May 7, 2011
Smackdown: Peeps have a say
By DAVE HILLHOUSE -- SLAM! Wrestling
Christian, the new World Heavyweight Champion, begins his life as a title defender instead of contender in Orlando, FL. Turns out that his first major defense will happen tonight, and Christian has his peeps to thank for his opponent.
The champ saunters into the ring in street clothes and hoists the belt for a little-longer-than-five-second pose. He lets his emotions get the better of him as he thanks Edge and the peeps, but what we’re really waiting on is to see which challenger will interrupt him – and it’s Mark Henry? Henry suggests that Christian will miss Edge’s protection, but now The Great Khali comes out to have his interpreted say.
Khali offers his resume up to be Christian’s first opponent, to which the champ responds by calling the in-ring collection a freak show. So, a more serious contender stakes his claim: Randy Orton. Teddy Long makes his way down to abdicate his responsibilities as general manager by letting the crowd choose the number-one contender by way of the cheer-meter: and the crowd picks Orton. That match will happen tonight.
Backstage, Khali and Ranjin Singh bump into Jinder Mahal again, where the new member of Smackdown suggests that Singh has led Khali astray.
Match #1 – Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan
Sheamus seems to have completely dropped the King gimmick, and his tights have gone back to their Celtic green. Both wrestlers need to find their path on Friday night, and they start by renewing their shared hostilities. Sheamus keeps Bryan in check with a succession of backbreakers and hard, hammering strikes across his back and chest. Bryan finds an opportunity to strike with a missile dropkick and catches Sheamus in his LeBell Lock. Sheamus finds the ropes and rolls to the floor, where Bryan runs the ropes in preparation to dive out onto his challenger. Sheamus stops him cold with a Brogue Kick from the floor, and another kick inside the ring knocks Bryan out for good.
Winner via pinfall: Sheamus
Cody Rhodes enters the darkened ring and pronounces that, despite his loss at Extreme Rules, he achieved victory by exposing Rey Mysterio’s desperate and malicious side. He calls upon his assistants to hand out the paper bags. Mission accomplished, Rhodes leaves to make way for the next match.
Match #2 – Big Show vs. Ezekial Jackson (w/ Wade Barrett, Justin Gabriel, and Heath Slater)
The numbers even out a little more as Kane arrives to second his tag team partner. Jackson continues to down-size Big Show by bringing him down with a back-body drop and overhead slam. As Big Show fights back to regain the upper hand, Kane gets into it with The Corre to keep them from interfering. Big Show goes to his aid, and finds Jackson waiting for him when he gets back into the ring. Jackson drops him with a clothesline for the win.
Winner via pinfall: Ezekial Jackson
Jackson walks out on his Corre stablemates, refusing to celebrate the win with them. Flashing back to Raw, The Rock had a birthday party.
Match #3 – Layla vs. Alicia Fox
Layla is positioned as the fan favourite, supported by a lightning-quick victory after a new neckbreaker finisher.
Winner via pinfall: Layla
After the match, Kharma wishes to make her presence felt again. Layla takes off, leaving Alicia Fox along in the ring. Credit to Fox for trying to fight her off, but Kharma delivers her facebuster and leaves her out cold.
Back in the locker room, Barrett is lecturing Jackson on the dangers of turning his back on The Corre. Jackson strikes first, but his former allies outnumber and outmuscle him, laying upon him a good old-fashioned Nexus beating.
Match #4 – Sin Cara vs. Tyson Kidd
Chavo Guerrero joins the announcer’s team to watch a promising match, and spends most of his time de-valuing Cara’s worth. In the ring, Kidd is trying a little slower, more punishing style, but Cara is almost unstoppable with his multiple and varied head-scissors take-downs, and once he catches Kidd on the top rope and lands his moonsault/slam, it’s all over.
Winner via pinfall: Sin Cara
Guerrero enters the ring and offers a handshake –- accepted by Sin Cara. The WWE rolls it promo package for “Be a Star” and joining the fight against bullying. Backstage, Todd Grisham asks Long if it’s fair for Christian to fight Orton tonight; the GM just wants to give the fans what they want.
Match #5 – Randy Orton vs. Christian (C) – for the World Heavyweight Championship
Christian avoids an early leveraged-DDT and back-drops Orton over the ropes to the floor. He follows with a baseball-slide kick, but Orton moves away when Christian launches himself over the ropes. After the break, Orton is focusing on the lower back and ribs that Christian banged up in his ladder match on Sunday. As Christian escapes his grasp, they trade dropkicks before Christian hits a cross-body and elbow off successive attacks from the top rope.
Orton grabs the momentum again, though, with his scoop slam, followed by his second, successful attempt at the leveraged-DDT. As both wrestlers show their fatigue, near-falls abound before Orton calls for the RKO. Christian escapes, but Orton spins away from Christian’s Kill Switch as well. Christian tries an attack off the second rope, but Orton catches him in mid-air with an RKO for the win.
Winners via pinfall and NEW World Heavyweight Champion: Randy Orton
Orton heads up the ramp with his gold as Christian sits crushed and defeated in the ring. He gets cheers of sympathy as his frustrations grow, making his own slow exit to the back.
Dave Hillhouse is a screenwriter and teacher, and sees that after a detour forced by Edge’s retirement, Christian’s title-chasing heel-turn is back on schedule.