Monday, January 23, 2012

Smackdown 1-20-12

Sin City Smackdown!!!


1. Cody Rhodes v. Justin Gabriel - 4 out of 5
2. Epico & Primo v. The Usos - 3 out of 5
3. Brodus Clay v. Vickie Guerrero in a dance-off - 2 out of 5
4. Wade Barrett v. Sheamus in a tables match - 4 out of 5
5. Ted Dibiase v. Hunico in a flag match - 2 out of 5
6. Santino Marella v. Drew McIntyre in a blindfold match - 3 out of 5
7. Daniel Bryan v. Mark Henry in a lumberjack match - 4 out of 5

So the roulette wheel finally made its way to Smackdown, so there were a lot of gimmick matches, which did affect the scores this week. Some, (The Tables and Lumberjack matches) benefited. Some (Like the Flag match) certainly didn't. And some (the blindfold match) probably would have been about the same.

Let's talk about the bad first. The flag match was a terrible idea. Ted DiBiase seemed to express what everyone at home was thinking when the wheel landed. He gestured outwards and looked around, as if to say, "What the Fuck is this Shit?" It bothered me that we were having what was essentially an "America, Fuck Yeah!" match. It also bothered me that the flags weren't set the same. It was obvious that Hunico would have to reach a bit more to grab his flag, which effectively telegraphed the finish (as though we didn't already know how it would turn out).

Drew and Santino had a blindfold match, which sounded like a bad idea, but ended up being very well-executed and a pretty entertaining match. Santino had a mini-blindfold for the cobra, and during the match, he used the audience reaction to determine the position of his opponent. Drew attempted to cheat at one point when the ref was distracted, but it didn't work for him when Santino still found him first.

Now, the good. Wade Barrett got a new chance to put Sheamus through a table. This match was full of great close-call spots. Lots of excellent ring awareness from both parties here. But the main event was where two of the best performances happened. Daniel Bryan continued his slow heel turn by playing the lumberjacks in an extremely cunning way. At first, he used the apron to get out of the ring and away from Henry, while at the same time avoiding the grasp of the lumberjacks. Each time he yelled at them to keep their hands off of him. Eventually, he did make it to the floor, and the man that stole the show, Wade Barrett, had the honor of tossing him back in. When asked what he was doing, Wade just answered, "I'm doing my job. It's him you've got to worry about." Eventually, Bryan had pissed off the lumberjacks so much that they rushed the ring to beat on him, which quickly degenerated into them beating on each other, while Byran took the chance to sneak out of the ring.

This set up the World Heavyweight Title match at the Royal Rumble. Teddy apparently has had enough shenanigans, so now Daniel Bryan has to defend his title in a triple-threat match... in a steel cage. It will be interesting to see how he slithers away from this one.

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