Date: August 19, 2011
Location: Rabobank Arena, Bakersfield, California
Commentators: Michael Cole, Booker T, Josh Matthews
It’s the post Summerslam show and we get to see what is going on after Orton has won the title. There’s more or less no reason to have Chrstian get another shot now after feuding with Randy all summer. The match on Sunday came off like a blowoff match and while I could see one more match in the Cell, they need a break between now and then. We’ll also get a lot more stuff I’m sure. Let’s get to it.
Teddy opens the show and here’s Randy. He says the people are used to hearing Christian whine about wanting another rematch. He’s no Christian (SCANDAL!) but he is the World Heavyweight Champion and his name is Randy Orton. He used to respect Christian but now he despises him and it’s over. Teddy says tonight there will be a 20 man battle royal for the #1 contender spot.
Cody Rhodes and Ted come out and the belt looks awesome on him. He says Legacy has reunited and now Cody is a champion too. However, he won his without barbarism. The people here are hideous and he doesn’t care about them. He’ll be in the battle royal tonight and soon he’ll take the title. Cody says Ted has a voice and hands him the microphone.
Ted says they know Orton better than anyone. They know his weaknesses….and I guess Orton got bored because there’s an RKO for Ted. He and Cody stare each other down and Cody bails. Cody yells at Ted and demands he does something about this. Teddy says he’ll make Orton stand in the corner on one leg for ten minuets. Also he’s going to have to write “I will not RKO Ted DiBiase 100 times.” Since Ted can’t compete tonight Cody has to take his place and the title will be on the line.
Intercontinental Title: Cody Rhodes vs. Ezekiel Jackson
Smackdown will be live on Tuesday August 30. The bell is after a break. We get a clip of last week’s title change and the beating of Ted. It’s amazing how much better Jackson looks by just snarling. Jackson takes over with pure power to start as is his custom. Enziguri misses for Rhodes and an elbow gets two. A backdrop gets one and Jackson keeps up his domination. I guess he’s been listening to his own theme music.
Cody finally gets something going and hits a bulldog. That doesn’t last long as we’re back to the floor and Jackson sends him into the steps. The champ dropkicks the steps into the leg/knee and back inside we go. Jackson tries a quick rack but Cody gets another knee shot. The Beautiful Disaster (looked AWESOME as the foot smacked against Jackson’s face) hits and Cross Rhodes ends this at 3:38 totally clean.
Rating: C+. This is exactly what Rhodes needed. He hit the two big moves and planted Jackson for his second clean pin over him in a row. That should end the run for Jackson and he has no justification to challenge for the title anymore. This was decent stuff and I’m still loving that kick to the face.
Ryder comes up to Teddy in the back and says Alberto is on his way. Teddy isn’t happy with this because it was supposed to be Cena or Punk. Ryder says life is full of surprises like tonight when he wins the battle royal. Aksana comes in and more innuendo is made. She offers to watch the battle royal with him and Teddy gets all tongue tied and leaves.
Justin Gabriel is still in South Africa. I think we’ve seen this one before.
Justin Gabriel vs. Tyson Kidd
Well they had a great match on NXT a few weeks ago so I have high hopes here. We get some nice speed stuff to start and Tyson takes over with some shots to the face. Nice dropkick to the back of the head as the announcers are talking about fishing with sharks. A hard elbow gets two. Justin fires off with some kicks which get two. Kidd rolls through a springboard cross body and tries a leg lock but Justin escapes and hits an STO. Justin goes for the 450 and after knocking Kidd off the top the splash ends it at 4:23.
Rating: C+. They’re keeping the matches short tonight but I’m digging them. Justin and Kidd are both getting some solid TV time and the matches are getting better. The little clips from South Africa are nice touches as they’re giving us a reason to care about him which we didn’t have before. Good little TV match here and the 450 is great as always.
Mahal and Khali say they’ll win the battle royal tonight.
Ricardo brings out Alberto. There’s a nameplate on the title now. He says the exact same stuff he’s said for months now. It’s his destiny and he hurt Rey and all that jazz. It’s been a year since he’s gotten here and a lot of things have changed in that time span. We get a clip from Monday where he beat up Rey. Some kid has a sign saying Alberto isn’t champ. Uh, yeah he is. Alberto gives something like an open challenge.
Alberto Del Rio vs. Daniel Bryan
Non-title of course. Bryan wants to know why Del Rio cashed in like everyone else if he’s so special. The bell rings after a break as is usual. Feeling out process to start and Del Rio avoids a big swinging kick. He catches Bryan coming back in and stomps away. The golden banana hammocks are back. Off to an arm hold and a Daniel Bryan chant starts up. Bryan gets all ticked off and fires off some kicks for two.
The announcers talk about the HHH/Nash situation which is fine as it actually relates to the guys in the ring. Codebreaker to the arm off the middle rope takes Bryan down again and it’s back to an armbar. Sunset flip is blocked and Del Rio drops another elbow onto the arm for two. Time for a key lock which is at least a change of pace in the holds. Time for the Michael Cole Show as he rants about Bryan being a nerd and having a Youtube channel.
Now Cole is making fun of Bryan going to a drive-in movie. He goes on and on with it for like a minute and a half, making fun of Josh for going to see Cowboys and Aliens and for always being for the good guy. Bryan fights Del Rio off and rifles off some kicks in the corner. The look on Del Rio’s face is great as his face says “THAT REALLY HURT!”
Bryan fires off a clothesline and backdrops Del Rio over the top. Running knee off the apron hits Del Rio square in the face and looks great. Back inside the Mexican hits a German to the American for two. They go up top with their backs to the ring and Bryan reverses a belly to back superplex into a cross body as we go to a break.
Back with them slugging it out with some loud boo/yay going on. Running dropkick in the corner puts Alberto down. Ricardo is losing his enchiladas. Missile dropkick gets two. A big swinging kick misses and Bryan avoids a belly to back while still selling the arm. Bryan tilt-a-whirls into the guillotine choke but Del Rio manages to ram him into the corner and get a northern lights suplex into the cross armbreaker for the tap at 15:30 total. I’m watchin this one as it airs so that’s total time from bell to bell.
Rating: B. Solid match here as both guys looked good. Bryan doesn’t need to get a win here because he has a ton of time before he has to cash in. Del Rio needs wins like this and the one he got over Mysterio on Monday to give himself some credibility. This was good stuff and both guys looked good which is the whole idea.
Post match Del Rio goes for the arm even more until Sin Cara makes the save.
Henry says he should be #1 contender. He looks at the battle royal like a boat. Things are going to get rocky and 19 men are going overboard.
Kelly Kelly/AJ vs. Natalya/Alicia Fox
Nattie vs. AJ to start and the cute one (in plaid) is in trouble. Natalya is killing it here as we’re just waiting for the hot tag to Kelly to clean house. AJ finally fights her way to the tag and Kelly does her usual stuff. Alicia misses the axe kick and K2 ends this at 4:30. Just nothing to talk about here.
Rating: C. Eh this was fine all things considered. They’re really pushing Kelly strong as a “wrestler” but it’s not doing anything for me. The girls are almost entirely interchangeable other than Beth and Natalya to a degree. The matches aren’t as bad anymore though which is a nice break.
Post match Alicia yells at Natalya and Nattie puts her in a Sharpshooter on the floor to a big pop.
Same video of Axxess we’ve seem all week.
Orton comes out to watch the battle royal.
Mark Henry, Jimmy Uso, Jey Uso, Sin Cara, Sheamus, Daniel Bryan, Johnny Curtis, Ezekiel Jackson, Cody Rhodes, Ted DiBiase, Jinder Mahal, Great Khali, Zack Ryder, Yoshi Tatsu, William Regal, Tyson Kidd, Wade Barrett, Justin Gabriel, Heath Slater, Trent Barretta
I think that’s everyone at least. Only Sin Cara (clearly a different guy), Sheamus, Barrett (complete with coat) and Henry get entrances. Everyone goes after Henry immediately and that just fails. Barretta is out in about 15 seconds as is Tatsu. Khali is defending Mahal in the corner. There goes Curtis. Expect a lot of “so and so is out” because there isn’t anything else to say for the most part in these matches.
Slater is down in the corner and his torso is out. Khali chops Regal and the pain is evident. There goes Ryder to a pop. Booker saying Woo Woo Woo is funny stuff. Jackson puts the IC Champ out which I really hope doesn’t mean the feud continues. Jackson goes for Khali and hammers him in the corner which gets a nice reaction. The clothesline in the corner results in him getting chopped in the head and tossed though so Jackson is out.
Now Henry and Khali have the staredown and a Sin Cara chant starts up. They strike it out and Henry goes down from a chop. Punjabi Plunge is broken and Henry puts Khali out with relative ease. Mahal is FREAKING. Sheamus goes after Henry and down goes Henry again, falling under the ropes to the floor. Sheamus fakes Slater out and a Brogue Kick puts Slater out. Henry beats up Slater because he can.
After a break Sheamus and Mahal are almost out but no luck. There seem to be about ten or eleven left. According to Cole there are ten left. Regal was eliminated during the break. Henry is still chilling on the floor. Cara puts Gabriel out with a cross body but holds on. Henry beats Gabriel up as well. Sheamus eliminates both Usos and they’re Henry’s next meal, including one being thrown through the announce table. Orton is just sitting at ringside during this.
Henry is back in now. Ok so we have Sheamus, Barrett, Mahal, Henry, DiBiase, Sin Cara and Kidd. Henry tosses DiBiase and Mahal with ease and Cara eliminates Kidd. We’re down to four: Barrett, Sheamus, Henry and Sin Cara. The fans like Cara. The Europeans go after Henry and stomp him down in the corner. Cara is spent and is trying to get back up. Barrett takes Sheamus down (but not out) with a clothesline. Sheamus to the apron and Barrett joins him. They slug it out on the apron and Sheamus gets a kick to get us down to three.
Cara tries a dropkick to Sheamus but goes through the ropes instead. He dives at Sheamus but lands on the apron. Back in now and Sheamus drapes him on the ropes but can’t eliminate him. He sets for the kick but Henry grabs Sheamus and we’re down to two. Cara is up top and like an idiot tries a cross body which works but he tries a cover because he’s not that smart I guess. Henry presses him through the ropes so we’re back to a one on one match now. Cara tries a spinning cross body and gets caught in the World’s Strongest Slam, letting Henry win at 16:42.
Rating: C. Battle royals are hard to grade but this was fine. Henry winning like this is a good choice because he’s the only one that is in position to challenge Orton. Nice to see Sin Cara getting some time in there as the fans are into him. Nothing great here but it’s a fine way to set up the next main event and that’s all they needed to do here.
Henry stares Orton down post match.
Overall Rating: A. I had a really good time with this show. Nothing is bad at all and the booking I almost totally agree with. Henry is really the only heel other than maybe Barrett that could be plugged into the main event right now so that makes perfect sense. Cody gets another clean win and we get a solid long match in the kind of win Del Rio needs at the moment. No complaints here at all.
Cody Rhodes b. Ezekiel Jackson – Cross Rhodes
Justin Gabriel b. Tyson Kidd – 450 Splash
Alberto Del Rio b. Daniel Bryan – Cross Armbreaker
AJ/Kelly Kelly b. Alicia Fox/Natalya – K2 to Fox
Mark Henry won a battle royal last eliminating Sin Cara