7/5 Kester's WWE Smackdown Live Coverage Review: CM Punk vs. Alberto Del Rio, Randy Orton vs. Christian, Dolph Ziggler vs. Drew McIntyre, and more
By Ryan Kester
Smackdown on SyFy
Taped 7/2/13 in Topeka, Kansas.
[Q1] CM Punk's music filled the area and he made his way to the ring. The announcers hyped the All-Stars Money in the Bank Match and recapped Punk tagging with Curtis Axel on Monday.
Punk soaked in the cheers for a second and said if he was John Cena, he would come out and give a heartfelt promo about the Fourth of July. He said he's not Cena, he's CM Punk. Punk said that for him the holiday is about Independence and how a group of like-minded individuals decided to go their own way. Punk said Independence is something very important to him.
Punk said he's always done the opposite of what he's told to do, and it will be no different now that he's been told there's no way he could win a third Money in the Bank match. Punk said he had a two goals: to get his hands on Brock Lesnar and to win the All Star Money in the Bank and become WWE Champion again.
Before he could continue, he was interrupted by Alberto Del Rio. Del Rio made his entrance wearing a suit and Punk demanded to know what he wanted Del Rio said he's the World Heavyweight Champion and Punk is on his show. Punk refuted Del Rio's claim and Del Rio mocked how Americans celebrate the Fourth of July.
Del Rio said the fans get fat on their celebrations then they come to Smackdown to cheer the "little pig" Dolph Ziggler and chant USA like sheep. Punk pointed out how Del Rio was praising America not long ago and said they saw through Del Rio's "born in Mexico, made in America" shtick and saw him for the phony he is.
Del Rio said he needed to teak Punk a lesson and reminded everyone that he's the World Heavyweight Champion. Punk said that just made him the number one contender to his title, the moniker of Best in the World. Del Rio responded by saying this is his ring and he ordered Punk to leave the ring.
Punk said Del Rio just told him to do something, and he got a gut feeling to stay in the ring until Del Rio could make him leave.
Teddy Long's music hit and he came out to make the main event, Alberto Del Rio vs. CM Punk…
Ryan's Reaction: Strong opening segment. Punk did a lot of work establishing the latest stage of his character's career, and Del Rio held his own during their exchange. Del Rio seems so much more comfortable in the heel role than he ever did playing a babyface.
[Q2] [C] Paul Heyman approached Punk backstage and he told him, as a friend, that the match against Alberto Del Rio made no sense. Punk said he knows it doesn't, but he's going to fight him anyway. Heyman turned his attention to trying to walk to the ring with Punk at Money in the Bank. Punk asked him to stay out of it. Heyman reluctantly accepted Punk's decision…
Damien Sandow cut a promo denying the issues he and Cody Rhodes have been having. Rhodes brought up the adage, "may the best man win" and Sandow said he couldn't agree more.
1. The Uso Brothers vs. Rhodes Scholars. Rhodes began the match with Jimmy Uso. Jimmy quickly gained control and dragged Cody into his corner. Jey tagged in, but Rhodes was able to get to his corner. Rhodes Scholars took control briefly, but the Usos managed to get a superkick off of each on their opponents.
The Usos hit a stereo Superfly Splash on Sandow and covered him for the pinfall victory…
The Uso Brothers defeated Rhodes Scholars in 2:12
After the match, The Shield appeared on the monitor. Rollins told the Usos not to make too much of their victory last Friday and guaranteed that they will be retaining the Tag Team titles. Roman Reigns said The Usos would be needing more than luck to defeat The Shield again and they would put the Usos back in their place. Dean Ambrose said he was going to do the same to Christian and then said he's going to be Mr. Money in the Bank and the United States Champion. He said "Believe in that; believe in The Shield."
Ryan's Reaction: The match was too brief to become anything, but it worked here to create more tension in Rhodes Scholars and made the Usos look good. The Shield's post-match promo worked for me, especially Dean Ambrose's close.
[Q3] [C] 2. Kaitlyn vs. Alicia Fox. Fox took an early advantage, but Kaitlyn started making her comeback. As soon as Kaitlyn began to offense, AJ 's music hit and she skipped around the ring. Kaitlyn got distracted and Fox rolled her up for the pin…
Alicia Fox defeated Kaitlyn in 2:39.
Kaitlyn chased AJ to the back... [C]
Ryan's Reaction: Simple means of furthering the feud between AJ and Kaitlyn, and a hell of a lot more preferable than the silly skits and Photoshop shenanigans we've had the past few weeks.
AJ was clutching her Diva's Championship tight backstage. The Bellas showed up briefly and said they don't care about her by they care about her title. AJ blew them off and found Big E Langston. AJ demanded that they get in the car and leave. Langston mentioned that Ziggler still needs to wrestle, but AJ said she needed to leave. Langston laughed and followed AJ out the building…
Christian and Randy Orton joined Ray backstage and she reminded them of their history. Christian said he will put the world on notice by beating Orton tonight and going on to win the All Stars Money in the Bank match. Orton promised to beat Christian and mocked Christian's catch phrase.
[Q4] The announcers set up the final hype video for The Wyatt Family… [C]
3. Randy Orton vs. Christian.
The two men were slow to start, circling the ring and each getting in a flurry of offense. Orton got Christian hanging on the ropes, but Christian recovered and threw Orton from the ring…
[Q5] [C] Back from the break, Christian was firmly in control of Orton. Orton hit a thez press out of nowhere, but Christian managed to catch Orton in the ropes and followed with a high cross body for a two count. Christian locked in a rest hold, but Orton fought out.
The two men fought to their feet and Orton nailed a dropkick. Orton began to hit his moveset, but Christian was ready for the powerslam and kicked Orton in the gut.
Christian hit a pendulum kick and Orton answered with a powerslam gutbuster. The two men traded reversals and Christian slapped Orton. Orton hit his powerslam for a near fall. They traded reversals again and Christian hit a bell-to-back suplex. Christian set up for and hit the spear for a great near fall.
Orton hit his hanging DDT and called for the RKO. Christian shoved him off and went up top. Orton avoided Christian's dive and hit the RKO for the 1-2-3.
Randy Orton defeated Christian in 12:55.
Paul Heyman approached Teddy Long backstage. Long told Heyman to join JBL and Michael Cole on commentary for the main event. Heyman balked at the idea at first, but Long said that he could give good insight on Punk during the match. Heyman eventually agreed… [C]
Ryan's Reaction: Fun, long match. The reversal sequences the two used were well done and several harked back to their feud from two years ago.
Dolph Ziggler made his entrance and recalled winning the World Heavyweight Championship as the biggest moment in his career. Ziggler said that's where things gets fuzzy due to his concussion. He said he wasn't complaining, it comes with the business, but he did remember Del Rio coming out and praising America the night after he won.
[Q5] Ziggler said the viewers saw through that and saw that Del Rio was full of crap. Ziggler said he is a lot of things, but every night he comes to the ring and does things that no one else can. He said at Money in the Bank, he's taking back what is rightfully his, the World Heavyweight Championship. 3MB made its entrance… [C]
Ryan's Reaction: Good promo from Ziggler. I still feel like the Showoff gimmick will hinder him more than it will help as a babyface, but he did a good job here.
4. Dolph Ziggler vs. Drew McIntyre (w/ Heath Slater and Jinder Mahal). Ziggler controlled the early going, but McIntyre managed to catch Ziggler and hit a turnbuckle powerbomb. McIntyre hit a few power moves and locked in a rest hold.
Ziggler tried to fight out, but McIntyre retained control and hit a series of backbreakers. Ziggler dodged a running boot on the apron and McIntyre crashed into the steel post. Moments later, Ziggler hit McIntyre with a Zig Zag for the pinfall victory…
Dolph Ziggler defeated Drew McIntyre in 3:10.
[Q6] 3MB attacked Ziggler after the match, but Ziggler managed to get away. 3MB taunted him, so Ziggler got back in the ring, got the better of them, and escaped again before they could use their numbers against him…
The announcers set up a video package covering Mark Henry's career and his challenge to John Cena…
Ryan's Reaction: The match was ok. It's simply difficult to get into a short match involving 3MB. They're good at what they do, but Ziggler got more out of his promo than he did winning a match against Drew McIntyre.
[Q7] [C] 5. Fandango vs. Justin Gabriel. Gabriel took control early and sent Fandango to the floot. Fandango managed to catch Gabriel with a kick went he went for a dive.
Fandango followed with a flying leg drop for the pinfall victory…
Fandango defeated Justin Gabriel in 1:23
A video aired with Zeb Colter, Jack Swagger, and Antonio Cesaro mocking the celebration of Independence Day. Colter said many people are uncomfortable with his words, but that's because they are true. Colter guaranteed that either Cesaro or Swagger would win their Money in the Bank ladder match. He and his wrestlers concluded with "We, the People…" [C]
Paul Heyman joined the announcers on commentary…
[Q8] 6. Alberto Del Rio vs. CM Punk in a non-title match. The two men traded control several times in the early going. Punk got Del Rio on the mat and went for his elbow drop, but Del Rio rolled from the ring. Del Rio regrouped on the floor… [C]
Back from the break, Punk began to make his comeback, but Del Rio cut him off. Del Rio kicked Punk in the head for a near fall. Del Rio went to work on Punk's arm.
Punk got some distance and tried going back up top, but Del Rio caught with a running enziguri. Del Rio went for the Crossarm breaker, but Punk avoided the maneuver. Punk got in a few clotheslines only to eat a tilt-o-whirl backbreaker moments later.
Del Rio followed Punk to the floor and threw him over the announce table. Del Rio punched Heyman and Punk became incensed. Punk attacked Del Rio and threw him into the barricade. The referee reached his ten count and threw the match out…
Alberto Del Rio vs. CM Punk ended in a no-contest in 10:54
Punk rolled Del Rio into the ring and hit a GTS. Punk escorted Heyman to the back, and Heyman was apologizing for being out there in the first place.
Ryan's Reaction: Good match. I was surprised to see Del Rio handle so much of the offense, but it made sense considering how they chose to end the show. I like the slow burn they are giving with the Punk and Heyman story; it's leading to some of the best work I've seen from both men. Overall, this was a very solid edition of Smackdown. Some of the matches left a lot to be desired, but there was enough character progression in Punk and Ziggler and the two main matches were entertaining enough for that to be forgivable. Thanks for following along with me tonight.
If you have any questions or comments or just wish to chat with a fellow wrestling fan about whatever, then feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow me on Twitter.
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