The July 31 taping of SmackDown was held at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, and will air Friday, Aug 8. The show featured superstars like the World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus and the number one contender Alberto Del Rio, a new SmackDown General Manager and AW after his Kobe Bryant comment on RAW, as reported by Wrestling Inc.
At the opening of the show, World Wrestling Entertainment chairman Vince McMahon entered the ring to announce that Booker T was the new General Manager of Smackdown. The former wrestler and commentator's new position follows the appointment of AJ Lee as RAW Genera Manager.
The new GM barely had any time in his new position before he was interrupted by the number one contender for the World Heavyweight Championship Alberto Del Rio, followed closely by the current World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus. After Del Rio announced on RAW that he wouldn't compete until his Heavyweight Title match at SummerSlam, Booker T forced him to compete against the returning Randy Orton.
During the Orton vs. Del Rio match, Wrestling Inc. says that the number one contender kept Orton down until he got his second wind. When Orton started to make a comeback, Del Rio's personal ring announcer Ricardo Rodriguez got involved and caused the match to end via disqualification.
After the DQ, Del Rio attempted to head out of the arena, but Sheamus came out to force him back into the ring. Randy Orton hit an RKO to close the show.
Earlier in the night Sheamus faced off against Tensai. The match went Sheamus' way after Tensai missed a splash in the corner, allowing Sheamus to connect with a Brogue Kick.
One-half of the Tag Team Champions R-Truth faced Darren Young with manager AW at ringside. AW brought unwanted attention onto himself on Monday's RAW when he made a comment about Kobe Bryant's alleged sexual assault of a hotel employee from 2003.
Despite the negative press after AW's remarks, the manager was at ringside with a microphone like he normally is. Young won the match, alluding to a possible title change the next time Kofi Kingston and R-Truth defend their Tag Team Championships against The Prime Time Players, Darren Young and Titus O'Neil.
SmackDown rookie Antonio Cesaro won another match against United States Champion Santino Marella follwoing a long back-and-forth fight between the two. After defeating a champion multiple times, it would make sense for Cesaro to get a US Title match at some time in the near future.
Daniel Bryan, Dolph Ziggler and The Miz beat Kane, Christian and Chris Jericho in a six-man tag team match combining several feuds. This comes just after Dolph Ziggler and The Miz lost to Christian and Chris Jericho in a tag team match on RAW.
A Ryback match was announced for the evening, with him facing Jindal Mahal. This match had a different pace than most of Ryback's matches.
Usually Ryback faces jobbers, wrestlers who show little to no chance at beating him and serve to make him look unstoppable. Mahal did things a little differently by getting disqualified after hitting Ryback with a microphone at ringside before running away.
During backstage segments, Booker T made former SmackDown GM his personal assistant. Booker also places Cody Rhodes in a match against Sin Cara on next week's SmackDown.