WWE taped this week’s edition of Smackdown Tuesday from the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. Below are full results:
* Wade Barrett returned to defeat Zack Ryder.
Lilian Garcia introduced the show, sang the National Anthem, and said they are sold out tonight. The arena is more packed than the previous SD taking, but some empty seats in sections. Solid 10,000.
New Smackdown GM Booker T was introduced first to a big hometown reaction. Booker, in a tuxedo, busted out a Spin-a-rooni to a big reaction before staring things off noting he’s in his hometown. Booker noted there’s a problem tonight, then rolled footage from Raw of Sheamus’s joyride in Del Rio’s car. Booker had a big laugh, but said Sheamus crossed the line. He called out Sheamus to come apologize. The World champ shook hands with Booker before accepting his $500,000 fine. No, no, no. Sheamus apologized for taking Del Rio’s car, then Booker quickly tried to move things along, but Del Rio interrupted. He’s not ready to move on. Del Rio said he filed a police report, which drew Booker’s ire. Del Rio vowed to take matters into his own hands, but Sheamus had another idea. He wanted a World Title match right here tonight. Booker asked Del Rio what he thinks and the crowd responded with “Yes!” chants. Del Rio claimed he needed to train and prepare, etc., but accepted to a big pop. Booker made it official to close the segment.
Before the Rhodes- Sin Cara match, Cody noted he once wore mask and Sin Cara wears a mask because there’s nothing special about him. Ouch.
(1) Sin Cara beat Cody Rhodes at 3:45. Rhodes’s obsession with masks cost him the match, as Rhodes tried to rip off the mask, but Cara rolled him up for a quick three count. Not much here except for a few high-flying moves.
“Very European” Antonio Cesaro talked about victory in five languages before “One More Shot” Christian came out to face him.
(2) Christian beat Cesaro at 4:45. Claudio pulled out a pop-up European Uppercut and Scott Hall-style overhead slam with a bridge pin attempt in one motion, but Christian won with a spear. Afterward, Cesaro destroyed Christian ringside to sell anger over the loss.
Randy Orton was shown walking backstage to a big reaction. He’s up next. And his victim is Jack Swagger, who was given a jobber entrance during the “commercial break.”
(3) Randy Orton beat Jack Swagger at 2:14. Swagger had a bit of offense, but this was Orton dominating and re-establishing his offense with the second-rope DDT and clean RKO for the pin. Orton stayed in the ring for a while posing before doing a victory lap. Ref Armstrong hurried Orton along before Orton posed on-stage and blew kisses to the crowd.
Backstage, Hawkins and Reks interrupted Booker and Teddy Long having a chat. Booker told them that only A+ talent is allowed on Smackdown. Reks said he can’t go back to his old job, then tried to talk to Booker again to no avail.
Raw plug: Brock Lesnar and Triple H final confrontation before Summerslam.
(4) Jinder Mahal beat two unidentified jobbers at 0:38. The fans were wondering about Ryback here. Mahal won an odd match, then went for a double Camel Clutch until Ryback interrupted to a reaction. Ryback chased off Mahal, upset that he stole his handicap squash gimmick. So, Ryback delivered a double backpack drop to the jobbers. Afterward, Ryback led the crowd in a Feed Me More chant, which is slowly getting over.
As the WWE crew set up the Highlight Reel in the ring, WWE ran an ad for The Day movie.
Highlight Reel: Jericho started to intro the segment, but Vickie interrupted. She said she is here to speak on Dolph’s behalf tonight. Jericho said he’s flexible and he can interview Dolph’s mother. Vickie vowed to leave this show if he offers one more insult. Jericho comically told her to leave, then brought her back. Jericho rolled footage of Ziggler losing to Alex Riley on Raw, then Vickie suggested Ziggler will face Jericho at Summerslam. Jericho got serious and said Ziggler got him thinking, so he’s bringing back Y2J. He then accepted the PPV match. Suddenly, Ziggler came through the crowd to attack Jericho from behind and KO him with the MITB briefcase.
(5) PTP beat Primo & Epico via DQ at 1:23 in a #1 contender match. Kofi and Truth were on commentary for this. AW threw water at the tag champs, so they stormed the ring and beat up the Prime Time Players and AW for the DQ. Afterward, Priml and Epico argued with the tag champs for costing them the match. Ross Mendes was not present.
Raw Rebound on WWE Title picture.
Backstage, Eve asked Booker for a job, but he turned her down again. Kaitlyn then asked for a job per Teddy Long and Booker accepted. Eve said that’s not fair and threatened legal action, so Booker booked Eve vs. Kaitlyn next week to determine his assistant.
(6) Rey Mysterio beat IC champ The at 4:50 in a non-title match. This was pretty good and started to get better before Rey abruptly won with a roll-up countering the SCF.
Daniel Bryan was shown screaming “No!” at various people backstage. This was very over with the live crowd shouting “Yes!” back at him.
Wade Barrett vignette.
Miz was still in the ring after the loss. He demanded someone come right his wrong as IC champion. After a pause, Triple H’s music played to bring out Hunter, who pointed to the top of the arena to survey the big crowd. Hunter then popped Miz with a Pedigree and promptly left.
Back to live Smackdown, Daniel Bryan came out to a huge reaction of Yes! chants in his face. The guy’s gimmick is way over. Bryan, after being barraged by Yes! chants, squatted down in the ring to sell he was overwhelmed by it. Bryan called out AJ, then Kane interrupted to set up their Summerslam match. Suddenly, AJ came out as Booker’s special guest tonight. AJ moved along to Kane and thanked him for treating her well. AJ either forget her lines or was really stretching things out, which lost the crowd. She then told Bryan to prove he doesn’t have anger management and a good sport. He can do that by shaking Kane’s hand. Bryan shouted, “No!” AJ then talked down to Bryan, who extended his hand, but Kane blasted him. A fight broke out before Bryan ran away into the crowd. On-stage, AJ knelt down and laughed like a crazy person before Kane shot off his pyro in the ring.
Before the main event, Lilian announced a return to Houston on January 14 for Raw, which hasn’t come to Houston in years. The last time was Raw after Mania 25. Big crowd tonight for the usual Houston SD taping must have helped.
Suddenly, AJ’s music played again. She just skipped out, skipped around the ring, and disappeared to the back.
Before the main event World Title match started, five “cops” came to the ring. Del Rio told them to stop because he didn’t file the police report and wanted his title match. Sheamus tried to fight off the cops, but they out-numbered him. Crowd didn’t buy this at all. Del Rio then blasted Sheamus. No sign of Booker or face help. Del Rio continued the attack, then slapped on the cross arm-breaker. Still no help for Sheamus. Apparently that was the end…of…Smackdown…
After Del Rio left, Sheamus was helped out of the ring by refs. Lilian then announced the non-TV main event. John Cena came out first, then Vickie excused herself on-stage. She said Laurinaitis has been fired, so she found a replacement, Ziggler. Big Show then came out to join Ziggler in a handicap match. Bonus Dark Match: John Cena beat Big Show & Dolph Ziggler at 10:23 in a handicap match. Methodical pace and some comedy throughout. For the finish, Cena ducked a KO Punch, which hit Ziggler, who did a delayed face-first Flair flop. Cena then offered a Feat of Strength AA on Show. Cena pinned Ziggler for the win.
Afterward, John Laurinaitis showed up, delivered a chair jab to Cena, went for a second, and took an AA to close things out. Cena did a victory lap, then Lilian thanked the sold-out crowd for coming. WWE probably came close to outdrawing the LAstros down the street tonight. More details to follow later tonight…
(Thanks to PWTorch.com for live results.)