The show opens up with a recap of last week’s show. Jack Swagger came out to the ring and was talking himself up when Teddy Long came out and announced that Big Show was the new number one contender for Swagger’s World Heavyweight Championship. Big Show cracked a few jokes before cracking Swagger in the face with a massive right hand, knocking him out.
The Smackdown video plays and we’re told our main event will be Jack Swagger taking on Kane in a non-title match. Todd Grisham and Matt Striker welcome us to the show.
Matt Hardy’s music hits and he comes out looking displeased. We’re reminded that he’s been getting beaten down by Drew McIntyre over the past few weeks and he hasn’t been cleared to compete by the doctors. Hardy gets in the ring and grabs a microphone. Hardy he says he’s here tonight regardless of whether he should or shouldn’t be. We’re shown footage from two weeks ago during a tag match when McIntyre stomped on Hardy’s head on top of the steel steps. McIntyre further concussed him after the match. Then last week McIntyre attacked Hardy during an interview and gave him the Future Shock on the concrete in a sick bump.
McIntyre told him he never wants to see Hardy again but Hardy doesn’t care about what McIntyre wants. Drew McIntyre’s music hits and the silence is deafening as the Intercontinental Champion comes to the stage. Hardy tells him to make him go away.
McIntyre says Hardy doesn’t get it. Nine months ago Vince McMahon looked him in the eye and said he was the future of the company. That makes him the chosen one and that makes him completely untouchable. Hardy tells him to come to the ring and see how untouchable he is. McIntyre says he’ll have to beat the understanding into him.
McIntyre gets in the ring and they start punching it out. Hardy clobbers him until the referees come out and pull them apart. McIntyre then comes from behind and forearms him in the head. McIntyre stomps and punches the head, throwing referees away while doing so, including Charles Robinson. Hardy rolls out of the ring and McIntyre continues the assault. Tony Garea and IRS come down and rip him off Hardy. McIntyre still escapes and knees Hardy’s head into the barricade.
Teddy Long comes down and warns McIntyre to get off Hardy. McIntyre ignores Long and continues the assault. Long says that’s it and he suspends Drew McIntyre! McIntyre continues the assault and Long strips him of the Intercontinental Title! McIntyre still hasn’t had enough of Hardy and Long fires him! McIntyre stops and grabs Long by the suit, threatening him. McIntyre then clobbers Hardy again. The officials drag McIntyre away and Long says he wants him off Smackdown right now. The doctors are ringside with Matt Hardy who can’t feel his fingers.
The officials are yelling at him backstage to get out of the arena. They argue with him and force him to leave. The guy leaves with no shirt on. I guess you’re not allowed to get your bags when WWE cans you.
Josh Mathews stops Teddy Long and asks for Matt Hardy’s status. Long says he hopes he’s ok and the doctors are with him now. Josh asks if he has anything to say about the behavior of Drew McIntyre. Long says he doesn’t know what to say and he’s never experienced anything like that in his life. Josh then asks what he plans to do about the Intercontinental Title. Long says he doesn’t know and says he has to go.
MVP vs. Luke Gallows
We’re reminded that Rey Mysterio and MVP defeated CM Punk and Luke Gallows last week. That was MVP’s first match since coming back to Smackdown.
Charles Robinson, my favorite official, has this one. Gallows walks right up to MVP and punches him. MVP punches back and whips Gallows to the corner but Gallows reverses it. MVP slingshots over him, goes into the ropes, and hits a big clothesline for a two count. MVP ducks a right hand and punches away. MVP sends Gallows to the corner and goes for the Drive By Kick but Gallows moves. Gallows then punches him out of the ring. Gallows assaults him ringside and sends him into the ring. Gallows knees him and he hits a double under-hook suplex for a near fall. Gallows punches and locks on a bear hug. MVP fights up but Gallows kicks and sends him to the corner. Gallows charges and hits him with an avalanche followed by a big uppercut. Gallows hits the big splash for another near fall.
Gallows locks the bear hug back on. MVP elbows out but Gallows sends him to the corner again. Gallows goes for another avalanche but MVP moves and start hitting some comeback moves. MVP hits a clothesline, a forearm, and a face buster. MVP sets up and hits the BALLIN Elbow Drop. MVP wants the Playmaker but Serena distracts him. Gallows hits a nasty clothesline for a near fall. All of a sudden Rey Mysterio comes through the crowd and takes CM Punk out with a DDT on the floor! MVP hits the 305 (or the Play of the Day) for the win!
Winner by Pinfall: MVP
Match Rating: * 1/2
CM Punk and the rest of the Straight Edge Society are in the ring. Punk is holding his neck and calls Rey Mysterio a coward. Punk says he doesn’t have the ability to face a man face to face. Mysterio hurt him and cost Luke Gallows a match. Punk calls him out and calls him a coward.
Rey Mysterio’s music hits and he comes out to the stage. Mysterio says it seems like Punk is upset. Mysterio wonders if it’s because he attacked him from out of nowhere. Mysterio says it was just like the masked mystery man who’s been jumping him week after week. Mysterio says he gave him a taste of his own medicine. Mysterio wonders where he is.
Punk calls Mysterio a coward again and says he doesn’t know anything about a masked man. Punk accuses Mysterio of painting his mask with hallucinogenic drugs because he’s seeing things now. Punk says this is clearly an extension of himself. He’s blaming everyone else for his losses, just like the WWE Universe. Punk knows the reason he’s out here: he wants to be saved and join the S.E.S.
Mysterio says only one person is hallucinating and that’s Punk. The reason Mysterio is out here is to shave Punk’s head. Punk reminds him that he defeated him at Extreme Rules. Mysterio says if that’s the way he’s going he reminds him that he beat Punk at WrestleMania. Mysterio says they’re 1-1 and says they should have another match at Over the Limit. If Mysterio loses he’ll join the S.E.S. and if Punk loses he’ll have his head shaved, and Mysterio is the barber. Punk smiles and says Mysterio is having what most addicts call a “moment of clarity.” Mysterio realizes he has a problem and he wants help. Punk would love nothing more than to welcome him into the open arms of his crusade. Punk tells him that he’s on.
Mysterio says he has a better idea. Why do they have to fight at Over the Limit when he can come down right now, raise his hand, and pledge himself to the S.E.S. tonight… that’s if Punk shaves his head right now! Punk says that’s not going to happen. Mysterio says there’s just one thing he doesn’t understand about the S.E.S. He understands the philosophy and says some of it’s good. Mysterio says the messenger is bad. Punk has to realize that everyone wearing a Rey Mysterio mask represent the good in his message. If Punk is serious about saving and helping the people, he and Mysterio can do some good together. Mysterio tells Punk to lead by example and shave his head.
Punk says that his hair is a symbol of purity. He doesn’t care if we don’t like it because he’s better than everybody. Mysterio says that’s what he thought. Mysterio says Punk shaved Serena and Gallows’ heads and questions what makes Punk better than them. They’ve done everything Punk has asked them to do and Mysterio says they’ve done most of the work in the S.E.S. Mysterio wonders why they’re bald and he isn’t. Mysterio says Punk doesn’t care about them. He only cares about himself and he calls himself a savior. Mysterio says there’s nothing Punk can do to save himself from the 619! That was great!
Coming up next it’ll be Kelly Kelly and Tiffany taking on Michelle McCool and Layla. Todd Grisham says McCool is the Women’s Champion. Where was I when that happened?
Did you know that earlier this year, WWE Superstar MVP was named a spokesperson for the National Guard’s Youth Challenge program?
Kelly Kelly & Tiffany vs. Michelle McCool & Layla
We’re shown footage from last night’s Superstars show when Simply Flawless was hazing Kelly Kelly until Beth Phoenix put a stop to it.
Tiffany starts out against McCool. They lock up and tussle to the corner. Tiffany gives a clean break and McCool pie faces her. McCool runs into a drop-toe-hold and takes an inverted atomic drop. Tiffany hits an elbow and sends her to the corner. Tiffany goes for a monkey flip but McCool lands on her feet. McCool taunts the crowd and gets caught with a monkey flip. This time it’s successful and she rolls out of the ring.
Tiffany is stopped by Simply Flawless and she’s distracted long enough for McCool to baseball slide her. McCool knees her a few times and gets a near fall. Layla is tagged in and she slams Tiffany down. Layla goes for a big splash but Tiffany gets her knees up. Kelly is tagged in and she flips over Layla. Kelly hits a pair of clotheslines and a dropkick. Kelly scares McCool off the apron and goes for a handspring back elbow but Layla blocks it. Layla then runs into a neckbreaker. Tiffany is tagged in and she hits a cross-body for a near fall broken up by McCool. Kelly tries to argue but the referee stops her. McCool takes advantage of this and kicks Tiffany in the back of the head. Layla hits a neckbreaker and picks up the win. Matt Striker sounded like a rapist during this match.
Winners by Pinfall: Michelle McCool & Layla
Match Rating: 3/4 *
Josh Mathews is backstage with Theodore Long. Long is holding the Intercontinental Title. Long says since it’s vacant he’s selected four deserving individuals to compete in a tournament. Two of those matches will take place tonight and the winners will meet next week to crown a new Intercontinental Champion. One of the matches will be Christian taking on Cody Rhodes. The other match will be Dolph Ziggler taking on Kofi Kingston. That match is next.
WWE Intercontinental Championship Tournament
Kofi Kingston vs. Dolph Ziggler
They lock up and Ziggler gets a side headlock. Kingston elbows out and sends him to the ropes only to take a shoulder block. They go back and forth into the ropes until Kingston hits a back elbow for a two count. Ziggler kicks Kingston and goes to throw him out of the ring but he rebounds in. Kingston hits him with a dropkick and clotheslines him out of the ring. Kingston then hits a beautiful suicide dive! Kingston sends him back into the ring and as he enters Ziggler kicks him in the head. Ziggler is looking for a count-out as we go to commercial. What if that was it and we missed it?
We come back from the break and the match is still going so the count-out didn’t end it. Ziggler has Kingston trapped in a chin lock. What’s the difference between that and a sleeper hold? Kingston gets him off and goes for a splash in the corner but Ziggler moves. Ziggler then hits an inverted body slam for a near fall. Ziggler punches him down and stomps him before choking him on the ropes. Ziggler kicks him and we see Cody Rhodes watching backstage. Ziggler hits a dropkick and covers for a near fall. Ziggler locks on an inverted camel clutch and is looking for a submission. Kingston fights up and punches out. Ziggler slams him down by the hair and hits a big elbow drop for a two count.
Kingston starts coming back with some punches but Ziggler again kicks him down for a near fall. Ziggler locks another chin lock variation on. Kingston again fights up and elbows out. Kingston hits the Ranhei for a near fall. That’s a tremendous maneuver. Kingston charges into a big boot and Ziggler covers with his feet on the ropes but Kingston still kicks out. Ziggler hits the X-Factor and shoots the half for another near fall.
Ziggler applies another chin lock and looks to have him down and out. Kingston eventually fights up and hits a jawbreaker. Ziggler charges him in the corner but Kingston moves. Kingston hits some strikes and chops him down a few times. Kingston hits a dropkick and a big clothesline. Kingston hits the Boom Drop and sets up for his finisher. Ziggler avoids Trouble in Paradise. Kingston charges him in the corner and hits a cross-body. Ziggler rolls through and covers for a near fall. Ziggler all of a sudden locks on his dreaded sleeper hold. Kingston looks to be fading away but eventually fights up and runs him to the ropes. Kingston then hits Trouble in Paradise and he’s going to the finals!
Winner by Pinfall: Kofi Kingston
Match Rating: **
A video package plays highlighting Jack Swagger’s in ring promo from last week. This is pretty much the same video that played in the beginning of the show. It still ends with Big Show knocking him out. Jack Swagger will take on Kane in tonight’s main event.
The announcers run down the Over the Limit card.
Christian and Heath Slater make their way to the ring. Christian will face Cody Rhodes in another Intercontinental Title Tournament Semi-Final match.
WWE Intercontinental Championship Tournament
Christian vs. Cody Rhodes
The match begins and Rhodes gets a quick waist lock. Rhodes gets a side headlock on. Christian whips him off but gets shoulder blocked down for a one count. Rhodes allows him to get up and they circle the ring again. Rhodes kicks him down after faking a test of strength. They go back and forth in the ropes until Christian hits a nice forearm for a two count. Christian sets him up on the second rope and stands on him. Christian then catapults over for a slap but Rhodes moves. Christian gets in the ring and throws him out of the ring. Christian gets the crowd into it and baseball slides Rhodes. Christian waits for him to get up and goes for a springboard splash but Rhodes moves. Christian follows him around ringside. Rhodes catches him with a kick and sends Christian head first into the steel steps.
Rhodes sends Christian into the ring and he stomps him. Rhodes sends Christian to the corner and kicks away at him. Rhodes covers for a two count. Rhodes chokes Christian in the corner until Charles Robinson backs him up. Christian stuns Rhodes with a back elbow and hits a springboard sunset flip for a near fall. Christian punches but Rhodes sends him to the corner and dropkicks him in the back of the head.
We come back from the break to see Rhodes execute a beautiful front suplex. Rhodes drops a Ric Flair knee for a near fall. Rhodes knees him in the back and pulls back on the arms. Christian fights up and punches but Rhodes knees him. Rhodes clotheslines him in the back of the head and covers for a near fall. Kofi Kingston is watching backstage. Christian goes to the top rope but Rhodes cuts him off. Rhodes stands on the top rope and hits a beautiful superplex.
Rhodes gets up and goes to cover Christian but Christian surprises him with an inside cradle for a near fall. Rhodes angrily stomps away at Christian. Christian fights up, ducks a clothesline, and slaps Rhodes. Christian then takes himself out along with Rhodes with a clothesline over the top rope. Charles Robinson is starting to count them out. Rhodes jumps on the steps and comes right off with a kick to the side of the head. Rhodes throws him into the ring and covers for a two count. Rhodes goes to the second rope and jumps into a punch to the midsection.
Christian comes back with punches and a big forearm to the head. Rhodes charges Christian in the corner but misses and Christian hits a pendulum kick. Christian hits a missile dropkick for a near fall. Christian gets the crowd into it and goes for the Kill Switch but Rhodes stops it. Christian drop-toe-holds him into the ropes and again chokes him. Christian then springboards to the outside and slaps Rhodes. Christian goes to the top rope and misses with a cross-body. That gets Rhodes a near fall.
Rhodes picks him up and Christian goes for the Kill Switch. Rhodes fights off and goes for a back suplex that Christian flips through. Christian hits a reverse DDT for a near fall. Rhodes pulls Christian face first into the corner. Christian kicks him and goes to the second rope but Rhodes rips him off. Rhodes climbs up top and hits a beautiful moonsault block for a near fall! Rhodes argues with the referee about the count. Rhodes waits for Christian to get up and goes to throw him into the ring post but Christian turns it on him. Christian then hits the Kill Switch for the win!
Winner by Pinfall: Christian
Match Rating: ** 1/4
Next week Christian will meet Kofi Kingston to determine the new Intercontinental Champion.
A video recaps the Hart Dynasty winning the Unified Tag Team Titles two weeks ago from Show-Miz. Big Show then knocked him out after the match. Then Big Show was drafted to Smackdown and he knocked out Chris Jericho and Edge. Big Show then came to the ring and knocked out Jack Swagger. For some reason I really, REALLY enjoy watching people get punched in the face.
Jack Swagger is walking backstage. He’ll face Kane next.
Todd Grisham and Matt Striker recap what happened at the start of the show. Matt Hardy called Drew McIntyre out. McIntyre called himself untouchable and they fought. McIntyre continued to exploit Matt Hardy’s concussion. Teddy Long warned him and first suspended him. Long then stripped him of the Intercontinental Title and fired him. The officials then escorted him out of the arena.
As a result Christian and Kofi Kingston will meet next week to determine the new Intercontinental Champion.
Savannah asks us to welcome the World Heavyweight Champion Jack Swagger. Swagger gets in the ring and he’s going to give us more facts about his life. Swagger says he’s going to remind us how good he really is. He became the first high school athlete ever to be nominated for an ESPY. In 2002 he was in contention for the Heisman Trophy. There’s a lot more to Jack Swagger than meets the eye. He was a state tennis champion… and we go to commercial as he continues to talk. He’ll be talking when we come back, I’m sure.
We come back and, yup, he’s still talking. Swagger says he was a member of the National Honor Society. He was also the president. When he was taking on the world and winning, where was Big Show? I think he was employed by WWE still. Swagger says he was taking a special education class and riding the short bus to school. At Over the Limit that’s exactly what will happen. He’ll take the World’s Largest Athlete to school. Kane’s pyro hits and mercifully that’s over.
Jack Swagger vs. Kane
They circle the ring and Swagger gets a waist lock. Kane elbows out and that angers Swagger. They circle the ring again and Swagger takes Kane down. They roll around and Kane gets the advantage. Swagger worms out and gets to his feet. Swagger punches the ropes angrily and Big Show’s music hits. Big Show comes out to the ring smiling to watch the match. Big Show gets on commentary.
Swagger surprises Kane with some punches and gets him rocked in the corner. Swagger is backed up by the ref and he walks into a nasty uppercut. Kane puts him in the corner and punches him down. Kane hits a snapmare and a low dropkick to the face for a near fall. Kane sends him to the corner and runs into a back elbow. Swagger chop blocks the knee and takes him down with a front face lock. Kane lifts him up and puts him on the top rope. Kane uppercuts him and wants a superplex but Swagger punches him off. Swagger comes off the top rope but eats an uppercut.
Swagger fights to his feet and rips off the turnbuckle pad. Kane clotheslines him twice, clotheslines him in the corner, and hits a sidewalk slam for a near fall. Kane goes up top and hits his flying lariat. Kane puts his hand up and goes for a Chokeslam but Swagger elbows him. Swagger then forces Kane head first into the exposed turnbuckle. Swagger continues to slam him into that exposed turnbuckle and the referee disqualifies him.
Winner by Disqualification: Kane
Match Rating: * 1/4
Jack Swagger continues to punch him and hits a big boot. Swagger stands over Kane and Big Show looks on displeased. Swagger holds up his World Heavyweight Title and turns to the Big Show. Big Show gets up from the table and they have a stare down. Swagger then turns and eats a big boot from Kane! Kane disassembles the announcer’s table and picks Swagger up but Swagger knees him. Swagger then sends Kane head first into the ring post! Swagger then turns and Big Show Chokeslams him through the announcer’s table!! Big Show gets in the ring and puts the World Heavyweight Championship on his shoulder.
Quick Match Results
MVP def. Luke Gallows
Michelle McCool & Layla* def. Kelly Kelly & Tiffany*
Kofi Kingston def. Dolph Ziggler to go to the IC Title Tournament Finals
Christian def. Cody Rhodes to go to the IC Title Tournament Finals
Kane def. Jack Swagger via DQ (non-title)
Bump of the Night: Jack Swagger Chokeslammed through a table!
Match of the Night: Christian vs. Cody Rhodes ** 1/4
Well, this was definitely an interesting Smackdown. From beginning to end there was something to keep you watching. The show opened up and the best thing to happen since WrestleMania happened when Drew McIntyre was fired and stripped of the Intercontinental Title. I’m not sure if this was a litmus test to see if anyone really cares about this guy but it’s pretty obvious they don’t. The heat in the segment while he was beating on Hardy before being fired was embarrassing. Then when he was fired there was a pop and then it was quickly lost. It’ll be interesting to see where they go from here with him. I’m predicting some humiliation and maybe a stint on Superstars before getting another push. One can hope.
Thankfully with the title off him we can get a new, exciting, and interesting champion. I really enjoyed the tournament matches tonight. The Kingston-Ziggler match was good but Cody Rhodes again shined in his match and had the better of the two with Christian. Even though he lost I predict he’s going places. He was crazy talent and we’re just beginning to see the best of what he’s got. I can’t wait for more. For now it’s Kofi Kingston vs. Christian for the Intercontinental Title.
I’m really excited about the CM Punk vs. Rey Mysterio possible finale. They had another tremendous promo tonight. I like that Mysterio is planting the seeds for a little trouble in the S.E.S. I don’t want them to disband it at all but it’s fun to watch. I’d love to see Punk with his head shaved but I could just as easily see Mysterio an unwilling participant in the S.E.S., planting the seeds for its destruction from within. Maybe they can drag it all the way to Summerslam. Again, one can hope. I’m enjoying it while it lasts.
I’m really enjoying the new Jack Swagger. The ultra-arrogant heel really works for him. I don’t know how they can keep it going (how many accomplishments can one have?) but it’s fun to watch. I like Big Show in this as well. There’s not much you can do with a funny Big Show so I’m also enjoying this while it lasts. I liked Big Show on commentary. The guy can talk and talk well.
Final Rating: ***
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Thanks for reading!