Friday, October 14, 2011

WWE SmackDown 10/14/11

WWE SmackDown 10/14/11
October 14th, 2011
American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas
Attendance: Unknown at this time

Welcome everyone once again to another edition of 411's SmackDown Report from yours truly. It's another rainy day here in my neck of the woods so what better way to kill some time than with an episode of SmackDown? It was a big week in WWE-land, with Triple H being ousted as GM of RAW in favor of John Laurinaitis, and after a very unique episode of RAW hopefully we'll see SmackDown pick up the slack and deliver a good show. Well we're not getting any younger, so here we go.

Your hosts are Michael Cole, Booker T, and Josh Matthews

We open the show with the SmackDown GM Teddy Long making his way out to the stage, followed shortly by John Laurinaitis. Teddy announces that tonight's show puts Smackdown 2nd on the list of longest-running episodic TV shows, behind only RAW. To celebrate, they announce a 41 man battle royale, with the winner being able to select a title match of their choosing later tonight.

41 Man Battle Royal

Man that's a lot of people in one right, I'd list out each individual person in the match but I honestly don't think I'd be able to. Suffice to say all the big stars are in there, Randy Orton, CM Punk, everyone just about except for John Cena. Cody Rhodes is the first one eliminated as the bell rings, followed shortly by Johnny Curtis who I didn't realize was still employed. JTG (or as Booker calls him, "Jizzle") is out next, followed by Michael McGillicutty and Derrick Bateman. Yoshi Tatsu and Titus O'Neill are out next as it seems like we're cutting out the NXT boys quickly here. We take a quick commercial break and when we return it's just as cluttered as it was before in the ring, though apparently we're down to around 30 men now according to Josh. William Regal gets tossed next (bollocks!) and is followed by Percy Watson and John Morrison moments later. Ziggler is out next and he's followed by Trent Barreta moments later, taking a nasty back bump on his way out. DiBiase and Kidd are gone and we take a second commercial break. When we return Daniel Bryan is being eliminated and a few more people join him as Mason Ryan is on an elimination spree. He tosses out Justin Gabriel before Wade Barrett eliminates Ryan. Santino celebrates an elimination but of course is eliminated himself seconds later as we're really starting to thin out now, down to the last 20 or so, maybe less. Kofi Kingston is eliminated by Jack Swagger and is joined by Zack Ryder, David Otunga, and one of the Uso brothers moments later. Sheamus lariats Ezekiel Jackson out of the ring and then gives Heath Slater the Brogue Kick on the apron, eliminating him as well. Evil Sin Cara is out next from Sheamus, whose on fire at this point. He blocks a spear attempt from Christian and tosses him out next as we're down to about 8 men now. CM Punk eliminates R-Truth, but is then eliminated himself by The Miz seconds later, who exits the ring beneath the bottom rope to catch his breath. Christian sneaks back in the ring and eliminates Sheamus, who then chases him off to the back as Punk and R-Truth are brawling at ringside. Orton eliminates Wade Barrett and then RKO's Swagger before eliminating him as well. He gives Jinder Mahal, the apparent last man standing, an RKO of his own and then tosses him out and begins celebrating, thinking he's won the match. But of course The Miz, who was never eliminated, pops back into the ring and tosses Orton over the top rope, but Orton hangs onto the apron and isn't eliminated yet. He eats some big knee-lifts from Miz and then responds with a lariat and a powerslam. Miz is tossed to the apron but drags Orton out next to him, where Orton delivers an RKO to The Miz right on the ring apron and both men fall to the floor, with Miz falling to the floor first, giving Orton the win at 15:51 (shown). So Randy Orton gets a title shot of his choosing, how...ahem...."surprising". Not bad for a battle royal and the finish was fun, but really, if you've seen one of these damn things you've seen them all haven't you? **

After the match Josh Matthews heads to the ring to get a few words with Randy Orton about what champion he's going to choose to face, and of course Orton picks the World Heavyweight champ Mark Henry. So we've got Orton vs. Henry later tonight apparently.

Back from a commercial break we cut backstage to where Alberto Del Rio is preparing to exit the building with Ricardo Rodriguez. Teddy Long catches up to him and asks him where he's going, and Del Rio responds that he's leaving since Orton chose to face Mark Henry. Teddy informs him he's going to face Sheamus later tonight though, so he won't be going anywhere.

WWE Diva's Title Match
Beth Phoenix
© (8-2) vs. Kelly Kelly (9-5)

Beth is joined by Natalya while Kelly is joined by Eve Torres at ringside. The usual match ensues between these two with Kelly getting in some of her only spots to start the match before Beth quickly gains control and begins tossing Kelly around like a ragdoll. Kelly hits a nice DDT on Beth and goes for the handspring back elbow in the corner, but Beth counters and drags Kelly to the center of the ring and gives her the Glam Slam for the easy pin at 1:53. Wow, Kelly didn't even look competitive this time. Hopefully this means Beth will be moving on to a new challenger now. 1/2*

After another break the original Sin Cara's music hits for the next match, but we cut backstage to see Evil Sin Cara attacking him ruthlessly and then ripping Cara's mask off his head! Evil Sin Cara removes his own mask and then dons the original Cara's blue mask and walks off as we prepare for our next match.

"Evil" Sin Cara (17-4) vs. Justin Gabriel (9-13)

So it would appear that the evil Sin Cara, wearing the original's mask, will be taking his rivals place here against Justin Gabriel. Cole tries to explain the real-life rivalry back in Mexico between the two Sin Cara's but seems utterly lost as the bell rings. Gabriel nails Cara with a big dropkick that sends him to the outside floor and then he wipes him out with a twisting pescado. He tosses Cara back in the ring and goes for a springboard maneuver, but Cara dropkicks him in mid-air on his way back in. Spinning spinebuster from Gabriel gets a quick two count and he goes to the top rope but Cara immediately knocks him off and delivers a Swanton bomb onto Gabriel, which is enough to give him the quick pin at 1:36. Well that was way too short, I would have loved to have seen what these guys could have done with even a measly five minutes, but alas, all we got was a couple of nifty high-flying spots before Cara squashed Gabriel with ease. *

Backstage the tag team champions Air Boom are with Teddy Long when suddenly Vickie Guerrero walks up and demands a title match between Air Boom and Swagger/Ziggler. Zack Ryder walks up seconds later and proposes himself to replace Evan Bourne and challenge Swagger and Ziggler later tonight, which Teddy Long agrees to and books.

Alberto Del Rio (9-7) vs. Sheamus (13-9-1)

Del Rio gets some moderate heat during his entrance while Sheamus gets a great pop. The bell rings and both men start off evenly matched, countering out of each others moves and getting in a few shots of their own. Sheamus lays in the huge hammer-fists on Del Rio in-between the top two ropes and waffles him for a short near fall attempt. Del Rio responds with a big dropkick off the second rope for a near fall of his own. Del Rio works an armbar on Sheamus to try and set up for his finisher, but Sheamus powers up and re-gains the advantage with the Irish Curse backbreaker for a two count. Ricardo hops up onto the apron to distract the ref while Sheamus is on the top rope, which gives Christian a chance to run down to ringside and crotch Sheamus on the top. Del Rio gives him the step-up enziguri and then nails him with a stiff kick to the temple, which is enough to get the surprising pin on Sheamus at 3:58. Another match that definitely could have used a few extra minutes before the angle kicked in, but the finish does make sense atleast as it gives the WWE champ a quick win while protecting Sheamus and giving Christian more heat to use in the burgeoning rivalry between the two. After the match Christian spears Sheamus twice for good measure before taking off. *1/2

Dolph Ziggler/Jack Swagger vs. Kofi Kingston/Zack Ryder

I guess Bourne wasn't fully healed from a recent injury, hence why we have this makeshift tag match instead. Ryder and Swagger start us off with Ryder pancaking Swagger briefly before eating a belly-to-belly suplex. Ziggler tags in and delivers a neckbreaker on Ryder for a two count. Ziggler lays in a few more shots on Ryder before he's able to get the lukewarm tag to Kofi, who cleans house on the heels and delivers the Boom Drop on Ziggler. The heels exit the ring to catch their breath, and Kofi wipes them both out on the floor with a big tope suicida as we take a commercial break. When we return Ziggler is grinding Kofi down into the mat with a loose submission hold. Ziggler nails him with the Fameasser, but Kofi kicks out at two and Ziggler tags out to Swagger. Big back suplex gets Swagger a two count. Kofi and Ryder tease the hot tag, but Swagger cuts it off and continues the beat down on Kofi in the corner. Kofi responds with a huge tornado DDT and both men are able to tag out to their partners. Ryder is all fired up and delivers the Broski Boot to Ziggler in the corner for another close two count. Ziggler responds with a dropkick, but Ryder nails him with a pair of shotgun knees and attempts the Rough Ryder. Ziggler escapes the RR attempt though and locks his deadly sleeper hold onto Ryder. Zack is able to launch Ziggler off him into the corner though. He goes to tag Kofi, but Swagger knocks Kofi off the apron. While the ref is distracted with Swagger, Kofi hops back into the ring and nails Ziggler with the Trouble in Paradise, then positions Ryder on top of Ziggler for the legal pin and the win for the faces at 7:08 (shown). Fun little tag match here and probably our match of the night so far, but I'm not sure if this really means anything long term. Ryder gets a bit of heat out of the finish though atleast. **1/4

After a video package highlighting the events of RAW this week, we cut backstage to Sheamus who is with Matt Striker. Matt asks him about Christian's interference in his match, providing Sheamus the perfect opportunity to tell one of his goofy Irish anecdotes about a troll under a bridge before promising to kick Christian's face off of his skull. I'm not sure that's physically feasible dude.

World Heavyweight Title Match
Mark Henry
© (9-7) vs. Randy Orton (18-7-1)

It's rather surprising that this match up hasn't become painfully stale yet considering they've wrestled each other a good 4 or 5 times over the last month alone. That said, don't expect anything but the usual average match between these two. Orton is cautious to start with the big man, picking his spots. He tries a lariat on Henry, but it barely budges him. Orton gets tossed to the floor and Henry launches him face-first like a lawn dart into the steel ring post. Back in the ring Henry lays in big headbutts and forearms on Orton in the corner. Henry locks on the dreaded nerve hold of doom onto Orton, but Randy fights it off quickly with big right hands. He tries to mount a comeback, but Henry clotheslines him and delivers a big elbow drop to his sternum for another near fall as we cut to commercial. When we return Henry is stomping away at Orton in the corner. Henry hits a Davey Boy-esque running powerslam on Randy, but the Viper still kicks out at two. Henry hits him with a big splash, but again Orton kicks out. Henry tries for a Vader Bomb in the corner, but Orton blocks it with his knees and fires off a pair of lariats and a dropkick to finally take the big man off his feet. Suddenly Cody Rhodes appears at ringside and hops onto the apron to try and attack Orton, but Randy catches him and prepares to give him the second rope DDT before Henry breaks it up. The ref calls for the bell to DQ Henry I assume, ending the match at 7:05 (shown). This was about on par with their usual work together until the abrupt finish, so it was basically slightly below average. Not a great way to finish the show honestly. *3/4

After the match the beatdown commences on Orton until the Big Show runs down to make the heroic save. Show and Orton beat both of the heels down and we go off the air with the Big Show and Orton standing tall above the heels.

Bottom Line: This was a rather lame show to be honest this week. Once again the closest we got to a good match was in the ** range, with the 41 man battle royal taking up a large chunk of the first hour to set up a somewhat meaningless main event that didn't really accomplish anything for anyone involved. Lots of filler, the longest match of the night was a battle royal, and another DQ finish to the main event this week means unfortunately another rare Thumbs Down for Smackdown this week. It wasn't awful by any means, but there's literally nothing here worth going out of your way to see, at all.

Score: 3.0/10

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