“Yes sir, we promised you a great main event…” The WWE video leads us into the show.
The show opens to show referees and ringside doctors helping Booker T up. Booker T is down on the side of the ramp. Cody Rhodes is walking to the ring. They show a replay of what happened moments before the show began taping. Booker T was making his entrance, and Cody Rhodes attacked him from behind. Rhodes bounced him off the metal barricade and stomped him a bit until officials came out to break it up. The officials help him to the back as Michael Cole and Josh Mathews discuss what just happened. Rhodes goes down to the table and walks around the spot where Booker T would usually sit.
Tony Chimel introduces the returning Lillian Garcia, Smackdown’s new ring announcer. She gets a great reception, and she looks as good as she always did. Garcia says that it’s great to be back, and Rhodes quickly cuts her off. Rhodes says that he hates to be the purveyor of the truth, but no one cares that she’s back. They probably never noticed that she left. Rhodes does enjoy the symmetry of the return of one announcer coinciding with the departure of another. Rhodes guesses that he didn’t send his message loud enough to Booker T last week about respect. Tonight, he made it abundantly clear. Rhodes wonders who will fill his chair now. Who will spew moan-inducing clichés, first-grade rudimentary commentary, and have a “Fav Five” with eleven people in it. The answer is he will do it. Rhodes tells Booker T to watch carefully because he might learn something, SUCKA!
Beat The Clock Challenge Match
Wade Barrett vs. Ezekiel Jackson
They have a set up of tables, ladders, and chairs on the ramp. Josh Mathews explains what is going on. Wade Barrett and Randy Orton will face each other at TLC on December 18. Whoever wins their match in the fastest time tonight will get to choose what type of match they have at the event. The choices are a Tables Match, Ladder Match, or Chairs Match.
They circle the ring, and Barrett tries to roll him up, but Jackson doesn’t budge. Jackson misses an elbow drop, and Barrett covers for a one count. They circle the ring, and Barrett kicks him before applying a side headlock. Jackson sends him to the ropes and hits a back elbow for a one count. Jackson clubs him down for another one count. Barrett quickly bails from the ring, and fifty seconds have passed. Barrett quickly gets in the ring, misses a clothesline, and gets caught with a shoulder block. Jackson then clotheslines him over the top rope, and we’re a minute and ten seconds into this match. Jackson pulls him back into the ring, and he bounces him off the corner. Jackson hits some shoulder thrusts in the corner, sends him to the ropes, misses a clothesline, and Barrett hits a shoulder block to Jackson’s knee. Barrett sends him shoulder first into the ring post and rolls him up for a near fall. The time is at a minute and fifty-five seconds.
Barrett knees him in the back a few times and picks up another two count. Barrett applies a chin lock, and we’re at two minutes and thirty seconds all of a sudden. Jackson fights up at two minutes and forty-five seconds, elbows out, and Barrett quickly catches him with a kick to the midsection. Barrett hits a pump-handle slam for a near fall. We go to commercial at around three minutes and fifteen seconds.
We come back from the break at six minutes and fifteen seconds, and Barrett has Jackson trapped in a chin lock. Jackson fights up and backs Barrett hard into the corner a few times. Jackson clotheslines Barrett down, and he clotheslines him in the corner a few times. Jackson unloads some right hands in the corner, and we’re seven minutes in. Jackson sends him into the corner hard, and he hits a sidewalk slam for a near fall. Jackson screams and begins his series of body slams at seven minutes and twenty seconds. Jackson goes for the Torture Rack, but Barrett gets out. Barrett goes for The Wasteland, but Jackson slides out. Jackson pushes him into the ropes, and Barrett catches him with a nice Boss Man Slam for the win!
Winner by Pinfall at 7:53: Wade Barrett
Match Rating: * 3/4
Cody Rhodes doesn’t think that Randy Orton can beat Dolph Ziggler later in the night in less than 7:53.
Wade Barrett says when he started the “Barrett Barrage,” it was supposed to take him all the way to the World Heavyweight Championship. Unfortunately, one man was in his way: Randy Orton. He did what no man had ever done before. He humiliated, embarrassed, and defeated Randy Orton – repeatedly. Orton has always had a psychological advantage over his opponents, but not him. There’s only one voice in Orton’s head now: his own. As far as being the “apex predator” of Smackdown, and his match this evening, his voice is telling Orton that he’s out of time.
Randy Orton will take on Dolph Ziggler later tonight. Orton will have to beat Ziggler in less than 7:53 to choose what type of match they’ll have at TLC. Mark Henry and Big Show will also have a “Titanic Confrontation” tonight. It’s announced that they’ll face each other in a Chair’s Match at TLC.
The announcers talk about the “Sledgehammer Ladder Match” between Triple H and Kevin Nash at TLC.
Teddy Long and David Otunga are backstage. Otunga says Mick Foley had no right to put him in a match last week since he’s a Raw superstar. Otunga says the only fair thing to do would be to expunge the loss from his record. Long asks what he’s talking about. Otunga says Long may not be as creative of a GM as John Laurinaitis, but perhaps he can see things his way. Long does agree that Foley got carried away, and Otunga was just going to a party. But, as a WWE superstar, he’s subject to the whims of authority, no matter what show you’re on. Otunga supposes that’s right. Since Otunga is on Smackdown tonight, he’s going to show him just how creative he can be. Long says he’s been looking for an opponent for a particular superstar, and he thinks Otunga would be perfect. Otunga says he’s not on the show, and he just happened to be here tonight. Otunga asks who his opponent is. Long says it’s Sheamus. Otunga walks off.
Josh Mathews interviews Daniel Bryan in the ring
Josh Mathews is in the ring, and he welcomes the 2010 Money in the Bank winner, Daniel Bryan. Bryan makes his way to the ring with his ribs still taped up. They show footage from last week’s live Smackdown. Daniel Bryan had a cage match against Mark Henry for the World Heavyweight Championship. Bryan fought valiantly, but Henry caught him with a World’s Strongest Slam off the second rope for the win. Michael Cole says that Bryan is a choke artist.
Mathews mentions that Bryan was so close to winning the championship last week, but he was also physically brutalized. Mathews asks what is going through his mind. Bryan says being inside a steel cage with Mark Henry is painful, but what’s more painful is going to the back with the disappointment of letting everybody that he knows down. There was also the disappointment of having everything you ever wanted right in front of you and not being able to have it. Being the World Heavyweight Champion has always been his dream, and he let it slide through his fingers.
Michael Cole gets on the microphone, and he screams, “ENOUGH!” Cole says that Daniel Bryan is nothing but a loser. Bryan tells him to do everyone a favor and shut the hell up. Bryan says he doesn’t know why Cole doesn’t respect. Cole asks how he can respect him as he whines about not getting the title last week. Cole says that when Bryan unsuccessfully cashes in Money in the Bank that he’ll be whining about that as well. Cole says he never earned a title match. Bryan says he made his new broadcast partner, Cody Rhodes, tap out, and that’s how he earned his title shot. Bryan says he’s earned everything he’s gotten since he came to the company. Cole says he’s earned a one-way ticket out of here. Cole tells him to just go away.
Bryan gets out of the ring and approaches Cole. Bryan says he’ll make Cole tap out, and he’ll go away. Cody Rhodes blindsides Bryan, and he kicks him in the ribs. Referees quickly run out to keep Rhodes away. Cole yells, “That’ll teach you to run your mouth. You’re nothing but a piece of garbage.”
Randy Orton will take on Dolph Ziggler later tonight in a “Beat The Clock Challenge Match”. Orton’s time to beat is 7:53.
They show a replay of what just happened. Cole is going off on Daniel Bryan for threatening him with physicality. Cody Rhodes will take on Daniel Bryan later tonight.
JOBBER ALERT: Heath Slater is in the ring with no TV entrance.
Heath Slater vs. Zack Ryder
They lock up, and Slater backs Ryder to the corner. Ryder blocks a punch, and he punches away at Slater. Slater sends him into the ropes, and Ryder catches him with a diving forearm. Slater sends Ryder sternum first into the turnbuckle, and he clubs him down. Slater taunts the crowd before kicking Ryder in the ribs. Slater punches him to the corner, and he stomps him down. Slater charges into Ryder’s knees, and Ryder backs up to hit the Broski Boot. Ryder follows up with the Rough Ryder for the win.
Winner by Pinfall: Zack Ryder
Match Rating: N/A
Later tonight we’ll hear from Mark Henry and Big Show. They will have a “Titanic Confrontation” tonight.
Ted DiBiase vs. Jinder Mahal
They show footage of DiBiase distracting Mahal during Mahal’s match against Justin Gabriel. Mahal went on to lose that match last week. They then show a pre-taped promo with Jinder Mahal. Mahal says DiBiase made a mistake by costing him the match last week. Tonight, he’ll pay.
Mahal kicks and clubs DiBiase down. Mahal knees him in the midsection, but has a whip reversed on him. DiBiase hits a hip toss and a nice dropkick. Mahal sends DiBiase to the corner, and he runs into DiBiase’s boot. DiBiase goes to the second rope, and Mahal rips him off. Mahal quickly hits a neckbreaker for a near fall. Mahal chokes him on the ropes, and he drops a knee on him. Mahal takes him out with a hammer. DiBiase comes back with some punches, but Mahal quickly hits a hard whip to the corner. Mahal hits a double-arm suplex for a near fall. Mahal applies a neck vice, and the crowd begins to chant, “USA”. DiBiase fights up, and Mahal quickly beats him down. Mahal goes into the ropes, and DiBiase follows, surprising him with a clothesline. Mahal quickly sends DiBiase face first into the turnbuckle, and he hits a knee to the face. Mahal hits a second knee, and DiBiase stuns him with an inside cradle for the win!
Winner by Pinfall: Ted DiBiase
Match Rating: 3/4 *
They show footage of Big Show on the American Country Awards. Big Show chokeslammed Trace Adkins through a table, and he also presented an award. That looked like it was a fun show to watch if country music is your thing.
Big Show’s music hits, and he makes his way to the ring smiling and high fiving everyone. He’ll have an in-ring confrontation with Mark Henry next.
World Heavyweight Champion Mark Henry and Big Show have a “Titanic Confrontation”
Big Show says it’s been nine years since he beat “The Next Big Thing” Brock Lesnar in Madison Square Garden to become the WWE Champion. A lot of people said it couldn’t be done and that he was a hopeless underachiever. He made the impossible possible when he beat Brock Lesnar. Nine years is a long time, and he’s been waiting for the perfect opportunity to become World Heavyweight Champion again. He thinks when he’s standing across the ring from Mark Henry with a steel chair in his hand at TLC is the perfect time to become champion again. Big Show says it’s simple physics: you’ve got 450-pound Mark Henry, a 500-pound Big Show, and some steel chairs. It’s going to get mean and nasty. At TLC, the doors of Mark Henry’s Hall of Pain are going to get slammed shut.
Mark Henry’s music hits, and the World Heavyweight Champion makes his way to the ring. They plug the fact that Mark Henry will take on John Cena on Raw this Monday. Henry stays at ringside and says he’s not afraid of Big Show. He is halfway hurt, though. He didn’t tape his ankle tonight since he’s not looking for a fight. Henry tells a fan at ringside to “shut up”, and the crowd chants, “You shut up.” Henry says he has something to say to Big Show, and he wants to say it to his face. Big Show invites him in. Henry wants him to promise that he won’t put his hands on him. Big Show laughs, and he says, “No” to that promise. Henry asks what kind of legacy will Big Show leave if he beats him when he’s not 100%. Big Show will have all of him that he can handle at TLC. Henry is asking for a courtesy for the World Heavyweight Champion. If he comes in that ring, he won’t put his hands on him. Big Show concedes, and he gives him his word that he won’t put his hands on him while in the ring.
Mark Henry gets in the ring and says that they have a lot in common. They’re both two of the greatest big men to ever come into the business and grace the ring with their presence. Big Show was a champion, and he’s the current champion. In two weeks at TLC, he should be 100%. At that time, Big Show will have all of him that he can handle. They’re going to have a fight that people will talk about for decades. They’ve done some mean and hateful things to each other, but Henry says they should let bygones be bygones. Henry puts the championship down, and he says, “May the best man win.” Henry extends his hand, and the crowd is booing. Big Show hesitates for a bit, but eventually he shakes Henry’s hand.
Henry wants to mention one more thing. He can see in Big Show’s eyes that he thinks he’s a monster. Henry says that Big Show just thinks it, and he knows that he is. Henry brings Big Show to a knee with a massive right hand. Big Show immediately comes back with a double leg takedown, and he punches away at Henry. Big Show drops an elbow on Henry’s injured ankle, and he rolls out of the ring. Big Show follows, and he’s looking for a steel chair. Big Show grabs one, goes back to Henry, and he cracks it off his massive back. Henry writhes in pain, and Big Show smashes the chair off Henry’s injured ankle. Officials run down to ringside, for the third time tonight, and they keep Big Show away from Henry. Big Show walks off.
Lillian Garcia announces that Hornswoggle will be the special guest ring announcer for the next match. Hornswoggle excitedly runs down to the ring, and he dances a bit with Garcia. Hornswoggle won the ability to talk in an “All I Want For Christmas” Battle Royal last week. Hornswoggle says hello to the fans, and he say that he’s wanted to do this for a long time. Hornswoggle mentions that the following contest is scheduled for one fall, and he introduces David Otunga to the ring. Hornswoggle then introduces Sheamus, and the crowd goes wild.
David Otunga vs. Sheamus
Charles Robinson, my favorite referee ever, is the official of this match. Otunga gets a waist lock applied, and Sheamus quickly elbows him off. Sheamus sends him into the ropes, and he hits Otunga with a back elbow. Otunga quickly kicks Sheamus in the knee, and he applies a front face lock. Sheamus quickly powers him off and drops him with a shoulder block. Sheamus drops some knees. Sheamus punches him down on the apron before viciously clubbing his chest ten times. Sheamus then suplexes him into the ring for a near fall. Sheamus sends him to the ropes, but he lowers his head and eats a kick. Otunga explodes with a clothesline, and he viciously stomps away at Sheamus. Otunga drops an elbow for a one count. Otunga punches him down in the corner, and he clotheslines him in the corner. Sheamus is smiling at the onslaught. Sheamus then drops the grin, and he just beats the ever-loving hell out of Otunga in the corner. Sheamus clotheslines him down and follows up with a powerslam. Sheamus murders him with the Brogue Kick for the win.
Winner by Pinfall: Sheamus
Match Rating: N/A
Hornswoggle enthusiastically announces the winner of the match. Hornswoggle gets in the ring, and he raises Sheamus’s arm. They celebrate together.
They show footage from WWE ’12 of Cody Rhodes taking on Daniel Bryan. The video is then interrupted by the “It’s coming” mystery video. The prophet is coming on January 2nd.
Daniel Bryan vs. Cody Rhodes
This is a non-title match. Bryan starts strong out the gate with a flurry of kicks. Bryan punches him to the turnbuckle, and he continues kicking him. Rhodes blocks a kick, takes him down, and drops an elbow on the injured ribs. Rhodes kicks the ribs and punches him to the corner. Rhodes knees him in the ribs, and he sends him to the ropes. Bryan ducks a clothesline, and he drops Rhodes with a flying elbow. Rhodes quickly comes back with a shoulder thrust to the ribs, hits a nice front suplex, and picks up a two count. Rhodes whips him hard sternum first into the turnbuckle, and he picks up another two count. Rhodes stomps away at him, and he kicks him in the midsection. Rhodes goes for another suplex, but Bryan blocks it. Bryan gets put on the apron, and he begins to punch Rhodes. Rhodes shoulders him in the midsection, and he sends him into the ring post. Bryan hits the ground hard as we go to commercial.
We come back from the break to see Bryan trapped in an abdominal stretch. During the commercial, Rhodes gave Bryan a front suplex onto that barricade. That looked awesome. Back to live action, Bryan fights Rhodes off. Rhodes quickly beats him back down and picks up a near fall. Rhodes stomps the ribs, backs up, and Bryan back body drops him over the top rope! Bryan gasps for air before charging into the ropes and flying out of the ring with a nasty suicide dive! Bryan hits into the barricade with his ribs. Rhodes is the first into the ring, and he’s looking for the count-out. Bryan gets pumped up, and he gets into the ring at six.
Bryan viciously kicks Rhodes in the chest a few times. Rhodes quickly gets him with a kick to the ribs. Bryan reverses a whip to the corner, and he hits a nice running dropkick. Bryan goes to the apron, gets fired up, and he goes to the top rope. The crowd is getting into him right now. Bryan goes for a diving head-butt, but Rhodes moves out of the way. CAN YOU DIG IT, SUCKA?! Booker T’s music hits, and he makes his way to the ring. Booker T attacks Cody Rhodes with some right hands, and the referee is forced to call for the bell.
Winner by Disqualification: Cody Rhodes
Match Rating: * 3/4
Randy Orton will take on Dolph Ziggler in a Beat The Clock Challenge Match later tonight. The time for Orton to beat is 7:53.
The WWE Network promo video plays.
Teddy Long is on the phone in his office when the cheesy saxophone music kicks up. Aksana comes in, and she asks Teddy Long for help in getting a show on the WWE Network. Rhodes asks if he just saw what just happened to him. Long asks what is wrong with him bursting into his office like that. Rhodes says he wants a match with Booker T. Long says he was thinking the same thing, and he books a match between the two of them at TLC for the Intercontinental Championship. Rhodes asks Aksana what she’s looking at, and she says nothing. Rhodes walks off, and Aksana is still staring at him. Long tries to get her attention back, but she kind of ignores him.
They show footage of Wade Barrett beating Ezekiel Jackson earlier in the night at 7:53.
Matt Striker is backstage with Randy Orton. Striker mentions that Orton needs to beat Dolph Ziggler in less than 7:53 to choose the match against Barrett at TLC. Striker asks for Orton’s thoughts. Orton tells him to ask Wade Barrett what his thoughts are. Barrett thinks he’s in Orton’s head, so he should know what he’s thinking. Orton says Wade Barrett did Dolph Ziggler a tremendous favor tonight. Normally he likes to take his time and ensure the proper suffering of his opponents. The bad news for Dolph is that he’s going to suffer, but the good news is that it will be over quickly. Barrett thinks he’s in Orton’s head when really he has Barrett exactly where he wants him.
Beat The Clock Challenge Match
Randy Orton vs. Dolph Ziggler w/ Vickie Guerrero
Randy Orton must beat Wade Barrett’s time of 7:53 to choose what type of match they’ll have at TLC. If Orton fails to beat the time then Barrett will choose.
Orton immediately dropkicks Ziggler down for a two count. Orton gets another cover for a one count. Orton hits a suplex, and he picks up a near fall. There is seven minutes and thirty seconds left. Orton stomps Ziggler, and he puts him in the corner. Ziggler reverses a whip into the corner, but Orton explodes out with a clothesline for a one count. Ziggler ties himself up in the ropes to keep Orton away. Ziggler kicks away at Orton, and he stomps him down in the corner. There is six minutes and thirty seconds left. Orton comes back with a kick, and he sends Ziggler to the corner. Ziggler slingshots over him, but Orton takes him down with a clothesline. Orton drops a knee for a near fall. There is six minutes left.
Orton sends him to the corner, and he charges into an uppercut. Ziggler hits a leg drop bulldog for a near fall. There is five minutes and twenty-seven seconds left. Ziggler applies a modified chin lock. Ziggler applies a body scissor, and he’s looking to keep Orton down to prevent him from winning. Orton fights up with Ziggler on his back at four minutes and forty-five. Ziggler quickly DDTs him, and he picks up a near fall. There are four minutes and thirty seconds left in this match. Ziggler drops an elbow for another near fall. Ziggler holds a nice chin lock on, and we have less than four minutes left. Orton fights up, but Ziggler drops him with a neckbreaker for a near fall. Three minutes and thirty seconds left. Ziggler goes to the top rope, and Orton cuts him off with a punch. Orton punches away at him, and we have less than three minutes now. Orton then grabs Ziggler, and he hits his father’s old finishing move, the superplex. Orton gets a near fall. We have two minutes and thirty seconds left.
Orton avoids an avalanche, and he comes back with a pair of clotheslines and a powerslam for a near fall. We have less than two minutes left. Orton hits his trademark backbreaker for a near fall. Ziggler rolls out of the ring, and Orton chases him at ringside. Ziggler gets in the ring, and he kicks Orton coming in. Ziggler goes for the Zig-Zag, but Orton gets out. Orton gets him to the apron, and he hits the draping DDT. Orton covers, and Ziggler kicks out. Orton is watching the clock tick down. We’re at less than a minute now. Ziggler rolls out of the ring, and Orton goes out to get him. Orton drops him with a right hand, and he throws him into the ring with forty seconds left. All of a sudden Wade Barrett comes through the crowd, and he throws Orton into the ring post!
Orton gets in the ring with ten seconds left, and he surprises Ziggler with an RKO out of nowhere! Orton covers, and he beats Wade Barrett’s time with two seconds left!
Winner by Pinfall at 7:51: Randy Orton
Match Rating: **
Wade Barrett immediately takes Orton out with a Boss Man Slam. Barrett congratulates him on beating his time. That means Orton gets to pick the stipulation for their match at TLC. Barrett says he wants to help Orton make the choice, and he’ll make his own suggestion. Barrett throws Orton out of the ring next to the table, ladder, and chair set up. Barrett throws the ladder and chair away, leaving the table. Barrett goes to give Orton The Wasteland through the table, but Orton gets off. Orton goes for a powerbomb, but Barrett drives him into the apron. Barrett goes to bounce him off the steps, but Orton blocks it. Barrett, sensing the fact that he’s losing control of the situation, runs away.
Randy Orton turns, and he sees Dolph Ziggler lying at ringside. Orton grabs him by the hair, and he powerbombs Ziggler through the table! Orton stares at Wade Barrett, and the announcers say that it looks like they’ll have a Tables Match at TLC.
Quick Match Results
Beat The Clock: Wade Barrett def. Ezekiel Jackson at 7:53
Zack Ryder def. Heath Slater
Ted DiBiase def. Jinder Mahal
Sheamus def. David Otunga
Cody Rhodes def. Daniel Bryan via DQ (non-title)
Beat The Clock: Randy Orton def. Dolph Ziggler at 7:51 (non-title)
Bump of the Night: Randy Orton powerbombing Dolph Ziggler through a table!
Match of the Night: Randy Orton vs. Dolph Ziggler **
It seems like it is “Mid-Carder Week” in WWE. First Zack Ryder was heavily featured for a long time on Raw, and tonight Cody Rhodes was the star for a good portion of the show. I love that approach. While I’m not sure if Zack Ryder will be able to retain this awesome wave of popularity he’s been experiencing for the long haul, I can totally see Cody Rhodes being a major main event level talent in the foreseeable future. I wasn’t the biggest fan of Rhodes losing his mask at first. Heck, I even stated on a previous recap that I thought he was losing his push for a little while. I’m glad I was wrong. He’s actually gotten stronger without the mask. The only thing he needs to lose is that fake evil laugh that he does.
The show kicked off with Booker T down following Cody Rhodes’s assault on him. Cody Rhodes then cut off the returning Lillian Garcia (great to have her back, by the way), and he stated that he was going to be on commentary as Booker T’s replacement. Rhodes actually sounded pretty comfortable on commentary. He even offered some insight into the match. The match he covered was the first of two Beat The Clock Challenge Matches. Wade Barrett took on his former Corre teammate Ezekiel Jackson. They actually had a better than expected encounter, and it showed just how much Wade Barrett has matured as a performer. He carried Ezekiel Jackson to a very decent match. Wade Barrett, much like Cody Rhodes, is going to be a major player. We got a taste of it in 2010, and I’m pretty confident we’re going to get a lot more in 2012 from him. Barrett cut a nice promo on Orton afterward.
Daniel Bryan was out next for an interview in the ring about his match last week. The interview was quickly cut short by Michael Cole, who proceeded to tear into Daniel Bryan. I’m not sure how much more of this Michael Cole heel character I can take. It’s way too much now. I’m not sure what they expect to get out of having the guy they’re going to have challenge for the World Title at WrestleMania feuding with a big mouth heel announcer. I guess that’s going to be their big thing to get the crowd 100% into Daniel Bryan when he eventually gets his hands on Cole and beats him to dust. That can’t happen soon enough. It’s been a year and a half of Michael Cole going nuts on this guy. Enough is enough already. Maybe after that happens we can get back to the commentators just being commentators. What happened to that edict?
We were then treated to a filler squash match with Zack Ryder easily going over Heath Slater. There’s not much to add to that one.
Ted DiBiase fought Jinder Mahal in what is hopefully the end to this Superstars worthy feud that has bled into Smackdown. I still think Ted DiBiase needs to be repackaged with a new gimmick or I fear he’ll go the way of the Dodo. Jinder Mahal, at this point, should already have gone the way of extinction.
Either my body has conditioned itself to fall into a coma every time the divas come out, or they cut out the match that saw Kaitlyn turn on AJ and join up with Beth Phoenix and Natalya. It’s just as well. Kaitlyn is not even close to being ready to hang with Beth and Natalya. Then again, a lot of the divas they have on the roster aren’t close to being ready either.
Big Show and Mark Henry met in the ring to build some hype for the Chairs Match at TLC. It was nice that Big Show had the chance to name drop Brock Lesnar as being the last guy he beat to get the World Title nine years ago. Big Show had a nice promo, and then Mark Henry came out and, of course, stole the show. Henry has been doing this cowardly heel thing lately since Big Show injured him at Survivor Series, and I love it. I get a real kick out of it. Henry first wanted Big Show to promise he wouldn’t put his hands on him if he came into the ring, and they bickered about it until Big Show finally agreed. Henry then came in, and he cut a great promo about being a true monster. Henry then got a cheap shot, and they broke into a full-scale fight that had the crowd rocking. Back in October when this feud first began, I wasn’t too high on it. I’m not going to say it’s my favorite feud of the year, but it’s been a lot of fun, and it has exceeded my expectations. Big Show cracked Henry in the ankle with the chair. I guess they did that so if John Cena beats him on Raw they have an excuse for Henry.
David Otunga showed up, and he accidentally talked himself into a match following a meeting with Teddy Long. Sheamus pretty much murdered him. Hornswoggle was the ring announcer for this, and, I have to admit, I liked his enthusiasm. There’s something heartwarming about a midget pretending to be a leprechaun being a ring announcer. My only real qualm about this match is that it makes me sad they couldn’t find something for Sheamus to do at TLC. Sheamus is an awesome talent, and he should be in some type of feud with somebody. I guess they had no “Plan B” for him following Christian’s injury.
Cody Rhodes had a decent match against Daniel Bryan. These two work pretty well together. The match ended when Booker T came out and attacked Rhodes. A match was booked for them for the TLC PPV. I think it’d be interesting if this were the start of a program where Cody Rhodes begins to beat some past Intercontinental Champions. Maybe he will wind up having that match against his brother at WrestleMania after all.
We finished the night out with the final Beat The Clock Challenge Match with Randy Orton and Dolph Ziggler. This was a fun and well done match. Beat The Clock always manages to provide some fun drama. Wade Barrett attacks Orton with like thirty seconds left. Orton goes from nearly getting counted out to RKOing Ziggler and picking up the win with two seconds left. If you don’t read spoilers and you were just a casual fan watching, that’s fun to watch. I don’t care who you are. Kudos to both men on the execution of the match. Wade Barrett then attacked Orton, and they fought before Barrett ran off. Orton powerbombed Ziggler through a table to confirm that the match at TLC would be a Tables Match. It was a fun way to end what was, for the most part, a fun show.
Final Rating: ** 3/4
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