7/16 WWE Smackdown TV taping spoilers: Full coverage of the taping for Friday's television show (spoilers)
Dot Net staffer Zack Zimmerman is at the WWE Smackdown taping in Providence, R.I. and is sending the following updates. Refresh the page for the latest details.
The building is packed. It's not sold out, but like 7/8 full.
The show opened with Teddy Long in the ring. He announced that Vince McMahon was in the building to give him a job evaluation. He asked if the crowd thought he should be the permanent GM. The crowd responded positively. He said this would be the best Smackdown ever.
Booker T's music hit and he made his return. Booker T thanked Teddy but said he would be resuming the general manager duties. Enter Vince McMahon, who said there can be only one. He asked what they have to offer. Teddy announced Curtis Axel vs. Chris Jericho for the Intercontinental Title. Booker announced Alberto Del Rio vs. Randy Orton.
Enter Brad Maddox, who said he already thought of those matches, and announced the Smackdown return of Rob Van Dam. Big pop. Vince teased all three and announced that the new Smackdown general manager is Vickie Guerrero. Big heat and "No!" chants followed. Vickie cut a promo about how she's back and she hates all of us. Nuclear heat.
1. Dolph Ziggler beat Jack Swagger (w/Antonio Cesaro and Zeb Colter). Ziggler won after hitting the Zig-Zag in about four minutes. Cesaro and Zeb were sent backstage after Cesaro pulled Ziggler off the apron into his uppercut. Post match, Ziggler cut a quick promo about dumping AJ. He said he should've done it sooner.
AJ was watching backstage with Big E and went nuts. She beat up a chair and even attacked Big E. Eventually, he hugged her and they had a moment. They were about to kiss when Langston pulled away and kissed her on the forehead.
There was a non-televised entrance for The Shield. The Uso's microphones didn't work for their entrance. It was really staticky. Is that a word? it is now.
2. Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns vs. The Usos never started because Dean Ambrose ran in. Mark Henry made the save to a huge pop. Babyface turn. The Shield retreated back up the stands and the babyfaces held the ring.
3. Daniel Bryan beat Wade Barrett via LeBell Lock in about 5:00. Unbelievable reaction for Bryan. Huge pop, arena-wide "Yes!" and "Daniel Bryan" chants. No need for audio sweetener with this great crowd tonight.
Miz TV with Paul Heyman. Epic non-response for Miz's entrance. Great heat on Paul. Paul put over Brock Lesnar and offered Punk a piece of advise: "Stay down." Paul threatened that if Punk ever showed his face again, he would be be victimized by Brock Lesnar. More brilliance from Heyman. Miz was lame, then he left.
On his way up the ramp, Heyman interrupted Miz leaving and brought out Curtis Axel. He and Miz exchanged looks but passed each other on the stage.
4. Curtis Axel (w/ Paul Heyman) pinned Chris Jericho in about 10 minutes to retain the Intercontinental Title. Decent back and forth match that Axel won with his hangman's facebuster. The crowd went bonkers for Jericho's offense (the pop on The Walls being applied won't be sweetened. Unreal). There seemed to be no connection between Axel and the crowd. Post-match, Ryback came to the ring and hit Jericho with the Meat Hook and Shellshocked.
Damien Sandow came to the ring. He said he didn't screw Cody, so he couldn't understand why Cody attacked him Monday. However, he wasn't going to spew angry rhetoric at Cody, because that's what makes him different from us. He said he and Cody were still best friends, and he invited Cody to join him in the ring.
Cody entered and Sandow said he forgave Cody. He offered Cody a "metaphorical olive branch" in the form of the offer to be the "guardian of the case. Cody, you earned this." Sandow said. Cody attacked Sandow, but Sandow quickly escaped and ran to the back. Unimpressive reactions for Cody.
5. Rob Van Dam beat Darren Young (w/Titus O'Neil). RVD won with the Five Star Frog Splash in about five minutes. A showcase match for RVD, who used all of his standard spots.
Backstage, Vickie Guerrero had security remove Teddy Long from the building.
A brief graphic hyped that Big Show would be making his return to Raw this Monday.
6. Randy Orton pinned Alberto Del Rio in a non-title match. Orton went over clean after an RKO in about 10 minutes. What you'd expect from these two. I still don't like how frequently champions lose non-title matches. This was the end of Smackdown.
Dark Main Event
1. Daniel Bryan, Rob Van Dam, and Randy Orton beat The Shield in a six-man tag. The babyface trio went over in about seven minutes when Rollins tapped out to the LeBell Lock.
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