Commentators: Michael Cole, Josh Matthews & Booker T
Championship’s roll call: WWE Champion: CM Punk… World Champion: Sheamus… Intercontinental Champion: Christian… United States Champion: Santino Marella… Tag Team Champions: Primo & Epico… Diva’s Champion: Layla
Eve Torres opens the show; I like her entrance music. She reiterates that John Laurinaitis is still the GM and he defeated John Cena but he is not there this week because of an international business trip. This announcement elicits cheers; Eve is in charge that elicits boos. She is out to force Sheamus to apologize for running over Laurinaitis on Raw and announce his opponent for No Way Out. Alberto Del Rio comes out to plead his case for the number one contender spot. He also feels that he was screwed out of the title. He kisses her ass and then says that it would make Laurinaitis proud as him as the number one contender. Eve begins to talk but is interrupted by Randy Orton. Orton suggests that we poll the WWE Universe as to who they want as the number one contender because he’s a babyface; he says “in the name of People Power” you’ve got your answer. Kane has decided to re-interject himself back into the main event comes out to add his input. Kane says the “pasty white ghost” Sheamus should face the Devil’s favorite demon because this is SmackDown episode #666. Eve democratically books a number one contender triple threat main event. 4/10 Standard “I wanna be the number one contender” opening promo with authority figure booking all participants in the main event for said number one contender’s spot.
Christian vs. Hunico (w/Camacho): Stills from the People Power battle royal and subsequent IC title match are shown as we head into this match. So this reboot of Christian puts him back to about when he was main eventing ECW. Christian comes out and after a break, Hunico is in the ring (he has music though). Hunico tries to speed the match up with an Irish whip but Christian elbows him. He uses boots and chops to a better result until he tries to run the ropes again and gets backdropped. Hunico heads to the floor where Christian gives chase but Camacho provides a distraction allowing Hunico to post him; he then topés out onto Captain Charisma. Back in the ring, Hunico boots and kicks he tries a springboard senton but Christian moves and spinebusters him. He fires up with forearms and tries a missile dropkick but Hunico catches his boots and jackknifes him; Christian rolls through for another nearfall. Christian punches Hunico right in the face and hits a second-rope rolling elbow. He looks for the Killswitch but Camacho senses the loss and hops up on the apron. Christian dropkicks him off but the distraction works as Hunico boots him in the gut. He looks for that tight Olympic Slam move but Christian twists through into a Killswitch. He goes up and drops the Peep Splash for three. 5.5/10 Really short squash match but better than your usual uncompetitive one. Hunico is a good wrestler that makes everyone he faces look better (like the heel version of Tyson Kidd) and he may fall into the Tito Santana spot if he is not careful.
After Christian’s win, Cody Rhodes comes out; he says he spent months kicking the dirt off the Intercontinental title restoring it into prominence. He’s restored it back to when greats like Razor Ramon, Shawn Michaels and Randy Savage held it. Macho still elicits a very good respect reaction when his name is mentioned, almost like the fans (and wrestlers) are DETERMINED to keep Randy in the WWE Universe, despite the WWE trying otherwise. I wholeheartedly agree with the fans and wrestlers. Christian ruined it because no one cares about him and therefore no one likes the title anymore. He promises he will win the title during his rematch. 5.5/10 Now here’s a feud I could get in to. I like that Cody isn’t fading into the background, although main event elevation will be nice, I figured by the end of 2012, Rhodes should be ready.
The Usos vs. Darren Young & Titus O’Neal: All of the teams are already in the ring; earlier in the evening these four had a hilarious exchange making fun of each other’s respective dances, the Siva Tau and the “millions of dollars”. Jey Uso calls Darren’s hair a boom microphone. O’Neil and Jey start off and Titus drops his head for a backdrop and eats an uppercut. The Usos exchange quick and hit a double head-butt and tandem whip splash. Titus finally takes over when Jey distracts the referee allowing a huge boot to Jey; Young tags and O’Neil suplex splashes Young onto Jey. Young hits a swinging neckbreaker and tosses him into O’Neil’s boot. Jey counters a charge in the corner with a Euro uppercut and tags in Jimmy. He fires up with clotheslines and a Samoan drop. The Samoan Avalanche nets two and O’Neil and Jey rush in to break the match apart. The illegal men wind up brawling on the floor as Jimmy NAILS Young with a superkick. He heads to the top but Titus recovers and briefly distracts him which permits Young to crotch him and tag out. The Demolition Decapitation gets three for Young and O’Neil. Post-match the “millions of dollars” dance makes an appearance. 5/10 Good match; the Usos are the Tyson Kidd/Hunico of the tag division.
Ryback vs. Brian Edwards & Kevin Bendl two-on-one handicap match: The jobbers make fun of the crowd and Ryback. So we’ve moved up from singles jobbers to handicap jobbers for him to destroy. Ryback is sporting a NASTY black eye. Ryback boots Edwards down and then hoists him up for a powerbomb; he wings him around and wipes out Bendl and then completes the move. Ryback obliterates Bendl with a spinebuster into a powerbomb. He ends Edwards’ life with a Sheffield Lariat and then hoists them BOTH up for the muscle buster, flattens them, and piles them both up for the simultaneous pinfall. 6.5/10 Best squash ever! That finish was quite impressive and Ryback busted out some new moves too. FEED THE RYBACK!
Santino Marella vs. Ricardo Rodriguez: This was brought on by their hilarious exchange from Raw. Ricardo has some ridiculous Mariachi music as he introduces himself down the aisle. Ricardo does his best Mr. Fuji impression, wrestling in a tux, all he’s missing is the bowler. This match is powered strictly by characterizations despite both actually being good wrestlers. Ricardo tries to lock up with Santino’s midsection so Santino places his hand where it belongs for a proper collar-and-elbow tie up and immediately clamps on a headlock. Ricardo fires him off but eats a shoulderblock. Santino runs the ropes so Rodriguez leapfrogs him and crisscrosses the ropes. Santino stops but Ricardo does not so he watches him bound off the ropes a few times, exhausting himself. Santino with the airplane spin allowing Ricardo to oversell the dizziness; Marella tries to bounce off the ropes, but he’s dizzy too, and falls through them to the floor. Ricardo yells at him from inside the ring; Marella goes under the ring but comes out the same side and bops Ricardo with the Cobra from behind for three. 6.5/10 As far as in-ring skill and match quality, there was zero but as far as entertaining silliness in the ring that was a ten; split it down the middle and give it a few extra points because I enjoyed it.
Sheamus comes out. He decides to channel his inner Lance Storm and gets serious about apologizing to John Laurinaitis. He calls it an accident and therefore he should not have to apologize for it. He then calls it accidentally on purpose. He tries to apologize but cannot seem to do it but eventually apologizes… for Laurinaitis being a giant arse. He even goes far as to say that Eve Torres and David Otunga are firmly up his arse as well. He apologizes for the giant arse kisser the Big Show as well. Sheamus wants to face Randy Orton at the PPV. Vickie Guerrero interrupts and says he has a match with Jack Swagger. 2.5/10 I swear that entire segment was just to get Sheamus to say “arse” a bunch of times.
Sheamus vs. Jack Swagger (w/Vickie Guerrero): They jockey against the ropes and clean break in the corner; Swagger takes him down with a rear wastelock. Sheamus elbows free but Swagger tries the submarine; Sheamus sidesteps him and smiles. Jack gets a short knee in and they trade blows; Sheamus wins that and hits a shoulderblock. He heads up top for the Battering Ram, for a nearfall. Swagger retreats to the floor so Sheamus goes out after him and clotheslines him. Back in the ring, Sheamus waits on the apron for a slingshot battering ram but Vickie joins him on the apron allowing Swagger to submarine his knee off the apron. Vickie laughs as Sheamus writhes in pain, grasping his ankle, as we head to break; when we return, Swagger is in control stomping his ankle. Sheamus fights back but Swagger maintains his advantage wrapping the ankle around the ringpost. Back in the ring a DDT to the leg injure the leg more; Swagger applies a standing toe-hold. Sheamus kicks him off but cannot capitalize due to leg and Swagger catches him with rapid-fire clotheslines in the corner. He works the leg in the ropes; Swagger places Sheamus’ leg on the ropes and attempts to kick it but it’s avoided and Sheamus lays him out with a cutting neckbreaker. Sheamus gets really mad and fires up with Irish Hammers and O’Clubbering in the ropes; he vertical suplexes him back into the ring for another nearfall. He tries a Finlay Roll but Swagger sunsets down and tries the ankle lock. Sheamus slips free and misses a Brogue Kick, injuring his leg further and Swagger complicates matters with another submarine; he follows up with the Swagger Bomb, for two. He tries the Dr. Bomb but Sheamus flips free; Swagger charges… right into the Brogue Kick for the three. 7/10 Great back-and-forth match there; Swagger continues to have great matches with the upper card falling into the Hunico/Tyson Kidd/Usos main event slot.
Yoshi Tatsu vs. Damien Sandow: Pre-match, Sandow eloquently explains his actions last week all the while calling the masses stupid. He politely asks for silence and calls Tatsu’s insults last week sophomoric and therefore will actually wrestle this week. You’re welcome. Tatsu angrily charges at the bell so Sandow hides in the ropes; Yoshi continues to try to get at him and Sandow boots his leg. He butterflies Tatsu and adds some vicious knees seguing into a Russian leg sweep. The crisscross neckbreaker ends the squash match quickly. Post-match, Sandow does a Lanny Poffo cartwheel. 3.5/10 Short match, I feel enlightened.
Big Show comes out to explain himself a bit better; he’s in a suit and tie (with no jacket). He sits on a stool and explains how when he was fired he was upset because he lost the only thing he knew how to do and love. He was despondent and sunk into a brief depression; he was upset that not one WWE Superstar, production crew member or WWE Universe member came to his defense. The fans tell him that “he sold out”. Show realizes that he has no friends and is alone in the world and then he got “the call”. He asks when you are drowning… do you care where the lifeline comes from? He made a deal, if he helped John Laurinaitis beat John Cena he’d get his job back (with a big bonus). The plan was to fake Cena out (but not every member of the WWE Universe who has watched pro wrestling for the past twenty years); at No Way Out he’s going to defeat Cena. He goes on to gripe at the fans for not caring about him; now he DAMN SURE does not care about them anymore. He places the mic down and gazes at the fans revoltingly. He leaves but Kane decides to make his entrance at that moment; they pass each other down the aisle and glance. 5.5/10 Not bad explanation from Show; articulately put and powerful. It keeps he and Cena out of the title picture at least.
Randy Orton vs. Alberto Del Rio (w/Ricardo Rodriguez) vs. Kane number one contender, triple threat: Kane hits the ring first but is unable to light the posts because Daniel Bryan shows up out of nowhere and attacks him with a chair in retaliation from Raw. Wow, Bryan is kicking the ever loving shit out of him with that chair; he must have hit him about twenty times. A series of referees pull Bryan away as the fans chant “yes”. After the break, Del Rio heads out as Kane sits in the ring clutching his arm and shoulder. Kane is once again stuck in the lower main event spot as a tweener, just with a mask on again, although the way that attack was presented, makes him the babyface. The bell rings and Orton immediately tosses Alberto to the floor but eats a big boot from Kane. He hits his basement dropkick as Ricardo checks on Del Rio on the floor. Kane sells the shoulder and gets a quick nearfall; Michael Cole explains the psychology regarding Kane’s weakened state, trying for quick wins. He hits a corner clothesline but runs into a boot cross-corner and Orton stretches him with the backbreaker. Del Rio interrupts the count and pounds on Randy; Del Rio walks into an uppercut from Kane and Orton clotheslines him to the floor giving us the WrestleMania rematch again. Kane then clotheslines Orton to the floor and the battle spills to the floor; Kane rams Orton into the ring apron and boots Del Rio. Randy fires back and tosses Alberto back into the ring barricade. Kane and Orton brawl near the announce table; Orton reenters and tries the Viper DDT to Kane but Del Rio reappears and nails a step-up enziguri. Everyone collapses as we head to commercial; we return with Kane pounding on Del Rio in the corner. He drops an elbow to Orton for two. Del Rio finally works the injured arm of Kane and hits another enziguri; he wears Randy down with a boot in the throat. Orton counters a charge, backdropping Del Rio to the apron, and dropkicks him to the floor. Orton tries Kane but he sidewalk slams him for two. Kane to the top but Del Rio returns once again with another step-up enziguri knocking Kane all of the way to the floor. Alberto turns his attention to Orton but misses a running boot; Orton begins a comeback with clotheslines. Kane somehow recovers from that spill off the ropes to reenter the ring and take a scoop-powerslam from Orton. There’s one for Del Rio. Orton clotheslines Kane back to the floor and pummels Del Rio; he lassos him in a Viper DDT from the corner and Vipers Up. Alberto pushes Orton away to counter the RKO; Kane drags him to the floor and chucks him into the steps. Kane to the top again but misses the diving clothesline; Del Rio works the arm with his boot. Kane avoids the cross-arm breaker and chokeslams Del Rio. Daniel Bryan returns, with a chair, but Kane spots him. Bryan runs away, Kane thinks of chasing him but that Big Gold belt is too tantalizing, and he returns to the ring. Bryan keeps showing up distracting him which allows Orton to slither back in and RKO Kane. Bryan smiles as Orton goes for the pin. Del Rio kicks Orton’s head off, knocking him to the floor; Alberto falls atop Kane and gets three and the number one contender’s spot. Post-match, Sheamus blindsides him on the stage and celebrates. 5.5/10 Not bad; Orton was clearly the dominant one of the three, with Kane second, and the guy who won the match, Alberto Del Rio, the weakest of the three. The WWE has been salivating Del Rio and Sheamus at a PPV so we’re going to get it at No Way Out. I wonder where the Kane/Bryan angle is going I HOPE not into a triple threat match for CM Punk’s WWE title.
OVERALL 7.5/10 For a show full of squashes and sure-fire conclusion matches, it sure was entertaining. The Ryback match although noncompetitive was really fun to watch, I’m a sucker for a huge guy decimating a bunch of smaller guys. Everything else is set and moving in the right direction; Sheamus versus Del Rio is finally going to happen at the PPV, although it doesn’t light the world on fire quite like Sheamus versus Orton. The wrestling may not have been outstanding or competitive but it was a good show and entertaining show this week