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WWE Smackdown Report
TAIT'S WWE SMACKDOWN TV REPORT 7/29: Complete review of this week's episode & Hunter's Address, Overall Smackdown Breakdown

Jul 29, 2011 - 7:40:01 PM
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Smackdown_75_107.jpg
WWE Smackdown TV report
July 29, 2011
Taped in Philadelphia, Pa.
Report by James Tait, Torch int'l Smackdown correspondent


- Smackdown opened with pyro from Philadelphia. Josh Mathews talked about the new regime. Tony Chimel welcomed the Chief Operating Officer of WWE: Triple H.

- Triple H came out to the ring in a suit and tie, imitating the Vince McMahon walk. The announcers were shown at ringside with Booker T and Mathews looking happy and Michael Cole looking miserable. Booker said he loved JR getting reinstated on Raw. Booker asked Cole what he was doing and said he thought they fired him. Cole said he showed up so he could keep his job. Booker continued to insist he was fired.

Triple H said he had this COO gig now for ten days. He said he's already figured out that the more you try to fix things around here the more screwed up they get. He said a wise man once told him you start at the top and work your way down so he said he'd start with things that are of the most importance: the World Heavyweight Championship on Smackdown and the WWE Championship on Raw. He said the WWE Championship situation was a little complex with two champions. He said he started off the night thinking he was doing the right thing ending up with one WWE Champion and he ended up with two: C.M. Punk (cheers) and John Cena (boos).

Triple H said both had legitimate claims to the title. He said one was cheated out of his re-match, the other left as champion and is a current titleholder. Triple H said he just re-signed Punk late Monday night. He said he was unsure yet how to proceed with the situation, but by Monday night he'll have made a decision. Triple H moved on and began to address the World Heavyweight Championship situation, but was cut off by Christian.

Captain Charisma came out holding the belt high. Mathews said many people were questioning Christian's worthiness as champion while others saw him as a genius. Christian got on the mic and said he wanted to come out here as the face of Smackdown to congratulate Triple H on his new position. He said he was excited that he was in charge now after all the turmoil he's had to go through the last few months with Teddy Long. Christian said Long is ruining the show with his blatant sucking up to Randy Orton and the loser ingrate fans, just like the faces he can see here in Philadelphia. The fans who turned their back on him and took Orton's side, forcing him to seek legal counsel.

Christian said as his World Heavyweight Champion, Triple H would like to have a close working relationship with him. Trips said he actually didn't. Triple H said Vince McMahon liked to foster an environment where he liked people to interrupt him. He said Vince felt like you couldn't get ahead without stepping on a few toes. Triple H said it worked for a while and he should know but Vince has the patience of a saint, he doesn't. Triple H said interrupting him will be taken as a slap in the face. Triple H said Christian has known him long enough to know that if you slap him he'll slap back and a whole lot harder. Triple H said he's learned he doesn't like negotiations and meetings and especially not lawyers. Triple H said there would be none of that and declared that Orton would get his rematch at Summerslam. He added that just so Christian can't complain about bad officiating, the match will have no disqualifications: their match at Summerslam will be no holds barred.

Christian got in Triple H's face and demanded respect as the World Heavyweight Champion. R-Truth interrupted from out of nowhere, walking from behind the stage. Truth said he was back home and talked to his imaginary friends. He asked if everybody was glad to see him back on Smackdown (to boos). He said they would pick up where they left off from and called Hunter 'Mr H.' Truth said he didn't see any spiders in the ring and didn't see Triple H talking to himself. Truth said everybody's talking about titles and Triple H and all these people know that there's a conspiracy against him. Truth told Triple H that by Monday all the conspiracies better be straightened out because he's a man of action. Triple H joined in with the crowd on 'What?' chanting.

Triple H told Truth he was just messing with him and not to send all his guys in here. Hunter said he was glad Truth was here tonight because, as a man of action, he's going to be in action tonight. Triple H declared R-Truth vs. Randy Orton tonight. Christian told Truth he could give him some tips as Orton's never beaten him in a fair fight.

Triple H cut Christian off before he could start giving out sage advice. Triple H said he brought someone over from Raw to have a match with Christian tonight: John Morrison. Triple H told Christian not to get all worked up, because that match is next.

[Commercial Break]

- Triple H and Teddy Long were walking backstage. Long congratulated Trips and thanked him for stopping by Smackdown. Zack Ryder interrupted the two, calling Triple H 'broski.' Ryder said he had another idea he thought Triple H would like. Triple H cut him off and said that in the ten days he's had this job, Ryder has come to him more than 15 times with ideas. He asked him what more he could possibly have to tell him. Ryder said it's not his fault they don't realize he's the Internet Champion, but he said this is the best idea yet. Triple H's phone rang and he said he'd better take the call. Before leaving, Triple H made Zack Ryder the new assistant to Teddy Long.

Triple H walked off and Ryder gave a 'Woo Woo Woo' and held his fist out to Long, who reluctantly bumped it. Cole called Ryder an absolute idiot.

- Christian was set for action in the ring as John Morrison made his entrance to a loud pop. R-Truth was shown watching the TV backstage and talking to his 'friends.'

1 -- World Heavyweight Champion CHRISTIAN vs. JOHN MORRISON -- non-title match

Morrison rolled Christian up quickly but the champ countered. Morrison threw Christian out of the ring and went for a diving move to the outside but Christian backed off. Christian got back in the ring and cheap-shotted Morrison, hitting him with a back elbow. Christian taunted Morrison while beating on him. Morrison hit a springboard enzuigiri that was good for two.

Christian tossed Morrison out to the floor and went for a vaulting cross body but Morrison slid back into the ring and Christian ate floor. Morrison hit a corkscrew splash over the top rope onto Christian and Smackdown went to break.

[Commercial Break]

- Replays were shown of Christian slamming Morrison into the barricade during the commercial. Christian was in control in the ring, standing on Morrison's back and choking him with the bottom rope. Booker T commented on Morrison's return, saying that 'nothing can get you ready for that squared circle except that squared circle.' Translators of Ancient Sanskrit would still be baffled by Booker T's commentary sometimes. Morrison fought back, Christian went for a Tornado DDT but Morrison pushed him off and hit him with a pair of running clotheslines and a running dropkick.

Christian tried to execute an inverted DDT but Morrison dropped to his back on the mat and kicked Christian in the head. Morrison made the cover but only got two. Morrison hit a flapjack on Christian and went for the running knee but Christian ducked it and hit a big spinebuster for two on the rebound. Christian vaulted over the ropes and went to slap Morrison, who dodged it. Christian ran back into the ring and was met with a standing a moonsault slam from Morrison a la Sin Cara's sometimes finisher. Standing. That was impressive.

Morrison made the cover clutching his neck and only got two. Morrison fired up and beat on Christian in the corner. Christian hit a spear out of nowhere for a near fall. Christian sat on the top rope and traded blows with Morrison. Morrison got the upper hand and back body dropped Christian off the turnbuckle in perfect position for Starship Pain. Morrison went for it but landed on his feet as Christian rolled onto the apron.

Christian yanked Morrison's neck over the ropes and got back in the ring to hit the Killswitch. Christian got the pin and the win. Christian celebrated with his belt on the way to the back.

WINNER: Christian via pinfall in 10:00.

TAIT REAX: Probably not the best way to reintroduce John Morrison to the WWE audience after a lengthy injury break. The match was good, but feeding him to Christian this early hurts his credibility. Hopefully he gets a strong showing on Raw this week; this latest run of Morrison's has to be started strongly or he may never make it to the main event where he arguably belongs.

- Cole said that Jinder Mahal had bought a skybox to watch the show in luxury. Mahal and The Great Khali were shown up there in suits smiling and watching the action.

- Josh Mathews hyped Orton vs. Truth later tonight.

[Commercial Break]

- Wade Barrett was in the ring with a mic. Barrett said he wanted to talk to everyone about why he left England to come to the States to be a WWE Superstar. He said he did it not to entertain anybody, but to make a lot of money. He said unfortunately he'd lost track of that in the last 12 months. He said that was until last week thanks to Daniel Bryan. He said everyone saw Bryan last week strutting around with what should have been his Money In The Bank briefcase and gloating about how he's going to cash it in at Wrestlemania 28. Barrett said the paycheque that match would bring should be his as well. Barrett said tonight they're seeing a return to basics from Wade Barrett because greed is terribly underrated. Barrett said that the only thing Bryan has proved is that no matter how overrated or... Bryan's music cut him off.

Mr. Money In The Bank said originality sure wasn't Barrett's strong suit. Bryan said Heath Slater was out here last week saying the exact same thing, right before he made him tap out. Barrett reminded Bryan that he took him, Slater, and the rest of the NXT Season One misfits and led them to revolutionizing Monday Night Raw by molding them. Bryan got in Barrett's face and said he didn't mold him into anything. Bryan said he came out of Nexus to make a statement. He said that Nexus and last year was all water under the bridge and they've both done a lot since then. Bryan said he won MITB and this year he's going to main-event WrestleMania.

Barrett cheap-shotted Bryan and beat on him. Barrett grabbed Bryan's briefcase and taunted him with it. Bryan grabbed Barrett's stray arm and put him in the LeBell lock. Barrett tapped out shortly afterwards and Bryan left the ring triumphantly.

- Zack Ryder was backstage with an exasperated Teddy Long sharing his ideas for Smackdown (think dance floors and strobe lighting). Mark Henry interrupted. Long said after what he did to Big Show and Kane and the lawsuit that was still pending RE the audio technician, people didn't want to deal with him. Ryder interrupted, saying he had Henry's back and would find him an opponent. Long gave in and Henry thanked Ryder. Ryder held his fist out for another bump, but Long didn't oblige.

- The announcers hyped The Usos vs. Michael McGillicutty and David Otunga for the WWE Tag Team Championships tonight.

[Commercial Break]

- External shots of Philly were shown.

- A video package showing Justin Gabriel's recent visit to his native South Africa was shown. It looks like they're trying to re-position Gabriel as a face now.

- Kaitlyn, A.J., and Natalya were in the ring ready to compete. Alicia Fox, Rosa Mendes, and Tamina were out as their opponents.

2 -- NATALYA & A.J. & KAITLYN vs. ALICIA FOX & ROSA MENDES & TAMINA

Natalya and Tamina squared off with Natalya slapping Tamina hard and rolling her up for a two count. Natalya went for the Sharpshooter early but Tamina kicked her off. Tamina hit a Samoan Drop and tagged in Alicia Fox, who slammed Natalya face-first into the mat and getting a two count. Booker said Alicia has been on fire lately with the scissor kick that he taught her. Natalya tagged A.J. in, who hit a running clothesline and a hurracanrana. A.J. hit a Shining Wizard and went for a cover that was broken up by Rosa and Tamina. Natalya and Kaitlyn hit the ring and cleared it of the two.

A.J. missed with a cross body off the middle rope and Alicia Fox hit a terrible looking scissors kick for the pin and the win. Nice lessons Book.

WINNERS: Alicia Fox & Rosa Mendes & Tamina via pinfall in 1:00.

TAIT REAX: Not even Donald Trump would invest in the Divas division at this point and he's filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy four times.

- A video package highlighting Mark Henry's assaults on both Big Show and Kane was shown.

- Henry was shown walking backstage and intimidating everybody. Mathews hyped his match vs. Ryder's mystery opponent up next.

[Commercial Break]

- Mark Henry made his way out to the ring as Smackdown returned. Tony Chimel announced his opponent twice but nobody came to the ring. Finally, a scrawny young wrestler named Bobby Howard showed up, losing almost 250 pounds to Mark Henry. Howard tried to leave, but Ryder stopped him and urged him to get into the ring for his one big shot. Ryder talked him up all the way to the ring as Henry looked impatient.

3 -- MARK HENRY vs. BOBBY HOWARD

Henry backed Howard into a corner and chokebombed him. Henry hit him with a pair World's Strongest Slams and then a backbreaker for the pin in just over a minute.

WINNER: Mark Henry via pinfall in 1:00.

After the match Henry grabbed a chair from ringside and put it around Bobby Howard's leg. Teddy Long interrupted and got in the ring, telling Henry to stop. Long said they go way back but he just couldn't let him compete anymore because nobody wants to face him. Henry protested. Long said he's got one lawsuit pending and if he let him do this it'd get worse. Long promised to get Henry someone.

Sheamus interrupted, coming to the ring to predominantly cheers. Sheamus smiled as he entered the ring and took the mic from Long. Sheamus said if Long was looking for a fella to fight him, he'll fight him. Henry was in a rage. Sheamus said, as Mark said, bigger isn't better. Sheamus said this reminded him of an old Irish story about a king of Ireland who had an illegitimate son. A magic fairy one day tapped the bastard on the shoulder with his magic wand and turned him into a great, big, enormous 425 pound bag of crap.

Henry got in Sheamus's face as the crowd chanted for him. Sheamus didn't back down and slapped Henry in the face. Henry ran at Sheamus, who pulled the top rope down and sent the World's Strongest Man to the floor. Sheamus grabbed the chair Henry brought into the ring and challenged Henry to get in the ring. Henry flipped over the steel steps and stormed off. Sheamus smiled and sat down in the chair in the middle of the ring.

TAIT REAX: It's been a long time since Smackdown has had 'enhancement talent' matches like this one. It was good to see Henry finally meet his match in Sheamus. The feud between these two should be great, but I'm not holding any high expectations as far as match quality goes. Sheamus looks to be a fully-fledged face now.

- Cole hyped the Orton vs. Truth main event.

- The New Nexus was shown walking backstage with their tag titles ready to face the Uso's next.

[Commercial Break]

- The Usos were out first doing their awesome war dance entrance. They got a giant pop for it. New Nexus was out to yet another new theme.

4 -- WWE tag champions MICHAEL MCGILLICUTTY & DAVID OTUNGA vs. JIMMY & JEY USO -- WWE Tag Title match

Jey Uso and McGillicutty started things off. Jey quickly rolled up McGillicutty and tagged in brother Jimmy. The pair hit simultaneous double arm clotheslines to elbow drops. Jimmy got a two count. McGillicutty tagged in Otunga but Jimmy swept his leg and covered him for two. Jimmy copped a big boot from Otunga as he ran at him in the corner. Otunga choked Jimmy over the middle rope and McGillicutty cheap-shotted him while the ref was distracted. Otunga got two.

Jimmy hit a dropkick on Otunga and made the hot tag to Jey as Otunga tagged in McGillicutty. Jey hit a pair of double arm clotheslines and fired up. Jey hit a back bump on McGillicutty in the corner. Jey went for the cover and it was broken up by Otunga. Jimmy sent Otunga to the outside but Otunga flipped Jimmy off the apron and onto the floor.

Jey was on the top rope about to go for a Superfly splash but Otunga rolled Jimmy back into the ring and got the ref's attention. Otunga used the distraction to knock Jey off the top rope, choking him over the rope. McGillicutty hit his running neckbreaker on Jey for the pin and the win. New Nexus celebrated on their way to the back.

WINNERS: Michael McGillicutty and David Otunga via pinfall in 2:00.

TAIT REAX: I fully expected the Usos to win here, but it looks like they're setting up for a feud between the two teams. As literally the only two tag teams left in WWE, it's kind of a moot point.

- Zack Ryder was shown backstage texting. Teddy Long interrupted and asked if Ryder had done enough damage around here tonight. Ryder suggested Ezekiel Jackson vs. Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase in a two on one handicap match. Long interrupted and called Zack 'broski,' saying that he makes the matches around here. Zack said he talked to everyone involved and they're all cool with it. Long said they'd see about that.

- Mathews again hyped Orton vs. Truth in the main event.

[Commercial Break]

- A video package from Raw highlighting Mysterio's championship win over The Miz as well as Triple H rehiring JR, Cena's championship win over Mysterio, and C.M. Punk's return was shown.

- R-Truth was backstage with Matt Striker. Striker asked Truth for his thoughts on COO Triple H putting him in this match tonight. Truth said he felt good because he's R-Truth and a good R-Truth is a bad R-Truth. Truth said he's going to take some of that bad and unleash it tonight. Truth said he would be like a bunch of eagles swooping down on a snake. Truth said you can't let a snake crawl up and bite you, you have to stomp on it's head and fight it. Truth said he won't get got tonight.

[Commercial Break]

- Ezekiel Jackson was out as Smackdown returned holding his Intercontinental title proud. Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase were out next flanked by baggers. They brought Booker yet another bag.

5 -- Intercontinental Champion EZEKIEL JACKSON vs. TED DIBIASE & CODY RHODES -- 2-on-1 handicap match

Rhodes and DiBiase hit some tag team offense to start the match. Zeke took them both down with a running clothesline. Rhodes chop blocked Zeke from behind and beat on him in the corner. DiBiase choked Zeke in the corner and tagged in.

Zeke went for a clothesline but DiBiase ducked and turned it into a backbreaker. DiBiase knocked Zeke into the corner but Jackson threw him face first into the turnbuckle. DiBiase made a quick tag to Rhodes. Zeke hit a triumvirate of bodyslams and went to put Rhodes in the Torture Rack but was interrupted by DiBiase.

Zeke threw DiBiase out of the ring but Rhodes struck from behind and went for Cross Rhodes. Zeke threw him off and into the corner but was distracted by DiBiase on the outside. Zeke ran at Rhodes but Cody dodged and Zeke went shoulder first into the ring post. Cody Rhodes struck again and hit Cross Rhodes from behind for the three. DiBiase and Rhodes stood tall over Jackson after the match.

WINNERS: Cody Rhodes & Ted Dibiase via pinfall in 2:00.

TAIT REAX: Not sure why Zeke didn't get bagged after this match but otherwise it went as it should have. I'm not really not keen on seeing Cody feud with Zeke; I was happy with him turning his attention to Daniel Bryan and felt like they still have unfinished business.

- Jinder Mahal and Great Khali were shown again in their skybox. Mahal grabbed a mic and started speaking in Hindi. Mahal handed the mic to Khali, who chanted Jinder Mahal to the chagrin of the crowd, who started a 'USA' chant. Beautiful.

[Commercial Break]

- R-Truth made his way to the ring as Smackdown returned. I think he really needs some new entrance music, as the silence just isn't working anymore. Orton followed him out to a mega-pop to get the main event underway.

6 -- R-TRUTH vs. RANDY ORTON

Truth was chattering to himself as the bell rang. The pair exchanged some quick counters with Orton hitting a pair of shoulder blocks to take control. Truth begged off in the corner and cheap-shotted Orton. Orton hit a running clothesline for two.

Orton stomped Truth in the face with malice. The crowd cheered. Orton missed with a knee drop and Truth hit a dropkick for two. Orton slithered out of the ring to buy some time. Truth followed him out and rammed Orton into the barricade and the apron, then back into the ring. An 'R-Truth sucks' chant started up from the Little Jimmies.

Orton went for his spike DDT between the ropes but Truth countered by choking Orton over the top rope. Truth hit his unique sit-out jawbreaker move on Orton for two and sold frustration. Christian strolled out onto the stage to watch proceedings and the crowd booed.

[Commercial Break]

Orton was showing signs of life as Smackdown returned but Truth grounded him with a Lie Detector for a near fall. Truth choked Orton between the ropes as Christian continued to watch on. Orton fought back again but was taken down by a shoulder block for another near fall. Truth went to the top rope looking for a double axe handle but Orton dodged and struck back. Orton fired up and hit a pair of running clotheslines followed up by a powerslam.

Orton started hearing the voices and smiled maniacally. Orton hit his DDT between the ropes and stared down Christian. Orton set up for the RKO but Truth ran from the ring. Orton followed and Truth rammed him into the barricade. Christian tried to get in the ring and distracted the ref, allowing Truth to cheap-shot Orton with a water bottle.

Orton was enraged and took Truth down in the ring. Orton grabbed a chair and hit Truth in the gut to end this one.

WINNER: R-Truth via disqualification in 11:00.

- Orton began unloading on Truth after the bell. Christian watched on from the stage as Orton struggled to contain his anger. Orton began pulling apart the announce table, grabbing a monitor and clocking Truth over the head with it as the announcers sold the no-DQ match at Summerslam. Orton dragged Truth onto the table and hit an RKO that failed to break the table as Christian looked on concerned.

Orton began walking toward Christian but smiled and turned around to a big pop from the crowd. Orton again RKO'd Truth ont the table. Christian looked scared as Orton's theme played him out.

FINAL THOUGHTS: An okay episode of Smackdown. I was a little disappointed with Triple H's address, as it was mostly to do with Raw goings-on, but at least he added some clarity to the WWE Championship situation and C.M. Punk's status. Zack Ryder as Teddy Long's new assistant should yield some hilarious results but I'd still like to see Ryder utilized in an in-ring capacity.

R-Truth showing up on Smackdown was kind of annoying. I'm hoping they don't take his crazy gimmick too far with this talking to the invisible people. His promos are getting more and more incomprehensible and this isn't always a good thing. There should be a balance struck between hilariously crazy and frustratingly insane. If they wanted an obnoxious heel to feed to Orton for the night they could have used any number of them on Smackdown with nothing better to do.

The matches book-ending the show were great with Christian and Morrison putting on a good show as well as Orton and Truth (save the DQ finish), but the match quality in-between was filler at best. Another Divas match lasted less than a minute and the tag title match lasted less than five. Smackdown needs to prove it can stand on its own two feet without having to draw from wrestlers on Raw to pad out the show.

It will be interesting to watch current feuds deepen and new feuds emerge in the weeks leading up to Summerslam. Until next week...

SMACKDOWN BREAKDOWN:

Match Of The Night: Christian vs. John Morrison

Match To Forget: Natalya & A.J. & Kaitlyn vs. Alicia Fox & Rosa Mendes & Tamina

Star Of The Show: Zack Ryder

Please Go Away: Michael Cole

Quote Of The Night: Sheamus - "An ancient Irish king had an illegitimate son. Legend has it that a magic fairy tapped that bastard from behind with his magic wand and turned him into a great, big, enormous 425 pound bag of crap!"

Quote Of 1000 Facepalms: Booker T - "Nothing can get you ready for that squared circle except that squared circle."

Most Entertaining Move: John Morrison's standing Moonsault slam on Christian.

On The Next Episode Of Botchamania: Alicia Fox's scissors kick on A.J.

Best Moment: Zack Ryder is named as Teddy Long's assistant.

Worst Moment: Michael Cole shows up to Smackdown, keeping his job.

Overall Grade: C+


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