Smackdown – February 10, 2012

Smackdown
Date: February 10, 2012
Location: BOK Center, Tulsa, Oklahoma
Commentators: Michael Cole, Josh Matthews, Booker T

Tonight’s main event is Orton vs. Bryan in a non title match. That means the match should be a lot better as we have one of the best in ring workers in the world today in there and on the other side we have the world champion. It’ll be nice to see him against someone who isn’t a giant and someone who might be effected by Bryan’s offense. Let’s get to it.

Do you know your enemy? Mine is a snow storm that might slow down the airport.

Here’s Sheamus to open the show who talks about how he has to pick which champion to face at Mania. When he was a kid he was bullied but he started fighting back. He got better with each fight until he was good enough that he got here. Sheamus says he isn’t going to change his ways because they’ve gotten him this far. Cue Barrett who says that he respects Sheamusa bit but Sheamus needs to go for the Raw title. Sheamus says he was thinking about Orton beating Barrett all over the ring last week.

Cue Cody who says he knows what it’s like to be a champion. The Chamber is a tax on the mind and he’s the strongest mentally of all of them. He’ll be a double champion as well. Here’s Big Show who says he won’t tell Sheamus what to do. He will however tell Cody to shut up. Show won’t make promises about the Chamber but asks Sheamus to think about facing him at Mania for the title.

Barrett cuts Show off and calls him a Wrestlemania punchline because Snooki has a better record at Wrestlemania than Big Show. Cody calls him the reverse Undertaker. Show takes him down and a brawl erupts. Sheamus and Show clear the ring. Gee, I wonder if we’ll have a tag match for later?

Great Khali vs. Jinder Mahal

Mahal does a ceremonial headware removal thing. Total domination by Khali as he wins with the Punjabi Plunge in 2:05. See, this is what they should have been doing to build to the Chamber: have the participants beat up jobbers. As in, you know, having jobbers do what they’re supposed to do.

We get a video of Teddy indefinitely suspending Henry last week.

In the back, Aksana and Teddy do their usual thing with Aksana kissing Teddy on the cheek. Bryan comes in and doesn’t like what he sees. Aksana leaves and Bryan goes on a rant about the barbecue that Teddy held earlier. He talks about how it was dead animal flesh and charred meat. Teddy: “I put some of JR’s barbecue sauce on it. Tasted fine to me.” Bryan says that makes him sick so Teddy says stop trying to get out of facing Orton tonight.

Beth Phoenix vs. Alicia Fox

Beth sits on the ropes and tells Alicia to get out of her ring. Fox takes her to the corner but Beth shoves her away. Alicia tries a Matrix move but gets sledged down. Glam Slam pins her at 1:17.

Phoenix loads up another Glam Slam but Tamina runs out and stares at her for the save. Beth seems happy to finally have a challenger.

Another way too long video about how awesome Rock is.

More of the very stupid Natalya gimmick. I’m not going to bother going into what it is because it’s that awful.

Big Show/Sheamus vs. Wade Barrett/Cody Rhodes

The entrances are out of order for some reason, as it goes Show, Rhodes, Barrett, Sheamus. Show vs. Rhodes gets us going and Show barks him into tagging. Barrett gets tossed in and chopped to the floor so it’s back to Cody. Show loads up the right hand so Cody bails to the corner. Off to Barrett vs. Sheamus with Sheamus running him over very easily.

Barrett gets in a knee and tags Cody back in. The IC Champion has as much success as he did before as Sheamus throws him outside. We take a break and come back with Cody getting beaten up again. The rolling fireman’s carry slam gets two. The heels finally double team Show down with some High/Low action. A missile dropkick gets two for Cody. A chinlock is easily broken but Barrett chop blocks Show to break up the tag.

Barrett chinlocks him but Show just stands up and breaks it up with a ram into the corner. Cody comes in with the Beautiful Disaster for two before Show can make the tag. Show breaks up a chinlock and makes the tag to Sheamus. A pair of Brogue Kicks later and Sheamus gets the pin on Barrett at 9:24 shown of 12:54.

Rating: C. Not bad for a main event style tag match, but it sums up the problem with Big Show: there aren’t very many ways to make an attack on him believable. It’s the same problem that Bryan has had: no matter what he does, Show can shrug it off and hit one big punch to end a match. He works better as a heel in that regard, as most monsters do because it means you can see someone slay the giant.

Here’s AJ who says she should be back in a few weeks and competing in the spring. She thanks people who supported her….and Cole goes into jerk mode, talking about how no one knows who she is. Cole asks about Monday where Big Show almost ran her over again. AJ says it was an accident, but it’s been Cole that has made things worse than anyone else. He’s never believed in Bryan and he’s stirred things up.

AJ rips into Cole and says that the WWE would be a better place if he would just shut his mouth. Cole argues back and says everyone is saying that Bryan set AJ up to get hurt. Cole will be in his glory when Bryan loses. Cue Bryan who yells at Cole and then says that on Sunday, he took a nature walk instead of eating a bunch of meat and beer. After so many people did that, how many of them recycled? He cares about future generations and he cares about AJ. Due to the people being so mean to her, Bryan is leaving the arena to take AJ home. They’ll be leaving in a Prius as well.

They leave and Cole goes on a rant about Bryan. Is Cole supposed to be a face or a heel? I really don’t think they have any idea anymore either. Booker defends Bryan….I think?

Bryan and AJ are in the back and start to leave when Teddy comes up. He says he’ll be glad to find transportation for AJ, but if Bryan leaves he’ll be stripped of the title.

Ted DiBiase vs. Hunico

DiBiase still has a cast on his wrist which is now a hard cast instead of the soft one he had two weeks ago. DiBiase fights with the right arm and knocks Hunico to the floor with a clothesline. Camacho distracts Ted a bit and Hunico gets him to the floor and rams the bad wrist into the post. Hunico throws on a few submissions but DiBiase rolls him up as he tries a cross armbreaker for the pin at 2:42.

Don’t be a bully.

Video on the Chamber and how it leads to Wrestlemania.

We get an interview with Johnny Ace from Abu Dhabi where he says WWE is awesome and that’s about it.

Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton

Big Show is on commentary for this. This is their first meeting according to Cole. They jockey for position to start and Randy controls with an armbar. Bryan comes back with some offense of his own but no one can get a clear advantage. Randy heads to the floor and shoots a glare at Big Show. Bryan hits a baseball slide and the running knee off the apron to take Randy down and we take a break.

Back with Bryan working on the arm but Randy countering into the backbreaker to cause the separation. Bryan gets another shot into the arm but as he goes up, Randy crotches him. A superplex is broken up but Bryan’s top rope splash misses. Orton comes back with his powerslam but the elevated DDT is countered by a high kick. Bryan goes up and is crotched again and this time the superplex works, getting two.

Orton starts the Stomp as Cole asks Big Show how many Wrestlemania matches he’s won. Booker: “Will you just hit him in the mouth please?” Bryan comes back and hits a running dropkick in the corner. A bunch of kicks hit but Bryan gets rolled up for two. The rollup is countered into a LeBell Lock attempt but Randy counters that into a slingshot to send Bryan to the apron. Elevated DDT looks to set up the RKO but Bryan heads to the apron. He rolls to the floor and shoves Big Show, drawing the DQ at 10:05 shown of 13:35.

Rating: B. I was really getting into this match by the end. Orton seemingly can’t have a bad match anymore and Bryan is really getting better when he’s against normal sized guys like Orton here and Punk from a few weeks ago on Raw. The ending is fine because Bryan is afraid to get beaten or fight himself, but it’s getting old to see that every week.

Orton gets in Show’s face and Show shoves him. A big brawl ends the show as Bryan smiles. Cole gets the famous line of “it’s breaking loose in Tulsa” wrong by saying “it’s breaking down in Tulsa.” I’ve never heard the second of those but maybe it’s a correct one.

Overall Rating: B-. They’re in buildup mode for the Chamber and that’s what they needed to do. Everyone in the chamber was in action tonight and we have Bryan looking like a puppet master out there, which is something that he needs to be rather than the plucky babyface that escapes with the title. Good show, but not as good as Smackdown is capable of.

Results
Great Khali b. Jinder Mahal – Punjabi Plunge
Beth Phoenix b. Alicia Fox – Glam Slam
Big Show/Sheamus b. Cody Rhodes/Wade Barrett – Brogue Kick to Sheamus
Ted DiBiase b. Hunico – Rollup
Daniel Bryan b. Randy Orton via DQ when Big Show interfered

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Kayfabe News

http://www.kayfabenews.com/ Figured I’d pass along the most amazing discovery ever.

Funny, although it’s been done better before.  Still, I got a chuckle out of the Penultimate Warrior and Cena’s rock-paper-scissors strategy. 

Kayfabe News

http://www.kayfabenews.com/ Figured I’d pass along the most amazing discovery ever.

Funny, although it’s been done better before.  Still, I got a chuckle out of the Penultimate Warrior and Cena’s rock-paper-scissors strategy. 

Swerved!

What’s your take on the WWE’s propensity to swerve its audience with regards to the winners of certain matches (i.e. Sheamus winning the 2012 Rumble rather than Jericho) or how angles play out (i.e. Matt Hardy being the man ruining Jeff’s life rather than Christian) when Internet rumour/speculation leans too far in favour of a particular outcome, to the point where said outcome seems inevitable? On the one hand, in terms of plotting a narrative it seems ridiculous to switch from plan A to plan B simply because most people have figured out that plan A makes sense. It’d be like TV writers drastically altering the course of a season simply because message board posters correctly ascertain what’s going to happen; after all, someone is always going to guess right eventually. On the other hand, I suppose it does keep things from being too unpredictable. Where do you stand?

It’s not unprecedented in the world of comic books, as DC has swerved audiences before in the earlier days of the internet, but generally wrestling as an industry is the worst for that sort of thing, you’re right.  The most annoying thing for me is how they publicly talk about their “characters” and “telling a story”, but often you don’t get a real story.  A story has a beginning, middle and end, and what we often get is a beginning and then they drop it.  Or in the case of Jericho’s aborted Rumble win, they skip the beginning (Jericho wins the big match) and jump right to the middle (Jericho rubs his win in the face of CM Punk).  Or with Drew McIntyre, we get the end over and over and over again with no indication of what the beginning or middle even was.

So yeah, it’s not needed.  If people guess your brilliant storylines and it’s something they still want to see, just give it to them.

Swerved!

What’s your take on the WWE’s propensity to swerve its audience with regards to the winners of certain matches (i.e. Sheamus winning the 2012 Rumble rather than Jericho) or how angles play out (i.e. Matt Hardy being the man ruining Jeff’s life rather than Christian) when Internet rumour/speculation leans too far in favour of a particular outcome, to the point where said outcome seems inevitable? On the one hand, in terms of plotting a narrative it seems ridiculous to switch from plan A to plan B simply because most people have figured out that plan A makes sense. It’d be like TV writers drastically altering the course of a season simply because message board posters correctly ascertain what’s going to happen; after all, someone is always going to guess right eventually. On the other hand, I suppose it does keep things from being too unpredictable. Where do you stand?

It’s not unprecedented in the world of comic books, as DC has swerved audiences before in the earlier days of the internet, but generally wrestling as an industry is the worst for that sort of thing, you’re right.  The most annoying thing for me is how they publicly talk about their “characters” and “telling a story”, but often you don’t get a real story.  A story has a beginning, middle and end, and what we often get is a beginning and then they drop it.  Or in the case of Jericho’s aborted Rumble win, they skip the beginning (Jericho wins the big match) and jump right to the middle (Jericho rubs his win in the face of CM Punk).  Or with Drew McIntyre, we get the end over and over and over again with no indication of what the beginning or middle even was.

So yeah, it’s not needed.  If people guess your brilliant storylines and it’s something they still want to see, just give it to them.

Swerved!

What’s your take on the WWE’s propensity to swerve its audience with regards to the winners of certain matches (i.e. Sheamus winning the 2012 Rumble rather than Jericho) or how angles play out (i.e. Matt Hardy being the man ruining Jeff’s life rather than Christian) when Internet rumour/speculation leans too far in favour of a particular outcome, to the point where said outcome seems inevitable? On the one hand, in terms of plotting a narrative it seems ridiculous to switch from plan A to plan B simply because most people have figured out that plan A makes sense. It’d be like TV writers drastically altering the course of a season simply because message board posters correctly ascertain what’s going to happen; after all, someone is always going to guess right eventually. On the other hand, I suppose it does keep things from being too unpredictable. Where do you stand?

It’s not unprecedented in the world of comic books, as DC has swerved audiences before in the earlier days of the internet, but generally wrestling as an industry is the worst for that sort of thing, you’re right.  The most annoying thing for me is how they publicly talk about their “characters” and “telling a story”, but often you don’t get a real story.  A story has a beginning, middle and end, and what we often get is a beginning and then they drop it.  Or in the case of Jericho’s aborted Rumble win, they skip the beginning (Jericho wins the big match) and jump right to the middle (Jericho rubs his win in the face of CM Punk).  Or with Drew McIntyre, we get the end over and over and over again with no indication of what the beginning or middle even was.

So yeah, it’s not needed.  If people guess your brilliant storylines and it’s something they still want to see, just give it to them.

Swerved!

What’s your take on the WWE’s propensity to swerve its audience with regards to the winners of certain matches (i.e. Sheamus winning the 2012 Rumble rather than Jericho) or how angles play out (i.e. Matt Hardy being the man ruining Jeff’s life rather than Christian) when Internet rumour/speculation leans too far in favour of a particular outcome, to the point where said outcome seems inevitable? On the one hand, in terms of plotting a narrative it seems ridiculous to switch from plan A to plan B simply because most people have figured out that plan A makes sense. It’d be like TV writers drastically altering the course of a season simply because message board posters correctly ascertain what’s going to happen; after all, someone is always going to guess right eventually. On the other hand, I suppose it does keep things from being too unpredictable. Where do you stand?

It’s not unprecedented in the world of comic books, as DC has swerved audiences before in the earlier days of the internet, but generally wrestling as an industry is the worst for that sort of thing, you’re right.  The most annoying thing for me is how they publicly talk about their “characters” and “telling a story”, but often you don’t get a real story.  A story has a beginning, middle and end, and what we often get is a beginning and then they drop it.  Or in the case of Jericho’s aborted Rumble win, they skip the beginning (Jericho wins the big match) and jump right to the middle (Jericho rubs his win in the face of CM Punk).  Or with Drew McIntyre, we get the end over and over and over again with no indication of what the beginning or middle even was.

So yeah, it’s not needed.  If people guess your brilliant storylines and it’s something they still want to see, just give it to them.

Swerved!

What’s your take on the WWE’s propensity to swerve its audience with regards to the winners of certain matches (i.e. Sheamus winning the 2012 Rumble rather than Jericho) or how angles play out (i.e. Matt Hardy being the man ruining Jeff’s life rather than Christian) when Internet rumour/speculation leans too far in favour of a particular outcome, to the point where said outcome seems inevitable? On the one hand, in terms of plotting a narrative it seems ridiculous to switch from plan A to plan B simply because most people have figured out that plan A makes sense. It’d be like TV writers drastically altering the course of a season simply because message board posters correctly ascertain what’s going to happen; after all, someone is always going to guess right eventually. On the other hand, I suppose it does keep things from being too unpredictable. Where do you stand?

It’s not unprecedented in the world of comic books, as DC has swerved audiences before in the earlier days of the internet, but generally wrestling as an industry is the worst for that sort of thing, you’re right.  The most annoying thing for me is how they publicly talk about their “characters” and “telling a story”, but often you don’t get a real story.  A story has a beginning, middle and end, and what we often get is a beginning and then they drop it.  Or in the case of Jericho’s aborted Rumble win, they skip the beginning (Jericho wins the big match) and jump right to the middle (Jericho rubs his win in the face of CM Punk).  Or with Drew McIntyre, we get the end over and over and over again with no indication of what the beginning or middle even was.

So yeah, it’s not needed.  If people guess your brilliant storylines and it’s something they still want to see, just give it to them.

Swerved!

What’s your take on the WWE’s propensity to swerve its audience with regards to the winners of certain matches (i.e. Sheamus winning the 2012 Rumble rather than Jericho) or how angles play out (i.e. Matt Hardy being the man ruining Jeff’s life rather than Christian) when Internet rumour/speculation leans too far in favour of a particular outcome, to the point where said outcome seems inevitable? On the one hand, in terms of plotting a narrative it seems ridiculous to switch from plan A to plan B simply because most people have figured out that plan A makes sense. It’d be like TV writers drastically altering the course of a season simply because message board posters correctly ascertain what’s going to happen; after all, someone is always going to guess right eventually. On the other hand, I suppose it does keep things from being too unpredictable. Where do you stand?

It’s not unprecedented in the world of comic books, as DC has swerved audiences before in the earlier days of the internet, but generally wrestling as an industry is the worst for that sort of thing, you’re right.  The most annoying thing for me is how they publicly talk about their “characters” and “telling a story”, but often you don’t get a real story.  A story has a beginning, middle and end, and what we often get is a beginning and then they drop it.  Or in the case of Jericho’s aborted Rumble win, they skip the beginning (Jericho wins the big match) and jump right to the middle (Jericho rubs his win in the face of CM Punk).  Or with Drew McIntyre, we get the end over and over and over again with no indication of what the beginning or middle even was.

So yeah, it’s not needed.  If people guess your brilliant storylines and it’s something they still want to see, just give it to them.

The Baddest Ref On The Planet

I thought of this when I saw that Mike Tyson would be going into the WWE Hall this year.  Was there ever consideration of Tyson would actually wrestle at Wrestlemania?

Of course.  They would have been stupid not to try and Tyson was totally into the idea.  However, he was still unable to get licensed to compete due to the whole trying to maim Evander Holyfield deal, which is why he had to be an “outside the ring enforcer” for Wrestlemania.  The commission literally wouldn’t even let him get into the ring as anything that could be interpreted as an active competitor without bringing down the thunder on Vince McMahon over it.  You’d think this is where a well-timed bribe would come in, but nope.   

The Baddest Ref On The Planet

I thought of this when I saw that Mike Tyson would be going into the WWE Hall this year.  Was there ever consideration of Tyson would actually wrestle at Wrestlemania?

Of course.  They would have been stupid not to try and Tyson was totally into the idea.  However, he was still unable to get licensed to compete due to the whole trying to maim Evander Holyfield deal, which is why he had to be an “outside the ring enforcer” for Wrestlemania.  The commission literally wouldn’t even let him get into the ring as anything that could be interpreted as an active competitor without bringing down the thunder on Vince McMahon over it.  You’d think this is where a well-timed bribe would come in, but nope.   

The Baddest Ref On The Planet

I thought of this when I saw that Mike Tyson would be going into the WWE Hall this year.  Was there ever consideration of Tyson would actually wrestle at Wrestlemania?

Of course.  They would have been stupid not to try and Tyson was totally into the idea.  However, he was still unable to get licensed to compete due to the whole trying to maim Evander Holyfield deal, which is why he had to be an “outside the ring enforcer” for Wrestlemania.  The commission literally wouldn’t even let him get into the ring as anything that could be interpreted as an active competitor without bringing down the thunder on Vince McMahon over it.  You’d think this is where a well-timed bribe would come in, but nope.   

The Baddest Ref On The Planet

I thought of this when I saw that Mike Tyson would be going into the WWE Hall this year.  Was there ever consideration of Tyson would actually wrestle at Wrestlemania?

Of course.  They would have been stupid not to try and Tyson was totally into the idea.  However, he was still unable to get licensed to compete due to the whole trying to maim Evander Holyfield deal, which is why he had to be an “outside the ring enforcer” for Wrestlemania.  The commission literally wouldn’t even let him get into the ring as anything that could be interpreted as an active competitor without bringing down the thunder on Vince McMahon over it.  You’d think this is where a well-timed bribe would come in, but nope.   

The Baddest Ref On The Planet

I thought of this when I saw that Mike Tyson would be going into the WWE Hall this year.  Was there ever consideration of Tyson would actually wrestle at Wrestlemania?

Of course.  They would have been stupid not to try and Tyson was totally into the idea.  However, he was still unable to get licensed to compete due to the whole trying to maim Evander Holyfield deal, which is why he had to be an “outside the ring enforcer” for Wrestlemania.  The commission literally wouldn’t even let him get into the ring as anything that could be interpreted as an active competitor without bringing down the thunder on Vince McMahon over it.  You’d think this is where a well-timed bribe would come in, but nope.   

The Baddest Ref On The Planet

I thought of this when I saw that Mike Tyson would be going into the WWE Hall this year.  Was there ever consideration of Tyson would actually wrestle at Wrestlemania?

Of course.  They would have been stupid not to try and Tyson was totally into the idea.  However, he was still unable to get licensed to compete due to the whole trying to maim Evander Holyfield deal, which is why he had to be an “outside the ring enforcer” for Wrestlemania.  The commission literally wouldn’t even let him get into the ring as anything that could be interpreted as an active competitor without bringing down the thunder on Vince McMahon over it.  You’d think this is where a well-timed bribe would come in, but nope.   

Live?

Having never been to RAW, Smackdown, or any WWE live event for that matter, I must ask, what exactly is the crowd doing during these seemingly endless promo and video package marathons we at home must endure every Monday night in lieu of actual wrestling? I assume they’re watching it with us, but then what incentive do I have to pay God knows how much for a ticket to watch the same boring fluff live (granted on a much larger screen)? Especially when, on a good night, the average televised portion of RAW contains about twenty minutes of wrestling, and a fraction of that is decent at best. Does the live atmosphere make Triple H’s half an hour promos that much more compelling? Is watching Kane chokeslam Zack Ryder off of a loading dock, onto a crash pad all the more exciting with some ten year old John Cena fan screaming in my ear? Dark matches sound like the same abbreviated, awfully structured TV matches, just with guys who are either too green or not allowed to truly show off their skills. And I can’t imagine house shows beings that much more of an improvement in quality. I just don’t get it. What am I missing?

Lots.  It’s like only watching movies on a normal TV screen your whole life and wondering why anyone would want to watch it in the theater.  It’s not just about the product presented on-screen, it’s about the live atmosphere and shared experience with the other members of the audience.  A really great match in an arena makes each audience member feel like the participants are reacting to THEM directly.  I’m not a huge fan of TV tapings myself because there IS a lot of down-time between matches and you get endless promo videos on the screen during commercials, but even a decently presented house show is one of the greatest experiences you can have as a fan.  Especially if you’re close to the ring and you’re able to rag on Ken Shamrock until he breaks character and flips you off.  That was totally worth the ticket price.