Well, well, well...look who's back.
You'll have to forgive my absence the past few shows as my wife gave birth to our first child two weeks ago, and let's just say that the learning curve has been quite steep.
In any event, I see I missed the end of the brand extension (kind of), a ridiculous twist in the Nash storyline (he texted himself...really?) and CM Punk's momentum is slowing each and every week.
However, tonight is the go-home show for Night of Champions and the IWC is absolutely terrified that Triple H is going to crush Punk at the pay-per-view like the proverbial bug and send him back to the midcard. I'm not actually expecting that but it definitely wouldn't surprise me.
Anyways, a rumored Bret Hart appearance should be interesting enough to check this one out so, let's get on with the show...
We are LIVE! from Ottawa, Canada (home of a tragically bad hockey team).
Alberto Del Rio is already in the ring and is complaining about being booed and disrespected by a bunch of stupid, Canadian degenerates. He continues with kind of a cheap heat promo completely designed to get the crowd booing him...I thought Alberto was above that kind of thing.
Anyways, sure enough, Bret Hart's music hits and the Hitman joins us in the ring to his usual big pop. Uh oh, Bret called the WWE title a "belt"...SOMEONE CALL VINCE! Alberto lets Bret have his say then calls him a homeless person who looks like one of those Canadian immigrants who clean his house...that was pretty funny. Anyways, there's a spotlight so guess who shows up?
That's right, John Cena. Cena runs his mouth as usual and proceeds to check out Del Rio's nuts (no seriously) before being all hip and referencing the very popular show Fantasy Island...wait, what?
Anyways, Del Rio wants a fight tonight so that means Cena is going to go one-on-one with...Ricardo Rodriguez. Cena counters by proposing Del Rio vs. Bret Hart for the World title...the crowd seems to like that one a little more even though there's absolutely no way it can possibly happen.
BUT WAIT—Dynamic Dude John Laurinaitis intervenes and books Del Rio/Ricardo vs. Cena/Bret...much better for the very concussed/brain-damaged Hart.
Seriously, has anyone checked to make sure Laurinaitis isn't Super Dave Osbourne? I'm starting to wonder...
Alex Riley and John Morrison vs. Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger
I smell an angle coming here. Morrison and Dolph do a nice opening sequence ending when John catapults him to the corner and hits a flash kick for two. Morrison charges and only hits post, allowing for a Dolph neckbreaker and a near fall.
The heels are on the other side of the ring and it's kind of off-putting after seeing the other way for so many years. Swagger and Dolph argue over the tag, allowing Morrison to get the lukewarm tag to Riley who dishes out spinebusters. Swagger recovers though and tries for the ankle lock, but Riley boots him into Dolph and hits a sloppy F5 for the win. Dolph had a chance to save him but chose not to do so...OH NO HE DIDN'T!
Winners: Alex Riley and John Morrison
Quick-as-hell match just to set up the angle at the end: 1.25 stars.
Meanwhile, Truth and Miz cut a promo on Air Boom...Truth better watch "ninja please" crap; Booker T can tell him how a slip of the tongue can give you Internet immortality.
Apparently, SmackDown was the No. 1 show on Sci-Fi last week...isn't that like being the best snowman builder in Kenya?
The Miz vs. Kofi Kingston
Miz hammers away and hits a suplex for one before going to the chinlock early. Kofi comes back with a monkey flip and both guys tumble to the floor on a hiptoss attempt to take us to our first commercial break.
We return with Miz in control with a short DDT for two. Why do announcers continually sell moves as ending matches when they haven't pinned anyone...ever?! It's the little things like that which drive me nuts. Kofi counters a charge in the corner to a sloppy double stomp the chest but makes the comeback anyways and hits a springboard high crossbody for two.
Miz puts Kofi down with a boot and but gets caught in a backslide for two. Kofi heads up but gets crotched and Miz hits a nasty-looking hanging neckbreaker. Miz looks to finish and the Skull Crushing Finale ends things.
Winner: The Miz
Of course, this means the heels won't be winning the titles at the PPV because WWE subscribes to the 50/50 booking model like it's the cure for cancer or whatever...match was pretty good though—three stars.
Meanwhile, Teddy Long books Dolph against Swagger, Morrison and Riley at the PPV for the US title. Kelly Kelly makes the mistake of sticking her implants in Vickie's business, so Long books them against each other tonight. Oh my, that should be a mat classic.
Nothing like jobbing your former tag champions to a retired announcer and a guy 80 percent of the audience has never seen.
McGillicutty runs down Lawler and mentions his father but they never actually say who his father is. Does this make sense at all? Why not just let him be Joe Hennig? Is that so bad? Anyways, Lawler introduces his mystery partner...
Jerry Lawler and Sheamus vs. David Otunga and Mike McGillicutty
I missed the Sheamus face turn but the smiling babyface act is really weird. The heels pound on Lawler in their corner but McGillicutty gets caught trying a fistdrop and Sheamus comes in. He beats the hell out of McGillicutty against the ropes and adds a knee lift. Shoulder block from the top takes down McGillicutty and he dishes out pump kicks to everyone. Razor's Edge KOs McGillicutty and that's all she wrote.
Winners: Jerry Lawler and Sheamus
Yep, more jobbing for the apparent "future" of the business. Unless they are sending McGillicutty and Otunga back to FCW for a repackaging, I don't get this booking at all..match was a total squash—one star.
Bret Hart and John Cena vs. Alberto Del Rio and Ricardo Rodriguez
Bret Hart, former multi-time World champion, doesn't even get his own entrance and has to walk out to "Mr. WWE," John Cena's music. Cena goofs around with Ricardo to start but then hits a back drop, sending him scurrying to Del Rio for a tag.
Alberto suckers Cena into chasing him and catches Cena with a kick. Cena makes a comeback out of nowhere and hits a Stinger Splash followed by a dropkick but Del Rio tags out while in the Attitude Adjustment, forcing Ricardo into the ring. Rodriguez gets destroyed with the usual Cena stuff as Alberto takes a walk and Bret Hart finishes things with the Sharpshooter.
Winners: Bret Hart and John Cena
Total and complete squash, as expected. I'll give .25 stars for seeing Bret's finisher but there really wasn't anything to see here.
Cena voices a video package of WWE patting themselves on the back for putting on a SmackDown show two days after 9/11. Why didn't they include the interview with Stephanie where she compared the terrorists to the United States government during the McMahon steroid trial?
Kelly Kelly vs. Vickie Guerrero
Kelly hits an awful bulldog which the crowd boos the hell out of and Swagger makes his way to ringside. He and Dolph get into a fight at ringside, allowing Kelly to roll up Vickie for the pin.
Winner: Kelly Kelly
DUD DUD DUD DUD...did I mention a DUD? At least it was short.
Backstage, Mark Henry cuts his EVIL promo complaining about being passed over for 15 years. Maybe if you had one match over three stars you'd get a look, eh?
If Mark Henry seriously becomes World champion, they should just rename the SmackDown title the TV title and be done with it.
Randy Orton vs. Cody Rhodes
LEGACY EXPLODES! I actually like Cody's new gimmick and he's definitely improved in the ring over the last year or so. Orton works a headlock and fires off a BAAAAAACK body drop as Mizark Henry makes his way to the top of the ramp. Orton chases him off with a chair and Cody can't even attack from behind properly as he gets clotheslined down.
Back in, "Stone Cold" Randy Orton stomps away and hits another clothesline for two. However, Mizark returns and this time has his own chair to counteract Orton's chair...it's like Shakespeare or something, man. Orton stupidly walks to the ramp and gets hit with a click off the apron to put him down and take us to another commercial break.
We return with Cody working the arm while Mizark imagines Orton is a giant Hershey bar. Wouldn't it make sense to promote your intercontinental champion vs. one of the World champions for more than a week? Oh wait, I forgot, the IC title means absolutely nothing.
Orton counters out and Henry moves closer as Randy makes his comeback. Hangman's DDT is countered to a Cross Rhodes attempt but Randy hangs on and hits his DDT anyways while the announcers debate which moves Henry is too fat to take.
Henry makes his way up the ring steps and Cody uses the distraction to remove his mask and bop Orton in the face with it for the win.
Winner: Cody Rhodes
Hey, this win should be a huge feather in the cap of Cody Rhodes and I'm sure they'll mention it a bunch of times...oh wait, he's already an afterthought and Henry is posing with the World title after a chair shot. Isn't the booking team fun? Match was an average effort for both guys—2.25 stars.
Main Event Interview
You know, Scott Keith had a great point when he said that the whole firing of Kevin Nash complete with wishing him well in his future endeavors was a big mistake because that's one of the few things fans these days buy as legit. Once you've shattered the "future endeavors" card, people are going to think everything is an absolute work.
Anyways, Punk goes through all the bad stuff COOHHH has said about him over the years and gets a standing ovation by mentioning all the crappy bodybuilders who have been given endless pushes. HHH counters by mentioning all the small guys WWE has pushed but fails to mention that Mysterio was busted for steroids in an attempt to get bigger. I seriously don't know how Hunter said that crap with a straight face.
HHH spouts the company line about listening to the fans so Punk wants to know where the WWE Ice Cream Bars are...nice. Punk continues with his points but HHH spouts how John Cena came from nothing and sells out arenas all over the world...well, except for house shows but I guess those don't count.
They go back and forth again for a bit until HHH brings us back to the match on Sunday. Punk goes all shoot crazy, dropping both of their real names and...his mic cuts out. He gets another and that mic goes out too. Finally, Punk's had enough and KOs Hunter with the microphone, heading to the back and taking us off the air.
Well, you could have skipped pretty much everything except the HHH-Punk stuff and not missed a thing. CM Punk remains the main draw on the show for the simple fact that he's not boring and predictable like the rest of his roster. Sure, they could kill his heat with the match on Sunday but at least his promos are good and you know you'll get a good match out of him.
Still, I highly doubt this will garner any more viewers for Night of the Champions.