Well, hello there! Long story short: Pulse Glazer and Kelly Floyd practically begged me on hands and knees to cover Smackdown tonight since they know I am clearly the most capable and level-headed person on our roster.
Aaaaaaand we’re live from Wichita, Kansas with our announce team of Josh Mathews, Michael Cole, and Booker T.
Dear God, Cole says Christian and Orton will have had six title matches together after tonight is said and done. Time to end the feud, no?
One of our touted “main events” actually opens the show, and surprisingly it’s Cena’s! Of course, he has to talk first. He tells the audience that they shouldn’t adjust their sets; his shirt really is that bright red. He says that several superstars from NXT, Velocity, Sunday Night Heat, Shotgun Saturday Night, and even the XFL are here. You get where this joke is going, right? He calls the XFL worse than the Shockmaster, so there’s your smarky Internet nod. Cena calls out del Rio, so obviously Ricardo Rodriguez comes out instead.
Rodriguez speaks in Spanish and translates himself much like Rey Mysterio does. The fans “What?!” him incessantly. He basically says Cena has to wait since he is the challenger. Rodriguez chants del Rio’s name, so Cena tells him to shut it and that he has a gift for del Rio: a punch to the jaw. Well, he didn’t actually say it was a punch; he kind of just punched Rodriguez in the maw.
Wade Barrett comes out to save us from Cena, and says that Cena shouldn’t beat up fat ring announcers (at which point, Cena talks trash about Tony Chimel). Barrett says Smackdown is his playground, yada yada yada. Cena says that Barrett is talented, but he owes Wade for making his life miserable.
Time for a commercial!
I’m not sure why Cena decided to rip on Chimel twice (the first time was welcoming us to SOOper SMACKdown LIIIIIVE a la Edge’s intro). Maybe he’s in the doghouse. Also, for those who don’t know, del Rio is in Mexico renewing his work visa.
John Cena vs Wade Barrett
We’re back with Barrett on the ropes but he gets Cena to back off. Cena gets trapped in the corner but quickly gets the upper hand again, even turning the usual “bend over for back body drop into kick to the head” into a clothesline. Barrett regains momentum and puts Cena in the corner again. Those turnbuckles are getting their money’s worth. Cena fires back with the Five Moves of Doom and drops the Five Knuckle Shuffle. Barrett’s up for the Attitude Adjustment and…that’s it?! Barrett had barely ANY offense. WTF?! Way to bury a guy that Cena said “has a bright future.” Cena even holds Barrett on his shoulders for an inordinate length of time.
Matt Striker is backstage with Mark Henry, who says he doesn’t care who wins the Steel Cage match because the winner will join his Hall of Pain. Striker asks for Henry’s opinion on a cage match. Henry says that was a stupid question. He then goes on to promote the hell out of the cage.
Here comes Hunico…I mean Sin Cara II! Who is he facing if del Rio is gone? We’ll know after the commercial break.
Seriously, way to bury Barrett. I get that Cena is number one contender, but Barrett knocked off Daniel Bryan at Summerslam and nothing ever came of that. What was the point of that feud? If I were Barrett, that would have given me reason to challenge for the briefcase. Remember what I said about how gimmick PPVs kill feuds? Night of Champions has forced Barrett/Bryan to hibernate without explanation.
Daniel Bryan vs Sin Cara II
This doesn’t bode well for Daniel Bryan. I expect a good back-and-forth match with Bryan jobbing AGAIN. Hopefully I’m wrong. Sin Cara flips Bryan into an arm lock, which Bryan escapes from and sends Sin Cara out of the ring for his suicide dive. DB kicks the hell out of Sin Cara and sends him into the corner for a charging leg drop. DB applies the Bow and Arrow Lock, which only works if you’re RVD. Sin Cara sends Bryan out of the ring and hits a Springboard Cross Body off the top rope. DB does his patented back flip turnbuckle leap into a double clothesline. Cole points out Bryan hasn’t won in a month. Sin Cara hits his Senton Bomb/Lionsault combo and wins. Sin Cara shakes Bryan’s hand…and boots him in the face! Sin Cara heel turn?! WTF?!
Striker is backstage with Air Boom. They talk about needing to trust your partner in order for a tag team to work. Duuuuuh. Kofi name-drops legendary tag teams and we cut to a Sheamus promo for the Anti-Bullying campaign. Odd that a natural bully like Sheamus is their spokesperson.
Wait…are they going ahead with the Sin Cara vs Sin Cara story, or have they given up on Sin Cara’s ability to generate positive crowd response? Either way, Bryan looked like a chump. Two matches in a row and both were weak. Not a good start.
Did you know that Smackdown will soon surpass Gunsmoke in number of episodes? Whoop dee doo. We’re back with a recap of the latter half of the Orton/Christian feud, starting with Money in the Bank and ending with their awesome No Holds Barred match at Summerslam. Say what you will about whether Christian is deserving of a main event slot, but you can’t deny he brings out the best in Orton. We end with Bret Hart telling Christian his rematch will be inside a steel cage.
Matt Striker is backstage with Captain Charisma. Christian says this is his night and that everyone who doubted him is about to eat crow. He also says he doesn’t need the title to prove how great he is; he just wants the belt because, well, he wants it. That’s like saying, “Yeah, we lost the championship, but at least we made it to the finals.” Way to validate your career.
Honestly, I got nothing for this commercial break. I’m actually hoping for Booker T to slip up again in his speech so I can laugh my ass off.
Aksana is the guest ring announcer for the next match. Ugh, that damn, cheesy music of hers. Beth Phoenix and Natalya are out for a tag team match against Kelly Kelly and…ALICIA FOX?! Did we really need Fox to turn face for this? Where’s my girl Eve or even AJ? That’s right, Floyd. I want AJ on my television screen. I also wouldn’t mind her in other places.
Kelly Kelly and Alicia Fox vs Beth Phoenix and Natalya
The heels double team Kelly in the opening moments. Is Fox going to get the hot tag? How odd. Kelly manages to reverse a suplex by landing on her feet and tags in Fox, who owns Phoenix for about 30 seconds before getting dropped with the Glam Slam to end it.
Teddy Long walks backstage with Triple H and the contract he will sign for his match with CM Punk as we head to commercial.
For those who don’t know, the reason Triple H is facing Punk instead of Kevin Nash is because Nash has some undisclosed health situation that the company hopes to be resolved shortly. Personally, I’m not worried about Triple H burying Punk because he gains nothing for it and will only hurt the company by doing so. He’s not an active wrestler so he doesn’t have to protect his legacy. I see shenanigans during the match, but both men will be affected by it.
Teddy Long is in the ring for the contract signing and intros The Game. Out comes Punk next, and I can’t wait to hear what he has to say. I’ll try to write up what I can. Triple H moves his chair, ready for a fight, but Punk decides to sit and talk instead. Punk says this is all pointless and wonders if Triple H may have an addendum to the match. He is curious as to what’s in the contract, and Triple H says he thought Punk had more intelligence than that. Punk tries to interrupt but Triple H tells him to shut the hell up. He says he tried to work with Punk despite Punk’s insults. Triple H says he got Punk’s theme song for him and his T-shirt as well, but Punk still insists on being an asshole. He says he tried to be a man and can only take so much. Punk says he doesn’t want the COO; he wants the Cerebral Assassin. He compares McMahon’s inability to separate personal issues from business with Triple H’s actions. Punk says he loves this company and he just wants change for the better, for everyone. This starts a “CM Punk” chant as Punk says he wants to be the catalyst but Triple H says he’s just doing this for himself. The Game says that Punk will only accept change if Punk is on top and he’s no different than anyone else, including Triple H. Hunter says his problem with Punk is that he took the easy way to the top as opposed to burying the competition. Punk retorts that he was a fan long before he was a wrestler and will do whatever he can to make the company better and fun again. Punk says he’s pushing Triple H’s buttons just to test him, but The Game failed. He tells Triple H to do him a favor and not fine him or suspend him after he beats Hunter’s ass. Triple H says he respects Vince McMahon and Punk tells him that he’s living in Vinnie Mac’s shadow. Triple H says that he’s different from Vince because the former boss would have sat back and taken a beating from Punk, but The Game will kick Punk’s “skinny fat ass.” That wasn’t me making a joke. He actually said it AGAIN. This brings out Nash, who attacks Punk and pushes Hunter to the mat before leaving.
Once again, Punk makes a fool out of Triple H on the mic. I love it. I guarantee shenanigans during their match now. I was a little concerned with the crowd’s reaction to Punk’s comments about how he wants things to be better for everyone. The audience seemed less vocal than you’d think, but maybe it’s because the women and children marks haven’t adjusted to his face turn yet.
We’re back with a shot of Kevin Nash backstage, saying absolutely nothing to Striker during the commercial break. Uh, okay.
The “Great White” Sheamus is here to face Great Khali, and Blair Douglas is loving every minute of this.
Sheamus vs The Great Khali
You know it’s bad when a guy with the work rate of Khali is getting more matches than his “handler,” Jinder Mahal. GUH-REEEEEEEEEEN! Do I really have to recap this? I mean, seriously? It was cute the first time they wrestled, but this is hurting my brain. Sheamus does his pounding chest shots in the ropes followed by the knee on the apron. The crowd is eating it up as Mahal attacks Sheamus for the DQ. Sheamus gets tossed out of the ring and then into the post on the outside. Khali misses his chop when Sheamus ducks and he hits the post, but Mahal actually takes Sheamus down. They get back into the ring and Sheamus regains control, dropping Mahal with the Celtic Cross.
I have yet to see a decent match tonight. Seriously, I am not enjoying this super show. I actually prefer the taped Friday program because the company actually gives the matches more time then. By the way, the only Raw elements here tonight so far were Cena, Air Boom, CM Punk, Triple H, and Nash, and only one of them actually wrestled.
Yay, another promo for Triple H’s new movie, “Inside Out.” It would probably be decent if Triple H were actually NOT in it. As an aside, did anyone else notice Triple H’s face on the DVD cover for “The Chaperone”? Reminds me of the Jell-O Pudding advertisements with the ridiculous grins. No way THAT was photoshopped.
Apparently 85% of the people who took WWE’s poll think Orton is going to have the advantage tonight. He must have shit in the other 15%’s duffel bags.
Promo for Orton’s DVD coming out next Tuesday. We see what may or may not be Orton’s wife and daughter; who can tell any more? Didn’t we have, like, three different actresses portray her in the past?
This cage match better be off the hook; otherwise NOTHING will save this abysmal show. By the way, where the hell is Cody Rhodes?
World Heavyweight Championship: Steel Cage Match
Randy Orton vs Christian
The crowd goes nuts for Orton as he heads to the ring and I will do my best to write up this match. Li’l Naitch is your referee for this one as we start with Christian kicking Orton in the gut and going right for the door! Orton stops him, so he climbs the cage wall until Orton stops him again, this time with a dropkick! Pin attempt leads to a…commercial. Really?!
We’re back with Christian trying to escape again over the side but Orton stops him. Orton drops a couple of knees before covering Christian for a two count. He calls for the door to open, but Christian grabs his leg. Christian sends Orton into the cage wall and mashes his face into the steel with his boot. Christian tries to climb again but is stopped. He hits a spinebuster and a neckbreaker before asking for the door to be opened. Orton stops him so Christian stomps on him in the corner and climbs to the top of the cage. They go punch for punch on the top rope until Orton suplexes the challenger into…another DAMN COMMERCIAL?!
We’re back (again) with Christian crawling out of the cage but he gets dragged back in by the champ. Christian attempts a Spear but gets rammed into the cage instead. Power slam from Orton, followed by an attempted hanging DDT that’s countered and Orton gets dropped by an inverted DDT. Christian climbs and knocks Orton off of him, followed by a frog splash to the champ! Christian heads for the door and again he is intercepted by Orton. Christian gets a Spear reversed into an RKO reversed into a Spear! He covers and Randy kicks out. Christian teases an Orton Punt but Orton avoids it. Christian leaps onto the turnbuckle for the familiar leap into the RKO, but Christian fakes Orton out and climbs! Randy takes Christian down but gets caught in an attempted Killswitch, which turns into a DDT and an RKO attempt that’s blocked by Christian! Both men climb to the top of the cage and punch each other back and forth. They fall back in and fight on the top rope as Orton bashes Christian’s head off the steel cage and hits a top rope RKO! He covers Christian and gets the win!
Here comes Mark Henry, and I’m having flashbacks of Big Show. Orton is waiting for him but Henry knocks him down. Henry lawn darts Orton off the cage and tries again, but Orton fights back and gets clotheslined for his trouble. World’s Strongest Slam as Cole calls this a feeding frenzy. I thought Sheamus was the shark and Henry was the whale. Henry tells Orton to get up and lawn darts him again. Ten years ago, we would have had a blade job. Another World’s Strongest Slam and Henry is looking more dominant than ever. He steals the belt from Charles Robinson and holds up the title over Orton as the show ends.
The last few minutes of the match saved it from becoming just another cage match. All in all, I was disappointed with the show. It’s obvious that Creative scrambled to put this show together, which is odd considering they normally tape on Tuesdays anyway. I guess with del Rio’s absence, the Nash health situation, and the live nature of the program they had a lot of added last minute pressure. That still doesn’t excuse the lack of quality matches.
I’ll be back Thursday with another edition of The Stomping Ground. Until then, so long…
And thanks for all the fish.
Tags: alberto del rio, alicia fox, Beth Phoenix, christian, cm punk, Daniel Bryan, Great Khali, Jinder Mahal, john cena, Kelly Kelly, kevin nash, Mark Henry, Mike Gojira, Natalya, randy orton, sheamus, sin cara, Smackdown, Steel Cage Match, triple h, Wade Barrett, World Heavyweight Championship, WWE