Matt’s Smackdown Recap 7/12/13

Neither man gave an inch in tonight's main event as we are just days away from Money in the Bank. (Courtesy of WWE)
Neither man give an inch in tonight’s main event as we are just days away from Money in the Bank. (Courtesy of WWE)

WWE: Smackdown
July 12, 2013
Hampton, VA
Hampton Coliseum

The current WWE champs are as follows:
WWE Champion: John Cena (4/7/2013)
World Heavyweight Champion: Alberto Del Rio (6/16/2013)
WWE Intercontinental Champion: Curtis Axel (6/16/2013)
WWE U.S. Champion: Dean Ambrose (5/19/2013)
WWE Tag Team Champions: The Shield (5/19/2013)
WWE Divas Champion: AJ Lee (6/16/2013)

Your hosts are Michael Cole and JBL.

– Daniel Bryan vs. Christian
Cole and JBL list off a bunch of MITB stats relating to both Bryan, Christian, and the high likelihood of somebody winning the MITB and going on to win a world title. This was a stiff one with a ton of kicks from Bryan and back and forth with nobody really controlling the action for any long period of time. At one point, Bryan running dropkicks Christian’s arm into the steps. I don’t know if that will play into the Money in the Bank match on Sunday or not. Christian could never get the Killswitch, but drilled Bryan with the Spear for a nearfall. Christian tried a crossbody out of the corner, but Bryan brought him down into the Yes Lock for the submission around the 10:00 mark. He’s been tapping people out left and right here lately. **¾

Dolph Ziggler interrupts Teddy Long on the phone. Teddy tells him he’s got the night off to prevent any funny business in tonight’s ADR/Sin Cara match. Since Vickie Guerrero got the axe on Raw, Teddy doesn’t want to be next. Ziggler cries conspiracy, but doesn’t care because he will be the next World Champ this Sunday.

Brodus Clay tells us kids at home to stay funky, stay safe, and don’t try this at home.

– Seth Rollins (w/Roman Reigns) vs. Jey Uso (w/Jimmy Uso)
Ahh, the Usos – or as I like to call them, the New New Headshrinkers. They’ll be getting a tag titles shot this Sunday at MITB on the pre-show. This is all Rollins until he starts turnbuckle smashing a Samoan. Jey mounts his comeback and launches Rollins up into a Samoan Drop for two. Reigns distracts Jey up top by clotheslining down his brother. That allows Rollins to bring him down and deliver the Blackout for the win at around 4:00. Normally my figurative money would be on the loser on the TV show leading into the PPV, but I have a feeling that the Shield will run through the Usos at MITB considering how weak they looked here. *½

Let Us Take You Back: Raw, 7/8/13. Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley fired Vickie Guerrero from her Raw Managing Supervisor job in front of Vince McMahon and Triple H. She pitches a fit and Vince blames the people, so he appoints Brad Maddox as the new Raw GM in order to kill the show.

– WWE Intercontinental Champion Curtis Axel (w/Paul Heyman) vs. Chris Jericho
This is non-title, folks. Last week on Raw, Jericho became the first to pin Curtis Axel under the eye of Paul Heyman after the Miz caused a distraction while doing commentary. They will face each other for the IC title at MITB. Axel is booked fairly strong here against Jericho. He gets a measure of revenge in this match and shows a little bit of personality growling while out on the floor. As they go back inside, Jericho hits Axel with the Codebreaker while Axel is sticking his head in between the ropes. The force knocks Axel back onto the floor and Jericho wins via countout in 8:00. Completely furious, Axel rips the top off the announce table. He’s yet to do anything too interesting in my opinion, but it appears that WWE is still on the Curtis Axel train and they will ride him onward past MITB as the IC champ if I had to lay down a bet. **

– Ryback vs. The Miz
Two weeks ago on Raw, Miz worked over Ryback’s knee to the point he said he couldn’t continue. Let’s see what happens here. It’s just amazing how quickly changes occur in wrestling considering how hot Ryback was six months ago. He hardly even gets a reaction here at all. These two go back and forth for a while. Miz finally remembers to work the knee and delivers a Stunner to the leg. Ryback is laid out and crying to the ref that he felt something pop, but then Ryback seizes the moment and jumps up to clothesline the heck out of Miz. YES! He still sells the knee though, so it wasn’t all a ruse. Shellshock ends the Miz in 6:00. Loved the old school ending. *½

Backstage, Sheamus talks to Renee about taking care of the Viper tonight. As for MITB, he plans on filling the briefcase he wins with maybe some corn beef and cabbage. See, because he’s Irish. When he does win the WWE title after cashing the briefcase in, the pints are on him. He also thinks Renee is pretty cute, by the way. Yeah, nothing like a giant version of Beaker from the Muppets hitting on you on nationwide TV.

Kofi Kingston tells me not to copy what they do in the ring at school or at home.

Well, this is new. Time for a Divas title match contract signing between AJ Lee and Kaitlyn. Teddy Long has all the Divas out for this one. Oh yeah, and Big E Langston. AJ warns Kaitlyn not to sign the contract. If she does, she will embarrass her like never before. Once the contract gets signed by both of them, AJ pulls out her cell phone and starts reading text messages that Kaitlyn sent to various Divas. Eventually, Kaitlyn throws away the cell phone, but then AJ brings up one of the text messages onto the TitanTron. Oh boy. Kaitlyn promises on Sunday that she will be the new Divas champ and refuses to let this psycho chick destroy her again. Well, that sets AJ off and this contract signing goes wild. Kaitlyn pushes the table and AJ back into a corner before wailing away on her. Big E grabs Kaitlyn, but receives a slap for doing his job. Kaitlyn leaves AJ laying with a spear before heading out. I actually dug all of this.

– Wade Barrett vs. Fandango (w/Summer Rae)
Zeb Colter and his Real Americans join us for commentary. All four of these wrestlers will be in the World Title MITB ladder match. Not a whole lot to talk about here. About a minute into this, Team Rhodes Scholars come out to jaw with the Real Americans. Wade Barrett turns his attention to what’s going on over there instead. Fandango kicks Barrett in the face and rolls him up for the win in about 2:00. I’m assuming all this arguing could lead to Fandango being the dark horse to win MITB on Sunday. ¼*

The Wyatt Family. They’re like Duck Dynasty – only poorer-looking, scarier, and super insane.

Daniel Bryan tells me to not try this wrestling stuff at home or at school. What about at work?

This week’s ‘From the Vault’: Greg Valentine vs. The Warlord at MSG, July 1991. Warlord works the back and gets the win via powerslam. Around 7:00 are shown.

– World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio vs. Sin Cara
Certainly not a title match, or even a match at all for that matter. Sin Cara is all over ADR here. He even looks a little taller, stronger, and whiter than normal. Sin Cara delivers the Zig Zag and walks out. Sadly, I don’t feel like the crowd is catching on here.

Next thing we know, Vickie Guerrero has appeared and stolen Lillian Garcia’s mic. Since Monday night, she has gotten no respect. I feel you, Vickie. No one respects the unemployed. She calls Teddy Long a liar and demands that he be fired. Teddy Long comes out and calls for security to escort her out of the building.

Rob Van Dam returns at Money in the Bank in Philadelphia! Let’s hope he’s more inspired to be back here than he was in TNA.

After the break, Teddy Long confronts Sin Cara when Dolph Ziggler smugly appears and puts his arm around Teddy. Why is he still here? He left his cell phone in Teddy’s office. Sure he did. The Yellow Dog is alive and well!

– Randy Orton vs. Sheamus
TOO MANY LIMES! Is that still funny? Anyways, these two have a match where neither one has the advantage for too long. After the break, they float through their signature stuff, but nobody can hit the other with their finisher. While both men are up top, they tumble down to the floor in a heap. Just when it looks like we’ve got a double countout on our hands, Daniel Bryan runs down to ringside and pulls out a ladder from under the ring. He brings it inside and hits Sheamus and Orton with the ladder when they charge him – ending the match in what appears to be a no contest at 10:30. Bryan climbs the ladder to metaphorically capture the briefcase hanging over the ring, but Sheamus yanks him down and dumps Bryan out of the ring. Out comes Christian. He and Sheamus get into a tussle up on the ladder, but Christian winds up punching him off. In comes Bryan again to turn the ladder over on Christian. While Bryan sets up the ladder again, Orton pulls him off and drops Bryan with an RKO, allowing Orton to retrieve the briefcase with no interruptions as we close the show. **½

Final Thoughts: Certainly a wrestling-heavy, go-home edition of Smackdown with some safe, decent stuff going into the PPV. The ending was fun as they gave the fans a taste of what the Money in the Bank match will be like especially if you’re new (or a casual viewer) to WWE.

In the spirit of taking over my friend Scott Criscuolo’s position as the Smackdown guy for the PTB Nation, I will continue with the Smackdown Top Five of the week.

Matt’s Smackdown Top Five:
1) Daniel Bryan
2) Dolph Ziggler
3) Kaitlyn/AJ Lee (TIE)
4) Ryback
5) Christian