Friday, January 27, 2012

WWE Friday Night SmackDown! 1/27/12

WWE Friday Night SmackDown!
January 27th, 2012
Tucson Arena, Tucson, Arizona
Attendance: Unknown at this time

Before we launch into tonight's report I'd just like to thank Michael Uphoff for covering the SmackDown report for me last week as I wound up spending much of the day in the hospital visiting a close friend who was in a bad car accident last week. I don't often ask these sorts of things but if you're the praying type, send a few towards Chris Isherwood's way over at Rhode Island Hospital. Thanks, and now, onto our regularly scheduled SmackDown coverage.

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

We open tonight's show with a quick video package reminding us of AJ Lee's accidental injury two weeks ago from the Big Show before the giant himself makes his way out to the ring to apologize publicly to AJ and the fans. Show is a bit choked up and says he's having a bit of trouble forgiving himself though, as he's struggled with not knowing his own strength his entire life. Show gets even more choked up and says that he's not sure if he can even go on with his career to the fan's shock. Before Show can get any further though, he's interrupted by Daniel Bryan's music, garnering the World Champion some serious heel heat.

Bryan is still pissed about AJ's injury, not accepting his apology. He informs Show that AJ was medicated when Show apologized and that she doesn't even remember it. Bryan talks about how the WWE should be a place for athletes, and not genetic freaks. Bryan stops Show before he can bring up the infamous Andre the Giant and tells him that he's no Andre. Well that much is true. Bryan accuses Show of making empty apologies and then demands that he do the honorable thing and immediately retire. He gets in Show's face and slaps him several times until the giant explodes on him, choking him in the corner and calling him an arrogant little ass before tossing him aside like a wet paper bag.

Suddenly Mark Henry's music hits and the World's Strongest Man makes his way down to the ring to join the fracas. Henry grabs a mic and says that he doesn't care about Show's hurt feelings, Bryan's Napoleon complex, or the injured AJ. Before Henry can get into their faces further though, Teddy Long's music hits and the GM makes his way out to the stage to book yet another match between Big Show and Mark Henry for our main event tonight. Goody, because watching these two wrestle half a dozen times over the last month wasn't NEARLY enough obviously.

Cody Rhodes (19-17) vs. Justin Gabriel (11-17)
This is a non-title match, as a pre-recorded promo from Cody informs us. Gabriel is hot out of the box with a big spin-kick, but Cody responds quickly with the Alabama Slam. Gabriel hits a monkey flip and then lays in some more rapid-fire kicks. Cody bails out of the ring for a breather, but Gabriel follows him out with a corkscrew pescado. He springboards back into the ring on Cody, but Cody rolls through for a near fall. Gabriel hits an STO and then lands on his feet after a moonsault attempt only to walk right into the Beautiful Disaster knee-strike from Cody, who follows with the Cross-Rhodes for the pin at 2:11. For a second I actually thought we might see the opening match get more than three minutes. Solid stuff while it lasted, but too short to mean anything. *1/2

Backstage Santino Marella and Yoshi Tatsu introduce themselves to Teddy Long as a new tag-team (though they can't decide if they should be called "Sant-oshi" or "Yoshi-tino") when Drew McIntyre interrupts. Teddy tells him he's skating on thin ice for the dozenth time and then books him into a match with Sheamus up next.

Sheamus (20-12-1) vs. Drew McIntyre (5-12)
This does not bode well for Drew. Cole tries to compare Drew to Alex Smith of the 49ers. I'm not touching that one with a ten foot pole. Drew is fiery to start with some dropkicks and forearms. He hits a nice bridging Northern Lights suplex on the Irishman for a two count and then follows with a snap suplex. It's not long before Sheamus is making his comeback though, hitting a powerslam and then finishing Drew off with the Brogue Kick at 2:52. Another short but solid little match, but it's not like anyone actually believed Sheamus might lose for even a second. Hopefully they don't drag this Drew losing streak angle out too much longer and just get to the pay-off already. *1/4

Epico/Primo vs. Santino Marella/Yoshi Tatsu
Yoshi mimics Santino's odd walking style down to the ring in a funny moment as this new tag team is set to take on the recently crowned WWE Tag Team champions in a non-title match. Santino and Yoshi have a bow-off briefly before Santino locks up with Primo and quickly makes a fool of him with some basic amateur holds. He applies a wristlock and tags Yoshi in, who double-stomps Primo's arm. Yoshi lays in some stiff chops and Epico gets a blind tag in. Santino tags back in and hits the hip-toss/diving headbutt combo, but Primo breaks up the pin. He lariats Yoshi out of the ring but turns around right into the Cobra. Epico sneaks up behind Santino and delivers the Backstabber to pick up the win though at 2:18. Another quick and somewhat pointless match, but Yoshi and Santino are an amusing new tag team and anything that gives Yoshi an excuse to be on SmackDown is okay with me. *

Backstage Daniel Bryan approaches Mark Henry to try and convince him to take the Big Show out so that this Sunday's steel cage match will be down to just Bryan and Henry.

Wade Barrett makes his way out to the ring next to talk about Randy Orton's big return tonight. He claims that Orton is a broken man and runs him down a bit before Orton's music hits and the Viper makes his way down to the ring to brawl with Barrett for a bit. Orton looks good despite his apparent injury. A group of officials and midcard wrestlers from the back come out to break up the fight and wind up paying for it with multiple RKOs. That looked so goofy and contrived with every single wrestler basically lining up to receive an RKO willingly. Just another segment to further the Orton/Barrett feud without having Orton actually wrestle.

Hunico (4-2) vs. Ted DiBiase (10-12)
Hunico is rolling with Comacho again. DiBiase's left wrist is heavily taped as he apparently suffered a cracked bone and some torn cartilage at a house show last week. Hunico goes right for the wrist obviously, tearing away at it with a nasty armbar. DiBiase tries to go for Dream Street but he can't do it because of the injury. Hunico finishes him off with an Olympic Slam seconds later at 0:49. After the match Hunico and Comacho continue the beat-down on DiBiase, so don't be surprised if he's off TV a few weeks. More of an injury angle than a match. 1/4*

Backstage Natalya confronts Teddy Long alongside Aksana, demanding a match against Tamina. Natalya and Aksana start getting into each-other's faces so Teddy books them in a match later tonight. Before the segment is over a loud fart is heard and all three make awkward faces before running off. Santino walks into the empty room and nearly collapses at the stench. No, I'm not making any of this up, that all actually just happened. That was beyond random and stupid.

THE FUNKASAURUS Brodus Clay (1-4) vs. Alex Riley (0-0)
Somebody call my mama! Not even Alex Riley can resist the goofy charm of the Funkasaurus and he dances along with Brodus and the Funkettes. Oh my God I love this gimmick. Both men decide to have a bit of a dance-off to start but it's not long before Clay hits a pumphandle slam and then finishes with the big splash (which is being called the "What the Funk") at 0:36. Another amusing squash match for the Funkasaurus. 1/4*

We get an extended rewind to the Kane/Zack Ryder match and angle from RAW this past week, basically just replaying the entire match and ambulance angle in it's entirety. So we can't cut fluff like this out to give some of the matches more than 2 minutes apiece guys, really?

Aksana (0-0) vs. Natalya (6-11)
This is Aksana's debut match on Smackdown I believe. Continuing this insane losing streak angle with Natalya, she winds up being immediately rolled up literally at the bell to give Aksana the win at a whopping 0:05 seconds. I don't know who Natalya pissed off backstage, but her being jobbed out to every shitty FCW diva in five seconds each week has pretty much destroyed her entire character and any credibility it once had. She puts Aksana into the sharpshooter after the match to try and salvage some heat, but Tamina comes out to make the save and hit the Superfly Splash on her again. DUD

Big Show (14-6) vs. Mark Henry (12-8)
Daniel Bryan comes out to ringside to watch as well. Henry gets quickly tossed out of the ring at the bell and Show follows him out to lay in some big punches to the gut. Back in the ring Show headbutts Henry out of the ring again and we take a commercial break. When we return, the match is apparently already over and the Big Show has won by count-out? Match went about 1:15 (shown) before we returned to hear Lillian announcing Show as the winner. Well, atleast we didn't have to sit through another one of their actual matches. DUD

After the match Bryan hits the ring and attacks Show from behind with a steel chair. He locks Show into the LeBell Lock inside the ring briefly until Show breaks it up and choke-slams him. He sets up for the WMD punch but Bryan escapes and takes off as head off the air.

Bottom Line: This felt like a literal carbon copy of the last few week's shows. A few squashes, a couple two minute matches, and a shitty main event involving some combination of the Big Show, Mark Henry, and Daniel Bryan. I can appreciate the angle they're building with all three, but it doesn't make these shows any more watchable. Total wrestling time tonight? 10 minutes and 6 seconds. That's pathetic for a two hour show, especially one that's been known through-out the years as the best "wrestling show" of the week. I don't mean to sound overly negative, but this was another bad, bad show and a rather easy and enthusiastic Thumbs Down.

Score: 2.0/10

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