Smackdown is the go home show before Night of Champions. Will it convince anyone to buy the show? We open with the Peep Show, one of at least two talk show segments on Smackdown. The guest is Albert Del Rio who arrives in an expensive car, introduced by his personal ring announcer. This guy’s mannerisms are brilliant. It’s hard to believe he spent most of his career as a babyface and wearing a mask. Christian thinks Del Rio is a flash in the pan. Christian challenges Del Rios to a match or a fight or anything else at Night of Champions. Del Rio will think about it. So Christian slaps him. That changes his answer to no.
The Hart Dynasty face Cody Rhodes and Drew McIntyre. Tyson Kidd is looking like a million bucks lately. The heels get an upset win that’s basically clean. We learn that the tag belts will be defended at Night of Champions, we just don’t know against who. There’s a really good (and long for TV) Jack Swagger versus Kofi Kingston match. It’s nice to see Swagger looking strong, but Kingston picks up the win via Trouble in Paradise as he’s the one with a match this Sunday.
Rosa Mendes and Kelly Kelly lose to LaCool. Then there’s a funny segment with them and Kaval. Michelle pulls the old pull names out of a hat bit so she can face Melina. Of course, all the names are Michelle. Kaval is so amusing with these two.
Christian faces CM Punk in the main event match and Del Rio joins commentary. Christian is game and puts up a long fight. Del Rios distracts Christian by claiming he’s reconsidering allowing Punk to hit Go To Sleep. Then Del Rio says his answer is still no. Big Show hits the ring and Punk tries to hold him off, but falls to the knock out punch. CM Punk will win Sunday.
Kane and Taker talk for the go home. It seems redundant to say Kane is over the top, but he’s really going all out tonight. Taker tries to appear when the lights go down, but Kane ends up behind him with the title belt. A beatdown ensues. I do sincerely hope these guys put on a great show Sunday, but I’m not optimistic and I’m not going to see it. I have something more important to do at 8:00 Sunday night than watch Night of Champions. If I were motivated to watch the show I could stay up late and watch the 11:30 pm replay, but I’d prefer a good night’s sleep. This simply isn’t a PPV worth losing sleep over. Kane even steals Taker’s moves to beat him down with.
This week’s TNA was actually pretty decent. At the PPV, Jeff Hardy and Kurt Angle drew while Ken Anderson beat The Pope. So Eric Bischoff announces a Three-way Dance at Bound For Glory. Dixie Carter overrules him and books a Hardy/Angel rematch with no time limit tonight. It was one hell of a match, but it ended in a double pin. So Bischoff went back to a three-way. Hey, I’m glad I saw that match, but it’s booking in circles again.
Tommy Dreamer tried to call a truce with Fortune, singing the praises of each and every one of them, often with shoot comments, but they beat him down. The other EV 2.0 guys were gone, but Brian Kendrick tried to make the save. Emphasize tried. After Fortune gets tired of the beat down Brian Kendrick issues an open challenge to any member of Fortune. Matt Morgan accepted, in street clothes. He dominates the match, but actually gets rolled up at the end. So Kendrick is getting a push.
Also getting a push: Jay Lethal, who won the X Division Championship. It’s not much of a title anymore, but it’s something at least. That’s the highpoints. Maybe extra time off helped them deliver a better show, I don’t know. I do know this is one of their best shows in a long time. All done with no Hogan. Coincidence?