July 15, 2011
Smackdown: Final deposit for Money in the Bank
By DAVE HILLHOUSE -- SLAM! Wrestling
With CM Punk rightfully hogging all the attention going into Sunday, most Smackdown wrestlers look to be on cruise-control tonight. Christian and Randy Orton, especially, may be suffering from over-exposure to one another. Big Show and Mark Henry, of all people, build some energy and interest for their match, and tag team wrestling takes another hit.
Looking cool and collected, Randy Orton opens the show by ambling to the ring cradling his Heavyweight Championship. Josh Matthews awaits him with a reminder that a disqualification on Sunday will cost him the title. The champ is not worried, nor is he really bothered by Christian showing up on the big screen presenting a large framed photo of Christian holding the belt over a prone Orton. Christian’s digs at Orton’s father, on the other hand, definitely irk the champ, and the two stare holes into each other’s heads.
Mark Henry gets a greatest hits video of his recent rampages.
Match #1 – Ezekial Jackson (C) vs. Ted DiBiase – for the Intercontinental Championship
DiBiase gets this title shot due to pinning Jackson last week in a tag match, but gets his rear end handed to him in the opening moments tonight. Cody Rhodes is watching from backstage as DiBiase gets in the game with a dropkick on the floor that sends Jackson into the ringpost. Jackson can’t be kept down, though, as he starts his body slam barrage. DiBiase nearly counters with Dream Street, but Jackson outmuscles him and submits DiBiase with the Torture Rack. Neither wrestler really looked interested in being in this match.
Winner via pinfall and STILL Intercontinental Champion: Ezekial Jackson
After the break, Cody Rhodes stops DiBiase in his walk of shame, vowing to personally put a paper bag over DiBiase’s head if he loses another match.
Match #2 – Cody Rhodes vs. Daniel Bryan
Ahead of these two meeting in the Smackdown Money in the Bank match, they trade even-handed blows back and forth until Rhodes slows Bryan down with a half-Boston Crab, but a subsequent punch-laden attack only aggravates Bryan and leads to a missile dropkick on Rhodes off the top rope. A quick turnaround, though, leads to Rhodes squaring Bryan on the top rope and dropping him with a Beautiful Disaster kick for the win.
Winner via pinfall: Cody Rhodes
Teddy Long is in his office, sending a message through an official to Mark Henry and Big Show, who are about to have a face-off. If there is any physicality, their match for Sunday will be cancelled. Kane is next in the office, expressing his concerns about losing his inner “monster”, and he wants to be terrifying again.
Elsewhere, The Great Khali and Jinder Mahal are posing for photographs, but Mahal is upset that the camera seems to be focused on Khali instead of him. Elsewhere, Christian is admiring Orton’s private bus, but is shocked, shocked that someone desecrated it with anti-Orton and anti-Long graffiti. He vows to get to the bottom of this, ahem, mystery.
Match #3 – Sheamus vs. Sin Cara
Wade Barrett has a ringside seat for this second MITB warm-up match, featuring a cool-blue hue. Sheamus, like most wrestlers, has a hard time getting his mitts on Cara, but when he does he makes the most of it. A backbreaker and a couple of driving knee-lifts leave Cara dazed, but Cara only needs three seconds of advantage to turn Pale Justice into a roll-up for the win.
Winner via pinfall: Sin Cara
As Sheamus kicks the ropes in frustration, Barrett slips into the ring and drops Sheamus with a bicycle Kick and Wasteland.
Christian is walking around the casino, wondering whose lost wallet he has in his hands. Hey, it’s Randy Orton’s! He tosses the credits cards around and puts $1,000 cash from the wallet on the roulette table – but his number doesn’t come up.
Teddy Long is in the ring, welcoming Big Show and Mark Henry to enter and say what’s on their minds. Big Show enters first, but Henry stops on the ramp to have his say. Neither pushes anything new, and Long gets them to refrain from coming to blows before Sunday.
Match #4 – Rosa Mendes (w/ Alicia Fox) vs. Kelly Kelly
Kelly, sporting some tape on her right elbow, keeps it simple and finishes the match with her K2.
Winner via pinfall: Kelly Kelly
Johnny Curtis clams he’s ready to debut very soon, taking a stuffed cat out of a bag. Except it’s an elephant. Curtis gets mad at Mike, an assistant, explaining that the “elephant in the room” bit was for next week. He beheads the stuffed animal and storms off.
Christian is back, and presents a special deleted scene from “That’s What I Am” – which features a decidedly unfunny Christian inserted into the scene mocking Orton .
Match #5 – Heath Slater vs. Justin Gabriel
Slater carries a mic to the ring and basically breaks up with Gabriel, reducing the number of viable tag teams in the WWE by roughly 25%. These two might match up nicely, but neither has a chance to present anything interesting before a 450 Splash ends Slater’s night.
Winner via pinfall: Justin Gabriel
Match #6 – Kane vs. Randy Orton
Kane is dominant early, looking for a chokeslam in the opening minutes, but Orton slips away and counter-attacks with clotheslines and a scoop slam as Christian finds his way down to ringside. A leveraged DDT makes Kane look positively average, and Orton is distracted as he notices Christian for the first time. A running clothesline by Kane sends both wrestlers to the floor, and Christian distracts Orton again for a double count- out.
Match Result: Double count-out
Everyone ends up in the ring again and Orton drops Kane with an RKO, while Christian follows with a spear on Orton. As Christian makes his escape, Orton dismantles Kane with a steel chair.
Dave Hillhouse is a screenwriter and teacher, and is looking forward to a lot of excruciatingly slow ladder-climbing on Sunday.