Aaron's UnReal Time Smackdown Review: Daniel Bryan Wins The World Title And Contendership To The World Title In The Same Night
By Aaron Wood
Nov 25, 2011 - 4:45 PM

Well, we're heading into the 2011 home straight, as we are now, including this week, just six Smackdowns away from 2012. And six episodes left means that it's time for my second annual "Aaron's Top 30 Songs Of The Year As Collated By iTunes Plays" countdown, going 5 songs a week, this week from 30 to 26.

Hope you all had an awesome Thanksgiving. I know I made myself a rocking "Thanksgiving dinner", as you may have seen from the picture on my Facebook. The maple-roasted sweet potato strips were rather over done, but only at the ends. Just snapped off those particular bits of charcoal and we were good. It's weeks like these where I truly wish I was American. In the sense you have this holiday and today, of course, is Black Friday. Sure it's a notion that kinda works over here too these days, particularly online, but still...

LAST WEEK ON SMACKDOWN: Daniel Bryan became Big Show's fallen war buddy, Batemax escaped from Tuesdays only to find they'd probably have been better off staying, the chicks got busted, Ziggler joined a sort of mile high club and Christian's crutch proved to be really brittle...

We opened with a recap package featuring shots of the Survivor Series match between Mark Henry & Big Show, noting that Big Show took out Henry's leg after Mark got himself DQ'ed. The voiceover dude asked what was next for the two of them and the World Title. What indeed???

The promo before "the storm"...
We cold opened from there to Mark Henry coming out, using a crutch and with his left leg in a walking boot. Cole was aghast at Big Show's actions, unable to comprehend someone trying to break a leg. Indeed, Henry was agog that the people seemed happy to see him in pain! What sort of people are y'all? Who does this shit? The champion didn't deserve this sort of treatment! He told Show that he was there hurt, but he wasn't broken. Everyone was revelling in the injury because we all wished we could have done it to him ourselves. Henry said he kicked Show in the knee, but Show acted like he was kicked in his "private spot" to make Henry look bad. So really, Mark, what you're saying is...

Henry said he was out there to set an example for all the kids who watch him, to show them that a champion fights through pain and injuries. However, he noted that Teddy Long and the doctors wouldn't actually clear him to wrestle this week. MAKE A NOTE OF THIS FOR...OOH...TWO PARAGRAPHS TIME... He said he wasn't just the World's Strongest Man, but the World's Toughest as well.

Big Show came out. Henry was all "Oh bugger...". Show was wearing a leather jacket with a hood that I desperately want. I'd think we're about the same size... He told Henry to stop lying about getting himself DQ'ed so he could keep the title. You know where and why you kicked him in the nuts. You could feel the title slipping away. As far as Henry's ankle went, he did to Henry what Henry did to Show. Show began to suggest what would happen next time, but Henry cut in saying there wouldn't be a next time, because Show was the World's Largest Loser. Show pondered this a moment...and then laid out Henry with a WMD. Henry's bump for this was awesome. Big Show left as we saw replays of it.

However, once we saw replays, Daniel Bryan's music hit and he came running down to the ring with Charles Robinson in tow...

Daniel Bryan def. Mark Henry in a "The Storm" match to win the WWE World Title
As Cole screamed this wasn't Wrestlemania, and also without Chucky R making sure Henry was conscious to compete, Bryan make the herculean effort to roll Henry onto his back and made a cover for the three count.

As the place went batshit insane for the title change and as Bryan celebrated (and as Cole will now, forever and correctly, refer to Bryan as a hypocrite), Teddy Long came out at speed. However, he wasn't there to Thug & Bug with the new champion. He was there to to do the opposite, actually. Hang on a second! The now-gassed Long had to inform Daniel that Mark was right, he wasn't cleared to compete, so there couldn't be an official match. You aren't the World Champion (Cole loses his mind in joy).

Daniel took a longing look at the belt and handed the title back to Long, who passed it back to Henry. However, Bryan was getting his MITB case back again. There wasn't a match, then he never cashed it in. And he was also to give Bryan another shot at a title match, by putting him in the main event for a shot at Henry in a Fatal Four Way with Cody Rhodes, Wade Barrett & Randy Orton. The winner would face Bryan next TUESDAY on a live "holiday" edition of Smackdown. You'd think that this show here coming one day after the holiday should be the holiday edition. They have Thanksgiving themed graphics here and stuff. Unless, they're celebrating St. Andrews Day, the national holiday of Scotland, the day after the live Smackdown.

30: Coldplay - "Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall"

Hunico def. Justin Gabriel in a "I bet for Hunico, not being Sin Cara ain't so bad now..." match
As Gabriel came out, Josh noted that the winner of the winner of next week's title match would face Big Show at TLC. However, out of nowhere, since Teddy didn't announce it as such, Josh said next week's "steel cage match". Once again, Hunico came out on his own, so I guess he's too good for Epico and Primo already...

The pair exchanged wrist locks, but Huncio took control with a clothesline. He sent Gabriel out before suplexing him back in for a 2 count. Cole was still talking smack about Daniel Bryan's reversed title win. After escaping a chinlock, Gabriel took a swing, but Hunico ducked it and hit the Angle Slam and a leg drop for a 2 count. He locked on another chinlock, but as Gabriel got out of it, Justin was whipped hard into the corner. Hunico hit the slingshot boots in the corner. Gabriel hit a headscissors sending Hunico out and then hit a corkscrew dive.

Back in the ring, he picked up a 2 count. Gabriel scored with a kick to the back of the head and a top-rope quebrada for a 2 count. Gabriel put Huncio up top and looked for a back suplex, but Hunico elbowed Gabriel down and hit the Swanton Bomb for the victory. They showed down the replay and pointed out that Hunico had bit Gabriel's eyebrow which allowed him to elbow Justin down.

Back from break, we went to a video regarding the recent European tour and their various activities while in the various countries. Most of the cities talked about were in England funnily enough...

Beth Phoenix & Natalya def. AJ & Kaitlyn in a "Sorry AJ, but I'll always be Team Kaitlyn..." match
We returned to see Alicia Fox at ringside for commentary before the teams came out. Alicia said Beth had more muscles than Mason Ryan, but she wasn't unstoppable. As AJ & Kaitlyn came out, everyone started talking about what great friends AJ & Kaitlyn are. This, in the trade, is what we call "an anvil". Natalya and Kaitlyn started things off, as she avoided a corner charge of Natties, before taking her to their corner and tagging AJ in.

AJ hit a headscissors that sent Natalya into the ropes and then turned a wheelbarrow into a roll up for 2. However, Natalya slammed AJ down by her hair and immediately locked on the sharpshooter, to which AJ IMMEDIATELY tapped out. Kaitlyn stood over AJ, said something and left. This left Beth & Nattie to get time themselves some "Cry Time", a phrase that sounded so much like "Cryme Tyme" I expected to hear "BROOKLYN!" there and then.

But no, AJ was put in the sharpshooter that Natalya did the bridge back on as Beth put the mic in AJ's face. Alicia decided she'd seen enough and got int he ring, which backed Beth & Nattie off.

29: Mona - "Shooting The Moon"

We returned to seeing the initial promo for Kane's return that aired on RAW. Some are wondering if Kane comes back in the mask. I don't think so. Why would we see it being burned otherwise? I think the mask is featured in the video purely so we know with complete certainty that the video is for Kane, and not, say, Hornswoggle.

We went backstage to see Teddy on the phone to someone. Long said not only would we have the title match (no mention of a cage) but that the show was going to be "hosted" by Mick Foley, to the apparent surprise of the person on the other end, as Teddy confirmed Mick would definitely be there.

Anyway, Aksana made her full entrance into the room. However, before she got too far into Teddy, Henry barged in the office, pissed at what happened earlier and the live Smackdown show. Henry claimed he was injured, despite Long's assertion the doctor's said he'd be fine. Henry's attitude of someone all "come on man, gimme a break!" was truly awesome here. Then Long dropped the bombshell. The title match would be inside a steel cage. Henry got annoyed,told Long he'd get his.

In the locker room, we saw Ryder beating Ziggler on WWE 12. Sheamus came in and they talked about Ryder's petition. Ryder said that after he'd win the title, they could go out clubbing. He started singing what in his head was a techno version of Sheamus's theme (giving it some incredibly homo-erotic lyrics). Sheamus stared him down, but then laughed it off and pointed out the lyrics to his song. Sheamus then said they'd go out once they'd kicked Dolph & Jack's arses.

Sheamus & Zack Ryder def. Dolph Ziggler & Jack Swagger in a "I wonder how much more Ryder needs to get a damn match now..." match
The heels came out before the break, but after the ads, Vickie got on the mic to tell the people to respect and admire Dolph for winning twice at Survivor Series. Dolph took the mic and said that the people had to worry about double chins and double mortgages, not being double victorious. That was him making history. #HEEL. Yeah, he said "Hashtag Heel". And indeed, I note "#HEEL" is now on Dolph's ass. It honestly amazes me that Dolph gets away with using such an insider term in public and he's not buried for it.

Sheamus & Dolph started off, with the Irishman taking Ziggler into the ropes. Ziggler got out of a side headlock and hit a dropkick before showing off with some amateur wrestling lunges. However, Sheamus hit a side headlock takeover. Ziggler got out, but Sheamus avoided a dropkick and hit a fall away Slam. However, it was over by Swagger and he tagged in. Josh continued to have an odd night as he mentioned Swagger was a 2-time world champion. Only if you count the ECW Title... Sheamus quickly took control, with headbutts and then the clubbing blows in the ropes. Swagger was sent out, quickly followed by Ziggler, which allowed Zack to hit a slingshot front flip onto the pair of them as we took another break.

28: Moby - "Be The One"

We came back to see Ryder ducking clotheslines to hit a jumping one of his own on Swagger. Sheamus tagged in and Swagger was whipping into a slingshot Battering Ram for a 2 count. However, it was then Swagger turn to duck a clothesline, as he did so and then took out Sheamus's leg. He knocked Sheamus down again before tagging in Ziggler, who worked over Sheamus some more before tagging Swagger back in.

Swagger hit a scoop slam before going for the Swagger Bomb, but Sheamus got the knees up and then a clothesline. He made the tag to Ryder, who went to work on Swagger. He got the knees up on a charge in the corner before hitting the Broski Boot. Vickie got on the apron for distraction, which allowed Swagger to slip out. Then on the outside, Ziggler was knocked down by Zack, only to take a big clothesline by Swagger.

This allowed Team #HEEL to take control of Ryder. Ryder hit the leaping elbow for a 2 count after preventing Ryder from making a tag. Ryder got up and out of a chinlock, but Ziggler hit a neckbreaker and kipped up out of it to piss off the crowd good and proper. Swagger tagged back in, but Ryder tried to fight back in the opposition corner. The heels however hit the double-team Fameasser for a 2 count that Sheamus broke. Swagger hit the Swagger Bomb on Ryder, but only picked up a 2 count. Mr. Ziggles tagged in. While Ryder caught Dolph with an inside cradle for 2, Ziggler immediately hit a dropkick for a 2 count.

Swagger tagged back in after Ziggler prevented a tag to Sheamus. Ryder tried to jump over to Sheamus and got fingertips away, but Swagger managed to stop him. He put Ryder up top, but Zack caught him with a tornado DDT. This finally allowed Ryder to make the tag to Sheamus as Ziggler came in too. Sheamus was the proverbial "casa de fuego". Swagger broke up the Celtic Cross, but Sheamus hit the Brogue Kick, knocking Swagger down and out of the ring. Ryder had tagged himself in and as Sheamus blocked the ZigZag, this setup Ryder to hit the Rough Ryder to pin the US Champion once again. A really good, really long match.

In the back, we saw Daniel Bryan and AJ as Daniel waxed lyrical on his non-title win. She said he could do it. Wade walked in and said Bryan would get another chance, but not tonight. Have you seen what the Barrett Barrage has accomplished. AJ was all "Who cares?" Wade wondered if Bryan was getting 14 year old girls to fight his battles for him. Daniel got annoyed and pointed out that for all his talk, Wade had won the same number of titles as he had. Zero. He wasn't intimidated by Henry and he wasn't intimidated by Wade. Wade left. AJ wsihed him luck and kissed him on the cheek before leaving. The Bella Twins...Gail Kim...AJ... Bryan's a friggin' player...

27: Shirley Manson & Serj Tankian - "The Hunger"

Ted DiBiase def. Heath Slater in a "Well, I guess Heath Slater isn't the "It Begins" guy..." match
After both men came out, but before the match began, Jinder Mahal appeared on the TitanTron and riled against Ted DiBiase for neglecting his wealth and position to hang out with the proletariat. OK, my words, not Jinder's. Like he'd know "proletariat". This distraction allowed Slater to get the drop on DiBiase, but Ted made a quick comeback with a dropkick and head rams in the corner. A suplex picked up a 2 count. Slater blocked a shot and sent Ted through the corner into the ring post, looking to work over the shoulder and arm, hitting armbar takedowns. Ted eventually worked his way out of a hold and started a comeback, picked up a 2 count off a flying forearm. Slater kicked at a leg, but DiBiase hit the misdirection clothesline and then DreamStreet for the win.

Ted then did the Tebow in celebration. He'll be planking after wins next...

We came back from break to see a replay from RAW as Cody Rhodes tossed water in Booker's face, as Cole cackled. They sent it backstage to Matt Striker with Cody Rhodes, who was asked to explain himself. He said people think he threw water in the face of a six-time world champion and king of the ring. But no, he's just a lowly commentator. He looked over and saw the disparaging and mocking look on Booker's face on Monday. Without the mask, he was free. Free to get revenge on Orton. Free to defend the IC Title. Free to win the main event and win the World Title. The world was his oyster. He could do anything he wanted. As a certain mentally-limited commentator might say, he could dig that, sucka.

26: The Lonely Island (Feat. Michael Bolton) - "Jack Sparrow"

Daniel Bryan def. Wade Barrett, Cody Rhodes and Randy Orton in a "Before you whine, MITB holders have had other title shots before..." Fatal Four Way match to win a title shot next week
Th four paired off with Wade & Orton worked each other in one corner and Cody & Bryan in the other before it spilled outside. In the ring, Orton scored with a clothesline coming out of a whip into the corner. Orton stomped the arm before hitting a knee drop for a 2 count. Wade escaped the ring while Cody tried to sneak in. He took a dropkick from Orton before Bryan hit one in the corner, sending Cody out. This left Orton & Bryan, which the crowd seemed to like the idea of. However, before they could lock up, we took an ad break.

And when we came back, the heels were in control of things. Wade and Orton headed outside, where Randy was sent into the steel steps. The Survivor Series survivors then went to work on Daniel Bryan 2 on 1. Orton got up and hung Wade on the top rope before working over both men as DanBry slipped out. However, after stomping on Cody, Wade caught Orton with a kick. Cody then hit a Side Russian Legsweep before the pair worked over Orton. However, Bryan then reappeared and hit a missile dropkick off the top on Wade before working over Cody. He put Cody on top, but Wade cut him off and they hit a Doomsday Device on Daniel. Wade went for a pin, but Cody broke it up and sent Barrett through the corner into the ring post.

After out final break, Orton was in control of Cody, but not for long as Wade jumped in. They went back and forth until Orton was tangled in the ropes for the knees to the head and big boot. He then caught a running Bryan with the black hole slam for a 2 count that Cody broke up. Rhodes hit Bryan with the Beautiful Disaster after dumping Wade out. However, he charged and was elevated out by Bryan. Bryan then ducked a Wade clothesline and hit Cody with a suicide dive. Orton came back in and hit the powerslam on Wade before clotheslining Cody back out. Orton hit Barrett with his backbreaker, but Bryan broke up the pin and hit a kick to the head. Cody broke up the pin and dropped Bryan on the top rope, sending him outside.

Rhodes worked over Orton. He hit a Gordbuster before heading up top. However, Orton crotched him and hit a shot before hitting a superplex off the top rope. Amazed that in a multi-man match they didn't do a Tower of Doom. Orton however, had no sooner turned over than Wade punted Orton in the ribs. Wade went for a pin on Cody, but Bryan broke it up with a diving headbutt. All three were down as Orton got in the ring. He tossed Wade and Cody before tossing Bryan to the apron for the Elevated DDT. Orton set for the RKO, but Barrett pulled him out of the ring and hit a DDT on the floor. Cody tried to pick up the scraps, but at 2, Bryan flipped round and locked on the LeBell Lock to pick up the submission victory!

After a replay, Cody attacked Bryan from behind, stomping away on him, saying it was his. However, Orton slid in from behind and hit the RKO to make the save. He nodded in Bryan's direction before leaving, allowing Bryan to celebrate properly as the announcers plugged next TUESDAY'S show. New job starts on Thursday, so I'll have that covered...

OVERALL - Despite really positive reviews elsewhere, I've not really felt energised by recent episodes of this show in the same way. I REALLY enjoyed this week's show. A really good opening segment for me. I know there are going to be those who get oh-so incredibly pissy about yanking the title win from under Bryan or that they wasted the first-time win pop (that holds some water but still...) and that Cole gets to crow about Bryan being a hypocrite and be right about it and all the rest of it, but I thought it was fun, and entirely logical in how it was pulled back. Henry himself said he wasn't allowed to compete, so it wasn't like it wasn't forewarned that anything he did wouldn't count.

Plus, there were some after last week thought Bryan was "buried" and all that usual horseshit about an IWC favourite. Even thought it ended up being waved off, do you think they'd do that with a guy they intended on burying? Not me. That said, with Bryan locked in a steel cage against Henry next week, and given that we are to believe it will be Big Show vs. Henry in a chairs match at the TLC PPV (although for the full visual spectacular, it should be TLC itself) I do suspect that next week will ultimately be a vehicle for Henry throwing a smaller guy around a cage like a rag doll while Big Show can't help.

Indeed, speaking of the match Bryan won the other title shot in, that was a fun main event, but multi-man matches often are. They didn't do too much of heel vs. heel and face vs. face, but with the numbers, they didn't need to and it kept moving along. The tag match at the top of the hour went a shade too long for my tastes, but that said, it was really well worked and a lot of fun.

So yeah, all in all, not only did I like this week's show, but it was really into it.

You can contact Aaron via his personal Facebook or the WWI Fan Page. All he asks is that if you do "friend" him personally that you write a little note noting that you read the reviews.

Or if you are on Twitter, Aaron can be reached at or the WWI Twitter feed at

You can join Aaron in the online gaming world either on the XBox 360 or the superior Playstation 3. Either way, his screen-name is aaron24wood

© Copyright by is not affiliated with any wrestling promotion.