On tonight’s SmackDown!, Big Show will face Randy Orton. Wait. Big Show still works here?
Speaking of Show, he’s making his way out right now. The most destructive force in WWE history is back, and he wants the World Championship. His last title reign lasted 45 seconds. Do you know what that does to the psyche of a man like him? Do you know how embarrassed he was? He then had to watch the guy who took the belt from him and lose it to Sheamus in 18 seconds at Wrestlemania. That was a turning point in his career. He wasn’t in the main event at WrestleMania, he wasn’t the champion, and he was in a match where he was the subject of jokes. No one is making fun of him anymore, and no one will when he becomes champion again. He understands he’s the one man on this roster who can defeat the current champion, Sheamus. As for how he’s going to do that…
Randy Orton’s music cuts him off. Orton steps into the ring, and he appears to be growing the “Legacy/Legend Killer” hairdo back. Orton says he finds it funny that Show is out here, talking about taking out Sheamus when, in reality, he hasn’t gone through the most sadistic and dominant man on this show, that being himself. Their match tonight is for the #1 contendership (not a real word), with the winner moving onto Hell in a Cell. Orton is a 9-time champion, and if Show thinks he’s standing in the way of #10, he’s not going to be standing much longer. Show says either someone will get bit by an RKO, or hit with a KO. Because this is already off to a great start, Alberto Del Rio and Ricardo Rodriguez make their way onto the stage. You can’t just ignore ADR like that. He was cheated by Booker T when the Brogue Kick was reinstated at NoC. He says he’s better than Orton and Show combined. The both of them are going to the back of the line. As ADR steps into the ring, Orton hits him with an RKO. Orton leaves and taunts Show from the stage.
[adinserter block=”2″]Later tonight, MizTV debuts, and Miz’s first guest will be Sheamus.
Up Next, Santino challenges Antonio Cesaro for the US title.
MATCH 1-WWE United States Championship: Champion Antonio Cesaro vs. Santino Marella
Cesaro better not lose here. Nothing against Marella, but Cesaro needs a good, long title reign. Tie-up to start, and Cesaro breaks it with a boot to the gut. A forearm to the face knocks Santino down. Santino counters the corner whip and goes for a hip toss, but Cesaro blocks it and nails a clothesline. Cesaro throws Santino to the corner and nails him with some punches and kicks. Suplex into a float-over gets 1. Double stomp to the stomach before Cesaro locks in a cravat. Santino punches out and counters with a nice Saito Suplex. Some punches and a bodyslam by Santino, and now he pulls out the Cobra. Before it can strike, Cesaro cuts him off and goes for the lifting gutwrench. Santino counters into a sunset flip for 2. During that exchange, the Cobra went flying off Santino’s arm. He goes looking for it and walks right into a European uppercut. Lifting gutwrench connects for 2. As Cesaro is talking trash, Santino surprises him with a superkick for 2. Cesaro rolls to the apron, where he lands a shoulder thrust on an incoming Santino. He goes up now, and Santino cuts him off. Both are up top now, where they trade punches. Cesaro nails a headbutt and goes for a top rope Neutralizer, but Santino back drops him to the mat. Santino goes up top and tries for his old finisher, the top rope saluting headbutt, but Cesaro rolls out of the way. Neutralizer connects, and this one’s over.
WINNER AND STILL CHAMPION: Antonio Cesaro. Fun match here, and proof that Santino is a much better competitor than most give him credit for.
MATCH 2: Natalya vs. Beth Phoenix
I am really sad to see Beth go, and in all honesty, I think she is as well. You can see it in her face right at the beginning of this match. They shake hands after the bell rings, and a tie-up turns into an armbar by Beth. Nattie rolls out of it and counters with a fireman’s carry into an armbar of her own. Beth counters with a headscissors, and Nattie kips out. Drop toe hold into a front chancery by Beth, and Nattie counters into a hammerlock. Beth counters into another armbar. Nattie counters with a hammerlock, and Beth backs her into the corner. Clean break before Beth hits a hip throw into a side headlock. Nattie tries to counter with a headscissors, but Beth pushes her legs off and continues applying the hold. Nattie fights out and goes for a Thesz Press, but Beth catches her. She turns the move into a powerslam, but Nattie slides out and shoves Beth off. Nattie slaps Beth, so Beth takes her down and fires off some mounted punches. We’re in Beth’s hometown of Buffalo, NY, BTW, so she’s getting face cheers. Nattie gets to the ropes, but runs right into a side-Russian leg sweep once she gets up, causing Beth’s headband to fly off in the process. Beth mounts the middle rope, looking for a dropkick, but Nattie counters into the Sharpshooter. Beth tries to power out to the ropes, so Nattie drags her further into the ring. Beth does eventually crawl to the ropes, though, forcing Nattie to break the hold. Beth tries for a roll-up, and keeps rolling into the Glam Slam. Nattie escapes and goes for a body scissors, which Beth counters into a Glam Slam that hits, but only gets 2. Beth goes for a victory roll out of the corner, but Nattie drops down on her for 2. Beth counters into victory roll position, and gets the 3.
WINNER: Beth Phoenix. Wow. A good, semi-long Divas match on Smackdown!? I am shocked. Beth begins to cry after the match, but Eve Torres cuts off the celebration. She wants to apologize to Beth for acting in the heat of the moment. Until they know who attacked Kaitlyn at NoC, they need to act rationally. All they know right now is the assailant is blonde. Therefore, until the investigation is over, Beth Phoenix is indefinitely suspended. That’s…a really stupid way to get Beth off of TV, especially when the other blonde in the company is right there, and is receiving no storyline punishment as well.
Zack Ryder video.
We’re in Booker T’s office now, and he’s with Teddy Long. Long tells him the tag team division is looking good. Book says they need to determine number-one contender to the titles. Book proposes an 8-team elimination tournament with the winner facing Daniel Bryan and Kane at HIAC. WWE having a viable tag team division and putting emphasis on it? The hell, you say. Teddy says that’s a great concept. Beth Phoenix storms in and asks about her suspension. Book doesn’t know what she’s talking about. He says Eve doesn’t have the authority to do that, and he’s reversing that decision. Eve then apologizes to Beth, and was doing what she thought Book wanted her to do. She says Teddy told her to do that, and he says he never said anything like that. She accuses Teddy of trying to get the job of GM back. Book says he doesn’t know what to believe, and to just give him a minute to think everything over.
MATCH 3: Zack Ryder vs. Wade Barrett
Barrett starts off with a pair of knee lifts and a shoulder off the ropes. Crisscross ends in a nasty mule kick to the gut. Pumphandle slam gets 2. Barrett fires off some punches in the corner before hitting the slingshot backbreaker for 2. Modified surfboard is applied. Ryder gets to his feet, but gets another kneelift. Barrett telegraphs a back body drop, and Ryder answers with a facebuster. Missile dropkick from the middle rope connects, and Ryder continues the attack with a running forearm in the corner, which leads to the Broski Boot. However, Barrett rolls to the floor before it can connect, so Ryder connects with it through the ropes. Ryder throws Barrett back in and bounces off the ropes, but Barrett pops back up and clotheslines him over the top and to the floor. He throws Ryder back in the ring and knocks Ryder the hell out with the Souvenir for the 3.
WINNER: Wade Barrett. I’m kind of digging this new finisher.
Back from break, and it’s time for the Smackdown! debut MizTV. Miz calls the show extraordinary and revolutionary, but before he can continue, Sheamus makes his way out without an introduction. Sheamus grabs his chair and just throws it to the floor, then does the same with Miz’s. Miz starts to ask him something, but Sheamus grabs the mic out of his hand, reminding him that Ryback kicked his arse on RAW. He has to give it Miz, fella-what a great start to MizTV. Last week, Miz really raised the bar. This week, how’s he going to top it? He’ll tell him, and that’s by having the World Champion on his show. Be honest, how does it feel to have him on? He’ll tell you. Miz is lucky to have a show at all. He’s bloody awful in the ring, and all he can hope for at this point is a C-list talk show. He should wait until the end of that show to come out, though, so the people don’t have to listen to him talk about himself for 90 minutes. Miz says last time he checked, he’s still the IC Champion, and if these people and Sheamus want to see him excel at his finest, they’ll have to pay. They’ll have to pay to see his movies, to read his books, to listen to his radio show. You can pay to see him excel in this ring as well. At NoC, he beat 3 others blindfolded to retain the IC titles. And tonight, these “fine” people have paid to see him on MizTV. Sheamus says no one wants to pay to see him. Miz finds it amazing Sheamus isn’t serious, because the #1 contendership is up for grabs tonight. Why isn’t Sheamus worried about facing either Orton or Show? He’s either going to get slaughtered by an RKO or his face rearranged by a WMD. Sheamus didn’t win the title at Wrestlemania to sit back and have a few pints. Listen, you frog-faced Hollywood wannabe, no one takes this championship more seriously than him. He knows that one small mistake will make it all disappear. He likes to have fun and joke around, but don’t tell him he’s not taking it seriously. The title is a privilege and an honor, and the greatest achievement of his life. He counts it as a blessing. If Orton wins, it will be an honor to face him. If Show wins, he gets to face someone he’s never faced before. But, if Miz thinks he’s going to stand here and let him question Sheamus’ integrity, fella, he knows what these fine people paid to see tonight, and he’s more than happy to give it to them.
Miz starts to back off, knowing what is coming, when Vickie Guerrero’s shrill voice interrupts things. She’s followed shortly by Dolph Ziggler, and they make their way down the ramp. Vickie says she doesn’t understand why Sheamus is so concerned with Orton and Show when the man he needs to worry about at HIAC…Ziggler cuts her off and says he can speak for himself. It doesn’t matter who he faces at the PPV. When it’s all over with, Sheamus will be broken, and that’s when Ziggler’s briefcase is all that matters. Tonight’s main event, much like Sheamus’ reign, is completely irrelevant. And when the PPV comes to a close, he guarantees he will be World Champion. Sheamus says he won’t know what shape he’ll be in after his match that night, but if he does win and Ziggler does cash in, he may get lucky. Miz is sitting in his chair, egging Sheamus on, so Sheamus shoves him down before tackling Ziggler. Miz jumps on Sheamus’ back, so Sheamus hurls him over a couch. Ziggler gets back up and tackles Sheamus over the other couch. Sheamus throws Miz out and back drops Ziggler over the top onto Miz before celebrating.
We get the brackets for the tag team tournament, which are as follows: in the first round, The Usos (Jey & Jimmy) vs. The Rhodes Scholars (Cody Rhodes & Damien Sandow), Santino Marella & Zack Ryder vs. International Airstrike (Justin Gabriel & Tyson Kidd), Kofi Kingston & R-Truth vs. The Prime-Time Players (Titus O’Neil & Darren Young), and Epico & Primo vs. Rey Mysterio & Sin Cara.
The Usos vs. The Rhodes Scholars is up next.
MATCH 2-Quarterfinal match in the tag team tournament: The Usos (Jey and Jimmy) vs. The Rhodes Scholars (Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow)
I would love to see Rhodes and Sandow sweep this tournament. Sandow and an Uso start off, with Uso getting a schoolboy for 1. Uso gets back up and fires off some shots. Sandow blocks a corner charge with a boot, and an elbow drop gets 1. I find out this is Jimmy in the ring, and he ducks a clothesline before hitting Sandow with a Samoan Drop. Jey and Rhodes tag in, and Jey hits a pair of forearms, a mule kick, an uppercut, and a version of the Lie Detector. A running hip bump gets 2, but Sandow breaks up the pin. Sandow dodges a superkick, but a second one connects on Rhodes. Jimmy tags in for the Samoan Splash, but Jey gets dragged to the floor by Sandow. Jimmy goes ahead with the move, and eats a pair of knees by Rhodes. Rhodes hits Cross Rhodes, and this one’s over.
WINNERS: The Rhodes Scholars. I know they’ll get beat by Cara and Mysterio in the finals, but I’d still love to see these two take the whole thing.
MATCH 3: Tensai vs. Ryback
Looks Ryback is back to his original theme, but with lyrics added. Ryback backs Tensai into the corner with a tie-up, but Tensai counters with a smack. Headbutts and punches by Tensai, followed by an avalanche. More punches by Tensai, but Ryback eventually blocks one, nails a trapped headbutt and a belly-to-belly suplex. Ryback looks for the running lariat, but Tensai blocks and hits the Derailer for 2. Another pin only gets 1. Forearms and a slap by Tensai, but Ryback nails the lariat off the ropes. Ryback, in an impressive feat, nails Shell Shocked for the 3.
WINNER: Ryback. Nice, old-school feel to this match.
Orton/Show is up next. We see Orton in the back, heading towards the ring when he’s assault by ADR. ADR slams Orton shoulder-first into a guardrail and a wall, then rams him in the ribs with an equipment cart.
After Show comes out, Orton’s music hits, but ADR comes out instead. He says it looks like Orton won’t be able to compete tonight, but everyone will be happy to know that taking his place is ADR himself. Orton attacks from behind as ADR says this, throwing him into the big WWE logo on the stage. Orton heads towards the ring, holding his ribs, and it looks like we’ll get our original match.
MATCH 4-Winner becomes the new #1 contender for the World Championship: The Big Show vs. Randy Orton
Orton hits a bunch of punches after a feeling-out process, but Show takes him down with one headbutt. Orton blocks an open-hand chop attempt with more punches, but is once again taken down with a headbutt. Show grinds his fingers into Orton’s ribs. Orton gets to his feet in the corner, where Show nails him with a body shot. Show steps on the ribs, holding the ropes for leverage. Show goes back to the version of the stomach claw. Haven’t seen that move in years. Show with another headbutt, and Nightmare on Helms Street gets 2. Orton rolls to the floor, and Show follows. Orton tries to fight back, so Show hits another body shot before dropping Orton ribs-first across the barricade. Commercials.
[adinserter block=”1″]Back from the break, the match is back in the ring, with Show still in control. Orton counters a corner charge with a boot and fires off some punches. Show catches him by the throat off the ropes and goes for the chokeslam, but Orton counters with a DDT. Orton goes for the pin, but only gets 2. Orton with the Garvin Stomp and a knee drop. The offense is short-lived, though, as Show goes right back to the body shots before applying the claw once again. Show walks across the ribs, and another body shot sends Orton to the floor. Show goes out and looks to lawn dart Orton into the ring post, but Orton slides out and shoves Show into it instead. Orton gets back in the ring to break his count, and Show makes it onto the apron at 8. Orton kicks him while trying to get back in the ring, allowing him to go for the suspended DDT. He can’t drag Show over the rope, though, and Show hotshots him, damaging the ribs once more. Show goes for the chokeslam, but Orton hits a surprise RKO. Show kicks out at 2. Orton sets up for the punt, but Show sees it coming and hits the chokeslam for 2. Show picks him up for another one and gets the 3.
WINNER AND NEW #1 CONTENDER: The Big Show. After the match, Show gets back in the ring and knocks Orton out with the WMD. Show gets a mic and tells Sheamus he’ll be seeing Sheamus at HIAC.
End of show.
Before I go, I’d like to give a plug to a graphic design company run by my friend, independent wrestler Travis Marcum. Travis has done a huge, HUGE favor for myself and my family, and the least I can do is give his company a shout-out here. His company is called The Intermission, and you can find it on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/theintermissiondesign?ref=ts&fref=ts. He specializes in wrestling-related stuff, but also does comic book work, video editing, web design, etc. If you have any needs that fall into those categories, he charges very reasonable rates and will take good care of you.
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Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you next week.
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