WWE Smackdown TV report

By James Shannon: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

CM Punk opened the show without Paul Heyman. It's been a while since he's shown up on SmackDown. He said if he was Cena he'd be out talking about the 4th of July and how America was founded on hustle, loyalty and respect. Luckily for us he's not Cena, so he talked about the founding fathers' rebel attitude. He said he too was fiercely independent. If you tell him he has to do something he'll run in the opposite direction. So for everyone saying that he can't win MitB again, he'll do just that. His other goal is getting his hands on Brock Lesnar for what he did.

Alberto Del Rio came out to run down America. Punk called him out for being a phony, that he's just upset that the fans saw through him when he was pretending to champion the United States. Del Rio reminded him who holds the title, so Punk congratulated him on being the number one contender to Punk's title, Best in the World. Del Rio tried to order Punk from the ring, so Punk brought it back to his inability to follow instructions. He said he'd wait till Del Rio tried to make him. Long came out and booked the match for the main event.

After the break Paul approached Punk backstage. He was staying out of Punk's business, but wanted to talk as a friend. He said the Del Rio match made no sense for Punk and offered to get him out of it. Punk said he'd fight him anyway. Paul then moved on to MitB and asked if for one last time he could come down with Punk just to give him eyes in the back of his head against all the others. Punk basically said thanks but no thanks and Paul left.

Match Number One: The Usos Vs. Damien Sandow & Cody Rhodes.

Sandow cut a promo on the way to ring. He said everyone hoping to see the end of the Rhodes Scholars at MitB would be sorely mistaken. Cody took the mic and said may the best man win. Sandow took it back with a smile and couldn't agree more. They shook hands and got in the ring.

Story of the match was that the Usos worked better together as a team. They pretty quickly pinned Sandow with a double splash while Cody was on the floor.

Winners: The Usos, Pinfall.

The Shield congratulated them from the titantron for combining their skill with a string of luck. But luck wouldn't be enough to take the titles. Ambrose warned us that he would win MitB and would be hiding in the shadows with his contract.

Match Number Two: Kaitlyn w/ Layla Vs. Alicia Fox.

They were having a nothing match. When Kaitlyn started making her comeback AJ skipped down and around the ring. Kaitlyn ignored AJ for a while which would have been a better story, that Kaitlyn gets in AJ's head by not reacting to her, like Monday. Instead she eventually paid her attention and got kicked in the head by Fox. Kaitlyn fought back and then again turned her attention to stop AJ from getting in the ring. Fox this time rolled up Kaitlyn for the pinfall.

Winner: Alicia Fox, Pinfall.

After a break AJ was running away backstage and ran into the Bellas. They stopped her to tell her that her title would be theirs soon. AJ got past them and found Big E. She said they had to get out of there. Big E. asked what about Dolph. She was torn about leaving him but said he had a match so he'd be too busy anyway and that she'd text him from the car. Big E. laughed before she yelled at him to get to the car.

Renee introduced Christian and Orton backstage. She said they had a long history that was continuing tonight. Christian said he'd beaten Orton for the title before and would win tonight. Orton said Christian was about to find out why everyone in the MitB should fear him. He said he'd beat Christian again tonight, in one more match. That line to me is like Sin Cara's lights. It adds nothing to the character and just distracts for whatever story they're trying to tell that night.

Wyatt Family. This Monday.

Match Number Three: Randy Orton Vs. Christian, MitB Preview.

They had a few spots throughout to show how well they knew each other. Christian avoided the draping DDT early and stopped before Orton's quick powerslam so that he got nothing but air. Christian then fainted jumping off the middle rope for his swinging DDT, pausing to avoid a mid air RKO that Orton had set for.

Orton countered a Killswitch, which lead to Christian countering the RKO. Christian did hit the spear for a nearfall. Orton then hit the powerslam and draping DDT but again Christian countered another RKO. Orton finally hit it after he dodged Christian coming off the top rope and got the pinfall.

Winner: Randy Orton, Pinfall.

Long was on his mobile to someone he called sir. Heyman interrupted him. Long asked Paul to be on commentary during the main event. Paul said Punk was his best friend and he promised to stay out of his match. Long brought up how Heyman could offer insight to Punk like no one else. He also echoed Punk's message of doing the opposite of what is asked of you, with the logic that Paul should follow the example and not stay away. Paul liked it and Long said he'd see Heyman out there.

Dolph Ziggler came out and cut a completely good guy promo. He said the past few months were a blur. His favourite memory was beating Del Rio for the title, then things get fuzzy from his concussion. He said Del Rio failed to convince the fans he's likeable, because he's “full of crap.” Ziggler said the fans may not always love him because he's cocky, but he always delivers. And at MitB he'd get his title back and show off.

Match Number Four: Drew McIntyre w/ 3MB Vs. Dolph Ziggler.

This went a lot longer than it needed to. Not that it went very long, just far more time of Drew on offence than you'd expect. In the end Dolph pushed his way out of a tilt-a-whir and hit the ZigZag for the pinfall.

Winner: Dolph Ziggler, Pinfall.

3MB immediately tried to attack Dolph by he slipped out of the ring easily. Slater kept yelling at him so Dolph ran back in, ran through their legs and slipped out again just for kicks.

Great Mark Henry retrospective and warning for MitB,

Match Number Five: Fandango w/ Summer Vs. Justin Gabriel.

This was a fun tv match. It was only a few minutes long but longer probably wouldn't have been better. Fandango danced while avoiding Gabriel's offence. Then Gabriel got Fandango out of the ring and was going to follow him with a suicide dive, but Fandango intercepted with his kick up to the apron. He then hit the top rope legdrop for the pinfall.

Winner: Fandango, Pinfall.

Zeb Colter had a 4th of July video with Cesaro and Swagger behind him. He said most Americans celebrate today for the wrong reason. They celebrate a day off work with smuggled in fire works. He guaranteed one of the two men behind him would win MitB, and either way America would win.

Match Number Six: CM Punk Vs. Alberto Del Rio (C), Non-Title Match w/ Paul Heyman on Commentary.

Punk didn't acknowledge Heyman before the bell or in the body of the work. Punk was on top for most of the first half until Del Rio worked over Punk's arm. Del Rio got a nearfall from his side kick and with his running enziguri while Punk was on the top rope. He then kicked Punk out of the ring to the announcers' desk, then sent him into the barricade.

Del Rio started to deconstruct the table after throwing Punk over it. Paul got off the headset to talk to Del Rio, but only got punched in the head for it. Punk saw it and was pissed. Very good facial expressions from him. He was furious and used the table as a platform to run and jump onto Del Rio. They were then counted out.

No Contest, Double Count Out.

Punk was still furious that Del Rio hurt Paul and gave him a GTS in the ring. The show ended with Punk taking Paul under his arm and walking him out while Paul apologised to him. There was no sense at all of frustration from Punk over Paul getting involved.

Like Raw, not a whole lot actually moved forward on this show. However there have been plenty of shows that are harder to watch than this. It all moved forward at a fine pace. 

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