Smackdown is sold out at the Toyota Center in Houston, TX with more than 14,000 people on hand(Michael Cole tells us this as we kick off the show)
Lilian Garcia introduces the World Heavyweight Champion, Alberto Del Rio. Cole introduces us to JBL’s replacement this week, Alex Riley.
Del Rio talks about Vickie Guerrero allowing him to pick out his opponent for Summerslam. He brings up Brock Lesnar, but he’s got a match already. He then brings up Booker T, but he’s a disappointment to Houston like everyone else. He then announces Ricardo Rodriguez as his opponent for Summerslam.
Vickie Guerrero comes out and tells Alberto that he’s disrespecting her. She calls Ricardo a jiggly little manchild. Del Rio suggests the Brooklyn Brawler instead. Vickie says Vince McMahon wouldn’t like that. She announces a triple threat match tonight with Rob Van Dam, Christian, and Randy Orton where the winner will face ADR for the World Title at Summerslam.
^Creative used a simple formula here and it worked brilliantly. You open the show with your World Champion, you set up an altercation with the boss, and then you book your main event. Short, sweet, and easy. Not to mention it’s just good television to hype a match as strong as this particular main event!
Jack Swagger w/Zeb Colter goes one on one with Cody Rhodes. Michael Cole hypes the new pay per view, Battleground in Buffalo, NY on October 6th. Zeb Colter tries to cut a promo before the match but Cody jumps Swagger. Cody wins a short match with a fast sunset flip rollup.
^Much like some of the mathces last week, this one was ridiculously short and had zero story to it. I don’t enjoy matches like this on a television show that is supposed to feature more action than talking.
Josh Mathews interviews Cody Rhodes backstage, but he’s attacked by Damien Sandow.
^Second interview of the night interrupted. Keeping tally with me? Good. I will say AGAIN for the umteenth time that I love this rivalry.
Big E. Langston goes one on one with Sin Cara. Langston wins the second match of the night under the lights with the big ending when he catches Sin Cara off a springboard moonsault. Dolph Ziggler is shown watching on.
^I’d complain about this one being too short also, but Langston worked a decent style with the former Mexican sensation here and the match actually came together pretty well for not having a lot of time. I’m impressed! I love the idea of Big E. and Ziggler going one on one at Summerslam, but I still think it’s going to end up being a mixed tag team matchup.
Another Wyatt Family video package is shown. The “no such things as a hero” line is emphasized once again. Intriguing. I’m surprised we haven’t seen Kane tonight.
Renee Young interviews Kaitlyn with Layla. Kaitlyn tries to be funny it just doesn’t work. Then she tries to put over being born in Houston, and the crowd hardly responds. Layla says she’s been in the division a very long time(too long) and says she’s never seen anyone with the drive and determination that Kaitlyn has. No heel turn implied there.
Vickie Guerrero and ADR bicker in her office. She calls him immature again and accuses him of being afraid of competition. He says he’s not afraid of anyone. Brad Maddox joins them and reminds ADR that he’ll be under his authority this Monday.
^Somewhat pointless segment, unless ADR wrestles someone awesome on Raw.
Fandango w/Summer Rae takes on CM Punk. Punk wins the competitive match with the anaconda vice off a superplex from the top rope to force Fandango to tap out.
^I know CM Punk is famous for having good matches with bad wrestlers, but Fandango really held his own here and demonstrated some good in ring presence. It’s so hard to judge one’s ability in the ring when you put them in a match with someone as good as Punk, but regardless I came away impressed with the setup of this one. The time was decent, and the match was enjoyable. What more could you want?
RVD, Randy Orton and Christian bicker amongst themselves with Renee Young in the middle of it. Fun stuff, and it’s also the third interrupted interview/promo of the show! Nice to see some passion from RVD.
Layla costs Kaitlyn her match with AJ when she stops Kaitlyn from spearing AJ on the outside. AJ gets the upper hand and defeats Kaitlyn with the black widdow to retain the Divas Championship. Layla skips out of the arena with AJ after the match and Kaitlyn looks distressed.
^A heel turn? No, those don’t happen with the divas. This will be Layla’s second run as a heel in the company, and I actually think the role suits her more naturally anyway. Good segment, but definitely not what I consider to be even an okay wrestling match.
We get a lengthy and unnecessary Raw Rebound from this past Monday.
Christian defeats Randy Orton and Rob Van Dam to become the number one contender for Summerslam. Christian pins Orton with a backslide.
^AWESOME main event! These are the sorts of matches that have made Smackdown the go-to wrestling show over Raw for the majority of the last five years. Great match to cap off the night! Captain Charisma getting one more match really adds an element of excellent wrestling to the already stellar Summerslam card.
Josh Mathews interviews Christian in the ring after the match but he’s jumped by Del Rio to end the show.
^The heel champion stands tall to end the show! The show was filled with people interrupting people(common theme in WWE television), a couple quick matches, and two very good matches. Rank this Smackdown 6.5 out of 10 for being pretty damn good!
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