August 12, 2011
Smackdown: Eventful last show before Summerslam
By JON WALDMAN -- SLAM! Wrestling
Tonight was Smackdown’s turn for the go-home show, and unlike most last episodes before a major PPV, there was major news, as you’ll soon see.
Oh, and since I haven’t had the opportunity to do a Smackdown report in a long, long time, I don’t care what anyone says – Green Day is perfect for the theme song.
Triple H starts the show off getting quite the applause. Like I said during Raw, I think this will change after Sunday. More on that in the PPV preview. Trips talks about the Raw main event before he expounds about his new duties as COO. He then lays out the lineup for tonight, including Cody Rhodes vs. Ezekiel Jackson for the IC title, Daniel Bryan vs. Alberto Del Rio and The Great Khali vs. Randy Orton. Before he can announce Christian’s match, the Canadian comes out.
Christian says that he’s ready to make his announcement but Triple H doesn’t care about it. Christian then says he will sue WWE because he has doctor’s notices that Randy Orton has anger management issues, thus putting Christian in an unsafe work environment due to the No Holds Barred stip in their match. Where is Clarence Mason when you need him? He then goes to a reverse class action, saying he’ll sue everyone involved in WWE, including the fans. Triple H counters that he would file for breach of contract. Trips then says he could fire Christian, or compete.
Christian then kvetches, as my wife calls him a drama queen (yep, my wife has taken to WWE as well. Cool, huh). The two then have a decent little dialogue which extends past what was supposed to be Triple H’s exit, which is when we learn Christian faces Sheamus, next!
Match 1 – Sheamus vs. Christian
The match begins fairly back and forth with some pretty damn good action. A feud between the two for the title would be great in my opinion.
Eventually Christian, after one failed attempt, waves off the match and walks to the stage, getting counted out in the process as “you suck”chants ring out.
Match 2 – Natalya/Beth Phoenix vs. Kaitlyn/AJ
And my wife just called Kelly Kelly Barbie. Hm.. maybe she should be writing this review.
By the way – anyone else think the heel turns of Nattie and Beth are as a result of Kharma’s pregnancy?
Glam Slam on AJ finishes this in short order.
Backstage, Zack Ryder and Teddy Long are chatting when Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase come in for a very, very short promo about the upcoming IC match. We then get a short segment with Aksana involved. She’s doing well in her role, I’ll give her that.
We then get a review of Mark Henry’s destructive path, which really has been awesome to watch, which leads to a backstage segment between Henry and Johnny Curtis. The two will face off tonight in Curtis’s debut.
Match 3 – Sin Cara 2 vs. Tyson Kidd
This Cara is definitely bulkier than Mistico, and the new edition has a pretty damn impressive moveset, though he needs to get used to the mask more. Lionsault finishes the match off for the “returning” superstar.
Winner: Sin Cara
Match 4 – Alberto Del Rio vs. Daniel Bryan
Perhaps not surprisingly, the two have a pretty strong match here, working some great spots. Bryan hits the Tope Canadiense (which my wife was very impressed by), but injures his shoulder in the process, which leads, to the Cross Arm Breaker for the W. Too short a match, unfortunately.
Winner: Alberto Del Rio
Post-match, Wade Barrett comes down to pick at the scraps of Bryan.
Match 5 – Cody Rhodes vs. Ezekiel Jackson (Intercontinental Title match)
We get the more traditional WWE formula match between these two, which gives Rhodes the opportunity to really show how strong he is in the ring. Oh, and if WWE really wants to get Rhodes to the next level, I’d suggest going the “Head” route and give everyone in the building paper bags. It could be really cool to see.
Jackson’s heat segment with the triple bodyslam doesn’t get over and eventually DiBiase gets a couple distractions in, giving Rhodes the opening he needs to hit Cross Rhdoes. Very, very deserving title win for Cody, and I don’t think anyone would’ve thought he would be in this position during his early days with Hardcore Holly. Congrats Cody Rhodes, you deserve this.
Winner: Cody Rhodes
Post-match, DiBiase bags Jackson, but Jackson eventually recovers and absolutely rips Dibiase to shreds. The best spot? Jackson throws DiBiase outside towards Rhodes, and, rather than catch his partner, Cody just steps back, letting Ted crash on the mats outside. GREAT spot. Seriously, had the crowd been a bit hotter, that would’ve got a huge reaction.
After a wrap-up of the WWE Championship story and the lineup for Summerslam, Matt Striker interviews Randy Orton backstage.
Match 6 – Mark Henry vs. Johnny Curtis
And the match is over as quickly as it starts.
Winner: Mark Henry
Before Henry can Pillmanize Curtis’s leg, Sheamus comes out and breaks up the action then challenges Henry to face him in the ring tonight. Henry, ever the heel, evades but drags Curtis out for a powerslam on the outside mats.
Match 7 – Randy Orton vs. The Great Khali
Khali dominates early but ends up in the Andre spot after an Orton dropkick. Orton dominates until Khali gets back in control with the Vice Grip (which for some reason he lets go of at one point), which eventually gives Orton the opening for the RKO.
Winner: Randy Orton
After the match, Christian comes out, says everything will change, teasing he has the best thing going… Now, given it was the Horsemen who would say “learn to love it, because it’s the best thing going today”, this could be the start of a faction. Stay tuned folks, this just got more interesting.