WWE Smackdown is in Corpus Christi, Texas this week. Smackdown starts with a bunch of Smackdown’s superstars having a party backstage. Tonight is The Great American Bash. A lot of mid-carders and jobbers at this party. I guess they have nothing more important to do tonight. Santino shows up to the party and he tries to light the grill. Then Kane shows up and sets the grill on fire. Kane’s ability to set things on fire is finally being used in a positive way!

Back in the arena, Alberto Del Rio is introduced to the ring by Ricardo Rodriguez. Del Rio says that he legally entered America. Texas is close to the Mexican border so Del Rio goes searching for illegal aliens in the crowd. Del Rio asks everyone for their papers that proves they are legal residents of the United States. One of the fans won’t show Del Rio his papers so Del Rio tries to get him removed from the arena. The fan is obviously a plant. The fan says, “This is not Arizona. This is Texas.” He said that because in Arizona people suspected of being an illegal alien must show their papers or else they get deported out of the country. They don’t do that in Texas. Sheamus comes out and he attacks Del Rio. They fight near the entrance ramp and Del Rio ends up slamming the hood of his car repeatedly onto the back of Sheamus’s head. Ouch.

After a commercial break, Sheamus is helped to the back and there is blood on his forehead.

The Great Khali and Layla vs. Antonio Cesaro and Aksana

Layla won the match after pinning Aksana. Quick and boring match. Cesaro is fun to watch, but this was not a good match for him and that’s too bad because he is rarely on Smackdown now.

Winners: The Great Khali and Layla

Rating: *

Backstage, Cody Rhodes tells Teddy Long that the Board of Directors granted him another Money in the Bank qualifying match. Teddy tells Rhodes that his opponent tonight is Christian.

A memorable RAW moment is shown and it is Mankind winning the WWE Champion on RAW. That was one of the few times a future Hall of Famer won his first WWE Championship on RAW. It’s unfortunate that Jim Ross was not able to call that match, but Michael Cole did a good job that night.

Money in the Bank Qualifying Match: Cody Rhodes vs. Christian

Cody Rhodes won after hitting Cross Rhodes. This match wasn’t much different than the other Rhodes vs. Christian matches. I’m not surprised Rhodes won, but I was surprised he won cleanly against Christian. That’s a big win for Rhodes.

Winner: Cody Rhodes

Rating: **3/4

Back at the party, Zack Ryder wants to be the DJ. He says he has songs from Justin Bieber, ‘N Sync, Backstreet Boys, and New Kids on the Block. Heath Slater enters and starts singing. Everyone starts booing Slater. Ryder starts playing music and he plays Brodus Clay’s theme song. No Justin Bieber? Everyone starts dancing.

Money in the Bank Qualifying Match: Alex Riley vs. Dolph Ziggler

Ziggler won with the Zig Zag. Riley got a few near falls and the match went back-and-forth. The match was less than three minutes.

Winner: Dolph Ziggler

Rating: *3/4

Michael Cole interviews AJ in the ring. Cole asks AJ if she ever thought about pursuing a real man like Michael Cole. Before AJ can answer him, Daniel Bryan comes out. Daniel Bryan calls Cole a sexist, emotionally abusive bully. Daniel Bryan says AJ will do an excellent job at Money in the Bank as referee and he knows AJ didn’t mean for Daniel Bryan to go through the table on RAW. CM Punk comes out and tells AJ that he is worried about her and that she needs professional help. Punk says he is not going to toy with her emotions just to get something that he wants. Daniel Bryan interrupts Punk and says that Punk doesn’t care about AJ. Daniel Bryan cares about AJ. Both men drop their microphones and AJ stops them from fighting. AJ turns to Daniel Bryan and kisses him. CM Punk leaves the ring and AJ kisses Punk too. After AJ leaves, CM Punk and Daniel Bryan are both shocked. I’m shocked too. This AJ storyline continues to get interesting.

Santino Marella, Sgt. Slaughter and Hacksaw Jim Duggan vs. Drew McIntyre, Hunico, and Camacho

Santino won with the Cobra. This match was what you would expect from a match that had Sgt. Slaughter and Hacksaw Jim Duggan. It wasn’t a great match, but I enjoyed seeing Hacksaw and Sgt. Slaughter.

Winners: Santino Marella, Sgt. Slaughter and Hacksaw Jim Duggan

Rating: *1/2

Back at the party, Ryder gets into a fight with Damien Sandow. Ryder grabs a bowl of punch and tries to throw the punch onto Sandow, but the punch lands on Eve. The WWE always has crazy parties. 

Curt Hawkins vs. Ryback

What?! No handicap match this week? It’s interesting to see Ryback in a singles match and he’s facing an actual WWE Superstar. Even with the tougher competition, Ryback wins easily.

Winner: Ryback

Rating: No Rating (NR)

Josh Matthews announces that Sheamus won’t compete in the The Great American Bash Battle Royal. The winner of the match will be the general manager of Smackdown next week.

Another memorable RAW moment is shown. It’s Donald Trump appearing on RAW via satellite in 2007 and thousands of dollars drop on the fans. I wish I could have been at that RAW.

20-Man Great American Bash Battle Royal

The final two superstars in this match were Kane and Zack Ryder. Kane charged at Ryder, but Ryder ducked and pulled down the ropes. Kane went over the top rope and Ryder won the match. I was disappointed with how the match ended. Kane should have easily defeated Ryder, but I knew Ryder would win. The winner will be Smackdown’s general manager next week. I knew that Ryder is the kind of guy the WWE wants as the GM and Kane is obviously not the right guy for the job. It makes sense for Ryder to win so he can be the GM, but having Kane lose to Ryder doesn’t make sense. That makes Big Show’s win over Kane on RAW look less impressive. Why should I consider Big Show a threat to win Money in the Bank now? I guess I shouldn’t be surprised because this is the same company that had Jerry Lawler win a huge #1 contender battle royal last year. I wish the WWE could have made the match less predictable. Ryder defeating Kane should have been a surprise, but instead it was expected. Why not be unpredictable and have Kane win? I would have loved to see Kane as the general manager of Smackdown next week. That would have been very interesting.

Winner: Zack Ryder

Rating: **1/4

Matches to Watch: Cody Rhodes vs. Christian, Alex Riley vs. Dolph Ziggler, Santino Marella and Sgt. Slaughter and Hacksaw Jim Duggan vs. Drew McIntyre and Hunico and Camacho, 20-Man Great American Bash Battle Royal

Matches to Skip: The Great Khali and Layla vs. Antonio Cesaro and Aksana, Curt Hawkins vs. Ryback

Best Superstar of Smackdown: Cody Rhodes

Rhodes qualified for the World Heavyweight Championship Money in the Bank match and he did it by cleanly defeating the current Intercontinental Champion and former World Heavyweight Champion Christian. That was a very impressive win for Rhodes because Christian is one of the top participants in the Money in the Bank match.

Best Moment of Smackdown: The AJ, Daniel Bryan, and CM Punk segment

One of the greatest storylines of 2012 continued on Smackdown. AJ has kissed Punk and Bryan before, but this was different. She kissed CM Punk less than a minute after kissing Daniel Bryan. It was weird that AJ didn’t mind Punk seeing her kiss Daniel Bryan and Daniel Bryan seeing her kiss Punk.

This was a good Smackdown. The matches were no better or worse than last week, but I liked the party segments and the AJ-Bryan-Punk segment. It was an entertaining show. Next week should be interesting with Zack Ryder as the general manager.