“Yes, sir, we promised you a great main event…” The WWE video leads us into the show.
Smackdown’s introduction video plays and we’re brought into the arena to see Booker T making his way down to the ring. Josh Mathews and Michael Cole welcome us to the show. Sheamus will take on Cody Rhodes for the WWE Intercontinental Championship later tonight. We’ll also see Randy Orton take on Christian in tonight’s main event. Booker T gets in the ring and welcomes the crowd to the show. Booker T then introduces the World Heavyweight Champion Mark Henry to the ring.
Booker T says he was one of the first to congratulate Mark Henry after he beat Randy Orton for the World Heavyweight Championship at Night of Champions. Booker T says he knows how hard it is to climb that mountain being a former six-time champion. Booker T again congratulates him and holds out his hand, but Henry won’t shake it. Henry asks if Booker T thinks that just because he won the title six-times that he’s six-times better than he is. Booker T says he didn’t mean it that way, and Henry screams that he isn’t finished. Henry asks how Booker T can come out and kiss his ass, and then insult him in the same sentence. Booker T says it wasn’t an insult because if he insulted Henry, he would know it. Henry says if he were to pick Booker T up and slam him through the announcer’s table he would know it.
Henry says Booker T can thank god that he’s not out there for him. Henry says he’s out here to Randy Orton. Henry says Night of Champions was about the World Heavyweight Championship. The crowd chants for Orton. Henry says then can call for him, but he isn’t here. Henry says Hell in a Cell will be where he inducts him into the Hall of Pain. Bounded on his wall at home are the heads of the Big Show, Kane, and Jerry Lawler. Henry says he has a special place for Orton’s head – right above his mantel. Henry tells the crowd to keep putting the fuel on the fire because on Sunday beating Orton won’t be enough. Henry is going to end his career.
Booker T asks why he doesn’t concentrate on being the best champion that he can be. Booker T asks if he knows how much influence he could have on the WWE Universe. Henry warns Booker T to lower his tone. Henry says he knows exactly what he is and what he’s done. Henry says he did the positive things for the last fifteen years. He shook hands with the fans, took photos, and kissed babies. It got him nowhere. Henry says it’s about dominating and he’ll be the most dominant champion in WWE history. Booker T asks what if Randy Orton hits him with the RKO on Sunday in Hell in a Cell. Henry says Orton won’t hit him with anything. If he could have then he would have, and that’s why he has the championship. Henry says if Orton could hit it then he wouldn’t have it. Henry says Orton can’t beat him. He knows it, Booker T knows it, and all these nothing fans know it. Orton won’t beat him Sunday at Hell in a Cell, just like The Great Khali won’t beat him here tonight. Henry beat him down on Monday, and he’ll beat him down tonight. Henry wants Khali to come out now so he can take out the trash. Booker T thanks him for the interview and holds out his hand, but Henry won’t shake it. Booker T quickly gets out of the ring.
Mark Henry vs. The Great Khali
They show a replay from Raw when Henry attacked Khali from behind with the World Heavyweight Championship. Henry then dropped him with the World’s Strongest Slam.
Khali quickly attacks Henry with some big forearms. Henry tries to push him away, but Khali continues with the forearms. Khali puts him in the corner, and Henry tries to come back with punches and kicks. Khali head-butts him and clotheslines him down. Khali puts him in the corner and kicks him in the knee. Khali chops the chest and continues punching him. Henry goes down to a knee and Khali hits a Brain Chop, but Henry just stumbles into the ropes. Khali hits a second chop and Henry goes down. Khali picks up a near fall. Khali picks Henry up, and Henry picks him up, driving him into the corner. Henry viciously head-butts him down in the corner and stomps him. Henry drags him to the middle of the ring and hits a big splash. Henry goes into the ropes and hits a second big splash for a near fall. Henry waits for Khali to get up, and Khali tries to get him with the Punjabi Plunge, but Henry kicks out of it. Henry hits the World’s Strongest Slam for the win!
Winner by Pinfall: Mark Henry
Match Rating: *
Mark Henry goes outside and grabs a steel chair. Henry hits Khali in the chest with it before dragging him by the ankle to the corner. Henry sets the steel chair up around Khali’s ankle and climbs to the second rope. Henry catapults off the second rope and splashes the chair! Khali’s ankle is broken! Khali writhes around in pain on the mat as Mark Henry leaves. Referees and trainers run down to assist Khali as Henry makes his way to the back.
Medical technicians are taking Khali out by stretcher. Jinder Mahal walks up to them and starts yelling at him. Teddy Long steps up and tells Mahal to get out of there. Khali angrily looks away from him.
Evan Bourne w/ Kofi Kingston vs. Jack Swagger w/ Dolph Ziggler & Vickie Guerrero
This is Evan Bourne’s hometown. They show a replay from Raw of Vickie Guerrero bringing out Mason Ryan only for him to turn on Swagger and Ziggler.
Bourne gets a quick waist lock on Swagger and Swagger quickly gives him a back elbow. Swagger punches and kicks him down. Swagger chokes him on the ropes and hits a back suplex for a one count. Swagger punches and applies a modified double chicken-wing. Bourne fights up and kicks at Swagger’s legs. Swagger pushes him to the ropes, but lowers his head and eats a kick. Bourne goes for a head-scissor takeover, but Swagger counters into a sidewalk slam. Swagger charges and goes for the Vade Bomb, but Bourne gets his feet up. Bourne hits a dropkick and a roundhouse kick. Bourne has a whip reversed, but he comes back with a double knee takedown.
Vickie gets on the apron to distract the referee. Swagger ducks a roundhouse and Ziggler snaps him off the ropes. Bourne counters a Gutwrench Powerbomb and hits a high knee to Swagger’s face. Kingston takes Ziggler out on the outside with a clothesline. Bourne goes to the top rope, and Vickie sweeps his feet out. Swagger applies the ankle lock and gets the submission.
Winner by Submission: Jack Swagger
Match Rating: 3/4 *
Kingston runs in and knocks Swagger off of Bourne. The announcers then talk about the mystery surrounding Sin Cara. They announce that it will be Sin Cara vs. Sin Cara at Hell in a Cell. They wonder which Sin Cara will show up to compete next.
Sin Cara vs. Heath Slater
They circle the ring and Slater quickly kicks and punches Cara. Slater sends him to the ropes and Cara springboards off. They kind of just collide in a spot that had some miscommunication. Cara hits a handspring back elbow. Slater catches him charging and puts him on the apron. Cara hits a big kick and finishes him off with a Swanton Bomb for the win.
Winner by Pinfall: Sin Cara
Match Rating: N/A
The other Sin Cara appears on the screen and takes off the mask to reveal a black Sin Cara mask. The evil Sin Cara says he stole his identity once before as Mistico, and now it’s only right that he does the same to him. This Sunday, they will find out which one of them should be known as Sin Cara. The real Sin Cara does not appear to be happy in the ring.
They show Christian providing an assist to Cody Rhodes on Monday by distracting Sheamus, allowing Rhodes to eliminate him from the Battle Royal to retain the Intercontinental Championship. Sheamus will get a rematch for the title tonight against Rhodes.
They play a video that highlights Triple H apparently losing control of WWE.
John Laurinaitis is backstage with Cody Rhodes, Dolph Ziggler, Vickie Guerrero, Jack Swagger, David Otunga, and Christian. Laurinaitis says he’s just as frustrated as they are. Laurinaitis says he hasn’t seen Triple H since Tuesday. That makes him look bad as Executive Vice President of Talent Relations. Otunga thanks him for allowing him to use his legal expertise. Otunga says they all talked and he put something together that will assuage everybody’s concerns. Christian says he has a lot of experience with legal counsel and he has faith in Otunga. Otunga has a doctorate from Harvard. Otunga says Laurinaitis is a true company man and they’ll get it worked out.
Natalya is in the ring with no TV entrance. Beth Phoenix is on commentary for this match.
Natalya w/ Beth Phoenix vs. Kelly Kelly
Kelly quickly punches and kicks Natalya, but is soon overpowered. Natalya puts her in the corner, but Kelly kicks her away. Kelly hits a second rope Lou Thesz Press and punches away. Natalya fights her off and hits a nice clothesline. Natalya applies a modified hammerlock, but Kelly fights out. Natalya quickly whips her down and slaps her. Natalya sends her to the ropes, but lowers her head and eats a kick. Kelly quickly follows up with a victory roll and picks up the win.
Winner by Pinfall: Kelly Kelly
Match Rating: N/A
Beth Phoenix immediately runs into the ring and attacks Kelly from behind. Beth drops her with the Glam Slam. Natalya then locks her in that beautiful modified Mexican surfboard stretch. Beth holds the microphone up to Kelly’s face as she screams in pain. Beth says that’s the sound we’ll hear on Sunday when the takes the title from this undeserving Barbie doll. Kelly screams and cries as they celebrate.
Sheamus is seen walking backstage. He’ll fight Cody Rhodes for the WWE Intercontinental Championship next.
Cody Rhodes makes his way to the ring and says he’s going on the record to officially state that he is being discriminated against by the WWE. Last Friday night, Randy Orton took the ring bell and smashed it into the side of his skull. He has nine staples because of it, but there was no action taken by WWE management. They show a close up of the staples. Randy Orton wasn’t punished. Instead, WWE management saw fit that he was going to compete in a ten-man over the top rope battle royal on Monday Night Raw. Now, WWE management is forcing him to defend his title tonight against one of the men that he beat, Sheamus. For his own sanity, the Intercontinental Champion is being forced like an impudent, seven-year old child to defend his title. Sheamus is an Irish, beer guzzling, bar brawling braggart – a thick headed one at that. Rhodes says he is legally saying that he’s defending his title tonight under protest.
Sheamus’s music hits and he makes his way to the ring. Sheamus asks if Rhodes remembers when an Irish, beer guzzling, bar brawling, braggart came to St. Louis and beat him mercilessly for the Intercontinental Championship. Sheamus says that isn’t Irish folklore.
WWE Intercontinental Championship Match
Cody Rhodes (c) vs. Sheamus
Charles Robinson, my favorite referee in the world, is the official of this match. They lock up and Rhodes tries to work the arm, but Sheamus shoves him down. They lock up again and Sheamus shoves him to the corner. Rhodes ducks a punch and punches away at Sheamus. Sheamus turns him in the corner and clubs him down. Sheamus hits a nice short-arm clothesline for a one count. Rhodes elbows Sheamus in the face and gets out of the ring to take a breather. Rhodes shoulders Sheamus in the midsection and runs into a back body drop. Sheamus picks up a one count. Sheamus puts him through the ropes and clubs away at his chest. Sheamus goes to the apron for his running knee, but Rhodes gets away. Rhodes head-butts him and shoves him to the corner. Rhodes hits the Beautiful Disaster for a near fall.
We come back from the break to see Rhodes applying a hammerlock to Sheamus. Sheamus comes back with a stiff forearm, sends Rhodes into the ropes, lowers his head, and eats a kick. Rhodes hits a nice dropkick for a two count. Rhodes head-butts him with the facemask and stretches the arm out over the ropes. Rhodes chokes him in the corner with his boot. Sheamus kicks him away. Rhodes ducks a clothesline and hits an arm breaker for a two count. Rhodes punches him in the corner and goes outside to smash Sheamus’s arm off the ring post. Rhodes gets in the ring and taunts the crowd.
Sheamus punches back at Rhodes, but Rhodes quickly takes him down for a one count. Rhodes goes back to the hammerlock and digs his knee into Sheamus’s skull. Sheamus fights up and punches out. Rhodes drives his elbow into Sheamus’s head and goes right back to the hammerlock. Sheamus fights up, again, and sends Rhodes shoulder first into the ring post.
Sheamus hits a pair of clotheslines and a powerslam. Sheamus hits a running knee lift and goes to the top rope. Sheamus comes off with the flying battering ram for a near fall. Sheamus gets the crowd pumped up and goes for the Brogue Kick, but Rhodes ducks it. Rhodes goes for the Beautiful Disaster, but Sheamus clotheslines him out of mid-air! Sheamus picks up a near fall for that. Sheamus gets himself pumped up and goes for the Celtic Cross, but Christian runs down and punches Sheamus! The referee calls for the bell.
Winner by Disqualification: Sheamus
Cody Rhodes retains the WWE Intercontinental Championship
Match Rating: ** 1/4
Christian quickly drops Sheamus with the Kill Switch and talks some trash to him. Christian screams that Sheamus cost him the World Heavyweight Championship and now he took the Intercontinental Championship away from him.
Christian will take on Randy Orton in tonight’s main event.
Zack Ryder vs. JTG
They lock up and JTG quickly clubs him down. JTG punches and hits a nice neckbreaker for a two count. Ryder punches back, but JTG counters into a back suplex/neckbreaker combo for a near fall. That looked good. JTG chokes him on the ropes before applying a chin lock. Ryder punches out, but JTG takes him down. JTG sends him to the corner and runs into Ryder’s knees. Ryder hits some clotheslines and puts him in the corner. Ryder punches him down, backs up, and hits the Broski Boot. Ryder brings him to the center of the ring and gets a near fall. Ryder asks if the referee is serious… bro. Ryder sends JTG into the ropes and takes an uppercut. JTG goes into the ropes and Ryder hits the Rough Ryder for the win.
Winner by Pinfall: Zack Ryder
Match Rating: * 1/4
John Laurinaitis is backstage when Triple H walks up to him. Laurinaitis says he didn’t know Triple H would be on Smackdown. Triple H apologizes for keeping him out of the loop, kind of like how Laurinaitis has been having secret meetings with disgruntled WWE superstars. Laurinaitis says he’s just a buffer and the talent confides in him. Laurinaitis says he’s as loyal as they come. Triple H says that’s good, because if he can’t trust someone, then he might as well wish them well in their future endeavors.
The announcers go over the Hell in a Cell card. By the way, that PPV is on Sunday.
Matt Striker is backstage with former World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton. Orton says that Henry said he would end his career on Sunday. Orton asks if Henry knows who he is. Orton has committed some of the sickest atrocities in WWE history. Orton is not intimidated by anyone, not even Mark Henry. Orton put nine staples in Cody Rhodes’s head last week, and he doesn’t regret it. Orton says he’s had three Hell in a Cell matches whereas Henry has no experience. Henry says that Orton can’t hit him with an RKO. Orton says Henry should pray for him to hit an RKO to end it early because he can hurt him in many different ways. Orton’s career won’t end Sunday – only Mark Henry’s reign as champion will end.
Christian makes his way to the ring. He’ll take on Randy Orton next.
Christian vs. Randy Orton
They circle the ring and Orton takes him down with a waist lock. Orton gets a side headlock applied and Christian whips him off. Orton shoulder blocks him down and Christian rolls to the apron. They circle the ring and lock hands. Christian kicks and punches Orton down. They go into the ropes, crisscross a bit, and Orton hits a nice shoulder block. Christian reverses a whip to the corner, but Orton quickly comes back with a clothesline for a two count. Orton stomps, but Christian pulls him onto the ropes. Christian catapults over the top rope and uppercuts Orton on the way down. Christian hits a missile dropkick for a near fall.
Christian punches away at Orton and stomps him. Orton comes back with some punches. Christian reverses a whip, but lowers his head and eats a kick. Orton charges into a nice spinebuster to give Christian a near fall.
We come back from the break to see Christian applying a neck vice. Orton fights out, but Christian drops him with a neckbreaker for a near fall. Christian sets Orton up on the ropes and stands on him. Christian hits a “vintage” reverse DDT for a near fall. Christian stalks him to the corner and says he wants to embarrass Orton in his hometown like how Orton tried to embarrass him. Orton comes back with some punches and catches Christian with a Lou Thesz Press. Christian quickly grounds him with a nasty right hand. Christian hits a textbook elbow drop for a near fall. Christian applies a chin lock before turning it to a neck vice. Orton fights up and sends Christian sternum first into the turnbuckle.
Orton gets a look on his face and he starts trading punches with Christian. Christian goes into the ropes and Orton hits him with a picture perfect dropkick. Orton hits a pair of clotheslines, but Christian ducks the third one, and avoids a powerslam. Christian goes into the ropes and takes a back body drop. Orton climbs the ropes and hits the old school ten punches. Orton puts him in the corner and Christian catches him with a pendulum kick. Christian jumps over him and Orton catches him with a kick. Orton hits his trademark neckbreaker/backbreaker combo for a near fall. Christian gets out of a draping DDT and feigns a catapult sunset flip. Orton immediately went for the RKO a la their match in April. Orton immediately catches him with a nice roll up for a near fall!
Christian punches and runs into a powerslam for a near fall. Orton walks into a kick and Christian goes to the top rope. Orton ducks a cross-body block and begins stalking him. Orton goes for the RKO, but Christian counters into a back suplex. Christian gets in the corner and sets up for the spear. Christian charges as Orton turns and hits him with the spear for a near fall. Christian can’t believe it. Christian goes for the Kill Switch, but Orton elbows him in the face. Orton sets him up on the ropes and hits the draping DDT. Orton drops to the mat and stalks Christian. Christian sees that he’s going for the RKO, so he bails from the ring. Orton chases Christian up the ramp and attacks him. Orton punches him down the ramp and sends him into the steel steps! The referee counts to ten and calls the match.
Match Rating: ** 1/2
Orton sends Christian into the barricade and viciously punches away at him. Orton takes the top off the announcer’s table and clears it of debris. Orton drags Christian to the top, but Cody Rhodes runs down to ringside. Orton catches him with a flying clothesline and turns into a kick from Christian. Rhodes hits him with a Beautiful Disaster and double-teams Orton with Christian. Sheamus runs down and hits Rhodes with a Brogue Kick. Christian quickly gets out of the ring and runs for it. Sheamus chases him through the crowd.
Mark Henry’s music hits and he hurries down to the ring. Orton quickly begins punching him and goes for the RKO, but Henry pushes him off. Henry drops him with the World’s Strongest Slam. Henry yells at him and goes outside to grab a chair. As Henry gets in the ring, Orton hits him with the RKO! The crowd goes wild as their hometown boy stands tall in the ring. Mark Henry does not look happy as he gets up outside the ring.
Quick Match Results
Mark Henry def. The Great Khali (non-title)
Jack Swagger def. Evan Bourne via Submission
Sin Cara def. Heath Slater
Kelly Kelly def. Natalya (non-title)
Sheamus def. Cody Rhodes via DQ in a WWE Intercontinental Championship Match
Zack Ryder def. JTG
Christian vs. Randy Orton went to a Double CO
Bump of the Night: Mark Henry inducting Khali into the Hall of Pain
Match of the Night: Randy Orton vs. Christian ** 1/2
This Smackdown was a big improvement over last week’s bad showing. Smackdown is known for having one or two quality matches every week, and that’s what we got tonight. The show opened hot with Booker T interviewing Mark Henry. Mark Henry never ceases to amaze me. He is just so locked in it’s ridiculous. It’s tough to do with only two weeks between PPVs, but Henry completely sold me on his match against Randy Orton on Sunday. Henry’s promo was simple and to the point. That’s why he’s so effective. His promos don’t mince words. Booker T was pretty good in this as well. He did a good job selling his intimidation of Henry. Booker T isn’t far removed from his full time wrestling career so I thought that was effective. Henry then when on to have a nice, short little match against The Great Khali. I enjoyed watching the big men just club each other around the ring, but it ended once again with Henry dominating him with the World’s Strongest Slam. Watching him lift a 500-pound man like that is just so impressive to me. Henry then inducted him to the Hall of Pain after the match so I guess we won’t be seeing much of Khali in the near future.
They sent Evan Bourne out next to fight in front of his hometown crowd against Jack Swagger. It was a nothing match and they seem to be building to a non-advertised Tag Team Title match on Sunday with Air Boom taking on Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger. That’s just my guess.
Sin Cara beat Heath Slater in a very quick match and then the evil Sin Cara appeared on the screen in his new black attire. They’re still billing it as Sin Cara vs. Sin Cara. Hopefully they’ll give this guy a new name after this match. The bad Sin Cara alluded to the real Sin Cara stealing his Mistico gimmick in Mexico. That definitely flew over 95% of the audience’s head. They’re already confused and disinterested in this feud already. No need to confound things any further by bringing up their history in Mexico.
I didn’t mind the short diva match. I think it’s time for Beth Phoenix to win the title, though. I don’t think they can squeeze another week out of this already tired angle of Kelly Kelly picking up fluke wins over Beth.
Sheamus and Cody Rhodes had a really nice match with the Intercontinental Championship on the line. Sheamus is so over right now and it’s a joy to watch. Christian ran down and cost him the match as payback for last week. I really think Christian and Sheamus will be the sleeper hit of the PPV this Sunday. Both guys are hard hitters and can go in the ring. That’s the makings of a good match.
Zack Ryder beat JTG in a filler match. After the match, Triple H caught up with John Laurinaitis backstage to ask about his secret meetings with the angry WWE superstars. They teased some more tension between the two guys. I’m not really into the angle at this point. Hopefully when they start bringing the fired guys back and things start coming to head they’ll grab my attention.
Randy Orton and Christian finished the night off with a really nice match. You can put these guys in the ring every night and they’ll give you a good match. Like I said before, Christian can go in the ring, and Orton can definitely go. It didn’t have a finish, but that doesn’t matter. Cody Rhodes ran down to get some revenge on Orton. I like that he’s getting a little bit of that main event exposure. That nasty cut could be what gets him into the upper tier in WWE. I like Rhodes and his character. He just needs a little more credibility. Sheamus ran down and cleared the ring for Orton. Then, Mark Henry came out. Henry quickly dropped Orton and went to induct him into the Hall of Pain, but Orton hit him with an RKO. I liked that angle. Henry has been so dominant lately and the announcers were talking about how Orton has yet to hit him with his RKO. You need to show that there’s a potential chink in his armor with his obsession with wanting to end Orton’s career. He took his eye off the ball and paid for it by taking his first RKO in a while. Now there’s some hope for Orton fans that he could win. It’s booking 101 and WWE has done a great job with this. Simple, yet effective. Now the question is will it translate into PPV buys.
Final Rating: ** 1/2
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.