January 20, 2012
Smackdown: A concept match buffet
By DAVE HILLHOUSE -- SLAM! Wrestling
It’s Sin City Smackdown, so get ready for at least one “What happens in Vegas” reference and as many gambling analogies as the commentators can think of. There’s a title match, Drew McIntyre gets a life, and some matches you haven’t seen in a while.
The champ is here. No, not that champ, it’s World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan. He is fuming over Big Show purposefully running over his girlfriend – purposefully in Bryan’s opinion anyway. He claims that he won’t be responsible for what he’ll do if Big Show doesn’t quit.
Backstage, the Wheel of Fortune is set up to determine matches tonight. Intercontinental Champion Cody Rhodes spins for the first match, and, as his spin allows him to choose his opponent, sets up this first match:
Match #1 – Cody Rhodes vs. Hornswoggle
Hornswoggle is making his way timidly towards the ring, until Rhodes runs out of patience and attacks him on the floor. Justin Gabriel runs down to help out and goads Rhodes into a match with him instead.
Match #1 – Cody Rhodes vs. Justin Gabriel
Rhodes keeps Gabriel and his rather excellent winged boots down with a dropkick and rear-chinlock, but Gabriel pops up and gets a series of near-falls until the champ delivers Cross Rhodes.
Winner via pinfall: Cody Rhodes
Backstage, Mark Henry gets to spin the wheel to see what kind of match the World Title match will be: and it’s a Lumberjack Match. It was almost a handicap match, though – what would that have meant to the championship? Or a pillow fight?
Before the next match, we get the shaky footage of Primo & Epico defeating Air Boom for the tag titles in Oakland.
Match #2 – Tag Team Tornado Match: Primo & Epico (w/ Rosa Mendes) vs. Jimmy & Jey Uso
Tornado rules put all four wrestlers in at one time, though Jimmy finds himself all alone early on with Jey on the floor. Jimmy survives long enough to drop a splash off the top rope on Epico, but Primo breaks it up and ends the affair with a Backstabber.
Winners via pinfall: Primo & Epico
Back by the wheel, Teddy Long and Aksana are doing their thing until Sheamus pops by to learn the stipulation for his match against Wade Barrett. Aksana spins him a Tables Match.
Next up is a Dance-Off featuring Brodus Clay versus ... Vickie Guerrero? Vickie does her best Elaine from Seinfeld, but Clay predictably outfunks her on every level. As Guerrero cries injustice, William Regal comes to the defence of, as he calls her, the “buxom wench”.
But wait, Clay challenges Regal and he does all right until Clay interrupts him with his running cross-body.
Match #3 – Wade Barrett vs. Sheamus – Tables Match
Little time is wasted before the fight goes to the floor, where Sheamus plants a table in front of the announcers. Getting back in the ring, Barrett tries suplexing Sheamus over the ropes onto the table, but Sheamus turns it around and sends Barrett flying past the furniture.
Barrett brings another table inside the ring, and it’s Sheamus who readies a Celtic Cross, but Barrett wiggles out just as Jinder Mahal arrives to distract Sheamus. Barrett takes advantage and uses Sheamus to re-decorate.
Winner via table division: Wade Barrett
Mahal enters the ring and puts a table in the corner, but Sheamus runs him right through it instead.
Match #4 – Ted DiBiase vs. Hunico (w/ Camacho) – Flag Match
After Long spins the stipulation, the guys from the on-call flagpole department rush out to set up U.S. and Mexican flags at opposing corners. I guess you can’t win if you don’t get the right country’s flag. Hunico’s almost got it until DiBiase shoves him off the ropes and onto Camacho. DiBiase follows with Dream Street and gets the U.S. flag down for the win.
Winner via patriotic retrieval: Ted DiBiase
Next up at the wheel, Drew McIntyre doesn’t get a chance to spin – he’s officially fired. But wait, Santino Marella wants to prove his win against McIntyre wasn’t a fluke, so the Scotsman gets one more chance in a blindfold match.
Match #5 – Drew McIntyre vs. Santino Marella – Blindfold Match
Much tomfoolery until Marella gets help from the crowd to locate McIntyre and Cobra him into unemployment.
Winner via pinfall: Santino Marella
Match #6 – Daniel Bryan (champion) vs. Mark Henry – Lumberjack Match for the World Heavyweight Championship
The Smackdown roster is looking pretty slim as we see almost everyone that’s already been out tonight as Lumberjacks – including the presumably fired Drew McIntyre. Bryan tries escaping to the floor a few times, but can’t avoid Henry’s clotheslines and press slam.
For some reason, some heels and faces alike get in the ring and start working Bryan over, and then all of them get in and attack one another. Bryan gets his belt and skulks away to the back as the brawl continues.
Match result: Mark Henry by count-out??
Long confronts Bryan backstage and announces a Triple Threat cage match with him, Big Show, and Henry for the Royal Rumble.
Dave Hillhouse has been to Vegas. Meh.