Coming off of SummerSlam we have a new World champion, Mark Henry destroyed Sheamus and a wall and Daniel Bryan is becoming one of the greatest wrestlers in WWE (that can show off said talent). Lets see where we go next.
Teddy Long brings out Randy Orton, yay everyone applauds for the new champion. Randy says the usual champion once again stuff. Also, that Christian is too injured to be here tonight and Orton is ready for the next opponent. Teddy announces an over the top rope battle royal tonight to determine that next challenger. Smackdown is the home of battle royals. Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase come out and Cody reminds us all that its a Legacy reunion. But, you know, with a much better Rhodes and a what the hell happened to your career man DiBiase. “Ted you have a voice. Use it.” Well damn that was verbally pissing on the poor guy. Ted speaks as well as he can until his mouth is full eating an RKO. Poor Ted. Randy and Cody stare at each other, and that would be a very good future main event. Give it one more year though, just to see how much more Rhodes improves.
Teddy mocks Rhodes for wanting some sort of retribution. Oh and he makes a match too!
Cody Rhodes (Intercontinental champion) vs. Ezekiel Jackson
A cocky smile is fine, but Ezekiel’s big grin to the fans does not fit well with this giant of a man. The IC title has already been put over more in this match than in the entirety of Zeke’s run. Jackson is just too damn powerful and I ask aloud how can Cody stop him? Oh, kicking the steel steps into Zeke’s ankle will do that. Action is back in the ring and Cody hits his springboard kick with Cross Rhodes combination to pick up the pin. Cody looks like he weighs a third of Jackson’s weight and yet he was dominant. Great rise for Cody but you have to wonder what is going on with Zeke’s career.
Zack Ryder tells Teddy Long that Del Rio is on his way to ZackDown to talk to the fans. The still dark haired Aksana shows up to tease Teddy Long. Oh its getting PG-13 up in here. “Would you like to watch me with 20 men?” Aksana! That is a future endeavored project! Pace yourself!
Justin Gabriel vs. Tyson Kidd
Justin is newly face and is being pushed as a pretty boy baby face. Kidd apparently has given up his search for a manager. This could be a very good match. Everything Tyson does is so perfect. One of the few guys that can make simple moves look painful. Plus a nasty dropkick to the back of Justin’s head. I winced. Looks like Kidd got a haircut too. Its time to get serious when your former tag team partner gets fired. Gabriel pulls out a roaring elbow but its used for set up and not devastation. I know he’s a high flyer, but why not give him a ground based finisher? Gabriel stuffs Tyson and drops him to the mat. It doesn’t seem like it should be enough, but it is and Justin hits the 450 for the pin.
Good match, but lacking due to TV time constraints.
Matt Striker interviews Jinder Mahal and the Great Khali. There is an arguement over who will win the battle royal. Yeah, neither of you. Khali is only a threat to hotel toilets at this point.
New WWE champion Alberto Del Rio gets his usual over the top introduction. He talks for too long, we get to see footage from Raw, did they not have enough talent backstage this week on Smackdown? Some under utilized guys couldn’t get thrown out there for a quick match instead of this segment? ADR issues an open challenge and his Money in the Bank counterpart Daniel Bryan answers.
Alberto Del Rio (WWE Champion) vs. Daniel Bryan
Smackdown! Where wrestling matters! I’m trying, I really am but I just cant get on the Del Rio bandwagon. Bryan however is evolving into a star. He’s allowed to cut loose more in matches lately. Also the shorter hair cut and beard makes him look more serious. Like a more believable contender. ADR catches Daniel on the top rope and drops all the way down with an arm breaker. Its a testament to Bryan’s current push that the match doesn’t end here. Even with one arm Daniel fights back and refuses to give up. Michael Cole will not shut the fuck up during this match. He’s too worried about putting himself over to the detriment of the wrestlers and his fellow announcers. The fans start to clap and Bryan mounts a comeback. Daniel never forgets to sell the arm and even little moves add to the story of the match. Bryan knocks Del Rio out of the ring and then comes running off the apron with a knee. Daniel hits his arm on his way down though, again, never forgetting to sell the match to the fans.
We’re back in the ring and Bryan is still hanging in there strong with the current WWE champion. Del Rio goes for a super-plex but Bryan spins with it. He gets the better of the impact, but its still not good enough to protect the arm. Daniel looks to have the match in hand. He comes off with a missile dropkick and the champion barely kicks out. Bryan spins around Del Rio and locks him into a guillotine choke. Alberto runs himself into the corner, suplexes Daniel, and floats over for the arm breaker. After a match worth of damage Bryan has to tap out.
Fantastic match, and I put most of the credit for that onto Daniel Bryan.
Del Rio attacks Bryan after the match and refuses to let go of the arm breaker. Sin Cara of all people comes out to make the save.
Matt Striker interviews Mark Henry. Mark cuts a pretty good promo.
Kelly Kelly (Divas champion) and AJ vs. Natalya and Alicia Fox
What the hell? Did Beth put in a request off form for today? If the Divas of Doom’s gimmick is to get rid of the beauty pageant winners then why would Nattie be teaming with Alicia? AJ tries to roll up Natalya and it would be easier for her to try to roll up a wall. AJ hits an impressive head scissors take down though. No matter what AJ tries Natalya remains calm and never once looks to be in trouble or pain. Alicia does fairly well in the ring though. AJ is in the middle of the longest wrestling hazing process.
AJ fights out of the corner and gets the hot tag to Kelly Kelly. Kelly has more trademark set up moves than Bret Hart. Also, I’ve never seen anyone slow down more just before hitting the ropes. Kelly dodges Alicia’s axe kick and hits a slow one of her own for the pin.
After the match Natalya gets in Fox’s face because of the loss. As soon as her back is turned, Natalya knocks Alicia on her ass then throws in a sharp shooter for good measure. No woman is safe!
20 Man Over the Top Rope Battle Royal to determine the next #1 Contender.
Sin Cara, Wade Barrett, Heath Slater, Justin Gabriel, Cody Rhodes, Ted DiBiase, Great Khali, Jinder Mahal, Mark Henry, Sheamus, Ezekiel Jackson, Zack Ryder, Yoshi Tatsu, Jimmy Uso, Jey Uso, Tyson Kidd, Trent Barretta, William Regal, Johnny Curtis
Everyone attacks Mark Henry to start off the match. But not Khali? That’s how little of a threat anyone sees Khali now. Henry eliminates Trent and Yoshi right away. Curtis is out before I even knew he was in the match. Khali is protecting Jinder from anyone else in the ring. Sin Cara takes out Zack Ryder. Zeke tries to toss over Cody but Cody hangs on, skins the cat, and gets clotheslined right out. Big Zeke goes right after Khali next. He looks to have it done but Khali works in a big chop and tosses Jackson out. Mark Henry starts staring down Khali and the World’s Strongest Man shows no fear. Henry takes a big chop and shakes it off! Henry picks up Khali and tosses him out. Jinder realizes he doesn’t have a prayer now.
Mark and Sheamus tangle for a moment and Henry rolls under the ropes. Sheamus fakes out Slater and kicks him out of the ring. Henry slams Heath into the ring steps just for fun.
Oh yeah, Randy Orton is seated at ringside watching all of this too.
Regal is eliminated during the commercial. Henry is still outside of the ring, picking his spot. Sin Cara eliminates Gabriel and almost himself as well. Mark throws Gabriel into the crowd. Sheamus eliminates both Usos at the same time and Mark Henry picks the bones. Mark tosses an Uso into the announcers. Holy crap its devastation every where. I guess Mark has warmed up enough because he’s back in the ring. Henry eliminates Jinder and minutes later Ted. Sin Cara takes out Tyson Kidd and we’re down to four.
All three men swarm Mark Henry and get him down to the mat. Which makes no sense, because then you have to pick him up. Wade turns on this alliance and tries to get rid of Sheamus. Wade and Sheamus battle on the wrong side of the ropes. Sheamus gets up the boot and Wade is gone. Sin Cara slips through the ropes, but not the top one. Sin Cara hangs on in the new parkour style. Mark comes up from behind and picks up Sin Cara out of the ring. Mark and Sin Cara have a couple weird spots, not blown, but different. Mark stuffs a flip and hits a World’s Strongest Slam on Sin Cara. Henry sweeps up the scraps and tosses Sin Cara over. Mark Henry wins and is the new number one contender.
Mark Henry and Randy have a stare down and the future is set!