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WWE Smackdown Report
TAIT'S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT 6/10: Alt. perspective review of Friday's show, Tait Reax & Smackdown break down

Jun 11, 2011 - 10:40:07 AM
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Smackdown_75_50.jpg
WWE Smackdown alt. perspective report
June 10, 2011
Taped in Roanoke, Va.
Report by James Tait, Torch int'l Smackdown correspondent


- Smackdown opened with a video package showing Christian turning on Randy Orton last week. Lots of slow-mo and ominous music.

- Christian came out to a mixed reaction from the Roanoke crowd. Captain Charisma smiled on his way to the ring in street clothes. Josh Mathews wondered aloud why Christian attacked Orton. Michael Cole noted that Orton was not at Smackdown tonight.

- Christian got on the mic and said he was curious to see what kind of reaction he got when he came out tonight. He said if you cheered for him then you got it. He said that means you understood he was screwed out of the World Heavyweight Championship just five days after winning it and screwed out of the number one contender's spot just two weeks ago. Christian continued that you understood that he was justified in doing what he did to Orton last week. Loud boos.

- He said as he looks around the Smackdown audience and hears them and sees their faces he's convinced that most, if not all, don't quite get it. More boos. He said he is through with all of his so-called Peeps. He said he doesn't want to talk to them anymore. He said he doesn't want to talk to anyone ever again and smirked. 'You Suck' chant sounded.

- Christian said there's one person he'll talk to tonight and asked Michael Cole to come in the ring. Loud boos. Michael Cole got up with a huge grin and strolled into the ring. Christian asked Cole for one more match for the championship. He said he's earned it and deserves it. Cole nodded and the crowd continued to pour heat. Christian said he doesn't understand why the same people who cheered and supported him, his Peeps, who cheered so loudly when he won the World Heavyweight Championship and who blew up Twitter when he lost it after just five days, are now the same people who are even more mad that he smashed Orton in the face with the title belt last week.

- Christian said there are a lot of things he doesn't understand. He said he doesn't get what type of show Teddy Long is running and why he polls the Smackdown audience. Christian used a fictional 'Bob' from accounting as an example. Christian said if Bob was in line for a promotion should his boss give it to him based on merit and what he's earned or should he just walk out on the street and ask a bunch of clueless, useless people what they think he should do? Christian said that's basically what Teddy Long is doing.

- Christian said these people had no right to try to control his life. They had no right ruining something he worked so hard for for 17 long years. He said it's disrespectful and he's never been so disrespected in all his life, especially by Randy Orton. Cole continued to nod sycophantically. Christian said if Randy was any kind of man at all there was no way he would have accepted that title match knowing he'd just competed in a grueling ladder match just five days previously.

- Christian asked Cole to do him a favor. Since he's not talking to anyone, he asked Cole to ask these people if they think that Christian deserves to be the World Heavyweight Champion. Loudest boos of the night. Cole took the mic and asked for the crowd's attention to the predictable response. Cole asked the same question on behalf of Christian and got a similar response.

- Christian said it was exactly what he expected: completely and utterly clueless. He said he will be World Heavyweight Champion again and when he does he's going to do it for himself because he won't be sharing it with anybody else. Christian thanked Cole for a good talk and left the ring. A message from the official Smackdown Facebook page was shown onscreen asking if Christian was justified as he made his way to the back.

TAIT REAX: Good opening segment. It was refreshing to just have one wrestler own the segment instead of the weekly gaggle of wrestlers fighting for mic time. Captain Charisma just became the CLB again (you're not a Peep unless you know what that means) and I believe his best work is as a cocky heel. I'm getting ready for plenty of classic one-liners and entertaining feuds and it looks like one with Randy Orton is up first.

- The Corre was shown walking backstage on their way to the ring; Mathews said there was a six-man tag match coming up.

[Commercial Break]

- The Corre made their entrance upon Smackdown's return. The announcers discussed Christian's situation. Booker T said Christian's psyche was all messed up. The announcers hyped Barrett vs. Ezekiel Jackson for the Intercontinental Championship at Capitol Punishment. Ezekiel Jackson and... The Usos... made their way out to the ring. The Usos??? When did they become faces? When was the last time they were on something that didn't start with S and end in -uperstars? Good to see them anyway, however baffling it may be. Mathews noted that they were Rikishi's sons and went over their background as the bell rang.

1 -- Intercontinental Champion WADE BARRETT & JUSTIN GABRIEL & HEATH SLATER vs. EZEKIEL JACKSON & JIMMY USO & JEY USO

Jackson called for Barrett to get in the ring but got Slater instead. Jackson took Slater down with a big shoulderblock and hit a huge clothesline in the corner. Jackson dominated Slater and tagged in Jimmy Uso, who got a one-count. Slater ran Jimmy into the ropes and Jimmy responded with a shoulderblock, then hit Slater with a flying forearm smash.

Slater backed off and tagged in Gabriel. Jimmy Irish whipped Gabriel into the corner and did some breakdancing moves to a lukewarm response before hitting a roundhouse kick to Gabriel's abdomen followed by a rolling kick as Gabriel came off the ropes. Jimmy tagged in brother Jey and they hit a pair of elbows to Gabriel off the ropes followed by a pair of elbow drops.

Jey Uso threw back to Umaga and went for a running back bump on Gabriel in the corner but Gabriel dodged it and Jey went back first into the turnbuckle. Gabriel went to work on Jey on the mat but the Uso with the chest tattoo fought out and knocked Slater off the apron. Jey ran back into the ropes and Slater pulled them down. Jey avoided falling to the floor by pushing Slater off again but Gabriel sent him tumbling with a dropkick.

Slater flapjacked Jey on the announce table and Barrett stood over him as Smackdown went to commercial.

[Commercial Break]

- Wade Barrett was in the ring working over Jimmy Uso. Barrett hit his remix of the Black Hole Slam and got a two count. Barrett antagonized Jackson, prompting Zeke to get in the ring and the referee to separate the two. Barrett made the tag to Slater with Jimmy in the corner. Slater stomped a mudhole and got a two count after arguing with the official.

Jimmy ran Slater into the corner but Slater got a handful of dreadlocks and ran Jimmy into the turnbuckle, hitting a running neckbreaker on the rebound for two. Slater bodyslammed Jimmy and tagged in Gabriel, who vaulted over the ropes into a stomp to Jimmy's chest. Booker babbled about it being Big Zeke's time, saying that there's a rocket on his back and he's going straight to the moon. Gabriel got two and tagged in Barrett.

Barrett Irish whipped Jimmy into the ropes but Jimmy countered with a kick to the face and quickly tagged in Jackson. Barrett bolted, tagging in Gabriel who was met with a running shoulderblock, clothesline and a bodyslam. Barrett made to leave but was confronted by Slater who demanded to know what he was doing. Barrett shrugged him off and kept walking. Slater ran into the ring and was bodyslammed by Jackson.

The Uso brothers hit the ring and hit a double superkick to Slater. Jackson bodyslammed Gabriel twice before locking in the Torture Rack and getting a quick submission.

WINNERS: Ezekiel Jackson & Jimmy Uso & Jey Uso via submission in 11:00.

- After the match, Jackson and Barrett stared each other down as the announcers were shocked at Barrett walking out on his fellow Corre members again.

TAIT REAX: A decent match. Jackson is looking better in the ring each week (taping surely helps) and his lack of interaction with Barrett has left viewers warm (wouldn't go as far to say hot) for Jackson to get his hands on Barrett. The Usos was a choice straight out of left field, as they haven't been seen on either of the major shows in quite some time, but they showed little flashes of character in the ring that made them stand out despite this being the Zeke Sho. WWE is always in need of some fresh tag teams and they could definitely help out in this regard. Corre is looking like being on its last legs as a group and no one is going to care when the split eventually does come. Hopefully Barrett can go back to being the solid main-eventer he was throughout 2010 and Gabriel and Slater can be given an opportunity to establish their own characters without being someone else's lackeys.

- Teddy Long was shown in his office on the phone laying down a bet on the races. Sheamus entered the room and Long quickly pretended to be talking to his wife. Sheamus said he wants a match with Christian and he wants it tonight. Long told him he wasn't going to get it. Sheamus said it was all Long's fault for putting Christian as special referee last week. Sheamus lamented that he had Orton down for three and Christian pretended his arm was injured. Sheamus yelled that he cost him the World Heavyweight Championship. Sheamus said he wasn't asking Long, he was telling him. Long said he'd let Sheamus release some of that rage tonight by putting him with somebody else who's about to explode: Randy Orton. Big pop for the champ. Long said it would be a No DQ match as Sheamus chuckled to himself.

[Commercial Break]

- The Corre was shown backstage. Slater and Gabriel were arguing with Barrett. Barrett said that in fairness, it wasn't either of them who had to defend the Intercontinental Championship on Sunday. Barrett said he helped them by leaving. Gabriel said no, that helps Barrett. Slater said The Corre was supposed to be equals but Barrett just thinks he's superior. Barrett said without him they'd be nothing. Gabriel wished Barrett luck defending his title without them, because The Corre is done. Slater agreed and they both stormed off. Barrett glared after them and looked a little worried.

- Trent Barreta was in the ring ready for a match. Jinder Mahal and The Great Khali came out. Mathews said that the breaking news was that Randy Orton had arrived to Smackdown.

2 -- TRENT BARRETA vs. JINDER MAHAL (w/The Great Khali)

Barreta pushed Mahal in the chest, which angered Smackdown's newest wrestler. Mahal hit a big back body drop on Barreta. Mahal went for a side suplex but Barreta backflipped over his shoulders and hit an enzuigiri that sent Mahal to his knees. Khali encouraged Mahal.

Barreta hit a running elbow to Mahal in the corner. Barreta climbed the turnbuckle looking to hit a diving move but was distracted by Khali climbing up the ring steps. Mahal seized the opportunity and yanked Barreta off the turnbuckle, hitting a full nelson slam for the pin and the win.

WINNER: Jinder Mahal via pinfall in 1:00.

- After the match, Khali and Mahal celebrated in the ring over Barreta. Khali put Barreta in the vise grip and the two celebrated further.

TAIT REAX: Just another part of the process of building up Jinder Mahal. I'm glad that Mahal is the focal point and Khali has been pushed into an enforcer role. There was no way, with Khali's laughable mobility and ludicrously mediocre skills in the ring, that he could be pushed into the main event. Mahal is pretty tight in the ring, has a good look and, with the right backing, could be in the main event within a year or two.

- Jack Korpela was backstage with A.J. and asked her how it felt to be part of the WWE. A.J. said she was psyched for her first singles match tonight but was cut off by Tamina and Rosa Mendes. Tamina called her Minnie Mouse and shoved a present into her hands. A.J. pulled out a wedge of cheese and Rosa said it was perfect for a little mousy loser like her. A.J. told the two that Lay-Cool called and want their gimmick back. Tamina said it was big talk coming from a little girl who's going to be alone in the ring tonight. Natalya joined A.J.'s side and Rosa joked that somebody just cut the cheese, before the two walked off.

[Commercial Break]

- Tamina and Rosa were waiting in the ring with Tamina dressed to compete. A.J. and Natalya came out to A.J.'s new theme, which was some girly punk pop. Cole asked what sort of girl uses the word 'dude' in a sentence and called her a nerd.

3 -- TAMINA (w/Rosa Mendes) vs. A.J. (w/Natalya)

Tamina tried to dominate A.J. early but A.J. hit back with a kick to the abdomen and a dropkick to send Tamina into the corner. Tamina grabbed A.J. by the hair and headbutted her, before hitting a bodyslam and going to work on A.J.'s arm. Cole said Natalya was 0-2 as a head coach.

Tamina went for a running splash but A.J. dodged it and hit a dropkick to Tamina's knee. A.J. hit a running knee to Tamina that was good for two. A.J. went for a cross body off the top rope but Tamina caught her on her shoulders ready for a Samoan Drop. Tamina taunted Natalya and A.J. wriggled free, rolling up Tamina for a quick three count.

WINNER: A.J. via pinfall in 1:00.

- After the match, A.J. and Natalya celebrated on their way to the back as Tamina and Rosa stared daggers at them. Mathews noted that Natalya was now 1-2 as a head coach.

TAIT REAX: A.J. may be a fresh face to the Divas division, but these type of matches are anything but. No matter how good you set them up in backstage segments, one-minute matches are never going to get anybody over and it's time WWE realized this. A.J. is still a little rusty in the ring, but she's getting better each week.

- Randy Orton was shown walking backstage as Mathews hyped him reacting to Christian's actions last week later tonight.

[Commercial Breakdown]

- The same video package from the start of the show was played again. Pretty sure the audience hasn't forgotten what Christian did last week. It may have only lasted a minute but the minutes wasted by Smackdown all add up.

- Randy Orton's music hit and the Viper walked slowly out to the ring to a huge pop. Orton took the mic and said he heard Christian was out here earlier running his mouth before he got there. Orton demanded Christian come to the ring and say what he has to say to his face.

- Christian was shown in the backstage parking lot and told Orton to ask the audience what they want. Christian imitated Teddy Long in asking the audience, with plenty of 'playas' and 'hollas' thrown in. Christian told Randy to forget it because he knows he wants to do more than talk. Orton told Christian to be a man and come down here. Orton said beating him down would be an added bonus. Christian chanted 'one more match' and Orton retorted that he didn't care what Christian wants.

- Christian said he should care. He said before he smashed him in the face with the belt last week he was the guest referee and he could have counted Orton's shoulders to the mat but he didn't. He said he didn't want to beat Sheamus for the championship, he wanted to beat Orton and he knows he can. Christian said Orton should be thanking him. Orton replied that he's already beaten Christian five days after he won the title and again three weeks ago, he said he'd do it again tonight.

- Christian mockingly agreed with Orton and pretended he was coming to the ring. Christian said he was finished doing things on his, Teddy Long's and the Peeps terms. He said from now on they do things on Christian's terms. He said his terms were Christian vs. Randy Orton for the World Heavyweight Championship at Capitol Punishment. Orton accepted his challenge and said that it didn't matter where they met, the result would be the same. Christian bade Orton farewell and drove off in his car. Orton raised the belt high over his head in the ring.

- Ted DiBiase and Cody Rhodes were shown talking backstage. DiBiase showed Rhodes a photo on his phone. Rhodes had his hood up and asked how this guy could call himself 'Weiner,' DiBiase thanked God for underpants. Good timing, Smackdown. Rhodes said seeing as how things are going he hoped Ted wouldn't mind if he called the shots out there tonight. DiBiase asked Rhodes what he meant; after all they were on the same team only last year.

- Rhodes said while DiBiase was distracted by money and women, he maintained his focus. DiBiase retorted that all Rhodes did was get his face busted up and turn his mental complex into his life strategy. DiBiase called Cody nuts. Cody called for a bagger and ordered him to put the bag over his head and get out of his face. The bagger obliged.

- Cody stood up and shrugged off his hood. He called himself hideous and said Ted calls it getting his face busted up but he calls it 'premature enlightenment.' Cody said it was only after he lost everything that he truly felt free to do anything. He said he may be nuts but he may be a genius too. DiBiase looked perplexed as Rhodes walked off.

[Commercial Break]

- Sin Cara was out as Smackdown returned, trampolining into the ring. Cole asked why Sin Cara stuck his nose where it didn't belong. DiBiase was out next flanked by Rhodes and his baggers.

4 -- SIN CARA vs. TED DIBIASE (w/Cody Rhodes)

Sin Cara took DiBiase down with an armdrag then hit a springboard cross body off the ropes for two. Cara hit DiBiase with a flurry of kicks and then grabbed his arm, ran up the turnbuckle and flipped off it into another arm drag that elicited a small pop from the crowd.

Cara hit more kicks and went for a handspring elbow but DiBiase dodged it. Sin Cara instead hit a huracanrana off the ropes. Sin Cara ran at DiBiase in the corner but Ted hit him with a kick to the face. Ted went for a suplex but Sin Cara backflipped over his shoulder and hit a dropkick.

Cara jumped over the top rope onto the apron and hit a Pele kick on an in-rushing DiBiase. Cara went to dive back into the ring off the ropes but was yanked down and hit his head on the apron by Cody Rhodes. The referee called for the bell immediately.

WINNER: Sin Cara via disqualification in 2:00.

- After the match, Rhodes and DiBiase assaulted Cara to loud boos from the crowd. Cole welcomed Cara to Smackdown. Daniel Bryan interrupted proceedings and took out Cole and DiBiase. Teddy Long's music hit and the GM came out. He said this wasn't how they do things on Smackdown and put the four of them in a tag team match: Rhodes and DiBiase vs. Cara and Bryan. Holla. Cole said it was a great decision by the head nerd.

[Commercial Break]

5 -- SIN CARA & DANIEL BRYAN vs. TED DIBIASE & CODY RHODES

Bryan was working over DiBiase’s arm as Smackdown returned. Bryan went for the LeBell Lock, but DiBiase ran away and made the tag to Rhodes. Rhodes got in the ring and was met with a flurry of kicks from Bryan. Rhodes Irish whipped Bryan into his own corner but Bryan leapfrogged backwards over him and left the ring. The referee noted that Bryan had made a tag and Sin Cara was now the legal man.

Cara hit a Missile dropkick but Cody ran him shoulder first into the turnbuckle soon after. Rhodes made the tag to DiBiase and the two went to work on Cara. The ref was distracted by DiBiase and Rhodes nailed Cara in the back. DiBiase hit a snapmare into a kick to the back of Cara's head but only got two.

DiBiase tagged in Rhodes and the two hit simultaneous punches to Cara's gut. Rhodes went to work on Cara's arm with an armbar. Cara fought out with kicks but Rhodes hit an armbreaker for two. Rhodes made another quick tag to DiBiase as Booker spent half a minute hyping himself up after his match on Raw this week.

DiBiase dropped an elbow on Cara and tagged in Rhodes, who hit a double axe handle on Cara's arm and cheap-shotted Bryan off the apron. DiBiase and Rhodes double teamed Cara while the ref was distracted by a furious Bryan. Rhodes continued to punish the arm of Cara, who eventually fought out with kicks. Rhodes grabbed Cara's leg but Cara hit an enzuigiri and made the hot tag to Bryan as Rhodes tagged in DiBiase.

Bryan hit a belly-to-belly suplex on DiBiase before a running dropkick in the corner for two. Bryan went to the top rope and was intercepted by Rhodes but Bryan kicked him off the apron. Cara hit an awkward suicide dive on Rhodes between the ropes and Bryan dived off the top. DiBiase caught him but Bryan turned it into a sleeper hold and eventually wore down DiBiase enough to hit the LeBell lock. DiBiase tapped to give Bryan and Cara the win.

WINNERS: Daniel Bryan and Sin Cara via submission in 6:00.

- After the match, Cara and Bryan celebrated in the ring as Rhodes and DiBiase skulked to the back.

TAIT REAX: A solid match, although Ted DiBiase wasn't given much chance to shine. These impromptu tag matches made by Teddy Long have got to stop; they're just a cliche at this point. Making surprise tag matches is seemingly Teddy Long's entire purpose as GM. If Teddy Long had a problem choosing a cereal for breakfast he'd make a tag match out of Frankenberry and Count Chocula against Tony The Tiger and Toucan Sam. The interaction beforehand between Rhodes and DiBiase was gold. Rhodes is a wrestling supervillain and I loved him walking the line between crazy and genius. He doesn't seem to be focusing on Daniel Bryan as much as he should though. I'd like Cody to cut just one scathing promo running Bryan into the ground to give their feud a context, highlighting Bryan as the ultimate example of the ugly everyman and the very reason Cody goes to such great expense to hand out paper bags every week. At least they'll probably put on a stellar match at Capitol Punishment (here's to hoping they even get one).

- Booker hyped Orton vs. Sheamus later tonight.

[Commercial Break]

- NXT Season Four winner Johnny Curtis was shown backstage. He said he won NXT three months ago but they've only seen him twice. He said he's not bitter though, however he does have one of these. Curtis turned around to reveal a potato 'chip on his shoulder.' Curtis ate the chip and smiled.

- Booker T recapped Andy winning Tough Enough before cutting to his ridiculous segue into the Obama press conference dream. The R-Truth version from Raw was shown.

- Matt Striker was backstage with Randy Orton and asked the champ if he could focus on his match with Sheamus tonight in his current mental state. Orton replied that last week he did everything he could to keep his head above water against Sheamus. He said Sheamus is a brawler and this is his kind of match. Orton said he's had anger management issues over the last few years so in his current state of mind this match will be therapy for him.

- Sheamus made his entrance to a fair amount of heat. Mathews hyped the match before Smackdown went to break.

[Commercial Break]

- Orton made his entrance to the biggest pop of the night, slowly making his way to the ring.

6 -- SHEAMUS vs. World Heavyweight Champion RANDY ORTON -- No Disqualification non-title match

Sheamus beat down on Orton early, stomping a mudhole in the corner. Sheamus hit Orton with elbows and knees but Orton ducked a clothesline and hit a Lou Thesz press with a side of punches to a big pop. Orton hit a running clothesline and played to the crowd before sending Sheamus out of the ring.

Orton ran Sheamus into the barricade twice outside the ring before hitting another running clothesline and firing up. Orton rolled Sheamus back in the ring and stomped the Celtic Warrior. Orton missed a knee drop and Sheamus gained control, stretching Orton over the ropes and hitting his chest. Sheamus hit a running knee lift on Orton still draped over the ropes and smirked to heat from the crowd.

Sheamus went for his signature diving shoulderblock from the apron but Orton countered with a dropkick. Orton clutched his knee but still followed Sheamus to the outside, continuing to brawl. Orton hit a European uppercut and slammed Sheamus face first into the steel steps. Orton pinned Sheamus' arm in the steps and went to stomp it but Sheamus got loose and swept Orton's legs, sending him crashing into the steps.

[Commercial Break]

Sheamus was in control as Smackdown returned, beating down on Orton in the middle of the ring. 'Randy' chant started and sparked the champ to fight back. Sheamus cut it off with a shoulderblock that got two. Orton fought back with headbutts but was cut off by Sheamus, who connected this time with his vaulting shoulderblock for two.

Sheamus clawed at Orton's face and kicked him in the back. The two traded blows in the corner but Sheamus cut off Orton's comeback with a double axe handle for a nearfall. 'RKO' chant sounded. Sheamus had Orton in a headlock, but the Apex Predator of WWE countered with a side suplex. Orton began his snake routine and rained down on Sheamus with punches.

The two traded punches in the ring with Sheamus overpowering Orton momentarily. Orton came back and hit a pair of clotheslines followed by a scoop slam. Orton charged up and went for his DDT off the ropes but Sheamus back body dropped Orton over the top rope to the floor. Sheamus Irish whipped Orton shoulder first into the steel steps.

Sheamus grabbed the steps and hit Randy across the back with them. Sheamus rolled Orton back in the ring and pushed the steps in too. Orton hit a backbreaker on Sheamus that scored two. Orton pulled the ring steps into the middle of the ring and went to grab Sheamus, who suckered him in and pulled him face first into the turnbuckle before stomping another mudhole.

Sheamus went to bodyslam Orton onto the steps but Orton wriggled free and instead hit a scoop slam on Sheamus onto the ring steps that looked really awkward and saw Sheamus' back get the edge of the steps. Orton covered Sheamus but could only get two. Sheamus got to his feet and hit his Irish Curse backbreaker for two.

Sheamus went under the ring and got a kendo stick. Sheamus nailed Orton in the gut with it and hit him over the back before nailing him with multiple body shots and finishing it with a shot to the skull. Sheamus covered Orton but could still only get two. 'Randy' chant started again as close-ups of Orton's welted back were shown.

Sheamus set up for the Brogue kick but Orton ducked and Sheamus crotched himself over the ropes. Sheamus' ankle got caught up in the top rope and Sheamus was left dangling upside down. Orton found the kendo stick and beat Sheamus across the back, chest and legs, going nuts with the kendo stick. Orton pulled Sheamus across the ropes and hit his signature DDT.

Orton set up for the RKO and the crowd was well into it. Christian hit the ring out of nowhere and went for a Killswitch. Orton tried to counter with an RKO but Christian pushed him off and bailed from the ring. Sheamus hit a double axe handle on Orton and got a near fall.

Sheamus beat his chest and set up for the High Cross. Orton struggled free and dodged a Brogue kick, hitting an RKO immediately. Christian hit the ring again and blasted Orton with the title belt. Christian stood over Orton gazing at the belt. Sheamus slowly crawled over and made the two count and it was good for the win.

WINNER: Sheamus via pinfall in 21:00.

- After the match, Christian continued to stand over Orton as the referee raised Sheamus's hand in victory. Sheamus left the ring exhausted. Christian knelt down and showed Orton the belt before standing up and raising it over his head to conclude Smackdown.

FINAL THOUGHTS: I thought it was an average episode of Smackdown that was saved only by the presence of Christian and the final match between Randy Orton and Sheamus. That match was fantastic and the perfect example of how a hardcore match doesn't have to have buckets of blood to be great (looking at you, TNA). Orton's shots with the kendo stick were downright brutal and the match had that extra physicality that just made it seem hardcore. Christian's interference at the end was predictable but it's good to see him both back in the title hunt and getting the best of Orton. Christian needs to look like a dominant force heading into Capitol Punishment and WWE has done a good job so far.

I'm not sure where Sheamus goes from here. He could probably feud with Ezekiel Jackson over the Intercontinental title but after WWE has worked so hard to reestablish him as a main event player I think this would be counterproductive. Smackdown is now short another top-level face after Christian's turn and they were in a shortage as it is. Might be the time to debut Tough Enough winner Andy onto Smackdown to feud with Sheamus.

The Corre is finally over and (barring any sort of last-minute swerve) it looks like Barrett will be on his own in nine days time. Look for Barrett to drop the title and reinsert himself into the main event picture. Slater and Gabriel could find their niche as a new face tag team or fade into obscurity, the latter probably more likely.

Not sure what the point of Johnny Curtis is. Is he going to have a match or just try to be funny backstage? It was so much better when Derrick Bateman was doing it and I'm hoping Curtis brings Bateman in for his shot at the tag titles, I've heard their run in FCW as tag champs was great.

Smackdown continues to drop in ratings, so it will be interesting to see if the follow-up to Christian's surprise heel turn last week sees an upturn this week, but with the middle of the show being as weak as it was, this is unlikely to happen. Smackdown needs to be back on its A-game next week if anyone is going to care about their contribution to Capitol Punishment beyond Christian vs. Orton.

SMACKDOWN BREAKDOWN:

Match Of The Night - Sheamus vs. Randy Orton

Match To Forget - Sin Cara vs. Ted DiBiase

Star Of The Show - Christian

Please Go Away - Jack Korpela

Quote Of The Night - Christian: "If Bob from accounting is in line for a promotion should his boss give it to him based on merit and what he's earned? Or should his boss just go out into the street and ask a bunch of clueless, useless people what they think he should do?" (Christian pointing out one of WWE's many glaring logical flaws)

Quote Of 1000 Facepalms - Booker T: "Somebody gotta strap a rocket to his back and send him to the moon!"

Most Entertaining Move - Randy Orton's vicious flurry of shots with the kendo stick to Sheamus.

On The Next Episode Of Botchamania - Randy Orton's scoop slam on Sheamus onto the steel steps.

Best Moment - Christian's opening heel promo.

Worst Moment - Sin Cara's blue lighting. Still. Being. Used.

Overall Grade - C+


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ABOUT US

THE TORCH REACHES MORE COMBAT ENTERTAINMENT FANS THAN ANY OTHER SOURCE

PWTorch editor Wade Keller has covered pro wrestling full time since 1987 starting with the Pro Wrestling Torch print newsletter. PWTorch.com launched in 1999 and the PWTorch Apps launched in 2008.

He has conducted "Torch Talk" insider interviews with Hulk Hogan, The Rock, Steve Austin, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Eric Bischoff, Jesse Ventura, Lou Thesz, Jerry Lawler, Mick Foley, Jim Ross, Paul Heyman, Bruno Sammartino, Goldberg, more.

He has interviewed big-name players in person incluiding Vince McMahon (at WWE Headquarters), Dana White (in Las Vegas), Eric Bischoff (at the first Nitro at Mall of America), Brock Lesnar (after his first UFC win).

He hosted the weekly Pro Wrestling Focus radio show on KFAN in the early 1990s and hosted the Ultimate Insiders DVD series distributed in retail stories internationally in the mid-2000s including interviews filmed in Los Angeles with Vince Russo & Ed Ferrara and Matt & Jeff Hardy. He currently hosts the most listened to pro wrestling audio show in the world, (the PWTorch Livecast, top ranked in iTunes)


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EDITORS:
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James Caldwell, assistant editor
(pwtorch@gmail.com)

STAFF COLUMNISTS:
Bruce Mitchell (since 1990)
Pat McNeill (since 2001)
Greg Parks (since 2007)
Sean Radican (since 2003)

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PWTorch offers a VIP membership for $10 a month (or less with an annual sub). It includes nearly 25 years worth of archives from our coverage of pro wrestling dating back to PWTorch Newsletters from the late-'80s filled with insider secrets from every era that are available to VIPers in digital PDF format and Keller's radio show from the early 1990s.

Also, new exclusive top-shelf content every day including a new VIP-exclusive weekly 16 page digital magazine-style (PC and iPad compatible) PDF newsletter packed with exclusive articles and news.

The following features come with a VIP membership which tens of thousands of fans worldwide have enjoyed for many years...

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