WWE Super SmackDown
August 30th, 2011
Intrust Bank Arena, Wichita, Kansas
Results by: Colin Rinehart
Your hosts are Michael Cole, Booker T, and Josh Matthews
We open with a quick video package that immediately informs us about Triple H replacing Kevin Nash for the match against CM Punk at the Night of Champions PPV. I’m sure the match will be good, but I was hoping they’d go the slow-burn route on that match and build it up for a big show like Survivor Series of Wrestlemania next year. Nash apparently wasn’t cleared to wrestle because of some minor injury. The jokes write themselves here, so I won’t even bother.
John Cena’s music hits and the former champ comes out to his usual mix of cheers and jeers to open the show. He hypes the show tonight and name-drops everything from the XFL to Smoky Mountain Wrestling to the Shockmaster and beyond. Fun references for the old-time fans but I’m not sure the younger people in the crowd even know what those things were. Cena calls out Albeto Del Rio, but instead we only get Ricardo Rodriguez. He informs Cena that he’s going to have to wait until Night of Champions to get his hands on Del Rio. Ricardo goes all Stepford Wives on us and can’t stop announcing Del Rio’s name over and over again like a malfunctioning android until Cena tells him to shut his trap. He shoves Ricardo to the floor and suddenly Wade Barrett’s music hits.
Barrett makes his way out with a mic of his own to chastise Cena for beating up announcers and trying to hijack Smackdown already in the opening minutes of the show. Barrett seems to think that Cena hasn’t learned his lesson from their previous feud, so he’s gotten a match signed for tonight between the two of them. Cena levels with Barrett, telling him that he’s got a bright future in the company, but he’s been on Cena’s hitlist for a while and tonight he’s more than happy to fight him for a bit of revenge. We take a commercial break before jumping right into the match.
John Cena vs. Wade Barrett
The bell sounds as we return from the commercial break and both men lock up. Cena takes to the offensive immediately, brawling with Barrett and planting him on the mat with a bulldog as a big Cena chant starts up. Cena gives Barrett a big powerslam and then tosses him into the ropes. Barrett bounces off of them and delivers a spinning sidewalk slam to Cena, building a bit of offensive momentum for himself for the first time in the match so far. Cena delivers a pair of shoulder-blocks and a fallaway slam before hitting the Five Knuckle Shuffle. He delivers the Attitude Adjustment to Barrett and pins him clean at 3:18. I can already hear the smark masses complaining about SuperCena dominating a young star in an almost squash-like fashion, but I think that may be a bit of an overreaction. The loss doesn’t hurt Barrett very much since he’s already lost to Cena many times, and while it would have been nice to have atleast made Barrett look like a moderate challenge for John, I for one don’t really think Barrett is ready for that kind of main event push yet. Still, there was really no need to make Barrett look like such a tool here, it’s not like Cena needs the heat. The match itself was fairly decent as these two have clearly become comfortable with one another in the ring. *1/2
Backstage Matt Striker asks Mark Henry who he prefers to face for the World Heavyweight title tonight, Christian or Randy Orton. He doesn’t seem to care, that rebel. Striker asks a silly question about what a cage match is like and Henry explains the dangers before promising that he’ll win the title tonight.
Daniel Bryan vs. Sin Cara
From now on, you’re going to have to find out for yourself who’s playing Sin Cara under the mask each week, because I’ve grown tired of having to find out each week. I’m pretty sure it’s Hunico tonight though, again. Should be fun to see how this version of Cara works with Bryan, as the original Mistico worked a fun match with him a few months back on Smackdown. Cara takes it right to Bryan in the opening moments with a flurry of quick arm-drags. Bryan nails him with a running boot that sends Cara to the outside floor, and Bryan wipes him out moments later with a big tope suicida! Fireworks already. Back in the ring Bryan nails Cara in the corner with a big running dropkick. He stretches Cara out with the old Mexican surfboard (oh irony) and then transitions into a nasty combination surfboard/guillotine choke briefly. Bryan gets back-dropped out of the ring and Cara fakes him out on the first dive attempt before going through on the second one with a big Asai cross-body. He tosses Bryan back into the ring and covers him after a Guerrero-like tope con hilo for a two count. Bryan back-flips out of an Irish whip and both men collide in the middle of the ring with simultaneous cross-body attempts. Back on their feet they trade stiff precision kicks and Cara gives Bryan a big Olympic slam. He hits him with a springboard somersault senton followed by a lionsault moments later and that’s enough to give Cara the win at an even 5:00. You know that old saying about how some workers are so good that you can give them five minutes and they’ll almost always come out with a great little match? That’s the sort of praise we used to save for guys like Benoit, Guerrero, and Malenko on Nitro, but nowadays the name is Daniel Bryan. Just a flat out fun five minute sprint. ***
After the match both men shake hands in a sign of respect….when suddenly Cara turns on Bryan and beats him down! The crowd is shocked, and frankly so am I. Sin Cara, a heel? I suppose this could be a way to set up an angle for the “real” Sin Cara to return and reveal this one as an imposter known as Hunico, but I’m not entirely certain that’s the direction they’re heading in.
Backstage Matt Striker is with the new tag team champions, Kofi Kingston and Evan Bourne. He asks about how they feel and Bourne cuts a clean-cut Leave it to Beaver like little promo about how excited they are. Kofi talks about great tag teams in years past (Rockers, Demolition, Harlem Heat) before teaching Striker how to do the “Boom Drop” taunt that Kofi does. I’m all for a revitalized tag team division, but it’s going to require more than just throwing two midcard singles wrestlers into a thrown-together team to accomplish that I think.
We go to commercial and when we return we see a poll up on WWE.com currently asking who has the better advantage inside of the steel cage tonight between Randy Orton and Christian.
After a brief video package detailing the Orton/Christian rivalry, we join Matt Striker with Christian backstage. Christian says that he’s resilient and a survivor, and that tonight he’s going to fight for what’s right whether the people like it or not. He says he doesn’t need to be the World champion to validate his career, he just wants to be the champ for the sake of it.
Beth Phoenix/Natalya vs. Kelly Kelly/Alicia Fox
Aksana, complete with cheesy 80s saxophone “romantic” music in the background, does the announcing duties here. I’m not sure what they see in this girl. Kelly and Natalya start us off with Kelly playing the fiery spark-plug as usual. Beth knows her routine by now though and immediately plants Kelly on her face before tagging Beth in for a double-shoulderblock and a near fall. Beth beats up on Kelly for a bit with forearms until Alicia Fox gets the tag and hits a big cross-body off the top rope. Alicia lays in a forearm and then takes out Beth with a sweet reverse falling elbow off the second rope before knocking Natalya off the apron. She lays in a stiff kick on Beth, but Beth fights back with a pair of knife-edge chops and then delivers a huge Glam Slam on Fox for the win at 2:03. Is it just me, or is the Diva’s division actually improving dramatically from a workrate perspective these days? Beth and Natalya looked great in the win, Kelly looked as fiery as ever, and even Alicia Fox looked great, bouncing all over the place and taking bumps. One of these days they’re going to give these ladies some actual time to work a match and I think people are going to be surprised by how good it could be. *3/4
They’re making a remake of Straw Dogs? Straw Dogs?! Is nothing sacred? I can’t imagine there were people knocking down Screen Gems Production’s doors demanding a modern take on a film as dark and deeply disturbing as Sam Peckinpah’s masterpiece is.
When we return from the break, Teddy Long is in the ring for the contract signing between CM Punk and Triple H for their match at Night of Champions. He introduces our COO Triple H and he comes down to the ring with a mic of his own. He says that he canceled the match between Nash and Punk at a board of directors meeting last night in favor of booking Punk against himself. He says that the WWE board was kind enough to let him take off the suit for one night to take out CM Punk, and he calls Punk out for the signing.
The sounds of “Cult of Personality” ring out in the arena as Punk makes his entrance down to the ring with a pipe-bomb/microphone of his own. He sits down casually at the table in the middle of the ring, props his feet up and asks Triple H why he’s even here to sign this contract and if there are any new stipulations in it that he should be aware of. Triple H tries to apologize for the abruptness of the match change, but Punk says it doesn’t matter because nothing Hunter does surprises him. Triple H says that Punk has disrespected his family and Punk keeps trying to butt back into the conversation while Triple H tries to explain to Punk how he bent over backwards to try and make Punk happy. Triple H claims that he’s the one that got Punk’s theme change to Living Colour’s “Cult of Personality” to go through and that he helped pay for it. He also claims that he was the one to approve of the new Best in the World CM Punk shirt that has been selling like hotcakes. Triple H says he’s trying his best to juggle all of his responsibilites, but Punk disrespected him as a man and now Punk has to deal with Hunter like a man (in the ring). Good promo work from Hunter here. Punk says he doesn’t want to face the new Triple H, he wants to face the old one—the cerebral assassin. Punk says Vince couldn’t separate his personal and business issues, and now Triple H is falling into the same pattern.
Punk says that although everyone thinks he hates the WWE, he in fact loves it. He wants change in the company and he wants things to be better for everyone in the company. Punk says he wants to be the catalyst for that change, but Triple H isn’t buying into his rhetoric. Triple H says that Punk’s real motive is to be on top as “the man”, and that his whole humble man-of-the-people shtick is bullshit. Hunter says he thinks that Punk is alot like he used to be when he started out in his career, mercilessly crushing everyone in his path in order to make it to the top, but the difference in how Punk does this is that Punk backdoors and soft-talks his way to the top instead of being a man and taking action like Hunter used to. He accuses Punk of playing the role of a martyr, and Punk doesn’t seem to completely disagree. Punk says that everyone should be able to tune into the WWE and enjoy the show, not just the half and half that Hunter just mentioned. Punk says he tested Triple H with a trial by fire, but he failed and is just another egotistical stooge like Vince McMahon, hiring his old buddies like Kevin Nash to come back and do his work for him. Punk says this match has been a long time coming and finally signs the contract. Triple H takes the Vince McMahon comparison as a compliment and Punk cuts him off again for another diatribe about wanting change in the company. Hunter says unlike Vince McMahon, he won’t take a beating from Punk because it’s good for business. He says this is personal, and he’s going to kick Punk’s skinny fat ass.
Suddenly the old NWO music hits and Kevin Nash comes roaring down the entrance way. He steps into the ring and tosses the table aside and Punk goes right to the attack on Nash. Nash gives him a big boot and Triple H shoves him, so Nash shoves Triple H right back and we cut to commercial. Glad they didn’t forget about Nash in this whole equation, as it would have been a bit strange to not have him appear tonight.
Sheamus vs. The Great Khali
Last week we saw big Zeke make Khali tap out, can Sheamus do the same tonight? Sheamus tries a side headlock to start but Khali slams him and then stomps a mudhole into him in the corner. He rips some of the bandaging off of Sheamus’ ribs and lays in some huge open-palm chops. Khali tries the nerve hold, but Sheamus fights it off quickly. He brings it to Khali with big forearms and then takes Khali down with a dropkick to his knee. Sheamus ties Khali up in the ropes and lays in big hammer-fists, following it with a running knee to the jaw moments later. Sheamus takes Khali down with a flying shoulder-block off the top rope and sets up for a big move, but Jinder Mahal hops into the ring and nails Sheamus from behind to give him the DQ win at 2:49. Shockingly decent until the DQ finish, Khali seems to work well with these big guys like Zeke and Sheamus (who looked great again here). The beatdown continues on Sheamus after the match, but he regains the upper hand and winds up giving Mahal the Celtic Cross. *
The steel cage held high above the arena begins to come down as we prepare for our first World Heavyweight title match. We also take a look at the new Triple H film “Inside Out” as well as the upcoming Randy Orton three disc DVD set. Some good stuff on the horizon, call me crazy but I actually think Inside Out looks like it might be halfway decent, and a DVD set for Orton has been overdue for a long time.
World Heavyweight Title Steel Cage Match
Randy Orton © vs. Christian
These two have had several outstanding matches this year, and if wasn’t for the incredible John Cena/CM Punk rivalry, I think Orton and Christian would have had any “Feud of the Year” award in the bag. Christian immediately tries to escape the cage, first trying the door and then trying to scale the cage, but Orton reels him back in and nails him with a beautiful dropkick for a two count as we cut to commercial. When we return we see both men trading blows as Christian again tries to scale the cage. Orton pulls him down again and plants him with a huge back body drop. Christian fights off the second-rope DDT by launching Orton into the cage face-first. Randy counters with a great roll-through cradle for a near fall, but he turns around and walks right into a powerful spinebuster from Christian for a near fall of his own. Christian delivers a reverse neckbreaker, but again Orton kicks out, so Christian tries climbing the cage again. He makes it to the top turnbuckle where he jockeys for position with Orton for a bit until Orton takes him out with a huge superplex off the top rope as we take another commercial break.
Back from commercial and Christian is crawling out of the cage door. Orton pulls him back in and stomps. Christian charges but Orton throws him head first into the cage. Orton works Christian over, throws him into the cage again and hits a big powerslam. Orton goes for the second rope DDT again but it’s countered again. Orton tries to torpedo Christian into the cage but Christian counters with an inverted DDT for a 2 count. Christian climbs the cage again and Orton comes after. Christian knocks Orton to the mat from the cage wall and hits a huge frogsplash for a 2 count.
Orton drags Christian back into the ring again. Christian readies for a spear but Orton jumps over it. Christian blocks the RKO and connects with a spear for a close 2 count. Christian goes for a running kick in the corner but Orton moves. Christian climbs the cage again but Orton stops him. Orton pulls Christian off the corner and hits a big neckbreaker for a 2 count. Orton blocks Killswitch and connects with the second rope DDT. Orton goes for the RKO but it’s blocked by Christian. Christian climbs the cage again and almost makes it out but Orton pulls him back over. They sit on top of the cage and trade right hands. Christian tries to fall to the floor but they end up back in the ring on the top rope. Orton slams Christian’s head into the cage. Orton hits a RKO from the top rope for the pin and the win.
Winner: Randy Orton
– After the match, Mark Henry comes out and attacks Orton in the cage. Henry torpedos Orton into the side of the cage. Orton tries to fight back but Henry slams him hard to the mat. Henry lands on Orton with a big splash. Orton gets to his feet again and Henry throws him head first into the cage again. Henry hits the World’s Strongest Slam and drops Orton one last time as his music hits. Henry stands over Orton and runs his mouth. Henry snatches the World Title from Charles Robinson as SmackDown goes off the air.