Matt’s Smackdown Recap 8/2/13

Christian will be returning to SummerSlam to face Alberto Del Rio for the World Heavyweight championship. (Courtesy of WWE)
Christian will be returning to SummerSlam to face Alberto Del Rio over the World Heavyweight championship. (Courtesy of WWE)

WWE: Smackdown
August 2, 2013
Houston, TX
Toyota Center

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 Alex Riley. Is JBL not allowed in Houston?

Out comes the World Heavyweight champion Alberto Del Rio hopefully to tell us who his opponent will be for SummerSlam. He tries to get a “Vickie” chant going to show his appreciation for her allowing him to make this decision. He says John Cena should have picked him, but he’s too much of a coward. Del Rio pondered picking Brock Lesnar, but he’s facing CM Punk. He thought about Booker T, but like all things Houston, he’s a big disappointment. HA! So Del Rio has decided his opponent for SummerSlam will be…RICARDO RODRIGUEZ! Doesn’t his 30-day suspension expire today? Anyways, Smackdown GM Vickie Guerrero comes out to scold ADR for disrespecting her and picking a stupid opponent. Alberto asks for one more shot and mentions the Brooklyn Brawler, but the children in the audience don’t seem to know who that is. Since Del Rio isn’t taking this seriously, Vickie makes a #1 contenders triple-threat match for tonight: Randy Orton vs. Christian vs. Rob Van Dam. I’m telling you, they’re trying to turn her face.

After pinning AJ Lee last week on Raw, Kaitlyn receives a Divas title shot in her hometown of Houston. Plus, CM Punk meets FAN-DAN-GO. That’s all happening here tonight on Smackdown.

Let Us Take You Back to Last Week on Smackdown: We see all that went down between Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow.

Cody Rhodes vs. Jack Swagger (w/Zeb Colter)
Swagger beats up Rhodes for basically the entire match until Cody counters a Gutwrench Powerbomb into a sunset flip for the win in 2:00. Cole and Riley call this is the *new* Cody Rhodes after tossing that MITB briefcase into the Gulf of Mexico last week. ½*

After a break, Josh Mathews is standing by with Cody Rhodes. He doesn’t feel bad about what Damien Sandow did to him at ‘Money in the Bank’, he just grew tired of Sandow always thinking he was better than him, which is why he did what he did to Sandow’s MITB briefcase. Cody says that contrary to what Damien Sandow thinks, the best part about Team Rhodes Scholars was ‘Rhodes’. Sandow ATTACKS! Mike Rotunda and Road Dogg have to pry him off Cody.

Big E Langston vs. Sin Cara
During Big E’s entrance, he claps weight lifting chalk off his hands, thus creating a big chalk cloud around him. It actually looks really cool. They show AJ Lee costing Big E a match against Dolph Ziggler from last week’s Raw. Dolph watches this match on a monitor backstage. Big E dominates as you would imagine. He applies an abdominal stretch and grabs the rope for leverage. You don’t really need extra leverage when you’re Big E’s size and a power lifter against someone the size of Sin Cara, but I can appreciate the old school heel tactics. Rotunda must be the agent for this match. Sin Cara fires back with a couple of enziguri kicks, but quebradas into the Big Ending in 3:00. I dig this guy a lot. ¾*

Video package for the Wyatt family gets shown. It’s updated with them beating up Kane again from last week on Raw. Just awesome.

Renee Young interviews Kaitlyn backstage. She’s got Layla with her, too. Kaitlyn says, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, you’re going to get speared.” I don’t think that’s how it goes though. She goes on about this being a special building for her since the Toyota Center is where she won her first Divas championship here in her hometown of Houston, Texas. As for Layla, she says she’s never seen a Diva with the drive and determination that Kaitlyn has. Kaitlyn oddly accepts the compliment and they embrace. Hmm.

In the back, Alberto Del Rio complains to Vickie Guerrero for the triple-threat match. Raw GM Brad Maddox interrupts to tell Vickie he thinks she made the right decision. Del Rio disrespects Maddox, who then reminds Del Rio that he will be under his authority next Monday night. With nothing left to say, Del Rio storms off.

CM Punk vs. Fandango (w/Summer Rae)
They take us back to Raw this past week where CM Punk interrupted a Curtis Axel and R-Truth match to get at Paul Heyman. Axel was just enough of a problem to help Heyman escape. That might be the fastest he’s ever moved. Fandango avoids the Go 2 Sleep to take us into a commercial break. When we return, Summer Rae distracts Punk so Fandango can toss him into the steps and turn the tide. Summer Rae shows some personality in this match. She’s not just a mindless valet. She genuinely appears interested in the outcome here. Fandango misses a flying knee drop, allowing a comeback from Punk. He rolls to the apron to prevent the flying elbow, causing Punk to make a mistake and get kicked in the face. Fandango gets a nearfall off a Falcon Arrow. Punk stops him up top and brings Fandango down for a superplex into the Anaconda Vice for the win at 10:00 shown. Really good TV match from these two. ***¼

Flashback to Earlier Tonight when Vickie Guerrero made Alberto Del Rio’s decision for him.

Renee Young meets with Rob Van Dam backstage. Both Christian and Randy Orton interrupt for some camera time.

WWE Divas Champion AJ Lee vs. Kaitlyn (w/Layla)
Big E Langston is no longer allowed to accompany AJ Lee during her matches, which could be a problem. Things were going Kaitlyn’s way when Layla stands in front of AJ to prevent further beatings out on the floor. During the confusion, AJ throws Kaitlyn into the barricade and takes her back inside for the Black Widow submission to retain in 3:00. Layla appears to be quite ‘turned on’ by AJ. Have they both given up on dudes? Will t.A.T.u. be making a comeback in terms of WWE entrance themes? AJ and Layla skip away hand-in-hand and embrace on the ramp waving back at Kaitlyn. Hey, I’m down. *

Let Us Take You Back to Raw this past week: Vince McMahon gets involved and stirs the pot in this Cena/Bryan situation. They show us the Cena vs. Ryback tables match in its entirety. If you missed the show and want to know all the details, check out Scott’s Raw Recap.

Randy Orton vs. Rob Van Dam vs. Christian – #1 Contender’s Match for the World Title
Plenty of time left for a good main event. They remind us how both Randy Orton and Christian have scored wins over Alberto Del Rio over the past few weeks. Rob Van Dam however was not quite as successful. ADR comes out and tells these three that he will enjoy watching this match from backstage as they beat the ‘guacamole’ out of each other. He even thinks Ricardo Rodriguez could beat any of these guys.

Onto the match. Lot of RVD stuff to start. He hits the spinning heel kick off the apron onto Orton, but takes a Spear from Christian. After a break, Orton and Christian battle culminating in a superplex. In comes RVD. Monkey flips and split-legged moonsaults all around. This guy has been doing the same match for fifteen years. The match peaks again as RVD lands a somersault plancha on Orton and Christian to set up another commercial break. When we return, Orton breaks up a pinfall after RVD nails Christian with the Five Star Frog Splash. RVD looks for Rolling Thunder on Orton, but rolls right into a powerslam! It’s been done before, but a cool spot to bust out every couple years. Orton dropkicks RVD out and looks for the RKO on Christian. RVD shoots back inside and eats the RKO. Orton tries to nail Christian with the same, but Christian reverses to a backslide for the win in 9:30 shown. Plenty of great action here. Good to see somebody thinking outside the box and not just settling for finishers to always end matches. Interesting how something so obvious feels fresh in a way. ***½

Christian shakes both Orton and RVD’s hands after the match. Josh Mathews appears and wants to know how Christian feels being the new #1 contender to the world title. Before he can really answer, Del Rio jumps him from behind and superkicks him in the head. He stands over Christian as we fade to black.

Final Thoughts: Not a bad match on the program tonight. Everything felt focused as we draw another week closer to SummerSlam. This is one edition of Smackdown you will not want to skip past on your DVR.

Matt’s Smackdown Top Five:
1) Christian
2) CM Punk
3) Randy Orton
4) Fandango
5) Layla