“Yes sir, we promised you a great main event…” The WWE video leads us into the show.
A video hypes up Smackdown’s Interim General Manager Zack Ryder. Ryder won the Great American Bash Battle Royal to win the opportunity.
The Smackdown video plays, and we’re brought into the arena with a big fireworks display. The stage reads the show as “Zackdown”. Josh Mathews, Booker T, and Michael Cole welcome us to the show.
Lillian Garcia asks the crowd to welcome the Interim General Manager for the evening, Zack Ryder. Michael Cole immediately complains as Ryder makes his way to the ring. Ryder welcomes everyone to the very first Friday Night Zackdown. His first act as General Manager is to organize the world’s largest fist pump with the crowd. The crowd pumps their fists with him. Ryder says this is going to be the greatest Smackdown ever. It’s gonna be siiiiick. Woo, woo, woo – you know it.
Alberto Del Rio’s music hits, and Ricardo Rodriguez introduces him as they make their way down the ramp. Del Rio says he thought Teddy Long was a joke when he was the General Manager, but Ryder, a stupid clown who calls himself the Internet Champion of the World takes the cake. Del Rio says this Sunday he’ll become the real World Champion, and after that he will rule Smackdown. Ryder corrects him and says that this is Zackdown. Ryder says someone wants to get their hands on Del Rio, and that person is his opponent right now. Sin Cara’s music hits, and he makes his way down to the ring. They show footage of Del Rio assaulting Sin Cara before their match on Raw two weeks ago.
Alberto Del Rio vs. Sin Cara
Sin Cara quickly sidesteps Del Rio and dropkicks him in the knee. Cara punches away at him, hits the ropes, and eats a clothesline. Del Rio quickly covers for a one count. Del Rio whiffs on a kick and covers again for a one count. Del Rio quickly hits a nice suplex for another one count. Del Rio looks frustrated before choking him on the ropes. Del Rio whips him to the corner and charges, but Sin Cara sidesteps him. Cara quickly kicks and punches away at him before the referee rips him off. Cara DDTs him for a near fall. Del Rio reverses a whip and takes him down with a back elbow. Del Rio body slams him for a two count. Del Rio goes to jump on him on the ropes, but Sin Cara moves. Del Rio hangs on to the apron, so Cara sends him to the outside with a kick to the temple. Cara quickly takes him down with a suicide dive and gets back into the ring to soak up the adulation of the crowd.
We come back from the break to see Cara charge at Del Rio and hit him with a solid kick for a near fall. Del Rio reverses a whip to the corner, but he runs into a back elbow. Cara goes to the second rope, but Del Rio cuts him off. Del Rio grabs him and hits a shoulder-breaker for a near fall. Del Rio punches away at him and applies an arm bar. Cara tries to fight out of it, but Del Rio quickly stops the momentum. Del Rio sends him into the ropes, but lowers his head and eats a kick. Cara hits the ropes, and Del Rio catches him with a tilt a whirl backbreaker for a one count. Del Rio wrenches the arm and punches away at it. Cara goes to the ground, and Del Rio stomps the injured limb for a two count. Del Rio applies another arm bar. Cara fights up, but Del Rio kicks him in the kidneys, taking him down.
Cara gets up in the corner and sidesteps Del Rio. Cara quickly takes him down with a running hurricanrana, and the crowd starts to get into it. Cara knees away at him, but Del Rio pushes him off. Del Rio charges into the boots, and Cara counters a tilt a whirl into a DDT for a near fall. Cara goes to the top rope, but Del Rio avoids the top rope senton. Del Rio immediately capitalizes with a Cross Arm Breaker for the submission victory.
Winner by Submission: Alberto Del Rio
Match Rating: *
They show John Cena’s video posting on the new social media forum, Tout.
Teddy Long tells Zack Ryder that he’s doing a great job running Smackdown. Big Show walks up to him, and he says that Ryder is doing a terrible job. Big Show can’t believe he won the match last night. Big Show says that Ryder shouldn’t be the General Manager – he should be. Big Show says maybe he will, and he goes to punch him, but Khali cuts him off. Ryder says Khali will be Big Show’s opponent tonight. Ryder thanks him, and Khali says, “Woo, woo, woo – you know it!”
AW introduces his tag team, the Prime Time Players, to the ring. Darren Young will be in a one-on-one match.
Darren Young w/ AW and Titus O’Neil vs. Primo w/ Epico and Rosa Mendes
They lock up, and Young pushes him away. Primo punches back at him and head-butts him to the corner. Young reverses a whip to the corner, but he runs into the boots. Primo catches him with a flying hurricanrana before chopping and punching him down. Young reverses a whip into the ropes, but Primo is able to avoid the clothesline. Young charges, and Primo dropkicks him into the ropes. Primo charges and splashes him on the ropes. AW has been shouting instructions through him microphone throughout the match so far. Titus O’Neil distracts Primo, so Young catches him off guard with a flapjack into the ropes. Young gets a one count as AW says this beat down is courtesy of All World Promotions. Young dances a bit before stomping him, dragging him to the apron, and clubbing his chest. Young drops a leg on the apron before picking up a two count.
Primo punches back, but Young takes him down with a neckbreaker for a two count. Young covers again for a one count. Young signals for the end. Young hits a snapmare, drops a leg, then an elbow, and finishes with a falling forearm for a one count. Young applies a neck vice, but Primo backs him to the corner. Primo punches and goes for a springboard cross-body, but Young rolls through while picking him up. Young goes for something, but Primo slides off and shoves him to the corner. Young counters a Back Stabber and goes to pick him up, but Primo surprises him with an inside cradle for the win.
Winner by Pinfall: Primo
Match Rating: 3/4 *
Tonight, we’ll take a look at the love triangle between CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, and AJ.
Sheamus is backstage with Zack Ryder. Chris Jericho walks up and says he can’t believe Ryder is in charge tonight. Jericho calls Ryder a train wreck. Sheamus says if he wants a train wreck, then he should get into the ring with him. Ryder says that’s a great idea. Jericho says he’s just here as an observer. Tonight, Sheamus will go one-on-one with Jericho. Sheamus says his train is going to run all over Jericho.
Later tonight, we’ll also see The Great Khali take on the Big Show.
Christian and Santino Marella vs. Dolph Ziggler and Cody Rhodes w/ Vickie Guerrero
Christian will start the match off against Cody Rhodes. They lock up, and Rhodes quickly gets a side headlock applied. Christian whips him off, but Rhodes takes him down with a shoulder block. Rhodes laughs and points up to the briefcase hanging above the ring. Christian goes for the test of strength, but Rhodes kicks him down. Rhodes goes into the ropes, but Christian takes him down with a pair of shoulder blocks. Santino is tagged in, and Rhodes cowers away saying he wants nothing to do with him. Ziggler is tagged in, and he takes Santino down with a single leg and a fireman’s carry. Ziggler punches him down and sends him to the corner, but Santino slingshots over him and hits an arm drag. Santino keeps the arm bar applied. Santino wrenches the arm and tags in Christian, who comes off the second rope with an axe handle to the arm. Christian punches him, slingshots over the top rope with an uppercut, and snaps him off the top rope for a two count.
Ziggler knees and punches him down before tagging Rhodes back in. Rhodes sends him into the corner, but Christian fights off both Rhodes and Ziggler. Christian goes for a tornado DDT, but Rhodes counters with a front slam for a two count. Ziggler is tagged in, and Rhodes picks Christian up for Ziggler to dropkick. Ziggler picks up a near fall. Ziggler elbows him and applies a chin lock. Christian fights out and hits the ropes, but Ziggler turns him inside out with a knee to the midsection. Rhodes is tagged in, and he catches Christian with a delayed front suplex for a near fall. Rhodes hangs him up on the ropes and kicks him in the midsection. Rhodes goes for an Alabama Slam, but Christian goes for a sunset flip. Rhodes rolls through it and runs into a flapjack.
Santino and Ziggler are both tagged in. Santino hits some stinging jabs, splits under a clothesline, and hits a hip toss. Santino hits the ropes and hits a falling head-butt before taking the Cobra out. Rhodes quickly attacks him from behind, so Christian takes him out, clotheslining him out of the ring. Christian goes outside to continue the assault as Ziggler hits the Zig-Zag for the win.
Winners by Pinfall: Dolph Ziggler and Cody Rhodes
Match Rating: * 1/2
The Raw Rebound airs, which highlights AJ slapping both CM Punk and Daniel Bryan before leaving the ring.
Big Show vs. The Great Khali
They lock up, and Big Show chops Khali’s chest. Big Show goes for another, but Khali pushes him against the ropes and chops him twice. Khali taunts the crowd and turns into a WMD from the Big Show for the loss.
Winner by Pinfall: Big Show
Match Rating: N/A
Sheamus will take on Chris Jericho later tonight.
Tyler Reks w/ Curt Hawkins vs. Ryback
Tyler Reks says he’ll do what his tag team partner Curt Hawkins couldn’t do last week, and that’s hand Ryback his first loss.
They lock up, and Reks knees away at him before shoving him to the corner. Reks kicks and punches him in the corner before the referee backs him off. Reks hits the ropes, and Ryback takes him down with a big boot. Ryback slams him off the mat a few times before throwing him out of the ring at Hawkins’s feet. Ryback pulls him up to the apron by his hair, and Reks snaps him off the top rope. Reks hits the ropes, but Ryback catches him with a belly-to-belly overhead suplex. Ryback runs into Reks’ boot, and Reks punches him in the midsection. Reks hits the ropes, and Ryback lays him out with a lariat. Ryback hits him with the fisherman’s suplex bomb for the win.
Winner by Pinfall: Ryback
Match Rating: 1/2 *
Sheamus will take on Chris Jericho in a non-title match later tonight.
Justin Gabriel vs. Damien Sandow
They lock up, and Sandow pushes Gabriel into the ropes. Sandow tries for a hip toss, but Gabriel lands on his feet and takes Sandow down for a no count. Sandow quickly takes him down and hits a side leg sweep before hitting the Elbow of Disdain. Sandow applies a chin lock, but Gabriel fights up. Sandow head-butts him before sending him into the ropes, but Gabriel rolls over him. Gabriel hits some kicks and chops. Sandow ducks a roundhouse, but Gabriel still catches him with one. Sandow sidesteps him in the corner, hits some vicious knees to the midsection, and hits a double arm neckbreaker for the win. Sandow does a cartwheel after his victory.
Winner by Pinfall: Damien Sandow
Match Rating: N/A
They show a video of Hornswoggle being revealed as the anonymous Raw General Manager.
Sheamus will take on Chris Jericho in a non-title match, next.
Sheamus vs. Chris Jericho
They circle the ring and lock up. Sheamus powers Jericho to the corner and gives a clean break. Jericho talks a little trash and slaps him. Sheamus unloads on him with clubs before sending him to the ropes. Jericho holds on and gets out of the ring to recover. Sheamus follows, and Jericho runs away. Jericho gets into the ring and runs into a slingshot shoulder block, giving Sheamus a near fall. Sheamus punches him down and drops a few knees. Sheamus puts him in the corner, but he runs into a boot. Jericho catches him with a missile dropkick for a one count. Jericho knees him in the midsection and mashes his face a bit. Sheamus turns him in the corner and knees away at him. Sheamus sends him to the corner, but Jericho goes to the apron. Sheamus then catches him with the clubs to the chest. Sheamus then knocks him off the apron into the commentary table.
We come back from the break to see Jericho kick and knee Sheamus in the head. Jericho applies a chin lock as we see that Jericho threw Sheamus into the steps during the commercial break. Sheamus fights up, but Jericho chops him. Jericho sends him to the corner, but Sheamus sidesteps him as he charged, sending Jericho into the ring post. Sheamus hits some running hammers, shoulders him in the midsection, and hits a high knee lift. Jericho gets out of a powerslam, but he gets caught with the Irish Curse for a near fall.
Sheamus sends him to the corner and catches him trying to slingshot. Sheamus hits a rolling fireman’s carry for a near fall. Jericho pokes him in the eyes and goes for a Codebreaker, but Sheamus gets out. Jericho ducks a Brogue Kick, and Sheamus gets hung up in the ropes. Jericho hits a dropkick and follows up with a Lionsault for a near fall. Jericho charges into a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for a near fall. Sheamus goes for Pale Justice, but Jericho counters into the Walls of Jericho. Sheamus quickly claws to the bottom rope. Jericho argues with the referee before running to a White Noise attempt. Jericho counters out and applies the Walls of Jericho again. Sheamus fights to the bottom rope, but Jericho pulls him to the middle of the ring. Sheamus teases that he’s going to tap out, but he instead powers out.
Sheamus catches him with White Noise, but he gets a near fall. Sheamus gets a crazed look in the corner and signals for the finish. Jericho ducks a Brogue Kick and hits the Codebreaker! Jericho takes some time before covering for a near fall. Sheamus fights him off, pulls himself up to the top rope, and leaps into a Codebreaker! Jericho appears to have hurt his knee during the exchange. Jericho crawls over and picks up a near fall. Jericho screams for Sheamus to get up, and he runs into a Brogue Kick! Sheamus picks up the win!
Winner by Pinfall: Sheamus
Match Rating: ** 1/2
Sheamus goes up the ramp and holds the title up. Alberto Del Rio’s music hits, and he drives into the arena. Sheamus goes to investigate, and Del Rio attacks him from behind. Ricardo Rodriguez was driving the car. Del Rio kicks him off the stage and applies the Cross Arm Breaker as Sheamus hangs off the stage.
Quick Match Results
Alberto Del Rio def. Sin Cara via Submission
Primo def. Darren Young
Dolph Ziggler and Cody Rhodes def. Christian and Santino Marella
Big Show def. The Great Khali
Damien Sandow def. Justin Gabriel
Sheamus def. Chris Jericho (non-title)
Bump of the Night: Sin Cara’s suicide dive
Match of the Night: Sheamus vs. Chris Jericho ** 1/2
So Zack Ryder wins a Battle Royal to become General Manager for one night, and he does nothing to further his career, like putting himself into a Money in the Bank Qualifying match? Seems like a missed opportunity for him. Other than them calling the show “Zackdown” all night, his character had zero going on with this show. He had a lame little opener and some backstage segments.
Alberto Del Rio vs. Sin Cara just wasn’t that good. I don’t know if they were lagging because this was the second taping after Raw and they were tired or what, but this was sloppy and completely uninspired. The main event on the other hand, despite being kind of finisher happy toward the end, was fun and engaging. The assault afterward was well done. They already did it on Raw last month, but Del Rio’s injury wasted the angle, so they recycled it for this Sunday. I’m glad they saved it for tonight so we didn’t have to suffer through Sheamus selling an arm injury for a few weeks.
The rest of the show was just bland filler matches. Heck, they had Damien Sandow out for a match, and he didn’t even talk. Big Show vs. Khali, which they promoted with graphics and a backstage segment, lasted all of thirty seconds.
Final Rating: * 3/4
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