Date: August 5, 2011
Location: Rupp Arena, Lexington, Kentucky
Commentators: Josh Matthews, Booker T, Michael Cole
We have two more shows before Summerslam and this is the first of them. I’d expect a lot of build for Christian vs. Orton V and also some more from the midcard stuff that Smackdown has gotten good at. The big thing though is the freshly face Sheamus continuing Mark Henry. I’m giddy over that one. Let’s get to it.
The opening video is about Sheamus vs. Henry. The crowd popped huge in the arena for the line of “I’ll fight him.”
Sheamus vs. Great Khali
Here’s a test….kind of. I was confused at first because the tron video said Jinder Mahal, which would have surprised me. Josh immediately gets on my nerves by saying they’re on the campus of the University of Kentucky, which is flat out not true. The city owns Rupp Arena and it’s not on the campus. The only affiliation it has with UK is the basketball team plays there. Everyone makes that mistake that isn’t from here though so it’s understandable. For some reason it’s like they’re afraid to say Lexington.
Sheamus vs. Henry is announced for Summerslam. Khali takes him down quickly with the power game. Sheamus gets him tied up in the ropes so that Khali is facing the crowd and pounds away on the chest. He goes up top but gets chopped in the chest to send him back down to the floor. Time for a nerve hold since Khali isn’t that versatile in the ring, nor does he need to be.
Khali chops away in the corner and Sheamus fires off some double axes to the chest. Sheamus is all fires up but a chop to the head stops the Brogue Kick. It only gets two, despite being the finisher of a former world champion. Vice Grip goes on but Sheamus breaks that too. He elbows Khali in the ribs and the Brogue Kick hits for the pin at 5:22.
Rating: C. Yes it was kind of boring, but what are you expecting here? Khali is a giant and Sheamus is a power brawler. If they had done technical stuff or anything else, it wouldn’t make any sense and would probably be awful at the same time. Not sure what else to say here but this was fine.
The Rewind is Beth eliminating the Bellas and turning heel on Kelly. This was the Slam of the Week in the arena. No idea why they changed it.
AJ vs. Natalya
What an odd choice for a match. Commentary goes silent for some reason and until Josh says something about AJ being the Diva next door or something similar to that. AJ takes her down with a headlock and Natalya can’t figure her out. And never mind as a crucifix is countered into the Sharpshooter for the tap at 2:00. This was nothing.
Post match Nattie turns on AJ, beating her down and hitting a snap suplex on the floor. She says she’s with Beth: no more pretty princesses.
Ryder will be giving the State of the Showski later. The reaction to this is fake as the fans didn’t move for that graphic other than a few people.
Orton gets a big pop and we see a video from last week where Orton hit an RKO on Truth on the table and then a second to go with it. He’s not worried about Summerslam because he knows Christian can’t beat him clean.
Video on Justin Gabriel in South Africa. This is different from last week’s and it has more wrestling in it.
Tyson Kidd vs. Daniel Bryan
Barrett is on commentary. Bryan has new music which sounds like it’s out of a thriller movie trailer. Bryan’s pop was barely there when he came out. Some chain wrestling starts us off and Bryan does his moonsault out of the corner. Kidd is sent to the apron and then to the floor where Bryan hits a big dive through the ropes, shoving Kidd to the floor. Kidd gets a shot in on the knee and starts the attack on it.
Figure four around the post goes on and Bryan is in trouble. Barrett talks about how he doesn’t think Bryan is going to cash in. That makes sense as it would be surprising if he made it that far. We take a break and come back with Kidd working on the knee. I’m not sure if anything actually changed in that break so they might have just picked up immediately where they left off.
A quick leg lock goes on until Bryan starts his comeback. He goes up top but gets crotched instead. Cole and Barrett ramble about how much they hate Bryan. Good to see them talking about the match at all. Kidd hasn’t been talked about once. Bryan fights Kidd off the top and hits a missile dropkick but can’t follow up due to the knee.
He fires off some kicks but has to pause because of the pain, allowing Kidd to hit a (American) dragon screw leg whip and a half crab. Bryan escapes but can’t get the LeBell Lock. Pinfall reversal sequence doesn’t go anywhere but Bryan gets all fired up and hammers away with forearms. BIG kick to the head sets up the guillotine choke and we’re done at 7:00. I timed the match at 7:45 live so we didn’t miss much at all.
Rating: B-. Solid match here that would have been better with more time. The just under 8 minutes wasn’t enough time to get going but Kidd has been able to put on some good stuff over the last few months and I’ve been liking him pretty well. Good stuff here and it’s the kind of win Bryan needs: physical, come from behind, submission wins.
Barrett and Bryan stare each other down post match. There’s a match teased but not officially announced.
State of the Showski is up next.
Here’s Ryder who got a small reaction but it was there. Ryder takes credit for the ratings going up because he’s the assistant GM. He says he’s going to change a lot of stuff but Big Zeke cuts him off. He got zero reaction at all. Zeke says Ryder must think he’s here to beat up Ryder for being in the handicap match last week. Jackson isn’t happy but Ryder says he thought they had an agreement.
They’re cut off by Cody’s music and here’s one half of the biggest rib in wrestling history (think about it: the sons of Dusty Rhodes were a metrosexual and whatever Goldust was. How could that not be a massive rib?) along with Ted who is in wrestling gear. Cody says Jackson has sour grapes and is unbecoming of a champion. He says Jackson is making the championship look bad so Cody should just take it from him and resurrect it, just like he’s resurrected Ted’s career.
Jackson says he’s merely using DiBiase. Cody says Ted has free will and Ted should come out and beat Jackson right now. That’s up to Ted and Ryder though. Ryder says cool but here’s Teddy (who got a surprisingly good reaction) to protest. Ryder is NOT the assistant GM but rather Teddy’s assistant. Teddy makes Ryder vs. Jackson for right now. Gee it’s a good thing they’re both in wrestling gear.
Ezekiel Jackson vs. Zack Ryder
Cody and Ted are banned from ringside. Cole hates Ryder so I’m really not sure if he’s face or heel here. Ryder takes over and gets some kicks to the head. Front facelock doesn’t work at all and Jackson catches a middle rope cross body to start up the slams. Rack and we’re done at 2:30 with the tapping coming on Jackson’s head.
Teddy is in his office and here’s Aksana, now with long black hair and a leather suit. There’s bad romantic sounding music in the background. She wants to talk business with him so he gives her one of his cards. She asks for his personal number which he gives to her. That was rather odd.
Mark Henry is up next.
At this point the show stopped taping and HHH came to the ring and talked about having stress. Ryder was still in the ring and HHH got in some one liners about various wrestlers. He asked the crowd if they could keep a secret and dropped Ryder with a Pedigree. Awesome moment and the pop of the night.
Mark Henry vs. Vladimir Kozlov
Vlad fires away but can’t really get anywhere. He manages the trapping headbutts but Henry remembers that he’s a monster heel and plants Kozlov with the World’s Strongest Slam for the pin at 1:15.
Post match he Pillmanizes Kozlov’s leg, which explains him leaving since Kozlov was released today. Sheamus comes out late for the save with a chair. Henry bails, not wanting to fight until Summerslam. Kozlov goes out on a stretcher.
After a break Sheamus says that Henry isn’t just beating people but rather is taking their ability and will to do what they love. That won’t happen to Sheamus though because no one can take away his passion to compete here. There are many reasons but the biggest is because he’s Irish, which means he has the Luck of the Irish. The following is a near direct quote of the next few things he says: “And that means I was born with a 24 karat horseshoe up me arse. And if need be I can rip that horseshoe out and leave hoofprints on him.” Oh and Henry is a whale that belongs in the ocean with Shamu.
Michael McGillicutty/David Otunga/JTG vs. Trent Barreta/Uso Brothers
The Usos do their rhythmic dance thing. Remember when they were all sophisticated or whatever it was? Jey vs. JTG to start us off. Off to McGillicutty and then Otunga rather quickly. And now let’s talk about what the announcers are tweeting at ringside. Apparently Booker said Cole is a tool. Jimmy is getting beaten down at the moment and there isn’t much else to say as far as the match goes. Hot tag to Trent who is someone I’d like to see more of. Everything breaks down and the champions hit that elbow drop/backbreaker combo to end Baretta at 3:43.
Rating: D+. Just a six man here and nothing interesting at all. I have no idea why Baretta and JTG of all people got picked. They’re not bad or anything but why them? Anyway this was fine but the Usos need to get their title shot already, hopefully winning the titles. I’ve liked them recently and some fresh champions would be nice.
Johnny Curtis sees the writing on the wall and will be in action next week.
Raw ReBound is about the Cena vs. Punk vs. HHH moments from Raw and how the match at Summerslam was made.
Christian says he isn’t surprised that the match with Orton is now no holds barred. Everyone has been on Orton’s side. Truth pops up to say it was a conspiracy. He says not to let the Little Jimmys fool him and that tonight Orton is gonna get got. Christian still doesn’t know who Little Jimmy is.
Randy Orton/John Morrison vs. R-Truth/Christian
When did Morrison lose his pyro? Oh ok that part wasn’t on the broadcast. Kind of surprised they didn’t have that for the live crowd though. Orton and Truth start us off and Truth hammers him down into the corner. Morrison comes in and Truth runs so he can tag in the Canadian. There’s that big spinning springboard kick for two.
Christian takes him down though and it’s off to the coward crazy R-Truth. Suplex into the Stunner is countered (called that move by Booker) and Morrison goes all angry JoMo on him, hitting the running knee for two. Christian breaks it up and Orton chases him to the floor and into the crowd where we take a break. Back with Morrison and Truth hammering away on each other. During the break Orton stared Christian down a lot while the other two laid down in the ring.
Truth works on the neck which is logical. Good thing that when he went nuts he didn’t lose his wrestling psychology. Christian comes in and gets a neckbreaker for two. Have one of those ever broken a neck? Middle rope headbutt misses but Christian is smart enough to take Orton out before John can make the tag. Truth comes in and does a little dance which makes it look like he wants to make a little love to Orton.
Morrison comes out of nowhere with the C4 to put both himself and Truth down. Hot tag brings in Orton and the fans are all fired up. Powerslam puts Christian down and Orton gets a jackknife cover for two. Killswitch is blocked into the backbreaker for two. Orton grabs a rollup out of the corner for two. Christian hits a spinebuster that Booker calls a sidewalk slam. Spear misses but Christian avoids the RKO.
Instead Orton gets him in punting position but Truth and Morrison come back in. Morrison sends him to the floor and dives out onto him. Christian jumps Orton but gets caught in the elevated DDT. Truth comes in and takes the RKO but Christian grabs the Killswitch and pins Orton 11:55 shown of what I thought was closer to 20 minutes but whatever.
Rating: B. I liked this a lot as the ending was rather intricate with all of the spots intertwining very well. The whole point of this was to make it clear that Christian could get the pin on Orton in what you could call a clean method and that’s what he did here. This worked well and was a solid main event that did a few things well. Good stuff.
Overall Rating: B. This was a moving day episode of Smackdown. Not a lot actually happened here but a lot of stuff for the future was set up. You can see most of Summerslam now which you could only see pieces of a week ago at this time. The stuff that we got was pretty good and the show is shaping up pretty well. Also Aksana being back with those abs of her is never a bad thing.
Sheamus b. Great Khali – Brogue Kick
Natalya b. AJ – Sharpshooter
Daniel Bryan b. Tyson Kidd – Guillotine Choke
Ezekiel Jackson b. Zack Ryder – Torture Rack
Mark Henry b. Vladimir Kozlov – World’s Strongest Slam
David Otunga/Michael McGillicutty/JTG b. Uso Brothers/Trent Barreta – Elbow drop/backbreaker combination to Barreta
Christian/R-Truth b. Randy Orton/John Morrison – Killswitch to Orton