Smackdown – December 9, 2011 – Off A Step Tonight

Date: December 9, 2011
Location: Jacksonville Memorial Coliseum, Jacksonville, Florida
Commentators: Michael Cole, Josh Matthews

We’re back to Fridays again after what I thought was a very good holiday show. It seems I was in the minority on that but that tends to be the case most of the time with this show. It should be another decent one as we close in on both TLC as well as the end of the year. I don’t remember any matches being announced but that’s not to abnormal. Let’s get to it.

We open with Booker T down near the entrance. Cody Rhodes is standing near him and we get a clip from before the show went on the air of Booker getting beaten down by Cody. I guess we’ll be having a two man commentary team tonight.

Lillian Garcia is back and I think I’d rather look at her than Chimmel. Cody cuts her off and says no one cares that she’s back and no one noticed that she left. It matches the departure of one Booker T. He hopes that he made his message clear tonight. Cody is going to take Booker’s place tonight (Cody: “Who else is going to talk about a Fave Five with eleven people in it?”).

There are tables, ladders and chairs all around ringside. I mean in addition to the usual chairs that are around ringside in the audience that is.

Tonight there’s going to be a Beat the Clock Challenge between Barrett and Orton. The idea is both of them will have a match and both will be timed. Whoever wins their match in the fastest time will get to pick the kind of match they have at TLC: tables, ladders or chairs.

Wade Barrett vs. Ezekiel Jackson

If Jackson wins here then all Orton has to do is win his match later. He takes over to start as Cody talks about how awesome he is. Barrett hits a front legged chopblock and sends Jackson shoulder first into the post. His hair is all wild again so you know he means business. Cole and Cody suck each other off a bit as Barrett takes over with his usual stuff like the pumphandle.

We take a break and come back with Barrett holding a chinlock. It’s nice having that clock there to keep time for me. Jackson breaks the hold and fires back with clotheslines in the corner and Barrett is covering up. Here come the slams but Barrett escapes the Rack. Wasteland can’t hit but the Bossman Slam ends this at 7:53. That was refreshing to see: a secondary move ending a match.

Rating: C-. Not a great match or anything but I almost always enjoy Barrett’s in ring work. He uses some stuff that isn’t very common but it’s nothing that makes him look too over the top. More people could easily do this and I have no idea why they don’t. Jackson is a guy I don’t see being around that often as he’s pretty just just a jobber to the stars anymore, which is about where you would expect him.

Barrett says Orton is the only thing standing in his way of the world title, and that doesn’t mean anything as he’s inside Orton’s head as opposed to Orton being in everyone else’s head. The voice in Barrett’s head is saying Orton is out of time.

Show vs. Henry is officially a chairs match, which is the only match that really makes sense for them.

Otunga complains about being in the street fight last week because he’s part of the Raw roster. Otunga tells Teddy that the loss should be expunged from his record. Teddy agrees but says that Otunga is subject to the whim of the authority figure. Since Otunga is here tonight, he’s going to compete against someone Teddy has been looking for an opponent for: Sheamus.

Josh is in the ring and brings out Daniel Bryan. His ribs are taped up due to the cage match last week. He says he’s very sore but what hurt worse was the disappointment of letting everyone down. Everything he had ever wanted was right in front of him and he let it slip away. Cole cuts him off as he starts to tell a story about his dad and goes on a rant about how Bryan never earned anything. Bryan points at Cody and says he made him tap to earn his shot. Cole says Bryan should go away so here comes Bryan after Cole. Cody blasts Bryan and referees break it up. Cole working with Cody? I’m not sure how I feel about that.

After a break, Cody vs. Bryan is announced for later.

Zack Ryder vs. Heath Slater

Remember the bad reaction Ryder got Monday? It’s made up for here. No entrance for Slater. Ok so a lot of that is canned but there was definitely a reaction for him. Slater takes him down for a few seconds but the Broski Boot and Rough Ryder end this at 1:25.

Ted DiBiase vs. Jinder Mahal

Thank goodness this isn’t on PPV. Cole freaks out over the DiBiase Posse thing. Mahal dominates to start and there’s no Cody anymore on commentary which I forgot to mention. You can always tell when the crowd doesn’t care because you can hear the referee talking. The jingoistic fans chant USA while Cole doesn’t want to talk because he’s mad at Matthews for some reason or another. Mahal hits some jumping knees to the face and then gets rolled up for the pin at 2:54. This was REALLY bad.

We get a clip from some music awards where Big Show chokeslammed country singer Trace Adkins through a table.

After a break Big Show is in the ring. He talks about how nine years ago, he beat Brock Lesnar in Madison Square Garden for the WWE Title. People said that was impossible but he did it. He thinks nine years is long enough time for him to do the impossible again and beat Mark Henry for the title. With all the chairs they’ll have around the ring and the people in there, the physics say it has to get mean and nasty. At TLC, the Hall of Pain gets closed.

Here’s Henry who says he’s half hurt. His ankle is still hurt but he didn’t tape it so he’s not looking for a fight. He yells at a fan to shut up so the fans chant at him to shut up. Henry wants to say something to Show’s face but wants a promise that Show won’t put his hands on him. Show thinks about it really hard and says no. Henry seems to be trying to get out of the match by saying that it won’t mean anything if Show beats an injured man. He asks for the courtesy of Show not putting his hands on him if he gets in. Show finally relents and Henry gets in.

Henry gets in and says he’s the champion. In two weeks at TLC he should be 100%. Then why did he bring up the beating an injured man thing earlier? Henry says people will talk about this fight for decades. Mark asks to let bygones be bygones and may the best man win. He extends his hand which Show shakes reluctantly. Henry goes to leave but stops. He says Show thinks he’s (Show) a monster. Show just thinks it, but Henry really is and the fight is on. Show drops an elbow on the leg and Henry bails so Show goes after him. He gets a chair and cracks Henry in the back and leg with it.

Sheamus vs. David Otunga

Hornswoggle is the guest ring announcer. Josh asks a great question: if Otunga is so smart, why does he keep coming here and talking himself into situations he can’t get out of? I love stupid heels. Otunga is officially Johnny Ace’s assistant. Otunga tries to take him down early and Sheamus is like “no boyo.” He powers David around and hits the ten forearms to the chest. Otunga gets in the required jobber offense and Sheamus does the freaky eyed smile. Powerslam and Brogue Kick end this at 2:57. Just a squash.

Horny and Sheamus celebrate and we cut to the Second Coming video.

Daniel Bryan vs. Cody Rhodes

The video is ignored again. Bryan fires off kicks to start but Cody breaks it up with an elbow to the ribs. A release gordbuster gets two. Why is it so hard for people to focus on an injured body part? If you were in a real fight and you saw someone with a bunch of bandages around a body part, where would you aim? Cole goes on another rant and again it makes me roll my eyes.

Bryan gets knocked to the floor into the barricade as we take a break. Back with Cody holding Bryan in an abdominal stretch. Cody starts ripping the tape off and Cole talks about fearing for his personal safety earlier. Bryan sends him to the floor and tries the suicide dive, which really is just him shoving Cody out of the way. Bryan crashes into the barricade again with much more impact than Cody’s landing had. Cole, correctly this time, calls Rhodes an idiot.

Rhodes gets back in but Bryan is getting fired up on the floor. Here come the kicks. Why would you get on your knees in a match with Daniel Bryan? It’s just not going to end well for you no matter what you do. A running dropkick in the corner sets up a top rope splash attempt but Rhodes moves, sending the bad ribs into the mat again. And here’s Booker for the DQ at 5:56 shown of 9:26.

Rating: C. This was getting good by the end and I wanted to see where it was going. The ending makes sense but it’s kind of a disappointment. However, it was the right way to go as Bryan is getting pushed hard now and you don’t want the IC Champion to lose either, so having it go this way is the right call. Decent match, disappointing (though understandable) ending.

Booker gets the better of the brawl and Cody runs.

Aksana and Teddy are in the back when Cody interferes. He wants a match with Booker so Teddy makes it for TLC for the title. It’s about time he defended the thing. Aksana stares at Cody as he leaves.

Orton says if you want to know his thoughts, ask Barrett. He’s thinking that Barrett did Ziggler (Orton’s opponent tonight) a favor because Orton won’t be able to make the suffering last as long as he usually does. He says he has Barrett exactly where he wants him.

Randy Orton vs. Dolph Ziggler

This is strange. I read the spoilers for this show and there was a Divas tag taped for it and there’s no sign of it anywhere here. The show is about as long as it usually is and there’s nothing to indicate that anything is missing. I had heard that the Australian broadcast of the show had the post match angle of it cut but the entire match is missing here. Strange indeed. Then again they’re the Divas so who cares?

Randy Orton vs. Dolph Ziggler

Orton has to win in under 7:53. No Swagger with Dolph here. Orton hits a pair of dropkicks and gets three near falls in the first thirty seconds. Dolph stomps away in the corner but Randy stops him cold, hitting the knee drop for two. Six minutes left. Ziggler kicks him in the knee and hits a Fameasser for two. Off to something like a cobra clutch with five minutes left.

A DDT gets two as Dolph is going slowly here, which is perfectly fine for the thinking of this match. Back to a chinlock with four minutes to go. Neckbreaker for two and the clock is running down. Ziggler takes forever getting up top and is crotched with three minutes left. A big superplex by Orton gets two. With a little over two minutes to go Orton starts his finishing sequence.

Two minutes left and Orton hits the backbreaker. Ziggler tries to run but gets caught in the Elevated DDT for two with 70 seconds left. Dolph rolls to the floor and Barrett slips behind Orton and sends him into the post with about 40 seconds left. Orton is outside with 15 seconds to go. And the RKO hits for the pin at 7:51 and two seconds left.

Rating: C-. Really didn’t like this one because of the time thing. It hurts a lot when you know the match isn’t going to break eight minutes and we’re all just waiting on the RKO to hit with about 8 seconds left. It’s not horrible but when you get used to these two stealing the show, this is really pretty disappointing by comparison.

Post match Barrett beats Orton down some more and says he has a suggestion for the match. He sets up Wasteland through a table but Orton escapes. Barrett runs and Orton makes it a table match. Ziggler goes through it instead.

Overall Rating: C. I really wasn’t feeling this one tonight. A lot got added to the PPV but it felt like they were doing this blindfolded. I can’t put my finger on it but things felt like they were off by a step all night. It’s not a bad show, but this is definitely one of their weaker entries in a very long time. Like I said though, a lot was added to the PPV and that’s what counts. I just wish getting there had been a little better.

Wade Barrett b. Ezekiel Jackson – Bossman Slam
Zack Ryder b. Heath Slater – Rough Ryder
Ted DiBiase b. Jinder Mahal – Small Package
Sheamus b. David Otunga – Brogue Kick
Cody Rhodes b. Daniel Bryan via disqualification when Booker T interfered
Randy Orton b. Dolph Ziggler – RKO


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  1. The Bearded One says:

    I was there live and thought it was a very good show. I had an absolute blast the entire time. They taped a heel turn for Kaitlyn which didn’t air for whatever reason, so I’m guessing that’s going to be retaped next week.

    Also, the pop for Ryder wasn’t canned at all. Other than Orton, he got by far the biggest pop of the night. He was mad over here.

  2. Anil says:

    Nowdays one can very very easily guess who is gonna win in any particular match.. & that’s the biggest problem of WWE.. they have more jobbers than wrestlers in their pocket.. creative team is confused like never before.. Anyways, this was a bad bad show..

    Rocko Reply:

    Or maybe since you are older it’s easier to put 2 and 2 together. Also this year hasn’t been that predictable Miz winning at WM, Bryan winning MITB, Henry beating Orton for the title, Christian winning the title a second time, Del Rio winning the rumble and that’s only the stuff that I can think of right now.

    I liked Smackdown, it was a good show.

    Anil Reply:

    1st line of your reply is very funny though..

  3. WWTNA says:

    I agree with The Bearded One. Smackdown was fairly good. They are giving us more quality matches then stupid segments, which is why Smackdown>Raw at this point. Not their best show in a while but overall, a good show.