TONIGHT! It's a rematch for the World Heavyweight Championship, as Daniel Bryan defends against Big Show. No DQ's this time around. Plus, Sheamus faces Jinder Mahal. No, that's not a typo, they're facing each other AGAIN! SmackDown is NOW!
The Champ May or May Not Be Here! Once again, my DVR cuts in late!
We see a video package hyping tonight's main event.
Opening credits - Do You Know Your Enemy? Opening pyro! We are taped from Laredo, TX!
LILIAN GARCIA brings out DANIEL BRYAN for our opening promo. The champ comes out to a good amount of heel heat and he's playing it up nicely, continuing his over-the-top celebration. Your hosts are the three worms.
Once again, I had a late night, so no transcription this week. Bryan tells the crowd that winning the title has been a dream and he lives to defend it. Bryan calls himself a fighting champion. He's SICKENED by the way last week's match ended and he doesn't appreciate the message boards accusing him of an intentional DQ. He's looking at YOU, HeymanRules512! Bryan's thrilled with tonight's No DQ match, but he thinks the No DQ stip is a little excessive and accuses Mark Henry of stirring the pot. He wants Mark Henry suspended!
Interruption comes from "THE WORLD'S STRONGEST MAN" MARK HENRY, who gets a mild pop. Booker gives credit to Bryan for intentionally causing the DQ, because THAT'S how you get a heel over! Henry says that if he had gotten suspended, he'd have gotten his money's worth. Mark Henry apparently ALSO had a meeting with Teddy Long and that's resulted in Mark Henry being banned from ringside tonight. Long has also promised Henry the next title shot next week against the winner of tonight's match. Bryan doesn't look pleased by this, but says it's ok with him. Hit Mark Henry's music!
Tonight, Sheamus faces Jinder Mahal. Cole calls it a "developing rivalry". How is it a rivalry if Sheamus hasn't lost yet???
Ad break - Wrestlemania promo
JUSTIN GABRIEL v. HEATH SLATER We take a look at the atrocity last week between Heath Slater and Hornswoggle. They try to show a replay of Gabriel hitting the Sternum-Crushing 450 Splash...and the replay dies in the middle of the move. Yup.
We start with a wrestling sequence. Slater hits a clothesline, but Gabriel hits a head scissors out of he prone position. Gabriel comes off the second rope and flies into an inverted atomic drop. Slater hits a corner whip/neckbreaker combo. Time to hit the chinlock. Gabriel comes back with furious kicks, but Slater puts him down with a spinebuster. Slater climbs the turnbuckles, but here's HORNSWOGGLE from under the ring for the distraction. Gabriel takes Slater down and finishes with the Sternum-Crushing 450 Splash in a two-minute special.
WINNER: Justin Gabriel - Nothing to say here, except Slater didn't look totally terrible, for a change.
Backstage, Daniel Bryan preps for tonight's match. AJ comes in and tells Bryan how proud of him she is. She says she loves him and exits the picture. Bryan just says, "Wow...thanks, AJ." She falls for men fast, doesn't she?
Royal Rumble highlight! We go back to the 1998 Rumble, which played out in front of Mike Tyson. "Stone Cold" Steve Austin comes in and cleans house and eliminates The Rock to win his second Rumble.
CODY RHODES is out with a mic. Cody goes for cheap heat by bringing up the immigration issue. Cody notes that he's been IC Champion for five months and is the longest reigning current champion. He wants the big prize in 2012, namedropping The Ultimate Warrior in the process.
CODY RHODES v. EZEKIEL JACKSON: NON-TITLE MATCH Zeke's 0-4 against Cody already, so I'm not giving him much of a chance here. Cody pounds away on Zeke to start. Cole tries to antagonize Booker, so they're going to spend this entire match arguing. And hey, if they're not interested in this match, then neither am I.
WINNER: Cody Rhodes - It's staggering how far down the food chain Jackson has fallen.
Later tonight, it's a World Title main event.
Your hosts are the three silverfish. They recap Edge being named to the Hall of Fame.
Backstage, Santino proposes some new match types to Teddy Long. He calls them Santino Originals. Are those anything like Adamle Originals? Santino proposes a triple decker cage match. Then he proposes overturning Jack Tunney's edit of No Reptiles at Ringside. Long shoots down all of these ideas. Meanwhile, David Otunga enters the picture and is asking for a list of SD stars for the Rumble. Santino asks for a match with Otunga, because...well...just because, that's why. Everyone exits, as Teddy's just expecting the saxaphone music at this point. He calls for Aksana, but gets Drew McIntyre. Long berates McIntyre and demands that he win his match tonight.
Ad break - Sin City SmackDown next week
DREW McINTYRE v. TED DiBIASE Now how is Drew supposed to win his match when he doesn't even get an entrance? Before the match starts, HUNICO (w/CAMACHO) make their entrance, for some reason. They're apparently out here for DiBiase. Wait, are they feuding now? Why? Didn't Hunico already beat DiBiase clean last week? What is the POINT of this?
McIntyre attacks DiBiase from behind. McIntyre hammers away in the corner. DiBiase dumps McIntyre, as Hunico joins the commentary team. DiBiase hits McIntyre with a suicide dive. McIntyre catches DiBiase with a spinebuster on the apron. McIntyre drives DiBiase into the apron again. Hunico challenges DiBiase to throw a DiBiase Posse party in his barrio. Hunico talks about his bicycles through a McIntyre armbar. DiBiase makes the babyface comeback. DiBiase comes off the second rope and gets caught coming down. Drew sets up for a blockbuster superplex. DiBiase elbows McIntyre and crotches him. Dream Street will finish for DiBiase in about 4 minutes.
WINNER: Ted DiBiase - Short match. Again, I have to ask what the point of burying McIntyre is. If they just wanted another jobber, they might as well have left him on Raw.
Coming up next, Sheamus faces Jinder Mahal...again.
"THE GREAT WHITE" SHEAMUS v. JINDER MAHAL We look at what happened last week between Sheamus and Jinder Mahal. Jinder Mahal has the mic and talks in Hindi, before saying that he's most dangerous when least expected.
Sheamus hammers away to start. Corner charge eats elbow, but Sheamus comes right back with an Irish Hammer. Sheamus wants the High Cross, but Mahal ducks out. So Sheamus chases and wipes him out with a clothesline. Slingshot shoulderblock gets 2. Sheamus wants the ten chest strikes, but Mahal hangs Sheamus on the top rope. A high knee gets 2. Mahal goes to the knee-based offense some more. Swinging neckbreaker gets 2. Time to hit the chinlock. Sheamus makes the babyface comeback and gets the ten chest strikes. Irish Missile hits. Brogue Kick finishes at about 6 minutes.
WINNER: Sheamus - This match wasn't any better the third or fourth time around.
Backstage, The Big Show is getting briefed by the referee. AJ enters the picture and shoos away the ref. AJ pleads for Daniel Bryan's safety. Daniel Bryan enters the picture and accuses Show of trying to steal his girl. Bryan demands that Show leave. At this point, Show SHOULD point out that he was there first. Instead, Show points out that the title has changed Bryan, but that won't be a problem after tonight and exits the picture. Bryan talks to AJ and asks her "How much do you love me?" before taking her off for a conversation.
Ad break - WWE Best PPV Matches of 2011
Royal Rumble moment! It's the anti-climactic 2002 Rumble, where Triple H destroyed everyone, as expected.
DAVID OTUNGA v. SANTINO MARELLA Otunga gets half an entrance, so he isn't entirely cannon fodder.
We start with a wrestling sequence, before Otunga drives Santino into the corner. Otunga takes control with a clothesline. Santino rolls up Otunga for 2, but Otunga comes back with another clothesline. Otunga opts for his dizzying array of stomps and elbows. How about a chinlock? Because that shitty offense is EXHAUSTING! Otunga misses a corner clothesline and Santino makes the babyface comeback. Santino calls for THE COBRA~!, but it's blocked and Otunga finishes with the fireman's carry slam in a two-minute special.
WINNER: David Otunga - Thank God they kept this short.
Your hosts are the three maggots. They recap the Horsemen's induction into the Hall of Fame. Question: Why didn't they think of inducting them last year in Atlanta? Wouldn't it have made more sense to induct them in WCW country?
Raw Rebound kills some time.
Your hosts are the three parasites. They note that Zack Ryder hasn't suffered structural damage. He'll be re-evaluated on Monday.
LILIAN GARCIA introduces "THE FUNKASAURUS" BRODUS CLAY, so it's time for an encore! Brodus actually gets a good pop coming out! Shockingly (or not), "Somebody Call My Momma" is ALREADY available on iTunes! Man, who knew Ernest Miller, of all people, was ahead of his time?
"THE FUNKASAURUS" BRODUS CLAY (w/THE FUNKETTES) v. TYSON KIDD Tyson Kidd gets no entrance, because he's cannon fodder, of course. But let's humor him, as if he stands a chance.
Brodus hits the charging headbutt and gets FUNKEH LIKE A MONKEH! Crossbody hits and...um...yeah...
WINNER: Brodus Clay - Blink and you'll miss it. It doesn't bode well for Tyson Kidd when Curt Hawkins is lasting longer than him, does it? I will say this, though. I still think the gimmick's awful, but Brodus is REALLY having fun with it and he's going to single-handedly get this gimmick over.
Post-match, it's time for the Rikishi Memorial Dance-Off!
Backstage, Teddy Long is getting down to Clay's music until the saxaphone music hits. As far as I know, we're MONTHS into this bit and there still doesn't seem to be any POINT to it, so let's FFWD!
Time to go to Tazz's old Tale of the Tape for tonight's main event.
TAMINA v. NATALYA Tamina high-fives fans on the way to the ring, so that should answer who the babyface is supposed to be here.
As for Natalya, she gets no entrance, because she's cannon fodder, of course.
WINNER: Tamina - I wish I knew exactly at what point the writers got bored with the Divas of Doom angle and just decided to unceremoniously drop it.
Well, there's certainly plenty of time to spare, so let's bring out WADE BARRETT for a quick promo. Barrett washes the bad taste of the last match out of my mouth by bringing back the BADASS OVERCOAT, complete with Mafia-style lapel rose!
Barrett says he is NOT impressed by Sheamus. Barrett is a man of CLASS and he will win the Rumble this year. Barrett challenges Sheamus for a one-on-one match next week.
Coming up next, our main event!
Ad break - Sin City Smackdown promo
Your hosts are the three numbskulls. Next week, Wade Barrett faces Sheamus and Mark Henry will face the winner of tonight's main event.
THE BIG SHOW v. DANIEL BRYAN (w/AJ): NO DISQUALIFICATION WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH AJ joins Bryan in mid-entrance. We get the championship intros to start.
Bryan wants a Bob Backlund-style handshake. Show takes the handshake and pulls Bryan into a military press drop. Show chops away and drags Bryan around. Bryan counters some corner charges, but comes off the second rope and gets speared. Show covers, but the ref notes that Bryan's under the ropes. IT'S A NO DQ MATCH!!! WHY DOES THAT MATTER??? The ref checks on Bryan to take us to our final ad break of the night.
The fight has moved towards the announce table, where Bryan grabs a chair and starts going nuts on Show. Show eventually gets tired of getting hit with a chair and slaps it out of Bryan's hand. Bryan bails into the ring, as Show stands on the outside with the chair. Huge "Big Show" chant. Bryan tries to keep Show out with a dropkick and grabs the chair. Show no-sells the chair and kicks Bryan down. Back in the ring, Bryan tries to come back with the Tajiri kicks, but gets chopped down. Bryan hits a seated dropkick and goes back to the Tajiri kicks, which get 1. Bryan grabs the chair and hits a DDT on top of the chair. It only gets 2. Bryan tries more kicks and gets chopped down. Show makes the babyface comeback and hits the buttsplash/shoulderblock combo. Show wants the chokeslam, but Bryan clips the knee and reaches for the chair. Show punches the chair, which sends Bryan bailing to the outside. Show chases and hammers on Bryan some more. Show clears off the announce table and wants the chokeslam, but Bryan kicks out of it and goes back to the chairshots. Bryan tries to come off the apron and gets chopped. Bryan tries for a kick and a right, which Show no-sells. Bryan runs for his life and Show chases, running over AJ in one of the MOST CONTRIVED SPOTS YOU'LL EVER SEE! You can tell Show could see AJ as he rounded the corner and he just barrelled over her anyway. So the match screeches to a halt and MERE SECONDS LATER, they have the replay ready. The announcers go into their somber voices and...wow, this is insulting. Bryan checks on AJ, while Show looks like he's about to cry. The stretcher comes out and AJ gets put in a neck brace. The crowd is so overwhelmed by all of this dramatic tension that they chant "She's OK." Yup.
As the meds take AJ up the ramp, Daniel Bryan yells at Big Show for his recklessness. And so the show ends with Big Show crying.
WAIT...almost forgot again...
WINNER: No Contest
Ok, now we can go to the...
I'm not saying that the show-closing angle isn't going to somehow lead to some kind of grand plan or anything. But I can't deny that the execution was all kinds of terrible. It ground the show to a complete halt, nobody bought into it, there was terrible acting across the board, and it just looked 100% contrived.
The match wasn't any better, either. There are flaws with Daniel Bryan's title reign, the biggest of which is that Bryan seems to be the only one trying to make it look credible. Show and Henry certainly aren't selling for him. The announcers continuously treat him like a joke, with Cole continuing to bash him while Booker undermines Bryan's heelish actions by saying that they're perfectly fine. The only reason Bryan's title reign has any kind of steam right now is because of Daniel Bryan himself, who's doing some fine heel work. But when you compare last week's ending to this week's ending, it's clear they took a step back tonight.
Next week's Bryan/Henry match should hopefully get things back on track.
Whoa, which came first, @HeymanRules512 or Bryan's promo?
John O. made this joke on the Tweetybox, but I said it aloud as it happened and got to The-W first: Daniel Bryan called the Big Show a "Bastard!" Shades of the Big Boss Man-casket feud! My main man D-Bry right here knows his Paul Wight history!
Cody is clearly the most capable heel on SmackDown, and I enjoy his midcard simmer before they nudge him into the main event. Maybe after stealing the show again at Mania. But I fear they're gonna job him to a newly sympathetic Drew.
"To be the man, you gotta beat demands." -- The Lovely Mrs. Tracker
All of Drew MacIntyre's losses since returning to Smackdown have been what you could call bad luck. Against Santino, he fell off the second rope and smacked his head on the ringpost. Against DiBiase last night, he crotched himself on the ropes. He has his matches in hand and then loses them by making a mistake, rather than his opponent beating him.
Unfortunately, the commentary team isn't going a good job of pointing this out. :(
Originally posted by It's FalseBryan counters some corner charges, but comes off the second rope and gets speared. Show covers, but the ref notes that Bryan's under the ropes. IT'S A NO DQ MATCH!!! WHY DOES THAT MATTER???
Well.. Show could choke Bryan on the bottom rope for 20 minutes, it's a no-DQ match. But as far as a cover, you'd need a "falls count anywhere" match to supersede the wrestler under the bottom rope rule.
(I wouldn't be at all surprised if they've ignored this in actual FCA matches.)
I missed the second Bryan/AJ chat segment, so I'm not sure if they meant for AJ to now be working with Bryan and deliberately fake the injury to save the title, or if Bryan used her - because in the first chat, I thought he did a nice job of subtly being offended when AJ said 'even when you lose tonight, I still love you'.
Also - considering all the annoyances he's dealt with, if Show can't pull it together enough to grab Bryan by the throat and chokeslam him to pieces and beat Bryan after the 'injury', he really looks like too much of a chump to deserve the title.
I really wanted to love AJ In Love With Daniel. His not saying I love you back to her was Han Solo-ish ("Who's scruffy-looking?). His reaction to "I love you" of "How can this benefit me?" was terrific. As was his "standing up to Big Show for 'intimidating' AJ" backstage. This was great stuff, until the execution of the AJ injury. It should have worked, but it was weird in execution. Maybe things were a little too ambivalent. I was watching AJ at ringside during the match and she wasn't reacting to anything; she wasn't cheering Daniel on or cringing as Show tossed him around. What was she there for? Answer: to take a bump. Obviously. But people didn't buy it. Daniel's reaction of rubbing his beard - "How can this benefit me?" was great. Show's crying was spot on. But still, the fans didn't buy the AJ "injury". The "She's okay!" chant was death. I'm not sure if it's AJ they didn't care about or they didn't care for the angle itself. Probably both.
I think that if they wanted to sell that angle at all, they really needed something a bit more robust than "Big Show runs into her at half-speed." It was a no-DQ match; it would have been so easy to do the old "Bryan ducks and AJ eats a chairshot" bit. What we got instead was incredibly lame.
I think this is one of those injury stories that would have been told better backstage. Once the fans see a bump that is not as bad as the ones they see before, they shit all over it. The irony to this is they should have done the Ryder trying to save Eve and run from Kane in the arena. Give Ryder ability to fight back against Kane and show Kane chokeslamming Ryder and Eve. To give the fans something they have not seen in awhile a man purposely harming a woman as opposed to the once in a while guy "accidentally" knocks over a woman. If they do something like that Show should have "accidentally" given her the KO punch or push her through some glass or into a car. Make it look brutal.
(edited by lotjx on 15.1.12 0811) The Wee Baby Sheamus.
Twitter: @realjoecarfley its a bit more toned down there. A bit.
Also, if I'm not mistaken, refs usually still count to five on illegal rope moves in no-DQ matches. While they can't DQ a guy at 5, the idea is they, as the guys in charge of maintaining some sort of order, still don't want illegal moves performed, if possible.
I think you guys are missing the whole point - Scumbag Daniel Bryan convinced AJ to take a 500 lb. bullet for him (and his belt). AJ getting drilled with a chair wouldn't work, since she needed to be the proverbial 95 lb. WILLING human shield.
I love this story line. Daniel exploiting sad puppy dog AJ is outstanding.
I missed Smackdown, but I know when I watch Raw on Monday the WWE video production team will have this all edited, put together and synced with perfect music sound and just the right commentary to make this whole thing look like a million bucks.
If they can almost make the Kane crap work, they've got this locked down.
Originally posted by IBFJMI think you guys are missing the whole point - Scumbag Daniel Bryan convinced AJ to take a 500 lb. bullet for him (and his belt). AJ getting drilled with a chair wouldn't work, since she needed to be the proverbial 95 lb. WILLING human shield.
Exactly. It didn't need to be any more violent. To quote Daniel Bryan, he's 500 pounds and she's 90. And it was a plan they came up with ahead of time, so for all we know she agreed to fake/exaggerate a serious injury, not just eat death. The crowd chanted "she's OK" because they saw a backstage skit where Bryan hatched a scheme with her.
I thought the angle was absolutely awesome. In a company rightfully criticized for overcomplicating basic angles, it was a rare case where some creativity added layers to something and made it better. It was a clever way to escape no DQ/no CO (can't find a loophole in the rules, find a reason to make Show stop competing), Show and Daniel's reactions were perfect, and it's a great and telling new facet to DB's character, especially as he can continue to chastise and guilt trip Show. The match was good too -- even in a match where the psychology had to Bryan hanging on for dear life against a giant steamroller, he looked credible and resourceful by fighting back with the chairshots and hanging tough in a long match instead of just being ragdolled. All while remaining a heel who people want to see throttled under circumstances where it's hard to be a heel.
I liked the AJ angle, I just didn't love the execution. I LOL'd so much at the backstage bits, I guess I built up what could happen more in my head (and what I was giggling over wasn't necessarily more violent.)
Or maybe it was. My Tweet in real time was:
@BackoftheHead @WWEAJLee, how much do you #love @WWEDanielBryan? Are you willing to take a chokeslam? Are you willing to get WMD'd in the face? #Smackdown
I guess that's more violent, but I'm not advocating AJ beaten with chairs or anything. The show is PG and that's not changing any time soon.
I think the crowd just took me out of it. "She's okay!" Play along, jerks.
Originally posted by BigDaddyLocoI missed Smackdown, but I know when I watch Raw on Monday the WWE video production team will have this all edited, put together and synced with perfect music sound and just the right commentary to make this whole thing look like a million bucks.
If they can almost make the Kane crap work, they've got this locked down.
The WWE video guys, the real MVPs of the company.
Yeah, but what bugs me is that when you watch RAW, such spots don't seem contrived. And it's live television. SmackDown is taped on Tuesday and broadcast on Friday; they've had 72 hours to get their act together. Inexcusable.
"Yeah, but WHOSE SIDE IS HE ON?!" --Bobby "The Brain" Heenan, WCW Bash at the Beach 1996
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It'd probably look exceedingly goofy in execution, but I could see them having all five members of Team Angle pin all five members of Team Christian to set up a six-man match, with the weaselly champion having to faced a stacked deck.