“Yes sir, we promised you a great main event…” The WWE video leads us into the show.
They show some footage of the World Heavyweight Championship match between Big Show and Mark Henry at Survivor Series. Henry got himself intentionally disqualified after kicking Big Show in the groin. Big Show then took Henry down, put a chair around his leg, and dropped a leg on it. They finish the video by asking what’s next for the two of them.
Mark Henry’s music hits, and the World Heavyweight Champion makes his way to the ring. Henry has a boot around his left ankle and is using a crutch to get to the ring. Henry takes a while to get into the ring, and then he holds the belt up for everyone to see. Henry says it seems like the crowd is happy to see him in pain. Henry says Big Show did this to him, and he can’t believe they’re happy about this. Henry wonders what kind of people they are. Henry asks who would do this kind of thing. Henry says this is not the kind of treatment that a heavyweight champion deserves, and this is not the kind of respect you give a champion. Henry looks into the camera, and he says to the Big Show that he stands here hurt, but not broken. The crowd revels in the fact that he stands there injured, and they wish they could have done it to him. The crowd cheers, and they chant, “You suck”.
Henry says Big Show knows that he kicked him in the knee, but he acts like he kicked him in the private spot because he wanted to make him look bad. Big Show wanted to make him the bad guy. Henry says the reason he’s out here is to set an example for all the kids that watch him, and he’s here to show them that a champion fights through pain. A champion fights through injuries. Henry wanted to compete tonight, but Teddy Long and the doctors would not clear him. He’s injured. He’s not only the World’s Strongest Man, but he’s standing in the ring as the World’s Toughest Man, and the Heavyweight Champion.
Big Show’s music hits, and he comes to the ring smiling. Big Show says the only way the World Heavyweight Championship can change hands is through a pinfall or submission. Big Show tells Henry to stop lying about where he kicked him, and he knows why he did it. Henry knew he’d be disqualified for kicking him there because he felt the title slipping away from him. As far as Henry’s ankle goes, he just did to Henry what Henry did to him. Henry says there won’t be a next time. Not only is he the World’s Largest Athlete, but he’s also the World’s Largest Loser. Big Show looks at him angrily before delivering a WMD. Henry is lying flat in the ring. Big Show leaves the ring.
Daniel Bryan’s music hits, and he runs to the ring with Charles Robinson! Bryan wants to cash in his Money in the Bank contract!
WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match
Mark Henry (c) vs. Daniel Bryan
Charles Robinson calls for the bell, and the match begins. Bryan struggles to turn Henry over to his back, and he pins him to win the championship!
Winner and NEW WWE World Heavyweight Champion: Daniel Bryan
Match Rating: N/A
Daniel Bryan celebrates big time with the championship, and the crowd goes nuts. Bryan jumps on the announcer’s table and shoves it in Michael Cole’s face. Cole screams that he’s a hypocrite.
All of a sudden Teddy Long runs down to the ring. Long says he got here as quickly as he could, but all of this happened so fast. Mark Henry was right. He was not medically cleared to compete. Therefore there is no official match. Daniel Bryan is NOT the World Heavyweight Champion. The crowd chants that Long sucks. Bryan cannot believe it. Bryan doesn’t want to hand over the championship, but eventually, after one last, long look, he gives it back. Long then delivers it back to Mark Henry, who quickly hobbles away.
Long takes the Money in the Bank briefcase, and he gives it back to Bryan. Since the match technically never happened, he technically never cashed it in. Long will also give him another opportunity for a World Title match by winning tonight’s main event. It’ll be a Fatal Four Way match between Daniel Bryan, Cody Rhodes, Wade Barrett, and Randy Orton. The winner will face Mark Henry this Tuesday on a special live holiday edition of Smackdown. Henry is at the top of the ramp, and he doesn’t like that decision. HOLLA!
Sheamus and Zack Ryder will team up to take on Jack Swagger and Dolph Ziggler later tonight.
They announce that not only will next week’s World Heavyweight Championship match be a Steel Cage match, but the winner will go on to face the Big Show at TLC with the title on the line.
Justin Gabriel vs. Hunico
They lock up, and Hunico quickly gets a side headlock applied. Gabriel twists out, and he hits an arm drag. Hunico quickly comes back, and he takes him down. Hunico sends him into the ropes, but Gabriel holds on. Hunico charges, and Gabriel back body drops him to the apron. Hunico slides through the legs, and he kicks him in the head. Hunico suplexes him back into the ring and gets a two count. Hunico sends him into the ropes, and he hits a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for a near fall. Hunico applies a knee to the back chin lock. Gabriel fights up, and he elbows out. Hunico quickly takes him back down with an Angle Slam. Hunico drops a leg for a two count. Hunico applies another chin lock, but Gabriel fights up, and he elbows out. Hunico quickly sends him to the corner hard. Hunico goes to the apron, and he hits a slingshot dropkick to the midsection for a near fall. Hunico sends him to the corner, but Gabriel catches him with a head-scissor takeover that sends Hunico (sort of) out of the ring.
Gabriel catches Hunico with a corkscrew plancha. Gabriel rolls him back into the ring for a near fall. Hunico ducks a roundhouse, but Gabriel catches him on the rebound with a kick to the back of the head. Gabriel springboards off the top rope with a moonsault, and he gets a near fall. Gabriel props him up on the top rope, and he goes for a back suplex. Hunico rakes the eyes, and he elbows him off. Hunico hits a Swanton Bomb for the win.
Winner by Pinfall: Hunico
Match Rating: * 1/4
Tonight’s main event will be a Fatal Four Way between Randy Orton, Wade Barrett, Cody Rhodes, and Daniel Bryan. The winner will face Mark Henry on Tuesday in a Steel Cage match with the title on the line. The winner will then face Big Show at TLC.
Alicia Fox is on commentary for the following match.
Beth Phoenix and Natalya vs. Kaitlyn and AJ
Natalya starts off against Kaitlyn. Natalya powers her to the corner, and she knees her in the midsection. A “We Want Ryder” chant breaks out. Kaitlyn quickly sidesteps her, and she sends Natalya to her corner. AJ tags in, and she clotheslines Natalya in the corner. AJ hits a head-scissor takeover, and she goes for a roll up, but Natalya holds on to the ropes. AJ hits a roll up for a near fall. Natalya quickly takes her down by the hair, and she locks her in the Sharpshooter for the win.
Winners by Submission: Beth Phoenix and Natalya
Match Rating: N/A
Kaitlyn gets in the ring, mentions that this is the second week AJ has lost, and she walks off. Beth Phoenix gets on the microphone, and she says it’s, “Cry Time”. Natalya locks her in the Sharpshooter, and Phoenix puts the microphone to her mouth so the crowd could hear the screams. Alicia gets up from commentary and gets in the ring. Beth and Natalya simply back away.
Sheamus and Zack Ryder will take on Jack Swagger and Dolph Ziggler later tonight.
They play a vignette for Kane.
Teddy Long is on the phone, and he says next week’s Smackdown will be hosted by Mick Foley. Aksana walks in, and they play the cheesy saxophone music. Aksana asks about mistletoe. All of a sudden Mark Henry comes in. Henry asks how he could allow that to happen. Long says he made it right. Henry asks why he has to defend the championship next week. Long says he needs a huge main event since Smackdown is live. Henry says that he’s injured. Long says the doctor says he’ll be ready to go. Henry says this is going to bring it all to a head. Henry asks if this is Long’s opportunity to pick on him since he’s injured. Henry asks if “Mattel” is written on his forehead. Henry tells him not to play him like a game. Long forgot to mention that next week will be a Steel Cage match. Henry flips out, and he says Long will get his one day.
Elsewhere backstage, Zack Ryder is playing WWE ’12. Ryder is beating up Dolph Ziggler in the game. Sheamus walks up, and he says he signed Ryder’s petition. Ryder says they’re broski’s, and they’ll go to the clubs. Ryder sings some song that Sheamus doesn’t like, but Sheamus smiles anyway. Sheamus says they should concentrate on kicking the collective arses of Swagger and Ziggler. Ryder says “Woo, woo, woo”, and Sheamus follows up with, “You know it”.
Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger make their way to the ring with Vickie Guerrero. They’ll be in action against Zack Ryder and Sheamus next.
EXCUSE ME! Vickie wants everyone to stand up and show their respect for Dolph Ziggler winning twice at the Survivor Series. Ziggler says, unlike him, these people need to worry about double chins and double mortgages. They don’t know what it’s like to be double victorious at Survivor Series. That wasn’t him just showing off. That was him making history. #HEEL. Vickie kisses his hand.
Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger w/ Vickie Guerrero vs. Zack Ryder and Sheamus
Sheamus starts the match out against Dolph Ziggler. They lock up, and Sheamus backs him up against the ropes. Ziggler puts himself through them to get Sheamus away. They lock up, and Sheamus gets a side headlock applied. Ziggler whips him off, leapfrogs him, and hits a nice dropkick. Ziggler celebrates a little bit. They lock up, and Sheamus takes him down with a headlock takeover. Ziggler fights up, and he whips Sheamus off. Ziggler leapfrogs him, and he goes for a dropkick, but Sheamus hangs on to the ropes. Sheamus then picks him up and hits a nice fall-away slam. Ziggler quickly tags in Jack Swagger. Swagger quickly takes him down with a waist lock. Swagger clubs him in the head, so Sheamus elbows him off. Sheamus takes him down with some head-butts, and he begins clubbing the chest. Sheamus then clotheslines him over the top rope. Ziggler tries to interfere, so Sheamus dumps him over the top rope as well. Ryder gets in the ring, hits a nice flipping senton to the outside, lands on his feet, and does his “Woo, woo, woo” line.
We come back from the break to see Ryder beating Swagger down in the corner. Swagger sends him to the ropes, misses a pair of clotheslines, and Ryder catches him with a flying forearm for a one count. Ryder kicks him in the face, and he tags in Sheamus. Ryder whips Swagger into Sheamus’s battering ram for a near fall. Sheamus sends him to the ropes, misses a clothesline, and Swagger takes him down with a chop block. Swagger quickly clotheslines him down, and tags in Ziggler. Ziggler kicks away at Sheamus and punches him down. Sheamus kicks him away, but Ziggler quickly elbows him back down. Swagger is tagged in, and he clubs him down. Swagger applies a submission, but Sheamus quickly fights up. Swagger quickly knees him down and hits a nice body slam. Swagger backs up before going for a Swagger Bomb. Sheamus gets his boots up, and clotheslines him down.
Sheamus gets the tag to Ryder, and he hits a pair of clotheslines. Swagger reverses a whip to the corner, and he runs into Ryder’s knees. Swagger is down in the corner, and he hits the Broski Boot. Vickie is screaming at ringside. Swagger rolls out of the ring, so Ryder follows. Ryder quickly clotheslines Ziggler at ringside, and he turns into a nasty clothesline from Swagger. Swagger rolls Ryder into the ring for a near fall. Ziggler is tagged in, and he kicks Ziggler in the back. Ziggler goes for a neckbreaker, but Ryder counters with a roll up for a near fall. Ziggler quickly drops an elbow for a two count. Ziggler applies a modified chin lock, and the crowd is chanting Ryder on hard. Ryder fights up, and he punches out. Ziggler quickly hits a neckbreaker, and he kips up. Ziggler celebrates a bit before tagging in Swagger. Ryder fights both Ziggler and Swagger off before being taken down. Swagger applies a wheelbarrow, and Ziggler hits a leg drop bulldog. Sheamus breaks the pin up.
Ziggler and Swagger continue to double-team Ryder. Swagger hits a body slam and follows up with a Swagger Bomb. Ryder kicks out at two and a half. Ziggler is tagged in, and Ryder catches him with an inside cradle for a near fall. Ziggler hits a quick dropkick for a near fall. Ziggler prevents Ryder from tagging in. Swagger is tagged back in, and he drops an elbow on Ryder. Swagger kicks him, and then knocks Sheamus off the apron. The referee holds Sheamus back. Swagger applies a front face lock. Ryder knees out, but Swagger prevents him from tagging in Sheamus. Swagger puts him on the top rope, and he slaps Ryder in the face. Ryder quickly fights back, and he hits a NASTY tornado DDT.
Sheamus and Ziggler are tagged in. Sheamus hits some running hammers, and he sends Ziggler to the corner. Sheamus clubs him down, and hits a beautiful short-arm clothesline. Sheamus goes for a Celtic Cross, but Swagger kicks him. Ryder blind tags in. Sheamus hits Swagger with a Brogue Kick. Ziggler tries for a Zig-Zag, but Sheamus powers him off. Ryder then surprises him with the Rough Ryder for the win!
Winners by Pinfall: Zack Ryder and Sheamus
Match Rating: ** 1/4
Daniel Bryan is talking with AJ backstage. Bryan says holding the World Heavyweight Championship tonight felt better than he imagined. AJ reminds him that he still has the contract, and he has a shot tonight in the main event. Wade Barrett walks up, and he says he has his chances, but not tonight. Barrett asks if he’s even seen anything the Barrett Barrage has done. Bryan says Barrett has won the same amount of World Titles he has: zero. Bryan says nobody is fighting his battles for him. He’s not intimidated by Mark Henry or Barrett. Barrett walks off. AJ wishes him luck, and she gives him a kiss on the cheek.
We’ll see a Fatal Four Way between Randy Orton, Cody Rhodes, Wade Barrett, and Daniel Bryan in tonight’s main event. The winner will face Mark Henry on Tuesday in a Steel Cage match for the World Heavyweight Championship.
Ted DiBiase vs. Heath Slater
The match begins, and Jinder Mahal appears on the screen. Mahal speaks in his native tongue. Mahal then says that DiBiase forsakes his family’s name, wealth, and upbringing to hang out in the parking lot with mere commoners. Slater attacks DiBiase from behind, and he takes him down with some punches and kicks. DiBiase dropkicks Slater as he celebrates. DiBiase hits the ten punches in the corner and follows up with a nice suplex for a two count. DiBiase continues to punch him, ducks a clothesline, and Slater cuts off DiBiase’s clothesline. Slater sends him into the ring post shoulder first, hits an arm breaker, and picks up a two count. Slater hits another arm breaker for a near fall. Slater works over the arm, and he applies a wristlock. DiBiase fights up, and Slater takes him down again with an arm breaker. Slater really works over the arm, but DiBiase fights up eventually. DiBiase sends him to the corner and hits a back body drop. DiBiase hits an inverted atomic drop and a flying knee for a two count. Slater kicks him in the knee, but DiBiase catches him with a clothesline. DiBiase hits the Dream Street for the win.
Winner by Pinfall: Ted DiBiase
Match Rating: 1/2 *
The Fatal Four Way match is next.
Matt Striker is backstage with Cody Rhodes. Striker asks Rhodes to explain why he threw water onto Booker T on Monday. Rhodes says people think he threw water on the face of a former six-time champion and King of the Ring. Rhodes says he threw water onto a lowly commentator. Rhodes says he saw the disparaging, mocking look on Booker T’s face, and he did something about it. He’s free without the mask. He’s free to get his revenge on Randy Orton, defend the Intercontinental Championship, and free to win the Fatal Four Way match tonight. Rhodes says the world is his oyster. As a certain mentally limited commentator might say, he can dig that, SUCKA. Rhodes laughs, and he walks off.
Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton make their way to the ring. The Fatal Four Way match is next.
#1 Contender’s Fatal Four Way Match
Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton vs. Cody Rhodes vs. Wade Barrett
Charles Robinson, my favorite referee of all time, will officiate this match. The match starts, and Orton quickly beats on Barrett in the corner as Rhodes focuses on Bryan. Orton and Barrett are in the ring as Rhodes and Bryan fight at ringside. Barrett sends Orton into the corner, but Orton explodes out with a clothesline. Orton stomps some limbs and drops a knee for a near fall. Barrett quickly rolls out of the ring. Rhodes turns Orton around, and Orton quickly hits a dropkick. Bryan gets in the ring, and he hits Rhodes with a kick. Orton sends Rhodes to the corner, and Bryan hits a nice running dropkick. Rhodes quickly rolls out of the ring, leaving Bryan and Orton in the ring together. They begin to circle the ring as we go to commercial.
We come back from the break to see Barrett and Rhodes beating down Bryan and Orton. Barrett throws Orton out of the ring. Barrett sends Orton into the steel steps as Rhodes hits a front suplex. Barrett and Rhodes double-team Bryan. They take turns holding him up to punch him. They send him to the ropes, and they hit a double back elbow. Barrett stands on Bryan’s head. Orton snaps Barrett off the top rope and fights them both off. Orton stomps Rhodes down in the corner, and he turns into a kick from Barrett. Barrett goes for a pump-handle slam, but Orton slides out. Rhodes immediately takes him down with a Russian Leg Sweep. Barrett and Rhodes take turns punching away at Orton. They double whip him into the corner. They stomp him in the corner.
All of a sudden Bryan takes Barrett out with a missile dropkick. Bryan then takes Rhodes out with a flying elbow. Bryan punches Rhodes to the corner, and he viciously kicks away at him. Bryan puts him on the top rope, but Barrett catches him on his shoulders. Barrett and Rhodes then execute a PERFECT Doomsday Device! That was nasty! Barrett covers, and Rhodes breaks up the pinfall attempt. Rhodes quickly sends Barrett into the ring post shoulder first.
We come back from the final commercial break of the evening to see Orton hit a beautiful suplex on Rhodes for a near fall. Barrett punches Orton from behind, and Orton quickly fights back. Orton sends him to the corner and runs into a back elbow. Barrett chokes Orton on the ropes, and he knees away at him. Barrett backs up, and he big boots him to the floor. Barrett quickly catches Bryan with a Boss Man Slam for a near fall. Rhodes quickly kicks Barrett out of the ring, and he hits Bryan with a Beautiful Disaster for a near fall! Rhodes punches Orton off the apron, and he stalks Bryan. Rhodes goes into the ropes, and Bryan back body drops him over the top rope! Barrett sends Bryan into the ropes, but Bryan ducks a clothesline, and he takes Rhodes out with a suicide dive!
Orton clotheslines Barrett a few times, and he hits a nice powerslam. Orton brings Rhodes back into the ring the hard way, clotheslines him, and then clotheslines him over the top rope. Orton hits his trademark backbreaker, but Bryan breaks up the pinfall. Bryan kicks Orton in the head and covers, but Rhodes breaks it up. Rhodes hot shots Bryan off the top rope, and he falls to the outside. Rhodes covers Orton for a near fall. Rhodes stomps away at Orton. Rhodes picks him up and hits a nice front suplex. Rhodes goes to the top rope, and Orton sweeps the feet. Orton punches him, goes to the top rope, and hits his father’s old finisher, the superplex.
Barrett quickly kicks Orton in the ribs, and he covers Rhodes, but Bryan breaks it up with a flying head-butt. Orton gets in the ring, and he throws Barrett out of the ring. Orton does the same to Rhodes, and he catches Bryan with a draping DDT. Orton stalks Bryan, but Barrett pulls him out of the ring, and he hits a DDT on the outside! Rhodes tries to sneak in and cover Bryan, but Bryan counters into the LeBell Lock! Rhodes quickly taps out!
Winner by Submission: Daniel Bryan
Match Rating: ***
Daniel Bryan will face Mark Henry for the World Heavyweight Championship in a Steel Cage Match on Tuesday’s LIVE Smackdown taping! Rhodes attacks him from behind, and he stomps away at Bryan. Rhodes screams that it was his opportunity. Orton makes the save, and he hits Rhodes with the RKO! Orton nods to Daniel Bryan, and he leaves the ring. Bryan celebrates in the ring as the show ends.
Quick Match Results
Hunico def. Justin Gabriel
Beth Phoenix and Natalya def. Kaitlyn and AJ via Submission
Zack Ryder and Sheamus def. Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger
Ted DiBiase def. Heath Slater
Daniel Bryan def. Randy Orton, Cody Rhodes, and Wade Barrett via Submission
Bump of the Night: Barrett and Rhodes hitting Bryan with a Doomsday Device!
Match of the Night: The Fatal Four Way match ***
That was a really fun edition of Smackdown tonight. The show got off to a hot start with Mark Henry making his way to the ring. Henry claimed that he kicked Big Show in the knee, and that Big Show faked the symptoms. Big Show then came out, disputed Henry’s statement, and soon knocked him out. That promo was good for what it was, and it set their feud up to culminate sometime soon. That wasn’t the hot portion, though. After Big Show knocked Henry out, Daniel Bryan came out and cashed in his Money in the Bank contract to become the World Heavyweight Champion… or so we thought. Teddy Long then ran down, and he said that Henry was not cleared to compete, so the match technically never happened. I know a lot of people are going to complain about this, but I really liked this segment. I can’t remember the last time they used the Dusty Finish, but this was really effective. It got the crowd pumped up for Daniel Bryan, and it makes you want to see him become champion that much more since he had it ripped away. That was a fun and effective opening segment.
Hunico took on Justin Gabriel in a match that was a little boring in my opinion. They made it a point to mention how Hunico is working a different style than he was when he was Sin Cara Negro. I thought it was interesting that he didn’t come out with Epico and Primo. I wonder why that was. I don’t remember the announcers bringing that up either. I may be wrong about that. Sometimes I just tune it out. I don’t know what they’re going to do with Hunico now that Sin Cara is gone. How much can he actually do? He kind of just arrived and hasn’t really been taken seriously by the fans. He needs some credibility, in my opinion.
The Divas had a nothing match. Beth Phoenix didn’t even tag in. I will say, though, that I really like AJ and what she brings to the table. She can execute moves, she shows true passion, and she sells great. Other than that, I have nothing for this match.
The tag match with Sheamus and Zack Ryder taking on Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger was pretty good. The beat down on Ryder in the middle of the match went a little long, but the finish was well done. Sheamus is so awesome right now. That hot tag was simply awesome. Ryder picking up the pin on Ziggler was also really well done. It keeps the momentum that he needs with him after he got jobbed out to Del Rio on Raw. It was a by-the-books tag match, but it was really well done.
Ted DiBiase won another match. This time it was against the returning Heath Slater. I’ve said it for a few weeks now; I just can’t take this guy seriously. He needs a complete overhaul in character. This “DiBiase Posse” thing just doesn’t make me excited. If that’s the best they’ve got and they’re going to run with it, then this is going to crash and burn pretty quickly. The fact that he looks to be engaging in a mini-feud with Jinder Mahal doesn’t exactly do him any favors either. This belonged on Superstars.
The Fatal Four Way main event was simply excellent. It was action packed, well paced, and just pure fun. In the end, isn’t that what wrestling is supposed to be about? Everyone was on tonight, and the right man won the match. This should be a really nice prelude to a future WrestleMania match for Daniel Bryan and, hopefully, Mark Henry. I don’t see Bryan winning the match, but if he brings a good fight to Henry it should prove effective in the future when building up the match. They need to make Bryan seem like a credible contender, but also keep him the underdog. Now is the time to start building toward WrestleMania. It started tonight. If it’s not Henry, then I’d love to see Bryan face Orton at WrestleMania. They didn’t really show too much interaction between the two of them in the match tonight. So many possibilities!
Final Rating: *** 1/4
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E-Mail – MikeTedesco@wrestleview.com
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