Smackdown: Or ... Friday Night Staredown
DAVE HILLHOUSE -- SLAM! Wrestling
The TLC event on Sunday looms large, with the weapons/household items decorating the set to remind people that it’s not about tender, loving care. Mark Henry tries to get some hired muscle to take out Big Show, Natalya loses some hair, and it’s always worth noting that there’s a good tag team match.
Josh Matthews is in the ring to interview Booker T. The Six-Time World Champion claims that he never wanted the fight with Cody Rhodes on Sunday, but he’ll sure win it. Rhodes shows up to have his say, which is that the feel-good nostalgia will wear off when the ring-rust sets in for Booker T.
Rhodes also has a match against Daniel Bryan, and if Booker T interferes again as he has in previous matches, Rhodes has arranged for their match on Sunday to be called off.
Match #1 – Cody Rhodes vs. Daniel Bryan
Bryan is taped around the mid-section. They shove each other around and Rhodes escapes an early LeBell Lock to the outside. Wait – when did Rhodes start with the knee-pads? Bryan is suplexed over the ropes to floor, but he fights back with a series of near-falls get momentum. Bryan preps a side suplex off top rope, but Rhodes turns over on top of him, landing on his ribs. Bryan still has a chance, but Rhodes reverses a pinning attempt into Cross Rhodes.
Winner via pinfall: Cody
Rhodes and Booker T engage in the night's first big staredown.
Match #2 – Alicia Fox vs. Natalya
Natalya brings a box of tissues to the ring – for the inevitable crying, see? The match itself has some kicks and a roll-up by Fox for the pin.
Winner via pinfall: Alicia Fox
Fox totes some hair extensions that she pulled off Natalya’s head, bringing the Canuck back into the ring where Fox knocks her down and misses her head with her spinning leg drop. Natalya leaves having been sufficiently humiliated, but not without a staredown.
It’s promo time, as a video runs through the funniest mic moments of the year. Backstage, Mark Henry asks Jack Swagger to hurt Big Show for him in their match tonight in exchange for a title shot. Swagger isn’t interested in doing it for anyone but himself.
Match #3 – The Usos (Jimmy & Jey) vs. Primo & Epico (w/ Rosa Mendes)
The Usos double-team Epico nicely, but Jimmy gets draped over the ropes by Primo as Epico distracts the ref. Jimmy is in the wrong corner for a while before Jey comes in on fire. Everybody is in the ring after that, with Jimmy on the top rope for a splash after a super-kick. Rosa distracts Jimmy, and Primo pulls him down with Back-Stabber.
Winners via pinfall: Primo & Epico
Match #4 – Big Show vs. Jack Swagger (w/ Vickie Guerrero)
Mark Henry comes out for closer look, planting a chair in the middle of the aisle. Swagger is a rag doll, taking punches, kicks, body slams, and it’s all for Henry’s benefit. Finally, Swagger gets an opening for two Swagger Bombs, but he can’t get a pinfall. Clotheslines and an avalanche are his rewards as Big Show bounces back. Although Swagger does slip away from a choke-slam and traps Big Show in the ankle lock, the big guy escapes and Swagger runs into a WMD.
Winner via pinfall: Big Show
Henry throws Swagger out at Henry’s feet, and Henry drops him with a chair, then a cameraman which really upsets Big Show. Guess what? Big Show and Henry stare each other down. After the break, Randy Orton gets a visit from his tag partner for the evening: Zack Ryder. Orton doesn’t really want to talk strategy, but Ryder’s just happy to be his partner.
Match #5 – Ted DiBiase vs. Heath Slater
DiBase is all smiles, but Slater gets frustrated early and slaps his face. DiBiase takes Slater to the floor, knocks him around and high-fives the military men in the front row. Slater gets a stretch on DiBiase around the ringpost, but DiBiase soon recovers and finishes him with Dream Street.
Winner via pinfall: Ted DiBiase
As DiBiase celebrates, Jinder Mahal attacks and slaps on a camel clutch. Teddy Long struts out instructs Mahal to break the hold ... and makes a match.
Match #6 – Jinder Mahal vs. Sheamus
Mahal does not look out of place here. Until he gets the potato forearms in the ropes. And a backbreaker. And a Brogue Kick. Actually, he looked overmatched.
Winner via pinfall: Sheamus
Match #7 – Randy Orton & Zack Ryder vs. Dolph Ziggler & Wade Barrett(w/ Vickie Guerrero)
Ziggler controls Ryder early, but finds himself in Orton’s clutches for a bit of a stomp and a suplex. Orton mounts the buckles and lets the crowd practise their counting as he lays the punches into Ziggler. Barrett finally gets in against Orton, and he and Ziggler keep Orton sequestered.
Ryder gets the hot tag, misses the Rough Ryder and Ziggler is soon in to stretch him. Orton is rested again, and when both teams tag, Orton RKOs Ziggler with Barrett refusing to come to his partner’s aid.
Winners via pinfall: Randy Orton & Zack Ryder
Barrett and Orton stare each other down, clearly too angry with one another to even speak. Maybe on Sunday they’ll sit down and talk out their differences before they resort to equipment-based battering.
Dave Hillhouse is ready to use a table and a chair when reviewing Sunday’s show ... and will figure out a way to work in a ladder.