7/3 Barnett's WWE Smackdown "Great American Bash" Live Coverage: Antonio Cesaro in action, plus John Cena, C.M. Punk, Big Show, and Daniel Bryan appearances
By Jake Barnett
WWE Smackdown "Great American Bash" Special
Live from Corpus Christi, Texas.
[Q1] A backstage party was shown involving most of the Smackdown lower card. Teddy Long eventually walked up and welcomed everyone to the Great American Bash on Super Smackdown Live. He said don't worry about making a mess, because he has some one who volunteered to clean up. The camera then panned to Eve in a dress that covered her from head to toe. Teddy then invited Santino Marella to light the grill to get the celebration going. When he failed to light it with a lighter, Kane walked up and did his arm raise and set the whole grill ablaze. The Smackdown intro then aired.
The announce team hyped the 20 Man Battle Royal for later into the show, and also a follow up to the AJ storyline with a Michael Cole "exclusive" interview. In the ring, Lilian introduced Ricardo Rodriguez, who in turn introduced Alberto Del Rio. A recap video aired of last night's beat down of Sin Cara by Del Rio. Alberto said he wasn't there to celebrate America, he was there to talk about something more important, namely Alberto Del Rio. He then said he's going to send Sheamus back to Ireland crying like a little girl. Del Rio then said that he realized why crowds like Sheamus so much, and that's because he's a hooligan like them.
A moment later, Del Rio said the people had no reason to hate him, because he came to the US legally. He then said he was going to send the crowd back to where they belong. He then proceeded to ask several crowd members in the front row to show him their papers. He accused several of being illegal aliens. One of the crowd members resisted and said this isn't Arizona, this is Texas. At that point Sheamus's music hit and Sheamus and Del Rio began to brawl up the ramp. Sheamus threw Del Rio off the ramp towards his car, and then into a barricade twice. Ricardo interfered briefly, which allowed Del Rio to hit a kick to Sheamus's head. Ricardo opened the hood of the classic Rolls Royce, and closed it over Sheamus's back and head multiple times.
Del Rio murmured something to Sheamus and made a hand motion to signify the belt around his waist...[c]
Barnett's Brief: That was a good heat building segment for Del Rio, but I hope this is a one time use of the asking people for their papers bit. I guess it plays well on the Mexican Border to get cheap heat, but it just comes across as a little over the top of TV. I am gald they are trying new things with Del Rio, but this one didn't do much for me.
[Q2] Sheamus was shown dazed with blood on his forehead being carried to the back by trainers and officials. Layla and The Great Khali made their entrance. Layla had her permasmile, as usual. Khali looks like his spine is mounting a revolt every time he heads to the ring. Aksana and Antonio Cesaro then made their entrance.
1. Aksana and Antonio Cesaro vs. Layla and The Great Khali: Khali started and hit a big slap on Cesaro in the corner. He went for a big boot next, but missed, and Cesaro hit a chop block. Khali surged back with another slap. Cesaro tagged Aksana, and Layla quickly made her entrance and went on offense. She hit a slap, and a springboard splash. Cesaro pulled her off before the ref could count 3, and Khali quickly chased him off. Layla did her finisher and pinned Askana a moment later.
The Great Khali and Layla defeated Antonio Cesaro and Aksana at 1:52.
Teddy Long walked out of the trainer's room and into Cody Rhodes. Rhodes said the Board of Directors granted him another MITB qualifying match. Teddy said he heard, and that he had chosen an opponent for him. Long then said he would be facing someone already in the match, and someone he had yet to beat, and that would be Christian.
Barnett's Brief: Well, that match was horrible. Cesaro loses steam and nobody gives a crap about anybody else in that match. Layla has been on a treadmill as a character since returning and I'm not sure anybody ever really was into Khali or Aksana. There really wasn't much redeeming about that segment. Cody facing Christian will be a good match, but we've seen too many times recently.
Cody worked a hammerlock until Christian fought to his feet. Cody picked him up and dropped him with his arm still tied up behind his back. Cody hit a suplex and then placed Christian on the top rope. Christian fought him off and hit a missile dropkick that woke up the crowd. Christian then pumped up and hit some punches and then kicked Rhodes onto the second rope. He then jumped to the outside and slapped him, and followed up with a cross body block from the top rope for a near fall.
Rhodes went for an Alabama Slam, but Christian reversed into a pinning predicament for a two count. Christian then charged at Rhodes and hit the post. Rhodes rolled him up for another close near fall. Christian hit an inverted DDT for a two count of his own. Christian then went for a spear, but Cody kicked him. Rhodes then went for his beautiful disaster kick, but Christian ducked. Christian then went for the Killswitch, but Rhodes slipped out and hit CrossRhodes for the win.
Cody Rhodes defeated Christian in a MITB Qualifier at 9:05.
Backstage at the party, Teddy entertained the roster when Zack Ryder walked up and wanted to play his playlist. Heath Slater then interrupted and sang until people threw things at him. Ryder then played "Somebody Call my Mama". Brodus and the ladies then walked up and danced us to commercial...[c]
Barnett's Brief: Solid effort from Rhodes and Christian. Christian doesn't lose anything in the loss, and Rhodes picks up steam heading into the PPV. It looks like the World Heavyweight Championship MITB match has all the tools to be great. I hope they live up to what it looks like on paper. The party segment was awful, just like you'd expect.
Alex Riley was in the ring for another MITB Qualifier. Vickie Guerrero then came out and introduced Dolph Ziggler.
4. Dolph Zigger vs. Alex Riley in a MITB Qualifier Match: Alex Riley hit a dropkick right as the bell rang and got a near fall. Ziggler fired back with a DDT, and hit some stomps. He then did his showoff elbow and locked in a chin lock complete with headstand. Riley powered up to his feet and hit a back suplex, followed by two clotheslines and a spine buster. He covered for another near fall. Riley went for an impaler DDT, but missed. Ziggler charged at Riley in the corner, but ate the post. Riley rolled him up for another near fall. Zigger rolled to the apron and hung Riley on the ropes. He hit his finisher right afterwards for the win.
Dolph Ziggler defeated Alex Riley in a MITB Qualifier at 2:27.
The announce team plugged Cole's interview with AJ as next...[c]
Barnett's Brief:A surprising amount of offense for Riley in the match, and I'm not complaining. Ziggler is the perfect heel to take abuse and still eek out wins, and I hope the formula continues.
[Q5] Cole asked for the crowd's attention in the ring. He said his guest was the most controversial figure in the WWE. He then welcome AJ to the ring. Cole said he's interviewed AJ more than once, and he's always been fair and balanced. He then said she's been anything but balanced lately. She started to speak, but he interrupted her. He then said she'd have to answer for what she did last night, and then introduced clips from Monday's Raw.
She smiled after the clips, and then Cole asked her what the hell she was thinking? Cole said the answer was that she wasn't thinking. He accused her of switching allegiances on a dime, and said the Board made a huge mistake when it made her special guest ref for the WWE Title match. He then questioned what she sees in Bryan and Punk, and asked her if she ever considered a real man, and hit in her in the most perverted way humanly possible. He opened his suit coat and told her she could have "all this". At this point, Daniel Bryan's music hit.
Bryan said Cole is no investigative journalist, he's a sexist, emotionally stunted loser. He said he's just like the media that invents things and puts words in people's mouth. He then buttered up AJ and told her that he knows she's taking her job seriously as guest referee. He then said he realized she only wanted Punk to go through the table, and said he forgave her for not seeing him in the line of fire. Punk's music then hit and he headed to the ring.
Punk shouted at Cole to get out, and he eventually did. He said his body feels like a wreck. He said he's prepared for it because he signed up to be a wrestler. He said he's not going to suck up. He then said he's going to be blunt and honest. He told her that she's in the bad place mentally, and he accepted that he should have said something sooner. He said she's a sweet girl and deserves better.
Bryan piped up and said Punk is trying to do an end around and act like he actually cared about AJ. He then accused Punk of trying to butter up AJ, and said that he's only doing it because he knows that she needs AJ to beat him. AJ then kissed Bryan in the ring. Punk looked dejected and headed out of the ring. AJ turned around and ran to ringside and kissed Punk. Bryan looked exasperated. Punk and Bryan were left with looks of confusion on their faces, and AJ skipped to the back. She stopped on top of the ramp and did a yes chant.
Barnett's Brief: Another great segment. The Cole stuff was ridiculous and was downright creepy, but once Bryan and Punk got involved it got pretty good. WWE is doing a great job of keeping this one as confusing as possible, and I think it has worked to great effect. AJ is great in this role, and Punk and Bryan have really been the glue that has held the whole thing together. You can fix a whole lot of lazy booking by sending both of them out there to be awesome.
[Q6] Hunico, Drew McIntyre, and Camacho were at ringside. Santino then entered and announced his partners Sgt. Slaughter and Jim Duggan.
5. Drew McIntyre, Camacho, and Hunico vs. Santino, Sgt. Slaughter, and Jim Duggan: Camacho worked over Santino for a moment, and then tagged in Hunico, who hit a springboard somersault senton from the outside. He then tagged McIntyre, who hit a clothesline for a two count. McIntyre worked some power offense with some strikes. McIntyre went for a slam, but Santino slid out and tagged Duggan. McIntyre tagged Hunico seconds later. Duggan hit a clothesline on Hunico and made a cover, but Camacho broke up the fall. Duggan hit another clothesline and tagged in Santino. He hit the cobra and made the pinfall.
Team Santino defeated Team Hunico at 2:04.
Backstage, the party continued as R-Truth and Teddy bickered. Damien Sandow unplugged the music and insulted the crew. Ryder stood up for everyone and punched Sandow. He then went to pour the punch bowl on Sandow, who ducked and the punch landed on Eve's giant dress. She screamed and ran off.
Barnett's Brief: I'm glad Sandow and Ryder continue to get attention, even if it was in the crappy party segments. The Tag Team match was 2 more minutes of flabby old man than you ever want to see.
[Q7] Curt Hawkins lost a coin toss backstage between he and Tyler Reks and has to face Rybak. Rybak then made his entrance.
6. Rybak vs. Curt Hawkins: Hawkins ducked a punch and hit Rybak twice to no effect. He then tried to lock in a sleeper, but got hit with a backpack stunner. Rybak hit a clothesline a moment later, followed by a clothesline and his Musclebuster for the win.
Rybak defeated Curt Hawkins at 1:10.
Barnett's Brief: Well, that was the same match as before, just with Curt Hawkins. Can Rybak talk or sell? I guess we'll have to see if his character can handle that transition.
The announcers said Sheamus will not be able to compete in the Battle Royal main event. They plugged the Battle Royal as next...[c]
The announce crew plugged the 3rd hour of Raw and a SyFy paranormal show that premeires after Smackdown. Teddy Long made his way out in his Kiss the GM apron. Teddy thanked the board and thanked the fans for the blast he had this week at the acting GM. He said it was time to find out who would be the GM of next week's Smackdown, and ring entrances began. Swagger, Cena, Kane, and Del Rio made their entrances...[c]
[Q8] Ring entrances continued as the show returned. Tensai, Punk, and Big Show were the last entrants.
7. Great American Bash Battle Royal: Chaos ensued as we started, with everyone paired off. Show eliminated Justin Gabriel immediately. He then eliminated Brodus Clay. Somehow Ezekiel Jackson got eliminated, but the camera didn't catch it. Tensai and Swagger dumped Khali over and eliminated him at 1:45. Ryder eliminated Sandow a moment later, and Santino followed soon after. Cody Rhodes hit Big Show with the Beautiful Disaster kick. he tried for a second, but Show grabbed him by the neck and tossed out both Cody and Kofi Kingston...[c]
Quite a few people were eliminated during the break, but don't ask me who. Punk and Bryan eliminated each other almost immediately after the break. Kane chokeslammed Cena, and then Big Show grabbed his throat. They struggled for a moment, but Kane go the better of it and chokeslammed Big Show. Del Rio, Ziggler, and Tensai teamed up of Cena, who pumped up and dropped all of them with punches and slams. He sent Del Rio over the top rope, and then chokeslammed Kane.
Tensai finally stopped him with a kick and tried to eliminate him, but Cena powered back in and dumped Tensai. Show then snuck up on Cena and eliminated him. Ryder tried to go after Show, but ate a spear. Show then dumped Christian over after he caught him coming off the ropes. Ziggler applied a sleeper on show, and then Kane used a Big Boot to send them both over. Kane then went to work on Ziggler with strikes and then a Big Boot again. Kane charged Ryder in the corner, but Ryder countered with a drop toe hold. He then followed up with a Broski Boot. He set up for the Rough Ryder, but Kane caught him by the throat. Ryder jumped away from the Chokeslam and low bridged Kane over the top rope to pick up the upset victory.
Zack Ryder defeats 19 other competitors to win the Battle Royal.
Barnett's Brief: Quite a surprise victory after what was a fairly mediocre battle royal despite all the talent involved. Overall, a pretty mediocre Smackdown that would have been exponentially worse without the AJ, Bryan, and Punk segment in the middle of it. Stay tuned for more editorializing in our Smackdown Audio, which should go up on the site later tonight or tomorrow morning at the latest.
Do you have any questions, comments or concerns? Contact me at email@example.com or on twitter @barnettjake.
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