Welcome back to the WWE Friday Night Smackdown! recap for 7-29-11. Last week was, overall, a pretty solid show. Let’s hope that quality can at the very least be maintained this week, if not improved upon. I really don’t have anything to rant about this time around, but I will touch briefly on the CM Punk situation.
A lot of people are criticizing Punk for coming back to early, and that they should have built him up as an outsider for much longer. While I’m inclined to agree, can you really blame Punk for coming back so soon? He’s worth more money now, and as a result of his worth, also has more clout and backstage pull in the WWE (rumor has it this new-found clout will lead to the rehiring of both Colt Cabana and Cliff “Domino” Compton, but take that as a rumor for now). If there was ever any proof of this, it was his entrance theme on Monday-Living Colour’s “Cult of Personality”. For those that don’t know, Vince McMahon is normally very adverse to buying the rights to licensed music and is more in favor of commissioning bands to write original songs for him. Apparently, that’s not the case with Punk, as he’s now gotten two licensed songs used for his themes. While this may not seem like much, considering Vince’s normally strict policy against licensed music, it’s a bigger deal than you would think.
Okay, enough of my rambling. Tonight’s show opens with the new COO (Chief Operating Officer) of WWE, Mr. Stephanie McMahon. I mean, Triple H. He begins to do the Vince McMahon/Buddy Rogers strut, which is admittedly a little funny. He tells us that, the more you try to fix things, the more screwed up they get. He says he’s going to start at the top and work his way down, starting with the World and WWE titles. He tells us that the WWE title situation is complicated, as we have two champions, those being CM Punk and John Cena. He says both have legitimate claims to the belt, and that he doesn’t know what he’s going to do yet, but will have a solution by Monday night, of course. He begins to discuss the World Championship, which results in the current titleholder, Christian, coming out.
Christian says that, as the face of Smackdown!, he’d like to congratulate Trips on his new position. He says that his troubles with Teddy Long is no secret, including his sucking up to Randy Orton and the WWE universe. Christian says that, because of all this, he was forced to seek legal counsel. He also says that, as champion, he’s sure Trips would like to have a close working relationship with him. Trips says “no”. Trips says that, while Vince had the patience of a saint, he doesn’t, and he doesn’t like being interrupted. He takes interruption as a slap in the face, and if he gets slapped, he slaps back. Triple H doesn’t like negotiations, meetings or lawyers, and that he’s direct. He tells Christian Randy Orton will get his rematch for the title at Summerslam (of course), and that so there will be no controversy, the match will be a No Holds Barred Match.
Back from the commercial, we see Teddy Long and Triple H talking. They are interrupted by…wait for it…ZACK RYDER! Yes! He says he’s got a great idea for himself. Triple H begins to take a call, but then stops himself and says that, if Ryder wants to be on the Smackdown!, he can be Teddy Long’s new assistant. I hope this sticks, if for no other reason than to be able to recap Ryder every week.
MATCH 1-World Champion Christian vs. John Morrison (non-title)
R-Truth is watching this match on a monitor in the back. Morrison starts off with a school boy attempt, and goes for a Trouble in Paradise-esque kick that Christian sees coming. Morrison throws Christian outside. Back in the ring, Christian gets a back elbow and a punch. Christian telegraphs a back body drop, which allows Morrison to kick him. Morrison hits the Flash Kick for 2, but starts holding his neck. He rolls to the outside. Christian misses a plancha to the floor, but Morrison connects with a corkscrew plancha of his own before we go to commercial.
Back from the break and Christian hits a hangman’s neckbreaker for 2. During the break, we see that Christian whipped Morrison’s head into the barrier. He whips Morrison to the mat and begins punching him in the back of the head before locking on a neck vice. Morrison breaks out with punches, but is thrown into the turnbuckle. Christian tries a tornado DDT but is thrown off. Morrison hits a few clotheslines and a side kick before trying to pick Christian up. He fails, which allows Christian to go for the diving inverted DDT. Morrison slides out and gets a kick in. Morrison tries for Moonlight Drive, but Christian throws him off. Morrison goes for the running knee, but Christian moves and catches a spinebuster for 2. Morrison comes back with his version of the C4 for 2 of his own. Morrison gets some punches in the corner, but gets speared for 2. Christian climbs up top, but Morrison meets him with some punches. They trade some shots on the middle rope before Morrison back body drops Christian off. He goes for Starship Pain, but Christian rolls out of the way. Morrison lands on his feet, but Christian gets an inverted hotshot in. One Killswitch later, and it’s over.
WINNER: Christian. Really good outing by both guys, with Morrison selling the hell out of the neck injury. Tons of reversals and nearfalls here, too. I guarantee this will be better than our R-Truth/Orton main event later tonight.
The camera pans up to Jinder Mahal and The Great Khali sitting in a skybox. Michael Cole tells us that Mahal rented this skybox for some reason or another.
I think it’s better that Justin Henry did the Mysterio DVD recap. I’m not sure I could handle Mysterio’s throughout another entire DVD collection. His in-between match pieces on “The Biggest Little Man” were painful enough.
Did You Know? WWE likes to brag about itself, even if the facts are fraudulent.
Back from the break, and we have Wade Barrett in the ring. He says he didn’t leave England for the WWE to entertain people, but to make money. He says he lost track of that until last week when he saw Daniel Bryan with his briefcase. He says that paycheck at Wrestlemania that Bryan’s hoping to get should also be his, and today is a return to basics. Greed is terribly underrated, and before Barrett can go on too much further, Bryan comes to the ring.
He says originality isn’t Barrett’s strong suit, as Heath Slater said nearly the exact same thing last week. Barrett gets offended by being compared to Slater. Can’t blame him there. He reminds Bryan of Nexus. Bryan says that, the second Barrett saw him as a threat, he was gone from Nexus, and while Barrett has main evented pay-per-views, Bryan has Money in the Bank and he will still main event ‘Mania. Barrett punches Bryan in the face and takes the briefcase. He begins to yell at Bryan until Bryan gets the LeBell Lock in out of nowhere. I’d be fine with this feud. The one thing that would make it better? Now that Punk has his old ROH theme back, Bryan needs Europe’s “The Final Countdown” bought for him. I bet McMahon could secure the rights to it for roughly the cost of a steak dinner at The Outback.
Backstage, we see Zack Ryder and Teddy Long talking before Mark Henry interrupts. Long says people don’t want to deal with Mark Henry, but Zack Ryder volunteers to find some competition for Henry.
Apparently, using Just For Men products guarantees you heavy-duty poontang.
We get a segment with Justin Gabriel, who headlined the recent tour of South Africa as the hometown hero. Nice package showing magazine articles on Gabriel, as well as him hanging out in the streets of Cape Town and meeting fans, among other things. He talks about his background as a 3rd generation wrestler, and a bit of footage from the shows on the tour. I expect him to go full babyface soon.
MATCH 2-6-Diva Tag Team Match: A.J., Kaitlyn and Natalya vs. Alicia Fox, Rosa Mendes and Tamina
Dear lord, Alicia Fox is repulsive. I just threw up in my mouth a little bit. Tamina and Natalya start things off. Natalya goes for a crucifix and turns it into a roll-through for 2. She goes for the Sharpshooter, but Tamina gets out and hits a Samoan drop for 2. She tags in Fox (wrong name for this, um, “thing”), who gets in a head scissors. Natalya picks her up in this position and backs her into the corner, followed by a corner dropkick. Tag into A.J., who gets some clotheslines and a swinging headscissors. A kick to the gut leads to a shining wizard for 2. The rest of the divas brawl on the outside. A.J. misses a top rope cross body, which allows Fox to botch the holy living hell out of an axe kick for 3.
WINNERS: Alicia Fox, Rosa Mendes and Tamina. Man, Rosa is just integral to Smackdown!, isn’t she? This match sucked. The three who can actually work-Natalya, Tamina and A.J.-were given little to no ring time, while the other 2 heel divas wasted space and took a back seat to the least talented of the six. Oh, and with her new disgusting haircut, Alicia Fox looks more like a tranny than ever before.
We get yet another Mark Henry video package, this time from him sidelining Kane last week.
MATCH 3: Mark Henry vs. Bobby Howard
I guess Zack Ryder’s been watching old episodes of “The Action Zone” and thought a squash match would be best. Howard looks to weigh about 140 pounds soaking wet, BTW. He starts to turn back around, but Ryder comes out and encourages him to go to the ring. Actually, this guy kind of looks like my indy wrestler friend Russell, minus the giant “Thundercats” back tattoo (www.twitter.com/ItsJustRomeo). Anyway, Mark Henry hits a tree slam and three World’s Strongest Slams. 3-count’s academic.
WINNER: Mark Henry. Seriously, there were no other moves in the match than what I listed. After the match, Henry attempts to Pillmanize Howard’s leg, but Teddy Long runs in. Because, you know, he’s a threat. Long tells Henry no one wants to face Mark Henry, and if he lets Henry continue to beat on the jobber, it’ll be worse. Long starts to say he’ll get Henry someone, which leads into the Irish badass Sheamus marching to the ring. Damn right, fella.
Sheamus tells Teddy if he’s looking for a fella to fight Mark Henry, he’ll do it. Sheamus says that, in Henry’s words, bigger isn’t better. Sheamus tells an old Irish story about a skinny guy who was turned into an enormous 400-pound bag of crap by a fairy. God, I love Sheamus. Henry says Sheamus talks too much, so Sheamus slaps the taste out of his mouth. Henry runs at him like the the black mastodon Zord from “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers”, but Sheamus low-bridges him and then grabs a chair to hold him off. Looks like I was right: Sheamus is going face.
Up next, Tag Team Champions Michael McGillicutty and David Otunga face the Usos and the titles are on the line. You know, the only-and I mean, ONLY good thing about Otunga is his Nexus sweatshirt.
We get a recap of 2 weeks ago on “Superstars”, which saw the Usos beat the champs in a non-title match, leading to this match.
MATCH 4-WWE Tag Team Championship: The Usos (Jimmy and Jey) vs. WWE Tag Team Champions Michael McGillicutty and David Otunga
The Usos do the Polynesian war dance. Again, no disrespect to the Usos, but I don’t think we need to see the dance every time. Josh Mathews is now calling it a Samoan war dance, BTW. The tag champs are out next, with brand new awful music. My Nexus hat is cooler than McGillicutty’s. Michael and one of the Usos start off. The other one is tagged in, and they get a double elbow for 2. Mike with some punches. He tags in Otunga, who does nothing. We learn it’s Jimmy in the ring. Jimmy gets a 2 off a sunset flip. Cole says Otunga’s wife Jennifer is beautiful. My ass she is. Otunga gets a 2 after Michael trips Jimmy up. Otunga with a headlock, but eats a jumping side kick. Jay and Michael are tagged in. Jey gets some clotheslines and a double chop to the face before hitting the hip slam in the corner for 2. Otunga throws Jimmy to the floor as Jey climbs up top. Otunga tells the ref to get Jimmy out of the ring. As he does, Otunga pushes Jey off the top rope. Michael hits the McGillicutter, and gets the 3.
WINNERS AND STILL CHAMPIONS: Michael McGillicutty and David Otunga. Way too short of a match. Otunga is completely worthless in every way. Even the most basic moves (which is Otunga’s entire offense) look like hell when he does them. Also, I hate Michael McGillicutty’s name. What’s wrong with Joe Hennig? Too ordinary, so they had to make up the worst name this side of Braden Walker?
Backstage, Zack Ryder tells Teddy Long he’s made a handicap match tonight between Ezekiel Jackson and Cody Rhodes & Ted DiBiase. Long’s mad because he makes the matches, but Ryder assures him he talked to everyone involved and they’re all fine with it. Long concedes.
We get the RAW recap now. Since Justin Henry already did a fine job with the recap on Monday, I’m not messing with this. Oh, except one thing. Rey told his kids on TV that he was bringing home the gold to them. Way to lie to your kids, Rey.
Ken Doll is backstage interviewing R-Truth. R-Truth says he feels good, and a good R-Truth is a bad R-Truth. He then compares himself to a flock of eagles eating a snake. I would have loved it if he had said “a flock of seagulls”. Anyway, this leads to him saying that since Orton, is “the Viper” and R-Truth is the eagle, Orton’s going to get got. As my wife just said, this still made more sense than 95% of TNA’s promos.
MATCH 5-2-on-1 Handicap Match: Intercontinental Champion Ezekiel Jackson vs. Ted DiBiase and Cody “Create-A-Wrestler” Rhodes (non-title)
Seriously, go back to some of the older “Smackdown vs. RAW” video games and tell me that Rhodes doesn’t look EXACTLY like the default CAW. Same physique and face, and they both wear the same generic gear with no kneepads. Cody Rhodes‘ bag boys are passing bags out around ringside. Rhodes’ jacket now has no sleeves. Ted and Cody get a double arm wringer, but Zeke knocks them down. Rhodes gets Zeke in the corner with stomps, and Ted chokes him on the bottom rope, followed by a chinlock. DiBiase gets a quick backbreaker on Zeke before some stomps in the corner. Zeke counters with a flapjack into the turnbuckle. Rhodes tags in and gets a series of body slams. Zeke gets Rhodes up in the rack, but DiBiase kicks him in the gut before getting thrown out. Rhodes goes for Cross Rhodes, but Zeke arm drags out of it. He misses a shoulder tackle in the corner, which allows Rhodes to hit Cross Rhodes for the win.
WINNERS: Ted DiBiase and Cody Rhodes. Pointless match that did nothing to elevate anyone. I HATE handicap matches.
We see Jinder Mahal and Khali in their skybox. Mahal is speaking his native tongue, so I’m not sure what is being said. Khali grabs the microphone, and I have no earthly idea what language he’s speaking. He sounds like he’s got peanut butter on the roof of his mouth.
To hype Summerslam, we get a video of the Ladder Match between Razor Ramon and Shawn Michaels from 1995. Every time I see footage of Scott Hall from this time period, it makes me sad. He was so damn good back in the day, and it’s just tragic how he has completely fallen apart over the years.
MATCH 6: R-Truth vs. Randy Orton
Michael Cole talks about how some supposed crazy people like R-Truth went on to do great things. He mentions Charles Darwin and Albert Einstein, who just rolled over in their graves.Truth and Orton start with a lock-up, which Orton turns into a side headlock. They criss-cross a few times with numerous misses before Orton finally knocks Truth down. Truth fights out of the corner with punches and kicks, but eats a clothesline for 2. Orton gets a stupid stomp in before missing his ridiculous jumping knee. Truth gets a jumping side kick for 2. Orton’s outside now, and Truth follows. Orton tries to slam him into the barricade, but Truth reverses. Back in the ring, Orton tries to throw Truth back out, but Truth holds onto the ropes. Orton tries for the suspended DDT, but Truth pokes him in the eye and hotshots him. Back in the ring again, Truth hits the Osaka street cutter for 2. Christian walks onto the stage as we go to commercial.
Back from the break and Orton’s punching his way out of the corner. Irish whip by Orton, but Truth counters with the Lie Detector for 2. Truth with a chinlock now as Christian’s still on the stage. Orton gets a punch and a headbutt, but Truth gets a back elbow for 2. Truth up top for a double axe handle, but Orton gets a punch to the stomach. He gets a couple clothesline and a powerslam before making stupid face after stupid face. Orton hits the suspended DDT, but not before laughing like a jackass and making more stupid faces. He signals for the RKO as he’s bleeding from the mouth, but Truth sees it coming and rolls to the outside. Orton follows but gets tackled into the ring apron. Christian distracts the ref while Truth hits Orton in the head with the dreaded water bottle. Orton drinks some water before getting back in the ring and tackling Truth. He continues to punch Truth before going outside to get a chair. He hits Truth in the gut, leading to the DQ.
End of show.
Wow. Smackdown! went from a really great outing last week to a total turd in a blanket this week. The opening match was great, but the show just went downhill from there. Granted, it wasn’t TNA bad, but it was still pretty bad. I like the potential Bryan/Barrett feud that they planted the seeds for here, and I am curious to see how Sheamus does as a face, but everything else (save for the opening contest) was boring and rushed. On the plus side, we’ve now gone two weeks without a pointless Johnny Curtis promo.
Full WWE SmackDown July 29 Results…
R-Truth defeated Randy Orton via disqualification
Cody Rhodes & Ted DiBiase Jr. defeated Ezekiel Jackson
New Nexus defeated The Usos
Mark Henry defeated local guy Bobby Howard
Tamina, Rosa & Alicia Fox defeated Kaitlyn, AJ & Natalya
Christian defeated John Morrison
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Thanks for reading, and as long as Spike TV still fronts the bill, I’ll see you next week.