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WWE Friday Night Smackdown- July 15, 2011

by SamoaRowe

-Welcome to the last Smackdown before the historic Money in the Bank pay-per-view. Tonight, Randy Orton sees action against Kane. Also, Ezekiel Jackson defends the Intercontinental title against Ted Dibiase.

-Josh Matthews interviews World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton in the ring. Matthews wonders if Ortonís anger problems will lead to him getting disqualified against Christian, therefore losing the title. Orton says he can beat Christian in many ways, so heís not worried. Christian appears on the titantron, claiming he doesnít want to get disqualified, it was his lawyers that made him put the clause into the contract. Christian shows off a framed portrait of Christian standing over a fallen Orton, holding the title proudly. Orton laughs off Christianís attempt to piss him off and calls this tactic pathetic. Christian goes off on a tangent, insulting Ortonís father as pathetic for faking an arm injury. Orton seems bothered by this and challenges Christian to come repeat what he said to his face. Orton mocks Christianís painfully short title reign and calls him pathetic two or three times more. This was a good round of insult swapping.

Intercontinental Championship:
Ezekiel Jackson © vs. Ted Dibiase

Jackson toys with Dibiase, causing Dibiase to slap him across the face. Jackson takes offense to this and sends Dibiase crashing to ringside. Dibiase counters and drives Jackson into the ring post. Dibiaseís dark lord, Cody Rhodes, can be seen watching the match backstage. Back to the ring, Dibiase enjoys taking control with a super exciting chinlock. Jackson fires back with some clotheslines and a power slam. Jackson blocks Dream Street and delivers some more body slams. Dibiase escapes the torture rack but is unable to hit is finisher. Jackson locks in the torture lock for the victory at 3:45. Jackson gets his heat back in a fine little match.
Winner and still Intercontinental Champion: Ezekiel Jackson

-Cody Rhodes confronts Ted Dibiase backstage. Rhodes orders Dibiase to wear a paper bag of shame. Rhodes changes his mind and decides to give Dibiase one more chance. If Dibiase loses even one more match, Rhodes will personally force the bag on his head. Rhodes puts the bag on some random guy. Now thatís just evil.

Daniel Bryan vs. Cody Rhodes (with the baggers)

These two will probably wrestle on every other episode of Smackdown until the draft takes them both back to Raw next year, where theyíll probably still continue to wrestle every other week. Bryan gets Rhodes tied up in the ropes and takes advantage with a running drop-kick. Suicide dive by Bryan connects! Michael Cole is wearing a paper bag and seems to have forgotten thereís a match in progress. Cue the commercial! After the break, Rhodes has taken control and is busy wearing down Bryan. Rhodes favors a single leg Boston Crab. Bryan mounts a comeback using his bag of tricks. Rhodes fires back with the Alabama Slam for 2. Daniel uses the turnbuckles to block Cross Rhodes and tries to apply the LaBell Lock in the ropes. It doesnít quite work, but Bryan has better luck with a flying drop-kick. Rhodes crotches Bryan on the ropes and kicks him off. Thatís enough for Rhodes to get the win at 7:30 (shown). The match was by the numbers, but had some interesting moments in the closing moments.
Winner: Cody Rhodes

-Theodore Long is on the phone and is interrupted by a referee. Long orders the ref to inform Big Show and Mark Henry that if thereís any physicality between them in their face-off, heíll cancel their Money in the Bank match. Long goes back to his call, planning on doing some heavy-duty gambling (theyíre at Mohegan Sun). Kane storms in and thanks Long for the match against Orton tonight. Kane is fuming over his loss to Henry last week. Lately, heís been feeling less like a monster and more like a human beingÖ and he doesnít like it. Long tries to comfort Kane by saying heís scaring the hell out of him right now. Fun stuff. Looks like itís time for Kaneís annual push.

-Jinder Mahal and the Great Khali are enjoying a photo shoot. Mahal randomly loses his temper with the photographer, I guess too many of the shots focused on Khali. Can you believe that jerk?

-Christian is in the garage, sarcastically admiring Randy Ortonís bus. He mocks anger when thereís graffiti all over it, reading ďOrton suxĒ, ďTeddy Long = MoronĒ, and ďChristian - uncrowned World champion.Ē Christian says he wonít stand for this.

-Wade Barrett joins the commentary table to study his fellow Money in the Bank competitors in action.

Sheamus vs. Sin Cara

I donít know if itís just my irrational hatred of the mood lighting, but Iím already sick of Sin Cara. Seriously, I hope Sheamus squashes him like a bug here and Iím looking forward to a monthís vacation while he enjoys his first wellness policy violation. Sheamus hears my plea and puts Sin Cara down with a clothesline. Sin Cara rebounds with a head scissors takedown but Sheamus shakes it off. Sheamus knees Sin Cara in the head on the apron and soaks in the crowd heat. Sheamus utilizes a cravat, and Iím just happy itís not a chinlock. Sheamus misses a bicycle kick and crashes to ringside. Sin Cara catches Sheamus with a drop-kick. Sin Cara springboards into Sheamusí arms and gets driven into the turnbuckles. Fallaway slam by Sheamus! Sin Cara counters the Celtic Cross and rolls up Sheamus for the upset at 5:58. Iím honestly shocked. Decent match though, I didnít notice any blatant botches by Sin Cara this week, but that could be due to the wonder of editing.
Winner: Sin Cara

-Wade Barrett storms the ring and puts Sheamus down again with Wasteland.

-Christian is hanging out in the casino with Randy Ortonís wallet. Christian rummages through the contents and finds about a thousand dollars. Christian offers to win Orton some extra cash, because after Money in the Bank, Orton is going to need it. Christian bets it all at a table and promptly loses it all. Iíve probably said it before, but Christian is awesomely obnoxious.

-Theodore Long is in the ring with a microphone. He introduces Big Show and Mark Henry for their advertised face-off. Henry refuses to come all the way to the ring because he doesnít want to lose his temper. Henry shows footage of Big Show beating up Mark Henry last month. Show admits that what he did changed Henry and the WWE. Show says that the WWE Universe has been waiting for 15 years for Henry to wake up. Henry says that heís stronger, meaner, and better than Show. This sets off Show, who calls for an immediate fight. Long threatens to cancel their match and issue fines, so they settle for a staring contest.

Rosa Mendes (with Alicia Foxx) vs. Divas Champion Kelly Kelly

Kelly looks for the quick pin, but Mendes attacks the head. 30 seconds in, and we are treated to a surfboard stretch. Kelly powers out and trips up Rosa. Kelly spanks and slams Rosa for a near fall. Stink face by Kelly! Rosa counters a bulldog but Kelly hitís the modified fame-asser for the win at 1:49. That wasnít too embarrassing.
Winner: Kelly Kelly

-Johnny Curtis entertains us with another bad pun. ďThe cat is out of the bagĒ he says as he lifts up a bag. Curtis is surprised when itís actually an elephant. Curtis shouts at his props manager, ďThe elephant in the room was for next week!Ē Hey, they made me chuckle, so huzzah.

-Justin Gabriel comes to the ring for his match. His opponent, Heath Slater, cuts a promo beforehand. Slater accuses Gabriel of dropping the ball lately. Great, Smackdown has two tag teams remaining and now theyíre breaking up another one. This leaves the Usos as the last team standing.

Justin Gabriel vs. Heath Slater

They trade wrist work in the early going. Gabriel scores with a shoulder block. Gabriel trips up Slater but eats a shot to the face. Slater endears himself to the already dead crowd by applying a chinlock. Gabriel, inspired by some lukewarm crowd support, powers out and builds some steam. Gabriel perches on the ropes but Slater knocks him off. Slater misses with a moonsault! The 450 splash finishes it at 2:55. Iím too sad over the loss of this tag team to feel good about Gabrielís strong victory here.
Winner: Justin Gabriel

World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton vs. Kane

Orton is aggressive in the early going, but Kane fires back with some hard shots and a big boot. I wonder if Orton is angry because Christian spent all his money? Speaking of Christian, he shows up on the stage to enjoy the festivities. Kane delivers a flying clothesline and signals the end. Orton blocks the choke slam and fires away with a series of shots. Power slam by Orton and a DDT off the ropes! Kane blocks the RKO. Orton is distracted by Christian and gets clotheslined over the ropes. Orton chases Christian over the barricade. Christian dumps his water on Orton as Kane wins by count-out at 2:59. This was more of an angle than a match, so no gripes from me.
Winner via count-out: Kane

-Orton chases Christian back to the ring. Christian tries to get Kane to join in on a beat down but Orton delivers an RKO. Christian spears the life out of Orton and pummels his head. Christian grabs a chair on the World title and returns to the ring. Orton blocks a chair shot but Christian retreats. Orton settles for putting Kane down with a series of chair shots, sending a message to Christian in the process. Christian actually looks a little spooked as the show ends.

Final Thoughts: I really admire the effort and creativity going into making the Christian/Orton feud compelling, especially as itís been going on for months now. Christian is the real star of this show, as he shined in his sarcastic vignettes as he casually worked towards setting off Ortonís anger. Otherwise, the show was filled with decent to good television matches that each served itís purpose. I find it sad that Iím so sick of Sin Cara already, especially after previously being excited to find out what WWE would do with Mistico. They need to get rid of his mood lighting and gives us more reasons to care about him other than he does (the same) neat tricks in his matches. Anyways, Thumbs Up, mainly an account of Christianís antics and storyline.

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