“Yes sir, we promised you a great main event…” The WWE video leads us into the show.
They show a video package highlighting the Randy Orton/Wade Barrett feud. Tonight, they’ll face each other in a Falls Count Anywhere Match. The narrator of the video says only one man may make it to 2012 in one piece.
The Smackdown video plays, and we’re brought into the arena with a big fireworks display. Josh Mathews and Michael Cole welcome us to the show.
Booker T’s music hits, and he makes his way to the ring. Booker T grabs a microphone, and he says he wants to say something before we kick the show off. Booker thanks the WWE, as well as the fans, because 2011 has been an awesome year for him. It started at the Royal Rumble. He came in as an unexpected entry, and the fans made it one of the most unforgettable nights of his life. Then he went into the next stage of his career, and he moved to the commentary booth. It’s been all-good, except for the fact that he has to deal with Michael Cole every week. Then Cody Rhodes did all he could to drag him back into the ring. He didn’t blindside Cody Rhodes. He went in the ring on Monday Night Raw, and he beat Rhodes in the middle of the ring. Booker thanks all the fans, and he mentions that this is the final Smackdown of 2011. Booker tells the fans to enjoy the show.
Cody Rhodes’s music hits, and he makes his way to the ring. Rhodes says the people of Indianapolis obviously don’t keep up with current events unless it has to do with taking a left on a racetrack or the once proud, now pathetic, Indianapolis Colts. Since we’re recapping the year, he felt it’s vital to recap his year. Rhodes says he came back from a career threatening injury, beat Rey Mysterio at WrestleMania, and he brought prestige back to the Intercontinental Championship. Then he took a washed up announcer, and he got him to reach back and regain some of his former glory.
Booker T cuts him off, and he says he beat him in the middle of the ring on Monday. If Rhodes had any respect for the business, he wouldn’t be running his mouth. Rhodes should be congratulating him on doing a hell of a job. Rhodes agrees with him. Rhodes says he doesn’t want to come off as a bitter jerk on the last show of the year. Rhodes congratulates Booker T, and he extends his hand. Booker T shakes it, and he goes to leave the ring. Rhodes says it’s all over, and Booker T comes back into the ring, asking him what he means. Rhodes says this fairy tale Booker is living in is a nostalgia act. Rhodes says now he’s in “no man’s land”. If he continues to compete, his deteriorating skills will be exposed. If he goes back to commentary, his legacy as an in-ring competitor will slowly become him having a reputation as a semi-literate buffoon of an announcer. Rhodes says Booker T is a joke. With that in mind, Rhodes asks Booker for a favor. Rhodes tells him to go home. Booker T just stares at him.
Goldust’s music hits, and he makes his way to the ring without his make-up on. They’re referring to him as Dustin Rhodes. Dustin apologizes, and he says he loves his brother very much, but he’s going about this the wrong way. Dustin says that Cody doesn’t have any respect. When he was down and out, battling every demon he had, Booker T inspired him. Dustin demands that Cody look at him when he’s talking to him. Dustin says Booker T took him under his ring, and he had the best time of his career tag teaming with Booker. Dustin says he understands that Cody wants to make a name for himself, but not at the expense of Booker T.
Cody says this is priceless. Just when he thought there couldn’t be a bigger joke than Booker T, here comes his own brother trying to prove him wrong. Cody says he doesn’t care about inspiration; these people aren’t worth inspiring. Cody asks if Dustin said he should know better. Cody says he knows that he restored the Rhodes’ family name after Dustin threw up all over it. Cody asks just how inspiring Booker T is since after they stopped teaming, he fell right back into the same demons. Then he faded into obscurity. Booker T says that Dustin is more man than Cody will ever be. Booker says Cody has one win, and he has one win. Booker suggests they do it one more time, but this time it will be for the Intercontinental Championship. Booker says they should do it right now. Cody says he’ll agree to one more match, next week. After he beats Booker T, he can follow his own brother into complete irrelevancy. Booker T says he’ll be celebrating next week, as he will become the new Intercontinental Champion. Now can you dig that, SUCKA?
Booker T goes back to the commentary table, and Cody kicks his brother in the midsection. Cody lays Dustin out with the Beautiful Disaster, and he gets out of the ring before Booker T can get in the ring to help.
Daniel Bryan and Big Show will take on David Otunga and Mark Henry in one of our main events.
Ted DiBiase vs. Jinder Mahal
They show footage of DiBiase beating Heath Slater two weeks ago on Smackdown, and Jinder Mahal then attacked him. Mahal beat him down a bit, and then he applied the Camel Clutch. They then show a pre-taped promo by Mahal. Mahal says Americans make false New Year’s Resolutions year after year. We’re all stuck in mediocrity, and so is Ted DiBiase, whose year will end in defeat.
They lock up, and DiBiase quickly gets a side headlock applied. Mahal whips him off, and DiBiase shoulder blocks him down. DiBiase gets shoved to the corner, but he avoids Mahal. DiBiase sends him into the ropes, and he executes a hip toss. Mahal reverses a whip, and he flapjacks DiBiase onto the top rope. Mahal takes him down with a high knee for a two count. Mahal takes him down with a leg sweep, and he drops a knee. Mahal chokes him with his knee, and he hits a nice double under-hook suplex. Mahal knees him in the face a few times, and he taunts the crowd. Mahal has a half nelson applied, and DiBiase fights up. Mahal clubs him, but he misses a clothesline. DiBiase hits a dropkick, and he catches him with a rebound suplex. DiBiase charges into a boot, and Mahal charges into a sit-out spinebuster for a near fall. DiBiase goes to the top rope, and he jumps over Mahal. DiBiase seems to have tweaked his knee. Mahal hits a TKO, and he applies the Camel Clutch for the submission win.
Winner by Submission: Jinder Mahal
Match Rating: 1/4 *
Teddy Long is on the phone, and he discussing his New Year’s Eve party. The cheesy saxophone music hits, and Aksana walks up to him. She says she has a special gift for him, and Drew McIntyre walks in. Long says he signed him back to Smackdown, and he says he’s forgiven the issues they’ve had in the past. When he brought McIntyre back, he didn’t realize just how much money he had been making. When he was on Smackdown, he was the fastest rising superstar in WWE. Then he went to Raw, and his career went into a tailspin. Long says he doesn’t want to pay someone who can’t get the job done. Long says he’s talented, but he can’t have someone on Smackdown that doesn’t have the passion he once had. If McIntyre loses to Ezekiel Jackson tonight, then he’ll have to think about letting him go. McIntyre says there is nobody in the company with more passion than him. McIntyre says he’s the same guy that can get a man to get on his knees and beg for mercy, just like he did to Long. Long says he doesn’t understand his accent. McIntyre says if Long has any reservations then he should make sure he watches what he does to his opponent tonight.
Alicia Fox and Kaitlyn vs. Natalya and Tamina
They show footage of Alicia Fox beating Natalya two weeks ago on Smackdown with an inside cradle. She then showed off the hair extension that she ripped off Natalya’s head. Natalya was mortified.
Kaitlyn will start the match out against Tamina. Kaitlyn ducks a clothesline, and she hits a cross-body block for a one count. Kaitlyn hits a suplex for a two count, and she follows up with a snapmare. Natalya distracts her, and Tamina takes her down. Natalya is tagged in, and she whips Kaitlyn down with aid from Tamina. Natalya bounces her face off the mat, and he puts her in a quick Indian death-lock. Natalya hits a sit-out body slam, but she misses a leg drop. Alicia is tagged in, and she leapfrogs Natalya. There was some miscommunication, and Alicia quickly hits a Scissors Kick for the win.
Winners by Pinfall: Alicia Fox and Kaitlyn
Match Rating: N/A
Tamina was not happy with Natalya taking the loss. She gives Natalya a superkick, and she goes to the top rope. Tamina hits the Superfly Splash on Natalya.
They show footage of Wade Barrett beating Randy Orton at Survivor Series to win the match for his team. They mention this is one of the reasons why Barrett is in Orton’s head. Tonight, Randy Orton will take on Wade Barrett in a Falls Count Anywhere Match.
They show footage from this past Raw when Big Show was taking on David Otunga with one arm tied behind his back. Mark Henry came out, and he took Big Show down. Daniel Bryan ran out, and he distracted Henry. Otunga attacked, and Big Show chokeslammed him.
Daniel Bryan is talking to AJ when Big Show walks up. Big Show asks to speak to him alone, and AJ walks off. Big Show says giants don’t need saving. Bryan says that’s not how he saw it, but tonight they’ll be partners. Teddy Long walks up, and he says that the tag team match is off. It seems that David Otunga wants a return match against Big Show. Big Show say the lawyer has guts, and Long says that Mark Henry will be in Otunga’s corner. Bryan says, “Maybe giants need saving after all.” Bryan wishes him luck, and he walks off.
Justin Gabriel vs. Hunico w/ Camacho
Hunico comes to the ring on a low-rider bicycle driven by Camacho. They show a pre-taped promo with the two of them. Hunico says this is Camacho from back home. They were friends in the hood. Camacho says they plan on taking over the WWE in 2012.
Hunico kicks and clubs Gabriel. Gabriel hangs onto the ropes, and he back drops Hunico to the apron, but Hunico falls off. Hunico gets back on, avoids a baseball slide from Gabriel, and he hits an Asai Moonsault. Hunico throws him into the ring, and he picks up a two count. Hunico kicks him, and he whips him hard to the corner. Hunico talks some trash. Gabriel counters a charging Hunico by dropping him into the turnbuckle. Gabriel splashes him in the corner, and he goes for a springboard, but Hunico ducks him. Hunico kicks him, and Gabriel catches him with a spinning sit-out spinebuster. Gabriel goes to the top rope, and Hunico catches him with a top rope arm drag. Hunico hits the Falling Star for the win.
Winner by Pinfall: Hunico
Match Rating: 1/4 *
Hunico and Camacho stand over Gabriel. Hunico then catapults Gabriel into Camacho’s shoulders. Hunico and Camacho then pull off a Samoan Drop/neckbreaker combo. Hunico and Camacho celebrate, and they go to the back on the low-rider bicycle.
Big Show will take on David Otunga with Mark Henry in his corner.
Big Show vs. David Otunga w/ Mark Henry
Otunga gets a waist lock applied, but Big Show breaks the hold and backs him to the corner. Big Show hits some body shots, and Otunga attempts to come back with punches. Big Show cuts him off, and he chops the chest. Big Show stares at Henry as he does it. Big Show chops him again, and he viciously slams Otunga down. Otunga rolls out of the ring, and Henry yells at him to find his pride and take on Big Show. Otunga gets back in the ring. Otunga punches away at him, goes into the ropes, and Big Show runs him over with a shoulder block. Big Show sends him to the corner, and he hits an avalanche. Big Show signals for the Chokeslam, and Henry gets on the apron to distract him. Otunga chop blocks the knee, and he boots Big Show down. Otunga hits a DDT for a two count. The kick out sends Otunga out of the ring.
Daniel Bryan comes through the crowd, and he hits Henry in the back of the head with the World Heavyweight Championship. Bryan taunts him with the title, and Henry follows him to the back. Meanwhile, Big Show pulls Otunga into the ring by his head, and he hits the WMD for the win.
Winner by Pinfall: Big Show
Match Rating: N/A
They show footage of Randy Orton defeating Wade Barrett at TLC by putting him through a table with an RKO. They’ll take on one another in a Falls Count Anywhere Match later tonight.
Ezekiel Jackson vs. Drew McIntyre
They circle the ring and lock up. McIntyre gets a side headlock applied, but Jackson punches him off. Jackson catches him with a body slam for a two count. McIntyre retreats to the corner. McIntyre kicks and clubs away at him. McIntyre takes him down with a dropkick for a one count. McIntyre applies a front face lock, but Jackson twists out for a one count. Jackson forearms him in the face, and he clubs him down. Jackson sends him to the ropes and takes him down with a back elbow for a two count. Jackson applies a front face lock, and McIntyre gets to the ropes. McIntyre gets a cheap shot in, and he picks up a two count. McIntyre chokes him on the ropes, and he hits some clubbing blows in the corner. McIntyre hits a northern lights suplex for a two count.
Jackson ducks a punch, and he hits a back body drop. Jackson clotheslines him in the corner a pair of times, whips him across the ring hard, and hits a sidewalk slam for a near fall. McIntyre quickly kicks him in the knee, and he clubs him down. McIntyre argues with the referee, and Jackson goes for the Torture Rack. McIntyre gets out, and he catches Jackson with some boots. McIntyre pins him, and he uses the ropes, but the referee catches him. Jackson rolls him up, and he uses the tights for leverage.
Winner by Pinfall: Ezekiel Jackson
Match Rating: 1/2 *
Drew McIntyre looks disappointed in the ring, and he tries to argue with the referee to overturn the call. McIntyre pleads his case, but the referee won’t hear any of it.
Sheamus is walking backstage. He’ll have something to say after the break.
Drew McIntyre is in Teddy Long’s office complaining about the referee’s bias. McIntyre begs him to not count the match. It was the referee’s fault. Long says he can’t stand losers, especially ones who make excuses. McIntyre is going to say something, but he walks off instead.
Sheamus, Hornswoggle, and Heath Slater talk about their Royal Rumble aspirations
Sheamus makes his way to the ring. Sheamus says everyone is talking about the end of 2011, but he doesn’t want to talk about the past. He wants to talk about the future, like the Royal Rumble. Sheamus talks about twenty-nine men flying over the top rope, and the ultimate prize is a championship match at WrestleMania. Sheamus says he doesn’t care who he has to eliminate, he is going to win the 2012 Royal Rumble.
Hornswoggle’s music hits, and he runs down to the ring. Sheamus says it’s the little fella who eliminated him at the Christmas Battle Royal. Sheamus asks if he’s going to enter the Royal Rumble, and Hornswoggle nods. Sheamus says Hornswoggle must think miracles happen everyday since Daniel Bryan won the title. Hornswoggle nods. Sheamus asks him to tell him who will win the Royal Rumble. Hornswoggle grabs the microphone, and he screams his name while running around the ring. Sheamus smiles. Sheamus says he admires his confidence. As his Great-Great Grand Uncle Finbar Sweeney said in the black summer of 1847, “Fool me once, shame on me; fool me twice, you’re begging for a kick up the arse.” Sheamus shakes hands with Hornswoggle.
Heath Slater’s music hits, and he comes out to the stage with a microphone. Slater says there’s always that one guy that says they’ll win the Royal Rumble, but no one takes them seriously. Slater says Sheamus isn’t the number one redhead on Smackdown; he is. Slater says he liked Hornswoggle better when he didn’t speak, but he didn’t like him much either. The only reason Hornswoggle won the Battle Royal is because Sheamus didn’t want to squash a leprechaun. He’s the one-man Southern rock band Heath Slater, and he doesn’t have that problem. Sheamus says he has nothing against southern rock. Sheamus says he thinks Slater is a Journey type of guy, and he sings a line of “Don’t Stop Believing”. Sheamus says he sees Slater as an R. Kelly type of guy, as in “I Believe I Can Fly”. Sheamus throws him over the top rope.
They show footage of Wade Barrett putting Randy Orton through a table two weeks ago on Raw. They’ll face each other in a Falls Count Anywhere Match later tonight in the main event.
Sheamus vs. Heath Slater
We join the match in progress. Sheamus wrenches the arm, and he takes Slater down for a two count. Teddy Long made this match during the commercial break. Sheamus continues working the arm, and Slater fights back. Sheamus reverses a whip, and he hits a back elbow. Sheamus sends him to the corner, and he shoulder blocks him down. Sheamus points to the top rope and throws Slater over, but he hangs on. Slater slaps him in the face and goes to shoulder him, but Sheamus knees him in the face. Sheamus viciously clubs the chest ten times, and Slater falls into the ring. Sheamus body slams him down and drops an elbow for a near fall. Sheamus goes for a short-arm clothesline, but Slater counters into a backslide attempt. Sheamus powers out, and Slater drops him into the turnbuckle. Slater hits a neckbreaker for a one count.
Slater clubs the back, and he hits a Russian Leg Sweep for a one count. Slater punches away at him, and he chokes him with the boot. Sheamus punches him down, but Slater reverses a whip and knees him in the midsection. Slater punches away at him, and he applies a chin lock. Sheamus powers up, and he backs him hard to the corner. Sheamus then powers him off. Sheamus hits a pair of hammers to the face, clotheslines him in the corner, and clubs him down. Sheamus hits a short-arm clothesline, and he goes to the top rope. Sheamus hits his battering ram shoulder block. Sheamus pumps himself up, and he waits for Slater to get up. Sheamus hits the Brogue Kick for the win.
Winner by Pinfall: Sheamus
Match Rating: 3/4 *
Daniel Bryan is backstage with Teddy Long. Big Show walks in, and he wonders why Long wanted them together. Big Show says Bryan is starting to annoy him. Bryan says Big Show is annoying him since he has yet to thank him for all the help. Big Show says that title will be his. Long says they can save it for next week. Since Raw is having a big title match next week, he’s decided he needs to compete with them. Daniel Bryan will defend his World Heavyweight Championship against the Big Show. Big Show laughs and says he had a good run. Bryan says at least he knows his reign lasted longer than forty-five seconds. Big Show stops laughing.
Randy Orton’s vicious attack on Wade Barrett from last week is shown. Orton beat on him backstage, and destroyed a car by giving Barrett an RKO on top of one. Randy Orton will face Wade Barrett in a Falls Count Anywhere Match next.
Falls Count Anywhere Match
Randy Orton vs. Wade Barrett
They circle the ring, and they immediately trade punches. Orton punches him to the corner, and he hits the ten punches in the corner. Orton has a whip to the corner reversed, but he clotheslines him down on the rebound. Barrett rolls out of the ring, and Orton follows. They trade punches, and Orton bounces him off the apron. Orton sends him into the steel steps for a near fall. Orton bounces him off the steps, and he stomps on his head for another near fall. Orton begins to stalk Barrett, and he goes for an RKO, but Barrett sends him to the ring post.
We come back from the break to see Barrett punching away at Orton. Barrett kicks him in the ribs, and he puts him in the corner where he stomps him down. Barrett chokes him with the boot, and he picks up a one count. Barrett chokes him on the ropes. Barrett knees away at him, and he big boots Orton out of the ring. Barrett goes outside, and he picks up a near fall. Barrett bounces him off the apron, and he drives him into the apron hard. Orton fights back, but Barrett cuts him off. Barrett sends him into the barricade, and he rolls him into the ring for a near fall. Orton punches away at him, and he kicks Barrett in the face. Orton goes into the ropes, and Barrett big boots him down for a near fall. Barrett applies a chin lock, but Orton fights up. Barrett knees him in the midsection, goes to the second rope, and he hits a flying elbow drop for a near fall. Barrett goes back to the chin lock. Orton fights up, and he punches out. Barrett ducks a clothesline, and he kicks Orton in the midsection. Barrett goes for a pump-handle slam, but Orton slides off.
Orton hits a pair of clotheslines, ducks one, and hits a powerslam. Barrett rolls to the apron. Orton goes for his DDT, but Barrett slides away. Orton throws Barrett over the announce table, and he throws Barrett into the crowd. Orton accidentally throws Barrett into the referee, and he takes a hard bump. Barrett tries to get away, but Orton follows. They fight through the crowd and to the backstage. Barrett puts Orton throw a table. Orton bounces him off a box, and he throws him into some pipes. Orton bounces him off a table, and he goes to smash him with a chair, but Barrett gets away. They eventually fight into an elevator, and they show security camera footage to show the fight inside. Orton bounces him off the wall, and he viciously beats him down.
They fight down a hallway, and the cameraman races to follow them. They show a shot through a tiny window of Orton going down some concrete steps. When the camera catches up, Orton is already lying in a heap at the bottom. Barrett runs away. Orton tries to get up, but he can’t.
Match Rating: * 3/4
Quick Match Results
Jinder Mahal def. Ted DiBiase via Submission
Alicia Fox and Kaitlyn def. Natalya and Tamina
Hunico def. Justin Gabriel
Big Show def. David Otunga
Ezekiel Jackson def. Drew McIntyre
Sheamus def. Heath Slater
Randy Orton NC Wade Barrett in a Falls Count Anywhere Match
Bump of the Night: Hunico’s Asai Moonsault
Match of the Night: Randy Orton vs. Wade Barrett * 3/4
It’s a shame. After a year of success with a very limited roster, Smackdown ends 2011 with a whimper. This was just not a good show. There was some good, but for the most part it was just a waste of time. Seven matches crammed into two-hours is never a good thing. I really think five should be the limit, but when you have a tiny roster with one guy going out there’s only so much you can do.
The show opened up with a good segment with Booker T, Cody Rhodes, and Dustin “Goldust” Rhodes. Booker T was thanking the fans for their support when Cody Rhodes came out to disrespect him some more. Booker T took it in stride until Rhodes mocked his legacy. That brought out his older brother. Dustin admonished Cody, and he touched on some of his past problems that Booker T helped him through. Dustin hasn’t been around in a while, and he was very good in this. Cody disrespected his brother, and Booker T defended him. This led to them setting up a title match for next week. Cody then attacked Dustin after the match. It’s tough to say where they’re heading with all this. It could just be over in a week, or it could be the beginning of a brother vs. brother match somewhere down the line. I wouldn’t mind seeing that match. Dustin can still go, and Cody could start getting on a kick where he knocks off some former Intercontinental Champs.
After that good segment there was a lot of not so good stuff. Jinder Mahal, after being made to look foolish for the past few weeks, essentially squashes Ted DiBiase. I just cannot get into either man, and I didn’t think they had a good match tonight. I think it’s time to pair them up with other opponents. The divas; well, what can be said? For the life of me, I’ll never understand why they want to push Alicia Fox. She got exactly one move executed tonight, and even that was mistimed. I’d rather see Tamina as the main diva on Smackdown at this point. Fox cannot work so let’s move on. Hunico debuted a new bodyguard named Camacho tonight. They came to the ring on a low rider bicycle, which I thought was a little, um, strange. Hunico then took out Justin Gabriel, and he double-teamed him after the match with Camacho. Simple enough. I don’t know what they could do with these guys other than have them team with Air Boom.
Big Show killed David Otunga in a quick match. Mark Henry was in his corner, so they had Daniel Bryan attack him from behind. Bryan then held the title, and he led Henry to the back like a guy waving a red flag in front of a bull. All this led to Bryan claiming he’s been saving Big Show for a few weeks. Teddy Long set them up in a title match on the first Smackdown of 2012. That should be an interesting matchup.
Drew McIntyre is back on Smackdown, and he was threatened by Teddy Long to win or start looking for new work. McIntyre tried to pin Jackson by cheating, but he got caught. Jackson then cheated to pin McIntyre, which I thought was weird. I just don’t know how to feel about this. Jackson, the face, wins using heel tactics, and McIntyre is supposed to be the bad guy coming out. You almost feel bad for the guy.
Sheamus, Hornswoggle, and Heath Slater cut one of the usual promos that we hear every year heading to the Royal Rumble. Everyone says they’re going to win. Then they take turns throwing each other over the top rope, and it’s always pointed out that doing so would cause elimination in the Rumble. This was a bizarre filler segment. I mean, for god’s sake, they had Heath Slater on the microphone. Though, I have to admit, I did get a chuckle out of Sheamus’s R. Kelly reference. Sheamus then beat Slater in a standard match. They really need to find something for Sheamus to do on Smackdown other than just killing jobbers. Yes, he finds entertaining ways to do it, but it’s getting old now.
The final segment was the one that’s had fans buzzing since Tuesday: The Randy Orton injury angle. What can I really say about it that hasn’t been said already? They worked the match around Orton’s injury. He didn’t really take any big bumps, and it was mostly rest holds and uppercuts with some backstage brawling. It’s a damn shame Orton has gone down to injury. His absence will really be felt on this show in a big way. They’re most likely not moving any other stars to the show, so going forward all we have in terms of big stars are Big Show, Sheamus, Mark Henry, and Daniel Bryan, and I’m not even sure about Bryan being “big star” worthy. Those are going to be some long shows to recap. The word is that Orton’s injury isn’t as bad as initially reported, so hopefully he comes back in a month or so completely healthy.
Final Rating: **
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Have a happy and safe New Year! See you in 2012! Thanks for reading!