For tonight’s WWE Friday Night SmackDown!, we get Zack Ryder as the guest GM as a result of winning the 20-man battle royal last week. Although we saw on Monday that Sin Cara was the last qualifier for the SmackDown! MITB match for this Sunday, I have a feeling Ryder is going to insert himself into the match as well. While I normally wouldn’t go along with it, I’d be fine with Ryder getting a slot, as he deserves it.
Speaking of Ryder, he’s opening the show tonight. I love how he’s got custom Nikes to match the colors of his ring gear. He welcomes us to the very first “Friday Night Zack-Down!” His first act as GM is to get the world’s largest fist-pump going, and pretty much everyone in the crowd responds positively. He says tonight will be the greatest SmackDown! ever before hitting the catchphrase.
Alberto Del Rio makes his presence known, cutting off Ryder’s good time. Ricardo Rodriguez gives ADR his fancy introduction, and ADR is already in his gear, which leads me to believe he’s wrestling right away. ADR calls Ryder a stupid clown, making light of Ryder’s “Internet Championship of the World”. This Sunday, ADR becomes the REAL World Champion, and after that, he will rule SmackDown! Ryder says there’s a reason why ADR is here tonight is because someone wants to get their hands on him, and that someone is Sin Cara.
MATCH 1: Alberto Del Rio (w/Ricardo Rodriguez) vs. Sin Cara
We see what happened a couple weeks ago when ADR beat the hell out of Cara on RAW just because. Cara sidesteps a corner charge and dropkicks ADR in the knee. He hits some forearms, but ADR counters with a clothesline for 2. ADR stomps away for another 2, followed by a vertical suplex for another 2. Choke over the middle rope before Cara goes to the corner. ADR misses another charge, and Cara begins pounding away at him before hitting a low DDT for 2. ADR lands a back elbow off the ropes, followed by a bodyslam for 2. ADR goes for a running kick, but Cara moves out of the way, sending ADR to the apron. Cara nails a kick, sending him to the floor. Cara follows up with a suicide dive before getting back in the ring as we go to commercials.
[adinserter block=”2″]Back from the break, Cara is still in control as he lands a running kick to the chest for 2. Corner whip is reversed, and Cara elbows ADR on the charge. He mounts the top rope, but ADR stops him with headbutts before grabbing Cara in an inverted shoulderbreaker for 2. Haven’t seen that move in years. ADR begins working the left arm over with an armbar. Cara fights back to his feet with some kicks, but ADR cuts him off with a headbutt. ADR catches Cara with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker off the ropes for 2 before going back to the left arm. ADR hits a jumping stomp to the arm for another 2-count, then goes back to the armbar. Cara fights back once again, but ADR takes him down with a quick kick to the back. Corner whip once again proves futile, and Cara counters with a running hurricanrana. Cara hits some kneelifts to the face and a tilt-a-whirl DDT for 2. Cara goes up top but misses the swanton bomb. ADR quickly locks in the rolling jujigatame, and Cara taps.
WINNER: Alberto Del Rio. Not a bad match, but I wish they’d leave the normal lights on for Sin Cara’s matches. There’s no reason for the blue and yellow lights, especially since he doesn’t even wear those colors anymore.
WWE has some deal with some social networking app called Tout. I don’t care.
Teddy Long is in the back with Zack Ryder, and is complimenting him on his job as GM tonight. Big Show comes in and says Ryder is doing a terrible job, and that he should be the GM tonight. In fact, he thinks he will be. Show loads up the WMD, but The Great Khali stops him. Ryder then announces Khali as Show’s opponent for tonight.
MATCH 2: Darren Young (w/AW and Titus O’Neil) vs. Primo (w/Epico and Rosa Mendes)
I really don’t like the PTP team at all, but at least they were semi-tolerable before AW was made their manager. Rosa Mendes, on the other hand, I’m perfectly fine with. Someone kill AW’s mic pack, please. Primo backs Young into the corner with a tie-up, and Young eventually pushes him off. They trade some shots, with Young dominating. Primo comes back with a headbutt and a hurricanrana off the middle rope. Primo knocks Young down with a punch, then suckers Young into the ropes before hitting a slide across the back. Back in the ring, Young hits a hotshot as AW continues to piss me off. Young gets a 1-count before dancing and stomping Primo. He drags Primo to the apron, where he hits a couple forearms and a legdrop. Back in the ring, Young gets 2. Primo fights back from his knees with forearms, but Young cuts him off with kneelifts and a neckbreaker for 2. Young tries for a pin again, but still only gets 2. Young signals that it’s time to end it. He hits a snapmare, a legdrop, an elbow drop and a forearm for 2. Young locks in a cravat now, and Primo gets to his feet and turns the hold into an armdrag. Primo hits several shots and a springboard cross-body. Young holds on and rolls through, throwing Primo up onto his shoulders for Forever Young. Primo slides out and shoves Young sternum-first into the corner and tries for the Backstabber, but Young holds onto the ropes. He goes to pick Primo up, and Primo quickly gets him in a small package for 3.
RAW moment time. It’s Christian’s turn, and he talks about Edge being forced to retire.
Zack Ryder is in the back with Sheamus. He tells Sheamus not to get involved with ADR tonight, as he wants them both healthy for MITB. Chris Jericho walks up and calls Ryder running this show a train wreck. Sheamus says that, if he wants a train wreck, he should step in the ring with him. Ryder says that’s a great idea, and makes the match official. Sheamus tells Jericho not to be on the railroad when this train comes, because he’s going to run right over him.
MATCH 3: Intercontinental Champion Christian and WWE United States Champion Santino Marella vs. Dolph Ziggler and Cody Rhodes (w/Vickie Guerrero)
Christian and Rhodes start the match with a tie-up. Rhodes goes into a side headlock before shouldering Christian off the ropes. Rhodes beats Christian down with punches and kicks. Christian comes back with a pair of shoulders before tagging in Marella. Marella talks some trash as Ziggler tags in. Ziggler with a single-leg trip and a fireman’s carry. Marella counters a corner whip with a deep arm drag into an armbar. Arm wringer before tagging in Christian, who comes off the middle rope with an elbow to the arm. Uppercut and inside-out uppercut follow, followed by an inverted hotshot for 2. Ziggler fires some shots before throwing Christian to the corner, where Rhodes tags in. Christian nails him with a punch and a boot, but Rhodes throws off the tornado DDT attempt for 2. Ziggler back in, and he hits a dropkick for 2. Ziggler with a rear chinlock. Christian fights out with an uppercut, and Ziggler counters with a kitchen sink. Rhodes tags in and hits a standing gourdbuster for 2. He puts Christian on the top rope and hits a kick to the gut before looking for the Alabama Slam. Christian counters into a flapjack before tagging in Marella. Ziggler tags in as well, and Marella fires some shots before hitting a hip toss and a saluting headbutt. He goes for the Cobra and puts it on, but Rhodes attacks from behind. Christian nails Rhodes with an uppercut and clotheslines him to the floor. Marella gets back up and Ziggler drops him with the Zig Zag for 3.
WINNERS: Cody Rhodes and Dolph Ziggler. Rhodes and Ziggler have a stare-down after the match.
WWE is still advertising Charlie Sheen for tweeting during the 1000th episode of RAW. Guess they didn’t get the memo that Sheen shut his Twitter account down today?
MATCH 4: The Big Show vs. The Great Khali
I really hope this is a short match. Tie-up starts, and Show breaks it to open-hand chop Khali. Khali responds with his own chop, backs Show onto the ropes and lands another one. Khali starts to celebrate, and Show nails Khali with the WMD to end it.
WINNER: The Big Show. Well, ask and you shall receive, I guess.
MATCH 5: Tyler Reks (w/Curt Hawkins) vs. Ryback
Reks says tonight he’s going to do what Hawkins couldn’t do last week, and that’s hand Ryback his very first loss. Yeah, why not him? Reks hits some kneelifts to the midsection, then lands some boots in the corner. He bounces off the ropes and runs right into a big boot from Ryback. Ryback grabs him by the ears and slams his head into the mat before launching him to the floor. Ryback pulls him back in the ring by his hair, and Reks hotshots him. A bounce off the ropes, but he’s caught in an overhead belly-to-belly by Ryback. Ryback charges in the corner, and Reks gets the boots up. Reks slides out of a gorilla press and hits a shot to the gut, but Ryback shakes it off and drops him with a clothesline. Shell Shocked, followed by the 3.
WINNER: Ryback. I love how, on the replay, Hawkins just looks away from Reks as he got launched to the floor. Hawkins cracks me up.
Another RAW moment, and it’s Hugh Jackman talking about guest-hosting RAW. Turns out Jackman is a huge wrestling fan, and reportedly marked out big time when he saw The Brooklyn Brawler backstage that night.
MATCH 6: Justin Gabriel vs. Damien Sandow
I would love to see Sandow take MITB on Sunday. I don’t think it’ll happen yet, but it would be amazing if it did. Tie-up starts, with Sandow pushing him off. Gabriel lands on his feet on a hip toss and sweeps Sandow for 1. Sandow comes back with some shots and a side-Russian legsweep. Elbow of Disdain gets 2, and now Sandow goes into the rear chinlock, and Gabriel fights out. He comes back with some kicks and a chop. Sandow ducks a roundhouse, but gets nailed with the Ghetto Blaster. Gabriel misses a corner charge, and that allows Sandow to hit some fierce kneelifts and the straightjacket neckbreaker for the 3.
WINNER: Damien Sandow. Best entrance music in the company.
Sheamus/Jericho is up next.
Did You Know? The famous scene in Clockwork Orange where Alex (Malcolm McDowell) is forced to watch propaganda films with hooks in his eyes was quite real. Stanley Kubrick, who was a huge pain in the ass to work for, wanted McDowell’s eyes actually hooked open for the scene to make it more realistic, and the man playing the doctor administering the eye drops was a real doctor and really administering eye drops to keep McDowell’s eyes from drying out. If the doctor hadn’t been there with the drops, McDowell would have gone blind.
MATCH 7: World Champion Sheamus vs. Chris Jericho (non-title)
Tie-up starts, with Sheamus powering Jericho into a corner. Sheamus gives him a clean break, and Jericho responds with a slap. Sheamus decides to forearm the hell out of him as a result. Jericho slides to the floor off an Irish whip attempt, and Sheamus chases him back to the ring. Jericho gets in first, and is met with a slingshot Battering Ram for 2. Sheamus begins dropping some knees to the back of Jericho’s head before picking him up and throwing him to the corner. Jericho counters a corner charge with a boot, and hits a middle rope missile dropkick for 2. Jericho shoves Sheamus to the corner, and Sheamus isn’t having any of that. He reverses positions and fires off some body shots on Jericho. Jericho winds up on the apron, where he’s ripe picking for the forearms to the chest. Sheamus then shoulders Jericho in the back, sending him to the floor and over the announce desk. Sheamus heads to the floor once again, where he throws Jericho into the ring apron as we go to commercials.
[adinserter block=”1″]Back from the break and Jericho is in control with a stomp and some shots to the chest. During the break, Sheamus got launched into the ring steps and over the announce desk by Jericho. Sheamus fights back with some body shots, but Jericho corner whips him. Jericho misses a shoulder, and that allows Sheamus to hit a pair of Irish Hammers, a shoulder in the corner and a running knee lift. Jericho slides out of the tilt-a-whirl attempt, but Sheamus catches him off the ropes with a swinging Irish Curse for 2. Jericho tries to counter a corner whip, but Sheamus catches him on the shoulders and hits the rolling fireman’s carry slam for 2. Jericho thumbs Sheamus to the eye and goes for the Codebreaker, but Sheamus catches him and throws him to the corner. Jericho ducks a Brogue Kick, causing Sheamus to crotch himself on the top rope. Jericho capitalizes with a springboard dropkick and the Lionsault for 2. Boot to the head by Jericho, but Sheamus catches him on the second attempt with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for 2. Celtic Cross time, and Jericho counters into the Walls of Jericho. Sheamus quickly gets to the ropes, breaking the hold. As Jericho argues with the referee, Sheamus catches him in White Noise. Jericho counters into the Walls yet again, and makes sure to drag Sheamus further into the ring. Sheamus goes to tap, but he fights through the pain and manages to twist Jericho over and kick him off the hold. Jericho charges in and gets nailed with White Noise for 2. Sheamus signals for the Brogue Kick, and Jericho ducks. He nails the Codebreaker, but takes too long to cover Sheamus, getting only 2. Sheamus crawls to the corner and manages to boot Jericho away. He backflips up to the top rope and goes for the Battering Ram, but Jericho once again counters with a Codebreaker. Yet again, Jericho takes too long to make the pin, and Sheamus is able to kick out one more time. Both guys pull themselves up to their feet very slowly, and Jericho is up first. He charges in, and Sheamus surprises him with a vicious Brogue Kick for the 3.
WINNER: Sheamus. Good match. Not as good as Sheamus/Ziggler from a few weeks ago, but still very enjoyable. As Sheamus celebrates on the stage, Alberto Del Rio’s car pulls out by the stage. As Sheamus is distracted, ADR comes out from backstage and nails Sheamus from behind, kicking him off the stage. He locks Sheamus in the jujigatame while Sheamus hangs off the stage. Ricardo Rodriguez gets out of the car and begins taunting the World Champion.
End of show.
Kind of surprised Ryder didn’t name himself an MITB contestant for this Sunday, but oh well. The 8-way ladder match should still be really awesome, as well as both title matches. The RAW ladder match? Not so much, but maybe we’ll be surprised.
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