On This Day: December 30, 2011 – Smackdown: Orton Takes A Little Trip

Date: December 30, 2011
Location: Conseco Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Indiana
Commentators: Michael Cole, Josh Matthews, Booker T

It’s the final show of the year and we close things out with the Blue Guys. As long as it’s not Blue Meanie I’m cool with that. Anyway tonight we should get some advancement in the three way world title feud. I hope they don’t make Bryan look like a joke in this that can’t get in any offense and has to escape with whatever kind of win he can get. Those title reigns completely defeat the purpose of being a champion. Then again so does MITB in general but whatever. Let’s get to it.

We open with a video about Barrett vs. Orton. Their match tonight is the main event and it’s falls count anywhere. I’m curious to see how this ends, which I’m sure you’ve heard about already.

Do you know your enemy? Mine is the number 2012, since I’ll be writing 2011 for at least two more weeks.

Here’s Booker coming out to do commentary. You know, his job. I wonder if he gets his pay docked for being late like this. He talks about how this has been a great year for him, starting with the Rumble and then joining the commentary booth. Then on Monday he beat Cody Rhodes and that’s all because of the fans. He goes for his catchphrase but here’s Cody to interrupt him.

Cody makes fun of local spots teams and the Indy 500 because that’s what heels do. No seriously, it’s a fine way to get the crowd booing you so why not do it? Rhodes talks about his year, ranging from being injured to beating Mysterio to winning the IC Title. Then he took a washed up announcer and pushed him to regain some of his former glory. Booker says that when he beat Cody on Monday, he wasn’t that washed up. If Cody respected the business, he’d be congratulating Booker right now.

The champ actually agrees and says that he doesn’t want to come off as some kind of bitter jerk because he’s better than that. He actually congratulates Booker and offers a handshake. Booker shakes it and gets in his face a bit but turns to leave. Cody says of course now this is all over. Booker isn’t sure what he means by that, but Cody says the fairy tale is over and Booker is nothing but a nostalgia act. If Booker keeps competing, his skills will be exposed as being gone. If he goes back to announcing, he’ll be exposed as an illiterate moron. In short, Booker is a joke.

Cue….Dustin Rhodes? He comes out to the Goldust music but he’s in a suit and no makeup. Dustin says he loves his brother very much but Cody is going about this all wrong. Booker is someone that Cody should respect because it was Booker that inspired Dustin to face his demons and make a comeback. Dustin gets the idea of building your own legacy, but don’t do it at Booker’s expense. Cody knows better than this.

Cody chuckles at this and says that as soon as Booker stopped teaming with him, Dustin fell back into those demons and then into utter obscurity. Booker gets in Cody’s face and asks for a third match with Cody since it’s one apiece at the moment. He wants to do it right now but Cody says we’ll do it next week. Booker says that next week it’ll be a celebration when he becomes the new Intercontinental Champion. Booker leaves and Cody beats Dustin down. Booker makes the save but Cody is long gone. Not a bad opening segment.

Tonight’s main event: it’s a tag team match!

Ted DiBiase vs. Jinder Mahal

If DiBiase is supposed to be this everyman now, shouldn’t he lose the I’m Rich theme song? They exchange quick control to start but Mahal keeps his, hitting a Vader Bomb knee drop for two. The crowd isn’t exactly thrilled by DiBiase vs. Legs Mahal here. Ted gets in a few shots to slow Mahal down but tweeks his knee coming off the top. A Downward Spiral (so fed up with that move) sets up the Camel Clutch and Dibiase surprisinly taps at 2:50. Didn’t see that one coming.

Teddy is talking about his New Year’s Eve party tomorrow night when Aksana comes in. More flirtations are made and Drew McIntyre comes in. He’s been signed back to Smackdown and Teddy is willing to forgive him. Drew isn’t going to get paid what he was getting earlier when his career has fallen apart. He gets Big Zeke tonight and if he doesn’t win, his job might be in jeopardy. Drew talks about the time he made Teddy beg for mercy and says that’s nothing compared to what he’ll do to Jackson.

Alicia Fox/Kaitlyn vs. Natalya/Tamina

Tamina looks better with straight hair. The lack of JTG helps a lot also. Tamina vs. Kaitlyn starts us off. The evil ones take over on Kaitlyn and beat her down. Something like a Michinoku Driver by Natalya does nothing here as Kaitlyn makes the tag about two seconds later. Alicia hits the axe kick on Nattie for the pin at 1:34. Why do they bother with these matches? I honestly don’t know.

Tamina beats up Natalya post match, including a Superfly Splash.

Don’t be a bully.

Raw ReBound eats up some time.

We get a standard recap of Show vs. Otunga on Monday with Henry coming in as well. Bryan made the save.

Speaking of Bryan, he’s in the back talking with AJ (who looks GREAT tonight in a black cut off top and jeans) about how he saved Big Show. Show comes up and asks to talk to Bryan alone. Show says that giants don’t really need to be saved. Teddy comes in and says that the tag match main event won’t be happening tonight as Otunga wants a rematch with Show. Henry will be in his corner. Bryan implies he’ll have Show’s back but doesn’t exactly say it.

Justin Gabriel vs. Hunico

I think there’s new music for Gabriel but I’m not 100% sure. Hunico comes out on a lowrider bicycle with his new bodyguard who used to be in FCW and is named Camacho here. I don’t remember his FCW name. Further investigations (as in I looked it up on Wikipedia) says that his name there is Donny Marlow and his dad is more famous as Meng or Haku.

Cole says he has a lot of knowledge about lowrider bicycles. Hunico gets sent to the floor and Gabriel misses a dive. Cole gives us the history of lowrider bikes and all I can think of is….why? There’s something about Eddie Munster mentioned in there. Justin misses a springboard something coming back in but hits a powerbomb style move to take over. Hunico breaks up the 450 and brings Gabriel down so that the Swanton can end this at 1:48. This was nothing and Camacho didn’t get involved at all.

Hunico/Camacho hit something like Cryme Tyme’s old finisher to leave Gabriel on the mat (Samoan Drop/neckbreaker combo).

Big Show vs. David Otunga

If nothing else we get the big knockout punch from last week which still looks great. Otunga has really long arms. Henry gets his own entrance. Show beats him down as Otunga tries to get in whatever offense he can. David bails to the floor where Henry gives him something resembling a pep talk. Back in a shoulder block puts Otunga down as does a corner splash. Henry gets on the apron to distract from the chokeslam and Otunga hits a chop block and DDT for two. Henry goes to get in the ring but Bryan pops up with a belt shot to stop him. The big punch knocks Otunga out cold at 3:24.

Rating: D+. Just a squash here and that’s about it. Bryan coming out didn’t really mean anything or add anything as it wasn’t like Show needed help. Also it doesn’t help that he looks like a mosquito who keeps running in and hitting people then running. Nothing to see here but Otunga can sell a punch really well.

Ezekiel Jackson vs. Drew McIntyre

Jackson has some hair now. We get Drew’s full entrance and I miss his song. Big Zeke controls with power for a few moments but Drew takes over pretty quickly. Jackson beats him down more and this match isn’t going to last long. A big boot by Drew gets two. Northern lights suplex gets two. Jackson backdrops him and the fans don’t care. Side slam gets two for the power man. Torture Rack is countered and Drew gets a boot up in the corner. It gets two even with his feet on the ropes. Drew argues with the ropes and Jackson rolls him up (with a big handful of tights) for the pin at 3:52.

Rating: D-. Terribly boring match here and I have no idea what the point of it was. Drew has fallen so far in the last year and a half that it’s almost scary. I don’t get the point in having Jackson use the tights but maybe it’ll be addressed in the future. Jackson is pretty worthless as he isn’t interesting at all and now he has to cheat to win matches over Drew Freaking McIntyre? Not a good match at all.

Video on Sheamus. I think they aired this months ago. I remember the rock version of Written In My Face.

Drew yells about the tights in the back and Teddy says he can’t stand losers. He’s a ticked off Peanut here. Old school fans will get that joke.

Here’s Sheamus for a little chat. “What’s the crack Indianapolis?” Is that an Irish thing? He wants to talk about the future and by that he means the Royal Rumble. The winner gets a title match at Wrestlemania. He doesn’t care who he eliminates because he’s going to win the Rumble. Cue Hornswoggle to get on my nerves. Horny is going to enter the Rumble as well because miracles like Bryan beating Big Show can happen. He says he’ll win (only saying his own name). Sheamus admires that and gives us some Irish folk lore or whatever you want to call it. He gets all mean but is only playing.

Cue Heath Slater who is a breath of air. I can’t stand Horny at all. Slater mentions guys like Bushwhacker Luke and the Brooklyn Brawler, who fall into the same category as Horny: the guy that says they’ll win and is a joke. Slater says he’s the greatest redhead on Smackdown and the only reason Horny won the battle royal was because Sheamus didn’t want to squash a leprechaun. Slater doesn’t have that problem though. Sheamus gets in his face and….sings Don’t Stop Believin. Ok then. Sheamus says he sees Slater as more of an R. Kelly kind of guy, because he believes he can fly, and there goes Slater. That was…yeah.

Sheamus vs. Heath Slater

Kind of awkward here as Sheamus was celebrating after throwing Slater out and we went to a break. Back and they’re having a match. Sheamus pounds him down and works on the arm and then throws Heath to the apron. Slater slaps him and that was very stupid, so here are ten forearms to the chest for his efforts. Sheamus keeps countering him but Slater drop toeholds him into the middle buckle. Slater gets him onto the mat and hooks a chinlock. The counter to that triggers Sheamus’ comeback which consists of forearms to the back, a top rope shoulder and the Brogue Kick for the pin at 4:45 shown.

Rating: D+. The Rumble is probably the best thing that could possibly happen to Sheamus at this point. He doesn’t have anything to do on Smackdown as it was looking like he was the next opponent for Henry but then Henry got hurt so they had to go to the Bryan reign. Since then he’s just been beating up random people without breaking a sweat, which can only get you so far.

Bryan is talking to Teddy when Show comes in. He’s getting annoyed at Bryan for always being there. Bryan wants a thank you for being there to bail Show out. They start growling at each other and we’re told that it’s Show vs. Bryan for the title next week. Show laughs a lot at that. Bryan says even if he loses, his reign lasted longer than 45 seconds.

Whoever they are, they’re still coming. I’m kind of curious about that but I’m expecting a letdown.

We hype the three big title matches spread over the next week of shows.

Randy Orton vs. Wade Barrett

Falls count anywhere. Slugout to start and Orton hammers him into the corner. Out to the floor and Barrett goes into the steps for two. With Barrett’s head on the steps, a stomp gets two. Usually that would crack a skull but in wrestling it only gets two. That’s why I love this stuff. RKO is countered and Orton goes into the post as we take a break.

Back with them in the ring and Barrett hammering away. He hits that running boot to Orton as Orton is sitting on the middle rope which gets two on the floor. Big boot in the ring gets two and we hit the chinlock. Middle rope elbow gets the same. Back to the chinlock as this has been a lot more basic than I was expecting. Orton gets in the powerslam but Barrett escapes the elevated DDT by heading to the floor.

Orton throws him over the table and they go into the crowd. They go into the back and Orton goes through a table. Randy sends him into an anvil case as Barrett tries to escape down the hall. The referee went down earlier so he’s not here. They fight into an elevator and we actually cut to a security camera feed in the elevator.

They brawl out into what looks like a corporate area and a cameraman has to run to catch up to them. The camera goes through a door and we hear shouting and a crash. He catches up to them and Barrett is standing at the top of a flight of steps. Orton is laying at the bottom in a shape that probably isn’t that comfortable. The camera looks down at him as he can barely move and we go off the air.

Rating: C. Pretty boring main event for the most part but once they got to the wild brawl it wasn’t that bad. Word is Orton has a legit bad back so this is the angle that they’re going with to write him off TV for awhile. That’s fine and not having a pin works here because there’s no point in having a pin with that being the closing shot of the show. Not terrible and the ending did the job it was supposed to do.

Overall Rating: C. I wasn’t huge on this show. The point of it was to get Orton off TV for awhile and that worked out pretty well. Barrett looks great and we have a world title match set for next week. I’m honestly not sure what they’re going to do with Bryan as the way he won the title makes him look like a fluke and there’s a chance they’ll pull it off of him with a Show heel turn. Either way, not a horrible show but nothing at all worth going out of your way to see.

Jinder Mahal b. Ted DiBiase – Camel Clutch
Alicia Fox/Kaitlyn b. Natalya/Tamina – Axe Kick to Natalya
Hunico b. Justin Gabriel – Swanton Bomb
Big Show b. David Otunga – WMD
Drew McIntyre b. Ezekiel Jackson – Rollup
Sheamus b. Heath Slater – Brogue Kick
Wade Barrett vs. Randy Orton went to a no contest


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