#newera: So the era of Big Johnny being in charge of Smackdown begins and what better way to kick it off then with The Law Offices of David Otunga’s Travel Mug introducing GM Johnny? No sooner does he walk out then Cole starts lavishing an obscene amount of praise on him. Booker actually has a line that makes sense when he says Cole should ready his chapstick because they’ll be alot of kissing up. The fact that Johnny says he won’t abuse all the power he has only makes him that much better of a heel authority figure. Inviting Teddy out to thank him for his service and then Teddy telling him to go to hell was great. He still offers Teddy a job in his ‘administration’ but when Long refuses, Otunga warns him that control of his grandkid’s college fund belongs to Johnny. So that’s how they’ll keep Teddy around. Great way for Johnny to get even more heat and maybe he’ll let Teddy make a tag team match for old time’s sake.

#whatpeoplewant: In his first act of giving the people what they want, Johnny books R-Truth and Otunga but then changes it to a handicap match with Mark Henry as Otunga’s partner. Of course Cole thinks it’s a great idea. The heels win of course and the only noteworthy thing about the match was a shot of Abraham Washington watching the match from backstage. Who’s that you ask? Some guy from when ECW was a ‘brand’. Not that a majority of the fans would know that. I suppose Otunga posing and flexing his muscles post match is noteworthy if only to add to his vanity. Thankfully Kane shows up to end that absurdity.

#maniarewind: So it’s a Kane-Orton Mania rematch that is no-DQ. Seems like a questionable decision but maybe they want to end this for good and possibly give Orton retribution. The feud wasn’t good to begin with, so ending it is a good thing. The fight quickly spills to the outside with both men getting their heads smashed against the announce table and ring steps by the other. They exchange blows as the action moves up the ramp to the stage which Orton gets introduced to via a DDT from Kane. Back in the ring he exposes a turnbuckle but Orton dodges the toss into that steel. The back and forth brawl continues, spills outside again with Kane tossing 5 steel chairs into the ring before it comes back inside. The plan backfires as Orton uses his signature Rope hung DDT onto one of the chairs. Kane recovers and tries to chokeslam Orton onto a chair, but Randall reverses tosses him into that forgotten exposed turnbuckle and hits the RKO for the win. I didn’t see their Mania match, but while it was mainly a brawl this one was pretty good. Exposing the turnbuckle only to have it backfire is a classic heel move.

#shockingreturn: As if Smackdown is trying to compete with RAW for shocking returns, Ryback comes out to face some no name guy. Who’s Ryback I here you say? Well none other then the man formerly known as Skip Sheffield, former Nexus member, who hasn’t been seen in a year and a half. The crowd doesn’t seem like it marked out as much as when Lesnar returned. Why couldn’t they have gotten Alex Riley to face him? I mean he already had gotten squashed by a returning Lord Tensai on RAW, so he would know how to sell getting bowled over better then this unknown jobber. Later there is a video promo from a debuting Damien Sandow who rants about the low quality of our culture. It’s not a return, but it’s shocking in that everyone in the crowd was going ‘wtf?’. I do hope they don’t overdo the educated heel gimmick as much as they’ve done with Otunga.

#yesyesyes: Even though he’s technically supposed to be a heel, the crowd nonetheless continues the Yes chant. Of course he blames his Mania loss on AJ even after she tries to console him. He doesn’t just say it was her fault, he goes bats*** crazy on her, yelling and calling the good luck kiss before getting Brogue Kicked the ‘Kiss of Death’. He continues to lay it on thick and doesn’t let up, breaking up with her to top it off. With the exploding popularity of the Yes chant, this was just what was needed to regain his heel heat with the crowd.

#unfinishedbusiness: So Cody Rhodes is sitting on commentary for Show’s match against Heath Slater. There’s another edition of Show ripping off Cody’s Mania series on him and it’s not as entertaining as the original version. The whole purpose of this match/segment is for Show to get an easy win to continue his momentum after winning the IC Title, as well give Cody a way to vent his frustrations. I’m sure there will be a rematch at Extreme Rules if not sooner.

#nocard: Beth Phoenix gets TV time? I’m shocked! Maybe they’re trying to make it up to her after they had her take the pin against Menounos? On second thought maybe not since she just got pinned by Nikki Bella after a distraction by Kelly Kelly. Kharma has to come back or Natalya has to officially turn face for this division to have sort of hope.

#delriooooooo:  It’s good to have Del Rio back, but it’s also equally good to have Ricardo back to announce his entrances. Of course his triumphant return to the ring is ruined by the NEW World Heavyweight Champion. We do get reminded of how much money his has and his big ranch with 1000s of acres back in Mexico. It’s necessary bit to re-introduce him to those watching on TV since he’s been out for so long. He picks up right where he left off in chasing a world title. It’ll be interesting to see how his inclusion in the WHC picture affects Daniel Bryan and his rematch clause. Del Rio doesn’t look like he’s lost a step in the ring as he goes straight to work on the shoulder of Sheamus, setting him for the Cross Arm Breaker. The Pale One is able to avoid, but misses on the Brogue Kick as the back and forth continues with neither man being on control for very long. Del Rio continues to focus on the shoulder/arm showing ring psychology that has been missing in his absence. Sheamus ends up getting DQed when he’s caught with a chair that Del Rio brought in while Ricardo had the ref distracted. A non finish that was probably necessary since a loss might have hurt either wrestler’s stock. For following the rules, the ref gets Brogue Kicked and Sheamus could be getting ‘fined’ for that. Del Rio gets a win, but the champ still looks strong, so not a bad way to kick off the post-Mania season for the Blue Brand.