Smackdown – September 23, 2011 – Blood Blood Everywhere and Every Drop is Censored

Date: September 23, 2011
Location: Wright State University Nutter Center, Dayton, Ohio
Commentators: Michael Cole, Booker T, Josh Matthews

We’re in the Mark Henry Era here on Smackdown which is still weird to hear. It’s 9 days before Hell in a Cell which is still stupid to hear as we’re five days past the previous PPV. Orton has already said he’s cashing in his rematch in the Cell which is a stretch but it’s the only match they have given the circumstances. There isn’t much else to say about this show so let’s get to it.

Do you know your enemy? Mine is rain when you’re supposed to be having a vacation.

We open with everyone at ringside and Johnny Ace in the ring, drawing a lot of boos. HHH isn’t here tonight so he’s brought out everyone to talk about the issues HHH has caused. He mentions the firings and says that he’s changed his mind and HHH hasn’t lost control. On Monday he saw determination in HHH’s eyes so everything is cool. HHH will be here later.

Ace brings out Henry. Henry says it took him 15 years to win the title and he’s not going to lose it for 15 more years. He calls out various people for not believing in him and here’s HHH. Nice to see that they let Ace have a full assembly since HHH was five minutes late. Henry won’t shake HHH’s hand. Well to be fair he has the mic in one hand and the belt in the other. He does hand the boss the mic though.

Before the Game can say anything, here’s Christian to interrupt. I guess he brought his own mic. He sucks up to HHH and says he appreciates how Smackdown has been treated. Christian talks about how he’s more marketable than Henry. He asks if you can picture Henry’s face on a box of cereal. I’d eat that. Christian asks for one more match and says you know who is going to choke in his match.

HHH talks about how he’s in charge in a scary calm voice. Later on tonight there’s going to be a lumberjack match with Christian vs. You Know Who (Voldermort?), presumably for the title with the winner facing Orton at Hell in a Cell. Shouldn’t that be the other way around? Why does the champion have to qualify for the title match at the PPV? HHH leaves and Henry gets in Christian’s face, sending the Canadian scampering.

Sheamus vs. Heath Slater

Cole calls it Ronald McDonald vs. the girl from Wendy’s. My money is on the Burger King in a run-in. Sheamus pounds him down and hits those forearms to the chest in the ropes to a nice reaction. Slater fires back with a neckbreaker for two and pounds away a bit. He slaps Sheamus in the back of the head and I’ll give you two guesses as to what happens next. Powerslam, top rope shoulder, Brogue Kick, 4:32.

Rating: C. Just a squash here but Slater’s selling made up for some of the boring factors of it. Sheamus might be the next challenger for Henry which could be interesting as the big brawls they have haven’t had a clean winner either time so it might be worth watching. Slater is officially a jobber to the stars and that’s what he’s best at.

Christian tries to get Khali’s help in the title match later. After a big rant about how Khali would want to face a small person, Khali’s response is “you are small.”

Wade Barrett vs. Justin Gabriel

Booker calls Barrett a British nobleman and a former bare knuckle pugilist. Barrett beats Gabriel down quickly and the fans are almost silent. Gabriel avoids and shot and we head to the floor with Gabriel hitting a pretty sweet front flip dive over the top to take out Barrett. The kicks take Barrett down but he breaks up the 450 and Wasteland ends this at 2:32. That wasn’t quite a squash but it was a pretty quick pin for Barrett.

Orton vs. Rhodes tonight….again.

Orton says he doesn’t want to comment about Rhodes. He talks about where he’s in 9 days and when he comes back, he’ll have the World Heavyweight Championship.

Video on how evil the Cell is.

Christian tries to recruit Big Zeke and insults him. Just like with Khali, Christian leaves thinking he has a partner.

Natalya/Beth Phoenix vs. AJ/Kaitlyn

I forgot how good looking Kaitlyn can be. She starts with Nattie and this goes badly for Kaitlyn McBigboobs. Kaitlyn gets in a shot to Beth and brings in AJ who does a bit better. Shining Wizard gets two and everything breaks down. Beth is against someone not named Kelly though so the Glam Slam ends this at 2:04. More or less just a squash.

Cody Rhodes vs. Randy Orton

Cody is sent to the floor quickly by a fired up Orton. Orton has a bad left knee but because he’s intelligent, he doesn’t tape it up. Cody goes after it anyway so it wasn’t successful but he tried at least. The knee goes around the post and Rhodes unhooks a buckle. Using the distraction Cody gets in a shot to the head with the mask for two. Orton clocks him with the mask at 3:28 for a DQ, even though it’s been established that the mask is legal.

Rating: C-. Not much to say here as the whole point was for the beatdown that’s coming post match but probably will be edited out. More on that in a minute. The psychology here at least made sense as Rhodes went after the injured body part. It sounds simple but how many people just don’t get that idea? Anyway this was too short to mean much but it wasn’t bad while it lasted.

Post match Orton goes crazy and beats down Cody with his usual stuff. Now what you won’t see is the ending of this beating. Orton pounded away on Cody with the mask and whatever else he could find. He hit Rhodes with the bell, and this was the result:

From a friend that was at the show, that was hardway and the announce table was covered in blood.

Christian offers Sheamus a potato because he’s Irish. It’s a peace offering for Sheamus to help him later in the show. Christian offers him the first shot and Sheamus says Christian can count on him. Christian leaves and Sheamus bites into the potato and spits it out, saying it’s from Idaho and not Ireland.

Great Khali vs. Jinder Mahal

Khali has the happy music back and gets a decent pop on his entrance. Mahal says lay down and Khali shakes his head no. The Plunge doesn’t work and Mahal gets a DDT to take over. Khali fights back with clotheslines and the Plunge ends this at 2:05. This wasn’t much.

Sin Cara vs. Daniel Bryan

This one has blonde hair so he’s the real one. When they’re near each other, the easiest way to tell is the fake one is taller. They shake hands so it’s pretty clear that he’s a good guy. We talk about how Bryan has fallen off a bit since winning MITB. He grabs a surfboard but Cara makes the rope. An enziguri puts Bryan down and Booker talks about how Cara has black marks on his boots. Josh says Booker said the same thing about the other one last week so Booker is a little confused.

Cara tries a Tajiri elbow and it looks like it’s edited for a botch. Out to the floor with Cara hitting a rana off the apron to send Bryan into the steps. Back in and Cara goes up but is shoved off by…Sin Cara. The impostor kicks Bryan in the head and hits a bit Swanton Bomb for the pin at 3:00. That one had more torque on it than any one Jeff Hardy has done in years.

Rating: C+. The match wasn’t anything great but some of Cara’s high spots were cool, especially the swanton which was really cool looking. I’m still not sure where Bryan is supposed to go after all this but maybe a heel turn or something is coming up for him. I don’t think he’s holding the case until Mania but it’s a nice thing for a possibility.

Christian knocks on Orton’s door and Ryder comes out. The Canadian tries to recruit Ryder but he says it would be a conflict of interest. Ryder’s phone rings and it’s Hugh Jackman. Orton is in on…something. Christian leaves without knocking again.

Air Boom vs. Usos

Bourne starts with Jey (he has the chest tattoo) but it’s off to Jimmy who hits a spinning Rock Bottom for two. Booker talks about being in Harlem Heat and Bourne gets beaten down as is his custom. Kofi gets the hot tag and hits the top rope chop but Jimmy sends him into the corner. The cross body hits and it’s Trouble in Paradise time. Jey breaks it up, letting Jimmy hit a superkick to put Kofi down. Trouble in Paradise sets up Air Bourne for the pin at 3:30.

Rating: C+. It’s hard to argue with a pair of high fliers against some Samoans. That’s old school style and it worked fine here. Air Boom is getting some traction and I’m hoping they have a lengthy reign with them. I like the speed teams like them and as odd as it sounds, having a name has helped them a lot. Fun little match and I still don’t get how Kofi can jump that high.

Raw ReBound eats up about three minutes and it’s only about Ryder/Jackman/Ziggler.

Smackdown World Title: Christian vs. Mark Henry

This is a lumberjack match for no apparent reason. At least two of the NXT rookies are at ringside plus Watson. Make that all three of them are there. Henry looks sad during Big Match Intros. The bell rings after a break and Christian wants to run but doesn’t want to run at O’Neil, Kingston and Bryan. Christian can’t do anything with Henry so Mark throws him to the floor. Big Zeke says for everyone to stay back then knees Christian in the ribs.

Henry throws Christian into the air like on a backdrop but lets Christian crash down. Off to the nerve hold and then a bear hug. Christian pounds away with all of the offense he can get in, culminating in a middle rope dropkick to put Henry down. He shoves Christian off with ease and Christian is scared. Killswitch is broken up and Christian tries the sunset flip out of the corner but Henry drops down, only to hit mat. They head to the floor and Henry shoves all the faces around when they jump on him. Christian tries to run but Sheamus pops up to throw him back in for the World’s Strongest Slam to end things at 6:19.

Rating: C+. I know I’ve used that grade a lot tonight but this was the kind of win Henry needed: Christian isn’t losing anything here and Henry looks dominant going into the Cell with his first successful title defense. I have no idea what the point of the lumberjacks were here and Sheamus tossing him back in could have worked fine in a regular match. Good logic here though.

Post match Orton comes out to fight Henry and dropkicks him to the floor to end the show.

Overall Rating: B-. With eight matches on a show and nothing being bad plus almost everything having a purpose, it’s hard to say this wasn’t at least a good show. It’s not a great show or anything but for a period where almost everything is a transitional show towards the HIAC PPV, that’s all you can do really. This was a good show, but having two weeks to set up a PPV is way too short, especially with not a ton of time to set up the last one.

Sheamus b. Heath Slater – Brogue Kick
Wade Barrett b. Justin Gabriel – Wasteland
Beth Phoenix/Natalya b. AJ/Kaitlyn – Glam Slam to AJ
Cody Rhodes b. Randy Orton via DQ when Orton hit Rhodes with the mask
Great Khali b. Jinder Mahal – Punjabi Plunge
Sin Cara b. Daniel Bryan – Swanton Bomb
Air Boom b. The Usos – Air Bourne to Jey
Mark Henry b. Christian – World’s Strongest Slam

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