Smackdown Live: WWE’s very own filibuster
DAVE HILLHOUSE -- SLAM! Wrestling
Smackdown goes up against the U.S. Presidential election, and there isn’t a reference or political skit in sight. Of course, the show is in England, but who exactly is watching at home? It’s a strange decision following strange decisions about the Survivor Series card, for which everybody is in full spin mode and trying to re-set the momentum for the PPV in two weeks’ time.
Michael Cole raises the curtain by welcoming Sheamus to the ring to talk about his post-Raw extracurricular activities. The recently deposed World Champ visited a local Birmingham pub after the previous night’s broadcast along with William Regal, and they were having a dandy time until Big Show assaulted them.
Sheamus is fuming and begs for Big Show to come to the ring. The World Heavyweight Champion doesn’t oblige, but he appears on the screen to say he is going to put Sheamus down permanently at Survivor Series. The crowd boos this, naturally, but they cheer when Wade Barrett inserts himself into the proceedings.
Barrett doesn’t feel like fighting tonight either, but he does remind Sheamus (and the viewers) that they have a match on Main Event this week.
Backstage, Booker T catches up with Barrett and delivers his Teddy Long special, putting Barrett together with Big Show against Sheamus and William Regal.
Match #1 – The Miz vs. Kofi Kingston (champion) – for the Intercontinental Championship
Things have a real “Hell in a Cell” feel to them as Miz re-employs his strategy of zoning in on Kingston’s left leg. Just like two Sundays prior, Kingston uses his one good leg to mount his offence, but Miz ducks Trouble in Paradise and clamps on a half-Boston Crab.
After Kingston reaches the ropes, he scales the turnbuckles, fights off a superplex, and launches a flying cross-body that earns him the victory.
Winner via pinfall and STILL Intercontinental Champion: Kofi Kingston
Miz is in total shock, and sticks around until Kingston is done celebrating to offer a handshake. Kingston responds with a dropkick! Those wildcats are so unpredictable.
Match #2 – The Primetime Players (Titus O’Neil & Darren Young) vs. Rey Mysterio & Sin Cara
These four are certainly getting the chance to get to know and dislike one another lately. Mysterio has O’Neil set up for an early 619, but Young gets on the apron and distracts him. Cara dives through the ropes and onto Young, but the damage has been done as O’Neil meets Mysterio with a sit-out spinebuster.
Winners via pinfall: The Primetime Players
Matt Striker enters the ring to try and get a word with the winners, but all they want to talk about is the economy and millions of dollars. They try and make him part of their dance before booting him from the ring; at least he doesn’t get beat up or pied in the face this time.
Backstage, Teddy Long and Booker T are discussing AJ, Vickie, and then it turns into Booker accusing Long of sucking up to him. Long is speechless until Booker reveals he was joking all along.
Match #3 – Wade Barrett & Big Show vs. Sheamus & William Regal
The local good guys rush the ring and knock the heels around before the bell. At the outset of the match, Big Show once again dodges being in the ring with Sheamus, so it’s Wade Barrett getting double-teamed early on. Things turn around as Big Show headbutts Regal, setting up a Barrett clothesline before the Heavyweight Champ tags in.
Big Show does some terrible things to Regal before Sheamus hot tags in and readies a Brogue Kick, only to be distracted by Barrett and speared by Big Show. Regal tags himself in again just in time to receive a knock-out punch.
Winners via pinfall: Big Show & Wade Barrett
Backstage once again, Matt Striker tries his luck once more with Alberto Del Rio and Ricardo Rodriguez – but they don’t want to talk to him, either (though Del Rio once more positions himself as top candidate for Viper). Rosa Mendes stops by to wish Del Rio good luck. After the break, Striker finally gets a functioning interview as he hears Randy Orton talk about remaining as the WWE’s apex predator. How long until Orton is sponsored by a National Geographic show?
Match #4 – Randy Orton vs. Alberto Del Rio (w/ Ricardo Rodriguez) – Falls Count Anywhere
It doesn’t take long for Orton and Del Rio to scuffle away from the ring. Showing little more than punches, they move up and down the stairs amongst the crowd, each attempting pins to no avail. Rodriguez eventually gets involved, leaping on Orton from behind and getting shoved into a British phone booth for his efforts.
As often inexplicably happens in Falls Count Anywhere matches, the fight ends up back in the ring, where Del Rio knocks Orton through a table and into the ringpost before feeling an RKO on top of steel steps in the ring.
Winner via pinfall: Randy Orton
Dave Hillhouse is a screenwriter and teacher, and kinda wishes the U.S. Presidency was run like the Raw or Smackdown GM’s office. Or maybe that should be the other away around.