Date: July 1, 2011
Location: US Airways Center, Phoenix, Arizona
Commentators: Michael Cole, Booker T, Josh Matthews
We have the main event set for MITB as it’s Christian vs. Orton 39 or whatever we’re up to with them now. Also tonight we’ll probably find out who the Money in the Bank guys are, which should be interesting given who we have in the midcard on Smackdown. The field for both shows is pretty wide open this year. Hopefully Smackdown can get back to where it usually is. Let’s get to it.
We open with a video about Mark Henry and how dominant he’s been lately. Apparently he gets Orton tonight.
Teddy is in his office and Christian comes in with a contract. He wants a contract signing with Orton tonight. Teddy points out that he didn’t win the tag match last week, Henry did. That clears up some stuff so we’re off to a good start. If Henry wins, he might make it triple threat. Christian is barred from ringside.
Randy Orton vs. Mark Henry
Not bad for an opener. Henry immediately rams him into the corner but Orton fires off some right hands. That doesn’t last long as Henry throws him into the corners a few times and then hits a belly to belly suplex for two. Big boot puts Orton down again and Henry chokes a bit. Time for some smack talk as Henry says he’s the champ and not Orton. World’s Strongest Slam is countered and Orton gets a DDT for two.
We head to the floor and the referee actually lectures them for a bit, saying get back in the ring before he has to start counting them. I’ve never heard that before. Not that it matters though as here’s Big Show’s music. No Big Show though as Henry stares at the runway. When he realizes that there’s no big bald dude coming, he turns into an RKO at 8 and Orton wins by countout at 4:24.
Rating: C-. Not much here but it wasn’t meant to be a classic or anything like that. Henry not being in the main event makes sense as they’ve been building to Show vs. Henry for awhile now. This gets Henry out of the equation though so it accomplished that at least. Nothing great but the pop for Orton was solid.
Post match Henry goes up to the technical area and yells at the music guy. He destroys a lot of equipment while the sound guy is sitting there in terror. I run the sound board at my church so I feel for this guy. The guy starts to leave but Henry changes his mind and throws him off the side of the stand they’re on in a nice visual. The guy just disappeared. Henry finally leaves.
Daniel Bryan vs. Ted DiBiase
Neither guy has music due to the attack. It’s a weird visual to see Bryan coming out to dead silence. The lack of music of course. The very mild reaction is typical. DiBiase coming out to no music is a nice unintentional throwback to his pop’s days. That’s about the only similarity between them though. Ted says he’s enjoyed humiliating Bryan and it’s due to Cody in an inset interview.
Basic stuff to start with Bryan getting an armdrag into an armbar. Off to a full on surfboard which still astounds me every time. Bryan heads up but misses a jump of some sort, allowing Ted to dropkick him to the floor as we take a break. Before we go back to the match, let’s have a quick video about Daniel Bryan. Not bad for mid match advertising.
Back with Ted holding a chinlock. DiBiase hits his following clothesline for two and it’s right back to the chinlock. Bryan gets his backflip out of the corner and a clothesline puts DiBiase down. He’s getting frustrated here. Here come the kicks but Ted grabs one into a rollup. Bryan counters that into an attempt at the LeBell Lock but Ted gets a rope before it’s on.
A backdrop puts Ted over the top and Ted tries to jump off the apron, only to be rammed into the post and then the railing. He’s holding his shoulder after the second ram which gets two for Ted. DiBiase gets some facewashes in the corner and a big slap. They go up the corner but Ted is knocked off and Bryan hits a dropkick to put both guys down. His arm and shoulder are still bothering him. Bryan unloads with strikes and a big kick gets two. Dream Street is countered so Ted tries another following clothesline. Bryan is ready for it though and throws on a guillotine choke which is good for the submission at 9:03 shown of 12:33.
Rating: B. I liked this here as they had the time to build up a solid match with some psychology at the end of it also. As usual, Bryan has a solid TV match. I was very skeptical about him when he first came to WWE but he’s proven me wrong and has gone on to have some very solid matches. Good TV match and it worked well, which is stunning for DiBiase.
The music is working again.
Christian comes in to see Teddy, saying since Henry lost he should get the title shot. Teddy says the word on the street is that Christian was seen leaving the production truck after Big Show’s music played. Apparently that doesn’t matter as there will be a contract signing in about an hour. To kill the time though, Christian will be facing Sin Cara. Bit of a step up from what Cara’s been doing to say the least.
Ted is upset and Cody says Ted hasn’t won a match since May 20. He can’t guide Ted until Ted changes his ways. If Ted can’t do that, he might as well wear a paper bag.
We recap Khali and Mahal and the heel turn of Khali. We get highlights of Mahal and Khali dominating people while Singh talks about what’s going on. Apparently Jinder wishes he was Great Khali but never will be. He’s Singh’s brother in law apparently which makes him Khali’s brother in law also. Mahal is married to their sister. His power over Khali and what he’s saying when he shouts is that he’ll humiliate their family by divorcing his sister. Dang it’s nice to have everything explained all at once for a change.
Video on Sin Cara that we’ve seen before. Actually this is an extended one because he talks in it. Wait that’s Mysterio. What am I watching? It started as a video on Cara and became one about Rey. Why are they promoting Rey on Smackdown now?
Sin Cara vs. Christian
The MITB case is hanging over the ring and we’re told the SD MITB participants:
Kane, Sin Cara, Daniel Bryan, Wade Barrett, Cody Rhodes, Justin Gabriel, Heath Slater, Sheamus
Some interesting choices in there. I guess Sheamus is the frontrunner but I’m not very sure. Rhodes as a dark horse I guess. Cara under jumps a springboard armdrag and Christian hits the floor. Cara keeps teasing dives but Christian runs more as we take a break. He complains about the lights before we cut away. Back with Christian hammering away and trying to start a Sin Cara chant for some reason.
Christian hits the floor and Cara hits a corkscrew plancha to take over. Back in Cara gets two. There’s the way too complicated arm drag out of the corner for two. Christian manages to backdrop him to the floor to take over. The Cara chant starts up as he’s in a chinlock. The Canadian gets a few near falls and chokes him on the middle rope.
Top rope headbutt misses and Cara gets two. Springboard back elbow gets two. Cara tries what looked like his finishing move but rotates more into a DDT instead for two. Victory roll and a pretty ugly one gets two. Christian goes up but Cara gets a boot to try to set up the top rope C4. Christian shoves him off and hits the floor to rest a bit. Cara is like cool dude and gets a rana off the apron to put Christian down again.
Back in a kick staggers Christian again and a springboard crossbody gets two. Christian counters into a reverse DDT for a long two. Cara grabs a small package for two. Tajiri elbow is countered into a failed Killswitch attempt. Cara charges but gets dropped onto the turnbuckle, followed by a spear to give him his first loss at 9:31 shown of 13:01.
Rating: B-. Good but not quite as good as the previous one. It’s scary to think how bad this could have been without Smackdown editing for it. The high spots are cool but at the same time they can cause problems with botching, which is something that it’s hard to overcome. Kind of surprised Cara’s first loss is here, but at least he was able to hang in there with some higher level talent so that’s a good sign. Pretty fun match, botches aside.
We get a clip of Jackson winning the IC Title. He gets Cody tonight. I was kind of hoping for a feud between those two so I’m happy here.
Cody Rhodes vs. Ezekiel Jackson
Jackson goes right at him and tosses Cody around like a tiny man. Cody escapes a gorilla press and heads to the floor. Some distracting by Ted allows Cody to take over for the first time. Back inside Cody works on the arm and turns it into a hold I don’t think I’ve ever seen. He’s sitting back like a camel clutch but has Jackson’s arm wrapped around his leg like a LeBell Lock.
Jackson gets up and throws Cody with a release gordbuster. Big Zeke sells the arm and hits a corner clothesline and it’s slam time. DiBiase comes up on the apron and gets drilled, only for Cody to hit the Beautiful Disaster and Cross Rhodes for the upset pin at 4:06. I’m rather surprised by that.
Rating: C+. I know Jackson is almost universally hated on the internet, but answer this: what exactly are you expecting him to do/be out there? The guys is a pure power wrestler and he uses basic power moves. Why in the world would you expect him to do anything other than that? I really don’t get the criticism I read about him as he’s doing exactly what someone that looks like him is supposed to do. Anyway this wasn’t that bad at all with Jackson dominating and Ted trying to redeem himself in Cody’s eyes. Nice little match.
We get a video on Jackson in the form of a little highlight package. This is a new running thing on Smackdown and I really like them. They’re like 30 seconds long and gives you a nice quick idea of what you can see if you keep watching the show. Well, at least in cases where the guy hasn’t had his match already.
Johnny Curtis draws a picture of himself in a corner. He has to run out of lines eventually.
Raw ReBound is the same as from NXT, showing a shortened version of Punk’s promo. Cole tells us that Punk has been indefinitely suspended. Booker saw it on Youtube and says he was blown away. Good to know that Booker doesn’t watch Raw. Vince is rumored to be on Raw apparently.
Kane vs. Wade Barrett
Barrett actually throws some bareknuckle punches which I don’t remember him doing any other time. He controls early until Kane gets a boot up to break the momentum. The low dropkick is set up but Wade hits the floor to avoid it. Kane chases him in and runs into a big boot to knock him back to the floor as we take a break. Back with Barrett holding a chinlock that is quickly broken.
Kane charges into an elbow and takes another big boot. Barrett really likes that move. He chokes Kane on the middle rope as Booker criticizes him for wasting time. All the choking gets him a one count so let’s hit that chinlock. Big uppercut takes him down after the hold is broken. Barrett keeps expanding his moveset by hitting a DDT for two. Middle rope elbow misses as the announcers are talking about ducks. I think I’m glad I missed what got us there.
To the shock of everyone Kane busts out a pretty good cross body for two. It’s followed by a big boot of his own for two. Clothesline in the corner and a side slam get two. Top rope clothesline looks to set up the chokeslam. That gets reversed so Kane tries what looks like either a tombstone or a powerslam but Barrett gets out of that also. Boss Man Slam gets a close two as this is getting good. Doesn’t last long though as Barrett misses a big boot and Kane is able to hit the chokeslam for the pin at 8:37 shown of 12:07.
Rating: B. I like both of these guys and they put on a good match here. This is one of those matches where both guys look good which is a good sign. Barrett certainly doesn’t look weaker for losing and it’s not like Kane winning is a shocking upset. Barrett keeps using his varying offense and it makes for entertaining matches. The rating might be a bit high but I liked this quite a bit.
We see Henry attacking the guy earlier. He’s been taking to the hospital and his vital signs are good.
Time for the contract signing. Christian comes out with a lawyer with him. He says there’s a clause in the contract saying that if there’s a bad decision or unfair call he gets an automatic rematch. He swears he can beat Orton and cuts the champ off when he tries to talk. The WWE and the fans can’t save their golden boy anymore because Orton can’t beat him.
Orton talks about how they had great matches and Orton kept winning. Now we’ve gotten to all this and it’s making him angry. As you know, he’s had problems in the past controlling his anger. Lawyers won’t help him though because the only way he can get the title is to beat Orton, and that won’t happen. Orton signs it up and hands it to Christian. The lawyer reads it first and whispers something to Christian.
He goes to sign but the pen doesn’t work. Teddy goes into his pocket for another pen but here’s Sheamus, returning from being punted and massacring both guys. RKO is blocked and it’s a Brogue Kick for both guys. Sheamus picks up the contract that doesn’t have Christian’s signature yet and rips it up. He leaves both guys laying to end the show.
Overall Rating: A. Well that was a pretty awesome TV show. You had some good matches, the main event scene has a new element added to it which was needed as Christian vs. Orton can only happen so many times. Almost every match got some time and the whole thing was very good. No bad matches, everything made sense, stories were advanced and the whole thing was very efficient. Nice to see Smackdown bounce back after a few weaker shows.
Randy Orton b. Mark Henry via countout
Daniel Bryan b. Ted DiBiase – Guillotine choke
Christian b. Sin Cara – Spear
Cody Rhodes b. Ezekiel Jackson – Cross Rhodes
Kane b. Wade Barrett – Chokeslam