On This Day: November 29, 2011 – Smackdown: Christmas In November

Date: November 29, 2011
Location: Time Warner Cable Arena, Charlotte, North Carolina
Commentators: Michael Cole, Booker T, Josh Matthews

This is a special edition of the show as it’s airing live on Tuesday. Also it’s the holiday episode, which I think is a catch all for Thanksgiving and Christmas, which is next month but whatever. Foley is the host for the evening and we have a world title match in a cage with Henry vs. Bryan. Let’s get to it.

The show opens with fake snow and Josh saying there was a snow storm that started a few seconds ago.

Here’s Foley. There’s a Christmas set. Aren’t they pulling this out a little early? I mean we have Christmas music, Foley in a Santa suit, Christmas lights at the table and all that jazz. He points out that it’s still November but he’s a Christmas fanatic. What Good Old JR is to barbecue sauce and what the Ultimate Warrior is to arm tassels, he is to Christmas. For us tonight, we have a world title match between Tiny Tim and the Ghost of Christmas Fear inside a steel cage. There’s also a miracle on 34th street fight, an over the top rope battle royal where the winner gets their Christmas wish granted…and Michael Cole.

Foley can’t get around the contract and Cole’s legal team, but he can pick how Cole has to dress. Cue Cole in a Rudolph costume. Josh is in an elf outfit so he can’t complain much. Foley also brings out Booker, who is also in a Santa outfit. Foley asks for a Spinarooni to make up for This is your Life from a few weeks ago. It’s set to the Dradle Song because they both spin. The hat comes off but the fans cheer for it so all is well.

Cue Cody all in white. Well mostly in white. He says that he’s seeing clearly now and says that he’s not going to let someone take up the time when that person can’t perform in the ring anymore. Booker says he can still go and calls Cody son. Foley cuts Cody off and makes Booker vs. Cody for later. No word on if this is for the title or not. First up, let’s have a Divas match.

Alicia Fox vs. Brie Bella vs. Nikki Bella vs. Natalya vs. Kaitlyn vs. AJ vs. Tamina vs. Aksana

This is a mistletoe on a pole match, which means you have to climb up and get the mistletoe. The winner gets something they can cash in before Christmas. Brie wins at 57 seconds after climbing on Nikki. I have no idea if I got all the competitors or not, not do I care.

Foley says Brie gets to kiss any superstar she wants before Christmas. Ok then.

Justin Gabriel vs. Jinder Mahal

Mahal runs down Christmas before the show starts. We hear about how Mahal has hates DiBiase for giving away all his money. Cue DiBiase in a Santa hat with a bag. He throws out WWE gifts to fans. The distraction lets Gabriel hit an STO and the 450 for the pin at 2:15.

Foley is learning the Siva Tao from the Usos when Piper comes up. He wants a new straightjacket for Christmas. Horny and some good looking woman are having egg nog. Dusty Rhodes is here. He offers Horny a picture of Lagy Gaga and something about sandwich. Dusty says there are some strange people here and turns around into Goldust. There’s something awesome about that. Oh the chick is Maxine.

Piper is talking to someone when Otunga comes up with the coffee cup and has an announcement from Johnny Ace. The holiday music has to be in the public domain. Eh we might as well shut the party down now. Foley and Piper are like dude…..you are in WAY over your head. Foley puts Otunga in the street fight tonight against Randy Orton.

We recap Booker vs. Cody. Booker is in the back when Cody jumps him with the belt, injuring his arm.

Kofi Kingston vs. Tyson Kidd

This should be good. Booker vs. Cody is officially off. Tyson has hair now. They start off pretty fast and both guys go down off a double clothesline. Kidd hits the floor to avoid Trouble in Paradise but Kofi hits a dropkick out there anyway. Kofi gets in Cole’s face for some reason and steals the reindeer hat. Kidd gets in a shot and somehow this isn’t a double countout yet. Kofi puts the hat and nose on, finishing with the top rope cross body at 3:33.

Rating: C. Total comedy match and that’s fine. The idea of the reindeer flying to end it was good but we need to get Bourne back already so Kofi can defend the title instead of just holding it. I think he’s due back tomorrow or something so it shouldn’t be that big of a deal. Decent match but with more time it would have been even better.

Kaitlyn tells Horny he should wish to be taller. Teddy and Sheamus are talking and Sheamus asks what the winner of the battle royal (20 man) gets. Teddy doesn’t know but whatever it is, it’ll be worth it. Cue Aksana who has mistletoe with her. And Aksana eats it instead of kissing Teddy.

Randy Orton vs. David Otunga

This is a street fight. There are a bunch of Christmas trees at ringside as well as presents that slide around the floor. Otunga is in red shorts now instead of his normal trunks. Randy throws him into a bunch of trees and then the announce table. There’s a tray of cookies there so Orton has a bite, gives a face as if to say not bad, then smacks Otunga with the tray.

He grabs a wreath off the post, shouts HO HO HO in Otunga’s face (legit made me laugh) and sends him into the steps. Otunga goes under the ring and finds a kendo stick made to look like a candy cane. Orton takes him down though and beats Otunga with it as Otunga runs. Orton picks up a present and chucks it at David’s head to knock him down.

They go up the stage and Otunga goes into the big tree. There’s an elevated DDT to the floor but Barrett runs out for the beatdown. It would have helped a lot had Orton not looked over his shoulder just before the DDT. The big boot he takes Orton down with gets two and Otunga’s time is measured in seconds. There’s the finishing sequence and the RKO ends this at 7:38.

Rating: C+. This was meant to be a totally fun match and that’s all it was ever supposed to be. Barrett running in even advances the storyline a bit and it helped things somewhat. I had a very good time with this but I’m a total Christmas geek so I’m about as biased as you can be here. Fun match and it worked all around.

Henry is getting taped up and Teddy comes in. Mark yells at him and says he’ll take his anger out on Bryan.

Battle Royal

There are twenty people in this and I’ll let you figure out who all is in it yourselves. I see Mahal, Slater, the Usos, Jackson, Sheamus, O’Neil, Watson, DiBiase, Hunico, Reks, Gabriel, Kidd and Horny. Sheamus is by far the biggest name in this. Hawkins and Young are in there. Young is out quickly as is I think Jey Uso. JTG is in this and as soon as I say this he’s eliminated. DiBiase and Gabriel try to get Hawkins out but can’t quite do it. Kofi and Yoshi Tatsu are in this and I think that’s everyone.

There goes Hawkins at the hands of Big Zeke. We get the showdown with Jackson and Sheamus with with pale One beating him down. Jackson sets for a big clotheline but Sheamus ducks to put him out. Johnny Curtis was the 20th guy in there and Sheamus puts him out easily. Kofi puts out the other Uso but Kidd dropkicks Kingston out seconds later.

Tatsu is gone and Kidd skins the cat and pulls out DiBiase at the same time. Horny slips out from the floor and pulls Kidd out. We take a break with about 8 people left. Back with eight people left: O’Neil, Hunico, Gabriel, Mahal, Reks, Sheamus, Slater and Horny. Gabriel tries to jump on the apron but Mahal knocks him to the floor. Clash of the Titus puts Reks down but he barks too much and Sheamus puts him out. Dang it I wanted him to wish for NXT to end.

Slater and Mahal jump Sheamus but he explodes and beats everyone down. Everyone goes to the floor through the ropes and beats Sheamus down. No one is in the ring at the moment. Ok so now everyone but Sheamus is in. It’s Mahal, Hunico, Slater and Reks. Mahal says we need to go find Horny. They all pick a side of the ring and dive under the ring. Mahal catches him and it’s 4-1. Slater shoves him down as does Hunico.

They all carefully stomp him but before the toss him Sheamus is back in. There goes Reks and Hucio is out as well. Mahal is out and a Brogue Kick puts Slater down. Ok so it’s Horny vs. Sheamus. Oh good grief. Horny says bring it on and Sheamus isn’t sure what to say. He tells Horny to get out but Horny tells him to get out. He kicks Sheamus in the shins but Sheamus grabs him by the beard and starts putting him out but Horny grabs the top rope. Sheamus gets on the apron and detatches him but Horny won’t get off the apron. Sheamus tries to talk to him and they hug, but Horny shoves him off for the win at 13:25.

Rating: C+. This was fun until the end, when it just got stupid. Why in the world would have put Horny over here for the sake of a comedy bit? Well at least this is for an obscure prize instead of something like a title shot so it could be a lot worse. Ok maybe not a lot worse but it could be worse.

Sheamus teases anger but smiles and Horny celebrates.

Ricardo hits on the Bellas at the party as Piper talks to Dusty. They’re talking about Cena and Dusty thinks it’s ridiculous to think the fans are going to get to Cena. Santa comes up and sits down for Horny to ask for his wish. There’s something about celery, Jonas Salk, Peter Falk and chalk. Foley has it wrong and it’s that Horny wants to TALK. They hug and Horny can speak. He goes around using his new powers and calls Vickie a grandma. Foley pops up in a Cactus Jack shirt and Santa is gone. Piper and Dream have no idea what’s going on and I don’t really want the answer.

AJ comes up to wish Bryan luck. Bryan tells Striker he’s ready.

The cage is lowered.

The Slammys are in two weeks.

Smackdown World Title: Mark Henry vs. Daniel Bryan

We even get big match intros. The winner gets Big Show at TLC. Bryan runs for the corner almost immediately. You can win by pin, submission or escape. Bryan keeps trying to run and avoid corners. He wisely goes for the bad leg so Henry throws him into the cage. He splashes Bryan against the wall and we take a break. Back with Henry still dominating. We get a clip from during the break with Henry pulling Bryan back and in essence sling shotting him into the cage.

Time for a nerve hold to waste some time. Bryan fires off a dropkick but Henry kills him with a clothesline. The leg is wearing out though as he kind of falls into the cover for two. Bryan wakes up and goes crazy on the ankle, getting Henry down on the mat and screaming in pain. Bryan climbs but Henry makes the catch, crotching Bryan on the ropes. Henry goes for the door but Bryan grabs the ankle again. Bryan fires off a dropkick to the knee and hooks the LeBell Lock but Henry powers out of it.

Off to an ankle lock and the place is really getting into this. Henry kicks Bryan off but he can’t get up to follow up on it. The challenger goes up but gets his tights partially pulled down. Now Henry goes up but Bryan follows him. He gets over the top but Henry grabs the arm and pulls him back in. There’s some good drama in this. Henry tries a powerbomb out of the corner but Bryan climbs over the top. Henry pulls him back in again and headbutts him into the World’s Strongest Slam from the top. And that takes care of Bryan at 11:15.

Rating: B. Good main event here and the drama towards the end was solid. I don’t think anyone had any realistic reason to believe that Bryan was going to win and they shouldn’t have. He’s a midcard guy getting his first chance in there with the big boys and he’s not ready for the title yet. Still though, very solid main event and Henry gets a win that he’s been lacking recently.

Overall Rating: A-. WWE is on a ROLL right now with their TV shows. Last night was great and tonight was as well. The idea that seems to work for them is to not linger on stuff too long and most importantly, not go back to things over and over again. This show was fine with all of its holiday themes and I liked it a lot. It could have been better, but if they were hoping to show that Smackdown can work live, they nailed it here. Good stuff again.

Brie Bella won a Mistletoe On A Pole Match
Justin Gabriel b. Jinder Mahal – 450 Splash
Kofi Kingston b. Tyson Kidd – Top Rope Cross Body
Randy Orton b. David Otunga – RKO
Hornswoggle won a battle royal last eliminating Sheamus
Mark Henry b. Daniel Bryan – World’s Strongest Slam from the middle rope


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