“Yes, sir, we promised you a great main event…” The WWE video leads us into the show.
A video highlighting all the destruction Mark Henry has caused in the past few weeks opens up the show. Tonight Mark Henry will take on the World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton in a non-title match.
Josh Mathews, Booker T, and Michael Cole welcome us to the show. We see Teddy Long sitting in his office when Christian walks in. Christian is holding the contract to his World Heavyweight Championship match at Money in the Bank. Christian tells Long to make sure Randy Orton is in the ring to sign it tonight. Long says that Christian must have memory loss because he said Christian has to win the tag team match to get a World Title match. Christian says that’s exactly what happened. Long says it was his tag team partner Mark Henry who won the match. That’s why Mark Henry will go one-on-one with Randy Orton tonight. Since Henry has been so impressive, if he beats Randy Orton then maybe he’ll make it a triple threat match at MITB or a singles match. Christian almost screams at Long and then calmly says he can’t screw him again. Long says he can and he is. Furthermore, Christian is banned from ringside tonight. If he interferes there will be consequences.
Randy Orton vs. Mark Henry
The bell rings and they circle the ring. Orton goes to lock up but Henry just drives him into the corner. Orton ducks a punch and unloads on Henry in the corner. Orton goes to whip him across the ring but Henry doesn’t budge. Henry pulls Orton into his knee. Henry stalks Orton and clubs his chest in the corner. Henry whips him hard into the corner a few times and hits a belly-to-belly side suplex for a near fall. Henry goes for a powerslam but Orton slides off, goes into the ropes, and eats a big boot for a near fall. I haven’t seen Henry do a big boot in quite some time.
Henry stands on Orton’s chest using the ropes for leverage. Henry picks him up and head-butts him right back down. Henry picks him up by the head, talks some trash, and head-butts him down. Henry waits for Orton to get up and goes for the World’s Strongest Slam but Orton gets out of it. Henry charges him in the corner but Orton moves. Orton goes into the ropes and clubs him. Orton kicks him down to a knee and hits a DDT for a near fall. Orton is bleeding from the nose.
Henry gets out of the ring to regroup. Orton follows and gets driven into the apron by the big man. Henry talks some trash and Big Show’s music hits. Henry watches the entrance ramp and gears up. Meanwhile the referee is counting them out. Big Show’s music stops and Henry turns into an RKO on the floor! Orton quickly gets into the ring and wins the match by count-out.
Winner by Count-Out: Randy Orton
Match Rating: * 1/2
Mark Henry stays outside the ring and doesn’t look happy about losing. Orton celebrates in the ring. Henry walks over to the production crew and demands to know why they played the music. Henry walks up to the sound guy and gets in his face. Henry asks if he thought it was funny. Henry asks if he likes his equipment and knocks some monitors off the table. Henry asks what the things do and knocks all the soundboards off the table. Henry says he could have won the match and flips the table. Henry goes to leave but then turns around, looking at the frightened sound guy. Henry pretends he’s going to let him go but then grabs him by the shirt and picks him up by the neck. Henry then throws him over the equipment to the concrete floor! That looked pretty awesome. Henry then walks to the back.
Daniel Bryan and Ted DiBiase come to the ring with their entrance videos playing but no music. They say the audio technician is still unconscious and on the way to the hospital.
Daniel Bryan vs. Ted DiBiase
Ted DiBiase is shown in a prerecorded interview saying it’s been fun humiliating Daniel Bryan and it’s all thanks to Cody Rhodes. DiBiase says he hopes Rhodes is watching because he thinks he’ll be impressed by how bad he beats Daniel Bryan.
They lock up and DiBiase gets a side headlock applied. Bryan whips him off but takes a shoulder block. They go into the ropes, over and under each other, and Bryan gets him with an arm drag. DiBiase whips him off and goes for a leapfrog but Bryan grabs the leg and applies a Mexican surfboard stretch. Bryan turns it into a pin for a two count. Bryan hits a few uppercuts and whips him to the corner. DiBiase back body drops him to the apron and Bryan punches him back. Bryan jumps off the top rope but DiBiase moves. Bryan turns into a dropkick that takes him outside.
We come back from the break to see DiBiase applying a chin lock. Bryan fights up and elbows but DiBiase knees him in the midsection. Bryan counts a suplex, elbows, goes into the ropes, and takes a clothesline from DiBiase for a two count. DiBiase drops a knee for another two count. DiBiase applies a chin lock and really cinches it in. Bryan fights up again but DiBiase knees him. DiBiase kicks him down in the corner and taunts the crowd. DiBiase whips him to the opposite corner but Bryan backflips over him. Bryan goes into the ropes and hits a running elbow.
Bryan hits a running dropkick in the corner for a near fall. Bryan begins viciously kicking the chest but DiBiase counters one for a two count. Bryan kicks out and goes for the LeBell Lock but DiBiase quickly gets to the ropes. Bryan sends him to the ropes but lowers his head and eats a kick. DiBiase then charges Bryan and gets back body dropped to the outside. Bryan goes to the apron and gets caught by DiBiase. DiBiase drives him into the ring post and the barricade. Bryan screams in pain as if he separated his shoulder. DiBiase rolls him into the ring and covers for a near fall.
They get a really bad camera angle where I guess DiBiase was supposed to be kicking him in the face only to show that he’s only rubbing the side of his boot on him. DiBiase yells that Bryan is nothing and slaps him a few times. DiBiase goes for a superplex but Bryan head-butts him off. Bryan then hits his version of the missile dropkick and quickly clutches at his injured shoulder. They get up and Bryan viciously unloads on him with punches. Bryan then kicks him in the head for a near fall. DiBiase gets up in the corner and boots Bryan in the face. DiBiase goes for Dream Street but Bryan gets out of it. DiBiase goes to clothesline him but Bryan catches him with a guillotine choke for the submission!
Winner by Submission: Daniel Bryan
Match Rating: **
Teddy Long is pacing in his office when Christian turns up. Christian says now that Mark Henry has lost it looks like he’s the number one contender. Christian says it’s time for a contract signing tonight. Long says the word on the street is that Christian was seen going into the production truck at the same time Big Show’s music started playing. Christian says he was having a conversation on the phone. Long says there will be a contract signing in about an hour. In the meantime he’ll compete in a match. Christian says it’s unfair and Long says he needs to prepare for his match against Sin Cara. Christian almost goes nuts on Long but he’s warned.
Ted DiBiase is seen walking backstage when he runs into Cody Rhodes. Rhodes asks if he knows the significance of May 20. DiBiase doesn’t and Rhodes says it’s the last time DiBiase won a match. There have been flashes of brilliance in between yet he goes out and he loses to that common man Daniel Bryan. Rhodes says he can’t guide him until he applies his aptitude for consistency for something other than failure. If DiBiase can’t do that then he might as well wear a bag. Rhodes hands him one and walks off.
The announcers talk about the changing of The Great Khali. They show Khali turning on his brother Ranjin Singh and joining forces with Jinder Mahal five weeks ago.
They had an interview with Ranjin Singh earlier today. Singh says before the Mahal’s had their fortunes, the Singh’s and the Mahal’s were close. He’ll never admit it but Jinder Mahal is very jealous of Khali. Khali became a celebrity in WWE, got roles in Hollywood and Bollywood, and it all ate away at Jinder. Jinder wishes he was his brother and Khali but he can’t. Years ago Mahal became his brother in law. The Singh family was poor so the Mahal family paid for his sister’s dowry when she married into the family. When Jinder yells at his sister and Khali, he’s telling Khali to listen to him or he’ll embarrass the entire family by divorcing her. Singh doesn’t feel comfortable saying these things but they need to be said. Singh warns that people need to fear Jinder Mahal.
Christian will take on Sin Cara next. They show a great highlight video of Sin Cara.
They show the Smackdown Money in the Bank briefcase hanging high above the ring. Kane, Sin Cara, Daniel Bryan, Wade Barrett, Cody Rhodes, Justin Gabriel, Heath Slater, and Sheamus will all take part in the match.
Christian vs. Sin Cara
Christian avoids some quick kicks from Sin Cara. Sin Cara ducks a clothesline and kicks away at Christian. Christian reverses a whip but Cara springboards off the ropes and hits an arm drag. Christian gets out of the ring to recover. Cara fakes a plancha to the outside so Christian runs away and Cara does a handspring backflip. Cara then jumps to the top rope and Christian runs away again. Cara does a nice acrobatic move off the top and Christian isn’t impressed outside. Christian yells that he’s trying to embarrass him and he can’t see with the lights.
We come back from the break to see Christian punch Sin Cara down. Christian knees him in the midsection and puts him on the ropes. Christian slingshots over the top rope and goes for an uppercut but Cara moves. Cara baseball slides him down and hits a corkscrew plancha! Cara rolls him into the ring and hits a slingshot twisting splash for a near fall. Christian quickly comes back with some punches and a side headlock. Cara whips him off but takes a shoulder block for a two count. Christian punches him in the face and he goes down. Christian bounces him in the corner and goes for a slam but Cara gets out. Cara then climbs the ropes and hits a flipping arm drag off the top rope. Cara hits a running hurricanrana for a near fall.
Christian shoulders him and clubs his ears. Cara charges into a back body drop over the top rope. Christian goes outside and drives him into the barricade. Christian puts him in the ring for a near fall. Christian kicks him in the head a few times and applies a modified chin lock. Cara fights up and elbows out but Christian clubs him down. Christian hits a body slam and taunts the crowd. Christian approaches Cara and he kips up into a hurricanrana. Cara charges Christian into the corner but eats a boot for a two count.
Christian sets him up on the ropes and chokes him. Christian punches him down and goes to the top rope. Christian goes for a diving head-butt but Sin Cara moves. Cara picks up a near fall for that. Cara hits a springboard back elbow and both men are down. Cara hits a version of La Mistica for a near fall. Cara gets on the shoulders and gets a victory roll for a near fall. Christian punches him down again and goes to the top rope. Cara cuts him off with a Pelé kick and goes to the top as well. Cara goes for that finisher but Christian pushes him off. Cara flips and lands on his feet. Christian then gets off the top rope and goes to the outside, saying he’s done.
Cara goes to the apron and jumps into a hurricanrana. Cara rolls him into the ring and hits another Pelé kick. Cara hits a springboard cross-body for a near fall. Cara gets to his feet and goes for another victory roll but Christian face plants him and hits a reverse DDT for a near fall. Christian can’t believe it. Christian walks into an inside cradle for a near fall. Cara dropkicks him to the ropes. Christian sends him into the ropes so Cara goes for a handspring back elbow. Christian nearly catches him with the Kill Switch but Cara gets out of it. Cara climbs the ropes but Christian rips him off. Christian then hits the Spear for the win! Sin Cara’s undefeated streak in WWE is over!
Winner by Pinfall: Christian
Match Rating: ** 3/4
The announcers talk about the contract signing between Randy Orton and Christian that will take place later tonight.
They show a video of Ezekiel Jackson winning the Intercontinental Championship at Capitol Punishment two weeks ago. Ezekiel Jackson will take on Cody Rhodes next.
Cody Rhodes makes his way to the ring with his assistants handing out paper bags. They made a point to show Booker T’s angry face as they gave him a bag. Booker T took the bag and crumpled it up.
Cody Rhodes w/ Ted DiBiase vs. Ezekiel Jackson
They lock up and Jackson powers him to the corner. Jackson touches the mask and Rhodes flips out. Rhodes gets a side headlock applied and he punches him in the face. Jackson grabs him by the throat, sends him into the ropes, and flattens him with a shoulder block. Jackson clubs away at him and throws him across the ring. Jackson sends him to the ropes but Rhodes drops down and punches him. Jackson quickly takes him down, drops an elbow, and gets a near fall. Jackson press slams him but Rhodes slides off and gets out of the ring.
Rhodes crawls around and goes under the ring. Jackson goes face to face with Ted DiBiase and Rhodes sneaks up behind him. Rhodes sends him into the ring post and picks up a near fall. Rhodes kicks away at him and head-butts away. Rhodes punches and splashes him in the corner a few times. Rhodes applies a hammerlock/chin lock combo. Jackson fights up so Rhodes applies a front face lock. Jackson gets to his feet so Rhodes goes for a suplex but Jackson blocks it. Jackson then hits a front suplex.
Jackson clotheslines him a few times and sends him to the corner. Jackson clotheslines him in the corner and the fake cheers are so blatant right now. Jackson body slams him and DiBiase gets on the apron. Jackson sends him to the ring post and knocks him off the apron. Rhodes then hits the Beautiful Disaster and the Cross Rhodes for the win.
Winner by Pinfall: Cody Rhodes
Match Rating: *
Rhodes goes up to DiBiase on the outside and says he did the right thing. Rhodes pats him on the back and walks off.
We’ll see Randy Orton and Christian in the ring together for the Money in the Bank World Title match contract signing.
Johnny Curtis is shown backstage painting. Curtis says he still hasn’t made his Smackdown debut yet and apologizes for seeming bitter. From now on there will be no more shenanigans because he wants to avoid doing this. He shows the painting and it’s a stick figure in the corner with the word “myself”. He doesn’t want to paint himself into a corner. Wow…
The Raw Rebound is shown with the epic CM Punk promo highlighted. The announcers talk about how shocking the promo was and mention that Punk was suspended. They announce that Vince McMahon will be on Raw this Monday.
Kane’s music hits. He’ll be in action next.
Kane vs. Wade Barrett
Charles Robinson, my favorite referee ever, is the official of this match. They circle the ring and lock up. Barrett puts him in the corner and Kane quickly turns it. Kane backs up, giving a clean break. Barrett kicks him and punches away. Kane quickly comes back with an uppercut. Barrett reverses a whip but Kane takes him down with a shoulder block for a two count. Kane wrenches the arm but Barrett punches out. Barrett wrenches the arm but Kane sends him to the corner. Kane goes for a splash but Barrett moves, goes into the ropes, and hits a clothesline for a two count. Barrett kicks him in the corner and sends him to the ropes. Barrett lowers his head and gets kicked in the face. Kane hits a snapmare and goes for that low dropkick but Barrett gets out of the ring.
Kane follows him outside and bounces him off the apron. Barrett kicks him as he gets into the ring and big boots him off the apron. Kane hits the barricade hard. Barrett taunts the crowd as we go to commercial.
We come back from the break to see Kane trapped in a chin lock. Kane fights up and hits a back suplex. Kane uppercuts him and sends him to the ropes but Barrett holds on. Kane runs into a back elbow and Barrett kicks away at her. Barrett kicks him in the face and covers for a one count. Barrett kicks him in the ribs a few times and kicks him in the head. Barrett covers but Kane kicks out before a count. Barrett chokes him on the bottom rope, backs off, and chokes him again. Barrett wraps him up in the ropes and knees away at him. Barrett then punches and he falls to the apron. Barrett pulls him in for a one count.
Barrett applies a chin lock and powers him to the corner. Barrett kicks away at him, gets backed up by the referee, and Kane hits him with some uppercuts. Barrett quickly gets momentum back on his side and hits a DDT for a near fall. Barrett goes to the second rope and goes for an elbow drop but Kane moves.
Kane punches away but has a whip reversed. Kane quickly comes back with a running cross-body for a near fall! I haven’t seen Kane do that. Kane hits a snapmare and a low dropkick to the face for a near fall. Barrett punches, goes into the ropes, and eats a big boot. Kane picks up a near fall. Kane sends him to the corner and clotheslines him. Kane hits a sidewalk slam for a near fall. Kane goes to the top rope and hits a flying lariat. Kane raises his hand and signals for the Chokeslam. Kane goes for it but Barrett gets out. Kane goes for a Tombstone Piledriver but Barrett slides off, pushes him into the ropes, and hits the Boss Man Slam for a near fall.
Barrett goes for The Wasteland but Kane pulls himself to the apron. Barrett goes to big boot him off but Kane sidesteps him and punches him in the face. Kane gets in the ring, signals for it, and hits the Chokeslam for the win!
Winner by Pinfall: Kane
Match Rating: **
They show the opening match where Mark Henry was tricked into thinking Big Show was coming to the ring only to lose the match by count-out. Henry then went nuts and attacked the audio technician, throwing him to the concrete floor in an impressive spot. The announcers mention that he regained consciousness and his vital signs are good.
The contract signing for Randy Orton vs. Christian at Money in the Bank is next.
Teddy Long is in the ring, which is decorated with the usual contract signing decorations. They’ve got the black carpet rolled out, the table, and two chairs in the ring. Teddy Long asks the crowd to welcome the former World Heavyweight Champion and current number one contender Christian to the ring. Christian comes to the ring with some bald guy in a suit. Long then asks the crowd to welcome the reigning World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton to the ring.
The crowd is certainly buzzing with anticipation. Orton lays the championship across the table. The bald man with Christian is, of course, his lawyer. Long says this is the official contract signing for the Money in the Bank Pay Per View. Christian says so Long and Orton know, his legal council has reviewed the contract and there is a clause in there that clearly states if the referee makes a mistake that he’ll get an immediate rematch. Christian tells Long to make sure the referees do their jobs or we’ll be right back here again. Christian says he refuses to be screwed over and he deserves to be World Heavyweight Champion. Christian says he knows he can beat Orton even if no one thinks he can. Orton says there’s a reason for that.
Christian tells him to shut up. Christian says he pinned Orton two weeks ago on Raw. Christian also beat Orton last week in a tag match. Christian says Teddy Long, the referees, and the WWE brass can’t save Orton anymore because Orton is the golden boy. The truth of the matter is Orton can’t beat him. At Money in the Bank he’s going to prove it.
Orton says there was a time, back when this all started, where he actually enjoyed facing Christian in the ring. There was a time when he actually respected Christian. They had a great match and he beat him. They had another epic match and he won again. Orton says the more he beats him the more he begs and pleads for one more match. It’s comical but now all of this is starting to make him angry. As Christian knows, he’s had problems in the past managing his anger. Orton congratulates Christian on getting a lawyer and getting another title shot. However a lawyer won’t win him the title. Christian has to actually beat him for the title and that will never happen.
Orton takes the contract from Teddy Long and signs it. Christian takes the contract and hands it to his lawyer for verification. The lawyer whispers something in his ear before handing it back to Christian. Christian then goes to sign the contract but the pen isn’t working.
All of a sudden Sheamus runs into the ring and assaults Randy Orton! Sheamus flips the table and beats on Orton. Christian walks up to Sheamus and asks what he’s doing only for Sheamus to take him out as well. Sheamus hits Christian with the Brogue Kick. Orton goes for an RKO but Sheamus pushes him off and hits a Brogue Kick on him as well. Sheamus screams at them before taking the contract and ripping it up. Sheamus leaves the ring as the crowd boos him.
Quick Match Results
Randy Orton def. Mark Henry via CO (non-title)
Daniel Bryan def. Ted DiBiase via Submission
Christian def. Sin Cara
Cody Rhodes def. Ezekiel Jackson (non-title)
Kane def. Wade Barrett
Bump of the Night: Mark Henry throwing the audio technician to the floor!
Match of the Night: Christian vs. Sin Cara ** 3/4
This was an excellent edition of Smackdown. It was another wrestling heavy edition of the show but we closed it out with an excellent segment. I know a lot of people are tired of the Randy Orton and Christian match up but they find some creative ways to keep it interesting. I definitely like what they did with it, in particular how sneaky Christian has been to finagle things into going his way. It’s classic heel tactics and, for me, it’s a lot of fun to watch.
The show kicked off with Long telling Christian that he is banned from ringside as Mark Henry and Randy Orton fight. Long also mentioned that Henry could be put in the match at MITB since he technically won the match for Christian last week. They then went right to the Orton/Henry match, which was just decent. The match was hard hitting but it was mostly a one sided affair and too short to really be effective. Big Show’s music hit while they were on the outside and Orton RKO’d him before getting back in the ring to win by count-out. What happened afterwards was better than the actual match. Henry walked up to the audio technician and demanded to know why he played Big Show’s music. Henry then destroyed the area and tossed him to the floor. They didn’t actually show him land but it was an impressive visual… and pretty funny. I had to watch it a few more times. That was just awesome and makes Henry look even more like a complete monster. We later found out that Christian was the one who made the Big Show’s music happen so he just looks like a bigger scumbag later on. That was a neat twist. He interfered in the match without actually interfering.
Ted DiBiase and Daniel Bryan fought in a good match that ended with a guillotine choke. I liked the finish because now you never know which submission Bryan is going to use to beat his opponent week in and week out. It makes things fresh and interesting. You have to pay closer attention to the match because it can end at any time with a submission. It doesn’t have to be the LeBell Lock. Before the match started they had DiBiase cut a prerecorded interview where he said Cody Rhodes would be impressed with him this week. Of course he lost and Rhodes let him hear about it backstage. Rhodes and DiBiase could be a good match-up down the line. If anything they’re trying to get DiBiase back on track. He’s got too much talent to be where he’s at right now.
They finally revealed the hold that Jinder Mahal has over The Great Khali and it definitely wasn’t what I was expecting. I figured that Mahal had Khali convinced that Ranjin Singh was killing his career and that’s why he joined him. Instead they went a completely different route, which was great. Mahal is actually related to Khali and Singh through marriage to their sister. Mahal is jealous of Khali and wants to be him so badly that he’ll embarrass the family by divorcing the sister if Khali doesn’t do what he wants. It’s a great storyline and I’m interested to see where and how far they go with it.
Christian and Sin Cara had an excellent match that saw Sin Cara’s undefeated streak come to an end. Surprisingly the announcers never made mention of that fact and I found that to be a bit odd. They were probably too busy calling each other out on their mistakes and not paying attention to things.
I’ve held off on talking about it but it is completely shocking how low the standards are for announcing lately. I figured all this crap with Michael Cole gimmicking on commentary would end after the Jerry Lawler feud ended. It’s only gotten worse and there’s really no reason for it. He’s not in a feud with anybody, he’s not funny, and it totally takes away from the match. Not that Booker T is doing any better. He’s bad in his own right but maybe it wouldn’t be as horrible if he didn’t constantly have to defend himself against Michael Cole. Something needs to be done about this because it’s really hurting the show now. You have three guys who are supposed to be in the background, essentially narrating the show, going into business for themselves instead of doing their damn jobs.
Oh, one other thing that bugged me tonight was the poor promotion they gave to Smackdown’s Money in the Bank match. They showed the graphic halfway through the show and that was it. No more mention was made of it. I found that a bit odd.
Cody Rhodes had a short match against Ezekiel Jackson where he actually came out on top. In my mind that should automatically make him the number one contender for the Intercontinental Title. Rhodes should cash it in as soon as possible and take the title off Jackson, a man who brings nothing to the table in my mind. They were piping in fake cheers for him tonight. The guy just isn’t connecting with the audience.
Kane and Wade Barrett had a surprisingly very good match. I set my expectations low in the beginning and was completely blown away by what they did. I guess I should never shortchange Kane because he can still put on a hell of a performance when he’s in the ring with the right person. Last week he had an excellent match with Christian and this week he blew me away with Wade Barrett. This was a good big man match.
The final segment of the show was very well done with some excellent intensity shown from both men. Christian nailed his promo with Orton tonight. You could definitely feel the frustration and obsession. Orton, in turn, as he’s been doing for a while now on Smackdown, also nailed his promo and they had a great exchange. Orton signed the contract but Christian was having pen problems when Sheamus hit the ring to attack them both, returning after being punted in the head a few weeks ago. Sheamus tore up the contract after taking them both out. Sheamus is booked in the Money in the Bank match already so I wonder if they’ll do it two years in a row where the winner cashes in the same night. That was a very strong segment to close a great episode of Smackdown.
Final Rating: *** 1/2
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