Friday, September 16, 2011

WWE SmackDown 9/16/11

"Will the real Sin Cara please stand up?"

WWE Smackdown 9/16/11
September 16th, 2011
Air Canada Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Attendance: Unknown at this time

Welcome back to another edition of 411's Smackdown report. Unfortunately I had to work last Monday night so I was unable to do the RAW Report, but I'll be back to doing that this Monday as usual. Tonight though we've got the last show before the big Night of Champions PPV on Sunday, so don't expect much more than your usual go-home Smackdown show here. Let's do it.

Your hosts are Michael Cole, Booker T, and Josh Matthews

We open the show with none other than the Rated R Superstar Edge making his way out to a huge pop from his hometown crowd! Tonight, he'll be hosting Randy Orton and Mark Henry on an edition of his old show The Cutting Edge just two nights away from their title match at Night of Champions. Edge grabs a mic and says it feels great to be in a ring again with this feeling in his hometown. He talks about all the things he misses from the business, paramount among them the fans (a big "Thank you Edge!" chant starts up after this). Edge talks a bit more about the Cutting Edge later tonight when suddenly he's interrupted by Cody Rhodes of all people.

Rhodes (with his usual bag-men) walks out with a mic and makes a very unsubtle plug for Edge's show on SciFi, Haven. Rhodes says it sounds like Edge is sucking up to the fans, and he thought Edge was above that. Edge tells Cody to stop complaining about minor injuries, so Cody calls him bitter because of his untimely retirement. He hands Edge a paper bag to take home and tells him that it's his time now on Smackdown. They trade a few more barbs and Edge says he's going to fall asleep if he has to keep listening to this, so he drops the mic and just takes off, leaving Cody pissed in the ring. He starts ripping into the fans at ringside when he gets punched in the face by a man wearing a paper bag, who takes the bag off to reveal...Ted DiBiase! (The crowd even popped for him slightly). DiBiase hops the rail and beats the tar out of Cody out of the ring before giving him the Dream Street slam in the ring. DiBiase takes out one of Cody's bagmen and goes to put it on Rhodes, but Cody takes off running. Well that was easily the most exciting and charismatic I've ever seen Ted DiBiase in his entire career. He's a solid worker too so who knows, he might be finally becoming interesting.

Evil Sin Cara (15-2) vs. Daniel Bryan (8-9-1)

Cara sort of turned heel a few weeks back when he jumped Bryan after their match and cut a promo in English claiming to be the "real" Sin Cara, so for my sake I'm just going to refer to him as Evil Sin Cara until Mistico returns to fight him and/or take back the mask and character. Bryan is heated to start, nailing Cara with a dropkick and then just laying in closed fist punches right into Cara's face on the mat. DB looks impressive tonight. He sends Cara to the floor with a forearm and then goes for a tope, but Cara hops back in the ring and dropkicks his leg out from under him. He gives Bryan a kneebreaker and then just tosses him backwards over his head and out of the ring to the floor as we cut to commercial. When we return Cara is working a modified figure four leglock on Bryan. Cara nails him with a forearm and then a springboard flying headbutt and gets a two count out of it. Cara goes for a quebrada but Bryan just nails him in the face with both feet on his way down. Stiff forearm and kicks from Bryan, who is REALLY laying them in now and the crowd seems almost shocked by the stiffness. Cara sets Bryan up in the tree of woe and Cara takes his turn to be stiff with Bryan as he just starts kicking him in the face repeatedly. The referee gives him a five count and tells him to stop but Cara just keeps kicking Bryan in the face so the ref calls for the bell and disqualifies Sin Cara at 4:58 (shown). Really good match until the DQ finish, but even that made sense in the context of the match with Bryan coming out for revenge and being ungodly stiff with Cara until Cara got fed up and let his anger get the best of him and wound up being DQed. Give this a few more minutes and this could've been awesome. **1/2

After the match Cara continues to beat down on Bryan when suddenly a slightly different version of Cara's theme music hits and the REAL Sin Cara comes out, pointing his finger at Evil Cara. He sprints to the ring and does his trademark entrance perfectly as both men stare each other down in the middle of the ring. The crowd heavily cheers one Cara and boos the other as what I can only assume is the imposter Cara exits the ring and takes off. Segment didn't seem to come off great in front of the live audience so maybe they should've waited a few more weeks before bringing the real Cara back, but if it leads to a Cara vs. Cara match on PPV I'm all for it.

After a commercial break we return to see Zack Ryder with Teddy Long backstage. Ryder convinces Teddy to enact another no-contact rule between Mark Henry and Randy Orton before taking off. Aksana walks in (cue the cheesy sax music) and offers Teddy a massage. No sexual connotations there, nah. Teddy bends over so that it appears that Aksana is...err...sodomizing him when suddenly Trish Stratus walks in. They trade a few awkward words and Trish takes off.

Beth Phoenix (5-2) vs. AJ Lee (3-6)

Aw, what a cute couple. Too bad AJ's about to be murdered. AJ goes for a nice bulldog but takes a huge backdrop suplex instead from Beth. She press slams AJ right onto her knee next in a nasty spot. AJ fires off a few meager punches but eats a boot and then the Glam Slam finishes her off at 1:24. Just a quick squash to make Beth look like a monster, and it did just that. 1/4*

After the match Beth and Natalya say the same stuff they've been saying for weeks about ending the diva's "fairy tale" existence. Good, I'm all for that. We also get a Sheamus promo with the worst Dropkick Murphy's ripoff band I've ever heard in the background.

Backstage Trish is showing Edge something about stretching and yoga. Christian walks up with his usual smug smile on his face. He calls Trish selfish and then says "How's it going man?" to Edge like nothing happened. Christian says he doesn't blame Edge for his loss at Summerslam anymore, saying that Edge was just being honest and doing what he thought was right. They hug and all seems well again until Christian tries to convince Edge to get Teddy Long to give him one more World title match. Christian flips out when Edge doesn't seem too keen about helping out and he takes off. Zack Ryder passes by yelling something about Teddy Long at Edge and Trish stops to say "Is that the internet champion?" Damn right it is missy.

Christian/Wade Barrett vs. Sheamus/Justin Gabriel

Sheamus offers both Christian and Barrett some not-so-kind words before the match begins, comparing Christian's face to a horse's ass and calling Barrett useless. Sheamus says he looked for Ax and Smash from Demolition to help him fight Barrett, but he went with the 450 Splasher instead. Gabriel and Barrett start us off with Gabriel trying to work an armbar and then kicking out Barrett's feet from under him for a quick two count. Gabriel springboards over Barrett to avoid him but turns around and walks right into a huge sidewalk slam from Barrett. Christian tags in wipes his boot across Gabriel's face. He stomps away at him and then tags Wade back in. He gives Gabriel a huge press slam and the heels continue the usual strategy of trading quick tags and isolating Gabriel in their corner, which draws Sheamus into the ring as we take a commercial break. When we return the epic beatdown on Gabriel continues. Gabriel finally gets a bit of offense in with a big STO takedown on Christian and is able to get the hot tag to Sheamus, who cleans house on Barrett with a power slam and a stiff knee strike. Sheamus hits the flying shoulder-block on Barrett and then goes for the Celtic Cross on Christian, but Christian slides out and gets clotheslined out of the ring. Barrett sets up for the Waste Land, but Sheamus nails him with the Brogue Kick and then tags Gabriel, who hits the 450 splash on Barrett to pick up the win at 7:05 (shown). Another solid match, but this one could have used a few more minutes to flesh out the beatdown segment on Gabriel and get the fans at home a bit more into it. As it is this is just a really fun formula tag match that made Sheamus look like a monster. **3/4

The Great Khali (1-6) vs. Heath Slater (4-18)

Well that's certainly an...erm...interesting match up. Slater is obviously cautious to start, running around Khali and firing off quick punches and kicks, but it's not long before Khali squashes him with a forearm. Suddenly Jinder Mahal walks down the ramp shouting something in Hindi at Khali. He walks into the ring and attacks Khali to give him the win by DQ at 1:12. Well that was a barrel full of suck. I guess it advances the Jinder Mahal/Great Khali angle that absolutely no one cares about though. After the match Khali wipes both Mahal and Slater out. DUD

R-Truth (4-2) vs. Evan Bourne (1-0)

Miz and Kofi are both at ringside at the commentary table to support their respective partners in preparation for the tag title match between the two teams on the PPV this Sunday. Cole fawns over The Miz like a prepubescent girl when he sits down next to him. Truth tosses Bourne out of the ring and then drags him right back in and slaps a chinlock on him. Bourne fires back with a crazy hurricanrana that just plants Truth's face and neck onto the mat like he was a sack of potatoes, that was SICKENING. Bourne misses Air Bourne and eats the "What's Up" from Truth moments later and that's enough to put him away at 1:56. Well that wasn't very competitive, was it? I mean I know Truth should be higher on the card and more protected than Bourne at this stage, but atleast give the kid a minor amount of offense before you squash him. 1/2*

And now it's time for our main event promo segment. It's like a flashback to the Evolution days or something. Edge sits in the solemn black ring with a mic and sits down on a stool to share some memories about watching wrestling here in Toronto. He mentions Hulk Hogan which draws a minor amount of boos from the fans. He talks about the importance of the World Heavyweight title and then introduces the guests for the Cutting Edge tonight, Mark Henry and Randy Orton. Edge talks about how dominant Henry has become and asks Orton if he honestly thinks he can defeat him this Sunday. Orton responds by talking about how Henry has never won the title before and that maybe he's just not good enough to do it. Orton says he knows he can beat Henry. Edge reluctantly agrees with Orton, talking about how Henry was already a veteran when he himself entered the company in 1998 and how he's never been able to win the big one. Henry surprisingly agrees with him and says that he's done smiling and "showing personality" and he's here to destroy and take what Randy's got on his shoulder. Orton responds by calling Henry the "World's Strongest Failure". Both men get in each others faces and Edge takes off as Henry and Orton of course begin brawling. Teddy Long callls out the entire damn Smackdown locker room (which seems to consist of mainly Superstars and NXT midcarders) but mark Henry is just tossing off swarms of guys like they were dead flies. Orton leaps over the crowd of people right into Henry's face and lays some more punches in. Henry cleans out the entire ring, launching each superstar around like a feather as we go off the air with this scene of mass destruction.

Bottom Line: Pretty decent go-home show here, there's nothing wrestling-wise that you'll want to go out of your way to see, but there are two very solid little matches in the **1/2-**3/4 range that both would have been graded higher had they lasted a bit longer and were given better finishes. Edge didn't really bring a lot to the show other than his usual speech about loving the fans, but his backstage segment with Trish and Christian was fun (even though we never saw Trish again after that). The main event promo does a good job of doing the hard sell for the PPV this Sunday too, so all in all this was a pretty good go-home show. I'll go with an ever so mild thumbs up, but it's not a "great" episode and you won't see any TV match of the year candidates on it. If you've got 90 minutes to kill you could do alot worse though. Minor Thumbs Up.

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