Not a bad lead in show to Night of Champions. Not a lot of great wrestling, but they fit in a nice match or two. They didn’t put over any new matches for the PPV. There’s the CM Punk v HHH, Cena v ADR, Tag Titles, and Orton v Henry matches, but nothing new is brought to the table. Will Rhodes be defending his IC title? Will the U.S. title be on the card? For a PPV called Night of Champions, it seems like they’re short a few title matches. The Canadian crowd comes through again for this show, as they always do. The real question regarding the card for Night of Champions, will Daniel Bryan be on it?
Edge opens with the usual plug/cheap pop/fluff special guest promo. Cody Rhodes coming out added some comedy due to his voice cracking right after Edge told him to stop “bitching”. Ted DiBiase Jr. attacking with the paper bag over his head was also amusing. This should be an enjoyable feud, but I wonder how long it will last.
Sin Cara v Daniel Bryan (***): I love the angry Daniel Bryan, he came out with such great intensity. Sin Cara tossing Daniel Bryan out of the ring was an intense bump, and came out of nowhere. Interesting, certainly heel, spot. Booker T was hilarious for this one. Still Not a fan of the Sin Cara lights. No one throws better forearms/elbows than Daniel Bryan. The Tree of Woe DQ ending was a nice finish. The real Sin Cara coming out finally was good to see. Daniel Bryan took the win, and they’re finally giving Mistico his job back, that’s a double whammy.
Another Teddy Long and Zack Ryder goes down hill when Zack leaves in place of Aksana. Trish Stratus showing up doesn’t save the segment either.
AJ Lee w/Kaitlyn v Beth Phoenix w/Natalya Neidhart (*): AJ is billed from Union City, New Jersey, which makes her an automatic favorite in my book. The match isn’t more than a squash, but it worked well enough.
Christian calling Trish out for showing up when she has something to sell had me rolling. Edge dropping another “B-bomb” was something I suppose, but Trish calling Zack Ryder “Internet Champion” topped it off.
Wade Barrett & Christian v Justin Gabriel & Sheamus (***): Sheamus’ pre-match promo was cheesy. The Demolition reference saved it, but what’s with the rhyming face gimmick? Are WWE trying to make him into John Cena? Just Gabriel even reaches insane height on his bumps. Booker T’s commentary was on point again, with a Big (Bossman) Bubba Rogers reference. Name dropping past wrestlers is a positive in my book. Barrett and Christian work the heel tandem stuff well, and Sheamus handles the hot tag like a consummate professional. A fun tag match all around. The more I hear “The Great White”, the worse it sounds as a nickname for Sheamus.
The Great Khali v Heath Slater (*): Heath Slater may never win another WWE match. Jinder Mahal just isn’t interesting. I’m one of the few people who feels that Khali serves his purpose as “The Giant” for Smackdown/WWE, but Jinder hasn’t shown much in his WWE TV time.
The Raw recap, just like the rest of the recap videos, was well done. These aren’t directed at someone who has seen each episode, but I can still see how they’d be effective.
Evan Bourne w/Kofi Kingston v R-Truth W/The Miz (*): Truth coming out telling Canada “you suck” was just as good as Michael Cole said it was. Having Kofi and Miz commentate at each other was fine. They used the same tactic last week with the Divas, but it’s less awkward this time around. The match was short, but I dug the ending. Truth kicking Bourne’s leg out was good stuff. The Hurricanrana while Truth was already on his knees, not so much.
The Cutting EDGE w/Mark Henry and Randy Orton: Randy Orton’s mic work is as vanilla as you’ll find. I thought Mark Henry was going to fall asleep standing up waiting for his turn to speak. If this were a cartoon, Henry would beat Orton with Edge, but Edge’s injury problems make that impossible. Henry inevitably destroying Orton and the unused locker room talent was a funny ending. Booker T’s “Woo Woo Woo” for Zack Ryder being chucked out of the ring was humorous.
I’m over the last show of Smackdown being Mark Henry standing over someone every week, but seeing him hold the title was surreal.