Smackdown – December 16, 2011 – Pretty Basic Go Home Show

Date: December 16, 2011
Location: RBC Center, Raleigh, North Carolina
Commentators: Michael Cole, Booker T, Josh Matthews

It’s the final show before TLC and I’m only kind of looking forward to the show. I don’t know if it’s the lack of anything resembling an awesome heel or what, but I can’t get fired up for this show at all. It’s not just me as I’ve heard that WWE is expecting it to do awful business. Either way, this should be an ok show as Smackdown is almost guaranteed to be anymore. Let’s get to it.

Do you know your enemy? Mine is the global warming due to it being in the fifties in the middle of December.

Big Show faces Jack Swagger tonight. Is there a reason for that? Was Long mad at Henry or something? Also Barrett/Ziggler vs. Ryder/Orton.

We open with Booker T being brought out to be interviewed by Josh. Booker asks the fans if he looks ready. He was ready to become a commentator but Cody had to make things physical. Booker refuses to become a legitimizer for Cody. He hasn’t thought about returning to the ring full time, but he’ll cross that bridge when he wins the title. Cue Cody who says that on Sunday we might see some nostalgia and maybe even a rush of offense that makes people say Booker is back.

If it was a movie, Booker would win and Cody would leave in disgrace. But this isn’t a movie. What’s going to happen when Booker’s legs give out and Booker falls to Cody? Booker wants to know how Cody feels about the reality of him beating Cody up right now. Cody is facing Bryan tonight and if Booker interferes again, he’ll lose his title match and Cody will work to get him suspended. Booker needs to get out of the ring so Cody can show him how legitimate he already is, sucka. Great promo from Cody.

Daniel Bryan vs. Cody Rhodes

Booker gets in on commentary and Bryan still has bad ribs. Booker even apologizes for interfering in the previous two matches. Bryan goes for a quick LeBell Lock but Cody hits the floor. We take a break and come back with Bryan holding a headlock. Here’s a surfboard attempt but Bryan just rams Cody’s knees into the mat instead. To the apron and Cody suplexes Bryan to the floor in a good looking bump.

Cody works on the bad ribs as Cole runs down Booker. Booker says he’ll defend the title if he wins it, implying he’ll be back full time. Bryan gets in some kicks but Cody takes him down again for two. Bryan gets some rollups for some far falls. He hits something for two but we had the camera on Booker instead of the ring so I have no idea what he used.

Here are the kicks in the corner but Cody gets a foot up to break up the charge. Bryan tries a belly to back superplex but Cody floats on top for two. The ribs on Bryan are starting to take their toll on his offense as they exchange rollups into the Cross Rhodes for the pin for Cody at 5:46 shown of 9:16.

Rating: C+. These two have decent chemistry together and this was another example of it. Having Cole and Booker argue the whole time was annoying and took away from the match, but at least they were talking about the feud at hand and not something stupid like Twitter or whatever else they can waste their time with. Good match but it needed more time to really become something special.

Alicia Fox vs. Natalya

Nattie brings out the tissues which isn’t working as well as the screaming CRY at other Divas. Josh tells us that Kelly, Eve and Alicia will be blogging for Perez Hilton. I’m trying to care even less than I do and it’s just not working. Natalya works on the ribs but Alicia gets a small package for the pin at 1:01. Correction: I’ve found something I care about even less than the Hilton thing.

Alicia pulled some of the extensions out of Natalya’s hair. Alicia says she just got out foxed. Oh geez. Natalya charges in post match so Alicia tries a spinning legdrop, hitting Natalya right on the forehead. And she’s going to get pushed isn’t she?

We look at the video of the nominees for Pipe Bomb of the Year. At least this was funny.

Swagger says he’ll win tonight. Henry comes up and says if Swagger hurts Big Show, he’ll get a title shot. Swagger says he’ll hurt Big Show, but for himself, not for Henry. He says Henry is losing on Sunday and that he’ll win the title in the future. He really is sounding more like a face every week, which would be the best thing that could happen to him.

Usos vs. Primo/Epico

When I say the Usos should be on TV more, I don’t mean jobbing to the latest Hispanic team. At least I get my Siva Tao and to look at Rosa Mendes. So is Hunico gone? The Usos take over on Epico to start and Booker says the Usos remind him of Harlem Heat. Off to Primo who hammers on I believe Jey. After a chinlock he fights back and Booker says he’s not in his own Fave Five. Everything breaks down and Jey hits a superkick to Primo. He loads up the splash but Rosa distracts him, allowing a Backstabber to get the pin at 2:59. This was fine.

To hype up Swagger vs. Show, they show a clip of a match from July of 2010. Seriously?

Jack Swagger vs. Big Show

Swagger even does the push-ups so you know he’s serious. Almost immediately Henry comes out with a chair in hand. Swagger tries to jump Big Show but it doesn’t work that well for him. Jack takes out the leg but it doesn’t exactly last that long. After a brief beating on the floor, Show chops away in the corner. Henry is sitting in the aisle in the chair.

All Big Show here as this is more of an exhibition for Henry than anything else. Notice something Big Show does here: the telling the crowd to be silent for the chops. The chop gets a big pop for that and a part of that is due to him talking to the crowd. Think back to guys like Hogan, Sting, Austin, Rock, Flair etc. They all got huge reactions and they all directly talked to the crowd, be it through shouting at them, talking to fans in the front row, asking their approval for something etc. It’s an old standard and it still works today. Fans like being involved in the show, even in tiny ways like that.

Swagger gets in a shoulder to the knee and the Vader Bomb gets no cover. The second one gets two but Show fires him off like he’s nothing. Show starts his comeback despite barely being in trouble. Swagger rolls through the chokeslam into the ankle lock and Show is in trouble. After being in the hold over 30 seconds, Show kicks him off, pops up and kills Swagger dead with the WMD at 5:47.

Rating: C+. This was way better than I was expecting at all. Swagger got in some offense here and the match was actually somewhat competitive. He needs to turn face soon though because he’s floundered so much for the past year and a half. There’s no personality to him and that could be said for most of the heels on the roster. A turn and a Kurt Angle style character for him could work very well.

Henry blasts Swagger and a production guy with the chair post match.

Ryder comes up to Orton in the back and wants to know if they’re on the same page. Orton says no. Same book? Maybe. Ryder is very happy for that and fist pumps. He leaves and Orton almost looks disturbed. Funny segment and it only lasted like 20 seconds.

Ted DiBiase vs. Heath Slater

Cole rants about the DiBiase Posse stuff before the match. I’d go to one of those if there was a show in Lexington. Slater slaps him in the face and DiBiase goes off, sending him to the floor and hammering away. Slater takes over back in the ring and hits a forearm off the top for two. He comes off the middle rope and jumps into an atomic drop. The following clothesline leads to Dream Street for the pin at 3:09.

Rating: D+. DiBiase is getting a nice little push lately but I’d kind of like for it to go somewhere. He’s done the same stuff for weeks now and I’d certainly hope the Mahal feud isn’t the highlight of his push. The Posse thing is a decent idea and it gives him something to do. Not a horrible match and Slater gets to job even more which is really all he’s good at anymore.

Mahal comes in and beats down DiBiase post match. Since he’s Indian he uses a camel clutch. Teddy comes out and says break it up. If Mahal wants a match, he can fight Sheamus.

Jinder Mahal vs. Sheamus

Very nice pop for Sheamus. Sheamus works on the arm to start until Mahal pounds away on him a bit. Sheamus is like screw that and hits a big elbow to put Jinder back down. The forearms to the chest don’t work and we get a chase scene on the floor. Now the forearms hit but with Sheamus on the apron instead of in the ring. Slingshot shoulder gets two. Cole says Mahal kind of floats. Odd description but ok then. A swinging neckbreaker gets two for Mahal and he hooks a chinlock. Sheamus wakes up and hits his signature stuff and the Brogue Kick is good for the win at 3:50.

Rating: C. Pretty much just an extended squash here. Mahal got in some offense for a change but it’s not like Sheamus was ever in any real danger. Jinder hasn’t done anything since he and Khali split and Sheamus is kind of just waiting around to be the next guy to challenge Henry once Show gets done with him I’d assume. Not a bad match here but really just a way to get Sheamus on the show.

Video on the Slammys eat up some time. Cole won another from for Most Regrettable Ring Attire for when he dressed as HHH.

Video on HHH vs. Nash which is happening for some reason that we’re still waiting on. I know the storyline but why is this match happening period? Nash isn’t going to be anything full time (for the love of all things good and holy I hope not at least) and HHH is probably going to face Taker at Mania given what he said on Monday, so I don’t get the point in these two having a featured match on Sunday. I guess it’s because he’s HHH.

Randy Orton/Zack Ryder vs. Dolph Ziggler/Wade Barrett

No complaints about putting two feuds together into one match. A second coming video interrupts Orton’s entrance. I’ve heard a few answers for this and one is more interesting than the other. It’ll likely be Jericho though. Ziggler vs. Ryder starts us off. Ryder takes over with punches and a flapjack. Off to Orton who slows things way down and does the Garvin Stomp.

Back to Ryder who Ziggler beats up so he can’t tag in Orton again to bore us to tears. Now Barrett comes in to beat up Ryder for awhile. Orton gets a tag so Barrett bails quickly. We’re waiting on the big showdown between them here. Orton focuses on Barrett too much though and Ziggler gets in a shot to take over. The backbreaker is broken up so Ryder comes in to send Ziggler to the floor as we take a break.

Back with Orton pounding Ziggler in the corner. The jumping knee drop gets two. Ziggler gets in a single shot and falls into the corner so Barrett can come in. A big boot puts Barrett down and Orton is in trouble. Ziggler hammers on him and gets two. Orton gets a belly to back suplex on Barrett and there’s the moderately hot tag to Ryder. Ryder gets the knee up in the corner and the Broski Boot (BIG pop for the fist pump) but Ziggler breaks up the Rough Ryder.

Ziggler kicks out of a rollup and hooks a half crab on Ryder. Back to Barrett for a chinlock. They’re going through the motions very badly here. It’s not a bad match but it’s as basic of a tag match as it could possibly be. Wasteland is countered into a DDT to put both guys down. There’s the real hot tag to Orton who cleans house. Snap powerslam puts Ziggy down as does the over the shoulder neckbreaker. Ryder and Barrett go to the floor and Ziggler misses the Fameasser so the RKO can end him at 11:53 shown of 15:23.

Rating: C. Average is the perfect thing to call this match. It wasn’t a bad match or anything and I’d have been fine with this being the main event of a house show. They advanced both feuds which is the right idea but I would have liked to see something between Orton vs. Barrett. Decent main event but it’s absolutely nothing special at all.

Overall Rating: C. Not a terrible show and they plugged the majority of TLC”s matches just fine, but at the same time I wasn’t exactly thrilled by watching it. I think the problem is that TLC is just a dull looking show overall. It feels like a show that is there with a bunch of gimmick matches on it because the calendar says that it’s time for a show with a bunch of gimmick matches on it. There’s no real heat on most of the matches and it’ll probably end with a show that is fine but not particularly interesting at the same time.

Cody Rhodes b. Daniel Bryan – Cross Rhodes
Alicia Fox b. Natalya – Small Package
Epico/Primo b. Usos – Backstabber to Jey
Big Show b. Jack Swagger – WMD
Ted DiBiase b. Heath Slater – Dream Street
Sheamus b. Jinder Mahal – Brogue Kick
Randy Orton/Zack Ryder b. Wade Barrett/Dolph Ziggler – RKO to Ziggler

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