TONIGHT! Christian looks to fulfill his "championship obsession" (so sayeth the Syfy promo). Plus, we get some more fun with Mark Henry. SmackDown is NOW!
WWE - The Champ Is Here!
Here's a video package on Mark Henry. Tonight, his path of destruction continues when he faces Randy Orton.
No opening credits, as we go backstage. Teddy Long is texting as Christian comes in with a clipboard. Christian has a contract for his rematch with Randy Orton. Teddy Long points out that Christian didn't get the win against Orton in last week's tag match, so Mark Henry's the one who gets to face Randy Orton. Long teases Christian with the possibility of a Triple Threat before banning Christian from ringside during tonight's Orton/Henry match.
And it looks like that match is right now.
RANDY ORTON v. "THE WORLD'S STRONGEST MAN" MARK HENRY: NON-TITLE MATCH So I'm confused here. By Teddy Long's logic, shouldn't THIS match be for the title? Does it even matter? I guess not.
We start with Henry overpowering Orton. Orton goes for right hands in the corner, but he can't get the corner whip and Henry goes to work on him. Henry whips Orton around and hits a belly-to-belly suplex for 2. Henry scoops Orton up. Orton shakes out of it, but runs into a big boot for 2. Henry continues with some methodical offense. Slowwwww offense. Orton bounces out of a World's Strongest Slam attempt and dodges a corner charge. Orton hits a DDT for 2. Henry bails and takes advantage of Orton by slamming him back-first into the apron. Suddenly, Big Show's music hits! Referee is at 7. Henry realizes Show's probably not coming, but he turns around right into an RKO! Orton runs back in as the count hits 10.
WINNER BY COR: Randy Orton - Well, that was a lame ending of an ending. Bad match, too.
Henry doesn't look too happy and he walks up to the production guys demanding to know what happened. Henry walks up to the music guy and demands answers. The music guy pleads innocence, but Henry threatens him. Henry starts tearing up the production area. Well, I hope no one was in the mood for theme music tonight. I'm sure the live crowd wasn't. Henry gives the production guy a Bob Uecker choke job and tosses him like a sack of potatoes. Man, you'd almost think the E didn't have SECURITY or the Usual Band of Referees around tonight. This economy's a bitch.
Ad break - Raw promo featuring a Triple Threat #1 Contenders match. I'm sure we'll all see the humor in that later.
We go back to moments ago when Mark Henry got duped by Big Show's music and Henry's subsequent destruction of the production area. Remember when the production guys used to have TRUCKS?
DANIEL BRYAN v. TED DiBIASE There's no music for anyone, thanks to Mark Henry. We go back to last Friday's Bryan/Rhodes match, with Rhodes beating Bryan with Cross-Rhodes. Matthews does the solemn voice during DiBiase's entrance when talking about Henry's senseless attack and IMMEDIATELY perks up on the next sentence like he had a sudden shot of happy juice! Jeezum crow, I know this show is taped, but would it KILL THEM to not make it so bloody obvious? Maybe they're using WCW's old crack production crew tonight. It might explain why they're getting beaten up like expendable extras. Anyway, DiBiase gets a Wrestling Challenge insert promo where DiBiase thanks Cody Rhodes for his resurgence and promises bad things for Daniel Bryan.
We start with a running the ropes sequence and Bryan gets an armdrag. Bryan counters a leapfrog with a leglock. Bryan follows with a surfboard. Bryan drops DiBiase into a bridge for 2. Bryan gets backdropped onto the apron during a corner charge. Bryan comes off the top and misses DiBiase before turning around and eating a dropkick. Bryan rolls out to take us to our next ad break.
We come back with DiBiase hitting the chinlock. DiBiase looks for a suplex and Bryan floats over into a waistlock. DiBiase counters with his own and gets elbowed. Bryan runs the ropes and runs into a clothesline, doing the Jannetty 360 oversell. DiBiase drops the knee for 2. Back to the chinlock. DiBiase stomps a mudhole in Bryan in the corner. Corner whip leads into Bryan's backflip counter. Bryan runs the ropes and hits a clothesline. Bryan hits a YAAAAAH!!! corner dropkick for 2. Bryan goes to the Tajiri kicks, but DiBiase catches the last one and rolls up Bryan for 2. Bryan comes out of that pinning combination and nearly gets the LeBell Lock, but DiBiase hits the ropes. DiBiase charges at Bryan and gets backdropped to the outside. Bryan runs the apron and leaps at DiBiase and gets caught. DiBiase runs Bryan into the steel post and the barricade, with Bryan noticeably favoring the shoulder. Back in the ring, DiBiase covers for 2. DiBiase scrapes his boot on Bryan's face and talks some trash. Bitchslap puts Bryan down, as DiBiase talks some more trash. DiBiase puts Bryan on the turnbuckle. Superplex is blocked and Bryan headbutts him down. Top-rope seated dropkick hits and both men are down. Bryan comes with an offensive flurry and finishes with the kick to the head for 2. Bryan's corner charge eats boot. Dream Street is countered. DiBiase goes for the same clothesline that wiped out Bryan earlier in the match, but this time Bryan has it scouted and catches DiBiase with the guillotine choke for the submission!
WINNER: Daniel Bryan - Good match betw...ok, seriously? We have music again? Are they going to bother to explain this at all?
Backstage, Christian sees Teddy Long again and demands his match, since Mark Henry lost. Long points out that Christian was spotted leaving the production as Big Show's music played during the opening match. Christian pleads innocence. Teddy Long gives Christian his contract signing later tonight, but also gives him a match against Sin Cara.
Ad break - WCW Monday Nitro DVD promo
We are taped from Phoenix, AZ, as we look outside the arena.
Backstage, Ted DiBiase walks into Cody Rhodes. Cody points out that DiBiase hasn't won since May 20. Cody says he can't do anything for DiBiase if he doesn't stop failing. Cody offers Ted a paper bag.
Your hosts are three idiots. They talk about The Great Khali and Jinder Mahal. Jeez, has this really been going on for over 5 weeks? This leads to an interview with Ranjin Singh. Singh says that the Singh and Mahal families were close, but Jinder Mahal was always jealous of Khali and his mainstream success. Singh says that Jinder Mahal became his brother-in-law a few years ago and married Ranjin's sister. Jinder apparently threatens Ranjin's sister by threatening to divorce her and humiliate their family. Singh says that Jinder's a scary man that should be feared.
I think the words of Zapp Brannigan best apply here. "I've never heard of such a brutal and shocking injustice that I cared so little about."
Coming up next, Christian faces Sin Cara. Here's a video package for Sin Cara to warm you up.
CHRISTIAN v. SIN CARA Yeah, still no explanation as to why we suddenly have music again. It feels like they started a plot thread and decided that it was stupid and decided to never speak of it again...all in the span of 20 minutes. More important than my bitching, however, is the SmackDown MitB match. Your participants are Kane, Sin Cara, Daniel Bryan, Wade Barrett, Cody Rhodes, Justin Gabriel, Heath Slater, and Sheamus. Sheamus? So he's coming back soon? That Orton punt just isn't as effective as it used to be.
SC starts off with kicks and gets a high-flying armdrag. SC does the suicide dive fakeout. Christian continues bailing, as SC keeps faking him out all the way to the ad break. As we fade out, we hear Christian say "I can't see with these lights!" HA!
We come back with Christian working over SC. Christian misses the floatvoer uppercut and SC hits Christian with a BEAUTIFUL corkscrew tope...with no one noticing because the announcers are too busy blathering. Sigh... SC comes back with a corkscrew slingshot splash for 2. Christian slows things down a bit and gets a shoulderblock for 2. Christian nails a loud uppercut and works over SC in the corner. SC comes back with a kick and the double-springboard corkscrew armdrag. Headscissors gets 2. Christian rings SC's bell and backdrops him to the outside. Holy shit, SHUT UP, COLE! Christian covers for 2. Time to hit the chinlock. Christian hits a bodyslam and stalls for a bit. SC hits a headscissors from a prone position. Christian quickly comes back with a double boot for 2. Uppercut takes SC down and Christian climbs the turnbuckles. Big splash misses and SC covers for 2. SC hits a springboard elbow and both men are down. SC botches a Tornado DDT for 2, though it's not a terrible botch considering some of what we've seen. SC gets caught in the fireman's carry, but SC rolls Christian up for 2. Christian stops him with another uppercut. Christian climbs the ropes and gets caught with the enziguiri. SC wants the Flux Capacitor, but gets shoved off into a backflip. Christian thinks better of it and escapes to the outside. SC chases and hits a headscissors. Springboard crossbody gets 2. SC looks for a victory roll, but Christian counters with his reverse DDT for 2. Christian walks into a small package for 2. SC hits a dropkick, but a whip is reversed. SC looks for the handspring elbow and it's countered into a Kill Switch attempt! SC shoves Christian into the corner. SC bounces over him, but Christian pulls him down and nails the spear for the pin!
WINNER: Christian - Sin Cara's best match to date. Both guys looked great. The commentary was GRATING during this match! It's at an 8.5 on the Schiavone/Madden Scale and I'd like nothing better than to drop Cole and Booker into a vat of acid right about now.
Later tonight, the contract signing between Randy Orton and Christian.
Let's go to 2 weeks ago at the PPV, where Ezekiel Jackson bodyslammed Wade Barrett to death. Up next, Big Zeke faces Cody Rhodes.
We are taped from Phoenix, AZ, but here's a shot of Glendale, AZ, the site of Wrestlemania 26.
CODY RHODES (w/TED DiBIASE & MINIONS) v. EZEKIEL JACKSON: NON-TITLE MATCH Cody gets half an entrance, which is better than no entrance at all, I guess.
We start with a lock-up, as Zeke backs Cody into the corner. Cody runs right into a single-hand choke. Zeke runs all over Cody and works him over in the corner. Big hiptoss out of the corner. Cody gets the sliding uppercut, but it doesn't do him much good, as Zeke just keeps right on pounding away. Military press, but Cody quickly ducks out. Zeke chases and gets distracted by DiBiase, allowing Cody to waffle Zeke from behind. Cody chucks him into the steel post. Back in, a pin gets 2. Cody pounds away and hits a corner charge. Time to hit the chinlock. Vertical suplex is reversed. Zeke comes back with clotheslines and his corner lariat. Here's a bodyslam. DiBiase jumps on the apron and gets wiped out. That allows Cody to hit the Beautiful Disaster and finish with Cross-Rhodes for the pin.
WINNER: Cody Rhodes - Remember what I said a few weeks ago about Jackson being such a big, dominant figure that they couldn't POSSIBLY use the run-of-the-mill babyface champion template where the babyface champion always loses non-title matches? Yeah...forget I said that.
Later tonight, contract signing! It'll go perfectly well! Really!
Ad break - WWE Shopzone promo
Johnny Curtis is backstage painting on a canvas. He's painting himself into a corner. Hardy har har.
Raw Rebound - That CM Punk! His comments were SO unscripted and SO unauthorized! That's clearly why they're re-airing them right now and letting everyone listen to them all over again! This angle just became as believable as those old WCW worked shoots that used to piss everyone off. Too bad, because Punk's promo is STILL dynamite to listen to.
Your hosts are three dopes. That CM Punk is a rapscallion and his actions are unacceptable...blah blah blah. Vince McMahon will address the situation on Monday. But enough of that! Here's Kane, making his entrance! And he was kind enough to bring the...
KANE v. WADE BARRETT We start with a lock-up, as Kane powers Barrett into the corner. Barrett takes control with a boot and some lefts. Kane takes him down with an uppercut. Kane hits a shoulderblock for 2. Barrett takes control with a big clothesline for 2. Barrett telegraphs the backdrop and gets hit with a boot to the head. Kane wants the seated dropkick, but Barrett rolls out of the ring. Kane chases and tosses him back in. Barrett catches Kane coming in and hits a running boot to send Kane out. That'll take us to ANOTHER ad break! Come ON!
We come back with Kane hitting a back suplex. Kane charges into an elbow. Barrett hits kicks and a boot to take Kane down. Barrett bails Kane with soccer kicks and a boot to the head. Barrett has Kane tied up in the ropes and knees him repeatedly. Back to the chinlock. Barrett hammers away in the corner. Kane comes back, as I wish I could reach through my TV and clock Cole and Booker with blunt objects. They're one "This is the greatest night in the history of our sport!" away from hitting a 10 on the Schiavone/Madden Scale. Barrett counters a clothesline with a DDT for 2. Second-rope elbow misses. Kane makes the comeback and hits an UGLY crossbody! Yeesh! Points for varying the moveset, but take them away for ugly execution. Seated dropkick hits for 2. Barrett runs into a big boot for 2. Corner charge and side slam hit for 2. Top-rope clothesline hits. Kane gets the GOOZLE, but Barrett shakes out of it. He also shakes out of a Tombstone attempt and hits a Boss Man Slam for 2. Barrett wants Wasteland, but Kane falls on the apron. Kane takes Barrett out with an uppercut and follows with the chokeslam for the pin.
WINNER: Kane - Pretty good big man match.
Let's go back to Mark Henry taking out the audio guy. Why no, they don't explain how we got the music back, why do you ask?
Contract signing is next.
Ad break - Greatest Cage Matches of All-Time DVD promo
Teddy Long is out for the contract signing. I'm getting a big sense of deja vu. Didn't we just HAVE a contract signing on this show a few months ago? Orton comes out afterwards. I'm honestly worn out by the commentary at this point and there's beer waiting for me, so if it looks like I'm rushing through this final segment...that's only because I am. Honestly, it's a freakin' contract signing. How much can you possibly vary this concept?
Christian notes that the contract contains a clause that if a referee screws up during the match, he'll get an immediate rematch. The keyword here is "immediate", so remember that going into the predictions thread in a few weeks. Christian yells. Orton yells. Christian yells some more. Christian tells Orton that Orton can't beat him, which would have been a great line a few months ago and not after Christian's gone 0-3 against him. Orton talks slow, taking his sweet time in making his point. Can we please fast-forward to the contract signing brawl already? Orton signs, Christian has his lawyer look over the contract, Christian stalls. Christian starts to sign...until SHEAMUS comes out of nowhere and wipes out Orton! Sheamus wails away on Orton. Christian, having not signed the contract yet, takes umbrage to this interruption. Sheamus wipes HIM out too! Brogue Kick puts Christian down! Orton wants the RKO, but Sheamus shoves him into the ropes and takes him out with the Brogue Kick, too! Sheamus talks trash to both guys, before TEARING UP THE CONTRACT! Sheamus storms up the aisle to end the show.
Ok, I take that back. That was a pretty cool way to end that segment. I would TOTALLY buy into an Orton/Christian/Sheamus three-way for the PPV...if they hadn't already signed Sheamus up for the MitB match. D'oh.
Logic and plot holes and godawful commentary aside, this was a very good show! The matches were pretty top-notch and even the crappier matches like Orton/Henry were kept short. The build for the MitB matches are usually a lot of fun and I'm excited to see the match combinations we get in the next few weeks.
The music could be as simple as "they fixed the stuff Henry destroyed" or "it took them a few minutes to get the backup audio stuff up and working to replace the ones Henry destroyed." Could they have explained it? Yeah, probably, but there's also a few different reasons (some I listed) you could guess for why the music was up and running again.
Originally posted by ekedolphinGod, they really had CM Punk's entire speech (or even a segment of it) replayed on SmackDown? Way to go, guys.
They showed a few pieces of the beginning of it, but it kept being interspersed with the tape cutting out and going to a test pattern that said WWE STAMFORD on it, like it was breaking up, and they stopped it on the line about Vince being dead.
This was a really solid episode of SD!, no bad matches (if you count Henry's opener as not actually a match). Christian mocking Sin Cara's dim lighting was awesome.
After Bryan won, Cole still had to get in one last "Nerd!"...and it's absurd how foreign the idea of veganism is to Cole & Booker that they keep having to harp on it as proof of what a weird nerd that "D-Bryan" is...
Gabriel and Slater in the MITB Match! Heath Slater is my dark horse pick!
As for the main event, they could always just take Sheamus out of the MITB and insert...is there anyone else on the SD! roster? My vote goes to AJ.
"You’ve got the crazy eyes." - RAW GM Laptop, 9/27/10
The Punk angle is so good that it has delivered the side effect of making the MITB matches quite unpredictable. If you like the idea that Vince will send one/both of the MITB winners to try and cash in on Punk if he beats Cena, then that opens the door up to almost any wrestler to win. Like, say, Heath Slater shocks the world by winning the Smackdown MITB then challenges Punk...but then Punk beats him and the RAW MITB winner is thrust into action.
Of course, if the usual pattern of having the MITB winner be a world champ in waiting, then that obviously cuts things down considerably. Gabriel and Slater are out, Sin Cara doesn't appear to be focused on championships, Bryan seems unlikely given WWE's methodology, Kane just won last year and Sheamus might end up in the title match anyway. So that leaves just Barrett and Rhodes. Barrett would take some build to get back to title contender-level but he can wait a while to cash in the briefcase and be built up for a few months. Rhodes is obviously a guy being groomed for main events and winning the case could make him a major threat against after a few weeks stuck in this Dibiase morass.
"It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone." --- Bart Giamatti, on baseball
If Sheamus wrestles for the gold at MitB, there's still Zeke left to be put in the ladder match.
As far as the winner is concerned, it should be Wade. He feuded with Cena for months and already was a legit main eventer, before they dropped the ball with him. Now they have the chance to rebuild him.
And Miz should be the one to immediately take the belt from Punk and turn face ... or stay heel, don't know.
If it didn't seem like he was being left off TV on purpose, I could almost see Vince replacing Sheamus with Zack Ryder in the MitB match, and have Ryder -almost- win the match just to tweak everyone's noses.
Christian: "I know I can beat you, even though nobody else thinks I can." Randy Orton: "There's a reason for that." Christian: "YOU SHUT UP! YOU SHUT YOUR MOUTH!"
Christian will not allow statements of fact ruin the point he's trying to make.
What awesome sounds Sheamus makes when he throws punches:
FOOK! FOOK! FOOK! FOOK! FOOK!
Well, after a decade of trying since his Sexual Chocolate days, WWE got Mark Henry over with me. They did it. Chucking that sound guy like a bag of garbage was icing on the cake. I love this angry Jurassic Park Mark Henry. (I'm purposely avoiding calling him King Kong Mark Henry because... you know...)
(edited by John Orquiola on 3.7.11 0852) @BackoftheHead
I really liked this show. Christian/Sin Cara was a near-perfect showcase of Cara even in losing -- I came out of that even more impressed with Christian as a worker in the way they laid out so many spots for Cara to flummox Christian with his acrobattery while working a Christian-style "ooh reversals" match. "D.Bryan" vs. Ted was their dozenth really good match; if TDJ wrestled Bryan exclusively he actually would be a star. Even Kane and Barrett had a quality CLASH. I assume the show really benefited from overworked writers syndrome where they forfeit and just put on long matches.
And Mark Henry continues the Mark Henry renaissance. That interrogation was awesome. "You're free to go. WHERE ARE YOU GOING?" Then he heaved him into an abyss!!!! Mark Henry is the best man. I WISH SOMEBODY WOULD.
The only negative was the announcing. Michael Cole's act is extra-useless on this show. Him bitching at Josh and Booker is a pointless distraction in every match.
The DiBiase/Cody thing is to set up a longterm babyface turn by Ted in response to Cody's browbeating. By longterm I mean probably like weeks since they're already hitting it hard. It's an attempt to re-try the DiBiase face turn out of Legacy that they had planned but then didn't do, which basically killed his career for a year.
Cody pinning Zeke but going into the MITB instead of a PPV title shot was odd, unless it's just to show Cody on the upswing. I felt like Barrett and Sheamus were the only realistic winners but conceivably Cody could get the "rising heel who carries the case around for a while" spot. His briefcase could be a paper bag.
I'm real excited for both MITBs. They're always great and you have Sin Cara and Gabriel to break new ground by falling through it from a high height. I'm disappointed that Ziggler isn't in the Raw match though; he'd be the best athlete in it aside from Bourne and he was great in the last ones he did. Between the Punk intrigue, the two title matches, and the two ladder matches which I would describe with some expression for "guaranteed to be good," this is the best-looking PPV in a good while.
Originally posted by Toast JrShamus is a fool for tearing up the contract. Doesn't he realize that if he had signed it in place of Christian they'd HAVE to put in the title match? There's precedent!
Exactly! HHH/HBK/Benoit at WM20 is the most prominent example, but I'm sure there have been others.
But Christian had already signed the contract by the time Sheamus ran in. If anything, Sheamus did a mulligan on the contract signing.
I didn't watch, but from the writeup that started this thread:
"Orton signs, Christian has his lawyer look over the contract, Christian stalls. Christian starts to sign...until SHEAMUS comes out of nowhere and wipes out Orton!"
From that, it appears that Christian didn't sign.
From what I saw, it didn't look like Christian had signed yet. When he interrupted the Sheamus beatdown, he started gesturing towards the contract with the pen, as if to say that he was in the middle of signing it and hadn't finished.
Originally posted by It's FalseFrom what I saw, it didn't look like Christian had signed yet. When he interrupted the Sheamus beatdown, he started gesturing towards the contract with the pen, as if to say that he was in the middle of signing it and hadn't finished.
The push Mark Henry's getting now is the best push he's gotten in his career, it's a shame they didn't use him like this back in 2002 when he really got into fantastic shape, weighed about 320lbs and could really move.
Jim Cornette was using him alot down in OVW in 2001/2 and said he was having great matches that got over huge with the crowd and said when Henry was bought back up to the main roster that he'd be a star. What happened? they bought him back as a smiling high-fiving babyface with a horrible entrance song, ridiculous looking attire and he never beat anyone. Wasted opportunity.
His heel run in 2006 could've been really good but they did some silly things with him and put him in too longer matches. Trying to make Henry work 20 min+ main-events with Angle and Undertaker exposed how much out of their league he was and Henry looked like he didn't know what to do most of the time. Short and sweet is how his matches should be booked, just give him enough time to work over the face with his big clubbing forearms, clotheslines and monster slams like the Randy Orton match on Smackdown.
He's the best choice possible to play WWE's #1 monster heel. I mean just look at the guy! he looks like the meanest mother f*cker you could possibly come across. He has a massive upper back and shoulders and his arms look like he could squeeze the life out of you. And his face? he's got the meanest looking mug I've ever seen and the dreadlocks make him look like a savage beast. You can really tell he's over with the crowd as a heel, just look at the expressions on kids faces when he walks by them to get into the ring, they look genuinely frightened by him. And the crowd really reacts to everything he does in the ring, like in the Randy Orton match on Smackdown recently when he countered Orton with a monstrous slam, the crowd all went "WHOOOAAAAA".
I don't think he necessarily needs to win the world title, he can still be booked as the monster heel. I'd like to see him work a program with Big Zeke. Mark Henry should lay waste to The Big Show when they finally have their match and then Zeke comes out and claims he'll be the man to put a stop to Henry's path of destruction. Have Henry and Zeke in matches each week on Smackdown trying to out-do each other in powerhouse displays leading to a one-on-one match at a PPV where Henry is finally bought down by Big Zeke in a hard-fought match that could've gone either way. That would put Big Zeke over big time and solidify him as a main-eventer on Smackdown.
Certainly one of the best Raws I can recall in 2011. There have been many times where I felt WWE was in a potentially strong position, with stars on the horizon of breaking out mixed with good booking.