Hello, everyone. Welcome back for the 7-22-11 edition of the WWE Friday Night SmackDown! recap. Before I get into this, there are a few things I’d like to address. First off, if you missed the Money in the Bank PPV, you missed one hell of a show.
Honestly, I haven’t been so emotionally invested in a show since “ECW One Night Stand 2005″. Aside from a throw-away Divas title match and a meaningless match between The Big Show and Mark Henry, it was an outstanding PPV. Secondly, whether this angle with CM Punk is a work, a shoot, or a work-shoot, it is the best angle I’ve seen since the original nWo, and it has truly turned “Monday Night RAW” into must-see TV. Lastly, I would like to say that there were two moments during “MITB” that I totally marked out, actually screaming as I jumped off my couch. One was the aforementioned CM Punk winning the WWE title. The second was Daniel Bryan winning the “SmackDown!” MITB match.
Now, I don’t personally know Daniel Bryan (although I’d like to), but I feel a certain kinship with the guy because we literally grew up in small towns roughly 20 minutes apart (he in Aberdeen, Washington, I in Centralia, Washington). To see a guy from such a podunk town like Aberdeen making it to the WWE is big enough; to actually see him win a Money in the Bank match (which practically guarantees him a top title run) is astronomical. Not only am I proud of Bryan for winning the Money in the Bank match because he’s a hometown boy, but honestly, I can’t think of a guy who deserves it more. And, on a side note, it was nice to see the win for another reason, and that was the true emotion Daniel Bryan showed once he had that briefcase in his hands. It’s a rarity to see a wrestler show genuine emotion after winning a match like that, and you could tell it legitimately meant the world to him.
I have a feeling Bryan has a very quiet, understated charisma and just hasn’t had a chance to show it yet. You know, there were other guys who were seen as not being charismatic enough to make it big in wrestling, guys like Steve Austin, Bret Hart and Triple H to name a few. They were seen as not having the “it” factor and were told a lack of charisma would probably prevent them from ever being big stars in wrestling. Funny how things worked out for all of them, eh? Mark my words, one way or another, Daniel Bryan will be either World or WWE Champion within the next 1-2 years, even if he doesn’t successfully cash in his briefcase. He is too good to NOT be champion.
Okay, enough of my ranting. Let’s move on to tonight’s broadcast. We start the show with Randy Orton in the ring, sitting on a chair. In case we don’t know who he is, he reintroduces himself to us. Orton reminds everyone of what’s going on currently on “RAW”. Orton says that tonight’s show won’t go any further until he addresses an issue with Christian. This prompts the new World Champion to come out, and he appears to have yet another new belt, even though Orton just had a new one the last couple weeks. Anyway, Christian says Orton’s unfinished business might be with the voices in his head and no one else.
Christian reminds Orton of the stipulation of the match at the PPV, and Orton is the one who chose to break those rules. Christian says he didn’t mean to spit in Orton’s face. Christian accuses Orton of being protected in the WWE, but it doesn’t matter because Christian is now the 2-time champion. Orton demands to get his rematch tonight, but Christian says it won’t happen. Orton says they can settle things on their own and begins to rush Christian. Teddy Long‘s music hits and he comes out with every single referee in the WWE. Long tells Orton that he’ll get his rematch, and that tonight he is already signed on to face Kane in a Street Fight which is why his title match can’t happen right now. Orton acts like he’s calm, but then charges Christian and punches him a few times before the refs and other officials step in.
Teddy Long gets in Christian’s face and tells him that, if Orton can face Kane tonight, Christian can face Intercontinental Champion Ezekiel Jackson next. We learn that we get a recap of Monday night’s events, which will give me at least a few minutes of the show where I won’t have to do anything. I’m not the “RAW” recapper, after all.
MATCH 1: World Champion Christian vs. Intercontinental Champion Ezekiel Jackson (non-title)
I swear Zeke’s belt is a replica. It’s noticeably smaller than when Wade Barrett owned it. Lock up to start, but Zeke throws Christian down. They trade some waist-locks, and Zeke gets in a belly-to-back throw, followed by some forearms. A knee to the gut and a gorilla press slam gets 2. Christian back on offense with some punches, but gets back dropped to the floor off an Irish whip attempt. Commercial.
We’re back, and both men are on the outside. Zeke knocks Christian to the floor, then throws him into the ring apron. He tries a clothesline on Christian, but Christian ducks and Zeke hits the steps. Back in the ring, Christian gets a diving back elbow for 2. He stands on Zeke’s back on the middle rope, followed by an uppercut from outside the ring. Zeke fires back with some punches and a big boot, but misses an elbow. Christian with some punches, but Zeke fires back. Christian gets a dropkick on Zeke’s left knee for 2 and follows it up with a chinlock. Zeke breaks out and gets a Samoan drop. With with a couple of running avalanches, followed by one in the corner. He tries again but gets a corner dropkick. Christian up top, but Zeke takes him back down. Another clothesline gets 2 for Zeke. Zeke gets 2 bodyslams off, but Christian gets out on the third attempt and gets in a chopblock. Zeke reverses out of the Killswitch. Christian goes for a sleeper, but Zeke turns it into an Oklahoma stampede attempt. Christian slides out, throws Zeke shoulder-first into the corner post, and gets the Killswitch for 3.
WINNER: Christian. Decent match, but no matter how many times Zeke tried to get fans to cheer for him tonight, they weren’t buying what he was selling.
We then get a video package of everyone’s favorite “Wonder Years” stunt-double, Cody Rhodes. How long before Cody finally takes the mask off that isn’t actually hiding his face whatsoever?
We are now treated to Michael Cole interviewing his arch nemesis, “Mr. Money in the Bank 2011″ Daniel Bryan. Bryan’s got some new, sweet-looking gear on. Cole calls Bryan’s victory a fluke. Bryan tells Cole that his opinion is meaningless. Cole says that, when push comes to shove, Daniel Bryan is going to take the easy way out and cash the contract in when the champion is already beaten up. Cole tells Bryan he will never deserve to be champion. Bryan tells Michael Cole he didn’t deserve to be in a marquee match at WrestleMania this year, either. Excellent, excellent point. Bryan says no one deserves anything in the WWE, and you have to earn everything instead. Bryan lists off injuries he’s accumulated over 12 years, but that he’s never complained about any of them because he’s dreamed of being World Champion since he was a boy. Bryan tells Cole that, no matter times he’s called a nerd, he earned that contract. He says Cole’s right about one thing, and that he doesn’t want to win the title on a fluke. Bryan says he’s going to be the first person to tell us all when and where he’s going to cash in (actually, RVD did this, but nevertheless). He tells us it will be at WrestleMania 28 on 4/1/12 in Miami, FL.
All of a sudden, Heath Slater comes out. He says Bryan picked the greatest stage to commit his greatest failure, and that he’ll lose at ‘Mania. He proceeds to call Bryan a loser, talking about NXT and Nexus in the process. Slater then says Bryan will lose to him tonight as well. Yeah, that’s it.
MATCH 2: Daniel Bryan vs. Heath Slater
Slater with a headlock and a shoulder tackle, but Bryan fires back with a dropkick and a LeBell Lock. Meanwhile, Michael Cole continues to call Daniel Bryan a nerd. Yes, he is a nerd. That’s fine. Most nerds I know of (including Bryan and CM Punk), could beat the living hell out of the average guy. Commercial.
We’re back, and after a series of misses, Bryan locks in an armdrag. Slater counters with a punch and gets a couple of near-falls. Bryan hits a monkey flip, but gets flapjacked into the corner. Hangman’s neckbreaker by Slater gets 2. Slater with a chinlock now. Bryan breaks out, but is hit with a back elbow. Slater with a corner whip, and Bryan’s on the mat now. Bryan fires back with some punches but gets kicked and punched back down into the corner. Over-the-knee facebuster by Slater gets 2. Cole said Slater is a future world champion. That’ll be the day. Bryan backflips out of a cornerwhip and gets a running forearm strike in. He telegraphs a back body drop, but is able to back drop Slater out to the floor. Bryan hits a running knee strike from the ring apron. Back in, Bryan gets the seated missile dropkick for 2. Bryan goes for the LeBell Lock again, but Slater reverses it into a spinebuster for 2. He must’ve gone through OVW at some point. Slater looks for Sweetness, but Bryan knees out of it and they trade small package pins for 2 each. Bryan goes for a tornado DDT, but instead holds on into the guillotine choke. Slater taps.
WINNER: Daniel Bryan. Great match, and more proof that Bryan can make anyone look good. I hear Bryan’s been doing some MMA training in hopes of adding some more submission holds to his arsenal. I look forward to that.
We get a recap of the Show/Henry match from last Sunday. Not even one of WWE’s famous highlight videos can make this match look like it was good. This leads to Matt Striker interviewing. Henry. Henry says his destruction will never end, and that hurting Show gave him perverted power. Just so long as that power doesn’t cause him to impregnate another woman with a rubber hand…
We now move onto the recap from Monday night, and I take a break.
We learn that Sheamus and Wade Barrett is coming up after the commercial. I’ve actually been waiting for this feud to happen, so hopefully, tonight isn’t just a one-shot deal.
MATCH 3: Wade Barrett vs. Sheamus
I really wish Barrett had a different finisher. I like the name “Wasteland”, but I hate the move. I hated it in Mexico, and I don’t like it any more in the U.S. Sheamus starts off with a knee and some punches and kicks. Barrett answers back with the same. Sheamus gets a nasty gut shot in, and then drops some knees. Barrett gets an elbow in and a big boot out of the corner. Barrett misses a clothesline but gets a back kick to the guy, followed by a boot to the head for 2. Barrett’s got Sheamus in the ropes, and hits a series of knees, followed by a boot that drops Sheamus to the apron. Barrett drags Sheamus into the ring for 2. Sheamus gets some kicks in, but Barrett’s right back on him. Barrett tries for the pumphandle slam, but Sheamus slides out and hits the Irish Curse for 2. Sheamus has got Barrett in the ropes now and hits some forearms to the chest, followed by a running knee strike that gets 2. BTW-Sheamus was BIG with Chicago last Sunday. Sheamus tackles Barrett on the floor, and now they’re trading some punches. Barrett whips Sheamus into the barricade, and now they’re brawling in front of the announce table as both men get counted out.
WINNER: Double Count-Out. As Sheamus is arguing with the ref, Barrett shoves Sheamus into the post and throws him back in the ring. Barrett tries for Wasteland, but Sheamus lands a big Brogue Kick right to Barrett’s face. I really like the prospect of a feud between these two. Not only do we not get many heel/heel feuds, but these guys are two of my current favorites.
Backstage somewhere, Kane is standing while background music plays. He says that he has unleashed pain and suffering on the WWE for 14 years. He says lately, he’s the one who is haunted by his own humanity. He gives the same “less like a monster…” line he gave last week, and that Randy Orton will be the vehicle that allows him to awake the monster within. That line seems a bit “festive” to me, but that’s what the man said.
MATCH 4: Street Fight: Randy Orton vs. Kane
Orton comes to the ring as we take a commercial break.
You know, I think AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck” may be the most overused song in movie trailer history.
Back from the commercial, and Orton’s running the ropes as Kane comes to the ring. Question-is Kane a heel or face now, or does anyone even know? With as many turns as this guy makes, you’d think he was working for TNA Wrestling. Kane starts off with punches and knees into the corner. Kane follows a corner whip with a clothesline. He tries again, but Orton kicks him and hits just the worst Lou Thesz press you’ve ever seen. Orton tries for the RKO early, but Kane throws him off and clotheslines him to the outside. The two are now brawling on the outside, and Kane drops Orton with a right hand. Kane tries to throw Orton back into the ring, but Orton slams him into the apron. Orton grabs a kendo stick from under the ring and hits Kane about half a dozen times. Orton pulls Kane back in the ring and tries for the suspended DDT, but Kane back drops him back outside. Kane throws Orton into the barricade, and we go to commercial.
Back from break, and Kane’s punching Orton in the face on the mat. Kane gets a snapmare before landing the awful basement dropkick for 2. Orton fires back with some punches and kicks. Kane charges Orton on the ropes, but Orton low bridges him, sending Kane to the outside. Orton tries an apron dive, but Kane connects with an uppercut. Kane starts tearing the announce table apart. Kane’s looking for the chokeslam now, but Orton lands on his feet on the table, and then proceeds to get his leg caught in one of the holes on the announce table, bringing the table down on top of his leg. That should be on Botchamania.com in no time. Orton whips Kane into the steps. Orton gets some mounted punches in, then stops on Kane’s leg on the steps. He picks up the other part of the steps and slams them down onto Kane’s leg. More commercials.
Back, and Orton is still in control, but that doesn’t last long after a big boot from Kane. Kane goes up top and misses the DC-10. Orton throws Kane into the post shoulder-first, leading to the suspended DDT. Orton has that doofus smile on his face now, and drops down to his fists for the RKO. Didn’t he break his wrist doing that once? He tries for the RKO, but Kane pushes him off and catches a sidewalk slam for 2. Kane connects with the DC-10 this time around, and now he’s looking for the chokeslam. Orton snaps off an RKO out of nowhere, but surprisingly, this only gets 2. Orton looks like his eyes have permanent coffee burn around them. Orton’s looking for the punt kick now. Kane sees it coming and fires off a chokeslam for 2. Yet ANOTHER commercial break. Jeebus!
Back, and Kane’s clubbering Orton with a chair. He’s looking for the chokeslam yet again, this time on the chair. Instead, he goes for the Tombstone, but Orton slides out. Kane catches him by the throat, but Orton jumps out and catches the RKO on the chair for the 3.
Kane’s back up now, and offers a handshake. Orton accepts it as Kane hobbles out of the ring. Orton leaves the ring as Kane gets back up. Mark Henry comes down to the ring now. According to Booker T, Mark Henry and Kane are about to “get busy”. Not sure that means what he thinks it does. They trade some shots before Henry kicks Kane’s leg out of his leg (RIP Owen Hart), followed by a standing avalanche. Henry slams Kane’s knee into the mat before hitting the World’s Strongest Slam and the Warrior splash. All three commentators leave ringside as Henry grabs a chair and Pillmanizes Kane’s left leg with a Vader Bomb.
End of show.
Honestly, not a bad show tonight. Bryan/Slater was damn good, and they have planted the seeds for a Barrett/Sheamus feud. While the finish of their match was cheap, it actually made sense as no decisive winner was determined, and it leaves room for rematches. Neither guy looked weak, and instead they both looked like badass thugs who want to do nothing more than beat the hell out of each other, which is a type of feud I can get behind. It will be interesting to see who turns face. I’m going with Sheamus, but an indy wrestler friend of mine Arik (www.twitter.com/realarikangel) says Barrett. Either way, I like this feud.
Quite frankly, the main event wasn’t even bad. I hate Orton and Kane bores the hell out of me, but they put in a decent showing tonight, save for the hilarious spot where the announce table kicked the hell out of Orton.
Full WWE Friday Night SmackDown July 22 Results…
Christian beat Ezekiel Jackson in a non-title match
Daniel Bryan beat Heath Slater
Sheamus fought Wade Barrett to a double count out
Randy Orton defeated Kane in a street fight
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Thanks for reading, and as long as Spike TV still fronts the bill, I’ll see you next week.
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