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Chair Shots: Del Rio out of the World Championship match at WWE SummerSlam?

When Alberto Del Rio was once again made the No. 1 contender for the World Heavyweight Championship at SummerSlam, I didn't know anyone who was terribly excited about seeing Del Rio and Sheamus go one-on-one again after their title match at Money in the Bank failed to live up to expectations. Now, we might not have to.

In the fall out from Friday Night's Smackdown, General Manager Booker T called off the title match, as a result of Del Rio's actions. In case you missed it, Sheamus challenged Del Rio to a title match in the main event of the evening, which Del Rio agreed to and Booker T made official. When it came time for the match, however, "police" came to the ring to arrest Sheamus for stealing Del Rio's car on Monday night. Turned out that the "cops" were actually Del Rio's cronies, and they delivered a beatdown to the Celtic Warrior, and the match never started.

As a result, Booker T announced on WWE.com that Del Rio was no longer the No. 1 contender.

http://www.wwe.com/shows/smackdown/2012-08-10/who-will-challenge-world-heavyweight-champion-sheamus-26043663

I suspect we'll get the next chapter in this story on tonight's 3-hour Raw, although I wouldn't be surprised if all we find out is an announcement of a battle royal or one-night tournament to determine the new No. 1 contender on this Friday's Smackdown. And I think that might lead to the return of Randy Orton to the World Championship picture. Just as long as it's not another Triple Threat title match. I think that will come later at Night of Champions next month.

Orton vs. Sheamus was a program I think WWE started to set up a few months ago, when Orton last competed at a pay-per-view before being suspended, in a Fatal 4-Way for the title at Over the Limit. SummerSlam seems like a good time for a match of that magnitude.

However, I get the impression Del Rio might still be involved, although not in an official capacity. Him running some sort of interference to cause a no contest could set up a feud between him an Orton, and still put Del Rio in a high-profile spot on the second-biggest card of the year. It's a logical extension of the storyline.

Here's a few other thoughts on Friday's Smackdown.

There wasn't a whole lot of wrestling on Friday's show, which actually had the least amount of in-ring time for the blue brand in months, according to several sources.

Of note was the semi-main event between Rey Mysterio and Intercontinental Champion The Miz, which went about 5 minutes with Mysterio stealing a victory with a roll-up. It was an enjoyable match and one I wouldn't mind seeing added to the SummerSlam card for the IC title. Having guys like Big Show, Christian Miz and now potentially Rey Mysterio challenging for and carrying the Intercontinental Championship helps return some luster to the belt, in my opinion. ...

Chris Jericho vs. Dolph Ziggler was officially added to the SummerSlam card during the highlight reel segment in which Jericho said he's "bringing back" Y2J. I can only assume that means he's going full-on babyface now. Just a few weeks ago, Jericho was telling media outlets he was done with WWE after Aug. 14 (tomorrow's Smackdown tapings) to begin touring with Fozzy full-time, putting a potential SummerSlam match in doubt, but we all know Jericho loves working the dirtsheets. He'll be wrestling at least through this Sunday, and he seems to have kept his Monday's free, so a few more appearances on Raw aren't out of the question. ...

In a match announced by Booker T last week, Sin Cara defeated Cody Rhodes when the formerly dashing one spent way too much time trying to rip off Sin Cara's mask. It lead to a roll-up and another loss for Rhodes, who has been floundering since dropping the Intercontinental Championship to Christian a few months back. This does seem to set-up a program between the two, however, and that's a good thing for both of them. The SummerSlam card seems to be filling up pretty quickly, but I could see this added as a bonus match, or made the YouTube pre-show match. ...

The Prime Time Players once again became No. 1 contender's for Kofi Kingston and R-Truth's tag team titles, beating Epico and Primo by disqualification when A.W. threw water on the champs, who were doing ringside commentary, causing them to rush the ring and attack the PTPers. In case you missed it, WWE fired A.W. over the weekend (actually right before Smackdown aired) apparently because they were under pressure to do so after A.W. made that Kobe Bryant rape joke on Raw. While I am in no way going to defend A.W. making such a joke in poor taste, I am upset he was fired. I thought he was an entertaining character and his schtick was starting to get over. It's unfortunate mainly for the PTPers, because without A.W. as a mouthpiece, the fans will care even less about them. ...

Christian defeated Antonio Cesaro in another good, albeit short match. Good to see Christian get back to his winning ways, and Cesaro got all his heat back when he attacked Christian outside the ring after the match. Cesaro versus Santino Marella for the United States Championship was discussed by the commentators, but nothing official was announced. I think that would be a nice edition to Smackdown next week if it doesn't look like it'll make the SummerSlam card. ...

An angle was done to build up the Kane-Daniel Bryan match at SummerSlam that also involved AJ Lee, who exchanged crooked glances and smiles with Kane again. I thought they were done after Kane told her he wasn't "boyfriend" material? Whatever. Bryan is doing an amazing job at turning those Yes! chants into major heel heat for him. This time last year, after Bryan had won Money in the Bank as a white meat babyface, I thought he'd really struggle to be anything more than a Kofi Kingston or John Morrison type who always had good matches but never fully got over as a top guy. I'm glad I was wrong. He's easily the most well-rounded Superstar in WWE right now. I really hope he gets an extended angle with John Cena this fall. ...

Eve vs. Kaitlyn was announced for next week's Smackdown as well, with the winner becoming Booker T's new assistant. Eve once again asked for a job, and Booker declined, but when Teddy Long brought in Kaitlyn looking for work, he immediately agreed. Kind of a heel move, there, Booker. When Eve threatened legal action, Booker made a match for next week instead. I think Eve wins, then becomes the subject of same bullying she did to Teddy Long when she was John Laurinaitis' executive assistant. I hope I'm wrong, as I'd much rather see her as the lead heel Diva in the ring. ...

I fast-forwarded through Jinder Mahal beating a two jobbers, then Ryback coming out to "Finish it." I think Ryback has a great look, but I'm not buying him as a babyface. He can work his way through the mid-card (and let's be honest, the bottom of the card if we are talking Mahal, Curt Hawkins and Tyler Reks) before eventually turning heel to take the next step. He'd be a great monster for Cena to work with sometime next year. By the way, Booker telling Reks and Hawkins only the A-plus talent is allowed on Smackdown right before Jinder beat two jobbers was subtly hilarious. Perhaps Reks and Hawkins will join Mahal in his feud against Ryback. "Feed me three!" ...

Could've sworn when the I read the spoilers this week there was a 90-second squash match featuring Randy Orton vs. Jack Swagger. While I'm not surprised Swagger got cut from the show, leaving Orton off seems like a curious decision. The optomist in me says they are planning something for Swagger when he returns to TV, so they didn't want him jobbing to Orton so quickly. Yeah, that's it. ...

Tonight's Raw looks to be another solid edition of the three-hour format heading into SummerSlam. (Which begs the question, if SummerSlam is the No. 2 PPV of the year, why not make it four hours just like WrestleMania, especially with three-hour Raws?). CM Punk vs. Big Show is expected to kick-off the broadcast which, if it happens, will be a nice change-of-pace from starting the show with a long promo. Shawn Michaels is also expected to be on TV, and this is likely the week Brock Lesnar finally gets his hands on him, as the former UFC Champion is also going to be part of the broadcast. Check back for my reactions and review tomorrow. Also look for an interview with Smackdown GM Booker T later in the week and my SummerSlam preview.

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