Syfy aired the first broadcast of Friday Night Smackdown of 2012, featuring Cody Rhodes and Booker T for the Intercontinental Championship and Daniel Bryan versus the Big Show for the World Heavyweight Championship
To start, Happy New Year to Everyone, we begin with the match for the Intercontinental Championship as Michael Cole and Josh Mathews call the show from ringside.
Booker T and Cody had a great match but Booker looked gassed(due to ring rust) and after losing the match, Booker was met with cheers and was praised by the crowd. Match time 12:36, Rating 8.5/10 Afterward, Dustin Rhodes aka Goldust(without makeup) congratulated Cody on the win but Cody immediately put down Dustin and called him a “joke”.
Hornswoggle and Heath Slater had an over the top rope challenge. I hate seeing Hornswoggle on TV, to me he adds nothing to the show.
He won in 1:24 and after that Justin Gabriel gave Heath Slater a 450 Splash (spinning at 450 Degrees) which they had the camera laying beside Slater as he took the hit. Rating (for the move) 9/10 (for the “challenge”) -5/10.
Ted DiBiase, Jr faced Hunico in a match that lasted 3:05, which Hunico won by using a cool-looking submission/pinning combination, which I thought that Ted was going to tapped but it was a pin. Rating 8.75/10, extra points for the pin.
Wade Barrett talked about Randy Orton’s medical condition after their “Falls count Anywhere” match which concluded last week’s Smackdown (12/30) in which he explained that Orton had a herniated disk.
Sheamus would come out and talk about his Irish relatives while insulted Barrett and Jinder Mahal came out and slapped Sheamus. Mahal and Barrett would end up doubleteaming on Sheamus and eventually Mahal would put Sheamus in the Camel Clutch.
Santino Marella faced Drew Macintyre (a recent transplant from Monday Night Raw) with the stipulation that if Santino won the match he would become the Assisstant to GM Teddy Long and If Drew won, he would be kept on SD! for another night.
The reason for Drew’s participation, Drew was told that if he does not improve his performance he may be cut from the roster due to him not living up to his lucrative contract while on Raw.
Santino won the match in 2:38 with “The Cobra”. Santino is trained in MMA, yet they have him being a comedic character which I don’t find funny.
Epico and Primo (with Rosa Mendes) competed against WWE Tag-team champs “AirBoom” (Kofi Kingston and Evan Bourne) in a high-paced match that lasted about three or so minutes. The match featured great athleticism but the crowd didn’t give the match credit (which is what I hate sometimes about live crowds) Epico and Primo would win the match. Rating 8.85/10
Matt Striker held an interview with Big Show over the main event for the WHC. Show was in a cheery mood and respectfully put over his opponent Daniel Bryan until Bryan walked in and insulted Show which angered him.
Tamina Snuka would face Natalya Neidhart in a bout that lasted 1:43, when the girls were introduced WWE aired videos about their fathers who worked in WWE (Jim “the Anvil” Neidhart and Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka).
Nice move by WWE to show the connection and helped bridge a generation gap for television purposes.
Tamina would win the match by way of Superfly Splash but not before a crossbody that may not have been executed property. Rating 7/10, the match should of lasted longer because these girls are extremely talented.
In the main event, Big Show faced champion Daniel Bryan for the World Heavyweight Championship as former champ Mark Henry served on commentary scaring Cole and Josh. The match lasted 9:44 in which Bryan won by intentional DQ which was caused by Bryan getting in Henry’s face in plain view of the referee and Henry shoved him away.
The irony of this match was when Henry said “the referee was getting paid- that was the slowest count I’ve seen in my life” and the ref, Scott Armstrong tweeted that he should count slower.
Match Rating: 9/10, this match was great as it showed that Bryan was going the opportunist route and Show was screwed by way of DQ.
FINAL THOUGHTS— With the exception of Santino, Heath Slater and Hornswoggle, This Smackdown not only did a great job of starting off the new year with in-ring action and the Show/Bryan dynamic continues to keep me entertained and intrigued.
I don’t understand why the need why they keep trying to shove Jinder Mahal down the viewers throats, especially with him using the Camel Clutch (a move not seen since the 1980s) if they spent months burying him and making the viewers not care less about him.
QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT— If Daniel Bryan turns heel, will AJ Lee turn too? Will Show and Bryan compete in a No DQ match? Will Cody face his brother Dustin in a match? Will Smackdown keep the two announcer format? Will Hunico get a better gimmick? Will the Divas get a longer match? Will Velociraptors attack? Find out on the next Friday Night Smackdown on Syfy.