The Smackdown video plays us into the show, and we enter the arena with a big fireworks display. Josh Mathews, Michael Cole, and Booker T welcome us to the show. We will relive what happened between John Cena and Michael Cole on Raw. Cole is silent as Booker T and Josh Mathews poke fun at him. Cole asks them to be professional.
Alberto Del Rio’s music hits, and he drives into the arena in a beautiful white BMW 6 Series. Lillian Garcia introduces him to the ring. He’s dressed to compete, and they remind us that he’ll face Sheamus at No Way Out for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Del Rio gets in the ring, and he has them roll footage of him attacking Sheamus on Raw. Del Rio locked him in the Cross Arm Breaker as he hung off the stage by said limb. Del Rio smiles in the ring as he watches that. Del Rio says that should be a lesson for him. He remembers Sheamus saying, “Never trust a hooligan.” Now the lesson is not to mess with him. If Sheamus thought that was bad, then wait until No Way Out because he’ll break his arm and take the title.
Sheamus’ music hits, and Ricardo Rodriguez makes his way to the stage hilariously dressed as Sheamus. He has his hair spiked and dyed red like Sheamus and has white tights to match the paleness. He’s complete with a toy replica of the World Heavyweight Championship. Del Rio says he’ll be honest with us because he never lies. This man is not Sheamus. He knows anyone can be Sheamus. Anyone can punch their chests like a caveman, spike their hair like a stupid kid, and act like a common hooligan. Rodriguez grunts and makes noises as he says these things. On the other hand, there is only one Alberto Del Rio. Del Rio asks if he’s going to hit him with the Brogue Kick. Rodriguez punches his chest and does a pratfall as he attempts a Brogue Kick. Del Rio says that’s what will happen at No Way Out. Sheamus will fall on his arse.
Sheamus’ music hits, and the real Sheamus makes his way to the ring looking none too happy. Del Rio and Rodriguez quickly attack, but Sheamus soon throws Rodriguez out of the ring. Sheamus and Del Rio punch it out until Rodriguez jumps on Sheamus’ back. Sheamus dumps him out of the ring, and Del Rio kicks him in the arm. Sheamus quickly pushes him off and takes him out with an Irish hammer. Del Rio and Rodriguez run up the ramp, but Sheamus runs them down. Sheamus knocks out Rodriguez, and he throws Del Rio into the WWE sign on stage. Sheamus looks at the edge of the stage, and he goes to give him Pale Justice off the stage. Rodriguez grabs the ankle, and Del Rio kicks him in the arm, taking him down. Del Rio assaults the arm until referees run out to break him off. They order Del Rio down to the ring.
Teddy Long makes his way to the stage. He’s still wearing the large nametag Eve ordered him to wear weeks ago. Long says Mr. Laurinaitis is not here tonight as he is preparing for his job evaluation with Mr. McMahon this Monday on Raw. Laurinaitis ordered him to act on his behalf. That means he won’t have Sheamus and Del Rio turning the show into chaos, and he doesn’t want to have his rear end chewed out. Per Mr. Laurinaitis, in the spirit of fairness, excitement, and “People Power” (Long unenthusiastically says those things and says, “Yeah, I know,” as the crowd boos), Kane will take on Sheamus tonight. Del Rio can stay in the ring because he’s going to go one-on-one with this man: The Great Khali!
Alberto Del Rio w/ Ricardo Rodriguez vs. The Great Khali
The bell rings, and Del Rio quickly tries to kick and punch Khali down. Khali pushes him into the ropes and takes him down with a Brain Chop. Khali puts him in the corner and kicks him down. Khali gets the crowd into it and chops the chest. Khali puts him in the other corner and repeats the chop. Del Rio drops to his knees in pain. Khali raises his arms in the air before whipping him into the corner. Del Rio sidesteps a running boot, and Khali gets caught in the ropes. Del Rio kicks him in the knee and applies a leg lock. Khali writhes in pain on the mat as he tries to get out of the hold. Del Rio releases it and kicks him in the face for a two count. Del Rio kicks him in the face, again, for a near fall. Del Rio DDTs the leg and dropkicks it. Del Rio kicks him in the arm before going to the second rope. Del Rio jumps, and Khali chops him out of mid-air.
Khali clotheslines him down a few times before hitting him with a Brain Chop. Khali signals for the Punjabi Plunge, and Rodriguez gets on the apron to distract him. Rodriguez avoids a Brain Chop, and Khali turns into an arm breaker from Del Rio. Del Rio punches at the arm before locking on the Cross Arm Breaker for the submission victory.
Winner by Submission: Alberto Del Rio
Match Rating: *
They play the great Big Show interview where he talks about not caring about anyone’s feelings as he’s not an entertainer – he’s a giant.
Teddy Long is backstage on his cell phone complaining about having so many rules to follow. The Funkadactyls come in, and Brodus Clay soon follows. Long says he has good news and bad news. The bad news is that he’s not allowed to be on Monday Night Raw to protect him from the Big Show. The good news is he’s now a full-time member of Smackdown. Clay says that every Smackdown opponent will be the Big Show to him. He’ll be in action next.
JOBBER ALERT: Derrick Bateman is at ringside with no TV entrance.
Derrick Bateman vs. Brodus Clay w/ The Funkadactyls
They lock up, and Brodus powers him to the corner before beating him down. Brodus throws him out of the ring, and Bateman lands with a thud. Brodus follows him outside and hits a running head-butt, causing Bateman to jump up in the air and land on his back. Brodus throws him over the barricade into the timekeeper’s area. The Funkadactyls laugh as Brodus throws him back into the ring. Brodus hits a running splash in the corner before hitting a T-Bone suplex. Brodus hits the Big Splash for the win.
Winner by Pinfall: Brodus Clay
Match Rating: N/A
Brodus Clay and the Funkadactyls dance in the ring with some kids from ringside.
They play a video of Booker T saying his favorite Raw moment was facing Buff Bagwell for the WCW Championship in 2001. It was a new chapter for his career, but an awful, awful match that made the “Invasion” angle stumble out of the opening gate.
JOBBER ALERT: Drew McIntyre is in the ring with no TV entrance.
Drew McIntyre vs. Sin Cara
The bell rings, and McIntyre immediately kicks him down. McIntyre clubs him before going for a body slam, but Sin Cara gets out of it. Cara kicks him before hitting a top rope twisting arm drag. McIntyre tries to give him a hip toss, but Cara bounces off the ropes and hits another arm drag. McIntyre drops him to the apron, but Cara avoids a follow-up shoulder block, and he kicks McIntyre in the arm, dropping him to the apron as well. Cara charges, but McIntyre lifts him up and kicks him in the ribs as he falls to the floor! McIntyre throws him into the ring for a two count. McIntyre applies a grounded abdominal stretch, but he quickly fights up. McIntyre clubs him down and stomps the arm. McIntyre looks into the crowd before putting him on his shoulders. Cara counters into a hurricanrana that sends McIntyre into the ring post.
Cara hits a running hurricanrana, ducks a clothesline, and hits a springboard back elbow for a near fall. McIntyre gets in the ropes, so the referee backs Cara up. McIntyre hits a big boot for a near fall. McIntyre can’t believe it. McIntyre throws him into the corner and runs into the boots. Cara goes to the second rope, and McIntyre catches him. Cara goes to twist into La Mistica, but he can’t get around. McIntyre goes for a powerslam, and Cara counters into a DDT for the win.
Winner by Pinfall: Sin Cara
Match Rating: * 1/4
Sheamus will take on Kane later tonight in a non-title match. Ryback will be in action, next.
JOBBER ALERTS: Local jobbers, Tony Andriotis and Kevin Mahoney, are in the ring with no TV entrance. They say, “Mirror, mirror on the wall, who will be the first ones to give Ryback his first pinfall? Isn’t it obvious? Kevin and Tony will be the start of Ryback’s downfall. Mirror, mirror on the wall, who will be the fastest rising superstars of them all? Kevin and Tony will be the fastest rising superstars of them all!”
Tony Andriotis and Kevin Mahoney vs. Ryback
One of them charges Ryback, and he throws him into the corner. Ryback takes the other guy and gives him a fall-away slam into his partner. Ryback puts them both in the corner, backs up, and hits a running shoulder to the corner. Ryback tries to get the crowd into it as he clotheslines the one guy over the other. Ryback viciously powerbombs one of them before taking them both and hitting a double fisherman’s suplex bomb for the win.
Winner by Pinfall: Ryback
Match Rating: N/A
Christian will take on Dolph Ziggler in a non-title match later tonight. Up next, Christian will host The Peep Show with Cody Rhodes as his guest.
The Peep Show with Special Guest Cody Rhodes
The crew is just putting the finishing touches on the set of the Peep Show in the ring. Cody Rhodes’ music hits, and the guest arrives in the ring before the host does. Rhodes knocks a stool down and scares the crew out of the ring. He knocks the Peep Show signs down. Rhodes says he doesn’t answer to Christian; Christian should answer to him. He’s the one who stole the title that he helped bring back glory to. He’s the one having the midlife crisis and pandering to all the people.
Christian’s music hits, and the WWE Intercontinental Champion makes his way to the ring smiling. Christian says he’s the one who beat him for the Intercontinental Championship. If he wanted to come out and be the host, all he had to do was ask. Rhodes says the only thing he’ll ask is who Christian is trying to fool. Before Over The Limit, Christian didn’t care about the people. He focused only on himself. Rhodes asks when he went soft and sacrificed any self-respect he had left. Christian says he had a moment of clarity. It’s no secret that he missed the better part of this year with a serious injury. The night before WrestleMania something happened, and he inducted Edge into the Hall of Fame. While Edge was delivering his speech, it hit him like a ton of bricks. All of this, coming out and standing in front of the peeps every single night is a privilege that can go away in an instant. If that happened, would he want to be remembered as the annoying, sniveling guy who begged for one more match week after week or did he want to put together a Hall of Fame career just like his best friend?
Rhodes says that’s a load of garbage. Rhodes says he knows Hall of Famers. His father is a Hall of Famer, and he’s a future Hall of Famer. He’s a guy who when people talk about the future they silently agree that it’s him. Christian is a guy who took advantage of a situation and got lucky at Over The Limit. At No Way Out, that title, his title, is coming home. Christian says he’d prefer is Rhodes would just shut his mouth. Christian says Rhodes was nice enough to start to start out the Peep Show, and he’ll be nice enough to finish it off by wiping the ring with him.
Dolph Ziggler’s music hits, and he makes his way to the ring. Ziggler says it was nice of Rhodes to start the Peep Show off early, but he’s here to wrap it up. He’s coming out here to do what he does better than anyone else. He’s going to show off and beat Christian right now. Cody Rhodes joins commentary as the two men prepare to do battle in the ring.
Christian vs. Dolph Ziggler
They circle the ring and lock up. Ziggler quickly hits a waistlock takeover and goes for a cover, but only gets a one count. Ziggler gets up and casually throws some sweat at Christian. Ziggler applies a side headlock, but Christian whips him off. They go into the ropes, and Christian hits a flapjack. Christian throws him to the apron, and Ziggler quickly pulls him out of the ring. Christian quickly pulls him off the apron, goes back in the ring, and hits a baseball slide. Ziggler sidesteps a plancha, but Christian lands on his feet. Ziggler then turns him inside out with a running knee to the midsection.
We come back from the break to see Christian trapped in a modified chin lock. Christian fights up, but Ziggler dropkicks him down for a near fall. Ziggler sends him into the corner hard sternum first before strutting up to him and dropping a knee. That gets Ziggler another near fall. Ziggler stretches him on the ropes before hitting a snapmare. Ziggler applies a grounded abdominal stretch, but Christian fights up. Ziggler kicks and punches him. Ziggler elbows him in the neck before hitting the ropes. Ziggler counters a dropkick into a catapult into the corner. Ziggler then hits a running shoulder to the lower back. Ziggler drives the shoulder into his back a few times before the referee backs him up. Ziggler charges, and Christian counters with a pendulum kick. Ziggler kicks and goes for a leg drop bulldog, but Christian counters into a sit-out powerbomb for a near fall.
They trade blows before Christian takes him down. Christian springs over the top rope and punches him. Christian goes for a springboard sunset flip, but Ziggler rolls through and hits a leg drop bulldog for a near fall. Ziggler can’t believe it. Ziggler pushes his face, and Christian quickly pops up with a reverse DDT. Christian sets up in the corner for the Spear, but Ziggler dropkicks him as he charges for a near fall! Ziggler waits for him to get up, and he jumps on the back with a sleeper hold. Christian slings him off, and Ziggler pushes him to the corner. Christian holds onto the ropes as Ziggler goes for the Zig-Zag. Christian goes to the top rope and punches Ziggler away. Christian quickly hits the Frog Splash for the win!
Winner by Pinfall: Christian
Match Rating: **
Cody Rhodes stands up and gives him a disingenuous round of applause. Christian holds the championship up for him to see.
We’ll revisit John Cena vs. Michael Cole from Monday Night Raw next.
They play the Raw Rebound with John Cena embarrassing Michael Cole in a wrestling match. Cena had to defeat Tensai before getting to Cole.
Booker T and Josh Mathews laugh at Michael Cole before he throws off his headset. Cole grabs a microphone and asks for the crowd’s attention. He’s heard everyone laughing at him all week. He says Monday Night Raw was one of the most traumatic events of his life, but he knows the WWE Universe is going to move on and let bygones be bygones.
Jim Ross’ music hits, and Hornswoggle makes his way to the ring dressed as JR with BBQ sauce in hand. Hornswoggle gets in the ring and Cole doesn’t look please. Hornswoggle wants to see the “slobberknocker” again. They then show Cena chopping Cole’s chest, spraying him with a fire extinguisher, and dumping BBQ sauce on him. Hornswoggle laughs and does JR impressions.
Damien Sandow’s music hits, and he comes out to the stage to “Hallelujah.” Sandow begs the crowd’s indulgence for a moment as he’s here to help. For far too long, miscreants such as Hornswoggle have erroneously been elevated to cult like status in WWE, which serves only to lead the lambs of the WWE Universe to the slaughter of their own ineptitude. As the avenging sword of taste and decency, he cannot allow this ridiculous content to assimilate itself into our society. Therefore, this diminutive ignoramus will be taught a lesson this evening. Sandow bends over to say, “You’re welcome,” to Hornswoggle.
Hornswoggle blows a raspberry at him, and Sandow begins to stalk him. All of a sudden, Tyson Kidd runs down to the ring. Sandow throws him to the apron and turns back to Hornswoggle. Sandow then turns into a springboard dropkick that takes him out of the ring. Kidd challenges him, but Sandow simply walks away. Kidd checks on Hornswoggle, and Sandow quickly runs back in the ring to assault him. Sandow knees him before hitting a double arm neckbreaker. Sandow poses on top of Kidd as his music plays.
Sheamus will take on Kane in a non-title match later tonight.
Kane is seen preparing for his match when Matt Striker stops him. Striker says Kane has the unique opportunity to beat both the WWE Champion and World Heavyweight Champion in the same week. Kane says he doesn’t have any feelings so he might as well ask CM Punk what it felt like to be Chokeslammed to hell. Then he can ask Sheamus how it feels after he does what he does tonight. His only concern is winning the WWE Championship at No Way Out. Striker asks about the look AJ gave him on Raw. Kane just stares at him menacingly, and Striker walks away. Kane walks off camera, and AJ comes out from behind some equipment.
JOBBER ALERT: Jimmy Uso is in the ring with no TV entrance.
Teddy Long comes to the stage, and he reluctantly introduces Antonio Cesaro per Mr. Laurinaitis’ orders. Accompanied to the ring by his lover, Aksana, he asks the crowd to welcome one of the most talented athletes in the WWE, Antonio Cesaro.
Jimmy Uso vs. Antonio Cesaro w/ Aksana
They lock up, and Cesaro clubs and head-butts him. Cesaro whips him, but Jimmy slides and sidekicks him in the midsection. Jimmy takes him down and drops a head-butt for a two count. Jimmy hits a splash in the corner before going for a powerslam, but Cesaro slides off. Jimmy goes into the ropes, but Cesaro lifts him up and gives him a European uppercut. Cesaro hits a cradle face-buster for the win.
Winner by Pinfall: Antonio Cesaro
Match Rating: N/A
Teddy Long watched the match at ringside. Cesaro then calls him into the ring to raise his arm as he kisses Long’s former girlfriend, Aksana. Long walks off.
Sheamus talks about his favorite Raw memory as the night he won the battle royal to become the number one contender for the WWE Championship in 2009. Vince McMahon and Jesse “The Body” Ventura were on commentary for that match.
Sheamus makes his way to the ring. They show what happened earlier in the night when he confronted Alberto Del Rio. He’ll face Kane in the main event, next.
Sheamus vs. Kane
They quickly lock up and jockey for position. Sheamus gets him to the corner and gives a clean break. Sheamus applies a side headlock, but Kane whips him off before dropping him with a shoulder block. Sheamus gets to his feet and they circle the ring. Sheamus wrenches the arm, but Kane comes back with an uppercut. Sheamus punches away before Kane throws him to the corner. Sheamus sidesteps him in the corner before punching him down. Kane sends him to the corner and clotheslines him. Kane hits a vicious uppercut before choking him with his boot. Kane wraps the injured arm around the top rope before punching him down again. Kane sends him to the opposite corner and runs into a back elbow. Sheamus gets out of a powerslam and chop blocks him. Sheamus knees him before Kane throws him to the apron. Sheamus shoulders him, but Kane quickly big boots him off the apron.
We come back from the break to see Kane cover for a one count. Sheamus applies a neck vice as they show Kane throwing him into the barricade during the commercial. Sheamus fights up and knees him in the midsection. Sheamus goes into the ropes, and Kane catches him with a sidewalk slam for a near fall. Kane punches before applying another neck vice. Sheamus comes back with shoulders to the midsection, but Kane stops him with a punch. Kane sends him to the corner and runs into some boots. Sheamus lifts himself up to the top rope and hits a diving shoulder block.
Sheamus punches away at Kane, beating him down in the corner. Sheamus hits a running shoulder to the midsection before hitting a high knee and a clothesline. Sheamus picks up a one count. Kane reverses a whip, but he lowers his head and eats a kick. Sheamus hits a powerslam for a near fall. Sheamus gets him on his shoulders, but Kane slides off and knees him in the midsection. Kane hits a low dropkick to the face for a near fall. Kane head-butts him before having a whip reversed into an Irish Curse backbreaker for a near fall. Sheamus drops some knees before tying him up in the ropes for the clubs to the chest. Kane blocks a suplex into the ring and pushes him off. Kane then snaps him off the top rope.
Kane goes up to the top rope, and Sheamus cuts him off. Sheamus punches away at him before attempting a superplex. Kane punches him off and goes for the flying lariat, but Sheamus sidesteps him. Sheamus hits White Noise before signaling for the end. Kane blocks the Brogue Kick and goes for the Chokeslam, but Sheamus slides off. Sheamus ducks a clothesline, hits the ropes, and they take out each other with a double clothesline. Alberto Del Rio and Ricardo Rodriguez run out to the ring, and Sheamus clotheslines Rodriguez down. The referee calls for the bell.
Winner by Disqualification: Sheamus
Match Rating: * 3/4
Sheamus challenges Del Rio to get into the ring, but he backs away. Kane slides back into the ring and uppercuts him down. Kane signals for the Chokeslam, but AJ makes her way to the ring smiling. Kane stares at her as she playfully smiles at him. She backs away, and Kane turns into a Brogue Kick from Sheamus! Sheamus calls for Del Rio, but he doesn’t get in the ring. Sheamus looks at Ricardo Rodriguez who is finally getting to his feet, and he Brogue Kicks him for good measure! Sheamus poses at the show ends.
Quick Match Results
Alberto Del Rio def. The Great Khali via Submission
Brodus Clay def. Derrick Bateman
Sin Cara def. Drew McIntyre
Ryback def. Tony Andriotis and Kevin Mahoney
Christian def. Dolph Ziggler (non-title)
Antonio Cesaro def. Jimmy Uso
Sheamus def. Kane via DQ (non-title)
Bump of the Night: Ryback’s vicious beat down of the two jobbers
Match of the Night: Christian vs. Dolph Ziggler **
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The show kicked off with a pretty hot segment between Sheamus and Alberto Del Rio. It started out goofy enough with Rodriguez coming out dressed like Sheamus. I’m not saying “goofy” as a bad thing. It was pretty darn funny. I suggest heading over to WWE’s site to check out a picture of him. Del Rio did a good job with his little bit and he no longer appears as the third party in this feud for the title. Sheamus then came out, and they duked it out in a good little back and forth battle. Then they sent out Teddy Long, and I have to admit that it was nice to see him back in his old role (sort of). I think it would have been pretty funny if he booked a tag team main event rather than two singles matches, but I guess they didn’t want to go with his obvious gimmick.
After that, we saw a decent little match between Del Rio and The Great Khali. Khali looked like he’s laboring more than ever to walk around the ring, so I was certainly impressed by his effort with Del Rio tonight. He didn’t embarrass himself, and Del Rio had a chance to develop more of that edge he’s been missing since coming back.
From there, we had a few enhancement matches. Brodus Clay is a full-time member on Smackdown, not that the brand split really means anything anymore. I guess since he’s the only one not allowed on Raw it’s a big deal? I don’t know. It seems like they’re setting up a little bit of a showdown with him and Big Show in the near future. I’d actually like to see that. Anyway, he killed Derrick Bateman. Sin Cara faced Drew McIntyre in a decent little match. I probably shouldn’t have listed Drew McIntyre as a jobber, but he did get the jobber entrance. He still had a nice match with Sin Cara, and he saved a botched finish as they improved the DDT as Sin Cara couldn’t get all the way over for La Mistica. Finally we rounded off this series of showcase matches with another Ryback squash. The jury is still out on how I feel about this guy. I need to see more direction with the character after it’s been on TV for two months now.
Christian and Cody Rhodes had a very good segment with the Peep Show tonight. For a feud that had nothing going heading into it, they sure got a lot of content out of this segment. They got their match made official for No Way Out and got me a little more emotionally invested in Christian’s face turn. They also addressed that issue of him turning face out of nowhere. Christian then followed it up with a very good match against Dolph Ziggler. Ziggler does what he does every week and he continues to impress me. Christian was no slouch either, but that Frog Splash does worry me. He’s an injury prone guy, so I just don’t see how a physical move such as the Frog Splash is a good idea for him to do every match.
I thought we were getting a real clunker of a segment with Hornswoggle doing a Jim Ross impression until Damien Sandow came out to save it. I think you all know where this is going. I love Damien Sandow. The guy is just so good it’s almost unfair to the rest of the guys trying to make a name for themselves, one of those guys being Antonio Cesaro, who I wasn’t incredibly impressed by this week. Granted he didn’t do much, but last week they ran a video package during the main event that hyped his appearance this week. They labeled him as “the future” in that video, and I felt it was kind of anticlimactic with the effort put into the segment.
Sheamus and Kane closed the show out with a nice match, but I was disturbed again with how terrible Sheamus’ selling was. It’s becoming a hole in his game for me now. I like the potential match-up between him and Del Rio on paper, but his arm selling is so suspect that it almost feels like it’s not a good fit. He was hanging by the arm off the stage on Monday and clutching it in tonight’s opening segment, then he’s diving off the top rope with shoulder blocks and flexing the arm constantly. It’s the little things that separate good performers from great ones. The great ones can add a little wince after doing a move involving “injured” limb or they’ll shake it to signal to the audience, “Hey, I’m wrestling this match injured.” Sheamus doesn’t do those things and it’s been taking me out of his matches. It’s separating him from being great in my eyes. It’s not all his fault, though. The writers don’t have to write these limb injuries into the storylines knowing his limitations. They saw how poorly he did with it last month and now they’re putting it in again. Still, it’s going to be an ongoing issue throughout his career until he makes the necessary strides to correct it. That is my opinion, of course. I hate to be the “selling snob” but I think it needs to be addressed.
Final Rating: ** 1/4
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