TONIGHT! It's the big go-home show for Summerslam! Kane and Rey Mysterio have accused each other of whacking Undertaker and they'll likely have one last encounter before the PPV. Plus, we have a new Intercontinental Champion in Dolph Ziggler. Does Kofi Kingston exercise his rematch clause? SmackDown is NOW!
Opening Credits - Let It Roll! (On a sidenote, I actually heard this song come on one of the XM stations. Great, GREAT song!)
Opening pyro! We are taped from San Jose, CA!
We start with...aww, shit! We immediately start with Vickie Guerrero to take me out of my good mood and break my opening promo transcription streak. (I love you guys and all, but no freakin' way.) Vickie introduces new Intercontinental Champion, Dolph Ziggler, who comes out with...is that a Hawaiian vest? Yikes! Anyway, we get footage of Dolph's title win over Kofi Kingston last week. Vickie's still talking and I still can't be bothered to listen or care. Dolph then takes the mic and begins his part of the promo. I'd love to transcribe one of Dolph's promos, but he's basically kissing up to Vickie, so again, I take my care pants off. This segment mercifully ends when Kofi Kingston rushes the ring and starts pounding away on Dolph. Flying forearm takes Dolph out of the ring and FOR GOD'S SAKES someone take the mic from Vickie! Suicide dive from Kofi takes down Dolph and Kofi pounds away some more until a gang of refs separate the two. Teddy Long comes out with mic in hand to try and restore some order. He tells Dolph Ziggler that Kofi's getting his title rematch at Summerslam. To boot, tonight, Dolph gets to go one-on-one with Rey Mysterio. Vickie takes umbrage and demands Kofi face Kane tonight. Teddy denies that request, but Kofi takes the mic and accepts the match and ups the ante by opting to take the match NOW. Well, then! Looks like we've got ourselves a match, as Kofi hits the ring and sends Dolph scurrying for higher ground.
Your announcers are Todd Grisham and Matt Striker. They send us to a video package of Kane winning SmackDown's MitB match, winning the title against Rey Mysterio, and the subsequent buildup for the SD title match.
We go backstage to see Kane walking towards the ring. Kofi watches this on the TitanTron, looking focused on the match ahead. Kofi and Kane go one-on-one next!
Ad break - SmackDown is brought to you by Verizon! Verizon says Net Neutrality is for suckers!
KOFI KINGSTON v. KANE: NON-TITLE MATCH Ohhhh, that's most definitely NOT Tony Chimel doing ring announcing duties tonight. Must be the new NXT girl and I don't like her one bit.
We start with Kofi kicking away, but Kane stops that flurry with one mighty uppercut. Kane pounds away and whips Kofi into the ropes, where Kofi's able to hit a dropkick to the midsection. Kofi powers Kane to the corner and hits shoulder thrusts, before Kane piefaces him away. Kofi isn't deterred and goes for corner punches - this week, we get five. Kane is barely fazed and gets a knee to the gut. Corner whip and backbreaker get two for the Big Red Monster. Kane goes up for the top rope clothesline, but Kofi's up and hits a HIGH dropkick that sends Kane sailing to the outside. Suicide dive follows. Kofi continues the aggression by hammering away, but goes overboard when he attempts Trouble In Paradise and it eats the steel ring post. Now Kofi's favoring his ankle and Kane senses blood. He takes Kofi's ankle out from under him and stomps away. He pounds away on the ankle and puts pressure on it. Kane keeps up the pressure and focuses on the ankle. Kane delivers a bodyslam, but makes sure the ankle is guillotined on the ropes. Corner charge misses and Kofi goes back to the right hands before Kane gets fed up with that nonsense and powers Kofi back to the corner. Kane moves in, but Kofi gets his high kick counter that takes just as much out of him as it does Kane. Kofi hobbles up the ropes, but gets GOOZLED! Chokeslam from the top rope! Kofi's DOA, as Kane lifts him for the Tombstone. Tombstone hits and the pin is academic.
WINNER: Kane - Kofi gave it a good go, but his aggression can't compare to Kane's power. Good TV match. They're obviously setting up for the ankle to be a factor in Sunday's IC title match, but let's see if they remember that.
Post-match, Kane grabs the mic. Promo time! "Rey Mysterio! You attacked and incapacitated my brother! Guilt is flowing through your veins like a disease. Desperation becomes the only recourse. And it's obvious, Rey, that desperation was the motivation behind your actions. This Sunday, you will pay for those actions, Rey. Your LIES are no match for the hellfire of the dark side. YOUR LIES will not protect you from your fate. YOUR LIES will not shield you from the eternal darkness that awaits you within the casket. My brother found it within himself to reach out through the darkness, to open his eyes, and to speak. He said the two words 'Rey Mysterio'! Even in my blackest of moments, I could never imagine the pain that my brother must be enduring, the pain of knowing that he will never again be the phenom that he once was. Because if my brother were here, he would punish the guilty his way, but make no mistake, Rey Mysterio, this Sunday, vengeance will be delivered by the devil's favorite demon!" Kane's pyro will take us out, wait, no it won't! Rey Mysterio's out for rebuttal.
"Hey, hey, hey, esperate, Kane! Esperate! Escuchame! You come out here speaking about evil and lies, claiming to be the devil's favorite demon. Well, you're looking at one of God's humble servants. Yo soy un humilde servidor de Dios! If there's one person who had a motive to take out the Undertaker, it wasn't me, it was YOU! Who found the Undertaker? Who wrongfully accused everyone of doing it? Who has been living in the shadow of their own brother since they were born? Who really had the most to gain? You, Kane! And that title that you're holding on to, the one you stole from me, we both know that if the Undertaker was here right now, it would be in his hands! Pero no me preocupo, because this Sunday, it's going to be in MY hands! 'Cause you're gonna be one move away from the 6-1-9!"
Kane mouths in the ring that he would never hurt his brother and that the belt is his. Well, that's an interesting segment. Now I can't help but wonder if we really DO have a red herring on our hands and that this exchange of accusations isn't just throwing us off?
Ad break - Summerslam promo.
CHRISTIAN v. "DASHING" CODY RHODES You know, considering Drew McIntyre was just talking last week about injuring Christian's arm to the point that he'll never be the same, he looks pretty fine to me. In fact, we get footage of McIntyre injuring the arm from two weeks ago. Before Cody comes out, we go backstage to see Drew having a talk with the Dashing one. Cody tries to brush him off, but Drew points out that if Cody can't beat Christian, he's not dashing, he's disappointing. Well, ouch.
Cody starts off trying to go for the arm, but Christian's not feeling that and brushes him off before we go into a wrestling sequence. That leads to Cody getting chucked over the top rope and Christian following with a pescado. That'll take us to our next break.
We come back with Cody hitting the armbar. During the break, Cody hit a top-rope armdrag that looked to aggravate Christian's shoulder. Christian fights back up, but Cody hits a bodyslam. Hammerlock puts some more pressure on the shoulder, as Drew McIntyre looks on from backstage. Kick to the groin and whack from behind gets 2 for Cody. Kneedrop on the shoulder gets 2, as we get a mild "Cody sucks" chant. Christian gets backed into the corner, where Cody keeps working the arm. Cody fakes a corner charge, allowing him to catch Christian's counter attempt and keep hammering away. Christian gets sat up top and Cody goes up, but Christian shoves him off. Top rope cross body gets 2 for Christian. Clothesline and while a second one is ducked, Christian gets a knee to the gut. Second rope shoulderblock hits. Christian springboards over looking for a European uppercut, but NOT THE FACE!!! Cody backs away before he could get nailed in the moneymaker. Cody charges, but gets sunset flipped for 2. Both men get up at the same time and Cody's able to catch Christian and hit an Alabama Slam for 2. Cody picks up Christian and nearly gets a Killswitch for his trouble. Cody's able to shake out of it, but the Beautiful Disaster is ducked and he gets a European uppercut IN THE FACE! NOT THE FACE!!! Cody's mortified, as Christian grabs him and hits his reverse DDT for 2. Cody's still holding on to his face. Ref pulls Christian away, allowing Cody to get a thumb to the eye. Cody chucks Christian shoulder-first into the ringpost and follows up with Cross Rhodes for the pin at about 9 minutes shown.
WINNER: "Dashing" Cody Rhodes - Pretty good match. Cody's not quite there yet, but he's improving in the ring.
Later tonight, Matt Hardy faces Drew McIntyre and Rey Mysterio faces Dolph Ziggler.
WWE Smack of the Night - The SES destroy Big Show's hand two weeks ago. Hey, look! CM Punk doesn't have a sling, but you'd never know it if you listened to the announcers. Sigh...
THE BIG SHOW v. DEREK WERLEY, JODY REESE & FERNANDO VEGA Show's wearing a glove on his right hand. The Straight Edge Society comes out as the match begins, with CM Punk sporting a "I BROKE BIG SHOW'S HAND" T-shirt, which brings back memories of the infinitely awesome "OWEN 3:16 - I JUST BROKE YOUR NECK" T-Shirt from 1997. Man, I love Punk!
That's about the most interesting thing about this match, as it goes about as well for the jobbers as you'd expect. The Mayweather Special will finish for Big Show quite easily.
WINNER: The Big Show - Well, the question of whether Show could use the Chokeslam or Big Punch was answered rather anticlimactically, as Show used both during this match.
Post-match, Luke Gallows calls out from the ramp. "Big Show! Big Show, up here! Hey, you think that was impressive?"
Punk's rather surprised and takes umbrage to this sudden outburst. "Wait a second! Wait a second! Who gave you a microphone! Give me this!" Punk yoinks Luke's mic away. "Speak when spoken to! If I wanted you to address him, I'd have told you to address him! Hi, Show! I know that hand of yours hurts and I know just by looking at that gigantic head of yours that inside there's a tiny little pea-brain that's just rattling around and you don't have the ability to differentiate between the three ham'n'eggers and my sin-free machine of self-discipline that is going to crush you. So I want you to picture this, at Summerslam, you're going to be in the pit and you're going to be surrounded by an orchaestra: my orchaestra of virtue! Your conductor for the evening will, of course, be myself. And we're going to play for you your own personal opus. A symphony that's going to sound a lot like your bones being broken underneath the boot of the Straight Edge Society. It's a symphony that I've written just for you and I like to call it 'The Destruction of The Big Show'." Hit Punk's music!
Backstage, Matt Hardy prepares for his match and gets a "Good luck!" from Kelly Kelly. Thanks for showing up, Kelly! Matt's match with Drew McIntyre is next!
Ad break - RAW: The Beginning DVD promo.
MATT HARDY v. DREW McINTYRE Announcers play up the recent feud between these two. Match starts with Drew going for a big boot and missing and Matt responds with right hands, before Drew throws him to the ground by the hair. Drew kicks away in the corner and hits a clubbing blow. Matt shakes out of a slam attempt and clotheslines McIntyre over the top rope. Matt chases outside where Drew takes control again and throws him to the barricade. Drew charges, but gets backdropped into the extra announcer chairs! Side Effect on the outside! Matt rolls Drew back in for a two. Matt hits a front facelock before McIntyre reaches the ropes. Drew charges and eats elbow. Matt goes up to the second rope, but Drew brings him down the hard way by grabbing his legs and yanking him down into a powerbomb. He gets 2 and hammers away before hitting the armbar. Matt rises up slowly, but gets thrown down by the hair. Back to the armbar, which Matt counters with an armdrag. Matt charges and both guys sail out of the ring. Hardy's up first and applies the front face lock, but gets shoved into the steel steps. McIntyre then takes Matt's left ankle and places it between the steps and STOMPS on the steps! Drew runs back in and demands the ref keep counting. Ref reaches 9 before Drew breaks the count by attempting to go back out. Ref stops him as Matt takes his boot off. He hobbles back in, barely able to stay on his feet. Sensing blood, Drew finishes with the Future Shock for the pin.
WINNER: Drew McIntyre - They're still going with the idea that McIntyre is capable of hurting people. Not on par with their better matches, but this was pretty decisive and should end this feud, once and for all.
WWE/Nexus feud recap. Later tonight, Rey Mysterio faces Dolph Ziggler.
WWE Rewind - Rey Mysterio faces Jack Swagger two weeks ago. Uh...has anyone SEEN Jack Swagger since then?
Well, my question gets answered, as Jack Swagger makes his entrance, looking stoic all the way. Promo time! "You know what I see when I look at all you people? I see person after person after person just waiting around looking for excuses to feel sorry for yourselves or an excuse for other people to feel sorry for you and how miserable, how boring, how unremarkable your lives are. I'm not like you, thank God I'm not like you. I actually have an excuse, a legitimate excuse. Do you have ANY idea what I've been through the last two weeks? No, no, no, no. Do you have any idea what I've been through the last two MONTHS? I've been through everything from being cheated out of my World Heavyweight Title to being thrown into the Gulf of Mexico and having to battle all types of diseases to having to witness severe family trauma. I had to stand by and watch as my father was brutally attacked by that out-of-control, insane freak Kane! I was up until 4 am dealing with chronic diarrhea last night! Not mine! My father's! When...when will you people see? I am THE former World Heavyweight Champion and I'm not even in the world title match at Summerslam. You're right, you're right, it's official. Summerslam has lost its swagger. You may as way bring..."
Interruption comes from MVP, of all people. "Excuses, excuses, excuses. You know what, though, Swagger? I kinda understand. I understand that NOBODY CARES ABOUT YOUR PROBLEMS? The WWE Universe doesn't care about your problems. Nobody in this arena cares about your problems. And baby boy, you know I really, REALLY don't care about your problems."
Swagger: "You SHOULD care! Everyone in this arena should care! But waitwaitwaitwaitwait, what are you even doing out here? Didn't we have this discussion last year?"
MVP: "You know what? We did! I think we had this same conversation right here in this arena. And what I remember about that is, just a few weeks later, at Summerslam, MVP beat Jack Swagger. Convincingly! Remember that?"
Swagger thinks is over and decides to let his mic answer that question by hitting MVP in the face. Swagger dumps MVP like a sack of potatoes and stands tall in the ring. He follows outside and chucks MVP into the barricade. Do we have a match? I guess I'll have my answer when we go to the...
JACK SWAGGER v. MVP I guess we have a match, because we come back with Jack Swagger hitting a corner charge as the bell rings. Swagger gets 2 off that and hammers away in the corner. MVP pushes Swagger off, but gets a clothesline for his troubles. Swagger hits the armbar at less than 2 minutes in. MVP tries to fight out, but knee'd in the gut. Swagger whips MVP into the corner and stops the corner charge long enough to catch MVP's leapfrog counter. Swagger pulls him out and pancakes him before going for the anklelock. MVP reaches the ropes, so Swagger stomps away. Running powerslam, but running Vaderbomb meets knees. A Swagger corner charge misses and MVP hits a belly-to-belly throw. MVP hits right hands and clotheslines before hitting a facebuster. "Y'all know what time it is!" Swagger clearly doesn't, because he pops right up and meets MVP's Ballin' Elbow attempt with a big boot. Swagger measures him for the anklelock, but MVP rolls him up and gets the pin at 4 minutes!
WINNER: MVP - This is a sharp contrast to what we saw last week, when MVP got squashed in that 6-man. Guess I can put that doghouse rumor to bed.
It's time for more Grooming Tips with "Dashing" Cody Rhodes! "There's nothing more gross than stinky, yellow, nasty earwax. My name is 'Dashing' Cody Rhodes and I'm here to show you how you, too, can be dashing! In order to remove such an unsightly substance, use a cotton swab. You want to gently place it in your ear, move it around in a nice, circular motion. Don't sink it in too far! Wouldn't want you to hurt yourself. That right there will remove that nasty, mustardy, cheddar cheese awful substance from your ears. I'm 'Dashing' Cody Rhodes, bringing you one step closer to dashing." Close with the goofy smile!
It's time for yet another Alberto Del Rio vignette. We've had so many of these that we're getting an Alberto Del Rio clip show. The former Dos Caras Jr. will FINALLY make his debut next week on SmackDown!
we go back to your announcers for the Summerslam rundown.
Rey Mysterio makes his entrance, as we get a recap of what happened earlier tonight. The main event is next.
REY MYSTERIO v. DOLPH ZIGGLER (w/VICKIE GUERRERO): NON-TITLE MATCH Grisham points out that Dolph and Rey last faced each other at last year's Summerslam when Rey was holding the IC title. Wrestling sequence starts us off, which Dolph gets the better of with a boot to the gut. Whip into the corner with authority. Dolph stomps away in the corner. Choking. Corner whip and charge, which Rey counters with a schoolboy for 2. Rey comes back with a headscissors and dropkick for 2. Dolph pulls Rey's head into the bottom turnbuckle and takes control with a foot choke in the corner. YAAAAH hangman's neckbreaker gets 2 for Dolph. Dolph hits the chinlock. Rey fights back up and ducks a clothesline, but can't avoid the boot to the gut. Slam attempt is countered into a drop toehold, putting Dolph in the 619 position. Rey goes for it, but it's interrupted by Kane's pyro and music! Kane's here and he wheels down the casket, as we go to our last break of the night.
We come back with Dolph hitting the chinlock. Rey fights out of it, but Dolph nails a Stun Gun! Dolph slams Rey's head on the apron for 2. Dolph hits elbows, culminating with the jumping elbow for 2. Back to the chinlock, as he adds the floatover. Rey fights back up, but Dolph gets control again. Dolph whips Rey into the corner, but a leapfrog counter ensures Dolph gets nothing out of a corner charge. Rey pushes Dolph shoulder-first into the ring post. Springboard seated senton and springboard cross body get 2 for Rey. Dolph gets up first and goes for a sunset flip, but Rey wriggles out of the pinning predicament and kicks a seated Dolph in the face and hits a seated senton for 2. Springboard attempt is caught by Dolph and he hits...whoa! Dolph grabs Rey's arms and tucks them underneath, picks him up to seat him on his shoulders, and hits a backdrop slam with a bridge for 2. I know that's got a name, but hell if I know it and it looked SWEET! Dolph measures Rey and tries to get the Sleeper Hold, but Rey's got it blocked. Dolph opts to bounce Rey off the ropes and nail him in the back instead. Rey comes back with a back kick and goes for a springboard moonsault that it LOOKS like Dolph was supposed to catch, but Rey comes down behind him and hits his own Sleeper Hold before Dolph backs him into the corner. Snapmare from Dolph. Dolph goes for the Sleeper again, but Rey drops him into the 619 position! Rey goes for it, but Dolph already up and attempts a Sky-High powerbomb, but Rey counters it into a cradle for the pin!
WINNER: Rey Mysterio - These two started off really slow, but this match really picked up after the break. We now go into the PPV with both world title contenders winning and both IC title contenders losing.
Post-match, Kane charges the ring, but Rey fends him off. He hits a 619 to stagger the big man, but it doesn't keep him down for long. Kane gets the GOOZLE, but Rey guillotines the arm across the top rope. Springboard dropkick and another dropkick send Kane falling into his own casket. Kane quickly jumps out, lest the irony overwhelm him, as Rey Mysterio's music plays. Show ends with the world title contenders staring each other down.
The show had a really hot opening with Kofi looking for his revenge against Dolph, but really slowed down. We didn't get too much of a build for Summerslam, but that's probably because we've only got three SD matches to build up to. Glad to see they didn't forget about Swagger, but an MVP feud feels like a bit of a step back for him.
We'll be back next week, when I'm sure we get the inevitable Undertaker return.
Cody has taken the two most distinctive moves -- the wheelbarrow kick and the Alabama Slam -- from Hardcore Holly, his mentor from way back. That's an unusual recongition of his WWE career. Or the WWE figures no one will remember Hardcore. Regardless, I like Cody's push a lot, and the gimmick of avoiding face impacts is great.
Speaking of continuity, Drew beating Matt Hardy doesn't have the same significance it once did. His broad smile before the Shock Drop was a new touch to his stoic demeanor. I think showing a bit of happy arrogance can really get him over as a villain.
Dolph in the main event is always welcome even if he loses cleanly to Rey, even if the match is just to tease the PPV Kane match, even if Dolph has no apparent feud after his Sunday match. Neither does Kofi. What emergent face is there in the WWE? Does MVP get the nod to chase Dolph? Maybe a triumphant Kofi loses Friday to the debuting Del Rio. Carlito won the US title by beating Cena in his first match. On SmackDown, no less.
I feel for Swagger. I do. I wouldn't mind if he moved to RAW to bolster Team WWE Sunday.
"To be the man, you gotta beat demands." -- The Lovely Mrs. Tracker
Pretty ironic that the year the category disappears is the first in an age where it's actually necessary. We've had Torrie, Stacy, Flair, Rico, Nidia, Heyman, (ugh)Steph, Kevin Nash, and Batista all take on a manager/second role at some point this year.