The Smackdown video plays and we’re brought into the arena with a big fireworks display. Josh Mathews, Booker T, and Michael Cole welcome us to the show.
Triple H’s music hits and the WWE’s Chief Operating Officer makes his way to the ring. Triple H welcomes the crowd to Smackdown. Triple H says it’s hard to imagine that he was just hanging out backstage a month ago, biding his time and waiting on a friend. A month later, not only is he now the COO of the entire company, he is also the special guest referee of what is probably the biggest match in this industry: WWE Champion John Cena taking on WWE Champion CM Punk in a match to determine one Undisputed WWE Champion. Triple H had to pause to allow the crowd to chant “CM Punk”.
Triple H says his phone won’t stop ringing and there’s a long line outside his office backstage. Triple H says he respected Vince McMahon and the job he did, but he had no idea about the pressure that comes along with the gig. Triple H says he loves it. He may not have asked for the job, but as long as he’s COO, he’ll do his damnedest to make every Raw and Smackdown as exciting and unpredictable as can be.
That leads him to tonight. We’ll have an Intercontinental Championship Match with Ezekiel Jackson defending against Cody Rhodes. Also, for the first time in WWE history, it’ll be Money in the Bank winner vs. Money in the Bank winner. Alberto Del Rio comes from Raw to go one on one with Smackdown’s Daniel Bryan. Much like Monday night where the WWE Championship competitors squared off in individual competition, the competitors for the World Heavyweight Championship will also be in action. The Great Khali will take on Randy Orton. As far as Christian –
Christian’s music hits and the World Heavyweight Champion makes his way to the ring. Triple H does not look happy about being interrupted. Christian says he told Triple H that he’d make a major announcement tonight. Christian says Triple H should have picked up the phone and called him. Triple H says he would have, but he doesn’t give a crap. Christian says everyone thinks Triple H is hilarious so maybe they’ll get a laugh out of this. Christian is going to sue the WWE. Christian asks if he has Triple H’s attention. Christian says he has medical documents stating that Randy Orton is mentally unstable. That means if Triple H forces Christian to compete in a No Holds Barred Match at Summerslam, he’s putting his World Heavyweight Champion in an unsafe work environment. That’s left him with no choice but to once again consult with his legal team, and they’ve decided that if Triple H doesn’t pull the stipulation, he’ll file a multi-million dollar lawsuit against the company. That means he’ll sue him, his children, and every miserable piece of crap that earns a paycheck from this company, including that idiot John Laurinaitis. He’ll sue every fan that buys a ticket to Summerslam and every fan that watches Summerslam live on PPV. He doesn’t care. The choice is Triple H’s.
Triple H thinks it over and says he has no choice but to announce that the match at Summerslam is on. Christian can’t believe it. Christian gets in his face and says it seems Triple H doesn’t quite get it. Triple H says Christian doesn’t get it. Triple H has had a lot of experiences with lawyers. Christian has a contract with WWE. He’s the COO of WWE so that means he’s Christian’s boss. He’ll make the matches, and if Christian refuses to fight in the matches, then he’s in breach of contract. The simplest option would be to fire Christian and take back the title. Triple H asks if he has Christian’s attention. Triple H says he can fire Christian and take the title, or he can keep the title and compete this Sunday in a No Holds Barred Match against Randy Orton at Summerslam. The choice is Christian’s.
Christian turns his back and goes to leave the ring before stopping. Christian turns around and screams, asking why Triple H is doing this to him. Christian says Triple H has known him for fourteen years and he’s one of the best. Christian says Orton attacked Triple H’s family and asks why he’s doing favors for him. Christian demands to know why. Triple H says he doesn’t like Randy Orton, but he respects him. The fans respect and like Randy Orton. They don’t like Christian because they don’t respect him. Triple H used to respect Christian, but the way he won the title and the way he’s been acting since he won it, he doesn’t respect him anymore, and neither do the fans. The deal is if Christian wants his respect back, then he needs to stop walking around whining like a little girl, and compete against Randy Orton in a No Holds Barred Match at Summerslam, and EARN that respect.
Triple H leaves the ring and Christian screams for his music to be shut off. Christian says he’s the champion and he gets the last say. Christian says if he wants him to earn it then he will. Christian tells him to forget the lawsuit and says he’ll beat Randy Orton at Summerslam. Christian says whomever Triple H picked as his opponent, he’s going to beat them first. Triple H says he’s glad Christian dropped the lawsuit and that he doesn’t have a problem facing this man: Sheamus!
Christian vs. Sheamus
Christian quickly ducks a clothesline and they circle the ring. Sheamus quickly clubs and stomps Christian down. Sheamus viciously stomps away at him before clubbing him into the ropes. Sheamus sends him into the ropes, but Christian slides through the legs and punches. Christian goes into the ropes and eats a back elbow. Sheamus charges, but Christian pulls the top rope down. Sheamus avoids a baseball slide and goes to put Christian into the ring post, but Christian slides off and pushes Sheamus into the post. Christian puts him back into the ring and stretches his injured arm out over the top rope. Christian stomps Sheamus down and chokes him with his boot. Sheamus kicks Christian in the knee and starts punching away. Sheamus sends him to the corner and charges, but Christian moves, causing Sheamus to hit the ring post shoulder first. Christian gets a near fall.
Christian applies an overhead wristlock. Sheamus whips him off but lowers his head and eats a kick. Christian charges and Sheamus catches him with the Irish Curse. Sheamus clotheslines Christian a pair of times and clubs him in the corner. Sheamus sends him to the opposite corner and runs into some boots. Sheamus ducks Christian coming off the top rope and catches him with a powerslam for a near fall. Christian tries to surprise him with a Kill Switch but Sheamus gets out. Christian puts him into the ropes, catapults over, and uppercuts him. Christian goes to the top rope and misses a cross-body. Sheamus puts him in powerbomb position and Christian counters with a jackknife pin attempt. Sheamus kicks him away, ties him up in the ropes, and clubs away at his chest ten times. Sheamus goes to the apron and hits a running knee to Christian’s head.
Sheamus goes to the top rope and hits a diving shoulder tackler. Sheamus taunts and gets the crowd into it. Sheamus goes for a Brogue Kick but Christian rolls out of the ring. Christian grabs his title and goes to leave, but Sheamus cuts him off, putting him back into the ring. Sheamus goes for Pale Justice, but Christian slides off and snaps him off the top rope. Christian gets out of the ring, grabs his title, and goes up the ramp. The referee counts him out as he runs away.
Winner by Count-Out: Sheamus
Match Rating: * 3/4
Sheamus shouts that he was very close to beating Christian as Christian raises his championship up in the air.
Randy Orton will take on The Great Khali later tonight.
JOBBER ALERT: Kaitlyn and AJ are in the ring with no TV entrance.
Kaitlyn & AJ vs. Beth Phoenix & Natalya
Michael Cole mentions that Beth Phoenix and Natalya want to be known as the DOD – Divas of Doom. Natalya starts out against Kaitlyn. Natalya grabs her by the hair. Kaitlyn pushes her off and gets a waist lock applied, but Natalya quickly gets out. Natalya body slams her down and tags in Beth. They hit a double-team back suplex for a near fall. Beth sends her to the corner and charges, but Kaitlyn moves, tagging in AJ. AJ punches and hits a running dropkick, but Beth doesn’t go down. AJ goes for a wheelbarrow rollup, but Beth counters into the Glam Slam for the win!
Winners by Pinfall: Beth Phoenix & Natalya
Match Rating: N/A
Kaitlyn check on AJ so Beth kicks her in the head. Beth picks AJ up and throws her out of the ring. Natalya applies a Sharpshooter to Kaitlyn and she screams in pain as Beth Phoenix talks trash to her. Natalya finally lets it go and they raise their arms.
Raw’s Money in the Bank winner, Alberto Del Rio, takes on Smackdown’s Money in the Bank winner, Daniel Bryan, later tonight.
Sin Cara returns to Smackdown later tonight.
Zack Ryder is talking to Teddy Long backstage when Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase walk up. Rhodes thanks Long for listening to Ryder and sanctioning his Intercontinental Title match against Ezekiel Jackson. Long said Long had nothing to do with that before excusing himself. Aksana walks up and they play some cheesy saxophone music. Aksana says she wants to do professional business before asking if he wants to do her with professional business. Long says he has to go check out his car before running away. Aksana says she can ride stick shift.
They show video of the destruction Mark Henry has caused over the past month.
Johnny Curtis is backstage when Mark Henry walks up to him. Henry says it’s a shame when someone’s career ends the same day it begins. Henry says that’s the situation Curtis is in. Curtis looks shocked looks confused and Henry says his debut match is against him. Curtis reluctantly says he’ll see him out there. Henry leaves before quickly coming back. Henry says he saw Curtis’s vignettes and says he liked the play on words. Henry says he has one for him: Go out there and break a leg.
Sin Cara’s music hits and he makes his way to the ring. This guy’s body doesn’t look much different from the actual Sin Cara’s.
Sin Cara vs. Tyson Kidd
The announcers mention that Cara is a little bigger from being off. They circle the ring and Kidd gets a waist lock. Cara quickly gets a headlock applied but Kidd whips him off. Cara grabs the ropes and quickly moves when Kidd charges, sending Kidd through the ropes. Cara kicks him away and hits a nasty springboard cross-body block to the outside! That was a nasty hit. Cara puts him in the ring and goes for a springboard but Kidd dropkicks him in the ribs. Kidd baseball slides him down. Kidd sends him back into the ring and wrenches the arm. Cara punches out and arm drags him. Kidd back body drops him to the apron and eats a kick. Cara hits a springboard flying head-butt, goes into the ropes, and hits a head-scissor takeover. Cara hits a springboard clothesline for a near fall.
Cara gets the crowd into it and hits a rolling senton in the corner! Cara puts him on the top rope and chops his chest. Kidd head-butts away at him and knocks him off. Kidd jumps over him but Cara catches him with a brainbuster variation. Cara goes to the apron and hits a springboard senton followed by a lionsault for the win!
Winner by Pinfall: Sin Cara
Match Rating: * 1/2
Alberto Del Rio and Daniel Bryan will go one on one, next!
Ricardo Rodriguez is in the ring to introduce Alberto Del Rio to the ring. Del Rio drives into the arena in a nice Maserati.
Alberto Del Rio vs. Daniel Bryan
They circle the ring and lock up. Del Rio backs him to the corner and the referee backs him away. Del Rio kicks him down before being admonished by the referee. Bryan punches back and hits some uppercuts. Bryan sends him to the corner and hits a running dropkick for a two count. Del Rio quickly kicks him and sends him into the ring post shoulder first. Del Rio hits a back suplex for another near fall. Del Rio applies a wristlock but Bryan quickly fights up. Bryan punches out and backs him to the corner. Bryan has a whip to the corner reversed but he counters with a back flip. Bryan goes into the ropes and hits a flying elbow for a near fall.
Bryan gets pumped up and kicks away at Del Rio. Del Rio ducks one and hits an enzuigiri for a near fall. Del Rio kicks him in the head and yells at the crowd. Del Rio goes for the Cross Arm Bar but Bryan gets out. Del Rio charges and Bryan back body drops him over the top rope. Bryan goes into the ropes and hits a nice suicide dive. They both get in the ring and Bryan goes to the top rope. Del Rio avoids the missile dropkick and applies the Cross Arm Bar for the submission victory.
Winner by Submission: Alberto Del Rio
Match Rating: * 1/4
Wade Barrett runs down after the match and kicks Bryan in the head. Barrett drops him with the Wasteland and yells at him. Barrett raises his arm in the air before leaving the ring. They’ll fight this Sunday at Summerslam.
Christian is seen backstage in his locker room in deep thought.
Randy Orton will take on The Great Khali later tonight. Coming up next we’ll see Cody Rhodes fight for Ezekiel Jackson’s Intercontinental Championship.
WWE Intercontinental Championship Match
Cody Rhodes w/ Ted DiBiase vs. Ezekiel Jackson (c)
They made a point to show Booker T’s anger at, once again, being handed a paper bag mask.
They lock up and Rhodes quickly goes for a wristlock. Jackson quickly powers him down and punches him in the corner. Jackson throws him across the ring and gets a one count. Rhodes avoids a pair of elbow drops, rolling out of the ring. Rhodes punches him and gets on the apron, but Jackson quickly punches him off.
We come back from the break to see Rhodes punching away at Jackson. Rhodes hits a leaping stomp to his face and applies a hammerlock/chin lock combo. Jackson fights but Rhodes takes him down and stomps his face. Rhodes drops a Ric Flair-esque knee for a near fall. Rhodes goes back to the hammerlock/chin lock combo. Jackson fights up with Rhodes on his back and backs him to the corner a few times. Jackson goes for a corner clothesline but Rhodes kicks him. Rhodes goes for a bulldog but Jackson catapults him off.
Jackson hits a pair of clotheslines before sending him to the corner. Jackson hits a running clothesline and starts his body-slamming clinic. The crowd is shockingly silent during Jackson’s comeback. Jackson goes for the Torture Rack but Ted DiBiase gets on the apron. Rhodes jumps Jackson and head-butts him with the mask. The referee backs Rhodes up. DiBiase goes for a cheap shot but Jackson clotheslines him off the apron. Rhodes ducks a clothesline and hits the Beautiful Disaster. Rhodes ducks another clothesline and hits the Cross Rhodes to win his first singles title in WWE!
Winner & NEW WWE Intercontinental Champion: Cody Rhodes
Match Rating: * 1/2
Cody Rhodes celebrates in the ring with his Intercontinental Championship. DiBiase puts a bag over Jackson’s head and they celebrate. Rhodes quickly bolts as Jackson gets up. DiBiase doesn’t notice and turns around into a massive forearm. Jackson throws him to the corner and beats him down. Jackson looks vicious here. Jackson hits the Book of Ezekiel as he stares at Rhodes. Jackson picks DiBiase up and press slams him out of the ring! That was a nice bump! Rhodes backs up the ramp looking scared.
Randy Orton will take on The Great Khali later tonight.
They play the John Cena/CM Punk hype video. They did a nice job on this. They then run down the rest of the Summerslam card.
Randy Orton is backstage with Matt Striker. Striker asks if Orton is concerned that Christian has a trick up his sleeve. Orton says Christian has been looking for every way possible to get him to slip up. The only thing that has worked for him, so far, is getting the rules changed. The next time they fight there will be no rules. Orton says he learned in anger management class that you shouldn’t keep the anger bottled up. Orton can’t think of a better way to unleash his anger than on Christian, this Sunday at Summerslam, in a No Holds Barred Match. As far as Khali is concerned, he will not need the Rosetta Stone or Jinder Mahal to translate RKO. He’ll tell him himself.
Mark Henry makes his way to the ring. He’ll face the debuting Johnny Curtis next.
Mark Henry vs. Johnny Curtis
Curtis gets a waist lock but Henry quickly breaks his grip. Henry throws him and shoulder blocks him down. Henry slaps him a few times before sending him to the ropes. Henry lowers his head and eats a kick. Curtis punches away but Henry quickly punches him down. Henry sends him to the ropes and mauls him with a clothesline. Henry hits the World’s Strongest Slam for the win.
Winner by Pinfall: Mark Henry
Match Rating: N/A
Henry drags Curtis by the ankle to the corner. Henry goes to get a chair but Sheamus runs down to the ring. Henry walks off as Sheamus grabs a microphone. Sheamus says he keeps hearing Henry talk about how tough he is yet when he comes out, Henry runs away. Sheamus calls him “Shamu” and tells him to face a Great White. Sheamus says he doesn’t want to wait for Summerslam – they should do it now. Henry gets on the apron but quickly backs away. Henry then grabs Curtis, rips him out of the ring, and hits the World’s Strongest Slam on the ground! Henry screams that will be Sheamus as he leaves.
The Great Khali is walking backstage with Jinder Mahal. He’ll face Randy Orton next.
Randy Orton vs. The Great Khali w/ Jinder Mahal
They take a few seconds before circling the ring. They lock up and Khali pushes Orton away. Khali taunts Orton. Orton kicks and punches Khali. Khali quickly pushes him into the ropes and clotheslines him down. Khali stomps him in the corner and chokes him with his boot. Mahal chokes Orton as the referee admonishes Khali. Khali clotheslines Orton over the top rope and follows him outside. Khali bounces him off each pair of steps and taunts the crowd some more. Khali throws him into the ring and signals for his chop. Khali hits the Brain Chop for a near fall. Khali can’t believe it.
Khali applies a nerve hold to Orton’s trapezius muscle. Orton must have bit his tongue at some point. Orton elbows out and punches away at Khali. Orton dropkicks him and Khali gets his arms tied up in the ropes, a la Andre The Giant. Orton kicks and punches away at Khali. Orton punches Mahal off the apron as the referee helps Khali get out of the ropes. Orton kicks Khali and DDTs him down. Orton looks at the crowd and stalks Khali. Khali slowly gets up and gets Orton in a Vice Grip as Orton goes for the RKO. Khali puts Orton in the corner and goes for a chop but Orton punches him away. Orton then hits the RKO for the win!
Winner by Pinfall: Randy Orton
Match Rating: * 1/4
Christian’s music hits and he comes out to the stage. Christian looks at his title before smiling. Christian says he’s out here to give Orton some information that he just received. At Summerslam, it’s going to change everything. Christian says he cannot wait for their No Holds Barred Match because anything goes. Christian tells him to trust him when he says that he is the best thing going. Christian says he’ll see him on Sunday. Christian holds the title up and laughs.
Quick Match Results
Sheamus def. Christian via CO (non-title)
Beth Phoenix & Natalya def. Kaitlyn & AJ
Sin Cara def. Tyson Kidd
Alberto Del Rio def. Daniel Bryan via Submission
Cody Rhodes def. Ezekiel Jackson to become the Intercontinental Champion
Mark Henry def. Johnny Curtis
Randy Orton def. The Great Khali
Bumps of the Night: Sin Cara’s springboard cross-body to the outside, Jackson press slamming DiBiase out of the ring, and Henry giving Curtis the World’s Strongest Slam on the floor! Yes, that’s right, THREE Bumps of the Night!
Match of the Night: Sheamus vs. Christian * 3/4
This was an OK edition of Smackdown. There wasn’t much in terms of good wrestling, but the hyping for Summerslam was really well done. They kicked it off with Triple H coming out and hyping up the Undisputed WWE Championship Match again. Christian then made his way out and threatened to sue WWE if they made him go through with the No Holds Barred Match. Christian has always played the part of the wimpy heel really well and tonight was no different. I know a lot of people aren’t in to him being whiny and being scared, but if it works for the most part, why not run with it? Christian isn’t a big guy so he can’t be a dominating heel. He’s not the leader of a faction so he doesn’t have anyone to back him up. He’s just a little guy that needs to use lawyers to get the advantage. Christian and Triple H did a good job making this match seem important. This was some good hype for the two title matches.
Christian and Sheamus went on to have a decent match. It didn’t go too long but it was good enough for what it was. They did this match a little over a month ago and it was really well done. That was when they were both heels. I’d love to see a face Sheamus versus a heel Christian match given some time. They have a nice chemistry. They’re both hard hitters and can tell a good story in the ring.
I like seeing Beth and Natalya as a tag team. They’re big ladies and they should absolutely dominate. I’m not sure about the name, but it’s a start. Unfortunately, there are only so many divas you can squash before it gets stale. They should insert them into the Tag Team Division and let them fight the men. I think that’d be really interesting. I’d be a complete fan of a diva storyline if they did that. This is a nice start, though.
They guy who played Sin Cara did pretty good tonight. There wasn’t much of a difference between him and the actual Sin Cara in terms of body type. For his first televised match, he did a good job. He hit his spots and inserted some new moves that I’d like to see the actual Sin Cara bring into his repertoire.
Alberto Del Rio lost clean to CM Punk on Raw so I guess they wanted him to go over a semi-big name clean to get some momentum back. I was OK with him fighting CM Punk on Monday but tonight’s match wasn’t necessary. Wade Barrett came out after the match and the announcers quietly said that he and Bryan would face each other at Summerslam. They didn’t show it when they were running the card down but it is official.
Congratulations to Cody Rhodes on winning his first singles title in WWE. This guy is a tremendous talent and he deserves the title. They needed to get the belt off Ezekiel Jackson. Jackson just wasn’t connecting with the crowd whatsoever. I could hear crickets during his comeback and it wasn’t overwhelming when he was beating the ever-loving crap out of Ted DiBiase after the match. I’m sure we’ll see the rematch between Jackson and Rhodes soon but after that, the less Jackson, the better.
Johnny Curtis made his long awaited debut to Smackdown (thus bringing to an end a long, boring vignette run) and was promptly destroyed by Mark Henry. Curtis got beaten so badly that I wouldn’t be surprised to see him future endeavored soon. It was that kind of beat down. Sheamus ran out to make sure Henry didn’t murder Curtis. I’m really excited for their match at Summerslam. I like giant brawls and this one looks like it’ll be one. It’s certainly not going to be a technical masterpiece.
Randy Orton beat Khali in a short main event. There wasn’t anything wrong with the match. That’s two weeks in a row that Khali has had passable TV matches. Christian came out afterwards and certainly seemed to be hinting at something devious for Summerslam. Let the speculation begin. Is it Edge? Is it a new bodyguard? Is Brodus Clay going to help him? The possibilities are endless. I’m looking forward to Sunday. They did a really nice job hyping up the PPV and that’s what the final show before a PPV should accomplish.
Final Rating: ** 1/4