WWE’s Money In The Bank pay per view has come and gone, and the landscape has received an earthquake-sized shake-up!

Many of the preconceived notions I had going into the pay per view have been smashed, and my outlook on the future of Smackdown is quite bright at this venture.

Christian is now on Day 5 of his second World Championship reign, and if he makes it out of tonight’s Smackdown with the championship still in his possession (which I believe he will, as the Internet Wrestling Community didn’t blow up over the past few days since the event was held), we could see a fresh opportunity to expand the main event scene on the week-ending show.

Of course, this is WWE after all, so it’s probable that Randy Orton will continue to be mixed up with Christian in the main event scene. Even if that’s the case, something else on the pay per view gave me a significantly increased optimism regarding Smackdown: Daniel Bryan won the Money In The Bank ladder match for the Blue Show.

That’s right, not Wade Barrett, not Sheamus, but “The American Dragon”.

Even if Daniel Bryan uses the title shot in vain, or if he targets something other than the World Championship (both situations would be a first in WWE), it’s intriguing to see how they’re going to book him going forward.

The fact that Big Show is now officially sidelined with an injury and Sin Cara is potentially gone from WWE also make me wonder what to expect as we head into the July 22nd edition of Smackdown!

What’s going to transpire? I won’t know until I turn on the television, since I don’t delve into spoilers at all, so let’s get down to it, shall we?

The show starts with Randy Orton sitting down in the middle of the ring, and I suppose he continues to think it’s a good idea to copy after CM Punk. First the bearded look, and now this.

Orton talks about the changes which are occurring on the WWE landscape, items amongst which he states that there’s now WWE Champion.

Nice of him to put over the importance of the championship he was holding as of last week.

After getting still-frames to show us how Orton lost the belt on Sunday by disqualification, Christian shows up with the Heavyweight Championship over his shoulder and a mic in hand.

Orton thinks they have unfinished business, and Christian says that any unfinished business Randy has should be focused on the voices in his head.

Randy complains about the fact that Christian was smart enough to set the rules in his favor, and Christian basically just laughs at him.

Apparently the moment which cost Randy Orton the belt? Christian “accidentally” spat into Randy’s face… and I’m not sure how that’s enough of an issue to cause someone to lose their mind to the point where they’d lose a championship over it… and I’m not really sure how it could’ve been an accident on Christian’s part, either.

Making no bones about it, Orton says he wants his rematch here tonight, and Christian says Randy can get in line and earn his rematch… which isn’t good enough for Randy, who goes after Christian.

Shocker, Teddy Long shows up with over a half-dozen referees to put a stop to any potential brawl… Randy is going to get his rematch, but it won’t be tonight. Tonight, for some reason, is booked to fight Kane in a Street Fight tonight, which Teddy Long says Randy Orton already knew about.

Randy counts to ten to help manage his anger, but he snaps and jumps at Christian anyway, and apparently the referees aren’t much of a deterrent.

When Orton gets escorted backstage, Teddy Long informs Christian that he’ll have a match to open the show… and he’ll be facing the Intercontinental Champion Ezekiel Jackson!

I’m not sure why Christian would care about having to face Zeke. Didn’t he see how Ted DiBiase pinned him a few weeks ago? That should give him some idea of the talent level he should be expecting.

Non-Title Match – Christian vs Ezekiel Jackson

Apparently if Ezekiel Jackson wins this match, he puts himself into position to get a shot at the Heavyweight Championship. Anyone else remember the days when the Intercontinental Champion was considered a top contender to the World Title simply because they held the second most important singles championship in the company?

I can understand if WWE wants to have fans understand that the way Christian won the championship wasn’t the way titles are traditionally won, but what’s the point in having Josh Mathews down-play the accomplishment? Christian’s the only World Title holder currently “under contract” to WWE, and now they’re building it up like he’s a fraud? Why not at least say that he was crafty in how he got the title from Orton? Give him some credibility, otherwise it won’t seem like an accomplishment when someone eventually gets the belt from Christian, because right now you’re saying he shouldn’t have it in the first place.

Anyone else thinking it would be a very VERY bad idea for Christian to try to use the Spear in this match? Like running your car into a brick wall…

Nice analysis by Booker T about the odds are increasingly in favor of Christian the longer the match progresses.

I didn’t hear any mention of it, but didn’t Ezekiel Jackson defeat Christian to become the final wwECW champion?

Outcome – Christian gets the victory with the Killswitch

Well that’s a good sign. I half expected Christian to have to cheat to beat Ezekiel Jackson, which wouldn’t have been a show of good faith by the booking team in a non-title match.

Upon returning from commercial, we get a sign that Cody Rhodes is likely in line for a run with the Intercontinental Championship, as they show a two minute promo which hypes him up while recapping how he went from being “dashing” to being the masked man who likes to put bags over peoples’ heads.

Michael Cole in the ring with a microphone, and the talent-burying trend continues, as he goes monotone for the man who won the MONEY IN THE BANK, Daniel Bryan.

Cole has a history of not liking Daniel Bryan, so we should expect nothing less than him verbally burying The American Dragon. After being told that his opinion doesn’t matter by the Briefcase-Holding competitor, Michael Cole says that Bryan doesn’t have what it takes to cash in the briefcase opportunistically to win a World Championship.

Frankly I hope he cashes it in to setup a pay per view match at a future date instead of making it an “in the moment” championship shot.

After talking about all of his injuries and everything he went through to get to WWE, Bryan says that he’s cashing in the briefcase April 1st, 2012 in Miami, Florida. He’s intending to have a title shot at Wrestlemania.

So… does that make it pointless for him to compete in the Royal Rumble?

What if John Cena wins a world Championship heading into Wrestlemania. Does that mean that the winner of the Royal Rumble could insert themself into a match with Cena and The Rock? Could Daniel Bryan choose that match? Will Bryan be in a three-way with the non-Cena champion and the Rumble winner?

Could be interesting.

In the time it took me to type all those questions out, Heath Slater shows up and defines irony, talking about how he thinks Daniel Bryan is a loser, then challenges him to a match.

Match – Heath Slater vs Daniel Bryan

Someone’s going to get their head kicked in!

Congrats to Josh Mathews, who did his best to keep the announce team on track, despite all the effort from Michael Cole to devolve into discussions about anything other than what was going on in the ring.

Having spent time early in Daniel Bryan’s WWE tenure trying to bill him as a guy who’s great at submissions, WWE starts pushing that fact, giving Daniel Bryan a victory in this match with a submission other than the LaBell lock, this time using an MMA style Guillotine choke.

Outcome – Daniel Bryan wins the match by submission

After reminding us what Mark Henry did to Big Show at the pay per view, injuring his knee, Mark Henry gets interviewed backstage by Matt Stryker, and apparently his reign of terror doesn’t have a particular goal in mind, nor an end in sight.

How many people can WWE feed to him before he eventually gets to the main event and falls short of a championship reign? Only time will tell.

Battle of the Rising Stars – Wade Barrett vs Sheamus

Despite just letting these guys be admired / feared for being tall and muscular and skilled athletes, WWE continues to find ways to minimize the credibility / specialness of other competitors by trying to sell us on the fact that Sheamus and Wade Barrett are intelligent competitors.

WHY!? Not EVERYONE needs to be a student of the game / master strategist! If everyone is special in that way, no one is special in that way.

Do those clubbing blows to the chest by Sheamus have any more impact now that we know he majored in some sort of “computer technology” major back in his homeland?

Without a particular reason to care if either of these guys won the match, WWE decides to just let us know that they’re both driven competitors who have tons of aggression… and the guys who get hyped up as being smart guys end up BOTH getting counted out!

Outcome – Double count out

After the match, they both end up getting in a few more hits on each other, but Sheamus stands tall at the end

Backstage, Kane gets some camera time from the boiler room, and he says that he’s haunted by his humanity and he doesn’t feel like much of a monster anymore… and tonight, he purges his compassion, reawakening the monster within by making an example of Randy Orton.

This at least gives us more reason to care about the main event, which I figured was just a way to let Randy Orton pass the time and let him beat a guy who was once a credible opponent.

Street Fight Main Event – Randy Orton vs Kane

It might be a street fight, but it’s starting in the ring. We get a commercial break after Randy’s entrance because they have to allow Kane some time to walk to the ring from the boiler room.

So the match devolves into a battle to see how bad each of these guys can attack the other guy’s leg. Orton looked like he hurt his leg when the announce table got toppled-over with him trying to stand on it, and then he proceeds to beat the hell out of Kane’s leg.

Can’t wait to see how they work this through to let Kane show that he has relinquished his humanity.

And just when we’re supposed to think Kane’s leg might be injured, the steel steps being slammed onto his quad, Kane goes to the top rope for his flying clothesline attempt.

After the move misses… and then Kane finds a way to get back on the offensive, what does Kane do? He tries the flying clothesline from the top rope yet again… this time he hits it, and suddenly Kane’s knee is better.

So much for ring psychology.

Maybe Kane is throwing away his humanity by showing how much disregard he has for his own body.

Kane tries to Tombstone Orton onto a steel chair… and instead, Kane’s the one who hits the chair by way of an RKO.

Outcome – Orton wins by pinfall

After the match, Kane shows what kind of a monster he is… by offering Randy Orton a handshake.

Did he attack Orton while he had him in his grasp? Maybe a short clothesline? Chokeslam?

Nope, just a handshake.

They play Kane’s music once Orton gets backstage, a sign of respect for the match the big red monster just fought… and then Mark Henry shows up to get himself a piece of Kane.

The man who wants to again be a monster begs off after being knocked to the mat by Henry, pleading with him not to do further damage to his leg.

Mark Henry sets up a chair on Kane’s leg just like he did a few days ago to Big Show and proceeds to hit the same turnbuckle splash onto the chair, leaving Kane in a state where it looks like the big red monster is going to be joining his former tag team partner on the shelf for a while.