Aaron's UnReal Time Smackdown Review: Randy Orton Gets Gowen'd
By Aaron Wood
Dec 30, 2011 - 4:30 PM

Well, so here it is, the final Smackdown of the year. And indeed, the end of the annual "Most played tracks on my iTunes" countdown. And yes, I'm fully aware that that title has changed in some way each and every single week. Anyway, we go from 5 to 1. Well, I did say final week. It's not like I'd suddenly put up numbers 76 to 71, is it? As it goes, while a lot had to do with my "This Week in WWE History" columns, this year has actually marked my most-productive year on World Wrestling Insanity. ClubWWI? Not so much, but I'm a working man. We can't all be like Guttman, living off his many millions. Rumour has it that he's going to buy Greece and Italy next year and become some sort of Mediterranean overlord.

LAST WEEK ON SMACKDOWN: Daniel Bryan told us how much he sucked, Booker did his best Sinatra, Wade Barrett got hosed and Daniel Bryan made it through the whole show without losing his title, meaning that he was already one-up on Christian's run...

We opened with a pretty awesome hype video for our main event, that being a Falls Count Anywhere match, based on the fight backstage last week.

Hey Dustin, here comes your Wrestlemania...
After the credits, Booker T made his way down to the ring, albeit in a suit. He took a mic and said he asked for the time to say a little something. He wanted to thank the WWE and the fans as it had been an awesome year for him. It started at the Rumble with his unexpected entry. He was then willing to step back and move onto the next stage of his career and go onto commentary, which was great other than having to deal with Michael Cole. However, that would be until Cody Rhodes tried to tempt him back into the ring. However, as we saw on Monday, Cody got beat 1, 2, 3 in the middle of the ring. He said that tonight was the final Smackdown 2011 so sit back and enjoy.

Booker was about to finish his speech when he was interrupted by Cody Rhodes. He said he knew Indianapolis didn't read the newspaper or keep up with the news outside of a race car taking a left or thier shitty Colts, but since we're seemingly in year-in-review mode, let's have a recap of Cody's. He's overcome a career-threatening injury, he best Mysterio at Wrestlemania and he's brought honour and prestige back to the IC Title. And no offence Booker, but Cody took a washed-up announcer and got him to regain some of his former glory.

Booker cut in and pointed out that he beat Cody in the middle of the ring. If he had any respect for the business, he would be congratulating him on that. Rhodes said he was absolutely right. He didn't want to come off as some sort of bitter jerk. Congratulations Booker! Cody offer a handshake, which Booker accepted. As Booker went to leave, Cody said "Of course, it's all over". Say what, son? Cody said Booker was a nostalgia act. His in-ring skills would get worse every time he's in the ring, and his skills as an announcer would lead to a reputation as a semi-literate buffoon. Cody told Booker to do everyone a favour and go home.

They were then interrupted by someone rather unexpected. Dustin Rhodes came out, doing so to the Goldust music, which made for a very weird sight as he wasn't dressed as Goldust, but as himself in a nice suit (albeit with golden tie), which led Josh & Cole to make sure to explain everything. The man who wants to block all non-Christians from following his Twitter said that he was sorry, as he was his brother, but he was going about things the wrong way. When he was down and out and battling every demon he had, it was Booker who inspired him. He took Dustin under his wing and he had the best time when they teamed up. He understood that he was trying to make a name for himself, but this was wrong.

The rather amused Cody thought that this was priceless. Just when he thought there couldn't be a bigger joke than Booker, his brother was trying to prove him wrong. He didn't care about inspirations, as these people weren't worth inspiring! And Dustin wants to talk about knowing better? He Knows he restored the Rhodes family name after Dustin threw up all over it. And how inspirational was Booker when after they finished teaming Dustin went right back to those demons and total obscurity. I wouldn't say his run in TNA was "total obscurity". I mean, it's hard to be obscure when you consider the weight Rhodes gained while he was there...

Booker stepped in and said Goldie was more of a man than Cody would ever be. Booker pointed out that he had one win, Cody had one win. So how about one more, but this time make it for the title. Cody said he'd be careful for what he wished for. He was agreeing to one more match. Next week. But Booker should be careful, because when he lost, he'd be following Dustin into irrelevancy. Booker said that next week he and everyone in the arena would be celebrating, as he'd become the new IC Champion. Booker gave it the ol' "Can You Dig It, Sucka?" and left to take his seat at ringside. In the ring, Cody and Dustin had a couple of words before Cody kicked Dustin in the gut and hit the Beautiful Disaster. Booker got back in the ring to check on Dustin as the announcers hyped up Big Show & Daniel Bryan vs. Mark Henry & David Otunga.

05: The Lonely Island (Feat. Rihanna) - "Shy Ronnie 2: Ronnie & Clyde"

Jinder Mahal def. Ted Dibiase in a "Well, I guess it's perfected now then..." match
As DiBiase came out, we went back to 2 weeks prior, as after winning he was attacked by Jinder Mahal, where he locked on a camel clutch. Cole said that Mahal had perfected the move on Smackdown. No, he hasn't... Mahal, who has added a turban to his garb, got an inset promo about New Year's Resolutions. He said every year, Americans make false resolutions and end up stuck in mediocrity, just like DiBiase.

DiBiase controlled things early, until Mahal managed to hit a hotshot onto the top rope, followed by a high knee for a 2 count. Butterfly suplex by Mahal also picked up a 2 count. He locked on a European Headlock and laid in some knees. He locked on a chinlock, clubbing Ted as he tried to fight out. However, when he got out, Ted began his comeback, hitting the misdirection clothesline and Sky High for a 2 count. Ted went up top, but had to jump over Mahal, when Jinder got up too quick for Ted. On landing, Ted seemed to tweak his knee, allowing Mahal to hit a Reverse STO (or the Complete Shot for all you WWE '12 moveset makers out there) before he locked on the Camel Clutch, forcing DiBiase to tap out, Mahal actually winning a match for once in his sorry life. As it goes, credit where it due, this is probably the best he's ever looked in the ring. That said, that's not exactly saying much.

Backstage, Teddy Long was on the phone talking about a New Year's party he was having. Just as he was saying he had everything he needed, he mentioned "horns" when wouldn't you know it, Aksana made her presence known and she had a horn. She was looking forward to a New Year's kiss from her Teddy bear. Unfortunately, Thaddeus was about to get cockblocked by the finest man alive, Drew McIntyre. Drew said Long wanted to see him. Long said he had signed Drew back to Smackdown.

But when he brought him back, he didn't realise how much money he was making. When he was on Smackdown last, he was one of the fastest rising stars in the WWE, but when he went to RAW, his career went into a tailspin, and Long didn't want to be paying so much for the drizzling shits. So while Drew was as talented as they come, he couldn't have someone without the passion he once had, so if he didn't beat Ezekiel Jackson, he'd have to think about letting him go.

Drew said that Teddy didn't have to worry about Drew's lack of passion. He could still get a man on his knees begging for mercy. He was about to remind Teddy of when he did that exact thing to him, but Long pretended he couldn't understand a word Drew was saying in his accent. Drew told him to watch what he did to his opponent.

04: Kaiser Chiefs - "I Dare You"

Alicia Fox & Kaitlyn def. Natalya & Tamina in a "Remember the aborted angle with Kaitlyn turning heel? This is the kinda opposite..." match
As Fox & the non-PinUpStrong member Kaitlyn came out first, we saw Alicia snatching a bit of Natalya's weave a couple of weeks ago. When Booker corrected Cole on the cradle that Fox used to win the match, Cole said "We're storytellers!". Kaitlyn & Tamina started off with Kaitlyn getting a crossbody and then a dropkick for 2 counts. Natalya provided a distraction soon enough and the heels took control of things. Natalya hit a Michinoku Driver, but missed a leg drop. Kaitlyn made the tag, where Alicia leapfrogged over Natalya on a charge, waited and then hit an axe kick (although she almost entirely leapfrogged Natalya again on it) for the win out of nowhere.

After the match, Tamina got in the ring and had words with Nattie before giving her a superkick and Superfly Splash.

Back from break, we saw the RAW Rebound involving CM Punk's gauntlet, setting up Punk vs. Ziggler next week for the WWE Title. We then saw a clip from RAW with Big Show's match with Otunga, with Daniel Bryan making the distractive save. Backstage, Daniel Bryan was giving AJ her very own RAW Rebound, recapping what we just saw. At no point did AJ go "Yeah, I watched the show...". Big Show walked in and asked to speak to Bryan alone for a moment. Show said giants didn't need to be saved. Bryan said that's not how he saw it, but they were partners tonight.

As it goes, they weren't. No, Big Show didn't lose his shit ajnd lay out Bryan. As it goes Teddy Long walked up and said he hated to be the bearer of bad news but the match was off, but David Otunga still wanted Big Show. But on this occasion, Mark Henry would be in his corner. Bryan said maybe giants need saving after all. He left Show a little dumbfounded with a look that said "I know you're kidding, but I really wanna punch you, ya midget".

Hunico def. Justin Gabriel in a "Between Camacho and Rosa Mendes in the "seconds with Latino acts" stakes, I'd rather see Rosa..." match
Gabriel came out first, followed by Hunico, who was riding with Camacho on the low-rider bike. Hunico got an inset promo, where he introduced Camacho (who is really Haku's son), who was from back in the barrio. Camacho said they planned on taking over the WWE in 2012. Now, if you've been watching Superstars, where Hunico & Camacho have dwelled these last few weeks, you'll know that Josh has expounded at length about the low-rider bike. As it goes, it was Cole who gace us a very lengthy and detailed background on the bike.

Huncio was sent out to the floor early, but Gabirle missed a baseball slide, sliding out himself, where Hunico hit an Asai Moonsault, bringing him back in for a 2 count. Gabriel was whipped hard into the corner, but Gabriel launched Hunico into the corner himself. He then hit a splash in the corner, but Hunico ducked under a springboard. Gabriel hit a sitout powerbomb, but when he went up, Hunico armdragged him down and quickly hit the Swanton for the win.

After the match, Hunico catapulted Gabriel onto Camacho's shoulders, where they then hit a double-team Samoan Drop/neckbreaker.

After the break, we got the opening video once again. But thankfully, we didn't just start the show over again. That would mean Hunico vs. Gabriel would be our main event and we'd have been swizzed Orton vs. Barrett.

03: The Strokes - "Under Cover Of Darkness"

Big Show def. David Otunga in a "Somewhere out there, Michael McGillicutty still wishes he was the one in Otunga's spot" match
As Show came out, we saw Big Show's awesome WMD last week. Otunga came out by himself, although it was so Henry got his own entrance. Show dominated early, with shots to the gut and headbutts. Otunga powdered out to relieve the punishment, but Henry actually yelled at him for sucking, ordering him back in the ring. As it goes, Otunga got some shots in, but Show just fired up and mowed Otunga down. Jennifer Hudson's baby-daddy took a massive splash in the corner, as Show told Henry to watch. He called for the chokeslam, but Henry provided a distraction, allowing Otunga to clip the leg, hit a bunch of boots to the head and a short DDT for a 2 count. However, Big Show kicked out with AUTHORITY, sending Otunga out the ring.

However, as Big Show recovered, Henry started climbing the steps to get in the ring, but Daniel Bryan came from the crowd and hit Henry in the back with his belt. This helped lure Henry to the back. Meanwhile, Show brought Otunga back in the hard way and then hit the WMD for the three count.

We saw a clip of Orton winning the tables match he had with Barrett at TLC. What was interesting is that, for the first time I can ever recall, the Black Hole Slam Barrett uses was given it's own bespoke name, "The Winds Of Change".

Ezekiel Jackson def. Drew McIntyre in a "Looks like they are going the "MVP needs to win to keep his cash" angle with Drew. Hope Drew enjoys Japan when he gets there..." match
Drew grabbed a side headlock, but Jackson pushed off and hit a slam. Drew hit some shots, ending with a dropkick for a 2 count. Jackson hit a wristlock takeover for a quick 2. Jackson took control of the match. Drew managed to get a cheapshot in while they were at the ropes, hitting a big boot for a 2 count. He choked Zeke in the ropes, before hitting a couple of clotheslines in the corner. My Tag Team Title winning partner on WWE '12's Universe mode then gave Jackson a Northern Lights suplex for a 2 count.

Drew ran into a backdrop, which started a Jackson comeback with a clothesline in the corner and side slam for a 2 count. Drew clubbed away in the corner, but as the ref had words with Drew, Jackson looked for the Torture Rack. Drew slipped out and then blocked a charge and folded Jackson up for a pin. However, the referee caught Drew putting his feet on the ropes. As the pair argued that one out, Jackson rolled up Drew, grabbing a nice handful of tights in the process, to pick up the three count.

As the cheating bastard looked pleased with himself, Drew had a look on his face like he was now mortally screwed. After the break, we joined Drew mid-shouting that the referee screwed him over and that Teddy shouldn't count that against him. However, Teddy either remembering what Drew did to him in the past or just pissed at being cockblocked earlier, told Drew sternly that he couldn't stand losers, especially ones that make excuses.

02: The Lonely Island (Feat. Santigold) - "After Party" (This is, amazingly, the best video out there...)

Sheamus made his way out to the ring, asking Indianapolis what the craic was. He said it was the end of 2011 and people were talking about what had been. But he wanted to talk about the future, namely The Royal Rumble. 29 fellas flying over the top rope, and the winner getting a title match at Wrestlemania. He didn't care what number he drew or who he eliminated, he was gonna win it.

He was interrupted by Hornswoggle. Sheamus noted that Horny eliminated him from the Xmas Battle Royal. Let Sheamus guess, Hornswoggle's entering the Rumble too, huh? Look, just because Daniel Bryan beat Big Show, that doesn't mean miracles happen every day. When Horny iterated that he would win the Rumble, Sheamus said that his ol' granddad used to say "Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, you're begging for a kick up the arse". Hornswoggle thought his friend was joking, but Sheamus retained a stern look, worrying the leprechaun no end. However, Sheamus cracked up eventually.

Heath Slater's music kicked in. Bushwhacker Luke. Brooklyn Brawler. Even Hornswoggle. There's always one guy who would claim they would win the rumble, but couldn't be taken seriously. He wasn't like that though. That said, he told Sheamus that he was the number one redhead on Smackdown. Slater told Horny he liked him better when he didn't speak, and then he didn't like him. And the only reason he won the Battle Royal was because Sheamus didn't want to squash him. But he was Heath Slater and he didn't have they problem.

Sheamus stepped in and said he had nothing against Southern rock. He hears it's quite good. But he wagered Slater saw himself as a Journey-type of guy. However, Sheamus saw him more as a R-Kelly sorta bloke. No, not in the watersports on teenagers-vein. he saw him that way, because "I Believe I Can Fly". At that, he tossed Slater over the rope, Rumble-style.

The announcers sent to a clip from RAW where Barrett put Orton through a table a couple of weeks ago.

Sheamus def. Heath Slater in a "Ginger on Ginger violence never solved anything..." match
Back from break, this match had been ordered by Teddy "I can't get my end away with Russian whores so I take it out on the Scots" Long and was already under-way with Sheamus working the wrist. He tossed Slater out aain, but this time, Heath landed on the apron. However, this just resulted in him taking the clubbing blows to the chest.

However, Slater tried a backslide but Sheamus flipped him out of it. Slater tried to block a charge, but Sheamus grabbed a boot. As the ref told Sheamus to break, Slater managed to catch Sheamus with a dropkick to the leg, before hitting Sweetness for a 2 count. Slater hit a Side Russian for a 1 count. Slater stomped on Sheamus before giving him a knee to the gut and a low dropkick. Slater locked in a chinlock, but Sheamus powered up and backed Slater into the corner to break.

Sheamus began a comeback from there, pounding on Heath in the corner. He gave Slater the Battering Ram, before setting for and hitting the Brogue Kick for the three count. Perfectly acceptable match here.

Daniel Bryan was backstage was Teddy Long. We caught Bryan suggesting that he was becoming Big Show's good luck charm. However, Big Show walked in, rather pissed off at the notion he needed his "Good luck charm" to save the day for him. Big Show flat out said that Bryan was starting to annoy him. Bryan said he was getting annoyed since he hadn't gotten a thank you yet. The pair got in an argument, with Big Show saying the title had gotten to his head.

Teddy Long stepped in. He said they could save their thank you's for next week. When pressed on what he meant, Long said that RAW was having a big WWE Title match next week with CM Punk facing Dolph Ziggler. So Teddy had decided to play copycat with Johnny Ace and was thusly making Bryan vs. Show for the World title on the first Smackdown of 2012. Big Show cracked up, telling Bryan that he had a good little run. Bryan contemplated this, before noting that whatever happened, at least his reign outdid Big Show's 45 seconds. That shut Show up.

We caught up in the Orton/Barrett highlights with last week's RKO on the car.

01: Justice - "Civilization"

Back from break, we got the final vignette for next Monday's RAW. Who will it be? Whose name will the little girl utter? How long will it be before TNA blatantly rips it off thinking they're being clever?

The announcers went over the big matches set for next week's RAW and Smackdown.

Wade Barrett & Randy Orton went to a No Contest in a "Good thing the ref was knocked out, otherwise Wade not brothering with a pin might have looked foolish..." Falls Count Anywhere match
The pair started throwing the haymakers right away. Orton won that battle, before working Wade over in the corner. After a clothesline to Wade coming out of the corner, things spilled outside in less than a minute. Orton whipped Barrett into the steel steps for a 2 count. Orton set up Wade's head on the top of the steps and stomped on it for another 2 count. Orton looked for the RKo, but Wade pushed off and sent him into the ringpost. Oddly enough, for someone who had just taken a header into the ringpost, Orton grabbed at his ankle as we took a final break.

We came back, and we were back in the ring as Barrett rained down blows. Orton was taken to the corner, where he stomped on Orton a bunch before picking up a 2 count. Wade set Orton up in the ropes, hitting the knees to the head and big boot, picking up a 2 count at ringside. Wade drove Orton into the side of the ring, but Orton fired back. Wade sent Randy into the guardrail to stop that however, before they headed back into the ring for a final time.

Wade scored with a big boot for a 2 count before putting on a chinlock. Orton fought out of it, but took a knee to the gut after bouncing off the ropes. Wade went to the middle rope and hit an elbow drop for a 2 count, before putting the chinlock back on. Orton punched his way out, but was mule kicked. Barrett with the pumphandle, but Orton slipped out of the slam to start his comeback. Snap powerslam connected, before he picked up Wade on the apron. However, Wade avoided the DDT. Orton threw Barrett over the announce table before tossing him into the front row.

Orton sent Wade into the guardrail, on the fans side, only for Wade to inadvertently take out the referee. Wade got a shot in on Orton and ran away. This started brawl backstage. Barrett dumped Orton through a catering table, but Orton rammed Wade's face onto the top of a backstage set trolley. They fought round a corner to a make up table, where Orton picked up the chair (a "director's chair") and took a swing t Wade, only for Barrett to avoid it.

Conveniently, an elevator at the end of the hall opened up, and Wade tossed out the people in it to try and escape. However, Orton managed to make it in. This is where things got awesome. Since there was no cameraman in the lift to film, we went to security camera footage. They got out of the elevator on some sort of office floor in the building. However, in a neat touch, the cameraman on that floor wasn't conveniently stationed at the elevator door, but was shown to be looking for the brawling pair. At this point, Orton & Wade were always the hall's length away from the camera. They disappeared through a door, and as the cameraman tried to catch up, you could see the pair at the top of some stairs. However, you just saw Wade launch Orton down them. The cameraman managed to burst through the fire exit door, seeing Wade at the top of the stair, with Orton sprawled out at the bottom of them. Wade, realising what he had done, ran away, leaving Orton barely conscious or moving as the show ended.

OVERALL - What was great about that closing angle was that from getting into the lift onwards, it felt like it should do. Usually with WWE, you could expect some sort of proper camera in the lift. You would expect the cameraman to be waiting for them to come out of the lift. All the sorts of things you'd expect from a slick production. But that the lift camera at least LOOKED LIKE the security camera and that the cameraman on the office floor had to scramble to find them make for some really nice touches.

The show on a whole was fine enough. Largely match based with only a few angles, including the Wade/Orton one. I can't help but chuckle at the Bryan/Show stuff. In a good way, mind. It was as if, tonight, they were in a race to see who could be the biggest prick to the other. Indeed, it's almost as if they were in a race to see who could turn heel first. Which, in fact, makes next week interesting. You'd think that Big Show would lose in some way and snap, beating the crap out of Bryan. However, Bryan was such a dick in his attitude as to how he'd helped Big Show, it possible that it may go the other way, and Bryan is the one who turns, win or lose.

The opening segment was pretty damn well done. There has been something of a mini-movement on Twitter with Goldust encouraging lobbying for a Cody vs. Goldust match at Wrestlemania. That said, Dustin is such a bell-end on Twitter that I'd rather it not happen there. On TV< sure, and tonight would be a great start for it. That said, if I had to put money on an outcome, it'd be that Dustin comes out and turns on Booker, in much the same way that Dusty helped his son to lure Rey into a trap.

The other only real angle on the show being the one started with Drew McIntyre. It's great to see Drew back on Smackdown where he should never have left and being used. However, as alluded to, I've seen these angles done before and I can't think of a single time that it hasn't been a career killer in the WWE. Admittedly, Drew got hosed this week as the babyface clearly cheated, but I smell a streak of this happening, much like how MVP couldn't get that one win he needed to keep his hefty contract and entrance set and such. And as noted, MVP is currently plying his trade in Japan. If this is the start of a "Lsoing streak but he pulls out a win in his last chance", I can't see Drew lasting 2012, to the WWE's eternal shame.

Otherwise, the rest of the show was just a bunch of matches. None of them sucked, although none of them were off the charts either. But it was a strong show for Smackdown and the WWE to end the year 2011 on. And on that note, this is my last article this year, as Vintage Collection is on Sunday, which is January 1st. So a Happy New Year when it comes. Here's tae us, wha's like us. Gey few, and they're aw deid! Sláinte!

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