Hey everyone. Sorry for the lateness of the recap. Both Eric and I had some stuff going on the last couple of days. Anyway, the 12/9/11 edition of SmackDown! begins with Booker T laying on the entrance ramp, being attended to. The camera pans over to Cody Rhodes, who apparently attacked Booker before the show started. We then see what happened, as Rhodes clubbed Booker from behind before stomping him a bunch and throwing him into the guardrail. There is a table, ladder and a chair set up at ringside to hype the PPV. Tony Chimel introduces Lilian Garcia, who is back to announcing SmackDown! full-time. I for one gladly welcome her back. As she thanks the crowd, Rhodes, who is still at ringside, cuts her off. Rhodes says he hates to be the purveyor of the truth, but no one cares she’s back, and he’s pretty sure no one noticed she left. He does appreciate the return of an announcer, though. He asks who is going to do Booker T’s job tonight, and answers with himself. Booker T, watch carefully, as you might learn something. Sucka. I love that Rhodes felt the need to put his gear on to do all of this.
MATCH 1-“Beat the Clock” Challenge: Wade Barrett vs. Ezekiel Jackson
Before the match starts, Josh Mathews informs us that Barrett and Randy Orton have “Beat the Clock” Challenges last night. They are facing each other at TLC, and whoever wins their challenge the fastest tonight gets to pick the stipulation for their match at the PPV. Barrett immediately tries for a school boy, but Zeke holds steady. Barrett gets a 2 off a missed elbow, and now both are back up. Barrett with a boot to the stomach and a side headlock. Zeke throws him off into a shoulder block for 2. Another club to the back gets 2. Barrett runs into another shoulder and gets clotheslined to the floor. Zeke pulls Barrett back in and lays in some shoulders into the corner. Barrett ducks a clothesline off the ropes and rebounds with a chop block to the left leg. He throws Zeke shoulder-first into the corner post and rolls Zeke up for 2. Barrett goes to the side chinlock, obviously getting in the head of Orton by stealing his best move. Zeke fights out with a punch, but Barrett hits a mule kick to the gut before dropping Zeke with a pumphandle slam for 2 as we go to commercial.
WINNER: Wade Barrett at 7:53. After the match, Barrett tells us when he started the “Barrett Barrage”, it was to take him all the way to the World Championship, but Randy Orton has been standing in his way. So, he did what no one had done before, and that’s humiliate, embarrass and defeat Randy Orton repeatedly. Orton’s always had a psychological advantage over his opponents, but not this time. There’s only one voice in Orton’s head now, and it’s Barrett’s. As far as being the “Apex Predator” and Orton’s match tonight, Barrett’s voice is telling him he’s out of time.
Later tonight, we’ll see Orton’s match, as he takes on US Champion Dolph Ziggler. We will also hear from both World Champion Mark Henry and The Big Show, who are facing of in (ugh) a Chairs Match at TLC.
We see David Otunga and Teddy Long in Long’s office. Otunga says the only reason he was on SmackDown last week was because it was a holiday party. Mick Foley made an egregious error in putting Otunga in a street fight with Orton. Otunga is a RAW superstar, and Orton is a SmackDown! superstar. Therefore, he shouldn’t have had to wrestle. He personally feels the best solution is to have the loss expunged from his record. Long says Otunga is right in that Mick Foley gets carried away sometimes. But, as a WWE superstar, Otunga is subject to the whims of the ruling authority, regardless of what show he’s on. Tonight, Long’s going to show Otunga how creative he can be by putting him in a match. Otunga asks who he’ll be facing tonight, and Long says it will be Sheamus.
Back in the ring, Josh Mathews introduces “Mr. Money in the Bank” Daniel Bryan. Bryan comes down to the ring, ribs still taped up from the cage match last week. Mathews mentions that Bryan was so close last week, but was physically brutalized. Bryan says the cage match was painful, but what was more painful was the disappointment he felt in letting everyone down, having everything you ever wanted right in front of you and not being able to have it. He was so close to winning the belt, but he lost it. Michael Cole gets on a microphone and cuts him off. Cole calls Bryan a loser. Bryan tells him to shut the hell up. He doesn’t know what Cole’s problem is or why he gets no respect. Cole says Bryan is whining, and will still be whining when he fails to successfully cash in his briefcase. Bryan has never earned a title opportunity. Bryan mentions he made Cody Rhodes tap out to earn a title match, and he’s earned everything he’s got since he’s been here. Cole tells him he should do the world a favor and just go away, maybe go work for a coffee shop and become a barista. Bryan climbs out of the ring and screams in Cole’s face about making him tap out, but is attacked from behind by Cody Rhodes, who stomps him in the ribs. Cole continues to berate Daniel Bryan as the officials are checking on him.
After the commercial break, we see a replay of what just happened as Michael Cole continues to bitch on his headset. Cole says Bryan has no business being here, and Mathews tells him he had no business interrupting Daniel Bryan.
MATCH 2: Zack Ryder vs. Heath Slater
Slater gets the jobber non-entrance. Tie-up to start. Slater backs Ryder into the corner, but Ryder fights out with punches and follows up with a flying forearm. Slater comes back by throwing Ryder into the corner face-first and follows up with a clothesline to the back of the head. A kick to the ribs sends Ryder into the corner, where Slater stomps him. Ryder gets his knees up on a charge, sending Slater into the bottom turnbuckle. A Broski Boot and a Rough Ryder later, and this one’s over.
WINNER: Zack Ryder. I love how Michael Cole keeps talking about how Zack Ryder has done nothing to earn a US title match. Has everyone forgotten that Ryder has beaten Ziggler cleanly nearly a dozen times on TV over the last couple months or so?
Did You Know? ‘Golf’ spelled backwards is ‘Flog’.
MATCH 3: Ted DiBiase vs. Jinder Mahal
DiBiase has really got to change this entrance theme. It’s just awful. I met Ted’s older brother Mike DiBiase a few years ago. Nice guy and really gifted in the ring. It’s too bad he’s had so many legal issues, which have prevented him from ever getting a WWE contract. Anyway, as Jinder Mahal comes out, we get a split-screen promo from Mahal about I don’t care what. I couldn’t listen past the fact that he’s now faking an accent when he talks, even though we’ve heard him speak perfect English with no traces of an accent in the past. Mahal starts off with some kicks to the gut, but DiBiase comes back with a hiptoss and a nice dropkick. Mahal reverses a corner whip, but DiBiase gets his boot up on the charge. He goes to the middle rope and Mahal pulls him back down, followed by a swinging neckbreaker for 2. Mahal with a back elbow off the ropes. DiBiase fights back with some punches, but Mahal whips him hard into the corner, followed by a butterfly suplex for 2. Mahal puts on a modified rear chinlock. DiBiase gets back to his feet and hits the misdirection clothesline, but gets tripped into the second turnbuckle. Mahal follows up with a running knee in the corner and another one off the ropes. He goes to pick DiBiase up, but DiBiase quickly reverses into a small package for the 3.
WINNER: Ted DiBiase.
We see a clip of The Big Show at the American Country Awards. I’m not recapping this. This is beyond stupid.
Back in the arena, Big Show makes his way down to the ring for his confrontation with Mark Henry. After these commercials, of course.
After the break, Big Show says it’s been nine years since he beat Brock Lesnar for the WWE title. A lot of people told him it couldn’t be done, and that he was a hopeless underachiever. He made the impossible possible that night. Nine years is a long time, and he’s been waiting for the perfect opportunity to become World Heavyweight Champion again. At TLC when he faces Mark Henry in a chair match, that’s the perfect time for him to become World Champion again. It’s simple physics: 440 lb. Mark Henry, 512 lb. Big Show, chairs all around the ring. It’s going to get mean and nasty. The doors on Mark Henry’s “Hall of Pain” or going to get slammed closed.
Mark Henry makes his way out. He tells Show he’s not afraid of him, but he is halfway hurt. He didn’t tape his ankle tonight because he’s not looking for a fight. A “You shut up” chant starts. Why? Henry says he has something he wants to say face-to-face, but he needs Show to promise he’s not going to put his hands on him. Show basically laughs it off and says “no”. Henry asks Show what kind of legacy he’ll leave if he beats Henry at less than 100%. At TLC, Show will have all he can handle. Henry is asking for a courtesy for the World Heavyweight Champion that, if he comes into the ring, Show won’t put his hands on him. Show gives him his word that he won’t put his hands on him. Henry climbs through the ropes and tells Show they have a lot in common. They are two of the greatest big men to ever come into this business. Show was a champion and Henry IS a champion. In two weeks at TLC, Henry should be at 100%, and at that time, Show will have all of him that he can handle. I feel I’ve heard this somewhere before. Henry says they will have a match that people will talk about for decades. Let’s let bygones be bygones and may the best man win. Henry lays the title belt down and offers a handshake to Show. Show doesn’t move for about a minute, then finally agrees to the handshake. Henry says there’s one more thing. He can see it in Show’s eyes that he thinks he’s a monster. Show just thinks it; Henry knows he is. He then slugs Show in the face. Show counters with a spear, then drops an elbow on Henry’s bad leg. Henry rolls to the floor and Show follows. He goes around the ring to grab a chair, walks back to Henry and waffles him across the back before cracking the chair over the bad leg. Show throws the chair into the ring as officials come down to check on Henry.
If you haven’t gotten the new Austin DVD yet, what are you waiting for? Read my review of its greatness, then check it out for yourself.
After some more commercials, Lilian Garcia introduces Hornswoggle. Damn. Just when I was glad to have Lilian back. Hornswoggle addresses the crowd in English, now that he can speak. He says he’s been wanting to do this for a really long time. He then does the introductions for the next match.
MATCH 4: David Otunga vs. Sheamus
Mr. Jennifer Hudson should form a faction with Anarquia and Rob Terry and form the “5 Moves or Less Club”. Yeah, I know it’s not that clever of a name. I’m just pointing out their equal awfulness in the ring. Sheamus starts with some back elbows out of a waistlock and another elbow off the ropes. Otunga hits a forearm or two and goes for a front chancery, but Sheamus just throws his ass off. Sheamus drops some knees as Otunga tries to roll to the apron. Otunga gets back up, but Sheamus ties him in the ropes and drops the forearms across the chest. Sheamus suplexes Otunga back into the ring for 2. He telegraphs a back body drop, and Otunga comes back with a clothesline. He follows up with some stomps and jumping elbows for a 1-count. Otunga backs Sheamus into the corner and catches some stomps and a corner clothesline. He starts with some forearms to the chest, but Sheamus no-sells the sh*t out of them, and with good reason. Sheamus throws Otunga in the corner and clubbers his ass. A short-arm clothesline and a tilt-a-whirl powerslam follow before Sheamus knocks him out with a Brogue Kick for the 3.
After the match, we see footage from WWE ’12 featuring Daniel Bryan getting beaten by Cody Rhodes. Before the video can finish, the screen goes fuzzy and turns into another one of the “It Begins” videos. Speculation is these videos are for Chris Jericho. Here’s the problem with that. It’s not confirmed that Jericho has re-signed with WWE, and in fact all indicators point to the exact opposite. Now, the reported plan is that, if WWE can’t get Jericho, they want to use it for Undertaker’s return (which I could care less about). This would be fine, except the video states that everything begins on 1/2/12, and Undertaker won’t be returning to WWE until Wrestlemania at the earliest (with yet more rumors stating that, physically, ‘Taker may never be able to return). This has got “Black Scorpion” written all over it. If you don’t know what I’m talking to, either look it up or talk to the Black Scorpion expert, Wrestlecrap’s own Blade Braxton.
MATCH 5: Daniel Bryan vs. Intercontinental Champion Cody Rhodes (non-title)
This should be a title match considering Bryan did make Rhodes tap two weeks ago. But maybe that’s just my opinion. Bryan starts with kicks to the ribs and some forearms to the face. Rhodes eventually catches a kick and reverses into an elbow drop to the back. Rhodes with some stomps to the gut and another kick off the ropes. Bryan fights back with a running forearm, but Rhodes cuts him off with a headbutt to the gut and a standing gourdbuster for 2. Rhodes whips Bryan sternum-first into the corner for another 2. More stomping. Rhodes goes for another gourdbuster, but Bryan reverses, lands feet-first on the apron and starts to fight back, but Rhodes cuts him off and whips him into the post while still on the apron as we go to commercial.
This Playstation 3 commercial is badass. And yes, that is the voice of Nathan Drake, Nolan North, playing the part of Drake here.
Back from break, Rhodes goes for another pin, but only gets 2. More stomping by Rhodes, which is pretty much all he’s done here tonight. Rhodes gets Bryan on the ropes, but Bryan back drops him to the floor. Bryan goes for suicide dive, but Rhodes sidesteps him and sends him into the barricade. At least, that’s what it looked like. It may have been a botch on Rhodes’ part. Rhodes gets back in the ring and Bryan follows, laying in three vicious kicks to the chest. Rhodes counters with another kick to the gut. Bryan comes back with a corner whip and corner dropkick. He goes up top and goes for a diving headbutt, but Rhodes rolls out of the way. Booker T’s music hits and he runs down to the ring. The referee rings the bell before Booker even lays his hands on Rhodes. Booker punches him a few times, which sends Rhodes running up the ramp.
Back from the break, Teddy Long is talking to someone on his cellphone about the WWE Network. Cue Aksana. She says she’s so excited about the network, and wants Long’s help getting her own show on the new network. Doesn’t he want to see her on boob tube? He starts to answer, but Cody Rhodes storms in, demanding a match with Booker T. Long is thinking the exact same thing, and he books a match at TLC for the Intercontinental Championship. Aksana stares at Rhodes as he walks away.
We see clips of Barrett beating Ezekiel Jackson earlier tonight. Randy Orton needs to beat Dolph Ziggler in under 7:53 to choose the match stipulation at TLC.
Matt Striker is in the back. Guess where this is going. Randy Orton walks into frame. Striker needlessly reminds him of what I just told you. Orton says to ask Wade Barrett what his thoughts are. If what Wade says is true, he should know exactly what Orton’s thinking, which is that Wade Barrett did Dolph Ziggler a tremendous favor tonight. Normally, Orton like to take the time to ensure the proper suffering of his opponents (as well as us, the viewing audience), make sure that suffering happens slowly and methodically. Dolph will still suffer, but the good news is it will be over quickly. Orton has Wade exactly where he wants him.
MATCH 6-“Beat the Clock” Challenge: Randy Orton vs. WWE United States Champion Dolph Ziggler (w/Vickie Guerrero) (non-title)
Man, Ziggler’s entrance themes get worse with every new one. Rumor is Ziggler may be added to the WWE title match at TLC to continue his trend of wrestling twice on each PPV. Orton immediately hits a dropkick for 2, followed by a 1-count. Orton with a suplex for another 2. Orton with some stomps and a European uppercut. Ziggler reverses a corner whip, but Orton counters with a clothesline for 2. Orton wastes time staring at the clock, allowing Ziggler to come back with some kicks and stomps. Orton kicks Ziggler off and hits another clothesline, followed by the jumping knee drop for another nearfall. He goes to pick Ziggler up, but Ziggler holds onto his leg. He gets a stomp to the back for his troubles. Ziggler comes back with a back elbow, kick to the knee and rocker dropper for 2. Ziggler locks on what sort of resembles a cobra clutch, but Orton gets back to his feet and throws Ziggler off. Ziggler hits a kick to the gut and an awkward-looking DDT for 2. A leaping elbow drop gets another 2. Ziggler goes to Orton’s playbook and locks on a rear chinlock. Orton gets back to his feet again, but Ziggler cuts him off with a kick and a neckbreaker for 2. Just over 3 minutes left here. Ziggler climbs to the top rope, but Orton punches him before he can do anything. Orton connects with a superplex for 2. Ziggler comes back with a kick but misses an avalanche. Orton fires off two clotheslines and a powerslam for 2. Orton with the 3.0 for another 2. Ziggler slides to the floor and Orton follows suit. Ziggler gets back in the ring and goes for the Zig Zag, but Orton ducks it and hits the suspended DDT for another 2. Ziggler falls out of the ring to the floor. Orton follows and drops Ziggler with a clothesline. Vickie Guerrero gets on the apron to distract the referee, allowing Wade Barrett to run in from the crowd and shove Orton face-first into the ring post. The referee is counting, but Orton gets back in at 9. As you would expect, Orton immediately no-sells the post shot, hits an RKO and gets the pin with 2 seconds to spare.
End of show.
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