Date: July 29, 2011
Location: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Commentators: Michael Cole, Booker T, Josh Matthews
It’s a new era in the WWE as HHH is now in charge and tonight he’ll be here to talk to Smackdown. No clue what that’ll bring but it should be interesting at least. We should get something of an update on Christian vs. Orton which is probably going to be the SD main event for the I think fifth PPV in a row at Summerslam. Christian having the title now is a nice twist though. Let’s get to it.
Do you know your enemy? Mine are NXT and the heat wave that will not end.
Here’s HHH to open the show. He even does a Vince walk down the ramp. Booker is ticked that Cole is still here. HHH is going to start with the things that are the most important and work his way down. In this case that would be the two world titles. The Raw situation is more complicated because he has two world champions. Punk’s name gets less volume than Cena but there are more boos for John. Granted this is Smackdown so that means about as much as a chant in the Impact Zone. Punk has been re-signed and a decision will be made on the situation by Monday.
He starts to talk about Smackdown’s situation and is cut off by Christian’s music. He’s glad HHH is in charge because he’s tired of Teddy Long trying to ruin the show by sucking up to Orton. Christian says that HHH probably wants to establish a working relationship with the champ. HHH says not really because Vince fostered a culture around here where it’s encouraged to step on toes. In HHH’s world though if you step on his toes, he’ll slap you back. The Game doesn’t like negotiations so here’s how it is: at Summerslam it’s Christian vs. Orton in a no holds barred match.
Christian starts to complain but R-Truth of all people interrupts them. He says he’s back home on Smackdown but doesn’t clarify if it’s for more than just tonight. I’d assume it isn’t though. Truth is a bit confused because HHH isn’t talking to himself. Everyone knows there’s a conspiracy against him. DON’T WHAT ME! This Monday, those conspiracies better be figured out. Truth calls himself a man of action. HHH says that gives him an idea so it’s Truth vs. Orton later tonight. Christian offers some tips on how to beat Orton but HHH says not so fast. Christian has a match also against John Morrison, and it’s next.
HHH and Teddy are in the back when Zack Ryder pops up, saying he has an idea. HHH says Ryder has been bothering him all week. A call comes in for the Game so to get Ryder to shut up, HHH makes him Teddy’s official assistant. I felt a great disturbance in the IWC.
John Morrison vs. Christian
I’m kind of curious to see how Morrison is in the ring in his first match back. Morrison sends him to the floor quickly and teases a dive but Christian moves. Morrison puts the brakes on and back into the ring we go. Back elbow puts John down as does a right hand. Morrison fights back and the Moonlight Drive gets two. I think that’s the name at least but it’s the spinning springboard kick that Cody uses also.
Morrison gets sent to the floor and Christian misses a dive out there. John dives through the ropes as we take a break. Back with Christian hitting something that looked like a neckbreaker (only caught the end of it) for two. Christian slams him into the mat and pounds away, working on the neck. Neck crank goes on which makes sense for a change. Tornado DDT is countered and Morrison gets a brief comeback.
He sets for something but Christian reverses into a reverse DDT and gets two. Morrison tries the diving neckbreaker that he used in ECW but Christian rolls out. Christian takes him down again for two and is starting to get frustrated. Standing C4 gets two for Johnny. He pounds Christian down into the corner but the champ fires off a spear for a close two. Christian goes up top only to get drilled. Morrison goes up also and backdrops Christian off the top. Morrison tries something like Starship Pain but lands on his feet. Christian guillotines him and the Killswitch ends him at 6:18 shown of 9:48.
Rating: B-. Pretty fun match and Morrison looked fine. I’m really not sure I get the point in having his return match be against the champ but that’s Smackdown for you. Moving Morrison back to Smackdown wouldn’t be a bad idea to give them an upper midcard face to eventually feud with Christian. Either way, this was pretty good stuff, especially for an opener.
Jinder Mahal and Khali have a sky box.
Here’s Wade Barrett who wants to talk about why he left England to become a WWE Superstar. It wasn’t for the fans but rather to make himself a lot of money. He lost track of that in the last year but thanks to Daniel Bryan, he realizes that again. It should have been his case and the paycheck that comes with it.
He’s going back to basics because greed is underrated. Bryan’s music cuts him off and Booker calls him a superhero. Bryan says Slater said the same thing last week and Bryan made him tap. Barrett asks if he really just compared Barrett to Slater. Wade takes credit for shaping Nexus in his own image which Bryan disagrees with. Barrett may have main evented PPVs, but Bryan is going to main event Wrestlemania. Barrett decks him and holds up the case. Bryan picks the arm and hooks the LeBell Lock, making Barrett tap. Booker: “What’s he tapping for?”
Ryder is talking to Teddy when Mark Henry comes up. Teddy says people don’t want to deal with him right now. Ryder says he’ll find an opponent for Henry. Long won’t fist bump him.
Video of Justin Gabriel in South Africa, his home country. This pushes him like a face, talking about how he grew up in wrestling and how he’s kind of a local celebrity now.
Natalya/AJ/Kaitlyn vs. Alicia Fox/Rosa Mendes/Tamina
We get reference to AJ on NXT this week and AJ’s crush on Horny. Tamina and Natalya start us off as Cole makes fun of Rosa because he’s a jerk. Booker: “Rosa is hotter than a Mexican plate lunch.” Tamina takes over and brings in Alicia who gets two off I think a Tamina Samoan Drop. Booker says Alicia has been on fire recently. What show has he been watching? Off to AJ who is seriously too cute for words. A cross body out of the corner misses and Alicia hits the scissors kick for the pin at 2:12. Cole: “Booker you wish you had legs like she did.” Booker: “Yeah sometimes.” Cole and Josh: “WHAT?”
Video on Henry being all evil and dominant, breaking the two giants’ legs.
Mark Henry vs. Bobby Howard
Howard is a local guy apparently and appears to be about 5 and a half feet tall. Ryder tries to talk him into getting into the ring, offering him Broski of the Week honors. Henry is all ticked off and Booker says get Henry some A-1 steak sauce. I think you know what’s coming here. It ends at 1:06 after a WICKED backbreaker.
Post attempted manslaughter, Henry gets a chair and looks to Pillmanize his leg, only for Teddy to make the save. Teddy says Henry can’t compete anymore which Henry doesn’t like the sound of. Long says he’ll find someone. Cue Sheamus of all people who comes out and takes Teddy’s mic. He says he’ll fight Henry which gets a face pop. Sheamus says Henry is just big and as Henry says, bigger isn’t better.
We get an old Irish folktale which ends with Henry being called a 425lb bag of crap. Henry yells at Teddy and there’s a loud Sheamus chant. Sheamus smacks him and ducks low to send Henry to the floor. Henry charges back but Sheamus grabs the chair and says bring it. Henry leaves and Sheamus stands tall. I know I’m a fan of the guy, but face Sheamus is AWESOME. The key thing to him is it’s not really a change of personality. He’s always been willing to fight everyone. Now he just wants to fight bad guys. I can dig this.
Tag Titles: Usos vs. Michael McGillicutty/David Otunga
Wow the champs are on Smackdown. Nexus has new music too. We’ll say that’s Jey starting vs. McGillicutty. They beat the champs on Superstars to set this up. Off to Otunga who does a bit better with Jimmy. Chinlock goes on and the crowd is silent until Jimmy gets a shot in and brings in Jey. He takes over on McGilligutty and they set for the top rope splash. Otunga distracts the referee by pointing out that Jimmy is in the ring still so he can shove Jey off the top. McGillicutter ends this at 2:30.
Ryder is bragging to what he did tonight so far. Teddy says he’s done enough but Ryder suggests Legacy vs. Jackson in a handicap match. Teddy isn’t sure but Ryder has already talked to all of them so the match is on.
Raw ReBound talks about Monday night and all the insanity on it.
Truth feels good about the main event tonight. He says he feels like a bunch of eagles swooping down on a snake. He has a snake tonight and tonight, the Viper is gonna get got.
Ezekiel Jackson vs. Ted DiBiase/Cody Rhodes
Cody’s jacket is sleeveless now. Rhodes and DiBiase have to tag here so Ted starts. Both guys are in quickly and that doesn’t go well for the team. Double teaming takes down Jackson until DiBiase gets dropped with a modified snake eyes. Off to Cody who takes a bunch of slams. There’s the Rack but Ted makes the save. That move rarely finishes anyone. Jackson charges at Cody but his shoulder goes into the post. Cross Rhodes ends this at 2:22. What is with the short matches tonight?
Mahal is in the sky box and says stuff we can’t understand. Khali says something too.
R-Truth vs. Randy Orton
The lack of music works for Truth. Orton hits some clotheslines to start and Truth shrugs them off. Another clothesline by Randy gets two. Big knee drop misses and Truth hits a jumping side kick for two. Orton heads to the floor and Truth takes forever to send him back in. He takes enough time that Orton can almost get the elevated DDT but Truth escapes into a Stunner on the apron.
Sloppy suplex into the stunner gets two. Here’s Christian to watch the match and we take a break. Back with Orton firing off some right hands, only for Truth to hit the spinning forearm for two. Off to a chinlock before another elbow gets two for Truth. Truth goes up but jumps into a punch to the stomach.
Orton starts his finishing sequence and gets all googly eyed. Elevated DDT hits and he loads up the RKO. There’s a very small trickle of blood on Randy’s lip. Truth slides to the floor as Christian offers a distraction. Orton follows him out and Truth blasts him in the head with a water bottle. It doesn’t do much here other than make Randy mad so he picks the bottle up and goes back in. Orton spears Truth down and the bottle is nowhere in sight. Instead he hits the floor and grabs a chair, which goes into Truth’s ribs for the DQ at 7:54 shown of 11:24.
Rating: C-. I wasn’t all that interested in this one. I’m not sure why as the match was ok but it really just kind of came and went. It’s not bad but I was just sitting around waiting for it to end. Truth’s offense was off all night long with the moves not looking like they were making a ton of contact and not looking very damaging. Not impressed here but it wasn’t particularly bad, just not very good.
Post match Truth is sent to the floor and Orton pops him in the head with a monitor. RKO onto (not through) the table and Truth is more or less dead. Christian has been watching in near horror the entire time here. Orton gets all evil again and snaps off a second RKO onto (again not through. FREAKING OW MAN) the table to Truth. Christian and Orton stare each other down to end the show.
Overall Rating: B-. I just wasn’t feeling this one. It has its moments, such as Morrison vs. Christian and Sheamus as a face, but other than that the whole thing was kind of meh. It’s pretty good overall but there’s nothing that jumps off the page at you and the rather short matches overall hurt it a lot. Not a horrible show, but for Smackdown’s usually awesome standards, this wasn’t up to par.
Christian b. John Morrison – Killswitch
Alicia Fox/Tamina/Rosa Mendes b. AJ/Natalya/Kaitlyn – Scissors kick to AJ
Mark Henry b. Bobby Howard – Backbreaker
Michael McGillicutty/David Otunga b. Usos – McGillicutter to Jey
Cody Rhodes/Ted DiBiase b. Ezekiel Jackson – Cross Rhodes
R-Truth b. Randy Orton via DQ when Orton hit R-Truth with a chair