Welcome to the 2/17/12 edition of SmackDown! I must say that I happened upon the spoiler for tonight’s main event, and I’m not only shocked, but pleasantly surprised. More on that later, though.
Show starts with a recap of Monday Night RAW, specifically a match between Randy Orton and the Big Show, with World Champion Daniel Bryan on commentary (who Michael Cole is now apparently kissing the ass of). Loved seeing Bryan clobber both men with the title belt. This man can do no wrong.
Cut to Orton sitting in Teddy Long’s office. Orton is fiercely angrypants here. Long tells him that things are out of both of their hands now. He can see that Orton is dressed and ready to compete tonight, but he has a concussion and hasn’t been cleared to wrestle. Bryan will get his, but not from Orton tonight. Security is here to escort Orton out of the building, as Long is concerned with him and his health. Orton has also been removed from the Elimination Chamber match this Sunday due to his injury. Orton quietly leaves the office.
MATCH 1: The Big Show and the Great Khali vs. Intercontinental Champion Cody Rhodes and Wade Barrett
Apparently, Khali is in the Chamber this Sunday as well (like I said in my Impact recap, I’ve missed the last couple of weeks of wrestling TV). Not sure why, as he hasn’t done sh*t since, well, ever. I HATE Barrett’s new entrance theme, BTW. His old theme was fantastic. Why did they have to get rid of it for this awful upbeat crap? Barrett and Khali start things off. Barrett immediately attacks the leg, but Khali catches a kick attempt and knocks him into the corner, followed by some back elbows and a chop to the chest. Rhodes tags in. He tries to attack Khali, but Khali knocks him down with a clubbing blow to the head. Khali backs Rhodes into the corner and hits another open-hand chop. Barrett tags back in and boots Khali in the head, followed by a flying forearm for 2. Barrett begins stomping Khali before tagging in Rhodes, who uses a foot choke on Khali. Rhodes with a rear chinlock now. He lets go in order to drop an elbow before going to the middle turnbuckle. Khali catches Rhodes off the jump and throws him off, tagging in Show. Barrett also tags in and eats a spear from Show. Show clotheslines Rhodes over the top rope and chokeslams Barrett to end this one.
WINNERS: The Big Show and the Great Khali. After the match, Khali tries to celebrate with Show, but Show isn’t having any of it. He lays out Khali with the WMD before leaving the ring.
After the break, we see Teddy Long telling his security staff to escort Big Show out of the building. One of the guys is shaking his head, saying he won’t go anywhere near Show. Long says he might have to call for back-up.
MATCH 2: Ted DiBiase vs. Hunico (w/Camacho)
Before the match, we see highlights from last week, which saw DiBiase get a surprise victory over Hunico. During his entrance, Hunico gets a mic and tells DiBiase that, when you steal from him, he takes his property back. Hunico starts off with a kick and some quick punches in the corner. DiBiase retaliates with punches of his own. He goes for a back suplex, but Hunico reverses and hits a spinning headscissors. DiBiase counters with a big boot for 2. Hunico comes back with an armbar takedown before going to the armbar submission. DiBiase tries to fight out, but is clubbed back down. Hunico goes for the headscissors again, but DiBiase holds on for a facebuster. Hunico gets a kick to the gut out of the corner and goes up top, but eats a dropkick from DiBiase. Behind the referee’s back, Camacho’s hotshots DiBiase’s arm over the top rope, which allows Hunico to sneak in a quick schoolboy for the 3.
We are informed that, although Daniel Bryan is not here, he’s on his way to the building and will be here soon.
We get a video from RAW, highlighting Triple H discussing facing the Undertaker at Wrestlemania, including Shawn Michaels doing his damnedest to convince Trips to take the match with Taker, who is in turn refusing to do so. I really, really, REALLY don’t want to see HHH/Taker III. At all. For any reason.
MATCH 3: The Usos (Jey and Jimmy) vs. WWE Tag Team Champions Epico and Primo (w/Rosa Mendes) (non-title)
Just when I think Rosa can’t get any hotter, she proves me wrong this week. Primo and one of the Usos start off with a series of reversals. The Uso gets the best of it with a headbutt. Other Uso tags in and hits a clothesline for 2. First Uso tags back in and a double elbow drop gets another 2. Uppercut by the Uso, followed by some corner punches. Primo trips him up and hits some shots to the back. Primo hits a few mounted punches before hitting a nice sweep. Josh Mathews informs us this is Jimmy Uso in the ring. Epico tags in and hits a tope for 2 before stomping Jimmy down. Primo tags back in and hits a dropkick before going into a rear chinlock, breaks it for a second and then goes back to it. Jimmy fights out, but takes a kick to the gut. Primo misses a corner charge and temporarily winds up in the tree of woe. Jey and Epico both tag in. Jey hits a mule kick to the knee, an uppercut and a corkscrew forearm shot. He misses the hip bump in the corner, but still hits a lifting Samoan drop for 2. Primo tags in and tries for the Backstabber, but Jey holds onto the ropes to block the move. A superkick puts Primo down, and Jimmy tags in. He goes for the Samoan splash, but Primo gets the knees up, hits a quick Backstabber and gets the 3.
WINNERS: Epico and Primo. During the celebration, Michael Cole informs us that Big Show has voluntarily left the building, meaning both he and Orton are now gone for the night.
Backstage, World Champion Daniel Bryan has made his way into the building.
After the break, Daniel Bryan makes his way down to the ring. I love the heat my boy is getting. He assumes everyone saw what he did on RAW, getting 2 for the price of 1. It was finally time for him to declare himself and show everyone who he really is and what he’s really about. We get a video for what happened on Monday night one more time. Damn, it’s a thing of beauty watching this man work. Bryan says he understands both Show and Orton have been escorted out of the building. How convenient. If either of them were real men or had any real guts, they’d be out here in this ring, facing him right now. Guess what? They’re not, because they’re afraid. He can smell the fear. Everyone is afraid of Daniel Bryan. They are afraid of tapping out. They are afraid he will make them look ridiculous in defeat because, let’s face it, he just keeps on winning. He knows no one ever thought he’d be World Champion. No one had any faith in him, but he’s proven everyone wrong. This Sunday at EC, he will prove everyone wrong yet again, and he knows he’s facing overwhelming odds, but he’s been beating the odds his entire life. Just as sure as he would have beaten Orton tonight, he will emerge victorious at EC. A “You suck” chant breaks out, and Bryan simply laughs. Since Orton is not here, Bryan asks Lillian Garcia to announce him as the winner of this match via forfeit. Lillian obliges and makes the official announcement. Bryan proceeds to celebrate like he just won the Royal Rumble. I love it.
Of course, that means Teddy Long has to spoil my good time. Long says that, before Bryan celebrates his victory, he needs to compete tonight. Due to medical reasons, his opponent won’t be Randy Orton, but he has a volunteer. The volunteer turns out to be the 2012 Royal Rumble winner, Sheamus. For once, Teddy Long makes a great decision here.
MATCH 4: World Champion Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus (non-title)
Tie-up starts the match, and Sheamus immediately turns it into a hip throw/side headlock combo. Sheamus with a shoulder block. He blocks a hip toss attempt, and after a backflip by Bryan, Sheamus levels him with a clothesline. Back elbow by Sheamus gets 2. Sheamus puts Bryan in an arm wringer, then drops the arm across his shoulder several times. Bryan breaks out of the hold with some kicks. Sheamus back drops Bryan over the ropes, and Bryan lands on his feet. Sheamus ties Bryan in the ropes and lays in the forearm shots, sending Bryan to the floor. Bryan grabs the World title belt, drapes it on his shoulder and tries to leave. Sheamus cuts him off with a shoulder block before throwing him back in the ring. Bryan sends Sheamus to the floor with a baseball slide to the knee, followed by a running knee from the apron. Sheamus beats the 10-count, and is met with kicks to the chest from Bryan. Bryan hits a baseball slide yet again, leaving Sheamus halfway in the ring and halfway out. Bryan drags him back in for a 2. Sheamus fights back with gut punches and some shots to the head, but it’s short lived as Bryan picks the ankle. Sheamus manages to boot him off and crawl into the corner, where Bryan lands a low dropkick. Sheamus gets to his knees, and Bryan tries to start the kick sequence. Sheamus fights back and takes Bryan down with a pair of Irish Hammers and a clothesline. Sheamus follows with an avalanche and tilt-a-whirl powerslam for 2. Sheamus sets up for the Irish Curse, but Bryan slides out and tries for the LeBell Lock. Sheamus fights it off and takes Bryan down with another clothesline. Sheamus sets up for the Celtic Cross, but Bryan slides out once again. Sheamus catches a kick and throws Bryan into the corner. Bryan slaps Sheamus, which pisses Sheamus off. Sheamus begins to stomp Bryan in the corner before being pulled off by referee Charles Robinson. Bryan mounts the second rope and just spits in Sheamus’ face. Sheamus attacks Bryan with forearms, throwing the referee off him in the process, causing the DQ.
WINNER VIA DISQUALIFICATION: Daniel Bryan.
Back in Teddy Long’s office, Wade Barrett is demanding to know who Orton’s replacement is in the Elimination Chamber match. Cody Rhodes walks in and says it doesn’t matter, because he’s going to beat everyone, although he still wants to know. Teddy Long says everyone in the building will have a chance to fill that slot, because he’s having an Elimination Chamber “Wild Card” battle royal. Rhodes says he can’t just put some no-name in the match. Long simply replies with, “Watch me”, before saying that someone will definitely get that final spot tonight. Both Barrett and Rhodes storm off.
Did You Know? Bags of M&M’s used to feature both brown and tan-colored candies.
MATCH 5: Jinder Mahal vs. Ezekiel Jackson
Man, these two are still here? We’ll see after Wrestlemania. Mahal starts with a kick to the gut and some knee lifts. Zeke pushes him off, sidesteps the running knee and lands a shoulder block. Zeke hits a pair of corner clotheslines, an avalanche and a sidewalk slam. Zeke sets up for the backbreaker, but Mahal catches the ropes and lands a DDT. He locks in the camel clutch, but Zeke isn’t being humbled the old country way tonight, as he gets to one knee. Mahal turns it into a rear chinlock, but Zeke tries to break it by backing him into a corner. Mahal breaks the hold himself, hits a reverse STO and locks the clutch back in. I guess Zeke feels humbled, as he taps out on the second try.
WINNER: Jinder Mahal.
We get a little video package for Tamina Snuka, who gets a shot at the Divas title this Sunday. Tamina/Alicia Fox vs. Pin-Up Strong is up next.
MATCH 6: Alicia Fox and Tamina Snuka vs. Pin-Up Strong (Natalya and WWE Divas Champion Beth Phoenix)
Glad to see Tamina gets to use the family name now. Also glad to see her finally getting a real push and the WWE acknowledging that she is one of the best women on their roster. Fox and Phoenix start off with a tie-up. Phoenix goes into a full-nelson, but Fox slides out, hits a kick to the face and an Eve Torres dropsh*t. Nattie tags in and goes for a waistlock. She kicks Fox in the gut, they crisscross, and Fox totally f’s up a monkey flip. Nattie knocks her down after a fake-out to get a 2. She chokes Fox on the ropes, and Phoenix clobbers Fox behind the ref’s back. Nattie locks in a modified top wristlock, which Fox armdrags out of. She goes for a leapfrog, but Nattie trips her up and locks in the Sharpshooter. All of a sudden, the referee is acting like he’s got something in his eye. Snuka tags in, hits a Samoan drop and the Superfly Splash to get the 3.
WINNERS: Alicia Fox and Tamina Snuka. After the match, Beth Phoenix charges at Snuka, but eats a superkick in the process. Snuka goes up for another Superfly, but Phoenix slides to the floor and grabs her belt. Wonder what Snuka’s brother thinks about her seeing success while he completely floundered during his time in WWE?
Back in Teddy Long’s office, he’s on the phone once again, telling someone about tonight’s battle royal. John Laurinaitis and David Otunga walk in. Laurinaitis asks Long what he’s doing. He’s going to let some no-name with no talent or charisma enter the match? Laurinaitis has a solution, and he’s offering David Otunga to be an entrant in the battle royal. Long says that since Otunga graduated from Harvard, it makes him smart and also an attorney. Attorneys have a lot of stank on them, and Otunga’s got it bad. Good luck.
We get another RAW recap, this time involving John Cena, Kane and Zack Ryder. It has been announced Cena will face Kane in an ambulance match this Sunday at Elimination Chamber.
As we go to commercial, wrestlers begin coming out to fill the ring for the battle royal, headed up by Santino Marella. Keep that in mind.
Back from break, the last of the wrestlers are filing out, with David Otunga pulling up the rear.
MATCH 7-25-Man “Wild Card” Battle Royal with the winner getting the final slot in the World title Elimination Chamber match; Participants: Derrick Bateman, Camacho, Johnny Curtis, Ted DiBiase, Epico, Justin Gabriel, Curt Hawkins, Hunico, Ezekiel Jackson, Tyson Kidd, Jinder Mahal, Santino Marella, Michael McGillicutty, Drew McIntyre, Titus O’Neill, David Otunga, Primo, Tyler Reks, Alex Riley, Heath Slater, Yoshi Tatsu, Jey Uso, Jimmy Uso, Percy Watson and Darren Young
Lots of brawling to start off, of course. Otunga quickly eliminates Derrick Bateman. Otunga eliminates Percy Watson next. Titus O’Neill gets eliminated by Ezekiel Jackson. One of the Usos is almost immediately thrown out after that, by Drew McIntyre. McIntyre throws Tyson Kidd out with a gorilla press. Heath Slater gets eliminated off a running knee by Jinder Mahal. Darren Young tries to eliminate Ted DiBiase, but DiBiase counters by low-bridging a charging Young. Darren Young is eliminated. Hunico throws Yoshi Tatsu out. DiBiase launches Camacho out. Justin Gabriel eliminates Michael McGillicutty off a slingshot. Commercials.
WINNER: Santino Marella. The “Milan Miracle” does it again!
End of show.
Say what you will about Santino Marella, but the guy deserves at least this one bone. No, he won’t win the EC match, but it’s nice he gets to at least participate in one World title PPV main event in his career. He’s a loyal company man through and through, not only does everything that is ever asked of him by Vince McMahon and company, but is happy to do so. That, and the fact that he’s a comedy wrestler really hides the fact that he is extremely well-rounded in the ring with a legitimate MMA background. The guy really can go, and if you don’t believe me, just look up his stuff from OVW where he wrestled as Boris Alexiev. As for his comedy gimmick, it’s not his fault he’s funny with an endearing personality. Aside from that, give credit to WWE from doing something completely surprising and unexpected. Whether you agree with it or not is invalid; I guarantee damn near no one (including myself) saw this one coming.
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Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you next week.