Smackdown – January 27, 2012 – Who Shot Mark Henry?

Date: January 27, 2012
Location: Tucson Arena, Tucson, Arizona
Commentators: Michael Cole, Josh Matthews, Booker T

It’s the final show before the Rumble so we have to have some build for it tonight right? This year it seems that they’re focusing more on the regular matches and letting the Rumble build itself. That’s an unconventional idea but it’s not the worst in the world. The Rumble will draw on the fact that it’s the Rumble so why not let everything else get built up too? Let’s get to it.

We open with a recap of AJ getting run over two weeks ago.

Here’s Big Show for the first time since that incident happened. He says he’s sorry for what happened and has already apologized to AJ in person which she accepted. Now he’s asking the fans to do the same. He can’t forgive himself for what happened though. Even when he was a kid he didn’t know his own strength and would hurt other kids when they were playing. He thought that being in WWE would change that and he wouldn’t hurt someone like that again.

Show loves it here but he’s not sure if he can continue his career after hurting AJ. After Sunday, he’s going to have to do some soul searching. He’s cut off by Daniel Bryan who doesn’t have the title for some reason. Bryan yells at Big Show and says that AJ doesn’t remember Show visiting due to the medication. Bryan remembers though.

He remembers watching as a kid and thinking it was a place for athletes, not genetic freaks. And before Show mentions Andre, just save it because he’s no Andre the Giant. Bryan goes off on him, yelling about how Show is a monster and there’s no way he’s going to retire or anything like that. Bryan slaps him and Show snaps, choking him into the corner and tossing Bryan across the ring. Here’s Henry to remind us that it’s a triple threat match on Sunday. He doesn’t care about Show’s feelings or Bryan’s Napoleon Complex. As for Bryan, he’s going to tear his skin off on general principle for what Bryan did last week.

Teddy stops the skin removal and makes a second main event (first is Barrett vs. Orton) in the form of Henry vs. Big Show. That’s a good choice actually as it means that every combination of the three have fought over the last three weeks, which is what Teddy said when he made it.

Cody Rhodes vs. Justin Gabriel

Non-title match. A quick inset interview from Cody says he’s doing this so Gabriel can tell his grandkids that he lost to the man that headlined Wrestlemania. A quick spin kick gets two for Gabriel. A quick Alabama Slam gets two for the champ. Booker wants to know why this isn’t for the title. Gabriel gets in a few kicks and a flying forearm. Out to the floor and Justin hits a dive. Back in and a springboard cross body is rolled through for two. A top rope Lionsault misses though, setting up the Beautiful Disaster and Cross Rhodes for the pin at 2:10.

Santino is in the back with Teddy and has a new match idea. It’s a loser leaves town match, but the loser has to join a group of monkeys and get in a spaceship and fly away from Earth. Yoshi Tatsu pops up and says that’s out of this world. They talk about a tag team but can’t decide if it’s called Yoshtino or Santoshi. Drew comes in and begs for one more chance. He talks about how Babe Ruth struck out five times in a game once. This is just a slump. Teddy says go break your slump against Sheamus.

Drew McIntyre vs. Sheamus

Big reaction for Sheamus. They pound away on each other to start until Sheamus hits that rolling fireman’s carry that Anderson and Finlay used. Drew comes back with a northern lights suplex for two. He works on the arm and a snap suplex gets two. A kick to the back just ticks Sheamus off. He pounds Drew down in the corner and hits his running axe handle shots. Brogue Kick finishes Drew off at 2:48. Sheamus needs a real feud (as in not against Mahal) for after the Rumble. These squashes are only going to take him so far.

Rumble by the Numbers.

Yoshi Tatsu/Santino Marella vs. Epico/Primo

It’s better than nothing to get Yoshi on TV I guess. Santino and Primo start things off and of course it’s a comedy match. Off to Yoshi who works on the arm. Cole goes on a big rant about the language issues in this match as Epico comes in and takes over on Yoshi. Backslide gets two for Yoshi and it’s off to Santino again. He takes over with his usual stuff and everything breaks down. Cobra takes out Primo but the Backstabber takes down Santino so Epico can pin him at 2:16. These matches have been short tonight but they’re long enough that you get something out of them. That’s a very good way to run a TV show.

Bryan gets in Henry’s ear and says that Teddy obviously wants Show to be champion. Henry should hurt Big Show tonight. He seems intrigued by the idea.

Here’s Wade for his match with Orton. He talks about how there’s a lot of pageantry to show tonight because Orton is returning. Barrett has heard that Orton isn’t healthy yet. Oh his back might be ok but he’s a broken man. We get a clip from last month where Orton was injured. Orton’s music hits and we get a full walk from the back from him.

Wade Barrett vs. Randy Orton

They start in the aisle and the referee just lets them go. I never heard a bell. A bunch of referees come out to stop Randy and Barrett tries to leave. Teddy comes out and sends the NXT guys to pull Randy off him. Barrett uses the chance to kick him in the face. Back in the ring Orton spears Barrett and everyone is trying to pull him off. Barrett finally gets away. No match obviously. Orton RKOs the NXT guys, including the Usos, Barretta, Reks and Hawkins.

Rumble moment is Eddie Guerrero putting on a mask, calling himself Rey Mysterio and winning the Rumble.

Bryan talks to Kaitlyn because she’s AJ’s best friend. He wants Kaitlyn to warn Show about Henry trying to injure him later. Kaitlyn thinks that sounds like a favor for Bryan, not AJ. Bryan says it’s the same thing so she gives in. She does want to know how Bryan feels about AJ, which he won’t directly answer.

Hunico vs. Ted DiBiase

DiBiase has an injured wrist/hand. Cole wants DiBiase to release his income tax statements. Oh geez not more political stuff. Hunico goes after the wrist of course and hooks an armbar. DiBiase comes back and tries Dream Street but the wrist gives out. Huico hits a variation of an Angle Slam for the pin at 1:30. Instead of the usual Slam position, it was more compact and Hunico had DiBiase’s head hooked. It looked like an Angle Slam combined with a Samoan Drop if that makes sense.

Hunico and Camacho beat on the wrist more post match and stomp it on the steps.

Aksana and Teddy are in the back when Natalya comes in and demands a rematch with Tamina. Nattie says she can beat the wackjob known as Tamina and Aksana too. Teddy makes Aksana vs. Natalya. Bad comedy ensues.

Alex Riley vs. Brodus Clay

Even Riley dances during the entrance. They dance a bit to start and Brodus suplexes him, splashes him in the corner and What The Funk ends this at 36 seconds. I still love this guy.

Kaitlyn talks to Show in the back but we can’t hear it.

We get a LONG clip from Monday with the Cena/Ryder/Kane thing.

Aksana vs. Natalya

Aksana comes out to the porn music. Natalya turns around, yells for Tamina, and Aksana rolls her up for the pin in 5 seconds. Yes, clearly this deserves TV time instead of ANYTHING ELSE. Natalya puts her in the Sharpshooter but Tamina runs in, beats up Natalya and hits the Superfly Splash.

Big Show vs. Mark Henry

Bryan comes out to watch. They to the floor almost immediately but Show throws him back in. There’s a headbutt by Show and he chops Henry in the corner. Henry comes back with right hands….and falls flat on his face. From what I’ve heard, this was a legit knee/leg injury. They immediately go to a commercial and when we come back, Big Show is being announced as the winner. Apparently Show knocked Henry to the floor and won by countout. We only saw about a minute of the match.

Bryan comes in with a chair and that doesn’t go well for him. Show goes after him and Bryan gets the chair back which puts Show down. He even gets the LeBell Lock. Show tosses Bryan off and chokeslams him. He loads up the knockout punch but Bryan runs.

Overall Rating: C. This was a very odd show. If I didn’t know any better or hadn’t seen the clips about the Rumble, I would have no idea that show was Sunday. Now that being said, there’s a logic there as the Rumble name itself is going to draw no matter what. As for Henry, that could be a problem, but they got lucky in that it’s a triple threat so either A, they could let him get knocked down early and stay down for the majority of the match, or they could just do Show vs. Bryan which would be fine. Anyway, this was a different kind of show as they got a lot done, but there was very little wrestling. It still worked though.

Cody Rhodes b. Justin Gabriel – Cross Rhodes
Sheamus b. Drew McIntyre – Brogue Kick
Epico/Primo b. Yoshi Tatsu/Santino Marella – Backstabber to Epico
Hunico b. Ted DiBiase – Spinning Samoan Drop
Brodus Clay b. Alex Riley – What The Funk
Aksana b. Natalya – Rollup
Big Show b. Mark Henry via countout

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