WWE Friday Night Smackdown 5/13/11
May 13th, 2011
Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, Tennessee
May 13th, 2011
Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, Tennessee
Lots of questions have arisen since last week's edition of Friday Night Smackdown. Mainly, where does the now former-World champ Christian go from here? Will he get a rematch with Randy Orton? Will he turn heel? How will the fans react to both men? Hopefully we get some answers to those questions tonight. We open the show with a nice video package highlighting Christian's title win and his loss to Orton on last week's show. The bits with Christian in total shock after the match is pretty heart-wrenching stuff when you throw in some sad piano in the background and images of Christian and Edge embracing at Extreme Rules.
Your hosts are Michael Cole, Booker T, and Josh Matthews
We start the show off with Christian coming out to the ring to a great ovation from the fans. He doesn't seem to be quite as confident and playful as he usually is, but can you blame him? He grabs a mic and says there's a lot of controversy over Teddy Long's decision to book him into a title match last week, but he has no issues with Teddy because he was simply doing his job. He congratulates Randy Orton and says he's looking forward to his rematch in two weeks at Over the Limit. So there you go, he is getting a rematch. Christian says that he 100% believes he can beat Orton, but before he can get much further Sheamus' music interrupts him and out comes the recently drafted Sheamus to the ring. He says he enjoyed watching Christian lose the title and challenges him to a match right then and there. But of course, out comes Mark Henry next. You know, these opening segments are becoming painfully uncreative. Every single week it seems you get the babyface coming out to cut a promo, who's then interrupted by atleast two or three different people, all to set up a match in the main event. Now, that's fine, it works, but when you're doing literally the same segment on Raw and Smackdown every single week, it gets old really fast. Henry and Sheamus wind up beating down Christian until Randy Orton runs out to make the save.
After the commercial break we return to see Teddy Long with Orton and Christian backstage, where he informs them that he's booked a tag team match for the main event tonight pitting Henry and Sheamus against the both of them. Christian thanks Orton for having his back, but Randy claims to have done it for his own reason, because he wants Christian to be 100% for their title match in two weeks.
Tony Chimel goes to introduce the next contest, but Chavo Guerrero is in the ring and takes the mic from him to do the introductions instead. He introduces Sin Cara as "the man following in MY footsteps", and out comes Cara to his usual nice pop. This leads us right into the next contest...
Sin Cara vs. Daniel Bryan
Now this is how you start a show, this is a certified dream match right here that probably could have sold out most arenas in Mexico. To my knowledge this is their first ever singles encounter, as I don't think Bryan ever worked for CMLL during his trips abroad to Mexico, he usually wound up working for AAA. Chavo is back on commentary and we've got the weird blue and gold dimmed lighting as well. Great sequence of armdrag counters and nip-ups to start off with the two men, showing how evenly matched they are. Cara hits a back handspring elbow that sends Bryan out to the floor, and he follows him out with the tope con hilo for a nice pop as we take a commercial break (damnit!). When we return Cara is busy driving his shoulder into Bryan's mid-section in the corner. Bryan blocks a top rope hurricanrana attempt by Cara and Cara just flips out of it, but as soon as he's back on his feet Bryan nails him with a missile dropkick off the top. This is the kind of match that's just screaming for some of that Bryan Danielson heel dickishness he perfected over the years on the indies, but he plays it babyface still, giving the legal break in the corner to his opponent. Bryan stretches out Cara with the good old Mexican surfboard and then sort of just tosses him back into a bridging German pin attempt for two. Crowd starts to rally behind Cara, as this has been all about Bryan stretching out his opponent and beating him down, building up the heat for the eventual comeback. Again, this would be greatly improved if Bryan were working heel, but it's still a lot of fun regardless. Bryan nails him with a stiff European uppercut but Cara counters with a hurricanrana into the corner. Cara hits a sidekick to Bryan's head and then springboards into a huge cross-body block for another near fall. Cara tries for the handspring back elbow again but Bryan catches him by the arm and looks to apply the LeBell lock. Cara escapes the hold only to eat another stiff kick from Bryan on the floor outside. Bryan climbs to the top rope, but suddenly Chavo Guerrero jumps up and tries to yank him off the top. This gives Cara enough time to meet him at the top and deliver the big C4 suplex for the win at 7:40 (shown). After the match Cara sees the replay on the Titan Tron of Chavo trying to attack Bryan and he refuses Guerrero's hand before shoving him down to the mat. As I mentioned, this match would have been better with Bryan playing the heel, but you take what you can get. Lots of fun for a TV opener and definitely Sin Cara's best match in the WWE to date. ***
We recap the Corre turning on Big Zeke on last week's show, followed by a cheesy graphic asking if we will hear from Ezekiel Jackson tonight. So it looks like the Big Zeke babyface push is on. I can barely maintain my composure I'm so excited.
I'll go to the papers if I have to! Someone needs to warn people about not wasting their time and money with that abortion of a film "That's What I Am". Watching the trailers for this flick makes me long for the days of No Holds Barred.
When we return from commercial break Layla is making her way down to the ring with a microphone. She talks about how she defeated Michelle McCool in a Loser Leaves WWE match at Extreme Rules and we hear some of the most fake, canned-in cheering I've heard since WCW went out of business. Atleast she looks good. Before she can get much further though, Michael Cole gets on the mic to interrupt her. He gets into the ring and says that no one cares about her or any of the divas. Which honestly, is true, but Cole still gets some heat anyways. Of course Cole changes the topic to Jerry Lawler rather quickly and yaks away about how he's going to beat him at Over the Limit as a big "You Suck" chant breaks out. Cole brings up his mom again and I cringe. Absolutely disgusting that they're still having Cole get unbelievably cheap heat making fun of King's dead mother, and he's got this year's "Most Disgusting Promotional Tactic" Observer award already locked up I'd say. Thankfully Kharma comes out before long and destroys Layla with the implant buster. Cole continues to trash talk Layla as Kharma turns her attention to Cole, who then runs off back into his Cole Mine. Kharma just laughs and walks away as we cut to commercial.
Back from the break The Corre and their ninety seventh theme song come out to the ring, sans Ezekiel Jackson of course. Shocking that these guys can still get decent heat despite being booked as the jobbiest bunch of jobbers to ever job. Wade calls out Kane, and the Big Red Machine answers promptly. Oh, I guess we're having a match then.
Kane vs. Wade Barrett
Lock-up to start and Kane works a side-headlock for a bit until he's backed into the corner by Barrett. Quick dropkick gets Kane a two count as Cole and Booker bicker away on commentary, completely taking me out of this match. Not that that's a bad thing. Cole talks about how he was a cheerleader in college (why does that not surprise me?) as we go to commercial. When we return Barrett is working over Kane in the corner again. Barrett targets the arm of Kane, slamming it into the corner and delivering an armbreaker for a near fall. Crowd starts to rally behind Kane as he delivers a big Samoan drop to Barrett followed by a series of big right hands. Slater provides the distraction out on the apron and Barrett goes for the Waste Land, but Kane counters with a big boot and then cleans house on Slater and Gabriel out on the floor. Kane hits the clothesline off the top rope and then sets up for the chokeslam, but Slater and Gabriel hit the ring to break it up for the DQ at 5:56 (shown). Do we REALLY need to protect Kane from the loss here? Barrett is the Intercontinental champion, and yet I can't recall a single victory the guy has had since winning the title. I'm not exactly a Barrett fan but goodness, you need to give this guy ANY kind of win at this point because he and The Corre just look like total jobbers at this point. Match was a bit better than expected, but that's still not saying much. *¼
After the match The Corre continue the beatdown on Kane as the Big Show isn't here tonight to have his back. So naturally Big Zeke comes out to make the save, and believe it or not he actually seems to get a nice pop as he totally dismantles his former stablemates. Eventually The Corre regain the upper hand though and beat Zeke down. Gabriel hits him with the 450 splash for good measure. Thank goodness the Corre got the upper hand there, because they desperately need any kind of heat or credibility they can get their hands on at this point. I still wish Gabriel was the one turning face on his stablemates, but Zeke's not terrible or anything so I can live with it.
Back from the break The Great Khali comes out with Ranjin Singh, both wearing cowboy hats. Both of them look unbelievably stupid, and it's time for the Khali Kiss Cam apparently. We scan the crowd as Cole shits all over the fans in attendance. They settle on a fat woman that's obviously a plant but suddenly Jinder Mahal begins walking down to the ring with his most serious face on. He slaps Khali in the face and shouts something in Punjabi at him and then just walks away. We all see where this is going, just hurry up and have Khali turn heel already. If it helps give Mahal a rub, I guess it's worth it.
Cody Rhodes vs. Ted DiBiase
Poor Ted, he doesn't even get a ring entrance so it's clear he'll be the jobber of the week for Cody tonight. Remember when people were talking about Ted being the breakout star of Legacy? No? Me neither. Cody cuts a delightfully evil promo on his way to the ring hitting the usual points and having his attendants hand out paper bags to the front row. He even hands one to Ted in the ring but he just tosses it. DiBiase actually sets some offense in to start, hitting a nice dropkick and working Cody over in the corner before Rhodes nails him with a dropkick of his own. Ted gets a few unique cradle attempts for near-falls and I must admit I am shocked they've even given him this much offense so far. If the crowd actually gave a shit about him this would be pretty good. DiBiase gets a nice clothesline and goes for the Million Dollar Dream, but Cody counters out and nails him in the face with a huge knee. Cody gives him the Cross Rhodes though and that's all she wrote as he picks up the win at 3:16. Much better than the usual weekly squash match for Cody as they actually gave Ted some offense here and this was pretty good while it lasted. No clue where DiBiase goes from here though. *½
Backstage Matt Striker is with The Corre. Barrett says they've been making a statement week after week. What statement is that? How far you can fall from the main event in 5 months? Barrett challenges Big Zeke to a one-on-one match at Over the Limit for the Intercontinental title and they walk off.
Randy Orton/Christian vs. Sheamus/Mark Henry
For some bizarre reason the faces come out first. Orton continues to rock the world's worst neckbeard ever. Christian and Sheamus start us off with a lock-up in the corner. They trade side-headlock attempts until Christian hits a back elbow off the second rope for a two count. Sheamus tags Mark Henry in and the heels go to work on the former champ in the corner. Christian gets the quick tag to Orton though and Randy nails Henry in the face with a dropkick. Decent action here, but you wouldn't know it since Booker T, Michael Cole and Josh Matthews are busy arguing like a bunch of middle school girls about the fairness of Christian defending his title days after winning it. You guys do realize there's a match in the ring, right? Henry begins to overpower Orton, slamming him into the turnbuckle. Orton gets sent to the floor and Sheamus looks to get a cheap shot behind the ref's back, but Christian blocks him off as we cut to commercial. When we return Henry is continuing the beatdown on Orton. He misses a splash attempt though and Orton gets the tag to Christian. Christian can't take Henry down with a clothesline, so he hits him with a dropkick off the second rope instead. He tries for a tornado DDT from the corner but Henry just tosses him halfway across the ring and tags Sheamus in. Sheamus works a headlock for a bit and Christian tries to fight it off but gets caught with a tilt-a-whirl slam for a near fall. Henry tags back in and tosses Christian sternum-first into the turnbuckle Bret Hart style. He gets a near fall and tags Sheamus back in once again as Christian plays the babyface in peril. Christian tries for a cross-body off the second rope but Sheamus catches him and looks for a powerslam, but Christian counters with a nice reverse DDT and gets the hot tag to Orton. He cleans house on the heels and looks for an RKO on Sheamus, but Sheamus counters with the Irish Curse backbreaker for two. Sheamus misses the Brogue Kick though and Orton gives him his signature elevated DDT from the second rope. Sheamus fights off another RKO attempt and Christian gets the blind tag on Orton. He hops in the ring and delivers the Killswitch to Sheamus while Orton delivers the RKO to Henry at the same time! Christian gets the pin to give his team the win at 11:08 (shown). Great finish to a solid tag match there. Started off a bit awkward with Orton and Christian unsure of who was going to play the Robert Gibson role, but everything after the break was gravy. **¾
We close out the show with Orton and Christian celebrating.
Bottom Line: A step down from the previous week's show, but really that's not much of a knock on the show since it still featured a few matches worth watching anyways. Daniel Bryan got the best match out of Sin Cara on WWE TV yet, and the main event was solid as well. Not a whole lot worth checking out in between, but still a good effort overall, so we'll go with the Thumbs Up, slightly.