Good evening everyone. We start the July 15 WWE Friday Night SmackDown off with everyone’s favorite walking sleep aid, World Champion Randy Orton. Josh Mathews is in the ring to do the interview, and he reminds Orton that if he is disqualified on Sunday at WWE Money in the Bank 2011, Christian will win the title. At this point, I expect Christian to win by count-out. Orton says there’s more than one way to beat Christian, and that Christian can’t beat him.
We see Christian on the Titantron, and he tells us that Christian doesn’t need to beat Orton via DQ. He has a present for Orton, and it’s a framed photo of Christian holding up the world title over Randy Orton from a few weeks back. Christian tells us that that’s how it will end on Sunday, with Christian as the new champion. Orton laughs this off and calls Christian borderline pathetic. Christian calls Orton’s family pathetic, specifically “Cowboy” Bob Orton. Christian tells Orton that his father is in the wing of the WWE Hall of Fame with total jokes like Drew Carey and Bob Eucker. Orton tells Christian to come to the ring and repeat himself to Orton’s face. Christian says he’ll do that after the PPV when he is the new world champion. Orton just keeps calling Christian pathetic. Christian definitely won this war of words.
Before the show started, we learned that Orton will be facing Kane in the main event later tonight, and Ted DiBiase, as a result of last week, will get an Intercontinental title match with Ezekiel Jackson tonight as well.
We see the Mark Henry highlight video yet again. Sorry, but I’m still not buying it. This leads to the announcement that Big Show and Henry will have a “Face Off” later tonight. Which one gets to be Nicholas Cage?
Zeke finally got a name plate! DiBiase comes out to his horrible music, but without Cody Rhodes. I think we can call this match now, don’t you? We learn Rhodes will be facing Daniel Bryan yet again later tonight. DiBiase slaps Zeke, who just clubs the hell out of DiBiase in retaliation. Throw out of the corner, followed by a shoulderblock gets 2. Zeke clotheslines DiBiase to the outside. Jackson tries for a powerslam on the outside, but DiBiase slides out, shoves Zeke into the corner post, and then hits a dropkick into the post. Back in the ring and Ted DiBiase gets 2. DiBiase with some punches and kicks. Zeke misses an avalanche, and DiBiase locks in a cobra clutch legsweep for 2. We see Cody “Wonder Years” Rhodes watching in the back. DiBiase tries the reverse direction clothesline, but Zeke counters with some clotheslines of his own. Zeke with a bodyslam. DiBiase tries for Dream Street, but Zeke counters with more bodyslams. Zeke tries for the torture rack, but DiBiase slides out and tries Dreams Street again. Zeke escapes, locks in the rack, and this one’s over.
WINNER AND STILL CHAMPION: Ezekiel Jackson. This match was meh, but what can you expect with a guy like Jackson in there? Perhaps I was premature in saying Zeke’s push was coming to an end? Guess we’ll have to wait and see.
Sheamus will face Sin Cara later tonight for the first time. Could be a good match. Up next is Bryan/Rhodes part 3 (I think it’s 3, anyway).
Backstage, Rhodes is cutting DiBiase down, and tells him to put the paper bag on his head. Rhodes says that, on second thought, he’s going to give DiBiase one more chance, and that if DiBiase loses one more time, Rhodes is personally going to bag DiBiase himself. That doesn’t sound right.
MATCH 2 – Daniel Bryan vs. Cody Rhodes
Before the match starts, we get a highlight video of the Bryan/Rhodes feud. Rhodes comes out with his independent wrestlers-I mean, bag boys. You know, I would buy Rhodes’ injury more if a) they had done a makeup job on him to make him look disfigured, and b) if he had actually gotten a mask that fits properly. Rhodes takes some chops and uppercuts from Bryan. He goes for an Alabama slam, but Bryan counters into a LeBell Lock attempt. Bryan’s got Rhodes in the ropes and is kicking him in the chest. A dropkick sends Rhodes to the floor. Bryan hits the suicide dive. Meanwhile, Michael “Todd Pettengill” Cole is calling the match with a bag over his head. Commercial.
Back from the break, and Bryan’s laying in more shots. Bryan catches an attempted knee into a school boy for 2. Rhodes goes on offense with some kicks. He hits the Val Venis knees, and a side-Russian leg sweep gets 2. Rhodes with more kicks and punches. Rhodes locks in a half Boston crab, but Bryan gets to the ropes. Now they trade some punches. Bryan’s laying in forearms and European uppercuts, and hits a running clothesline. Bryan with a jawbreaker and a running knee strike for 2.
Bryan charges, but Rhodes trips him into the middle rope. He catches Bryan with Hardcore Holly’s rope kick, and an Alabama slam connects for 2. Rhodes goes for Cross Rhodes, but Bryan walks out of it off the corner. Bryan gets Rhodes in the LeBell Lock on the top rope in a cool spot, but Rhodes kicks him off. Bryan connects with the seated missile dropkick for another 2. Rhodes looks like he might have a busted lip. Bryan hits a slightly botched corner dropkick and goes up top, but Rhodes crotches him on the top rope. Rhodes hits the Beautiful Disaster and gets the 3.
WINNER: Cody Rhodes. Good match, but most of the credit has to go to Daniel Bryan. Rhodes is just way to dramatic with his moves, and practically his entire move set is signature moves lifted from other wrestlers. Also, has anyone else noticed that Rhodes, while looking like Fred Savage, also looks like the default create-a-wrestler on the older “SmackDown! vs. RAW” games, even down to the physique?
Backstage, Teddy Long is telling a referee to deliver a message to Mark Henry and Big Show that if they get physical (Physical! Come on and get physical, physical!) with each other, he will cancel the match at “Money in the Bank” on Sunday. I hope they get physical then. Kane storms in and thanks Long for giving him a match with Orton. Kane says there’s something wrong with him, and that he feels less like a monster and more like a human lately. Completely pointless segment.
I hope that this thing with CM Punk is a part of a larger angle. Punk is just too good to let go.
The Great Khali and Jinder Mahal are in the back doing a photo shoot. Mahal begins yelling at the camera man. I don’t speak their native tongue, so I don’t know what else is being said here.
Christian is in the back and walks up to Orton’s personal bus, pretending to drool all over it. We see that one entire side of the bus has been tagged, and Christian wants to know who did it, and that he’s launching a personal investigation tonight. He’s saying all of this in his best sarcastic tone. Good stuff.
MATCH 3 – Sheamus vs. Sin Cara
Sheamus is getting MAJOR heat from the crowd tonight. Damn right! We see Wade Barrett is on commentary. So, I get Barrett on commentary AND Sheamus in the ring? Bonza! Sheamus overpowers Cara right off the bat. Cara hits a hurricanrana and some kicks, followed by a hoisted dropkick and more kicks. Sheamus with some knees and headbutts, and he throws Cara up top. Cara with some kicks, and hits a corkscrew springboard arm drag. Sheamus answers with an Irish Hammer followed by the Irish Curse for 2. Sheamus with a corner whip, but Cara gets a headscissors. Sheamus no-sells it and gets a knee to the gut. I like listening to Barrett on commentary, and truly believe he can win MITB this Sunday.
Sheamus with some forearms in the ropes, followed by a running knee lift. Sheamus with a cravat to slow things down. Sheamus with more shots. He is completely dominating this match (as he should). Sheamus tries for a powerslam, but Cara slides out. Sheamus goes for the Brogue Kick, but Cara low bridges him, sending Sheamus to the outside. Back in, and Sheamus takes a dropkick for 2. Sin Cara with a kick, but Sheamus catches the springboard plancha and turns it into the first part of an Oklahoma stampede into a fall-away slam. Sheamus is setting up for the High Cross, but Cara reverses into a hurricanrana and gets the 3.
WINNER: Sin Cara. I’m kind of surprised he won this match, but a good outing by both guys nonetheless. Wade Barrett’s in the ring now, and he drops Sheamus with a big boot, followed by the Wasteland. He’s my pick to win MITB, although I could see Sheamus winning as well. Daniel Bryan’s my dark horse pick.
Christian’s wandering around in the casino, and has a hold of Randy Orton’s wallet. He begins rifling through it, throwing things out. He takes the cash out, which he says is around a grand, and says he plans to maybe turn it into some more money for Orton since he’ll need it after the PPV. He plays it all on 1 at a roulette table, but the ball lands on 20. Christian pretends to be disappointed, and then throws the wallet on the ground.
It’s now time for what you’ve all been waiting for-the “Face Off” between Big Show and Mark Henry! Huzzah! These tattoos I had done today really hurt right now, so I’m not sure I have the energy to truly capture incredible encounter. It may just be far too awesome for my abilities. Henry has a hideous shirt on, and only comes down as far as the top of the ramp. The two then trade generic big man barbs. Henry blames Show for everything, and we get a video of when Show punched Henry with his yellow Wham! glove. Big Show says we’ve all been waiting for 15 years for Henry to finally wake up. He lit the fire in Henry, and now he will put it out. Henry says stronger, meaner and better are better than bigger. No, really. That’s what he said. They continue to yell at each other, but Teddy Long stops them from fighting, and says that, on Sunday, we will let God sort it out. Um…what?
If someone wants to give me the new Rey Mysterio DVD, I’ll take it. However, I refuse to pay for it.
MATCH 4 – WWE Divas Champion Kelly Kelly vs. Rosa Mendes (w/Alicia Fox) (non-title)
When was the last time Rosa won so much as a tag team match? Kelly with a victory roll for 2, but Rosa clotheslines her on the middle rope for a 2 of her own. Rosa with a version of the surfboard stretch, but Kelly breaks it with her butt. Yeah. Kelly proceeds to botch some moves and smack Rosa on the butt. Neckbreaker gets 2, followed by the stink face. Kelly tries for a bulldog, but Rosa throws her off. She goes for a swinging neckbreaker, but Kelly reverses it into the Kelly Killer for the 3-count.
WINNER: Kelly Kelly. Pointless match. For some reason, Alicia Fox is applauding Kelly. I can’t be the only one who thinks Alicia Fox looks like a really poorly done-up drag queen.
Another pointless promo with Johnny Curtis. He tells us he will be making his debut sooner than we think. Didn’t realize we were thinking about it. He holds up a bag and says the cat is now out of the bag, but pulls out a stuffed elephant instead. He asks a stage hand named Mikey where the cat is. Apparently, it ran away. Curtis rips the elephant in half. Is there anyone, anyone at all, that can explain this gimmick?
We get a highlight video of MITB matches, minus footage of a certain dead guy.
Christian’s in a studio now, talking about the movie “That’s What I Am”. He talks about a deleted scene in the movie, and shows it to us. It’s the extended version of the “I’ll go to the papers…” scene we’ve all scene. Christian pops up and says the movie is supposed to take place in the sixties, yet they cast a caveman (Orton). He calls Orton a bad actor (true), says he loved Amy Madigan in “Uncle Buck” (great line). He talks about how much of a stretch it was for Orton to play a short-tempered lunatic, and wishes him the best of luck tonight.
Before the next match, Slater gets a mic. Dear god. He talks about how he and Justin Gabriel were 3-time tag team champions, but that Gabriel’s been dropping the ball and he’s tired of it. It’s his time to shine because he’s the “One-Man Rock Band”. I’ve never once seen him play an instrument.
MATCH 5 – Justin Gabriel vs. Heath Slater
And now we’re down to, what, the Usos, McGillicutty/Otunga and Marella/Kozlov for tag teams. Gabriel and Slater trade some holds. Gabriel flips out of a hip toss and catches a sweep for 2. Slater with punches and kicks and a chinlock. Gabriel breaks out and catches a spin kick and a spinning forearm. Slater misses a corner splash, and now Gabriel’s up top. Slater back body drops him off, but misses a moonsault. Gabriel’s up again connects with the 450 splash for the win.
WINNER: Justin Gabriel. This match could have been good, but was too short. While I think Gabriel will go on to be a high mid-carder following this break-up, Slater will either be headed to “Superstars” or be released within a year.
Up next is our main event.
We get a recap of Punk’s promos from last Monday night. I don’t have to tell you how awesome it was, as you should already know.
This new SmackDown! ring announcer sucks. Booker T tries to tell us the ratings for this show have been going up steadily over the last few weeks. Nielsen would happen to disagree. Orton starts off with punches, and Kane responds in kind, followed by a big boot. Pair of corner clotheslines and a sidewalk slam gets 2. Christian’s on top of the ramp now. Kane up with the DC-10, and now he’s setting up for the chokeslam. Of course Orton escapes. Orton with punches, kicks and clotheslines, followed by a powerslam. Orton’s “Ortoning up”. He hits Jerry Lynn’s elevated DDT and is now setting up for the RKO. Kane blocks it, and Orton now sees Christian, resulting in Kane clotheslining him over the ropes and sending them both out to ringside. Christian walks down the ramp and Orton sees him. Orton chases him around ringside, getting counted out in the process (Kane had already slid back in the ring).
WINNER VIA COUNT-OUT: Kane. Completely pointless match.
Orton continues to chase Christian around. Christian gets in the ring, and Orton eats an attack by Kane when he climbs in as well. However, Orton no-sells the hell out of it and gives Kane an RKO, but turns around into a spear by Christian. Christian grabs a chair and the title belt. Orton blocks a chair shot with a kick and grabs the chair, but Christian escapes. Orton then hits Kane with the chair several times across the back.
End of show.
Bryan/Rhodes and Sheamus/Cara were both pretty solid matches, but the rest of the show completely fell flat.
Full WWE Friday Night SmackDown July 15 Results…
Kane defeated Randy Orton via count out
Sin Cara defeated Sheamus
Ezekiel Jackson defeated Ted DiBiase
Cody Rhodes defeated Daniel Bryan
Kelly Kelly defeated Rosa Mendes
Justin Gabriel defeated Heath Slater
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