I've been away on a last-second assignment for the past few days, but I've now returned, watched SD, and have almost no energy for the full recap, so here's the brief rundown:
-Video package talks about Christian's long hunt for his first title, leading up to his loss last week.
-Christian d. Mark Henry with the Killswitch. Clean win. It's a Mark Henry match. Can't expect much from that, but it wasn't terrible.
-Christian wants to be in the title match tonight and points out that Orton caused the distraction that led to his loss. Christian, having been denied a one-on-one with Orton, proposes a Triple Threat to Teddy Long. Long declines and makes Christian tonight's special referee, instead.
-Video package, a well-done one, for Sheamus.
-Tamina/Alicia Fox d. AJ/Kaitlyn - Tamina pins AJ with the Samoan Drop. No, you aren't having a flashback. They really did do this match a second week in a row.
-Video package for Sin Cara.
-Cody Rhodes comes out for another dynamite promo. The post-match beatdown says that Daniel Bryan's the loser and not him! Bags are handed out again, but this time, a bag also gets placed OVER THE CAMERA! God, that's fantastic! Cody says he'll be winning the world title soon and we can only hope that he's being inserted into the title chase sooner than later. Later tonight, Daniel Bryan faces Ted DiBiase.
-Matt Striker tries to talk to The Great Khali, even though he knows he speaks English about as good as the immigrants at your local Home Depot. Jinder Mahal cuts in and says ominous things.
-Jinder Mahal d. Yoshi Tatsu with the full-nelson slam. This is Mahal's debut, but it's also a very quick squash. Jury's still out on him.
-Ezekiel Jackson d. Wade Barrett via countout. This is looking to be the new Kofi Kingston/Dolph Ziggler, in terms of numerous matches with shitty finishes. The Corre guys look for the post-match beatdown, but Barrett ditches Slater and Gabriel and they get wiped out.
-Sheamus says he'll be winning the title tonight and doesn't want any shenanigans from Christian. Best part of the promo? He actually USES the word "shenanigans".
-Daniel Bryan d. Ted DiBiase with the LeBell Lock. This was a great match and if anyone was going to pull something out of DiBiase, it was going to be Bryan. Cody Rhodes comes in after and the beatdown is on. Save is made by Sin Cara, of all people.
-Here's Johnny Curtis. He won NXT and was promised a tag title shot with his pro. Unfortunately for him, his pro is R-Truth, who's just rounding the corner of Planet Stasiak right about now, so the tag title shot is off. So Curtis laughs it off and pours milk on his head. If he's trying to channel R-Truth, he's doing a pretty terrible job at it.
-Randy Orton d. Sheamus with the RKO. This was a nice, long main event. Sheamus shoved Orton into Christian at one point and Orton was able to hit the brakes just in time. Unfortunately, Sheamus came flying in and accidentally wiped out Christian. Sheamus hit the Brogue Kick, but Christian didn't count the three and tended to his own arm, instead. Sheamus took umbrage, but turned around and ate the RKO. Post-match, Christian wipes out Orton with the belt.
Some are going to say that the extracurriculars after the main event will set up Orton/Christian III, but I would think it does more to set up an Orton/Christian/Sheamus Triple Threat. Either way, that was a fine main event. That match and the Bryan/DiBiase matches are more than enough to make this a thumbs up show.
Smackdown is a great show to watch when you're busy cooking and not paying attention to the in-ring action.
Originally posted by It's False-Tamina/Alicia Fox d. AJ/Kaitlyn - Tamina pins AJ with the Samoan Drop. No, you aren't having a flashback. They really did do this match a second week in a row.
AJ got absolutely FLATTENED by that Samoan Drop. I haven't seen a Diva gets squashed by the ol' Shades of the High Chief like that since Umaga pulverized Maria on RAW with it a few years ago.
Natalya is 0-2 for mentoring. Instead of the Divas version of The Hart Foundation, Natalya's mentoring AJ and Kaitlyn into the Divas version of The New Foundation. Maybe they should start wearing checkered baggy pants.
Originally posted by It's False-Christian d. Mark Henry with the Killswitch. Clean win. It's a Mark Henry match. Can't expect much from that, but it wasn't terrible.
The big story for me is that Christian beat Mark Henry clean. I know Mark hasn't really been built up that much since he turned, but I still thought it was an encouraging vote of some semblance of confidence.
-Daniel Bryan d. Ted DiBiase with the LeBell Lock. This was a great match and if anyone was going to pull something out of DiBiase, it was going to be Bryan.
Ted of all people has become one of Bryan's best and most frequent opponents in WWE, along with Sheamus.
-Here's Johnny Curtis. He won NXT and was promised a tag title shot with his pro.
Can there please be a Curtis & Derrick Bateman best friends fun-loving rookie tag team a la Kaitlyn/AJ?
Some are going to say that the extracurriculars after the main event will set up Orton/Christian III, but I would think it does more to set up an Orton/Christian/Sheamus Triple Threat.
So there's been some debate as to whether this was the complete Christian heel turn. I thought he was just "getting his attention" and making some heel faces on the way to turning, but Jim Ross wrote about it like he was now a full-blown heel. Remains to be seen, but I'd guess he was in that 2009 CM Punk mode right after he MITB'd Jeff where he was a clear imminent heel but still booked as a face while he was conflicted.
If you can get past the part where he lost the title in 2 days -- and at the time I didn't think I ever would -- this has been a pretty terrific story for Christian.
Humble apologies, readers. I messed up the episode number last week, which means I did not adequately prepare for this week's 400th episode special. In honor of the occasion, NXT has prepared the Strong/Roode title match for our main event tonight.