WWE Smackdown 7/22/2011

WWE Smackdown
July 22, 2011
Minneapolis, MN
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 show opens with Randy Orton sitting on a folding chair in the middle of the ring. Orton says his name and mentions there’s a lot going on in WWE right now. There is no WWE Champion, Vince McMahon has lost his power, and Triple H has taken over. One thing that will not go anywhere is this show until he addresses a little unfinished business he has with Christian. They then show some stills from Money in the Bank. Christian spat in Orton’s face and that caused Orton to low blow him, costing him the championship. Orton then RKO’d Christian twice on the announcer’s table.

Christian’s music hits and the World Heavyweight Champion comes out to the stage. Christian says he’s confused about the unfinished business. Orton says as long as Christian is breathing they’ll have unfinished business. Christian says that’s really nice and professional. Maybe the unfinished business Orton has is with himself. Orton’s inability to control his anger is the reason why he doesn’t have the title. Orton says that and the fact that Christian hid himself behind a team of lawyers like a coward. Christian can’t believe that Orton would attack him for using his superior intellect. The fact is Orton knew the rules and he chose to break them.

Orton says Christian spit in his face. Christian says he didn’t mean to do that. That was the heat of battle. Christian says he wants to take him on a history lesson. A few months ago he never should have lost the title in the first place. Christian calls this justice. He’s been fighting an uphill battle for a while with Teddy Long’s incompetence, referee’s incompetence, and the incompetency of the unseen forces who protect Orton. Through it all he’s back on top and a two-time World Heavyweight Champion.

Christian says he could throw himself a big celebration but he doesn’t want to. Nothing has changed these past few months. He’s not talking to any of these losers. These are the same people who turned their back on him and took Orton’s side. Orton says these are the same people who are going to witness him beating him because he wants his rematch TONIGHT. Christian asks if he wants the rematch and Orton concurs. Christian says rematches don’t just grow on trees. Nobody likes a whiner so if Orton wants a rematch he can get to the back of the line. Christian says he’s going to go talk to his lawyers right now.

Orton says they’ll be able to settle this on their own. Orton gets out of the ring and approaches Christian but Teddy Long’s music hits. Long puts referees between them. Long says he’s not losing control of the show before it gets started. Orton will get his rematch for the title. Long says he knows full well that he’s signed to compete against Kane tonight in a Street Fight. Long expects him to be the bigger man and walk away without incident. Orton composes himself and goes to leave. Orton then attacks Christian and has to be held back by the referees.

Christian gets in Long’s face and he says he can stop screaming at him right now. Long orders Christian down to the ring. If Orton is going to face Kane in a Street Fight then Christian is going to face the Intercontinental Champion Ezekiel Jackson next.

Josh Mathews, Booker T, and Michael Cole talk about Vince McMahon being relieved of his duties by Triple H. They’ll replay that Raw segment later on.

-Commercial Break-

World Heavyweight Champion vs. Intercontinental Champion
Christian vs. Ezekiel Jackson

The match begins and they lock up. Jackson quickly pushes him off and Christian bails from the ring to regroup. Christian pulls on the ring apron in anger. Christian gets back in and gets a waist lock applied. Jackson backs him to the corner and gets a waist lock of his own. Jackson takes him down and drops an elbow. Jackson forearms him in the back and clubs the chest. Christian is sent into the ropes but he slides through Jackson’s legs and slaps him in the face. Christian goes into the ropes and runs into a knee. Jackson then press slams him and covers for a near fall. Christian kicks him and slaps him. Christian tries to whip him into the ropes but Jackson doesn’t budge. Jackson pulls Christian into a back body drop over the top rope.

-Commercial Break-

We come back from the break to see Jackson chasing Christian. Jackson avoids a baseball slide and pushes Christian into the announcer’s table. Jackson bounces him off the apron but Christian comes back by giving him a drop-toe-hold into the steel steps. Christian rolls him into the ring, hits a top rope back elbow, and gets a near fall. Christian kicks and slaps him. Christian chokes him on the ropes and stands on him. Christian slingshots over the top rope and uppercuts him in the face. Jackson punches but Christian cuts him off. Christian then charges into a big boot but is able to avoid the elbow drop.

Christian continues punching Jackson but he punches back. Jackson goes into the ropes and Christian dropkicks him in the knee for a two count. Christian applies a chin lock but Jackson powers out. Jackson comes back with a Samoan Drop and both men are down.

Jackson clotheslines Christian a few times, sends him to the corner, and splashes him. Jackson goes for another but Christian gets the boots up. Christian comes off the ropes and Jackson clotheslines him in mid-air. Jackson gets a near fall from the exchange. Christian tries to surprise him with a Kill Switch but Jackson gets out. Christian then charges into a clothesline for a near fall. Jackson can’t believe it. Jackson begins his body slam clinic but Christian slides out after two. Christian chop blocks the knee and goes for another Kill Switch but Jackson attempts a back suplex. Christian flips through and applies a sleeper hold. Jackson pulls him onto his shoulder and drives him into the corner. Christian slides off and sends Jackson shoulder first into the ring post. Christian hits the Kill Switch from there and picks up the win.

Winner by Pinfall: Christian
Match Rating: * 1/2

We’ll see the end of Raw later tonight. We’ll also see Randy Orton take on Kane in a Street Fight.

-Commercial Break-

A tremendous video package for Cody Rhodes plays. That was awesome.

Michael Cole is in the ring and asks for the crowd’s attention. Cole announces his guest at this time. It’s the winner of the Smackdown Money in the Bank match, Daniel Bryan. It sounded like it pained Cole to say that. Bryan comes out to a very nice reaction from the crowd.

Cold says it’s time to cut to the chase. Cole says he’s going on record as saying Bryan’s victory on Sunday was a fluke. Bryan says Cole has buried him from the moment he stepped foot into the company. Cole’s opinion means absolutely nothing to him. Cole makes fun of Bryan for portraying himself as a good person but when push comes to shove and a champion is vulnerable he’s going to take the easy way out. Bryan will cash the contract and attempt to become World Champion. In Cole’s mind he’ll never deserve to be champion.

Bryan says Cole didn’t deserve to be one of the marquee matches at WrestleMania this year. In fact the only thing Cole deserved that night was getting booed out of the building by 70,000 people. Around here nobody deserves anything; you have to earn it. For the past twelve years he’s competed around the world trying to do that. He detached his retina and can barely see out of his left eye. He’s been kicked in the head so many times that he can’t hear out of his left ear. He had to sit there as his mom cried, begging him to quit the business. However he’s never once complained about this because he’s dreamed about being WWE Champion since he was a little boy. On Sunday he scratched, crawled, and climbed over seven other men to win this: the briefcase. No matter how many times Cole calls him a nerd, he’s earned it.

Bryan says Cole is right about something – if he’s going to be World Champion then he doesn’t want it to be a fluke. The winner can cash this briefcase in at any time and any place over the next year, but he’ll be the very first Money in the Bank winner to tell you exactly when and where that moment will take place. The date is April 1, 2012 and the location will be Miami, Florida. Bryan says we can connect the dots. Bryan says to Cole that he is going to live his dream. He’ll cash in the briefcase in the main event of WrestleMania XXVIII!

Heath Slater’s music hits and says only Bryan would choose the grandest stage of them all to achieve his greatest failure when he becomes the first man to ever lose after cashing in the briefcase. That’s because Bryan is a loser. He was a loser on NXT Season One when he was the first one eliminated. He was a loser in Nexus and that’s why he was kicked out. Now he’s going to be a loser tonight, courtesy of the one-man rock band.

Daniel Bryan vs. Heath Slater

Slater talks a little trash and then avoids Bryan a bit. They lock up and Slater gets a side headlock applied. Bryan whips him off and gets shoulder blocked down. Slater goes back into the ropes and eats a dropkick. Bryan goes for the LeBell Lock but Slater gets to the ropes. Slater gets out of the ring to regroup.

-Commercial Break-

We come back from the break to see Bryan leap frog Slater and take him down with an arm drag. Bryan wrenches the arm and Slater forearms him down. Slater ties to pin but Bryan gets a bridge. Bryan monkey flips him and Slater gets up in the corner. Bryan charges and Slater flapjacks him in the corner. Slater hits a neckbreaker for a one count. Slater kicks him and punches him in the corner. Slater hits a snapmare and applies a chin lock. Bryan fights up and punches out. Bryan goes into the ropes and eats a stiff back elbow. Slater stomps him and chokes him in the corner. Slater punches and whips him hard into the corner.

Slater talks a little trash and continues stomping away. Bryan blocks a punch and comes back with some of his own. Slater cuts him off and punches him down in the corner. Slater smashes Bryan’s face on his knee and gets a near fall. Slater applies a chin lock from there. Bryan fights up and Slater backs him to the corner, punching him down. Slater sends him to the opposite corner and Bryan back flips over him. Bryan goes into the ropes, ducks a clothesline, and hits a nasty forearm shiver.

Bryan whips him into the ropes but lowers his head and eats a kick. Slater charges and Bryan back body drops him over the top rope. Bryan gets on the apron and runs off with a flying knee to Slater’s face. Bryan throws him into the ring and goes to the top rope. Bryan comes off and hits a missile dropkick for a near fall. Bryan goes for a LeBell Lock but Slater counters with a Double A-style spinebuster for a near fall. Slater goes for his reverse DDT but Bryan knees him in the face and gets an inside cradle applied. Slater turns it and nearly gets the win. Slater eats a boot and Bryan goes for a tornado DDT but instead applies a guillotine choke for the submission!

Winner by Submission: Daniel Bryan
Match Rating: **

The announcers show some highlights from Mark Henry vs. Big Show at Money in the Bank this past Sunday. Henry beat Big Show and crushed his leg with a chair. Big Show will be out for some time. I’m not sure how crushing someone’s leg with a chair would warrant more time off than being run over by a car.

Mark Henry is backstage with Matt Striker, who asks when the destruction will end. Henry says it will never end. What he did to Big Show made him feel a perverted pleasure. He can’t really describe it: power, strength, and invincibility. If it sounds like he’s talking about himself, he is.

The end of Raw with Triple H relieving Vince McMahon of his duties will be shown next.

-Commercial Break-

They replay the end of Raw, which was absolutely brilliant and a true “Raw moment” if ever there was one. No words can do it the justice it deserves. If you’re a fan of wrestling and you haven’t seen this yet (highly unlikely) then I highly suggest you find the video.

We’ll see Kane take on Randy Orton in a Street Fight later tonight. Next we’ll see Sheamus take on Wade Barrett.

-Commercial Break-

They show some footage from last week of Wade Barrett leveling Sheamus with a big boot following his match against Sin Cara.

Wade Barrett vs. Sheamus

Charles Robinson, my favorite referee ever, is the official for the match. They lock up and Sheamus quickly levels Barrett with some kicks and clubs. Barrett quickly comes back and beats Sheamus down with punches and kicks. Sheamus punches him in the get and viciously knees him in the head. Sheamus sends him to the corner and runs into a back elbow. Barrett takes him down with a big boot and viciously punches away at him. Barrett sends him to the ropes and counters Sheamus, who ducked the clothesline, with a kick to the midsection. Barrett hits a running kick to the face for a near fall. Barrett chokes Sheamus on the ropes for a bit, kneeing him along the way. Barrett then big boots him and Sheamus falls to the apron. Barrett pulls him into the ring for a near fall.

Sheamus kicks him in the knee and face and tries to come back but Barrett kicks him in the face. Barrett goes for a pump-handle slam but Sheamus slides out and hits the Irish Curse for a near fall. Sheamus’s chest is red with welts. Sheamus puts Barrett between the ropes and clubs him, a la Greg “The Hammer” Valentine. Sheamus goes to the apron and hits a running knee to Barrett’s head. Sheamus gets back in the ring for a near fall. Barrett rolls out of the ring to regroup.

Sheamus follows him outside and takes him down. They roll around while punching away at each other. Barrett sends him into the barricade and stomps away at him. Barrett bounces him off the announcer’s table and Sheamus answers right back. The referee counts them both out. Sheamus argues with the referee and Barrett uses the distraction to push Sheamus into the ring post.

Double Count-Out
Match Rating: * 1/4

Barrett throws Sheamus into the ring and goes for The Wasteland but Sheamus slides off. Sheamus levels him with the Brogue Kick and taunts the crowd.

Kane is backstage and says he’s unleashed his own brand of pain, misery, and suffering on the WWE Universe for fourteen years. Men, who knew no fear, trembled at the sound of his name. He’s haunted the nightmares of everyone who’s ever faced him. Lately, though, he’s the one who’s haunted. Haunted by his own humanity. He feels less like a monster and more like a human. Tonight he will purge his compassion. Tonight he will exercise his humanity, forever. Tonight, Randy Orton will be the vehicle by which he awakens the monster from within. The WWE Universe will remember once and for all why he’s the Devil’s favorite demon. Kane laughs maniacally.

Randy Orton’s music hits and it looks like we’ll be getting the Street Fight now! There’s more than a half-hour left in the show so this should be a long match. Nice!

-Commercial Break-

Street Fight
Randy Orton vs. Kane

Kane immediately punches Orton and beats him down in the corner. Kane knees him in the face a few times for good measure. Kane sends him to the opposite corner and hits a running clothesline. Kane sends him to another corner and charges into a boot. Orton ducks a clothesline and hits a Lou Thesz Press. Kane gets up and goes for a Chokeslam but Orton gets out of it. Orton goes for an RKO but Kane pushes him off. Kane clotheslines him over the top rope and follows him outside.

Kane sends him into the barricade and uppercuts him. Kane head-butts him and they fight up the ramp. Orton comes back with punches and kicks. Orton uppercuts him and Kane answers right back with a right hand. Orton bounces Kane off the apron and gets a kendo stick from under the ring. Orton hits Kane in the midsection, back, and legs. Orton slams it down and has a crazy look on his face. Orton gets in the ring and drags Kane to the apron. Orton goes for his draping DDT but Kane back body drops him over the top rope. Kane goes outside and sends him into the barricade.

-Commercial Break-

We come back from the break to see Kane punching away at Orton in the middle of the ring. Kane picks him up and hits a snapmare. Kane goes into the ropes and hits a low dropkick to the face for a near fall. Orton comes back with some punches but Kane quickly knees him. Kane sends him to the ropes but Orton holds on. Kane charges into an elbow. Kane charges again and Orton pulls the top rope down, sending Kane over. Orton goes to the apron and jumps off but Kane uppercuts him out of mid-air! Orton hits the floor with a nasty splat!

Kane takes the top of the announcer’s table off and gets rid of the monitors. Orton pulls himself up on the apron and Kane signals for the Chokeslam. Kane grabs him by the throat but Orton fights it. Kane lifts him and Orton stands on the table. Orton punches Kane off and kicks him away. As he does that Orton plants his foot where a monitor would go, sending his leg into the hole and flipping the announcer’s table over with him attached to it! That was a nasty spill and Orton immediately screams in pain! Orton plays it off like he’s OK and sends Kane into the ring steps. Orton then collapses and is clutching his right knee. The quadriceps has a nasty indentation on it from the table. I’ve never seen a spill like that before. That was a total freak accident.

Orton takes the top half of the steel steps off and viciously assaults Kane. Orton puts Kane’s leg on the bottom half and stomps it. Orton now grabs the top half of the steps and slams it down on Kane’s ankle! That looked just as nasty as the spill Orton just took!

-Commercial Break-

As we come back from the break we see Orton kick Kane in the leg. Orton goes into the ropes and eats a big boot. Kane then falls in pain from his injured leg. Kane hobbles to the apron and climbs the top rope. Kane goes for his diving lariat but Orton avoids it. Kane clutches his ankle in pain and Orton sends him into the ring post shoulder first. Orton goes for his draping DDT and hits it clean. Orton smiles maniacally and drops to the mat. Orton waits for Kane to get up and goes for an RKO but Kane pushes him off. Kane hits him with a sidewalk slam for a near fall.

Kane fights up to his feet and goes to the top rope again. Orton slowly gets up and turns around to eat a diving lariat. Kane grabs his ankle in pain but finds a way to get up. Kane signals for the Chokeslam and Orton turns around, hitting an RKO out of nowhere! Orton covers and Kane kicks out at two and a half! Orton absolutely cannot believe it. Orton gets to his feet and is still clutching that right knee. Orton stands over Kane before backing up to the corner. Orton goes to punt Kane but Kane counters with a Chokeslam for a near fall! Kane can’t believe it and looks angrily at the referee.

-Commercial Break-

We come back from the final break of the evening to see Kane grabbing a steel chair from ringside and throwing it into the ring. Kane gets in and Orton is struggling to get up. Kane hits him in the midsection with the chair and cracks it over his back! Kane hits him a few more times on the back with the chair and Orton writhes in pain on the mat! Kane waits for Orton to get up and goes to give him a Tombstone Piledriver on the chair but Orton slides off. Orton goes into the ropes and Kane goes for a Chokeslam but Orton gets out. Orton then RKOs Kane on the steel chair and picks up the win!

Winner by Pinfall: Randy Orton
Match Rating: *** 1/2

Kane gets to his feet and extends his hand. Orton shakes it and both men get a great hand from the crowd. Orton slowly leaves the ring as Kane recovers inside. Kane fights to his feet and the crowd gives him a great hand as his music plays.

All of a sudden Mark Henry makes his way to ringside. Henry stares at Kane as he gets into the ring. Kane takes his gloves off and punches away at Henry. Henry quickly answers back by kicking Kane in the injured leg. Henry clotheslines him down and stands over Kane, shaking his head. Henry grabs Kane by the ankle, preventing him from leaving the ring. Henry smashes Kane’s knee off the mat and screams at him to get up. Henry hits him with the World’s Strongest Slam and hits him with a big splash.

Henry goes outside and grabs the steel chair from ringside. The announcers scramble to get away from Henry. They watch on as Henry gets into the ring. Henry kicks Kane in the chest and puts the chair around his ankle. Henry gets on the turnbuckle and hits a big slingshot splash onto the chair, much like he did to Big Show on Sunday! Kane screams in pain and is clutching at his ankle. Henry leaves the ring and screams that he runs the show.

Quick Match Results

WH Champion vs. IC Champion: Christian def. Ezekiel Jackson (non-title)
Daniel Bryan def. Heath Slater via Submission
Wade Barrett vs. Sheamus went to a Double Count-Out
Randy Orton def. Kane in a Street Fight

Bump of the Night: Orton’s nasty bump on the announcer’s table!
Match of the Night: Randy Orton vs. Kane *** 1/2

Mike’s Thoughts

The show opened tonight with Randy Orton sitting in the ring calling Christian out. Christian came out and they had a back and forth exchange that we’ve already heard before. Orton said Christian is a coward and Christian said Orton simply couldn’t control his anger. Teddy Long came out and brought a team of referees with him to block contact between Christian and Orton but to no avail. Teddy Long reminded Orton that he’s in the main event and booked Christian to face Ezekiel Jackson. That match between the two was just OK. Christian really did a great job of carrying Jackson through the match. I’m still not seeing much from Jackson, though. The crowd reaction isn’t there for him and he’s not clicking at all with me. It’s high time to get the title off him already.

Speaking of Ezekiel Jackson, where were the two guys who have been feuding with him over the past few weeks Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase? Other than an excellent video package highlighting Rhodes there was nothing with him tonight.

Daniel Bryan was out next for an in-ring interview with Michael Cole. One of the few highlights of my time recapping NXT was Bryan attacking Michael Cole for burying him so much. Because it was NXT probably no one saw that so they have a chance to do it again on a show people would watch. I can’t wait for Bryan to snap on Cole. It’s got to happen at some point. Bryan made headlines by announcing that he’s cashing in Money in the Bank at WrestleMania XXVIII. I’m really happy for him because he’s a guy that truly has scratched and clawed his way to WWE and he’s getting a chance to live the dream. Heath Slater interrupted the interview and challenged Bryan. They went on to have a pretty good match. Slater, though, is so extraordinarily lame. That guy has such a bad look and gimmick. I’ve made better CAWs on Smackdown vs. Raw. One-man rock band? Give me a break.

Wade Barrett and Sheamus had a match where they both did what they do best: brawl. They absolutely beat the crap out of each other in a match that ended in a double count-out. I don’t think that’s the last we’ll see of this match up and I look forward to what’s next from them. I love a good, stiff brawl and we’ll get a lot of that from these guys.

The show closed with an unbelievable Street Fight between Randy Orton and Kane. The match was given time and was excellent. Kane cut a promo before the match where he acknowledged that he was feeling more human, which in my mind is code for “I’m getting old”. Kane and Orton went all out in this, pulling out all stops. There was brawling, weapons, false finishes, freak accidents, and surprises galore. I never expected Kane to kick out of an RKO. That was just an excellent TV main event. By the way, for those who saw it, how nasty did that spill Orton took on the announcer’s table look? He’s damn lucky he didn’t break his leg. After the war both men shook hands.

Mark Henry made his way to the ring to close the show and promptly attacked Kane. Henry crushed his ankle and it looks like Kane will be taking some time off like Big Show is. I’m not sure how Henry splashing someone with a chair around their ankle warrants more time off than being run over by a car. Big Show and Kane should technically be back next week with the way they recover. Still it’s a great visual and I absolutely love Mark Henry’s character and the streak he’s been on.

Final Rating: *** 1/2

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