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WWE Friday Night Smackdown- July 1, 2011
-From Phoenix, AZ. Our hosts are Michael Cole, Booker T, and Josh Matthews.
-Christian is bugging Theodore Long in his office. Christian is holding his contract for his title shot at Money in the Bank and demands that Long make sure Randy Orton signs it. Long points out that Christian didn’t win the tag match last week, Mark Henry did. Therefore, if Henry beats Orton tonight, it’ll either be a triple threat match or Henry will flat-out replace Christian in the match. Christian pouts and storms off.
World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton vs. Mark Henry
Henry lifts Orton into the corner but Orton responds with a series of strikes. Henry uses a knee lift to establish control. Belly to belly suplex by Henry and a big boot only get 2. Orton blocks a power slam and targets the head with a DDT. Orton seems to be enjoying himself as he directs traffic to ringside, but Henry powers him into the ring apron. Suddenly, Big Show’s music plays, but there’s no sign of him. The distraction allows Orton to hit an RKO on the floor and return to the ring in time to win by count-out at 4:23. Gee, I wonder if Christian was behind Show’s music. Anyways, this was actually pretty solid while it lasted. Both men carried themselves intelligently.
Winner by count-out: Randy Orton
-Henry walks over to the tech area and demands to know who called up Show’s music. Henry really gets into one guy’s face and destroys his equipment. Henry tosses the guy off the platform for good measure. This is the correct way to be using Henry, I like it.
Daniel Bryan vs. Ted Dibiase
Bryan and Dibiase come out to zero music, I guess to put over what Henry just did to the sound equipment. It was nice of WWE to move both Bryan and Dibiase over to Smackdown so they could keep feuding together with no end in sight. It doesn’t take Bryan long to start targeting the legs. Bryan scores with some uppercuts but he misses a top rope move. Drop-kick by Dibiase sends Bryan crashing to ringside and to a commercial. Post-break, Dibiase is working a chinlock. Bryan escapes but eats a nasty clothesline. Bryan leaps off the turnbuckles and delivers a clothesline of his own. Running drop-kick by Bryan gets a near fall. Bryan counters with the LeBell lock but Dibiase gets the ropes. Bryan sends Dibiase crashing to ringside. Bryan leaps into Dibiase’s arms and gets driven into the ring post and barricade! Dibiase talks some smack as he targets the head. Bryan rebounds with a missile drop-kick! Bryan blocks Dream Street and locks on a guillotine choke for the win at 8:32 (shown). Top notch television contest here, ***.
Winner: Daniel Bryan
-Christian returns to Theodore Long’s office. Long claims he heard Christian was seen leaving the production area around the time Big Show’s music “accidentally” started playing. Long puts Christian in a match against Sin Cara.
-Cody Rhodes confronts Ted Dibiase over his loss. Rhodes says he can’t guide Dibiase unless he stops failing. He hands Dibiase a paper bag mask and storms off.
-Video recap of Jinder Mahal’s short history on Smackdown. Mahal got The Great Khali to turn on his own brother, Ranjin Singh. They play a short video interview with Singh, who talks about Mahal’s jealousy of Khali. Singh reveals that Mahal is their brother-in-law. What a twist! Apparently, Mahal is even mean to their sister! Heel of the year!
Christian vs. Sin Cara
Sin Cara targets the legs in the early going. Springboard arm drag by Sin Cara, but Christian avoids taking a dive on the floor. We get less than a minute of action before a commercial (they need to stop doing this). After the break, Christian is in charge, but Sin Cara turns the tide with a dive. Christian takes control with some hard shots. Sin Cara bounces off the ropes to wrench the arm. Christian drops Sin Cara to the floor and reestablishes control. Christian misses a diving head butt, giving Sin Cara an opening to show off. Christian knocks Sin Cara off the top ropes and retreats to ringside. Sin Cara lands a head scissors takedown off the ring steps! Springboard cross body by Sin Cara but Christian responds with the inverted DDT. Sin Cara bounces into Killswitch position but escapes. Christian trips Sin Cara on the turnbuckles and nails the spear for the win at 8:41 (shown). Was that Sin Cara’s first pinfall defeat? Decent outing here, great way to put Christian over.
Cody Rhodes (with Ted Dibiase) vs. Intercontinental Champion Ezekiel Jackson
Jackson uses his strength advantage in the early going, clubbing away on the “disfigured” Cody Rhodes. Cody blocks a press slam and hides under the ring. Dibiase distracts, allowing Rhodes to sneak attack. Back to the ring, Cody targets the head. Jackson breaks a headlock by tossing Cody across the ring. Jackson fires up with a series of clotheslines. Dibiase distracts on the apron, allowing Cody to land a kick to the back. Cross Rhodes finishes it at 4:06. Dibiase seems to have redeemed himself to Rhodes. This was another solid outing, it should set up an Intercontinental title match.
Winner: Cody Rhodes
-Johnny Curtis is painting a picture in the locker room. He reveals the canvas, and it’s a stick figure in the corner. You see, he’s holding off his debut because he doesn’t want to “paint himself in a corner.” Hyuck yuck yuck.
Kane vs. Wade Barrett
They lock up and Kane gets a clean break. They trade shots, with Kane gaining the upper hand. Barrett rebounds with a big clothesline. Kane fights back, causing Barrett to ringside. Barrett catches Kane on his way into the ring with some boot shots. It’s been less than five minutes since we had a commercial, so cue the commercial. After the break, Barrett and Kane are engaged in a back and forth contest. Barrett gains control while targeting the head. Barrett misses an elbow drop! Cross body by Kane and a drop-kick to the face! Kane delivers the flying clothesline and signals the choke slam. Barrett blocks and hits a slam. Kane blocks Waste Land and connects with the choke slam for the win at 7:10 (shown). This was a surprisingly good big man contest, they have an odd chemistry.
-Theodore Long is in the ring for the World Heavyweight Championship contract signing! He introduces Christian, who is accompanied by his lawyer. Randy Orton joins them with championship in tow. They take their seats and Christian talks first. Christian says there is a clause in the contract that if anything screwy happens with the referee, he’ll receive an automatic rematch. Christian says Long and the crooked referees cannot save Orton anymore. Orton says when this all started he enjoyed facing Christian and respected him. Now, Christian is beginning to make Orton angry, and we all know about Orton’s anger management problems. They proceed to sign the contract when Sheamus jumps the guard rail and attacks both Orton and Christian. Sheamus rips up their contract before leaving.
Wow, two good episodes of Smackdown in a row. I am very impressed with just how hard the Smackdown roster is working. These shows are worth watching simply for the sheer talent of the wrestlers they are showcasing week in and week out. I also appreciate how this show did not feel like filler and that every match and segment is building towards something. I really hope I don’t get let down again. Thumbs up!
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