“Yes, sir, we promised you a great main event…” The WWE video leads us into the show.
The Smackdown video plays and we’re shown a picture of Kane standing over Rey Mysterio with his World Heavyweight Championship having just cashed it in after winning Money in the Bank.
Kane’s pyro hits and the World Heavyweight Champion makes his way to the ring. This is Kane’s first major World Title since winning the WWF Title from Stone Cold Steve Austin in a First Blood Match at King of the Ring 1998. Kane says as a child he took his goldfish, pinched its tail, and held it high above its bowl. He watched as it withered in pain, gasping for air, slowly dying. That’s how he felt for the last thirteen years until last Sunday night. That’s when seven souls were laid to rest as he won the Money in the Bank contract. He then did something unprecedented and made history by cashing it in that very same night to become the new World Heavyweight Champion! Kane says it was the most gratifying moment of his entire career. Rey Mysterio had put up a valiant effort against Jack Swagger but his moment of glory was quickly extinguished when Swagger trapped him in the ankle lock. Kane came out to help him and the gratitude in Rey’s face shined bring. However his gratefulness soon turned to horror when he came back to challenge him for the title. When he grabbed him by the throat he could feel his pulse and he Chokeslammed him through the mat with all his force. He then scraped him up and dropped him on his head to become the World Heavyweight Champion and the crowd applauded.
Kane says Mysterio has to understand that he only did what anyone in his position would have done, even Mysterio. He just did it better. Kane then screams that he did it three times. Kane says he didn’t do it for himself. He did it for his brother. They play a quick clip of Undertaker. Kane brought the World Title back where it belongs: back to the Dark Side. He went to his brother’s bedside to share his victory. Instead of an overwhelming feeling of pride and adulation, his soul was overcome with shame and sorrow because his once powerful brother just laid there, unable to appreciate this momentous occasion. Kane vowed at that moment that nothing and no one would ever tear this Holy Grail from his grasp. Kane will not rest until his brother’s assailant is still at large. Kane will not rest until he finds the person responsible. Hell will reign supreme when the World Heavyweight Champion finally attains his vengeance! Kane makes the ring posts explode and he looks at his world title.
Tonight Rey Mysterio will take on Jack Swagger in a 2 out of 3 falls match to determine the #1 Contender for Kane’s World Heavyweight Championship at Summerslam.
The WWE Rewind is Matt Hardy taking Christian out on the Peep Show three weeks ago. Then a week later Christian walked off on him during a tag match.
Matt Hardy & Christian vs. Drew McIntyre & Cody Rhodes
Charles Robinson, my favorite referee, is the official of this contest. Matt hardy starts out against his recent nemesis Drew McIntyre. They lock up and McIntyre powers him to the corner. Hardy ducks a cheap shot and punches him down. Hardy wrenches the arm and applies an arm bar. Hardy hits a short-arm clothesline for a no count. Christian is tagged and he hits some stiff shots on McIntyre. Christian gets a side headlock so McIntyre attempts to whip him off but to no avail. McIntyre goes for a back suplex counter but Christian falls forward with a headlock takeover. McIntyre finally powers him to the corner and gets a break. Christian soon boots him and hits a missile dropkick for a two count.
McIntyre quickly comes back by whipping him down to the mat and tags in the Dashing One. Rhodes punches away at him before going to the ropes and getting caught with a flapjack. Hardy is tagged back in and they hit Poetry in Motion but with a cross-body. Hardy gets a two count for that. Christian is tagged back in and they hit a double back elbow. Christian tags Hardy in and he punches away at Rhodes in the corner. Hardy sends him to the opposite side and runs into a boot.
McIntyre is tagged in and he hits a running kick to the head. McIntyre goes for the Future Shock but Hardy back body drops him over the top rope! Rhodes tries to attack and gets sent over as well! Hardy then takes him out with a baseball slide. Charles Robinson is distracted by Hardy as Christian hits a springboard plancha to the outside on both men!
We come back from the break to see Rhodes knee and punch Hardy in the corner. Rhodes sends him to the corner and hits a side Russian leg sweep. Rhodes has a mischievous smile before missing a knee drop. Christian is tagged in, misses a clothesline, and catches Rhodes with a knee to the midsection. Christian stands on him while hung up on the ropes. McIntyre distracts and Rhodes hits the Alabama “Jam” for a near fall. That’s a nasty move. Matt Striker doesn’t directly say that’s Hardcore Holly’s move… but he came close.
McIntyre is tagged in and he stomps Christian’s ribs as Rhodes holds the arms. McIntyre punches him down in the corner before exiting the ring and clubbing his chest. McIntyre stomps the head before sending him back in the ring for a near fall. Rhodes is tagged back in and he hits a front suplex followed by a Ric Flair Knee Drop for a near fall. Rhodes hits some snap jabs and a dropkick to the back of the head for a near fall! Rhodes is looking great in this match. McIntyre is tagged in and he applies an arm bar. Rhodes tags and he stomps away at Christian. Rhodes hangs Christian up on the ropes and kicks him in the midsection, stealing another Hardcore Holly move! Rhodes goes for an Alabama Slam but Christian rolls through and they do the old double clothesline!
Christian is cut off by McIntyre before he tags Hardy. Christian escapes a Future Shock and tags in Hardy. Hardy comes in, taped ribs and all, and punches away. Hardy hits a Russian leg sweep for a near fall. McIntyre runs into a back elbow and takes a neckbreaker for a near fall. Hardy puts him in the corner and hits a Tornado DDT but the referee is distracted by Rhodes! McIntyre kicks him in the ribs and sets up for his finisher but Hardy gets an inside cradle that’s broken up by Rhodes! Christian makes the save and is inadvertently taken out by Hardy! Hardy hits a Side Effect on Rhodes and eats a big boot from McIntyre for the loss!
Winners by Pinfall: Drew McIntyre & Cody Rhodes
Match Rating: ** 1/4
Christian gets back in the ring and is not happy but he helps Hardy up anyway. Hardy apologizes and Christian offers his hand. Hardy hesitates but shakes it eventually. They’re teasing a rivalry with these two (duh).
Jack Swagger is backstage with Josh Mathews. Swagger says he was robbed at Money in the Bank. That “dirty worm” Rey Mysterio took a page out of one of the dirtiest cheaters in the game Eddie Guerrero. Swagger had him ready to tap when Mysterio unlaced his boot and got out. That’s the old finish from WrestleMania XX (I was there). Swagger says that’s cheating and unfair. Swagger says what’s clever is Mysterio losing the title because he almost snapped his ankle. He won’t even be able to walk after the first fall. He won’t break the ankle: he’ll shatter it and then do the same to Kane at Summerslam. He’ll put Kane in the same place he put his father: in the hospital.
The announcers wonder if Rey Mysterio’s injured ankle will be a factor in tonight’s 2 out of 3 falls match tonight.
They play another Alberto del Rio video. I’m not a fan of the character but I’ve seen some of his work and I’m interested to see him in the ring. I swear the dialogue from this promo was stolen from “Red Dead Redemption”.
Lay-Cool are backstage drinking champagne celebrating the win at Money in the Bank. They give each other gifts. It’s the old school Best Friends broken heart necklaces. Teddy Long comes in and congratulates her on the win on Sunday. Long then tells Layla that she’ll defend her title next week against Tiffany. I wonder if Undertaker is regretting this decision. Maybe he really is in a vegetative state…
Kofi Kingston is getting his neck iced backstage. He’ll be in action next.
Kofi Kingston w/ Michael McGillicutty vs. Dolph Ziggler w/ Vickie Guerrero
Ziggler quickly gets Kingston down with a double leg and gets some amateur wrestling going on. Kingston gets the better of him and Ziggler backs away. Ziggler gets a waist lock but Kingston counters into his own. Ziggler gets out and kicks Kingston in the ribs. Kingston is hurting from Money in the Bank. Ziggler gets a headlock on. Kingston whips him off but gets taken out by a shoulder block. Ziggler goes into the ropes, over and under Kingston, and he eats a back elbow. Kingston leaps to his shoulders in the corner and punches. Kingston rolls off and uppercuts him. Kingston sends him into the ropes, lowers his head, and eats a kick.
Ziggler works on his injured neck with kicks. Ziggler hits a nice neckbreaker and Kingston is in pain as he takes a one count. Ziggler stands on the neck before throwing him out of the ring. Ziggler talks a little trash as Michael McGillicutty checks on his WWE Pro. Vickie Guerrero comes over and yells at him before telling him to leave ringside. McGillicutty obeys and slowly goes to the back.
We come back from the break to see Kingston trapped in a chin lock. Kingston tries to fight up but Ziggler powers him down. Ziggler hits a leg drop bulldog (Billy Gunn’s finisher) for a near fall. Ziggler pounds on his face before being removed by the referee. Ziggler drops an elbow on the back of the neck. Kingston tries to fight back with some kicks but Ziggler quickly takes him out again. Ziggler digs his knee into the back of the neck and pulls back on the chin. Kingston eventually fights up and avoids another leg drop bulldog with a school boy for a near fall. Ziggler then immediately clotheslines him in the back of the neck and hits a neckbreaker. Ziggler chokes him in the corner and the referee steps in to stop him. Ziggler covers but Kingston’s foot is on the ropes. Ziggler then chokes him on the bottom rope and gets a two count for that.
Ziggler applies a modified camel clutch but Kingston powers up. Ziggler quickly jabs him down and stands on the neck again. Ziggler goes for a big elbow drop but Kingston rolls out of the way. Ziggler then runs into some boots. Kingston is too injured to act so Ziggler goes for a neckbreaker but Kingston counters into a backslide for a near fall.
Kingston slaps Ziggler a few times and hits a dropkick but it hurts him more than Ziggler. Kingston misses a clothesline but rebounds with another and punches away at him. Kingston hits a big right hand and hits the Boom Drop. Kingston appears to be hurt by that but sets up for the Trouble in Paradise. Ziggler avoids it and tosses him over the top but Kingston skins the cat. Vickie Guerrero grabs his ankle and Ziggler hits the Zig-Zag! Ziggler waits for him to get up and applies the Sleeper Hold! Ziggler holds it tight and the referee has seen enough as he calls for the bell!
Winner via Knockout: Dolph Ziggler
Match Rating: ** 1/4
Dolph Ziggler grabs the Intercontinental Championship from the timekeeper and gets in the ring with it. Ziggler stands over Kingston with it as Vickie Guerrero smiles and claps for him. Ziggler goes to leave with it but the referee grabs it away from him.
Big Show is walking backstage and gives thumbs up to the jump roping Rosa Mendes. The S.E.S. vows revenge for exposing CM Punk’s bald head and looks to extract it next.
The Smack of the Night is Big Show unmasking CM Punk last week.
Big Show comes out to fight a member of the S.E.S. It appears to be Luke Gallows but the bald CM Punk calls him out of the ring. Punk then calls for the mystery member of the S.E.S. to fight.
Big Show vs. The Masked S.E.S. Member w/ S.E.S.
The bell rings and Big Show immediately chops the man down. The man punches to no avail and gets chopped in the chest. Big Show sends him into the ropes but the masked man wiggles out of a sidewalk slam and dropkicks the knee. The masked man goes into the ropes but Big Show grabs him by the throat. Big Show pulls the mask off to reveal that it’s been Joey Mercury all along. He looked better with the mask. Big Show knocks him out and he falls limp like in video games. That was a great visual. Big Show picks up the easy win from there.
Winner by Pinfall: Big Show
Match Rating: 1/2 *
The Straight Edge Society is none too pleased by what just transpired in the ring.
“Dashing” Cody Rhodes talks about trimming your nose hair. He shows some pretty disgusting pictures of guys with wild nose hair. He’s just trying to help us to be one step closer to dashing. I love this character.
The Raw Rebound airs. It was a really great show.
The announcers again discuss the condition of Rey Mysterio’s ankle. We’re then taken backstage where Mysterio is preparing. Josh Mathews, who appears to tower over him, asks if his body can handle tonight’s match. Mysterio says he’s feeling a lot of pain and he was just getting used to the feeling of being World Champion. That was taken away in the blink of an eye. Mysterio says he wouldn’t have done what Kane did. He’s not happy with what happened but he has to move on. The only way to do that is to beat Swagger twice tonight. Mysterio says next time he faces Kane in the ring it’ll be a different story. It’ll be a story with a happy ending.
They air another Alberto del Rio video. There’s still no word on when he’s debuting.
Two out of Three Falls Match
Winner will face Kane for the World Heavyweight Title at Summerslam
Rey Mysterio vs. Jack Swagger
They lock up and Swagger pushes Mysterio into the corner. Swagger talks trash and they lock up again. Swagger simply lifts him up and puts him in the corner. Mysterio avoids a splash and rolls him up for a one count. They trade punches with Swagger coming out on top. Swagger bounces him off the turnbuckle and talks some trash. Swagger whips him sternum first into the corner but runs into a back elbow. Mysterio hits a hurricanrana and pulls the top rope down to send Swagger to the outside. Mysterio hits a baseball slide but appears to have hurt his ankle doing that.
We come back from the break to see Swagger take Mysterio down and roll him on the mat. Swagger clubs his back and stands on his midsection. Swagger whips him hard into the corner and gets a near fall. Swagger punches him in the corner and knees him in the midsection. Swagger sends him to the opposite corner but Mysterio stops himself and drop-toe-holds Swagger into the turnbuckle. Mysterio goes to the top rope but Swagger crotches him. Swagger stomps him and hits a NASTY powerslam. Swagger grabs the injured ankle and kicks him in the midsection. Swagger applies a body scissors and is wearing him down. Swagger then applies a Boston Crab as well! That’s a nice move! Mysterio grabs the rope and the hold is broken.
Swagger taunts Mysterio before leaving the ring and smashing Mysterio’s ankle off the ring post! Swagger gets in the ring and gets a near fall. Swagger DDTs the ankle twice and Mysterio rolls to the apron. Swagger baseball slides him but he doesn’t fall of the apron. Swagger drags him in and covers for a near fall. Mysterio fights back but Swagger clubs away at him. Swagger misses a clothesline and Mysterio hits a springboard cross-body for a close near fall! Mysterio kicks him in the head and kicks him in the face . Mysterio goes for a wheelbarrow bulldog but Swagger counters into a sit-out face buster. Swagger immediately applies the ankle lock and Mysterio screams in pain! Mysterio gets on the rope but Swagger doesn’t release and is disqualified!
Winner of the First Fall: Rey Mysterio via DQ
We come back from the break to see Mysterio slowly get in the ring. Swagger immediately stomps him in the corner and runs into the boots. Swagger then goes for a shoulder thrust but Mysterio moves and he hits the ring post shoulder first! Mysterio hits a top rope hurricanrana that puts him in position. Mysterio goes for the 619 but Swagger grabs hold and applies the ankle lock for the submission victory!
Winner of the Second Fall: Jack Swagger via Submission
This match is split 1-1. Mysterio recovers briefly on the outside before getting in the ring and getting stomped. Swagger tries to bring him outside but Mysterio kicks. Swagger then pulls him out and hits his Gutwrench Powerbomb on the outside!! Ouch!!
Swagger gets him in the ring and he hits the Vader Bomb. Swagger taunts and repeats the move for a near fall! Mysterio is still fighting after that powerbomb! Swagger goes for a third Vader Bomb but Mysterio gets the boots up! Mysterio slowly climbs to the top rope and hits a seated senton! Mysterio runs into a punch but gets out of a Gutwrench Powerbomb! Swagger then run into an awesome crucifix pin and Mysterio picks up the win! Holy $h!t that was an awesome finish!
Winner of the Match 2-1: Rey Mysterio
Match Rating: ***
Jack Swagger drags him back in the ring and works on the ankle until Kane’s pyro hits! Kane runs down and Chokeslams Swagger! Kane turns around and looks at Mysterio down on the mat. These two will compete at Summerslam. Kane looks intensely at him and Mysterio is scared to death. Kane then gets Mysterio up and releases him. Mysterio is ready to fight despite his condition but Kane grabs his hand and raises it! Kane then leaves the ring as Mysterio looks on.
All of a sudden Kane runs back in and grabs Mysterio by the throat! Kane talks a little trash before going for a Chokeslam but Mysterio counters with a hurricanrana, putting Kane in position! Mysterio then hits the 619 and escapes the ring! Kane is irate as Mysterio looks on from the stage!
Quick Match Results
Drew McIntyre* & Cody Rhodes def. Matt Hardy* & Christian
Dolph Ziggler def. Kofi Kingston (non-title)
Big Show def. Joey Mercury (Masked S.E.S. Member)
Rey Mysterio def. Jack Swagger 2-1
Bump of the Night: The Gutwrench Powerbomb on the floor!
Match of the Night: Rey Mysterio vs. Jack Swagger ***
Oh my goodness that was a tremendous Smackdown. It was from beginning to end an awesome show. We opened up with another solid promo from Kane. This guy has been money since Undertaker went down and now this summer has become a renaissance for him. He went from being a background character whose best days were behind him to a guy who’s completely relevant and the main character on Smackdown. The work he’s been doing for the past few months has been the best of his career, even better than his stuff in 2004. Twelve years is a long time between title reigns. It’s about time.
The wrestling was tremendous tonight. We opened up with a hot tag match with two veterans teaming up to take on two relatively new guys. I hope they get something for McIntyre and Rhodes at Summerslam because it looks like Hardy and Christian are already set up. I think one of them is going heel and they’ll fight at Summerslam. They’re both in desperate need of a character overhaul so this could be good for both of them. I thought Hardy was great as a heel last year but Christian could use it as well. They can go with either guy in this case.
What did I say about Dolph Ziggler earlier this year? I legitimately thought he was going to win Money in the Bank but it’ll be one step at a time. He’s getting hot now and the signs are pointing to him becoming the Intercontinental Champion at Summerslam. I can’t wait. I think this guy is money, and I think the same way of Cody Rhodes for that matter.
I’m glad to see Joey Mercury back on the roster. He left a few years ago in bad shape and his unmasking is the final step of his comeback. I’m glad to see he’s cleaned up and back where he belongs. What he does from here, however, is anyone’s guess.
I absolutely loved the 2 out of 3 falls match tonight. They booked that perfectly. I usually hate when they do injury angles because of the effect it has on the match but when you have two talented guys like Mysterio and Swagger it doesn’t matter. They had me excited on Sunday and they had me excited tonight. The match was well wrestled and one of the better TV matches of the year. Kudos to both men!
Final Rating: *** 1/4
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Be sure to check out Tuesday’s NXT recap.
Thanks for reading!