Friday, December 30, 2011

12/30/11 Smackdown

Jinder Mahal vs. Ted DiBiase: *

Alicia Fox & Kaitlyn vs. Natalya & Tamina: DUD

Hunico vs. Justin Gabriel: *1/4

Big Show vs. David Otunga: 1/2*

Ezekiel Jackson vs. Drew McIntyre: *

Sheamus vs. Heath Slater: *1/4

Wade Barrett vs. Randy Orton (Falls Count Anywhere): *3/4

Booker and Cody look like they will feud into the new year. Cody's really grown over the last year as an in-ring performer. I'd put him up there as Breakout Star of the Year for 2011. Interesting how Goldust came out as his real self (Dustin). It's basically planting the seeds for Cody and Goldust to square off into the new year. Goldust really impressed me with his conditioning and fast-paced action before getting injured. Looking forward to this feud.

I'm pretty certain Cody will win the rubber match next week (IC Title match against Booker). Of course, Goldust could cost his brother the gold, leading to their feud. After all, Cody's attack on Goldust post-promo gave that situation a strong chance of occurring.

What the...Jinder and DiBiase again?!?! Why? This has gotten nowhere. No direction. Oh lovely, Jinder's growing facial hair. That's not gonna change anything for me until he actually gets in a relevant storyline. At least Jinder won for a change.

Drew McIntyre had left Smackdown? I didn't even realize it; he had basically fallen off the map lately.

No Beth accompanying Natalya and Tamina. Guess she's taking the week off to rest the nasty black eye she got from Alicia. Not surprisingly, a short match. Kaitlyn goes in for like a minute, then Alicia really does what...two moves and it's over? Oh fun. I'm glad Alicia's getting this apparent push.

Whoa, WTF? Tamina?! Didn't see that superkick and splash coming. I loved the "Warrior Princess" moniker Booker T used for Tamina. 2012 could be a real good year for Snuka's daughter.

Relatively short match between Hunico and Gabriel, but a rather fun one. Impressive double team move afterward from Hunico and Camacho.

Big Show nukes Otunga while Daniel Bryan drew Mark Henry away from the ring. Likely Big Show's turning heel in the future. Expect a slow heel turn.

McIntyre and Zeke had a methodical match here. Pretty slow and basic. McIntyre continues a losing streak. I'm wondering if this may be similar to the MVP losing streak from a few years ago -- done to show loyalty to the company. For all I know, McIntyre really could be in the doghouse. But hopefully he has a push lined up for 2012.

Oh man. Sheamus "singing" in this one. Don't stop believin'! I believe I can fly! That was good for a laugh. Average match between him and Slater.

Looking forward to Daniel Bryan and Big Show for the title next week. Should be a good Smackdown. Obviously DB's winning this one.

Good physical Falls Count Anywhere match between Barrett and Orton. Ref took a collision bump there with Barrett, and the two wrestlers fought into the stands and backstage area. They fought in the elevator! Awesome! Vintage security camera! They get to the stairs. Barrett presumably throws Orton down the stairs as the camera guy comes in late to see what happened. Orton's legit hurt (back), so this angle should at least give Orton some rest for a few weeks.

Finally, a couple more random thoughts:

First, regarding the ratings. You want to know why ratings fall? It's likely because they can't stand Cole's overwhelming commentary. It's not Punk's fault. It's not Del Rio's fault. It's no wrestler's fault. I still watch WWE because I like the in-ring action (and certain promos here and there). If I could just mute Michael Cole, I would. Not sure why his heel character has to be so unbearable. There's a fine line between heat and X-Pac heat. Cole's clearly got the latter.

Who's gonna break out in 2012?

(1) I see some promising signs for the divas. Yes, I said it. Alicia Fox ended the year on a roll. Tamina looked like she's primed for a singles push. Don't forget Kharma when she returns from maternity leave. Now if they only sign the likes of Cheerleader Melissa, I'd be one happy guy. Now if only they had more meaningful storylines, then we'd be set here.

(2) Watch out for Cody Rhodes. He will likely be in the main event slot by the end of the year, but he's a great selection to win the Rumble as well.

(3) Dolph Ziggler should all but be back main eventing and having a longer title reign -- with the WWE title this time.

As for guys like Cena, Orton, Mark Henry, Punk, etc., they will still be at the top. But I'd be very happy if they took a bit of a backseat while others vie for the top prize in the company.

And that does it for 2011...Happy New Year everyone! Can't wait for the first RAW of 2012, it's shaped up to be a great one!

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