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Aaron's UnReal Time Smackdown Review: Zack Ryder. Main Eventer. (OK, It Was In A Tag Match And He Didn't Get The Pin, But Still...)

By Aaron Wood Dec 16, 2011 - 6:02 PM print

You might have been able to read this a couple of hours ago. But then I fell alseep. Yeah, I'm a working man. And a working man who had to shovel his car out of some snow this morning. Anyway, the entire point is that the previous sentences were merely filler for me to note that we hit the top 15 in my countdown of "Most Listened To Songs of 2011", going from 15-11 and thusly making it look more like a full paragraph.

LAST WEEK ON SMACKDOWN: The Phantom of The Opera joined commentary, David Otunga realised he should just stop showing up, Lillian Garcia & Hornswoggle battled it out to be the better ring announcer, nothing happened with the Divas...NOTHING... and Ziggler got booked for a table with one with Randall as his waiter.

He may suck at announcing, but dude can still promo
We opened up the show with a sense of Deja Vu, as after Josh & Cole hyped up the main matches, Booker T came out, as Josh introduced him for an interview. Now this did leave Cole to rant and rave over clips over Cody's assault during Booker's entrance last week and then Booker's comeback later in the night.

Josh suggested that after last week and Tribute To The Troops he might be ready for Sunday. Does Booker look ready? Damn right. Booker siad he didn't want this. He was happy with the next stage of his career sitting next to Josh on commentary (The hell with Michael Cole, by the way). But this wasn't about anything Booker said. This was about Cody's ego, needing to legitimise himself, and he wasn't gonna get it done at Booker's expense.

Josh asked about a full-time return to the ring. Booker hadn't thought about that and would cross that bridge when it came to it. However, it had been a long time since he felt how he did, so Cody was getting the beatdown of a lifetime. Can one be accepting of that, sucker?

Cody came out and said it was a lovely bit of fantasy fiction Booker had. Cody went over what would happen on Sunday. Booker's music would hit and the crowd would smile and get a lovely sense of nostalgia for Booker's better days. They would likely see a flurry of offence that would get the world saying "Booker T is back!". If it were a movie, Booker would win the match, take the title and cry while Cody would leave embarrassed and defeated.

But it wasn't a movie, announcer. What was going to happen when reality set in and fall to Cody. Booker got back on the microphone and wanted to start the fisticuffs right now. However, Cody said he's faced Daniel Bryan twice and twice, Booker has interfered. So he went to Teddy Long and the deal was that if Booker interfered in Cody's impending match with Bryan, the title match would be off and Rhodes would petition to have Booker suspended.

Cody Rhodes def. Daniel Bryan in a "Well, suffice to say that Sunday's still on..." match
Bryan made his way out, with his ribs still taped. Booker, having rejoined the announcers, was all "You're kidding me, right?". Bryan looked for an early LeBell Lock, but Cody managed to slip out of the ring, right by Booker as we took a break. We came back as Bryan hit a flying boot (which looked low) before working Cody over. However, from the apron, Cody blocked a suplex and gave Bryan one of his own from the ring to the floor. Back in the ring, he hit the Gordbuster for a 2 count.

Cody locked on a bodyscissors, targeting the injured ribs of Bryan, He got out and started hitting kicked, but Cody caught a leg and stomped on the ribs before hitting a clothesline for a 2 count to which he smirked at Booker. Bryan got a backslide and then an Oklahoma Roll for quick 2 counts. Bryan got his boots up on a charge and hit a missile dropkick for a 2 count. Bryan hit kicks in the corner, but his charge was blocked. Rhodes went up for a moonsault, but Bryan cut him off and hit a back superplex, but in mid-air, Rhodes turned it into a bodypress for a 2 count.

Rhodes missed the Beautiful Disaster, and Bryan rolled Cody up for 2. However in rolled out of the pin, Cody found a position to hit the CrossRhodes, picking up the three count. Cody went to a corner to pose and continue to smugly smirk at Booker.

15: Kasabian - "Goodbye Kiss" (I'd like to note this is probably my actual 2nd favourite song of this year. Were it released earlier in the year, it'd have been higher)

Alicia Fox def. Natalya in a I wonder how many dudes are using tissues themselves right now..." match
Both Alicia and Natalya came out alone. However, Natalya had brought a box of tissues with her, signifying her like of making others cry. She tired to wipe Fox's eye as the bell rung, but this just allowed Fox to grab a side headlock. She was pushed off into the corner and then had a sunset flip blocked as well. Natalya worked the ribs, locking on an abdominal stretch. Natalya rolled up Alicia for 2. There was possibly some form of botch/miscommunication here because it looked like Fox was waiting for Natalya to bounce herself back off the ropes when Nattie just stopped at them. When Fox then got up, she immediately gave Natalya an inside cradle for the three count.

Emerging from the pin, we saw that Alicia had a great big handful of Natalya's fake weave. She got on the mic and said "synthetic was pathetic" (HA!) and that Natalya should go to the back and have a good cry, because she had been out-foxed. Natalya got angry and back into the ring, but Alicia dropped Natalya and hit the somersault leg drop.

The announcers talked about the Tribute To The Troops before mentioning the Slammys. I should note that Cole was sat at the announce with his THREE Slammy awards. Yeah. he got another one via wwe.com. While they would recap that show later, they wanted to take a look at "Pipebomb Of The Year" there and then. Well, the gag reel part of it.

We cut backstage to Jack Swagger & Vickie as Mark Henry walked up. He needed a favour from Swagger. last time he saw Swagger in the ring with Big Show, he hurt Show's ankle. So he needed Swagger to do the same again. He does, and Swagger goes to the head of the line for a title shot. Swagger said he would hurt Big Show, not for Henry but himself. He's beaten Big Show before. Something Henry hadn't done. This annoyed Henry and he left.

14: Example - "Changed The Way You Kiss Me"

Epico & Primo def. The Usos in a "Colon > Fatu" match
The Usos did the Siva Tau, while Epico & Primo came out without Huncio but had Rosa with them, who was jiggling her jammies. Could do with some of Natalya's tissues right now... The Usos started off on top, making quick tags, wotking over Epico. However, he blocked a charge and while Epico took the referee, Primo hung Jimmy Uso allowing the cousins to take control with quick tags themselves. Uso fought back and made the hot tag to his brother, who ran wild and hit a spinning forearm and ass splash for a 2 count. Epico broke up the pin, but Jimmy dumped him out only to be dumped by Primo. Jey dropped Primo with a superkick. However as Uso went up top, Rosa started yelling at him long enough for Primo to cut him off and hit the Backstabber for the win. Yeah, Primo & Epico won using Carlito's move.

We took a look back at July 2010 when wagger injured Big Show's ankle.

Big Show def. Mark Henry in a "Can't wait for the upcoming Henry & Swagger vs. Big Show & Cameraman match..." match
Before the pair locked up, Mark Henry hobbled out with a chair in his hand. Swagger tried to get the drop on Show, but that was an epic fail. However, Swagger quickly came back, taking out the leg and then hitting a shoulderblock. However, Big Show mowed down Swagger right back. Henry had taken residence at the foot of the aisle, sitting in the chair.

Show hit a scoop slam, but directed his attention at Henry. He gave Swagger another one and then took more time to stare at Henry. He choked Jack in the ropes before giving him a big chop. The crowd chanted for one more and after quietening them, gave them another. Big Show missed a charge thanks to watching Henry. Swagger caught a kick of Show's and dropped down with the leg across his shoulder, backbreaker-style. He gave Show 2 Swagger Bombs, but it only picked up a 2 count. By that math, he should try three in a row next time.

Big Show made a comeback running Swagger down before going for a chokeslam. However, Swagger rolled through into an ankle lock. Big Show. Show caught sight of Henry willing him to tap out, got pissed off, kicked Swagger off of him and immediately hit the WMD for the three count.

Show grabbed Swagger by the throat and pushed him out of the ring, right in front of Henry's feet. He took the chair and smacked Swagger in the back with it before then smacking a cameraman who was facing the other way filming Big Show in the back with it. As he left, Henry said "expect the unexpected".

13: Cage The Elephant - "Shake Me Down"

Back from break, Randy Orton was taping up his wrists when Zack Ryder walked in. Ryder was wondering if they were on the same page. No. How about the same book then? Maybe. Maybe? MEAYBE'S SICK! WWWYKI! Ryder left and Orton wondered what just happened.

Ted DiBiase def. Heath Slater in a "Yeah...again..." match
Slater was already in the ring while during Ted#s entrance, we saw clips from a DiBiase Posse Party. That said, it didn't look as much like tailgating as it was fans in the queue waiting to get in. DiBiase went for some quick pins early on, to Slater's frustration. Heath bitch-slapped him, which just pissed off Ted something rotten.

he tossed Slater out and rammed him into the guardrail before clotheslining him on the floor. However, Slater reversed a hard whip into the corner and took control. He stretched DiBiase around the ringpost before hitting a downward elbow from the top rope. Ted broke out of the chinlock, but took a Side Russian Legsweep. However, he came off the ropes into an atomic drop, DiBiase then hit a flying boot, misdirection clothesline and Dream Street for the win.

Before he could celebrate, Jinder Mahal attacked Ted from behind, locking on a Camel Clutch. Teddy Long came out and said if Jinder wanted to fight so bad, he had an opponent for him, someone who he had unfinished business with from Monday and who he was facing there and then. Sheamus.

Sheamus def. Jinder Mahal in a "HAPPY NOW?!?! He pinned the shitty jobber. Does this please you???" match
The opening bell rang after the break. It lasted longer than the RAW "match" in the opening lock-up alone. Sheamus dropped Mahal and then dropped a knee on Mahal's arm. Sheamus with the clubbing blows to the back. He set up Mahal in the ropes, but Mahal elbowed Sheamus, which pissed Sheamus off, leading to a foot race. Sheamus caught Mahal and gave him the clubbing chest blows facing into the ring instead of to the crowd.

He followed with the slingshot shoulderblock. However, Mahal got some offence in, after Sheamus missed a charge, hitting a neckbreaker before putting on a chinlock. Mahal hit a couple of blows to the chest, but once again, this just tended to annoy Sheamus, who fired up and fired back with blows in the corner followed by the Irish Curse. The Brogue Kick was then hit once again, this time making the three count for the pin.

12: Funeral Party - "Finale"

Back from break, they pimped wwe.com's coverage of the Tribute To The Troops show, before sending it back to a lengthy recap of the Slammy Awards show. Interesting to note that they re-edited it to look like that when Punk won "Superstar Of The Year" that that was when he came out with the mannequin in the Dynamic Dudes shirt (providing another clip of the awesome tribute to Johnny Ace), even though the graphic for "Pipebomb Of The Year" was obviously in the background. It ended with Kane's return, making Big Red look like a scary-ass mofo. I hope they give some sort of explanation as to why he went for Cena and not Henry. I mean, he stared Henry down when he got in the ring before chokeslamming Cena.

Cole noted his latest Slammy Award but didn't say what it was for, telling people to go to WWE.com to see what it was for. They did what looked like being a PPV card rundown, but after mentioning Big Show vs. Mark Henry, they abruptly cut to a full-length video package on the HHH vs. Kevin Nash match. They then didn't go back and mention any of the other matches.

11: OK Go - "All Is Not Lost"

Randy Orton & Zack Ryder def. Wade Barrett & Dolph Ziggler in a "Woo Woo Woo You RK-Know It" match
Randy Orton came out before the break as we saw that a couple of tables had been set up in the aisle. After the break, we saw the "Control" video from RAW before we cut back into the show with Josh in mid-sentence and as Ryder came out, followed by Ziggler & Barrett, who was fashioning his new shirt.

Ryder and Ziggler started things off, with Ziggler grabbing a headlock. Ryder got out of it and after a leapfrog, he hit a flapjack on Ziggler before tagging in Orton. He stood over Ziggler while staring at Barrett. Orton hit a suplex for a 2 count barely taking his gaze off of Wade. Zack tagged back in, but Dolph was able to catch him with a shot to tak control. Barrett tagged in and went to work on Ryder in the corner, before hitting headbutt for a 2 count.

Ryder came back with a splash in the corner before tagging in Orton, but Wade ran away and tagged Ziggler while jumping out of the ring. Ziggler hit some shots, but Orton fired back. However after giving Wade a shot, Mr. Ziggles got the jump on him. Orton's backbreaker was blocked, but a Ryder dropkick sent Ziggler out where he and Wade regrouped as we took a final break.

We came back with Orton hitting mounted punches in the corner followed by a knee drop for a 2 count. Ziggler telegraphed a backdrop and unbeknownst to Orton, Wade tagged in, hitting a big boot on Randy. Swinging neckbreaker followed for a 2 count before a chinlock was applied. Orton fought out, but took a knee to the gut. Ziggler tagged in, hitting the leaping elbow drop for a 2 count. Orton came back with a couple of punches, but ate a dropkick. Dolph trapped the arm and tagged in Barrett.

Orton caught Wade with a back suplex and a tag to Ryder. He hit a pair of forearms to Wade and then blocked a charge to set up the Broski Boot. Ryder wanted the Rough Ryder, but Wade tossed him over his head and Ziggler dropped him with a shot to end the momentum. Ryder got a roll up for 2, but Ziggler rolled through into a single leg crab, preventing the tag to Orton at the very least, before finally cutting Zack off with al elbow to the back.

Wade tagged in and locked on a chinlock. Ryder got out and nearly got a tag jumping over Barrett. However, Wade adjusted and looked for Wasteland. However, Ryder elbowed out and hit a DDT, before tagging in Orton. Dolph came in too, but came right into the snap powerslam. The hanging neckbreaker picked up 2 when Barrett broke the pin. Ryder dumped Wade out, but Zack was sent into the guardrail. Ziggler rolled Orton up with a handful of tights for 2. However the ZigZag was missed and Orton hit the RKO right away. While Wade had the opportunity to break the pin, with Orton staring right at him, he elected not to bother, instead backing up the aisle.

The show ended with the pair in a staredown with Wade standing on a table so they were at a similar eye level.

OVERALL - Pretty good show, but not one that can be noted for anything particularly major happening, given it's particular emphasis on in-ring action. While it undoubtedly did a better job of overtly hyping the PPV on Sunday than RAW (although I think RAW did a good deal more of a hype job that many are giving it credit for), it didn't particularly advance any of the feuds beyond where they were already at. And while the matches themselves were perfectly fine, especially the opener and the main, none of them were all that awesome, at least to the point where one could rave about them. Perfectly enjoyable, but ultimately missable episode.

You can contact Aaron via his personal Facebook or the WWI Fan Page. All he asks is that if you do "friend" him personally that you write a little note noting that you read the reviews.

Or if you are on Twitter, Aaron can be reached at twitter.com/aaron24wood or the WWI Twitter feed at twitter.com/clubwwi.

You can join Aaron in the online gaming world either on the XBox 360 or the superior Playstation 3. Either way, his screen-name is aaron24wood

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