“Yes sir, we promised you a great main event…” The WWE video leads us into the show.
The Smackdown video plays, and we’re brought into the arena with a big fireworks display. Josh Mathews, Michael Cole, and Booker T welcome us to the show.
Lillian Garcia asks the crowd to welcome the World Heavyweight Champion, Daniel Bryan, to the ring. Bryan makes his way to the ring to a mixed reaction. Bryan points at his title belt as he makes his way to the ring. Bryan grabs a microphone, and he says he just wants to set the record straight. Winning the World Heavyweight Championship has been a dream come true for him, and defending the title is what he lives for. Last week, he successfully defended his title against the very man he won it from, the Big Show. The crowd boos, and they chant for the Big Show. Bryan says the Big Show deserves the rematch, especially when you consider how briefly he held the title. A lot of champions would have moved on to another challenger after winning a week before, but not him. He’s a fighting champion. He didn’t want to have to tell his grandchildren that his epic rematch with the Big Show ended in disqualification. That sickens him. Bryan warns the people to not believe the chat boards that say he provoked Mark Henry to get disqualified. Bryan says that’s a load of dung. That’s why this past Monday on Raw, he told the Big Show he could have a rematch anytime and anyplace. He was thrilled when he heard that the title match would happen right here tonight. Also, to make sure nothing screwy happens, it will be a no disqualification, no count-outs match.
Bryan says that’s excessive since all the problems came from one man: Mark Henry. Since he ruined the match last week, Henry should be suspended. Mark Henry’s music hits, and the World’s Strongest Man makes his way to the ring. Henry asks if he heard Bryan right when he said he should be suspended. Henry asks if Bryan really thinks that. Henry tells him if he had gotten suspended, he would have gotten his money’s worth. Big Show came out on Monday, and he talked about a meeting with Teddy Long. Henry is here to do the same thing. As a result of his wrongs last week, which he doesn’t think was wrong because it was Bryan’s fault, because Bryan goaded him, he’s banned from ringside. Bryan says that’s good because the match has nothing to do with him. Henry says that’s where he’s wrong, and he calls Bryan “Tiny Tim”. Teddy Long promised him in the meeting that if he didn’t interfere, because he didn’t get his championship rematch, he’ll get his title match next week. Bryan asks if he can get this straight. If he beats Big Show for the third time tonight then he has to face Mark Henry with the title on the line next week. Henry confirms that he’s correct, and Bryan says that’s all right with him.
Tonight we’ll see Sheamus take on Jinder Mahal. Michael Cole mentions that this is “quite the rivalry”.
Justin Gabriel vs. Heath Slater
They show footage of Heath Slater attacking Hornswoggle after being defeated by him in an Over The Top Rope Challenge last week. Justin Gabriel made the save, and he hit Slater with a 450 Splash. Slater requested this match as revenge.
They circle the ring and lock up. Gabriel gets a side headlock, but Slater whips him off. Gabriel shoulder blocks him down, cartwheels over him, and executes an arm drag. Slater fights up, and he punches out. Gabriel reverses a whip, but he lowers his head and eats a kick. Slater takes him down with a clothesline, and he taunts the crowd. Gabriel catches him with a head-scissor takeover, and he quickly follows up with an arm drag. Gabriel ducks a clothesline, jumps off the second rope, and Slater catches him with an inverted atomic drop. Slater punches him, and Gabriel chops him back. Slater cuts him off, and he sends him sternum first into the turnbuckle. Slater catches him with a neckbreaker for a near fall. Slater applies a chin lock, but Gabriel fights up. Gabriel elbows and kicks him down. Slater reverses a whip into a spinebuster for a near fall. Slater argues with the referee.
Slater goes to the top rope, and Hornswoggle’s music hits. Hornswoggle comes from under the ring, and Slater is distracted. Gabriel stuns Slater with a high kick to the jaw, and he falls off the top rope. Gabriel goes to the top rope, smiles at the crowd, and he hits a 450 Splash for the win.
Winner by Pinfall: Justin Gabriel
Match Rating: 3/4 *
Hornswoggle gets in the ring, runs around Slater, and he steps on him a few times. Hornswoggle high fives Gabriel, and they celebrate in the ring.
Daniel Bryan is warming up backstage when AJ walks up to him. AJ says she’s so proud of him, and she loves him whether he wins or loses. AJ walks off, and Bryan just stares at her. Bryan says, “Wow, thanks AJ.”
They show footage from the 1998 Royal Rumble. Stone Cold Steve Austin won that match, which was his second Royal Rumble win in a row.
Cody Rhodes’s music hits, and the Intercontinental Champion makes his way to the ring. Rhodes says “Hola”, and he mentions that most people in Laredo only “habla español”. Rhodes also mentions that most of them are familiar with those English initials “INS”. For those that are legal citizens of his country, he felt the need to remind them that he has been the Intercontinental Champion for five months. Rhodes says that’s more time than any champion in the WWE of any kind. In the storied history of this title, he has outshined such luminaries as Pedro Morales, Tito Santana, Booker T, and his brother, Goldust. In 2012, his goals supersede being the greatest Intercontinental Champion of all time. He’s going to pull an “Ultimate Warrior”. He’s going to be both the Intercontinental Champion and the World Heavyweight Champion. It starts as being the youngest and hungriest dog in the Royal Rumble match. Rhodes yells, “Arriba” a few times.
Cody Rhodes vs. Ezekiel Jackson
They lock up, and Rhodes gets a side headlock applied. Jackson lifts him up, and he throws him off. Rhodes rolls to the apron, and Jackson attempts to suplex him back in. Rhodes flips through, and he kicks Jackson in the knee. Rhodes hits a DDT for a near fall. Rhodes punches and kicks him before kneeing him in the midsection. Rhodes punches him, and he kicks him down against the ropes. Rhodes applies a chin lock, but Jackson flips him off. Jackson shoulder blocks him down, and he sends him into the turnbuckle hard a few times. Jackson clotheslines him in the corner, and he punches away at his midsection. Jackson hits a body slam, and he goes for the Torture Rack, but Rhodes punches out. Rhodes kicks him in the knee and goes for the Beautiful Disaster, but Jackson ducks it. Rhodes hits a drop-toe-hold into the turnbuckle, and he catches Jackson with a Beautiful Disaster. Rhodes immediately follows up with the Cross Rhodes for the win.
Winner by Pinfall: Cody Rhodes
Match Rating: N/A
Later tonight, we’ll see Daniel Bryan take on the Big Show with the World Heavyweight Championship on the line in a no disqualification, no count-outs match.
They show the first inductee into the WWE Hall of Fame: Class of 2012. It’s long time Smackdown superstar Edge.
Santino Marella is backstage with Teddy Long. Santino has a bunch of ideas of Long, and he’s calling them “Marella Originals”. One idea is to have a cage match with three cages, and another idea is to overturn Jack Tunney’s decision to once again allow reptiles to come to the ring. David Otunga walks up sipping from his coffee thermos. Otunga says he’s here to discuss the Royal Rumble match with Long. Otunga says Mr. Laurinaitis wants Long’s input as to which Smackdown stars should be included in the match. Otunga has a list of the pros and cons of all the superstars. Marella says he has an idea for a match. The future winner of the 2012 Royal Rumble match, Santino Marella, will take on David Otunga. Long says that’s a great idea, and he tells them to get ready.
There’s a knock at the door, and Long assumes it’s Aksana. Long says, “Come on in, baby girl.” Long turns around, and it is Drew McIntyre. Long says he doesn’t want to hear it. Long says he’s being paid a high priced salary, and he’s not getting any results. He’s also getting closer and closer to getting fired. Long says he better win his match tonight, and his match is next.
Drew McIntyre vs. Ted DiBiase
Before the match begins, Hunico and Camacho ride out to the ringside area. DiBiase stares at them as the bell rings. McIntyre immediately capitalizes on the distraction with a big boot for a two count. McIntyre puts him in the corner, and he viciously beats him down. Hunico and Camacho ride over to the commentary table as McIntyre sends DiBiase into the ropes. McIntyre eats a kick, and DiBiase throws him out of the ring. DiBiase quickly follows up with a suicide dive, and he stares at Hunico, who has joined in on commentary. McIntyre uses the distraction to drive DiBiase into the apron. McIntyre slams him hard into the apron, puts him in the ring, and gets a two count. McIntyre chokes him on the ropes, and he gets another two count. McIntyre applies an arm bar, but DiBiase fights up and punches out. McIntyre knees him and goes for a body slam, but DiBiase gets out of it. McIntyre runs into his boot, sidesteps him, hits an inverted atomic drop, and he connects with a running dropkick. DiBiase gets a rebound clothesline for a near fall.
DiBiase goes to the second rope, and he jumps into an uppercut. McIntyre gets a near fall for that. McIntyre sets him up on the top rope, and he clubs away at him. McIntyre goes for a super back suplex, but DiBiase elbows him off. McIntyre gets crotched on the top rope, and he falls into the ring. DiBiase connects with the Dream Street for the win.
Winner by Pinfall: Ted DiBiase
Match Rating: 3/4 *
Drew McIntyre has a look of stunned disbelief on his face. Hunico and Camacho stand up, and they give DiBiase a golf clap for the win.
Sheamus will take on Jinder Mahal next.
Sheamus vs. Jinder Mahal
They show footage of Jinder Mahal slapping Sheamus in the face last week. Sheamus beat him down until Wade Barrett ran in. Barrett and Mahal double-teamed Sheamus, and Barrett took him down with the Winds of Change. Mahal then put Sheamus in the Camel Clutch.
Jinder Mahal comes to the ring, and he talks a bit in his native tongue. Mahal then says, in English, that he’s glad nobody expects him to win this year’s Royal Rumble match, because he’s most dangerous when least expected.
They circle the ring, and Sheamus begins to beat Mahal down. Sheamus viciously clubs him to the corner. Sheamus sends him to the corner, and he runs into Mahal’s elbow. Sheamus immediately takes him down with a double axe handle to the face. Mahal reverses a whip, and Sheamus counters a hip toss with a clothesline. Sheamus quickly goes for the Celtic Cross, but Mahal escapes to ringside. Sheamus follows, and he clotheslines Mahal down at ringside. Sheamus puts him in the ring, and he connects with a slingshot shoulder block for a one count. Sheamus tries to go for those vicious clubs to the chest, but Mahal elbows him in the face and snaps him off the top rope. Mahal takes him down with a pair of high knees to the face for a one count. Mahal stomps and kicks Sheamus, and he knees him in the face as he tries to enter the ring. Mahal hits a swinging neckbreaker for a two count.
Mahal applies a chin lock, but Sheamus fights up. Mahal quickly takes him down with some knees to the midsection. Mahal rips at Sheamus’s face, clubs the chest, and he goes back to the chin lock. Sheamus fights up, and he gets Mahal with a back body drop. Sheamus catches him on the ropes with those vicious clubs to the chest, and he suplexes Mahal back into the ring. Sheamus goes to the top rope, and he hits Mahal with the battering ram. Sheamus gets the crowd into it, and he kills Mahal with a Brogue Kick for the win.
Winner by Pinfall: Sheamus
Match Rating: * 1/2
Big Show is backstage with referee Jack Doane. Doane is going over the rules for tonight’s match, but Big Show insists that he knows the rules. Big Show tells him to call the match when he knocks Bryan out. AJ walks up, and she wants to talk to Big Show about Bryan. AJ doesn’t want Bryan to get hurt tonight. AJ says she knows Big Show will do what he has to do, but Bryan is a decent guy with a good heart. Big Show says his intentions aren’t to hurt him. His intention is to get back the World Heavyweight Championship. Daniel Bryan walks up, and he says first Big Show wants to take his title, and now he wants to take his girl. Bryan says he’s not going to do either thing, and he suggests Big Show just leaves. Big Show says the title has changed Bryan, and he’s not sure if it’s for the better. After tonight, Bryan won’t have any problems. Big Show walks off. Bryan asks if Big Show was trying to intimidate her. Bryan says he’ll be her night in shining armor. Bryan asks how much does she love him. Bryan takes her to go talk.
They show footage of Triple H winning the 2002 Royal Rumble.
David Otunga vs. Santino Marella
Santino takes him down with a double leg, and he goes for a jackknife cover but that doesn’t work out. Otunga backs him to the corner, and he shoulders him a few times. Otunga hits a short-arm clothesline, and he talks some trash. Otunga goes for a powerslam, but Santino slides off, and he rolls him up for a near fall. Otunga quickly takes him down with a clothesline, and he uses the ropes to drop a few elbows. Otunga picks up a near fall. Otunga applies a chin lock, stops a comeback, and he sends him to the corner. Santino sidesteps him, and he hits some jabs. Santino splits under a clothesline, gets a hip lock, and he follows up with a falling head-butt. Santino takes the cobra out, but Otunga blocks it. Otunga follows up with an over the shoulder piledriver for the win.
Winner by Pinfall: David Otunga
Match Rating: N/A
They show the Hall of Fame induction video for the Four Horsemen.
Brodus Clay, the Funkasaurus, will be in action next!
They play the Raw Rebound, which saw Kane take out John Cena and Zack Ryder.
JOBBER ALERT: Tyson Kidd is at ringside with no TV entrance.
Tyson Kidd vs. Brodus Clay
That is, without a doubt, the funkiest entrance I’ve ever seen. Clay wiggles a bit, and he takes Kidd down with a running head-butt. Clay signals to the crowd, and he wipes Kidd out with a running cross-body block for the win!
Winner by Pinfall: Brodus Clay
Match Rating: N/A
Brodus Clay and his dancers dance the night away in the ring. They bump hips and gyrate. Somebody call my momma!
Teddy Long is backstage singing Brodus Clay’s song when the cheesy saxophone music cues up. Aksana walks in, and she talks about Smackdown being in Las Vegas next week. Long says, “Whatever happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.” Aksana says she wants to play at the roulette table because she loves to hit on black. Long spits his drink out, and he says that’s good to know.
They show the tale of the tape for Big Show and Daniel Bryan. Daniel Bryan will defend his title against Big Show later tonight.
They show footage of Shawn Michaels winning the 1995 Royal Rumble.
JOBBER ALERT: Natalya is in the ring with no TV entrance.
Natalya vs. Tamina
Natalya slaps her in the face, and she quickly follows up with a delayed vertical suplex for a near fall. Tamina comes back, and she catches Natalya with a Samoan Drop. Tamina slowly goes up to the top rope, taunts the crowd, and she hits the Superfly Splash for the win.
Winner by Pinfall: Tamina
Match Rating: N/A
Wade Barrett’s music hits, and he comes out to the stage. Barrett says some of the crowd may have been impressed with the performance of Sheamus. Barrett wasn’t impressed, and an Irishman with a temper problem won’t impress him. He’s a man of class and civility. He’s the man who will win the 2012 Royal Rumble match. That’s why he’s challenging Sheamus to a match next week at the Sin City Smackdown, which is ironic because some people might consider what he will do to Sheamus next week a sin. Barrett thanks them for their time, and he throws in, “God save the Queen!”
Daniel Bryan will defend his World Heavyweight Championship against the Big Show next.
The announcers mention that Sheamus has accepted Wade Barrett’s challenge for the Sin City Smackdown next week. They also mention that Mark Henry will get a title match against the winner of tonight’s main event.
WWE World Heavyweight Championship – No Disqualification, No Count-Out
Big Show vs. Daniel Bryan (c) w/ AJ
The bell rings, and Bryan wants a handshake. Big Show takes some time before shaking his hand. Big Show then pulls Bryan into a gorilla press. He holds Bryan up there before dropping him on his midsection. Big Show chops him in the corner a few times, and he throws Bryan across the ring. Big Show head-butts him, and he chops the chest. Big Show sends him to the corner, and he runs into Bryan’s boots. Big Show eats the boots a second time, and Bryan goes to the second rope. Bryan jumps, and Big Show spears him out of mid-air! Big Show covers, but half of Bryan’s body is under the bottom rope. Bryan quickly rolls out of the ring.
We come back from the break to see Big Show pressing Bryan on the announcer’s table, and he chops his chest. Bryan falls to the floor, and he grabs a steel chair. Bryan methodically hits Big Show eight times with the chair, but Big Show never falls to the floor. Big Show smashes the chair out of his hands, and he picks it up. Bryan quickly runs into the ring, and he looks terrified. Big Show smiles, and he brings the chair into the ring. Bryan dropkicks him as he tries to get into the ring, and Bryan smashes the chair off his back. Big Show kicks him down and puts Bryan in the ring. Bryan kicks him as he enters, and he unleashes a flurry of stiff kicks. Big Show blocks one, and he chops him down. Big Show sends him into the ropes, but misses a clothesline. Bryan dropkicks him in the knee, and Big Show goes down.
Bryan viciously kicks him down, hits him in the midsection with the chair, and DDTS him on top of it. Bryan covers for a near fall. Big Show blocks a kick and chops him down. Big Show clotheslines him down a pair of times, sends him to the corner, connects with a butt bump, and he takes him down with a shoulder block. Big Show signals for his Chokeslam. Big Show goes for it, but Bryan slips out of it. Bryan takes him down with a chop block, and he grabs the chair. Big Show punches it out of his hands, and Bryan rolls out of the ring. Big Show follows, and he takes Bryan down. Big Show takes apart the announcer’s table, and he goes to Chokeslam him through the table. Bryan slips out, and he kicks him in the knee. Bryan grabs the chair and smashes it on his back. Bryan jumps off the apron, and Big Show chops him out of mid-air. Bryan gets up, and he punches Big Show. Big Show gets riled up, and Bryan runs away. Big Show chases him, and he accidentally runs over AJ in the process! AJ goes down hard! The match just ends there.
Match Rating: * 3/4
Big Show looks like he’s going to cry as a ringside doctor tends to AJ. Bryan comes over to check on her status. They bring out a stretcher, and they carefully put AJ on it. Big Show is crying, and Bryan looks really concerned. They cart AJ off as Big Show and Bryan follow. Bryan screams at Big Show for being “reckless” and he says if he can have the title if he wants it so badly because this isn’t worth it. Bryan yells at Big Show, and he leaves him on the stage. Big Show weeps openly.
Quick Match Results
Justin Gabriel def. Heath Slater
Cody Rhodes def. Ezekiel Jackson (non-title)
Ted DiBiase def. Drew McIntyre
Sheamus def. Jinder Mahal
David Otunga def. Santino Marella
Brodus Clay def. Tyson Kidd
Tamina def. Natalya
Big Show NC Daniel Bryan (WWE World Heavyweight Championship)
Bump of the Night: Big Show running over AJ!
Match of the Night: Daniel Bryan vs. Big Show * 3/4
Mike’s Thoughts will be posted later tonight. Thanks for your patience.