May 26, 2012
Smackdown: Monday Night Raw, the sequel
By DAVE HILLHOUSE -- SLAM! Wrestling
There’s an awful lot of spill-over from Raw on this week’s show -– couldn’t they just add another hour to Monday night to wrap up all of their business? Also, Big Show stumps on unemployment, Kane plays Nostradamus, and Christian is once again a happy guy.
Eve is the first in the ring tonight, bringing the audience the news that GM John Laurinaitis is not in attendance, and acting shocked and angered when the fans cheer. The fans then have a moment of confusion when she is interrupted by Alberto Del Rio – they cheer the interruption but then remember they don’t like the guy, so they switch to boos.
After Del Rio runs his mouth about how he should get a shot at Sheamus’ World Heavyweight Championship, the fans are thrown a much easier stimulus and they cheer without hesitation for Randy Orton. Orton introduces himself (exactly when did he take on Dolph Ziggler’s old shtick?) and thinks he should get the title shot. I see what’s happening here, now we just need Chris Jericho out here...
Oh, right, that’s not happening. Instead, it’s the bafflingly relevant Kane, who hangs his claim to a title shot on the fluky circumstance of tonight’s Smackdown being episode number 666. Eve goes for the tried and true resolution and makes a Triple Threat match for tonight to determine Sheamus’ opponent at No Way Out.
Match #1 – Christian vs. Hunico (w/ Camacho)
Speaking of crowd reactions, time seems to have healed all wounds between Christian and his peeps. The new Intercontinental Champ goes for simple but effective, backdropping Hunico and laying him out with forearms. Except for one hiccup where he suffers some double-team aggression on the outside, Christian dominates and wins with a Kill Switch and Frog Splash.
Winner via pinfall: Christian
Former champ Cody Rhodes steps out and ironically stakes his claim for one more match with Christian, thought not in quite so many words.
Match #2 – The Usos (Jimmy & Jey) vs. Titus O’Neil & Darren Young
We get a look at the two teams making fun of each other’s histrionics from earlier in the day; great feuds have started over lesser things. Jey is caught in effective quick-tag offence early, but Jimmy gets in as Young seems preoccupied with his own nose for some reason. Young is prone and set up for a top-rope splash, but O’Neil interferes and helps set up a Ghetto Blaster.
Winners via pinfall: Titus O’Neil & Darren Young
After the break –- why, that’s a Sin Cara promo! He’s back next Friday.
Match #3 – Brian Edwards & Kevin Bendl vs. Ryback
Edwards and Bendl make the cardinal error of attacking like movie ninjas: one at a time. It’s all powerslams, clotheslines, and a running Samoan Drop for both flunkies at the same time.
Winner via pinfall: Ryback
Match #4 – Santino Marella vs. Ricardo Rodriguez
As for another feud started for seemingly innocuous reasons, these two started fighting on Raw over how to trill Rs properly. They show that comedy matches can work with the right performers – topped off with a Cobra.
Winner via pinfall: Santino
Next up is the seemingly obvious answer to the question of whether Sheamus will apologize to Laurinaitis for knocking him over on Raw. The champ hums and haws for a few moments before going on an unapologetic rant against the GM, Eve, David Otunga, and Big Show. The plot thickens as Vickie Guerrero interrupts to announce a match with Jack Swagger.
Match #5 – Jack Swagger (w/ Vickie Guerrero) vs. Sheamus
Sheamus outmaneuvers and overpowers Swagger until Guerrero steps on the apron, distracts the champ, and lets Swagger knock him down to the floor. Swagger is in charge after the break until he misses a running boot and Sheamus loses his temper. Potato forearms and a suplex lead to a Brogue Kick attempt, only to have Swagger dodge and respond with a Swagger Bomb for a two-count. Sheamus slips away from the gut-wrench powerbomb and nails the Brogue Kick after all.
Winner via pinfall: Sheamus
Match #6 – Damien Sandow vs. Yoshi Tatsu
Sandow again dedicates his performance to the fans, every brief, shining moment of it before concluding the festivities with a neckbreaker.
Winner via pinfall: Damien Sandow
After the break, Big Show arrives in the ring to appeal to all of his unemployed brethren by detailing how awful it was to be without a job for a whole week. He digs an even bigger whole for the storytelling department by explaining how his partnership with Laurinaitis was indeed premeditated, which should mean that Johnny is fired due t the interference, but oh well. Big Show wraps it up by pronouncing his renewed disregard for all the fans.
Match #7 – Kane vs. Alberto Del Rio (w/ Ricardo Rodriguez) vs. Randy Orton - #1 Contender’s Match
As Kane readies his pyro, Daniel Bryan attacks him from behind with a chair in exchange for Kane’s attack on Monday night. Twenty-six chair shots later, Kane is down but not out. The other participants arrive, and Kane seems reasonably okay.
In fact, Kane holds the first advantage by taking both opponents out to the floor. It doesn’t last long, though, as Orton gets Kane in position for a leveraged DDT on the apron -– but Del Rio leaps up with a kick to Orton’s head, and does it again to Kane as he scales to the top rope. Orton misses an RKO on Del Rio and Kane drags him to the floor, sending him into the steps. Kane returns to the ring and chokeslams Del Rio, ready for the win.
Except, Bryan returns with chair in hand and baits Kane into chasing him out of the ring. Kane returns to the ring where Orton awaits with an RKO. Del Rio kicks Orton off and steals the pin on Kane.
Winner via pinfall: Alberto Del Rio
Del Rio celebrates his upcoming title match at the top of the ramp, but is attacked from behind by Sheamus. Maybe he’ll apologize for it next week.
Dave Hillhouse is a screenwriter and teacher, and would like to voice his opinion on the crazy craziness that is the crazy decision of making crazy Raw a crazy three-hour show.