“Smackdown,” 7/8/11By Drowgoddess · · 1 Comment
[King Leonidas voice/] This – is – “Smackdown!”
When last we met, Sheamus interrupted the World Heavyweight Championship title match contract signing (like you do), ran off everyone, and tore up the contract.
To the ring! Josh Matthews introduces the participants in the “Smackdown” version of the “Money in the Bank” ladder match. Justin Gabriel, Heath Slater, Cody Rhodes, Kane, Daniel Bryan, and Wade Barrett all stand at attention in the ring. Sin Cara sits perched atop the corner turnbuckle. When Matthews finishes explaining the MITB match, Sin Cara stands and points at the briefcase. Everyone cheers, and he sits down again. Um, ok. Daniel Bryan says that he is looking forward to the opportunity. He doesn’t finish because Cody Rhodes yanks the mic away and says that while Daniel Bryan is an ordinary man, Rhodes is, in fact, extraordinary and exceptional. When Rhodes wins the match, and later the title, the masses will have to overcome their repulsion and pride and look him in the face. Wade Barrett announces that he is sick of hearing about what everyone else is going to do. Anyone else’s accomplishments over the past twelve months pale in comparison to his own. Barrett lists said accomplishments, and he has a valid point. Barrett never finishes his list, because Sheamus attacks!
The ring is cleared with the aid of a steel chair, which almost everyone but Sin Cara tastes. Sin Cara leaps from the top turnbuckle over Sheamus and the chair and rolls out of the ring. Now his awkward positioning makes sense. Sheamus announces that HE is going to win the MITB match, and after Randy Orton beats Christian for the fiftieth time, Sheamus will cash in his title shot that same night. Sheamus will hit Orton so hard that he’ll knock the voices out of his head. GOLD! A video recap of Orton punting Sheamus in the head a few weeks ago plays. The biggest regret of Randy Orton’s career will be that he didn’t kick Sheamus hard enough. Cue Christian, in street clothes. Christian reminds Sheamus that he beat him the night that Orton punted him. He thanks Sheamus for interrupting the contract signing and tearing up the papers, because Christian’s lawyers have gone over the contract again and added a new stipulation to the match. If Orton gets disqualified, or if the referee makes a mistake, Christian automatically becomes the new champ. He mocks Sheamus for not knowing how to read a contract. Sheamus throws a chair at Christian. Like you do. Cue Theodore R. Long! Teddy makes a non-title match between Orton and Sheamus for tonight’s main event. Christian smirks as only he can.
Drowgoddess Thoughts (DGT): The set-up of everyone standing but Sin Cara was too strange to ignore. Something was clearly happening. All of the wrestlers should have started off standing in a row. Josh Matthews should have asked Sin Cara about the MITB match first, so that his response of pointing at the briefcase would have made more sense. Then he could have gone to sit on the turnbuckle. As it was, it just looked like Sin Cara wasn’t allowed to sit with the rest of the class. Was it really smart to have the entire MITB crew taken out by one guy? Sheamus has the line of the night so far. Instead of asking participants in a match like MITB how they feel about the match, I’d like to hear them answer why each thinks he’ll win it and what he brings to the table.
Ted DiBiase and Cody Rhodes defeat Daniel Bryan and Ezekiel Jackson: I know! This match was much better than one of Big Zeke’s solo efforts. His clotheslines are devastating, though. Daniel Bryan gets beaten down, but manages to tag in Zeke, who brings the clotheslines and body slams. Lather, rinse, repeat. The match was actually quite good. Rhodes and DiBiase displayed superior teamwork and cunning, while Zeke brought the power and Bryan the finesse. Towards the end, Zeke gets DiBiase in the Torture Rack, and Rhodes runs interference. Bryan runs off Rhodes, but is caught by the referee in doing so. While Bryan argued with the ref, Rhodes smashed Zeke in the head with the Beautiful Disaster kick. When the ref turns around, DiBiase hit Zeke with the Dream Street and pinned him. Unexpected, and nicely done.
DGT: This match proves to me that Big Zeke wasn’t ready for a singles title push against Wade Barrett. He looks terrifying, but he’s just not entertaining by himself. Too limited and just dull. As part of a tag team or a faction, however, he’s great. The ending of the match is really the only legitimate way that Rhodes and DiBiase could possibly beat a team with Jackson on it, in any case. Good to see DiBiase get a win, even if he had help. There was a close-up of a poster in the audience that was drawn of Cody Rhodes, cartoon-style. I want it! It’s adorable. If anyone can get me a screen cap or something, I shall be grateful.
To the Mark Henry video package of destruction! Afterward, Matt Striker tries to ask Henry about his actions recently, but Henry runs him off with a glare.
DGT: This was a very good video. Henry looks like an absolute beast. I’m thoroughly into this version of Mark Henry, and wonder where he has been all this time.
Jinder Mahal defeats Trent Baretta: This squash didn’t even last a minute. That Baretta didn’t get an entrance was not a good sign.
DGT: The Great Khali was on commentary. Read that sentence again. He didn’t say much, as he and Booker T spent the whole time trying to get the headset on properly. Mahal’s best match so far has been against Vladimir Kozlov. Squash matches against much smaller guys have run their course. Mahal has to prove that he can handle something more now. Again, the Great Khali was on commentary.
To the back! Todd Grisham asks Sheamus about his rampage as of late. Sheamus laughs, puts an arm around Grisham’s shoulder and says that it’s an Irish thing, and Grisham wouldn’t understand. I chuckled.
AJ (w/ Natalya) defeats Tamina (w/ Alicia Fox): AJ entered to Natalya’s music, which was not at all fair. I thought that the match was going to be Tamina and Natalya, and I got all excited. Tamina brought power, experience, and underestimating her opponent. AJ was quick, agile, and never-say-die. Tamina missed a top rope splash, and AJ rolled her up in a schoolgirl for the pin. Post-match, Alicia Fox and her ridiculous pink stripper heels mocked Tamina for losing to a little girl. Tensions flared. To be continued.
DGT: I’ll give AJ credit where it’s due. She’s clearly one of the most talented actual wrestlers of the Divas group. She has a cute look and a pretty face. That said, I’m tired of being told about her by the announcers. I want to SEE about her. If a rookie is going to get this type of push, I want to have a reason to cheer for her, aside from being told to by the announce team.
Mark Henry defeats Kane: This was rather brutal, but in the positive way. Eight minutes of back-and-forth big man power wrestling. Several near-falls. One Choke Slam from Kane looked like he just threw Henry. Wow. Kane throws Henry to the floor and clears off the announce table, but Henry powers out and runs Kane spine-first into the ring post. Repeatedly. After rolling Kane back into the ring, Henry hits a running splash and a World’s Strongest Slam for the pin. Post-match, Henry gets in Booker T’s face about trash-talking him. The other two announcers bail. Booker insists that it was Michael Cole talking about Henry. “I ain’t got no problem wit’ you, dog.” Excellent!
DGT: When done to Mark Henry, it’s more of a Chin Slam than a Choke Slam. As I said before, the man has no neck. If you didn’t laugh when Booker T told Mark Henry that Michael Cole was the one talking trash about him, then you have no soul. Way to go, Booker. You actually said something legitimately funny on commentary.
Sin Cara defeats Tyson Kidd: Oooo, this could be fun. Much is made by the announcers that Kidd has made every effort to distance himself from the Hart family and make his own way in the business. Kidd grounded Sin Cara and laid into him with kicks, even pulling him off of the ring apron at one point. Very nice back and forth match. Kidd attempts a springboard elbow drop, but Sin Cara gets his knees up and Kidd can’t use the arm. A springboard back elbow and a victory roll for Sin Cara, but Kidd kicks out. Kidd climbs to the top turnbuckle, but Sin Cara trips him. It’s now Sin Cara’s turn to climb the ropes, and he hits his top rope C4 exploder suplex for the pin. It’s called the Spanish Fly, isn’t it? Either way, it’s really pretty.
DGT: I’ve become something of a Sin Cara apologist ’round these here parts, and some of you will never like him, but it does go both ways. Sin Cara’s efforts to adapt to the WWE style of wrestling are all in vain if no one on the WWE roster bothers to learn how to work with him as well. Check out his CMLL work, and notice the difference. After seeing this week’s “Impact,” I’d love to see Sin Cara fight Jack Evans. After four years of living and working in Mexico, Jack has the style knowledge and the athleticism to be a good opponent for him. In any case, Sin Cara is so popular with the fans in such a short time that WWE can’t ignore the money to be made from him.
To the back! Matt Striker asks Teddy Long about Mark Henry. Long says that the investigation of Henry’s recent actions (destroying the sound tech) is ongoing, and he will announce the results when he has them. Striker presses Long, asking if he is intimidated by Mark Henry. Long walks away.
Jimmy and Jey Uso defeat Justin Gabriel and Heath Slater: Yay! Solid tag team action, and a very good match. Evenly matched back-and-forth action for the most part. Gabriel tags in after a Slater neckbreaker, and climbs to the top turnbuckle, gesturing at Slater to move Jimmy Uso into position for the 450 Splash. Slater does so, but there’s life left in Jimmy. He kicks Slater into the ropes, causing Gabriel to fall and crotch himself on the turnbuckle. Jimmy tags Jey, then superplexes Gabriel from the top to the mat. Jey lands a top rope splash on Gabriel from the opposite corner, and gets the win. Post-match, Slater and Gabriel argue.
DGT: The entrance of Justin Gabriel and Heath Slater illustrates perfectly the concept of the “it” factor. You can’t necessarily explain it, but Gabriel clearly has it, while Slater clearly does not. The haka is a fantastic entrance for the Usos, and I’m glad to see that they seem to be using it and the accompanying music for good. Yes, Booker T actually said that Samoans would gain another fifty to one hundred pounds, because they’re Samoan, and had to watch their weight. *shakes head*
To the Johnny Curtis promo.
To the video recap! We see highlights of Vince/Cena/Punk, followed by a rundown of MITB matches.
Randy Orton defeats Sheamus: Christian came to ringside for commentary before the match started. He had no headset, though, so we couldn’t hear him. Lots of reversals and Sheamus throwing Orton around. Sheamus skinning the cat is an impressive sight! This match got about ten minutes. Sheamus’s Brough Kick is ducked and countered with an RKO. Sheamus slips out of the RKO and picks up Orton for something. Whatever it was, Orton slides out and hits a backbreaker. Christian interferes, and attacks Orton, resulting in a DQ for Sheamus and a technical victory for Orton. Post-match, Sheamus drags Christian off of Orton and drops him with a Brough Kick. Sheamus turns around and gets planted with an RKO. The show ends with Orton standing tall over the fallen bodies of his foes, because he’s Randy Orton and he is the superhero of “Smackdown.”
DGT: Orton bores me to tears. That’s right, I said it, who wants some??? The inclusion of Sheamus is working well, but I’m biased in his favor. Having a tournament with a series of qualifying matches to earn spots in the MITB match would have been much more entertaining and effective than simply announcing “These guys are in the match for this brand.” It would certainly have made the two MITB matches seem much more important.
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