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WWE Smackdown Report
PARKS' WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT 9/23: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of the show, including Mark Henry's first Smackdown as World Champion

Sep 23, 2011 - 9:00:21 PM
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WWE Smackdown review
Sept. 23, 2011
Taped 9/20/11 in Dayton, Ohio
Aired on SYFY
By Greg Parks, PWTorch Columnist



- Smackdown Open.

- The show began with Smackdown superstars surrounding the ring (well, gathered on one side of it is more like it). This brings bad flashbacks to WCW when they’d go through regime changes and have the entire roster in the ring for addresses by those in charge. John Laurinaitis was in the ring and he said Triple H has brought chaos to WWE as COO, which was shown on Raw, leading to the dismissal of two top Raw superstars. Laurinaitis now said Triple H has control of the situation. Refs and NXT stars surround the ring as well. Laurinaitis said that Monday night, when he looked into Hunter’s eyes, he saw resolve and determination. He said he hopes the Superstars see it too. Laurinaitis then switched gears and introduced the new World Champion, Mark Henry. The sea of Smackdown Superstars parted, allowing Mark Henry to get to the ring. Once inside, he shook Laurinaitis’ hand, then took the mic.

Henry reminded fans it took him 15 years to win the title, and said it will take 15 more for him to lose it. He pointed out specific wrestlers who didn’t believe, like Ezekiel Jackson and Teddy Long. Hey, there’s Sin Cara…wonder which one it is? Henry asked them if they believed now. Before he could go any further, the COO, Triple H, walked to the ring. Hunter extended his hand and Henry had an “are you serious?” look on his face. Fans chanted for Triple H and Henry gave Hunter the mic. Maybe that’s what he was asking for then. Before Hunter could say anything, Christian somehow had a mic and he began talking. He stepped into the squared circle and said that on behalf of himself and the roster, told Hunter what a great job he’s doing. He said Triple H’s treatment of the Smackdown superstars has been exemplary. Christian asked Hunter if, despite being champion, he could see Henry’s face on a billboard or a cereal box, because he can’t. Christian angled for a leadership position and said he needs to be champion to do so, and reminded Hunter he needs one more match to do so. He said after “you know who” chokes in his Hell in a Cell match, like he’s done in the past, he’ll be the guy to embarrass and beat Randy Orton to become a three-time World Champion.

Hunter said that sounded good, then thanked the superstars for coming out. He said he’s in complete control of Raw and Smackdown. As for Christian’s thoughts, he appreciated him stepping up as a leader, and Christian could lead by example when the superstars come out later to participate in a Lumberjack Match when Christian takes on “you know who…Mark Henry.” The winner will face Randy Orton at Hell in a Cell. Christian argued with Hunter as Hunter left the ring. Henry then stood directly behind Christian without Christian knowing. He turned around and was face-to-face with Henry. Christian immediately left the ring, eyeing those superstars who will be lumberjacks in his match tonight.

- Backstage, Sheamus was in his locker room readying for a match, next. How come he didn’t have to be out there?

[Commercial Break]

- Michael Cole plugged WWE.com for complete Night of Champions coverage.

1 – HEATH SLATER vs. SHEAMUS

No entrance for Slater, but it makes sense if he was out there in the opening segment. Josh Mathews, Cole, and Booker T. were shown on camera during Sheamus’ entrance. Cole joked that this match was like the girl from Wendy’s vs. Ronald McDonald. He said someone Tweeted him that earlier. It was all Sheamus early on, as he connected on many of his pet moves, including the forearms across the chest and the running knee to the face with Slater in the ropes. Slater attempted a comeback at 1:51 of the match, and landed a swinging neck-breaker for only one. He went on offense for an extended time, but Slater’s mistake was allowing Sheamus to get back to his feet. High knee, flying shoulder-tackle, then a Brogue Kick for the win.

WINNER: Sheamus, at 4:31. Slater actually got more offense than I expected. A step up from some of his recent past squashes.

- Great Khali was limbering up backstage when he was approached by Christian. Christian said someday, Khali will get himself a World Title match, and when he does, will he want to face a guy like Henry, or someone smaller, yet smarter and craftier, like him? Christian couldn’t understand if Khali was getting it so he asked Khali to help him out. “I get…that you are small” said Khali. After some more haggling, Christian left thinking they had a deal.

[Commercial Break]

2 – WADE BARRETT vs. JUSTIN GABRIEL

Cole noted the contrast of styles at play in this match. Barrett was very aggressive to start, sending Gabriel to ringside with a big boot. Gabriel came back with a headscissors that took Barrett to the outside. Gabriel dove over the top and flipped onto Barrett. Springboard moonsault for two by Gabriel. Back elbow by Barrett, by Gabriel came back with an STO. Gabriel went to the top, but Barrett booted him down. Wasteland and it was over.

WINNER: Barrett, at 2:34. I don’t understand how Slater lasted longer against Sheamus than Gabriel against Barrett. I thought Gabriel may have been in for a mini-push. I was sure we were going to see an ad break during this one.

- Cody Rhodes faces Randy Orton, once again, tonight.

[Commercial Break]

- Matt Striker was backstage with Randy Orton. Orton refused comment on his match tonight with Rhodes, but did say losing his title was like going to Hell, but like the song says, Hell ain’t no bad place to be, especially if you go there to become champion again. He said maybe he’ll drag Henry or Christian back to Hell with him. He said when he comes back from Hell, he’ll be bringing the World Title with him.

- The announcers talked on camera about Hell in a Cell, giving Randy Orton’s stats inside the cage.

- A video package aired showing the destruction caused by Hell in a Cell.

- Christian was shown talking to someone off camera, asking if this person could understand what he was saying. It was Zeke Jackson. Zeke surmised that Christian needed his help to become champion. Christian denied it and flippantly asked Jackson how many times he’s been champ. Jackson looked like he was going to demolish Christian, so Christian did some back-tracking and left in a huff.

- The Lumberjack match between Christian and Mark Henry is tonight’s main event.

[Commercial Break]

3 – AJ & KAITLYN vs. NATALYA & BETH PHOENIX

Kaitlyn was suckered in by Nattie, who choked Kaitlyn in the ropes. Cheap shot by Beth. Beth tagged in and she and Nattie took Kaitlyn down with a double suplex. Headbutts to the gut created separation by Kaitlyn. AJ then tagged in and avoided a Beth charge. Running clothesline by AJ, then a dropkick to the leg of Beth. Shining Wizard and a pin was broken up by Nattie. Kaitlyn took her out, but Beth countered AJ and landed the Glam Slam.

WINNERS: Natalya and Phoenix, at 2:03. When a Diva needs a victory, AJ and Kaitlyn seem to be the go-to duo to get it done. They also seem to be the only ones Beth and Natalya can beat.

- Randy Orton vs. Cody Rhodes is next.

[Commercial Break]

4 – RANDY ORTON vs. CODY RHODES

Cody was, of course, flanked by his bag man. They showed clips of Rhodes beating Orton on Raw Supershow two weeks ago. Rhodes was immediately thrown to the outside, but Rhodes took over by going to the injured knee of Orton. Orton regained control in the ring, but again, Rhodes went after the knee. I’m sure Booker will tell us what bone that’s connected to. Rhodes took Booker down and wrapped the injured knee across the ring post. Rhodes then removed the turnbuckle pad from the turnbuckle. Referee John Cone audibly admonished Rhodes and put the pad back on. Rhodes took his mask off and belted Orton across the face with it. Cover only got two. The ref ordered that Rhodes put the mask back on. He did so and went to kick Orton, but Orton caught the leg. He took Rhodes’ mask off and hit him with it, drawing a disqualification.

WINNER: Rhodes, via DQ, at 3:17. Another match that went much shorter than I expected.

Orton continued beating Rhodes with the mask. Orton connected on his trademark DDT. Another referee came out to try to talk some sense into Orton. Orton picked Rhodes back up and tossed him to ringside. Orton went out and grabbed the ring bell. He rang it several times then assaulted Rhodes with it. Orton began to dismantle the announce table. Rhodes was bleeding but had a towel with him. Orton gave Rhodes an RKO on the announce table…and it didn’t break. Rhodes must have been bleeding a lot (they never really showed it), because it was all over Orton. Upon replay, you could see Cody gushing right after Orton hit him with the bell.

- Sheamus was backstage in his locker room once again (a nice one, I might add). Christian walked in and brought him a peace offering of a potato. Sheamus played up the stereotype, then Christian reiterated the promise he made on Sunday, that if he wins the title, Sheamus will get the first shot. Sheamus said he’ll be out there for the Lumberjack match, then thanked Christian for the potato and said he’d cherish it. He said it sarcastically. Christian left and Sheamus took a bite of the potato, then spit it up. He said it wasn’t from Ireland…it was from Idaho. He had a disgusted look on his face when he said that, like more disgusted than one should be when finding out the origin of a potato.

- Another plug for Henry vs. Christian.

[Commercial Break]

- While the camera panned a small section of the crowd (likely due to the low attendance numbers – it was obvious that they weren’t showing as many sections as they usually do), Cole voiced over a plug for Edge on “Haven” tonight. Then they showed a clip.

5 – THE GREAT KHALI vs. JINDER MAHAL

Khali was back to his happy fun smile-time Khali music. During Mahal’s entrance, they showed what happened last week when Mahal interfered during Khali’s match. Mahal went after Khali, but Khali took Mahal down with a shot to the head. Hard chop to the chest in the corner by Khali. Mahal escaped more of Khali’s wrath by sliding under the bottom rope. Back in, a kick to the knee and a DDT got Mahal a two-count on a pin. Front face-lock by Mahal. Khali broke free and clotheslined Mahal a few times. Right hand to Mahal’s noggin. Big Tree Slam by Khali, and in a frightening moment, he almost fell forward onto Mahal. He put his foot on Mahal’s chest for the win.

WINNER: Khali, at 2:06. That felt like a write-off for Mahal. And no, I’m not talking about I.R.S’ finisher.

- The Lumberjack match is still to come.

[Commercial Break]

6 – SIN CARA vs. DANIEL BRYAN

This appeared to be the Mistico Sin Cara. Cole said the WWE Universe is split 50/50, based on a WWE.com vote, as to which is the real Sin Cara. They also showed clips of last week’s Smackdown and this week’s Raw, as it pertains to the Sin Cara face-offs. The two men shook hands to start, then Bryan took Cara down with a headlock take-over. Bryan bridged out of a headscissors, then put Cara up in a surfboard. Back and forth action, then a springboard cross-body. Booker again gave the “mark on the black boot” speech and said this was the Cara in his Fave Five. Mathews pointed out that Booker said the fake one had the black mark last week. Handspring elbow by Cara which seemed to fall short. Cara jumped off the apron and took Bryan down with a hurricanrana. As Cara went ot the top rope, the fake Sin Cara ran out and pushed the other to ringside. The second Sin Cara went off the top and landed a Swanton Bomb for the win.

WINNER: Cara, at 3:07. That was like a messed up version of the Bellas’ Twin Magic.

- Christian knocked on Orton’s locker room door, but Zack Ryder came out of it, saying Orton owes him lunch. Christian said he loved Ryder’s appearance on Raw, then said he could be Broski of the Week. Ryder said he can’t help Christian, as it would be a conflict of interest since he’s the assistant GM. Ryder’s phone rang and he answered it (the ringtone of which was his theme music). It was Hugh Jackman. He snubbed Christian for the bigger name and Christian ended up not trying to talk to Orton after all.

[Commercial Break]

7 – AIR BOOM vs. THE USOS

A shake of the hands by one of the Usos and Evan to start things. Some early double-teaming by Jimmy and Jey, and some quick tags to go with it. Sledge across the chest of Evan as he laid across the knee of the other. Butt splash in the corner followed. Rear chinlock by Uso as Kofi tried to get the fans behind them. Bourne quickened the pace to break free and both men were down. Usos made the tag, as did Bourne at 2:10. Kingston hit his signature moves, including a cross-body off the top. Trouble in Paradise, but a distraction led to the legal Uso nailing Kofi with a superkick for two. Kofi countered another double-team move into…something that took one of the Usos out. Trouble in Paradise, then the Shooting Star Press by Bourne.

WINNERS: Air Boom, at 3:32. I’d like to see a long-form feud between these two teams. With Miz and Truth out of the picture so quickly, Air Boom could use some quality opponents.

- Next, it’s the Lumberjack Match between Mark Henry and Christian.

[Commercial Break]

- The Raw Rebound aired. To show you where WWE’s priorities lie, this Rebound was solely focused on Hugh Jackman’s involvement on the show, and said nothing of the WWE Title change that took place the night before, or R-Truth and Miz getting fired, or anything involving the main event angle.

- They showed the Lumberjacks who were surrounding the ring. Christian came out first, then Mark Henry. Tony Chimel handled formal ring introductions. The match begins after break.

[Commercial Break]

8 – CHRISTIAN vs. MARK HENRY – WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH

Cole said this is a “statement match” for Henry. Henry took Christian down right off the tie-up. Rear waist-lock by Christian, but Henry simply backed Christian into the corner. Chest-first into the buckle went Christian. Christian dodged a clothesline, but Henry grabbed him and threw Christian over the top. Ezekiel Jackson, one of the superstars Christian approached backstage, waved off the Lumberjacks near him…only to knee Christian in the mid-section himself. Back in, Henry applied a nerve hold. Christian created some separation and tried to springboard off the second rope, but landed right in the arms of Henry for a bear-hug. Henry released the move and missed a corner charge. Right hands from Christian, but a clothesline did nothing. A second, still nothing. Dropkick off the second rope caused Henry to teeter, and a dropkick off the top finally felled the big man at 4:25 of the match. Christian went for the Killswitch, to no avail. Henry clobbered Christian for two. Christian attempted a springboard sunset flip, but Henry missed a butt drop. The fight went to the outside, where Christian was pulled out. The entire roster of superstars went after Henry, and he managed to shrug them off. He picked Trent Barreta over his head and tossed him onto a host of other wrestlers. Great Khali was left standing on one side and the crowd chanted for him, but it was not to be. Christian tried to leave, but Sheamus grabbed him, tossed him into the ring, and Henry gave him the World’s Strongest Slam.

WINNER: Henry, at 6:21.

Randy Orton ran out to get him some of Henry. They exchanged blows in the ring. RKO attempt failed, but Orton dropkicked Henry out of the ring. Orton’s music played as he stared at Henry from the ring. At ringside, Henry held the title over his head.


What do you think? If you saw this show, we invite you to send your thoughts. Send your name, hometown, a 0-10 score rating the quality of the show, your picks for best and worst segments, and then a brief paragraph of thoughts on the show that we can publish in the Reader Reax segment later tonight or tomorrow. Send to pwtorch@gmail.com.

Greg Parks has been covering WWE Smackdown for PWTorch.com since January of 2007. Follow him on Twitter @gregmparks for live Tweeting during Raw, Impact, and PPVs, as well as other bits of wisdom. Comments, questions and feedback are welcome, and can be sent to g_man9784@yahoo.com.


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