“Yes, sir, we promised you a great main event…” The WWE video leads us into the show.
The Smackdown video plays and we go into the arena with some fireworks. This episode of Smackdown emanates from Mexico City for the first time ever. Josh Mathews, Booker T, and Michael Cole welcome us to the show.
Alberto Del Rio’s music hits, and the WWE Champion makes his way to the ring with his personal ring announcer, Ricardo Rodriguez. Del Rio stands in the ring and soaks up the cheers from his home country. Del Rio says he’ll defend his WWE Title against John Cena in a Last Man Standing match this Sunday. Tonight, he was scheduled to face the Big Show, but unfortunately for the fans, that’s not going to happen. They show a video of John Cena beating Del Rio down with some ring steps after Raw and counting to ten. Del Rio says it was his dream to come to Mexico and compete for them, but John Cena robbed him and the fans of that opportunity. Del Rio swears that he’ll make him pay. He’ll walk into Vengeance as the WWE Champion, and he’ll walk out as the WWE Champion, and as the greatest Mexican hero in history. Del Rio speaks some Spanish and the crowd cheers as his music plays.
Teddy Long’s music plays, and Smackdown’s General Manager makes his way to the ring. Long says Del Rio was checked out by WWE physicians earlier in the day, and they cleared him to compete. Long thinks Del Rio is trying to weasel himself out of the match. Del Rio claims he wants to perform for the fans, but he thinks he’s afraid to wrestle the Big Show. Del Rio says he’ll put his arm bar on Big Show and make him tap. Long suggests letting the people vote. Long asks if they want to see Del Rio take on Big Show, and the crowd cheers. Long tells Del Rio to get ready because the match is still on for tonight.
Mark Henry’s music hits, and the World Heavyweight Champion makes his way to the ring. Henry gets in the ring and stares at the WWE Champion. Henry will face John Morrison in a non-title match next.
They promote Sin Cara vs. Sin Cara in a Mask vs. Mask match for later in the night.
They hype up Mark Henry defending his World Heavyweight Championship against Big Show this Sunday at Vengeance. They then show footage of Mark Henry’s impressive flapjack into a World’s Strongest Slam on John Morrison during this past Monday’s Raw.
Mark Henry vs. John Morrison
They circle the ring and Morrison quickly starts kicking and punching Henry. Henry pushes him back, and Morrison flies over the top rope, crashing in a heap outside. Henry goes outside, picks Morrison up, and presses his face into the ring post. Henry throws him into the ring, and slams him off the apron. Henry stomps his midsection, and head-butts him down. Henry applies a neck vice. The crowd claps for Morrison to get up, but he’s not responding. Morrison fights up, and punches out. Morrison goes into the ropes and eats a back elbow. Henry sets him up in the corner and charges into a boot. Henry charges, and Morrison jumps over him. Morrison quickly follows up with a Flying Chuck, and Henry goes down. Morrison hits a running knee and immediately follows up with the Starship Pain for a near fall.
Morrison splashes Henry in the corner and tries to slide under the legs, but he gets caught. Henry stomps him, and lifts him up by the neck. Henry throws him into the air, catches him, and crushes him with the World’s Strongest Slam! Henry picks up the easy win from there.
Winner by Pinfall: Mark Henry
Match Rating: *
Cody Rhodes will address the WWE Universe later tonight on Smackdown.
Christian is backstage with Vickie Guerrero. Christian is asking her how to say, “One more match” in Spanish. Vickie doesn’t really know how to say it. Vickie says Teddy Long is horrible, but she has a great relationship with Raw’s interim General Manager, John Laurinaitis. He gave Jack Swagger and Dolph Ziggler a Tag Team Title match for this Sunday. Vickie suggests a business relationship with Christian. Then they could tell embarrassing stories about Edge. Vickie laughs.
Teddy Long walks in, and wonders what they’re doing in his office. Long asks what’s so funny, and Christian says Teddy Long is what’s funny since he’s the laughing stock of Smackdown because he won’t give him and the people what they want. Long says he’s going to give Christian one more match… this Sunday against Sheamus. Christian isn’t happy about that, and walks away saying he should be the World Heavyweight Champion. Long says Vickie got what she wanted in a Tag Team Title match for this Sunday – now it’s time for him to get what he wants. Long books Dolph Ziggler to defend his WWE United States Championship against Zack Ryder this Sunday. Vickie complains about Ziggler having to compete in two matches. Zack Ryder walks in, and says, “Woo, woo, woo – you know it!” Vickie screams.
The announcers talk about Sin Cara vs. Sin Cara in a Mask vs. Mask match. They show a highlight package of their feud.
Wade Barrett’s music hits, and he makes his way to the ring. He’ll be in action against Daniel Bryan next.
They show a pre-taped interview with Wade Barrett. Barrett says he’s foolishly aligned himself with a legion of parasites in the past. They were a bunch of nobodies who served no purpose other than to leech off his success. That taught him a very valuable lesson – the only person he needs to succeed is himself. The great Barrett uprising starts tonight.
Wade Barrett vs. Daniel Bryan
They circle the ring and lock up. Bryan gets a waist lock, so Barrett quickly gets to the ropes. Barrett gets a cheap punch in, and kicks him in the ribs. Barrett drops a knee for a one count. Barrett sends him to the ropes, but lowers his head and eats a kick. Bryan charges into a Wasteland attempt, but Bryan is able to counter into a crucifix pin for a near fall. Bryan goes for the LeBell Lock, but Barrett gets out. Barrett quickly follows up with a Boss Man Slam for a near fall. Barrett chokes Bryan on the ropes a few times. Barrett backs up with Bryan still hung up in the ropes, and he hits a running kick that sends Bryan to the outside. Barrett taunts the crowd.
Barrett drives Bryan into the apron before rolling him into the ring for a near fall. Barrett applies a chin lock and the crowd starts clapping to get Bryan into it. Bryan fights up, but Barrett quickly knees him down. Barrett sends him to the corner and runs into a kick. Bryan follows that up with a missile dropkick for a near fall. Bryan sends him to the ropes for a roundhouse kick, but Barrett holds on to the ropes. Barrett quickly hits a big boot for a near fall. Barrett mounts Bryan and punches away at him. Barrett applies a surfboard stretch, but Bryan is able to fight up. Barrett stuns him and sends him to the corner, but Bryan back flips over him. Bryan goes into the ropes, ducks a clothesline, and hits a nice flying elbow. Bryan gets pumped up and he hits a running dropkick in the corner for a near fall. Bryan ducks a clothesline, but Barrett catches him on the rebound with a kick to the midsection. Barrett hits a pump-handle slam for a near fall.
Barrett stomps away at him in the corner. Barrett punches away at him until the referee admonishes him. Barrett runs into a boot and Bryan goes to the second rope. Bryan leaps, but Barrett catches him. Barrett hits The Wasteland for the win.
Winner by Pinfall: Wade Barrett
Match Rating: **
Sheamus and Zack Ryder will take on Dolph Ziggler and Christian next.
EXCUSE ME! Vickie Guerrero comes out to introduce Dolph Ziggler. She announces him as the champion of the greatest country on earth, the United States.
Sheamus & Zack Ryder vs. Dolph Ziggler & Christian w/ Vickie Guerrero
Christian and Dolph Ziggler refuse to get in the ring until Sheamus is backed up. Ziggler and Ryder will start the match out. They circle the ring, and Ryder gets a quick waist lock. Ziggler quickly elbows him in the face, and stomps him down. Christian is tagged in, and he punches him down. Christian is distracted by Sheamus so Ryder rolls him up for a one count. Ryder punches and sends him to the ropes. Ryder hits a back elbow and charges, but Christian uses his momentum to send him out of the ring. Ziggler gets off the apron to clothesline Ryder on the outside. Sheamus tries to help out, but the referee warns him to back up. Christian sends Ryder into the ring, and tags in Ziggler. Ziggler punches and hits a neckbreaker for a near fall. Ryder blocks some punches, but Ziggler quickly comes back with a dropkick for a two count. Ryder tries to tag in Sheamus, but Ziggler holds him back. Ryder counters a neckbreaker with a roll up for a two count. Christian is tagged in, and he kicks away at Ryder. Christian taunts the crowd a bit before punching Ziggler down. Christian charges into some knees, and both men are down.
Sheamus and Ziggler are tagged in. Sheamus hits a pair of clotheslines and a powerslam. Sheamus charges into a boot. Sheamus side steps a leg drop bulldog and hits the Irish Curse for a near fall. Sheamus gets pumped up and goes for a Celtic Cross, but Christian interferes. Sheamus chases him out of the ring before turning around to kill Ziggler with a Brogue Kick for the win!
Winner by Pinfall: Sheamus & Zack Ryder
Match Rating: * 3/4
Cody Rhodes will address the WWE Universe about his match against Randy Orton at Vengeance next.
During the commercial break, Sheamus was celebrating the win on the stage when Christian snuck up from behind, and speared him down!
Cody Rhodes is already in the ring. Rhodes says two weeks ago on Raw, he didn’t just humiliate Randy Orton; he exercised a demon. They show a replay of Rhodes attacking Orton and putting a paper bag mask on him. Rhodes is in the ring laughing at the footage. That demon didn’t come as a result of an RKO or a scar on the side of his head that will most likely be with him for the rest of his days because of a grizzly attack with the ring bell. Is he supposed to pretend that Randy Orton didn’t inflict serious emotional damage to him long ago? The Viper’s venom has contaminated the blood that runs through his veins since their days together in Legacy.
The one thing his father taught him is that man is basically good. Rhodes says that is wrong. Man is basically evil, twisted, and selfish. Orton used and abused him, and rewarded his loyalty with a swift kick to the skull. That was baggage that he had to carry like a diseased albatross rotting around his neck. When he finally got a bag of his own and put it on Orton’s head, that was a release. He can laugh at the fact that Orton’s pride was snatched away in front of millions of judging eyes. In that one moment, their lives intersected. This time he’s the champion and the one who is smiling. Rhodes has everything going for him, and Orton is an embarrassed megalomaniac with no new tricks. They’ll face each other in two days, but that can wait. Rhodes wants Orton to come out and admit that he was wrong about him. Rhodes wants him to admit his mistake and say he got what he deserved.
Randy Orton’s music hits, and he comes out to the stage. Orton says the only mistake he’s made is letting him breathe after costing him the title not once, but twice. The mistake that Rhodes made was assuming that by placing a paper bag on his head that he would be humiliated. Orton asks if Rhodes thought he changed him. The only thing he’s changed is the amount of torture he’ll put him through at Vengeance. Getting hit with a ring bell will pale in comparison to what he does to him on Sunday. Orton comes to ringside and asks if Rhodes wants a preview.
The baggers try to attack, but Orton beats them down. Rhodes quickly kicks Orton in the head and sends him to the ring post. Rhodes punches away, and sends him into the ring. They go back and forth with punches. Orton comes out on top with an uppercut. Orton back body drops Rhodes over the top rope, and hits a hanging DDT on one of the baggers. Orton quickly catches Rhodes on the ramp, and punches. Orton sets him up on the stairs and goes to stomp Rhodes face down, but the bagger interferes. Orton stomps the bagger’s head instead on the steps. Rhodes grabs his Intercontinental Championship and runs away. Orton grabs another bagger and hits an RKO. Rhodes backs up the ramp looking intimidated.
Sin Cara II is takes off the real Sin Cara’s mask. He’ll fight in a Mask vs. Mask match next.
Máscara contra Máscara
Sin Cara II vs. Sin Cara
They circle the ring and get the crowd into it. Sin Cara II kicks Sin Cara and clubs him down. II sends him to the corner, and kicks him in the back. II sends him to the ropes and avoids a handspring back elbow. Sin Cara ducks a clothesline and hits a springboard hurricanrana that sends II to the outside. Sin Cara stands on the top rope and hits a big cross-body block to the outside! Cara sends II back into the ring and hits a pelé kick. Cara hits a nice cross-body block for a near fall. Cara has a whip reversed, but he comes back with a multiple rotation head-scissor takeover. Cara kicks and goes for a springboard cross-body, but II dropkicks him out of mid-air for a near fall. II sends him to the ropes and attempts to tear Sin Cara’s mask off during a sunset flip attempt. Sin Cara breaks free and back body drops II over the top rope!
We come back from the break to see II hit a double under-hook backbreaker for a near fall. II applies a knee to the back chin lock, but Cara fights up. Cara punches out, goes into the ropes, and hits a head-scissor takeover. II immediately comes back with a clothesline. II takes his time before covering for a two count. II stretches Sin Cara out with a chin and arm lock combo. II applies a Camel Clutch (Sheiky baby!), but Cara slides out. II quickly kicks him and the crowd is really booing him. II sends him to the ropes and hits a nice tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for a near fall. II hits a hammerlock backbreaker for a near fall. II goes back to the chin lock, and the crowd is chanting for Sin Cara. Cara fights up and goes for a dropkick, but II side steps him. II applies a modified Camel Clutch and attempts to tear the mask off. Cara doesn’t allow it to happen.
II knees him in the midsection and stomps away at him. II goes to the apron and hits a slingshot dropkick to the corner. II goes for a running summersault senton in the corner, but Cara moves. Cara blocks a punch and kicks away. Cara hits a rope aided arm drag and a slingshot arm drag. Cara counters a tilt-a-whirl into a roll up for a near fall. Cara gets another roll up for a near fall. II knees and punches him before hitting an Angle Slam for a near fall. II kicks him in the face a few times and goes to the top rope. Cara quickly hits a pelé kick and follows up with a nice top rope hurricanrana!
Cara gets on the apron, but reconsiders his move and hits a running dropkick to the ribs. Cara goes to the top rope and hits a Swanton Bomb for a near fall! II comes back with some punches. Cara flips through a back suplex, gets some revolutions on a head-scissor, and turns it into La Mistica arm bar for the submission victory! Sin Cara II must now unmask!
Winner by Submission: Sin Cara
Match Rating: **
The crowd is anxious for Sin Cara II to remove his mask, but he won’t oblige them. He goes to leave the ring so Sin Cara stops him. II punches at him and sends him to the ropes. Cara hangs on and drops him to the apron. Sin Cara pulls the mask off and Sin Cara II tries to cover his face. Sin Cara dropkicks him off the apron and follows up with a suicide dive. Sin Cara gets in the ring with the black mask and celebrates with the fans. Sin Cara II retreats up the ramp while covering his face.
Big Show will have his first match since Money in the Bank in July against Alberto Del Rio later tonight.
They play an awesome Brodus Clay hype video.
Beth Phoenix and Natalya are in the ring. Beth says some people say she and Natalya are jealous of the Barbie Doll divas. Sure, they’re in Maxim Magazine and walk the red carpets of Hollywood, but they’re not jealous or angry with them. They’re angry at the fans because that’s all they want to see. Not only are they prettier than the other divas, they also dominate them. They show footage of Beth hitting Kelly Kelly with a Glam Slam and Natalya following up with the Pin Up Strong. Kelly cried. They then show footage of them doing that to Alicia Fox a week later. Natalya says that is a direct message to all the divas: pain is beauty. There’s nothing more beautiful than watching Barbie Dolls beg for mercy.
Beth agrees and sends a message to Eve Torres for Vengeance. Beth says it’s Eve’s turn to cry at Vengeance. They’ll make her scream like all they others. They started this and they’ll finish it on Sunday.
Eve Torres makes her way to the ring. Eve says they started this about looks. Eve used to think they were beautiful until they showed how ugly they are on the inside. There is one thing she must clarify. She is not a Barbie Doll, and there is nothing they can do to break her. Beth asks if Eve really just said that. Beth says thinking of Vengeance must make Eve want to cry. They say they can see Eve welling up, but she isn’t. Eve knocks her down, and Beth damn near falls out of her dress completely.
Big Show is seen backstage doing push-ups. He’ll be in action against Alberto Del Rio next.
Ricardo Rodriguez is in the ring to announce WWE Champion Alberto Del Rio to the ring.
Alberto Del Rio vs. Big Show
This is Big Show’s first match back since July when Mark Henry broke his ankle at Money in the Bank. Big Show quickly throws Del Rio across the ring. Big Show clubs him, chops the chest in the corner, and body slams him down. Big Show head-butts him down and avoids some kicks. Big Show hits a hip toss and chokes him on the ropes. Big Show viciously punches him down in the corner and punches him in the midsection. Big Show continues hitting body shots and chokes him with his boot. Del Rio quickly rolls out of the ring and Ricardo Rodriguez fans him with his scarf. Big Show picks Del Rio up by his head, and Del Rio snaps him off the top rope. Del Rio quickly goes to the top rope and comes off only to get swatted out of mid-air by Big Show!
We come back from the break to see Del Rio kicking away at Big Show. Big Show finally blocks one and shoves him down. Big Show backs him up with one hand and pushes him over the top rope. Big Show goes to get him, but Del Rio dropkicks the steps into his leg. Big Show chops back at him before putting him back in the ring. Big Show viciously body slams him down and goes across the ring. Big Show charges, but Del Rio side steps him. Big Show immediately comes back with a clothesline. Big Show applies a cobra clutch (ya maggot), but Del Rio gets to the ropes. Big Show drops a leg for a near fall.
Big Show pushes him against the ropes and seems happy with what he’s doing. Big Show sends him to the ropes and Del Rio dropkicks him in the knee. Del Rio quickly kicks him in the head a few times and Big Show goes down. Del Rio kicks him in the ribs and hits a double knee arm breaker for a near fall. Del Rio goes for a running kick, but Big Show blocks it and throws him back. Big Show chops him down and hits a pair of clotheslines. Big Show sends him to the corner and hits a butt bump. Big Show comes back with a shoulder block and signals for the Chokeslam. Big Show goes for it, but Del Rio gets out and chop blocks him down. Del Rio applies his arm bar, but Big Show is on his stomach. I can’t imagine that actually hurting if it’s applied improperly. Big Show sits in it for a while before attempting to fight up. Big Show fights up to his feet and slams Del Rio down.
Both men take their time getting up. Big Show strikes first with a Chokeslam attempt, and Ricardo Rodriguez jumps on his back. The referee calls for the bell and this contest ends in disqualification.
Winner by Disqualification: Big Show
Match Rating: * 1/4
Big Show immediately floors Rodriguez with a Knockout Punch. Del Rio gets up and he meets the same fate as his ring announcer. Now the World Heavyweight Champion, Mark Henry, makes his way down to the ring, and Big Show knocks him out just as easily as he did to Rodriguez and Del Rio! Big Show celebrates with the fans as the show ends.
Quick Match Results
Mark Henry def. John Morrison (non-title)
Wade Barrett def. Daniel Bryan
Sheamus & Zack Ryder def. Dolph Ziggler & Christian
Sin Cara def. Sin Cara II via Submission in a Mask vs. Mask Match
Big Show def. Alberto Del Rio via DQ (non-title)
Bump of the Night: Randy Orton stomping the bagger’s face into the ring steps!
Match of the Night: Sin Cara vs. Sin Cara II **
This was a much better episode of Smackdown than what they’ve given to us over the past few weeks. Stuff actually happened and they kept the Raw storylines to an absolute bare minimum. In fact, there was really only one mention of John Laurinaitis by a character on the show. Hopefully this can be the start of Smackdown getting back on a run of fun television. I’m probably just getting too excited about this because they probably tried a little harder due to taping in Mexico for the first time ever. We’ll see what happens next week.
I like that they opened the show with Alberto Del Rio so he could get some last words in on John Cena, and so we could hear some more of the awesome reaction he gets while coming out to the ring. Del Rio got some decent heat and closed it off strong… then Teddy Long came to the ring. Teddy Long, in my opinion, is one of the most ineffective WWE authority figures in the company’s history. The guy is a heat black hole and he damn near kills every segment he’s in. Aside from the divas, he garners the most piped in cheers on this show. He really hurt the segment tonight. I say it’s high time for a change of power for Smackdown. He’s outlived his shelf life by a stunning amount of time. It’d be nice to get that position to actually mean something again.
I really enjoyed Mark Henry’s warm up match for Vengeance against John Morrison tonight. Henry looked absolutely dominant. I’ll be honest – it makes me happy to see Morrison get slapped around a bit. The guy just isn’t my kind of wrestler. The only thing missing was some promo time from Henry. The guy, in my opinion, is gold on the microphone and could probably do a great job selling this match against Big Show at Vengeance.
Wade Barrett faced Daniel Bryan in a very good, albeit short match. I liked the pre-taped promo Barrett had before the match where he talked about the Barrett uprising coming back. I like when they break out those old school pre-tapes before the matches every now and then. They also started planting the idea that Daniel Bryan is going through a slump right now. I’m not a fan of extended losing streaks. Just look what happened to MVP after that crazy long losing streak from 2007 to early 2008. It did nothing for his WWE career. Hopefully this doesn’t last too long. It’s still too early to start building for WrestleMania, but the time is coming in a few short months (heck, you could even argue short weeks since Survivor Series can sometimes be seen as the beginning of the Road to WrestleMania). Still, these two had an excellent match, and hopefully this can be used as a platform to get Wade Barrett back to relevancy.
Sheamus and Zack Ryder won a standard fare tag team match against Dolph Ziggler and Christian. There was nothing wrong with the match. It was just to give you a preview of some matches on Sunday. By the way, I like that they’re having Ziggler compete in two matches at the PPV.
Cody Rhodes came out next and cut a very good promo. Some of the things he said I needed to remind myself of what happened, like the fact that Randy Orton kicked Rhodes in the head at WrestleMania XXVI. I completely forgot about that (and Legacy for the most part). Randy Orton came out, and then the fun really kicked up. Orton attacked the baggers and had a little exchange with Rhodes. Orton then viciously destroyed the baggers as Rhodes watched. That segment got me amped up to see their match on Sunday. It should be very good.
Sin Cara vs. Sin Cara II in the Mask vs. Mask match was after that. This story sank like a lead balloon here in the States (and Canada), but the Mexican crowd ate it up. I’m sure it has something to do with them being from Mexico, and Mask vs. Mask matches being a big deal there. This was a much better match than their Hell in a Cell offering. I don’t know if it’s because they had time to edit, but my hat is off to them. It seems like that’ll be the last we see of Sin Cara II. Now, where do they go with Sin Cara here? I could see him being on a Survivor Series team, but after that, who knows?
The divas had a very blah segment. They didn’t even bother to pipe in cheers for them tonight except when Eve knocked Beth down. It was a crappy promo. The most interesting thing to come out of that segment was Beth Phoenix’s near wardrobe malfunction. That is, according to Gail Kim, all WWE cares about anyway.
The main event wasn’t incredibly entertaining. It was a standard Big Show match. It went too long in my opinion. I was fine with him knocking Rodriguez and Del Rio out quickly, but I thought Big Show should have had a little exchange with Mark Henry before knocking him out. It’s three weeks in a row now that Big Show has left Mark Henry laying on the mat. I get that Big Show needs to look as strong as possible, but since there’s pretty much no way he’s going to win, and just about everyone’s deduced that, why not let him have the exchange with Henry then?
Final Rating: ** 3/4
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Thanks for reading! Enjoy Vengeance 2011!