The Smackdown video fires up, and we’re brought into the arena with some fireworks. Josh Mathews and Michael Cole welcome us to the show. Tonight, we’ll see the return of The Highlight Reel with Dolph Ziggler as Chris Jericho’s guest.
Lilian Garcia asks the crowd to welcome Smackdown’s General Manager, from Houston, Texas, Booker T! Booker T comes out to a nice reception dressed in a tuxedo. Booker looks pumped up to be in front of his hometown crowd, and he does a spinaroonie to celebrate. Booker says it feels damn good to be in his hometown. It’s time to get down to business. It’s his second week on the job and “Houston, we have a problem.” Booker shows some footage from Monday Night Raw. After Alberto Del Rio defeated Christian, Sheamus appeared on the titantron and stole Del Rio’s car. He later returned it, but it was in terrible condition.
Booker is seen laughing at the footage, but he does admit that Sheamus crossed the line. Booker wants Sheamus to come out and apologize to Alberto Del Rio. Sheamus’ music hits, and he makes his way to the ring. Sheamus says last week Del Rio stood in this ring and said he wasn’t worthy of being the World Heavyweight Champion because of where he came from and grew up. Del Rio tried to take away his dignity, so he decided to take his car. Sheamus had a great time driving through San Antonio, meeting all the locals, going to the Alamo, and singing songs about Texas. He even had a giant burrito, which landed on the hood of the car. Today is a new day, and he has to face reality. If you’re going to do the crime, you’ve got to do the time. Sheamus apologizes to Booker T, the WWE Universe, and Alberto Del Rio. Booker T says it’s time to put all that behind us…
Alberto Del Rio’s music hits, and he comes down to the ring saying we’re not leaving this behind us. Sheamus stole his car. Del Rio gets in the ring and says Sheamus is not a champion. He’s just a peasant. He’s a thief, thug, and criminal. He filed a report with the San Antonio Police Department, and Sheamus is going to pay for this. Booker says if Del Rio filed legal ramifications then Sheamus can’t defend the title. The title will be held up. Del Rio says he doesn’t care. When a World Champion acts like a common hooligan, it reflects on the General Manager. Del Rio says Booker T better do something, and he better do it right now because he’s very close to taking this matter out of his hands.
Sheamus says he’s too uptight. Sheamus knows he’s upset, and he has a solution. If it’s ok with Booker T, let’s not wait until Summerslam. Sheamus wants to have a World Heavyweight Championship match tonight! Booker T can’t believe it. He asks if Del Rio wants that. Del Rio says everything in his head is saying to wait and train to be ready for Summerslam. To hell with that! Let’s do it! Booker T has one thing to say about this: “Now can you dig that, SUCKA?!”
Booker T booked this match last week, and it’s up next. Cody Rhodes will take on Sin Cara after the break.
Sin Cara vs. Cody Rhodes
Cody Rhodes cuts a promo on Sin Cara as he makes his way to the ring. Rhodes says he’s no stranger to wearing a mask himself, and he’s not above telling the crowd why Sin Cara is wearing a mask. It’s because he’s ugly. That’s not the only reason, though. The real reason that he wears a mask is because without it, underneath it, there is nothing special about him whatsoever.
Charles Robinson, my favorite referee ever, has this match. They circle the ring, and Rhodes powers him to the corner. Rhodes slaps the face, and Cara comes back with some punches and a wheelbarrow roll up for a one count. Cara hits a running hurricanrana that sends Rhodes out of the ring. Cara goes for a baseball slide, but Rhodes blocks it, spins him around, and rips at the mask. Cara fights him off and gets in the ring. Cara ducks a clothesline and goes for a springboard cross-body, but Rhodes dropkicks him out of mid-air for a one count. Rhodes hits a front suplex and covers for a two count. Rhodes knees him in the midsection a few times before punching him down. Rhodes goes for a Gory Special, but instead he grabs at the mask halfway through the execution. Cara counters out with an arm drag. Rhodes quickly takes him down with a big boot for a two count. Rhodes pulls at the mask, but Cara kicks him off.
Rhodes reverses a whip, and Cara takes him down with a springboard back elbow. Cara hits a spinning arm drag off the top rope. Rhodes back body drops him to the apron, but Cara quickly comes back with a kick to the temple. Cara follows up with a springboard cross-body block for a near fall! Cara charges into a forearm and goes down. Rhodes talks a little trash to the crowd as he sends Cara to the ropes. Cara goes for a roll up, but Rhodes rips at the mask. Cara quickly catches him with an inside cradle for the victory.
Winner by Pinfall: Sin Cara
Match Rating: * 1/2
Cody Rhodes can’t believe it. Sin Cara quickly escapes the ring as an angry and embarrassed Cody Rhodes slaps himself in the face.
Tonight, we’ll see Sheamus defend his WWE World Heavyweight Championship against Alberto Del Rio. Daniel Bryan is seen walking backstage screaming, “No” to no one in particular.
A vignette hyping the return of Wade Barrett and his “Barrett Barrage” plays.
Daniel Bryan’s music hits, and he comes out to the ring yelling “No” at all the fans chanting “Yes”. Bryan slumps down in the ring and asks if the people really think he’s nothing more than a catchphrase. He says he is a former World Heavyweight Champion, and he deserves to be in the WWE Championship match at Summerslam. Instead of being in the WWE Championship match, the woman who callously left him at the altar has not only ruined his reputation by labeling him “psychologically unstable,” but she has also put him in a Summerslam match against Kane. Does he deserve that? The answer is no, no, no! He deserves more than to stand here and be insulted by the people as they chant “Yes” in his face. He deserves better than to be walked all over by some skipping, Chucks wearing broad in a power suit and her Frankenstein monster boy toy.
Kane’s pyro explodes, and Bryan flips out. Kane makes his way to the ring, and Bryan looks like he wants to get out of there. AJ Lee’s music hits, and she comes out to the ring. She tells Bryan to not think about leaving that ring. She says that Bryan must be shocked to see her on Smackdown, but this is the show where they first met. Booker T asked her to be his special guest, and she’s glad he did because they don’t like what they’re seeing out here. Yes, she made this match at Summerslam, but it’s because they’re both incredibly gifted athletes. However, we can’t have them coming out and attacking the audience or each other every single week. Kane appears to be bleeding from the bridge of his nose. AJ says it’s really good to see Kane again. She never got a chance to tell him how much she appreciates how sweet and understanding he was when other people (Bryan) treated her miserably.
AJ turns and smiles at Bryan. She doesn’t want the fact that he’s always been jealous her the friendship between her and Kane or the fact that he’s never pinned Kane in a one-on-one match to drive his rage. If he’s as mentally stable and healthy as he claims, then he should prove it to her and the entire WWE Universe that he doesn’t have anger management issues. He can do that starting tonight. He can show that he’s a good sportsman going into Summerslam, and he can do that by shaking Kane’s hand. Bryan screams “No,” but she says she wants a clean fight at Summerslam. Bryan doesn’t want to, but she demands it. Bryan extends his hand, and AJ leaves the ring. Kane doesn’t extend his. He instead uppercuts Bryan down. Kane punches away at him in the corner. Bryan comes back with some kicks, but Kane pushes him away. Kane goes for a Chokeslam, but Bryan counters into a No! Lock attempt. Kane big boots him down, and Bryan escapes through the crowd. AJ is at the top of the stage laughing. Kane makes the ring posts explode with fire as AJ drops to her knees smiling.
Booker T is backstage with Teddy Long. Long says he likes how Booker stood his ground with Alberto Del Rio tonight. Curt Hawkins and Tyler Reks walk into the office, and Reks asks if Booker can give them an opportunity. Booker says he’s been watching them and they may have a great future, but now that he’s the General Manager, they need to step it up. They couldn’t get the job done against Ryback, and that tells him a lot. He’s looking for A-plus talent, and nothing else will do around here. Reks complains to Hawkins that he can’t go back to his old job. Booker kicks them out of his office.
Two local wrestlers vs. Jinder Mahal
They show a pre-taped promo with Mahal saying that he’s going to defeat these two opponents faster than Ryback can believe. Ryback says, “Feed me more,” but he thinks that his eyes are bigger than his stomach. Mahal orders the referee to tell one of the wrestlers to go to the apron. Mahal takes the legal opponent down, gives him a Spinebuster, and he makes him submit to the Camel Clutch.
Winner by Submission: Jinder Mahal
Match Rating: N/A
Mahal pulls the other guy into the ring, knocks him down, puts him on top of the other guy, and gives them a double Camel Clutch. Ryback’s music hits, and he comes out to the ring to a nice ovation. Mahal escapes the ring as Ryback gets in. Ryback then takes the two men and gives them a double Shell Shock. Ryback chants, “Feed me more!”
The return of The Highlight Reel is next, and Jericho’s guests will be Dolph Ziggler and Vickie Guerrero.
The Highlight Reel w/ Special Guests Dolph Ziggler and Vickie Guerrero
Chris Jericho is already in the ring, and The Highlight Reel set is up. For the first time in almost two years, he gets to say these words on Smackdown: “Welcome to The Highlight Reel!” EXCUSE ME! Vickie Guerrero makes her way to the ring, and she says his guest will not be lowering himself to appear on this show. Since Dolph Ziggler is her client, she will be speaking on his behalf. He is the future World Heavyweight Champion. Jericho says the Highlight Reel is flexible. If he can’t interview Dolph Ziggler than he’ll interview his mother. She doesn’t like that. Jericho says she looks great for a woman her age. She excuses herself, and Jericho goes back at her with an “Excuse me”. They go back and forth, and she starts to scream. Jericho says there’s no reason for them to be yelling. They’ve known each other for years, and they’ve never been in the same ring together. Vickie says if he insults her one more time, then she’ll walk off the show. Jericho pretends to be upset before telling her to get the hell out of here. She goes to leave, and Jericho says he’s just having some fun.
Jericho asks why she’s so angry all the time. He says she needs to harness her chi. He does admit that she must be upset about what happened on Raw at the end of Ziggler’s match. He filmed and Touted it. It’s time to go to the obscenely expensive Jeritron 6000. They show footage of Jericho distracting Ziggler in a match against Alex Riley. Riley rolled Ziggler up for the upset. Jericho says that was the best Tout in history. Ziggler and Vickie have said before that he can’t win the big one, but judging from the footage, it looks like Ziggler can’t even win the little ones. Nothing against Alex Riley, but up until Monday night he had only won one match in 2012. That’s a worse record than her dye-job. Vickie says this is exactly why Ziggler doesn’t waste his time with Jericho. He doesn’t know the facts. The facts are that Ziggler doesn’t just think that Jericho has lost his touch – he knows it, and he can’t wait to prove it at Summerslam.
Jericho says he doesn’t have to prove himself to anybody. His legacy stands on it’s own. Ziggler did make him think, though. His record hasn’t been great in the big matches lately and maybe it was time for him to change his ways. Maybe it was time for him to have a change of heart. Maybe it’s time to bring back Y2J. From this moment on, Y2J is back, baby! The crowd chants Y2J. Jericho accepts the challenge at Summerslam. It’ll be Jericho vs. Ziggler at Summerslam. He’ll prove that he hasn’t lost his touch, and he never, EEEEVER will, again! Jericho cuts Dolph Ziggler off as he tries to sneak attack him, and Jericho knocks him out. Vickie slaps Jericho in the face, and he looks at her angrily. Ziggler catches him with a Zig-Zag before waiting for Jericho to get up and blasting him with the briefcase. Vickie laughs and asks who his mother is now.
Tonight’s main event will see Sheamus defend his WWE World Heavyweight Championship against Alberto Del Rio.
Kofi Kingston and R-Truth make their way to the ring. They’ll be on commentary for the next match.
The recently released AW announces the Prime Time Players to the ring. This is AW’s final appearance on a WWE show.
#1 Contenders Match for the WWE Tag Team Championship
The Prime Time Players w/ AW vs. Primo and Epico
Darren Young and Primo lock up, jockeying for position. Young takes Epico down before tagging in Titus O’Neil. They take Epico down with a double shoulder block. O’Neil controls him before Young tags in. Primo is tagged in, and he goes to work on Young. Primo takes him down before knocking him into the ropes. Primo ducks a clothesline and hits a spinning DDT for a near fall broken up by O’Neil. Epico takes O’Neil out. AW throws water on Kingston and R-Truth. AW runs into the ring, and they follow. O’Neil tries to stop them, but they take him down, causing a disqualification.
Winners by Disqualification: The Prime Time Players
Match Rating: 1/4 *
Primo and Epico aren’t happy about Kingston and R-Truth seemingly costing them the match and the shot at their titles.
Later tonight, we’ll see Big Show take out both John Cena and CM Punk from Raw.
Antonio Cesaro makes his way to the ring with Aksana. He says “victory” in five different languages. Cesaro speaks in another language and says if the crowd didn’t understand that, then that’s the point.
Christian makes his way to the ring. They’ll fight, next.
Antonio Cesaro w/ Aksana vs. Christian
Christian applies a waistlock, but Cesaro elbows him off. Cesaro applies a side headlock, but Christian whips him off. Cesaro holds on to the ropes, charges, and Christian throws him over the top rope. Cesaro avoids a baseball slide, knees him in the midsection, and throws him into the steel steps. Cesaro puts him in the ring and picks up a two count. Cesaro applies a chin lock, but Christian soon fights up. Cesaro sends him into the ropes and gives him a forearm to the back. Cesaro powers him up with a gutwrench suplex for a near fall. He chokes Christian on the ropes before giving him a European uppercut. Cesaro jumps off the second rope into a pair of boots.
The crowd gets Christian into it, and he punches away at Cesaro. Cesaro reverses a whip, but Christian comes back with a forearm. Christian counters out of a move and hits a springboard sunset flip for a near fall. Christian punches him down and goes for a cross-body, but Cesaro catches him with a fall-away slam into a bridging pin for a near fall! Cesaro punches away at him, and Christian goes for the Kill Switch. Cesaro counters with some head-butts and goes for another gutwrench, but Christian counters into a reverse DDT. There was a little slipup there, but they recovered nicely. Christian goes to the corner and tries for a Spear, but Cesaro counters with a flapjack into a European uppercut for a near fall. Cesaro goes for the Neutralizer, but Christian gets out and hits the Spear for the win!
Winner by Pinfall: Christian
Match Rating: * 3/4
Cesaro quickly throws Christian out of the ring before viciously slamming him into the barricade.
The Raw Rebound shows John Cena’s match against Daniel Bryan. Cena defeated him before CM Punk made his way to the ring. Big Show comes out as well, and Punk announces he won’t be overlooked ever again. Big Show takes both Punk and Cena out. The show ended with him standing tall. To kick off Raw next week, CM Punk will take on the Big Show.
Eve Torres is in Booker T’s office. He wants to know what the meeting is about. She wants to know if any positions are open in the administration. He says they have no jobs. Teddy Long comes in with Kaitlyn, and she says she’s really excited that he’s the General Manager. Kaitlyn asks if he needs an assistant, and he says if Teddy recommends her, then she has the job! Eve can’t believe it, and she makes a big stink. Booker says he wants to keep things fair. Next week, it’ll be Kaitlyn vs. Eve. The winner will become his assistant. Eve reluctantly agrees.
Rey Mysterio’s music hits. He’ll face The Miz, next.
Rey Mysterio vs. The Miz
They circle the ring and lock up. Miz gives a clean break, but he soon kicks Mysterio down. Miz sends him to the ropes, but Mysterio comes back with a head-scissor takeover. Miz quickly pushes him to the corner, but he runs into some boots. Mysterio kicks him again and goes for a springboard moonsault, but Miz counters into a backbreaker. Miz then throws him out of the ring, and Mysterio crashes to the ground sternum first. Miz throws him back into the ring for a one count. Miz knees him in the back before kicking him in the face for a two count. Miz applies a chin lock, but Mysterio fights up and out of it. Mysterio charges, but Miz clotheslines him while down on his knees. Miz hits his patented clothesline, and Mysterio falls to the mat. Miz goes to the top rope, and he dives into a dropkick.
Mysterio goes to the top rope, and he hits a seated senton. Mysterio ducks a clothesline, but Miz kicks him. Miz goes for a sunset flip, but Mysterio rolls through and kicks him in the head for a near fall. Mysterio goes to the top rope again, but Miz cuts him off. Mysterio punches back at him and goes for a sunset flip powerbomb, but Miz doesn’t go down. Miz knees him in the midsection, but Mysterio comes back with a kick of his own. Miz quickly takes him out with a big boot for a near fall. Mysterio kicks a running kick, and he puts Miz in position. Miz counters a 619, and he goes for the Skull Crushing Finale, but Mysterio counters that into a roll up for the win!
Winner by Pinfall: Rey Mysterio
Match Rating: * 1/2
They show a split screen of Sheamus and Alberto Del Rio. They’ll have a WWE World Heavyweight Championship match, next!
WWE World Heavyweight Championship
Alberto Del Rio vs. Sheamus (c)
Before the referee rings the bell, some policemen make their way to the ring. Alberto Del Rio screams that he never filed that report. Del Rio says that he wants to have the title match. The police surround the ring as Sheamus smiles incredulously. Del Rio then screams, “Go!” The fake cops attack Sheamus, but he fights them off. Sheamus smiles at Del Rio before powering him to the corner. Del Rio’s security force rips Sheamus off him, and they beat him down in the corner. Del Rio pulls them off before telling them to pick him up. They pick Sheamus up, and Del Rio slaps him in the face. Del Rio hits a step-up enzuigiri before kicking them all out of the ring. Del Rio talks some trash before applying his Cross Arm Breaker. Del Rio kicks him away and stands tall over Sheamus as the show ends.
Quick Match Results
Sin Cara def. Cody Rhodes
Jinder Mahal def. two local wrestlers
The Prime Time Players def. Primo and Epico (#1 Contenders Match)
Christian def. Antonio Cesaro
Rey Mysterio def. The Miz (non-title)
Bump of the Night: Cesaro slamming Christian into the barricade.
Match of the Night: Antonio Cesaro vs. Christian * 3/4
The second week of the Booker T era kicked off nicely with another good in-ring segment. Booker T hammed it up for his hometown crowd, even wearing a bizarre tuxedo, but he quickly got down to business with Sheamus and Alberto Del Rio. I like how good Booker looks in this role. You actually believe that he could physically stand up to Alberto Del Rio if he were to get out of hand. As for the segment itself, it did its job to drum up interest and keep people watching throughout the show (especially if you didn’t read the spoilers). It seemed they made a big effort to edit out “What” chants while Del Rio was talking. The audio seemed really choppy and you could hear some residual noise as Del Rio went to his next thing. A rare editing mistake, but it didn’t hurt the segment. I just always wonder why they want to take away crowd reactions on Smackdown. Who cares if the crowd chants “Yes”? I’m probably knit picking, but still.
Sin Cara and Cody Rhodes had a decent little match to kick off the in-ring action for the show. It looks like they’ve got a little rivalry building because Rhodes spent a lot of time ripping at the mask, and Sin Cara’s victory was a little fluky. The match wasn’t bad, and I think they have more to give.
Yikes, that segment with Daniel Bryan, AJ, and Kane was bad. I thought Kane’s involvement was a bit random and forced as it was. Tonight’s segment just confirmed that. The crowd had about as much interest in this as I have in watching Degrassi. It just wasn’t good. Of all the Summerslam matches that need a segment, this one needed it? I’d rather have watched the Randy Orton/Jack Swagger match they cut than this. Didn’t they realize how bad it was when they filmed it?
Jinder Mahal is really asking for it. Ryback will be fed, and I’m looking forward to it.
The Highlight Reel was, for lack of a better term, a highlight on this show. Chris Jericho seems to be having a lot of fun lately, and he had a really fun segment with Vickie Guerrero. Jericho is clicking as a face in a big way right now. He’s got it going on. I do think he looks a little too old to revert back to the more youthful Y2J gimmick, but if anyone can make it work, he can. Dolph Ziggler’s appearance at the end capped off a nice segment, and I’m really looking forward to this match at Summerslam. It should be a really good match.
AW played a big role in the end of the number one contenders match tonight, but now that he’s been terminated, what does that mean for the Prime Time Players? At least Darren Young didn’t almost kill someone tonight.
Christian and Antonio Cesaro had a decent little match tonight. I thought Cesaro should have gone over, especially since he’s beaten Santino two weeks in a row, but he didn’t look bad in defeat. He hung in there against Christian, and he was the one standing tall at the end of it.
The Rey Mysterio/Miz match was fun, albeit random. I guess they put this out there to make up for the fact that their hyped title match wasn’t going to happen.
The final segment did its job as a big angle heading into Summerslam. Alberto Del Rio looked really good as he attacked Sheamus and stood over him. I still think that this isn’t the greatest match up to go with Summerslam coming up, but this wasn’t a bad segment. It’s a shame they wasted that good segment where Del Rio used his car to assault Sheamus heading into Money in the Bank. I think that was a stronger angle than this one with the hokey rent-a-cops, but this wasn’t bad.
Final Rating: ** 1/4
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