Matt’s Smackdown Recap 7/19/13

Chris Jericho looks to win his tenth IC title. Curtis Axel wants to make sure that doesn't happen. (Courtesy of WWE)
Chris Jericho looks to win his tenth IC title. Curtis Axel wants to make sure that doesn’t happen. (Courtesy of WWE)

WWE: Smackdown
July 19, 2013
Providence, RI
Dunkin’ Donuts Center

The current WWE champs were 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.

Interim Smackdown GM Teddy Long comes out to open the show. He says Vince McMahon is here tonight to give him a job evaluation. That’s when the REAL Smackdown GM Booker T interrupts and makes his return. Teddy gives him the stink eye real good. He thanks Teddy for all his hard work, but now he’s ready to return to work. Well, here comes Vince McMahon to evaluate. He gives both GMs a chance to keep their job by offering up match ideas. Teddy wants Curtis Axel to defend his IC title against Chris Jericho, and Booker comes up with Alberto Del Rio taking on Randy Orton. Oh Teddy, you had the chance to hit a home run, and you decided to hit a double instead. Vince thinks those are great ideas, but then the RAW GM Brad Maddox comes out to try and get the Smackdown GM job too! Could his clothes be any tighter? He says he already came up with both of those ideas, which is why he should be Smackdown GM. Vince settles this once and for all by making…VICKIE GUERRERO the permanent General Manager of Smackdown. She thanks Mr. McMahon for the job and tells the WWE Universe how much she hates them for getting her fired from RAW. All Michael Cole can say is, wow.

Let Us Take You Back to Raw this past week: When AJ Lee tried to make up with Dolph, he breaks up with her. He’s definitely gone full-blown babyface now. Was the sex was ‘too athletic’, Dolph? Later on in the night, AJ went psycho and cost him a match against ADR. Big E Langston made sure Dolph regretted ending the relationship.

Dolph Ziggler vs. Jack Swagger (w/Zeb Colter & Antonio Cesaro)
Cole and JBL put over both the amateur wrestling backgrounds of these two guys. It doesn’t really play into this match though. Pretty good start to things. After Cesaro pulls Ziggler off the apron into a European uppercut, the ref ejects both Colter and Cesaro. Back in, Ziggler tries to a quick pin, but Swagger finds the Anklelock. By the way, AJ and Big E are backstage watching on a monitor. Ziggler rolls out of the Anklelock and hits the Zig Zag for the win at 3:00. Loved Ziggler selling the ankle at the end. Afterwards, he gets on the mic and tells the world that he’s sorry he didn’t break up with AJ a whole lot sooner. *½

In the back, AJ reacts by going crazy and throwing chairs around ala Jimmy Snuka. Big E consoles her and looks like he’s going to kiss her on the lips, but settles for the forehead. I see some Kirk/Uhura action in our future! AJ is more than a little confused by what just happened.

Let Us Take You Back to Raw this past week: The Shield took out Mark Henry.

WWE Tag Team Champions The Shield vs. The Usos
Heard these four had a barnburner at MITB. No match. First it was just Rollins and Reigns exchanging blows with the Usos, but then Dean Ambrose appeared to make this a mugging. They clean house on the Usos as Mark Henry’s music hits. Henry waddles out to beat on the Shield, but it’s the Usos who help rid the Shield of the ring to fight another day.

This week’s ‘From the Vault’: Kato & Mr. Fuji vs. Haku & Barbarian at MSG, July 1991. Fuji throws the ceremonial salt in Heenan’s face before the bell, who was doing commentary. Weird heel versus heel match, but the crowd shows a little sympathy for Heenan after seeing Fuji being super heelish. Heenan trips up Kato and that allows Haku to hit an elbow drop on him for the win around 7:00.

Let Us Take You Back to Raw this past week: WWE champ John Cena selected Daniel Bryan as his opponent for SummerSlam. YES! YES! YES!

Daniel Bryan vs. Wade Barrett
Short little exhibition for Bryan. He catches Barrett in a crucifix and maneuvers that into the YES lock for the win in 2:00. ¾*

In the back, Brad Maddox goes to see Vickie Guerrero and wants everything between them to be even steven now that they both have GM jobs. Instead of shaking hands and being friendly, she slaps him HARD across the face. I mean, DANG.

Let Us Take You Back to Raw this past week: Paul Heyman brings out Brock Lesnar to take out CM Punk in a quite hearty brawl.

MizTV with special guest Paul Heyman: Since Miz has no questions for Heyman because he’s such a liar anyways, Heyman uses this time to plead with his former best friend CM Punk to “stay down”. If he returns to the WWE, the man who has no conscience Brock Lesnar will see that as a “spiteful act of provocation”. Just an awesome promo from Heyman. Miz is sickened by all things Heyman, so he drops the mic and walks out of the ring. Heyman makes sure to stick it to Miz by bringing out his other client: the IC champion Curtis Axel. No fisticuffs, they just exchange glances. Commercials!

WWE Intercontinental Champion Curtis Axel (w/Paul Heyman) vs. Chris Jericho
Jericho is looking for IC title belt #10. I wish Cole & JBL had played that up a little more. Jericho did a good job putting over Axel. With his extended comebacks, Jericho threw everything at Axel and he still couldn’t pin him. They have a great finisher sequence leading into the Walls of Jericho. Axel stayed in the hold for a good thirty seconds before reaching the ropes. Heyman causes a slight distraction to allow Axel to kick Jericho in the face and land the Takeover to retain at 10:00. Check this one out. It’s Jericho’s last match until he inevitably comes back maybe in December to give the Royal Rumble and WrestleMania some star power. Afterwards, Ryback comes out and leaves Jericho laying with the Shell Shock. ***

When we return, the Smackdown MITB winner Damien Sandow is in the ring to convince everyone that he did in fact not screw over his partner Cody Rhodes. They show Sandow losing to Christian and then getting beat up by Cody from last week on RAW. Sandow brings out Cody to forgive him for attacking him and asks Cody to be the ‘keeper of the briefcase’ until he decides to cash it in. Cody accepts, but then bashes Sandow in the face with the briefcase. As Sandow retreats up the apron, Cody throws the briefcase at him. Cody vs. Sandow at SummerSlam – BOOK IT!

Rob Van Dam vs. Darren Young (w/Titus O’Neil)
The PTP cause RVD a little trouble, but he still gets all his stuff in and finishes with the Five Star Frog Splash in a little over 3:00. ½*

Let Us Take You Back to Raw this past week: The Wyatt family does us all a favor and assaulted R-Truth. With actions like that, they’ll be babyface in a few weeks.

Backstage, Vickie Guerrero brings Teddy Long into her office to kick him out of the building.

Big Show returns – next week on RAW!

Non-title match: World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio vs. Randy Orton
I have to be honest with you – they really threw me a curveball with Randy winning the Raw MITB. Always being a top contender, it just didn’t seem necessary. We’ll see where it goes though. The story of the match is centered around Orton’s arm, like most ADR matches. He can never get the Cross Armbreaker applied like he wants it though, and Orton hits the RKO out of nowhere for a non-title win in about 9:00. I can’t imagine this bodes well for the future of ADR’s title run. Not quite match of the night for me, but right up there. **¾

Final Thoughts: Lots happening on the Smackdown fallout from Money in the Bank that could fill up the undercard for SummerSlam. The main events for SummerSlam on the Raw side look set (Cena/Bryan, Punk/Lesnar), but very unclear for Smackdown, so we’ll have to see where things are headed in the next couple weeks.

Matt’s Smackdown Top Five:
1) Chris Jericho
2) Randy Orton
3) Paul Heyman
4) Dolph Ziggler
5) Curtis Axel