Once again, your gracious host is back for the WWE Friday Night 8-12-11 edition of the SmackDown! recap. Last week’s episode was fairly decent, so I’m hoping that tonight will be as well. BTW, if you missed it last night, Sheamus was a guest on Conan. I have to say that I think he did a really good job. He showed a lot of personality and he & Conan were able to play off each other very well. Maybe I’m a little biased because I’m a Sheamus fan, but if you ask me, it’s worth a look if you’ve got a few minutes to spare.
I’m sorry. I know I keep harping on this, but who in the hell does Vince McMahon go to for music advice when it comes to opening themes for TV shows? Dear lord. Anyway, things kick off with Triple H once again. You know, all COOs need entrance theme when they come into work. He welcomes us to the show and talks about how different things were a month ago for him, and then goes on about being the COO and the special ref for SummerSlam’s main event on Sunday.
Lots of CM Punk chants at the mention of his name. He says his phone hasn’t stopped ringing and a has a mile of wrestlers waiting outside his office door every day, and that the pressure of having the job is off the charts. However, he says he loves it, and he will do his damnedest to make each show as exciting and unpredictable as possible. Yeah, we’ll see. He announces an Intercontinental title match for later tonight as Ezekiel Jackson will defend the belt against Cody Rhodes, and the two MITB winners will face each other tonight as Daniel Bryan will take on RAW’s Alberto Del Rio. Also, both Christian and Randy Orton will be wrestling in singles matches tonight as the Great Khali takes on Orton (kill me now), and Christian will take on…
Triple H casually tells Christian that the match is still on after pretending to be sad. He says the reason is because Triple H is his boss, and he makes the matches he wants to make, and if Christian refuses to compete in said matches, Christian is in breach of contract, which could lead to his termination and stripping of the title. He says he can either do that or Christian can keep the belt and compete in the originally scheduled match at the PPV. Christian asks why Trips is doing this to him and reminds Trips of Orton attacking Trips’ family. Triple H says he doesn’t like Orton but respects him, as do the fans. The fans like Orton, too, and dislike Christian because they don’t respect him. Stupid fans. Trips says he doesn’t respect Christian anymore because of how he’s been acting since winning the belt, and that if he wants the respect back, he needs to stop whining and compete in the match at the PPV and earn that respect.
Triple H starts to walk to the back, but Christian cuts his music off. Christian agrees to the match at SummerSlam and says he will beat Orton on Sunday and drop the lawsuit, but before that happens, he will beat whoever his opponent is for tonight. Triple H says he’s glad Christian doesn’t have a problem with anything Christian just said, and then introduces Christian’s opponent for the night, that being Sheamus. Apparently, that match will be happening right now.
MATCH 1: World Champion Christian vs. Sheamus (non-title)
Ah, two of my favorites in the opening contest. Why is this a curtain jerker, though? Sheamus starts off by stomping the hell out of Christian. Christian hits an uppercut, but Sheamus gives him a back elbow. Christian low bridges Sheamus to the outside. Sheamus attempts to slam Christian on the floor, but Christian slides out and pushes Sheamus into the post. Back in the ring and Christian is working over Sheamus’ right arm. Stomps in the corner now, but Sheamus kicks his knee out and is getting some blows in. Sheamus gets the corner whip, but misses the shoulder thrust and hits the post, leading to a 2-count by Christian. Christian is working the left arm with a version of a key lock now, but gets caught in the Irish Curse off a bounce off the ropes. Sheamus with a couple of Irish hammers. He goes for another corner whip, but Christian dropkicks him and then leapfrogs over him, but Sheamus catches him off the ropes with a tilt-a-whirl slam. Sheamus reverses out of a Killswitch attempt, but gets tripped up into the ropes, leading to an uppercut. Christian goes for a cross body from the top but misses and Sheamus ties him up into the ropes, leading to some forearm shots to the chest. Sheamus hits the running knee on the apron and is now climbing up top. He catches Christian with a flying shoulder block, and is looking for the Brogue Kick. Christian ducks and slides to the outside, but Sheamus knocks him into the barrier and throws him back in the ring. Sheamus signals for the High Cross, but Christian slides out to the apron and gets a reverse hot shot. He grabs the world title belt and walks to the back, earning a count-out victory for Sheamus.
WINNER VIA COUNT-OUT: Sheamus. Okay match, but far too short for what these guys can do. I’d love to see Sheamus back in the world title hunt. If Christian wins on Sunday, perhaps that will happen?
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As stupid as this K-Mart Randy Orton action figure commercial is, it’s still nowhere near as bad as that car insurance commercial TNA ran last night.
MATCH 2: Natalya and Beth Phoenix vs. A.J. and Kaitlyn
I feel bad for A.J. While she is built like the other divas in the WWE, she actually has a lot of talent and takes wrestling very seriously. Can’t say the same about Kaitlyn, though. At least, not yet. Apparently Natalya and Beth are called D.O.D. or “Divas of Doom”. Natalya and Kaitlyn start off with Kaitlyn getting bodyslammed. Phoenix tags in and they do a double electric chair drop for 2. Phoenix misses a corner charge and A.J. is tagged in. She hits a seated dropkick and goes for a body scissors into a roll-up, but Phoenix turns it into the Glam Slam. This one’s over.
WINNERS: The Divas of Doom. Total squash. The finish looked good, but again, match was short as hell. I don’t think it even lasted a full minute. After the match, Beth throws A.J. outside while Natalya locks Kaitlyn in the Sharpshooter.
We learn Hunico will be here tonight. I mean, Sin Cara. Yeah.
Backstage, Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase confront Teddy Long and Zack Ryder. Rhodes thanks Zack for sanctioning the IC title match, but Teddy says Zack had nothing to do with it. All of a sudden, Aksana shows up again, complete with Z-grade porn music. She asks Teddy if he wants to do business with her. Long starts rambling about how he needs to check various parts of his car, including the stick shift. Aksana says “Teddy, I know how to check stick shift”. Huh? Oh, I get it. Like he’s got an erection. Ha. So funny, except not really.
Jeebus. We get ANOTHER Mark Henry video package. I at least have to give the WWE an A for effort in attempting to finally get Mark Henry over.
We see Johnny Curtis backstage, and he’s confronted by Mark Henry. Henry says it’s a shame to see someone’s career start and finish on the same day. He informs Curtis his debut match is against Henry. Mark Henry says he saw Johnny Curtis’ vignettes and liked them. He offers one of his own by saying he wants Curtis to go out there and break a leg. With his new facial hair, Johnny Curtis looks like a smaller Matt Morgan.
MATCH 3: Sin Cara vs. Tyson Kidd
For those of you that are wondering why Sin Cara looks different (and about my Hunico comment earlier), it’s not him; it’s FCW wrestler Hunico (formerly known as Incognito in Mexico). Supposedly, this is just for one night until the real Sin Cara’s suspension is up next week, but there are rumors that Hunico will be taking over the role permanently and that Mistico (the real Sin Cara) has been released. Guess we’ll know more for sure in the next few days. Kidd goes to the outside after missing a dive, leading to a springboard cross body to the floor by Cara. As he tries to spring back in, Kidd kicks him back to the floor, followed by a dropkick through the ropes. Kidd throws Cara back in the ring and gets an arm wringer. Cara arm drags out and gets a kick from the outside at the corner. He hits a top robe flying forearm, a head scissors and a springboard cross body for 2. Cara hits a weird flip splash in the corner and puts Kidd on top, followed by a chest chop. Cara goes for the Spanish Fly but Kidd headbutts out. He misses a dive and Cara catches him with a modified fireman’s carry slam. He hits a springboard swanton and a Lionsault, and this one’s over.
WINNER: Sin Cara. Very short match and it was painfully obvious it wasn’t the real Sin Cara. Not only do he and Hunico have different builds, but very different in-ring styles and move sets as well.
MATCH 4: Alberto Del Rio (w/Ricardo Rodriguez) vs. Daniel Bryan
This should be damn good. Two more of my favorites (don’t worry; I don’t have an infinitely long list of “Fave-5” wrestlers like Booker T) who should both be in title matches by Wrestlemania time, in my opinion. Did Bryan get new music yet again? I swear it’s different than the song last week. Josh Mathews claims he has a rumor Del Rio will cash in his briefcase tonight, and he heard it from Orton. Michael Cole actually makes sense by pointing out that Del Rio’s case is only good for a WWE title match and not a world title match. Del Rio starts off with kicks in the corner, but Bryan counters with some European uppercuts and a corner dropkick for 2. Del Rio counters with a punch and throws Bryan into the corner shoulder first. Back suplex gets 2, and now Del Rio locks a top wrist lock. Bryan breaks out with forearms and backflips out of a corner whip. He hits a running clothesline for 2. He proceeds to do his series of nasty kicks, but Del Rio rolls out of the last one and hits a nasty jumping enziguri for 2. He goes for the rolling juji-gatame, but Bryan rolls out and back drops Del Rio out to the floor. He hits the suicide dive (although Del Rio looked like botched the spot by trying to catch him) and is now selling a shoulder injury. Back in the ring and Bryan’s up top. He misses the seated missile dropkick and Del Rio locks in the juji-gatame to get the submission victory.
WINNER: Alberto Del Rio. Good match, but again, it was incredibly short. Has someone in WWE been watching TNA or something? As Del Rio is making his way to the back, Wade Barrett comes out and gives Daniel Bryan the Wasteland. I understand Barrett/Bryan is confirmed for SummerSlam, which could easily be the show stealer in terms of match quality.
We see Christian sitting in his locker room, apparently in deep thought. IC title match is next.
We get a SummerSlam highlight of Ultimate Warrior ending Honky Tonk Man’s record-setting Intercontinental title reign in near record at SummerSlam 1988.
MATCH 5-Intercontinental Championship: Cody Rhodes (w/Ted DiBiase and bag boys) vs. Intercontinental Champion Ezekiel Jackson
Honestly, I don’t care who wins this match at all. I have no real interest in either wrestler. One of the bag boys once again gives Booker T a bag. Are they leading to a Rhodes/Booker T match or something? What’s the point of this? Rhodes starts off with an arm wringer, but Zeke fights out of it and backs Rhodes into the corner. He throws Rhodes out of the corner for 2, but misses some elbow drops. Rhodes rolls outside and tries to get some shots in, but Zeke cuts him off and sends him back to the floor with a punch. Commercial.
Back from the break and Rhodes is on offense with punches (of course). Rhodes gets in a hammerlock/chinlock combination. Zeke tries to get out but gets pulled back down and gets a stomp to the face and a knee drop for 2. Rhodes goes back to the combination move and then adds in a body scissors. Zeke picks him up and backs him into the corner, but Rhodes kicks Zeke’s arm on a clothesline attempt. Rhodes goes for a bulldog, but Zeke throws him off and hits a couple of clotheslines followed by a corner clothesline. Zeke’s going for the bodyslams now that Josh incorrectly calls powerslams. Zeke hits three of them before going for the backbreaker. Rhodes grabs the ropes and gets out and begins hitting some headbutts. Rhodes hits the Beautiful Disaster, which Zeke no-sells. Rhodes locks in the Cross Rhodes off ducking a clothesline, hits it and this one’s over.
WINNER AND NEW CHAMPION: Cody Rhodes. And just like that, the IC title became even more meaningless in my eyes. After the match, DiBiase puts a paper bag on Zeke’s head. This apparently just pisses Zeke off, who just clubs the hell out of DiBiase while Cody looks on and does nothing. Zeke hits DiBiase with the Book of Ezekiel before press-slamming him straight to the floor face-first. That actually looked really nasty, like Rhodes was supposed to catch DiBiase but missed his cue. I hope it looked worse than it was, for DiBiase’s sake.
I notice that that one ripped-yet-insane Canadian guy is missing from the Greatest Superstars of the 21st Century DVD commercial. What was his name again? Oh, right. Rene Dupree. Yep, that was him.
RAW recap time.
Yet another Matt Striker interview with Randy Orton. Is it bed time already? Orton says that Christian has been looking for every way possible for Orton to slip up and make a mistake, but it doesn’t matter because their match at SummerSlam has no rules. Orton says his anger management coach has told him to find an appropriate way to release his anger, and he can’t think of a better way than Christian at SummerSlam. He then tells Great Khali that he won’t need the Rosetta Stone or Jinder Mahal to tell him what RKO stands for, and that he’ll tell him himself. Great. Because I know that “What does RKO stand for?” is what inquiring minds want to know. I’m thuper, thuper therial about this. Insert pointless Manbearpig joke here.
MATCH 6: Mark Henry vs. Johnny Curtis
Curtis ducks a clothesline and goes for a waistlock, but Henry throws him off and then hits a shoulder block and some slaps. Henry telegraphs a back body drop. Curtis answers with some shots, but Henry hits a standing avalanche to stop that. He hits another one, followed by the World’s Strongest Slam, and gets the 3.
WINNER: Mark Henry. Yet another match I’m pretty sure lasted less than a minute. What was the point of hyping Curtis for months only to have him squashed in his debut? Post-match, Henry starts to go for the Pillmanizer, but Sheamus runs out to put a stop to it. Sheamus says he hears about how tough Henry is, yet every time he shows up, Henry runs away. Sheamus calls Henry “Shamu”, tells him to roll off the beach back into this ocean (the ring) and fight him like a man. Sheamus says that they don’t have to wait for SummerSlam and instead can do this tonight. Henry begins to go back into the ring, but instead gives the WSS to Curtis on the floor as he was heading to the back. Sheamus actually does the right thing here and continues to look like a thug wanting to fight by completely ignoring Curtis and continuing to challenge Henry instead.
Rumor has it those in creative have already given up on Mahal due to his total suckitude in the ring. Can’t blame them. I love how Great Khali comes out to Mahal’s music, Mahal’s video and Mahal’s graphic. Shows they think highly of him. Again, can’t blame them. Orton starts with a lock-up, but Khali throws him off. Orton with some boots and punches, but Khali pushes him off and gets a forearm to the head. Now he’s doing some stomps in the corner. Man! This match is action-PACKED! Mahal chokes Orton behind the ref’s back before Khali clotheslines Orton to the floor over the top rope. Outside, Khali slams Orton’s head into the steps, then throws him into the other set of steps. Back in the ring and Khali signals for the brain chop, which does connect but only gets 2. Khali is now going for the trapezius vice, and Orton’s laughing as he bleeds from the mouth yet again. Orton fights out and dropkicks Khali into the ropes for the old Andre the Giant spot. Orton begins kicking Khali in the midsection before knocking Mahal off the apron with a kick. Orton hits a DDT on Khali and is looking for the RKO. As he goes for it, Khali locks in the Khali Vice, but only for a second before backing Orton into the corner. Orton fights out and catches the RKO. Orton gets the pin, but not before laughing like a tool first.
WINNER: Randy Orton. Pointless match that did nothing for either guy. Christian then comes out and says he has an announcement for their SummerSlam match that will change anything. He says he now cannot wait for the match and that he has the best thing going. I guess we have to wait for the PPV to see what this thing is.
End of show.
Once again, SmackDown! goes back to the formula of really solid show one week, total disappointment the next. The opening match was decent, but far too short (Sheamus cut another nice promo after the Mark Henry/Johnny Curtis “match”, too), as was Bryan/Del Rio. Everything else was too short to make anyone really care. And Cody Rhodes as the new IC champ? Thanks, but no thanks.
Full August 12, 2011 WWE Friday Night SmackDown results…
Sheamus defeated Christian via Count Out
Natalya and Beth Phoenix defeated A.J. and Kaitlyn
Sin Cara defeated Tyson Kidd
Alberto Del Rio defeated Daniel Bryan
Cody Rhodes defeated Ezekiel Jackson to win the WWE Intercontinental championship
Mark Henry defeated Johnny Curtis
Randy Orton defeated the Great Khali
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