“Yes, sir, we promised you a great main event…” The WWE video leads us into the show.
A video plays that hypes up Mark Henry. It just shows all the destruction he’s caused over the past few months, taking out guys like Big Show, Kane, and Vladimir Kozlov. This is a great video that highlights his “Hall of Pain”. It then shows his most recent inductee, World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton. Henry destroyed him after his Cage Match last week.
The Smackdown video plays and we’re brought into the arena. Josh Mathews, Michael Cole, and Booker T welcome us to the show.
Mark Henry’s music hits and he makes his way to the ring. Henry says he’s going to tell us about the Hall of Pain. Men have walked through these ropes, but they’ve been carried out. A lot of people think that because he’s been with this company for fifteen years that his best years are behind him. Ask Big Show and ask Kane. They have special wings in the Hall of Pain. At Night of Champions, Randy Orton is going to get inducted. In the Hall, there are broken bones, careers, and hope. The beating that he gave Randy Orton in the cage last week was the worst he ever got. Henry calls that a good start because there is more where that came from. Henry says his whole career has led him to this point. He’s more unpredictable, dangerous, and reckless then he’s ever been. He’s the World’s Strongest Man. Come Night of Champions, we’ll be looking at the new World Heavyweight Champion.
Zack Ryder, Teddy Long’s assistant, makes his way to the ring. Ryder says Henry is on a roll. Hall of Pain? Are you serious, bro? He loves it. They can be broskis. Woo, woo, woo – you know it! Henry says Ryder must have a death wish interrupting him. Ryder says as Teddy Long’s assistant, he’s here to tell Henry that he and Randy Orton will be in action tonight, but not against each other. Long made a “No Contact” rule, so if he or Randy interferes in each other’s matches, there will be problems. Ryder nervously tells everyone to take care and tries to leave, but Henry stops him.
Henry calls Ryder to the center of the ring and he reluctantly obliges. Henry thanks him for the heads up. Ryder says he’s welcome and goes to leave, but Henry stops him again. Henry says he has a question. Ryder comes back to the center of the ring. Henry asks who Ryder thinks will win at Night of Champions. Ryder says Beth Phoenix has Kelly Kelly’s number. Ryder says he can’t say Randy Orton because Henry would just kill him, so he won’t. Henry grabs him by the collar and asks if it’s true he can’t put his hands on Randy Orton. Ryder nods. Henry says he has to put his hands on somebody. Ryder thinks about that and starts punching Henry. Henry swats him down and crushes him with the World’s Strongest Slam!
Ezekiel Jackson’s music hits and he makes his way to the ring. He’ll be in action against Mark Henry next.
Mark Henry vs. Ezekiel Jackson
The bell rings and they go face to face in the center of the ring. Henry pushes Jackson and they do a test of strength. Henry does look bigger than Jackson. Henry forces Jackson to his knees, but he fights back up. Henry simply ducks and hits a back body drop. Jackson wants to do it again, but Henry kicks him in the leg. Henry applies an overhead wristlock. Henry powers him down and talks a little trash. Jackson wildly punches back at Henry, ducks a clothesline, and goes for the Torture Rack, but Henry gets away. Henry punches and leaves the ring to recover. Jackson follows and Henry big boots him down. Henry slams him into the ring post and throws him into the ring.
Henry clotheslines Jackson down and hits a big splash. Henry stands over him before hitting a second big splash. Henry waits for Jackson to get up. Henry drops him with the World’s Strongest Slam and picks up the win.
Winner by Pinfall: Mark Henry
Match Rating: * 1/4
Randy Orton will be in action later tonight against Cody Rhodes. It’s Champion vs. Champion.
Teddy Long is on the cell phone and looking at the cover of WWE ’12, which features Randy Orton on the cover. Aksana comes in and they play the dumb saxophone music. Aksana asks if she can ring announce. Long says if she does it all the time then it won’t be special. Aksana says announcing isn’t the only thing she can do with her mouth… she can also sing. Long says he’s going to go check on Ryder and quickly leaves.
Sin Cara’s music hits and he comes out to some cheers. They show a replay of Cara beating Daniel Bryan last week and then kicking him in the head for no rhyme or reason. Sin Cara will be in action next.
JOBBER ALERT: Tyson Kidd is in the ring with no TV entrance.
Sin Cara vs. Tyson Kidd
Charles Robinson, my favorite referee, is the official of this match. They circle the ring and lock up. Kidd quickly wrenches the arm and Cara turns it right back on him. Kidd flips off the ropes to alleviate the pressure and arm drags him off. They duck a few maneuvers until Cara finally catches Kidd with a head-scissor takeover that sends him out of the ring. Cara goes to the top rope and hits a nice cross-body block to the outside. Cara puts him back in the ring and covers for a near fall. Cara kicks him and chops him in the corner. Michael Cole goads Josh Mathews into interviewing Sin Cara after the match.
Kidd hip tosses Cara into the corner and takes a second to recover. Kidd covers for a near fall. Kidd elbows him in the face and sends him to the ropes. Kidd hits a snapmare and kicks him in the head for a one count. Kidd applies a double chicken-wing submission, but Cara quickly fights up. Kidd goes for a back suplex, but Cara flips through and hits an enzuigiri. Cara punches away at Kidd and has a whip to the corner reversed. Cara goes to the apron, punches Kidd away, and hits a springboard flying head-butt for a near fall. Cara kicks, ducks a clothesline, and hits a springboard cross-body. Kidd rolls through and gets a near fall. Kidd kicks him down and runs into a Samoan Drop. Cara goes to the apron and hits a springboard senton splash. Cara follows up with a springboard moonsault for the win.
Winner by Pinfall: Sin Cara
Match Rating: * 1/2
Josh Mathews gets in the ring. Mathews says he doesn’t know if Sin Cara can understand him since he doesn’t speak English, but we’ve seen a more aggressive side from him. Mathews asks where that came from. Cara speaks English and says he was an intense competitor in Mexico. Since he came to the WWE, he has been held back. Cara doesn’t respect the others. Now that he’s here, nobody will stop him. Cara says this style and aggression is him, the real Sin Cara.
Daniel Bryan’s music hits and he makes his way to the ring. Bryan says he didn’t see Sin Cara speaking English coming. Of course, he didn’t see him kicking him in the head last week either. No matter the language, when he attacked him last week that spoke a universal language. Cara doesn’t respect him. They now have a problem that they need to rectify. Bryan’s solution is to have a rematch next week. Cara kicks him down and puts him in the LeBell Lock. It’s more of a Cripple Crossface, but the announcers call it a LeBell Lock. Charles Robinson breaks Cara off Bryan.
Sheamus will take on Wade Barrett later tonight. We’ll also see Randy Orton take on Cody Rhodes in a Champion vs. Champion match.
They play a hype video for Cody Rhodes.
Randy Orton is backstage with Matt Striker. Striker asks for his thoughts on Cody Rhodes. Orton says Rhodes has been a changed man since having his face smashed in. Rhodes is unstable, and unstable can be dangerous. Orton says he’s been called unstable himself. Orton gives Mark Henry credit for attacking him last week. It was smart and calculated, two words not normally associated with Henry. Henry is dangerous and at the peak of his career. People ask him what can stop Mark Henry and the answer is an RKO.
Kelly Kelly makes her way to the ring. She’ll be in action against Natalya next.
Kelly Kelly vs. Natalya w/ Beth Phoenix
They show a replay of Natalya attacking Kelly from behind on Raw this past Monday.
Kelly sidesteps Natalya and punches. Natalya sends her to the corner, but misses a splash. Kelly hits a bulldog for a one count. Kelly chokes Natalya with her legs and gets on the apron. Natalya quickly knees her off. Beth Phoenix observes the situation as Natalya takes her out. Natalya throws Kelly into the ring and kicks her in the ribs. Natalya taunts and talks a little trash. Natalya applies an abdominal stretch, but Kelly elbows out. Natalya quickly takes her down by the hair for a two count. Natalya talks some more trash so Kelly slaps her in the face. Natalya does a variation of the airplane spin, but Kelly gets to the apron. Kelly goes for a sunset flip, but Natalya rolls through. Natalya goes for the Sharpshooter, but Kelly rolls her up for the win.
Winner by Pinfall: Kelly Kelly
Match Rating: * 1/2
Kelly quickly escapes the ring before Beth Phoenix can get her hands on her. Natalya is livid in the ring and Beth holds her back.
Sheamus takes on Wade Barrett next.
Christian’s music hits and he comes out to the stage. Christian says the following match has been postponed. In fact, the whole show is postponed because Teddy Long refuses to do the right thing. Last week on Raw, he was forced to compete in the main event where he was the victim of an illegal double team. Sheamus gave him a Brogue Kick and then he got an Attitude Adjustment from John Cena. Then, twenty-four hours later, he still manned up and competed in a Steel Cage Match for the World Heavyweight Championship. Despite what happened to him the night before, he took Randy Orton to his limit that next night. Christian says he deserves one more match.
Sheamus’s music hits and he makes his way to the ring. Sheamus tells Christian to give it a rest. This is embarrassing for everyone. This reminds him of the litter of puppies his dog made one time. All the puppies were strong, except the last one. The last one grew up to be very scrawny and seedy looking. The poor pup later developed a disease where he barked and he’d fart. Christian tells him to shut up because no one cares about his Irish background. Sheamus gets in the ring and says he has a match that he really wants to get started. Second, everyone knows that Christian won’t get one more match. Third, he speaks for everybody when he says he’s out of matches, chances, excuses, and he’ll be getting out of the ring now. Christian gets in his face before leaving the ring.
Wade Barrett’s music hits and he makes eye contact with Christian as he comes down the ramp.
Sheamus vs. Wade Barrett
They circle the ring and lock up. Sheamus powers him to the corner and they jockey for position. The referee separates them. Sheamus taunts Barrett. They lock up and Sheamus takes him down with a headlock takeover. Barrett fights off and whips Sheamus off. Sheamus hits a shoulder block for a near fall. Barrett punches away at Sheamus and head-butts him. Sheamus kicks him in the knee and clubs him. Sheamus beats him in the corner before sending him to the ropes. Sheamus eats a kick but comes back with a back elbow. Barrett gets out of the ring to recover.
Barrett gets back in the ring and beats Sheamus down. Sheamus blocks a punch and viciously beats Barrett down into the mat with stomps. Sheamus punches him in the corner and knees him in the head a few times. Barrett tries to punch back but Sheamus cuts him off. Barrett viciously whips him sternum first into the turnbuckle and drops an elbow on the injured section. Barrett sends him to the ropes and hits a flying forearm for a near fall. Barrett clubs away at Sheamus’s chest and knees him in the spine. Barrett applies a chin lock as we go to break.
We come back from the break to see Barrett pick up a near fall on Sheamus after a Boss Man Slam. Barrett chokes him on the ropes and knees away at him. Barrett taunts and big boots Sheamus. Sheamus hangs upside down as he’s tangled in the ropes. Barrett knocks him to the outside and rolls him back into the ring for a near fall. Barrett applies a chin lock but Sheamus quickly fights up. Sheamus punches away, but Barrett comes right back with some punches. Sheamus surprises Barrett by snapping him off the top rope and hitting some clotheslines. Barrett big boots him and runs into a body slam. Sheamus ties him up in the ropes and clubs away at him. Sheamus hits a running knee to the face and goes to the top rope. Sheamus hits a nice flying shoulder block. Christian then runs into the ring and kicks away at Sheamus.
Winner by Disqualification: Sheamus
Match Rating: * 3/4
Barrett and Christian take turns beating on Sheamus. Sheamus then comes back and clotheslines Barrett down. Christian escapes the ring and Sheamus stares at him. Sheamus then drops Barrett with the Brogue Kick. Christian tries to surprise him with a top rope hammer, but Sheamus catches him. Sheamus goes for the Celtic Cross, but Christian slides off and escapes the ring.
Randy Orton will take on Cody Rhodes in a Champion vs. Champion match.
They show a clip of Edge on “Haven”.
Air Boom vs. The Great Khali & Jinder Mahal
Evan Bourne will start out against Jinder Mahal. Bourne gets a waist lock, but Mahal quickly beats on him. Bourne quickly comes back with a hurricanrana. Mahal clotheslines him out of mid-air for a near fall. Khali is tagged in and he kicks Bourne. Khali clubs Bourne down and taunts the crowd. Khali chokes him against the ropes and tags Mahal in. Khali chops the chest before leaving. Mahal goes for a suplex, but Bourne knees him in the head. Bourne ducks a clothesline and knees him in the face.
Kingston is tagged in and he hits a springboard cross-body. Kingston hits some chops, a dropkick, and a superman punch. Kingston hits the Boom Drop and sets up for his finisher. Mahal gets away, but can’t avoid the cross-body for a near fall. Bourne tried to cut Khali off but he got thrown out of the ring. Mahal yells at Khali and slaps him. Khali then pushes him into Trouble in Paradise.
Winners by Pinfall: Air Boom
Match Rating: 3/4 *
Khali stands over Mahal and yells at him. Khali turns his back and walks off on him. Mahal screams from the ring at him.
The announcers run down the Night of Champions card.
Cody Rhodes’s music hits and he makes his way to the ring with his baggers. They made a point to show Booker T’s reaction to getting a bag mask.
They show a replay of Cody Rhodes attacking Ted DiBiase after losing to Randy Orton two weeks ago. Rhodes put a paper bag over him after. Rhodes says he’s been an inspiration despite still having a fractured face. Rhodes says he’s the blind spot of all the WWE – the thing nobody saw coming. He’s been surrounded by people in his career that are jealous of his abilities, youth, and success. Rhodes says he was trying to inspire Ted DiBiase through his success, but Ted was happy being Ted. He wouldn’t be happy being Ted and he wasn’t going to let Ted sink him. Rhodes dropped him, and when that anchor sunk to the bottom, the Intercontinental Championship floated to the top.
Earlier, Randy Orton said he was unstable. Rhodes says there is a thin line of film between unstable and thriving. Orton has inspired him to show just how unstable he can be.
Randy Orton’s music hits and he makes his way to the ring. He’ll be in action against Rhodes next.
Edge is advertised for Smackdown next week as a “Special Guest Superstar”.
Intercontinental Champion vs. World Heavyweight Champion
Cody Rhodes vs. Randy Orton
They circle the ring and lock up. Rhodes quickly rolls him up for a one count. Orton smiles and walks around the ring. They lock up and Rhodes gets a side headlock. Orton whips him off and Rhodes rolls him up for a two count. Orton laughs as he walks around the ring. Orton stares at Rhodes and they lock up. Orton gets a side headlock but Rhodes whips him off. Orton avoids a leapfrog and dropkicks him for a one count. Rhodes kicks Orton and uppercuts him. Orton avoids a dropkick and hits one of his own for a two count. Orton stomps the chest and the midsection. Orton clubs the chest and puts him in the corner. Orton whips him to the opposite corner a few times until Rhodes reverses it. Orton explodes out of the corner with a clothesline.
Rhodes kicks Orton away and gets caught with the Lou Thesz Press. Rhodes quickly gets up and hits a running head-butt to Orton. Orton is down and the announcers complain about the mask. Rhodes stomps Orton’s midsection and kicks away at him. Rhodes stomps the head and punches away. Rhodes stomps him in the corner. Orton comes back with punches and a head-butt. Orton uppercuts him down and goes for a knee drop, but Rhodes moves. Orton holds his knee so Rhodes begins to attack it.
Rhodes sends Orton into the ropes and knees him in the midsection. Orton reverses a whip and gets Rhodes caught in a draping DDT attempt. Rhodes back drops him to the apron and hits him with the Beautiful Disaster. Orton falls to the outside.
We come back from the break to see Rhodes bounce Orton off the turnbuckle. Rhodes kicks away at him and stands on his face. Rhodes applies a key lock variation. Rhodes holds it for a bit before turning to an overhead wristlock. Rhodes knees away at him and hits a springboard stomp for a near fall. Rhodes punches away at Orton. Orton comes back with punches, but Rhodes quickly cuts him off and works on the arm. Rhodes applies a hammerlock/chin lock combination. Orton fights up and elbows out. Orton punches, goes into the ropes, and takes a knee to the midsection. Rhodes drops a knee on the arm and applies an arm bar. Orton fights up and punches out. Rhodes sends him to the corner and charges, but Orton sidesteps him, causing him to hit the ring post shoulder first.
Orton knees him, but Rhodes comes back with some punches. Rhodes hits a nasty Alabama Slam for a near fall. Rhodes sends him to the corner and goes for a bulldog, but Orton throws him off. Orton starts getting pumped up and stalks Rhodes. Orton hits a pair of clotheslines and a powerslam. Orton shakes some feeling into the injured arm and runs into some boots. Rhodes hits a front suplex, but misses a knee drop. Orton follows up with a knee drop of his own for a near fall. Orton catches him on the apron and hits the draping DDT. Orton drops to the mat and stalks Rhodes. Rhodes quickly bails from the ring before he can hit the RKO. Rhodes runs into the ring, back flips out of a back suplex, and goes for the Cross Rhodes. Orton twists out of it, ducks a Beautiful Disaster, and drops Rhodes with an RKO for the win!
Winner by Pinfall: Randy Orton
Match Rating: ** 1/4
Mark Henry’s music immediately hits and he comes to the ring. Henry stares maniacally at Orton. Orton begins punching Henry and goes for an RKO, but Henry pushes him off. Henry then mauls him with a clothesline. Henry picks him up and hits the World’s Strongest Slam. Henry stands over Orton before picking him up and hitting a second World’s Strongest Slam. Henry goes outside and grabs a chair. Henry drags Orton to the center of the ring and puts the chair over Orton’s throat. Henry sits down and talks some trash as Orton struggles. Henry says he wants the title and that’s the only reason he doesn’t break him right now.
Quick Match Results
Mark Henry def. Ezekiel Jackson
Sin Cara def. Tyson Kidd
Kelly Kelly def. Natalya (non-title)
Sheamus def. Wade Barrett via DQ
Air Boom def. The Great Khali & Jinder Mahal (non-title)
Randy Orton def. Cody Rhodes (non-title)
Bump of the Night: Sin Cara’s cross-body to the outside
Match of the Night: Randy Orton vs. Cody Rhodes ** 1/4
The show opened tonight with an awesome promo from Mark Henry. How in the hell did this happen? What switch flipped and turned Mark Henry into one of the best heel wrestlers going right now? His in ring work, his promos, and his character rival anything going right now. His promo tonight was fantastic. I love the Hall of Pain shtick that he’s doing. Henry sounds like a cold-blooded, calculated monster. Zack Ryder came out to do Teddy Long’s dirty work and he paid for it. That was some great stuff as Henry simply backhanded him down before slamming him. Henry then faced Ezekiel Jackson in a very good big man match. Jackson is a very large man, and he looked average in the ring compared to Mark Henry. Sometimes you take for granted just how big he truly is. Henry handled him pretty easily and picked up the win.
Sin Cara was out next and he got some cheers. I guess people don’t know how to react to him. It seemed like he worked a face-friendly match and beat Tyson Kidd pretty handily. We’ve seen this match before and it was nothing really special this time. Josh Mathews interviewed him after and Cara spoke English, saying this is the real Sin Cara. As soon as he said “real Sin Cara,” automatically my mind started going right to the Sin Cara vs. Sin Cara scenario that has been talked about for a while. I’d be really interested to watch how that would go down and what they would do to differentiate the two. That’d be pretty cool to see a main event that would happen in Mexico happen on a WWE show. In the meantime, I’m excited to watch Daniel Bryan and Sin Cara square off next week.
I always give credit where credit is due. I very much enjoyed the diva’s match tonight. This is what’s been missing from the diva’s division. A competent worker that can lead a more non-experienced diva to a good match. Natalya did just that tonight. People have been complaining about how Kelly runs the ropes so they kept that to a minimum tonight. It seemed the game plan was to maximize the strengths and stay away from the weaknesses. Shouldn’t that be the case all the time? My hat is off to Natalya for a job well done. I’ll also tip it to Kelly for a good showing tonight. I’m excited to watch her match with Beth Phoenix at Night of Champions. They had a good one at Summerslam so I expect nothing less.
Christian came out and was looking to interrupt the show until Teddy Long gave him one more World Heavyweight Championship match. Sheamus instead came out and scared Christian out of the ring. Sheamus then went on to have a really nice match against Wade Barrett, a guy who needed a good showing after being destroyed by John Cena last week. Christian ran out for the DQ and got away before Sheamus could do any real damage to him. All those who complained about Christian being out of the main event scene should breathe a sigh of relief. Sheamus is a main eventer and he’s feuding with Christian. Rejoice people! He wasn’t leaving the main event scene in the first place.
Air Boom was out next and they faced Khali and Jinder Mahal. The WWE has come to their senses and seem to be ending the Khali/Mahal storyline. It was silly and it needed to go. I just hope they don’t have a series of matches. Mahal has some upside so I hope they just move it along like this whole thing never happened.
Cody Rhodes came out and cut a nice promo about why he turned on Ted DiBiase. I missed Rhodes on last week’s live Smackdown so it was good to see him this week. Still no sign of Ted DiBiase. Rhodes is another guy that is on fire and is going to be something special very soon. To steal a quote from Jim Ross, and longtime fans of WWE will know (and hate) this term, Rhodes is a “blue chipper”. He proved that tonight with his promo (as he’s done quite a few times) and he showed it in his match with Randy Orton. That was a really nice match that was given time to build and was just, simply put, fun to watch. Mark Henry then came out and laid out Randy Orton. I guess the “No Contact” policy only applied to the two matches they had to compete in tonight. That was a good-looking beat down and I’m looking forward to the Night of Champions match.
They advertised Edge for next week’s Smackdown so that’s obviously some newsworthy stuff. I’m not sure if that’s a ploy to get ticket sales going for next week’s show after this week’s dismal showing, but it should work. I’m interested to see what they do with him. Maybe it’ll be a Guest GM thing like they did with Bret Hart a few weeks ago.
Final Rating: ** 3/4