Friday, February 10, 2012

WWE Friday Night SmackDown! 2/10/12

WWE Friday Night SmackDown!
February 10th, 2012
BOK Center, Tulsa, Oklahoma
Attendance: Unknown at this time

Welcome back everyone to another edition of 411's SmackDown report. We've got a big main event tonight pitting the World Heavyweight champion Daniel Bryan against Randy Orton in a non-title match, so let's just jump right into the show.

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

We open the show tonight with the 2012 Royal Rumble winner Sheamus making his way out to the ring with a microphone to gloat a bit about his Rumble win and tell us again that he's going to wait to pick who he'll face at Wrestlemania until after the Elimination Chamber PPV. It's not long though before Wade Barrett is making his way out to interrupt him. Wade tells him that he needs to go for the WWE title at Wrestlemania, because Wade will be the World Heavyweight champ by then and they both know Sheamus can't beat him. Cody Rhodes comes out next to join the party and promise again that he'll win the Elimination Chamber. Big Show is out next to say the same thing basically in different words. Man I hate opening segments like this where they just have each guy from the upcoming PPV title match come out one by one to say the same thing. It's so unbelievably lazy. Things break down before long and the faces clean house on both of the heels to wrap up the segment.

The Great Khali (3-7) vs. Jinder Mahal (5-7)
Oh so I guess this feud IS continuing. Joy. Jinder tries to mount some petty offense against the big man but it's obviously not enough. Khali finishes him off with the double-arm chokeslam at 2:05. Hopefully that puts an end to this dull feud, match was your usual Khali squash. 1/4*

After a quick recap of Teddy Long suspending Mark Henry last week we cut backstage to him and Aksana flirting as usual. Suddenly Daniel Bryan interrupts with his serious face on to ask if it's true that Teddy Long held a BBQ in the parking lot before the show, which Teddy confirms. Bryan chastises him for eating meat and tells him he can't compete tonight because of how sick this whole thing makes him. Teddy tells him that's not going to work and that he should worry less about animals and more about himself, because the match is on.

Beth Phoenix (12-2) vs. Alicia Fox (8-4)
Beth tries to convince Fox to leave "her ring" at the bell but Alicia won't have any of it. She tries for a monkey flip in the corner but gets knocked down to the mat. Splat. Beth finishes her off with the Glam Slam moments later at 1:18. After the match Tamina comes down to stare down Beth, so I guess she's the next challenger. Typical nothing divas match, I find it hard to take any of these ladies seriously when they always lose in one minute long matches. 1/4*

We get another extended Rock promo highlighting his childhood and upbringing. Not a bad promo actually. Elsewhere backstage Natalya is talking to Tyson Kidd about her "problem" when she lets loose another fart. Kidd takes off, Hornswoggle walks by and is apparently murdered by the stench. It's segments like this that ensure that wrestling will never, ever be cool again.

Sheamus/Big Show vs. Wade Barrett/Cody Rhodes

This match was booked after the opening fracas to start the show. Neither of the heels want to start with Big Show, so Show tosses Wade in briefly until he tags out to Cody. Show manhandles him a bit and then Sheamus and Wade tag in. Wade doesn't last long though and tags Cody back in as we cut to commercial. When we return Sheamus is slamming Cody down and driving an elbow into his chest for a two count. Sheamus hits the old Finlay roll on Cody for another near fall and then tags Show in. Wade and Cody manage to get a few cheap shots in and start trading quick tags. Cody hits a missile dropkick on the giant for another near fall. Cody tries a rest hold (I never understood why you'd do that to a 500 pound giant, but I digress) but Show knocks him off so he tags Wade in who...applies a sleeper. Show breaks it up but Cody tags in and nails him with the Beautiful Disaster kick for a close two count before returning to the chinlock. Show counters out into a side-slam and manages to get the hot tag to Sheamus, who cleans house on Wade with ease. Sheamus hits a tilt-a-whirl powerslam while Show takes out Cody with a spear, and Sheamus finishes Wade with the Brogue Kick at 9:24 (shown). Usually I'd be ecstatic to see a midcard match on this show get 10 minutes of TV time, but this was just dull for the most part. Basic formula tag with Show getting beat on until Sheamus saves the day. **

Michael Cole is in the ring after the break to bring out Daniel Bryan's girlfriend, AJ Lee. Cole asks her how she's feeling and she tells us she's getting the neck brace off this week. She tries to thank the fans for their support, but Cole interrupts and says no one even knows who she is before asking her if she blames the Big Show for her injury and why she was at ringside on RAW this week. She says she was there because Bryan asked her and she loves him, but she also doesn't blame the Big Show for what happened. AJ says that Cole has done alot more damage than the Big Show has by constantly stirring up trouble with Bryan since his debut. She brings up his constant insulting of the diva's division and then says the entire WWE would be better off if Cole would just shut his mouth. Cole absolutely flips out on her, saying that people backstage are saying AJ has no self-respect before claiming that she and Bryan will be footnotes in WWE history after the Chamber. Bryan comes out to interrupt now and Cole runs off like a wimp. Bryan chastises the crowd for all of the meat and beer they consumed during the Super Bowl this past weekend while he was out on a nature walk. He runs them down for not recycling and then goes on to say that he's taking AJ home for the a Prius. He and AJ walk backstage and Teddy tells Bryan that if he leaves the building tonight, he'll be stripped of his title. Good mic work from Bryan, but this whole segment was sort of bizarre because the crowd HATES Cole so they spent the first half of this promo building up face heat for Bryan before having him come out and destroy it all with some heel mic work. I can dig the shades of grey, but I'm just not sure where this is all headed.

Ted DiBiase (10-13) vs. Hunico (5-2)
Hunico took DiBiase out a few weeks ago with an injured hand, so this is his chance for revenge I guess. Ted is hot to start, clotheslining Hunico out of the ring and then going after Comacho at ringside. Back inside Hunico targets the still-injured wrist and tosses him back out so Comacho can get a cheap shot in. Hunico slams the injured wrist into the steel post a few times and then applies a variation of the Fujiwara armbar on him back in the ring. The wristwork continues until Ted manages to roll Hunico up for the fluke win at 2:40. Another quick match between these two to continue their feud, but it's kind of annoying when you see someone work over a guy's wrist the entire match and then he uses that wrist to roll you up for the pin out of nowhere. *

After being reaffirmed as VP of Talent Relations by the board this past Tuesday, we have John Laurinaitis live on the phone from the current tour of Abu Dhabi. Cole sucks up to him a bit and Johnny claims RAW this week will be unforgettable before hanging up.

Daniel Bryan (13-15-1) vs. Randy Orton (26-9-1)
Big Show joins the commentary team for our non-title main event. They lock up and trade some basic wristlocks and armbars. Bryan back-flips out of the corner but eats a dropkick from Orton. Bryan responds with a knee to the gut and some stiff kicks. They trade forearm shots and Orton back-drops Bryan out of the ring. Orton tells Big Show that Bryan is his tonight and Bryan takes advantage of the distraction with a baseball slide and a running knee off the apron as we take our last commercial break. When we return Bryan is working over Orton's arm and shoulder. Orton answers with the suplex into a mid-air neckbreaker move he's been known for and gets a two count. Both men fight to the top rope where Bryan knocks Orton off and tries for a huge diving headbutt, but Orton moves out of the way at the last second. Orton is fired up now and hits Bryan with the snap powerslam before trying for the second rope DDT. Bryan counters though with a stiff kick to the head and then tries again to come off the top rope, but again Orton crotches him and then delivers a superplex to the champ for another near fall. Bryan fires off a running dropkick into the corner and then lays in some more kicks, but Orton counters into a roll-up. Bryan counters that cradle into the LeBell Lock though in a great counter, but Orton escapes it quickly and catapults Bryan to the apron, where he delivers the second rope DDT. Orton signals for the RKO but gets hung up on the top rope by Bryan, who grabs his title belt from ringside and then gets into Big Show's face. Show tosses him back into the ring and Orton hits the RKO, but the ref calls for the bell and awards the match to Bryan via DQ at 10:10 (shown). Not exactly the epic encounter I was hoping for, but still really good stuff up until the non-finish, which you had to know was coming. I'd love to see what these two could do with another 10 minutes and a clean finish, but this was solid while it lasted. **3/4

After the match Randy Orton gets into Show's face and both men wind up brawling at ringside while Daniel Bryan scurries off with his title belt as we close out the show.

Bottom Line: Another solid show this week, with Big Show and Mark Henry out of the main event the match quality and time went up pretty handily. There really wasn't much in the way of angle advancement or anything tonight, but we did get a nice promo from Bryan and a solid main event. Nothing to set the world on fire or anything, but a solid show and a minor Thumbs Up from me.

Score: 6.0/10

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