Smackdown 9/16/11: Highlights
Edge, Christian and Trish Stratus in the same building for Toronto crowd.
A second Sin Cara appears to confront the recently feisty Cara.
Sheamus and Justin Gabriel take out Wade Barrett and Christian
Edge returns and conducts a Cutting Edge with Randy Orton and Mark Henry
Mark Henry blasts Randy Orton and obliterates half the Smackdown locker room.
Tonight’s show in Toronto, Ontario will lead us into the Night of Champions Pay-per-view. Last year it was one of my favorite PPVs of the year, so let’s hope for another good one Sunday night. In the meantime, there’s a full slate of action tonight, which starts with Toronto’s favorite son, Edge coming to the ring for a hot introduction. The crowd is pumped (2nd only to CM Punk’s Chicago homecoming pop) and Edge is bringing the goods. He talks in the ring about how much he misses the thrills and excitement of life in the WWE and no matter how many shows he acts in or whatever else he does, nothing compares to life in the WWE. His reminiscing is interrupted by the Intercontinental Champion, Cody Rhodes, who comes to the ring with his bagmen. Rhodes talks of how life has changed and Edge is no longer the champion, and Rhodes has risen to prominence as the IC Champion…and he’s also ditched the weak-minded Ted Dibiase. Cody antagonizes Edge but the hometown hero uses his wit and guile to get the best of the situation. He’ll be back later for The Cutting Edge. After Edge leaves the ring, Rhodes is left to pick on ringside fans in the front row, calling out specific individuals who need to cover their faces. Suddenly, he’s laid out by a stout fan with a bag on his head, who is revealed to be Ted Dibiase. Dibiase looks like his head’s going to burst from pent-up rage, and he jumps the barrier and attacks Cody outside and inside the ring. Rhodes gets out of dodge and Dibiase has made his intentions for revenge known.
We get a little cameo by Trish Stratus, another Toronto native, backstage as she stumbles upon an awkward (and lame!) flirtation between Teddy Long and Aksana. This continuously bad interaction between Long and the Dracula-sounding dame is going nowhere fast. We go to the ring and see the ever-spunky A.J. in the ring with Kaitlyn. Introduced next is Beth Phoenix with Natalya in her wings. The outcome of this one is pretty evident and it ends just as expected. The Glamazon toys with A.J. for about 90 seconds and then puts her away with the Glamabomb. Sorry A.J, less time geeking out on the new DC Comics 52 line, and more time sharpening the wrestling skills…
Next up is a heated rematch between Daniel Bryan and the new ruthless Sin Cara. The match is high octane and Bryan is going at Cara hard, but ultimately Cara gets DB tangled upside down in the turnbuckles and is disqualified for not relenting his attack before the referee’s five count. Suddenly this rule is actually enforced?! The most interesting part is after the match though, where a second Sin Cara emerges from the back and charges the rampway to his music. He enters the ring with the flying sommersault over the top rope and faces off with ‘the other Cara’. The crowd seems to instantly know which is which as they both raise take turns raising their arms, but only the thinner Cara (presumably the original one, who just charged the ring after the match) receives approval. The evil imposter Cara has at least an inch of love handles on his waist that makes it easy to distinguish the two. This will be played out more in the near future no doubt.
Backstage again, we see Edge and Trish chatting away until they’re interrupted by none other Christian. Christian makes a rude comment to Stratus about a product she’s hocking and this if followed by an awkward moment of silence between Edge and Christian. Christian assures him there’s no hard feelings even though Edge probably cost him his title by distracting him at Summerslam. They share a tenuous hug and Christian says Edge can make up for the past by going into Teddy Long’s office and getting him ‘one more match’ against Orton. Edge doesn’t go for it and Christian storms off pissed that Edge doesn’t think he deserves it. Edge calls him a little bitch. They could have done more with this dynamic but at least they made some kind of attempt to acknowledge it.
In tag team action, we see Wade Barrett and Christian take on Sheamus and his mystery partner, who turns out to be Justin Gabriel. There’s a good sign in the crowd that reads, “You can’t blame us for loving Sheamus”. Sheamus also does his best Leaping Lanny Poffo impersonation by giving us a little poetry before the match. He says he “couldn’t find the Axer, he couldn’t find the Smasher, but instead of Demolition he got us a 450-splasher”. Do what you will with that. The match itself is pretty good. Barrett catches Gabriel in the air early on and hits a nice twirling sidewalk slam on. The heels tag quickly and work over Justin, but Gabriel gets some small package attempts for near falls. Eventually the South African gets a hot tag to Sheamus to change the momentum. In the end, Sheamus hits Barrett with a pump kick right on the button and Gabriel tags in to hit the 450-splash for the pinfall victory.
Next up we’re punished by a singles match with Great Khali and Heath Slater. Please, just send Khali walking once and for all. Does anyone seriously like this guy? It’s obvious he can’t move in the ring much less work, and he’s made no attempt to acclimate himself or learn how to communicate or connect with fans that I can tell (i.e. learn some basic English). It’s a throw-up–err..throwaway—match as expected as Slater is beat up for a minute and then disqualified as soon as Jinder Mahal comes down the ramp barking unintelligible insults at Khali and then interferes in the match. Mahal and Slater share a moment of beating up Khali in the corner, but the Punjabi Putz fends them off with bad, telegraphed “moves” that make everyone involved look stupid.
The next match is R Truth vs. Evan Bourne. Each man has his respective tag partner for Night of Champions in his corner, and while my first reaction at seeing Miz rap-dancing to Truth’s new remixed song, I can’t help but chuckle as they take turns telling the crowd “you suck” as opposed to the old “what’s up” refrain. The Miz and Cole make out as Miz joins the announce booth to comment on the match and put his team over for Sunday nights. Kingston is on the opposite side of the table by Booker to offset Miz’s presence. Inside the ring, Truth is on the offense early as he roughs up little Evan Bourne outside the ring. He attempts a vertical suplex in the center of the ring, but Bourne knees Truth in the head to avoid it and then hits a drop-knee move to take R-Truth down. Bourne hits some hard kicks and then appears to botch a hurricanrana attempt and he ends up just driving Truth’s head right into the mat, similar to the effect a pile driver would have. Bourne goes up to the top for a shooting star press but Truth avoids it and Bourne lands on his feet. Truth quickly retaliates with his finisher and gets a clean pinfall. This is not a confidence builder for Evan Bourne, as he loses convincingly to R Truth in about 3 minutes before their title match. Next up we get a full rundown of the events leading up to the Mark Henry vs. Randy Orton match Sunday night.
The ‘main event’ tonight is a Cutting Edge with featured guests Mark Henry and Randy Orton. Edge starts off sitting on a stool in the center of the ring talking about how much Toronto means to him, and he repeats the story most of us know by now of him being at Wrestlemania VI as a kid to see Ultimate Warrior battle Hulk Hogan. He also reminds us Toronto is where he won his first Intercontinental Championship. He knows how important championships are in the WWE and how they should be revered. Edge introduces Mark Henry first, the World’s Strongest Man. Props to Mark Henry for truly reinventing himself. This guy was a useless member of the roster as a fledgling babyface just a year ago and now he’s a legit monster heel. In seeing him on Raw the past couple years, I would be reminded of that “Barf” character John Candy played in Spaceballs (the spoof of Chewbacca), what with the puffy hair, constant smile, and red leotard. He’s no laughing matter any longer. Randy Orton is introduced next and he gets his predictable big crowd reaction (“Overrated!”…“Overrated!” is what’s ringing through my head though). Nothing’s quick with Orton and it takes him a couple minutes to finally get inside the ring to get on with this thing. The two combatants stare down with Edge playing facilitator in between them. Adam reminds them of the ‘no contact’ rule Teddy Long has instituted…as toothless as it is. Edge puts over Mark Henry, and how he’s inhumanely been tearing through everyone in the WWE, and how he’s been doing things to people (including Orton) that no one’s ever done. He asks Orton if he honestly thinks he can beat Henry this Sunday? Orton says Henry may be tough but he hasn’t proven anything to him because he only attacks Orton after he’s already had a match and is worn down. He wonders aloud why Mark Henry has never won “the big one” in the WWE, citing it may be because Henry knows his absolute best just isn’t good enough. Orton then reiterates the question of whether he thinks he can beat Mark Henry, and says “he knows he can!”. Edge says Orton has a point—Mark Henry’s career has been kind of disappointing. Edge says he started in 1998 and Henry was already a veteran here, and in all that time, and with all his strength he’s never won a title when he should be a decorated champion. Some might say it’s because of fluke losses or injuries at bad times, or maybe it’s because you just don’t have the desire. When you want to be a champion and stand where Orton does, it’s a whole new level and you have to have that desire. Henry gets the mike and says the only reason he’s going to let Edge walk out of the ring on his power is….because he’s right. For 15 years he’s seen guys smaller and weaker than him pass him by. He’s seen Randy Orton become champion over and over and over again [This is starting to get a good worked shoot feeling]. As Henry is talking, Orton grabs the World Title and shows it to his opponent. Mark goes on to relay how backstage agents would tell him “to go out there and SMILE. Show that personality. Randy, let me tell you something—I’m done smiling. I’m done showing personality. I’m here to destroy and show you what I got. Fifteen years I had to come out here and show what I can do, and it didn’t work. Come Sunday, I WILL be the World’s Heavyweight Champion”. Randy Orton drones on about how Henry may come close, but he’ll be the same as always—the World’s Strongest Failure. At this point, Henry is ready to throw down seriously. Edge interjects, “Ok, this is the part of the show I remind you there’s no physical contact during The Cutting Edge”. He then leaves the ring and says, “this is also the part of the show where I tell you—the Cutting Edge is officially over”. Orton and Henry look at Edge inquisitively for a moment and then begin to throw hands. We see Teddy Long flailing his arms at the ramp entrance and the Smackdown jobbers begin to charge the ring (Johnny Curtis, Trent Barreta, JTG, Usos, and some others). By the time they arrive in the ring, Orton has Henry on his knees as he’s burying him with short right hands. Henry explodes and at least four men literally fly off of him as the WSM charges across the ring to get a piece of Orton. This goes on back and forth until Orton starts punching everyone in sight. He charges Henry for an RKO, but Mean Mark catches him and hits the World’s Strongest Slam. Henry then demolishes everyone in sight and hits Orton with a big splash. Bodies are laid out everywhere. Henry picks up Zack Ryder and gorilla press slams him over the top rope. He hits Orton with a second splash and then tosses Barretta about five feet over the top rope. Some shaggy-headed, dark haired guy is crushed by Henry next, and then Jimmy Uso is cracked in the skull. Booker is exclaiming that someone needs to call the police. Meanwhile, Mark Henry stalks his next victim in the ring. He picks up Orton and hits another power slam. Henry picks up the World Title belt and lifts it over his head. We fade to black…
Category: TV and PPV |