The Smackdown video plays and we’re brought into the arena with a big fireworks display. Josh Mathews, Booker T, and Michael Cole welcome us to the show. All fans of Michael Cole will be happy to know that since he’s shown up to Smackdown his job is safe.
Tony Chimel asks the crowd to welcome the WWE Chief Operating Officer, Triple H, to the ring. Triple H comes out to a nice reception. Triple H says he’s been the COO for about ten or eleven days and the one thing he’s figured out is the more things you try to fix, the more things get screwed up. It’s like dominos – you touch one and they all fall over. A wise man once told him that you start at the top and work your way down. He’ll start with the most important things: the World Heavyweight Championship on Smackdown and the WWE Championship on Raw.
The WWE Championship is a little bit more complex as we’ve actually got two champions. He thought he was doing the right thing at the start of the show on Monday. He hoped he’d have one champion and he wound up with two: CM Punk and John Cena. Both men have legitimate claims to the WWE Championship. One was cheated out of his deserved rematch and the other is a current titleholder that he resigned late Monday night. He doesn’t know what he’ll exactly do with the situation but he’ll have it figured out by Monday.
Christian’s music hits and the World Heavyweight Champion interrupts the WWE’s COO. Christian makes his way to the ring and says, as the face and leader of this brand, congratulations to Triple H on his new position. Christian says he’s so excited that he’s in charge. It’s no secret the turmoil he’s experienced over the last few months with Teddy Long. Long has tried to ruin the show over the past few months with his blatant sucking up to Randy Orton and the fans, just like the losers he sees in Philadelphia. These are the same fans that turned their back on him and take Orton’s side. That forced him to seek legal council. Christian says he knows Triple H was going to address the World Heavyweight Championship situation. As the World Heavyweight Champion he’s sure Triple H wants to have a close, working relationship with him.
Triple H says that’s not actually what he wants. Triple H says Vince McMahon liked to foster an environment around here where people were actually encouraged to interrupt him. McMahon liked to think you couldn’t get ahead without stepping on some toes. That worked for a while and he himself stepped on a lot of toes to get to the top. Vince had the patience of a saint but he doesn’t. If you interrupt Triple H then he’ll take that as a slap in the face. Christian knows that if you slap Triple H in the face he’ll slap him right back, and he can slap harder than Christian. Triple H doesn’t like negotiations, meetings, and lawyers. They don’t need to have a meeting to discuss anything. At Summerslam, Randy Orton will get his rematch for the World Heavyweight Championship. Just so Christian doesn’t have any complaints about the officiating or the rules, that match will have no disqualifications. Christian will defend the title at Summerslam against Randy Orton in a No Holds Barred Match.
Christian screams that he deserves some respect when R-Truth makes his way to the ring from the side of the stage. R-Truth says he’s back home on Smackdown and he comes out talking to the crowd and his imaginary friends. R-Truth says they’ll pick up where they left off with on Monday. R-Truth doesn’t see any spiders in the ring and he doesn’t see Triple H talking to himself. R-Truth says everyone knows there’s a conspiracy against him. R-Truth just wants a question answered. R-Truth gets in the ring and says he’s not asking anything now – he’s telling him. This Monday, those conspiracies better be straightened out because he’s a man of action. Triple H says he knows that R-Truth is a man of action and he’ll be in action tonight on Smackdown when he faces Randy Orton.
Christian says he’ll give R-Truth some tips on beating Orton since he’s never actually beat him in a fair fight. Triple H says before Christian starts giving out advice he has some news for him as well. Triple H brought someone with him and it’s John Morrison. Before Christian starts complaining he should save his energy since the match is next.
Teddy Long is backstage with Triple H. Zack Ryder walks up to them and says he has an idea for Triple H. Triple H says he’s had the job for ten days and Ryder has come at him fifteen times a day with ideas. Ryder says it’s not his fault they don’t realize he’s the Internet Champion. Triple H has to take a call, but says he has an idea. Triple H asks if he still wants to be on this show and Ryder says yes. Triple H introduces Teddy Long to his new assistant, Zack Ryder. Ryder celebrates and fist pumps an unhappy Teddy Long.
Christian vs. John Morrison
R-Truth is seen watching this match backstage. Charles Robinson, my favorite referee ever, is the official for this match. This is Morrison’s first televised match since April. They lock up and Morrison quickly rolls Christian up for a no count. Christian avoids a kick and charges but Morrison throws him out of the ring. Morrison fakes a pescado and Christian runs away. Christian gets into the ring and kicks Morrison down. Christian sends him to the ropes and hits a back elbow. Christian picks him up and punches him right down. Christian sends him into the ropes but lowers his head and eats a kick. Morrison hits the Chuck Kick for a near fall. Morrison tries to pick him up but Christian pulls him out of the ring. Christian goes for a plancha but Morrison moves. Christian hits the floor hard. Morrison then takes him out with a running corkscrew plancha.
We come back from the break to see Christian hit Morrison with a neckbreaker for a near fall. Christian is working over the recently healed neck of Morrison. During the commercial, Christian threw him into the barricade. Christian chokes him on the ropes before whiplashing him down. Christian applies a neck vice but Morrison is able to punch out of it. Christian puts him into the corner and goes for a tornado DDT but Morrison throws him off.
Morrison hits a pair of clotheslines and a jumping calf kick. Morrison taunts and goes for a body slam but Christian slides out. Christian goes for a reverse DDT but Morrison ducks down and kicks him in the head. Morrison kicks and goes for the Moonlight Drive but Christian pushes him off. Christian charges into a flapjack. Morrison goes to the ropes but Christian catches him with a spinebuster for a near fall. Christian taunts the crowd and goes for his over the top rope uppercut but Morrison moves. Christian gets into the ring and gets caught with a flipping sambo suplex for a near fall. Morrison is clutching his neck.
Morrison spears him to the corner and punches him down wildly. The referee backs Morrison up and Christian hits him with a spear for a near fall. Christian goes to the top rope and Morrison cuts him off. Christian punches but Morrison punches right back. Morrison back body drops him off the top rope and goes for Starship Pain but Christian moves. Morrison (almost) lands on his feet and Christian snaps him off the top rope. Christian hits him with a Kill Switch for the win.
Winner by Pinfall: Christian
Match Rating: **
Jinder Mahal is seen in a luxury box with The Great Khali watching Smackdown. Later tonight we’ll see Randy Orton take on R-Truth.
Wade Barrett is in the ring with a microphone. Barrett says he just wanted to come out and talk about why he left England to come to the States and become a WWE Superstar. He certainly didn’t do it because he wanted to entertain people like them. He did it because he wanted to make a lot of money. Unfortunately, he lost track of that over the past twelve months. That ended last week thanks to Daniel Bryan. We all saw Bryan strutting around with what should have been his Money in the Bank briefcase and gloating about cashing it in at WrestleMania XXVIII. The paycheck that this brings should also have been his. A match at WrestleMania is huge and the paycheck reflects that.
Today we’re going to see a return to basics for Wade Barrett because greed is terribly underrated. The only thing Daniel Bryan has ever proved in WWE is that it doesn’t matter how overrated, overhyped, and how in over your head you might be –
Daniel Bryan’s music hits and the Money in the Bank winner comes out to the stage. Bryan says originality sure isn’t Barrett’s strong suit. His buddy Heath Slater came out last week and said nearly the exact same thing before he made him tap out. Barrett asks if he’s seriously trying to compare him to Heath Slater. Barrett reminds him that he’s the man that took Heath Slater, Daniel Bryan, and the rest of the NXT Season One misfits, and led them to revolutionize Monday Night Raw by molding them to his likeness.
Bryan gets in the ring and says Barrett didn’t mold him into anything. Bryan says he came out in Nexus to make a statement. As soon as Barrett sensed a threat he was gone. All that is water under the bridge. In the last year they’ve done a lot more than that. Barrett has even main evented PPVs. Bryan won Money in the Bank and this year he’s main eventing WrestleMania.
Barrett punches him down and kicks him. Barrett grabs the briefcase and stands over Bryan. Bryan quickly comes catches him and applies the LeBell Lock. Barrett quickly taps out and Bryan leaves the ring with his briefcase.
Backstage, Teddy Long is shaking his head listening to Zack Ryder’s ideas for the show. Mark Henry walks up and asks if Long took care of “that thing”. Long says after what he did to Big Show and Kane, not to mention the lawsuits that are pending due to what he did to the audio technician, people just don’t want to deal with Henry. Ryder interrupts and says he has Henry’s back. He’ll find him an opponent. Long says Henry has an opponent. Henry says Long should thank his assistant. Ryder is happy and wants to celebrate but Long isn’t in the mood.
The Usos will face Michael McGillicutty and David Otunga with the WWE Tag Team Titles on the line.
They play a really nice video highlighting Justin Gabriel’s return to his hometown in South Africa.
Natalya, Kaitlyn & AJ vs. Alicia Fox, Tamina & Rosa Mendes
Natalya starts off against Tamina. They talk some trash and get into a slap-fest. Natalya goes for a crucifix pin but Tamina doesn’t budge. Natalya is able to roll her up for a near fall. Natalya nearly catches her with a Sharpshooter attempt, but Tamina kicks her off and hits a Samoan Drop. Fox is tagged in and she gets a two count on Natalya. Fox grapevines the neck and Natalya fights up with Fox still wrapped around her. Natalya backs her to the corner, hanging her in the tree of woe. Natalya kicks her and tags in AJ.
AJ hits a neckbreaker and a head-scissor takeover. AJ kicks and hits a shining wizard for a near fall, broken up by the heel divas. The face divas clear them from the ring. Fox ducks a cross-body block from AJ and hits the ugliest looking Scissors Kick I’ve ever seen. God – Alicia Fox sucks.
Winners by Pinfall: Alicia Fox, Tamina & Rosa Mendes
Match Rating: *
They play another great highlight video for Mark Henry, this time showcasing him destroying Kane last week. They show him walking backstage. Henry will be in action next.
Mark Henry vs. Bobby Howard
Bobby Howard is reluctant to come out to the ring. Howard tries to leave but Zack Ryder comes out to stop him. Howard gets into the ring and the bell rings. Howard reluctantly goes face to face with Henry. Henry picks him up by the neck and slams him down. Henry kicks him and hits the World’s Strongest Slam. Henry stands over him and hits a second World’s Strongest Slam. Henry viciously stares at him before hitting a nice looking backbreaker for the win.
Winner by Pinfall: Mark Henry
Match Rating: N/A
Henry drags him to the corner and grabs a steel chair. The announcers scramble to get away. Henry gets back into the ring with the chair and puts it around Howard’s ankle. Henry scares the referee out of the ring. Teddy Long’s music hits and he sprints down to the ring. Long says they go way back but he just can’t let Henry compete anymore. Nobody wants to face him and this isn’t helping. Henry screams that he wants some competition. Long says he has one lawsuit pending and if he lets this happen then it’ll be worse. Long says he’ll find someone for him.
Sheamus’s music hits and he makes his way to the ring with a confident look on his face. Sheamus takes the microphone from Teddy Long. Sheamus says if Long is looking for someone to fight Henry then he’ll fight him. After all, he’s just big. As Henry says, “Bigger isn’t better”. This reminds him of an old Irish story. It’s a story of fairies and how one was turned into a 420-pound bag of crap. Henry screams to Long that he asked for someone he can compete with. They go face to face and Sheamus slaps him hard! Henry becomes enraged and charges but Sheamus pulls the top rope down. Henry goes to get back into the ring but Sheamus scares him away with the chair. Henry picks up the steel steps and just throws them like they’re nothing. This was awesome.
Our main event will be Randy Orton taking on R-Truth. The WWE Tag Team Champions are walking backstage. They’ll defend them against The Usos next.
They show a clip of The Usos beating the WWE Tag Team Champions in a non-title match on WWE Superstars two weeks ago.
WWE Tag Team Championship Match
The Usos vs. The New Nexus (c)
Jey starts out against McGillicutty and rolls him up for a two count. Jimmy is tagged in and they hit a double back elbow/elbow drop combo for a two count. McGillicutty takes Jimmy down and tags in Otunga. Otunga sends him to the ropes and Jimmy gets a sunset flip for a two count. Otunga boots him down and chokes him on the ropes. McGillicutty gets a cheap punch in that gives Otunga a near fall. Otunga applies a chin lock but Jimmy fights out. Jimmy hits a dropkick and both men make tags.
Jey hits McGillicutty with a pair of clotheslines and a flying forearm. Jey crushes McGillicutty with a running butt bump to the face. Otunga breaks up the pin. Jimmy makes the save. Otunga rips Jimmy off the apron (nice bump) and he’s out. Otunga puts him back in the ring and yells at the referee to get Jimmy out. Otunga uses the distraction to push Jey off the top rope. McGillicutty hits some form of a neckbreaker for the win.
Winners & still WWE Tag Team Champions: The New Nexus
Match Rating: * 1/2
Zack Ryder is texting when Teddy Long walks up. Ryder asks what he thinks of Ezekiel Jackson taking on Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase in a handicap match. Long says he makes the matches around here, but Ryder assures him that he’s talked to everyone and they’re ok with the match. Long says ok.
Later tonight, Randy Orton will take on R-Truth.
The Raw Rebound airs. The show featured two WWE Championship changes and the returns of Jim Ross and CM Punk. One of the best episodes of the year.
Matt Striker is backstage with R-Truth. Striker asks how he feels about WWE’s new COO, Triple H, putting him in a match with Randy Orton. R-Truth says he feels good and a good R-Truth is a bad R-Truth. He’s going to cut some of the bad loose tonight. He’s going to be like an eagle tearing apart a snake. You can’t let a snake bite you. You have to step on it’s head and peel off it’s skin. Tonight the viper is gonna get got!
Ezekiel Jackson vs. Cody Rhodes & Ted DiBiase
Cody Rhodes’s baggers give Booker T another bag and he looks flipped out. DiBiase starts out against Jackson. DiBiase gets a side headlock applied but Jackson whips him off. DiBiase kicks him in the face and tags in Rhodes. They punch Jackson and he takes them out with a double clothesline. DiBiase distracts Jackson and Rhodes chop blocks him. Rhodes kicks away and DiBiase chokes Jackson. DiBiase was tagged and he applies a chin lock. Jackson elbows out and goes for a clothesline but DiBiase counters with a backbreaker. DiBiase stomps him down in the corner. DiBiase walks into a snake eyes and Rhodes is tagged in.
Jackson punches and starts his body-slamming clinic on Rhodes. Jackson hits him with a trio of slams and the crowd is silent. Jackson goes for his Torture Rack but DiBiase kicks him. Jackson throws him over the top rope. Rhodes goes for the Cross Rhodes but Jackson pushes him off. DiBiase distracts Jackson. Jackson charges Rhodes in the corner but Rhodes moves. Jackson hits the ring post with his shoulder. Rhodes follows up with the Cross Rhodes for the win.
Winners by Pinfall: Cody Rhodes & Ted DiBiase
Match Rating: 1/4 *
Jinder Mahal cuts a promo from the luxury box in his native tongue. Mahal talks for a bit before giving the microphone to Great Khali. Khali also talks in his native tongue and this entire segment was a waste of time.
R-Truth vs. Randy Orton
They circle the ring and lock up. Orton gets a side headlock applied and R-Truth whips him off. They crisscross a few times and Orton hits him with a shoulder block. Orton hits a second one and R-Truth scurries to the corner. R-Truth kicks and punches Orton. Orton sends him to the corner and R-Truth slingshots over. Orton comes back with a clothesline for a one count. Orton kicks and stomps R-Truth’s face. Orton soaks in the cheers from the crowd before going for a knee drop that R-Truth avoids. R-Truth hits a spinning heel kick for a near fall. Orton gets out of the ring to recover.
R-Truth goes outside and Orton attempts to put him into the barricade but R-Truth blocks it. R-Truth bounces him off the barricade and the apron before rolling him into the ring. R-Truth gets enraged when the crowd chants that he sucks. Orton throws him to the apron and goes for a draping DDT but R-Truth gets out. R-Truth snaps him off the top rope and hits a modified stunner for a near fall. Christian, the World Heavyweight Champion, makes his way to the stage to observe the match.
We come back from the break to see Orton punching away at R-Truth. Orton sends him to the ropes but R-Truth hits the Lie Detector for a near fall. R-Truth stretches him on the ropes. R-Truth hits a snapmare and applies a chin lock. Orton quickly fights up and punches out. Orton head-butts and punches him. Orton goes into the ropes and eats a back elbow for a near fall. R-Truth goes to the top rope and jumps into a punch.
Orton gets a crazy look on his face and the crowd is really into it. R-Truth charges into a boot and Orton clotheslines him down a few times. Orton hits a powerslam and he gets the crowd into it. Orton hits a draping DDT on him and stares at Christian before dropping down for an RKO. R-Truth slowly gets up and Orton is bleeding from the mouth. R-Truth turns and quickly bails from the ring. Orton follows him out and R-Truth drives him into the apron. Christian gets on the apron to distract the referee as R-Truth hits Orton with a water bottle. R-Truth wants a count-out but Orton gets up. Orton takes a sip of water and gets in the ring. Orton spears R-Truth down and punches him wildly. Orton then goes outside and grabs a chair. Christian runs up the ramp as Orton hits R-Truth with a chair.
Winner by Disqualification: R-Truth
Match Rating: * 1/4
Orton hits him a second time with a chair and punches away at him. Orton then stares at Christian. Orton gets a crazy look on his face and gets out of the ring. Orton rips the top off the announcer’s table and takes the monitors out. Orton cracks R-Truth with a monitor and drags him on top of the table. Orton picks him up and hits him with a big RKO! Orton still has a wild look on his face and the crowd is chanting for him.
Orton circles the ring and stares at Christian from the end of the ramp. Christian holds the title up and Orton rubs his head. Orton then smiles as he looks at R-Truth. Orton goes back and the crowd is going wild. Orton picks R-Truth up and RKOs him on the table a second time! Orton smiles as the crowd cheers him on. Christian stands at the top of the ramp hugging his World Title.
Quick Match Results
Christian def. John Morrison (non-title)
Alicia Fox, Tamina & Rosa Mendes def. Natalya, Kaitlyn & AJ
Mark Henry def. Bobby Howard
The New Nexus def. The Usos to retain the WWE Tag Team Championships
Cody Rhodes & Ted DiBiase def. Ezekiel Jackson
R-Truth def. Randy Orton via DQ
Bump of the Night: Otunga flipping Jimmy Uso off the apron to the floor!
Match of the Night: Christian vs. John Morrison **
This, plain and simply, was not a great episode of Smackdown. It started off really well but quickly went downhill. The show kicked off with WWE COO Triple H coming to the ring and addressing the two World Title situations. Christian then interrupted triple H and they had a good back and forth. I can already hear the people blowing up about Triple H threatening to beat up Christian (“He’s the World Champion!!”) but I didn’t mind it at all. There needs to be a difference in Vince McMahon the authority figure and Triple H the authority figure. Vince was a pushover who couldn’t really go and Triple H is a guy that went the distance with the Undertaker at WrestleMania this year. He never did say he was retired. After that R-Truth came out and continued the comedy stuff from Monday. I’m not sure I get R-Truth coming to Smackdown unannounced and why Triple H had John Morrison with him if he wasn’t expecting R-Truth, but whatever.
Before the start of the first match, Zack Ryder was made Teddy Long’s assistant. They did stuff with him through the night making lame matches. The whole gimmick of Ryder was successful because he wasn’t getting on TV. Now he’s a pseudo-authority figure on Smackdown and it just wasn’t that entertaining tonight. Ryder and Long didn’t really mesh well in my opinion.
Christian and John Morrison had a match in what would prove to be one of the last few highlights of the night. Morrison didn’t look bad in his first televised match back. Christian got a good match out of him and that’s about all you can ask for. Morrison’s offense is still stupid and he didn’t really catch on with the crowd but the match was good.
Wade Barrett was out next and he basically called out Daniel Bryan. They had a nice back and forth exchange that ended with Bryan locking him in the LeBell Lock. These two should match up really well together and I look forward to watching what they do together for the next few weeks.
The divas had a match that – wait for it – wasn’t all that bad… if you completely ignore the fact that Alicia Fox was in it. The first part of the match was good but as soon as Fox was tagged in, damn, it went downhill. She can’t even hit her own finisher clean. The rest of them did a very good job, including Kaitlyn and Rosa Mendes, who didn’t do anything in the match. One of the few times I can actually give the divas (not talking about Alicia Fox) some props.
Mark Henry absolutely killed some local talent in a very short match. Afterwards Teddy Long stopped him from destroying him and Sheamus came out to challenge Henry. This was actually a really cool segment. The intensity was awesome and Mark Henry continues to impress the hell out of me every week. He’s really working his ass off. As soon as Sheamus cracked him in the face he became an instant face. This match between the two of them isn’t going to be one for the ages but it should be a hell of a brawl. I cannot wait for it.
After that we had the Tag Team Championship match. I simply cannot imagine a team that is any less interesting than the team of Michael McGillicutty and David Otunga. McGillicutty and Otunga are the most boring tag team ever put together by WWE. Their offense and their presence are completely boring. The Usos, on the other hand, are a breathe of fresh air for the tag team division (I’m not sure why I continue to call it a division). They had a really nice showing and they really try hard. Unfortunately for them, being a tag team doesn’t get you very far in WWE and I don’t see either of them branching off as singles stars any time soon.
Zack Ryder then booked Ezekiel Jackson in a handicap match against Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase. I hate handicap matches and this was no exception. It was just such a waste of time and then they followed it up with Jinder Mahal and Khali cutting a promo in a different language, another waste of time.
The main event came and really dragged on. Orton is red hot with the fans but he did not have a good match with R-Truth. They tried but it just didn’t work, at least not in my eyes. The disqualification makes sense because they’re trying to put over Orton as having the anger problem that can cost him matches. The match at Summerslam is No Holds Barred so the anger will by his ally that night. Orton destroyed R-Truth after the match and the crowd ate that up. They were able to create a fun moment close the show but it wasn’t really enough to save it in my eyes.
Final Rating: * 3/4
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