We start off the show with a storyboard of what we can expect from tonight. Kane will go against Rey Mysterio in a No DQ match, Kofi will go after the Intercontinental Championship AGAIN against Dolph, and Undertaker will make his grand come-back tonight.
First up, Rey Mysterio and Kane. Rey enters with a big bang, and Iâ€™m glad to see a match kicking off Smackdown instead of a promo. Next, Kane walks out, looking all kinds of angry. The bell rings, and here we go. Rey wastes little time as he works on Kaneâ€™s legs, but soon is sliding out of the ring and across the floor like a slip nâ€™ slide. Kane brings out a bamboo caneâ€¦which ignites vicious flashbacks of his god-awful match against Khali a year ago. Rey climbs on top of the announce table after sending Kane into the steel steps, and knocks Kane down just before aâ€¦
When we return, theyâ€™re inside the ring and Kane has the upper hand. Kane is wrestling like a youngster again, putting his heart and soul into this match, and grabs a chair but Rey doesnâ€™t give him a chance to use it. Rey tosses Kane for a 619 thatâ€¦fails. Kane goes for a Chokeslam, Rey goes for a Hurricanrana, Kane grabs Rey, Rey jumps off, and nails Kane in the legs with the chair. Again in 619-position, it connects. To the top rope, caught by Kaneâ€™s hand, Chokeslam on the chair for the three-count.
Decent match. They used every inch of the ring and outside of it, as well. There were some interesting spots, lots of teasing counters, and a near win for Mysterio before Kane came up victorious.
Alberto del Rio emerges with that silly grin, feigning concern for Rey. As Rey is hobbling away, Alberto jumps him and lays down the same submission as last week on the injured arm. Childrenâ€™s voices float throughout the arena, chastising the new Superstar. He starts to walk away, but comes back to the ring for the chair and bolts to Rey, shoving his arm into the folded chair and ramming him against the ring post. He might finally be done, as he starts to exit again, and we go toâ€¦
They recap the Mysterio/del Rio mess, in case we forgot what happened four minutes ago.
CM Punkâ€™s music fires up, and I feel as though Iâ€™m seeing a ghostâ€¦poor Serena. They all look extra matching tonight.
All-too-familiar music startsâ€¦JTG? REALLY?!
Well, the bell rings. Letâ€™s hope this monstrosity is over quickly. JTG no-sells some kicks by Punk, but falls into a rhythm quickly. Punk goes for GTS, connects, and instead of a pin, goes for the Anaconda Vice, and JTG taps. Thank god.
Punk looked incredible, but JTG is justâ€¦JTG. It was over quickly enough, just as I hoped it would be. But this match was a waste.
Punk orders his minions into the ring. Makes them line up, on their knees. He assumes the teacher role, saying that what he just did was what should always be done. He alludes to the fact that Gallows may be facing Big Show later tonight. â€œBe better, or be gone,â€ he bellows. This is why I love Punk.
Cut to Rosaâ€¦with the shakeweight. Iâ€™m sure she doesnâ€™t need any instructions for that. She exits her conversation with Teddy and a dancing bush is seen in the background. Kill me. It appears they are playing charades. Mentioning LayCool for some reason. This is horrifying. God, please grant me aâ€¦
Recap reminding us of how the Six Pack Challenge for Night of Champions came to be. Come back to Todd and Matt discussing Undertakerâ€™s return.
Now, a recap of last weekâ€™s Dolph/Kofi match. So, another IC match? Really? This is just sillyâ€¦how many rematches does Kofi get?
Cody Rhodes has more Dashing grooming tips for us. This week, itâ€™s about stubble! Not just stubble, but how thereâ€™s not a shred of hair on his entire body. He has the physique of a freshman swimmer, in other words.
Intercontinental time. If Dolph gets disqualified, Kofi will be the new champ. Dolph enters first, with the VERY self-proclaimed Cougar on his arm. Kofi next, and Iâ€™m ready for some dÃ©jÃ vu. Ring the bell!
Dolph rolls out of the ring quick, but Kofi follows him out for an attack. Kofi means business, as heâ€™s already lost his hair-tie in the thirty seconds heâ€™s been wrestling. Kofi throws the SOS, but Dolph kicks out and we go toâ€¦
Kofi from the top rope for a Boom Drop, but Ziggles rolls out of the way. Kofi backs Dolph into a corner, but Dolph counters quickly and regains control. Submission hold on Kofi, but he fights out. Another kick to the face from Dolph, and another SOS for a would-be three count, but Dolph grabbed the ropes at two. The crowdâ€™s heads are about to explode. Kingston seems visibly frustrated as he goes for another cover which only gets a two-count. The Sleeper is applied, but Kofi grabs the ropes. Vickie slaps Kofi to a blind ref, and Dolph is livid. A Superman punch, and a crossbody from the top rope later, and still no pinfall. Another crossbody outside of the ring, and a double-clothesline. Ref is counting, Kofi rolls in, Vickie grabs Dolph before he can roll in, and he is counted out. Kofi is the winner of the match, and Dolph remains champ.
So much happened in this match I had to limit what I wrote about. An excellent match from the two, but I predicted the finish before the entrances were even made.
We return to a recap of Kaneâ€™s promo from the previous week. If Kane plans to retire in a yearâ€™s time, will he face Taker in another Career vs Streak match? You know youâ€™re getting too old when all of your best opponents are retiring.
Jack Swaggerâ€™s music begins, but he is without a smile upon entrance. I barely recognize himâ€¦
Commercial (sure are a lot of these tonight).
So, itâ€™s time for the Jack Swagger Sr. Invitationalâ€¦the first competitor to achieve five take-downs will be the winner. Lemme guess, heâ€™s facingâ€¦MVP?
Tick-tock, tick-tock, Iâ€™m right. MVP enters the arena with a little extra enthusiasm. Gear is passed out from the ref. This is kind of preposterous, but here we go.
Jack immediately picks up the first take-down. And quickly gains another. Kind of impressive, but Iâ€™m a pro-wrestling fan, not a traditional one. I want the cheesy choreographed spots. MVP falls victim to another take-down. MVP has had enough as he bitch-slaps Swagger, getting himself disqualified.
This was not entertaining, this was not relevant. It was creative, but I donâ€™t really care.
As he tries to exit, Swagger chases him down, forcing him into the ankle-lock.
Cut to LayCool and their BFF title, posing for pictures as Kaval watches. They go on talking about Melina and the 900th episode of Raw so quickly and high-pitched, I canâ€™t even pretend I know what theyâ€™re saying.
Albertoâ€™s announcer is announced, and Alberto immediately pulls up to insane boos from the crowd. Unknown music with no video package erupts as someone named Carlos Sanchez, billed from Fresno, enters. Heâ€™s young and adorable, so Iâ€™m on board so far. They kick things off immediately with del Rio dominating. Carlos is flailing like a fish out of water under del Rioâ€™s submission, he fights out, only to be knocked down again. Alberto gets Carlos on the top rope, damn near snuggling and then winks at him before pushing him over the ropes. This match is over in seconds as Alberto lays down his patented finisher.
Much better performance from Alberto tonight, and even the local guy, Carlos Sanchez, impressed. An overall entertaining match, but Iâ€™m still not on the Alberto Train.
Big Show and Kelly Kelly are backstage, making their way to the ring. Really? Well, Iâ€™d rather see her valet for Show than botching her way through a match.
We come back to the entrances of Show and Gallows, the match CM Punk was referring to earlier in the night. Big Show immediately takes over, as Punk watches via TV monitor backstage. Joey Mercury bolts from the scene, and Show fetches Luke from outside the ring. Kelly mounts Serena for funsies, and Luke gains momentum, but only for a moment. Knockout Punch, for the three-count.
Decent match, but it didnâ€™t last nearly long enough. This was a complete squash on Gallows, but it was entertaining enough, I suppose.
Todd and Matt are still jabbering about Undertakerâ€™s return, in case ANYONE forgotâ€¦
With no further adieu, Undertaker saunters out to the ring, clad in his infamous trench coat and hat. For a largely-hyped return of The Phenom, the crowd isnâ€™t going out of their minds like I thought they would.
The Deadman still knows how to work the crowd with his wordsâ€¦he promises to punish Kane. Calls him out for lying to him for a number of reasons, summing up that Kane could never live up to his accomplishments.
Kaneâ€™s music interrupts, but he wonâ€™t go near the ring. Already, heâ€™s delivering a quality speech about Undertakerâ€™s weaknesses, promising his own victory and assuring him that he is now that dominant brother. Undertaker retorts with a very firm tone, telling him he is unworthy of being his brother. Both men are growling like ravenous dogs with each word, promising victory against the other man.
Some chilling laughter from Kane, as his music tears through the arena.
Final Grade: B+
A little predictable, a little redundant, but executed perfectly. Despite having DVR, I didnâ€™t pause this program once to leave the room or smoke a cigarette. I hung on each word, and jumped for each pinfall. Not the best that Smackdown has pumped out, but not too shabby for the Blue Crew.
Tags: alberto del rio, cm punk, kane, report, rey mysterio, the undertaker, WWE, WWE Smackdown