“Yes sir, we promised you a great main event…” The WWE video leads us into the show.
A bunch of superstars are having a Fourth of July BBQ outside. Natalya is talking to Yoshi Tatsu about how great Bret Hart is. Elsewhere, some divas pour water all over Hornswoggle, who is in a kiddie pool. Teddy Long, tonight’s General Manager, welcomes everyone to the Great American Bash on Super Smackdown Live. He wants everyone to have a good time. If they make a mess, they shouldn’t worry about it because he has someone to clean it up. Eve is shown in an unflattering maid outfit. Long says we can’t have a Great American Bash without the United States Champion Santino Marella. Santino goes to light the grill, but he’s too nervous. Kane shows up, and he uses his powers to make the grill explode with fire. Everyone begins to party.
The Smackdown video plays, and we’re brought into the arena with no fireworks. Josh Mathews, Booker T, and Michael Cole welcome us to the show. Tonight we’ll see a 20-man Battle Royal to determine who will be the General Manager of Smackdown next week. Michael Cole will also interview AJ about why she pushed CM Punk and Daniel Bryan off the turnbuckle last night on Raw.
Ricardo Rodriguez introduces Alberto Del Rio to the arena. Del Rio drives in with a beautiful 1979 Rolls Royce. They show footage of Del Rio viciously attacking Sin Cara before their match last night. This was done to send a message to Sheamus, who he will challenge for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at Money in the Bank. Del Rio is smiling at the footage. He says he’s not here to celebrate America. He’s here to talk about something more important than that – himself. Finally, he has his one-on-one title match against Sheamus. He’s going to destroy him and send him back to Ireland crying like a little girl. Now he knows why the people like Sheamus. It’s because he’s just like them – a peasant and a hooligan. Del Rio tells them not to hate him because he’s successful and they aren’t. He came to the country legally. He made a lot of money in Mexico, and he’s making a lot of money here. The people make him sick. That’s why after Money in the Bank, Sheamus is going back to the place where he belongs. He wants to do the same to the crowd. He wants to send them to the place where they belong. In fact, he wants to start right now.
They go outside the ring and tell an ethnic man to show them his papers. Del Rio goes up to a kid in a Cena shirt and says he’s here illegally. Del Rio demands to see another man’s papers, but he doesn’t have any. Del Rio says he’s going to get rid of one of them before he gets rid of Sheamus. Del Rio calls security out to take the man away. The man says, “This isn’t Arizona. This is Texas!”
Sheamus’ music hits, and he quickly comes down the ramp to attack Del Rio. Del Rio tried to use Rodriguez as a shield, but Sheamus got the best of him. Sheamus beats him up the ramp and throws him off. Rodriguez jumps on his back, but Sheamus quickly rips him off. Sheamus follows Del Rio and throws him into a barricade. Sheamus throws him into a second, and Rodriguez quickly gets back on him. Del Rio quickly kicks Sheamus in the head and punches away at him. Rodriguez lifts the hood of the 1979 Rolls Royce and shouts for Del Rio to put him in. Del Rio puts him on the engine and slams the hood up and down on him a few times. Del Rio stands over the World Heavyweight Champion as referees come out to check on Sheamus’ wellbeing.
They show some replays of Del Rio beating Sheamus down using that car hood. They then show footage of the referees helping him to the back. Sheamus has a cut on his forehead and is bleeding a bit.
The Great Khali and Layla vs. Antonio Cesaro and Aksana
The Great Khali and Antonio Cesaro will start the match out. Cesaro tries to punch Khali, but Khali quickly pushes him to the corner and chops the chest. Cesaro comes out, but Khali quickly pushes him back. Cesaro avoids a big boot in the corner, and Khali gets hung up in the ropes. Cesaro quickly gets a chop block and kicks him down. Cesaro blows a kiss to Aksana, and Khali grabs him to throw him back to the corner. Khali chops the chest and viciously clotheslines him down. Cesaro quickly gets out of the way of a Brain Chop and tags in Aksana. Layla quickly takes Aksana down with a Thesz Press. Layla keeps her away from her corner and slaps her on the posterior. Layla kicks her and hits a double springboard cross-body, but Cesaro pulls her off. Khali quickly rips him out of the ring. Layla ducks an Aksana slap and hits the Lay Out for the win.
Winner by Pinfall: The Great Khali and Layla
Match Rating: 1/2 *
The Great Khali and Layla celebrate their win with some dancing.
Teddy Long is walking around in his apron that says “Kiss The GM” when he bumps into Cody Rhodes. Rhodes is smiling, and Long asks what he’s smiling about. Rhodes says the Board of Directors has accepted his appeal, and they’ve granted him another Money in the Bank Qualifying Match tonight. Long says they’ve entrusted him to select his opponent. It won’t be against someone attempting to qualify. It’ll be against someone who is already in the match. This is a man Rhodes has yet to beat: the Intercontinental Champion Christian. Rhodes doesn’t look happy.
They show a video highlighting Mick Foley winning the WWF Championship back in January of 1999. That night, 600,000 people turned off Nitro after Tony Schiavone gave away the result of the match. Nitro would never beat Raw in the rating again.
Money in the Bank Qualifying Match
Cody Rhodes vs. Christian
They circle the ring and lock up. Rhodes gets a quick side headlock applied, but Christian quickly whips him off. Rhodes takes him down with a shoulder block and gets a one count. Rhodes quickly punches him down again and gets another one count. Rhodes applies a waistlock, but Christian elbows him in the mouth. Christian sends him to the corner, but he runs into a boot. Christian quickly comes back with a flapjack for a one count. Rhodes pushes him to the corner and counters a pendulum kick. Rhodes sits him up and dropkicks him to the apron. Rhodes snaps the arm off the top rope, pulls him in, and covers a few times for a two count.
We come back from the break to see Rhodes applying a hammerlock. Christian soon fights up and gets the crowd on his side. Christian elbows out and tries to go into the ropes, but Rhodes pulls him back by the arm. Rhodes applies a hammerlock and slams him down for a two count. Rhodes hits a front suplex for another two count. Rhodes stomps away at the arm and punches away. Rhodes stretches the arm around the top rope before setting him up. Christian punches him away and hits a second rope missile dropkick.
Christian punches Rhodes down before leaping over the top rope and hitting an uppercut. Christian hits the ropes and hits a dropkick to the face. Christian hits a cross-body block for a near fall. Christian signals for the Kill Switch, but Rhodes kicks and uppercuts him. Rhodes uses the ropes to kick him in the midsection. Rhodes goes for an Alabama Slam, but Christian rolls him up for a near fall. Rhodes throws him into the ring post shoulder first and rolls him up, but Christian kicks out at two and a half. Rhodes yells at the referee, and Christian sneaks up behind him for a reverse DDT. That gets Christian a near fall. Christian goes for a Spear, but Rhodes kicks him in the face. Christian ducks a Beautiful Disaster, Rhodes pushes out of a Kill Switch, and he drops Christian with the Cross Rhodes for the win!
Winner by Pinfall: Cody Rhodes
Match Rating: * 1/2
Cody Rhodes will join Damien Sandow, Tyson Kidd, Tensai, Christian, and Santino Marella in the Money in the Bank match for a shot at the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Rhodes looks up at the briefcase hanging over the ring.
They show the party going on backstage. Zack Ryder finds Teddy Long and asks if he could be the DJ. Ryder says he’s going to play some Backstreet Boys. Heath Slater says no one wants to hear that. Slater says he’ll be the entertainment. Slater sings his song, and they throw trash at him. Ryder gets on the DJ booth and plays Brodus Clay’s music. He comes in with the Funkadactyls and dances with everyone.
JOBBER ALERT: Alex Riley is in the ring with no TV entrance.
EXCUSE ME! Vickie Guerrero makes her way out to the stage to a massive amount of boos. She says as Queen Diva, it is her honor to give America the greatest birthday gift ever. This is the next qualifier for the Money in the Bank match and future World Heavyweight Champion, Dolph Ziggler.
Money in the Bank Qualifier
Alex Riley vs. Dolph Ziggler w/ Vickie Guerrero
The bell rings, and Ziggler starts to talk some trash. Riley immediately dropkicks him down and picks up a near fall. Ziggler quickly kicks him in the knee and hits a neck breaker for a one count. Ziggler punches him in the face and stomps him before hitting an elbow drop for a two count. Ziggler applies a chin lock and does a pose to show off. Riley eventually fights up and hits a back suplex. Ziggler runs into a back elbow and takes some clotheslines. Riley ducks a clothesline and hits a spinebuster for a near fall. Riley goes for an impaler DDT, but Ziggler pushes him to the corner. Riley sidesteps a splash and rolls him up for another near fall. Ziggler quickly snaps his neck off the top rope and hits a Zig-Zag for the win.
Winner by Pinfall: Dolph Ziggler
Match Rating: 1/2 *
Dolph Ziggler will now join Damien Sandow, Tyson Kidd, Christian, Santino Marella, Tensai, and Cody Rhodes in the Money in the Bank match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
Michael Cole will interview AJ, next.
Michael Cole interviews AJ
Michael Cole is in the ring, and he asks the crowd for their attention. He introduces one of the most controversial figures in the WWE, and her name is AJ. AJ skips out to the ring and stands before Cole. Cole says he’s interviewed her before, and he’s been nothing but fair and balanced, unlike her, who’s been anything but “balanced” lately. AJ goes to talk, but Cole cuts her off. Cole says he’ll give her a chance to talk and explain why she did what she did at the end of Monday Night Raw. They then show a video package highlighting AJ’s mental decline last night. It culminated with her pushing CM Punk and Daniel Bryan through a table.
Cole asks AJ, “What the hell were you thinking?” AJ says a lot of people have asked her that question. Cole says he’ll answer it for her. He says she wasn’t thinking. She switches allegiances on a dime, and he says the WWE Board of Directors has made a huge mistake naming her the guest referee at Money in the Bank. Cole says she’s nothing more than a troubled little girl. She holds in her hands the fate of the most prestigious championship in the history of the business. He says she’s delusional and is living out a tug of war fantasy between two guys that he can’t see anything in. Cole asks if she’s ever thought about pursuing a real man. AJ smiles at him. Cole says maybe a former war correspondent now turned “Voice of the WWE”. A man with fame and fortune. Cole says she can have “all of this.”
Daniel Bryan’s music hits, and he makes his way out to the ring clutching his ribs. Bryan says Cole thinks he’s a big, tough investigative journalist, but he isn’t. Cole is a sexist and a bully. When Cole doesn’t like a story, he becomes like the rest of the media. He makes up stuff. This story isn’t about Cole. Bryan turns and looks at AJ. He says he knows AJ better than anyone. Bryan says he knows she’s treating the job seriously, and he knows she’ll do an excellent job. He also knows that she didn’t mean for both of them to go through the table. She only wanted CM Punk to hit the table, according to him. Bryan says he forgives her for not realizing that he was in the line of fire.
CM Punk’s music hits, and the WWE Champion makes his way to the ring. Punk tells Cole to get out of the ring, and he does. AJ waves goodbye at him. Punk says two people were directly affected by her actions: Daniel Bryan and himself. Last night, he fell through a table, so his body is wrecked. Its days and situations like that you expect when you become a wrestler. What he won’t do, unlike Daniel Bryan, is act like it didn’t happen. He won’t suck up to her just because she’s the guest referee. Punk is going to be blunt because he’s worried about her. She’s not in a good place mentally. Maybe some of that is his fault, and he should have said something sooner. Because of that, he’s sorry. She needs professional help, and what he’s not going to do, unlike Bryan, is toy with her emotions. She doesn’t deserve that. She’s a sweet girl.
Bryan says that’s a load of garbage. Bryan says Punk is just trying to make it sound like he cares about AJ, but Punk doesn’t. He cares about AJ. Bryan says the only thing CM Punk cares about is that she’s the referee because he needs her to beat him. They throw down their microphones, and she steps between them. AJ looks at Bryan, and she passionately kisses him on the lips. Punk looks upset and leaves the ring. AJ quickly gets out, turns him around, and passionately kisses him on the lips as well. Bryan can’t believe his eyes in the ring. Punk is frozen in his spot, and she skips away. Both men are left looking bewildered. AJ stands at the top of the ramp doing the “Yes” motion.
Santino Marella introduces his tag team partner, WWE Hall of Famer Sgt. Slaughter. His other partner puts the “2×4” in USA, WWE Hall of Famer “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan.
Hunico, Camacho and Drew McIntyre vs. Santino Marella, Sgt. Slaughter and “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan
Sgt. Slaughter will start against Sgt. Slaughter. Slaughter wrenches the arm and elbows away. Santino is tagged in, and Camacho quickly takes him down. Camacho hits a body slam and tags in Hunico, who comes in with a slingshot plancha. Drew McIntyre is tagged in, and he kicks Santino in the face. McIntyre hits a snap suplex for a two count. McIntyre applies an arm bar, but Santino fights out. Duggan and Hunico are tagged in. Duggan punches away at him and hits a clothesline. Duggan hits the Three Point Stance Clothesline, but Camacho and McIntyre break it up. Slaughter applies the Cobra Clutch to Camacho, and Santino gets McIntyre out of the ring. Duggan hits a back elbow and tags in Santino. Duggan clotheslines Hunico, Santino gets the Cobra out, and the Cobra strikes for the win.
Winners by Pinfall: Santino Marella, Sgt. Slaughter and “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan
Match Rating: 1/2 *
The party is still going on backstage. Teddy Long is talking with R-Truth, and he’s trying to feed Little Jimmy. The music stops, and Damien Sandow is seen holding the plug. Sandow says this is not what the Founding Fathers would have wanted. Zack Ryder gets in his face and asks what his problem is. Ryder says if he doesn’t want to be here, then he should leave. Sandow and Ryder brawl. Ryder goes to throw a punch bowl on him, but Sandow avoids it, leaving Eve to take the full punch bath. Everyone laughs, and Long says this is his kind of party. Eve screams and stomps off. The music starts again and everyone dances.
JOBBER ALERTS: Curt Hawkins is in the ring with Tyler Reks. Reks says Hawkins thinks he can beat Ryback. Reks says he knows he can beat Ryback, but they flipped a Kane, and Hawkins won. Reks wishes him luck.
Curt Hawkins w/ Tyler Reks vs. Ryback
Hawkins punches Ryback, but he doesn’t feel it. Ryback tries to go for a body slam, but Hawkins gets out. Hawkins jumps on his back for a sleeper hold, but Ryback hits the sit-out jawbreaker. Ryback slams him down a bit before hitting a belly-to-belly suplex. A “Goldberg” chant has broken out. Ryback destroys him with a clothesline and hits the fisherman’s suplex slam for the win.
Winner by Pinfall: Ryback
Match Rating: N/A
They show some footage from earlier in the night when Sheamus and Del Rio brawled. It ended with Del Rio smashing Sheamus with his car hood over and over again. Sheamus was helped out of the arena, bleeding from the head. Because of the attack, Sheamus cannot compete in the 20-man Battle Royal tonight.
The Great American Bash 20-Man Battle Royal for the chance to be General Manager next week is coming up next.
Teddy Long’s music hits, and he makes his way out to the stage. Long asks the crowd if they’ve had a great time at the Great American Bash. They did. Long thanks the WWE Board of Directors and the WWE Universe. He doesn’t know whether he’ll be the permanent GM, but he had a blast tonight, and he has the crowd to thank for it. It’s now time to find out who will be the General Manager of Smackdown for next week. It’s time for the Great American Bash Battle Royal!
Alberto Del Rio, Kane, Jack Swagger, and John Cena make their entrances.
The Great American Bash Battle Royal
Alberto Del Rio vs. Kane vs. Jack Swagger vs. John Cena vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Heath Slater vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Brodus Clay vs. Damien Sandow vs. Ezekiel Jackson vs. Christian vs. Cody Rhodes vs. Zack Ryder vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Santino Marella vs. Justin Gabriel vs. The Great Khali vs. Tensai vs. CM Punk vs. Big Show
A huge brawl breaks out, and Big Show immediately throws Justin Gabriel out of the ring. Brodus Clay is dumped out soon after by Big Show. Kane works over CM Punk as Tensai eliminates Ezekiel Jackson. A few superstars soon eliminate The Great Khali. Kofi Kingston and CM Punk try to eliminate Jack Swagger. Ryder eventually gets rid of Damien Sandow. Cody Rhodes quickly eliminates Santino Marella. Tensai is trying to get Kane out of the ring. Cody Rhodes and Big Show start fighting. Big Show quickly grabs him and Kingston by the throat before eliminating them both from the match.
We come back from the break to see CM Punk and Daniel Bryan brawling. Punk hits Bryan with a cross-body, and they both go over the top rope, eliminated from the match. Kane clotheslines Tensai and big boots Christian. Kane sends Del Rio to the corner and hits a sloppy sidewalk slam. Kane drops Cena with a Chokeslam, and Big Show grabs Kane by the throat. Kane breaks the grip, grabs Big Show, and Chokeslams him down. Tensai quickly blindsides Kane and beats him down in the corner. Tensai, Del Rio, and Ziggler stand over Cena and take shots. Cena fight them off and hits Tensai with a back suplex powerbomb. Cena quickly hits a back body drop on Del Rio and another back suplex powerbomb on Ziggler. Cena eliminates Del Rio from the match and hits Kane with the Attitude Adjustment.
Tensai quickly tries to eliminate Cena, but Cena breaks the grip. Cena powers him up and dumps him over the top rope. Big Show then comes from behind and eliminates Cena! Ryder tries to surprise Big Show, but Big Show spears him down. Christian tries something similar, but Big Show throws him over the top rope. Ziggler jumps on Big Show’s back, and Kane big boots Big Show, sending him and Ziggler over the top rope! It’s down to Kane and Zack Ryder. Kane beats Ryder down in the corner and goes for a powerslam, but Ryder slides off. Kane quickly big boots him down. Kane sends him to the corner, but Ryder catches him with a drop-toe-hold. Ryder hits the Broski Boot and goes for the Rough Ryder, but Kane goes for a Chokeslam. Ryder gets out of it and pulls down the top rope as Kane charges him. Kane flies over the top rope, and Zack Ryder wins the match!
Winner: Zack Ryder
Match Rating: * 1/2
Zack Ryder will be the General Manager of Smackdown next week. He celebrates big time in the ring with the crowd.
Quick Match Results
The Great Khali and Layla def. Antonio Cesaro and Aksana
MITB Qualifier: Cody Rhodes def. Christian (non-title)
MITB Qualifier: Dolph Ziggler def. Alex Riley
Santino Marella, Sgt. Slaughter and Jim Duggan def. Hunico, Camacho and Drew McIntyre
Ryback def. Curt Hawkins
Zack Ryder wins the Great American Bash Battle Royal
Bump of the Night: Del Rio’s beat down of Sheamus
Match of the Night: Cody Rhodes vs. Christian * 1/2
Well as far as live episodes of Smackdown go, this one definitely didn’t suck, which is a plus considering the live shows they’ve put out in the past. They got the crowd going early with a good segment between Sheamus and Alberto Del Rio. Del Rio got the crowd hot by going around and asking for their immigration papers. If I didn’t know any better, I’d say WWE was trying to make a political statement toward Arizona’s immigration policies. Anyway, Sheamus got a really nice reaction for coming out to break that up. The beat down by Del Rio near the car had me thinking that they were going to do another arm angle, but they went the better route with just having Sheamus be beaten down without any specific limb injured. They bloodied Sheamus up pretty good with the car hood so that should make the bloodhounds happy.
Cody Rhodes did a really nice job in his match with Christian tonight. He showed some good emotion, executed well, and told a nice story in the ring. I liked his emotion two weeks ago screaming that he is Smackdown and this is his time. It’s nice to see him following up a string of good performances in recent weeks. I’m looking forward to seeing what he’ll do at Money in the Bank. The addition of Dolph Ziggler to the match also intrigues me. I could see either of these two getting the win, though I’m leaning more toward Ziggler.
The CM Punk/Daniel Bryan/AJ segment was one of the more unsanitary segments I’ve seen in a while (technically, CM Punk has Daniel Bryan’s saliva all over his lips), but it was effective. This started out as being an interview between AJ and Michael Cole, but AJ, the interviewee, didn’t say more than five words the entire time. Michael Cole turned into a degenerate, then CM Punk and Daniel Bryan came out to talk her out of her crazy cloud, and all the while she stood there emoting something fierce. AJ is without a doubt my favorite diva going right now. You never know what to expect from her. I can’t remember the last time I was this excited about a diva.
So Zack Ryder will be the guest GM of Smackdown next week. That should be interesting. Ryder has kind of fallen off the radar lately, appearing off and on in random spots most of the time. I think a night of some attention on him as the guest GM should do him some good.
Final Rating: ** 1/4
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Thanks for reading! Have a Happy Fourth of July!