“Yes sir, we promised you a great main event…” The WWE video leads us into the show.
They show a video highlighting how Kane has been used as a “pawn” in CM Punk and Daniel Bryan’s feud. Bryan tricked Kane into thinking Punk attacked him with a chair two weeks ago, and Punk did the same to Bryan last week. Tonight, for the first time in four years, the WWE Championship will be defended on Smackdown, as CM Punk will take on Kane.
The Smackdown video plays, and we’re brought into the arena with a big display of pyrotechnics. Josh Mathews, Michael Cole, and Booker T welcome us to the show.
Lillian Garcia asks the crowd to welcome the WWE World Heavyweight Champion, Sheamus. Sheamus makes his way out to the ring to a nice reaction. The announcers remind us that Sheamus will defend his title against Alberto Del Rio at No Way Out on June 17. Sheamus says after Alberto Del Rio became the new number one contender last week, he decided to come out and congratulate him the best way he could. They show a replay of Del Rio pinning Kane after Randy Orton hit him with an RKO. Sheamus then took Del Rio out with a club to end the show. Sheamus says a lot of people have questioned what he did, but he just wanted Del Rio to know what he got himself into. Del Rio has people wait on him hand and foot for his whole life, so he just wanted to set the tone for their match by letting him know that he won’t kiss his rear end – he’s going to kick it. Del Rio is the type of guy who believes money can buy him anything. He thinks his cars make him better than everyone, but money can’t buy everything, and it damn sure can’t buy him the World Heavyweight Championship.
David Otunga’s music hits, and the legal consultant to John Laurinaitis makes his way to the ring sipping his coffee in a thermos. The crowd boos Otunga as he raises his mug to them. Sheamus asks how his head is doing after he kicked it off him on Monday night. Otunga says he’s not here for jokes. He’s here on behalf of John Laurinaitis for something else. Otunga presents some video evidence from two weeks ago, and it’s Sheamus running John Laurinaitis over on Raw while running down to the ring. Otunga says the footage speaks for itself. Last week, Mr. Laurinaitis sent Eve out for an apology, and Sheamus declined. Otunga isn’t asking him to apologize; he’s ordering him to. Sheamus asks if Otunga is really ordering him. Sheamus says this isn’t Starbucks where he just walks up to a counter. If he tries to order him around, then he’ll be picking that coffee cup out of his arse for the next two weeks. As for his boss, if he wants an apology, go to the back and get him in his little scooter. If he asks him to his face, then he’ll maybe consider it. Otunga says Sheamus is the whitest bulb, but not the brightest.
Alberto Del Rio’s music hits, and he drives into the arena in a beautiful white Bentley. Del Rio shushes the crowd as he walks to the ring. Del Rio says Otunga is wasting his time and breath because he won’t get an apology from this peasant. Sheamus is nothing but a street hooligan. He’s so stupid that he even wears it on his shirt. That’s why people like Sheamus end up working for people like them. Del Rio tells Otunga not to worry, because Sheamus will be very sorry after No Way Out when he becomes the new World Heavyweight Champion. Otunga thanks him for the sentiment, and he has no doubt that will happen. He still feels that Sheamus needs a more immediate form of consequence. Mr. Laurinaitis has given him the authority to allow Del Rio to choose Sheamus’s opponent. Del Rio laughs. Del Rio thanks Otunga for that.
Sheamus says he’s sorry, but not for what he did to John Laurinaitis. Sheamus then Brogue Kicks Otunga out of nowhere, and Del Rio quickly escapes! Sheamus says he’s sorry for what he was going to do to him. Sheamus warns Del Rio to let this be a lesson to him. Never trust a hooligan!
We’ll take a look at Big Show’s domination at the end of Raw. Sin Cara will return next after a seven-month hiatus. Booker T asks if he’ll still fly “with the greatest of ease.”
JOBBER ALERT: Heath Slater is at ringside with no TV entrance.
Heath Slater vs. Sin Cara
Sin Cara is dressed in red and white tights and mask. They circle the ring, and Slater kicks and clubs him down. Cara kicks back, and Slater quickly gets a hammerlock. Cara counters out with a snapmare before hitting a top rope flipping arm drag that takes Slater out of the ring. Cara quickly follows up with a top rope plancha. Cara throws him into the ring, and Slater big boots him down. Slater taunts the crowd as he stomps away at Cara. Slater works on Cara’s surgically repaired patella before applying a chin lock. Cara fights out of it and counters out of a back suplex. Cara kicks away at him before having a whip reversed on him. Cara hits a springboard back elbow and follows it up with a modified headlock takeover. Slater back drops him to the apron, but Cara quickly comes back with a kick to the head. Cara hits a top cross-body block, and he finishes Slater off with half of La Mistica for the win.
Winner by Pinfall: Sin Cara
Match Rating: N/A
They show footage of Daniel Bryan tricking Kane into thinking CM Punk hit him with a chair two weeks ago on Smackdown. Kane then beat the holy hell out of CM Punk. CM Punk will defend his WWE Championship against Kane in tonight’s main event.
JOBBER ALERT: Ezekiel Jackson is in the ring with no TV entrance.
Ezekiel Jackson vs. Damien Sandow
Charles Robinson, my favorite referee of all time, will be the official in this contest. The bell rings, and Sandow asks Robinson to keep Jackson back. Sandow grabs a microphone, and he says he is, yet again, standing before another ignoramus. Therefore, he will not participate in this charade. “You’re welcome.” Jackson brings him into the ring the hard way, and he bounces him off the turnbuckle. Jackson clubs away and clotheslines him in the corner. Sandow gets out of a torture rack, hits some knee lifts to the midsection, and hits a side leg sweep. Sandow drops an elbow for a two count. Jackson forearms him in the face, but Sandow kicks him before hitting him with a double arm neckbreaker for the win.
Winner by Pinfall: Damien Sandow
Match Rating: N/A
Damien Sandow celebrates in the ring with a beautiful cartwheel.
Alberto Del Rio is listening to Ricardo Rodriguez talk, but he silences him to think. Dolph Ziggler walks in and says he knows Del Rio is looking for an opponent for Sheamus. He wants to show the world that he’s elite. If he’s put in a match against Sheamus then he’ll have no problem beating him at No Way Out. Del Rio says Ziggler has something in his eyes, and he likes his passion. Del Rio congratulates him because he’ll face Sheamus, tonight. Ziggler says that’s a smart move.
Ryback will be in action next.
JOBBER ALERTS: Ryan Shelton and Chris Lyons, two local wrestlers from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, are in the ring with no TV entrance. Lyons says they came a long way. Shelton says their opponent is intimidating and undefeated. Back home, they have a saying that gets them going: “ROLL TIDE ROLL!”
Ryan Shelton and Chris Lyons vs. Ryback
They try to surround Ryback, but it doesn’t work out. Ryback lifts one up, big boots the other, and powerslams the other down. Ryback powerbombs one of them, uses him to knock the other down, and powerbombs him again. Ryback delivers a vicious lariat to the one guy before hitting a spinning sidewalk slam on the other. Ryback screams, “Finish them!” Ryback sets up for his finisher, and then says, “Two is better than one.” Ryback takes the two guys and gives them his fisherman’s suplex bomb for the win.
Winner by Pinfall: Ryback
Match Rating: N/A
They play the Raw Rebound, which is highlights of Big Show destroying Brodus Clay, Kofi Kingston, and R-Truth at the end of Raw.
EXCUSE ME! Vickie Guerrero comes out to the stage to a chorus of boos. Tonight, she has made a special arrangement. Dolph Ziggler all of a sudden comes out, grabs the microphone from her, and says he beats the World Heavyweight Champion, tonight. Ziggler gets in the ring and poses.
Dolph Ziggler w/ Vickie Guerrero vs. Sheamus
They circle the ring and lock up. Ziggler applies a side headlock, but he can’t take him down. Sheamus throws him off and adjusts his neck. They circle the ring and lock up, this time with Sheamus getting a headlock takeover. Ziggler fights up and whips him off, but Sheamus shoulder blocks him down. Sheamus goes into the ropes, and Ziggler dropkicks him down for a one count. Ziggler applies an arm bar, but Sheamus immediately clubs out of it. Sheamus throws him into the ropes, misses a clothesline, and catches him with a shoulder block for a one count. Sheamus applies an arm bar, but Ziggler fights out. Ziggler punches away at him in the corner. Sheamus reverses a whip, but Ziggler slingshots over him. Sheamus back drops him to the apron, Ziggler punches him, goes to the top rope, and Sheamus catches him attempting a cross-body block. Sheamus counters into a rolling fireman’s carry for a near fall. Sheamus punches and sends him to the ropes. Ziggler kicks him in the face, and Sheamus throws him over the top rope.
We come back from the break to see Sheamus trapped in a wristlock. Sheamus quickly powers out and hammers him down a few times. Sheamus shoves him to the corner and shoulders him in the midsection. Sheamus hits a high knee and goes for the Pale Justice, but Ziggler gets out. Sheamus grabs him as he tries to escape, but the referee backs him up, allowing Ziggler to roll out of the ring. Sheamus goes outside, and Ziggler goes in. Ziggler catches him with a shoulder and snaps his neck off the top rope. Ziggler dropkicks him off the apron, and Sheamus flies into the announce table. The referee begins to count Sheamus out, but he gets in the ring at seven. Ziggler hits a nice neckbreaker for a one count. Ziggler stomps and chokes him on the ropes. Ziggler applies a chin lock, and he poses as he does it. Sheamus fights up with Ziggler on his shoulders, but Ziggler gets out with a DDT for a two count. Ziggler gets frustrated, punches away at him, and hits an elbow drop for a one count. Ziggler applies another chin lock, but Sheamus fights up, again. Ziggler gets on his back, and Sheamus uses his momentum to drop Ziggler on the apron.
Sheamus catches Ziggler and ties him up in the ropes for the clubbing blows to the chest. Sheamus suplexes him back into the ring for a near fall. Sheamus goes for the Irish Curse, but Ziggler fights out. Sheamus pulls him into a different backbreaker for a near fall. Sheamus goes to the top rope, and Ziggler hits the ropes. Ziggler scales the ropes and takes Sheamus out with a top rope sit-out face-buster for a near fall! Ziggler goes for the Zig-Zag, but Sheamus counters out. Sheamus hits the White Noise, and he gets the crowd pumped up. Sheamus taunts for his finisher as Ziggler slowly gets up. Jack Swagger distracts him, but he punches him down. Sheamus sidesteps Ziggler, and he hits Swagger. Sheamus then wipes him out with the Brogue Kick for the win!
Winner by Pinfall: Sheamus
Match Rating: ** 1/4
Later tonight, we’ll see CM Punk defend his WWE Championship against Kane. This will be the first WWE Title defense on Smackdown in four years. CM Punk will speak, next.
Matt Striker is backstage with WWE Champion CM Punk. Striker asks for his thoughts on Mr. Laurinaitis ordering him to defend his WWE Title against Kane. Punk says he welcomes the competition, but the only reason he’s doing this is because Laurinaitis would rather have the WWE Title anywhere but around his waist. He represents everything John Laurinaitis dislikes in the world. He’d rather not pal around in clown shoes. Laurinaitis is everything he can’t stand in the world. As far as Kane goes, he’s tough, scary, and has some cute nicknames. He has one of his own, but it’s a fact: “Best in the World.” Tonight, the best in the world makes the Devil’s favorite demon go to sleep.
Titus O’Neil and Darren Young say they’ve already beaten Santino Marella and Zack Ryder in primetime. They’re primetime players, and that means, “Millions of dollars.”
Titus O’Neil and Darren Young vs. Santino Marella and Zack Ryder
Santino will start out against Young. Young quickly takes him down and hits a back elbow. Young drops an elbow and tags in O’Neil. Young hits a back suplex, and O’Neil front suplexes him onto Santino. O’Neil knees him and hits a European Uppercut. Young is tagged back in, and he stomps away at Santino. Ryder runs in to stop him, but Young fights him off. Santino slingshots over Young and rolls him up for the win.
Winners by Pinfall: Santino Marella and Zack Ryder
Match Rating: N/A
They celebrate on the stage until the Big Show comes out and grabs them both by the back of the neck. Big Show throws Santino into the WWE sign, and he head-butts Ryder down. Big Show throws Ryder into the barricade. Big Show throws him into the steel steps and then removes the top half. Big Show carries the lower half of the steps halfway up the ramp. Ryder tries to fight back, but Big Show viciously punches him down. Big Show picks him up and body slams him on the steel steps. Big Show dumps him off and drags the stairs further up the ramp. Big Show grabs Santino and kicks him in the ribs. Big Show squeezes Santino’s head into the steel steps, sits on him, and applies the Colossal Clutch. Big Show then balls up his fist and gives Santino the WMD. The crowd boos Big Show as he screams for them to smile for him.
Big Show’s destruction of Santino Marella and Zack Ryder is replayed again.
AJ is backstage in all CM Punk gear when she bumps into Daniel Bryan. Bryan asks what she’s doing. Bryan asks if she thinks CM Punk cares about her. Bryan says Punk is just using her and thinks she’s a nut job. AJ says it sounds like he’s just jealous. Besides, what does he care? Bryan laughs and says he doesn’t, but he did once, which is more than he can say for CM Punk.
JOBBER ALERT: Tyson Kidd is in the ring with no TV entrance.
Christian will be the guest commentator for the next match. They show footage of him defeating Rhodes at Over The Limit for the Intercontinental Championship.
Tyson Kidd vs. Cody Rhodes
Charles Robinson, my favorite referee, is back for another match. Kidd quickly takes Rhodes down, but Rhodes quickly punches him to the corner. Rhodes sends him sternum first into the turnbuckle and stomps away at him. Rhodes front suplexes him for a one count. Rhodes knees him in the midsection a few times before taunting Christian. Kidd kicks back at him and hits an arm drag. Kidd goes for the Sharpshooter, but Rhodes pulls him face first into the turnbuckle. Rhodes follows up with the Cross Rhodes for the win.
Winner by Pinfall: Cody Rhodes
Match Rating: N/A
Cody Rhodes and Christian face off, but Rhodes quickly walks away as Christian holds his title up.
Kane is walking backstage. He’ll take on CM Punk for the WWE Championship, next.
WWE Champion CM Punk makes his entrance, and Kane follows him. Lillian Garcia does the ring introductions, and this match will begin after the break.
A video highlights Antonio Cesaro appearing on Smackdown next week. The video says, “The future is here.”
WWE Championship Match
CM Punk (c) vs. Kane
The bell rings, and Punk quickly kicks at Kane. Punk ducks a clothesline and they jockey for position. Punk peppers him with kicks. Kane traps him in the corner, but Punk ducks under him. Punk punches, but Kane turns him around and beats him down. Kane sends him into the ropes, but Punk holds on. Kane charges, and Punk pulls the top rope down, causing Kane to fall out of the ring. Punk takes him down with a baseball slide, and he follows up with a double axe handle off the top rope. Punk kicks and punches away at him before rolling him into the ring. Punk twists the arm around the top rope, and Kane comes back with an uppercut. Kane stomps him before bouncing him in the corner. Kane viciously punches and knees him down. Kane sends him to the corner and charges, but Punk dropkicks him in the knee.
Punk kicks away at Kane. Punk pulls Kane to the ring post and smashes the arm against it. Punk works on the arm with twists and kicks. Punk elbows at the arm and wraps it around the top rope. Kane boots him in the face and punches him down for a one count. Kane sends him into the ropes, but Punk quickly comes back with a kick to the arm. Punk applies an overhead wristlock, and Kane goes down to a knee. Kane fights up and powers Punk over the top rope. Punk seems surprised by that as we go to commercial.
We come back from the break to see Punk kicking away at Kane’s arm. Punk clubs away at it. During the commercial, Punk smashed the arm off the steel steps. Punk goes to the top rope, and Kane punches him in the face, sending Punk crashing to the floor. AJ comes to ringside to check on Punk. Kane goes outside and drops Punk on the barricade. Kane throws Punk into the ring and covers for a two count. Kane kicks him down before hitting a one-arm body slam. Kane drops an elbow for a near fall. Kane punches him in the face and applies a neck vice, but Punk soon fights out. Punk goes into the ropes, and Kane catches him by the neck. Kane goes for the Chokeslam, but Punk counters into a DDT!
Punk hits a high knee in the corner and follows it up with a second. Kane counters a bulldog, but Punk backflips through the counter. Kane ducks a roundhouse kick, Punk ducks a right hand, and he catches Kane with a neckbreaker for a near fall. Punk spin kicks him in the midsection and goes for a cross-body block, but Kane catches him. Punk slides out of a powerslam attempt and gives him a roundhouse for a near fall. Kane pushes him off and big boots him down for a near fall. Kane clotheslines him in the corner, and Punk catches him with a boot. Punk hits a bulldog for a near fall. Kane staggers to his feet, and Punk goes for the GTS, but Kane is too heavy as Punk goes down. Kane hits a low dropkick to the face for a near fall. Kane goes to the top rope and goes for his lariat, but Punk dropkicks him out of mid-air.
Punk goes to the top rope, but AJ gets on the apron to warn Punk. Punk jumps off the top to plancha Daniel Bryan. Punk punches away at him before getting on the apron. Kane grabs him by the throat, but Punk gives him a roundhouse. Punk goes to the top rope, points to the heavens, and hits an elbow drop for a near fall. Punk gets the crowd into it as he springboards into an uppercut. Kane goes for the Chokeslam, but Daniel Bryan jumps off the top rope with a double missile dropkick! The referee throws the match out!
Match Rating: ** 1/2
Daniel Bryan screams “yes” as he kicks away at Punk. Bryan kicks away at him in the corner, whips him across the ring, and Punk clotheslines him down. Punk goes for the GTS, but Kane comes in the ring and delivers a Double Chokeslam to both men. Kane makes the ring posts explode.
John Laurinaitis’s music hits, and he rides out to the stage in his motorized scooter with Eve Torres. Laurinaitis says the WWE Championship at No Way Out will now be a triple threat match! People Power! AJ kneels in the ring between both Bryan and Punk as the show ends.
Quick Match Results
Sin Cara def. Heath Slater
Damien Sandow def. Ezekiel Jackson
Ryback def. Ryan Shelton and Chris Lyons
Sheamus def. Dolph Ziggler (non-title)
Santino Marella and Zack Ryder def. Titus O’Neil and Darren Young
Cody Rhodes def. Tyson Kidd
CM Punk NC Kane in a WWE Championship Match
Bump of the Night: Big Show’s beat down of Santino and Ryder
Match of the Night: The WWE Championship match ** 1/2
Sheamus cut another cookie cutter promo this week as he fought his way through a promo about Alberto Del Rio and John Laurinaitis. Unlike last week, the crowd was super into him, so that helped the segment a bit. David Otunga’s gimmick isn’t getting old with me. The guy is a lot of fun to watch as he talks down to people and sips from his little thermos. Alberto Del Rio, the challenger for Sheamus’ title, came off looking like the third wheel here. He didn’t really add anything to the segment that Otunga didn’t already add. He was just there to get some face time in the ring with Sheamus. The Brogue Kick at the end was a lot of fun. I was hoping the thermos would go flying and coffee would go everywhere, but it was still a fun visual.
Sin Cara made his return, and he didn’t botch anything. Unfortunately, he’s still just as limited a performer as he was before he left. All his matches are so structured and choreographed that it just doesn’t come across as thrilling at all. He knocked the crowd out with spot after spot so that when the finisher came they didn’t pop at all because Slater had just gotten up from a 100 different moves. Slater took a plancha and then fifteen seconds later was on the offence. What? I hope he proves me wrong, but I seriously doubt he’s going to be any different from his first run before the injury.
I say it every week, and I’ll say it again. I love Damien Sandow. I really think this guy could be a major mid-card player before the year is out. Everything he does is awesome.
So Ryback beat another two loser jobbers in pretty much the same match as last week. Last week was impressive; this week it’s just the same old, same old. It’s weird that he’s gone from facing local jobbers, to facing WWE jobbers, and now he’s back to facing local jobbers again. What are they going to do with this guy? To me, he’s just as limited as Sin Cara is.
Sheamus is now back to back with good matches. Dolph Ziggler was a great opponent for him, and they had a really nice match. It was a simple formula, but it worked perfectly. Ziggler looks really good in defeat, and Sheamus, who hadn’t been blowing me away in his TV matches, looks really strong again. Now if we could just get rid of the cookie cutter promos and give him more of an actual edge, I’d be on board with him again.
Big Show killed Santino Marella and Zack Ryder. We get it – you’re a heel.
Cody Rhodes quickly handled Tyson Kidd and then had an awkward interaction with Christian. I almost forgot to include this in my thoughts because it was so forgettable. It was a thing that happened on the show.
The main event was a lot of fun with a good ending. Even though we saw him do it two weeks ago, Kane impresses me again for having a good match. He and Punk work really well together. I love that AJ returned to Smackdown this week. I was missing her last week. Even though she doesn’t do much, she adds a lot to these matches just by being at ringside. Her facial expressions are tremendous. Daniel Bryan spoiling the end was well done and it set John Laurinaitis’s announcement up perfectly. His announcement seemed heavily edited, though. He came out at the 1:59 mark so I guess they had to trim it down to the bare essentials to fit everything in. Still, Kane’s involvement is random, but it should add an interesting element to the match at No Way Out.
Final Rating: ** 1/2
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