Friday, October 7, 2011

WWE SmackDown 10/7/11

WWE SmackDown 10/7/11
October 7th, 2011
Mississippi Coast Coliseum, Biloxi, Mississippi
Attendance: Unknown at this time

Friday has come upon us once again and with the weekend comes another episode of WWE SmackDown, emanating tonight from Biloxi, Mississippi and only five days removed from the Hell in a Cell PPV which saw Mark Henry retain the World Heavyweight title while Alberto Del Rio captured the WWE title. The following night on RAW most of the WWE locker room staged a walk-out on COO Triple H, giving him a vote of "no confidence" with complaints varying from allegations of an unsafe work environment to corruption. How will the fallout continue tonight on SmackDown? Well, that's what we watch the shows for, isn't it?

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

We open with Teddy Long backstage, getting off of the phone with Triple H just as Zack Ryder walks up. Apparently Hunter doesn't want a walk-out tonight like he had on RAW, so the show is in Teddy's hands. Well, wasn't it in his hands to begin with? Cue that wretched theme music!

After the intro package we open to a live shot of the arena with Vickie Guerrero in the ring along side Christian, Jack Swagger, Wade Barrett, David Otunga, Dolph Ziggler, and Cody Rhodes. Christian has the mic to start and takes credit for the idea of the entire walk-out, gloating and exaggerating his actions in true heel fashion. Ziggler says it was a united front however, and that they all banded together because they don't have any confidence in Triple H's ability on the job. To explain why they're all gathered here on SmackDown tonight, here's David Otunga to basically say exactly what Christian and Ziggler just did, as well as leveling the threat of walking out on future TV and PPV events. Barrett is next, advocating for Hunter to relinquish control of RAW. Rhodes gets his turn next and gets some of the best heat of the group so far with his atypical nasal drone of a voice. Swagger grabs the mic next but they don't even trust him enough to get his own little mini-promo, so instead he just immediately introduces Alberto Del Rio, who's being touted as the un-official leader of this group by Michael Cole.

Del Rio, the new WWE champion, enters to some decent heat. He brags about his victory this past Sunday but before he can elaborate any further, Teddy Long comes out to interrupt him. Long of course immediately books Del Rio into the next match, against Sin Cara (I assume the original one).

Alberto Del Rio (8-7) vs. Sin Cara (17-3)

Is this really the first time these two have met? Strange, I thought they had wrestled prior to this. Del Rio is ferocious to start with a flurry of kicks before Cara snaps a hurricanrana off on him. He tries a handspring back elbow, but Del Rio simply catches him into a sickening release German suplex right on his head, followed by a stiff kick. Sin Cara responds with another hurricanrana, this time off the top rope. A big tornado DDT from Cara gets him a two count on the champ. Moments later Del Rio grabs a hold of Cara's arm and transitions into his flying armbar finisher, and Cara immediately taps out to give Del Rio the victory at 3:17. Fun little sprint of a match, all this intended to do was put Del Rio over with a quick win over a solid midcarder while still letting Cara snap off a couple of flashy moves to pop the fans. Fun little semi-squash. **

After the match Dark Sin Cara's music hits and the evil one himself runs down to the ring to lay a post-match beatdown on the original Sin Cara. Glad this feud isn't just going to end after one PPV match, these two could have a classic, I really think so. Dark Cara delivers a sick armbar suplex followed by a somersault senton on his nemesis and then takes off.

Backstage Matt Striker is with the WWE Tag Team champions Air Boom. He asks them why they participated in the walk-out this Monday on RAW, and Bourne responds by saying it had nothing to do with The Miz or Triple H, but with the chaos surrounding RAW. Kofi agrees and says Air Boom won't appear on RAW until Triple H is removed. I think we'll survive guys.

Air Boom (Kofi Kingston/Evan Bourne) vs. Dolph Ziggler/Jack Swagger

Air Boom appear to have new vaguely metal-ish music, which is atleast an improvement over the mash-up of both wrestler's previous themes they had been using before. Ziggler and Swagger jump the champs before the match even begins during the babyfaces' big entrance. Ziggler gives Bourne the Zig Zag on the floor and when we finally return from the break the bell rings despite Bourne still being on the outside floor, getting checked on by medical personnel. Kofi is able to fend off both of the heels briefly to start but the numbers game quickly works against him. Kofi manages to mount a decent fight anyways, getting in random spurts of offense until Bourne finally hops on the apron and tags in to clean house on the heels with a variety of spin kicks. He turns around right into a nasty neckbreaker from Ziggler though and Swagger waffles him with a huge power bomb afterwards and that's enough to put away the already hurting Bourne at a measly 3:09. Why wasn't that a title match again? Not so much a match as a couple of stringed-together beatdowns. *1/2

Beth Phoenix (7-2) vs. Alicia Fox (4-3)

Beth finally won the Women's title off of Kelly at the PPV this past Sunday, so this is clearly just going to be a squash for her. With the way Booker gushes about Alicia Fox every week you'd think they were having a backstage fling. Fox tries to counter some of Beth's early power move attempts, but she quickly eats the Glam Slam and is squashed in a whopping 0:36 seconds. Thrilling stuff here, obviously. After the match Natalya puts Fox into a variation of the sharpshooter and Beth has her scream into the mic for them. I think I saw an adult film like this once. 1/4*

After a commercial break we're joined by a returning Big Show, who gets the usual big welcome back pop. To be honest I hadn't even really noticed he was gone, though I guess I should have when the general match quality on this show went up when he disappeared. Show is decked out in army green colors and has the fans watch how Mark Henry injured him and put him out of action 4 months ago at the Money in the Bank PPV. Show shows us some of his "acting" chops and goes a bit overboard in his misty-eyed description of how he struggled to put on his pants after the Henry incident. This isn't the first time you've had trouble fitting into your pants though, is it Show? Come on now, you can't lob up a softball like that and not expect me to take advantage, I apologize for my crassness, really. Show finally musters up the courage to explain that the pain fueled the fire in him to drive him to come back. He threatens to basically punch Henry out until he's unrecognizable. He then of course promises to take the World Heavyweight Title from him, noting that the first title he ever held was that same belt (technically the same belt design and "lineage", even if it's a different promotion). He calls Henry out to give him a shot at the title, and Henry promptly responds.

Mark Henry walks out to the entrance ramp with his own mic and informs Big Show that alot has changed since he left. Henry tells him how he put out Kane, Vladimir Kozlov, and Jerry Lawler during his absence. Hmm, one of those things is not like the others. Henry asks Show why he deserves a title shot; who's he beat? And he kind of has a point, doesn't he? Henry says if and when he decides to give Show a title shot, he'll let him know in due time. He turns his back to walk off, but Show tells him that if he doesn't say yes by the end of the night, Show is going to put him through the announcer's table and then break his ankle the same way Henry broke Show's angle four months back. Well, I can't say the prospect of a Mark Henry vs. Big Show match has me running out to hand over my money, but at least the angle makes sense in the grand scheme of things and should give Henry a chance to get another solid win under his belt as champion over a semi-legit former champ and main event guy. Should help build his heat and continue his push, the only question remaining is who exactly is going to be the lucky babyface to beat him and get that huge rub out of it?

Backstage Matt Striker is with the Viper, Randy Orton. He asks Randy about the possibility of a rematch against Mark Henry, but Orton says that he's decided that if he has to tear through the entire Smackdown roster in order to get another title shot, he's all for it. Striker asks why Orton was absent during the walk-out on Monday, and Orton says that if he has a problem with Triple H, he'll deal with him personally. Orton says he doesn't "play well with others" or follow the crowd (what a rebel!) and Striker asks what that means for his partner in tonight's tag team main event, Sheamus, and Orton says it'll be worse for their opponents Cody Rhodes and Christian.

Ezekiel Jackson (13-11) vs. Jinder Mahal (4-2)

Jinder shouts at Zeke in Hindi before the match begins so Zeke punches him in the mouth. That's one way to go about global relations. Zeke easily overpowers Jinder to start but Jinder gets a cheap shot in and lays in some big knee strikes. Zeke goes into the only set of moves he seems to actually know, which is just different variations of a basic body slam over and over again before attempting the Torture Rack submission unsuccessfully. Mahal nails him with a knee to the face and tries a front-facelock, but Jackson counters into....more bodyslams. And even more bodyslams. Seriously dude, learn more than three moves. You've been in the company for like three years now. He throws Mahal up in the torture rack and puts him out of his misery at 2:06. Mahal isn't over or relevant, Jackson can't do anything besides body-slams and a torture rack, and this sucked. DUD

After the commercial break John Laurinaitis shows up backstage to confront Teddy Long. He says that he knows Teddy is a company man just like himself, and since Triple H isn't in the building tonight, he's here to show Teddy some support. Ace basically tells him that the fate of the entire future of the company lays on his handling of Smackdown tonight. But no pressure or anything Ted. Boy, Johnny Ace sure can play a good scumbag. Who would of thunk it?

Afterwards the commentators are interrupted in their conversation on the turmoil in the WWE by Hornswoggle, who pops out from under the ring. He lives there after all, don't forget. He drags Booker T into the ring for a spinarooni and he obliges. Of course Hornswoggle tries his own version of the spinarooni and the kids get a chance to laugh, or something. I don't know about you when you were seven or eight years old, but dancing leprechauns were still pretty lame even at that age. Then again my generation grew up learning to cuss from South Park, so don't listen to me.

Randy Orton/Sheamus vs. Christian/Cody Rhodes

Cody rocking the vintage Intercontinental title only adds to his awesome look. Sheamus is still getting big pops and I suspect he might wind up being the one to triumph over Mark Henry down the line, perhaps even at next year's Wrestlemania. We've got a good twenty minutes of TV time left (not including commercials), so this should be good. Sheamus plays the role of badass early, quickly knocking around Christian who tags out to Rhodes who eats the hammer-fists in between the top ropes from Sheamus anyways. The Irishman hands out a few more lariats and then tags Orton in, who goes right into his usual excellent groove with Christian almost immediately. Orton delivers the second-rope DDT to Christian and sets up for the RKO, but the heels bail out of the ring for a breather and the distraction allows Christian to dropkick him in the face as we take a commercial break. When we return Christian is in control of Orton with a loose nerve hold that Randy quickly escapes. Christian regains the upper hand briefly and sets up for a spear, but Orton avoids it and gets the hot tag to Sheamus, who cleans house on Cody with clotheslines and a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. He follows it with a knee-lift and goes for the top rope shoulder-block, but Rhodes avoids it. He walks into the Irish Curse backbreaker through for a two count. Sheamus exits the ring to take care of Christian and Rhodes turns around and walks right into the RKO out of nowhere from Orton however and that's enough to end this one rather abruptly at 6:28 (shown). Well, that was certainly a short main event. I know they had to leave time for the Show/Henry confrontation, but come on, you expect atleast one high quality decently long TV match from Smackdown every week and this just didn't do it for me this week. Not a bad match at all, but rather average by the usual Smackdown main event standards. **1/4

And now for our main event promo. Mark Henry joins us once again to inform us all that he is infallible. Pretty big words from a guy that used to job to X-Pac. He also informs us that his answer to the Big Show's challenge is still no, so the Big Show's music hits and the big man storms the ring suprisingly fast, attacking Mark Henry in the ring. A squadron of security guards hit the ring to hold Big Show back, but he breaks free from them with a thunderous spear on Henry. Henry storms off as the Big Show beats up each security guard individually instead. Something tells me they'll blame this one on Triple H too. They wind up going at it one more time, this time at ringside where Henry strips down the announcer's table and tries to slam Show through it, but Show counters and choke-slams Henry through the announce table, delivering on his earlier promise in the show. Show grabs the steel ring steps and a steel chair to try and break Henry's ankle, but Teddy Long comes out and tells him that he has his World title match so long as he doesn't break Henry's ankle. Show considers doing it anyways, but comes to his senses and reluctantly leaves Henry in a mess at ringside as we go off the air.

Bottom Line: Tonight's show just did not do it for me. It wasn't a particularly bad show by any means and in fact it was even marginally entertaining at various points, but wrestling-wise there was absolutely nothing here worth sticking around for, and that's just not acceptable for a show whose identity is that of the best "wrestling" show each week with several long, good to great quality matches usually showing up each Friday night. This week we seemed to sacrifice ring time for angle advancement, which is something usually best saved for RAW. All in all this certainly wasn't awful or anything, but I can't really recommend it either because nothing stood out of the pack. You'll have to make up your mind here, as I pull out the lazy Thumbs in the Middle rating this time.

Score: 5.5/10


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