WWE Smackdown!- November 22, 2012
-Twas the night after Thanksgiving,
-Thank you for humoring my half-assed and poorly proofread attempt at humor and satire.
That Dolph Ziggler’s push was still living,
Not a creature was stirring throughout the arena,
Except main eventer for life, freakin’ John Cena,
And Cena said, with a twinkle in his eye,
Have fun jobbing in the mid-card,
‘Til the day you die.
And I heard Cena exclaim, as he flew out of sight,
Thanksgivin' Thumpin’ to all, and to all a good night.
-From an undisclosed location (later revealed to be Grand Rapids, MI). Our hosts are Josh Mathews and JBL.
-They kick things off with MizTV. Miz has a lot of questions (surprisingly, not including “Where the hell did my push go?”). He wastes little time in introducing his special guest, John Cena, slumming on Smackdown on this fine Black Friday. Cena is here to respond to getting caught kissing Dixie Carter, I mean Claire Lynch, wait, no, I mean AJ Lee. Cena plants himself on the couch and seems too cool for school. Miz replays footage from Raw of AJ and Cena making out in front of Vickie Guerrero in the ring. Shocking that WWE would counter program the fall football season with a frustratingly stupid angle, right? Also, Dolph Ziggler ambushed Cena on Raw, and Cena seems to have tweaked his knee in pursuit of the Showoff. Cena dismisses the knee injury as only a flesh wound, he’s had worse. Miz won’t let go of the AJ gossip, so Cena defends himself some more, including that AJ is a good kisser. AJ Lee joins the party by skipping to the ring. The segment turns embarrassing when Miz demands to know if they’re in love, but Dolph Ziggler interrupts. Dolph insinuates that AJ and Cena’s canoodling has benefited him personally and set Cena back. Dolph becomes the third or fourth man that year to proclaim hatred of AJ and replays footage from Raw of AJ entering the men’s locker room to confront him. Dolph tells AJ off, calling her trash. AJ responds with a psychotic attack. Cena breaks it up, allowing Dolph to cheap shot Cena and tackle him through a bathroom stall. Back to the present, Vickie Guerrero shows up and puts over Dolph’s kissing abilities, but Cena retorts by demanding proof that she’s even a woman (Cena, Cena, Cena, THIS is why the adult fans hate you). Dolph calls Cena and AJ a couple of losers, so Cena ends this long-winded segment by saying that Ziggler has no nuts. This was starting to feel like it would never end.
Ryback vs. Darren Young (with Titus O’Neil)
Titus joins commentary for the match. Young outmaneuvers Ryback and connects with some jabs, but Ryback grabs him by the fro for a toss. Darren runs into a big boot and Ryback smashes his face into the canvas. Titus blows a whistle to distract, but it doesn’t work as Ryback knocks Young down again. Ryback spinebusters Darren into place for the Meat Hook Clothesline! The Shell Shock ends it at 2:11. A fun squash match. It’s hard to believe I’m feeling any nostalgia for 2012-era Ryback.
-Before Ryback can celebrate, Titus O’Neil picks a fight and suffers a Shell Shock as well.
R-Truth vs. U.S. Champion Antonio Cesaro
Truth came up short in a title match against Cesaro at Survivor Series, which probably means he wins here. Cesaro cuts a promo on his way to the ring, mocking the obese Americans in attendance for gorging themselves on Thanksgiving. Cue the USA chants. Cesaro catches Truth quickly with an effortless slam. Cesaro slams Truth into position for a double stomp and applies a waist lock. Truth comes back with a leg lariat. Truth hits a clothesline, of all things, and wins at 1:31. Screw this booking.
-Sheamus arrives at the arena and Booker T cuts him off from heading towards the locker room. Booker will not let Sheamus compete in light of him losing his temper and hitting Big Show with 30 chair shots at Survivor Series. Booker makes nice by giving Sheamus a Chairs Match against Show at TLC, which Sheamus likes the sound of. Booker suggests Sheamus sit back and enjoy the show in a private box, where he can see Big Show face Team Hell No in a handicap match.
Sin Cara vs. Alberto Del Rio (with Ricardo Rodriguez)
I’m 99% sure this is still the Mistico version of Sin Cara, not Hunico. An aggressive Del Rio takes the fight to Sin Cara, but ends up sending himself crashing to ringside. Sin Cara delivers a plancha, which isn’t cool enough to make up for the crappy mood lighting. Del Rio rebounds with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker, but Sin Cara survives with an arm drag. Del Rio shoves Sin Cara shoulder-first into the ring post to send us to commercial. Post-break, and Del Rio is applying the obligatory chinlock variation. Sin Cara surprises with a head-scissors takedown for a near fall, but Del Rio pops out to retain control. Sin Cara comes back with a fancy arm drag and enziguri over the ropes. Springboard cross body by Sin Cara gets a near fall. Back handspring elbow by Sin Cara, but Del Rio comes back with a top rope arm drag. Del Rio applies the cross arm breaker for the submission win at 6:20 (shown). This was the same good match these two always have together.
Winner: Alberto Del Rio
-Kane is fondling his tag belt when Daniel Bryan confronts him. Kane says Big Show is a huge baby, so maybe Bryan should team with him instead, they can call themselves “Team No Show.” Bryan tries to make peace, inviting Kane to his house for Christmas. Kane accepts, so long as he can beat up Santa Claus.
World Heavyweight Champion Big Show vs. WWE Tag Team Champions Team Hell No (Kane and Daniel Bryan)
Kane and Bryan might be two top stars, but now they’re holding the jobber belts, so it’s time to feed them to top stars in handicap matches. Bryan starts against Show, connecting with some stiff kicks before getting caught by Show’s clubbing blows. Sheamus and William Regal can been seen watching the match from a private box. Bryan blocks a choke slam by biting Show’s forehead. Bryan unloads with more kicks, but Show continually attacks his arm. Big Show misses an elbow drop off the second rope, allowing Bryan to make a tag, but he chooses to kick Show’s chest instead. Show takes a KO kick, but kicks out. Bryan counters into a chinlock on a standing Show, but gets slammed hard to the canvas. Kane finally gets a hot tag and unloads on Big Show. Kane’s choke slam is blocked but he settles for a big time DDT. Kane signals the end, but Bryan tags himself in. Bryan applies the Yes Lock while Kane takes a hike. Show busts out and nails the choke slam for the win at 7:59. Holy smokes, this was actually a really fun match, with a story you could sink your teeth into.
Winner: Big Show
-Kane returns to the ring to help Bryan up. Show attempts a KO Punch, but Kane blocks. Bryan kicks the back of Show’s knee, and Team Hell No effectively clear Show from the ring. Even Steven booking for the win! Show grabs a microphone and addresses Sheamus in the box. Show asks Sheamus if he’d ever considered what could happen once a steel chair is in the hands of a giant. I think he’s talking about himself, I wish these guys wouldn’t speak in such cryptic tongues.
-Last Friday, Damien Sandow picked up a non-title victory over IC Champion Kofi Kingston.
-Wade Barrett joins commentary to scout his arch-nemesis, Kofi Kingston.
Barrett picked up a win over Kofi on Raw, so he gets the winner of this match at TLC. Sandow gets a hot start, catching Kingston with a vertical suplex. Kofi clotheslines Damien to ringside, but is unable to hit a plancha. Sandow knocks Kofi into the ring post to send us to commercial. Back from the break, and you won’t believe this, Sandow has Kofi in a chinlock variation. Elbow of Disdain is only good for a 2 count. They have time to fill, so Damien reapplies the chinlock. Kofi comes back with a high cross body. Damien arranges for Kingston to land neck-first on the ropes, but Kofi shakes it off to hit the SOS. Kofi summons his controlled frenzy and hits the Boom Drop. Trouble in Paradise finishes this at 5:54 (shown). Complete WWE midcard formula match here.
Kofi Kingston © vs. Damien Sandow
Winner and still Intercontinental Champion: Kofi Kingston
-Barrett cuts a short promo, threatening to make Kofi the latest victim of the Barrett Barrage. Kofi challenges Barrett to get into the ring and fight now, but Barrett prefers to be menacing from a distance.
-They play a video package from Raw. CM Punk celebrated his one year anniversary as WWE Champion. Ryback crashed the party but got beaten up by The Shield. Good stuff all around, actually. With all this goodwill, they turn around and play fan Tout videos reacting to Raw, and these never fail to be highly embarrassing.
Mr. Money in the Bank Dolph Ziggler vs. Randy Orton
Randy Orton is in the midst of a baby face run in limbo, where he wrestles 15 minute matches on almost every show, almost always wins, but isn’t a main focal point in any meaningful feuds or storylines. Orton dominates the early going until Ziggler corners him with strikes. Orton bounces back with a pointed drop-kick. Orton bounces Ziggler off the ropes for a vertical suplex for 2. Ziggler pops up for a swinging neck breaker, but Orton throws him to the floor. Ziggler tries to run away, but Orton clotheslines him over the barricade. COMMERCIAL TIME! Back from break, and Ziggler is breaking free from a CHINLOCK! Orton catapults Dolph’s neck into the bottom rope, but Dolph drop toe holds him into the announce table. Orton seems to have been knocked loopy, allowing Ziggler to take control. Orton gets a taste of his own medicine as Dolph works a chinlock. Dolph shakes off an Orton roll-up to retain control, going back into the, sigh, chinlock. Orton breaks out quickly for the Orton backbreaker. Dolph leaps up to hit a big DDT. Orton counters with a superplex for 2. Orton nails his patented spike DDT and signals the RKO. Dolph counters and pulls the tights in a roll-up to win at 9:34 (shown). This was every Orton vs. Ziggler match ever, except for the Ziggler win.
Winner: Dolph Ziggler
-Ricardo Rodriguez and Alberto Del Rio rush in for an ambush, but Orton catches Rodriguez in an RKO. Orton and Del Rio have a standoff. Meanwhile, John Cena ambushes Ziggler on the stage and applies an uncharacteristically tight STF. Officials run in and attempt to pry Cena off of Ziggler as the show fades to black.
Final Thoughts: In a vacuum, I enjoyed sitting down and watching this breezy, forgotten edition of Smackdown, which is old enough to provide some novelty, but not so old that it feels dated (hell, most of the stars featured here are still in the company and in similar positions). Thumbs up for being good enough. Check this out on the Network if you get a chance.
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