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ThunderStruck: Smackdown! Analysis 11/04/11

And here we go with the first column of the month! Welcome to ThunderStruck, where it’s time to talk about Friday Night Smackdown!

Cody Rhodes vs Randy Orton in a street fight:

We open the show and Tony Chimel announces that the opening bout is a street fight! Out comes Randy Orton. Cole says this is a great way to end the rivalry between Randy Orton and Cody Rhodes. Booker says the show is “gonna be off da hook.” Nothing repetitive about this. Maybe after this match the Intercontinental Championship will start to get some meaning on tv? Dare to dream I suppose. Maybe they decided since they were going to make it irrelevant, they might as well make it nicer to look at? They lock up and tangle for a short bit and they break. Rhodes kicks Orton in the stomach and goes for the offense until Orton gets a takedown. Orton with a headlock. Rhodes reverses momentum and whips him in the ropes. Orton comes back and knocks him down and then hits a dropkick. Rhodes runs to the outside and Orton follows. Rhodes whips Orton into the steel steps. Cody on the offense with fists and kicks on the outside. Cody continues the offense and bounces Orton off the ring apron. Cody snapmares Orton onto the floor and then hits him with knees before going back into the ring. Rhodes gets a two count pin attempt. Orton uses the ropes to his advantage to gain momentum. He pulls Cody to the outside and bounces his head twice off the steel steps. He then throws him into the barrier and clotheslines Rhodes into the crowd. Orton continues the offensive maneuvers in the crowd. Orton throws Rhodes bag into the ringside area. The bagger goes after Orton and gets backdropped. Cody throws the other bagger into the ring and he receives an RKO. Commercial break with Cody standing on the outside. We come back and the duo are battling on the ramp. They exchange blows. Cody gains the advantage and slams Orton’s head into the stage floor. The crowd is chanting Randy. Rhodes goes for a suplex off the stage and Orton counters so they both land on the steel stage. Orton uses the “turnbuckle ten punch” on the ringside barrier on Rhodes. He drags Rhodes back to the ring and hits a superplex from the top rope. No ring break. Too bad. Orton gets a two count. Rhodes hits a dropkick after standing up and gets a two count. He throws Orton to the outside. Orton throws Rhodes into the timekeeper area. I’m seeing a bell coming again? Cody hits Orton with his face mask as a weapon. Another commercial break. Back from the break and Rhodes bounces Orton’s head off the announce table. Cody hits him repeatedly and then throws Orton into the ring. He hits a front suplex on Orton and the crowd boos. Rhodes applies an armlock and Orton powers out with a hit to the stomach and Rhodes’ head. Cody counters Orton and goes for a pinfall. Two count only. Rhodes continues to pummel Orton in the corner with kicks and chokes him with his foot. The announcers are hyping this as Rhodes’ chance to make a statement. Rhodes starts to work Orton’s ankle. More hype for Rhodes and Orton’s vulnerability. Rhodes locks in a figure four on Orton. Rhodes hits Orton with his mask while he has the figure four applied. Orton gets up and ducks when Rhodes tries to hit him again. Orton grabs the mask and hits Cody with it! Orton backs into the corner and then hits his signature clotheslines and scoop slam. He sets up for the RKO and Rhodes counters and kicks Orton in the head. Rhodes gets a two count. Rhodes goes for Crossrhodes. Orton counters with a backdrop and goes for his DDT between the ropes. Rhodes counters and pull Randy out of the ring. Orton does his DDT on the barrier outside instead. He throws Cody in the ring and hits the RKO for the pinfall victory! Orton grabs a paper bag after the match and sticks it over Cody’s head. Orton shrugs his shoulders and walks away. Rhodes stands up with the bag on his head and then falls over and pulls it off.

Thoughts: This was another excellent match between these two. I find it hard to believe that this is rivalry is over so soon. These guys could give us so many more matches of this quality. The crowd loves Randy Orton. On a side note, Armstrong is still a terrible official and has the lamest count I’ve ever seen.

We get yet another highlight of Triple H and Kevin Nash. I wonder how many times I’ve written that since the night the attack occurred. Looks like they don’t want us to forget about these guys. I’m guessing these two will lock up at TLC and skip the Survivor Series based on the injury report. I first thought the report might be to make it look like Triple H is fighting hurt at Survivor Series, but now I think they are just trying to leave room on the SS card for other matches. Christian vs Sheamus is announced for tonight and we go to another commercial break. Matt Striker tells us he will have exclusive comments from Mark Henry after our next match.

Ted Dibiase vs Tyson Kidd:

It’s nice to see Dibiase back on tv. Kidd with a series of punches countered by a Dibiase dropkick. Kidd counters and hits a snapmare and a kick to the head. Another blow to the head and a jumping kick for a two count. He applies a headlock and Dibiase stands up and counters with a snapmare. He charges Kidd and gets kicked in the head. Kidd hits an elbow drop from the ropes and the two exchange blows. Dibiase has the crowd in his favor as he clotheslines Kidd. Dibiase goes for dream street and the two exhange pinfall attempts. Kidd goes for the sharpshooter and Dibiase tries for dream street again. He then hits dream street for a three count. This was a fast match and I’m not sure if this was an attempt to start putting Dibiase over or if this is just Smackdown’s way of quickly showcasing their better (but not pushed) talent.

Striker/Henry interview:

Striker asks why Henry refuses to give Show a rematch. Henry says he handled his business at Vengeance and he was tired of answering questions about it. He goes to say something but walks up to Daniel Bryan instead and asks if he is eyeballing him. Bryan says no and Henry says he is. He sees him with his MITB briefcase. Bryan says he isn’t cashing it in until WrestleMania 28. Henry says he doesn’t care how long he waits. Henry says Bryan can’t beat him. He asks Bryan if he begs to differ. Henry says he is going to talk to Teddy Long to schedule a match between the two tonight. Henry says that’s if Bryan has the guts. Bryan says he’ll see him in the ring.

Alicia Fox vs Natalya:

These two lock up and Natalya with a takedown. Fox whips her off the ropes and hits a dropkick. She takes Fox by the hair and throws her around the ring and kicks her repeatedly. She throws Fox into the mat and applies a Boston Crab. Fox kicks her in the chest and goes for a kick to the head. Natalya grabs her foot and Fox kicks her in the head. She does a standing flip onto Natalya and gets the three count! Nice to see a different diva getting a legitimate push and showcasing some actual talent!

Big Show comes out to cut a promo:

Show says he would rather fight than talk. Show says he doesn’t want to lose his mystique by talking too much. He says he and Mark Henry have unfinished business from Vengeance concerning the WHC. He says he will put it in terms so he can understand it. He says for every Smackdown that he doesn’t get a rematch, he is going to knock him out on every Smackdown until he gets his match. Out comes Christian to interrupt. Cole says he can’t defend Christian for interrupting Show. Show asks Christian if he can help him. Christian says he heard show say his line and he figured it was time for his match. Christian says he has a question for Show. Christian asks Show what makes him think he deserves one more match for the WHC? Christian says Show didn’t get the job done. Christian says he’s been screwed over repeatedly. He says he doesn’t ask for one more match to annoy people; he asks for one more match because he deserves it. Christian says Show is threatening physical violence on people and Christian says he isn’t that way and he is more civilized than that. He says he isn’t from the south; He’s from Canada. Show raises his fist. Christian asks Show if he was trying to punch him in the face. Show tells Christian to relax. Show says he was scratching his chin and tells him to relax. Christian said things would’ve gotten heated if that was what it was going to come to. Show says again he isn’t going to knock him out, then hits him with a chokeslam! Show leaves Christian in the ring.

Christian vs Sheamus:

Christian is outside the ring recovering from the chokeslam and out comes Sheamus to a good pop from the crowd. The ref tells Sheamus he doesn’t think Christian can go. Out comes Wade Barrett. He challenges Sheamus. Sheamus accepts.

Sheamus vs Wade Barrett:

Barrett and Sheamus exchange kicks and Sheamus mounts an offense. Sheamus hits a bodyslam and drops an elbow on Barrett for a one count. Barrett uses a series of fists and a headbutt on Sheamus. Sheamus hits a shoulder block after being whipped off the ropes and hits Barrett’s chest ten times as the crowd counts and cheers. Sheamus hits a knee to the head of Barrett. Sheamus dives over the ropes into the ring and hits a shoulder block for a two count. Barrett hits a flying forearm. They exchange blows and Barrett gets an advantage as Sheamus is caught in the ropes. Barrett hits a big boot and knocks Sheamus to the floor outside as we go to a commercial. Sheamus goes for the big kick and Barrett ducks. Barrett hits a pumphandle slam for a two count. Barrett applies a rear arm lock and Sheamus powers out with knees to Barrett’s stomach. Barrett hits a knee that sends Sheamus flying. He gets a two count. Barrett goes on the offense and dominates Sheamus. He hits a huge elbow drop from the middle rope but only gets a one count. How sad is it that Barrett is only a one time IC Champ but Sheamus is a two time WWE Champ? Barrett applies a rear facelock. Sheamus powers out with fists to the stomach. He goes for the Celtic Cross but gets backdropped. Barrett stomps Sheamus in the corner and kicks him in the skull. Barrett again only gets a one count. Barrett applies another rear chinlock. Sheamus powers out with elbows and gets a takedown. He hits multiple double axe handles and goes on an offensive fury of fists. He kicks Barrett in the corner and then a big clothesline. Sheamus with a powerslam. He calls for the Celtic Cross but Christian jumps on the ring apron and Sheamus charges him. Barrett goes behind and gets a schoolboy victory. Christian hits a spear on Sheamus as he and Barrett then leave the ring.

Match thoughts: These two guys are bigger athletes, and they were able to work a pretty solid match together. It may not have been the highlight of the night, but the anger on Sheamus’ face after the match shows us that the rivalry is just as heated as ever. Barrett’s push is definitely impressive for a guy that’s worked as hard as he has. I could see Barrett working major storyline angles with the top faces again in the company like he did in late 2010, especially with all the work that he’s put in since that time.

Back from commercial and we are shown Sheamus attacking Christian. Wade Barrett makes the save and goes after Sheamus. The two are broken up by officials. I see these guys being captains of their respective teams for a traditional Survivor Series elimination match. We get Cole and Booker bickering before we get the RAW Rebound from Monday.

Big Show/Daniel Bryan Segment:

Bryan is shown warming up and Show says he heard he is facing Mark Henry. Show offers to keep an eye on his briefcase for him. Bryan says that’s ok but Show says tonight he will be in his corner! Show walks away and Bryan is left smiling. Sin Cara comes out for his match and we go to commercial. Fast plug for the Bret Hart/Shawn Michaels rivalry DVD that is being heavily advertised. The feud between these two is something you definitely want to check out if you’re a younger wrestling fan who happened to miss out on those years of the business.

Sin Cara vs Epico:

Sin Cara mounts a fast offense until Epico counters with a series of suplexes. Epico hits a flying slam and gets a two count. He goes for a backbreaker submission and Sin Cara reverses into an arm drag takedown. He hits a hurricanrana and does a series of kicks before throwing Epico. He goes up top and Hunico comes down and pushes him off the top rope. Hunico and Epico beat down Sin Cara. New tag team maybe? Booker says this appears premeditated. They hit a huge double team powerbomb on Sin Cara and they play to the heat of the crowd.

Daniel Bryan vs Big Show:

Bryan comes out with the Big Show in his corner. Bryan ducks the starting lockup and goes for a fast sleeperhold until Henry flips him to the mat. Bryan hits a series of kicks to Henry’s legs. Bryan leaps onto Henry and attempts another submission. Bryan quickly gets tossed to the outside. Bryan gets back in the ring and Henry goes on the offense with a takedown and a headbutt. Henry hits a forearm onto Bryan’s back and they go to the outside. Henry pushes Bryan’s head into the ringpost and Show comes over to stop it. Henry hits Bryan and tosses him back in the ring. Booker kicks Bryan to the mat. Show and Henry exchange words. Henry whips Bryan into the corner and he falls down. Bryan is being made to look like a wimp. Henry stands on Bryan’s chest. Henry applies a chinlock and Show is playing cheerleader for Bryan. Bryan kicks Henry in the head twice and then stands to do more leg kicks. Henry pushes him off and Bryan dropkicks Henry to his knees. Bryan hits a fury of kicks to Henry and goes for a pinfall. He gets thrown out of the ring by Henry when he kicks out. Henry counters with a headbutt but Bryan goes for another choke submission after jumping on Henry. Henry slams Bryan over his shoulder to escape the hold. Henry looks pissed off. He beats Bryan down in the corner of the ring. He then charges at Bryan and squashes him. Henry does it again and squashes him. The ref tells Henry to get out of the corner repeatedly.After another squash, Show comes in the ring and punches Henry out with the knockout blow. The match ends in a dq. Show pours water over Bryan’s face and grabs the briefcase. Show tells Bryan to cash it in. Bryan gets in the ring with the briefcase. He charges Henry with the case and Henry hits a world’s strongest slam. Henry grabs the briefcase and hits Show with it before hitting him also with the world’s strongest slam. Interesting to see the submission capability of Bryan here. Out comes Teddy Long after the match. Long announces that Mark Henry and Big Show won’t settle this tonight, but they will settle it in a World Heavyweight Championship match at the Survivor Series. Show is laughing in the ring as Henry stares him down from the outside.

Six matches were put on tonight and five of them had a finish that wasn’t a disqualification. Orton and Rhodes was the highlight of the night for most, but I’m actually more intrigued by Daniel Bryan finally getting thrown into the World Title picture. It’s really hard to believe that they are going to wait until WM 28 for him to cash in the briefcase. Maybe we’ll see Bryan crowned World Champion at the Survivor Series? I’m also happy to see a face diva getting a win outside of Eve and Kelly. Anyone else surprised that we have no storyline for Bourne’s suspension yet? Creative must be struggling with this one. That’s all for this edition. My first themed piece for November will be posted early Sunday. Until next time, you’ve been Thunderstruck! – ADD ME!