October has arrived, and with it comes Smackdown! I think the Smackdown opening video is the only place in WWE where the brand split still counts. Lets go!
And we open with the arrival of The Big Show, the #1 Contender to the World Heavyweight Championship. He's dressed to compete, but I bet he's going to talk instead! "Now in four weeks at Hell in a Cell PPV, I have an opportunity to regain the World Heavyweight Championship when I face Sheamus. Now last Monday, Sheamus was joking around, showing everyone how confident he is because I'm sure Sheamus thinks he has a plan. Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth. This is the first time I've faced Sheamus one on one. Which means Sheamus hasn't had the sad misfortune of feeling his skull get caved in by my fist. Now at Hell in a Cell, when I defeat Sheamus and become the new World Heavyweight Champion, Sheamus can take comfort in the fact that he's joined a very elite group of victims." Cue the highlight package of knockout punches! Cena, Jericho, Punk, Tensai, Kofi, Truth, Kane, Brodus, Ziggler, Cody, Bryan, Jericho again, Edge, Orton, Santino, Brodus again, Henry, Cena again! "That's fantastic! Look at that group of victims! The Hall of Famer, the undisputed first-time champion, the best in the world, the franchise, the nine-time World Champion, that is a group of people that I've waylaid, they all have one thing in common. This fist has punched every single one of them right in the mouth. Look at that, look at the SIZE of that.."
And Sheamus has heard enough, marching out to the stage to pose. Here he comes down to the ring! Some pixels on the Titantron are burned out. Get to fixing that, Crack WWE Staff! "Y'know what, Show, thank you very much for the heads up, I really appreciate it, but I'll be honest with ya, last Monday night I was joking around, I wasn't taking it seriously, and y'know, I'll be honest with ya right now, my match with you at Hell in a Cell, that is going to be the biggest fight of my life. So I just wanted to come down here, look ya right in the eye, and say.. may the best man win." And he offers the Hand of Friendship! Big Show shakes his head and walks away without a word. "Hey Show! Hey Show. Y'know what fella, you're right. Everybody has a plan. Like, Daniel Bryan had a plan at the TLC PPV last year. Lets see how well that worked out, huh?" And the footage from that show starts to air. "Oh, look at that! WMD to Mark Henry, the World's Strongest Man! And there he is, the new World Heavyweight Champion, the Big Show! ... 45 seconds later." Daniel Bryan comes in and cashes in, and steals the title. Big Show looks displeased by this video. "I dunno about you, man, but that was rough. Daniel Bryan also had a plan at Wrestlemania. Why don't we see how that worked out?" Cue an eighteen second video clip! "There he is, before the biggest match of our careers. Daniel Bryan kisses AJ. Eighteen seconds later..." And Big Show is coming back to the ring. Re-entering it, he stalks towards Sheamus, and offers his own hand. Now it's Sheamus' turn to look doubtful. Sheamus approaches him to shake his hand, but pulls it up at the last second and walks straight past, exiting the ring and laughing on the way up the ramp. Big Show looks pensive. No, wait, now he's angry. Later tonight, Big Show faces Tensai! Wait, what? As well, we have a Champion vs. Champion match! Didn't we just have that on Main Event? Oh, it's Sheamus vs. The Miz! But right now, before we go to break, here come Kofi Kingston and R-Truth! The tag team tournament continues after the commercials!
Kofi Kingston and R-Truth vs. The Prime Time Players, Tag Team Tournament Match: We're told before the match starts that a semi-final match will be held on Raw next week. Kofi and Darren start. Lockup, go-behind by Kofi into a headlock. Off the ropes, hiptoss blocked, monkey flip blocked, dropkick by Kofi for two. Tag to Truth, whip, double hiptoss on Young. Kick by Kofi to the face. "What's up?" Splits by Truth, off the ropes, dancing legdrop! That gets two. Punch, but Young picks Truth up and carries him to the corner for the tag. Truth fights both men off, but Titus hits a kick and a gutbuster for two. More kicks, stomps in the corner. "Millions of dollars!" Choke on the ropes, followed by a cheap shot on Truth by Young. Cover, but he's in the ropes, no count. Truth tries to fight back, but eats a knee to the face. Tag to Young, Titus front-suplexes Young onto Truth. Two count. Young grabs the waistlock, as Kofi tries to rally the fans. Back to his feet, Truth starts fighting, but takes a knee to the gut. Young off the ropes, but he eats a leg lariat! Tag to Kofi, springboard off the top with a chop! Drops Titus off the apron, chops to Young, dropkick! Superman clothesline! Boom Drop! It's time for Trouble in Paradise! But Titus with the brief distraction, until Truth wipes him out! Young charges Kofi but Kofi ducks, Young grabs the ropes as Kofi does Trouble in Paradise and whiffs, Young charges and Kofi jumps over him, but Titus trips Kofi up by the ropes, letting Young grab him and hit the fireman's carry gutbuster! That's his move! Titus grabs Truth to keep him from breaking up the pin, and that's it, the Prime Time Players advance! Time to dance! That sets up the semi-final matches, with the Rhodes Scholars facing Santino Marella and Zack Ryder, while the Prime Time Players face Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara. But coming up next is The Ryback!
The Ryback vs. Primo w/Epico and Rosa Mendes: Primo goes behind and grabs a waistlock, but The Ryback powers out with a standing fireman's carry. Primo runs to the ropes to hide, then jumps out and grabs a headlock. Off the ropes, clothesline ducked, medium boot to the chest hits! The Ryback slams Primo into the mat a few times. Primo tries a punch, but it's blocked and he's grabbed by the head. "Stupid!" See, I told you he says that in his matches! Primo thrown down again. Whip, tiltawhirl slam blocked, and Primo takes out his leg. Primo works over the leg and grabs a front facelock. The Ryback just picks him up and flings him across the ring. And there's the Meathook! Or maybe it's just a normal clothesline, since he's not calling for the end. Whip to the opposite corner, Primo goes down, and Epico pulls him out of the ring. The Puerto Ricans try to bail, but they're chased down and Primo is pressed back into the ring. There's the Meathook! "Finish it!" And the Shell Shocked is much easier to do on Primo than it was on Monday, oddly enough. 1, 2, 3, the winner was never in doubt.
Hey, The Best in the World CM Punk and Paul Heyman are here! They're asking backstage where Dolph Ziggler's locker room is. Will we find out what's up after the commercial break?
Layla vs. Alicia Fox: No, we won't! Lockup, rollup by Layla for two. A second try, armdrag by Layla. Corner charge, Fox goes up and over and tries a sunset flip, but Layla rolls through and hits a dropkick, then spanks Alicia! Forearm shot to Alicia, whip, reversed, another rollup for two. Kick blocked, and Alicia hits her in the knee to drop her. Shots to the knee, as Fox works over the weak point. Knee into the mat, and there's a retaliatory spank! Layla blocks the next knee attack and tries punches, but is cut off with a shot to the leg and a Northern Lights Suplex for one. Alicia spins and drops on the leg, then tries an unorthofox cover for two. Alicia trying a.. standing figure four? Sort of? And using the ropes for leverage! The Replacement Ref catches it, shockingly enough. Kicks by Layla to come back, but Alicia throws her into the corner. Layla takes her out with a shot to her own leg! Springboard crossbody, but Layla can't cover with her leg pain. Alicia tries to go back on the attack, but Layla hits the Chick Kick! 1, 2, 3! Eek! Matt Striker has appeared out of nowhere for an in-ring interview! "Layla, congratulations on your victory, but I'm sure your ultimate goal is to regain the Divas Championship." "Yes it is, Matt, and if Eve would just stop plotting, scheming and attacking people behind their backs for just one second, I'd like to tell Eve that the way she won the Divas Championship is going to make it so much better when she loses the Divas Championship."
Backstage, Dolph Ziggler and Vickie Guerrero are walking and talking! "It's our time now, Vickie, don't worry, trust me on this." But before they can go farther, The Best In The World CM Punk and Paul Heyman have found them, with Punk initiating dialogue. "Hey, it's time you stopped avoiding me." "Excuse me?" "Was I talking to you? I asked him a question. Do you need permission to speak?" "Look, what's your problem, man?" "You know what my problem is. Last Monday on Raw you left me high and dry.. because your old lady screwed up and got ejected." Vickie spoke up to that. "Wait, hold on! Who's calling who an old lady?" "I'm calling you an old lady." "Hang on a second here, hang on a second here. You and this worm here do the same thing to me a few weeks ago on Monday Night Raw, and all of a sudden it happens to you, oh and now it's a problem?" "Who are you calling a worm?" "This guy, right here!" "Yeah, and now it is a problem, it is a problem." "Oh is it?" "Yeah, because it happened to me, I'm the WWE Champion. Maybe you should teach him a little thing about respect, Vickie." "He's doing just fine." "Oh really." "Why don't you earn some respect on your own? I earned everything I've got since I've been here!" And now everyone's talking over everyone else and I can't transcribe this! Here's Booker T to save me! "Whoa whoa whoa wait a minute, what's going on here, I said stop! Now first of all, Punk, I appreciate you showing up here tonight, but don't think you're going to show up here and raise hell without any repercussions, aight, you dig? Y'see we don't roll like dat on Smackdown! Now I see that, I see that we've got some beef here. So congratulations. How 'bout you two settle it in the middle of the ring tonight. now can you dig dat... sucka."
Wade Barrett vs. Local Jobber C: An inset interview for Barrett during his entrance! "Since I've been back on Smackdown, I've crushed everybody the WWE has put against me. I actually amuse myself seeing how much I can make my opponent suffer at the hands of the Barrett Barrage." Kick to the gut, and punches in the corner. The jobber is still unnamed. Jobber clothesline ducked, mule kick by Barrett. Pumphandle slam! "Too bloody easy, huh? Come on! Look at me, that's a man!" Jobber punches cut him off briefly, until Barrett runs him to the corner and sits him on the top rope, then shoves him out to the floor. Wade goes out after him and throws him back in. Pulling him up by the nose, and there's the Souvenir! The pinfall is academic. Poor Local Jobber C. Up next is The Miz vs. Sheamus, Champion vs. Champion!
Some WWE 13 video highlights. Big Show sure looks happy in his entrance!
Sheamus vs. The Miz: Sheamus is already in the ring with no entrance. Really? And Miz is wearing his new Haters <3 Me shirt. Lockup, Miz escapes before being shoved into the corner. Kicks and punches by Miz, broken up by the ref. Sheamus turns the tables, with clubbing forearms in the corner. Whip, back elbow. Arm-wringer by Sheamus, followed by a kneedrop for one. Miz tries to escape, Sheamus wants the 10 punch clubbering, but Miz fights out. Fireman's carry by Sheamus blocked, and Miz dumps him outside. Sheamus tries to get back in, but Miz kneelifts him off the apron. Sheamus tries again and Miz knees him again! This time Sheamus stays down on the outside, and Miz goes after him. Whip into the ringpost! Miz throws him back into the ring and covers, for one. Stomps to the back, and a kick to the face for one. Rear chinlock by Miz. Sheamus powers out! Punch to the gut, again. Clothesline ducked, and Miz hits the backbreaker/neckbreaker combo for one. Back to the chinlock! Sheamus works his way up, punches to break, but takes a knee to the gut. Sheamus with clotheslines! Shoulderblock in the corner, running kneelift! Finlay Roll! Wants the Irish Curse, but Miz elbows out. Dropkick to the knees takes Sheamus down. DDT by Miz! 1, 2, no! Sheamus crawls to the corner, and Miz sizes him up. Trademark Miz corner clothesline is caught mid-jump and turned into the Irish Curse! And now Miz gets the clubbering punches in the ropes! Sheamus hits the White Noise! Of course, that's not all. Sheamus postures for the crowd, before calling for the Brogue Kick. But the music of The Big Show heralds his arrival, to Sheamus' dismay. Big Show stalks down to the ring, as Sheamus stares him down. Big Show stops at ringside. No, there, he's on the apron. And there's the WMD to the Miz! That's a DQ! Miz wins! Miz wins! Big Show walks away and shrugs. "Fun and games? Well, now do you take me serious?" That won't be the last we see of Big Show, since he'll take on Tensai!
David Otunga is in the ring when we return. "Ladies and gentlemen, my name is David Otunga. I've requested some time to come out here and speak to you on behalf of the entire WWE lockerroom. I'd like to address the situation that occured last week after Smackdown went off the air. Take a look." We get footage from after Smackdown, with Alberto Del Rio beating up Randy Orton. Booker T eventually brought out officials to save the day. "Now on behalf of the entire WWE lockerroom, I want to say thank you to Alberto Del Rio. Frankly, Randy Orton has been a menace to the WWE for the better part of a decade. I'd like to thank Mr. Del Rio because he had the courage to stand up to this man." And Otunga gets no farther before Randy Orton's music interrupts. But it's not Orton, it's Alberto Del Rio w/ Ricardo Rodriguez and w/o a scarf, walking deliberately to the ring in the style of Randy Orton. Otunga is all laughs in the ring. Del Rio to the corner, where he does the Orton pose! From the right angle and in that lighting, he does kind of look like Orton.. Give him the mic! "My name is Randy Orton... hahahaha! Randy Orton wouldn't dare to be in the same building as me, because he knows that if he does, he's going to end up on the floor, crying like a dying dog, nononono, like a dying snake. I cut off the head of that snake. So believe me when I say this, and this is because Alberto Del Rio never lies, I'm the new ahpex predator in the WWE!" Orton pose! But wait, here comes Booker T. "Lemme get this straight. You've taken out Randy Orton and he's never coming back. So that means that your schedule is open. You have some free time on your hands tonight. So guess what, I can fix that for you, because right now I propose a tag team match. David Otunga and Alberto Del Rio vs. these gentlemen right here." Uh-oh. Here comes WWE Tag Team Champions Daniel Bryan to No! his way down to the ring. A Yes! sign is torn up, and he yells in the face of some fans. WWE Tag Team Champions Kane follows before Bryan can even get to ringside. They stare each other down outside the ring and share words before getting into the ring. Bryan cringes when Kane sets off his pyro, and the two start to arguing over who the Tag Team Champions is. Break time!
WWE Tag Team Champions Daniel Bryan and WWE Tag Team Champions Kane vs. Alberto Del Rio w/Ricardo Rodriguez and David Otunga: Kane and Bryan are arguing over who starts, and Bryan wins. Otunga starts for his team. Lockup, but Otunga hits a slam, and does a muscle pose. Bryan looks perturbed. NXT Season 1 alumni collide! Lockup again, Otunga wants another slam but Bryan slides down the back and lands No!kicks! Whip, reversed, Bryan ducks, flying clothesline! "No! No! No! No! No!" Running dropkick in the corner! Now Bryan hits the muscle poses! He turns to Kane and flexes in his direction. I'm not sure he understands the purpose of stealing his opponent's taunt. Otunga turns him around to try to hit him, but Bryan tries to take him down into the No!lock, and Otunga gets to the ropes. He hangs up Bryan's arm in the ropes, then hits a neckbreaker for two. Tag to Del Rio, who kicks and stomps Bryan in the corner. Ricardo tries to start a "Si!" chant. Snap suplex by Del Rio, for two. Chinlock! "C'mon, goatface!" Yeah, Kane, that's going to help. Bryan elbows his way out, off the ropes, sunset flip for two! Del Rio is up with a clothesline for two. Ricardo is still trying for a Si chant, as Cole wishes that Ricardo was on commentary for him. Bryan with a drop toe hold to take Del Rio into the corner, and there's the tag to Kane! Big boot to Del Rio! Corner clothesline! Another corner clothesline! Sidewalk slam! 1, 2, no! Kane up to the top rope. Flying clothesline hits! Kane wants the chokeslam, but he's dangerously close to his own corner. As Bryan reaches out to tag him, though, Kane turns and grabs his wrist to prevent it. Wouldn't that count as a tag? Bryan pleads innocence as Kane accuses him of wanting to steal the glory again. But here's Del RIo from behind, shoving Kane into Bryan. Corner enziguiri by Del Rio! 1, 2, Kane kicks out! Del Rio wants the cross armbreaker, but Otunga makes the blind tag to steal the glory from him! Otunga in and he hits a Faarooqian Spinebuster on Kane! That's his move, but Kane kicks out! As Otunga goes to pick him up, Kane grabs him by the throat from the ground. Kane stands up and hits a chokeslam, before falling back down towards his corner.. which allows Bryan to make the tag! Bryan goes up top! Diving headbutt hits! 1, 2, 3! Del Rio, displeased at Otunga tagging himself in, just walked off rather than breaking up the pin. And Bryan poses with both belts! Kane grabs a belt back, and the argument is back on. "I am the tag team champions!" "No! I'm the tag team champions!" "Yes! I am the tag team champions!" "No, I'm the tag team champions!"
Backstage, Eve Torres and Teddy Long are talking. "Eve, cut the act. Booker T's not here right now. Now I did not tell you to go out and suspend Beth Phoenix last week." "Yes you did, Teddy. You told me to-" "No I did not, what are you talking about?" "Teddy, no offense, but it's not uncommon for men in their.. advancing years to get a little forgetful." "Yeah right. Y'see, Eve, I'm thinking real clearly now. And when it comes to you I'm not the only one. You see, I heard Layla earlier tonight.." "Layla is bitter that I beat her for the Divas Championship." "Stop stop stop. I can see straight through you. Now I can't prove it, but I know you had something to do with the attack on Kaitlyn at Night of Champions. You see, Booker T is not an experienced GM. You might have him fooled. But if I was in charge you would be straight out the door." "If you were in charge?" "Yes, I-" "Teddy, Teddy." Sure enough, that's the arrival of Booker T at the most inopportune moment for Mr. Long. "Y'see, you're not in charge, Teddy. I am." "B-Book, don't get it wrong-" "Just cut it, Teddy. D'you mind giving us a minute, Eve?" "No, no problem." And Eve exits quickly. "Teddy what's this? I've never seen you like this before. Are you jealous of Eve, are you?" "C'mon, you know better than that, I'm my own man." "Look, Teddy. Both of you are great assets to my administration. But I will not have you two bickering like cats and dogs. You dig?" "Okay, Booker, I see how it is, I dig." And there's the fistbump. "Now look, I've gotta take care of business. I'm a holler at you." And Booker departs, leaving Teddy looking forlorn. Up next, Big Show will face Tensai!
Big Show vs. Tensai w/o Sakamoto: Like Sheamus earlier, Big Show doesn't get an entrance while Tensai does. Forearm shots by Tensai, cut off by a Big Show headbutt. Oops, that hurt Big Show more than Tensai! Tensai retaliates with headbutts of his own, backing Big Show into the corner. Big Show vs. Randy Orton will happen next week on Main Event! We don't get that in Canada! There's a big chop by Big Show. Charge into the corner, blocked by a Tensai big boot. Whip, no, you can't whip Big Show like that. Show tosses Tensai out to the floor. Tensai with the kick there, but Big Show takes him down with a shoulderblock. Tensai rolled back into the ring. Big Show off the ropes, elbowdrop misses! Tensai off the ropes, senton splash hits! 1, 2, no! Yaaaaavalanche misses, Big Show spear hits! And he wants the knockout punch, but Sheamus is running down to stop that. Brogue Kick to Tensai! "Did you see that, fella?" Sheamus smiles and bails out of the ring, as Big Show stands and looks on, confused. Big Show screams to end the segment.
It's the Raw rebound! A recap of AJ's issues! We saw this on Monday!
The Best In The World CM Punk w/Paul Heyman vs. Dolph Ziggler w/ Vickie Guerrero: So who do the fans cheer here? Punk takes a page out of Bryan's book, tearing up a "CM Sucks" sign held by a ringside fan. Ziggler has his own new shirt, the "Stealing The Show (And Your Girlfriend)" shirt. This is tonight's main event! They jaw at each other to start. Punk brags about winning two briefcases, and Ziggler says that no one cares, so Punk gives him a shove in the chest. "You think you can push me? No one pushes me!" Ziggler's clearly been watching too much Z! True Long Island Story. Punk grabs the headlock, Ziggler escapes with a top wristlock into his own headlock. Off the ropes, Ziggler takes Punk down with a shoulderblock. Off the ropes, Punk ducks under and then leapfrogs, but a running dropkick by Ziggler beats Punk's hiptoss attempt. Zig Zag blocked when Punk grabs the ropes, Punk tries to segue into the GTS but Ziggler slides off, and we have the standoff. Cue the last commercial break!
Waistlock takedown by Punk. Ziggler squirming to try to escape. Hammerlock by Ziggler, into the headlock and a headlock takedown, reversed into a headscissors by Punk. Ziggler having trouble escaping that. He rolls over and gets his head out, then grabs a headlock. Punk with the back suplex to break it, and both roll to different aprons. Punk climbs to the top, but Ziggler punches to cut him off. Both men climbing the ropes now, fighting each other. Staggering each other with punches, and both fall off at the same time to the floor! Heyman checks on Punk while Vickie checks on Dolph. "You can't win the match out here, you've gotta shake this off. You're the best in the world. They're up to six." "Where's Dolph? Where's Dolph?" Both men back into the ring. Ziggler with punches to take the advantage, Punk ducks the clothesline and gets the rollup, for two. Ziggler ducks Punks clothesline and gets the rollup with the tights for two! Punk argues that Ziggler had the tights, giving Ziggler time to hit the jumping DDT for two! Ziggler wants the Fameasser, but Punk dodges, Ziggler ducks the roundhouse kick, and hits the Fameasser! That gets two! Punk gets a surprise roundhouse kick as they get up, and that gets two! Ziggler gets up in the corner, letting Punk hit the high knee, into a short clothesline. Two count from that. Scoop slam by Punk, and he climbs the ropes, as Michael Cole discusses what a 'Paul Heyman guy' is. Punk takes too long arguing with fans, and Ziggler hits him to stagger him. Ziggler tosses him off the top rope like Flair, complete with Punk begging "No!". Stinger Splash by Ziggler misses, and Punk hits the GTS! 1, 2, 3! Punk has triumphed over Ziggler. Punk's on the announce table and has the mic. "I've heard it from Bret Hart, I've heard it from Jim Ross, I've heard it from all of you. I know what you want, I know what I have to do because I've thought long and hard about it. You want to see CM Punk step into Hell in the Cell against John Cena. I know that what I have to do is correct, to get respect at Hell in a Cell, CM Punk steps in the ring with John Cena! So at Hell in a Cell, CM Punk will NOT step foot in the ring with John Cena!" Heyman applauds him, as Punk says he's the best in the world. And we're out!
I liked all of Punk and Ziggler's interactions, and the Sheamus/Miz match. Miz has a good style for wrestling any of the major brawlers, and looked as good here as he has in a long while. If they'd ever pull the trigger on a Ziggler face turn, I think Punk would be just about the perfect foil for him. They've faced off before, and I think it's a very good pairing.
The problem with doing a potential Sting match this year is that there are three guys - HHH, Shawn, UT - who would be the only real "WWE" options, and all of them are carrying various injuries and/or ring rust and/or retirement.