Previously on SmackDown
Randy Orton brought his briefcase out for a hot match against RVD. I really got a kick out of the finish, which saw Van Dam bounce off the mat after missing a frog splash and get caught in an RKO. I could stand to watch these two feud for the WWE title this fall...
One of those trainwrecks that John Cena warned us about last Monday unfolded when Kaitlyn, Dolph Ziggler, Divas champ AJ Lee and Big E Langston were guests on MizTV. I actually thought it was okay when it was just AJ talking to start, but it quickly fell apart and ended with a Spear and Zig-Zag from the faces after The Miz used his host powers to make a mixed tag match for SummerSlam.
Summer Rae might be taking up the mantle of Ricardo Rodriguez in being the best thing about the guy she accompanies to the ring. Her "damsel with a twisted ankle" routine got Kofi Kingston and earned Fandango a victory.
Mi amore', Renee Young, got two big interviews last week as a talk with her lead Daniel Bryan into his match with Wade Barrett (which ended with the now beardless Brit tapping to a Yes Lock) and the Sandow-ized Money in the Bank briefcase was revealed backstage with the blonde.
Kane made quick work of the three man band (creatively known as 3MB) before Bray Wyatt delivered one of his cryptic creepies to say that he welcomed their Ring of Fire match at the upcoming pay-per-view (PPV). Also via the trinatron, Brock Lesnar read from a cue cards that said CM Punk is puny and the Beast will smash.
To cap off the night, the #1 contender for the World Heavyweight Championship (WHC), Christian, beat the WHC, Alberto Del Rio in a twenty minute match that I loved, but left me wondering what else they were going to do at SummerSlam other than end it with a different outcome. Damien Sandow tried to cash in his badass leather case, but was thwarted by Cody Rhodes. The crowd didn't need a reason for Rhodes' interference and they loved on the ending of a strong show.
(NOTE: This show was taped on Tuesday for broadcast tonight. Previews are spoiler free, but results are available here)
From the Shark Tank in San Jose!
The WWE championship feud within a feud continues when Bryan again faces the man whose face he shaved on Raw last week. Will Vince McMahon use this last chance to prove a point before SummerSlam? Will HHH be able to restrain himself from trying to co-opt DB's cheers? The only thing we can probably be sure of is that John Cena will be icing his elbow rather than appearing on the show.
The WHC feud could use...something. Any chance it gets that certain je ne sais quoi tonight? Does Sandow make any moves toward the champ, or does he first want to deal with Rhodes' promise to ensure he doesn't become a champion himself?
This is the only show where they can build a story up for the United States championship pre-show match, and if rumors of that morphing into a tag or six-man match are true I'd expect Big Show and Mark Henry to be in the mix. The non-Total Divas women's stories happen here - maybe there's a point to Layla's heel turn?
All that and the usual Raw recaps and well-produced video packages promoting Sunday's festivities, tonight on SyFy!
Expect to pop for:
Renee Young. Naturally beautiful, capable of disappearing into a straight interview or hamming her way through a comedy segment without taking the spotlight away from the in-ring performers...
I have a little crush on the Canadian, okay?
Those of us who watch NXT have been enjoying the former Score reporter's range there for a while now, but as last Friday night showed us, Young is taking over the main stage as well. I'm not ready to call her the second coming of Mean Gene yet (I
never rarely only occasionally have impure thoughts about Okerlund), but it's been a while since WWE programming has featured a backstage reporter that most fans didn't want to see locked in a closet with Heidenreich, or at least have them cross paths with Brock at the wrong time.
She seems to be a real fan, and the gushing I did above isn't just because I find her totes adorbs, she really is great at her job. Follow her on twitter for a laugh or two. Be careful if you google her though. She's apparently very popular with North American foot fetishists.
The heat is on:
Christian. As a multiple-shirt owning, TNA run defending member of the Peeps, I feel like I need to have a few words with my Captain. I'm very happy that the comeback has been successful from a kayfabe wins and losses perspective. You deserve another shot at the WHC, and I do hope that you get to carry it for a little while at some point. But even if you just stay in the mix and make guys like Del Rio, Sandow and Rhodes look good, that'll be a nice feather in your career cap.
But, when creative was trying to find the right storyline to bring you back from your long hiatus, did you guys talk about maybe some new catchphrases? Adding a wrinkle or two to your character? Cause, I gotta say, this greatest hits thing you're rocking isn't adding any new followers to the Coalition.
And this feud with Del Rio? You cornered Edge against him at 'Mania in your best friend's last WWE match, and beat him for your wear Big Goldie for the first time (and to become only the third man ever to have held both the NWA and WWF/E titles). Maybe we could bring that up instead of just saying "One. More. Match."?
Okay, man, good talk. Hey, have you seen Alberto? As one of his Delegados, there are a few things I want to check with him on, too.
Is WWE ready to layeth the smacketh downeth on your doubts about buying SummerSlam?
Use the comments to talk about loose ends you want to see tied up tonight, provide a link to your Mean Gene Okerlund/Heidenreich slash/fic archive, or, you know, whatevs. Then come on back for tonight's live blog, and stick with CSS all weekend long for all the SummerSlam coverage you can shake a stick at!