“Yes, sir, we promised you a great main event…” The WWE video leads us into the show.
A video begins the show and it is showcasing the destruction Mark Henry has caused. No one wanted to fight Henry until Sheamus came out last week and said he would fight him. Sheamus then slapped him in the face and fended him off with a steel chair.
Josh Mathews, Michael Cole, and Booker T welcome us to the show as Sheamus makes his way to the ring dressed to compete. They announce that Sheamus will take on Mark Henry at Summerslam on August 14.
Sheamus vs. The Great Khali w/ Jinder Mahal
They stare at each other before locking up. Khali quickly pushes Sheamus away and raises his arms in dominance. Sheamus gets up and punches away at Khali. Sheamus goes into the ropes and eats a clothesline. Khali stands on Sheamus’s face for a few illegal seconds. Sheamus rakes the eyes before tying Khali in the ropes and clubbing away at his chest. Sheamus marches around the ring and the crowd gives him an ovation. Sheamus then goes to the apron and hits a running knee to Khali’s face. Sheamus goes to the top rope and Khali chops him off to the floor.
Khali reaches over the top rope and rips Sheamus up to the apron by the hair before bringing him back into the ring the hard way. Khali stands on his throat before picking him up, sending him to the ropes, and hitting a clothesline. Khali then applies a nerve hold to Sheamus trapezoid. Sheamus fights up and Khali head-butts him right back down. Khali stomps him down in the corner and chokes him with his boot. Khali sets him up in the corner and chops his chest a few times. That sounded nasty. Sheamus’s chest is turning purple. Sheamus comes back with some Polish hammers but Khali simply pushes him back to the corner. Sheamus kicks away at Khali’s knee and knees him in the face. Sheamus goes for a Brogue Kick but Khali gives him a Brain Chop for a near fall.
Khali waits for Sheamus to get up and applies the Khali Vice Grip. Sheamus’s face begins to turn purple and he looks to be fading away. All of a sudden Sheamus gets a surge of energy and breaks the grip. Sheamus elbows him away and hits the Brogue Kick for the win!
Winner by Pinfall: Sheamus
Match Rating: * 1/2
Tonight’s main event will be Randy Orton and John Morrison taking on Christian and R-Truth.
AJ vs. Natalya
They shake hands when the bell rings. They circle the ring and lock up. AJ gets a waist lock and Natalya quickly gets one of her own. AJ gets a hammerlock but Natalya takes her down with a fireman’s carry. AJ gets a head-scissor applied and Natalya kips up out of it. They circle the ring and lock up again. AJ gets a side headlock and goes for a snapmare but Natalya doesn’t budge. Natalya then tosses her off. They circle the ring and AJ gets another side headlock applied. AJ climbs the ropes and gets the snapmare she wanted. Natalya gets to her feet and whips her off. They crisscross the ropes and AJ gets a wheelbarrow snapmare for a one count.
Natalya quickly takes her down and applies a variation of the Indian Death Lock. AJ forearms out of it and reverses the pressure. Natalya punches her away. Natalya sends her to the ropes and AJ goes for a crucifix pin but Natalya rolls through. Natalya then catches her with the Sharpshooter and AJ immediately taps out. This was a very short but very nice match from the divas.
Winner by Submission: Natalya
Match Rating: * 3/4
Natalya helps AJ up and then immediately whips her down by the hair. Natalya tosses her out of the ring and drives her into the apron. Natalya then gives her a snap suplex on the outside. Natalya smiles as she grabs a microphone. Natalya says, “Beth Phoenix – I’m with you, sister. The days of the cute, perky, little princesses are over.” Natalya laughs as she leaves the ringside area.
Zack Ryder will be out later tonight with a “State of the Showski”.
Matt Striker is backstage with Randy Orton. Striker shows footage of Orton destroying R-Truth with a pair of RKO’s on the announcer’s table as a terrified Christian watched on. Striker asks if that was a message to Christian. Orton said that was no message. Christian is right in saying he has anger issues. Their match at Summerslam is No Holds Barred so Christian will be there to help him work through his issues. Christian is the only man in WWE history to win the World Title by disqualification. At Summerslam he’ll have to beat him by pinfall or submission, something he has never done and never will do.
They show footage of Justin Gabriel’s return to his hometown in Cape Town, South Africa.
Wade Barrett’s music hits and he makes his way to the ring. They show footage of his incident with Daniel Bryan last week. Barrett sucker punched him down but Bryan quickly came back with the LeBell Lock. Barrett sits at the announcer’s table to do guest commentary on the next match. Daniel Bryan will be in action.
Tyson Kidd vs. Daniel Bryan
Daniel Bryan has some new music. No more “Ride of the Valkyries”. They lock hands in a test of strength. Bryan rolls through the pressure and bridges Kidd. Kidd bridges up and shoulders him in the corner. Kidd whips him to the corner but Bryan climbs the ropes and back flips over him. Bryan geos into the ropes, ducks a clothesline, and hits a running elbow for a two count. Bryan sends him to the ropes but Kidd holds on. Bryan charges into a boot and Kidd flips to the apron. Bryan then hits a running dropkick, sending Kidd to the outside. Bryan then gets a head of steam and hits a nice suicide dive. Bryan appears to have hurt his leg.
Bryan puts him back into the ring. As Bryan gets in Kidd kicks the leg and hits a dragon screw. Kidd drags him to the apron and smashes the leg off it. Kidd uses the ropes to stretch it out. Kidd stomps away at him before dragging his leg to the ring post and smashing it off it. Kidd then does the old Bret Hart ring post figure four leg lock.
We come back from the break to see Kidd hit a running dropkick to Bryan’s injured knee. Kidd stomps and drops a pair of elbows on it. Kidd applies a variation of the Indian Death Lock but Bryan is able to punch out of it. Bryan hits a snap suplex and goes to the top rope. Kidd sweeps the feet and crotches Bryan up there. Kidd goes to the top rope and goes for a superplex but Bryan blocks it. Bryan head-butts him off and hits a nice missile dropkick. Bryan rolls around grabbing his knee, unable to capitalize. Bryan gets to his feet and viciously kicks away at Kidd. Kidd eventually blocks a kick, hits a dragon screw, and locks on a single leg crab. Bryan viciously claws toward the ropes and gets there. Bryan is halfway through the ropes so Kidd hits a slingshot leg drop. Kidd then goes for a springboard elbow drop but Bryan gets the knees up.
Bryan goes for a LeBell Lock but Kidd gets out of it. Kidd gets a jackknife pin but Bryan counters the pin with one of his own. Kidd quickly turns it and gets a near fall. Kidd kicks away at Bryan but he eventually blocks one and viciously punches away. Kidd punches him but Bryan ducks a kick and hits a roundhouse to the temple. Bryan then locks on a guillotine choke (Booker T calls it the Anaconda Choke). Kidd has no choice but to tap out.
Winner by Submission: Daniel Bryan
Match Rating: ** 1/4
Wade Barrett watches on sourly at ringside. Barrett says Bryan has revealed a lot of his arsenal and he’ll capitalize on that when they eventually meet in the ring.
Zack Ryder is shown walking backstage. He’ll be out next.
Zack Ryder’s music hits and Teddy Long’s assistant makes his way to the ring. Ryder welcomes the crowd to Zack Town. Last week the ratings went through the roof and that’s because Triple H made him the Assistant General Manager of this show. Woo, woo, woo – You know it! Tonight is his first ever “State of the Showski Address” and a lot of things are going to change around here, bro.
Ezekiel Jackson’s music hits and the WWE Intercontinental Champion makes his way to the ring. Jackson says he knows what Zack is thinking. He’s thinking that he’s about to rip his head off his shoulders for putting him in a handicap match against Ted DiBiase and Cody Rhodes, but he’s not. Jackson is out here to discuss why Ryder put him in the match. Ryder says they talked about that before the match and Jackson reminds him that Ryder said it wouldn’t be a handicap match. Ryder says he thought Jackson knew it was a handicap match.
Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase make their way to the ring. Rhodes says the term for Jackson is “sour grapes”. As a champion, his conduct is as unbecoming as some of the faces he’s witnessing right now. Then again, he doesn’t really deserve to be a champion. When Jackson loses the Intercontinental Championship it also loses him. Jackson is making the title look bad. The simplest of solutions is Rhodes beats him for the championship. Then something will happen that hasn’t happened in a long time – he’ll resurrect the image of the title, just like he resurrected the career of his friend, Ted DiBiase.
Jackson cuts him off and says Rhodes hasn’t resurrected anything. All Rhodes is doing is using DiBiase. Jackson says he knows what that’s like. When he was a part of The Corre all he was doing was serving Wade Barrett’s massive ego… until he shoved that ego down his throat. Jackson says there’s nothing greater than freedom and he holds the title up. Rhodes says DiBiase wants to associate himself with him because that’s associating himself with a future. It pains Rhodes how Jackson’s ignorance is turning the Intercontinental Championship into a memento of mediocrity. Rhodes suggests DiBiase comes to the ring and beat the “champ” out of Jackson. That’s up to DiBiase and their esteemed General Manager. Ryder sets the match up.
Teddy Long’s music hits and he makes his way to the ring dancing. Ryder does Long’s dance and a fist pump. Long says he doesn’t care what sounds good to Ryder. Like he’s told him time and time again, he is NOT the Assistant General Manager. He is Long’s assistant. Tonight, instead of making a match, he’ll be in a match against the Intercontinental Champion Ezekiel Jackson. Rhodes and DiBiase are banned from ringside. Long says, “Woo, woo, woo – You Know it!”
Zack Ryder vs. Ezekiel Jackson
Ryder quickly applies a headlock, but Jackson whips him off and shoulder blocks him down. Jackson sends him to the corner and hits a sidewalk slam for a near fall. Jackson goes for a clothesline in the corner but Ryder gets a knee up. Ryder hits a running knee to the face and does his taunt. Ryder then hits the Broski Boot for a near fall. Teddy Long is seen watching this match backstage. Ryder clubs away at Jackson and hits a sit-out neckbreaker for a near fall. Ryder applies a front face lock but Jackson powers up and throws him off. Jackson clotheslines him down a pair of times and clotheslines him in the corner. Jackson sends him to the corner and runs into an elbow. Ryder jumps off the second rope into a body slam. Jackson starts the body-slamming clinic and gets him another three times. The crowd just isn’t in to this. Jackson applies the Torture Rack for the win.
Winner by Submission: Ezekiel Jackson
Match Rating: 1/4 *
Teddy Long smiles backstage. There’s a knock at his door and Aksana from NXT Season Three walks in. She has black hair now. She says it’s a pleasure to meet such a powerful man. Aksana says she’d like to discuss her situation. Long gives her his business card and says to call the office. Aksana asks for his personal number and Long says he doesn’t see why not. They’re playing a cheesy saxophone in the background. This sounds like a scene from, “Who Framed Roger Rabbit”. Aksana asks if she can call him anytime and Long says she can.
Mark Henry is seen walking backstage. He’ll be in action next.
JOBBER ALERT: Vladimir Kozlov is in the ring with no TV entrance. Kozlov was released earlier today so this is his last WWE match.
Vladimir Kozlov vs. Mark Henry
Kozlov gets a waist lock but Henry elbows him off and head-butts him down. Henry punches him and hits a shoulder thrust in the corner. Henry sends him to the corner but Kozlov avoids a splash. Kozlov punches away until the referee backs him up. Kozlov then charges into a boot. Kozlov hits a battering ram head-butt and a big boot. Henry bounces into the ropes and murders him with a clothesline. Henry kicks him in the head and hits the World’s Strongest Slam for the win.
Winner by Pinfall: Mark Henry
Match Rating: N/A
Henry stands over Kozlov and shakes his head. Henry goes outside and grabs a steel chair from ringside. Henry drags him to the corner and puts the steel chair around Kozlov’s ankle. Henry goes to the second rope and hits a slingshot splash on the chair, breaking Kozlov’s ankle in the process! All of a sudden Sheamus runs down to the ring with a chair and Henry quickly bails! They shout at each other and Henry rips the top off the announcer’s table in anger. Henry then turns his back on Sheamus and walks to the back. They bring a stretcher out for Kozlov and cart him away into the sunset of his WWE career. Sheamus’s music plays and he raises the chair up.
John Morrison is seen stretching backstage and doing flips for no apparent reason.
Todd Grisham catches up with Sheamus backstage. Grisham wants his thoughts on what Mark Henry just did to Vladimir Kozlov. Sheamus asks what kind of beast Mark Henry is. It’s not enough for him to beat his opponents – he has to end their livelihoods. Take away what he loves, his heart and will, to compete in the WWE. He did this to Big Show, Kane, and Vladimir Kozlov. Sheamus says this won’t happen to him at Summerslam. The reason among all others is that he’s Irish and he has the luck of the Irish. He was born with a 24-karat horseshoe up his arse. That means he can take it out and leave hoofmarks all over his head. Then he’ll drag him by the wrist and throw him into the Pacific Ocean where he can swim with Shamu and all his other friends.
David Otunga, Michael McGillicutty & JTG vs. Trent Barreta & The Usos
JTG starts against Jey Uso. Jey punches away at him and tags in Jimmy. Jey whips JTG into Jimmy’s fist for a two count. JTG hides behind the referee and kicks Jimmy down. McGillicutty tagged in and he stomps away at Jimmy. Otunga is tagged in and he hits a back elbow with McGillicutty. Otunga picks up a two count on Jimmy Uso. Otunga applies a chin lock but Jimmy fights up and punches. Otunga quickly takes him down. Otunga hits a short-arm clothesline but Jey breaks up the pin. McGillicutty is tagged in and he hits a million dollar knee lift for a two count. McGillicutty punches and tags in Otunga. They punch Jimmy down and Otunga gets a two count. Otunga applies a chin lock. This is painful. Jimmy fights up and elbows out. Otunga punches Jey off the apron and Jimmy punches him down.
Trent Barreta is tagged in and he hits McGillicutty with an elbow and an enzuigiri. Barreta goes into the ropes and hits a dropkick but JTG breaks up the pin. The Usos take him out at ringside and Otunga takes them out. Barreta kicks McGillicutty in the ring and goes for a Whisper in the Wind but McGillicutty moves. Otunga tags in. McGillicutty hits a backbreaker and Otunga hits a forearm off the second rope for the win.
Winners by Pinfall: David Otunga, Michael McGillicutty & JTG
Match Rating: *
Randy Orton and John Morrison will take on R-Truth and Christian later tonight.
Johnny Curtis is backstage and he says he hasn’t made his debut yet. We’ve watched him do plays on words and says that all stops because the writing is on the wall. The camera pans over to show, written on the wall, “Johnny Curtis debuts next week on Smackdown”.
The Raw Rebound is played.
Matt Striker is backstage with the World Heavyweight Champion Christian. Striker asks about Triple H’s decision to make Christian’s Summerslam match against Randy Orton a No Holds Barred Match. Christian says he’s disappointed, but not surprised. Since Orton has come to Smackdown he’s had Teddy Long, the referees, and the pathetic fans in his back pocket. Now you can add Triple H to that list of pathetic shills. R-Truth comes up and says Christian means to say it’s a conspiracy. R-Truth says he sounds a lot like The Miz did on Monday. R-Truth warns him not to let the “Little Jimmy’s” fool him. Just like Mr. H’s did to Christian last week, he’s going to put a hurting on Randy Orton for what he did to him last week. Randy Orton is gonna get got! R-Truth walks off and Christian wonders who in the hell “Little Jimmy” is.
Randy Orton makes his way to the ring. He’ll be in action alongside John Morrison to take on Christian and R-Truth next.
A video plays hyping up Sin Cara. He’ll be back in action next week.
Randy Orton & John Morrison vs. R-Truth & Christian
Orton starts the match out against R-Truth. R-Truth, remembering what Orton did to him last week, viciously punches away at Orton and stomps him down in the corner. R-Truth hits a running boot to the face and stomps away some more. R-Truth walks into a boot. R-Truth reverses a whip to the corner but Orton explodes with a clothesline. Orton then stomps him on the face. Morrison is tagged in and R-Truth quickly gets out of the ring, tagging in Christian in the process.
They lock up and Morrison gets a side headlock on the champion. Christian whips him off but Morrison slides through the legs and hits a dropkick for a two count. Morrison walks into a boot to the midsection and Christian punches him down. Morrison reverses a whip and hits the Flying Chuck for a near fall. Christian shoulders Morrison in the midsection and snaps him off the top rope. Christian works on Morrison’s injured neck and tags in R-Truth. Morrison kicks away at R-Truth but R-Truth quickly takes him down, punching away at the injured neck. R-Truth talks a little trash and looks crazy.
R-Truth goes for his suplex/stunner combo but Morrison slides off and hits a jumping calf kick. Morrison punches away at R-Truth. Morrison hits a running knee to the head but Christian breaks the pin up. Orton sees him and charges. Christian runs around ringside and goes into the crowd to escape Orton.
We come back from the break to see Morrison punching away at R-Truth. Morrison hits Christian with a Pelé kick and goes for a Flying Chuck on R-Truth but R-Truth pushes him over the top rope. R-Truth goes to the outside and throws him back into the ring. R-Truth kicks away and drops an elbow. R-Truth punches away at him and clotheslines him down. Morrison is flailing around looking totally phony. R-Truth picks up a two count. R-Truth applies a chin lock but Morrison fights up. R-Truth quickly takes him down and tags in Christian. Christian punches away at Morrison, points at Orton, and whips Morrison down by the hair. Christian chokes Morrison on the ropes and hits a neckbreaker for a near fall. Christian steps on Morrison’s face and backs up to the corner. Christian goes for a diving head-butt but Morrison moves.
Morrison almost gets the tag to Orton but Christian pushes Orton off the apron. R-Truth is tagged in and he punches away at Morrison. R-Truth taunts Orton with a dance and punches Morrison down. R-Truth shouts at the crowd, does a dance, and gets taken out with a flipping sambo suplex.
Orton and Christian are tagged in. Orton hits Christian with a pair of clotheslines, ducks a clothesline, and hits a powerslam. Orton charges Christian in the corner and eats a pair of boots. Christian goes for a missile dropkick but Orton moves. Orton gets a jackknife pin for a near fall. Orton hits a Thesz Press and punches away. Christian goes for a Kill Switch but Orton counters into his patented clothesline for a near fall. Christian charges Orton in the corner but Orton catches him with a nice roll up for a near fall. Christian then catches Orton with a spinebuster.
Christian goes for a Spear but Orton leapfrogs him. Orton goes for an RKO but Christian gets out of it. Orton then rips him off the second rope and sets up for a punt. R-Truth tries to stop him but Orton ducks it. Orton and Morrison clothesline him over the top rope. Morrison then hits a plancha… sort of. Christian takes Orton down and baseball slides Morrison. Orton then catches Christian with a draping DDT. Orton sets up for the RKO and catches R-Truth with one when he tries to interfere! Christian then hits Orton with the Kill Switch for the win!
Winners by Pinfall: R-Truth & Christian
Match Rating: **
Christian and R-Truth quickly get out of the ring celebrating. Christian kisses his World Heavyweight Championship as Randy Orton comes to in the ring.
Quick Match Results
Sheamus def. The Great Khali
Natalya def. AJ via Submission
Daniel Bryan def. Tyson Kidd via Submission
Ezekiel Jackson def. Zack Ryder via Submission
Mark Henry def. Vladimir Kozlov
David Otunga, Michael McGillicutty & JTG def. Trent Barreta & The Usos
R-Truth & Christian def. Randy Orton & John Morrison
Bump of the Night: Mark Henry killing off Vladimir Kozlov… for good
Match of the Night: Daniel Bryan vs. Tyson Kidd ** 1/4
Smackdown kicked off well tonight with a nice little match between Sheamus and The Great Khali. Sheamus is officially in full-face mode and the crowd was really responding to everything he did, which was nice. Sheamus also got as good of a match as you could possibly get out of Khali at this stage of Khali’s career. It wasn’t that bad at all. Jinder Mahal was at ringside but thankfully he was just there as a decoration. He didn’t get involved or speak. Sheamus walked out of that match looking dominant. I really liked that opener.
The divas followed that up with a really nice little match. WWE has forced me to lower my standards whenever it comes to a divas match and this was way above the standards I’ve set for the divas. Natalya and AJ really wrestled a good two-minute match. Perhaps this is the influence of Dustin “Goldust” Rhodes, who is now in charge of booking the divas. Natalya then turned heel on AJ after the match and seems to be joining forces with Beth Phoenix. Natalya and Beth would be a good powerhouse diva duo. In the beginning of the year I thought Kharma and Beth Phoenix would make a good duo so this is definitely a fine substitute. Wouldn’t it be interesting to see Beth Phoenix and Natalya go after the Tag Team Titles? The Tag Team Championships are worthless anyway so what harm could it do? I think it’d be an interesting angle for them. OK, enough fantasy booking from me.
Daniel Bryan had a very well wrestled match against Daniel Bryan. It was given some time and they definitely delivered. Wade Barrett was on commentary and he made the commentary team pretty tolerable. Barrett is very well spoken, but we knew that already. It looks like they are going to book Wade Barrett and Daniel Bryan at Summerslam but it hasn’t been announced yet. That should be a good match.
All in all that was a great first hour and I was feeling good about this show. Then the second hour happened.
The second hour of the show kicked off with a terrible segment. To say the segment with Zack Ryder, Ezekiel Jackson, Cody Rhodes, and Ted DiBiase was a train wreck would be an understatement. Ryder only connects with a small portion of the crowd that watches his show, Ezekiel Jackson doesn’t connect at all with the crowd and is painfully boring on the microphone, and Cody Rhodes was not on his game promo-wise tonight. Jackson then had a squash match against Zack Ryder at Teddy Long’s orders. Jackson hit all his spots and I swear you could hear a pin drop. When they weren’t pumping in fake cheers it was almost uncomfortable to watch. I’m sure Jackson is a good guy but he is not the right guy to be getting pushed. His offense is completely uninspired. The whole segment felt like it went a half-hour and was just one big zero.
Mark Henry squashed Vladimir Kozlov in what was one of the few good things from the second hour of the show. Henry killed Kozlov and crushed his ankle with a steel chair afterwards. Sheamus then ran down and scared Henry off with a steel chair. The crowd was really hot for that and it was definitely an exciting match. The match between Henry and Sheamus will be bowling shoe ugly but they’ve done an excellent job hyping it up. I can’t wait to see it at Summerslam.
They had a six-man tag team match afterwards featuring a bunch of guys no one could care less about. OK that’s an exaggeration – I do like the Usos. However the other four men – to hell with them. Harsh? Probably, but McGillicutty and Otunga have no chemistry and seemingly no real wrestling ability, especially Otunga. JTG has been lost in the shuffle for far too long, to the point where I was surprised he wasn’t released earlier today as well. Trent Barreta is another guy I’m surprised wasn’t let go. Barreta has some good offense but he’s just a crash dummy for squash matches. Why this six-man tag team match was booked is beyond me.
The main event would have been great if not for John Morrison. This guy sucks on a level that is incomprehensible to me, and why they keep pushing him is beyond me. His move-set is completely ridiculous. None of them make any sense. Sometimes I think he does all the flips just to show off. It doesn’t look realistic and it hurts the flow of the match. It takes him ten years just to set a spot up and then he barely hits it anyway. Here’s an example: they were working on Morrison’s recently healed neck the entire match so how does Morrison make his comeback? He does a back flipping sambo suplex that could spike him on his head. How does that make any sense? Doing the flashiest moves DOES NOT make you a good wrestler. The ability to tell a story in the ring is the most important thing a wrestler does and Morrison couldn’t do that to save his life. Great, you can do flips. Join the damn circus. At least the great exchange between Orton and Christian brought some order back to the match.
The show started out with some real promise but it sank in the second hour. I’m not sure if this is due to Michael Hayes not writing for the show anymore or if it’s just that they don’t have enough talent to make an entertaining two hours. I can’t make my mind up about that just yet.
Final Rating: ** 1/4
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E-Mail – MikeTedesco@wrestleview.com
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