“WWE: Then, Now, Forever”
“Ladies and Gentleman please welcome the chairman of the board for World Wrestling Entertainment, Mr. McMahon!”
-Mr. McMahon makes his way to the ring looking happier than usual, and gets on the microphone immediately, hyping the announcement for Smackdown’s new General Manager. “Here he is, your new General Manager for SmackDown… Booker T!” Booker makes his way to the ring and after pandering to the crowd a bit he grabs a microphone. He’d like to thank Vince McMahon and the WWE Universe, and the first thing he’s going to do as the new GM of SmackDown is… get interrupted by Alberto Del Rio. ADR comes down to the ring and the two begin to argue when Sheamus’ music hits and he makes his way down to the squared circle to join Booker and ADR. He congratulates Booker on the new position and humbly sheds off ADR’s taunts in an oh-so-likeable way. It baffles me that one of the hardest hitting, legitimate tough guys on the WWE roster has been reduced to little more than a loveable, friendly, super-face. Sheamus goes on to let us all know that he’s friends with Booker T by offering to hang out with him and enjoy a pint after the show and gets a jab or two in on Berto. ADR responds by saying he’s not competing until Summerslam, to which Booker T has other ideas. Tonight it will be Alberto Del Rio vs. Randy Orton! Berto leaves the ring all angry and Berto-like and Booker tells Sheamus he’s got a match as well, and it’s on next. Tensai’s entrance comes with the Sakamodo-shove tonight, and we’re shown a quick video of him mumbling something in Japanese with every other sentence containing words like “Tensai”, “Sheamus”, and “Brogue-Kick”.
Sheamus vs. Tensai
-These two guys are both absolute monsters and I have a feeling we’re going to see very physical action in this match. They lock up and exchange a few blows and knock each other around a bit with some shoulder tackles and elbows. Sheamus lands a few running knees to a fallen Tensai, and the action winds up outside the ring. Tensai tries to use Sakamodo as a shield but Sheamus is having none of it and throws him right back. Tensai throws Sakamodo into the barrier (poor guy can’t catch a break) which allows Sheamus to land some hard forearms. The action returns to the ring where they continue to beat each other up and quickly work back to the outside. Sheamus jumps off the apron into Tensai’s arms and gets rammed back-first into the steel turnbuckle. Back from commercial break we get a close-up shot of Tensai’s stomach which is all kinds of bruised up. The entire match is basically back-and-forth strikes with very few wrestling moves but watching these two literally welt and bruise up by the minute makes the match work nicely. More punching and manhandling ensues until Sheamus finally hits a powerslam out of nowhere and goes for the cover. Tensai kicks out at 2 and fights back to hit his old Baldo Bomb (Albert Bomb?) finisher which he now lands it like a Spinebuster instead of a sit-out slam, and it looks quite a bit more painful. Sheamus kicks out at 2 and fights right back to hit a quick Brogue Kick for the win.
-Great physicality in this match from two guys who always seem to truly beat the living shit out of anyone they work with.
-Backstage it’s Eve’s turn to suck up to Booker T, looking for a job on the Smackdown staff. Booker says there are no positions available, but he’ll let her know if anything comes up. Teddy Long comes in and Booker offers him a job immediately which he graciously accepts stating that with the two of them working together, “It’s gonna be on like a pot of napalm.” Oh Teddy, how you entertain us so. Eve is not too thrilled with this and storms off.
-In the ring Claudio Casti- errr, I mean Antonio Cesario would like to say “Hello” to us in five different languages. “Hello! Bonjour! Gratzi! Ciao! Hallo!” Hey, at least they were smart enough to keep the European gimmick. And his opponent… Santino Marello!
Antonio Cesaro vs. Santino Marella
-They start the match going back and forth with some counters until Cesaro picks Santino up around the waist from the mat and slams him in a move that I can only describe as an upside-down german suplex from the mat. Santino pulls off his usual split-duck into a hip-toss and goes for the cobra, which misses. They go back and forth some more and Santino goes for the cobra again, which he hits this time. He gets the three-count but Cesaro has a foot under the ropes so the match continues. He throws Santino into the barricade outside the ring and once back inside hits his Gotch-piledriver into a facebuster finisher (WWE is calling it the “Gotch-Style Neutralizer”) and pins Santino for the win. He then proceeds to make out with Aksana.
-Cesaro gets to beat the U.S. Champion twice in a row and gets to make out with Aksana every week? I think we’re looking at the soon-to-be new United States Champion.
-Backstage we’ve got Matt Striker interviewing Daniel Bryan who’s got a new T-shirt that reads: “NO! NO! NO!” and we’re shown highlights of Bryans troubles with AJ, Kane, the doctor, and Charlie Sheen. Whatever it is they’re doing with Bryan right now seems to be fine by him as he easily whips the crowd into a frenzy by telling them they’re no longer allowed to chant Yes!, Yes!, Yes! This leads to the crowd screaming Yes! (naturally) and he plays it up big time by chanting No! back at them. It’s amazing how this guy can control a crowd with the two simplest words in the English language.
Chris Jericho, Christian and Kane vs. Daniel Bryan, Dolph Ziggler and The Miz
-So apparently Kane is a good guy again. Who needs an explanation for a face turn when we can just chalk it up to AJ’s... (Continues on next page)