July 3, 2012
Smackdown: The Great American Bash Jr.
By DAVE HILLHOUSE -- SLAM! Wrestling
Can you imagine Summerslam being used simply as a theme for a TV episode? Tonight’s show is The Great American Bash compressed into two hours and featuring a Battle Royale, the next chapter in the “AJ is crazy” cautionary tale, and two new entrants for Money in the Bank.
The festivities are off and running as Teddy Long, GM of the week, is hosting a 4th of July party with all of your standard Smackdown mid-carders in attendance. United States Champion Santino Marella looks to light the ceremonial barbecue, but Kane arrives to fire it up his way.
Out in the ring, Alberto Del Rio is not in a partying mood. He looks forward to his title shot at Money in the Bank, but tonight wants to find all the illegal aliens in the Texas crowd. As he picks on a particular fan, Sheamus storms out and picks a fight instead. It ends badly and bloodily for Sheamus as his head is repeatedly sandwiched between the engine and hood of Del Rio’s car.
Match #1 – Layla & The Great Khali vs. Aksana and Antonio Cesaro
Khali beats on Cesaro for a while, even throwing him out of the ring as he interferes to break up a pinning attempt, giving Layla a chance to hit the Lay-Out on Aksana for the win.
Winners via pinfall: Layla & The Great Khali
Seeing as the whole conceit of that match was that Teddy Long wanted revenge, it’s interesting that he’s seen backstage coming out of the trainer’s room. I hope they had a TV in there. He’s stopped by Cody Rhodes who announces he has been given another shot at being in Money in the Bank with a match against ...
Match #2 – Cody Rhodes vs. Christian – Money in the Bank Qualifying Match
Christian’s spot in the MITB match is not on the line here, and it’s Rhodes who is clearly fighting for his life as he hits high with kicks and lets Christian run himself into the ringpost. As Rhodes argues with the ref as to why he shouldn’t take the turnbuckle pad off, Christian tries a Spear which is countered and soon afterwards a Cross Rhodes gets Cody into the briefcase battle.
Winner via pinfall: Cody Rhodes
More partying backstage – but nothing interesting to report.
Match #3 – Alex Riley vs. Dolph Ziggler – Money in the Bank Qualifying Match
Riley hits a dropkick at the opening bell for a two-count, and also gets a spinebuster in for good measure. It’s a Zig-Zag, though, that closes up shop.
Winner via pinfall: Dolph Ziggler
After the break, Michael Cole welcomes “the most controversial figure on the WWE today”: AJ. At least the hyperbole is dialed down and she’s not the most controversial of all time. She is about to speak about her actions on Raw when Cole takes a left turn and starts hitting on her.
Daniel Bryan heads to the ring and tells Cole to back off, and tells AJ he knows she didn’t mean to send him through the table along with CM Punk. Speaking of the WWE champ, he joins them as well and suggests strongly that she needs psychiatric care.
AJ’s answer to all of this is to plant a long kiss on Bryan and, after Punk walks away despondently, chases him down with a smack for him as well.
Match #4 – Santino Marella & Sgt. Slaughter & “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan vs. Drew McIntyre & Hunico & Camacho
Duggan takes Hunico down with his 3-Point Stance clothesline, and Santino tags in to finish him off with the Cobra.
Winners via pinfall: Santino Marella & Sgt. Slaughter & “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan
Back at the party, Damien Sandow pulls the plug on the music and announces that America’s founding fathers didn’t have this kind of a party in mind. Zack Ryder asks him why he doesn’t just leave, but Sandow throws a punch instead. Ryder tries to reciprocate by dousing him with the fruit punch, but Sandow ducks and Eve is drenched instead. I guess that makes up for Wrestlemania.
Match #5 – Curt Hawkins (w/ Tyler Reks) vs. Ryback
Reks watches from the safety of ringside as Ryback goes all clothesline and Samoan Drop on the former Edgehead.
Winner via pinfall: Ryback
Match #6 – 20-Man Battle Royale – to determine next week’s Smackdown GM
Notable entries are Del Rio, John Cena, Punk, Bryan, and Big Show who doesn’t even bother to take off his toque until after he eliminates Brodus Clay –- and then a few more. Del Rio, Ziggler, and Tensai gang up on Cena, but he turns the tables on all of them before adjusting Kane’s attitude as well. Big Show is on the biggest tear, but Kane rids the ring of him while the giant has Ziggler on his back.
It comes down to Ryder and Kane, and wouldn’t you know it? The guy that used to be an assistant GM is now GM for a week as Ryder holds the ropes down to send a charging Kane flying to the floor.
Winner via ducking: Zack Ryder
Dave Hillhouse is a screenwriter and teacher, and expects David Otunga to follow Rhodes’ lead, file an appeal, and gain entry to Money in the Bank as well.