Alberto Del Rio and David Otunga were shown helping Ricardo out of Booker's office before the opening title. They had a video of Sheamus hitting Ricardo with the Brogue kick beforehand, and the video positioned Sheamus as almost cut throat. Ricardo was shown as a genuinely sympathetic character, although the ginger walking to the ring was played to be overly dramatic. Del Rio then cut a promo in the ring saying he was on the roll of his career, but he isn't happy. If his match with Sheamus was about skills and brains, of course he would win, but Sheamus can use something more dangerous than a steel chair, the Brogue kick. He called for it to be banned. He said the arm breaker was pure and poetic, but the Brogue kick is a criminal act.
Otunga introduced himself. He then cut to a video of Sheamus Brogue kicking people, including a referee. It again made Sheamus look like an angry, out of control brute. Otunga said he had just been to Booker to demand the move be banned.
Booker came out and said what they talked about was supposed to be confidential, but the first thing Otunga did was bring his case to the people. So that's what they'll do. Booker asked the crowd if he should ban the Brogue kick. That was really clever actually, and Booker ended the segment by saying as far as he was concerned, it was still legal.
Cole and Josh argued about whether Booker was doing enough. Josh revealed that Booker had fined Kane an undisclosed amount for attacking Josh last week.
Match Number One: Rey Mysterio & Sin Cara Vs. Cody Rhodes & The Miz.
One of the best things about Sin Cara teaming with Rey is it means no dimmed lights during his matches. The two have also started a few teams moves, hitting stereo kicks after tags and the like. Cody and Miz got the heat on Sin Cara after a brief double teaming of Rey on the outside. Sin Cara did get to show off some offence, including back handspring elbow, in an early flurry.
This ended up being a really fun opening match for SmackDown. Rey and Miz were alone in the ring and Miz was rolling up Miz. Cody tried to come in and kick Rey in the head, but Rey rolled out of his own pin so that Cody kicked Miz. Sin Cara then hit a springboard dropkick and plancha to take out Cody as Rey hit the 619 and splash on Miz for the pinfall.
Winners: Rey Mysterio & Sin Cara, Pinfall.
Footage of Bryan was shown that was taken earlier. He was doing breathing exercises in the hallway when he came across Hornswoggle. Hornswoggle asked him to hug it out, but eventually got Bryan to shake his hand. He then stomped Bryan's foot and ran away as Bryan yelled, telling himself to breathe to get control.
Otunga was berating Booker in the back. He said before he takes legal action he wants Booker to look at the Brogue kick. He had stills of the impact point and asked if Booker was going to let this happen every night or if he'd take a stand. Booker said he'd think about it but Otunga wasn't satisfied and would have to show him more proof and invited Booker to the trainer's room.
They recapped the hug. Bryan then came out for his match.
Match Number Two: Daniel Bryan Vs. Zack Ryder.
They actually mentioned on commentary that Ryder thought his career would take off in WWE until he had his run-ins with Kane. Hard hitting match from Bryan who got to work with someone who wasn't twice his size. Ryder hit his kick into the corner, but Bryan wouldn't stand up for the Rough Ryder. Instead Bryan was saying he was sorry, that he let the crowd get to him. He asked Ryder to hug it out, then when Ryder finally hugged, Bryan turned it into the no lock. He was announced as the winner and let the hold go. He stormed back and forth, then put the hold back so the referee reversed the decision. Bryan then had a freak out in the ring.
Winner: Zack Ryder, DQ.
Sandow came to the ring saying he was disgusted by the tweets and touts that said he was a coward. He said he was intelligent, and hadn't been pinned because of the homework and preperation he does on opponents. He said no one had the courage to say it to his face, that people hid behind social media. He said instead of tweeting, people should try reading. Orton's music cut him off mid sentence.
Orton said he was there to fight. He had seen Booker T and asked for his opponent to be changed to Sandow.
Match Number Three: Randy Orton Vs. Damien Sandow.
As soon as the bell rang, Dolph's music played and he walked out to ringside with Vickie. Ziggler jumped on commentary. Sandow kept taking a break from the action. Orton finally followed him outside, but Dolph got on the announcer's desk for the distraction and Sandow took over.
Orton made his comeback but when Orton dropped down to set for the RKO, Sandow ran away. Too long of a match to do the sprint away finish.
Winner: Randy Orton, Count Out.
Dolph was walking away and Orton slid out of the ring to cut him off. There was a pause and Orton did have a great stare. Dolph threw the first punch but was caught out and thrown in the ring. After a brief comeback Orton was set up for the RKO. This time Sandow ran towards the ring and stopped Orton from RKO'ing Ziggler, only to immediately hit it on Sandow. Dolph used the time to get away with Vickie.
Otunga was running Booker through some x-rays in the back. He said he had doctors willing to testify. Otunga had Booker worried but pushed too far when he threatened legal action against Booker, Eve and Long. Booker said he would consider it but told Otunga to go get ready, and booked him against Sheamus.
Match Number Four: Prime Time Players Vs. Primo & Epico Vs. The Usos, Number One Contendership Match.
Each team had one man legal at a time, so three men legal at once. Kofi and Truth were on commentary.
Lots of action and really a lot of fun to have something different like this on SmackDown. The Usos cleared house at one point, even backdropping Epico over the top rope onto Primo and O'Neil. Young then hit his gut buster on Primo, but Jay Uso came off the top with a splash on Primo. Young stopped the pinfall, tossing out Jay and pinning Primo.
Winners and Number One Contenders: Prime Time Players, Pinfall.
Kofi and Truth held their titles up at Young and O'Neil who celebrated in the ring.
They had a Tout from Eve saying the safety of the SmackDown superstars was her number one priority and that she was sure that Booker would make the right decision. Long was then shown talking to Kaitlyn. Ziggler and Vickie tried to walk passed them to Booker's office. He demanded from Long another match with Orton at Night of Champions. Long said he'd advise Booker to make the match. Ziggler said that by then he may already be champion.
Match Number Five: Yoshi Tatsu Vs. Wade Barrett.
Barrett fought with his dukes up, and if there was any question as how he was returning, he worked completely heel. Barrett used a shot arm elbow for the pinfall. Not much of a match.
Winner: Wade Barret, Pinfall.
Barrett took the mic and said after six months away, matches like that meant nothing to him. He said if he wasn't being thrust into the main event, he wasn't interested. He said Wade Barrett was open for business.
Match Number Six: Sheamus (C) Vs. David Otunga w/ Alberto Del Rio, Non-Title Match.
This was going to be a squash until Booker came out at the end. Sheamus had stopped Otunga's very brief offence and made his usual comeback. He hit the White Noise which is usually followed by the Brogue kick, which was when Booker came out. He said due to the evidence shown to him tonight, he was sorry but he had to ban the Brogue kick. Booker left and Del Rio got up happily and started walking around the ring. Otunga eventually hit Sheamus from behind to restart the match but was hit with a back breaker and put in the Texas Cloverleaf for the submission.
Winner: Sheamus, Submission.
This was a much better show than last week. With a development at the end of the show and far less recaps, I didn't feel like I'd wasted two hours of my life. Just the Sandow match.