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WWE Smackdown Report
TAIT'S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT 8/19: No. 1 contender battle royal, Weekly Smackdown Breakdown

Aug 19, 2011 - 9:25:48 PM

WWE Smackdown TV report
August 19, 2011
Taped in Bakersfield, Calif.
By James Tait, Torch int'l Smackdown Correspondent

- Theodore Long was in the ring thuggin' and buggin' as Smackdown opened from Bakersfield. Long welcomed the new World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton.

Orton came out to the stage and raised his belt high. Michael Cole praised Orton for one heck of a no holds barred match at Summerslam. Long shook Orton's hand and gave him a mic.

'Randy' chants broke out before Orton said he's used to everyone seeing Smackdown start with Christian in the ring (boos) whining and begging for that one more match but Orton sure as hell is no Christian. Orton introduced himself to a big pop; Orton said he is the World Heavyweight Champion. Orton said he beat Christian so brutally that he can't even stand, let alone show up tonight and beg for one more match. Orton said he respected Christian but after that he began to annoy him and eventually he grew to despise him with every fiber of his being. Orton said it's all over now. Orton told Teddy he didn't want to talk about lawyers or contracts, he said he's ready to start anew like everyone else in the world.

Long said he could tell Orton right now who he will be moving on to: the winner of tonight's 20 Man Battle Royal!

Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase cut proceedings off. Cody got in the ring and said that Teddy Long knows what this is: the Legacy reunited in the ring. Rhodes said Legacy was the group Orton had on Raw with Ted and himself where the two of them were considered lesser sons of a better sire but Cody said times had changed because he is a champion too, pointing to his Intercontinental title.

Rhodes said that unlike Randy, he didn't have to resort to common barbarism to obtain his title and please the masses. Cody said he could genuinely care less about any of these hideous people, to boos and a 'you suck' chant. Cody said Randy knows him and he's not happy just being Intercontinental Champion which is why he's competing in the Battle Royal tonight because he wants what Randy has and sooner or later he's going to get it.

Cody said that Ted too has a voice and told the Fortunate Son to use it. Ted told the crowd, who had begun to boo in anticipation, to calm down. Ted said they know Randy better than anyone else in the WWE. Ted said they know his strengths and, more importantly, his weaknesses. Ted said that they hadn't forgotten for one second about all the times Randy had used them, but didn't get any further as Orton exploded with an RKO on DiBiase out of nowhere.

Orton stared down Cody, who backed into the corner. Orton left the ring and celebrated on the way to the back. Cole said we might be seeing a different Randy Orton this time around, because solving dilemmas with death stares and RKOs is so much different to what Orton has been doing all year.

Cody got in Long's face in the ring and said that it's Teddy's show and he's assuming he's going to do something about it. Cody pointed to his belt and screamed that this means he demands Long do something about it, shoving the mic into Long's chest.

Long said he would do something about it. He said he's going to march right back there and have Orton stand on one leg in the corner for ten minutes. He said he's also going to demand that Orton take out pen and paper and right 100 times 'I will not RKO Ted DiBiase'. Long said in the meantime he would demand something of Cody. He said since DiBiase is unable to compete that Cody take his place. Long said the Intercontinental Championship would be on the line and his opponent: Ezekiel Jackson. Long said that match would be next and left the ring as Cody looked incensed.

[Commercial Break]

- Jackson made his entrance as Smackdown returned. Josh Mathews said that Jackson had been in a foul mood since Rhodes and DiBiase bagged him after Rhodes' championship victory last Friday. Replays of the match and aftermath were shown. Jackson looked furious after the replay.

1 -- Intercontinental champion CODY RHODES vs. EZEKIEL JACKSON -- Intercontinental Championship match

Jackson out-muscled Rhodes early with a spinning sidewalk slam that got two. Jackson grabbed Cody's leg after he missed with an enziguiri attempt and got an elbow drop to the back for his trouble. Jackson Irish-whipped Rhodes into the ropes and bent down but Rhodes countered with a throwback to brother Goldust, dropping to the mat and uppercutting Jackson.

Rhodes missed with a clothesline and got back body dropped for two. Rhodes hung Jackson over the top rope and hit a running bulldog for his first pin cover. Cody stomped a mudhole on Jackson in the corner and hit a double arm clothesline for another two count. Jackson fought back and pounded on Cody in the corner. Jackson went for a bodyslam but Cody struggled out of it and rolled to the outside. Jackson tossed Cody over the steel steps but Rhodes kicked them into Jackson's knee.

Zeke went for the Torture Rack but Cody struggled free and hit the Beautiful Disaster kick off the ropes. Cody hit Cross Rhodes and retained his Intercontinental Championship. After the bell Cody had his arm raised in the ring and Cole said Rhodes could now put Jackson in his rear-view mirror and move on.

WINNER: Cody Rhodes via pinfall in 3:00

TAIT REAX: Nice, quick opening match. Having Jackson lose in three minutes to Rhodes without getting much offense in is probably the death knell for Big Zeke's run in the Intercontinental Championship scene. I look for someone like Daniel Bryan, Sin Cara, or maybe even someone from left field like Justin Gabriel to take his place. Cody is molding into a superstar in the ring no doubt.

- Mathews hyped the 20-man Battle Royal to determine the number one contender later tonight with the faces of all competitors shown onscreen. Zack Ryder is among them, but so are The Great Khali and Heath Slater. Guess you have to take the good with the bad, and the ugly.

[Commercial Break]

- Teddy Long was shown in his office. Zack Ryder approached him and said that Alberto was on his way, commenting on what a great champion he is. Long didn't know what Ryder what was talking about. Zack said that he invited Del Rio to 'Zackdown' tonight to talk about becoming the WWE Champion. Long said that he actually told Ryder to invite the Undisputed WWE Champion to Smackdown, whom he thought would be either CM Punk or John Cena. Ryder said life is full of surprises, just like tonight when he wins the Battle Royal and becomes the new number one contender, a large section of cheers from the crowd were noticeable.

The same cheesy romance music interrupted the two to signal the arrival of Aksana. Long Island Ice-Z made his exit and Aksana commented that Teddy looked surprised. Long said it was because he didn't expect to see her here tonight. Aksana said that she knows his first name is Teddy like a teddy bear, but asked him why his last name was Long? Real subtle. Long stuttered. Aksana said the main event looks exciting and asked if Teddy would like to see her beat 20 men. The word subtlety is nowhere in Aksana's Lithuanian to English dictionary. Teddy asked if she meant she'd like to watch the main event with him. Aksana said yes and asked him what he thought she meant. Teddy said he'd rather watch Aksana, no wait, he'd rather watch 20 men, no wait, he'd rather watch it alone. Long left hurriedly and Aksana commented what a shame.

- The announcers were shown at ringside with Booker spitting some form of gibberish over what just happened. Cole got excited about Alberto Del Rio being on Smackdown tonight. Mathews segued Del Rio's return to Smackdown with Justin Gabriel's return to his native South Africa.

The same video package of Gabriel's visit to his home country shown in previous weeks was played. Gabriel made his entrance after the video to some generic pop rock. Gabriel flipped into the ring and Booker said he'd be in action next.

[Commercial Break]

- Tyson Kidd made his entrance as Gabriel's opponent as Smackdown returned. Good to see Kidd getting so much Smackdown time of late. Cole said that Gabriel and Kidd tore it up on NXT recently, a nice little touch before the bell.


Kidd took down Gabriel to start the match and hit a shoulder block followed by a hip toss attempt that Gabriel countered into a leg sweep and an armdrag takeover. Gabriel Irish-whipped Kidd into the corner but Kidd countered with a huracanrana to send Gabriel face first into the middle turnbuckle. Kidd dropkicked Gabriel in the back and went for a cover but only got one.

Kidd continued to beat on Gabriel. Booker said Kidd needed a breakout moment tonight as Kidd drove his knee into Gabriel's back. Cole went over Kidd's training as the last student of the Hart family dungeon. Gabriel fought to his feet and back flipped out of a back suplex attempt, hitting Kidd with a side kick to the head.

Kidd missed with a running clothesline and was hit with a two-kick combo and a jumping spin kick to finish from Gabriel, nice. Kidd Irish-whipped Gabriel into the ropes but Gabriel flipped over his back and hit a roundhouse kick to Kidd's face. Gabriel hit a spinning clothesline for a two count. Kidd rushed Gabriel in the corner but Justin ducked out to the apron and hit Kidd with an awkward looking springboard crossbody that editing couldn't really save.

Kidd went for a submission but Gabriel countered with a sunset flip pin that got two. Gabriel countered an in-rushing Kidd with an STO and went to the top rope. Kidd attempted to head Gabriel off but was pushed off and hit with a 450 splash from Gabriel that was good for the pin and the win. Gabriel celebrated in the ring as replays of the action were shown.

WINNER: Justin Gabriel via pinfall in 4:00.

TAIT REAX: Another decent quick match with plenty of nifty spots throughout. I admire Kidd's ability to have a good match with anyone he faces and I wish this one had gone a bit longer. Kidd and Gabriel both gel well together so it would be nice to see these two with greater characters in order to justify a big feud.

- Matt Striker was backstage with The Great Khali and Jinder Mahal. Striker asked Mahal to comment on his chances in tonight's battle royal. Khali interrupted and spoke sternly in Hindi. Mahal translated by saying that Khali had said it would be he won wins the battle royal. Mahal berated Khali in Hindi and said the Khali serves him. Mahal turned back to Striker and said that Khali agrees that he will win the battle royal. Khali looked miffed but followed Mahal away.

- Mathews hyped Alberto Del Rio up next. Cole said the world was rejoicing in Del Rio's victory lap.

[Commercial Break]

- Tony Chimel welcomed Ricardo Rodriguez to personally announce Alberto Del Rio. Del Rio came out in a Lamborghini Gallardo worth over $150,000 and looking like money with the WWE Championship around his waist. Cole was giving Del Rio a standing ovation and went on a long-winded and brown-nosing rant about Del Rio's character. Booker T told him to shut up for a minute.

Del Rio got on the mic and introduced himself in a rather subdued manner than usual which was nice for a change. He introduced himself as the Undisputed WWE Champion but of course, all his friends already knew that. Del Rio said he's been talking about destiny for months and even though they thought he was crazy, which he's not, he's here standing in front of them just to prove to everyone that destiny is real.

Del Rio said he cashed his Money In The Bank at Summerslam to become their undisputed WWE Champion. Boos from the crowd. Del Rio asked if they knew what Bakersfield meant for him, recounting that he made his debut in this very arena beating Rey Mysterio. He said they all hated him that night but it's incredible how things change in a year, now everybody just loves him.

Del Rio said it's funny, a year ago he defeats Rey Mysterio, and a year later in his first title defense, he did the same. Ricardo and Alberto joked together about it as a 'you suck' chant sounded. Del Rio cut to a replay from Monday's Raw showing Del Rio's victory and subsequent beat down on Mysterio.

Del Rio said he is a real champion and that's the reason he's here, because a real champion will face anyone. Del Rio asked who was man enough to face a 'patrone.' Daniel Bryan interrupted. Mathews recounted Bryan and Del Rio from last week. Del Rio asked Bryan if he wanted another beat down. Bryan said Alberto thinks he's so special. Bryan asked why Del Rio cashed in his Money In The Bank like everyone else: when the champion was beaten down and all he had to do was pick the bones. Bryan said that's not special, that's ordinary, predictable and pathetic.

Bryan strode with purpose to the ring and stood high on the turnbuckle as Smackdown cut to commercial. His entrance was better when it was Flight Of The Valkyries.

[Commercial Break]

3 -- WWE Champion ALBERTO DEL RIO (w/Ricardo Rodriguez) vs. DANIEL BRYAN -- non-title match

A 'Daniel Bryan' chant started as the bell rung which Del Rio didn't appreciate. The two went back and forth in the corner with Bryan unloading a series of vicious kicks on Del Rio. Bryan missed with a roundhouse kick and Del Rio rolled out of the ring. Bryan chased him back in but Del Rio hit him with a kick to the head and took control.

Del Rio taunted Bryan and went for a pin cover before beginning to work the arm. Cole scoffed at Bryan thinking he was going to main event WrestleMania as another 'Daniel Bryan' chant started. Bryan fought back but Del Rio countered with a headbutt. Del Rio hit a running shoulder block and taunted Bryan more but ran into a knee lift from Mr. Money In The Bank.

Bryan kicked Del Rio and went for his first pin cover good for two. Bryan went to the top rope but Del Rio met him there and hit a jumping armbreaker across his knees for a two count. Del Rio continued to work the arm in the middle of the ring.

Ricardo was shown applauding from ringside as Del Rio kicked Bryan's arm. Cole scoffed at the revelation that Daniel Bryan now has a YouTube channel as Del Rio got another two count. Del Rio continued to subdue Bryan in the ring. Bryan fought back with European uppercuts but was Irish-whipped hard into the opposite corner in return. Del Rio got another two-count and went straight back to work on the arm.

Bryan struggled back to his feet and fought back once again at Booker's urging. Del Rio ran at Bryan in the corner twice but was met with boots both times and sent into the turnbuckle on the third. Bryan unloaded a flurry of kicks on Del Rio in the corner. Del Rio Irish-whipped Bryan into the opposite corner and followed him but Bryan did his signature back flip off the turnbuckle over Del Rio and hit a vicious running clothesline.

Del Rio ran at Bryan, who powered him over the top rope and to the floor. Bryan hit a running knee off the apron as Ricardo looked concerned. Bryan tossed Del Rio back in the ring and went to the top rope, jumping off but missing. Del Rio hit a bridging German suplex for a near fall. Del Rio was bleeding from the mouth after Bryan's running knee.

Del Rio put Bryan on the top turnbuckle and set up for a back suplex which Bryan countered into a cross body. The two lay flat on their backs in the ring as Smackdown went to commercial.

[Commercial Break]

The two were exchanging blows as Smackdown returned with dueling cheers for Bryan and boos for Alberto. Bryan fired up and hit an intense running dropkick on Del Rio in the corner. Bryan went to the top rope as Ricardo screamed at Del Rio to look out. Bryan hit a huge missile dropkick off the top rope for two and the crowd is well into this one. Booker said Bryan was at the top of his Fave Five as the American Dragon hit Del Rio in the chest with hard kicks.

Del Rio countered and went for another German but Bryan countered with elbows to the head and back flipped over Del Rio and locked in his guillotine choke submission hold. Del Rio began to fade but rammed Bryan back-first into the turnbuckle to break the hold. Del Rio suplexed Bryan and locked the cross armbreaker in, forcing Bryan to tap out to end a great match.

WINNER: Alberto Del Rio via submission in 15:00

- After the bell, Ricardo enthusiastically announced 'the patrone' Del Rio as the winner. Del Rio continued to punish the arm of Bryan before locking in the cross armbreaker once again. Sin Cara interrupted and hit a huracanrana on Del Rio followed by a dropkick and a springboard cross body on Del Rio. Cara helped Bryan at ringside as Del Rio and Ricardo skulked to the back.

TAIT REAX: Wow, what an awesome match that was. At 15 minutes no less Bryan and Del Rio had the crowd eating out of the palms of their hands. The only commercial break came a good ten minutes in which is acceptable. Both Bryan and Del Rio looked like money in this match, particularly Bryan whose intensity that he gives in absolutely every little movement in that ring is nothing short of awe-inspiring. Del Rio needed this win but Bryan's continual persistence meant that Mr. Money In The Bank didn't look at all weak in defeat. I'm praying they see his MITB cash in through to WrestleMania. Sin Cara interfering afterwards meant little more than the Mexican connection he and Del Rio shared and was simply a way to get him to stand out on the show in some way. A great match and a real lifting point for the show tonight, let's hope it continues.

- Mark Henry was shown backstage with Matt Striker. Striker said Henry had an impressive display against Sheamus at Summerslam and showed some images of Henry driving Sheamus through the barricade. Striker asked Henry how he feels about his chances in the battle royal tonight. Henry said he felt no respect and that he should already be the number one contender. Henry said he put out the Big Show, he put out Kane and he drove Sheamus through a wall at Summerslam and yet they put him in the same boat as everybody else. Henry said that was the wrong thing to do and now he's looking at this battle royal like a literal boat: 20 men and the seas are gonna get rocky. It's gonna toss and turn and 19 of those 20 men are going overboard and they're all gonna sink. Awesome promo from Henry.

[Commercial Break]

- Kelly Kelly and A.J. made their entrance as Smackdown returned. Natalya and Alicia Fox made their entrance with Alicia's over exaggerated booty shake walk looking ridiculous set to Natalya's Hitman electric guitar theme, although she does channel Rihanna well.

4 -- Divas champion KELLY KELLY & A.J. vs. NATALYA & ALICIA FOX

Natalya and A.J. started proceedings with Natalya completely no-selling A.J.'s attempts at offense and a rollup. Natalya powered A.J. into the corner, who kicked her off and went for a cross body off the middle turnbuckle. Natalya caught her in mid-air and went for a running powerslam which A.J. struggled out of.

A.J. ran at Natalya who hit her with an elbow. Natalya ran at A.J. who countered with a huracanrana into a head scissors on the mat. A.J. tried to Irish whip Natalya but couldn't budge her. Natalya sent A.J. into the corner and slammed her head to the mat. Natalya tagged in Alicia and the two hit tag team offense.

Alicia slammed A.J.'s face into the mat and beat down on her as Kelly willed A.J. on from the corner. Alicia stared Kelly down before dragging A.J. backwards and tagging in Natalya. The two hit a double suplex on A.J. Natalya picked A.J. up and slapped her before tagging in Alicia and if Kelly says 'come on A.J.' one more time I will break something.

Alicia choked A.J. in the corner and was pulled off by the ref. A.J. used the opportunity to elbow Natalya off the apron and crawl under Alicia to make the hot tag to Kelly. The Diva's champ hit a Thesz press on Fox and spanked her. Kelly hit a huracanrana followed by a bulldog on Alicia. Kelly stink faced Alicia in the corner before hitting a huracanrana into a pin cover that was broken up by Natalya.

A.J. intervened but was tossed to the outside by Natalya. Alicia went for a scissor kick that was dodged by Kelly. Kelly hit her K2 facebuster for the pin and the win.

WINNERS: Kelly Kelly and A.J. via pinfall in 5:00

- After the bell Kelly and A.J. hugged it out in the ring before leaving to the back. Natalya confronted Alicia and the two argued. Alicia poked Natalya in the chest and walked off. Natalya appeared to take it well but then attacked Alicia on the apron. Natalya tossed her off and locked in the sharpshooter on the outside before walking to the back.

TAIT REAX: A Diva's match lasting five minutes? Well I never... I'm actually enjoying the whole 'Divas Of Doom' thing even if it is an idea that has been flogged to death.

- Mathews hyped the 20-man battle royal later tonight.

[Commercial Break]

- External shots of the Rabobank Arena in Bakersfield were shown as Smackdown returned. A video package highlighting Summerslam Axxess was shown.

- Randy Orton entered to take a ringside seat for the battle royal. Orton raised his belt high on the turnbuckle as Cole announced the match was next.

[Commercial Break]

- The majority of participants were in the ring once Smackdown returned. Sin Cara, Wade Barrett, Mark Henry and Sheamus were given their own individual entrances on camera.

5 -- GREAT KHALI vs. JINDER MAHAL vs. CODY RHODES vs. TED DIBIASE vs. JUSTIN GABRIEL vs. SHEAMUS vs. MARK HENRY vs. JIMMY USO vs. JEY USO vs. WILLIAM REGAL vs. HEATH SLATER vs. EZEKIEL JACKSON vs. TRENT BARRETA vs. JOHNNY CURTIS vs. YOSHI TATSU vs. SIN CARA vs. ZACK RYDER vs. WADE BARRETT vs. TYSON KIDD -- 20 Man Over The Top Rope Battle Royal to determine the number one contender to the World Heavyweight Championship

Every participant ganged up on Mark Henry as soon as the bell rung. The World's Strongest Man powered them all off and flapjacked Trent Barreta before tossing him out of the ring. Yoshi Tatsu tried bravely to attack Henry but was headbutted and tossed out of the ring for his trouble.

Sheamus was shown trying to get Cody Rhodes out of the ring. Regal and Zack Ryder were going at it also. Khali was standing in front of Jinder Mahal and protecting him in the corner. Barrett punched Curtis off the apron for the third elimination.

Regal tried to attack Mahal but Khali held him off and hit him with a giant chop to the chest. Sin Cara flipped Ryder over the top rope and out of contention; the move was met with a fair few boos. Ezekiel Jackson ran Rhodes over the top rope but Cody hung on and skinned the cat when Jackson turned around. Cody had just gotten back in the ring when Jackson noticed and immediately clotheslined him straight out of there for the fourth elimination.

Jackson and Khali squared off with Jackson beating Khali backwards into Mahal and hitting a running clothesline. Khali chopped Jackson in the head and tossed him out of the match. Mark Henry started to size up Khali and the two met in the middle of the ring. Henry pushed Khali in the face and Khali replied with a chop to the head that crumbled Henry. Khali put a shoulder claw on Henry, who powered out, picked up Khali and lifted him over the top rope and out to the floor. Impressive.

Mahal berated Khali from in the ring. Sheamus attacked Henry from behind and hit him, sending Henry rolling under the bottom rope and to the floor. Heath Slater jumped on the back of Sheamus. Sheamus put him on the apron and Brogue kicked him off the apron and to the floor. Henry picked him up and tossed him into the steel ring steps in front as Orton watched on.

[Commercial Break]

Sheamus was in trouble at the hands of Sin Cara and Justin Gabriel as Smackdown returned. Henry was still lurking around outside the ring. A 'Sin Cara' chant started as Sheamus beat on Tyson Kidd. Mathews said that William Regal had been eliminated during the break. Gabriel and Sin Cara fought with Cara ejecting Gabriel from competition.

Henry picked up Gabriel and tossed him over the barricade by the throat. Sheamus eliminated both of the Usos simultaneously and Henry tossed one into the barricade and the other over the announce desk and into the announcers. Henry got back in the ring and beat down on everyone within sight, picking up Jinder Mahal and tossing him out of the ring and giving Ted DiBiase the same treatment.

Tyson Kidd had Cara on the top rope and waved goodbye but Cara pulled a swift one and used his legs to pull Kidd over the top rope and save himself. It was down to four with Sin Cara, Wade Barrett, Mark Henry and Sheamus rounding it out. A 'Sin Cara' chant started again with every other wrestler ganging up on Henry. Barrett and Sheamus stomped him in the corner with Sheamus going mental with knees.

Sheamus turned around and was met with a big running clothesline from Sheamus. Barrett tossed Sheamus over the top but the Celtic Warrior held on and pulled Barrett out there with him. The two traded punches on the apron before Sheamus Brogue kicked Barrett off and to the floor.

Sin Cara ran at Sheamus, who dodged and caused Cara to slide through the middle rope and out to the floor. Cara ran back into the ring and hit a running enziguiri on Sheamus. Sheamus tried to back body drop Cara over the top rope but Cara held on. Sheamus kicked him in the gut but still Cara held on. Cara crawled back between Sheamus' legs. Sheamus picked him up and tried to throw him over the top rope but Cara managed to just hold on yet again.

Sheamus wound up for the Brogue kick but was cut off by Henry, who picked him up and tossed him over the top rope to a negative reception from the crowd. Sin Cara went to the top rope and hit a terrible looking cross body on Henry. Henry powered Cara off and to the outside. Cara got back in the ring and kicked Henry's thighs. Cara went for a huracanrana but Henry blocked it and tossed Cara off. Cara went for a springboard cross body but Henry caught him in mid-air and hit a World's Strongest Slam.

Henry military pressed Cara over his head and tossed him over the top rope and out to the floor to win the match.

WINNER: Mark Henry in 15:00.

- After the bell Henry celebrated in the ring as Orton watched on silently from ringside. Henry got in Orton's face on the outside and the two stared each other down to end Smackdown.

FINAL THOUGHTS: I thought this was a good episode of Smackdown post-Summerslam even if the World Heavyweight Championship was the predominant focus of the show. It made sense as everybody on the Smackdown roster had a vested interest in the main event. It would have been nice to see some of the current feuds worked into the match but there really isn't that many anyway. Mark Henry and Sheamus look to be done for now as do Ezekiel Jackson and Cody Rhodes, though Jackson's elimination of Rhodes in the main event may prove otherwise.

Daniel Bryan vs. Alberto Del Rio was a fantastic match and the standout point of Smackdown tonight but the real star of the show was The World's Strongest Man Mark Henry. His promo before the main event was awesome and showcased his vast experience. I picked either Mark Henry or Sheamus to win the battle royal but was solid on Mark Henry after his victory over Sheamus at Summerslam.

I'm a little concerned about the upcoming title match between Henry and Orton however. While I like the idea of Henry the monster heel, I still question his ability to work in-ring. It's one thing for Henry to throw people through barricades and into steel steps but it's another thing entirely to expect the big man to get into the ring and wrestle a one-on-one, main event quality match with Randy Orton. Were this any other occasion I'd look for a no holds barred stipulation but since the last title match held that stipulation it wouldn't really flow well from a booking standpoint.

I'm eagerly anticipating the return of Christian and the resumption of Smackdown as usual next week. Hopefully a new feud or two, especially one for the Intercontinental Championship, as well as Daniel Bryan continuing to shine will both happen next week also. Until then...


Match Of The Night: Alberto Del Rio vs. Daniel Bryan

Match To Forget: Kelly Kelly and A.J. vs. Natalya and Alicia Fox

Star Of The Show: Mark Henry

Please Go Away: Aksana

Quote Of The Night: Mark Henry - "I'm looking at this battle royal like a boat: 20 men and the seas are gonna get rocky. It's gonna toss and it's gonna turn and 19 of those 20 men are going overboard, and they're all gonna sink."

Quote Of 1000 Facepalms: Aksana - "I know your first name is Teddy like the bear, but why is your last name Long?"

Most Entertaining Move: Sheamus' Brogue kick to eliminate Heath Slater.

On The Next Episode Of Botchamania: Sin Cara's diving cross body on Mark Henry.

Best Moment: Henry dominates the battle royal to become number one contender.

Worst Moment: Another installment in the hideous Teddy Long-Aksana saga.

Overall Grade: B

[Torch art credit Grant Gould (c)]

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