“Yes sir, we promised you a great main event…” The WWE video leads us into the show.
The show footage from two weeks ago when Daniel Bryan was defending his World Heavyweight Championship against the Big Show. Big Show was chasing Bryan at ringside when he accidentally ran over AJ. AJ was taken out on a stretcher as Bryan berated the Big Show who was crying. Bryan called him a bastard.
The Big Show’s music hits, and he makes his way to the ring after being off last week. Big Show gets a great reaction as he makes his way to the ring. Show says he has a lot to say, but he’s not sure how to say it. He says he’s sorry. Show says he apologized to AJ, and she accepted his apology immediately. Show asks the crowd to do the same, except he’s having trouble forgiving himself. Show says his incident with AJ wasn’t exactly an isolated incident. Growing up, not knowing his strength, he’d accidentally hurt other kids. When he came to the WWE, he thought all that was behind him. He thought being a freak would be behind him, and that WWE was the place where he belonged. Big Show says he’s been here thirteen years, and he loves his job, but after what happened with AJ, he doesn’t have the heart to go on with his career. The crowd boos this wildly, and Big Show looks emotional. Big Show says he’s proud to be in the triple threat match at the Royal Rumble, but after Sunday he’s going to have to do some soul searching.
Daniel Bryan’s music hits, and the World Heavyweight Champion makes his way to the ring. Bryan sarcastically says it’s a relief that Big Show is sorry. Bryan says Big Show put a 95-pound woman in the hospital. Big Show says it was an accident. Bryan heard he apologized and AJ accepted, but she was heavily medicated at the time. Bryan says she doesn’t even remember Big Show visiting. Bryan remembers, though. Bryan remembers watching WWE as a kid thinking it was a place for athletes and not genetic freaks. Bryan warns him not to mention Andre The Giant because Big Show is no Andre The Giant. The crowd chants for the Big Show. Bryan says Show has the crowd fooled. Show has no plans on reassessing his career. That’s just empty talk like all of his apologies. If he were truly sorry for his sorry excuse for a life, he would be out here apologizing to AJ, him, or these people. Show would do the honorable thing and just retire right now.
Bryan pokes him in the chest a bunch of times, and he screams at him to retire and just leave. Bryan slaps him in the face, and Big Show looks at him wildly. Bryan screams that he’s not a man; he’s a monster. Bryan slaps him again. Big Show grabs him by the face and shoves him to the corner. Big Show screams, “Who do you think you are? What happened to AJ was an accident, you arrogant little ass. What happens to you this Sunday won’t be.” Big Show throws him across the ring.
Mark Henry’s music hits, and he makes his way to the ring. Henry says amidst this love-fest out here, he felt compelled to remind them that it’s a triple threat steel cage match on Sunday. Henry doesn’t care about Big Show’s hurt feelings, and he doesn’t care about Bryan’s “Napoleon Complex”, and he damn sure doesn’t care about some 95-pound girl in a training bra. Henry says Big Show knows what he’s capable of so he doesn’t need to sweet talk him. Henry orders Bryan to come over and look him in the eye when he’s talking to him. Henry says after Bryan weaseled his way out of HIS World Heavyweight Championship opportunity last week, he’s going to tear his skin off on general principle. Bryan pleads that it wasn’t his fault last week. He was just as disappointed as Henry.
Teddy Long’s music hits, and he makes his way to the ring. Long says the Royal Rumble is just days away so the question is if Smackdown will go into it with a whimper or a bang. Tonight already has one main event: Wade Barrett will face Randy Orton. Long says just two weeks ago Daniel Bryan faced the Big Show, and he faced Mark Henry last week. So tonight, it’s only fair if Mark Henry goes one-on-one with the Big Show. HOLLA! Bryan smiles and gets out of the ring as Big Show and Mark Henry go face to face.
They play a video package to hype up the return of Randy Orton after being injured by Wade Barrett a few weeks ago.
Cody Rhodes vs. Justin Gabriel
They show a pre-taped promo with Cody Rhodes. Rhodes says he’s granting Justin Gabriel a non-title match out of the goodness of his heart. After tonight, Gabriel will be able to tell his kids that he lost to the guy that’s going to headline WrestleMania.
Rhodes quickly kicks Gabriel and sends him into the ropes. Gabriel backflips over him, and he gives him a roundhouse kick for a quick near fall. Rhodes quickly comes back with an Alabama Slam for a near fall. Rhodes kicks away at Gabriel, knees him in the midsection, and hits a Russian Leg Sweep. Rhodes taunts the crowd and punches him in the face. Rhodes applies an arm bar, but Gabriel fights up. Gabriel punches out and hits a monkey flip. Gabriel kicks away at him, and he takes him down with a spinning kick to the jaw. Gabriel takes him out with a flying forearm, and Rhodes rolls out of the ring. Gabriel takes him out with a corkscrew plancha. Gabriel rolls him in the ring, and he hits a springboard cross-body, but Rhodes rolls through for a two count. Gabriel quickly takes Rhodes down with a TKO. Rhodes avoids a springboard moonsault, and Gabriel may have tweaked his knee. Rhodes quickly hits the Beautiful Disaster, and he follows up with the Cross Rhodes for the win.
Winner by Pinfall: Cody Rhodes
Match Rating: *
Santino Marella is backstage with Teddy Long. Santino says he’s devised the perfect match. It’s an extreme “Loser Leaves Town” match. The loser has to join a crew of monkeys, get in a spaceship, and blast off Planet Earth. Long says no, and Santino asks Yoshi Tatsu for his opinion. Santino says this is a good time to introduce Long to his new tag team partner, and they argue over whether their team name will be “Sant-oshi” or “Yoshi-tino”. Drew McIntyre walks up, and he says he got to Long’s office as quickly as he could. Long says last week was like the last several weeks. McIntyre’s career is on thin ice. McIntyre promised that he could beat Santino in a Blindfold Match, and he couldn’t even win after cheating. Santino says, “Awkward” before walking off with Tatsu. McIntyre says Babe Ruth once struck out five times in a game, and he’s just going through a slump. Long says Babe Ruth struck out on an occasion, but eventually he’d knock one out of the park. Long says he needs to do that against Sheamus. Long says, “Batter up. Your match is next.”
Later tonight, we’ll see Big Show take on Mark Henry.
Drew McIntyre vs. Sheamus
Sheamus blocks a punch, and he unloads on McIntyre. McIntyre ducks a clothesline, and he punches away at Sheamus. Sheamus blocks a hip toss, and he hits a clothesline for a one count. Sheamus clubs at him, bounces him in the corner, and he whips him across the ring. Sheamus runs into the boots, but he quickly comes back with a fireman’s carry roll for a near fall. McIntyre quickly gets to the apron, and Sheamus goes for his clubs to the chest. McIntyre counters by snapping him off the top rope. McIntyre dropkicks Sheamus in the head, and he viciously clotheslines him a few times in the corner. McIntyre hits a nice northern lights suplex for a near fall.
McIntyre applies an arm bar. Sheamus fights up, but McIntyre quickly cuts him off with a snap suplex for a two count. McIntyre covers again for a no count. McIntyre kicks him in the back, and Sheamus gets a crazy look in his eye. Sheamus pops up, and he viciously clubs him down. Sheamus hits a short-arm clothesline, and he quickly follows up with another two. Sheamus hits a powerslam, and McIntyre quickly gets a cheap shot in. Sheamus immediately comes back with a Brogue Kick for the win.
Winner by Pinfall: Sheamus
Match Rating: 1/2 *
Sheamus celebrates around the ring, as Drew McIntyre looks completely defeated at ringside.
Randy Orton will take on Wade Barrett in his first match back later tonight.
They play the video going over all the statistics of the Royal Rumble.
Santino Marella and Yoshi Tatsu make their way to the ring. They’ll face Primo and Epico next.
Santino Marella and Yoshi Tatsu vs. Primo and Epico w/ Rosa Mendes
They show a pre-taped promo with Rosa Mendes in which she spoke exclusively in Spanish. Michael Cole translates that nobody knew who Epico and Primo were before, but now they’re the Tag Team Champions.
Santino and Yoshi bow a bunch of times to one another. Santino will start out against Primo. They lock up, and Santino takes him down with a hip toss. Santino rolls around on Primo, and he plays his air trombone. Santino takes Primo down, and he tags in Yoshi, who comes off the top rope with a double axe handle to the arm. Yoshi chops him down a few times, and he sends him to the ropes. Primo hangs on to the ropes, and Yoshi runs into the boots. Epico blind tags in as Yoshi takes Primo down with a big chop to the chest. Epico takes him out, and he hits a nice double-arm suplex for a two count. Epico applies a chin lock, but Yoshi quickly fights out. Yoshi gets a back slide pin for a near fall.
Santino is tagged in, and he splits under a clothesline. Santino hits a hip toss, and he follows up with a diving head-butt. Primo quickly breaks up the pin. Yoshi comes in to help, but Primo ducks the roundhouse. Primo clotheslines him out of the ring, and Santino takes him out with the Cobra. Epico quickly hits Santino with the Backstabber for the win.
Winners by Pinfall: Primo and Epico
Match Rating: 3/4 *
Mark Henry is warming up backstage when Daniel Bryan meekly comes up to him. Henry says he better have something good to say after the garbage he pulled last week. Bryan says last week was on Teddy Long for having those lumberjacks out there. This week is on Long as well. He’d have given him a rematch. Bryan says he wants to talk about Big Show. Big Show has no business being in their match this Sunday since he’s already beaten him twice. Obviously Teddy Long wants Big Show to be the champion; otherwise he’d have made the match between the two of them. Henry asks for his point. Bryan says this is the last chance to right a very big wrong. Everyone knows Henry could pin Big Show. Tonight, he needs to hurt him badly. Bryan says he normally wouldn’t say that about a fellow competitor, but how many times has Big Show injured him, including his girlfriend. Someone needs to teach Big Show a lesson, and if anyone could do that it’s Mark Henry can.
Randy Orton will return to face Wade Barrett next.
Wade Barrett’s music hits, and he makes his way to the ring. Barrett asks the crowd for some decorum. The crowd boos him louder. Barrett says there is a lot of pageantry and emotion attached to tonight’s show. That’s due to the monumental return of Randy Orton. Unfortunately, he has it on good authority that Orton is allowing his ego to get the best of him. The doctors may say he’s physically ok to return, but he’s a broken man spiritually. You don’t go through what Orton went through and come out the same competitor. Barrett shows footage of their Falls Count Anywhere match last month where Orton fell down the stairs. Michael Cole mentions that Orton suffered a herniated disc.
Barrett is shown smiling after watching the footage. Barrett says Orton fell and couldn’t get up. That’s why Orton is a shell of a man. The only voices in Orton’s head are telling him that Wade Barrett is an incredibly vicious competitor.
Randy Orton’s music hits, and he’s shown walking backstage dressed to compete. Orton looks intense as he makes his way to the stage entrance, and he comes out to a big reception. Orton and Barrett trade blows halfway down the ramp, and Orton throws him into the ring. Orton clotheslines him down, and he viciously beats him in the corner. Orton does the ten punches as the referees run down to the ring to break this up. Barrett leaves the ring, and Orton attacks him from behind. Orton beats him down at ringside, and he scares the referees off.
Teddy Long comes out, and he orders some wrestlers to break it up. They hold Orton back, and Barrett quickly takes him out. Orton chases Barrett into the ring and takes him down. The referees and the wrestlers break it up, and Barrett escapes up the ramp. Orton stares at Barrett. Orton delivers an RKO to Tyler Reks, Curt Hawkins, Trent Barreta, Jey, and Jimmy Uso. Orton stares at Barrett again as his music hits. Barrett looks stunned at what he just witnessed.
They show footage of Rey Mysterio winning the 2006 Royal Rumble.
Daniel Bryan is backstage with Kaitlyn. Bryan asks her to do a favor for AJ. Kaitlyn says she will for AJ. Bryan tells her to tell Big Show that Mark Henry intends to hurt him tonight. Kaitlyn asks if this is a favor for AJ or him. Bryan says it’s for the two of them. Kaitlyn says she will tell Big Show, but she needs a favor from Bryan. She wants to know how he feels about AJ. Bryan says he likes to keep himself private, but the sooner she talks to Big Show, the better.
Hunico w/ Camacho vs. Ted DiBiase
Charles Robinson, my favorite referee ever, is the official of this match. DiBiase is wearing a cast. The announcers mention that he tore some cartilage at a house show over the weekend. DiBiase quickly hits a hip toss, clothesline, and a big boot for a two count. Hunico blocks a whip, and he quickly hits the broken wrist. Hunico slams and kicks it a few times. Hunico applies an arm bar, but DiBiase fights up. DiBiase punches out, ducks a clothesline, and he hits one of his own. DiBiase goes for the Dream Street, but his wrist hurts him too much. Hunico hits an arm breaker and an Angle Slam variation for the win.
Winner by Pinfall: Hunico
Match Rating: N/A
Hunico and Camacho double-team Ted DiBiase. They kick away at him, and he rolls out of the ring. Camacho sets DiBiase’s injured wrist on the steel steps, and Hunico stomps on it. DiBiase screams in pain, and the walk off.
Teddy Long is backstage with Aksana. He says he needs to check on Ted DiBiase when Natalya walks in. Natalya says she wants a rematch with Tamina. Aksana says she saw Tamina squash Natalya like a grape two weeks ago. Natalya says she’ll beat that whack job, and she’ll beat Aksana too. Aksana questions “whack job” and she says what she does in private with Teddy Long is none of her business, but Long cuts her off. Teddy Long books the two of them in a match. Natalya says she can’t wait to make her cry, and she farts loudly. Natalya runs off, and Long quickly bolts as the smell overtakes the room. Santino then comes into the room, and he nearly throws up. That was so stupid.
The Funkasaurus Brodus Clay will be in action next.
JOBBER ALERT: Alex Riley is in the ring with no TV entrance.
Alex Riley vs. Brodus Clay
Alex Riley was shown trying to join in the dance during Clay’s entrance. Riley dances as the bell rings. Clay gyrates, and then he hits Riley with a suplex. Clay asks if he should get Riley, and he splashes him in the corner. WHAT THE FUNK? This match is over.
Winner by Pinfall: Brodus Clay
Match Rating: N/A
Kaitlyn is shown talking with the Big Show backstage. We can’t hear what they’re saying.
They replay the entire Kane vs. Zack Ryder match that saw Ryder leave the arena on a stretcher.
Natalya vs. Aksana
Natalya screams for Tamina to come out, and Aksana rolls her up for the win.
Winner by Pinfall: Aksana
Match Rating: Unnecessary
Natalya quickly attacks her from behind, and she locks her in the Sharpshooter. Tamina runs down and gives her a Samoan Drop. Tamina goes to the top rope and hits Natalya with the Superfly Splash. Tamina checks on Natalya.
Big Show’s music hits, and he makes his way to the ring. He’ll face Mark Henry next.
Big Show vs. Mark Henry
Before the match begins, Daniel Bryan’s music hits, and he makes his way down to ringside to watch this match. Big Show kicks and clubs away at Henry. Henry quickly rolls out of the ring to recuperate. Henry looks at Bryan, and Big Show attacks him from behind. Big Show rolls him into the ring, and he head-butts Henry. Big Show chops the chest a few times, and he punches him in the midsection. Henry comes back with some punches, and he all of a sudden goes down hard. Something has happened to Henry’s knee, and he rolls out of the ring.
Winner by Count-Out: Big Show
Match Rating: N/A
We come back from the break to see the referee count to ten and announce Big Show as the winner.
Daniel Bryan attacks Big Show with a chair. Big Show knocks the chair out of his hand, and he throws Bryan across the ring. Big Show grabs the chair out of his hands, and Bryan quickly gets out of the ring. Bryan grabs his title and runs away as Big Show chases him with the chair. Bryan throws his title at Big Show, and he dropkicks him in the knee. Bryan takes him down with some chair shots, and he chokes Big Show with the chair. Bryan viciously beats him with the chair, and he locks Big Show in the LeBell Lock. Big Show breaks Bryan’s grip, and he flings him off. Big Show hits Bryan with a Chokeslam, and he screams at him. Big Show goes for the WMD, but Bryan quickly gets out of the ring. Bryan looks stunned as Big Show screams that nobody will stop him this Sunday.
Quick Match Results
Cody Rhodes def. Justin Gabriel (non-title)
Sheamus def. Drew McIntyre
Primo and Epico def. Santino Marella and Yoshi Tatsu (non-title)
Hunico def. Ted DiBiase
Brodus Clay def. Alex Riley
Aksana def. Natalya
Big Show def. Mark Henry via CO
Bump of the Night: Gabriel’s corkscrew plancha
Match of the Night: Cody Rhodes vs. Justin Gabriel *
Smackdown kicked off tonight with a tremendous in-ring segment with Big Show, Daniel Bryan, and Mark Henry. Big Show was great in his role tonight, and the crowd really responded well to him. Big Show seemed genuinely emotional as he brought up the memories of accidentally hurting his friends, and how all he wanted to do as a kid was just be normal. Daniel Bryan then came out, and he was awesome as he got in Big Show’s face. Bryan needed this promo tonight. We needed to see some true fire for him, and he was awesome in this. The yelling, the finger pointing, and the slaps were great. Big Show’s reaction to them was just as good as he manhandled Bryan. Mark Henry then came out, and he darn near stole the segment with his lines. Henry was funny and threatening all at the same time. The whole segment did a great job of giving a final sell for their match this Sunday at the Royal Rumble.
Unfortunately there wasn’t much else good on this show after that first segment. The only other good thing was the return of Randy Orton, and even that wasn’t pulled off well. First of all, I think he came back too quickly. Not that I don’t want him back; I just felt they could have saved his return for two more days. Smackdown does need him on the show, though. The brawl that Orton and Barrett had was really good and intense. Barrett’s facial expression after finally escaping the ring was great. I could have done without the RKO-fest, but what can you do?
The rest of the show wasn’t great. From two-minute squash matches to Natalya farting, it just wasn’t good. There was one semi-decent match with Cody Rhodes and Justin Gabriel, but that was about it. Not even a Sheamus beat down or the appearance of the Funkasaurus could perk me up for the rest of this show.
Final Rating: * 1/2
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Thanks for reading! Enjoy the 2012 Royal Rumble!