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WWE Smackdown Report
TAIT'S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT 6/24: Alt. perspective review of Friday's Smackdown, Tait's Smackdown Breakdown & Reax

Jun 25, 2011 - 11:07:13 AM
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Smackdown_75_67.jpg
WWE Smackdown alt. perspective report
June 24, 2011
Hershey, Pa.
Report by James Tait, Torch int'l Smackdown correspondent


- Smackdown opened with pyro from Hershey. Theodore Long's music hit and the GM made his way out to the ring. Josh Mathews said he had been under intense scrutiny after Capitol Punishment.

- T-Lo said that in the World Heavyweight Championship match at Capitol Punishment there was a controversial decision made by the referee. He said he wants to address that situation right now. Long asked Christian to come out to the ring. The crowd booed in anticipation.

- Captain Charisma obliged, entering to a lot of heat. Michael Cole said Christian got screwed on Sunday. Cole said Long was one of the most inept GM's in the history of WWE. Long tried to talk to Christian but was cut off. Christian said he deserves one more chance to become the World Heavyweight Champion. Long said he'd address that in a moment. Long showed a replay of the dodgy decision from Capitol Punishment with Christian's foot clearly under the rope when the ref counted three.

- Long said he had to admit the referee made a bad call and apologized to the WWE Universe. Long said like it or not, the referee's decision is final. Christian asked who cares what the WWE Universe thinks, he got screwed and not them. He said he deserves one more shot, he's deserved it the moment the ref made that bad call, he deserves it when he pinned Randy Orton on Raw and he deserves it right now. Christian complained about Randy smashing him in the head with the title belt after their match at Capitol Punishment.

- Long cut Christian off. He said he agreed that Orton's actions after the match were reprehensible and unbecoming of a champion. Christian asked why they were out here still talking about it and demanded his shot. Long said that depends on whether Christian earns a title shot. Christian asked why he had to earn it and why he had to prove himself, Long said it himself: the ref made a bad call.

- Long cut Christian off, stating that he also said that the referee's decision is final, Christian lost, playa. Long said if he wants another chance at the title he'll have to win his match tonight against Kane. Cole was outraged. Christian got in Teddy's face and argued with him as Long's music played. Christian was murderous as Long made his way to the back.

- Mathews hyped a re-match for the Intercontinental Championship between Wade Barrett and new champion Ezekiel Jackson later tonight.

[Commercial Break}

- Mathews hyped Shawn Michaels on Raw next week. Cole said that the breaking story coming out of Monday's 'Power To The People' Raw was the WWE's mistake in pitting Evan Bourne against Mason Ryan. Cole said the WWE Universe actually voted for Sin Cara, so it will be Bourne vs. Cara live on next week's Raw as WWE's way of apologizing to the fans.

- Speak of the devil, Sin Cara was out with new pyro and the same terrible music. Ted DiBiase was out next as his opponent as Mathews noted celebrities who are friends with DiBiase on Facebook including Eli Manning and Ryan Reynolds.

1 -- SIN CARA vs. TED DIBIASE

A Sin Cara chant sounded after the bell. DiBiase locked Cara in an arm wrench but Cara did a few nifty flip moves to counter out of it into an arm drag takeover. Cara came off the ropes and hit a huracanrana that lasted several rotations and drew a nice reaction from the crowd.

DiBiase left the ring and Cara hit a springboard crossbody onto the floor. The editing was pretty poor and it was clear that this move was botched the first time and had to be redone. Cara dragged DiBiase back in the ring and got two. Cara hit a pair of hard kicks to DiBiase and springboarded off the ropes but was met in mid-air by a massive dropkick from DiBiase and the crowd popped. Nice.

DiBiase went for a cover but only got two. DiBiase got Cara in a headlock and the crowd willed him back into it. DiBiase put Cara in a fireman's carry but Cara sat up on DiBiase's shoulders and twisted off into a sunset flip that got two. DiBiase got up quick and hit Cara with a big boot. DiBiase beat on Cara with kicks and ground his forearm into Cara's face.

DiBiase Irish whipped Cara into the ropes, Cara ducked the first clothesline but got blasted with the second and DiBiase got two. Another Sin Cara chant started as Cara fought back in the corner. Cara hit a missile dropkick off the top rope and fired up. Cara hit a flurry of kicks on DiBiase followed by a sweet springboard huracanrana and a handspring back elbow.

Cara hit a springboard armdrag takeover before stepping out onto the apron. DiBiase rushed him but Cara hit a Pele kick over the top rope. Cara went for a springboard move off the ropes but DiBiase caught him and hit a big spinebuster for a near fall. DiBiase looked evil and went for a clothesline but Cara ducked and hit a spinning head scissors that ended in a facebuster. Cara got the three count for the win. Cara celebrated on the turnbuckle after the match.

WINNER: Sin Cara via pinfall in 5:00.

TAIT REAX: Solid opening match, DiBiase and Cara blended together well. DiBiase lack of a push in recent times is no reflection on his wrestling ability. He's great, he just needs a bit more character and hopefully being 'revamped' by Cody Rhodes will do the trick. Cara looked good as always and is really starting to get the crowd behind him, which is good to see. He's also starting to show more character in the ring, something a full-face mask had previously inhibited. I would like to see these two have a proper feud.

- A replay of Daniel Bryan's confrontation with Rhodes and DiBiase on Monday's Raw was shown. Cole said their attack and 'bagging' of Bryan was justified because Bryan put Rhodes in the LeBell lock for no reason. Mathews hyped a match between Bryan and Rhodes tonight.

[Commercial Break]

- Rhodes was out with his baggers when Smackdown returned. Rhodes stood on the stage and asked everyone to take a deep breath and try and erase the embarrassing performance of his protégé Ted DiBiase from their memory. He said let's talk about something worth talking about. Rhodes said he loves chocolate and he felt he would be remiss if he didn't mention in Hershey, the modern day Sodom, that they are responsible for producing more chocolate than anywhere else in the world, which in turn makes people all over the planet fat and ugly.

- Rhodes asked if anyone else sees the irony that in a city famous for producing chocolate that he looks around and only sees bleak, plain, 'vanilla' expressions. Cole giggled. Rhodes said as a service to everyone, and just like he did to itty-bitty Daniel Bryan on Raw, he's handing out paper bags to everyone. Rhodes started to tell everyone to put them on but was cut off by the Flight Of The Valkyries. Daniel Bryan walked out with a mic in hand.

- Bryan said he hated to interrupt but he is so incredibly sick of this. Bryan said he may never be on the cover of GQ and isn't the most fashion conscious person in the world but even he knows that a cup doesn't belong on your face, it belongs in your pants. Hilarious. Rhodes looked miffed in his mask. Bryan said Cody has to learn that looks aren't everything. Rhodes said that sounded like something an ugly person would say.

- Bryan asked Cody to explain this, and pointed to a picture of Dusty Rhodes on the Titantron, more potbelly and polka dots than man. Bryan told Cody to take a good look: that is the" American Dream" Dusty Rhodes and he is Cody's father. Bryan said he's not the most attractive person on the Planet Earth but he was charismatic, inspiring and genuinely a good person: all things that Cody is not.

- Bryan said he doesn't think it's the fact that Cody broke his nose, but that he's a bitter, arrogant jerk who realizes that he will never, ever live up to the standards of his father. Cody was livid and threw his mic down without a word, ready to start the match.

2 -- CODY RHODES vs. DANIEL BRYAN

Michael Cole was holding a paper bag with a face drawn on it resembling Booker T's and asking it questions. Bryan hit a pair of armdrag takeovers on Rhodes but Rhodes countered the third and went for an early pinfall that was unsuccessful. Rhodes covered Bryan by laying back first across him but Bryan bridged himself back to his feet. Bryan looked to hit a German suplex but Cody ran into the ropes and Bryan rolled off. Rhodes ran at Bryan, who leapfrogged and hit a dropkick on the rebound. Great opening sequence.

Rhodes left the ring in frustration. DiBiase came out to join him at ringside before the commercial.

[Commercial Break]

Rhodes ran Bryan out of the ring as Smackdown returned. Rhodes distracted the ref and DiBiase stomped him. Rhodes slammed Bryan's head into the apron and beat on him at ringside. Rhodes rolled Bryan back in the ring and got two. Cole said that Booker didn't have enough charisma in his entire body to give Daniel Bryan a successful transfusion, and Booker is the most charismatic person he knows.

Close-ups of Rhodes showed his mask fogging up. Bryan fought out of a headlock, but Rhodes delivered a Russian legsweep for his trouble. Rhodes stomped Bryan in the head and taunted the crowd. Rhodes kneed Bryan in the gut and got another two-count. Rhodes hit an inverted suplex but missed with the follow-up knee drop.

Bryan fought back but Cody knocked him down with a running clothesline. Cody put Bryan in a front facelock and Bryan fought out, hitting a running clothesline. Bryan backed Cody into the corner with kicks and then hit an A.J. Styles-esque back flip kick.

Bryan hit a huracanrana off the top rope and got a two-count. Bryan started to fire up and hit Rhodes with a pair of kicks. Bryan went for the LeBell lock but was pushed off by Rhodes. Bryan went for a schoolboy rollup and got two. Bryan went for a sunset flip but Rhodes countered into a cover of his own that got two.

Both ducked clotheslines and both went for flying crossbody blocks, causing them to collide in mid air. DiBiase willed Rhodes up as the ref made the ten-count. Both men got to their feet and traded punches. Rhodes sent Bryan into the ropes and DiBiase grabbed his leg, momentarily distracting him. Bryan hit Rhodes with a kick to the gut and hit DiBiase with a suicide dive, raining down on him with fists on the outside.

Rhodes hit Bryan with a Beautiful Disaster as he was getting back in the ring. Bryan's leg got tangled up in the ropes and Rhodes stomped him as the ref tried to pry him free. Bryan finally got untangled and the ref held Rhodes at bay while he recovered. Rhodes cheapshotted Bryan with another Beautiful Disaster while he was being helped to his feet by the ref and followed up with Cross Rhodes for the 1-2-3.

WINNER: Cody Rhodes via pinfall in 10:00.

- After the match, replays were shown and Cody once again paper bagged Daniel Bryan, screaming in his face. Rhodes and DiBiase stood tall over a fallen Bryan.

TAIT REAX: Smackdown is two-for-two in matches tonight. Rhodes and Bryan work beautifully together and the back-and-forth was so entertaining. It was great to hear Bryan finally cut a promo on Rhodes. I liked how he used Dusty Rhodes's slobby appearance as a conflict with Cody's narcissistic perfectionism, it was a cutting promo. Great ten-minute match, but given the inevitability of these two being in a Money in the Bank Ladder match at the next PPV it looks like this feud won't get the big PPV match it deserves for some time. I'd like to see WWE continue this feud for a few months and really build it up, but we all know how little patience WWE has with feuds that don't involve John Cena or Randy Orton. Another solid week from these two.

- Mathews hyped Christian vs. Kane later tonight.

- A replay of Mark Henry slamming Big Show through the announce table on Sunday was shown. Cole said we would hear from Big Show for the first time since Sunday up next.

[Commercial Break]

- NXT Season Four winner Johnny Curtis. He said there are lots of rumors going around about why he hasn't made his debut yet. Maybe he's too young? Maybe he's too inexperienced? Maybe he's too cocky? He said they're all wrong, because he can do this. Curtis gestured to a table with a bottle of ketchup, mustard, and mayo sitting on it. Curtis said he picked the ketchup and the mayo but told the mustard that it didn't make the cut. This is just getting painful.

- Cole hyped the Intercontinental Championship match still to come. Matt Striker was backstage with Big Show. Big Show was in a suit. Striker asked Show for an update on his condition after being beaten down by Mark Henry at Capitol Punishment. Show said he was fine. Striker asked for a comment on Show knocking Mark Henry out on the Smackdown prior to CP. Show said Mark Henry was in the wrong place at the wrong time. He was frustrated and asked him not to get in the ring. He said that moment in time could have happened to anyone. Striker said that sources close to Show have said that the attack on Henry was unjustified and served only to light a fire under the World's Strongest Man, who has been on a tear lately. Striker showed Big Show a video package hyping Mark Henry.

- Striker told Big Show that the WWE Universe had never seen him manhandled like this and he may have brought it upon himself. Show paused before answering that it's good Mark Henry is on fire, because he's going to need it. Out of nowhere Henry crash tackled Show through a backdrop, knocking poles flying. How Show failed to see Henry charging at him from head on remains a mystery. Henry shouted at Show that bigger ain't always better, better is better. I thought it may have been 'badder is better' but after several replays it was definitely 'better.' That rivaled Titus O'Neil's 'make it a win' quote in terms of sheer stupidity. This was actually scripted though, which probably makes it even worse.

- A referee tried to help Show but Henry shoved him away and said nobody was going to help Show. Henry walked off as the crowd booed and Show lay in amongst the wreckage.

[Commercial Break]

- External shots of the Giant Center in Hershey were shown.

- Ezekiel Jackson was out first for the Intercontinental Championship match with the belt held high. Wade Barrett attacked him from behind, running him back first into the apron and the ringpost. Barrett tossed Jackson into the barricade and raised his fist high. Barrett rolled Jackson into the ring and kicked him hard in the ribs. The referee asked Jackson if he could wrestle the match. Jackson got to his feet slowly and the ref rang the bell.

3 -- Intercontinental champion EZEKIEL JACKSON vs. WADE BARRETT -- Intercontinental Championship match

Barrett beat down on Jackson in the corner and stomped a mudhole. Barrett hit a swinging neckbreaker and got two. Barrett pulled Jackson to his feet but Zeke fought back, hammering away at Barrett with fists. Barrett hit a big running clothesline that scored two. Cole said immediately following this match we would hear from Randy Orton.

Barrett put Zeke in a front facelock, which he eventually fought out of. Barrett cut off his run with a Black Hole Slam for a third count of two. Barrett choked Jackson over the middle rope and continued to dominate. Barrett went for a running clothesline, but Jackson caught him and hit a Uranage. Jackson was too spent to make the cover. Both men got to their feet and Jackson hit a trio of running clotheslines, firing up.

Jackson hit a running clothesline on Barrett in the corner that sent the first winner of NXT out to ringside. Jackson followed but was met with a big boot. Barrett rolled Jackson back in the ring and went for Wasteland but Jackson countered into the Torture Rack. Barrett slipped halfway down Jackson's shoulders so the move looked really sloppy but the former leader of Nexus tapped out anyway to give Jackson his first championship retain. After the match Jackson celebrated in the ring with his belt and replays were shown.

WINNER: Ezekiel Jackson via submission in 5:00.

TAIT REAX: So-so match, but I never really expected anything more from Barrett and Jackson. Jackson lumbers too much in the ring and I'm not even Barrett's ring acumen can make a match with him look polished. Not sure where this feud is going, Barrett looks super weak being unable to topple Jackson. I'd give this feud one more match before it hits its expiry date. Not sure where Barrett goes from there, though, hopefully not into another faction at any rate.

- Randy Orton was in the locker room with Jack Korpela. Korpela asked Orton how he feels about Christian possibly receiving yet another shot at his title. Orton said he's not sure if Jack noticed this about him or not but he's usually a pretty serious guy. Orton said this is borderline comical and he's laughing... on the inside. Orton said if Christian beats Kane tonight he'll be more than happy to face him again for the title but said that the closest Christian would get to this championship is when Orton nails him over the head with it again.

[Commercial Break]

- Wade Barrett was walking gingerly backstage when Smackdown returned. Heath Slater and Justin Gabriel showed up smiling and clapping. Gabriel complimented Barrett on the great week he was having: first losing his title to Zeke at Capitol Punishment and just now losing his rematch. Slater sarcastically told Barrett he was right when he said he didn't need them anymore. Barrett said the funny thing was that up until now he'd actually forgotten the pair of them even existed. Barrett said he's forgotten about the Intercontinental Championship too because he has much bigger and better plans for himself. He asked them where they have been the last two weeks. Gabriel said they'd been so lost without him that they were going to go out there right now and do something he couldn't: win a rematch. Slater told him to grab a seat and watch what they're capable of doing when he's not messing things up. The pair walked off.

- The Usos made their entrance without their usual theme music. Instead they came out doing the Haka. Mathews called it a 'Polynesian' war dance, which was incorrect as the Haka is a war dance from the Maori tribes of New Zealand and not Samoa where the Usos (and the ancestors Mathews said they learned it from) are billed. They finished the Haka, with a pop from the crowd, and some new theme music played.

- Justin Gabriel and Heath Slater were out next and talked trash at the Usos from across the ring before the bell.

4 -- JIMMY & JEY USO vs. HEATH SLATER & JUSTIN GABRIEL

Justin Gabriel and Jimmy Uso started the match off by trading chops to the chest. Jimmy tagged in Jey and Irish whipped him into a Jey cross body. Jey bodyslammed Gabriel and hit a nice bridging suplex that got a two-count. Slater distracted Jey and Gabriel knocked him onto the apron. Gabriel ran at Jey, who dodged and nailed Gabriel with a pair of fists. Jey elbowed Slater off the apron and went to the top rope but was kicked hard in the face by Gabriel and fell to the floor at ringside clutching his face.

Gabriel tagged in Slater who hit a diving clothesline with a run up off the apron. Slater rolled Jey back in the ring and got a two-count. Slater stomped Jey and tagged in Gabriel. Slater held Jey's legs and Gabriel vaulted over the top rope and stomped him in the face. Gabriel got a two-count and tagged Slater back in. Gabriel held Jey's arms behind his back and Slater nailed him.

The crowd willed Jey back into the match and he fought back, but was yanked to the mat by the hair by Slater. Slater tagged in Gabriel, who dragged Jey into the corner and stomped him. Gabriel locked Jey in an armbar. Gabriel hit a running crossbody on Jey in the corner, clearing the top rope and attempting a springboard move. Jey caught Gabriel in mid air and hit a Samoan Drop. It was partly botched with Gabriel hitting the mat on his side instead of his back but was still pretty cool.

Gabriel crawled and made the tag to Slater and Jey made the hot tag to Jimmy. Jimmy hit a running shoulderblock followed by a clothesline and a shuffle side kick to the gut. Jimmy hit a sit-out full nelson atomic drop reminiscent of Bubba Ray Dudley's Bubba Bomb. Jimmy fired up and hit a Stinger splash in the corner followed up by some breakdancing moves and a running back body bump. Jimmy went for a pinfall, but Gabriel broke it up. Jey interfered and tossed Gabriel over the top rope but was in turn clotheslined over the top by Slater.

Slater turned around and was hit on the chin with a superkick from Jimmy. Jimmy climbed to the top rope and went for a Superfly Splash but Slater got his knees up and got Jimmy in the ribs. Slater quickly rolled Jimmy up and got the pin. After the match Jey helped Jimmy up the ramp. Slater and Gabriel taunted them from the ring and Cole commented that the tag division was heating up, the first time I've heard an announcer even acknowledge the tag division in quite some time.

WINNERS: Heath Slater & Justin Gabriel via pinfall in 5:00

TAIT REAX: Excellent follow up to the tag match between these two teams last week. I liked the Usos doing the Haka before their match. As culturally inaccurate as it was, it added yet more character to their team and was something that the audience hasn't seen done before which is the first ingredient in making a star(s). Slater and Gabriel don't have quite the same connection. For starters, they need matching trunks. They also need a team name and a double-team finishing move before they even qualify as a tag team. They also need to have a common purpose. Right now they're just a pair of cocky lower-mid-carders who joined forces because they have nothing better to do. Give them a solid reason for teaming together and turn up the heat on the tag division.

- Booker hyped Christian vs. Kane in the main event tonight.

- WWE's anti-bullying campaign video was shown.

[Commercial Break]

- Cole hyped Shawn Michaels guest starring on Raw for 'Raw Roulette' from Las Vegas next week.

- Yoshi Tatsu was waiting in the ring. Jinder Mahal was out as his opponent flanked by The Great Khali. Mathews said Mahal's diet consists entirely of fish eggs and rice. Mathews pondered what the influence Mahal has over Khali. Mahal pushed Tatsu in the face. Tatsu chopped Mahal in the chest in retaliation. Mahal brained Tatsu with a clothesline and stomped him. Mahal rained down on Tatsu with punches and hit him with a suplex. The referee (Nunzio) refused to ring the bell until Khali left the ring but Mahal ignored him.

- Mahal picked up Tatsu and ran him into a chop to the head from Khali. Mahal hit his full nelson slam finisher. Khali picked up Tatsu and tossed him from the ring. The crowd booed hard. Khali handed Mahal a mic. Mahal said this was a prime example of what one of the world's most powerful and privileged men is capable of. He said this is an example of what will continue to happen until his potential and superiority is recognized. Mahal said he has never had to aspire to be the best because he was born the best. This drew a lot of heat from the crowd. He said as for Khali, and proceeded to speak in Hindi (although the words 'Khali Kiss Cam' were in there somewhere).

- Mahal said that there would be no more dancing, no more kissing fat American women. He said Khali has had a rebirth and his only mission now is to serve. Mahal spoke more Hindi before saying that nothing can stop the Eastern winds from flowing through the entire WWE Universe. Khali raised Mahal's arm as his music played him out.

- Mathews hyped up Christian vs. Kane up next.

[Commercial Break]

- Kane was out first as Smackdown returned. Booker said he was surprised to even see Kane here tonight after Mark Henry slammed him through the announce table on Raw. Christian was out next looking a touch nervous.

5 -- KANE vs. CHRISTIAN -- If Christian wins he becomes the number one contender to the World Heavyweight Championship.

Christian hit Kane with a flurry of punches but was knocked down by a Kane shoulderblock. Kane threw Christian into the corner and rained down on him with blows. Kane ran Christian sternum first into the turnbuckle and continued the beat down.

Kane Irish whipped Christian into the ropes but Christian slid underneath Kane's legs and hit the Big Red Monster with a hard slap to the face. This only angered Kane, who hit Christian with a monster throat thrust. Kane missed a running elbow drop and went down. Christian bent over him and copped a goozle. Kane sat up and threw Christian into the turnbuckle, hitting him with a running clothesline.

Kane picked Christian up but Christian hung him neck first over the top rope. Christian hit a missile dropkick from the middle rope that scored two. Christian put Kane over the middle rope and stood on his back, choking him. Christian did the same in the corner. Christian locked a sleeper hold on a kneeling Kane. Kane fought out with punches to the ribs. Kane military pressed Christian over his head but Christian jumped off.

Kane ran at Christian, who pulled the top rope down to send Kane tumbling to the outside. Christian followed him out and tackled Kane into the barricade. Christian got back in the ring and urged the ref to count Kane out. Kane got back in at eight and Christian went right back to work. Christian hit a diving headbutt from the top rope and got two before Smackdown went to break.

[Commercial Break]

Christian was still in control as Smackdown returned, slapping Kane several times in the face. Kane hit a sidewalk slam that scored two. Kane went on the offense, catching Christian in mid air and bodyslamming him. Kane hit a running dropkick that got another two. Christian tried to hit the Killswitch but couldn't turn Kane over. Kane hit a pumphandle slam and got another near fall.

Kane ran at Christian in the corner but Christian met him with a boot. Christian dived off the middle rope and tried a sunset flip but Kane picked him up and sent him into the corner. Kane ran at Christian, who countered with a Pele kick between the ropes. Christian went to the top but Kane came back and locked in a goozle. Christian punched him off and hit a Tornado DDT that got two.

Christian sold frustration as he got to his feet. Christian set up for the Spear but Kane cut him off with a big boot for another nearfall. Kane went to the top rope, but was hip-tossed by Christian, who got a two count. Christian continued to sell frustration. Christian dove off the top rope but was met by a throat thrust from Kane that got a two-count.

Kane sold frustration himself and went back to the top rope, this time nailing the diving clothesline. Kane called the chokeslam but was interrupted by Mark Henry, who rushed the ring and clotheslined Kane, forcing the ref to call for the bell.

WINNER: Kane via disqualification in 12:00.

- Mark Henry hit a big splash on a downed Kane as the crowd booed hard. Henry beat down on Kane but was interrupted by Christian, who got in his face for costing him the match. Henry confronted Christian but the two quickly teamed up to beat down Kane. Henry tossed him out of the ring.

- Teddy Long came out and told Christian he lost again. He said he understands it wasn't his fault so he'll give him a chance to redeem himself. He said he can still get a title shot if he wins in a tag team match: Christian and Mark Henry vs. Kane and Randy Orton. Huge pop for Orton as Christian looked distraught. Orton made his way out to the ring with the match after the break.

[Commercial Break]

6 -- CHRISTIAN & MARK HENRY vs. KANE & World Heavyweight Champion RANDY ORTON -- If Christian and Kane win, Christian becomes the number one contender to the World Heavyweight Championship

Orton and Christian were starting things off as Smackdown returned with a deafening 'Randy' chant in the background. Orton knocked Christian down with a shoulder block and went for an early cover. Christian backed into the corner and Orton stared him down.

Christian came rushing in with punches but Orton clotheslined him and stomped his chest. Orton hit a nice looking knee drop that got two. Christian backed Orton into his corner and Henry hit him from behind. Christian tagged in Henry, who went to work on Orton. Henry tagged in Christian as 'RKO' chants sounded. Christian stomped Orton and taunted Kane. Orton rolled Christian up and got a near fall.

Christian tagged Orton in and held his arms flat while Henry stomped him. Henry hit a head slam on Orton and roared before going for a sit-out splash. Orton rolled away and Henry's rear end hit the mat. Orton made the tag to Kane, who came in with a flurry of punches on Henry. Kane yanked Henry's neck over the top rope and punched Christian off the apron.

Kane hit a diving clothesline from the top rope that got a near fall. Kane went for a bodyslam on Henry but The World's Strongest Man was too heavy and Kane buckled and fell to the mat with Henry landing on top of him. Henry tagged in Christian, who went to work on Kane in the corner. Henry cheapshotted Kane while the ref wasn't looking and Orton got angry.

Christian went for a cover but came away with two. Christian continued to beat down on Kane before tagging Henry back in. Kane fought back but was quickly knocked back down by Henry. Henry allowed Kane to get close to making a tag before cutting him off. Henry Irish-whipped Kane into the corner and followed him in but Kane rebounded with a chokeslam.

Orton urged Kane to make the tag and he made the hot tag to Orton, who rushed Christian off the apron. Orton set up for an RKO but was interrupted by Christian. Orton hit a pair of clotheslines followed by a scoop slam and a Lou Thesz press. Orton hit his signature spike DDT with Christian on the ropes.

Henry caught him from behind and went for a World's Strongest Slam but Orton struggled free. Orton went for an RKO but Henry pushed him off into Christian, who copped the RKO instead. Henry hit a World's Strongest Slam immediately after and picked up the pin and the win.

WINNERS: Mark Henry & Christian via pinfall in 8:00

- After the match Cole, celebrated that Christian would get another chance and praised Christian for sacrificing himself to allow Henry to recover and get the win. Christian stood over Orton as replays were shown. Christian took Orton's belt and knelt beside Orton, taunting him with it.

FINAL THOUGHTS:

A good episode of Smackdown following up Capitol Punishment. I liked how the show centered on Christian and his quest to earn one more title shot. It was frustrating to have the first match end in disqualification only to have Teddy Long schedule another impromptu tag match, but the end result was good with Christian picking up the win to continue the feud with Orton.

It was a night of good promos with Cody Rhodes, Daniel Bryan, Jinder Mahal, and Randy Orton all nailing it on the mic. I particularly enjoyed Daniel Bryan's promo on Rhodes as it really gave their feud some more steam going ahead with Bryan bringing Dusty Rhodes into it. Jinder Mahal's also garnered a fair amount of heat and he's continuing to develop as a solid heel.

It was also a night of great in-ring action too with all of the matches clocking in at five minutes or longer, something lacking from Smackdown in recent weeks. Hopefully Smackdown retains this good balance between mic time and ring time. Helping the cause is the complete disappearance of lengthy Raw recap videos.

The tag team wrestling was great again with the Usos really starting to build themselves up as a legitimate tag team. I'd put the tag titles around their waists in the next few months to give the division a team that sets the bar, and then start introducing a few new teams. Two weeks in a row of great tag team action is good news in any case.

Big Show seems to be in two different feuds at once, with Alberto Del Rio and Mark Henry. You can bank on Show and Del Rio probably having a blow-off match in the near future but, as I said earlier, with Money in the Bank coming up next it's likely you'll see most of the mid-carders in feuds in MITB Ladder matches, meaning the feuds will either come to an abrupt end or be put on hold and carried over. Neither is a good situation when trying to keep the fires of a feud burning but hopefully WWE will incorporate the feuds into the ladder matches.

Overall, a decent post-PPV episode of Smackdown. Until next week...

SMACKDOWN BREAKDOWN:

Match Of The Night: Cody Rhodes vs. Daniel Bryan

Match To Forget: Ezekiel Jackson vs. Wade Barrett

Star Of The Show: Daniel Bryan

Please Go Away: Matt Striker

Quote Of The Night: Randy Orton - "The closest Christian will ever get to touching this title again will be when I nail him in the head with it... again."

Quote Of 1000 Facepalms: Mark Henry - "Bigger ain't always better! Better is better!"

Most Entertaining Move: Ted DiBiase's dropkick to a springboarding Sin Cara.

On The Next Episode Of Botchamania: Jey Uso's Samoan Drop counter to a springboarding Justin Gabriel.

Best Moment: Daniel Bryan cuts a scathing promo on Cody Rhodes.

Worst Moment: Mark Henry tackles Big Show through a curtain; Show sells like he was shot.

Overall Grade: B


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PARKS'S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT 8/8: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of Friday show, including Dean Ambrose choosing the stipulation for his Summerslam match against Seth Rollins
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