July 23, 2011
Smackdown: The effects of Money and Monday
By DAVE HILLHOUSE -- SLAM! Wrestling
Smackdown will never shake the B-Side label compared to Raw, but it is on par entertainment-wise for the time being. Sure, Smackdown doesn’t have CM Punk on the show (but then again, neither does Raw), nor does it have Vince McMahon showing up to throw his weight around (then again, neither will Raw) -– but it does boast a new champion and surprising Money in the Bank winner.
Starting things off in Minneapolis, MN, Randy Orton is seated in the middle of the ring, insisting that the show isn’t going anywhere until he settles unfinished business with Christian. The new World Heavyweight Champion steps out and Orton demands his rematch tonight, but General Manager Teddy Long appears with a legion of referees to inform him it won’t happen this evening. Orton attacks Christian and gets a few shots in before he’s pulled away, and Long gives Christian a match to start the show.
Match #1 – Ezekial Jackson vs. Christian
The heavyweight champ is keeping his distance from his oversized opponent, but eventually gets too close and Jackson hoists him up for a press slam. With the fight going outside the ring, Christian evens things up by dropping Jackson face-first onto the steps. Moments later, Jackson escapes a rear-chinlock with a Samoan Drop, and starts the body slam barrage, but Christian slips out to run Jackson shoulder-first into the ringpost and finish him off with the Kill Switch.
Winner via pinfall: Christian
After the break, Michael Cole is in the ring for an interview with Mr. Money in the Bank, Daniel Bryan. Bryan takes us through his long haul to get to his current position, and writes his own history by saying he’s going to be the first Money in the Bank winner to announce exactly when he’s going to cash in his title shot (Rob Van Dam already did that). All the same, Bryan says he’s going to hold on to his briefcase until Wrestlemania. Heath Slater interrupts and comes out to challenge his former Nexus partner.
Match #2 – Heath Slater vs. Daniel Bryan
Escaping an early LeBell Lock, Slater takes ownership through a building series of low impact strikes, but Bryan jumps back in the match with a driving knee and missile drop-kick. Slater slips away from another LeBell Lock and counters with a spinebuster. Bryan gets up on the turnbuckles and draws Slater in so he can clamp on his guillotine choke submission for the win.
Winner via submission: Daniel Bryan
Matt Striker is backstage with Mark Henry, who talks about how good it felt to take out Big Show last Sunday. Following that, the segment featuring John Cena’s near-firing and McMahon’s dismissal from Raw is replayed in its entirety.
Match #3 – Sheamus vs. Wade Barrett
This interestingly makes for the second heel-on-heel match of the week, and it starts with a lot of hard punches and big boots. Sheamus blocks a gut-wrench suplex and hits back with his Irish Curse backbreaker. Barrett tries taking a walk, but Sheamus chases him down and they brawl past the referee’s ten-count.
Match Result: Double Count-Out
Barrett knocks Sheamus into the ringpost and brings him back into the ring for Wasteland, but Sheamus pushes him away and brings him down with the Brogue Kick. Backstage somewhere, Kane is questioning his ability to terrorize, and feels a little too human for his own liking. He promises to reawaken the monster in his match with Randy Orton.
Match #4 – Kane vs. Randy Orton – Street Fight
Kane attacks first and drags a worn-down looking Orton out of the ring, but Orton pulls out the first international object in the form of a kendo stick and shows he knows how to use it. His follow-up fails, though, as an attempted axe-handle off the apron is stopped by Kane’s uppercut. Kane undresses the announcer’s table, but fails to land the chokeslam he had in mind. Instead, Orton throws Kane into the steps, stomps on his leg, then drives the steps themselves onto Kane’s leg for good measure.
After the break, they’re back in the ring. Kane blocks an RKO and lands a side-slam instead, then Orton dodges a chokeslam and hits the RKO after all – but Kane kicks out cleanly. As Orton is thinking punt, Kane gets up and grabs him for the chokeslam – but Orton kicks out this time. Another commercial break, and now Kane has a chair in the ring, thinking Tombstone on the steel. Orton wiggles away, and instead gets another RKO on Kane (supposedly on the chair, but Orton got more steel than Kane) for the win.
Winner via pinfall: Randy Orton
Both men remain in the ring for a moment, and this is where the loser sometimes offers a respectful handshake – but Kane wouldn’t do that, would he? Yes, yes he would. Orton leaves and Kane is left alone and hobbling, which gives Mark Henry an idea. He comes to the ring and disassembles Kane, finishing him off with the same Vader Bomb, accentuated by the steel chair around his ankle, that did Big Show in on Sunday.
Dave Hillhouse is a screenwriter and teacher, and is enjoying the long-term booking towards next year’s Wrestlemania.