It’s the ‘go home’ show for this year’s Summerslam! We get a nice little video package outlining Alberto Del Rio’s recent quest for gold. ADR himself walks down to the ring accompanied – as always – by Ricardo Rodrigues. Del Rio cuts a promo demanding that he be given back his contender opportunity at this week’s ppv. G.M. Booker T comes down to the ring and stands his ground. Enter Y2J who promises to defeat Dolph Ziggler on Sunday (Jericho’s a little spikier and youthful-looking this week – guess the ‘face turn’s been good for him – either that or he’s back on the DDP Yoga). Jericho vs. Del Rio is set for tonight’s Main Event (apparently this is the first match ever between these 2 – can’t wait).
REY MYSTERIO & SIN CARA VS. CODY RHODES AND THE MIZ
It’s so good to see Mysterio back in action (even better to see him getting a shot at I.C. champ The Miz on this Sunday’s ppv!). It’s also been great seeing Sin Cara back on RAW and Smackdown. Even cooler tonight is that they’re pairing the 2 in a sort of luchadore ‘dream team’. Also great to see The Miz wearing gold again (methinks they went a little overboard cooling him off over the past year). Cody Rhodes appears on the ramp and cuts a typically strong promo prior to the match (well – the punchline was kinda lame – movin’ on). Rhodes and Sin Cara start things off and the masked man wastes no time hitting the ol’ Tajiri springboard elbow and then ejecting Rhodes from the ring. Mysterio then dumps The Miz to the floor. Both luchadores follow their opponents to the outside – Mysterio with a Thesz Press and Sin Cara with a tope. Cover by Sin Cara (who owns a victory over Tensai on this week’s RAW). Sin Cara walks the ropes and hits that beautiful wristlock throw. Rhodes comes back with a stiff clothesline and a cover. In tags the Miz who tags back out to Rhodes. The story of this match is Rhodes trying very hard to unmask Sin Cara. Rhodes hits a face-buster suplex and tags back out. The Miz continues to ground the high flyer with some oldschool offense before tagging in Rhodes. Rhodes again tries to remove the mask. Sin Cara reverses a hold and makes the hot tag to Rey Rey who hits a headscissors but then gets caught with a boot to the gut. Rey rolls through Rhodes’ Sunset Flip and tags him with a boot to the head. Cover by Mysterio. Rhodes telegraphs a backdrop attempt and ends up taking a Bulldog. The Miz breaks up the cover. Sin Cara takes out the Miz. As Sin Cara is skinning the cat Rhodes attempts to remove the luchadore’s mask again. This sets him up perfectly to eat a 619 and Rey follows with the surfboard splash for the win. Great match (hopefully we get to see more pairings between these two). After the match The Miz tries to go into business for himself but ends up eating a 619 as well.
Winner(s) – Sin Cara & Rey Mysterio
TYLER REKS & CURT HAWKINS VS. 2 JOBBERS
Prior to the match Hawkins and Reks do a Chippendales type dance to the shock and possible indifference of the crowd. This was pretty amusing – especially the fact that their wrestling tights are basically designed to look like underwear. Even more amusing now in retrospect considering their appearance on the show last week where a fearful Reks worried about what would happen if they had to ‘go back to what we were doing before’. So the match begins with Hawkins and Jobber 1. In tags Reks who drops an elbow and tosses his opponent from the ring. Reks goes to work on Jobber 2. In tags Hawkins who shoves his opponent to the ground and executes a scoop slam. In tags Reks and they hit a tandem finisher which was kinda like an assisted powerslam (it actually looked pretty good). Not sure about the lack of crowd reaction here but – hey – I’m all for people showing spirit and this is definitely the most personality we’ve seen out of these 2 so I’m all for it.
Winner(s) – Tyler Reks & Curt Hawkins
In a backstage bit William Regal talks to Eve about how he was once on top of the RAW universe and how power can be fleeting. On cue someone hands Regal 2 garbage bags and reminds him that his job is take out the trash (I love how Regal is basically not capable of making a bad segment – this guy is gold on NXT).
KAITLYN VS. EVE
Former G.M. Teddy Long takes a seat at the commentary desk (albeit without a headset). Cole puts over Eve as a former assistant to John Laurenitis (oh yeah – this match is for the position of assistant to the G.M.). Backdrop by Kaitlyn. Running axehandle and a cover by Kaitlyn. Eve sidesteps her running opponent – dropping her on the 2nd rope. Small package by Kaitlyn. Kaitlyn takes a boot to the face from Eve as she approaches the corner. Kaitlyn hits a shoulderblock from the apron and climbs the ropes but is pulled to the mat by Eve. Eve hits the Cross Rhodes for the win (bad day for Teddy Long).
Winner – Eve
Back from the break and Eve is in Booker T’s office. Booker offers a stony ‘Congratulations’ and questions her on being able to get along with Teddy Long.
DANIEL BRYAN VS. RANDY ORTON
To paraphrase Dana White “This match can’t possibly suck!”. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a match between these 2 but they’re both accomplished ring generals so this should really pay off from bell-to-bell. Orton grabs the headlock and hits a shouderblock off the lockup. Orton grabs another headlock and hits another shoulderblock. Test of strength spot goes Bryan’s way when he hits a kick to the gut. Bryan follows up with his excellent evasive moonsault but instead of hitting the lariat he gets taken down by an Orton dropkick. Orton goes for the cover. Bryan slips away to the floor and retreats up the ramp where he engages in quite the yelling contest with a fan. Back in the ring Bryan takes a backdrop and a stompin’ from the Viper. Orton misses a kneedrop. Bryan follows with a low dropkick. Bryan continues to work the leg – first using the bottom rope. Orton fights back with rights but Bryan grounds the Viper and continues to work the leg as Cole puts our heel over as a submission specialist (and indeed he is). The 2 opponents trade hands in the center of the ring as Orton continues to sell the leg. Bryan’s up on the top rope but is caught by an Orton right hand. The Viper positions himself for a Superplex and hits it. Orton continues to sell the knee and we have a long double down spot leading into the commercial break. Back from the break and both men are back to a vertical base and trading rights. Bryan goes back to the injured leg – even using the 2nd rope. Bryan gets a little creative here and dropkicks the leg while it’s still positioned on the rope. Bryan backs up into the opposing corner for a shoulderblock but Orton evades it and our heel goes into the post. Cover by Orton. Clothesline by Orton. Powerslam by Orton. Orton positions Bryan on the apron for a draping DDT but Bryan drops to the floor and drags his opponent with him. Orton Irish Whips Bryan hard into the fan barricade. Both men are back in the ring but Bryan goes back to the floor. Bryan launches Orton into the ring steps. Cover by Bryan. Bryan cuts down Orton with stiff kicks until the Viper evades one and counters with a backbreaker. Cover by Orton. Bryan goes back up onto the turnbuckles but is caught by Orton and takes a draping DDT. The Viper readies for the RKO by Bryan counters with the No! Lock. Suddenly Kane’s pyro goes off and Bryan releases the hold. Bryan leaves the ring and searches high and low for the Big Red Monster. Bryan re-enters the ring and eats an RKO. Post match – Kane appears on the ramp.
Winner – Randy Orton
ANTONIO CESARO VS. ZACK RYDER
Santino Morella joins the commentary team to observe the match (on Sunday Cesaro challenges Morella for his U.S. championship on the YouTube pre-show). Prior to the match Cesaro addresses the audience in 5 languages (love this gimmick). And the Broski’s back! (yep – it’s been awhile since we’ve seen Zack Ryder). Cesaro hits that hesitation gutwrench suplex right off the bat. Cesaro brutalizes the Internet champion with numerous headbutts. Ryder powers up and even hits the Broski Boot. Ryder goes for a cover. Cesaro drops Ryder throat-first on the top rope and then follows with his awesome Pump Handle finisher for the win. After the match Cesaro taunts Morella – even shoving him up and over the announce desk.
Winner (and future U.S. Champion) – Antonio Cesaro
Prior to the commercial break we get ADR’s ring entrance and I actually thought out loud “Are we – for sure – getting this match?”. Then – as if on cue – Ziggler attacks Jericho backstage. This was kinda cool – he even used some sort of rolling machinery in the attack. In the ring Del Rio taunts his opponent – offerring him the chance to forfeit the match. Jericho’s holding his ribs as he makes his way down to the ring and it looks like the match is still on – I think.
CHRIS JERICHO VS. ALBERTO DEL RIO
Jericho starts in with right hands but ADR quickly changes the complexion of the match with a kick to the gut and a whole lot of stomping offense. Del Rio makes a point of assaulting the damaged ribs of Y2J. Jericho pulls off an enziguri while Cole makes a point of outlining Y2J’s losses over the previous year. Going into the commercial break ADR launches Y2J off the apron into the announce table. Back from the break and ADR has Y2J locked in a bodyscissors. Y2J still fights out but ADR counters with a Tilt-a-Whirl backbreaker. ADR fires Y2J into the corner and again attacks the ribs. Cover by ADR. ADR misses an aerial attack and Jericho gets back into the fight with a shoulderblock, an elbow and a Lionsault (yes!). Cover by Jericho. ADR comes back with multiple headbutts. ADR looks for the reverse flying armbar but Y2J locks on the Walls of Jericho. ADR fights out and Jericho is launched to the floor when Ziggler holds down the top rope. Ziggler launches Jericho back into the ring where ADR hits him with a kick to the head for the win. After the match ADR locks on the cross-arm breaker while Ziggler taunts him. Suddenly Sheamus makes the save but ADR goes to work on the heavily taped arm of the Smackdown champ. Both men brawl and then fall out to the floor. ADR retreats through the crowd.
Winner – Alberto Del Rio
Booker T’s music hits and he wants to know what Sheamus is doing here tonight. Sheamus comes back with a passionate speech on why the match must be reinstated. The champ and the G.M. go back and forth on this in the closing minutes of the show. In the end we get the official announcement that ADR vs. Sheamus for the Smackdown title is back on for Summerslam.