves the Miz, who was not only in the main event of last year's WrestleMania, but won it, without a match. He could always get thrown into the eight-man tag, or something else that could be built between now and then, but I think it would be interesting to leave him off the card and make an angle out of it. Perhaps he'd get involved in the John Cena-Rock main event, since he was a third wheel in their feud a year ago. Only time will tell.

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