Aaron's UnReal Time Smackdown Review: Big Show Feels Daniel Bryan's Fury. Copes Quite Well.
By Aaron Wood
Jan 27, 2012 - 5:33 PM

Hey everyone! Since MTV 2 (or as it wants to be called "MTV Rocks" in the UK, which is the last remaining decent music channel left is still persisting on starting the year by doing horrifically long countdowns of "rock" bands, leading to massive use of hair-metal (leading to continuous plays of Enter Sandman) and other assorted garbage (30 Seconds to Mars for example), I'm going to continue to be an outlet for all that is great and new, and so once again this week, it's a bunch of bands who hope to make an impact in 2012.

LAST WEEK ON SMACKDOWN: The WWE continued to screw with me personally and my countryman, Cody didn't pick his opponent, but picked whether it was for the title or not, Vickie jiggled her jelly and the entire locker room was this week's AJ who was the previous week's Mark Henry...

We opened with what happened 2 weeks ago when Big Show took out AJ, pretty much focusing on how cut up Big Show was about it.

Two and a half size anyway...
And it was with Big Show we'd start as he came to the ring, although his beanie hat made him look like a cone-head. The guy with the most ineffectual camouflage said he had a lot to say but didn't know how to. He cut to the chase and said he was sorry. He said he had said so to AJ personally, but he wanted to do it in public. She forgave him right away and he was asking everyone to do the same, but he was having trouble forgiving himself.

What happened with AJ wasn't exactly an isolated incident. As a bigger kid than the rest, he didn't know his own strength and he'd hurt some kids. But when he came to the WWE, he thought being a freak was all behind him, and he found a home and loves what he does. However, after what happened, he didn't think could carry on. Indeed, while he was proud to be in it, he thought that after Sunday, he'd have to do some soul-searching.

Daniel Bryan came out, staring a hole in Big Show as he walked to the ring. Bryan said that AJ doesn't remember Big Show apologising to her, given how doped up she was. But Bryan remembered everything. He remembered watching WWE as a kid thinking it was a place for athletes, not genetic freaks. And don't even dare illicit the name of Andre because Show was no Andre The Giant. As the crowd chanted for Show, Bryan said he had them all fooled. Show doesn't really have plans to reassess. That's was empty talk, much like the apologies. If Show was truly serious to repent, he wouldn't be apologising to anyone. He would retire there and then.

Bryan started poking Show in the chest, telling him to leave, telling him if Show couldn't do anything about it, he could. Bryan then slapped Show across the chops. You can probably guess how this changed things. With eye like saucers not just conveying the sheer gall of Bryan hadn't just grown the balls to do such a thing, but essentially tea-bagging him with them, Show grabbed Bryan by the throat and drove Bryan into the corner, where with many chin hair about touching, saying that what happened to AJ was an accident, but what would happen on Sunday wouldn't, before tossing Bryan down.

Mark Henry decided that he wanted to get him some of someone, coming down to the ring. He said that given the lovefest going on, he was compelled to remind them it was a Triple Threat on Sunday, and he didn't care about Show's hurt feelings or Bryan's Napoleon complex or a 95 pound girl in a training bra. Come Mark, taking a shot at AJ's boobies? Why you gonna be like that, playa? Especially when you're a fine set of DD's? He told Show he didn't have to "sweet talk" him about what he could do. He told Bryan to get in his face, calling him out for weaselling out last week.

Bryan started begging off like an A-class coward when Teddy Long came out. Drew McIntyre's past/current/past/current/past/current/past employer said that we were just three days out of the Royal Rumble PPV and would we go to it with a whimper or a bang? He already had one main event in Orton vs. Barrett but he was signing another. 2 weeks ago, Bryan faced Show and then faced Henry last week, so why not complete the triangle and have Show vs. Henry. As they stared each other down, Bryan slipped out of the ring and smirked.

They sent it to a promo video for Randy Orton's return against Wade.

Pet - "Middle Child Syndrome"

Cody Rhodes def. Justin Gabriel in a "Such a shame that Gabriel is the stopgap between Booker & Goldust..." match
Cody came out first, allowing for a PIP promo where he said he was granting the "Japanime" troll loser a non-title rematch, saying that after tonight, he could tell his kids that he faced the man who going to headline Wrestlemania. When is Ju-Gab facing Rock or Cena? Gabriel hit a spinning roundhouse kick early for 2, but Cody came back with the Alabama Slam for a 2 count of his own. Cody hit a Russian Leg Sweep before working the arm.

Gabriel fought out and hit a monkey-flip. He hit a flying forearm after being whipped off the ropes. Cody powdered out, but Gabriel hit a corkscrew pescado. Back in the ring, Gabriel vaulted in with a crossbody, but Cody rolled through for a 2 count. Gabriel hit the STO, but missed a top rope quebrada. Rhodes hit the Beautiful Disaster and then the Cross Rhodes for the win.

Backstage, Santino Marella was pitching for shitty Russo-esque match ideas. An "Extreme" Loser Leaves Town match where the loser would have to join a crew of monkeys in a spaceship and leave earth. Teddy was, naturally, not feeling it, but Santino polled Yoshi Tatsu, who just so happened to be standing right there. He said it was "out of this world". Santino explain Yoshi was there as they planned on becoming Tag Team champions. Marella and Yoshi then argued over whether the team name was Santoshi or Yoshitino. Long, clearly on the road to a pulmonary embolism was actually rescued by Drew McIntyre.

And yes, this meant that Drew (and me) was about to be dicked along some more. Long said last week has just been like the last several weeks. Failure. He couldn't beat Santino last week. Even when he cheated. Drew noted that Babe Ruth once struck out 5 times in one game and this was no more than a slump. Long said he may have struck out on occasion, but more often than not, the Babe dinged them out of the park. And Drew would have to do the same as he'd be facing Sheamus. Drew did his best sucking up job in thanking him. Long noted the match was next.

Sheamus def. Drew McIntyre in a "Celtic > Rangers (And yes, I'm aware that is too esoteric for 99.5% of you)" match
Well, at least on the sine wave curve of entrances, we took a step up from last week as we came back from break to see Drew in the ring, but with his own music playing. He also seemed to have new tights, clearly referring to the soccer team Glasgow Rangers in it's colouring. In a pretty ludicrous statement on Josh's part, in an attempt to contrast Drew & Sheamus, the claimed they STARTED in WWE at the same time, specifically citing the 2009 TLC PPV where Drew won the IC Title and Sheamus won the WWE Title as the start, before noting how their careers ended up on different paths.

Sheamus hit a clothesline for a 2 count. Drew blocked a corner charge, but ended up Taking Finlay's old forward rolling Samoan Drop. Drew kicked out at 2, before he snapped Sheamus's neck off the top rope before hitting a low dropkick. In the corner Drew hit some clotheslines before giving Sheamus a Northern Lights suplex with a pin for 2. McIntyre hit a snap suplex for another 2 count. Drew punted Sheamus in the back, but this just pissed Sheamus off.

Sheamus hit clubbing blows in the corner before hitting a powerslam. In the ropes, Drew got in cheapshot as the ref tried to make the break. However, this knocked back just allowed Sheamus to hit the Brogue Kick on Drew as he turned around for the three count. the announcers continued to debate whether Drew would be fired. Given that Teddy never even mentioned firing Drew this week, I'm thinking this anti-Brodus Clay angle must be going on another sodding week.

Gabriel Bruce - "Sleep Paralysis"

Back from break, we got the ever-awesome "By The Numbers" promo video for the Royal Rumble. Only thing that gets me is the 695 people who have entered. That maths is surely way off? For 22 years, it's had 30 people in it. That's 660. Then in '88, it was 20 and last year 40, so that's another 60. That's 720 slots over the years. Now, sure, some folk have never made it to the ring, such as Finlay a few years ago for jumping the gun to save Hornswoggle or the time Spike Dudley was killed by Kane when Undertaker's presence was felt ahead of Wrestlemania XX. But a whole 25 missing people? No way. Wikipedia lists 6 as never getting in. I'd love to see how WWE cooked that number.

Epico & Primo def. Santino Marella & Yoshi Tatsu in a "Hmmm...what sort of a tag team name could we come up with for Santino & Yo SHI Tatsu???" match
Marella & Yoshi came out before the break, with Santino cajoling Yoshi into doing the race walking thing, while the Colons and Rosa came out after the break, leading to a PIP promo from Rosa, who spoke in Spanish, so I have no idea what she said. I don't care. I just enjoyed the view.

The 2 idiot babyfaces then got into a bowing contest with each other. Ah, you know what, screw this for some horseshit. I'm sick of Santino. I'm just going to give you the cliff notes on what happened and move on. After a strong babyface start, Epico and Primo worked over Yoshi Tatsu, although this didn't last long before Yoshi made a "hot tag". After Yoshi was tossed out, Santino hit the Cobra on Primo, but took the Backstabber from Epico for the win. Yoshi didn't get to do much. Neither did the champion and Santino is a friggin' idiot. There. Be thankful I wasted this much of my life typing that much out.

Mark Henry was warming up when Daniel Bryan cautiously approached. Henry said he better have a good reason after last week. Bryan put it on Teddy Long putting the lumberjacks in there. And tonight was on Teddy Long too. Bryan was up for a rematch, but Long made Henry vs. Show instead. Bryan wanted to talk about Big Show. He had no right to be in their match on Sunday and Teddy Long wants Show to be the champion. Otherwise, the title match would be between them. Bryan said tonight was the last chance to right an obvious wrong, suggesting that Henry hurt Show and badly. How many times has Show injured Henry, other people and his girlfriend. Bryan said that for the good of everyone in the WWE, Show needed to be taught a lesson, and who better than the World's Strongest Man. Henry seemed to take that on board.

The Van Doos - "Black It Out"

Stone Cold Randy Orton
Wade came out and started a promo claiming that Randy Orton wouldn't actually shot up. As it goes, Barrett did his thing to get the crowd to quieten the hell down. You know. The Thing. With his hand. No, not that thing. That's what his hand does in his provate time. The other thing. The thing that led to this being created:

He said Orton was allowing his ego to get the best of him. The doctors may say that he can come back, but spiritually, he was broken. You don't have happen to you what Orton did and come back the same guy. He threw it to a recap of the Falls Count Anywhere match, showing the elevator footage and then the push down the stairs.

Wade didn't get too much further on when Orton's music kicked in. However, we saw that Orton was a long way backstage, making the walk through the halls. This was a pure Stone Cold presentation of Orton. As he came out the entrance, they ran to each other and started a pull apart brawl, with Orton dominating. Some referees came out to stop it, but that was as ineffectual as Tylenol is at curing herpes. Teddy Long came out and sent down Tyler Reks, Curt Hawkins and Trent Baretta. They pulled Orton off, but this just allowed Barrett to get a free shot in on Randy. Orton broke free of them and chased him in the ring. The three warm bodies, as well as the Usos split the 2 apart with Wade leaving up the ramp.

Orton stared a hole in Wade at the ropes. He then realised that Tyler Reks was standing beside him. RKO.

Curt Hawkins wondered what Orton was playing at. RKO.

Trent Baretta got too close to Randy. RKO.

Jimmy Uso. RKO.

Jey Uso. Stunner. Actually, I'm not joking. It was almost a stunner. Orton almost sat on his ass, and Uso almost landed on his knees.

After the break, the Royal Rumble moment featured was 2006 and Rey Rey's win for Eddie. It mostly served to show how much better Orton looks with hair.

Backstage, Danny Bryan was with Kaitlyn. He said she was AJ's best friend and needed a favour. She was fine with this. He needed her to tell Big Show that Mark Henry was gonna try and injure him in their match. Kaitlyn wondered who she was doing the favour for. Bryan said it was the both of them, since she loved him. Kaitlyn wanted a favour in return. She wanted to know how he REALLY feels about AJ. He said he liked to keep himself private, but the sooner Big Show was told the better.

Hunico def. Ted DiBiase in a "Now that DiBiase is injured, with his money, surely he should come back bionic?" match
Hunico came out first, with Camacho, as we saw the end of last week's flag match. When Ted came out, they noted DiBiase's massively taped up hand. Cole pulled a Rachel Maddow as he said he'd be Newt Gingrich saying DiBiase should release his tax returns to prove he's a man of the people.

DiBiase actually started off on top with his one arm, but soon enough, Hunico grabbed the wrist and started working on it. DiBiase got out of an armbar, and hit the misdirection clothesline. However, he was unable to lift Hunico for Dream Street. Hunico hit a double-knee buster to the arm before hitting his take on the Angle Slam for the win.

After the match, the boys from the barrio attacked DiBiase, with Camacho stomping on the wrist when it was placed on the steel steps.

Backstage, Teddy Long, Askana and her off-stage crew were watching this. Teddy wanted to take his leave and check on Ted. However, he was cut off by Natalya. She wanted a rematch with Tamina. Aksana got off a snarky comment, which Natalya took offence too. This led to a line about Tamina being a whackjob, only for Aksana to misunderstand and think she was taking offence to her giving Teddy handies in private. Teddy made a match between the pair. Nattie said she looked forward to making Aksana cry.

And then...

And then...

Natalya farted. I wish I was lying. I'm not even joking. Of course she didn't actually guff. It was a comedy sound effect. However, they all looked suspiciously at each other before Natalya ran off. And this segment wouldn't be complete without Santino coming in after Teddy & Aksana left, catching the heady funk of it. OK, this was actually quite funny on Marella's part.

Filthy Boy - "Waiting On The Doorstep"

By the way, speaking of funk...

Brodus Clay def. Alex Riley in a "Well, at least Clay didn't have to try to pick up Riley..." match
Amazingly, he stuck with the white suit that didn't rip apart on Monday. Brave lad. Alex Riley actually grooved along with them, just so you know he's not suddenly a heel. Riley did some dancing at the bell. Brodus countered with the jiggle, teasing a test of strength. However, as Riley went for it, Brodus hit a T-bone suplex. Clay followed up with the avalanche and then the What The Funk (which Cole HAD TO have said "What The Fuck") crossbody for the win.

After the match, he let the girls do some dancing and jiggling. We cut backstage to see Kaitlyn talking to Big Show.

We then, apropos of nothing and with no set up that I saw went to Monday Night RAW for the entirety of the Kane vs. Zack Ryder match that ended with Ryder doing a Muhammad Hassan through the stage, which was the culmination of Kane's plan of having Cena "embrace the hate" by killing his friend and having his budding girlfriend turn against him.

Aksana def. Natalya in a "It will take you longer to read this sentence than the match took to happen" match
As you can probably guess, Aksana's entrance theme was her sax music, and she indeed got a whole lighting treatment and such. However, Natalya was more concerned with Tamina, wanting her to come out. While she was looking the other way, Aksana immediately rolled up Farty McGee for the three count.

Natalya clipped Aksana's leg while she celebrated and put on a sharpshooter until Tamina came down to make the save. Nattie charged, only to be scooped up and hit with the Samoan Drop immediately and then the Superfly Splash.

Charli XCX - "Nuclear Seasons"

Big Show def. Mark Henry by Count Out in a "There's a reason this is very odd..." match
Back from break, and Big Show was already in the ring. After Henry came out, so did Daniel Bryan, making his way down to the ring and taking a seat at ringside. Show went right after Henry, forcing Henry to take a powder out, only for Show to go after him and bring him back in the ring. Show hit a pair of big chops in the corner. Henry fired back with some shots. But on one, he went down like a sack of potatoes, rolling out of the ring as we took an abrupt break.

We came back to see Daniel Bryan getting in the ring with a chair and attacking Big Show, who had just been announced as the winner. Josh said that during the break, Henry got back in the ring, but was knocked right back out of it and didn't answer the 10 count. Bryan lost control of the chair, so he bailed out, grabbing his belt. Bryan backed up, offering the belt to Big Show. He tossed it to him, but as Show caught it, Bryan hit a dropkick to the knee, getting the chair back again.

Bryan wailed away on Show again with a couple of shots before choking him with it. Where's Justin Roberts' tie when you need it? Bryan hit some more shots as they got back into the ring. Bryan locked on the LeBell Lock, and got it on pretty good, but before he had to nominally tap out, Big Show was able to power up and out of the hold. He gave Bryan a chokeslam, but as Show loaded up the WMD, Bryan bailed out of the ring.

Bryan backed up the ramp, afraid for his life as Show talked trash and stared a hole in Bryan as the show ended.

OVERALL - First and foremost, it's been reported that Henry hyper-extended his knee on the swing he took, and the finish to the show was done on the fly, as the original plan was apparently that both Big Show and Henry would lay out Bryan. Oddly enough, this was the better ending. And it's possibly Henry could work the match on Sunday. That will also be largely why they had the full segment from RAW to fill time rather than the RAW Rebound clip package.

As for the angle, I liked the notion that Bryan realised he pushed Big Show too far in the opening segment, tried to talk Henry into doing his dirty work for him, only for it to backfire (which is both what happened and what was supposed to happen, only to varying degrees of burial to Bryan). I'd have hated the original plan, as that would have just put the tin-lid on Bryan being a non-entity. Here, he even managed to lock on his submission on Show for a while, even though it ultimately didn't work.

I half-jokingly suggested it last week, but Bryan's bit with Kaitlyn, to me, was screaming foreshadowing of them hooking up at AJ's expense. not saying it'll happen, but if I had the book, it would.

Orton's return was pretty well handled, giving him the Austin deal. And while he's probably fine enough to work, the extra few shows where he's not out there for long will just help that little bit more. Otherwise the show was one big case of "as you were". Cody getting a decent win. Drew getting screwed with. A no-time-at-all Divas match. Epico & Primo getting a win. Brodus Clay fun. Not bad. Not blowaway either. Indeed, while I'm no less amped for the Rumble, I'm no more excited for it either. It was fine, but only really that.

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