August 27, 2011
Smackdown: Calgary show subpar, even with "Hitman"
By MATT MACKINDER - SLAM! Wrestling

Wow, it’s been a long, long time since I recapped a WWE TV show, but with our regular writer, Dave Hillhouse, unavailable tonight, I’ll jump in and see what WWE is about these days on Friday nights.

Tonight’s Smackdown starts with a quick recap of a battle royal last week where the winner gets a shot at Randy Orton’s World Heavyweight championship. For those that missed it, including me, Mark Henry is getting a push and won the battle royal, last eliminating Sin Cara.

Coming tonight from Calgary, the show opens with an aging Bret “Hitman” Hart making an appearance in the ring announcing in a scratchy voice that he’s the special guest GM this evening and that next Tuesday, Smackdown will be live. On a Tuesday?

Christian interrupts Hart and gets showered with boos. Christian wants his rematch with Orton next Tuesday, but Hart has already booked Orton against Henry. Hart says Christian is an embarrassment to Canada and Christian retorts saying he’s the only relevant Canadian in WWE. Christian then gives Hart a “legal document” saying he gets the first title shot against Orton. Hart agrees and books Christian and Orton in a cage match next Tuesday.

Henry then comes down (when do we get a match of any kind???) and tries to intimidate Hart. He asks for the winner of the cage match and tells Hart he can’t be held responsible for what happens when he gets angry. Geez, now Sheamus makes his way to the ring. Is this what WWE is these days? One big skit???

Sheamus threatens to castrate Henry and the two come to blows for about 10 seconds before Josh Matthews calls the exchange “intense.” Um, no. Hardly. Henry heads to the back and Matthews rambles incoherently.

Finally – 20 minutes in and we get our first match. Apparently, Hart booked this match during the commercial break.

Match #1 – Daniel Bryan vs. Christian

Last time I saw Bryan, he was wrestling on Ring Of Honor. And I emphasize “wrestling.” He looks out of his element in WWE.

Bryan locks on the Lebell Lock, but Christian gets to the ropes. Christian dodges a running kick in the corner and then drills Bryan with the Killswitch for the win.

Winner via pinfall: Christian

Some cheap-looking woman named Aksana is in the back and wants to be turned on to Smackdown next Tuesday. Um, yeah. I’d rather watch commercials.

Match #2 – Wade Barrett vs. some local Canadian jobber

Barrett gets introduced, but takes the mic and says his opponent (some dude in leather pants and a brutal mustache) is beneath him. Barrett drops the mic and walks to the back. The ref doesn’t count him out, so I’m not sure the result of this one.

No result announced

The match between CM Punk and John Cena from Raw gets recapped and Alberto Del Rio is the WWE champ? Hmmm… Cena won and then Del Rio jumped him. Wow. Creative.

Match #3 – Sin Cara vs. Heath Slater

Matthews calls Slater the “Axl Rose of WWE.” Honestly, who writes this garbage? Luckily, Michael Cole and Booker T bail him out on commentary, if that’s any kind of an upgrade.

The lights dim to a bluish tint for this match. Not sure why, but Matthews is a horrible announcer. OK, maybe not horrible (I couldn’t do any better), but he tries too hard. Watch it, Josh, we don’t want anyone to get a nose bleed, would we?

Cara gets the squash win after a springboard moonsault.

Winner via pinfall: Sin Cara

Last week, Orton was confronted by Cody Rhodes, Rhodes’ Rip Hamilton-esque face mask, and Ted DiBiase. Orton RKO’d DiBiase and the two will wrestle later tonight.

Match #4 – Randy Orton vs. Ted DiBiase w/ Cody Rhodes

Rhodes has the mic and says he performs miracles. His gimmick is now some sort of “life coach” for DiBiase. Two other guys with packages are with DiBiase and give them to Booker.

This is actual a decent match, but can only have one outcome. Orton wins with the RKO.

Winner via pinfall: Randy Orton

Rhodes helps DiBiase to his feet and then hits him with a reverse spinning Scorpion death drop-type move called I think they said Cross Rhodes. Creative. He then puts a paper bag on Ted’s melon. I don’t get this at all. Can someone please explain what I just witnessed?

Match #5 – Kelly Kelly vs. Tamina

Kelly Kelly is the Divas champion? Why?

Kelly wins with the Rocker Dropper. At least that’s what I think it was supposed to look like.

Winner via pinfall: Kelly Kelly

Matt Striker (ha!) is backstage with Jinder Mahal (?) and the Great Khali. Mahal basically says Khali is there to serve him and to beat Ezekiel Jackson tonight.

Match #6 – Ezekiel Jackson vs. The Great Khali

Anyone else notice Zeke’s entrance music is the old “Brawl For All” theme?

Jackson gets Khali up in a cruddy-looking torture rack (Khali was practically on his side) and Khali taps. Really? Khali has fallen a long way from being a dominant giant and former World champ to tapping out. Again, not sure who writes this, but I can see why WWE gets scrutinized in a negative way these days. I’m on that bandwagon.

Winner via submission: Ezekiel Jackson

Orton and Todd Grisham are in the back and Orton gives his take on his cage match with Christian next week. We then get a “rage is unleashed” video package on how big and bad Henry is.

Match #7 – Sheamus vs. Mark Henry

The crowd loves Sheamus. Why? Last I remember, he was a newcomer that was relegated to WWE Superstars. What did I miss?

Sheamus hits the Brogue Kick on the floor and beats the count back into the ring.

Winner via countout: Sheamus

This one isn’t over yet. On the floor, Henry hammers Sheamus with the World’s Strongest Slam on the ring steps. He yells, his music hits and that’s it for tonight. Like Gorilla Monsoon used to say, Sheamus won the battle, but Henry won the war. At least on this night.


Matt Mackinder stayed up late writing this report. He hopes he doesn’t have nightmares about tonight’s show. Email Matt at mackindermedia@yahoo.com.


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