On This Day: July 3, 2012 – Smackdown: They Call This Great?

Date: July 3, 2012
Location: American Bank Center, Corpus Christi, Texas
Commentators: Booker T, Josh Matthews, Michael Cole

It’s another live show here and in this case it’s the Great American Bash. The main event tonight is a 20 man battle royal with the winner getting to be GM next week on Friday. That’s up in the air and only offers a few interesting options, which means one of them is likely going to win. These shows are very hit and miss so hopefully this is the former of the two. Let’s get to it.

We open in the back with a big party. There are girls in small outfits, Hornswoggle in the tub and Teddy in a Kiss the GM apron. Eve is going to be the cleaning lady tonight. Santino is brought forward to light the barbecue to officially start things off. Teddy and Santino back off from lighting it as Kane is here. He lights the fire for them in a cute bit.

Do You Know Your Enemy? Mine is having guests that are going to keep me from seeing Dark Knight Rises for another week.

Cole says he’s going to get inside AJ’s head tonight.

Here’s Del Rio to open the show. He’s going to talk about himself, namely his match at MITB with Sheamus. Sheamus is going to be sent back to Ireland because he’s just like all these people: a hooligan trying to take advantage of people like Del Rio. Alberto came here legally and is making money both here and in Mexico, unlike everyone here. He wants to send everyone here to the place where they belong, so he asks to see some people’s papers. One guy doesn’t have them so Alberto asks for security to take him out. The guy says this is Texas, not Arizona.

Cue Sheamus for the save and they brawl in the aisle. The champ throws Del Rio off the stage and into the barricade a few times. Ricardo keeps trying to help and eventually it allows Del Rio to kick Sheamus in the head. Ricardo opens the hood and Del Rio slams it down onto Sheamus’ back over and over.

Post break we look at most of the attack all over again. Sheamus is taken out and has some blood coming down his head.

Great Khali/Layla vs. Aksana/Antonio Cesaro

This is punishment from Teddy because he’s a sore loser. The guys start and it’s time for a chop in the corner to Cesaro. Khali misses a big boot and Antonio takes him down in the corner. Khali throws him aruond some more and it’s off to the girls. Layla isn’t exactly Trish or Lita but she’s by far the better in ring worker of the two here. Cesaro breaks up a cover and is thrown to the floor. Layout gets the pin at 1:45, and that means Layla pinned Aksana in case you can’t figure out that LAYla uses the LAYout and you can’t check the results below if you’re not sure.

Cody brags about having another qualifying match later tonight but Teddy informs him that it’s against Christian. Cody isn’t happy.

Raw Moment: Foley wins the title. They spend about as much time talking about WCW spoiling it and 600,000 people changing the channel than about the title change itself.

Money in the Bank Qualifying Match: Cody Rhodes vs. Christian

Non-title. The idea is that Cody has never beaten Christian so he’s in over his head here. Cody sends him to the apron and hits a Disaster Kick for two. Rhodes looks at the case a lot and we take a break. Back with Cody holding a hammerlock before hitting a release gordbuster for two. Christian comes back with a middle rope missile dropkick and gets fired up.

He slingshots to the floor and uppercuts Cody followed by a running seated dropkick. Top rope cross body gets two for the champ. Cody’s Alabama Slam is countered into a sunset flip for two. He goes to unhook the buckle but Christian grabs him with a reverse DDT for two. The spear is countered but Cody misses the Disaster Kick. Killswitch is countered into the Cross Rhodes for the completely clean pin at 9:12.

Rating: C+. Well that was kind of anti-climactic. Naturally there was NO ONE that Cody could beat other than Christian to qualify right? I mean, there was no one else that could job out there other than a champion. The match was good but it makes the title look weak again which they had been changing for awhile.

Backstage Ryder starts a dance party after Slater is run off. Brodus takes center stage.

Money in the Bank Qualifying Match: Dolph Ziggler vs. Alex Riley

Riley immediately hits a great dropkick for a fast two. Ziggler DDTs him down for a fast two and takes over. Riley makes a fast comeback with a clothesline in the corner and a spinebuster for two. The crowd continues to be into Riley which is interesting. Inverted DDT is countered but Ziggler’s Stinger Splash misses, giving Riley a rollup for a close two. Zig Zag gets the pin at 2:28.

Cole is in the ring to interview AJ. That theme song of hers’ is catchy. Cole says he’s fair and balanced, unlike AJ who is clearly unbalanced. We get a long video recapping everything AJ did last night. Cole cuts her off and says AJ wasn’t thinking. He calls her a teenager (she’s 25) and asks if she’s ever thought about pursuing a real man. One with power and influence and a former war correspondent who became the voice of the WWE.

Cue Bryan before this gets too weird. He calls Cole a sexist and says AJ didn’t mean for him to go through a table last night. It was all a misunderstanding. Cue Punk who angrily throws Cole out. He says AJ did something last night that directly affected both Bryan and himself last night. Punk isn’t going to pretend it didn’t happen just because AJ is guest referee. She’s not in a good place mentally and maybe some of that is Punk’s fault. Punk says AJ needs professional help but Bryan cuts him off.

Bryan says that Punk is trying to be tricky because AJ is the guest referee. The only thing Punk cares about is having AJ as guest referee because he needs her to retain the title. AJ kisses Bryan for awhile and Punk shakes his head and leaves. She goes after him and kisses him too. Bryan looks stunned and Punk looks confused. AJ skips off and does a YES chant on the stage.

Santino Marella/Sgt. Slaughter/Jim Duggan vs. Hunico/Camacho/Drew McIntyre

Camacho and Slaughter start things off and it’s quickly off to Santino. He gets in trouble in the evil dirty foreign corner and Drew pounds away a bit. A slam is countered and it’s hot tag to Duggan. There’s the Three Point Clothesline but everything breaks down. The ring is mostly cleared and the Cobra gets the pin on Hunico at 2:25.

Back to the party where Little Jimmy is jumping up and down. Sandow comes in and unplugs the cord. He says this isn’t what our founding fathers fought for. Ryder gets in his face but Sandow has a speech ready. A fight breaks out with the people chanting Ryder. Zach gets the punch bowl but it goes onto Eve. Everyone laughs at her and it’s time to keep dancing.

Hawkins and Reks both think they can beat Ryback but Hawkins won the coin toss and gets to face him.

Ryback vs. Curt Hawkins

Hawkins tries a sleeper but gets caught in the Over the Shoulder Boulder Holder. Ryback slams his head into the mat and hits an overhead choke suplex. Hawkins gets his head taken off by a clothesline and the Shell Shock gets the pin at 1:08.

Sheamus is out of the battle royal tonight.

Raw Moment: Vince Appreciation Night. Donald Trump made it rain money.

Here’s Teddy to thank the fans for letting him be the GM this week.

Battle Royal

Alberto Del Rio, Kane, Jack Swagger, John Cena, Heath Slater, Daniel Bryan, CM Punk, Big Show, Great Khali, Brodus Clay, Damien Sandow, Tensai, Ezekiel Jackson, Justin Gabriel, Dolph Ziggler, Kofi Kingston, Zach Ryder, Santino Marella, Cody Rhodes, Christian

Only the big names get entrances as per usual. At the moment I’m probably missing some names but i’ll fill them in as we go. Show throws out Justin and Brodus quickly. A bunch of people team up to throw out Khali. I’m missing one guy but I’m not sure if Sheamus was replaced or now. Ryder knocks out Sandow and Cody throws out Santino. Oh Christian is #20. Show shoves out Kofi and Cody as we take a break.

Back with ten guys to go as Bryan and Punk slug it out. Bryan stands in front of the ropes and Punk charges at him, eliminating both guys. Ok so we have Kane, Ziggler, Cena, Christian, Del Rio, Tensai, Ryder and Big Show to go. Big Show chokeslams Cena but Kane chokeslams Big Show. Tensai goes after Kane and pounds him into the corner. Cena erupts and beats up everyone before tossing Del Rio. Kane takes an AA but Tensai slows Cena down.

Christian and Ryder work on Big Show but that gets them nowhere. Cena dumps Tensai but Show dumps Cena immediately thereafter. So it’s Big Show, Ryder, Christian, Ziggler and Kane. Show spears Ryder down and easily tosses out Christian to get us down to four. Ziggler puts Show in the sleeper but Kane kicks Show in the head to put them both out.

It’s Ryder vs. Kane now which isn’t the pairing I was expecting. Kane pounds him down but runs into the corner knees and the Broski Boot. Ryder tries the Rough Ryder because he’s not that bright, but he escapes the chokeslams and low bridges Kane for the elimination and the win at 10:50.

Rating: C+. Why not? Seriously, why not? You can’t say this was predictable and it was pretty fun at the same time. Ryder has nothing to do and it’s good to give him a featured spot on next week’s show. This is probably Ryder’s second biggest win ever and maybe it’ll be the start of a new push for him. Nothing special here but I had a good time with it.

Overall Rating: C+. This is one of those shows that’s more based around fun than quality. That’s ok but I’d kind of like to see something that actually matters on Smackdown once in awhile. This felt like any other episode and the live aspect didn’t really change anything other than the day it was airing on. As for the American aspect of it, there was almost nothing here other than some standard comedy bits and Duggan/Slaughter’s required appearances. Nothing to see here but it was nothing particularly bad so we’ll go with a little above average.

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