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WWE Smackdown Report
PARKS' WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT 12/23: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of the show, including Daniel Bryan's first Smackdown as World Champion

Dec 23, 2011 - 9:00:40 PM
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WWE Smackdown review
Dec. 23, 2011
Taped 12/20/11 in Richmond, Va.
Aired on SYFY
By Greg Parks, PWTorch Columnist



- Smackdown Open.

- Inside the arena in Richmond, fireworks shot off on the stage. Josh Mathews opened the show as the cameras panned the crowd. Mathews welcomed everyone to Smackdown.

- Big Show was out first, to his theme music. Mathews called it an “emotional week” for Show. The big man was decked out in camo ring gear. Michael Cole and Booker T. were shown at the announce table, along with Mathews. Show told the fans that he thought he’d be standing out in front of the fans as World Champion. Even more unbelievable, Daniel Bryan is champion. Show said he has scratched and clawed for nine years to become champion again. Show put Mark Henry over, then said he’s been flooded with lots of emotions since Sunday. He sent it to a brief video of Mathews asking him a question from Raw and Show just staring at him in response and saying he was okay. After the video, Show said he’s proud of himself because he didn’t go over the edge. He wanted to give everyone his honest feelings about the title change, but before he could, Mark Henry limped out, his left ankle taped.

He got to the ring and took a mic. Cole noted that it looked like Henry was dressed to compete. Henry asked Show what he was proud of, then said they’ll put that he had the shortest World Title reign in WWE history on his tombstone. Henry said Show probably feels embarrassed and humiliated since that’s how he feels. Henry suggested Show take a week off…and quit the business. With the Holiday season, Henry said Show could probably work as Santa Claus. Henry demanded a rematch with Daniel Bryan tonight. Show was incredulous at Henry’s claim, but before it could go further, Bryan’s music hit and he walked out.

“Look at the charisma!” said Booker as Bryan got the mic. There didn’t seem to be a hint of irony in Booker’s statement. Bryan said he can barely believe he’s champion. He said he’s not the World’s Strongest Man and he’s not the World’s Tallest Athlete. Bryan said he’s short, not the strongest, doesn’t have a nickname or a catchphrase, and he doesn’t have a lot of charisma…but he is a very good wrestler. He said despite the things that he’s not, he is World Champion. Henry called Bryan a pipsqueak and said every time he puts his hands on Bryan, he beats the hell out of them. He again demanded a rematch, but Show said Henry must be forgetting his win at TLC over Henry. Henry said everyone saw Show’s victory…all 45 seconds of it. That brought out Teddy Long.

Long said that before Henry and Show go rocking around the Christmas Tree, both men deserve a shot to compete against Bryan. But tonight, they’ll have to compete against each other, with the winner being first in line to challenge for the World Title. Long wished them both luck and congratulated Bryan, wishing him Merry Christmas in the process. Show shook Bryan’s hand in the ring, and seemed to squeeze pretty hard, to the point that Bryan winced. Show then let go, smiled, and winked at him. Bryan left the ring and offered to shake Henry’s hand. Henry went to shake it and Bryan pulled his hand back and walked away. It’s a little thing, but I really don’t think it would’ve been in Henry’s character to offer a hand there. Wanting to get Bryan to trump someone in this segment (which was necessary) seemed to override keeping Henry’s character consistent.

- It’s champion vs. champion next when Zack Ryder takes on Cody Rhodes.

[Commercial Break]

1 – CODY RHODES vs. ZACK RYDER

Cody stared at Booker from the ring before Ryder came out. When Ryder made his entrance, they showed a still photo from TLC of Ryder celebrating his US Title win with his father. Cole said Ryder is a fad, like mood rings. Ryder caught Rhodes with a back elbow, followed by a few arm-drags. Rhodes hit the mat and gave Ryder an uppercut, a la his brother Goldust. Cody clotheslined Ryder to the apron, then kicked his knee, sending Ryder to ringside. Rhodes shoved Ryder into Booker, who stayed at the announce table. He gave Rhodes an icy stare as they went to break 2:30 into the match.

[Commercial Break]

Back at 5:55 of the match. Rhodes connected on the Alabama Slam for two. Mathews reminded viewers that he used that move to be Santino on Monday. Nice touch there to mention that. Ryder ran the ropes, but Rhodes ducked a cross-body attempt by Ryder, causing him to get tangled in the ropes. The two men ran into each other, knocking heads. Ryder was up first and began to roll at the 8:00 mark. Broski Boot found the mark for a near-fall at 8:41. Rhodes side-stepped a middle-rope dropkick. Booker all of a sudden said he was in the Holiday spirit and grabbed a mic. He stood atop the announce table and sand “Cody the Red-Nosed Reindeer” with altered lyrics. That distraction allowed Ryder to hit the Rough Ryder for the win.

WINNER: Ryder, at 9:33. It appears the Rhodes vs. Booker feud will continue. Good, even match-up, as it should be between two secondary title holders.

After the match, Booker sang another verse of the song, making fun of Rhodes for losing.

- Teddy Long was clapping and smiling at the monitor backstage, for some reason giddy that one of his announcers distracted a wrestler and caused him to lose a match. Santino’s Cobra made an appearance and Santino followed. He wanted to apply for Zack Ryder’s position of assistant Smackdown GM since Ryder is now champion. Aksana then walked in and Long introduced her to Santino. Aksana said she knows many positions and Teddy can ask her for help anytime. Aksana walked off and Santino raised his Cobra in a sexual reference. Vickie Guerrero and Dolph Ziggler walked in, causing Santino’s Cobra to go flaccid (with sound effects from Santino). Ziggler said he’d ask for his rematch with Ryder in due time, then asked for a match with that “good” wrestler, Daniel Bryan. Long celebrated by dancing. Vickie told him, “bah humbug.” Long continued to get down after they left.

- Still to come, Big Show vs. Mark Henry, where the winner will challenge Daniel Bryan. The match is next.

[Commercial Break]

- Mathews plugged WWE.com for complete TLC results and photos.

- Big Show and Mark Henry came out for their match. Right before the match began, David Otunga walked out. He entered the ring, then took a sip from his mug, and said he’s the legal counsel for Johnny Ace. He said Ace has to look out for the well-being of his athletes, and that Mark Henry is not cleared to compete tonight. Shouldn’t that be something Long is made aware of? Anyway, Otunga pointed out the various bruises and injuries that Henry was suffering from and said it led to an increase in his blood pressure. Otunga did wish all the fans a Happy and healthy Holidays, but Show socked him in the face with a right hand. In slow-mo, it looked like a hard shot. Refs and medics tended to Otunga.

- Tonight, Dolph Ziggler vs. Daniel Bryan.

[Commercial Break]

- They showed an exterior shot of the arena in Richmond.

- Teddy Long was walking down the hallway with a purpose. He came upon The Miz. Miz said he’s here and asked what he was doing tonight. Long said he didn’t know. Miz said he was asked to be on the show but Long said that request didn’t come from his office. Miz said this is why Smackdown is in the shape it’s in, and he said since he won the WWE Title, no Smackdown match has main evented a PPV, while he’s been in five. I don’t know if WWE really should be pointing that fact out. Miz said he was going to go out and disrupt the show and wouldn’t let anyone else wrestler. Long said we’d see about that, then Miz asked Long to find someone to fight him and he’ll make Smackdown “awesome.”

- The announcers were shown on camera and Mathews threw it to John Cena’s post-match speech at Tribute to the Troops in Fort Bragg. Afterward, they aired Nickelback’s live performance on the show, with footage of the Troops and WWE Superstars interacting spliced in.

- The Miz came out. Cole gave him a standing ovation. He’ll presumably be in action next.

[Commercial Break]

- Miz had the mic and said he couldn’t blame Long for not finding anyone to face him. They showed a video of Miz taking out R-Truth and John Morrison last month. Miz called the entire Smackdown locker room “a bunch of cowards.” Sheamus has to be the one to accept, right? Miz said no one on Smackdown has the ability to be a cross-over star like him. He discussed his conquests in the media until, yup, Sheamus’s music interrupted and the Great White came out.

2 – THE MIZ vs. SHEAMUS

Sheamus had to chase Miz around the ring in the opening minute, and Miz caught him and worked the arm. He shoved Sheamus arm-first into the ring post. Cover by Miz for only one. Corner clothesline connected, as did a running boot. Then another. Miz worked over Sheamus in the corner and the referee almost reached five in his count. Sheamus came back with the Irish Curse back-breaker. He set up for the Celtic Cross, but Miz snuck out the back. Sheamus shrugged off the Skull Crushing Finale and hit the Brogue Kick for the win.

WINNER: Sheamus, at 3:02. Surprised Sheamus disposed of Miz so quickly. Sheamus has been running through competition but they don’t see to have much for him or are biding time until Christian returns.

A kid in the crowd had Sheamus’s hair (color and style) and some painted-on facial hair doing Sheamus’s mannerisms. That’s a fan right there.

- Daniel Bryan vs. Dolph Ziggler is the main event tonight.

[Commercial Break]

- Wade Barrett came to the ring. He said the Barrett Barrage has continued and that he’s in Randy Orton’s head. He threw it to a video of how the Barrett vs. Orton feud began last month on Smackdown with Barrett winning thanks to a thumb to the eye. Then clip two was Survivor Series, where Barrett survived. The third clip was Wasteland on Orton from Raw. He said Orton WAS one of the greatest, until he encountered Barrett. He said his run against Orton should put him in contention for a shot at Daniel Bryan. He said this concluded what he came out to say and wished everyone Happy Christmas. As he reached the aisle, Orton’s music hit and he walked out.

Orton ran to Barrett and they began to brawl. It reached ringside until Barrett ran to the back. Orton found him and they brawled right in front of two guys in suits. The guys didn’t seemed fazed by this and just stood there until they could move and they just walked away. Who reacts like that? The two men continued brawling backstage. Orton kicked Barrett over a railing and onto the concrete floor. He took a hose and sprayed Barrett with it. This is what passes for hardcore in WWE these days. Orton flipped Barrett over a table and took a plastic garbage can. Rather than hitting him with it, he dumped the garbage onto Barrett. Barrett was sent onto the hood of a car next. Orton slammed Barrett head-first onto the top of the car, then got in position for an RKO. He hit the move, then slid down the back window. They played his music for some reason.

- Bryan vs. Ziggler will take place later tonight.

[Commercial Break]

- The newest mystery video aired from Raw this past week.

3 – PRIMO vs. KOFI KINGSTON

Rosa and Epico were out with Primo, who was already in the ring. Primo jumped Kofi at the bell and corralled Kofi, landing a side Russian leg-sweep. Primo continued to own the opening minute, sweeping Kofi’s leg and hitting an elbowdrop for two. The tide turned at 1:39 when Primo missed a corner splash. Kofi hit some chops then a dropkick. Top rope cross-body for two. Flip kick by Kingston. A distraction by Epico caused Primo to arm-drag Kofi off the top rope for a near-fall. Primo seemed put off by the fact that he couldn’t pick up the win there. He charged at Kofi, who ducked and hit his finisher for the win.

WINNER: Kingston, at 3:07. Fine match to further this tag-team feud. Primo and Epico have gotten wins, but they were on Superstars – perhaps they need a few wins over Bourne and/or Kingston to legitimize them on Smackdown.

- A video package aired on TLC, focused on CM Punk, Daniel Bryan and Zack Ryder. They also showed footage of the three from Raw.

- Bryan came out for the main event. It’s next.

[Commercial Break]

4 – DANIEL BRYAN vs. DOLPH ZIGGLER

Booker didn’t know the title wasn’t on the line here until Cole corrected him. Ziggler attempted a leap-frog and Bryan grabbed Ziggler’s leg in mid-air and took him down. Bryan then applied a surfboard, one of my favorite underutilized moves. Bryan missed a dropkick when Ziggler held onto the ropes, and Ziggler took advantage by kicking away at Bryan. Ziggler proceeded to do sit-ups near Bryan’s fallen body. Bryan grabbed Ziggler’s arm with his feet to attempt the LeBell Lock, but Ziggler got to the ropes. Bryan charged at Ziggler in the corner and Ziggler gave him a drop-toe hold, then an inverted slam for a near-fall. The show went to break at 3:07.

[Commercial Break]

Back at 6:29 of the contest. Dropkick by Ziggler put Bryan back onto the mat. The two men had a mid-air collision when both went for cross-body blocks. At 7:35, Jack Swagger walked to ringside. Bryan back-dropped Ziggler out of the ring. Bryan then hit a suicide dive onto Ziggler. With the ref distracted by Vickie, Swagger ran right over Bryan on the outside. After that took place, Big Show came out to even up the odds. Ziggler applied a sleepr hold but Bryan rolled out. Roll-up by Bryan turned into a German suplex for two. Bryan kicked at Ziggler’s chest. Ziggler tried a Zig Zag, but Bryan awkwardly shoved him off (looks like Ziggler may have come up short on the move) and landed a straight kick to Ziggler’s head. That only garnered him a two-count. Hurricanrana off the top by Bryan, but Ziggler rolled through, then a fameasser for two. Ziggler set Bryan on the top rope, but Bryan slid out between Ziggler’s legs. Back suplex off the top rope by Bryan. Bryan crawled for the cover, but Ziggler put his foot on the bottom rope. With both men down, Swagger tried to attack Show outside the ring. It didn’t work and Swagger entered the ring. Show grabbed Swagger in a choke but Long came out and turned this into a singles match, in a move he said would make everyone happy. I’m not happy.

WINNER: No Contest, about 13:03. Tremendous, tremendous match. Disappointing result.

[Commercial Break]

5 – DANIEL BRYAN & BIG SHOW vs. DOLPH ZIGGLER & JACK SWAGGER

Show was owning Swagger out of break. Ziggler wasn’t enthused when Swagger tagged him in. Show took out his frustrations on Ziggler next. Show slammed Ziggler in the face corner, then asked Bryan if he was ready to finish it. Bryan nodded and tagged in. Lots of hard kicks in the corner to Ziggler. Bryan tried a running dropkick in the corner, but missed and landed on the back of his head. Swagger made the tag and hit the Swagger Bomb for two. Bryan fought out of the heel corner, but Swagger grabbed him and hung him up on the top rope. Ziggler torqued Bryan’s leg while the ref was distracted. Ziggler and Swagger both worked the leg and ankle of Bryan. Ziggler jumped on Bryan’s back and applied the sleeper. He didn’t have it on long as Bryan ran him into the ring post and out of the ring. Ziggler held his knee in pain, even after he went shoulder-first into the ring post. Could’ve been legit hurt, in that case. Show tagged in and kept Ziggler at bay while taking it to Swagger. Swagger hit Show from behind in the leg. Bryan tagged himself in but fell victim to the ankle-lock. Bryan countered with the LeBell Lock for the submission win.

WINNERS: Bryan and Show, 6:54 shown.

Bryan celebrated with the title in the ring while Show looked on from ringside. They showed a few highlights from the one-on-one match, then the tag match. Mathews wished everyone Happy Holidays as they signed off.


What do you think? If you saw this show, we invite you to send your thoughts. Send your name, hometown, a 0-10 score rating the quality of the show, your picks for best and worst segments, and then a brief paragraph of thoughts on the show that we can publish in the Reader Reax segment later tonight or tomorrow. Send to pwtorch@gmail.com.

Greg Parks has been covering WWE Smackdown for PWTorch.com since January of 2007. Follow him on Twitter @gregmparks for live Tweeting during Raw, Impact, and PPVs, as well as other bits of wisdom. Comments, questions and feedback are welcome, and can be sent to g_man9784@yahoo.com.


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