Smackdown Thoughts & Review [January 20, 2012]

by

Smackdown heats up in the desert and gets us ready for the Royal Rumble.

Las Vegas, NV

They start with a video highlighting AJ-Gate.

Daniel Bryan comes out to tons of boos. He says Big Show committed a sin by knocking AJ down. DB accuses Show of doing it on purpose. The crowd eats this up and reacts to everything DB is says. DB goes on to say that AJ’s career might be over because she was with him at ringside. DB reminds the crowd that AJ confessed her love for him and that he ‘admires’ her. He says that he’s going to unleash his fury on the Big Show if he doesn’t quit.

~ Another week and Daniel Bryan cuts the best promo of his career. Excellent stuff.

They cut Santino, Alicia Foxx and others playing poker. Teddy Long explains the roulette wheel to Aksana. Cody interrupts and says he’s the last hope for the Rhodes family. Cody spins the wheel and he gets a player’s choice. Cody picks Hornswoggle.

Cody Rhodes and Hornswoggle ‘wrestle’ to a no-contest

  • Cody starts beating Horny down but then Justin Gabriel comes down and challenges him.
  • Cody Rhodes pins Justin Gabriel via Cross Rhodes

~ Really solid but short match. Justin Gabriel got a lot more offense in than most of Cody’s opponents have lately. There were some nice counters by Gabriel at the end, including a slick backslide pin attempt.

Mark Henry is with Teddy Long in the back. Henry says that Teddy is putting Daniel Bryan in harm’s way. Henry tells Teddy to spin the will since it’s his idea. Henry gets a Lumberjack match and that Daniel Bryan is going into the Hall of Pain.

They replay Epico & Primo’s House show Tag Title win in Oakland.

Tornado Match

Epico & Primo defeat the Usos via Primo’s Backstabber on Jimmy Uso

~ Eh. I liked this match a lot until the ending. Unless a tag team is made of two megastars (e.g. Rock n’ Sock Connection) I prefer seeing a tag match ending with a double team attack. I really liked a lot of the Uso’s offense. Their double hip attack/butt bump looked pretty cool as well as a few other moves. I think the Usos are the best tag team in the WWE right now as far as chemistry goes. I realize the WWE is pushing Prim-ico to the moon right now but I think the Usos have been allowed to show more in the ring.

They cut to Aksana spinning the wheel for Sheamus. Sheamus lands a tables match versus Wade Barrett. They somehow fit in “what happens in Vegas…” in the segment.

Dance Off

Funkasaurus Brodus Clay defeats Vicky Guerrero and William Regal

  • Vicky says she knows how to shake “her thang.” Vicky breaks out her inner-Elaine sexy robot dance. Brodus lets his dancers do some shaking and then reels himself into the middle of the ring and does his thing. He ends his dance in a b-boy stance. Haha!
  • William Regal runs down to console Vicky and chastises the crowd. Before Regal can leave, Brodus calls him a chicken and challenges him to another dance off. Regal obliges and tells the soundman to hit his music. Regal does some weird old man shit and then Brodus blasts him with his flying body press. “My bad,” says Brodus and he then celebrates with his dancers. Wow.

~ I’m a mark for Brodus Clay but I’m a bigger mark for William Regal. I liked this segment but I didn’t love it. I still want to see Regal vs. Bryan in the WWE sooner than later.

That being said I didn’t think I’d ever see someone do the Elaine Dance on WWE programming. #Randomassshit

Wade Barrett defeats Sheamus in a Table Match (Jinder Mahal distracts Sheamus prior to Wade throwing him through a table)

  • After the match Jinder jumps Sheamus but is Brogue Kicked instead (a little botched in my opinion). Sheamus then rewards him with a shoulder tackle through a table.

~ This is probably the best Wade Barrett match I’ve seen in months. The near table crashes were well timed and executed.

It’s amazing to me how much they’re protecting Sheamus. I can’t remember the last time he was submitted or pinned clean.

Ted DiBiase defeats Hunico in a flag match (DiBiase was able to grab the US Flag)

~ Interesting match. Both would hit each other with a big move and then slowly climb up the flag poles only to be knocked down by each other. I hope they do more with both wrestlers.

They show Daniel Bryan speaking with Kaitlyn. They looked concerned for AJ.

Drew McIntyre is in the back with Teddy Long. Teddy fires Drew but Santino pleads with Teddy to give Drew another chance since his last win over Drew was considered a fluke. Drew is stoked about the opportunity. Drew spins the wheel and it lands on a blindfold match. I start thinking about Jake the Snake.

Santino defeats Drew McIntyre in a Blindfold Match

~ This was actually pretty funny. I think Santino is in Colt Cabana’s ballpark when it comes to pro wrestling comedy matches. I have to give kudos to Drew for holding up his end of the comedy. Entertaining match.

Lumberjack Match

Mark Henry and Daniel Bryan wrestle to a no contest after the “lumberjacks” attack both men

  • After all hell broke loose, Daniel leaves the ring. Teddy intercepts him in the back and tells him that Bryan is going to defend his World Title at the Royal Rumble in a Triple Threat match against Big Show and Mark Henry.

~ Very fun match. It was neat to see how the lumberjacks reacted to both competitors. Daniel took some deadly bumps and kept on ticking. Henry was Henry and it’s good to see him a lot healthier this week. He was a beast in this match and I loved the Hulk spot where he pushes away a crowd of wrestlers off of him.

Great UWF style ending with a gang of wrestlers fighting it out in the ring. As usual, Smackdown was entertaining and made sense. I’m not sure what they’re doing with Aksana, Hunico or Drew McIntyre but that’s just nitpicking. All the major storylines are moving forward nicely. I’m pretty psyched for the Rumble, are you?

*Photo courtesy of wwe.com

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