WWE Friday Night SmackDown comes waltzing back into our lives tonight (July 12, 2013) from Providence, Rhode Island, with a taped show on the SyFy channel featuring the fallout show from the Money in the Bank pay-per-view (PPV) this past Sunday night in Philadelphia.
If you're the impatient type and wish to read full spoilers for the show you can find out exactly what goes down by clicking here.
Either way, come back here at 8 p.m. ET for the SmackDown live blog.
WWE SMACKDOWN RESULTS AND LIVE BLOG FOR JULY 12
Broadcast is live.
We start with Teddy Long in the ring. He welcomes everyone to SmackDown and brings up the fact that Vince McMahon hired Brad Maddox as new General Manager for Monday Night Raw.
Her pronounced his name like CM Punk does. Mad-Ox. Love it.
Long informs us McMahon will be here tonight and he'll be giving Long a job evaluation no different than he did Vickie. Long asks the crowd if he's been doing a good job and whether or not everyone would like to see him as permanent GM of SmackDown.
Hey, that's Booker T's music!
Booker makes his return by shouting, "WHAT'S UP, UNIVERSE?"
Hate that word.
Booker thanks Long for doing "a hell of a job" in his absence but he's back now and ready to do his duties as General Manager.
That brings out the Chairman of the Board himself, Vinny Mac. He's strutting to the ring. God, yes. They show legions of fans in the audience bowing to him. I would be doing the same.
Love Mr. McMahon.
Booker and Teddy can't help but smile back in the ring.
Vince: "Alright, let's hear it for Booker T! Let's have a Providence, Rhode Island, welcome for Teddy Long!"
Vince tells them only one person can be in charge of SmackDown and it's important he makes that decision here tonight. He asks Teddy how he would impress everyone and what match he would book.
He makes Curtis Axel vs. Chris Jericho for the Intercontinental title.
Vince turns to Booker and he gets his turn. He says he would make Alberto Del Rio, the world heavyweight champion, against Randy Orton, the winner of the "All Stars" Money in the Bank ladder match.
Suddenly, the Raw theme song plays and here comes Brad Madd-ox awkwardly rushing down to the ring. McMahon wants to know what he's doing here on SmackDown. Maddox thinks he should make him the General Manager of SmackDown, in addition to his duties on Raw.
He was already going to suggest both matches it took the two of Teddy Long and Booker T to come up with and in addition to that, the SmackDown return of Rob Van Dam.
McMahon takes the floor and we get a drum roll.
The permanent General Manager of SmackDown is VICKIE GUERRERO.
Oh my god.
Looks like Vince rehired the candidate he wanted running Raw and gave her a lesser position.
She's got a mic and is getting nuclear heat. She thanks Vince before turning on the people, bringing up the fact that they were the reason she was voted out of her position on Raw. And for that, she hates each and every one of them.
But she's back now, and she's back with power.
Jack Swagger vs. Dolph Ziggler
Naturally, Zeb Colter and Swagger's new tag team partner, Antonio Cesaro, are ringside for the match. Ziggler is out there on his own, which is going to take some getting used to, though AJ Lee is watching in the back with her best friend, Big E. Langston.
It isn't long before Ziggler ends up on the outside and the referee emphatically removes Cesaro and Colter.
All things being equal, it doesn't take long after for Ziggler to counter his way out of the Patriot Lock before hitting the Zig Zag to get the pinfall and the victory.
He's got a mic in hand now.
"Last Monday night, I dumped my girlfriend, AJ. And I'm sorry. I'm sorry I didn't do it a hell of a lot sooner."
That came across like a mea culpa to the audience.
AJ is shown backstage and she's really distraught, crying, and screaming, and throwing things. Langston tries to comfort her but ends up getting beat up for it. Finally, he hugs her tight to his chest and lets her cry on his shoulder.
He holds her head in his hands and she looks up at him, vulnerable as can be. He teases kissing her on the lips, but instead plants one on her forehead.
AJ is confused by this. For that matter, so is Michael Cole. "I'm not exactly sure what we just witnessed," he says.
The Shield vs. The Usos
The match never actually got started. The Usos jumped The Shield before it started and that brought out Dean Ambrose for THAT DAMN NUMBERS GAME.
Then, Mark Henry's music hits and he's now firmly a babyface, something I have no clue how to feel about.
The Usos recover and hop back in the ring to clear out the heels. The Usos music plays to end the segment.
Daniel Bryan vs. Wade Barrett
Bryan out to a monster ovation. The crowd stays doing the "YES" chants as the match starts, eventually switching to a "DAN-IEL BRYAN" chant.
This crowd is perfect for what WWE is trying to do. For his comebacks, they immediately go into the YES schtick, pumping their arms in the air and creating a good backdrop for Bryan's offense.
The match is relatively short, with Barrett getting enough offense in for Bryan to get a comeback or two in and eventually secure the win via tapout.
Awesome response to the best in the world right now.
Backstage, Vickie Guerrero runs into Brad Maddox, who is overly excited about the situation between the two.
Brad says "we're even now, right?"
Vickie says, "sure, let's shake on it."
So Maddox extends his hand and ends up getting smacked hard across the face. The sound that slap just made was sickening.
Miz TV up next featuring special guest Paul Heyman, who still doesn't have entrance music. I wonder why they never bothered to give him anything.
They show the replay of Brock Lesnar beating CM Punk down from Raw and Heyman smirks at Miz, asking what his question will be. Miz says he's got nothing to say to him and nothing to ask him because he knows he'll just lie through his teeth.
So instead, Miz just holds up the microphone and says he can say whatever he wants.
Heyman says he's merely an advocate; however, Lesnar is a mericless monster with his sights set on Punk. It doesn't take long for a Punk chant to break out.
Heyman continues: "What you don't realize is how painful this is to me. I still have love in my heart for my former best friend. So I have a plea for Punk: stay down. Stay down, go home, leave the WWE Universe behind, lick your wounds, and don't ever even think of getting back up again because if you ever show your face here again, Brock Lesnar is going to take your actions as a spiteful act of provocation and you are going to be dealt with by the beast incarnate, BRRRROCK LESNAR!"
That's just good stuff.
Miz with the poignant response.
Miz wonders if Heyman is enjoying this. He understands now, though, why Paul lies so much. It's because he's even uglier when he tells the truth and shows himself to get off on everything that is happening. Miz is revolted by his face, by the fact that he swore on his children and still lied.
Is that Miz holding up good old family values?
Miz drops the mic and starts to walk out but an incredulous Heyman picks it up and introduces Curtis Axel, the man who defeated Miz at Money in the Bank to retain his Intercontinental championship.
Axel walks past Miz without a confrontation and does his silly shirt rip gimmick. Why doesn't he wear an actual shirt to do that? He continues down the ramp and does his other silly gimmick, shouting "I HAVE ARRIVED" while his head violently shakes and he appears to be in a coke induced fit of rage and insanity. Is there anything to like about this guy other than his work in the ring?
Curtis Axel vs. Chris Jericho
This is Jericho's last WWE appearance for a while, barring a surprise return at some point over the next couple months, so soak it in.
The match was good, nothing special, and ultimately saw Heyman distract Jericho just enough to give Axel time to hit a kick to the head and a front face plant that got the victory to retain the title.
JBL was the only one on commentary to put the win over as a big deal. "Axel just pinned, in the middle of the ring, a 9-time Intercontinental champion. What a win!" Nice to hear someone knows how to do their job over at that desk.
Axel leaves and Ryback makes his way out. Like a bear playing with its fallen prey, Ryback kicks Jericho around a bit before standing him up and talking to him a bit. Before he can strike, though, Y2J fights back. It doesn't last long. The meathook clothesline leads to the Shell Shock.
Ryback went to walk away but saw Jericho starting to get back up on the titantron. So he turned around and booted him in the stomach.
"See you around, Chris."
Damien Sandow out with his Money in the Bank contract. He's parading the blue briefcase around while the announcers remind us that he totally screwed over his friend, Cody Rhodes, to get that guaranteed shot at the world heavyweight title.
Sandow quotes Ghandi: "The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong."
He goes on to say he did not screw Rhodes, despite what everyone else is saying. Everyone knew it was every man for himself in that match, so he couldn't possibly have screwed over his best friend.
Meanwhile, Rhodes outright attacked him on Raw this week, so that's the question that needs to be brought up.
Sandow says he won't react to this like the rest of the slack jawed mouthbreathers out in the audience. That's what separates the intellectual savior from the unwashed masses. That's what separates knuckle dragging half wits from a beacon of enlightenment like himself.
"Cody Rhodes and I are both civilized. Cody Rhodes and I are still best friends. So I would like to get Cody out here for an opportunity to explain himself so we can get past this."
That brings out Rhodes, wearing a suit jacket sans tie. Cody gets in the ring and asks for the mic but Sandow says he doesn't need an explanation, actually. He just wanted to look Rhodes in the eye and forgive him for acting out in anger.
"I may have prevented you from becoming Mr. Money in the Bank but I would like to rectify that. I would like to offer you a metaphorical olive branch. I would like to offer you the honor of being protector of the case. ... Cody, you've earned this."
Sandow hands him the case and Rhodes responds by smashing him in the head with it. Damien bails out and Cody throws the briefcase all the way up the ramp.
Rob Van Dam vs. Darren Young
Not much of a match. Young was on offense for most of it, but RVD made his comeback and picked up the pin off the Five Star Frog Splash to a solid pop from Providence.
Those frog splashes have looked fantastic.
Pre-tape of Vickie Guerrero telling someone on the phone that the office is a mess and she wants it redecorated for next week.
Teddy Long shows up and asks why Vickie wanted to see her. She says they should let bygones be bygones. They were both awful to each other in the past and now they can move forward like adults in the future.
"You really mean that?"
Vickie calls security and says she wants him out of her office, out of her building, and out of her life.
And if he ever comes back to a SmackDown show, he's going to have to buy a ticket.
Randy Orton vs. Alberto Del Rio
This should be interesting if only because of the WWE.com report that Orton suffered multiple injuries to his neck during this match.
Del Rio spent most of the match in control until we got to Orton's series of moves. ADR teased an RKO at one point but was countered. After the draping DDT, Orton teased the RKO but he was countered too, getting hit with the backbreaker for a two count.
At this point, Del Rio started slapping his arm and the marks in the crowd started following along with him.
Unbelievable. That's on Del Rio, though, because that's working like a babyface when that's not what he's supposed to be doing.
The finish saw Del Rio attempt the Cross Armbreaker but Orton roll through while holding his arm, which was apparently bugging him anyway. When Del Rio tried to follow with a kick, Orton moved over and hit the RKO to get the pinfall.
The show closed with Orton celebrating with the briefcase.