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WWE Smackdown Report
CUPACH'S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT 12/23: Alt. perspective review of post-TLC episode, Bryan's first Smackdown as World champ

Dec 24, 2011 - 1:05:44 PM

WWE Smackdown review
Dec. 23, 2011
Taped 12/20 in Richmond, Va.
Aired on Syfy
By Michael Cupach, PWTorch Contributor



-No WWE opening video this week, instead they went straight to the Smackdown music video followed by full pyro. Josh Mathews welcomes everyone to Friday Night Smackdown.

-The Big Show's music hits and he makes his way to the ring appearing to be in a better mood than he was in on Monday. Josh runs down what happened to Show last Sunday at TLC – beating Mark Henry for the title only to lose it to Daniel Bryan a minute later. Michael Cole calls Bryan a hypocrite seven times in the time it took me to type that last sentence. Big Show starts off by saying that he hoped to come out at World Champion tonight, but unbelievably the champion is Daniel Bryan. Show goes on to say that he scratched and clawed his way to getting back to the title. He said that he beat Mark Henry who may have been his toughest opponent - Show really put over Henry as a monster - and then when he slayed that dragon, Daniel Bryan cashes in his Money in the Bank briefcase and takes it all away. Show then says that people have been asking him how he felt all week, he even throws to a clip from Raw last Monday when Mathews was interviewing him, and Big Show says that he was proud of himself for being able to cool off and not go over the edge. He was about to give his honest feelings about Bryan, but Mark Henry’s music hits and he hobbles to the ring, still selling the injured ankle.

Henry asks him exactly what he is proud of. Is he proud that he had the shortest title reign in the history of the World championship? Mark says that he should feel angry and mean, just like he does. So Henry tells him that he should take his advice and take a week off, then quit the business. He says that with the time of the year he could probably get a job as Santa or something. Henry then says that he came out to ask for his rematch, Big Show goes to cut him off, but Daniel Bryan cuts both men off.

D-Bryan has a microphone and is all-smiles tonight. He says that no one can believe that he is the champion. He says that he can’t even believe it! He says that he isn’t the World’s Strongest Man or the World’s Tallest Athlete. He says that he isn’t the fastest, smartest, he has no catchphrase, and in fact he was recently told that he wasn’t attractive! What he is is a very good wrestler and that is all that matters when it comes to holding the World Heavyweight Championship! Henry calls him a pipsqueak and he says that he wants his rematch tonight so he can get his title back. Big Show interjects to say that he deserves the rematch first because he beat Henry at TLC. Mark Henry takes another shot at Show's title reign length and Teddy Long interrupts.

Teddy Long says that both men deserve a title shot, but tonight they will compete against each other and the winner will be the first in line for a title shot against Daniel Bryan. Teddy Long congratulates Daniel Bryan, wishes everyone a Happy Holidays, and gives everyone a holla! Big Show shakes Daniel Bryan's hand and winks at him. Bryan tries to shake Henry’s hand and when Henry goes to shake it, Bryan does the Ric Flair move where he slicks his hair instead!

-Up next, Zack Ryder faces Cody Rhodes in a champion vs. champion match.

Mike’s Reax: So, they are giving away a match that people had to pay for last Sunday and are giving away a match that should be a big deal as the opener for Smackdown? Unbelievable! Why not hype Ryder vs. Rhodes for a week or two, then deliver the match? It makes no sense to have it as just another match on just another Smackdown.



1 -- Intercontinental champion CODY RHODES vs. U.S. champion ZACK RYDER - non-title

Cole teases Booker about losing to Rhodes last Sunday at TLC, he asks what lousy excuse he can come up with for his loss. Booker responds by saying that Cody jumped him twice before the match started. Good job walking into that one, Booker. Still shots of Zack Ryder's win are shown as Zack makes his way to the ring. Collar and elbow tie-up to start, Cody Rhodes takes him down with a drop toehold into an armbar. Zack powers out and gets Cody into an armbar of his own. Cody makes the ropes and the ref calls for a clean break, but Cody doesn’t provide it. Ryder reverses a whip into the far turnbuckle and locks the armbar on again. Rhodes kicks Zack in the face and tosses him out of the ring. Cody follows him out and runs into a boot. Both men brawl a little bit and Cody takes the opportunity to toss Ryder into Booker at the announce table. Booker takes offense with this and he stares down Cody Rhodes as Smackdown goes to commercial!


Rhodes runs into a back-elbow from Ryder when Smackdown returns. Cody somehow manages a modified electric chair that put Santino away last Monday on Raw, but Ryder kicks out at two. Ryder ducks a clothesline attempt by Cody, but Cody ducks a crossbody attempt and Zack gets caught up in the ropes. Headlock by Cody and Zack fights out, but both men butt heads. Both men are up after a five count from the ref and Ryder is all offense! Broski boot connects on Rhodes and Cody kicks out at two and two-thirds! Ryder then goes to the second rope, but comes up empty as Rhodes catches him in mid-air and starts pounding away on Ryder. Then, out of nowhere, Booker stands on the announce table and starts singing, “Cody the Red Nosed Reindeer.” Zack Ryder uses the distraction to hit the Rough Ryder on Rhodes for the win!

WINNER: Zack Ryder by pinfall in 9:30.

Post-match: Booker finishes the song as Cody stares daggers into Booker. Booker is laughing hysterically.


-Backstage, Teddy Long claps along and Santino sneaks up on him with his sock cobra. Santino then asks Teddy a favor by asking to take Zack Ryder's post as assistant G.M. for Smackdown (Assistant to the G.M.?). Aksana interrupts and tells Teddy that she knows many positions and if he needs help with any of them, he should ask her. He shoos her off and Santino makes a cobra erect joke as Vickie and Dolph walk in. Dolph says that last Sunday was crazy, especially with Daniel Bryan winning the World Title. Dolph says that Daniel Bryan is a good wrestler, but Dolph is a great wrestler, so he should get a match with Bryan. Teddy makes it official, starts to dance and Vickie gives him a “ba humbug!”

-Up next: Big Show vs. Mark Henry, winner gets first title match against Daniel Bryan.

(Commercial) plug by Josh Mathews. I guess exclusive photos from TLC are there.

-Big Show and Mark Henry make their entrances. Before they can lock up for their match, David Otunga makes his way to the ring and informs them that he is the legal counsel of John Laurinaitis. He says that he is responsible for the well-being of all Superstars. That said, he says that Mark Henry cannot compete tonight and this match will not take place tonight. Both men look like they are going to eat Otunga. After Otunga wishes everyone a Happy Holiday, Big Show punches Otunga out.

Mike’s Reax: Would it kill them to have the tough, monster, Mark Henry protest this decision a little bit? He isn’t a cowardly heel - I think he should have looked a little upset about that.



-Teddy Long is walking backstage and he runs into The Miz (not literally). The Miz wants to know why he is at Smackdown tonight, Teddy says that he has no idea why is there. Miz informs him that he was told he had to be there and the fact that Teddy doesn’t know this is why John Laurinaitis is the better G.M. The Miz then runs down his accolades since winning the WWE Title last year and says that he intends on disrupting the show tonight by sitting in the ring and not letting anyone else compete. Teddy replies that he will find an opponent for The Miz tonight. Miz storms off.

-Tribute to the Troops highlight reel. If you haven’t seen this the last 17 times they have shown this exact same package, I don’t know what to tell you!

-The Miz makes his way to the ring and Cole turns into a teenage girl seeing The Beatles for the first time!


The Miz has a microphone when Smackdown returns. He asks “really?” a few times and he accuses Teddy Long of not being able to find someone with the guts to face him. The Miz throws to clips of him taking out John Morrison and R-Truth last month on Raw as a reason no one wants to face him. The Miz calls the entire Smackdown locker room a bunch of cowards. He says that the show has no guts and no face, no one larger than life, and no one able to cross over like he has. Sheamus’s music hits mid-rant and it looks like it is on!



Sheamus over-powers The Miz to start, but Miz fights back with some rights and lefts that have no effect on Sheamus, who bodyslams The Miz for a one count. Sheamus rolls onto the apron, where The Miz blocks a turnbuckle shot and shoves Sheamus to the floor. The Miz runs Sheamus’s arm into the steel post, then rolls him back into the ring. Armbar by Miz as Michael Cole breaks in with an alert that The Miz is indeed on Smackdown and that no one should adjust his or her television. The Miz nails Sheamus with a clothesline in the corner and follows it up with a DDT that gets a two count.

The Miz stomps on Sheamus in the corner, and then chokes him until the ref breaks it up. Miz tries sizing up Sheamus for a clothesline, but wastes too much time and Sheamus instead nails him with the Irish Hammer. Celtic Cross by Sheamus gets reversed out of, The Miz tries the Skull Crushing Finale, but Sheamus powers out and nails The Miz with The Brogue Kick out of nowhere for the win and Booker makes a brotasche reference for the win as well!

WINNER: Sheamus by pinfall in 3:30

-Up next: Daniel Bryan vs. Dolph Ziggler!


-Wade Barrett is out to say that the Barrett Barrage is on a roll lately and they just got in Randy Orton’s head. He then throws to the Titantron to show everyone how he skinned The Viper over the last few weeks. It is really a compilation of how he cheated to win the last few weeks, but Wade covers by saying that he certainly didn’t see any of that coming! Nice save. He also shows his victories over Orton at MSG at Survivor Series and last Monday on Raw, when he put Orton through a table. He says that given his sublime performances, he believes he deserves a title match. Wade thanks everyone for listening to him and wishes everyone a Happy Christmas.

Wade starts to leave, but Randy Orton cuts him off at the pass. Orton throws Barrett into the ring and misses a RKO. Barrett ducks out of the ring and retreats to the back. Orton runs after him and the shot goes to the backstage area where Orton catches up with Wade. Orton delivers some rights and a European uppercut, but Barrett gives him a thumb to the eye and tries running away. Orton catches up with him in a backstage vending area and sprays him with a hose (?!). He then tosses Barrett over a table and dumps garbage on him. He follows that up by slamming Wade onto the hood of a car and slamming his face into it then making weird faces at him. Orton RKOs him on the car and walks away without leaving a note on the owner's car.


-Still to come: Bryan vs. Ziggler.


-Prophetless mystery video plays. I’m convinced that these are Be A Star anti-bully videos.

3 -- PRIMO (w/Epico and Rosa Mendes) vs. WWE tag champion KOFI KINGSTON (w/Evan Bourne)

Primo starts aggressively by getting Kofi on the mat and unleashing some right hands to the side of his head. Kofi fights out of some cool looking submission, but Primo cuts him off with some stiff kicks to the mid-section. Primo gets a senton splash for a two count. Kofi is out on his feet in the corner so Primo tries a big splash, but Kofi ducks and chops Primo down, then tries finishing him off with a crossbody from the top ropes, but only gets a two. Kofi goes back to the top rope, but Epico distracts him and that gives Primo the chance to recover and armdrag Kofi off the top rope for a two count. Primo gets Kingston back to his feet and he ducks a clothesline and connects with Trouble in Paradise for the win!

WINNER: Kofi Kingston by pinfall in 3:00

-TLC highlight package featuring Zack Ryder and Daniel Bryans wins. Great job of showcasing the young talent that is moving up the card. This especially made Zack Ryder out to be a big deal.

-Daniel Bryan is out; he faces Mr. Ziggler, next!



4 -- World Hvt. champion DANIEL BRYAN vs. DOLPH ZIGGLER (w/Vickie Guerrero) -- non-title match

Waistlock by Bryan, standing switch by Ziggler, reverse by Bryan who plants Ziggler face-first. Bryan shoots the ropes, Ziggler tries a leapfrog, but Bryan snatches his foot midair and puts Dolph in a surfboard! That looks spectacular! Bryan can’t hold the move long and Ziggler makes the ropes. Ziggler gets back to his feet and Bryan misses a dropkick so Dolph stomps away at him to take advantage. Ziggler then shows off to the audience by doing sit-ups until Bryan grabs his arm and tries the LeBell Lock, but Dolph makes the ropes quickly. Drop toehold by Ziggler onto the bottom turnbuckle and Ziggler gets an inverted powerslam as Smackdown takes a break!


Beautiful dropkick by Ziggler when the show returns! Kick to the gut by Ziggler and he Irish whips Bryan who gets a big clothesline that takes both men out. Meanwhile, Jack Swagger makes his way to ringside as Dolph Ziggler unleashes some rights on Bryan. Ziggler tries a charge on Bryan, but he back bodydrops Ziggler to the floor and follows it up with a suicide dive to the outside! Bryan rolls Ziggler back in the ring and Swagger plows over Bryan when the ref's back is turned! Big Show then makes his way to ringside and he stalks Swagger. Back in the ring Ziggler gets a sleeper that Bryan fights out of and he manages a German Suplex and bridges for a two count. Stiff kicks by Bryan and the last one gets ducked and Ziggler tries a Zig-Zag, but Bryan moves out of the way and gets that last stiff kick for a two count.


Bryan then sets up Ziggler on the top rope and tries a top rope huracanrana, but it gets reversed into a sunset flip for another two count. Dolph is frustrated as he tries his own top rope huracanrana, but Bryan blocks it and superplexes Dolph and that gets a two count after Ziggler gets his foot on the rope! That was a beauty of a superplex! On the outside, Jack Swagger blindsides Big Show, but Show no-sells it and chases Swagger into the ring and goes for the chokeslam. Teddy Long then comes up and breaks it up and makes the current match into a tag match, Big Show and Daniel Bryan vs. Ziggler and Swagger.

WINNER: No Contest after 12:00 of action.


5 -- World Hvt. champion DANIEL BRYAN & BIG SHOW vs. DOLPH ZIGGLER & JACK SWAGGER (w/Vickie Guerrero)

The match is joined in progress with Swagger and Big Show in the ring. Show is clubbing and tossing Swagger around the ring. Headlock by Big Show and he floats over into a pin attempt that gets a two. Swagger crawls over to Ziggler who is hesitant to get in the ring, so much for showing off! Ziggler tries sticking and moving, but Show gets his paws on Dolph and slaps away at his chest, drawing oohs and ahhs from the crowd. Big Show is getting fired up and he motions at Bryan that this could be him.

Big Show tags in Bryan, who comes in and kicks the heck out of Ziggler in the corner as Vickie screams on. Running dropkick by Daniel Bryan comes up short and Ziggler tags in Swagger. Swagger Bomb connects and gets a two count and Swagger pins Bryan's arms behind in for a submission move. Bryan fights off by stomping Swaggers foot, but Swagger shoves him into the heel corner. Bryan fights out a little bit, but Swagger cuts the offense short by crotching Bryan on the top rope. Swagger works the leg of Daniel Bryan, maybe setting up the Anklelock.

Tag to Ziggler, who continues to focus on the leg of Bryan via a half Boston crab. Bryan crawls towards Big Show, but Ziggler breaks the hold and drops a big elbow on the small of the back of Bryan! Sleeper hold by Ziggler and Bryan uses his momentum to send Ziggler flying out of the ring! Both men tag out and Big Show runs over Swagger and takes him out with a huge shoulder tackle! Chokeslam gets blocked, Swagger chops Big Show's knee, he falls into his corner, and tags in Bryan. Bryan tries another missile dropkick, but gets caught by Swagger who puts on the Anklelock! Bryan looks like he is going to tap out, but out of nowhere he reverses into a LeBell Lock and Swagger taps out!

WINNERS: Daniel Bryan and Big Show by pinfall in 7:00

-Post-match, Bryan celebrates with the title as Big Show looks on with jealousy. Josh wishes everyone a very Merry Christmas as Smackdown goes off the air.

Mike's Reax: The last half-hour definitely made up for the lack of wrestling in the show. That was a top-notch singles match between Dolph and Bryan and the tag match was pretty good and moved along the angle involving Big Show and Daniel Bryan. As for the rest of the show, I really dug Wade Barrett's promo. It was about time he made his intentions for the World Title clear, but it looks like the feud with Orton will have to finish up first. I thought that backstage brawl with Orton was kind of hokey, especially with the garbage and hosing. Bottom line - enjoyable episode of Smackdown!

Follow me on Twitter @MJCupach as a Tweet live during Raw and most WWE PPVs!

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