Opening: Appearantly, Johnny Ace has assembled the Smackdown roster at ringside. I bet you could make a drinking game out of how often he says his company title. So now he agrees with HHH? I smell a ploy in all this, since Funkman has been insubordinate at every turn.  He then introduces The World’s Strongest Champion and it is a great sight to see the WHC on the shoulder of anyone that is not Randall Orton. The picture to the left is probably what the match the Orton-Henry match at NOC looked like. Is it really going to take 15 years for someone to take the title off of him as he claims? Won’t he be using a walker to get to the ring just like Sting does now? Triple H comes out and it’s staredown time between the two, but Christian interrupts to whine some more. At least he gets his one more match, albeit against Henry in a Lumberjack match.

 

Sheamus: He has to wrestle Heath Slater? This will be a squash for sure. More importantly, what was with that dressing room they showed him in before commercial? It had wood paneling with floor carpeting and looked way too fancy for a normal dressing room. Since the carpet was green, is it The Pale One’s personal dressing room? Slater will never be anything more then a jobber, so Booker can save his breath saying Heath will be a future major player. The match is a squash as Slater gets very little offense in on Sheamus.

Barrett v Gabriel: This could actually turn into a good feud. Both men are entertaining in the ring and having to verbally spar with money-on-the-mic Barrett could elevate Gabriel’s skill in that area. I’ve always been a fan of him and feel he isn’t just a high-flyer but has some mat skills. In a well fought match, Barrett gets the victory after Wasteland. Both men had good spots on including Barrett’s massive boot to Gabriel on the apron and Gabriel connecting on a top rope Lionsault.

Divas of DOOM: Reminding viewers that Kaitlyn wast he winner of NXT season 3 is like reminding them that Johnny Curtis was the winner of Season 4, in that no one remembers either happening. Other then that it’s a typical Divas match, with The Glam Slam being the deciding factor.

Orton v Rhodes III: So they each have a victory against each other, so this might be the series decider. Having Rhodes constantly fight the face of Smackdown can only be good for the IC Champ. This is the proper way to build up someone to a main event spot and it seems like Creative is actually doing something right for once. Rhodes focusing on the knee Orton injured at NOC shows good ring psychology, which I will always highlight on these columns as I believe it’s an integral part of the story in the ring. Orton gets DQed when he uses The Mask as a weapon against Rhodes. Cody tried to do the same earlier, but he made sure the ref wasn’t looking. As expected this sets Randall off and he does more damage with the mask and even the ring bell that busts him open. Blood pours out in a so-not-PG moment.

Khali-Mahal Saga: So Khali is now a face again? Is he trying to be MISTERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR ANDERSON… ANDERSON, switching between heel and face every few weeks? The usual Khali match in that it’s tough to watch, though he does get the pin by putting his massive boot on the chest of Mahal for the 1-2-3.

Sin Cara or ‘Sin Cara’?: So which one is this? It looks like the shorter one, so it’s the original Cara? His opponent is Daniel Bryan so Cole will rip on him for most of the match. Cara and Bryan shake hands before the match starts, so this must be Good Cara. Cole talking to Booker: “I’m mesmerized over the fact that I can’t understand a word you’re saying” Quote of the night for sure. To add to the confusion of the angle, Cara 2 comes in, tosses Cara 1 off the top rope and hits a Swanton Bomb like move for the win. D-Bry knows the feeling in the above picture. 

 Tag Action: Yet another pair of matching ring gear for the Tag Champs, though I’m not sure the green and orange is the way to go. The Usos so their war chant on the ramp and it does get a nice reaction when they finish, that is if the cheers weren’t piped in on the speakers. The usual Trouble In Paradise followed by Air Bourne gets the win for the champs. Not anything new, except to get The Usos some screen time. I know Air Bourne is a move meant to inspire awe since he gets height on it, but it seems kinda played out to me. You know it’s coming and I’d like to see him perhaps get another finisher to diversify his arsenal.

One More Match!: Even though he gets his One More Match for the WHC, I’m sure Christian will still be whining for another if he loses. I think Henry is kind of the face in this match, since he got the bigger pop during introductions. Christian gets tossed out first and Lumberjack Zeke tosses him right back in. Nice spot where Henry tosses Christian up in the air and Captain Charisma gets at least 8 feet of elevation before crashing to the mat. Henry and Christian get out to the floor and all the lumberjacks go to town on him. It’s all for nothing as he cleans house, even tossing Trent Barreta into a group of them. Christian starts to back up the ramp, but Sheamus comes in and tosses him right into the ring, where Henry hits the WSS for the win. This makes sure it’s Henry-Orton at HIAC and gives room for Sheamus-Christian to take off as a feud. Not to be outdone, Orton runs in and dropkicks Henry to the outside. Of course this had to happen as Randall as to come out on top in some way at every Smackdown.