The show opens with a great video to commemorate Veteran’s Day here in the United States.
The Smackdown video plays, and we’re brought into the arena with some fireworks. Josh Mathews, Booker T, and Michael Cole welcome us to the show. This is the first time Smackdown has been taped in Liverpool, England. They talk about the Traditional 10-Man Survivor Series match between Team Orton and Team Barrett.
Randy Orton’s music hits, and he makes his way to the ring. They’re not using Tony Chimel tonight as the ring announcer. They show some replays of the Street Fight Orton won against Cody Rhodes last week. They then showed him putting the paper bag over Rhodes’s face after the match. Orton stands in the ring and soaks in the cheers from the England faithful. Orton says when Teddy Long told him that he was going to captain his own Survivor Series team, he told him that he doesn’t exactly play well with others. Every team he’s had in WWE has imploded, usually with him doing something horrible to what once were his friends. He’s not exactly a leader, but he sure as hell is no follower. So, in the end, he has no problem being a team captain at Survivor Series. He has no problem giving Cody Rhodes the beating of his life, again. He also has no problem shutting Christian’s mouth up once and for all. He doesn’t know Jack Swagger and Hunico too well, but he has no problem doing with them what he must simply because they got in his way.
Wade Barrett’s music hits, and he makes his way to the ring to a chorus of boos. I’m sure there were some cheers in there as well. Barrett asks what Orton has no problem with. Barrett assumes he was going to say he has no problem with him. Barrett says Orton has a huge problem with him. Barrett has given him problems in the past, but they will pale in comparison to the kind of problems he’ll give him at Survivor Series. They’ve both been in groups in the past. He’s never started as the leader of any of them, but because of the man he is, a natural born leader, people have always gravitated towards him. Orton is a natural born predator; the kind of man no one will ever actually trust. The “Barrett Barrage” that has been sweeping Smackdown for weeks is going to continue at Survivor Series. He’s achieved a lot in his short WWE career, but the one thing he has yet to achieve is becoming the World Heavyweight Champion. For that to happen, he needs Orton out of the picture. He’ll show the world that he is Orton’s in-ring superior. That’s why his team will be victorious. Barrett asks if Orton is even listening to him. Orton says he’s not because he’s trying to imagine how high his head would bounce off the mat once he hits him with an RKO.
Christian’s music hits, and he comes out to the stage with a neck brace on. Christian asks who Orton is trying to fool here. Orton is going to be to his team what Yoko Ono was to The Beatles. Christian says he’s wearing a neck brace after being Chokeslammed by the Big Show for no reason whatsoever. By the grace of God he’s able to be here tonight. Christian gets in the ring. Christian says he knew Teddy Long wasn’t going to do anything about that, but he’s coming out to thank Wade Barrett for volunteering his services last week. Not only did he volunteer his services, he beat Sheamus in the middle of the ring. That happened because Christian inspires people to be better. Teddy Long offered him the opportunity to be team captain, but he declined for health reasons. That’s what leaders do, and so is Barrett. Christian gives his full endorsement as captain of their team.
Christian says they’re all equals, and at Survivor Series they’ll all be on the same page. Christian says he’s feeling like he’s in sync with Barrett – so in sync that it’s time to send a message to Orton and his team. Orton immediately takes Christian down with a right hand. Barrett quickly attacks, and Christian soon joins in. They double-team Orton until Sheamus runs down for the save. Orton throws Barrett out of the ring, and Sheamus rips Christian’s neck brace off. They both escape up the ramp. Teddy Long’s music hits, and he makes his way to the stage. Long says Christian looks recovered from the Chokeslam last week. Christian argues that. Long says the only thing wrong with Christian’s neck and back is that he’s spineless. That’s why he’ll face Sheamus, like he should have done last week, next! Long then asks Liverpool if they’d like to see some Survivor Series captains square off. They cheer, and Long books the match for tonight’s main event! Wade Barrett will go one-on-one with Randy Orton!
Christian vs. Sheamus
The bell rings as soon as we come back from break. They circle the ring and lock up. Sheamus applies a side headlock. Christian whips him off, they go back and forth in the ropes, and Sheamus shoulder blocks him down. Sheamus taunts Christian, so Christian slaps him in the face. Sheamus quickly beats him down, and he nearly gets disqualified. Sheamus clubs Christian’s chest, and then he brings him back into the ring the hard way. Sheamus picks up a two count. Sheamus sends him to the ropes, but Christian slides through his legs and uppercuts him. Christian goes into the ropes, and Sheamus catches him with a back body drop. Sheamus punches him in the corner, sends him to the opposite corner, and then whips him back again. Sheamus then gives him a press slam.
Christian gets out of the ring, so Sheamus chases him. Christian gets in the ring, and he catches Sheamus trying to come into the ring. They fight, and Sheamus tries to suplex him out of the ring. Christian stuns him and goes into the ropes. Sheamus drives him shoulder into the midsection, and he hits Christian with a slingshot shoulder block. Christian quickly gets out of the ring. Sheamus follows him out and bounces him off the announce table. Sheamus goes to throw Christian into the ring post, but Christian counters. Christian rolls him into the ring, and he hits a nice missile dropkick for a near fall.
Christian punches, but Sheamus quickly comes back. Sheamus charges, but Christian pulls the top rope down. That causes Sheamus to fly out of the ring. Christian attempts a plancha, but Sheamus catches him. Sheamus then hits a fall-away slam into the barricade, nearly dropping Christian on his head in the process!
We come back from the break to see Christian beating Sheamus down. Sheamus tries to come back, but Christian takes him down, slingshots out of the ring, and uppercuts him. Sheamus tries to throw Christian out of the ring, but Christian lands on the apron. Christian then snaps him off the top rope. Christian taunts the crowd before going to the top rope. Christian jumps into a punch. Christian comes back with a big right hand. Christian tries to send him to the corner, but Sheamus counters. Christian hits the corner sternum first.
Sheamus comes back with some clotheslines, and he beats him down in the corner. Sheamus hits a short-arm clothesline and a nice powerslam for a near fall. Sheamus goes for another short-arm clothesline, but Christian ducks it. Christian kicks him and goes for a springboard sunset flip, but Sheamus doesn’t go down. Sheamus shoves him to the corner, but he runs into a boot. Christian jumps off the second rope, but Sheamus catches him with the Irish Curse for a near fall. Sheamus goes for the Celtic Cross, but Christian slides off and punches him. Christian goes for a cross-body block, but Sheamus catches him and hits him with a fall-away slam. Sheamus clotheslines him in the corner and takes him down with a high knee to the face. Sheamus goes to the apron, but Christian grabs his foot. Sheamus shoves him off, gets in the ring, and Christian gives him a dropkick.
Christian goes to the top rope, but Sheamus cuts him off. Sheamus climbs up, but Christian punches him off. Christian gets down, punches Sheamus away, and catches him with a pendulum kick. Christian executes a tornado DDT for a near fall. Christian can’t believe it. Sheamus kicks him in the knee to buy himself some time. Sheamus goes to the top rope and hits a flying shoulder tackle for a near fall. Sheamus gets pumped up and goes for the Brogue Kick, but Christian ducks it. Christian goes for the Kill Switch, but Sheamus counters with a back suplex attempt. Christian flips through that, and he goes for a Spear, but Sheamus sidesteps him. Sheamus hits him with the Celtic Cross from there for the win!
Winner by Pinfall: Sheamus
Match Rating: ***
Sheamus celebrates and goes up the ramp. Christian, on the other hand, sells that his neck is hurt. Christian finds the people that Sheamus threw the neck brace to earlier, takes it back from them, and puts it back on.
Tonight’s main event will see Randy Orton take on Wade Barrett. It’s Survivor Series Captain vs. Captain.
They show a replay of last week’s main event between Mark Henry and Daniel Bryan. Henry was in firm control, until Big Show came in and knocked him out. Big Show almost got Bryan to cash in his Money in the Bank contract, but Henry got up to hit him with the World’s Strongest Slam. Henry then hit Big Show with an impressive World’s Strongest Slam.
Daniel Bryan is backstage with Kaitlyn and AJ. Kaitlyn asks if he was really going to cash in Money in the Bank since he said he was going to do that at WrestleMania. Bryan says he has a rematch tonight, so it could happen. Mark Henry walks up, and he asks if Bryan really thinks it’s that easy to become the champion. It took him fifteen years to become the champion. Bryan slaps Henry’s hand away, and says he doesn’t care how long it took Mark Henry to win it. If he’s still champion at WrestleMania, he’s going to beat him. Henry smiles and says Bryan has some guts, but he’ll have to spill them all over the ring tonight.
They play an Ezekiel Jackson hype video. They show him as a family man outside the ring, but inside the ring he’s a monster.
Teddy Long is backstage with MY FAVORITE REFEREE IN THE WORLD CHARLES ROBINSON. Long says he’s been doing a great job, and he wants him on his game for the big match tonight. Robinson thanks him and leaves the office. The cheesy saxophone music cues, and Aksana walks in. Aksana wants to work, so Long puts her in Alicia Fox’s corner. Aksana acts excited, and she kisses Long on the cheek. Fox sees him pretty much drooling, and she snaps at him.
We’ll see Randy Orton take on Wade Barrett later tonight.
JOBBER ALERT: Jinder Mahal is in the ring with no TV entrance.
Jinder Mahal vs. Ted DiBiase
They circle the ring, and Mahal kicks him. Mahal sends him to the ropes, but he lowers his head and eats a kick. DiBiase goes into the ropes, and Mahal takes him down with a high knee for a two count. Mahal drops a knee, and he sends him to the ropes. DiBiase ducks a clothesline and hits a flying knee. DiBiase hits an inverted atomic drop and a punch. DiBiase hits a clothesline. Mahal counters a whip into a Full Nelson Slam attempt, but DiBiase rolls him off. DiBiase hits his Dream Street for the win.
Winner by Pinfall: Ted DiBiase
Match Rating: N/A
They show some footage of WWE ’12 of what might happen when Mark Henry and Big Show meet at Survivor Series.
Daniel Bryan’s rematch against Mark Henry is next.
Mark Henry vs. Daniel Bryan
They announce that General Manager Teddy Long has banned Big Show from ringside. Daniel Bryan also comes out to some new music. Well, not new, just a more hard rock version of “Ride of the Valkyries”.
Bryan tries to kick him, but Henry catches the leg. Bryan tries again, but Henry clubs him down. Henry picks him up and simply throws him out of the ring. Henry goes outside and sends him into the barricade. Henry squishes Bryan’s face into the steel steps. Henry throws him into the ring, gets in, and kicks him in the ribs. Henry pushes him down, and he stands on his chest. Henry taunts the crowd a bit. Henry then press slams him into the corner turnbuckle. Henry backs across the ring and charges, but Bryan moves off.
Bryan goes to the top rope and hits a nice missile dropkick, bringing Henry down to a knee. Bryan hits Henry with a vicious flurry of kicks, taking him down completely. Bryan goes for the LeBell Lock, but Henry fights up, with Bryan hanging on his arm, and he slams him down. Henry sets him up in the corner and viciously head-butts him a few times. Henry rips him out of the corner and hits a big splash. The match is over, but Henry lifts Bryan up. Bryan gets to his knees and begs Henry to give him more. Henry obliges by crushing him with the World’s Strongest Slam for the win.
Winner by Pinfall: Mark Henry
Match Rating: * 1/4
Mark Henry takes his World Heavyweight Championship, which wasn’t on the line in this match, and raises it up. Henry then looks down at Bryan, exits the ring, and grabs a steel chair. Henry scares the referee out of the ring, and Bryan kicks him in the knee. Bryan grabs the chair and cracks Henry on the back with it. Henry simply stands up with a look of absolutely fury. Henry hits the World’s Strongest Slam, goes into the ropes, and drops a huge elbow on him. Henry picks him up, and he hits him with the World’s Strongest Slam again. Henry grabs the chair, grabs him by the ankle, drags him to the corner, and sets the chair around his ankle. Henry goes to the second rope until –
The Big Show’s music hits. Big Show runs down to the ring, and Henry quickly grabs the chair to keep him at ringside. The referees help Bryan to his feet, so Henry cracks him in the back. Big Show gets on the apron, and he punches the chair out of Henry’s hands. Henry backs up as Big Show looks at him furiously. Henry gets out of the ring, and Big Show picks up the World Heavyweight Championship. Big Show tosses it to Henry, he takes it, and he walks off.
Big Show asks if Mark Henry thinks it’s impressive to beat up on someone half his size. Big Show tells him to watch his match, and he’ll show him something really impressive. Henry turns and goes up the ramp as Big Show celebrates in the ring.
Big Show vs. Three Local Wrestlers
Mark Henry is at the top of the ramp, watching the match. Charles Robinson, my favorite referee ever, is the official of this match. The three men converge on him, and they bring him down to his knees quickly. Big Show begins to swat them away, but they take him down. One guy hits a running kick to his face that simply infuriates him. Big Show chops two of them down and hits a Double Chokeslam. The third guy is on the outside, and he walks off. Big Show chases him down and he press slams him back into the ring. Big Show drops him with the WMD for the win.
Winner by Pinfall: Big Show
Match Rating: N/A
Mark Henry asks if he’s supposed to be impressed by that. Henry says those guys aren’t him. He’s the World Heavyweight Champion, and he knows he impresses Big Show. He impressed him last week when he gave him the World’s Strongest Slam last week. He also impressed him when he sent him on vacation for four months. Then he impressed everyone when he won the World Heavyweight Championship, and it’ll happen again at Survivor Series. Mark Henry promises that what he does to Big Show will be a lasting impression.
They play a video showcasing what happened when tickets for WrestleMania XXVIII went on sale.
Later tonight we’ll see Randy Orton take on Wade Barrett.
JOBBER ALERT: Tamina is in the ring with no TV entrance.
Tamina w/ Rosa Mendes vs. Alicia Fox w/ Aksana
Natalya is on commentary for this match. They show footage of Kelly Kelly’s Maxim Magazine cover being unveiled on Monday. They lock up, and Tamina quickly knees her. Tamina kicks her down in the corner, but Fox comes back with some forearms. Tamina quickly head-butts her down and tosses her across the ring by the hair. Tamina beats on her before tossing her by the hair again. Tamina under-hooks the arms, and she is looking for a submission. Fox fights up, but Tamina quickly brings her down to a knee. Fox then gets out with a back body drop. Fox hits some clotheslines and a pair of dropkicks. They trade punches, and Tamina hits a nice body slam. Tamina misses a body splash by a mile, and Fox follows up with a very strange looking kick. Fox then sits on her face with that flipping leg drop for the win.
Winner by Pinfall: Alicia Fox
Match Rating: 1/2 *
They show footage of Sheamus at the MTV European Music Awards. He gave Justin Bieber the award for Best Male Artist.
Sheamus is backstage with Matt Striker. Striker says people have been saying that Sheamus is a hothead. They then show footage of Sheamus beating Wade Barrett down backstage last week. Sheamus says he doesn’t know why he has the reputation of a hothead. Sheamus says he’s generally a nice guy. Sheamus says he can give an award to Justin Bieber or he can hang out with Cousin Beaker from “The Muppets”. Sheamus says he’s all about having a laugh, and he doesn’t have a temper. Striker disagrees, and Sheamus angrily looks at him. Sheamus stares him down, and then he smiles at Striker.
Hunico makes his way to the ring with Primo and Epico. They’ll be in action next.
They show footage of Hunico and Epico take out Sin Cara next week.
Hunico and Epico w/ Primo vs. The Usos
Charles Robinson, the best referee ever, is back again. Epico starts off against Jey Uso. Jey beats him down in the corner, and he tags in his brother Jimmy. Jimmy hits an uppercut for a two count. Jimmy hits an uppercut and sends him to the ropes. Jimmy lowers his head, and he eats a kick. Hunico blind tags in, and he blindsides Jimmy with a clothesline. Hunico tags in Epico, and he whips Jimmy into Epico’s dropkick. Epico gets a near fall. Epico stomps him in the corner. Hunico is tagged in, and he hits a slingshot dropkick for a near fall. Hunico gets a front face lock on, but Jimmy gives him a back body drop.
Jey Uso is tagged in, and he hits some shots. Jey hits a nice spinning forearm, backs up, and he hits a running butt bump. Epico breaks up the pin. Jimmy runs in, and Primo distracts him. Epico takes him out, and Jey takes Epico out with a superkick. Hunico hits an Angle Slam and follows up with a Swanton Bomb for the win.
Winners by Pinfall: Hunico and Epico
Match Rating: 3/4 *
Jimmy Uso is in the ring to get his brother, so Hunico and Epico talk some trash to him. Primo then blindsides him, and they triple team Jimmy Uso. They throw him out of the ring before surrounding Jey. Epico hits the Codebreaker, Primo immediately follows up with the Back Stabber, and Hunico finishes him off with a Swanton Bomb. All that happened in rapid succession.
Randy Orton is seen walking backstage. He’ll be in action against Wade Barrett next.
Captain vs. Captain
Randy Orton vs. Wade Barrett
They lock up, and they tussle around the ring for position. Orton gets him in the corner, and he gives a clean break. They circle the ring and lock up again. Barrett drives Orton to the corner. Barrett doesn’t give a clean break as he kicks Orton. Barrett applies a headlock and executes a takeover. Orton fights up, whips him off, ducks a clothesline, and hits a dropkick for a one count. Orton applies a headlock, and Barrett fights up. Barrett backs him to the corner, and he gets a break. Orton blocks a punch, and he comes back with some of his own. Barrett counters a whip to the corner, but Orton explodes with a big clothesline. Orton kicks Barrett in the face, and he stomps on the arm. Orton backs up, and he drops a knee for a one count.
Barrett punches at Orton, but Orton quickly takes him down with an uppercut. Orton sends him to the corner, and he charges into Barrett’s boot. Barrett goes to the second rope, and he gets a flying elbow for a near fall. A “Let’s Go Barrett” and “Let’s Go Orton” dueling chant breaks out. Orton rolls out of the ring to recover. Barrett follows, and Orton bounces him off the barricade a few times. Orton tries to send Barrett into the steps, but he jumps over them. Barrett kicks the steps into Orton’s knees, and then he whips Orton into the steps. Barrett taunts the fans as we go to break.
We come back from the break to see Orton fighting up from a chin lock. Orton elbows out, and he punches at Barrett. Orton goes into the ropes and runs into Barrett’s knee. Barrett hits a nice pump-handle slam for a near fall. Barrett chokes Orton on the ropes a couple of times. Barrett knees away at Orton, and then he big boots him off the ropes. Orton falls to the floor as Barrett taunts the crowd. Barrett goes outside the ring, and he sends him into the ring apron. Barrett throws him into the ring and picks up a two count. Barrett applies a chin lock, but Orton soon fights up. Orton head-butts out, goes into the ropes, and runs into a Boss Man Slam for a near fall. Barrett goes to the second rope, and Orton cuts him off. Orton climbs the ropes, and he hits a nice superplex. Orton slowly covers for a near fall.
Both men are down and in pain. Orton gets to his knees, and he gets a crazy look on his face. They trade punches with Orton coming out on top. Barrett sends him to the ropes, but he lowers his head and eats a kick. Orton hits some clotheslines, sends him to the ropes, and hits a nice powerslam. Orton hits Barrett with a draping DDT and gets in position for the RKO. Orton goes for the RKO, but Barrett shoves him into the referee. Barrett quickly rakes Orton’s eyes as the referee gathers himself, and he quickly rolls Orton up for the win!
Winner by Pinfall: Wade Barrett
Match Rating: **
Wade Barrett quickly gets out of the ring and celebrates. Orton rubs his eyes in the ring, and he does not look too happy. They remind us that Raw will get Rocked on Monday.
Quick Match Results
Sheamus def. Christian
Ted DiBiase def. Jinder Mahal
Mark Henry def. Daniel Bryan (non-title)
Big Show def. Three Local Wrestlers
Alicia Fox def. Tamina
Hunico and Epico def. The Usos
Wade Barrett def. Randy Orton
Bump of the Night: Sheamus hitting Christian with a fall-away slam into the barricade!
Match of the Night: Sheamus vs. Christian ***
This was a very good edition of Smackdown. The show opened up with Randy Orton talking about the upcoming Traditional Survivor Series match. Orton cut his usual promo about how he’s not the greatest of guys, but he’d rather be the captain than a follower. Wade Barrett came out, and he had a nice promo about how he’s a natural born leader, whereas Orton is just a predator. Barrett was well spoken, as always, and he put over his “Barrett Barrage”, which I am quickly becoming a fan of. Barrett has been great lately, and he could be a major contender sometime in early- to mid-2012. They’re finally getting him back on track. Christian then came out, and he was as funny as he usually is. Christian plays the role of the cowardly, comic relief heel well, a position he’ll likely carry out for a long time. Those hoping for him to become a serious contender shouldn’t hold their breath. I’m not saying it can’t happen; I’m just saying it doesn’t look likely. In any event, they all wound up fighting, Sheamus made the save, and Teddy Long came out to ruin, I mean, close out the segment. Long booked the two big matches for the night.
Sheamus and Christian then went on to have an awesome match. These two have a natural chemistry, and they always find a way to put on an entertaining match. That’s why Christian is such a great worker, and Sheamus continues to be the future of the company. I love that guy. The match was great and, for the second week in a row, Smackdown’s first match was off the charts. With Sheamus being (pretty much) home, there seemed to be a bigger sense of importance to this match. That’s probably why they went the extra mile with the bigger bumps and such, particularly that nasty fall-away slam into the barricade on Christian. Speaking of Christian, I’m hoping that his ankle injury isn’t serious enough to take him out of the Survivor Series match. That match needs a veteran like him in it, and Smackdown definitely needs him. This show can’t afford to lose any more big stars. The show is starting to get on a run again.
Ted DiBiase fought Jinder Mahal in another showcase match for DiBiase. I stand by what I said about him last week. DiBiase needs a new gimmick and fast if he wants to survive in WWE for the long haul. He’s got some talent, but an overhaul on him is needed.
Mark Henry fought Daniel Bryan in a rematch from last week. This was a very well done match, and they set it up nicely earlier in the night. Their promo interactions are surprisingly awesome. I know I shouldn’t be surprised about Mark Henry being involved in something awesome, but I still am. This is the perfect WrestleMania match, and they’re hinting at it strongly. WWE is very bipolar, so things change from month to month, but this looks pretty set in stone. Henry handled Bryan fairly easily, but Bryan looked very good in defeat. Big Show saved him from getting put in the Hall of Pain. That was some nice interaction between Henry and Big Show. Their feud has also taken off. I’m very interested to see the Survivor Series match.
Big Show followed that up with a quick slaughter of three enhancement talents. Mark Henry cut a promo afterward about the impressions he’s left, and that was flat out awesome. Mark Henry is still the greatest thing going in this company right now. There have been no signs of regression either, and that’s awesome. I hope he continues this way forever.
The divas had a match, and it was what it was. Nothing more, nothing less. My only question was what was the point of having Aksana out there? Actually, what is the point of Aksana at all? What purpose does she serve to this show? What can a Russian dominatrix really do on a PG-rated show? Ok, so it was more than one question. I have a ton of them going through my mind almost every time I watch a diva match.
Hunico, Epico, and Primo (out of nowhere) appear to be a stable. They came out, and I got a text from my friend saying, “LAX debuted on Smackdown?!? Oh wait; it’s just Epico and “I Can’t Wrestleco”. Credit to Nick Teodoro there. I thought the same thing watching them come out. They told the story that Primo is Epico’s cousin, as some fans pointed out to me last week, but couldn’t they find a better way to bring him in rather than just marching him out? It would have been cool for him to run out at the end of the segment when they hit the rapid-fire finishers on Jey Uso. Primo blindsided him anyway. So far I don’t think these guys are being taken seriously. They need to get it going and quickly as Survivor Series is coming up fast. As for the match, see my comments on the divas match. It was what it was.
Randy Orton and Wade Barrett had a match to close out the show. I’ve already sung Wade Barrett’s praises, but I’ll sing them again. Barrett looked very good in this match. Barrett has shown before that he can hang in there with the good ones (see his matches with John Cena in the fall of 2010), but it still means something when you’ve been stuck in limbo for so long to come back and have a good match with a bona fide main event star. Barrett did that.
Orton was no schlep in this match, either. He worked hard to have a good match with Barrett, and I don’t think the work Randy Orton does with younger talent is praised enough. I always go back to the match he had in the summer against Dolph Ziggler as being a shining example of him working hard to give a younger guy some great exposure. Then I also think of later that same week when John Cena squashed Wade Barrett. WWE has really strange ways of putting over their young talent. I think they get it right with how they book a young guy against Randy Orton. WWE should have more Randy Ortons.
Final Rating: ***
34-year-old currently living in Syracuse, New York. Long-time fan of the New York Mets, Chicago Bulls, and Minnesota Vikings. An avid fan of professional wrestling and write reviews/articles on the product. Usually focusing on old-school wrestling.