At the time this article is published, it will be the morning of Christmas Eve. Whether you celebrate my favorite holiday or not, Happy Holidays to everyone here at the Pulse.
Okay…the sappy shit is over and done with. Onto the rasslin’!
Our program begins with the entrance of the new World Heavyweight Champion…for about 30 seconds…the Big Show! Of course he’s not champ anymore, since Daniel Bryan cashed in on him at TLC. Michael Cole is already hinting at a Big Show heel turn because he feels bad for Mr. Wight. Show whines about taking 9 years to get back to the top of the world, but in my mind if you’re 7 feet tall and 500 pounds and it takes you 9 years to dominate the ring, what the hell is wrong with you? We get a shot of Josh Mathews asking Show how it feels to have the shortest title reign in history from last Monday night before Show comments that he’s glad he didn’t beat the shit out of Josh. Mark Henry interrupts the proceedings to joke about Show’s title reign which will be emblazoned on his tombstone. Henry tries to push Show’s buttons and tells him to “take the week off and quit the business.” Is this another piece of Henry’s logic, like being “half-hurt”?
Here comes Daniel Bryan as they argue about who gets a rematch! Booker T: “Look at his charisma!” Michael Cole: “Charisma?! He looks like a chalkboard!” Bryan knocks his lack of abilities and essentially says he has nothing going for him except the fact that he is a great wrestler…and the WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION! Henry and Show continue to argue about who gets a title shot before Teddy Long interrupts. He says both men deserve a title shot at DB, but tonight they will face off to decide who gets the first shot. Big Show and DB shake hands, but Show hilariously squeezes Bryan’s hand. DB feigns shaking Henry’s hand and the crowd pops for it.
No matter who wins that match, I’m not looking forward to it. I’m more interested in seeing how Daniel Bryan is booked in his subsequent title defense.
Zack Ryder vs Cody Rhodes
It’s champion vs champion as Cole asks Booker what his excuse is for losing at the PPV. At the bell, both men trade moves until a whip into the corner by Rhodes is reversed by Ryder and Cody winds up trapped on the mat in an arm lock. Every subsequent attempt by Rhodes to gain the advantage is trumped by Ryder. On the outside, Rhodes shoves Ryder into Booker T while Cole says he deserved it for being a biased commentator. We head to commercial as Rhodes and Booker have a stare down.
I know the commentators are told not to say anything to Cole, but at some point it needs to be brought up that Cole himself is a biased commentator. How can one argue with him if they don’t use the facts that are laid out before them?
We’re back and Ryder is whipped into the corner for an Alabama Slam which gets a near fall. Ryder fights out of a rest hold and attempts a running cross body at Rhodes, but Cody ducks and Ryder crashes into the ropes for another near fall. Both men butt heads (literally) and are down as the ref starts a ten count. Ryder and Rhodes are on their feet as Zack gets the babyface comeback, ending with the Broski Boot! Two count! Ryder attempts a second rope maneuver but Rhodes counters it and pounds away on Zack until Booker T gets on the mic to sing a little Christmas song: “Cody the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” The distraction is enough to allow Ryder to win with the Rough Ryder!
Teddy Long is backstage watching the results when Santino surprises him in his office. Marella asks if he can be the new Assistant GM now that Ryder is preoccupied. Speaking of preoccupied, here comes Aksana to tell Teddy that she knows “many positions.” I’m sure she does…I’m sure she does. She leaves and Santino hilariously makes his sock puppet cobra imitate an erection, until Vickie Guerrero comes in with Dolph Ziggler and the cobra falls flat. That’s comedy! Ziggler says he’ll get his rematch with Zack when he’s ready. For now, he wants to help Daniel Bryan go from a good wrestler to a great wrestler in a match tonight. Teddy agrees and we have our main event!
Thank God! I was hoping that Show/Henry wouldn’t close out the show and I got my wish! Now where’s my second wish of having AJ and Rosa Mendes show up to my condo?
Big Show vs Mark Henry: Number One Contender’s Match
Booker T calls them “two BOhemoths.” Sigh. We know Henry has a legitimate groin injury so I don’t expect much…and David Otunga heads to the ring to confirm my suspicions. He says that John Laurinaitis is concerned about the health of all the WWE Superstars and since Henry has an aggravated ankle injury which has resulted in increased blood pressure, the match is off. Big Show responds with a WMD to the jaw of Mr. Jennifer Hudson.
THIS WAS THE GREATEST MATCH BETWEEN BIG SHOW AND MARK HENRY THAT I’VE EVER SEEN!!!
The Miz confronts Teddy Long backstage and says he was asked to be here tonight. Long says he had nothing to do with that and Miz is pissed off. He says that since he won the WWE Championship last year, not once has a Smackdown star main evented a PPV. I did not know that. Miz says he’s going to head to the ring and disrupt the show until Teddy finds someone to face him. I’m guessing it’s Sheamus.
We get a recap of John Cena’s speech from Tribute to the Troops and one of Nickelback’s performances to pad out the show. To quote The Miz: Really? Really? Really?!
Fifty-five minutes in and we have had one actual match. It was a decent match, but not enough to justify an hour of promos. The main event had better save this show.
The Miz is in the ring and he says nobody has the balls to face him. And here comes Sheamus!
The Miz vs Sheamus
A lock-up sees Sheamus just abuse Miz from the get-go. Sheamus gets sent to the outside and The Miz takes advantage by attacking Sheamus’s arm. Miz has actually been quite dominant for the majority of this contest, ending with his impact DDT. He sets Sheamus up in the corner for a charging attack but the Great White nails him with an axe handle! Irish Curse backbreaker! Celtic Cross attempt is stifled by Sheamus’s arm injury and Miz breaks free. He goes for the Skull-Crushing Finale but Sheamus powers out and nails the Brogue Kick!
That was a fun little match. Perhaps this could build into a feud so both men can have something to do for the next month.
Wade Barrett heads to the ring, shows us footage of all the times he’s beaten Randy Orton, and says that should be enough to prove he is worthy of a title shot against Daniel Bryan. Cue Randall, who rushes the ring to beat up Barrett but Wade escapes into the locker room area where they continue to brawl. The fight continues into the parking lot, where Randy finds a hose and sprays Barrett down. Not a high pressure hose, mind you; this is a regular GARDEN hose. To his credit, Barrett sells it like he’s being pushed back by gale force winds. Orton throws him over a table, dumps garbage all over him, throws him onto the hood of a car, and viciously RKOs him on the car’s roof!
I would have done things differently if I were pre-Wrestlemania XXV Orton. Namely, I would have choked out Barrett with the hose, put Barrett THROUGH the table, and hit Barrett over the head with the garbage pail. But this is PG, after all.
Primo vs Kofi Kingston
We’re back with the “Prophetless” video from Monday night which bleeds into the entrance of Primo and Epico with Rosa Mendes’s hips shaking for my enjoyment. Primo has Kofi locked in a submission but Kingston fights out. He nails a series of chops and a leaping cross body off the top rope! Meanwhile, Michael Cole discusses his Fave Five Military Gimmicks in wrestling and actually says he prefers General Rection over G.I. Bro! Distraction from Epico and Rosa on the outside allows Primo to hit an arm drag off the top rope but Kingston manages to kick out! Trouble in Paradise ends it from there.
We get a Raw Rebound celebrating the IWC’s favorite champions and I can’t believe we’ve actually survived a week with all three men remaining as champions. Daniel Bryan heads to the ring and we head to a commercial.
I can’t wait for this match! A whole half hour remains. This should be good.
Daniel Bryan vs Dolph Ziggler
DB nails a drop kick after an opening lock-up. They lock up again and DB gets run off the ropes and trips up Ziggler. Bow and Arrow Lock has Ziggler in pain and he manages to flip over and crawl to the ropes. Ziggler drops Bryan and does some sit-ups before going after Bryan again. This time DB is ready and goes for the Lebell Lock but Ziggler fights out of it and reaches the ropes. DB runs Dolph into the corner but gets tripped up and his face hits the turnbuckle pad. Ziggler follows that up with an overhead slam that gets a two count as we head to commercial.
Thank Cthulhu for DVR! This match is gonna be tough to call without a pause button.
We’re back as Ziggler nails a drop kick on Bryan as he gets whipped off the ropes. Mid-air collision as both men head off the ropes! Wait a minute; here comes Jack Swagger with a blank expression on his face. Odd. Ziggler runs at DB but gets flipped out of the ring and caught with a suicide dive! As the World Heavyweight Champion rolls Ziggler back into the ring, Vickie distracts the ref so Swagger can run over DB on the outside! Here comes the Big Show and what should have been an awesome one-on-one is devolving before my eyes. Keep the shenanigans out of this match, please! Ziggler traps DB in his sleeper hold but the submission expert flips Ziggler off (not like that) and convinces Dolph to charge at him. Bryan ducks, Ziggler hits the turnbuckle, DB rolls him up from behind and turns it into an absolutely beautiful German suplex bridge pin! Ziggler kicks out at two so DB nails his kicks to the head! Ziggler dodges a kick, attempts a Zig Zag, DB avoids it, and nails ANOTHER kick to the cranium! Ziggler kicks out again so DB follows that up with a top rope hurracanrana…that Ziggler reverses into a pin attempt! DB escapes the pin only to get nailed with the FameAsser! DB kicks out again! Dolph mounts DB on the turnbuckle to emulate the hurracanrana but Bryan crotches Ziggler and nails a stnning back superplex! Ziggler prevents a pin attempt by getting his leg on the ropes. Michael Cole is strangely silent as DB nails these great offensive moves. On the outside, Swagger attacks Big Show to no avail and gets chased into the ring. Before Show can choke slam Swagger, Teddy Long runs out to proclaim this will be a tag team match after the break.
I’ve got to hand it to the WWE for making the smart move of putting Daniel Bryan in a match with a guy like Dolph Ziggler. Both wrestlers will look good no matter what the outcome is. And then they do something stupid by changing it to a tag match.
Daniel Bryan and Big Show vs Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger
I’m going to flat-out predict that Swagger takes the fall so the hashtag heel can save face (HA!). When we return from break, Swagger gets dropped and destroyed by Big Show. Show hits the chop in the corner so Swagger tags in Ziggler. Show doesn’t miss a beat as he swats Ziggler to the mat with a chop. The crowd chants for another one and he obliges. DB gets tagged in and kicks the ever-loving shit out of Dolph in the corner. Running missile drop kick attempt to the opposite corner is avoided as DB crashes and burns. Ziggler tags in Swagger, who nails Bryan with the Swagger Bomb. DB is trapped in the heel corner but he fights out and attempts a body scissors on Swagger. Unfortunately, Swagger catches him and plants him on the top rope for the Tree of Woe! Swagger and Ziggler take turns working over Bryan’s left leg. Dolph applies a half crab as DB crawls to the Big Show. Ziggler stops the tag attempt and applies the sleeper hold! DB runs at the turnbuckle and Ziggler goes flying like a lawn dart into the post and outside the ring! Swagger and Big Show get the hot tags and Show takes down both heels before going for a choke slam on Swagger! Swagger counters and takes out Show’s knee. As Big Show falls, DB tags himself in and attempts a missile drop kick from the top rope but Swagger catches him and applies the Ankle Lock! DB rolls through with the Lebell lock and Swagger taps out! Big Show looks on forlornly as Bryan steals his thunder. There’s your motivation for a title match.
The last half hour definitely made this show a must-watch. I recommend it. While I’ve still got your attention, don’t forget to check out the latest Stomping Ground and vote on the Biggest Hiccups of 2011. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a pecan pie to bake for tonight.
So long, and thanks for all the fish.
Tags: aksana, big show, Booker T, Cody Rhodes, Daniel Bryan, David Otunga, Dolph Ziggler, Epico, evan bourne, Intercontinental Championship, jack swagger, Josh Mathews, Kofi Kingston, Mark Henry, Michael Cole, Mike Gojira, Primo, randy orton, Rosa Mendes, Santino Marella, sheamus, Smackdown, Teddy Long, The Miz, United States Championship, Vickie Guerrero, Wade Barrett, World Heavyweight Championship, WWE, zack ryder