Welcome to the 11/25/11 edition of WWE Friday Night SmackDown! This is the post-Survivor Series show, but considering it’s the day after Thanksgiving, I’m not expecting anything special here. Show starts off with “highlights” of Big Show/Mark Henry at the PPV, which ended up with Henry getting Pillmanized by Show.
In the arena, World Champion Mark Henry makes his way out. He’s got a walking cast on his left foot and a crutch. Henry gets a mic and says the people act like they’re happy to see him in pain. Big Show did this to him, and they’re happy about it? What kind of people are you? Who does this kind of stuff? This is not the kind of treatment that a heavyweight champion deserves. This is not the respect that you give a champion. Big Show, he stands here hurt, but he’s not broken. All of you, you revel in the fact that he stands here injured, because they wish they could be the one that did it to him. Go ahead and clap, because this is the last chance. Show knows that Henry kicked him in the knee, but he acts like Henry kicked him in his private spot because he wanted to make Henry look bad and make him the bad guy. The reason he’s out here is to set an example for all the kids who watch him, and show them a champion fights through pain. A champion fights through injuries. Henry wanted to compete tonight, but Teddy Long and the doctors wouldn’t let him because he’s not cleared. Henry’s not only the “World’s Strongest Man”, but he’s standing here as the “World’s Toughest Man” and the heavyweight champion. Cue Big Show.
Show grabs a microphone, and he’s smiling. Show tells Henry that he knows the only way a championship can change hands is via pinfall or submission. He wants Henry to stop lying, and he knows where he kicked Show. Henry knew he’d be disqualified if he did that, because he felt the championship slipping away from him. As far as his ankle goes, Show just did to him what he did to Show. But the next time…Henry says there won’t be a next time. Not only is Show the world’s largest athlete, but he’s also the world’s largest loser. Show knocks Henry out with the WMD and leaves the ring.
Daniel Bryan’s music hits, and he comes out with referee Charles Robinson. Bryan cashes in the case, but has trouble rolling Henry over. Bryan gets the 3 and wins the belt!
WINNER AND NEW WORLD CHAMPION: Daniel Bryan. Holy hell! I’m already wrong about this show! That was one of the best things I could possibly see tonight. Bryan gets on the announcer’s desk and shoves the win in Michael Cole’s face. I love Daniel Bryan. Congratulations to my fellow Washingtonian on becoming World Champion!
Damn it. I spoke too soon, I just know it. All of a sudden, Teddy Long runs out and runs into the ring. He got here as quick as he could, but all this happened so fast. He says Mark was right, and that he was not medically cleared to compete, which means there was no official match, and Daniel Bryan is not the World Champion. Damn it all to hell. Thanks for killing my buzz, Teddy. Bryan looks at the belt as Teddy says he doesn’t want to take the belt, but has to go by the rules. Bryan hands the belt back. Long gives it back to Henry. Long, says that, since the match wasn’t official, technically, Bryan never cashed in MITB, so he gives the case back. He says Bryan will have another shot at the belt if he wins tonight’s main event between him, IC Champion Cody Rhodes, Wade Barrett and Randy Orton in a Fatal 4-Way. The winner will face Mark Henry on Tuesday, which will be a live taping of SmackDown! I’m not happy about this, but at least Bryan gets to keep the case. Booker T channels the spirit of Gorilla Monsoon and calls this “a miscarriage of justice.”
Now that DC Universe Online is free to play, I may have to break out my copy on PS3 and start it up again.
Did You Know? The fantastic Arrested Development is coming back for 10 new episodes in 2013, as well as a full-length feature film.
MATCH 1: Justin Gabriel vs. Hunico
This match is a perfect example of why WWE should seriously consider bringing the Cruiserweight title back. Their current roster is packed with cruiserweights right now. Tie-up to start, with a series of reversals. Hunico gets a kick, a forearm and a short-arm clothesline. Gabriel back drops Hunico to the floor, but Hunico lands on his feet on the apron, slides back in and kicks Gabriel to the head. Hunico with a suplex from the bottom rope gets 2. Another 2 off a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Hunico goes into a rear chinlock. Gabriel fights out with elbows, but Hunico counters into a modified fireman’s carry slam. A jumping legdrop gets another 2. Hunico goes back to the chinlock. Hunico gets to his feet and locks in a front chancery before whipping Gabriel hard into the corner. Hunico hits an inside-out corner dropkick for another 2. Gabriel headscissors out of another corner whip attempt, sending Hunico to the floor. Gabriel follows up with a corkscrew plancha before rolling Hunico back in. 2-count for Gabriel, who then follows up with a nice roundhouse to the side of the head and a top rope Asai moonsault for 2. Back up, Gabriel sets Hunico on the top rope. He sets up for a back superplex, but Hunico fights it off. He turns around, hits the swanton bomb, and this one’s over.
WINNER: Hunico. I’ve noticed that, since Hunico is wrestling unmasked, he’s not botching his moves anymore. He actually looked really good right here.
We’ve got the tranny known as Alicia Fox on color commentary for this next match.
MATCH 2-Natalya and WWE Divas Champion Beth Phoenix vs. AJ and Kaitlyn
How many more times do we need to see this match? Furthermore, how many more times do we need to see AJ get squashed? Nattie and Kaitlyn start off. Nattie backs Kaitlyn into the corner and gets a knee lift to the gut. She misses a corner charge, allowing AJ to tag in. AJ with a corner splash, a kick and a spinning headscissors. AJ with a body scissors into a victory roll for 2. Nattie comes back with a hair whip, locks in the Sharpshooter and gets the tap out.
WINNERS: Natalya and Beth Phoenix. The “highlight” here had to be Alicia Fox saying that being called a “Barbie Doll” was a big compliment and she and the other divas wish they could all be Barbie Dolls. Again, I am not making this up. After the match, Kaitlyn stares at AJ and just leaves her in the ring. Beth Phoenix gets a microphone and says it’s “crying time”. Nattie locks on the Sharpshooter again, folding herself all the way back. Man, that looks vicious. Beth is yelling at AJ to cry as Alicia Fox makes her way into the ring. Nattie lets go, and the Sisters of Salvation leave the ring. I realize AJ is the only one on the roster flexible enough to take the Sharpshooter like that, but it still looks badass every single time I see it.
We get the stupid Kane promo everyone’s been talking about. I don’t give a damn about Kane returning. At all.
Teddy Long is in his office, talking to someone on the phone about the live SmackDown! special next Tuesday. Mick Foley will be the guest host. Aksana walks in. She is talking to him about something, but I can’t really understand what she’s saying. All of a sudden, Mark Henry storms in, mad about what happened earlier. Henry is pissed about facing the the winner of tonight’s 4-way in a match for the title next week. Henry asks Long if he thinks Henry is stupid. Long tells him the match will be in a cage. Henry says he’s going to get Long.
We see Zack Ryder playing WWE ’12. On the game, he’s playing as himself, beating up Dolph Ziggler. Sheamus walks in. Ryder tells him that’s what’s going to happen when his petition to get a U.S. title match finally goes through. Sheamus says he’s already signed it. Ryder says he and Sheamus are bros, and they should be going to the clubs together and hanging out. He says they can even dance to a techno version of Sheamus’ entrance theme. Ryder then proceeds to sing the song, except all of the lyrics involve Sheamus running naked. Sheamus just stares at him for a minute before smiling and laughing. He tells Ryder no one wants to see him naked, and they should focus on beating up Swagger and Ziggler tonight, as well as shutting the mouth of Vicki Guerrero. They can celebrate after that. Ziggler does the “Woo woo woo”, leading to Sheamus staring at him again. Sheamus then smiles and says “You know it”.
MATCH 3: Jack Swagger and WWE United States Champion Dolph Ziggler (w/Vicki Guerrero) vs. Zack Ryder and Sheamus
Ziggler has on a sweatshirt that says “#HEEL”. I like it. Before the match, Ziggler tells the crowd they have to worry about double chins and double mortgages, and that they don’t know what it feels like to go to Survivor Series and be double victorious. It wasn’t him showing off; it was him making history, #HEEL. Sheamus and Ziggler start off with a tie-up. Sheamus gets Ziggler into the ropes, calling for a break. Another tie-up, with Sheamus getting in a side headlock. They crisscross, with Ziggler landing a dropkick. During this match, we see the “It Begins…” add for the YouTube video (*cough* Jericho *cough*). Sheamus comes back with a hip throw into a side headlock. Ziggler throws him off, they crisscross, but Ziggler telegraphs a dropkick this time. Sheamus picks him up and delivers a fall-away slam. Swagger tags in now, gets in a waistlock and hits a belly-to-back throw. Both men are back up, and Sheamus elbows his way out of the hold, followed by some headbutts. Sheamus ties Swagger in the ropes and hits the forearms to the chest. Sheamus clotheslines Swagger to the floor, throws Ziggler out as well, then allows Ryder to come in and hit a somersault plancha to the floor on both. Commercial.
Back from the break, Ryder’s laying in some corner punches. Ryder with a clothesline off the ropes and a 2-count. Sheamus tags back in and eats the slingshot Battering Ram for 2. Swagger comes back with a chop block and a shoulderblock of his own. Ziggler tags in and lays in some stomps. Sheamus comes back with a kick, but Ziggler stays on offense with elbows to the back of the head. Swagger tags back in and lays in some punches. Swagger locks in a double chicken wing. Sheamus fights to his feet, but Swagger knees him back down and hits a bodyslam. He goes for the Swagger Bomb, but Sheamus gets his knees up and knocks Swagger down with a clothesline. Ryder tags back in and hits some clotheslines and the Broski Boot. Ryder is looking for the Rough Ryder, but Swagger slides to the floor. Ryder goes out after him. Ziggler tries to attack from behind, but Ryder clotheslines him. As he turns around, Swagger takes Ryder down with a clothesline as well. Back in the ring, Swagger gets 2. Ziggler’s back in now. He goes for a neckbreaker, but Ryder reverses into a roll-up for 2. Ziggler comes back with a jumping elbow drop and a neck vice/armbar combo. Ryder fights out, but Ziggler comes back with a neckbreaker and kip-up. Swagger tags back in and knees Ryder in the gut, followed by a punch to the head. Ryder fights out of the corner, but it doesn’t last long, as Swagger forearms him down. Ziggler tags back in and they hit the hoisted rocker dropper for 2, as Sheamus comes in to break up the count. Swagger tags back in and drops Ryder in the corner with a bodyslam, followed by the Swagger Bomb for 2. Ziggler comes back off the tag and goes for a suplex, but Ryder counters into an inside cradle for 2. Ziggler comes back immediately with a nice dropkick for 2. Swagger in again with an elbow to the back. He knocks Sheamus off the apron, which pisses Sheamus off and allows for a little double-teaming behind the ref’s back. Swagger gets another 2 off some stomps. Ryder breaks free with some knee lifts and tries to jump over Swagger for a tag, but Swagger catches him, backs him into the corner and lays in some shoulder thrusts. He puts Ryder on the tope rope and slaps him. Ryder comes back with a kick and a tornado DDT. Sheamus and Ziggler tag back in. Sheamus drops Ziggler with some Irish Hammers, then gets him in the corner and just lays in forearms to the back. Ziggler goes down off a clothesline, but as Sheamus looks for the Celtic Cross, Swagger breaks the move up. Ryder gets in a blind tag as Sheamus hits Swagger with the Brogue Kick. Ziggler goes for the Zig Zag on Sheamus, but Sheamus blocks the move. Ziggler turns around right into the Rough Ryder, and that’s good enough for a 3-count.
WINNERS: Zack Ryder and Sheamus. Zack Ryder once again pins Dolph Ziggler. Josh Mathews says this makes three times that Ryder has pinned Ziggler, but it’s actually closer to the 10th time. Good match.
Backstage, we see Daniel Bryan talking to AJ about how he’s always dreamed of being World Champion, and when he finally got to hold that belt earlier tonight, seeing it taken away from him crushed him. AJ reminds him he still has the contract and another shot at being #1 contender tonight, and says he can do this. Wade Barrett walks in and says Bryan will indeed have many more chances, just not tonight. We can all forget about Bryan’s cheap attempt at winning the title tonight. He doesn’t stand a chance in the 4-way tonight. Has he actually witnessed anything the “Barrett Barrage” has accomplished? AJ responds with “Who cares?” Barrett says he’s seen it all now. Bryan has a 14 year-old girl fighting his battles for him now. Bryan reminds Barrett that he’s won the same amount of world titles: 0. No one is fighting his battles for him. He’s not intimidated by Mark Henry, and he’s not intimidated by Wade Barrett. AJ wishes Bryan good luck and kisses him on the cheek.
I should be getting my copy of the new Steve Austin DVD tomorrow. Expect a review next week.
MATCH 4: Ted DiBiase vs. Heath Slater
Hey, Heath Slater is back from his suspension. Remember him? No? Me either. As the match starts, Jinder Mahal appears on the screen speaking Punjab. He then switches to English and says he doesn’t understand DiBiase, forsaking his wealth and heritage to hang out with these commoners. Slater takes advantage of the distraction and attacks DiBiase from behind with some shots. This doesn’t last as DiBiase comes back with a beautiful dropkick. DiBiase with some head slams into the turnbuckle, followed by mounted punches. DiBiase hits a suplex for 2. Booker T just compared DiBiase to Tim Tebow. I don’t watch football, yet even I know Tebow is a complete tool. That is incredibly insulting to DiBiase. DiBiase fires off some punches, ducks a clothesline and goes for the misdirection clothesline, but Slater hits a boot to the gut, throws DiBiase shoulder-first into the post, and hits an armbar takedown for 2. Slater with another armbar takedown for another 2. Slater ties DiBiase into a hammerlock over the middle rope, followed by a snapmare and a top keylock. DiBiase tries to fight out, but Slater bulldogs the injured arm down then goes right back to the keylock. DiBiase fights out, but Slater stops it with a knee. DiBiase counters a corner whip, hits a back body drop, an inverted atomic drop and a running knee strike for 2. Slater comes back with a punch, but DiBiase counters with the misdirection clothesline. A Dream Street later, and this match is over.
WINNER: Ted DiBiase. Give it up to DiBiase for getting a good match out of Slater. DiBiase just did the stupid “Tebowing” thing, and now I lose a little respect for him. Supposedly, DiBiase is in for a big push for getting himself over in a similar way to Zack Ryder (i.e. has decided to be creative and find his own way to get over with fans-the “DiBiase Posse” tailgate parties-rather than wait for creative to come up with something). Good for him.
Did You Know? The opening theme in Assassin’s Creed Revelations was actually the result of a contest.
We see what happened on Monday when Cody Rhodes threw water Booker T’s face. This segues into Ken Doll Striker interviewing Rhodes backstage. He asks Rhodes to explain his actions. A better question is when does Rhodes actually plan on DEFENDING the IC title again? Rhodes says he threw water in the face of a lowly commentator. He did it because it was his match on Monday. He looked over and could see the mocking look on Booker T’s face, so he did something about it. Without his mask, he’s now free to deal with Randy Orton, free to defend the IC title and free to win the 4-Way tonight and become World Champion. And, as a mentally-deficient commentator is famous for saying, he can dig that, sucka.
MATCH 5-Fatal 4-Way Match to determine a new #1 contender to the World Championship: Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton vs. Intercontinental Champion Cody Rhodes vs. Wade Barrett (non-title)
Orton pairs off with Barrett, while Bryan pairs off with Rhodes. Barrett slams Orton into the corner as Rhodes and Bryan brawl on the floor. Orton comes back with a European uppercut. Barrett reverses a corner whip, but eats a clothesline. Orton starts the Garvin Stomp, then hits the jumping kneedrop for 2. Rhodes tries to come in from behind, but he eats a dropkick. Bryan hits a kick to Rhodes’ chest, then follows up with a corner dropkick. Orton and Bryan square off just as we go to commercial.
Back from the break, Barrett throws Orton to the floor, then whips him into the stairs. Back in the ring, Rhodes hits a standing gourdbuster on Bryan. Now Barrett and Rhodes are double-teaming Bryan. Double back elbow off the ropes. Orton hotshots Barrett, gets back in the ring and lays boots to both heels. Orton turns from Rhodes right into a mule kick from Barrett, who then goes for a pumphandle slam. Orton slides out, but backs right into a side-Russian legsweep from Rhodes. Kicks and punches from the heels. Double corner whip. More stomping. Bryan lands a seated missile dropkick on Barrett, then a running forearm on Rhodes. Bryan kicks Rhodes in the chest in the corner, then goes up top, but Barrett comes from behind and picks up Bryan in an electric chair, allowing him and Rhodes to hit a version of the Doomsday Device that nearly sends Bryan to the mat on his head. Barrett goes for the cover, but Rhodes stomps him before throwing him shoulder-first into the ring post. Commercial.
Back from the break, Orton hits a suplex on Rhodes for 2. Barrett tries to attack from behind, but Orton fights him off and whips him into the corner. Barrett comes back with an elbow and some kicks. He ties Orton up in the ropes, hits some knee lifts and the running boot, sending Orton to the ring apron and eventually to the floor. Bryan runs at Barrett but eats a vicious scrapbuster for a 2-count. Rhodes breaks up the pin with a boot to Barrett. He shoves Barrett to the floor and hits Bryan with the Beautiful Disaster for 2. Orton tries to come back in, but Rhodes forearms him back down. Bryan back drops Rhodes to the floor, but Barrett comes in with a boot to Bryan. Bryan ducks a clothesline and hits a suicide dive on Rhodes. Orton hits a pair of clotheslines on Barrett, followed by a powerslam. Rhodes is back in, but Orton clotheslines him back to the floor. Orton ducks a Barrett clothesline and hits the 3.0 for 2 as Bryan breaks it up. Bryan follows up with a kick to Orton’s head for 2. Rhodes breaks it up and flapjacks Bryan onto the top rope, sending Bryan to the floor. Rhodes gets 2 on Orton. Rhodes with some stomps on Orton’s chest. He picks Orton up and hits another release gourdbuster. Rhodes goes up top, but Orton cuts him off by clipping the leg. Orton climbs to the top rope and hits a superplex. Barrett comes in with a kick to Orton’s gut and goes for a pin on Rhodes, but Bryan comes in off the top rope with a headbutt to Barrett’s back, breaking up the pin. Orton is back up. He throws Barrett and Rhodes out of the ring over the top rope before hitting Bryan with the suspended DDT. Orton sets up for the RKO, but is pulled to the floor by Barrett, who levels Orton with a DDT on the floor. Back in the ring, Rhodes goes for the pin, but Bryan reverses immediately into the LeBell Lock. Just as quickly, Rhodes taps!
End of show.
For basically being a Thanksgiving show (as the day after Thanksgiving episodes usually are), this was actually a really good episode. The opener was good. The tag team match was good. The main event was good. Hell, even DiBiase managed to get a good match out of Heath Slater. The divas match was throw-away, but considering it was Natalya and Beth Phoenix vs. AJ and Kaitlyn part 80, that’s to be expected. Plus, it seems to actually be building towards something bigger with both Kaitlyn and AJ as it teased their splitting up. I could care less about Kaitlyn, but AJ’s actually very talented.
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Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you next week.