Following up from Raw, Rey Mysterio is the first thing brought out to start the crowd out on a happy note. Rey grabs a mic and says it's been almost a year since he was injured in the very arena they're in. He never lost hope and he's happy to be home (in spanish) with all his people, to officially say he's back. On Raw, there was something he had to do; Alberto del Rio being in the ring made things sweeter. Right on cue, del Rio and Ricardo Rodriguez step out on the stage. Alberto greets the chihuahua back, but says that he made a mistake picking a fight against ADR. The people may not remember, but a year ago, it was del Rio that almost ended Mysterio's career. ADR says he could finish the job right now, but instead, he'll give an order: Leave his ring right now. Rey says no way. Alberto says that while Rey was gone, he won everything and at the moment, he wants to talk about Sheamus. Rey rubs the loss in Alberto's face, who answers by saying that Rey's return will be short. Alberto says that he, the next World Heavyweight Champion, will put a stop to Rey once and for all. Dolph Ziggler comes out and says that Rey can't take comfort in that, since the next WHC will be himself. Ziggler tells Rey to relax; he's not out here for him. Dolph is out for Alberto. Ziggler was going to cash in on Sheamus at Money in the Bank and blames ADR for his failure to do so. ADR tells him to bugger off. Rey tells them to shut up and fight if they want to. Ziggler agrees, but says they shouldn't fight one another, drawing out Sheamus to back up Rey Mysterio. Sheamus welcomes Mysterio back and says thy should do this fight now. ADR bails, leaving Ziggler alone. Sheamus hits an axe handle and Mysterio wants a 619, but Ziggler dodges out. Well, that will be a tag match later tonight, with or without Teddy Long.
Match 1: Primetime Players, Hunico and Camacho vs Primo/Epico and R-Truth/Kofi Kingston (Tag Team Champions), 8 man tag
Winners: Primetime Players, Hunico and Camacho via pinfall
Back from a commercial the heels are in the ring already. That doesn't bode well for them. With the exception of the Usos, this is basically the entire tag division in the ring right now. That's five viable teams - The Superstars team of Kidd/Gabriel and even the Ascension from NXT/FCW are direly needed to flesh this out. Epico and Hunico open up with some solid lucha. AW is miked up and immediately says Hunico should tag in the PTP. Epico hits a hurricanrana and tags in Primo for a dropkick and a one count. Hunico tags in Camacho who gets taken over, but quickly takes over with the power game. Primo dodges in the opposite corner and rolls Camacho up, who kicks out. Truth blind tags in, dances and punches Camacho, then hits his dancing leg drop for a one count. Camacho muscles Truth into the corner, and the match breaks down with all eight men in the ring. The Champs and the Colons clear the ring, leading into the commercial.
Back in, Kofi is in control of Camacho and lands the Boomdrop. He readies for Trouble in Paradise, but Hunico distracts from the floor, allowing a spinebuster from Camacho for a two count. Camacho corners Kofi and tags Hunico in for a tope and a two count. Hunico settles into a chinlock, but Kofi quickly fights out. Hunico tags in Titus O'Neil who delivers a rib breaker to Kofi, then casts him aside. Titus steps on the neck of Kofi. Kofi tries to fight against the entire corner but gets grounded and then scoop slammed for two. Titus locks in the abdominal stretch and beats on the ribs of Kofi, then throws him to the mat. Young tags in and promptly gets kicked in the face. Kofi tags in Primo, who enters with a springboard chop, a back elbow, a sweep, a leg drop, an elbow drop and puts Young in the corner for a chop. Primo hits the opposite corner and hits his version of whisper in the wind. Everyone ends up in the ring and gets tossed to the outside; Primo climbs to the top but gets distracted by AW and tossed down by Titus into Young's knees for a modified version of his finisher. It's good for the three count.
PTP are celebrating and Big Show makes his entrance, grim-faced. Truth immediately tries to stop Show, but gets tossed down. Kofi hits Trouble in Paradise to the back of Show's head, but he gets taken out by PTP. Show tosses Epico out and Truth punches Show, who answers with a WMD. On to Hunico and Camacho for a double chokeslam. Primo tries to climb out, but Show stands on his back and pulls him into the ring. Show stands him up and delivers WMD to the side of the head. Big Show grabs a mic and says "and? what." Quite the statement. Not quite the speech. PTP escape unscathed and Big Show takes out the rest of the tag division; maybe it was better that Kidd/Gabriel had the night off and Ascension are still in Florida.
Raw 1000 Moment with Jeremy Piven: Jeremy guest hosts Raw. And calls Summerslam "Summerfest". Piven also climbs the top rope and tries to crossbody John Cena, who catches him. Ok, that was kind of cool.
Remember, Raw is three hours starting Monday. Three hours. Three...hours.
A recap of Cena's Money in the Bank victory and a Tout video. Cena stops Big Show beating the living hell out of WWE Champion CM Punk, but does not cash in; he will cash in at Raw 1000. He then clocks Show with the briefcase. Michael Cole makes mention that "it's been years" since a superstar made any indication of when he would cash in the briefcase; that was the entirety of Daniel Bryan's heel turn in the past year (saying he would cash in at 'Mania and doing so early). Goddamnit Cole - You are so consistently wrong.
Match 2: Damien Sandow vs Zack Ryder
Winner: Damien Sandow via pinfall
Sandow stops Ryder mid entrance and berates the crowd for supporting the "brainless broski". Ryder hits the ring quick and lays rights into Sandow, who gets space between them and sheds his robe. Ryder hits a running forearms, but Sandow kicks his leg out from under him and stomps away. Vicious strikes leads to Sandow laying Ryder on the apron and taking his elbow pad down to lay exposed elbows to the neck of the broski. Sandow climbs back in and stomps away again, then lays knees to the midsection in the corner. Sandow lands the Crossarm Neckbreaker and wins.
This was the chance to have a match over two minutes for the guy against an established wrestler that the crowd is behind and they give the old squash treatment. Nothing but a missed opportunity. On a positive note, Sandow showed fire in his eyes and in his aggression, but there's no reason to put Zack Ryder down to anyone in two minutes. Nobody came out for the better with this choice: Sandow wrestles the same match as usual and Ryder continues to look like a goof.
Christian's Peep Show: Daniel Bryan and AJ
Christian recaps Bryan's proposal and AJ's acceptance via video, calling it bizarre. Christian introduces his guests, who will be married on Raw. AJ is now decked out in a Daniel Bryan shirt. Cole says the diamond on AJ's ring is 2.5 carats. It's like a bullshit machine that just doesn't clog. Christian asks how the wedding planning is going, but they agree that it's going well and show a clip, which includes Bryan putting a stuffed bunny in an ankle lock. Christian asks if Daniel Bryan is doing the right thing, and he answers, of course, "YES". Christian asks AJ if she's forgiven Bryan..."Yes". Christian asks if this is true love and they tandem "Yes yes yes". Christian wants to pose questions to the peeps - Should they get married? Crowd says no. Does Bryan really love AJ? Crowd says no. Does AJ know what she's doing? Crowd says no. The happy couple is growing less happy as the minutes tick away. Christian asks AJ if she knows what she's doing and she paintbrushes him in the face. The couple go to leave and Christian says he'll let the Bridezilla slap go; Bryan is scheduled for a match tonight. Christian says that before asking someone to marry him, he should ask about excess baggage, like psychotic ex-boyfriends. That Bryan has to fight now. So if at any point you kiss a person, they're your boyfriend. WWE's understanding of emotions continues to never rise above that of a 13 year old.
Match 3: Daniel Bryan vs Kane
Winner: Kane via disqualification
Bryan opens up with kicks to the leg, but Kane powers him away. Back to the leg kicks, and now clubbing blows from Kane. Bryan slips under Kane, but runs into a big boot and Kane covers for two. Kane locks in a bodyscissors with a chinlock and Bryan tries to elbow his way out. Bryan gets to his feet and kicks at the head of Kane, but runs into a backbreaker, then is stretched over Kane's knee. Bryan knees his way out, but ends up stomped in the corner by Kane. Bryan is whipped to the opposite corner but kicks out. To the original corner, Bryan backflips over Kane and lands a dropkick to the knee that sends Kane upside down. Bryan lays kicks to the chest but whiffs the headshot. Kane wants a chokeslam and Bryan escapes, then lands a dropkick in the corner and lands his kick to the head for two. Bryan climbs to the top rope and jumps into an uppercut from Kane who coveres for two. Kane catches Bryan for a side slam and gets another nearfall. Kane heads to the top rope this time and tries the diving lariat, but Bryan catches the arm and wants the Yeslock. Bryan has a hard time getting Kane to the mat and he powers out. Bryan low bridges Kane to the outside and he almost falls on AJ, who falls down out of the way. Bryan checks on AJ and takes a boot to the back of the head for his concern, then gets tossed into the steel stairs. Kane throws Bryan into the barricade, then into the announce table. Back into the ring, Kane calls for the chokeslam. AJ cllimbs to the top rope and jumps on Kane's back, clawing at his face. Bryan kicks at the distracted Kane's knees, but runs into a Chokeslam, while AJ is still on Kane's back. AJ continues clawing at the face, but Kane spins her around so that she's hanging off of his front. AJ hops down and Bryan drags her out of the ring to safety. AJ apologizes for costing Bryan the match and he says it's ok. They kiss at the top of the ramp.
Well all that concern he showed doesn't exactly scream "I'm going to turn on you at Raw.", now does it? Weird situation and hard to predict, but that makes it all the more interesting!
Raw 1000 Moment with Zack Ryder: GTV's catching superstars in the back.
Match 4: Heath Slater vs Road Warrior Animal
Winner: Road Warrior Animal via pinfall
A recap of Slater's deluded remembrances of his interactions with WWE legends plays. Slater says he's happy to bring the one man band to Smackdown and that his luck is about to change. Because he said it's going to. Uggghhhhhh WHAT A RUSH!
Animal makes his way to the ring and Slater is weary. Slater wants to attack from behind while Animal removes the spikes, but runs into a clothesline. Animal lays boots in the corner and Slater tries to fight back, landing rights and elbows. Slater hits the ropes and runs into a big powerslam and a jumping elbow drop.
The crowd is happy to see Animal in the ring and Slater should be thrilled to be on TV. This is still a fun gimmick - Can't wait to see who lays into Slater at Raw 1000. Maybe a cavalcade of legends hands him a beating?
Vickie and Ricardo are in the back and Vickie spits out another awkwardly timed "Excuse me". Ricardo breaks down why Vickie is jealous of ADR and she says she's a better manager - Ricardo points out that he's a ring announcer. Vickie loses her mind and shrieks at Ricardo, then she throws a tantrum. What in the blue hell?
Match 5: Alberto del Rio and Dolph Ziggler vs Rey Mysterio and Sheamus (World Heavyweight Champion)
Oh hey a tag match main event with the four guys who opened the show - who could have seen that coming! Vickie interrupts Ricardo to introduce the "star of this team", Mr. Money in the Bank. ADR and Ziggler are apprehensive around each other while they await their opponents. To hammer home to the crowd how happy they should be to see Mysterio back, the World Heavyweight Champion enters first. Mysterio makes his entrance and is wrestling in a tank top now.
Sheamus overpowers Ziggler to start and then delivers a headlock takeover. Ziggler takes a shoulder block, but comes back with a dropkick after a leapfrog for barely a one count. Sheamus wants a fireman's carry and Ziggler fights out, but then runs right into the lift and a rolling fireman's carry. Mysterio tags in and lands a springboard leg drop and forearms. Rey fights out of the corner but runs into a big clothesline from Ziggler for one. ADR tags in and lands a running kick to the ribs. Rey kicks out in two then tries to slide under to tag, but gets caught; Rey slips out and tags in Sheamus, prompting Alberto to tag out to Ziggler. Ziggler gets tossed over the top but lands on the apron, delivering forearms to the chest. Ziggler falls to the floor and Sheamus follows. Sheamus rolls Ziggler back in, but after a distraction from del Rio, Ziggler lands a dropkick, putting Sheamus on the floor and ADR follows up with a kick to the World Champ, leading to a commercial.
Back to the action, Sheamus is fighting out of a chinlock from Ziggler. Sheamus tosses Ziggler across the ring and tags in Mysterio, who climbs to the top and lands a senton, then a headscissors. Rey runs into a kick from Ziggler, who tries a sunset flip. Rey rolls through and kicks Ziggler in the head for two. Ziggler fights up, but gets dropkicked into the middle rope. Rey wants 619, but del Rio kicks him in the back and Ziggler lands a Fameasser; Ziggler screams for the ref to pay attention and count, netting him two. ADR tags back in and lands a stomp to the knee of Mysterio. Del Rio has a chinlock on Rey, who turns and knees his way out. Mysterio runs into a tilt a whirl backbreaker for another nearfall. Ziggler tags back in and stomps at Rey. Ziggler stretches Rey in the ropes and ADR lands a cheap shot kick behind the ref's back. Ziggler with a grounded bow and arrow stretch on Rey, who fights his way out. Ziggler snaps off a neckbreaker out of nowhere. ADR tags in once again and punches away at Mysterio. Mysterio crawls for a tag, but gets caught. Del Rio pressures Rey in the corner, but gets back dropped over the corner. Rey is slow to move toward Sheamus and ADR manages to tag Ziggler, who intercepts. Ziggler wants a powerslam, but Rey spins out and lands a DDT. Sheamus is desperate for a tag and we get them on both sides. Sheamus lands axe handles to ADR and then a shoulder and knee lift. ADR escapes a powerslam and kicks Sheamus, wanting the Cross Armbreaker. Sheamus shoves ADR into Ziggler on the apron, who goes flying, leaving del Rio to stumble into White Noise. Sheamus calls for the Brough Kick, but Ricardo grabs at his legs from the outside. The ref calls for the bell and ADR lands a kick to the head of Sheamus, then locks in the Cross Armbreaker. Four more refs hit the ring to break up the submission and ADR rolls out of the ring.
The ref brigade chases Alberto and Ricardo off while Sheamus is hurt in the ring; Ziggler contemplates cashing in his briefcase. Ziggler hands the briefcase to the ref, but Mysterio attacks from behind, landing 619, leading to a Brough Kick. Ziggler is thwarted again, but is still Mr. Money in the Bank.
With the exception of Heath Slater making a bonus appearance, a pretty run of the mill Smackdown with tag action galore. I expected a bit more for the episode, as Raw 1000 is being treated like a PPV, so you would want a strong lead in. DX will open the show for Raw 1000; Lesnar and The Rock will both appear in person as well. We'll likely be overloaded with stuff about Tout, but the show will more than likely be good. What's far more important is how Raw 1001 is treated; that will be the real litmus test for how well this experiment goes. If the extra hour is mostly social media shenanigans and not more wrestling, it's really a wasted effort as far as the fans go.
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