The final Smackdown before the New Year is here! Fret not, for I have returned to endure the taped, “nobody gives a shit” edition of the show for all of you too busy to watch the show yourselves!
We recap the CONTINUING saga of Sheamus vs the Big Show because if there’s one thing better than a one-sided feud involving Sheamus on top, it’s a one-sided feud involving Sheamus losing every time. We also get a replay of Miz’s beatdown at the hands of Big E Langston, prompting his match tonight with Dolph Ziggler.
Sheamus heads to the ring to grab the mic and suck up to the crowd, hoping they had a Merry Christmas. What about our Kwanzaa and Hanukkah friends, ya ginger bastard? He talks about his shitty Christmas presents but says the best one came (pre-taped) Monday night when he beat Show in a lumberjack match. He asks for yet ANOTHER title shot tonight, and Big Show comes out to predictably tell Sheamus to fuck off. And why the hell not? Big Show beat Sheamus THREE times in title matches. He tells Sheamus he always comes up short when it counts and I’m instantly reminded about a particularly bitchy ex-girlfriend. Booker T comes out to break this up. He agrees that Show beat Sheamus at TLC, but Sheamus won last Monday night. Before Booker can get another word in, Show says Sheamus is done with him and that there’s no one in the locker room worthy of a title shot. Booker says he’s gonna put every WWE Superstar’s name in a tumbler and the name who gets pulled will earn a title shot tonight. The locker room empties and Booker T picks the name……Santino Marella!
Perhaps a year ago, this would have received a bigger reaction. But now? Santino’s as big a joke as Zack Ryder when it comes to crowd sympathy.
Primo w/ Epico and Rosa Mendes vs Brodus Clay w/ Funkadactyls
Rosa shakes her hips in the ring as we return from break and I forgot what I was talking about. JBL calls Brodus Clay a “plesiosaur doing The Shake.” All righty then. Typical Brodus squash, despite the fact that his relevance has been nullified by every feud he’s lost. What was the point of this match? Rosa gets in the ring to bitch and the Funkadactyls hit a double suplex and double leg split on her. That was definitely…different.
The Funkadactyls: future WWE Tag Team Champions?
Sheamus gives Santino advice backstage. Sheamus says the Brogue Kick is the only thing that can defeat Big Show….and the Rockbottom, and the Stunner, and the Mandible Claw, and the Attitude Adjustment……need I go on? Santino attempts a Brogue Kick and seems to have injured his groin in the process. Lovely.
Team Rhodes Scholars and Wade Barrett vs Team Hell No and Kofi Kingston
Josh Mathews says that Daniel Bryan wants people to call him “the Dazzler” but I highly doubt he wants people to think of him as a mediocre 1980s X-Man. They’ve also been trying to get over Kofi Kingston’s nickname of “the Wildcat.” Why do we need gimmicky superhero nicknames in this day and age? JBL and Mathews bicker in between actually calling the match as Daniel Bryan plays face-in-peril for much of the bout. Kofi finally gets the hot tag and takes it to Barrett with a flying cross body, but the other heels break up the pin. Guess that’s the cue for the finish as Kofi hits Trouble in Paradise on Rhodes but eats an elbow from Barrett to end it.
SPOILER ALERT: Barrett wins the title from Kofi on Monday.
Apparently Santino pulled a hamstring from attempting the Brogue Kick, but Booker T has decided to choose another opponent for Show….and it’s Ricardo Rodriguez. Big Show proceeds to knock Ricardo out as Booker T tells him “this is ridiculous!” I agree, but I’m not sure we’re on the same page about what exactly is ridiculous.
Zack Ryder vs Antonio Cesaro
A year ago at this time, Zack Ryder was the United States Champion. I’m sure the irony hasn’t escaped the company as there’s certainly no coincidence he’s in a match with the current US Champion right now. Broski Boot misses and the Neutralizer ends the match.
Dolph Ziggler w/ AJ Lee and Big E Langston vs The Miz
A nice little back-and-forth as you’d expect from two decent midcard talents. Big E is rocking his Nation of Domination ring gear about 14 years too late. Holy shit, has it really been that long? God I feel old. I can’t help but think the fans would care more if Dolph’s opponent was anyone but The Miz; his face turn is coming off as stilted at best. Miz blows a kiss to AJ and she gets Big E to distract him long enough for a ZigZag to connect. Miz calls AJ a slut after the match, but Ziggler rushes back to the ring and gets Pearl Harbored by a wily Miz! Big E turns the tables with his “Sudden Impact” finisher.
Miz could garner some fan sympathy if he goes the Jericho route of calling a woman a slut and gets his ass kicked repeatedly. I’m all for the ass-kicking part, anyhow.
Booker T is checking up on a catatonic Ricardo when Brad Maddox bugs him for one last contract opportunity. Said opportunity is granted and Alberto del Rio rushes in to check up on his amigo. Booker grants Alberto tonight’s title shot and he dedicates the match to Rodriguez. What happened to the heel Alberto who constantly threw Ricardo in harm’s way? And didn’t he just run over Santa Claus? I don’t think even the WWE knows what to do with him at this point.
Brad Maddox vs ????????
It’s Sheamus. That’s all you need to know. Oh, and there’s a minor “Let’s go Maddox” chant.
Raw Rebound: Santa got run over by del Rio, walking ’round the arena Christmas Eve (sung to the tune of “Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer”).
Why would you recap these events right before putting del Rio in a title match with Big Show? Aren’t we supposed to be rooting for ADR tonight? This was a poor time to air this segment.
The Usos vs The Primetime Players
This match begins right as we return from the Raw Rebound. Am I witnessing a push for the Usos before my very eyes?! Just as I type that rhetorical question, the Usos win and Josh Mathews says that the Usos have propelled themselves to the top of the tag team division. Not that there’s much of one these days.
The Shield is back with a Shaky Cam to remind us that the past two weeks have been a holding pattern and the Shield is still supposed to be relevant. They say that 2013 is their year. Well, that depends on how they’re pushed.
Isn’t it glaringly obvious that the WWE has no intention to further angles during the holidays? At least they gave us SOMETHING from The Shield since their last random beatdown. They’re like a clean-up crew, beating up the injured just to get them off TV.
World Heavyweight Championship: Big Show vs Alberto del Rio
Del Rio goes right after Show at the bell but that goes about as well as you’d expect. ADR gets tossed into the steel steps on the outside before getting sent back into the ring. Big Show tries to squash del Rio to the mat, which allows Alberto to capitalize. He attempts the Cross Arm Breaker but gets shoved out of the ring. Show walks away from the match but Sheamus is there to greet him and as they brawl, the referee calls for the bell. Show fights Sheamus off and tries to go away again….but the entire locker room appears and sends Show back into the ring to eat an Enziguri and Brogue Kick!
I think we know what the Royal Rumble main event is going to be, don’t we? The show didn’t do much for me, apart from an okay Miz/Ziggler encounter, but what do you expect from a taped holiday show?
So long, and thanks for all the fish.
Tags: aj lee, alberto del rio, Antonio Cesaro, big e langston, big show, Booker T, brad maddox, brodus clay, Cody Rhodes, Damien Sandow, Daniel Bryan, Dolph Ziggler, Epico, Funkadactyls, jbl, Josh Mathews, kane, Kofi Kingston, Mike Gojira, Primetime Players, Primo, Ricardo Rodriguez, Rosa Mendes, Santino Marella, sheamus, Team Hell No, Team Rhodes Scholars, The Miz, The Shield, the usos, TLC, United States Championship, Wade Barrett, World Heavyweight Championship, WWE, WWE Tag Team Championship, zack ryder