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WWE Smackdown Report
CUPACH'S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT 12/30: Alt. perspective review of final Smackdown of 2011, Mike's Reax to Orton write-off

Dec 31, 2011 - 5:09:23 PM
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WWE Smackdown review
December 30, 2011
Taped 12/27 in Indianapolis, Ind.
Aired on Syfy
By Michael Cupach, PWTorch Contributor

SD_140_79.jpg

[Q1]

-WWE open.

-The opening montage highlighted the Barrett Barrage and the street fight that will happen between Barrett and Orton tonight. Falls will count anywhere on the final Smackdown of 2011!

-Michael Cole does more main event hyping in a voice-over before the Smackdown video plays.

-Full pyro display and Josh Mathews welcomes everyone to the final Smackdown of 2011.

-Booker T makes his entrance and Josh says that Booker has been all smiles since he knocked off Cody Rhodes last Monday. Booker killed Cody? How come no one is reporting this? Booker starts off by saying that 2011 has been an awesome year for himself and it started at the Royal Rumble when he made his surprise return. After that, he wanted to take a step back and commentate and it has been great with the exception of Michael Cole. He then says that he didn’t expect to be facing Cody Rhodes, but Cody brought it to a head and last Monday Booker T put him in his place. He finishes up by wishing everyone a Happy New Year and tells the crowd to enjoy the last Smackdown of the year.

Cody Rhodes (thank goodness he’s alive, I was worried that Booker off'ed him) interrupts by saying that the people in Indiana don’t follow current events and only know how to make left turns on a race tracks. He also takes a shot at the Colts then goes on to run down his career over the last twelve months. He started off with a career threatening injury, came back to beat Rey Mysterio at WrestleMania, then brought prestige to the Intercontinental Championship. Finally he took a washed up wrestler and brought him back to his former glory. Cody did it, no one else. Booker cuts him off to say that he did everything himself and Cody can’t try to lay claim to his accomplishments. Rhodes says he agrees, congratulates him and offers his hand to shake, Booker shakes it and goes back to the announce booth. Once Booker turns his back Cody says that now it is all over because he is now a nostalgia act, but if he goes back to the announce table his legacy will be as a semi-illiterate joke. Cody instead tells him to go home.

Unexpectedly, Goldust’s music plays and he comes out sans makeup and outfit. Dustin starts out by saying that he is sorry, he is his brother and he loves him, but he is going about this the wrong way. Dustin says that when he was down and out it was Booker T who inspired him to change his life and become a better man. He tells him that he gets the whole “making a name at a legends expense” but he shouldn’t do that with Booker. Cody retorts that just when he thought it wouldn’t get lower than Booker T, Dustin Rhodes comes out and proves him wrong. He then tells Dustin that these people don’t deserve to be inspired. If anything, they should look to Cody, who took the Rhodes name and brought prestige back to it. Booker cuts him off to say that he shouldn’t disrespect his brother. He then challenges Cody to a match for the IC Title because they are both one and one in their feud. Cody agrees to the match, but next week. Booker gives him the obligatory I’m going to win hyperbole and ends it with a “sucka!”

Booker goes to the announce booth while Cody cheap shots his brother with the belt. Booker runs in to make the save, but Cody bails. Booker checks on Goldust as Smackdown takes the first commercial break of the last Smackdown of 2011 for the last time.

[Q2]

-Still to come: Big Show and Daniel Bryan vs. David Otunga and Mark Henry

(Commercial)

-Michael Cole plugs the Top 25 Matches of 2011 on WWE.com

-Video package of two weeks ago when Jinder Mahal put the Camel Clutch on Ted DiBiase. Ted is still upset about it, so tonight he is looking for revenge.

-Jinder Mahal has an inset promo where he accuses Americans of not following New Year's Resolutions.

1 - TED DIBIASE vs. JINDER MAHAL

Ted starts off with a big hip toss. Jinder ducks a haymaker and hangs Ted up on the top rope for a two count. He then shows his aggressive side by choking Ted out with his boot, using the ropes for leverage. Repeated knees to the face of Ted and I just noticed that Mahal has a mean five o’clock shadow going for him. Ted ducks a clothesline and dropkicks Mahal and tries a sunset flip on Jinder that gets a two count. Ted tweaks his knee coming off the top rope and Jinder takes advantage by faceplanting him and locking on the Camel Clutch for the win.

WINNER: Jinder Mahal by submission in 3:00.

Mike’s Reax: Weird commentary from Booker T, who said that there was something about Ted that he didn’t like, then he cut himself off and wanted to change the subject. Also, before the match, Josh touted how great Ted’s career has been in the last six months. Losing to Jinder, who is a glorified jobber to the stars can’t be good for the Ted DiBiase brand!

-Teddy Long is on his cell phone going over his New Year's Eve party at his place when Aksana’s saxophone music plays and she saunters in and says that she can’t wait to kiss Long at midnight. Drew McIntyre comes in and asks Long why he asked him to be here tonight. Teddy says that he re-signed Drew to Smackdown and while he knows that they had issues, he is glad to have him back. Teddy goes on to say that he found out how much Drew’s contract cost and he doesn’t want someone on his brand who doesn’t have passion who is getting paid this much. Bottom line, if he doesn’t beat Ezekiel Jackson tonight, he is going to reconsider signing him to Smackdown. Drew makes some idle threats towards Teddy and tells him to pay attention to his match tonight because he will see passion!

(Commercial)

[Q3]

2 - ALICIA FOX & KAITLYN vs. NATALYA & TAMINA

Last month, Kaitlyn appeared to be turning heel, now she is playing nice with Alicia. Kaitlyn is full of energy getting some quick offense on Tamina and cheap shotting Nattie before Tamina yanks her by the hair to the mat. Tag to Natalya, who pulls the hair to try to get a submission but the ref breaks it up. Nattie misses a leg drop and Kaitlyn tags in Alicia who scissor kicks Natalya for the win!

WINNERS: Alicia Fox and Kaitlyn by pinfall in 1:30

Mike’s Reax: Dear WWE Creative, pick a direction with the Divas division and stick with it. Is Natalya (for lack of a better term concerning a Diva) a monster heel or is she an afterthought used to put over “up and coming” Divas? Is Kaitlyn turning heel? Why should anyone care about Tamina turning on Nattie? Answer these questions before having another Divas segment. Love, Me.

-Post-match, Tamina turns on Natalya. She nails her with a Superfly Splash and the crowd is rather apathetic.

-Last month at Survivor Series, Wade Barrett got the pin on Randy Orton, winning the match for his team. Tonight they face each other in a Falls Count Anywhere match!

(Commercial)

-Last Monday, Big Show faced David Otunga with one hand tied behind his back. Mark Henry tried taking advantage of Big Shows predicament, but Daniel Bryan made the save. Now they are all in a tag match tonight!

-Backstage Daniel Bryan is spitting game at A.J. when Big Show comes in to…put an end to it. Big Show says that he is a giant and he doesn’t need to be saved and he doesn’t need a partner. Just then Teddy Long does a backstage run-in to inform both men that the tag match is cancelled, instead Big Show will face Otunga and Mark Henry will be in David's corner. Bryan says that maybe giants need saving sometimes and tells him that he has his back. Big Show shows frustration as Smackdown takes a break.

(Commercial)

[Q4]

-Hunico comes out on a low-rider bicycle. Hunico cuts an inset promo in Spanglish. He is with Camacho, his new bodyguard.

3 - JUSTIN GABRIEL vs. HUNICO (w/Camacho)

Justin Gabriel sends Hunico to the outside where Hunico pulls Gabriel to the outside and nails him with an Asai Moonsault. Michael Cole takes a moment to utter the words “pimp their ride” while describing the bikes. Back in the ring, Justin Gabriel goes to the top to try the 450 splash, but Hunico meets him on the top ropes and arm drags him to the mat. He then hits the Swanton Bomb and pins Gabriel.

WINNER: Hunico by pinfall in 1:30.

-Post-match, Hunico and Camacho double team Gabriel and take him out with a Samoan Drop/neckbreaker combo.

-Up next: Big Show takes on David Otunga in a Raw re-match.

-Is this a commercial for the WWE Network or a clip of Disney’s Fantasia?

(Commercial)

4 - BIG SHOW vs. DAVID OTUNGA (w/Mark Henry)

Otunga has some catchy music there. Mark Henry got his own entrance, which has to be a first for valets/managers. More putting over the heels from Booker T who says that he is on the Otunga bandwagon. Waistlock by David to start and standing switch from Show, who backs Otunga into the corner. Headbutts from Show and a few chops mixed in for good measure.

[Q5] Bodyslam from Big Show and he keeps looking at Mark Henry. Otunga rolls out for some counsel from Henry who yells at him to do it himself because he won’t do it. Back in the ring Otunga takes Henry's advice and he goes for the knee. Big Show turns the tables and squishes Otunga in the corner with a big splash. Show calls for the Chokeslam, Henry gets up on the apron to distract and Otunga chop blocks the knee and DDTs Big Show who powers out of a pin attempt. Henry starts to get in the ring, but Daniel Bryan sneaks up on Henry and cracks him in the back with the World Title belt and baits Henry back to the dressing room. Show hip tosses Otunga back in the ring and punches him out for the win.

WINNER: Big Show by pinfall in 3:30.

-Two weeks ago, Randy Orton beat Wade Barrett in a Tables match at TLC. Tonight, they face off in a Falls Count Anywhere match.

(Commercial)

-First plug for the WWE Title match between Punk and Ziggler this Monday. This match should be a big deal and it shouldn’t have taken 79 minutes before this got mentioned.

5 - EZEKIEL JACKSON vs. DREW MCINTYRE

Cole has a cute new nickname for Drew – The Desperate One. Ha. I get it. He needs to win. So is putting over Drew to get accomplished by Booker saying that he couldn’t handle the competition on Raw, so he comes to Smackdown? What does that say about the talent on Smackdown? Think before you speak! Jackson overpowers him to start, beating him down with forearms to the back. Front facelock by Jackson and Drew makes the ropes where the ref calls for a clean break, but Drew cheap shots Zeke to take over. Clothesline in the corner by Drew followed by a picture perfect northern lights suplex that gets a two count.

Jackson ducks a clothesline and back body drops Drew and gives him some big clothesline in the corner. Irish whip to the far corner by Zeke and another back body drop. Drew ducks a shot and pounds away at Zeke in the corner and the ref threatens to DQ him, but Drew begs him not to. Zeke tries a Torture Rack, but Drew slips out of it and gets a rollup pin, but has his feet on the ropes and the ref sees it. The ref threatens to DQ him again and while Drew argues with him, Zeke rolls up Drew and pulls the tights and gets the win.

WINNER: Ezekiel Jackson by pinfall in 4:00.

[Q6]

-Post-match, they show multiple replays for Zeke holding the tights and Booker says that it is okay to cheat as long as no one gets caught. Sigh.

-Sheamus is walking backstage. He is out, next.

(Commercial)

-Drew is telling Teddy that the referee is crooked and asks him not to judge him on that match. Teddy says that he hates loser who make excuses. Drew is speechless and storms off.

-Sheamus is out. Josh says that Sheamus has had the best 2011 out of anyone on Smackdown. Josh saying something like that was the kiss of death for DiBiase, so I’m going to bet that Sheamus is jobbing to Heath Slayer tonight. Sheamus wants to talk about the future, specifically the Royal Rumble. He runs down the ins and outs of the Rumble and says that he doesn’t care what number he draws, because he will throw everyone and win the Rumble!

Hornswoggle interrupts and Booker is giddy at seeing the little fella. Cole thinks that they should use Swoggle as the New Year's Eve ball in Times Square and drop him. Sheamus brings up that Hornswoggle beat him in a battle royal a few weeks ago and asks if he is going to be in the Rumble. No response. Sheamus then asks him who he thinks is going to win, Hornswoggle says his name over and over again. Sheamus then relates a story his uncle told him about being fooled once, shame on me, fooled twice, you’ll get a kick in the arse.

Heath Slater interrupts and I’m going on record and saying I was just kidding about Sheamus jobbing to him. I swear. Heath compares them to the Bushwhackers to no response. He switches gears and calls him the number one redhead on Smackdown, which elicits boos from the crowd. He then goes on to say that he hates Hornswoggle now that he can talk. He also hated him when he couldn’t, too. Sheamus says he loves southern rock and then starts singing Journey with Heath. He then compares Heath to R. Kelly and asks him if he believes he can fly, then throws him over the top rope to the floor. Michael Cole says he is speechless and I echo that sentiment. That was brutal.

-At the announce table, Booker starts to sing “I believe I can fly” but Cole puts a stop to that. They show a clip of Wade Barrett putting Orton through a table on Raw two weeks ago. Tonight they battle each other in a Falls Count Anywhere match.

(Commercial)

[Q7]

6 - SHEAMUS vs. HEATH SLATER

The match is joined in progress with Sheamus dominating Slater, tossing him from one side of the ring to the other and ending it with a huge clothesline. Sheamus teases throwing Heath out of the ring again, but Slater catches himself on the apron, so Sheamus ties him up in the ropes and clubs away at his chest. Big bodyslam by Sheamus and he follows up by dropping an elbow. Back body slide by Slater gets reversed and Heath dropkicks Sheamus knee. DDT by Slater almost gets a win. He gets a side Russian legsweep and stomps away at The Celtic Warrior until the ref pulls him off. Knee to the stomach by Slater and a seconds rope missile dropkick still isn’t enough to put Sheamus away, so he puts him in a rear chinlock. That should put Sheamus away...

Sheamus powers out of the chinlock and backs Heath into the corner to get him off his back. Short arm clotheslines by Sheamus, then he goes to the rope and takes out Slater with the battering ram. Sheamus calls for the Brogue Kick, it connects, Sheamus wins.

WINNER: Sheamus by pinfall in 4:00 of TV time.

-Backstage, Daniel Bryan says that he is Big Shows good luck charm. Big Show says that he is getting annoyed by Bryan being around. Bryan wants a thank you for his help in winning. Teddy Long cuts off the bickering by saying that Daniel Bryan will defend his title against Big Show next week on Smackdown. Show is ecstatic, so Bryan gives him a verbal cheap shot by saying that win, lose, or draw he knows that his title reign lasted more than 45 seconds. That shut Big Show up!

-Last Friday, Randy Orton delivered a RKO on top of a parked car in the backstage area of Smackdown. The Falls Count Anywhere match is next!

-1/2/12 hype video is being used to hype Raw on Monday.

(Commercial)

-Cole and Josh plug the big WWE Title match that is happening on Raw. They then hype next weeks announced matches: Booker T vs. Cody Rhodes for the IC Title and Daniel Bryan defending the World Title against Big Show!

[Q8]

7 - RANDY ORTON vs. WADE BARRETT -- Falls Count Anywhere match

Cole states that he thinks that Internet geeks are psyched about this match. I give that an, "Eh.” Hard lefts and rights from both men to start. Orton gets the first advantage. Clothesline by Orton and Wade bails to the outside. Back and forth brawling from both men until Randy whips Wade into the steel steps. Orton introduces Barrett's head into the steel steps a few times and they are pleased to meet him! “Methodical” shots from Orton, Orton goes for a early RKO, but Wade shoves Randy into the ring post and Smackdown takes its final break for the final show of 2011 for the last time!

(Commercial)

In the ring, Wade Barrett is mounted on Orton, who is covering up. Punt to the ribs by Wade and he continues the barrage in the corner. Barrett gets a one count on Orton, so he chokes Orton on the middle rope and the ref can’t do a darn thing about it. Knees to the face by Wade followed by a big boot to the outside and Barrett gets a two count on Orton. Barrett runs Orton kidney first into the ring apron. Orton comes alive with a few rights, but Wade cuts him off by backing him into the barricade.

Back in the ring, Barrett knocks Orton out with a big boot for a two count. I’d like to take a moment to state that this Fall Count Anywhere match seems to be spending a plethora of time in the ring. Wade to the middle rope and he comes crashing down on Orton with an elbow smash that gets a two count. Wade Barrett slows the pace with a rear chinlock. Orton is struggling to fight out of the hold, so Wade mule kicks him in the stomach. Orton ducks out of a pumphandle slam and he comes alive again with a series of clotheslines. He tries his hangman DDT, but Barrett slips to the outside, so Orton follows him out and tosses him over the announce table and into the crowd.

Orton accidently shoves Barrett into the ref and both men start brawling through the crowd and into the locker room area. Wade puts Orton through a table. The way he put him through that table was the same way I would bodyslam my little niece on the couch – very gently. More brawling through the hallways and into an elevator.

Innocent bystanders go running out of the elevator as the doors close and they switch to security footage with no sounds until the elevator opens in a lower level. They fight up and down the hallway and into a stairwell where the camera doesn’t follow, but through a window it shows Barrett pushing Orton down a flight of stairs (without seeing Orton go down them). Barrett flees out an emergency exit and Orton is shown at the bottom of the concrete steps, clearly injured as Smackdown fades out.

WINNER: No contest.

Mike’s Reax: Not much to this Falls Count Anywhere match with minimal use of weapons and atmosphere, but tons of brawling in the ring. This match was pretty much a vehicle to write Orton off TV for a little bit while he tends to injuries and to give Barrett some heat for taking out Smackdown's top star. What I don’t understand is why they couldn’t give Barrett a pinfall victory. I think that would have maximized turning a negative into a positive.

Overall, I thought this was an average Smackdown. No heavy in-ring action, just a bunch of short matches that put over the mid-card heels and Big Show. It was a newsworthy show, though, because they announced Show vs. Bryan and Cody vs. Booker for next week, so the show wasn’t a complete wash. After all, WWE loves having the first show of a new year be a big show where they blow off feuds and hotshot matches/titles.

Have a Happy New Year, please be sure to follow me on Twitter @MJCupach as I Tweet live during Raw and most WWE PPVs!


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