Well hello again, folks. As you can plainly see, Kelly wasn’t able to make it to this weekend’s Smackdown recap, but I’m not about to let that stop you from getting your weekly Smackdown coverage. I swear, this show gets less credit on this site than a viewing of TNA Impact. If it weren’t for dear old me, how would you know what you’re missing every Friday?
The show opens with JBL and Josh Mathews in Memphis, Tennessee. The Miz is sulking on one of his patent leather couches because he’s no longer Intercontinental Champion on account of his loss to Kofi Kingston
an hour before when they taped WWE Main Event Wednesday night. He’s invoking his rematch clause at Hell in a Cell and Miz is sporting a nasty gash courtesy of Kofi last Monday. His guests are the WWE Tag Team Champions and Miz immediately lays into them for not having a unified entrance. He continues the current trend of calling Daniel Bryan the weak link of the team. Kane comes to Bryan’s defense and says he’s had worse tag partners. Bryan says they’ll win at the PPV because he’s “the world’s toughest vegan.” As they argue, Big Show heads to the ring and it looks like we have a tag team match later tonight. Show says his issue is with Bryan, not Kane, because DB brought up the 45-second match again. He threatens to knock Bryan out, so Daniel slowly hides behind Kane. Suddenly, we get an appearance from Dolph Ziggler. Other than Show, Kane, and Bryan, there’s no logical reason for these five guys to be out here at the same time. They all argue about who will beat whom until Booker T comes out….but Miz shuts Booker up by calling him predictable. The GM says that he actually came out to make two big announcements: Team Hell No vs Ziggler and Show, and Randy Orton vs Miz! Mizanin has a look on his face that says either “How boring,” or “I’m totally fucked.” I’m not sure which; he’s not that good at emoting.
The Miz vs Randy Orton
And we get one of those major matches right now, it would seem. Orton’s in control as we zoom out for the big reveal of del Rio sitting in a luxury box. JBL calls The Miz, “Brad Pitt with his face torn up.” It’s ironic that JBL is now singing Miz’s praises after being accused of hazing the guy a few years ago. Meanwhile, Matt Striker interviews del Rio and Ricardo Rodriguez because the match is obviously not that important on a wrestling program. Orton nails a superplex for two. Stiff clotheslines, followed by a power slam, and we know where this is headed. Orton stares at del Rio and gets distracted, but it’s not enough to keep Orton off his game. Orton ducks the low boot and counters with the second rope DDT. RKO countered into an attempted SCF, but the Viper flips Miz and hits the RKO as the former IC Champion charges in!
Sheamus meets Teddy Long in the back and asks for a rematch with Wade Barrett tonight…in a Lumberjack Match! Eve skulks around behind the scenes looking to further develop a rift between Booker and Teddy.
Miz continues to lose steam as we roll into Hell in a Cell in little more than a week. Perhaps the rumors are true that he’ll be downsized to a commentator.
Team Rhodes Scholars vs Tyson Kidd and Justin Gabriel
Supposedly we’ll get the tournament finals next week on Raw (barring Rey Mysterio’s stomach virus). Rhodes and Sandow work over Gabriel as JBL chastises Mathews for comparing Kidd and Gabriel to luchadores. Kidd gets the hot tag and tries to flip over Sandow from the ropes. Unbeknownst to him (but knownst to us), Sandow tags in Rhodes as Kidd hits the flip and we get a beautiful spot with Kidd locking in the Sharpshooter on Sandow just before he eats a Disaster Kick from Rhodes to end it.
Eve and Booker T are talking about tonight’s main event when Teddy Long strolls in and gives his idea for a Lumberjack Match. As expected, Eve has already stolen his idea and made it her own. Booker eyes Teddy suspiciously (god, he’s dumb!) and he and Eve leave for a meeting. Eve leaves her iPad on the table and Long picks it up in an attempt to access it. Ten bucks says he finds incriminating evidence, but Eve gets Booker to believe he planted the intel.
Not much to say here. The tag match was formulaic but the Eve/Teddy Long power play angle is just a waste of time. With Eve’s history, is Booker T really supposed to think that she’s telling the truth about Teddy, given his track record as a face GM?
Team Hell No vs Big Show and Dolph Ziggler
Bryan and Ziggler start things off and I’ve gotta say I’m liking their chemistry. Ziggler forces Bryan to eat a drop kick and the two big men get tagged in. JBL makes the obligatory “King Kong vs Godzilla” allegory. Show abuses Kane until the Big Red Machine is able to fight back and tag in Bryan, who immediately kicks the shit out of Wight. Show blocks the last kick and tosses Bryan out of the ring. Ziggler picks up the pieces of Bryan while taunting Kane. Show gets tagged in again and tries to chop DB in the corner. Bryan escapes and actually chops Show, which goes about as well as you’d expect. Show goes for a Choke Slam but gets countered into a DDT. Bryan is unable to make it to Kane as Ziggler gets tagged in to continue the abuse. The heels make a succession of quick tags but Bryan manages to escape and get the hot tag to Kane (pun intended). Kane destroys Ziggler, but Bryan arrogantly tags himself in. Chaos ensues as Bryan traps Ziggler in the No Lock for the submission victory! Team Rhodes Scholars “Pearl Harbors” Team Hell No on the ramp after the match.
Logical character progression would suggest that Bryan should have lost for having such a huge ego, thereby learning to humble himself down the road and strengthening Team Hell No. But then who needs logic in a WWE storyline?
Antonio Cesaro vs Ted DiBiase
Antonio Cesaro insults the music of Memphis in a prerecorded spot out at Sun Studio. Hey, look! It’s DiBiase! This guy gets injured every time I see him; let’s hope he can stay healthy enough to avoid the “Ken Anderson Syndrome.” Teddy manages to get in some offense but a leap of faith off the second rope meets Antonio’s uppercut and that’s all she wrote after a Neutralizer.
It looks like the WWE seems to be invested in a huge push for Cesaro. Now it’s time to actually put him in a lengthy feud.
Raw Rebound: Ryback gets a stamp of approval from Vince McMahon and John Cena to face CM Punk at Hell in a Cell.
If the dirt sheets are to be believed, the WWE has booked themselves into a corner and have yet to decide on a finish for the Punk/Ryback match at Hell in a Cell. Two words: Brock Lesnar.
Brodus Clay vs Heath Slater
The Three-Man Band (aka 3MB) talk shit in the ring before Brodus heads to the ring. Brodus dominates but Mahal and McIntyre provide the distraction, which allows Slater to…actually beat Clay?! Damn, somebody call his momma.
Striker chats up Barrett backstage. Wade calls Sheamus stupid for asking for a match with him less than two weeks from Sheamus’s title defense against the Big Show. He promises to injure Sheamus and expects Show to repay the favor after he wins the title at the PPV.
How the mighty have fallen! When Heath Slater is booked to beat a hoss like Brodus Clay, it’s time to rethink your career. As for the 3MB, it’s such a bizarre idea that I’m not really sure how I feel about it. McIntyre and Slater seem to be loving it, but Mahal appears to be a fish out of water.
Layla vs Natalya
Eve is on commentary for this match and the focus is all on her alleged involvement in Kaitlyn’s attack a month ago. Josh actually lets her know that we all saw her steal Teddy Long’s idea and she pretends to not know what he’s talking about. Layla wins in about two minutes, and I swear that for the majority of the match the camera was focused on the commentators.
Backstage, Teddy Long shows Kaitlyn something from Eve’s iPad and tells her that Eve needs to be stopped. Kaitlyn takes pictures of whatever is on the screen (we don’t see it) and tells Teddy to put it back before Eve notices it’s missing. Perhaps it’s another one of Hogan’s sex tapes?
Either Eve is too stupid to lock her iPad with a security code, or Teddy is a whiz with technology.
Lumberjack Match: Sheamus vs Wade Barrett
If the point of this match was to keep Big Show away from Sheamus, why the fuck is he one of the lumberjacks? Sheamus is the first to go to the outside as JBL basically reads us Barrett’s biography. Did he just say Wade has a degree in Marine Biology?! It’s your standard brawl as we head to commercial break, and when we come back, Sheamus is in full control as he nails all his signature moves. He calls for the Brogue Kick…and the heel lumberjacks pull Barrett out of the ring! Sheamus leaps into them from the apron but this allows Barrett to regain the advantage. Back in the ring, Barrett dodges a Brogue Kick and sends Sheamus to the outside by the faces. Barrett follows Sheamus to the outside and the face lumberjacks attack him! It’s chaos on the outside as all the lumberjacks except for Big Show battle one another! Sheamus and Barrett make it back into the ring as Team Hell No charge into battle with the lumberjacks! Back in the ring, Barrett eats a Brogue Kick and loses as Big Show just stares at Sheamus from ringside. From behind, Ziggler nails the ZigZag and motions to the ref to cash in on the champ! Big Show stops that with a WMD to Ziggler’s noggin…evidently in response to Dolph’s claim that he’d cash in on either Sheamus or Big Show at the PPV. He threatens to take the title at Hell in a Cell as the show ends.
I was actually surprised we got a clean ending despite the slobberknocker on the outside. That said, this was a decent episode of Smackdown with nothing particularly memorable. Hopefully Kelly will be back with us next weekend.
So long, and thanks for all the fish.
Tags: 3MB, alberto del rio, Antonio Cesaro, big show, Booker T, brodus clay, cm punk, Cody Rhodes, Damien Sandow, Daniel Bryan, Dolph Ziggler, Drew McIntyre, Eve, Heath Slater, Hell in a Cell, Intercontinental Championship, jbl, Jinder Mahal, john cena, Josh Mathews, Justin Gabriel, Kaitlyn, kane, Kofi Kingston, Layla, Matt Striker, Mike Gojira, monday night raw, Natalya, randy orton, Ricardo Rodriguez, ryback, sheamus, Smackdown, Team Hell No, Team Rhodes Scholars, ted dibiase, Teddy Long, The Miz, Tyson Kidd, vince mcmahon, Wade Barrett, WWE, WWE Main Event, WWE Tag Team Championship