Championship’s roll call: WWE Champion: CM Punk… World Champion: Sheamus… Intercontinental Champion: The Miz… United States Champion: Antonio Cesaro… Tag Team Champions: Kofi Kingston & R-Truth… NXT Championship: Seth Rollins… Diva’s Champion: Layla
Randy Orton comes out first. He introduces himself to all of us and makes fun of the expression “the glass is half empty”. He likes confrontation; he turns to Alberto Del Rio, who says the victory on Raw was “tainted”. Orton says tough shit. He mentions some people on social media have a problem with Orton as the new number one contender. He challenges any of them to come out; Sheamus answers. He is not there to disagree with him and mentions “Bertie” getting too many shots. Sheamus feels, no wants, Orton as the number one contender. GM Booker T comes out. He calls Orton verses Sheamus huge. The crowd agrees. Del Rio comes out and interjects himself into the title picture… again. Alberto approaches Booker and bitches that Sheamus is a cheater and Orton is an animal. He continues on and on about getting robbed at Summerslam and then on Raw. Booker tries to reason with him but Del Rio is all fired up; more criminal accusations from Del Rio towards Sheamus. Alberto filed a protest and then complains about conspiracy. Del Rio then calls Booker a criminal and a cheater and says everyone is against him. Del Rio continues until Booker finally shuts him up; Booker says Del Rio WAS going to be the number one contender but his attitude pissed him off. He books a rematch from Raw for the number one contender.
5/10 Del Rio showed some fire there but it cost him; Booker takes control and is fair and just. Not a bad opening segment.
Michael Cole is on solo commentary because poor John Matthews got his ass kicked by Kane at Summerslam.
Ryback vs. Jinder Mahal: The WWE has done some decent work building this up; Teddy Long joins Michael Cole to prevent the commentary from becoming a trainwreck. Pre-match, Ryback says Mahal finds his place in the food chain and gets a “feed me more” chant going. Mahal tries a headlock and Ryback tosses him off. He pounds Mahal in the corner but gets a whip reversed in the corner and Mahal gets an elbow up. Jinder takes over and gets a bunch of knees in. Ryback causally hoists Mahal up for a running powerslam but Jinder slips free and tosses Ryback into the corner; he hits so hard the ringpost clunks. Mahal returns to the knees and finally gets Ryback down. He tosses Ryback into the ropes and hits a high knee. He stomps away until Ryback gets mad and backdrops Jinder; he rapid fire shoulderblocks him in the corner. A whirlwind powerslam follows and he hypes the crowd up with a “feed me more” chant. The Sheffield Lariat connects; Shell Shocked ends the match and he finally beats Mahal. 3.5/10 Pretty much a squash for Ryback; Mahal got more offense in than most from Ryback. He wins again and I believe he is now 26-0.
Here is your winner… Ryback @ about 5:10 via Shell Shocked pinfall.
Alicia Fox vs. Layla: Kaitlyn joins for commentary. They lock up and Fox gets a headlock. Layla rolls her onto her back and then gets a spinning savate kick. She hits the double jump springboard crossbody. Alicia comes back with a one-footed dropkick. Layla tries to head back on the buckles but Alicia kicks her off and works over the bad leg. She actually follows some nice psychology with a single-leg crab. Layla kicks her off and hobbles around but manages a Chick Kick and gets three. Post-match, Layla and Kaitlyn stare at each other in the ring until Eve Torres comes out and… raises both divas hands. 1.5/10 Meh, usual divas garbage match; odd moment with Eve as well.
Here is your winner… Layla @ about 2:05 via Chick Kick pinfall.
We revisit Raw with CM Punk demanding respect from everyone. After that Dolph Ziggler is psyched about ending Chris Jericho’s career. Dolph is not too happy with AJ Lee for forcing him to put his MitB briefcase up though. Vickie Guerrero tells him that she will take care of AJ. Sheamus wanders over and challenges Ziggler to cash in the contract. Dolph smartly says it’s going to be on his terms. Teddy Long wanders over and suggests they have a match.
Sin Cara vs. Heath Slater: Cody Rhodes of course is on guest commentary. I HATE to admit this but Slater is growing on me. They lock up and Slater applies a hammerlock; Cara armdrags free. Slater tries a backdrop but Cara dropkicks him. Heath backdrops Cara onto the apron and actually manages to avoid the pendulum kick; Slater shoulderblocks him to the floor. He tosses Cara back in and gets two. Cody subtly buries Slater on commentary as Cara hits a springboard back elbow. Cara then hits the step-up-the-ropes twirling armdrag and then a corkscrew plancha. Slater tosses Cara into the apron however and then back into the ring. Slater and the referee get into an argument about being too close to the ropes and Cody seizes the opportunity to try to remove Sin Cara’s mask. Actually, he cleverly twists the mask around blinding Cara and Slater snags him in the E-Minor for the three count! Post-match, Cody tries to remove the mask again until a bunch of referees break it up. 5.5/10 Not horrible, Slater can hang with some of the better highflyers; he gets a rare win as well. It also continues the Cody/Sin Cara mask feud.
Here is your winner… Heath Slater @ about 6:10 via E-Minor pinfall.
Sheamus vs. Dolph Ziggler (w/Vickie Guerrero): Vickie joins as the guest commentator. They lock up and Sheamus nearly takes his head off with a reverse elbow and Dolph scampers to the floor. Back in the ring, he gets taken over with a headlock. Sheamus maintains control until Dolph dropkicks him. Dolph counters a backdrop with a kick to the face but that just angers Sheamus and he flapjacks him for two. Sheamus rams Ziggler into the corner and slugs away. Sheamus looks for White Noise but Dolph wriggles free and slips down his back for a sunset flip nearfall. Dolph kicks Sheamus’ legs but whiffs on the Namedropper; Sheamus clotheslines him. Dolph heads to the apron and then to the floor. The overaggressive Sheamus, as usual, goes after him and Dolph is able to trip him up in the ropes. Ziggler takes over and hits a DDT on the ring apron! Dolph gets a nearfall and then applies a chinlock. Sheamus eventually powers free and hits a side slam. Both are slow to get up and Ziggler tries the sleeper hold. Sheamus shoves him off quickly and starts a comeback with Irish Hammers, running knee, and the ring rope O’Clubbering. He clobbers Dolph with White Noise. Dolph wisely avoids the Brogue Kick; he calls Vickie over to give him the MitB briefcase. Dolph waffles Sheamus with it for the DQ and beats him with it. Post-match, Michael Cole appears to be the only one who does not get it. Ziggler decides to cash the briefcase. Sheamus begins to recover so he snags the case away from the referee before he officially cashed it in and heads up the ramp to fight another day. 6/10 Decent match whose normally crappy ending actually makes sense from a stratagem perspective for Ziggler. The match was actually quite good and I’m sure Dolph will be a good champion once he gets a chance to win it and shine.
Here is your winner… Sheamus @ about 8:15 via DQ.
Wade Barrett’s Barrage cannot be stopped.
Santino Marella comes out and says he was champion for 166 days. Since he lost the title he feels like less of an American. He feels he let everyone down. He puts the Cobra on and talks to it. He understands that the Cobra was distracted by Aksana and blames him for losing the US title. He then peps Cobra and misquotes Robert De Niro; he then quotes Rocky and the Cobra gets fired up. He now feels that he can become the US Champion again. Antonio Cesaro (with new music) finally interrupts. Antonio says “winner” in five different languages. They begin to make out and finally Cesaro cuts a promo. He personifies being a winner. Marella runs up the ramp and attacks; the Cobra once again gets distracted by Aksana and Cesaro beats up Santino. 2/10 Normally I like Santino but this was BRUTAL. The promo was stupid and the payoff was the Cobra getting distracted again anyway.
Kofi Kingston & R-Truth (w/Little Jimmy) vs. Primo & Epico (w/Rosa Mendes): The Primetime Players are the guest commentators for this match. Kofi and Epico start off and Epico rolls through an arm wringer and gets a nearfall. Kingston flips out of a backslide and gets a jackknife cover with a bridge for two; Epico bridges out of that and they both try a dropkick at the same time. Standoff. Epico backs Kofi into the corner and tags in Primo. The commentators pay no attention to the match; instead Michael Cole tries to bark like Titus O’Neil. Thrilling. Primo SWEEPS THE LEG and gets a one count. The Colóns hit a sweet butterfly suplex into a Hilo combo on Kingston for two. Kofi fires back with a reverse head scissors in the corner and tags in Truth. He hits clotheslines and a reverse Falcon Arrow. Epico runs in as does Kingston but they both get extricated from the ring. Primo tries the Backstabber but Truth blocks and ends Primo’s night with the Little Jimmy. Post-match, Cole and the Players do the Millions of Dollars dance which is funny. 4.5/10 Not much of a match the focus was all on the Players. They are funny though. Kofi and Truth are the champs and at least are booked strongly as all champs should be.
Here are your winners… Kofi Kingston and R-Truth @ about 7:10 via Little Jimmy pinfall.
In the back Kofi Kingston and R-Truth talk to Matt Striker; they tell Striker that they’ll take on all comers… and all comers arrive as all of the tag teams in the WWE show up. The Primetime Players, Primo, Epico, Tyson Kidd and Justin Gabriel all arrive for a huge pull apart brawl.
Booker T and Teddy Long discuss the tag team situation; Eve Torres butts in and has the entire tag division broken down into spreadsheets. She completely outworks Teddy. Booker heads out and Long is not too happy with Eve.
Randy Orton vs. Alberto Del Rio (w/Ricardo Rodriguez) number one contender’s match: Sheamus is the guest commentator, of course. Del Rio slugs away and works a side headlock; Orton fires right back with a rollup in the corner and a slingshot suplex. Alberto retreats under the rope but it’s a bad move as Orton gives him an under-the-ropes hangman. Del Rio fires back with a shoulder stunner. He kicks away on the arm and shoulder and tries to fast forward to the end with the cross-armbreaker but, just like on Raw, Orton twirls him into a swinging neckbreaker. Del Rio rolls to the floor where Sheamus gets up and stares at him as we head to break. We return with Orton trapped in a chinlock because during the break Del Rio focused on the arm and shoulder, slamming it on the apron. Orton begins to rise up but Del Rio kicks at the arm and now applies an armtrap chinlock. Randy tries to fight back again but Del Rio backs him into the corner and… misses the step-up enziguri. Orton ducked. Orton begins the momentum build with clotheslines and a scoop-powerslam; the Viper DDT is countered by an arm whiplash in the ropes. Del Rio aggressively charges back into the ring but walks into the stretch backbreaker. Alberto manages the Backstabber armbreaker for two. Del Rio tries to come off the second rope but Orton dropkicks him (right in the face) in midair. Del Rio charges and Orton sidesteps him and plants him with the Viper DDT. Randy coils but Del Rio wisely holds the ropes to block the RKO and immediately lassos him in the cross-armbreaker. Nice clever sequence by Alberto there. RANDY ORTON TAPS OUT! HOLY CRAP! Post-match, Del Rio tosses Ricardo’s shoe at Sheamus. A brawl ensues and the two on one attack overwhelms Sheamus. Alberto nails him with the shoe. Dolph Ziggler rushes to the ring and wants to cash in but Orton cuts it off with an RKO. 5/10 I NEVER in a million years expected that ending (to the match) with Orton tapping. I penciled in triple threat for Night of Champions. Del Rio worked a smarter match this time, countering more of Randy’s moves which makes sense with his new more aggressive, yet still smart, character.
Here is your winner… Alberto Del Rio @ about 11:00 (broadcast) via cross-armbreaker submission.
OVERALL 4/10 This was possible one of the worst SmackDowns in recent memory. All of the matches were pretty bad and the “guest commentators” took completely away from the in-ring action; at least they were developing the storylines on lieu of just babbling (most of the time).