Tonight’s WWE Friday Night SmackDown main event will be a Triple Threat Match for the World Championship, as Sheamus defends against both Dolph Ziggler and Alberto Del Rio. Looks like SmackDown!’s trend of solid main events will continue this week, which is always a good thing.
We get a recap from last Monday, when AJ distracted Kane during the Triple Threat Elimination Match. After Punk eliminated Kane, Bryan eliminated Punk, which led to Punk/Bryan set for Money in the Bank. You couldn’t ask for a better main event for that PPV.
MATCH 1: AJ vs. Divas Champion Layla (non-title)
First, Layla has Michelle McCool’s old theme. Now, she’s got Tiffany’s (remember her? No? Good). Is Jim Johnston just getting lazy as he gets up there in years? Handshake to start the match, followed by a tie-up. Layla gets AJ in a side headlock and turns it into a hip throw. AJ reverses into a headscissors, and both are now back up. They do the same sequence, but opposite, and Layla gets a 1-count off a half-nelson pin. Layla goes back to the side headlock, and shoulders her down off the ropes. Criss-cross ends in a nice roll-up by Layla for 2. Arm wringer by Layla, and AJ forearms her in the face. Drop toehold off the ropes by AJ, followed by a running dropkick. Layla is in the corner, where AJ lands a clothesline for 1. Layla comes back with a spinning back kick to the gut and a springboard cross body out of the corner for 2. A swinging facebuster off the ropes gets another 2 for Layla. AJ lands a couple kicks, followed by a nice roundhouse off the ropes. Daniel Bryan’s music hits, and he comes out doing the “Yes!” chant on a microphone. He does it as he circles the ring, then heads back up the ramp. The distraction allows Layla to hit a version of the ranhei to get the 3.
AJ attacks Layla from behind after the match as Daniel Bryan watches from the ring apron. Eventually Layla rolls out of the ring, and AJ turns her attention to Bryan. Bryan tells her to calm down, and it’s not so fun when someone distracts you in the middle of the match. Unlike AJ, he’s not out here because he craves attention; he’s out here because he has something very important to discuss. AJ starts to leave, but Bryan talks her into staying. He has something to talk to Vickie Guerrero about that he wants AJ to hear, and he’s not leaving the ring until Vickie gives him what he wants. He’ll hold the show hostage if he has to. Vickie no-shows, so Bryan begins a “Yes!” chant. AJ begins joining in on the chant, and Bryan just shakes his head as we go to commercials.
The Great American Bash returns next week, albeit as an episode of SmackDown!, and it will be live on Tuesday.
Back from the break, the dueling “Yes!” chants are stil going as Bryan and AJ scream it over and over at each other. Eventually, guest GM Vickie Guerrero makes her way out, putting a stop to this. She says she doesn’t know what Bryan wants, but she’s sure everyone is tired of him repeating his catchphrase before yelling “Excuse me!” Bryan says he needs to make a point. He defeated both CM Punk and Kane on Monday night, and is the new #1 contender to the WWE title. He needed to show everyone that both RAW and SmackDown! will soon revolve around him. He also wanted applaud Vickie for her seeing what he did on RAW, working with the Board of Directors quickly and getting him his title match. It makes him want her to be the permanent WWE GM, and if that’s the case, she’ll be the GM, he’ll be the champion, and they’re going to need to work together hand-in-hand. Assuming that happens, he has an idea he wants her to take to the Board. For his match at MITB, he wants AJ banned from ringside. She is a liability. She is unstable. She is a menace, and he refuses to lose his opportunity because of her. Vickie understands what he’s saying. She’s not a fan of AJ, and she hasn’t forgotten what happened in the Battle Royal last Monday night. Vickie then berates AJ, but Bryan cuts her off, saying it’s about him, not her and AJ. Vickie apologizes and says he’s right. But, there was a poll on WWE.com this week, asking what role AJ should play at MITB. The first option was guest referee, the second was guest ring announcer, the third was guest commentator, and the fourth was guest time keeper. The WWE Universe voted 76% in favor of guest referee, as you would probably guess. Vickie spoke with the Board, and she agreed with them that AJ should indeed be the guest referee. AJ then begins another “Yes!” chant as she leaves the ring. Bryan calls this unfair, and begins screaming “No!” over and over as he leaves the ring.
Vickie informs us that she went to the Board with another decision, and they agreed. Over the next two weeks, SmackDown! will feature qualifying matches for the World title contract MITB match at the PPV. Unlike the WWE title MITB match, the World title one will be open to anyone, and we’re going to start the qualifiers right now.
Zack Ryder makes his way out, and we’ll find out his opponent after the break.
Did You Know? David Bowie’s real name is David Jones, and when he began his music career, he went by Davie Jones. However, in order to avoid confusion with Davy Jones of the Monkees, who was already very popular at the time, Jones changed his name. He chose David Bowie, taking his stage surname from the inventor of the bowie knife, Jim Bowie. Coincidentally, Jim Bowie’s mother’s maiden name was Jones.
MATCH 2-SmackDown! MITB Match Qualifier: Zack Ryder vs. Damien Sandow
No matter who wins here, we as fans all win. Before the match starts, Sandow wants to beg our indulgence for one moment. His name is Damien Sandow, and he’s here tonight not only to help all of us, but to also help his opponent this evening, the WWE’s official ambassador of ignorance, mediocrity and stupidity, who quite frankly is no different than anyone the building this evening. When he emerges victorious, Sandow ensures us, the unwashed masses, will soon have a World Champion that will shepherd us all to the era of enlightenment we’re all yearning for. You’re welcome. Tie-up to start, with Ryder going into a side headlock. Shoulder off the ropes, followed by a flying forearm. Ryder with a flapjack for 2. Sandow boots him in the knee out of the corner, slams him into the turnbuckles, then stomps him down. Sandow grinds his face into the mat before nailing a side-Russian legsweep. Sandow hits the Elbow of Disdain for 2. He grabs Ryder in a full-nelson and slams him in the top turnbuckle. Ryder hits a facebuster off the ropes, followed by a back elbow. He gets his knees up in the corner off a charge, then hits a middle rope missile dropkick for 2. Ryder with a headbutt before punching Sandow down in the corner. He hits the Broski Boot and sets up for the Rough Ryder. Sandow counters it with a Stun Gun, then hits the straightjacket neckbreaker for 3.
WINNER: Damien Sandow, who qualifies for MITB. Unless Wade Barrett returns before the PPV like he is rumored to do, I’m picking Sandow as my winner of the ladder match.
We see Daniel Bryan in the back. He pounds on the Divas locker room door, wanting to talk to AJ. Kaitlyn answers the door and says AJ’s not there. She doesn’t know where AJ is, but Bryan should get on his good side because, he didn’t hear this from her, but AJ is a little mentally unstable. She then slams the door in Bryan’s face.
MATCH 2-SmackDown! MITB Qualifier: Tyson Kidd vs. Jack Swagger
Looks like Swagger will be a lame duck entry yet again this year. Kidd goes into a waistlock. Swagger reverses and nails a takedown. He tries a second one, and Kidd reverses into a victory roll for 2. Swagger throws Kidd over the top, but he lands on his feet on the apron. Kidd gets his knee up on a charging Swagger, then comes in with a modified roll-up for 2. Swagger slides to the floor in frustration, and Kidd nails him with a dropkick. Kidd goes for a dive, but Swagger gets back in the ring, Kidd landing on his feet on the apron. He flips back into the ring, and is met by a wheelbarrow suplex from Swagger for 2. Swagger throws Kidd to the corner and nails him with some knees to the face. Shoulder throw by Swagger, and he holds on, turns it into an arm wringer, then nails another shoulder throw before hitting a legdrop off the ropes for 2. Swagger goes into an armbar. Swagger tries a kitchen sink off the ropes, but Kidd holds on and turns it into a schoolboy for 2. Back up, Swagger throws Kidd to the corner and nails a clothesline. Swagger with a hard hip toss out of the corner, which immediately leads to the Swagger Bomb for 2. Swagger locks in a fujiwara, but Kidd gets back to his feet and fights out. He nails a kick off the ropes before turning a back body drop into a tornado DDT. He ducks a clothesline and nails a spinning back kick. Another one to the gut followed by a low dropkick gets 2. Swagger reverses a corner whip, but Kidd catches him with an elbow on the charge. He climbs on Swagger’s shoulders, looking for a victory roll. Swagger blocks it and turns it into a facebuster before locking in the ankle lock. Kidd rolls through and sends Swagger into the turnbuckles face-first. He lands a kick on the apron, then goes up top, nailing a blockbuster, surprisingly getting the 3.
WINNER: Tyson Kidd, who joins Damien Sandow at the PPV. Honestly very pleasantly surprised by this outcome. Kidd deserves this, that’s for damn sure. Good match, too.
We get Jerry Lawler’s favorite RAW moment, which was the “Bedpan McMahon” incident. Not sure why we’re getting this, as we have already seen Lawler’s favorite moment in the last couple weeks. I thought we were going to get someone new every time.
We see Vickie Guerrero and Dolph Ziggler talking in the back. He’s complaining about what’s going on tonight. She says she’s trying to make a good impression to the Board. Ziggler wants the Brogue Kick and the rolling jujigatame banned tonight. This is his life and career. It’s six years of his life, without a single reward. He begins getting louder and louder, and she eventually slaps him. Ziggler calms down, and asks Vickie to just promise she’ll come out and raise his hand tonight when he wins. She agrees.
MATCH 4-SmackDown MITB Qualifier: WWE United States Champion Santino Marella and Intercontinental Champion Christian vs. David Otunga and Cody Rhodes
The stipulation here is that both members of the winning team qualify for the MITB match. Otunga now has a stupid pre-match posedown involving dramatic music and a spotlight. Again, the stupid sonofab*tch has no idea how to pose. Watch a single bodybuilding competition, and you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. Marella and Rhodes start, with Rhodes going into a hammerlock. Marella elbows out, whips Rhodes to the corner and nails a shoulder. Christian tags in and ties Rhodes in an arm wringer, breaking it with a chop to the chest. Uppercut by Christian, but he gets a kitchen sink off the ropes. Rhodes lands a standing gourdbuster for 2 before tagging in Otunga. Otunga stomps Christian, hits a bodyslam and a low shoulderblock for 2. Foot choke over the bottom rope by Otunga, and Rhodes stomps Christian behind the ref’s back. Rhodes tags in, snapmares Christian, then puts him in a modified rear chinlock. Christian gets up and whips Rhodes into the corner. Rhodes gets his feet up on the charge and mounts the middle rope. Christian meets him on the way down with a punch to the gut. Rhodes tags in Otunga, and Marella tags in as well. Marella with some punches, a hip toss and a saluting headbutt. He signals for the Cobra and nails Otunga with it, but Rhodes pulls Otunga to the floor. He throws Otunga back in the ring and makes the tag. Rhodes nails a back kick to the gut for 1, followed by a jackknife for 2. Rhodes steps on Marella’s face before tagging Otunga back in. Otunga punches away at Marella in the corner, then lands a back elbow off the ropes. He steals Scott Steiner’s posing elbow for 2 before going into a modified camel clutch. Marella manages to reverse the move into a back suplex before tagging in Christian. Christian hits an uppercut and a forearm off the ropes. Rhodes tags in and eats a flapjack. Christian hits a spinning European uppercut off the middle rope, then signals for the Killswitch. Rhodes sees it and nails the Goldust uppercut. Christian rolls to the ring apron, where he nails Rhodes with a shoulder to the gut and an inverted hotshot. Back in the ring, Christian goes for the Killswitch, but Rhodes pushes him off. Christian ducks a clothesline and nails a falling inverted DDT. Christian goes to the corner for the spear, but Otunga grabs his foot. This allows Rhodes to nail Christian from behind with a forearm and tag in Otunga. Rhodes holds Christian for a punch, but Christian ducks, with Otunga nailing Rhodes. Marella shoves Rhodes out of the ring, and Otunga clotheslines Marella over the top rope. Christian takes the opportunity to nail Otunga with a spear, getting the 3.
WINNERS: Christian and Santino Marella, who join Kidd and Sandow to make half the SmackDown! MITB match. I would have guessed Rhodes would be in the match, but when Otunga was made his partner, you knew it wasn’t happening, at least not in this match. Rhodes throws a tantrum in the ring as the winners celebrate on the ramp.
Backstage, Matt Striker asks Sheamus if he’s worried about the match tonight, since he doesn’t have to be pinned to lose. Sheamus says he didn’t become champion by worrying. He discusses the different ways he could lose the title by worrying, including getting hit by a car driven by Lindsay Lohan. He says Alberto Del Rio thinks he’s better than everyone because he’s rich, and Dolph Ziggler thinks he’s better because he’s Dolph Ziggler. Sheamus isn’t worried, because he’s more focused on kicking arse.
We see what happened with Vickie, AJ and Bryan earlier tonight, which segues into footage of AJ backstage. She’s smiling and talking to herself as Daniel Bryan approaches. He’s been looking all over for her. He’s sorry about what he did earlier tonight, but he’s seriously concerned for her well-being. She attacked Layla, and that’s not like her. Has she considered seeking professional help? People who care about each other help each other? AJ is just staring at him and smiling. Bryan asks if she wants the doctor’s number, and she says, “Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes.” before skipping away.
MATCH 5-2-on-1 Handicap Match: Dan Barone and Brendan Burke vs. Ryback
The jobbers do a rap about how they’re going to beat Ryback. Dan has a big hicky on his neck. That’s nice. Way to look good for television, bud. Ryback drops Dan with an elevated spinebuster. Brendan tries to run away, and Ryback meets him on the floor with a boot to the chest. He drags Dan to the floor before throwing Brendan back in the ring. Brendan tries some kicks, and Ryback just knees him to the chest. Dan jumps on Ryback’s back, and Ryback drops him with a backpack stunner. Brendan gets dropped with a walking powerbomb, and Dan is leveled with a clothesline. Ryback hits the double Shell Shocked (his finisher) and this one’s over.
WINNER: Ryback. If you’re wondering why Ryback’s gear looks similar to Rob Van Dam’s, Ryback confirmed that he goes to the same airbrushing artist. Just a little bit more useless trivia for you.
In the back, we see Aksana and Antonio Cesaro making out. Teddy Long interrupts them. He lets them know he harbors no ill-will to them for their relationship, and to let them know that he is the guest GM next week. This of course leads to Aksana trying to flirt with Teddy Long. He says he can see clearly now. These two not only deserve each other, but need each other next week. On the live episode of SmackDown! next week, they are teaming up in a mixed tag team match against Divas Champion Layla and the Great Khali.
Justin Gabriel is out for his match, and we’ll find out his opponent after the break.
Did You Know? Comedian and writer Albert Brooks’ real name is Albert Einstein, and his brother is Dave Einstein, better known as “Super” Dave Osborne.
MATCH 6-SmackDown! MITB Qualifier: Justin Gabriel vs. Tensai (w/Sakamoto)
Gabriel nails some forearms to the ace and chops to the chest. Tensai no-sells and nails a shoulder off the ropes. He grabs Gabriel by the face and pushes him over the top rope. Gabriel gets back up and shoulders Tensai. He comes off the top rope with a fist, but Tensai nails him on the way down before landing some elbow drops. Tensai turns Gabriel on his stomach and lands some forearms to the back of the head. Delayed butterfly suplex gets 2. We learn Cody Rhodes is staging a protest next week, since he didn’t get pinned earlier in his match. Anyway, Tensai picks Gabriel up for a bearhug, and Gabriel fights out with elbows and a jawbreaker. He goes for a sunset flip, but Tensai picks him up by the throat. Gabriel breaks the hold with kicks, eventually nailing a Ghetto Blaster. Tensai is still on his feet and he pushes Gabriel away to the corner. Gabriel gets his feet up on the charge and nails a seated missile dropkick for 2. Gabriel hits a top rope Asai moonsault for 2, then nails some kicks. He goes to the middle rope, but Tensai catches him by the throat and hits the falling tree slam. A running senton off the ropes follows, and it’s enough to get the 3.
WINNER: Tensai. We now have five of the eight men for the MITB match, and we learn the remaining three will be determined in qualifying matches next week.
Up next, the main event.
Another RAW moment. This time, we hear Triple H’s again, when he returned from injuring his quad.
MATCH 7-Triple Threat Match for the World Championship: Alberto Del Rio (w/Ricardo Rodriguez) vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Champion Sheamus
Sheamus charges at the heels with various shots. He throws each to a corner, beating ADR down and clotheslining Ziggler to the floor. ADR nails him with a kick from behind, then beats him down in a corner. Sheamus counters a clothesline with the rolling fireman’s carry slam for 2. Ziggler attacks Sheamus from behind, but Sheamus shakes it off and chases Ziggler to the floor. He chases Ziggler around the ring back into the ring, where ADR nails Ziggler. Sheamus nails ADR, then hits a back body drop on Ziggler for 2. ADR nails Sheamus with an armbar takedown for 2 before dropping some knees across the arm and locking in an armbar. Sheamus fights out of the hold with punches and goes to the ropes, but Ziggler low bridges him. Back in the ring, Ziggler counters a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker with a dropkick, sending ADR to the floor. Ziggler follows and slams ADR’s head into the steps. Back in the ring, Ziggler gets 2. Sheamus tries to get back in the ring, but Ziggler dropkicks him down. ADR comes back at Ziggler with a kick to the leg, then corner whips him. He misses an avalanche, which allows Ziggler to get another 2. He stomps ADR in the corner, then sets him up on the top rope. Ziggler looks for a middle rope superplex, but ADR reverses and tries for a gourdbuster. Ziggler counters and punches ADR to the floor, with ADR landing badly. Sheamus is back in the ring, and he nails Ziggler with an electric chair as we go to commercials.
Back from the break, Sheamus is going for Ziggler, but gets dropkicked by ADR from behind, sending Sheamus to the floor. ADR kicks him to keep him out, then heads to the floor himself, nailing a big boot on Sheamus. Ziggler is out there as well, and he stomps Sheamus as ADR uses a foot choke. Sheamus tries to fight them both off, but has no luck, and they throw him across the announce desk. Ziggler continues to stomp on Sheamus before ADR drags him to the steps, slamming his head into them. All three are back in the ring now. ADR snapmares Sheamus, and Ziggler stomps him. Ziggler mounts the top rope as ADR tries for the pin on Sheamus, but Ziggler breaks it up. They begin shoving each other, which leads to slugfest between the heels. In the meantime, Sheamus mounts the top rope and nails a double Battering Ram. Sheamus nails each with Irish Hammers, then a pair of kneelifts. Tilt-a-whirl powerslam on ADR gets 2, but Ziggler breaks up the pin. Sheamus throws Ziggler to the apron, where he’s ripe for the tied-up forearms to the chest. ADR tries to come in with double-knee armbreaker on Sheamus, but Sheamus shrugs him off. ADR ducks a Brogue Kick, but nails the Irish Curse for 2 as Ziggler once again breaks it up. Ziggler stomps away at Sheamus and sets up for the Rocker Dropper, but Sheamus sidesteps the move and nails White Noise. He cals for the Brogue Kick, but ADR hotshots his arm from behind, then nails the double-knee armbreaker for 2. ADR stomps Sheamus in the head out of frustration before looking for the rolling jujigatame, but Sheamus shoves him off sternum-first into the turnbuckles. He charges in with a shoulder, and ADR moves out of the way, causing Sheamus to go shoulder-first into the ring post. Ziggler nails a dropkick on the bad arm from the outside, but gets nailed with a step-up enziguri by ADR as he tries to get back in. ADR locks in the jujigatame on Sheamus, but Ziggler breaks it up and nails ADR with the Rocker Dropper for 2. Good stuff here, folks. Ricardo jumps on the ring apron as ADR and Ziggler trade waistlocks. Ziggler gets one on ADR and shoves him into Ricardo, knocking Ricardo off the apron and allowing Ziggler to roll ADR up for the pin, which is broken up by a nasty Brogue Kick by Sheamus. He sends ADR to the floor and pins Ziggler to retain the title.
WINNER AND STILL CHAMPION: Sheamus. Another great main event tonight. SmackDown!’s been on a role lately.
End of show.
Another good episode. Seeing who has qualified for the SmackDown! MITB match, I’m excited to see this PPV once again. Still not sure who Sheamus will be defending against at the show, but the WWE title match and the blue brand’s ladder match are already making the card look like a worthy purchase.
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