July 15, 2011
Report by: Mike Tedesco of Wrestleview.com
“Yes, sir, we promised you a great main event…” The WWE video leads us into the show.
The Smackdown intro video plays and we’re brought into the arena with a giant pyrotechnics display. Michael Cole and Booker T welcome us to the show. Josh Mathews is in the ring. They promote the main event as being Randy Orton versus Kane. We’ll also see Ted DiBiase challenge Ezekiel Jackson for the WWE Intercontinental Championship.
Josh Mathews welcomes everyone to the show and asks the crowd to welcome the World Heavyweight Champion, Randy Orton. Orton makes his way to the ring to a great ovation from the crowd. Mathews repeats the stipulation for the title match this Sunday against Christian. If Orton is disqualified then Christian will become the new champion. Mathews asks about his history of anger management. Orton says he won’t be disqualified this Sunday. Orton says he’s proven time and time again that there is more than one way for him to beat Christian. This is a cheap attempt by Christian to get the title because he can’t actually beat him.
Christian appears on the titantron and says he doesn’t want or need to beat him by disqualification. His lawyers forced him to put the stipulation in the contract. Christian just wants to have a classic match like they always do. Christian says he wants to show what a nice guy he is by getting Orton a gift. Christian takes a black cloth off a photo of Christian standing over Orton with the World Heavyweight Championship. Christian says that was a great night when he smashed Orton in the face with the title. Christian says Orton should put this in his locker on Sunday so he knows how the match will end – with Christian standing over him as the World Heavyweight Champion.
Orton says if Christian thinks that a stupid picture is going to set him off then that’s borderline pathetic. Orton says he expects more. Christian says there are a lot of other things that are pathetic. Orton’s family, for starters, is pathetic. His dad, “Cowboy” Bob Orton, faked an injury and wore a cast for seven years but never came close to the title. He was a glorified sidekick. Orton’s father is in the Hall of Fame but there’s a wing in the Hall of Fame reserved for guys like Stone Cold Steve Austin and Bret Hart, and there’s a wing with guys like Bob Uecker and Drew Carey. That’s the wing reserved for complete jokes like his dad is. The only reason his dad is in the Hall of Fame is because the WWE brass wanted to keep Orton happy. Christian says that’s pathetic and if Orton disagrees then he’s even more pathetic.
Orton says he’s having a hard time hearing Christian from all the way back there. Orton invites him into the ring to repeat everything he just said to his face. Christian said he’d come down to the ring after this Sunday when he beats him for the title by pinfall, submission, or disqualification. Then he’ll tell the world what a pathetic champion Orton was. Orton says if he wants to talk pathetic with him then Christian is a pathetic excuse for a man, superstar, and after Sunday he’ll be a pathetic, whiny, bitchy flash in the pan who’s only claim to fame was his best friend helping him become champion for a mere five days. What a run! Orton says that’s pathetic.
They show that awesome Mark Henry highlight package. Mark Henry and Big Show will have a Face Off in the ring tonight.
They show off their new ring announcer Eden Stiles. I guess there will be no more Tony Chimel.
WWE Intercontinental Championship Match
Ezekiel Jackson (c) vs. Ted DiBiase
They take their time before locking up. Jackson quickly powers him to the corner and gives a clean break. DiBiase slaps him in the face so Jackson unloads on him with strikes in the corner. Jackson throws him across the ring and lays him out with a shoulder block for a two count. Jackson clotheslines him over the top rope. Jackson follows him outside and bounces him off the apron. Jackson goes to throw him into the post but DiBiase slides off his shoulder. DiBiase drives him into the post and then dropkicks him into it again. Cody Rhodes is seen watching backstage. DiBiase rolls him in the ring for a near fall.
DiBiase punches and kicks him down in the corner until the referee backs him up. Jackson pushes him away and sends him to the corner. Jackson charges into a drop-toe-hold into the corner. DiBiase hits a Million Dollar Dream/Russian Leg Sweep combo for a near fall. DiBiase applies a chin lock but Jackson quickly fights up. Jackson tries to elbow out but DiBiase kicks him. DiBiase sends him into the ropes and goes for that sneak clothesline attack but Jackson scouted it, hitting him with a clothesline of his own.
Jackson hits a pair of clotheslines and clotheslines him in the corner. Jackson goes for his body slam series but DiBiase counters into a Dream Street attempt. Jackson rolls him off and continues the body slam series. Jackson body slams him twice and goes for the Torture Rack but DiBiase slides off. DiBiase goes for the Dream Street but Jackson backs him into the corner. Jackson applies the Torture Rack from there for the win.
Winner & still Intercontinental Champion: Ezekiel Jackson
Match Rating: * 1/4
Sin Cara will be in action against Sheamus tonight. That should be interesting. Randy Orton will take on Kane in the main event as well. Coming up next we’ll see Daniel Bryan take on Cody Rhodes.
Ted DiBiase is walking around backstage with his head down. Cody Rhodes walks up to him and tells him to put a paper bag mask on. The bag is for losers, just like everyone who steps in the ring against him and the members of the WWE Universe. Rhodes changes his mind and says he’s going to give DiBiase one more chance. Rhodes swears if he loses one more match he’ll come to the ring and personally put a paper bag on DiBiase’s head. Rhodes then grabs someone from backstage and puts the bag on his head.
Daniel Bryan vs. Cody Rhodes
Before Rhodes came to the ring they played a video package that highlighted the ongoing feud between Rhodes and Bryan. Bryan beat him two months ago so Rhodes viciously assaulted him after the match. They’ve been going back and forth since then.
They lock up and Rhodes quickly backs him to the corner. Bryan ducks a punch and chops away at Rhodes. Bryan whips him to the other corner and gets caught in an Alabama Slam attempt but Bryan rolls him up. Rhodes rolls through and nearly gets caught in the LeBell Lock but he gets out. Bryan catches him between the ropes, ties him up, and viciously kicks away at him. Bryan hits a running dropkick and Rhodes falls to the outside. Bryan gets a head of steam and hits a suicide dive.
We come back from the break to see Rhodes hit a front suplex and punch him in the face. Rhodes hits a stomp and picks him up for a body slam. Rhodes applies a single leg crab but Bryan is able to turn the pressure and kick him off. Bryan punches and uppercuts him to the ropes. Rhodes reverses a whip but Bryan is able to roll him up for a one count. Bryan charges him in the corner and eats a pair of forearms. Rhodes kicks him in the face and stomps his face. Rhodes picks him up, knees him in the midsection a few times, and hits a Russian Leg Sweep for a two count. Rhodes kicks away at him and applies another single leg crab. Bryan fights to the ropes for the break.
Rhodes looks up at the Money in the Bank briefcase. They trade punches with Bryan coming out on top. Bryan viciously goes off on him, has a whip reversed, and comes back with a flying elbow to the throat. Bryan hits a jawbreaker and a leg-line for a near fall. Bryan punches away at Rhodes and the referee has to remove him. Rhodes drop-toe-holds him into the ropes and kicks him in the midsection. Rhodes follows up with an Alabama Slam for a near fall. Rhodes goes for a backbreaker but Bryan flips through and goes for a victory roll but Rhodes slides him off. Rhodes runs into an elbow and then charges again and nearly gets caught in a LeBell Lock on the ropes. It doesn’t materialize but Bryan is able to come back with a missile dropkick off the top rope for a near fall.
Bryan charges Rhodes in the corner and hits a nasty dropkick to the ribs. Bryan puts him on the top rope and goes for a hurricanrana but Rhodes pushes him off, hanging him up on the top rope. Rhodes hits the Beautiful Disaster for the win.
Winner by Pinfall: Cody Rhodes
Match Rating: ** 1/4
Teddy Long is talking on the phone when Justin King walks in. Long says he wants him to tell Mark Henry and Big Show that if there is any physicality between them that he would cancel their match on Sunday. Long resumes his phone conversation when Kane walks in. Kane thanks him for honoring his request for a match with Randy Orton. Kane says something is wrong with him. Long asks if it’s because he lost to Mark Henry. Kane says he’s a monster and monsters don’t lose. This isn’t about Mark Henry – it’s about him. He’s feeling less like a monster and more like a human being. Kane doesn’t like it and wants to know what’s happening. Long says he’s scaring him right now. Kane says that’s why he wants to face the best Smackdown has to offer because if Long was really scared he wouldn’t have the guts to tell him.
Jinder Mahal is taking promotional pictures with The Great Khali. Mahal gets infuriated when he sees the photographer taking more photos of Khali than him. Mahal says he’s the star and Khali’s mission is to serve him. Khali yells at the cameraman as well. Mahal says his face is the only one that matters.
Elsewhere in the arena Christian finds Randy Orton’s private bus. He goes to the side and is flabbergasted to find that someone spray painted, “ORTON SUX! TEDDY LONG = MORON; CHRISITAN = UNCROWNED WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION”. Christian pretends to be angry and says he’ll find out who defaced his bus because he cares.
Wade Barrett is seen on commentary as Sheamus makes his way to the ring. He’ll be in action against Sin Cara next.
Sheamus vs. Sin Cara
They circle the ring and Sheamus powers him to the corner. Sheamus pounds him down and sends him to the ropes. Cara ducks a clothesline and hits a springboard hurricanrana. Cara sidesteps him charging in the corner and kicks away. Sheamus pushes him off and goes for a flapjack but Cara counters into a dropkick. Cara kicks away at him and wrenches the arm. Sheamus knees him in the midsection and props him on the top rope. Sheamus tugs at the mask until Cara kicks him away. Cara hits a spinning arm drag off the top, goes into the ropes, and gets turned inside out by a clothesline.
Sheamus hits an Irish Curse for a near fall. Sheamus checks his lip to see if it’s busted open. Sheamus sends him to the corner and charges into an elbow. Cara hits a head-scissor takeover and runs into a knee. Sheamus gets him in the ropes and hammers Cara’s chest a few times. Sheamus taunts the crowd and goes to the apron. Sheamus hits a running knee to the face and taunts the crowd once again. Sheamus applies a neck vice but Cara fights up. Sheamus stops him, sends him to the ropes, and hits a back elbow. Sheamus kicks him in the head and punches him down. Sheamus hits a snapmare and reapplies the neck vice. Cara fights up and punches but Sheamus simply knees him in the midsection. Sheamus taunts and goes for a body slam but Cara slides off. Sheamus goes for a Brogue Kick but Cara ducks and he goes over the top rope.
Sheamus gets dropkicked as he gets in the ring and Cara gets a two count. Cara hits a Pele kick and goes for a springboard cross-body but Sheamus catches him. Sheamus drives him into the corner and hits a fall-away slam. Sheamus points to the Money in the Bank briefcase and goes for Pale Justice. Cara counters into a hurricanrana cradle for the win!
Winner by Pinfall: Sin Cara
Match Rating: **
Wade Barrett runs into the ring and blindsides Sheamus with a variation of the Brogue Kick, according to Michael Cole. Barrett then hits The Wasteland. This is retribution for Sheamus hitting him with the chair last week. Barrett looks up at the Money in the Bank briefcase and raises his arm in the air.
Christian is in the Mohegan Sun Casino with Randy Orton’s wallet. Christian throws Orton’s credit cards and family photos around before pulling out $1,000. Christian was going to give it to the lost and found but maybe he’ll make Orton a little extra cash. After Christian beats him on Sunday he’ll have to pay for anger management or his daughter’s college fund. If his daughter takes after him then she won’t get to college on an academic scholarship. Christian puts $1,000 on 1. The dealer spins the roulette wheel and it lands on 20. Christian says it looks like Orton’s luck has just run out.
Teddy Long, Smackdown’s General Manager, is in the ring. Long says he’s arranged this Face Off. It’s a forum where these two monstrous competitors can say what’s on their mind. Tonight they must hold their temper or he’ll call off their match on Sunday. Big Show comes to the ring first followed by Mark Henry. Henry, though, stays on the stage.
Henry says he’s not coming any further because Big Show knows what happens when he loses his temper. Big Show says him holding his temper is the only thing that’s holding him back from Chokeslamming him to hell. Henry says he’s not Chokeslamming anyone. This Sunday Big Show will be in hell – in Henry’s hell. Henry says this is all Big Show’s fault. They then show a video of Big Show viciously assaulting Mark Henry and knocking him out last month.
Big Show says he admits that what he did changed Henry and the WWE. For fifteen years the WWE Universe has been waiting for the World’s Strongest Man to wake up. Big Show gave him some fire but warns Henry not to direct it toward him. Big Show lit the fire but he can put it out. Henry says if he thinks big is better he’ll tell him that stronger is better. Meaner is better and better is better. Henry says Big Show has no idea what he’s capable of. Big Show screams that Henry has no idea what he’s capable of. Big Show says to hell with Sunday and he wants Henry to bring his ass to the ring right now.
Long tells them to wait and says this isn’t happening. Long tells them not to make him fine them and cancel the match. They will collide soon enough. This Sunday they will let God sort it out. Both men look intense as the segment ends.
Randy Orton will take on Kane in the main event.
JOBBER ALERT: Rosa Mendes is in the ring with Alicia Fox with no TV entrance.
Rosa Mendes w/ Alicia Fox vs. Kelly Kelly
Kelly Kelly immediately executes a victory roll for a one count. Mendes kicks her in the head for a two count. Mendes punches away at her and applies a surfboard stretch. It would be so nice to see a little logic put into these matches. It’s just spot-spot-random submission move-spot-finish. Kelly does something, spanks her, and hits a neckbreaker. Kelly puts her in the corner and does a stink face. They completely botch a bulldog and Kelly hits the K2 for the win. Ugly, ugly, ugly, ugly, ugly match. Just another shining example of why the divas should not be allowed near a ring.
Winner by Pinfall: Kelly Kelly
Match Rating: -****
Johnny Curtis says he’ll make his debut sooner than we think. Curtis says the cat is out of the bag and pulls an elephant out of a bag. Curtis yells at some guy and says the elephant in the room gag isn’t until next week. Curtis rips the head off and shoves it in the guy’s face.
Randy Orton taking on Kane is still to come.
They show a highlight package for the Money in the Bank match and rundown the rest of the card.
Christian is backstage and says that he’s a big fan of Orton’s despite their budding rivalry. Christian says he’s a movie star and mentions “That’s What I Am”. Christian then shows a deleted scene. It shows Orton’s character being a homophobe. Christian points out the expression on Orton’s face and says he’s a bad actor. Christian says he’s not sure why they cut the scene. He played an obnoxious lunatic and says that must have been a stretch. Christian wishes him luck in his match against Kane tonight.
Justin Gabriel vs. Heath Slater
Before the match began, Heath Slater cut a promo. Slater says they were on top of the world in the tag team division. They were three-time tag team champions, but lately Gabriel has been dropping the ball. Slater says he’s tired of sharing the spotlight. At Money in the Bank it’ll be his time to shine because he is the one-man rock band, baby.
They circle the ring and Gabriel immediately wrenches the arm. Slater turns it but Gabriel does a cartwheel and wrenches the arm again. Slater goes back to the wrench but Gabriel backflips. Slater quickly takes him down and applies a hammerlock. Gabriel applies a side headlock and this is giving me nightmares of NXT. Gabriel shoulder blocks him and they go into the ropes. Gabriel lands on his feet during a hip toss attempt and Slater punches him in the face. Slater points to the briefcase and says it’s his. Slater kicks away at him and applies a chin lock. Gabriel fights up and elbows out but Slater clubs him.
Gabriel comes back with some kicks and punches. Gabriel sidesteps Slater in the corner and goes to the top rope. Slater quickly hits a top rope back body drop. Slater misses an amateur looking moonsault and Gabriel finishes him off with a 450 Splash for the win.
Winner by Pinfall: Justin Gabriel
Match Rating: 3/4 *
Kane and Randy Orton are walking backstage. They’ll take each other on next.
Kane vs. Randy Orton
Orton ducks punches from Kane in the corner and punches away. Kane quickly comes back with punches and big boots him down. Kane clotheslines him in the corner and whips him back to the corner for another clothesline. Kane hits a sidewalk slam for a near fall. Christian comes out to the stage for a closer look. Kane hits a top rope lariat and signals for the end. Kane goes for a Chokeslam but Orton fights out. Kane reverses a whip to the corner but runs into a boot. Orton hits some clotheslines but Kane doesn’t go down. Kane goes into the ropes and Orton hits a powerslam. Orton executes his draping DDT and waits for Kane to get up. Kane pushes him off during an RKO attempt and Orton notices Christian on the stage. Kane then clotheslines Orton over the top rope and falls over as well. Christian comes closer to the ring and Orton chases him. Orton gets counted out from there.
Winner by Count-Out: Kane
Match Rating: 1/4 *
Christian goads Orton into coming into the ring and Kane viciously assaults Orton. Kane then looks at Christian and scares him off. Kane then turns into an RKO. Christian then runs in and spears Orton. Christian punches away at him and grabs a chair. Christian also brings the title into the ring. Orton quickly gets control of the chair and chases Christian away. Orton then beats on Kane with the chair as Christian watches.
Quick Match Results
Ezekiel Jackson def. Ted DiBiase via Submission to retain the Intercontinental Championship
Cody Rhodes def. Daniel Bryan
Sin Cara def. Sheamus
Kelly Kelly def. Rosa Mendes (non-title)
Justin Gabriel def. Heath Slater
Kane def. Randy Orton via CO (non-title)
Bump of the Night: Randy Orton beating Kane down with a chair
Match of the Night: Cody Rhodes vs. Daniel Bryan ** 1/4
This was an OK version of Smackdown. The show opened up on a good note with Randy Orton and Christian having a really nice back and forth exchange. This was just one of many instances of Christian trying to make Orton lose his temper heading into Sunday’s match where Orton can lose the title by disqualification. This opening segment was the best instance of this. The rest were just kind of jokes. Christian talked about Orton’s father’s career being pathetic and saying he doesn’t deserve to be in the Hall of Fame. The intensity during that was awesome and I wish they had been able to keep that going throughout the night.
Ezekiel Jackson beat Ted DiBiase in a very short Intercontinental Championship match. There’s just not much you can do in a match with Jackson so the shorter the better. The match was all just a set up for Rhodes to threaten DiBiase. Rhodes told him that if he loses again he’d put a bag over his head. I’m sure DiBiase will lose again and then snap when Rhodes tries to put the bag over his head. Just in time for Summerslam. Rhodes then showed DiBiase how it’s done by beating Daniel Bryan in a very nice little match that was the highlight of all in ring activity tonight.
I was surprised by how well Sheamus and Sin Cara meshed in their match. It wasn’t a classic but it did show that Sin Cara can hang with the big guys. Wade Barrett did a really nice job on commentary. The guy can really talk, something that I think was forgotten about during the terrible Corre run. It was nice to see Barrett come to the forefront tonight.
I really enjoyed the Mark Henry and Big Show Face Off. They were both spot on with their promos and, believe it or not, I’m actually looking forward to the match. Mark Henry has been an absolute monster since coming over to Smackdown and I’m really excited to see where this goes. Big Show is also presenting an edge that we haven’t really seen from him in quite some time. They did an excellent job with the final sell for their match.
Then we went from the great to the ridiculous. I think I talked enough about how horrible the diva’s match was in the actual description of the match. Then throw in the Johnny Curtis segment and you had one complete block of Smackdown that never should have happened. I’d have rather watched a long Raw Rebound than that garbage.
Justin Gabriel and Heath Slater had a short match that was pretty basic for what it was. It was like watching the Tough Enough rookies wrestle. They did very standard moves and then went to the high-flying stuff. There was nothing wrong with the match but there was nothing overly good about it, either.
The Kane vs. Randy Orton main event wasn’t much of one. Christian came out and interrupted it mere minutes in so it never got off the ground. I really liked the segment Kane had with Teddy Long earlier in the night where he complained about not feeling like himself and being a monster anymore. That’s a pretty interesting spin on the character and I’m interested in watching that build through the weeks. Kane started off hot in the match but he wound up flat on his back after getting destroyed by a chair at the end of the show. That’s something to keep your eye on.
Final Rating: ** 1/4
34-year-old currently living in Syracuse, New York. Long-time fan of the New York Mets, Chicago Bulls, and Minnesota Vikings. An avid fan of professional wrestling and write reviews/articles on the product. Usually focusing on old-school wrestling.