Welcome to the 12/17/11 edition of SmackDown! I apologize for my lateness with getting the recap in. To be perfectly honest with you, my wife and I had a date night at the strip club, and I didn’t get home until almost 2:00 am this morning. Show starts with Josh Mathews introducing Booker T. He asks if Booker is ready to face IC Champion Cody Rhodes at TLC this Sunday. Booker asks the crowd if he looks good. He tells Josh he’s ready to move onto the next stage of his career as an announcer, but Cody Rhodes is trying to make a name off Booker T, and Book will be damned if he allows that to happen. He will be the new IC Champion. Josh asks if he’ll return to the full time if he wins. He says he hasn’t thought about it, but it’s been a long time since he felt like this, but on Sunday, Rhodes will be in for the beating of his life.
Cody Rhodes comes out laughing and tells Book that’s a nice little story he’s telling. On Sunday, it’s going to be crazy. It will trigger feelings of nostalgia, of better days. Book will be psyched, and may even have a flurry of offense that tells people “Booker T is back”. If this were a movie, Book would win the title and shed a tear. This isn’t a movie. What will happen when his ring rust shows and reality sets in? Reality dictates he’ll fall to Cody Rhodes. Book asks about the reality of whooping Cody’s behind right now. Rhodes faced Daniel Bryan twice and Book interfered both times, so he went to Teddy Long. He’s got a match with Daniel Bryan right now. If Book interferes, the match is off, and he’ll file to have Book suspended. Book needs to leave the ring so Rhodes can show him just how legitimate he is, sucka.
Daniel Bryan makes his way out now, and it’s time for the opening match.
MATCH 1: Intercontinental Champion Cody Rhodes vs. Daniel Bryan (non-title)
Tie-up to start. Rhodes gets Bryan into a corner, then pushes him. Bryan knocks him down with a punch. Quick sequence sees Bryan try for the LeBell Lock, but Rhodes escapes and slides to the floor as we go to commercial.
Back from the break, Bryan has Rhodes in a side headlock. Rhodes punches his way out, but run right into a nasty-looking dropkick to the gut. Bryan goes for a surfboard, but Rhodes blocks it. Bryan simply jumps up on Rhodes’ knees (which are still locked) instead. Rhodes slides to the apron. Bryan goes for a suplex back into the ring, but Rhodes reverses and sends Bryan to the floor. Bryan gets back in the ring and is hit with a standing gourdbuster for 2. Rhodes with a snapmare, into a modified bodyscissors. Bryan fights back with some kicks to the chest, but Rhodes catches him on the third kick, trips him down, then follows with a clothesline for 2. Rhodes goes for a leg lock, but Bryan kicks him off and gets a backslide for 2. Bryan with a la magistral cradle for 2. Rhodes reverses a corner whip, but Bryan gets his feet up. Second rope seated missile dropkick gets 2. Bryan gets Rhodes in the corner and repeatedly kicks him in the chest. Rhodes gets his foot up on a charge and goes up top for the moonsault, but Bryan trips him up and climbs. He goes for a back superplex, but Rhodes reverses in mid-air into a cross body for 2. Rhodes misses the Beautiful Disaster, allowing Bryan to roll him up for 2. Rhodes continues rolling, locks in the Cross Rhodes, hits it, and gets the 3.
WINNER: Cody Rhodes.
Did You Know? The episode of Married…With Children entitled “I’ll See You In Court”, despite being made in 1989, did not air on American television until 2002 due to its then-controversial nature.
MATCH 2: Alicia Fox vs. Natalya
Natalya comes out with a box of tissues, indicating she’ll make Fox cry. I hope that’s the case. Fox starts with a side headlock. Nattie misses a corner charge. Fox tries to go for a sunset flip out of the corner, but Nattie just stomps her down. Nattie locks in an abdominal stretch, then whips Fox down by the hair. Roll-up off the ropes gets 2. Fox gets Nattie in a quick small package for 3.
WINNER: Alicia Fox. Apparently, Fox pulled some of Nattie’s extensions out on the pin. After the match, she tells Natalya, “You’re so synthetic, it’s pathetic. Gallop to the back, and have yourself a good crybaby cry, because you got ‘out-Foxed’.” Natalya tries to attack Fox, but she knocks her down and hits her botched somersault legdrop. Fox was trying to get the fans to get behind her with her stupid catchphrase, and they couldn’t give less of a damn.
After the commercial, we get the video for the “Pipe Bomb of the Year” Slammy from this past Monday. Not sure why, especially since they didn’t even show who won (CM Punk, BTW).
Backstage, we see Jack Swagger and Vickie Guerrero discussing his match with Big Show later tonight. Mark Henry walks up and says he needs a favor. Last time Swagger wrestled Show, he hurt Show’s ankle. He needs Swagger to do the same thing tonight, and hurt Show the same way Show hurt Henry. If he can do it, he’ll be first in line for a shot at the World title. Swagger says he sees his future, and Henry’s not in it. He’ll hurt Show tonight, but not for Henry. He’s beaten the Big Show before, but Henry hasn’t. His future is Jack Swagger, World Heavyweight Champion.
MATCH 3: The Usos (Jey and Jimmy) vs. Epico and Primo (w/Rosa Mendes)
So, they finally paired Rosa up with these guys. That’s fine with me. She looks great, and hasn’t done anything worthwhile on TV in I don’t know how long. Epico and Jimmy start off. Jimmy hits a chop and tags in Jey. Jey hits a spinning back elbow and tags Jimmy back in. Double back elbow and a double elbow drop gets 2. Epico gets his feet up on a corner charge, and Primo hotshots Jimmy from behind. Epico hits a clothesline for 2. Primo tags in and stomps Jimmy in the corner. Epico back in with more stomps. Primo back in, and Epico whips Jimmy into a Primo dropkick for 2. Primo goes into a rear chinlock. Jimmy fights his way out of the corner and tags in Jey. Jey hits some forearms, a mule kick and an uppercut. Primo bounces right off the ropes into a spinning forearm. Jey hits a hip bump in the corner for 2, but Epico breaks it up. Jimmy clotheslines Epico to the floor. Primo knocks Jimmy to the floor as well. He turns around into a shot from Jey, and Jey goes up top for the splash. Rosa yells at Jey from the floor, allowing Primo to trip Jey on the ropes and hit a suspended Backstabber for 3.
WINNERS: Epico and Primo. I like this team. They kind of remind me of the Islanders.
We see footage from last year when Swagger wrecked Big Show’s knee on the stage.
MATCH 4: The Big Show vs. Jack Swagger (w/Vickie Guerrero)
Just as the match starts, Mark Henry’s music hits. He comes out with a steel chair and limps down to the ring. Swagger tries to attack from behind, but Show knocks him down. Punches and headbutts follow. Swagger comes back with a chopblock to the left leg and a low shoulder tackle for 2. Show comes back with a clothesline, sending Swagger to the floor. Show throws Swagger back in and hits Swagger with an open-hand chop to the chest. More chops in the corner. Show hits a bodyslam and a knee to the gut. Show hits another bodyslam before staring at Henry, who is seated at ringside. Show chokes Swagger over the middle rope, staring at Henry once again. More corner chops. Show whips Swagger into the corner, but Swagger sidesteps the charge. Show tries to gets his boot up on the charge, but Swagger catches the boot and hits Show in the knee, sending him to the mat. Swagger Bomb gets 2. Show comes back with a punch and some clotheslines, hits the hip bump in the corner and a shoulder block. He sets up for the chokeslam, but Swagger reverses into a victory roll, which he then turns into an ankle lock. Show manages to kick Swagger off. A WMD later, and this one’s over.
WINNER: The Big Show. After the match, Show grabs Swagger by the throat and just pushes himi over the top rope to the floor in front of Henry. Henry folds up his chair and clobbers Swagger across the back with it, as well as a cameraman.
Tonight, Randy Orton teams up with Zack Ryder to take on Wade Barrett and US Champion Dolph Ziggler in the main event.
Did You Know? In a standard game of 5-card draw poker, you only have a 0.000154% chance of getting a royal flush.
Backstage, we see Randy Orton in his locker room. Sack Ryder walks in and asks if they’re on the same page tonight. Orton says no. What about the same book? Orton says maybe. Ryder says “’Maybe’? Sick, bro! Woo woo woo! You know it.”
MATCH 5: Heath Slater vs. Ted DiBiase
Slater gets the jobber non-entrance. DiBiase gets a quick school boy for 2. He goes into a side headlock. Slater backs him into a corner, and DiBiase comes back with a nice-looking roll-up for 2. Follows up with another nice (albeit different) roll-up for another 2. Slater tries to kick him, but DiBiase catches the foot and turns it into a school boy for 2. Slater slaps him in the face, so DiBiase decks him. He throws Slater outside and rams him into the barricade, followed by a clothesline. Back in the ring, he gets some corner punches, but Slater reverses a corner whip, sending DiBiase to the mat on a hard whip of his own. Slater wraps DiBiase around the ringpost from the floor, then climbs up top and hits a chop to the head for 2. Knees to the back leads to a modified camel clutch. DiBiase fights out, but Slater counters with a side-Russian leg sweep for 2. Slater climbs to the middle rope, but DiBiase catches him with an inverted atomic drop. He follows up with a running boot (which Booker T calls “something new”, even though we’ve seen it a hundred times) and the misdirection clothesline. DiBiase hits Dream Street and gets 3.
WINNER: Ted DiBiase. After the match, Jinder Mahal attacks DiBiase from behind, then locks in a camel clutch. Since he’s middle eastern, this move actually works. It’s a wrestling fan law, you know. Just as DiBiase’s about to feel humbled, Teddy Long’s music hits and he makes his way out. He says that, if Mahal wants to fight so bad, he thinks he has a person who can handle that job, someone Mahal has some unfinished business with from this past Monday, someone he’ll face in a match right now. Sheamus makes his way out with a big grin on his face. This match will happen after the commercials.
Back from the break, it’s match time.
MATCH 6: Jinder Mahal vs. Sheamus
Tie-up to start. Sheamus goes to work on the left arm with some shots over the shoulder. He pulls Mahal down and drops a knee on the arm. Back up, Mahal fights his way out with some punches and kicks. Sheamus comes back with some forearms and a back elbow. He tries to tie Mahal in the ropes for the forearms, but Mahal elbows his way out. He suckers Sheamus to the floor and back into the ring before trying a knee lift on the apron. Sheamus moves out of the way and ties Mahal in the ropes from the outside for the forearms. Sheamus follows up with the slingshot shoulder block for 2. Mahal fights his way out of the cornerwith some kicks and knees. Sheamus misses a corner charge, and Mahal hits a spinning neckbreaker for 2. Mahal drops some forearms across Sheamus’ chest, but Sheamus is having none of it. He grabs Mahal by the throat and backs him into the corner, where he proceeds to repeatedly club him with forearms. Sheamus hits the Irish Curse and sets up for the Brogue Kick, which connects for the 3.
The main event is next.
Before the match starts, we get another “It Begins” vignette. This one ends with a screen that simply says “Control.”
MATCH 7: Randy Orton and Zack Ryder vs. WWE United States Champion Dolph Ziggler and Wade Barrett (w/Vickie Guerrero)
Ryder and Ziggler start things off. Ziggler immediately hits a kick and an elbow to the back of the head. Hip throw into a side headlock follows. Ryder reverses into a pin for 2, but Ziggler goes right back to the headlock. Shoulder block off the ropes, and Ryder comes back with a flapjack for 2. Orton tags in. He hits a forearm to the chest and a stomp. Orton hits the Garvin Stomp, then picks Ziggler up for a half-assed suplex for 2. Ryder’s back in now. He hits some headbutts, but Ziggler comes back with a kick and a forearm. More forearms follow, and now Barrett tags in. Barrett stomps Ryder in the corner, picks Ryder up and lays in some gut shots and a headbutt for 2. Ryder comes back with a boot and a corner forearm. He tags in Orton, but Barrett immediately tags in Ziggler and slides to the floor. Ziggler kicks Orton in the left knee, and follows with some elbows to the back of the head. Orton comes back with a clothesline out of the corner, but Ziggler attacks from behind as Orton is distracted by Barrett. Ziggler goes for a corner whip, but Orton counters into the 3.0. Ziggler counters out, but Ryder runs in and hits Ziggler with a dropkick, sending him to the floor. Commercials.
WINNERS: Randy Orton and Zack Ryder. Orton and Barrett have a post-match stare-off.
End of show.
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