Wednesday, November 9, 2011

WWE SmackDown 11/4/11

WWE SmackDown 11/4/11
November 4th, 2011
BI-LO Center, Greenville, South Carolina
Attendance: Unknown at this time (early report suggests about half the arena was tarped off, arena capacity is in the 11-15,000 seat range) *

Welcome kind readers once again to another edition of 411's coverage of WWE SmackDown. I am your humble reporter/reviewer Colin Rinehart and from what I can gather we've got a pretty good show on tap this week, so let's not waste any more time and jump right into the thick of things as we open SmackDown from Greenville, South Carolina.

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

Street Fight Match
Randy Orton vs. Cody Rhodes

Well now, this is one hell of a way to open a show up. These two have the obvious factor of in-ring chemistry in their favor because of several years spent as both partners and foes, so throwing in a fun gimmick like the "Street Fight" moniker is just icing on the cake here. Tense lock-up and headlock from Orton to start, followed by his signature standing dropkick, which sends Rhodes out to the floor. Orton is briefly distracted by some of Cody's "bagmen" at ringside, and he's tossed into the steel steps because of this. No worries, Orton gets right back up and shoves Cody into the steel steps a few times before clotheslining him over the guard barrier and into the front row! Orton and Rhodes trade shots, brawling into the raucous southern crowd. They brawl around a few aisles and then return to the ringside area, where Rhodes uses one of his bagmen as a human shield until Orton backdrops the guy, lariats Cody and tosses him into the ring. Cody immediately slides out of the ring again, prompting one of his bagmen to hit the ring instead and Orton takes him out with an RKO in the ring almost immediately, segueing us right into our first commercial break. When we return to action Orton and Rhodes are trading blows on the ramp/staging area of the SmackDown set Rhodes slams Orton's head on the ramp and gains some measure of control. attempting to suplex Orton off the stage and to the concrete floor, but instead Orton counters and sends shivers down Rhodes spines with a snap suplex onto the steel ramp! Kudos to the WWE production crew for the nice up-close shot of the knots on Rhodes back from that one. Orton drags Cody down by the barricades next to the stage goes to work on him with one right hand after another, counting down. Orton brings Rhodes back down to ringside and thinks about suplexing him back into the ring, but instead he decides to drag Cody to the top rope and SUPER-plex him back into the ring instead for a two count. Rhodes fires off a dropkick of his own for a quick near cover before tossing Orton to the floor, where Orton quickly turns the tables on Cody by hip tossing him into the timekeeper's area. While Randy catches his breath though, Cody is playing the spry possum and he explodes out of the booth with an uproarious uppercut to Orton's face with his signature clear rubber mask! Orton looks out of it and from reports, he was apparently legit busted open in the back of his head right around this point, but it was of course edited out by the production crew as we cut to an extended commercial break. When we return Rhodes is tossing Orton over the commentary table at ringside and Booker T scatters! A wild pack of Booker T's appear! Fight or flee? Wait, wrong game. Okay, Rhodes drags Orton back into the ring and gives him a huge gourdbuster before applying a wristlock. Orton tries to fight Cody off again but Cody nails him with a forearm for a nearfall and then manages to lock a tight figure four leglock onto the Viper.only to bash Rnady in the face again with his hard rubber mask. Cody tries to use the mask again but Orton snatches it away from him and nails Rhodes with it in return. Orton fires off a few clotheslines along with his snap powerslam, which signals for the RKO, but Cody sees it coming (doesn't everyone now?) and instead launches his knee off the top rope and right into Orton's face for a sickening thud, but Orton still manages to kick out of the pin. Rhodes tries for Cross-Rhodes, but Orton counters it with a back drop and he sets Cody up on the timekeeper's section as if he were positioned on the top rope in the ring and Randy just DDTs him right there on the floor, putting a new spin on a trademark Orton move. Back inside the ring Randy puts the icing on the cake by RKO-ing Rhodes for the pin at 16:17 (shown). Another great match by these two work-horses that showcased their familiarity with one another and utilized the street fight stipulation to some fun old school Southern brawling with a pseudo comic-book affiliated results. Effervescent effort by both men and another Friday night delight. ***1/2

After that superb match, just to add insult to injury, Orton throws a bag on top of Rhodes head and basks in the crowds adulation a bit more in triumphant victory over his former stablemate.

Ted DiBiase vs. Tyson Kidd

I'm all for the WWE utilizing social media to get some of their young stars over with the young fans, but this term "DiBiase's Posse" has got to go. It sounds like a cliched mid-90s East Coast rap group. Which would actually be so much cooler than the real thing, but alas, here we have young strapping Ted taking on perennial jobber extraordinaire Tyson Kidd. And with such gusto these two lock up to start! Kidd manages to gain an upper hand early and tries a springboard elbow drop but Ted gets his own elbow up in Kidd's face in defiance. Kidd evades a pumphandle slam and eats a lariat for a two count instead. Kidd fights off the Dream Street attempts and then they go into an intricate series of counters that sees Kidd kicked off once and then backed into the corner. DiBiase slaps on the Dream Streat/Cobra Clutch hold again though and he maintains it long enough to slam Tyson to the mat with it and pick up the pinfall win at 2:08. Not much of a match as you can see but a nice refreshing jobber match after a long TV match is always a nice change of pace. *

Backstage Matt Striker asks the World Heavyweight Champion Mark Henry why he refuses to give the Big Show another shot at the title, but in the middle of the interview he sets his eyes on Daniel Bryan, (Money in the Bank winner, remember that?) and stops suddenly to confront him. Bryan stands his ground while Henry accuses him of "eyeballin'" him. Bryan tries to explain that he's waiting for Wrestlemania to cash in his MITB contract, but Henry manages to somewhat kind of sort of not really persuades Bryan to fight him later tonight, with or without the briefcase. My goodness, could they be planting the seeds of a feud building for Wrestlemania?

Natalya vs. Alicia Fox

Now onto our requisite divas match. Natalya is apparently on the rag and Fox tries to fight back with some feisty dropkicks before bellowing out that Nattie's nose is bigger than hers in the heat of girl-talk midmatch. OMG so many elements at play here, amirite? Fox manages to counter a sharpshooter attempt into a scissors kick, that manages to be enough to pick up the win at 1:28. *

The Big Show heads out to the ring to cut a promo now, asking why Mark Henry wouldn't give him another title short. Big Show, being the drunken grizzly bear lumberjack that he is, tries referencing an old LL Cool J song ("Mama said knock you out!") to chilly results so Christian makes his way out to the ring to start shit with him. Christian cuts a great heel promo about how they do things "differently" in Canada where he's from. Big Show assures Christian that he won't KO him, instead, giving him a chokeslam on the spot right before he's scheduled to face Sheamus in a match. Instead Wade Barrett scurries down to ringside to replace Christian and we have ourselves a match.

Sheamus vs. Wade Barrett

Why must the British and Irish always fight? It's in their blood, that's why. Sheamus goes to town on Barrett as the match starts with a series of shoulderblocks and forearms followed by a knee strike and then the slingshot shoulder-block for a two count. Barrett manages to muster up some defense though and nail Sheamus in the head with a huge running boot to the face. We take a commercial break and when we return Barrett delivers a big pumphandle slam to Sheamus for a two count. Barrett nails him with yet another yakuza kick big boot and Sheamus is looking down and out. Big elbow drop gets another two count for Wade and now the Englishman is in full control, stomping away at Sheamus in the corner at will as (believe it or not) dueling Barrett and Sheamus chants start up. Sheamus is fired up now though and goes to work on Wade, lariating him in the corner and delivering a powerslam. He goes for the powerbomb to finish Wade off, but Christian distracts him long enough for Wade to roll Sheamus up and pin him at 7:30. This was a really rock-solid match full of crisp countering and lots of energetic brawling but it did tend to rely a bit heavily on the formula of matches that Sheamus has had for the last six months until the finish. Good stuff. ***

After the commercial break we cut backstage to see Wade and Sheamus fighting one another backstage after the match anyways. Something tells me they have unfinished business. They follow this with some more RAW rebound stuff and another creepy Brodus Clay promo.

Sin Cara vs. Epico

No idea who Epico is, don't have the time to look it up, but I'll just assume he's one of the many luchadors from FCW. Epico infact manages to deliver a series of rolling German suplexes to Cara, but Sin Cara kicks out repeatedly. Epico puts Cara into Gory Special for a bit to stretch him out until Cara fights back. Cara nails him with a kick and then goes for a top rope move, but Hunico (the "other" Sin Cara) runs down to the ring and jumps the original Sin Cara for a DQ finish at 2:17. This was reportedly another botch-filled encounter for Mistico so they had to heavily edit it for the ten billionth time to make it not look like shit. Dude, I've given as much flack as I can for you Mistico, either stop taking the drugs that's probably making you botch or fuck off man, you're only going to hurt lucha libre's recognition in the WWE on this path. End of rant. *

Mark Henry vs. Daniel Bryan

This isn't a title match obviously. Henry tosses Bryan to start in dominance, as expected. He hands out head-butts and forearms to put over how vicious Henry has become in his new heel persona. Luckily Big Show is at ringside to provide Bryan moral support during the beatdown of a match that this is. Bryan actually gets to do his bit of offense on Henry though, hitting him with a flurry of the usual stiff karate kicks for a shockingly close two count. Henry gets right back up though and slams Bryan in the corner until Big Show hits the ring to attack him, signalling the DQ at 6:23. Obviously not much of a match, but this could be a teaser of things to come when WWE rolls into springtime 2012. Check your tickets folks, cause Bryan Danielson actually might win a world title at Wrestlemania next year. *1/2

Bottom Line: Good episode this week. I'd hash it out more but I'm in a hurry, so I'll revise this later. For now all you need to now is this was a GREAT episode in fact, and you should watch it. THumbs Up.

Score: 8.5/10

* - Source:

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