Smackdown comes to us from San Diego, California! And so who better to welcome us to the show this week than Rey Mysterio, making his triumphant return from nearly a year off due to injuries (and a drug suspension, but who's counting?). A recap of his return on Raw aired, as he took out Alberto Del Rio with a 619. Rey got the mic, and said he was happy to make his return after missing almost a year, but what really made it special was who was in the ring at the time. Before he could elaborate, he was interrupted by the music of Alberto Del Rio, who made his way down accompanied by Ricardo Rodriguez. Del Rio welcomed the little chihuahua back, but said he'd made a big mistake in returning, especially since it had been Del Rio who'd put him out of action and nearly ended his career. But Del Rio was still going to give him a chance to survive, all he had to do was leave the ring. Rey, understandably, wouldn't budge. Del Rio said that he didn't want to talk about Rey, he wanted to talk about Sheamus and what happened at the PPV. Rey made a joke about Sheamus kicking Alberto's face in, leading to predictable anger. Del Rio made a short joke, and said that Mysterio was about to get destroyed by the next World Heavyweight Champion. And that cues.. Dolph Ziggler?
Accompanied by Vickie Guerrero, Ziggler made his way down. He said that if Rey was to be destroyed by the next World Heavyweight Champion, then that meant it would be Dolph doing it. As Mysterio looked ready to fight, Dolph said that he wasn't here for Rey, he was here for Del Rio. At the PPV, Dolph had his chance to cash in with Sheamus downed, but Del Rio's protests cost him. Del Rio was displeased with the notion of doing all the work so that Ziggler could benefit, and insulted Vickie in Spanish. Rey, sitting on the top rope, encouraged them to fight, and Ziggler said Rey was right. They should fight. They just shouldn't fight each other. Both of them turned to Rey. Now why would Ziggler just suddenly decide to side with Del Rio out of the blue after he and his manager were insulted by him? It's much more interesting when heels don't always get along with each other. Regardless, before violence could erupt Sheamus made his way to the ring.
Sheamus welcomed back the little fella, and said that if Ziggler and Del Rio took one more step towards them, he'd stick Ziggler's briefcase up his show-off, stuff them both into Del Rio's trunk and drive them off the (insert San Diego Bridge here) into the Pacific Ocean. After some consideration, Sheamus decided to do that anyway. Ziggler was ready to fight, but Del Rio backed off and slid out of the ring. Sheamus and Rey pointed that out to Ziggler, who looked back at the retreating Alberto and shrugged helplessly, before eating a Celtic Hammer. He pulled himself up into position for the 619, but ducked away from it and was pulled to safety by Vickie. This is the point where normally the GM would make a tag match for tonight. But do we even have a GM?
Coming back from the break, we have breaking news. The tag team match has indeed been made, with Mysterio and Sheamus vs. Ziggler and Del Rio. But who made it? Lets not dwell on that, we have eight man tag team action!
Hunico, Camacho and the Prime Time Players w/AW vs. Epico, Primo, Kofi Kingston and R-Truth w/Rosa Mendes: This is going to be the most bodies we have in and around the ring without there being a battle royal, huh? Epico and Hunico started out with some lucha-style chain wrestling. as AW vocally encouraged Hunico to tag the Players in. Hunico scored a takedown and stepped on Epico's back as he went off the ropes, but Epico was up quickly with a dropkick and a tag to Primo for a double-team. Hunico tagged in Camacho (to AW's displeasure), and a beatdown ensued, but as Camacho sent Primo off the ropes R-Truth made a blind tag. Truth scored the takedown on the surprised Camacho, then hit his shenanigans legdrop for a two count. Camacho bulled him into the corner, but Truth fought out before a tag could be made and rolled back to his corner. All eight men entered the ring, and the faces quickly overcame the heels and cleared the ring. Lets throw it to break!
And now, for some Canadian content. During broadcasts on the score, Arda Ocal, who put together that 999 episodes of Raw graphic that you can see in another thread here, does some WWE-related things during sports updates in commercial breaks. This week, in honour of the upcoming nuptuals of Daniel Bryan and AJ, he intends to run down the Top 5 WWE Weddings. Because wrestling weddings are like wrestling contract signings, in his words. The countdown starts in the next break!
Back to the action! Truth and Kofi were double-teaming Camacho. Kofi hit the Boom Drop and set up for Trouble in Paradise, but as Darren Young distracted the referee Hunico grabbed Kofi's leg, allowing Camacho to recover and hit a big AA Spinebuster for a near fall. And then came the clubbering! Tag to Hunico, and the Eddy slingshot senton got two. As Hunico pushed Kofi back into the corner, Titus O'Neil tagged himself in and started a beatdown. Backbreaker, and he held on and turned to taunt Kofi's corner before tossing him away like a ragdoll. Tag to Darren Young, and they sent Kofi off the ropes for a double-team, but Kofi held onto the ropes and kicked Young in the face. As O'Neil charged him, Kofi low-bridged him out of the ring, then scampered over to make the hot tag to Primo. And Primo's on fire! Springboard tomahawk chop! Leg sweep! Legdrop, elbowdrop! Flying somersault body attack was broken up by Hunico, and the Pier Eight Brawl was on. The ring was cleared save for Primo and D-Young, who charged Primo in the corner but ate boots. Primo went up to the top rope, but as AW distracted the referee Titus hopped on the apron and nailed Primo in the side of the head. Primo tumbled off the top rope and right into Darren Young's double-knee gutbuster. That's his move! And that's a win for the Prime Time Players.
As they celebrated on the ramp, they were interrupted by a certain ominous theme song. Here comes the Big Show. AW motioned for Young and O'Neil to flee, as Big Show lumbered to the ring. R-Truth immediately attacked as Big Show entered, to no avail. Big Show grabbed him for a chokeslam, and grabbed Primo as well as he came to help, but Kofi hopped on the apron behind Show and hit him with Trouble in Paradise to stagger him. But before Kofi could follow up, Young and O'Neil were all over him, beating him down on the outside at AW's orders. That gave Big Show the time he needed to recover. Truth landed a right hand, Big Show retaliated with one of his own. Guess which was more effective? Double chokeslam for Hunico and Camacho. Another WMD for Primo. That left Big Show alone in the ring (where'd Epico go?). He got the mic. Transcription time! "And? What?" And he dropped the mic and left. Maybe I should transcribe promos more often, that's pretty easy!
The Raw 1000 moment is by Jeremy Piven, recounting his appearance as Guest Host of Raw, getting entrance pyro, and jumping off the top rope to try to crossbody John Cena. He said the reaction from the crowd as he stood on the top rope was the most gratifying instant reaction he'd ever experienced in his career.
To The Score studios! Arda Ocal's #5 wedding was from Saturday Night's Main Event, with Uncle Elmer marrying Joyce. He recounted Roddy Piper's objection and The Body's comment about them kissing being like two carp fighting over a piece of corn. And then Ventura went into the wedding cake.
Next was a recap of John Cena winning Money in the Bank and setting up his cash-in for the 1000th episode of Raw. Michael Cole actually remembered that someone else had announced their cash-in in advance before, though RVD was not mentioned by name. The big match will be Monday! And now, back to break.
The #4 wedding is from Smackdown, the marriage between Dawn Marie and Al Wilson. Arda said it would be the #1 wedding because Dawn Marie was in her underwear, but it went back down to #4 because Al Wilson was also in his underwear. But oddly enough, it went off without a hitch!
Already in the ring for his match was Damien Sandow, as Josh Mathews tells us that he Damien told him he was the great-great-great grandson of the etiquette instructor of the Duke of Laveria. I had to go over that twice to make sure he didn't say Latveria. Doooom! Where is Laveria anyway? Can anyone correct me on that, because I might've heard it wrong.
Damien Sandow vs. Zack Ryder: Sandow interrupted Ryder's entrance, instructing the fans not to cheer for a brainless Broski. Before he could illuminate us with the reasons we shouldn't do that, Ryder was into the ring and attacking. The ref broke them up and sent them to their corners, making sure Sandow was ready before ringing the bell to start the match. Ryder charged to attack again, but Sandow turned the tables quickly with knees to the midsection. Dragging Ryder's head out onto the apron, he removed both elbowpads in turn to drop elbows on him, then trapped his head underneath the skirt of the ring (is that the term for it? Finlay did this sort of thing a lot) and kicked him while he was immobilized. The Illumination finished abruptly thereafter. Poor Ryder. Cue the celebratory cartwheel! Up next is the Peep Show, with AJ and Daniel Bryan!
Christian welcomed us to the Peep Show, and introduced Daniel Bryan and AJ. He said that things had developed somewhat bizarrely, and started with an easy question, asking about the wedding planning. AJ said they had a clip. A montage rolled with AJ and Daniel Bryan shopping for balloons, wedding cake and other such things. AJ hid behind a stuffed animal and used it as a puppet, leading Bryan to apply an ankle lock to it and make it tap. It was also revealed that their wedding cake was vegan and gluten free. They shared a sloppy cake-filled kiss. Christian seemed disturbed. He asked Bryan if he really loved AJ. "Yes." He asked AJ if she'd really forgiven Bryan for what he'd said and done to her. "Yes." So was this it, it was just going to be a wedding and that's that? "Yes! Yes! Yes!" Christian said it sounded like his peeps were saying no, so he decided to poll them. Did they think AJ and Daniel Bryan should get married? "No!" Did they think that Daniel Bryan loved AJ? "No!" Did they think that AJ knew what she was getting into? "No!" He asked AJ how she felt about that, and she responded with a slap. They went to leave, but Christian stopped them, saying he could forgive the bridezilla attack because he was a married man himself, but that Bryan had a match tonight. And he should research his future wife's background to make sure she doesn't have any psychotic ex-boyfriends. Cue the arrival of Kane. That match is next!
#3 on Arda Ocal's wedding list is Billy and Chuck. Mainstream publicity, Eric Bischoff in disguise, and a Samoan beatdown. How can you go wrong?
Daniel Bryan vs. Kane Bryan opened up with some YES!kicks, only to be taken down by a big boot. Kane went for a rear naked choke, which Bryan fought out of, only to be caught with a backbreaker and another submission hold. Bryan kicked his way out, and started his old comeback, the corner flip over the opponent into the flying clothesline. YES!kicks, but Kane ducked the final blow and went for the chokeslam, but Bryan shoved him off and hit his corner dropkick. Bryan went up top, but was caught with an uppercut. Kane then went up top, but Bryan caught him on the way down and went for the YES!lock. Kane used his size to keep his feet and threw Bryan to the ropes, but Bryan ducked aside and Kane spilled out to the floor. AJ narrowly dodged being hit by him in the process. Bryan went outside, but rather than attack Kane he checked on AJ. Kane had no such chivalrous intent, attacking Bryan from behind and smashing him into the barricade and ringsteps. Kane threw Bryan back into the ring and signalled for the chokeslam, but AJ had seen enough, climbing to the top rope and jumping onto Kane's back to apply a sleeper. Kane struggled against her, but when Bryan came in to try to attack he still had the wherewithal to chokeslam him while AJ was still choking him. AJ paused on seeing Bryan disposed of, then redoubled her efforts, raking at his eyes through the mask as she continued to choke him. Kane finally freed himself from AJ and spun her around, and she wound up holding him from the front in the same position she'd kissed him from before. She looked distressed, and suddenly so did Kane. No kiss resulted though, as AJ backed down, tilting her head curiously just like Kane was. Bryan, who had finally recovered, pulled her out of the ring and they retreated, kissing on top of the ramp as Kane looked on confused.
The #2 wrestling wedding was Test and Stephanie, a two-in-one as it of course included footage of Triple H and Stephanie's secret marriage earlier on. How many times did they consummate the marriage?
The next Raw 1000 moment was Zack Ryder. Didn't he already have one? This time he's hearkening back to what came before social media. GTV! Yes, Zack Ryder recapped GTV, including Meat cheating on Terri, Mark Henry in bed with Mae Young, and Val Venis commenting on the Little Show. How thoughtful of Big Show to wash his hands after disposing of Venis!
Back to the ring, Heath Slater was there. A recap of his own top Raw moments played, though we'd seen that on Raw already. Slater said that what happened on Raw stayed on Raw, but the One Man Band was on Smackdown tonight! His luck was going to change because it was going to. And.. out comes Road Warrior Animal!
Heath Slater vs. Animal: I think we know who's got this one in hand. Powerslam, elbowdrop, good night. Animal wins. Great crowd response, as expected!
Backstage, Vickie Guerrero and Ricardo Rodriguz were arguing. Apparently the insult Del Rio had used on Vickie in Spanish earlier was donkey. Ricardo took umbrage with Vickie being Queen Diva, saying that he worked for real Mexican royalty. Vickie said she was a better manager than him, and Ricardo said he was only a ring announcer. So Vickie screamed at him. He plugged his ears and cringed, and when Vickie stopped screaming he moved his hands, only for her to scream again. That sent him running. Our main event is next!
The #1 wrestling wedding? Randy Savage and Elizabeth, a wedding so grand it helped headline Summerslam 91. And it all went off without a hitch, until that damned snake got involved..
Alberto Del Rio w/Ricardo Rodriguez and Dolph Ziggler w/Vickie Guerrero vs. Sheamus and Rey Mysterio: Vickie interrupted Del Rio's entrance to introduce Ziggler. Rey had new ring attire, a bodysuit with a large question mark on it. Sheamus and Ziggler started with chain wrestling, and fought over the Finlay Roll before Sheamus finally hit it on the second try. The fans wanted Rey, so they got him. Ziggler tagged out to Del Rio, who attempted to get the advantage on Rey, but once Rey tagged Sheamus in Del Rio fled the ring quickly, tagging Ziggler back in on the way out. Sheamus got his clubbing blows in the ropes on Ziggler, but got dumped outside after a distraction by Ricardo, and Del Rio took him out there with a kick. The heels worked Sheamus over for a while, but he got the tag to Mysterio, who came in flying. Seated senton! Sunset flip reversed into the head kick! But Del Rio tripped him up as he went for the 619, allowing Dolph to hit the Fameasser. The referee was way out of position trying to get Sheamus back in his corner, and Mysterio kicked out after the late count. Dolph and Alberto took turns dominating Mysterio, who almost snuck through Ziggler's legs to make a tag at one point, before coming up short. Finally, Mysterio backdropped Del Rio over the corner to the floor, but Ziggler still got tagged in first to stop Mysterio from getting his own. Ziggler's attempted tilt-a-whirl backbreaker was turned into a DDT, and tags were made on both sides. Sheamus came in on fire, landing a kneelift on Del Rio, but Del Rio slipped out of the powerslam. Sheamus shoved Del Rio into the ropes, which knocked Ziggler off the apron and onto the announce table. With Ziggler disposed of, Sheamus hit Del Rio with White Noise, and set up for the Brogue Kick. But Ricardo grabbed his ankle to stop it! Unfortunately, there was no one to distract the ref from that, so he called for the DQ.
As Sheamus tried to extricate himself from Ricardo's grasp, Del Rio kicked him in the head. He then quickly applied the cross armbreaker. The referee brigade was out to put a stop to this eventually, but was the damage done? Del Rio was escorted to the back, as Dolph Ziggler had finally recovered and realized what was going on. Grabbing his briefcase, he grabbed a referee and began a discussion. Was this the time to cash in? Before he could, Mysterio struck, kicking him against the ropes and hitting the 619. Ziggler staggered up right into a Brogue Kick. Play Sheamus' music! No cash-in tonight, but how long can Sheamus continue to have lucky assists to save him?
Raw 1000 is next week! I hear it starts an hour early. Or fifteen minutes early in Canada! Don't miss it!
If there's anything I'm goddamn sick to death of, it's the "big monster destroys tag teams" trope. The eight guys have a good match and get the tag division over and then Show just ruins everything.
"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
Originally posted by Big BadIf there's anything I'm goddamn sick to death of, it's the "big monster destroys tag teams" trope. The eight guys have a good match and get the tag division over and then Show just ruins everything.
In their defense, this time it looked like the tag teams had a chance to triumph after Kofi's Trouble in Paradise, but Young and O'Neil coming to Big Show's aid briefly scuttled that.
And at least, unlike WCW, they tend now to wait and let the match finish before sending in the monster-de-jour to wipe out the undercard.
I liked this show. The opener wasn't a show-stealer some predicted, but Ziggler vs. Cesaro was still worth watching. Psychologically, I thought it was odd that the challenger to the title would suggest a 2-out-of-3 Falls match.