Smackdown – July 26, 2013: Well That Was Different

Date: July 26, 2013
Location: American Bank Center, Corpus Christi, Texas
Commentators: Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield

We’re closing in on Summerslam and the main story on Smackdown is we have no #1 contender to the title. Orton beat Del Rio clean last week but wasn’t even on Raw to acknowledge the win. Alberto doesn’t have any feud going right now and is just kind of floating around having random match after random match. Odds are tonight will be spent building up the Raw matches for the PPV. Let’s get to it.

Opening sequence gets things going.

Randy Orton vs. Damien Sandow

Sandow is glad the fans have taken the time off from watching the bug zapper to be here tonight. He’s the uncrowned world champion and we’re welcome for that. Randy elbows him down to start but Sandow grabs a headlock to slow things down. Some shoulders into the ribs have Orton in trouble but he sends Sandow into the corner and fires off right hands to take over. A suplex gets two and Randy stomps on Sandow’s fingers. Damien comes back with a shot to the knee but Orton throws him out to the floor.

A drop onto the barricade gets two for Randy but Sandow fires off shoulder in the corner to get a breather. Orton punches out of the corner and knocks Sandow to the apron. The Elevated DDT is countered with a guillotine on the top rope for two as we take a break. Back with Orton pounding down right hands in the corner but Sandow drapes him over the top rope for two. We hit a bodyscissors on Orton as we get an awkward audio edit. The fans sounded like they were chanting We Want Cody but it almost immediately turned into a Randy chant, only to go back to the Cody chant a few moments later.

Sandow hits the Russian legsweep and the Wind-Up Elbow for two before going back to the bodyscissors. Orton punches his way out and hits the powerslam but here’s Cody for a distraction before the Elevated DDT can connect. Rhodes picks up the briefcase and walks away with it, allowing Orton to hit the RKO for the pin at 11:26 shown of 14:26.

Rating: D+. The match was nothing special because there was no reason to think Sandow was going to win. It’s the flaw with how WWE books Money in the Bank: they think it’s some magic pill that makes up for months of losses for a guy like Sandow, but people realize the guy never wins anything. I did some quick research on this and Sandow has won a total of two matches on Raw or Smackdown this year. People aren’t going to buy him as a world title contender because he beat Brodus and R-Truth but lost every other match on the main shows. Why WWE thinks this works is beyond me but we’re stuck with it.

Cody takes the briefcase with him.

Here’s Punk to an eruption with something to say. Punk says he got what he wanted with the Best vs. the Beast. Heyman taught him a lot about being the dirtiest player in the game, including how to go after your opponent’s weak spot and that’s exactly what he’s going to do to Lesnar at Summerslam. Lesnar’s greatest weakness is trusting Paul Heyman which is what Punk did for so many years. Paul did help Punk get to the WWE but it was all for himself.

Heyman knew that Punk was going to be successful so he put a stamp of approval on Punk to look like he did something. Paul always wanted Punk vs. Lesnar but he wanted to be in both corners. At Summerslam, Punk is going to take everything Heyman has ever wanted and then he’s going to kick Lesnar in the face over and over until there’s nothing left of him. Then there’s only going to be Heyman left……and here’s Fandango. He dances to the ring but the beating is on before anything can be said. Punk puts Fandango to sleep and is left alone in the ring.

1-800-Fella ad. It’s amusing but can we please give Sheamus something interesting to do? The guy is talented and over but he gets these horrible feuds where he’s treated like he’s invincible which doesn’t do anything for anyone.

Prime Time Players/Wade Barrett vs. Mark Henry/Usos

So Henry is a face again just a month after they told us how horrible he was for lying about his retirement. Such is life in wrestling. Jey cranks on Darren’s arm to start before it’s off to Jimmy for some right hands. Titus breaks up the offense with a cheap shot and it’s off to Barrett for some forearms in the corner.

The announcers keep us up to date with Royal Family news because that’s what people watch wrestling to hear. Titus comes in for a chinlock followed by a fall away slam to send Jimmy flying. The Uso comes back with a kick to the head and it’s hot tag to Henry. Everything breaks down and the World’s Strongest Slam ends Titus at 3:29.

Rating: D+. Quick tag team formula here with Henry playing the role of house cleaner perfectly. Shield vs. Henry/Usos should be good stuff if they’re given enough time on Monday but something tells me they’ll have to rush through everything which brings things down. On an unrelated note, why Darren Young still has a job eludes me.

Alberto comes in to see Vickie and suggests Vickie should let him pick his opponent for Summerslam. Vickie gives him a week to think about it but RVD, Alberto’s opponent tonight, comes in to offer himself as an opponent.

Sandow is looking for the briefcase and finds Sin Cara, who doesn’t look to be nearly as muscular as I remember him being. Real or imposter, Cara can’t help Damien and the search continues.

Rob Van Dam vs. Alberto Del Rio

Non-title. RVD fires off right hands to start but Del Rio bails to the floor to break the momentum. He stays on the floor for a long time as Cole makes fun of JBL’s title reign. “You held the title for a very long time without ever winning a match.” JBL: “Watch it.” Back in and RVD pounds away in the corner but the referee pulls him back with Del Rio shouting NO MAS. Rob goes after him again but gets caught by a superkick for the pin at 2:11. Of that 2:11, they made contact for maybe 40 seconds.

Sandow is still looking for the case. He comes up on Mark Henry who steps aside to reveal Booker T. Booker is a big man but Henry literally blocked him out. Neither will say where Cody is but they agree he’s a thief. Sandow says Booker used to be GM and Henry has to talk Mr. T. down.

Here’s AJ for the state of her mind address. Before she gets started we get a clip of Langston nearly kissing her last week. AJ says she’s here to clear the air: she isn’t just a nudge away from a breakdown because of the issues with Kaitlyn and Dolph, although she goes on for a good while about how horrible Ziggler is. She’s just fine because she’s the Divas Champion and will be forever. Just to show you how fine she is, here are the keys to Ziggler’s house. She planned to use them to break in and burn the place down but here’s Ziggler to interrupt her.

Dolph says he’s passed out thousands of those keys before and the locks have been changed a few times since her. AJ smiles and has Langston pull out Dolph’s suitcase. Ziggler says everything in the ring right now is replaceable so AJ pulls out Dolph’s wallet. She has a pair of scissors for some reason but Ziggler says a day at the DMV is a picnic compared to any time with AJ.

She cuts up his passport but Dolph says there’s a passport agency two blocks from his house and the girl there owes him a favor because of something that isn’t PG. AJ gets angrier and angrier and throws out Ziggler’s cash. There goes the Visa as the fans tell AJ she’s a psycho. AJ insists she’s fine and starts throwing around Dolph’s clothes, only to break down when she sees one of her old shirts.

Dolph keeps shrugging this off as AJ freaks out more and more. She goes to the floor and slaps the apron, only to walk into a spear from Kaitlyn. Langston goes to check on her and gets a Fameasser on the floor. This was different but I liked it for the most part. Ziggler shrugging off all the losses made sense given how replaceable all that stuff was.

Raw ReBound talks about Bryan’s gauntlet match and Cena making the save post match.

Wyatt Family vs. Tons of Funk

Bray is in the rocking chair so this is Luke Harper/Erick Rowan doing the work. Harper goes right after Tensai to start but everything quickly breaks down. Brodus is sent to the floor so Rowan can drag Tensai across the ring by the chin. Harper hits his discus lariat on Tensai and a splash from Rowan is good for the pin at 1:03.

Post match Bray says this isn’t Tensai’s fault and hits Sister Abigail (spinning downward spiral). Bray says he suspects Kane will be looking for him but he’s not too hard to find. If you need him, he’ll be right here with all his friends. They’ve been waiting for Kane and always have been. Still good stuff.

Sandow comes in to see Vickie but she doesn’t know about the case. She says give it time but Sandow wants it back tonight and storms off.

Christian vs. Jack Swagger

Before the match, Colter asks if we’re in Texas or north Mexico. The border agent didn’t bother to check Colter’s car though because Colter is a Real American. Swagger takes him to the mat and does push-ups on Christian’s back while shouting WE THE PEOPLE. Back up and Christian slaps him in the face before firing off right hands in the corner. Christian backdrops him to the floor and follows up with a pretty lame plancha. Back in and Swagger runs the ropes for a belly to belly and we go to a break.

Back with Christian hitting a middle rope missile dropkick and an uppercut to the jaw. A high cross misses Swagger but the gutwrench powerbomb is countered into a failed Killswitch bid. Another powerbomb attempt is countered into the reverse DDT for two but Swagger comes back with a kind of belly to belly for two. The Vader Bomb hits knees and Christian’s sunset flip out of the corner gets two. Swagger misses a charge into the post and the Killswitch is good for the pin at 4:46 shown of 7:46.

Rating: C-. Nothing to see here. Swagger has wrestled the same match for years now and this was about the same thing you would have expected from him. Christian was his usual smooth self out there but there’s nothing new to see here at all. It wasn’t a bad match or anything but it just came and went.

Before Christian can leave, here’s an irate Sandow to continue the search for his briefcase. As soon as the authorities get here, there’s going to be a warrant issued for Cody’s arrest. Vickie needs to fire Cody for being a thief but before Sandow can keep ranting, Cody pops up on screen with the case. He’s not in the arena but rather in front of the Gulf of Mexico. If Sandow wants his case back, he can come get it.

Damien storms out and goes outside as we take a break. Sandow goes after Cody but Rhodes threatens to throw the case in the water. Sandow keeps coming but Cody gets ready to throw it. Damien admits that Cody is smarter and carried the Scholars. He even has better facial hair. Cody says Damien has earned this and throws the case in the water. Damien shrieks and stops dead as Cody leaves. Damien can’t swim so he can’t go after the case, but he dives in anyway. He can’t get to it and comes back to land where he cries to end the show.

Overall Rating: C+. Well that was different. I’ll give them points for focusing on something different to build the show around, but at the end of the day there’s so little interest in Sandow or the title he can cash in on that it’s hard to get excited. Cody vs. Sandow should be a fun feud but it’s not going anywhere unless Cody wins the case or Del Rio drops the title.

The rest of the show was entertaining and it was very nice to see the focus off the traditional stuff. Using Smackdown to develop these other characters and stories is a great use of the time and far more interesting than a Raw supplement. Good stuff this week and a different kind of show.


Randy Orton b. Damien Sandow – RKO

Mark Henry/Usos b. Prime Time Players/Wade Barrett – World’s Strongest Slam to O’Neil

Alberto Del Rio b. Rob Van Dam – Superkick

Wyatt Family b. Tons of Funk – Splash to Tensai

Christian b. Jack Swagger – Killswitch

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1 comment

  1. Jay H says:

    I have been enjoying the Sandow/Cody Feud so far and I thought Sandow yelling at the guy in the car was hilarious. I thought the Match with him & Orton was good as well. Good Promo from CM Punk,was a little dissapointed Del Rio/RVD was short but maybe they will meet at Summerslam. The Ziggler/AJ bit was different but in a good way to add more to their drama.