June 11, 2011
Smackdown: Factions renewed and rejected
By DAVE HILLHOUSE -- SLAM! Wrestling
Roanoke, VA, is the site for wrestlers in need of help. World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton seeks therapy, Sheamus seeks vengeance, and Christian seeks a Peep-free path to the championship. The Corre could also use some professional counselling, as they continue to fall apart at the seams. About the only people that really get along are Booker T and Michael Cole. Weird.
Caught somewhere between heroism and heelishness, Christian starts the show by turning to the dark side in three easy steps. First, he complains that he was screwed out of his World Championship; secondly, he tells his Peeps that he doesn’t need them anymore; and thirdly (and the clincher), he buddies up with Michael Cole. He vows to reach the pinnacle again.
Match #1 – The Corre (Wade Barrett, Justin Gabriel, & Heath Slater) vs. Ezekial Jackson & Jimmy and James Uso
Slater plays tackling dummy to Jackson in the opening moments, but, after some effective double-teaming by the Usos, Jay is singled out and beaten before, during, and after the commercial break by Barrett. Jay finally tags Jackson back in, and the Intercontinental champ hightails it away from the ring. Slater is very upset with Barrett as Gabriel suffers through the Torture Rack from Jackson for a few moments before giving in.
Winners via submission: Ezekial Jackson & Jimmy and James Uso
Sheamus is in Teddy Long’s office, looking for a match with Christian. Instead, he gets a no-disqualification rematch against Randy Orton – presumably not for the title. Elsewhere backstage, Gabriel and Slater make it official: they sever ties with Barrett and announce the end of The Corre.
Match #2 – Trent Barreta vs. Jinder Mahal (w/ The Great Khali)
Barreta makes a go of it, rocking Mahal with an enzuigiri kick and setting up what might have been a moonsault. We’ll never know, though, because Khali distracts Barreta long enough for Mahal to re-group. He pulls Barreta down from the ropes and plants him with his full-nelson slam for the win.
Winner via pinfall: Jinder Mahal
Barreta needs another loss like a Vise Grip on the head, but he gets one of those too, courtesy of Khali. We’re backstage again as Tamina and Rosa Mendes give AJ a big piece of phony cheese, saying that she’s mousy. They try to one-up their own joke, as Natalya shows up and they wonder aloud who cut the cheese.
Match #3 – Tamina (w/ Rose Mendes) vs. AJ (w/ Natalya)
AJ employs a hit-and-run attack, bringing Tamina down with a low dropkick and ducking away from a charging attack more than once. When AJ is caught trying a cross-body off the top rope, Tamina hoists her up on her shoulders but takes a moment to lay the bad-mouth on Natalya. This lets AJ squirm out of the hold and roll up Tamina for the win.
Winner via pinfall: AJ
After the break, Randy Orton strides to the ring and demands that Christian join him to settle their issues face to face, but Christian takes a play out of The Rock’s book and shows up on the big screen instead. Christian wants a match for the title at Capitol Punishment – and he gets it. That was easy.
Meanwhile, Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase are meeting in their locker room, tryng to decide who has had the better year since they broke Legacy up. They don’t really settle it, but Rhodes does get the last word on his former partner.
Match #4 – Sin Cara vs. Ted DiBiase (w/ Cody Rhodes)
DiBiase has his head on a swivel trying to keep up with Sin Cara as he attacks from all directions. The one time that DiBiase catches him and set Dream Street, Cara escapes and drops him with a hard kick to the head. Rhodes has seen enough and grabs Cara’s feet as he prepares to launch off the second rope, puling him head-first onto the apron in full view of the referee.
Winner via disqualification: Sin Cara
Rhodes jumps in the ring and he joins DiBiase in attacking Cara, but Daniel Bryan runs in to even the odds. Teddy Long steps out to say that this isn’t how things are done on Smackdown (does he even watch his own show?) and makes a tag match between all four.
Match #5 – Sin Cara & Daniel Bryan vs. Cody Rhodes & Ted DiBiase
We join the match in progress after commercials. Bryan has DiBiase running scared from the LeBell Lock, bringing in Rhodes instead. Bryan makes a blind tag, letting Cara enter with a dropkick – but Rhodes runs Cara into the ring-post soon afterwards. This leads to a lengthy domination by Rhodes and DiBiase, before Bryan finally tags in. He leaps off the top rope and, although caught in mid-air by DiBiase, it turns into the LeBell Lock that DiBiase avoided in the first place to end the match.
Winners via pinfall: Sin Cara & Daniel Bryan
Johnny Curtis is somewhere in the building, not complaining about his lack of TV time – but showing that he has a (potato) chip on his shoulder. Following that, Booker T intros a new Obama press conference. This time, R-Truth has a press pass, but it’s just not as funny as the previous skits. One more backstage bit has Orton telling Matt Striker that he looks forward to a “therapeutic” match with Sheamus to release his anger.
Match #6 – Sheamus vs. Randy Orton – No Disqualification Match
A brawling start to the match spills quickly outside – with no count from the ref, so maybe it’s a no count-out match, too? Sheamus takes the first lead, dodging a knee drop in the ring and bringing Orton’s head down onto the steps out on the floor. After commercials, the Irishman is working on wearing Orton down with a chinlock, which he returns to three times as Orton tries to fight his way out.
Orton finally breaks out with a suplex and the fight goes to the floor again, with similar results: Sheamus throws Orton shoulder-first into the steps and drops the stairs on Orton’s back. The steps come into the ring and Orton scoop slams Sheamus on top of the steel. The kendo stick is the next international object in the ring, and both wrestlers take hits but Sheamus gets the worst of it. As Orton follows up with an RKO, Christian appears and runs the heavyweight belt into Orton’s head again, giving Sheamus the chance to pin the champ.
Winner via pinfall: Sheamus
Dave Hillhouse is a screenwriter and teacher, and has only one cheese joke: what do you call a cheese that doesn't belong to you? Nacho cheese. Maybe you've heard it.