6/29 Barnett's WWE Smackdown on SyFy Live Coverage: MITB Qualifiers and a Triple Threat Main Event for the World Heavyweight Championship!
By Jake Barnett
WWE Smackdown on SyFy
Taped 6/26 in Evansville, IN.
[Q1] After the Smackdown intro video and pyro, Josh Mathews welcomed us to Smackdown and pumped up Money in the Bank. Cole then hyped the triple threat main event between Ziggler, Del Rio, and World Champion Sheamus. The announce crew then bantered about AJ and her influence on the WWE Title picture, and then showed the conclusion of Monday's elimination match which saw Daniel Bryan get the victory. AJ's music then hit, and she headed towards the ring. Layla followed for the first match of the night.
1. AJ vs. Layla: The women circled each other and then Layla got a headlock take over, which AJ moved into a head scissors. AJ then got a headlock take over of her own, which was quickly turned into a pinning attempt by Layla for a one count. Back to a head lock by Layla. AJ pushed her off and hit a shoulder block. She then went for a hip toss, but Layla rolled through for another one count. Layla locked in a wrist lock, but AJ escaped and hit a drop toe hold and a drop kick. Layla backed into the corner and ate another kick, followed by a cover by AJ for a two count.
Layla hit a springboard body block for another two count. She then followed up with a facebuster for another two. AJ came back with heel kick, but Daniel Bryan's music hit and he interrupted the match at 3:12. He pranced around the ring and chanted yes into the microphone, which allowed Layla to roll up AJ for the win.
Layla defeated AJ at 3:35.
After the match, AJ snapped and attacked Layla while Bryan looked on from the apron. The ref separated them and AJ turned her crazed look to Bryan, who told her to calm down and entered the ring. He told her it's not so fun when someone distracts you in the middle of a match, is it? He said he wasn't out there because he craved attention, he was out there because he had something very important to discuss with Vickie Guerrero that he wanted AJ to hear. He said he would hold the show hostage if he had to. He waited a moment and then said he had no choice, and started a yes chant. AJ mocked him and started one of her own. They both stared at each other heading into commercial...[c]
Barnett's Brief: Good choice starting the show with Bryan and AJ, who are undoubtedly the most interesting characters on Smackdown right now. Both were good here in their dramatic roles, but the match was nothing to talk about. Pretty basic stuff with the champ picking up the clean win. It wasn't bad, but it's not something you'd want on PPV or to even take up more than 5 minutes of TV time.
During the break, WWE plugged next Tuesday's Live Smackdown as The Great American Bash...
[Q2] Daniel Bryan and AJ were still in the midst of dueling Yes chants as we got back. Vickie finally made her entrance and headed to the ring to a chorus of boos. Vickie said she wasn't sure what he wanted, but she was sure everyone was tired of hearing his same old catchphrase. Bryan said he needed to make a point. He defeated both Kane and CM Punk on Monday, and he needed to show everyone that both Raw and Smackdown will still both revolve around him. He also wanted to applaud Vickie for working so quickly to get him his deserved title match, and said that was the kind of management style that makes him want to see her as the permanent GM.
He said if he is to be WWE Champion and her to be permanent GM, he would like to bring an idea to the board of directors. He then said he would like AJ banned from ringside. Both Bryan and Vickie took turns running down AJ, and then Vickie revealed that a WWE.com poll had asked fans to determine what AJ would do at the Money in the Bank PPV. The fans decided that AJ should be special guest referree, and the Board of Directors agreed. Vickie said the she respected the Board of Directors, and added AJ to the match. AJ left the ring doing her yes chants, and Bryan freaked out. He started screaming "No!", and left up the ramp.
Vickie then groveled to the Board of Directors and thanked them for approving her decision for the main event tonight. She then said that although the MITB match for the WWE title was only for former champions, the WHC match was open to anyone. She then said they would begin qualifying matches next, and Zack Ryder made his entrance...[c]
Barnett's Brief: That segment was actually pretty fun. Bryan is really settling into his character, and AJ's facial expressions really set the whole thing off. Vickie was ok as well, but she didn't really break the mold of what we've seen from her for several years. Bryan managed to look sympathetic here, and they haven't tipped their hat as to what the conclusion of this will be. I think Punk and AJ's "talk" next week may add an interesting wrinkle to this story.
Damien Sandow made his entrance after the break. Sandow cut a promo and said he was there tonight to help the fans and also his opponent. He called Ryder the WWE Ambassador of ignorance and stupidity. He claimed that once he defeats Ryder, he will shepherd the unwashed masses of the WWE towards the light of erudition and intelligence.
[Q3] 2. Zack Ryder vs. Damien Sandow: Ryder started out with shoulder blocks. Ryder hit a knee lift and went for a pin, but Sandow kicked out at one. Sandow quickly took over with a russian leg sweep and the "elbow of disdain". Ryder surged back with a facebuster. Sandow then charged him in the corner and ate some knees. Ryder followed up with a missile dropkick off the top for two. He hit the broski boot a moment later, but Sandow avoided the Rough Ryder and hit his straight jacket neckbreaker for the win.
Damien Sandow defeated Zack Ryder at 2:08.
Barnett's Brief: Decent short match. I see a good feud for these two down the road, if they aren't planning bigger things for Sandow right away.
Backstage, Bryan knocked on the door of the divas locker room and asked for AJ. Instead he got Kaitlyn, who told him AJ wasn't there and she wouldn't be in there if she was. She called AJ mentally ill and said she didn't know where to find her. She went back in the locker room and Bryan was left in the hallway.
The Cena Make-a-Wish promo aired. It's a great video, and whatever you think of Cena he does wonderful things for those kids. Tyson Kidd was in the ring, and Jack Swagger made his entrance.
3. Jack Swagger vs. Tyson Kidd: Swagger hit a waist lock take down to start the match. He went for a second, but Kidd rolled through and got a two count. Kidd reversed another hold into a pinning attempt. Swagger showed frustration and rolled to the outside. Kidd went for a body scissors after Swagger came back in, but got suplexed for his trouble for a two count. Swagger took control and worked some power offense. Kidd got another reversal and another rollup for two, but Swagger quickly took control again with a clothesline. Swagger then hit a Swagger Bomb for a near fall.
[Q4] Swagger worked over an arm bar, but Kidd escaped after a moment. Swagger picked up Kidd for another Suplex, but Kidd reversed into a DDT. Kidd then hit a series of kicks, followed by a seated dropkick for a two count. A moment later, Kidd went for a victory roll, but got pancaked. Swagger then locked in the ankle lock briefly, but Kidd reversed by using the ropes. Kidd then hit a kick and a Tornado DDT for the clean victory.
Tyson Kidd defeated Jack Swagger at 4:18.
Barnett's Brief: Very entertaining, but brief match. Kidd looked great here, and Swagger sold his ass off for him. I don't like that Swagger continues to lose, but I am happy to see Kidd get a break.
The announce team plugged the main event...[c
A recap of the #1 Contendership on the pole match aired. Backstage, Ziggler spoke to Vickie about his match later. He wanted her to ban the Brogue Kick and the Cross Armbreaker, but Vickie balked. He berated her about how this was about him and not her, and eventually she slapped him. After an awkward silence, he asked her to promise him that when he won the Championship she would be out there to raise his hand. She said she would. Santino then made his entrance for a MITB qualifier tag match. Christian then made his entrance...[c]
[Q5] David Otunga made his entrance and did a body building pose down. Cody Rhodes then made his entrance.
4. Santino and Christian vs. Otunga and Rhodes: Santino and Rhodes started. Santino tagged in Christian almost immediately. Rhodes hit a suplex and a knee lift on Christian, and then tagged in Otunga. Otuna hit a slam and a seated shoulder block. Otunga distracted the ref and Cody got some shots in on Christian. Rhodes tagged back in and went for a head and arm lock. Otunga tagged and then Santino tagged in a moment later for the hot tag and worked his signature spots. He then hit the cobra on Otunga but he rolled out of the ring. Rhodes made the tag while he was rolling and immediately went on offense. He hit some strikes and a suplex.
He then stepped on Santino's head, and then tagged in Otunga. Otunga followed up with a back elbow and an elbow drop. He stopped to pose every few minutes. He then locked in a chin lock in the middle of the ring. Santino then hit a back suplex to escape and tagged in Christian. Rhodes tagged in as well. Christian hit a flapjack and a diving elbow off the second rope. Christian fired up the crowd for the Killswitch, but Cody avoided. Christian rolled to the arpon and hung Cody up on the top rope. He went for the Killswitch again, but couldn't hit it.
Christian charged up for a spear, but Otunga grabbed his legs. Cody held Christian for Otunga to punch, but Christian escaped and Otunga knocked out Rhodes. Christian hit his spear a moment later for the victory.
Christian and Santino defeated Rhodes and Otunga at 5:44.
Sheamus was interviewed about his title match later. He was asked if he was worried about his triple threat later. Sheamus said he doesn't spend time worrying, because if you do you'll lose your mind. He said he could easily get ambushed by the MITB winner at the PPV or even get hit by Lindsay Lohan in the parking lot. He said he doesn't worry, he just kicks ass.
Barnett's Brief: An entertaining tag match, but nothing to write home about. Neither of the heels had much heat, so they didn't get much crowd support on offense. Santino and Christian got good cheers, and the finish woke the crowd up, but they spent most of the match lukewarm. The mid card heels need some attention before these types of matches will get a robust reaction from the crowd. Sheamus was pretty much level with where he had been for the past few months.
[Q6] AJ was backstage talking to herself about her Special Guest Ref spot. Bryan walked up and sucked up to her by offering to help her seek a doctor's help. She just smiled at him and said nothing. He asked her if he wanted her to leave the doctor's number, but she just started chanting yes and skipped away.
Dan Barone and Brenden Burke were in the ring and cut a rapping promo that everybody crapped on. Rybak then made his entrance for this week's dismembering.
5. Rybak kills two more jobbers: I'm sure you know how this works by now. Rybak slammed jobber 1 and then jobber 2 bailed to the outside. He then followed and kicked jobber 2 in the face. Rybak then pulled jobber 1 to the outside and he and jobber 2 got back in the ring. He no sold a few kicks from jobber 2 and then pancaked him. He then hit a backpack stunner, a clothesline, and his musclebuster for the win.
Rybak defeated two guys you'll never see again at 1:51.
Barnett's Brief: This is exactly what you'd expect.
Backstage, Teddy Long walked up and interrupted Aksana and Antonio Cesaro kissing. He said he harbors no ill will. He then told both of them that he would be Raw and Smackdown GM next week. He said that he sees clearly that they both need each other, and said that would never be more true than next week. Justin Gabriel then made his entrance for his MITB qualifier....[c]
Tensai made his entrance.
[Q7]6. Tensai vs. Justin Gabriel: Tensai immediately worked his power offense and dumped Gabriel to the outside. Tensai hit some elbow drops and forearms to the back of Gabriel's head. He followed up with a butterfly suplex for the two count. Tensai then locked in a bear hug. Gabriel struggled to get out for a moment and then broke free. Gabriel went for punches and kicks, but most of them got blocked. He finally hit a good solid kick and went up top and hit a missile dropkick to drop Tensai. He then hit a moonsault for the two count.
Gabriel went up top again, but Tensai caught him and hit his Baldo Bomb. He followed up with a running senton for the win.
Tensai defeated Justin Gabriel at 3:12.
Barnett's Brief: That was a much better showing from Tensai than we've seen recently. I still don't really think the character works, as it hasn't given the fans a reason to get invested, but he looked capable and dangerous in the ring here.
Ricardo Rodriguez introduced Alberto Del Rio, who drove up in a very nice looking Ferrari. Del Rio had a mic, and complained about being stuck in the midwest, and said he was screwed out of his 1 on 1 opportunity with Sheamus. He said despite all this, he would be the new World Heavyweight champion because...and was then interrupted by Vickie Guerrero. She then introduced Dolph Ziggler, who came out looking especially drenched in water. Sheamus then made his entrance...[c]
[Q8] 7. Sheamus vs. Alberto Del Rio vs. Dolph Ziggler: Sheamus took it to both men at the start with strikes, and dumped Ziggler over the top. Del Rio kicked Del Rio in the leg from behind, and stomped him several times. Cole mentioned Del Rio's concussion in the booth, and Booker said he should have manned up. Stay Classy. Sheamus ended up chasing Ziggler around the ring, which led to Del Rio taking advantage and going to work on Sheamus. Ziggler low bridged Sheamus out of the ring and rammed Del Rio into the steps on the outside.
Ziggler covered Del Rio in the ring for two. Sheamus climbed on the apron, but Ziggler knocked him off back to the floor. Del Rio charged Ziggler in the corner, but Ziggler moved and Del Rio hit his shoulder hard in the corner. Ziggler hit some strikes and set Del Rio on the top rope for a superplex. Del Rio fought him of briefly, but Ziggler eventually sent him tumbling to the outside. Sheamus then hit a back suplex on Ziggler and both men were laid out in the ring...[c]
Del Rio hit a dropkick to the back of a kneeling Sheamus. All three men rolled to the outside, with both heel putting the boots to Sheamus on the outside. Del Rio hit a boot right to Sheamus's temple, and Ziggler threw him over the announce table. Del Rio then threw Sheamus into the ring steps, and then all three men re-entered the ring. Del Rio motioned for Ziggler to go to the top rope, but it was deception so he could make a pinfall attempt. Ziggler broke it up and both he and Del Rio argued. They eventually came to blows, but Sheamus broke it up with a shoulder block on both men from the top rope. He then battered both men, hitting knee lifts on both men and a body slam on Del Rio.
Sheamus then tossed Ziggler to the apron and hit his clubbing chest blows. Del Rio attempted an arm breaker from behind, but Sheamus avoided and hit the Irish Curse backbreaker. Ziggler got back into the fray to break up the pin, and then put the boots to Ziggler. He then attempted a rocker dropper, but Sheamus avoided and hit White Noise. Sheamus revved up for the brogue kick, but Del Rio broke it up and hit an arm breaker.
Del Rio went for the cross armbreaker, but Sheamus countered and pushed him into the corner. Sheamus charged and hit the post in the corner. Ziggler then hit a dropkick to the shoulder on the outside. Del Rio locked in the cross armbreaker, but Ziggler broke it up a moment later. Sheamus rolled outside, and Ziggler hit a rocker dropper on Del Rio for a near fall. Ricardo attempted a distraction, but Ziggler used Del Rio to knock him off, and rolled him up. The ref counted to two, but Sheamus hit the Brogue Kick to interrupt the fall. He then tossed Del Rio to the outside and covered Del Rio for the win.
Sheamus defeated Dolph Zigger and Alberto Del Rio for the win at 14:42:
Barnett's Brief: That was a fantastic TV main event. All three guys had great near falls and moments where a win looked possible, and most importantly nobody looked out of place in the match. Both heels had moments of looking very strong and Sheamus did his best to make them look good before getting the last word. Ziggler looks like he's primed for a title run any moment now.
Do you have questions, comments, or concerns? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or on twitter @barnettjake.
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