Christian opened Smackdown with a win over Mark Henry, but his night was far from over. After defeating the World’s Strongest Man with the Killswitch, Christian demanded to be added to the show’s main event of Randy Orton vs Sheamus. He had a case for himself, since he was the victim of circumstance in losing the #1 contenders triple threat match last week, but Teddy Long refused to add Captain Charisma as a third competitor in the title bout. Instead, he made him the special guest referee.
When it came time for the main event to be contested, Christian called it down the middle…for a while. After Sheamus ran into the Canadian superstar, he nailed Orton with a Brogue Kick and went for a cover. Christian only counted two before acting like his arm was injured, effectively costing Sheamus the belt. When the Celtic Warrior shoved Christian in frustration, the former World Champion fired back with a shot to Sheamus’ jaw, which was followed immediately by an RKO. Christian counted the three, Randy Orton retained the title, and it looked like the live crowd would be going home happy. Christian wasn’t done yet, though, and he clocked Orton with the Championship belt. After declaring that he can beat the World Champion, Christian left with the title in hand, posing at the top of the ramp as if he’d won it.
So, Christian is officially a heel. It didn’t go down exactly as I would have written it, although it was effective. I think we’ll be hearing a lot of split crowds during the impending Orton vs Christian feud – I can’t imagine the world is going to turn on Christian over nailing Orton with the belt. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Sheamus stick around in the main event picture for a little while longer, either. He did, after all, have Orton beat before the referee refused to count the three. The rest of Smackdown (with a video of the show for those who missed it) after the jump.
- The Daniel Bryan music kept on playing as the American Dragon scored a submission victory over Ted DiBiase in what was easily the match of the night. Bryan has really stepped up his game since being shipped to Smackdown (relative to his previous WWE work), and it’s good to see him being rewarded with a series of wins. This was the best I’ve seen DiBiase look in a few years too, and thankfully, it doesn’t look like the program between these guys is over. After the match, Cody Rhodes attacked Bryan, joining forces with his former Legacy partner once again to put the boots to the master of the Labell Lock. Their assault was interrupted by Sin Cara, who managed to clear the ring of the heels with a few high-flying moves. I think Rhodes vs Bryan will be the main feud to emerge from this, although I’d be surprised if we didn’t see a tag team affair featuring all four guys within the next couple of weeks. Excited for that.
- Earlier in the night, Rhodes cut a promo on Bryan, and it was awesome, as per the usual. Rhodes had paper bags distributed to the crowd, insisted he never lost to Daniel Bryan (who “oozes ordinary”), and teased a World Title pursuit in the process. In my eyes, Cody Rhodes can do no wrong right now. I asked on the ProRasslin.com Facebook page yesterday who you thought the best heel in the business today was, and the consensus was split between Punk & Miz. While I agree with those assessments, Rhodes is definitely in the conversation as far as I’m concerned.
- Ezekiel Jackson went over Wade Barrett via countout, which allowed Barrett to retain the Intercontinental Championship. I think Zeke is such a throwback to the 80’s. The string of body slams combo followed by a torture rack is just such an old school set of trademark maneuvers. It’s working for him right now, but I think that if he wants to continue to progress, he’s going to need to reinvent himself at some point. Also, at one point during this one, Booker T said “his head is all wrinkled from the workout that he do” in reference to Jackson. Awesome.
- Jinder Mahal squashed Yoshi Tatsu and then ordered the Great Khali to lock him in the Vise Grip. I’m getting a little sick of telling you how little I care about anything involving the Great Khali, but there’s really nothing else I can say about this stuff. He’s awful, and anything involving him is awful by association.
- Alicia Fox & Tamina defeated AJ & Katlyn for the second consecutive week. Natalya was in the corner of the NXT alumni once again, and this time Alicia & Tamina had Rosa Mendez backing them. I hope the inclusion of these matches is heading somewhere, although they kind of seem like filler right now.
- Johnny Curtis cut a strange promo backstage. After introducing himself and stating that he’d never receive a tag team title match alongside R-Truth like he was promised when he won NXT, he spilled milk on the ground and “cried” over it, saying it’s what the rest of the WWE superstars would do. I guess he’s trying to call everyone else crybabies, although I don’t know why. I also don’t know why he poured the remainder of the milk over his head – dude looked like an idiot.
Well it’s certainly good to see Christian finally become a full-fledged heel. Now that he has, though, I have to point out the lack of main event faces on the brand. After Randy Orton, I think the top good guys are Daniel Bryan, Sin Cara, and maybe Kane. That’s not a complaint by any means. DiBiase vs Bryan was great (seriously, check it out if you missed it), and I’m continuing to love Rhodes’ work. I think I’m looking more forward to Smackdown’s half of Capitol Punishment than I am Raw’s so far.