And we begin with John Cena open mic night, featuring some hilarious references to Nitro, After Burn, and the XFL. Way to be relevant there, John. Cena calls out Alberto Del Rio, but gets Ricardo Rodriguez instead since Del Rio is still stuck in his native land, Belgium.
Cena punches Ricardo in the face, because that's what heroes do, and now Wade Barrett is here to rekindle the Nexus feud and the crowd could not possibly care less. Looks like Barrett vs. Cena is next though.
Indeed, John Cena vs. Wade Barrett is our opening contest and it's a glorified squash. What a complete waste of time and I think it's safe to say Wade Barrett's ship has sailed. Bummer, this time last year, he was arguably the hottest thing in wrestling.
Sin Cara was scheduled to wrestle Alberto Del Rio tonight, but with Del Rio still in his homeland of Ireland, 2in Cara will take on Daniel Bryan instead. Uh, okay! Fun match, not as exciting as I'd hope, but a lot of the blame has to go to this abysmal crowd. What's the Matter with Kansas, indeed. Sin Cara attacks Bryan after the match, which is odd since he saved him two weeks ago, so maybe they are going to run with Sin Cara vs. Evil Sin Cara after all... should be interesting to see how that goes.
For some reason, Aksana is announcing the next match, which is The Divas of Doom vs. Kelly Kelly & Alicia Fox. And for some reason, Alicia Fox is apparently a face now. Sigh, at least Glamazon's new ring attire is still awesome. The Glam Slam is awesome too, especially when it's done to Alicia Fox. Divas of Doom pick up the win and the crowd is still dead silent.
Triple H/CM Punk contract signing up next and I'm still not entirely sure why this match is happening, especially right now. I get that Nash has issues and I don't think anyone realistically expected a Kevin Nash match to actually happen, but surely there's someone else for Punk to wrestle? Oh well, at least we get to hear Punk talk, that might get this crowd to make some friggin noise.
Luckily, Triple H is on tonight and laying into Punk for being unappreciative and Punk retaliates by telling HHH he's repeating Vince's same mistakes. Punk wants to be the catalyst for change and wants wrestling to be cool again and he's the guy to do it. Triple H gets defensive and Punk just keeps going and says that he apparently has to go through another COO to be the guy to bring change. "Don't fine me, don't suspend me, when I kick your ass." Finally, something to make this show fun, CM Punk is so, so good.
Kevin Nash hits the ring, Punk gets some good shots in, but a distraction from Triple H lets Nash nail the big boot. Then HHH gets shoved down for good measure. Good segment, but once again, ruined by this embarrassing crowd.
Great Khali vs. Sheamus up next, these guys had such a fun match on Smackdown a couple weeks ago perhaps the best Khali match I've ever seen. Too bad they won't be able to do it again, at least not with this crowd. Of course, just as things are getting fun, Jinder Mahal interferes and causes the DQ. No one is going to care about Mahal, ever. This guy belongs alongside Kenzo Suzuki, Rene Dupree, Mordecai, Heidenreich and other mid-2000s Smackdown characters that no one was ever going to pay attention to.
Main Event time! Christian vs. Randy Orton for the World Heavyweight Championship, inside a 15-FOOT HIGH STEEL CAGE! Hey, someone's gotta be excited for this show, the people who paid $45 a ticket certainly aren't.
It's hard to get excited for a match you've seen six times since May, especially one you know will end with yet another Randy Orton win, but these guys do mesh well. Christian has done wonders for Orton and has made him look more legit in three months than he has in the last three years. Still doesn't mean I have to like it, even if the RKO off the top rope looked absolutely brutal. Hate you, Randy!
But it's a cage match on Smackdown, so you know what that means... Mark Henry is coming to split some wigs! Henry annihilates Orton and becomes my new favorite
Despite the excellent ending and a very good main event, if this was the test run for Smackdown going live every Tuesday, here's hoping they stay on Friday. There's just too much pressure to put on a good show on a prime time Tuesday slot, but Fridays at 8? Expectations are lower and Smackdown's ratings remain incredibly strong, so they can kinda just do their own thing. Give me pressure free nights full of matches like Sheamus vs. Khali from a few weeks ago or Daniel Bryan vs. Wade Barrett. I'll take that on Friday over Barrett getting crushed by Cena on Tuesday.
This was a really bad week for WWE and it's only Tuesday. It only takes a couple bad shows to drain the audience and it's possible they've killed the momentum they built up over the summer. I'd hate that to be the case and I certainly don't want to be Mr. Cynical, but the last 25 hours have not been promising. CM Punk talked about "fun for everyone" tonight, someone please be the catalyst for that change.