“Yes sir, we promised you a great main event…” The WWE video leads us into the show.
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. We’ll be opening the show up with a Street Fight.
Randy Orton vs. Cody Rhodes
Cody Rhodes’s Intercontinental Championship will not be on the line in this match. Rhodes has his baggers hand out the paper bag masks. They circle the ring and lock up. They struggle around the ring before breaking. Rhodes quickly kicks Orton and applies a side headlock. Orton pushes him off and leapfrogs him, but Rhodes kicks him in the midsection again. Orton takes him down with a headlock, but Rhodes fights up. Rhodes whips him off, but Orton comes back with a shoulder block and a dropkick. Rhodes rolls out of the ring to recover. Orton follows him and stares at a bagger. Rhodes kicks him and sends him into the ring steps. Rhodes quickly follows up with some right hands and stomps.
Rhodes grinds his face, but Orton comes back with some kicks. Rhodes quickly sends him into the ring apron and kicks him down. Rhodes hits a snapmare and drops a knee on him at ringside. Rhodes quickly puts him in the ring for a near fall. Orton quickly goes to the apron, and he snaps Rhodes off the top rope. Orton pulls him out of the ring and throws him into the steps. Orton pulls him off, and he smashes Rhodes’s face off the steps again. Orton throws him into the barricade and clotheslines him into the crowd. Orton climbs over the barricade, and they fight through the crowd. Orton throws him into some barricades, and he continues to uppercut him. They eventually get back to ringside, and Orton throws him over the barricade. Orton goes over, and one of the baggers charges him. Orton gives the bagger a back body drop, and he quickly clotheslines Rhodes down. Orton throws him into the ring, and Rhodes immediately rolls back out. Rhodes throws a bagger into the ring, and Orton gives the bagger an RKO! Rhodes angrily stares at him as we go to commercial.
We come back from the break to see Orton club Rhodes up the ramp. Orton beats him down, but Rhodes quickly comes back with a knee. Rhodes smashes Orton’s face off the steel grating. One of them is bleeding a little bit. Rhodes goes to superplex Orton off the ramp, but Orton blocks it. Orton suplexes Rhodes on the ramp instead! Orton sets Rhodes up against a barricade and does the ten punches. Orton throws him back to the ring, drags him up to the top rope, and hits Rhodes with a nice superplex. Orton is bleeding from the top of his head. Orton covers Rhodes for a near fall. They both struggle to get up. Rhodes gets up and quickly dropkicks Orton for a two count.
Rhodes throws Orton out of the ring. Rhodes goes to throw him into the barricade, but Orton reverses it. Rhodes goes over the barricade and into the timekeeper’s lap. Orton goes to grab him, and Rhodes smashes him with his protective facemask. Orton is out cold, and there is a good amount of blood on both of them.
We come back from the break to see Rhodes smash Orton off the announce table. Rhodes goes around and punches him some more. Rhodes throws him into the ring, and he takes him out with a nice gourd-buster. Rhodes applies a wristlock, but Orton fights up and punches out. Orton sends him to the ropes, but Rhodes drops down and uppercuts him for a two count. Rhodes wildly stares at Orton in the corner before choking him with his boot. Rhodes has a whip to the corner reversed, but he’s able to catch Orton charging with a boot to the face. Rhodes quickly takes him down with a chop block, and he begins to work on the knee. Orton tries to kick him in the face, but Rhodes keeps on coming. Rhodes applies a figure four leg lock in the center of the ring. Orton is in a lot of pain. Orton tries to grab him, but Rhodes removes the mask and smashes him in the face.
Rhodes goes to hit Orton with the mask, but he ducks. Orton grabs the mask, and he knocks Rhodes out with it. Orton backs up to the corner, and gets a wild look on his face. Orton hits a pair of clotheslines and a powerslam. Orton drops down and begins to stalk Rhodes. Rhodes pushes him off with the RKO, and he catches Orton with a Beautiful Disaster for a near fall! Rhodes goes for the Cross Rhodes, but Orton back body drops him off. Orton gets him on the apron for a draping DDT, but Rhodes slips off, and he drags Orton out of the ring. They go back and forth with punches. Orton comes out on top, and he hits a front suplexes Rhodes on the barricade! Orton then sets him up, and he hits the draping DDT off the barricade and onto the floor! Orton laughs before throwing Rhodes into the ring. Orton then hits the RKO for the win! That was a damn good match!
Winner by Pinfall: Randy Orton
Match Rating: *** 1/4
Randy Orton celebrates for a little bit. He then goes outside the ring, grabs a paper bag mask, and puts it on Cody Rhodes. Orton smiles and celebrates some more. Orton then picks up Rhodes’s facemask and shows the camera where it’s cracked. Rhodes comes to in the ring, and he rips the paper bag mask off his face.
They show a video of Kevin Nash’s attack on Triple H two weeks ago. Later tonight we’ll see Sheamus take on Christian.
Matt Striker announces that after this upcoming match he’ll have an exclusive interview with Mark Henry.
JOBBER ALERT: Tyson Kidd is in the ring with no TV entrance.
Tyson Kidd vs. Ted DiBiase
Charles Robinson, my favorite referee in the world, is the official for this match. They circle the ring before locking up. Kidd quickly knees him before going to the ropes. DiBiase quickly dropkicks him. DiBiase charges into some boots, and Kidd quickly capitalizes with some kicks and elbows. Kidd hits a running dropkick to the side of the head for a two count. Kidd kicks him, goes to the apron, and hits a pelé kick. Kidd goes for a springboard elbow drop, but DiBiase gets his knees up. Of course the announcers don’t pick up on that. DiBiase hits an inverted atomic drop, ducks a clothesline, and hits one of his own. Kidd back flips out of a back suplex, but DiBiase quickly clotheslines him down for a two count. Kidd gets out of Dream Street, rolls him, and goes for a Sharpshooter. DiBiase gets out of that, goes for Dream Street, and Kidd tries to fight out of it. DiBiase hangs on and hits the Dream Street for the win.
Winner by Pinfall: Ted DiBiase
Match Rating: N/A
Matt Striker asks Mark Henry why he won’t grant the Big Show a rematch. Henry says he handled his business at Vengeance, and he’s tired of answering these questions. Henry notices something off camera, and he walks up to Daniel Bryan. Henry thinks Bryan is taunting him with his Money in the Bank briefcase. Bryan says he’s cashing it in at WrestleMania. Henry says he doesn’t care if Bryan is waiting for this WrestleMania, the next WrestleMania, or the second coming. Henry says Bryan can’t beat him. Henry says he’s going to talk to Teddy Long and get a match against Bryan. Bryan says he’ll see him in the ring, and he walks away.
Alicia Fox makes her way to the ring wearing a fox. How imaginative!
Alicia Fox vs. Natalya
They show a replay of Monday’s Raw Diva Battle Royal. Eve won the Battle Royal by eliminating Natalya. Beth and Natalya went to attack, but the faces came together to scare them off.
Natalya quickly takes her down with a headlock. Fox has a whip reversed, they go slow motion into the ropes, and Fox sort of hits a dropkick. Natalya quickly takes her down and stomps her knee. Natalya takes her down and applies a Boston Crab. Natalya turns her for a Sharpshooter, but Fox kicks her in the face. Natalya blocks a kick, but Fox counters with an enzuigiri. Fox hits a flipping leg drop for the win.
Winner by Pinfall: Alicia Fox
Match Rating: N/A
They confirm that Mark Henry will take on Daniel Bryan later in the show. Big Show will be out in the ring next.
Big Show makes his way to the ring, and they show footage of the ring collapsing two weeks ago at Vengeance. Big Show says he’d rather be out here fighting rather than talking. That’s why Frankenstein never talks that much. He won’t be a monster anymore, and he’d lose his mystique. He’d be a big guy with a bolt in his head that likes to blab. Big Show will make this short and sweet for Mark Henry. They have unfinished business from Vengeance regarding the World Heavyweight Championship. Big Show says he can ask Alberto Del Rio about what he’s going to say. For every Smackdown he doesn’t get a match against Mark Henry, he says, “Mama’s gonna knock you out – I’m gonna knock you out!” Big Show says he’ll knock Mark Henry out for every Smackdown he doesn’t get a title shot.
Christian’s music hits, and he makes his way to the ring. Big Show asks if Christian is lost. Christian says he heard Big Show’s clever line. Christian said he thought that was his cue for him to come out for his match against Sheamus. Big Show says he’s right, and goes to leave. Christian asks Big Show why he thinks he deserves one more match for the title. Christian says Big Show didn’t get the job done at Vengeance. Christian says he was screwed repeatedly. Christian asks for one more match because he deserves it. Big Show comes out and threatens violence. Christian could do that and knock people out, but he’s not a violent person. He’s a little more civilized. It’s not like he’s from the South – he’s from Canada. The crowd boos.
Big Show holds up his fist, and Christian backs away. Big Show tells him to relax. Christian says that’s Big Show’s answer to everything. Big Show says he was scratching his chin, and he won’t knock him out. Big Show assures him that he’s not going to knock him out, and he instead Chokeslams him down!
Christian is still down at ringside. He’s supposed to be having a match against Sheamus at this moment. The referee comes to check on Christian’s status as Sheamus makes his way to the ring. The referee informs Sheamus that Christian is in no shape to compete.
Wade Barrett’s music his, and he makes his way to the ring. Barrett says Christian is in no state to compete tonight, so he’ll suggest a suitable replacement: himself.
Sheamus vs. Wade Barrett
Barrett kicks Sheamus, and he clubs him to the corner. Sheamus clubs back and bounces him in the corner. Sheamus hits a nice body slam, goes into the ropes, and he drops an elbow for a one count. Barrett punches and head-butts Sheamus. Barrett has a whip reversed, and Sheamus hits him with a back elbow. Sheamus ties him in the ropes, and he begins clubbing the chest. Sheamus goes to the apron, and he knees him in the face. Sheamus hits a slingshot shoulder block for a two count. Barrett pulls him into the ropes, and he drops Sheamus with a flying forearm. Barrett ties Sheamus up in the ropes, and he knees away at him. Barrett backs up, and he hits a nice big boot that sends Sheamus to the floor. Christian is still at ringside watching.
We come back from the break to see Sheamus fight out of a submission. Barrett ducks a Brogue Kick, and he kicks Sheamus in the midsection. Barrett hits a pump-handle slam for a two count. During the commercial, Barrett clotheslined Sheamus down. Barrett applies a knee to the back surfboard stretch. Sheamus fights out of it, but Barrett comes back with a knee to the midsection. Barrett hits a nice big boot for a two count. Barrett kicks away at Sheamus before sending him into the turnbuckle sternum first. Barrett drops a top rope elbow for a near fall. Barrett knees him down and applies a modified chin lock. Sheamus fights out and goes for the Celtic Cross, but Barrett counters with a back body drop. Barrett chokes him with his boot and kicks him in the head for a one count.
Sheamus fights up from a submission, elbows out, and drags Barrett off. Sheamus hits some clotheslines and a hammer to the face. Sheamus viciously clubs him down in the corner, and he begins kicking away. Sheamus hits a nice short-arm clothesline. Sheamus follows up with a powerslam. Sheamus gets the crowd into it, and he sets up for the Celtic Cross. Barrett slides off, and Christian jumps up to the apron. Sheamus runs at him, and Barrett quickly rolls him up for the win!
Winner by Pinfall: Wade Barrett
Match Rating: * 3/4
Sheamus tries to grabs Barrett, but he gets turned around, and Christian spears him down! Christian and Barrett walk off while Sheamus angrily stares at them.
We’ll see Daniel Bryan take on Mark Henry in the main event later tonight.
The camera finds Sheamus beating Christian down backstage. Wade Barrett all of a sudden blindsides him, but Sheamus is able to push him into some metal pipes. They roll around the concrete pummeling one another until the referees and some random wrestlers break them up.
The Raw Rebound airs.
Daniel Bryan is in his dressing room when Big Show walks in. Big Show says he’ll keep an eye on Bryan’s briefcase since he’ll be in his corner tonight. Big Show puts the briefcase in Bryan’s hands, and he repeats that he’ll be in Bryan’s corner tonight.
Sin Cara makes his way to the ring. He’ll be in action next.
Brodus Clay will make his re-debut this Monday.
Sin Cara vs. Epico
Charles Robinson, my favorite referee ever, is back for another match. They circle the ring, and Epico kicks Cara. Epico wrenches the arm and applies a hammerlock. Cara hits a nice snapmare, ducks a clothesline, and hits a nice head-scissor takeover. Cara goes for a handspring back elbow, but Epico hits a trip of rolling back suplexes. Epico hits a double arm suplex for a near fall. Epico applies the Gory Special, but Cara counters out with an arm drag. Cara hits a springboard hurricanrana (this was clearly edited), and Cara hits a top rope arm drag. Cara executes a pelé kick before going to the top rope. Hunico then runs down, and he pushes Cara off the top rope! Charles Robinson calls for the bell.
Winner by Disqualification: Sin Cara
Match Rating: 1/2 *
Hunico (the former Sin Cara II) and Epico beat on Sin Cara. They take turns pushing Sin Cara into one another’s fists. Epico sends Sin Cara into the ropes and catapults him into Hunico who powerbombs him. Hunico and Epico stand tall in the ring.
Mark Henry will take on Daniel Bryan with the Big Show in his corner next.
Mark Henry vs. Daniel Bryan w/ Big Show
Mark Henry yells at Daniel Bryan as the bell rings. Bryan ducks under Henry and jumps on his back with a chokehold. Henry simply pulls him off. Bryan kicks and quickly moves away from him. Bryan unleashes a flurry of kicks and goes into the ropes. Henry attempts a flapjack, but Bryan catches him with a guillotine chokehold. Henry slams him into the corner and throws him over the top rope. Big Show gives some inspirational words to Bryan. Bryan gets into the ring, and Henry quickly kicks him around. Bryan falls out of the ring. Henry follows, and he squashes Bryan’s face into the ring post. Big Show comes around, and he scares Henry off Bryan.
Henry throws Bryan into the ring, and he kicks away at Bryan. Henry sends him into the corner hard, and then he stares at Big Show at ringside. Henry stands on Bryan’s chest for a few seconds, steps off, and applies a neck vice. Big Show roots Bryan on at ringside. Bryan gets out with a pair of kicks. Henry pushes him into the ropes, and Bryan hits a nice dropkick to the knee. Henry is down on his knees, and Bryan hits some vicious kicks to the head! Bryan covers, and Henry press slams Bryan out of the ring with the kick out. Bryan quickly gets back in, and he leaps off the second rope. Bryan gets Henry in a guillotine choke. Henry looks to be fading until he flips Bryan off him.
Mark Henry has perhaps the greatest expression on his face that I’ve seen any wrestler have this year. Henry beats him down in the corner, backs up, and hits an avalanche. Henry sets him up in the corner again, and he hits a second avalanche. Henry sets him up again, and he backs up to hit a third avalanche. Big Show then gets in the ring, and he knocks out Mark Henry!
Winner by Disqualification: Mark Henry
Match Rating: * 1/4
Big Show grabs a water bottle, and he pours it on Bryan’s head. Big Show gives Bryan his Money in the Bank briefcase, and he wants Bryan to cash in his contract! Bryan gets in the ring with his briefcase, runs to hit Henry with it, and Henry catches him with the World’s Strongest Slam! Big Show gets in the ring, and Henry takes him out with the briefcase. Henry then hits Big Show with the World’s Strongest Slam.
Teddy Long’s music hits, and the General Manager of Smackdown makes his way to the ring. Long says they won’t settle this tonight, but they will settle it at Survivor Series. Long says that Mark Henry, whether he likes it or not, will defend his World Heavyweight Championship against Big Show in a rematch! Mark Henry is not happy about this news. Big Show laughs at Henry in the ring.
Quick Match Results
Randy Orton def. Cody Rhodes in a Street Fight (non-title)
Ted DiBiase def. Tyson Kidd
Alicia Fox def. Natalya
Wade Barrett def. Sheamus
Sin Cara def. Epico via DQ
Mark Henry def. Daniel Bryan via DQ
Bump of the Night: Randy Orton hitting Cody Rhodes with a draping DDT on the floor!
Match of the Night: Randy Orton vs. Cody Rhodes *** 1/4
This was a very good episode of Smackdown. The show had a purpose, had some damn good matches, and had storylines that actually advanced and went somewhere. With Smackdown being in London next week, we could be guaranteed two good Smackdown’s in a row!
The show opened up with an excellent Street Fight between Randy Orton and Cody Rhodes. If they had this match at Vengeance a few weeks ago, I imagine it would have been better received with the crowd there. This match was given time, and it was entertaining from start to finish. Some of those bumps were very impressive. Orton looked as good as he always does in this match, but Rhodes’s star really shone brightly tonight. The guy really has a great future in WWE. The way they finished the segment with Orton putting a bag over Rhodes’s head makes me think that they’re going to cool off on him a bit for now, but I could definitely see him coming back to the main event scene strongly in the next few months. He just needs a little more exposure in the mid-card level. All he needs are a few good matches and segments under his belt. If this match is any indication of the future, Cody Rhodes is going to be a big player for years to come.
Ted DiBiase had a quick little showcase match against Tyson Kidd. There was nothing really wrong with this match. DiBiase, at this current moment, does not impress me all that much. The problem with DiBiase is, in essence, his father. Ted DiBiase needs to distance himself as far away as possible from his father. He’s got to change the finisher, get rid of anything with dollar signs on it, and get some new entrance music. If this means he has to be off television for a few months to clear people’s minds of him and start him on a clean slate, then I say to do it. He has some talent, but he needs to stand on his own. Cody Rhodes has done an excellent job of distancing himself from his father. His gimmick is a far cry from anything Dusty Rhodes related. Ted DiBiase needs to do the same thing and quickly.
Alicia Fox fought Natalya in a sham of a match. Alicia Fox has no business whatsoever being in a wrestling ring. She has no finesse with her moves and a terrible look. There was no point to this match. They have commercial breaks for a reason: so you can go to the bathroom, go to the kitchen, take a phone call, etcetera. These diva matches are simply extended commercial breaks. That’s my opinion on that.
Big Show had a quick little promo about how he’ll knock Mark Henry out every week until he gets his rematch. It was short, sweet, and to the point. Big Show looks like such a lovable guy that even his lame jokes go over well with me. I’m not laughing at most of them, but I don’t mind them as much. Christian then came out, and he played a good foil to Big Show. Christian thinking that Big Show was going to knock him out was pretty damn funny. Big Show then laid him out with a Chokeslam, leaving Christian incapacitated for his match against Sheamus. Wade Barrett came down and took Christian’s place in that match. He didn’t have a bad match against Sheamus. I like watching two brawlers go at it. Christian, of course, interfered in the end, and he cost Sheamus the match. It looks like Christian and Wade Barrett are teaming up, so I suppose we’ll see Sheamus gets some people of his own together. I’m calling that we’ll see a traditional Survivor Series match result from this.
Sin Cara had a match against the newly debuted Epico. Epico kind of looks like Primo Colon, only with cornrows. I didn’t really see much out of him this week, so I can’t offer a true evaluation of him at this time. Hunico ran down, and he double-teamed Sin Cara along with Epico. I thought they were done with the Sin Cara vs. Hunico thing since the American audience received it so poorly, but I guess I was wrong. I could see these guys being added into the proposed Survivor Series match I came up with earlier.
Mark Henry took on Daniel Bryan in a match I’d absolutely love to see happen at WrestleMania XXVIII in Miami. They set this match up awesomely earlier in the night, and by the time the main event came, I couldn’t wait to see it. They didn’t really give much away in this match; just enough to whet the appetite for a future match. With the proper build, they would have zero problems getting some interest in this matchup. Mark Henry will still be red hot by April, barring some unbelievable collapse in charisma and character building. Big Show knocked Mark Henry out to end the match in disqualification. That brought out the heat killer, Teddy Long, who booked the rematch between Henry and Show at Survivor Series.
Final Rating: *** 1/4
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.