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Smackdown: T.L.Pre

By Aaron Wood Dec 14, 2012 - 5:27 PM print

And so with the second week of my "2012 iTunes Countdown" this week, we go from numbers 15 to 11. And then we crack the top 10 next Tuesday as we have a commerical-free live episode of Smackdown. That same night they're taping the following Monday's (Xmas Eve's) RAW. I do not envy them that night. That said, I might end up doing the exact same schedule and end up reviewing all three, satying up until the wee small hours to do it. Negotiations are in hand...

LAST WEEK ON SMACKDOWN: Big Show & Sheamus promised to not do something but didn't pinky swear on it so it's not binding, a random schlub didn't know his Abraham Mingon from his elbow, the 3MB finally played a full gig and not just a 2 man-acoustic set and Ricardo got tested...sorry, testees...

We open with The Shield getting their hands on Cena on Monday only to be saved by Hell No & Ryback, asking who will Shield the Shield before talking about the "No Contact" clause with Sheamus & Show asking if something will happen relevant to that on this show. Well, you mentioned it, so I'm thinking "probably".

Big Show def. R-Truth in an "And another thing from RAW is lazily copied..." match
Either way, we cold opened on the announcers. All four of them. "Four, you say?", I hear you cry. Yep, because in the same way that RAW's opening match had Kofi Kingston and Antonio Cesaro at ringside while their own TLC opponents, R-Truth & Wade Barrett pulled 90 seconds out of their ass before meeting later in a match, it was the same here as Cesaro and Sheamus were sat with JBL & Josh.

Alas, Truth wasn't able to roll Big Show out of literally nowhere, like he did on Monday in a match dominated by Big Show. WWE put up the 4th In Your House show on YouTube and I watched the Razor Ramon vs. Dean Douglas match where Ramon, even as babyface, took almost literally all the offence in the match before winning with a transition move. This match wasn't quite that, but it was close enough. Show paid a lot of attention to Sheamus, even getting out the ring and getting in Sheamus' face, offering his chin for a free shot.

With Truth down on the outside, Cesaro stood over his upcoming opponent, and Sheamus decides if he couldn't touch his antagonist, Cesaro wasn't getting to either, shoving Antonio into his chair. Sheamus went back to commentating while Cesaro fumed off mic. Truth tried a sleeper, but Show threw him off. Show missed an elbow drop and got the Scissors Kick, but Show kicked out at 2 and then quickly hit the KO Punch for the win.

So on Monday, Wade got beat in a minute snd splashed by Kingston to look like nothing, and here on Smackdown, Truth got squashed (albeit to the World Champion) to look like not much. Way to go... After the match, Big Show got in Sheamus' face again. However, while he wasn't looking, Cesaro shoved Sheamus into Big Show. Big Show couldn't believe his apparent luck at the breaking of the clause. He left joyfully yelling that the match was off.

15: The Hives - "Wait A Minute"

After the break Big Show caught up with Booker T to hear that the match was officially off. However, Booker was calling bullshit on that. Booker said that if Big Show was scared, he should just say he was scared. Show said he wasn't scared and he clearly violated the clause. Booker said the match was still on.

Damien Sandow was in the ring to say that looking for an apprentice was like looking for a needle in a haystack. So thank the lord that his partner and best friend Cody Rhodes (and his moustache) were back. The moustache, of course, got it's own chant. Cody said it was an honour to be back with Sandow, who didn't need an apprentice anymore as he had an and partner. Cody brought up Miz, who tried to drive a wedge between them, he had to say... Well we never found out as The Usos made their way out, albeit without the Siva Tau.

Rhodes Scholars def. The Usos in a "So the "Apprentice angle" is, so to speak, fired..." match
The match had begun during the commercial break, with the Usos in control for the early part until a Sandow distraction allowed Cody to hotshot the arm of Jimmy Uso, sending to the floor, where Sandow got a cheapshot in. Sandow hit the Cubito Aequet (only getting a 1 count) before tagging Cody back in. The finish saw Jimmy Uso pull Cody (the non-legal) man in the ring. Jey clotheslined him out, but in the confusion allowed Sandow to roll up Jimmy for the win. Match was fine enough. Showcase for the heels.

Backstage, David Otunga was looking over the "No Contact" clause contract for Big Show, sayign Show was right. Sheamus broke it. Big Show told him to tell that to Booker. Otunga suggested they do it publicly in the ring.

14: Plan B - "iLL Manors"

Otunga may be undefeated in real life, but damn, he sure can't win one in WWE...
Back from break, the pair were indeed in the ring. Show said everyone saw Sheamus put his hands on him, and it was Sheamus' fault that he couldn't control his temper. He's tried to explain to Booker the match should be off, but if he wouldn't listen to him, he'd listen to Otunga. Otunga said that last week Booker forced Show into a legally binding contract, and now he's not following his own rules. So they'd have to take it to the Board Of Directors, only 20 miles away. They were demanding the Chairs match be cancelled but also Booker's removal from his GM post.

Booker came out and said Otunga's law degree wasn't worth the paper it was printed on. Contracts weren't honoured by the letter of the law but the spirit of their intent. Otunga objected, literally, but Booker said they could go to the board if they wanted, but his stance wasn't changing and the match was still on. Otunga said going to prison didn't make Booker a legal expert. And once Otunga had gotten Booker fired, he was seeing to it that Sheamus was getting canned as well.

Sheamus headed out, past Booker, to the ring with a chair. Sheamus said that if the match was called off, he was just gonna kick Big Show's arse there and then. Suddenly, Big Show was all "Contract's still valid..." before ducking out the ring and slinking off. So Sheamus Brogue Kicked Otunga instead.

The announcers talked about Randy Orton's match against Brad Maddox, only for The Shield to attack Orton afterwards. Backstage, we saw Matt Striker getting ready for an interview with Orton after the break. When we came back however, it was to see that The Shield putting the boots to Orton having put him through a table. They left with their job having been done.

Kaitlyn def. Aksana in a "Buffer for the Randy Orton angle..." match
Both women were in the ring. Aksana got a long headlock on. So long, I could feel myself aging. After a couple of clubs to the chest and a pin for a quick 2 count, Aksana went right back to it. Again for a long time despite Kaitlyn's attempts to escape. THAT INCLUDED A SIDE SLAM BY KAITLYN. Kaitlyn made a quick comeback that ended with her fireman's carry gutbuster finisher. It was what it was. And it was a long headlock.

We went backstage to Matt Striker who was by the trainer's room. They said Orton had separated his shoulder and might have a concussion. Well, that covers Orton's real injury, which was probably that same thing. Shoulder issues again.

13: Enter Shikari - "Destabilise"

Well, at least he's still got the "No! No! No!" thing going as a babyface...
We were back in the ring for MizTV here. And Miz's suit wasn't a douchebaggy as on RAW. He talked about The Shield and how they had been attacking people in the WWE to right what they saw as injustice. He introduced Hell No. Bryan cut off Miz's first statement saying that he and Kane had been in anger management to talk about feelings, but now it was time for actions, such as beating The Shield with tables, ladders and chairs until they begged to stop. And when they begged for mercy, Bryan's response would be "No! No! No!". Kane said that The Shield made the mistakes of their lives attacking them since they were finally on the same page. Now that Bryan had discovered his inner monster, they were unstoppable. And they would use Tables, Ladders and Chairs and love every second of it.

We cut to a video from The Shield, dressed up as a live interruption with the same "Blair Witch" style of shooting as last week. Ambrose started off, saying that they'd been listening to Hell No's empty threats, pointing to how they'd just taken out Randy Orton. It then started to jump cut. Rollins said "Danny boy" that he was hiding behind Kane, while Reigns said Kane went from a monster to a helpless victim. Ambrose said in 48 hours they'd being the sword and justice would be served.

Then they proceeded to have a "live" conversation while the video made jump cuts, which made things seem completely fake, as Kane asked "Why wait?" and it cut to Reigns saying they agreed on something. The video ended and The Shield were soon seen in the stands. Miz had, for some reason (despite having had also been attacked by them and you'd think he'd be out for revenge himself), had disappeared. They started to make their way to the ring, but before they got there, Ryback's music hit. And suddenly, the trio decided that they should wait for another day.

Great Khali, Hornswoggle, Justin Gabriel & Tyson Kidd def. The Prime Time Players, Epico & Primo in a "When you are getting less time than Khali & Hornswoggle, you must wonder why you're bothering..." match
We only saw the entrance of Khali & Hornswoggle, with Natalya once again on the arm of Khali. The opening saw Khali chop both Prime Time Players, before bringing in Hornswoggle. He was clotheslined by O'Neil, but when Young tagged in, Swoggle headbutting Young in the stones and tagged in Tyson Kidd. The heels quickly took control of the match, working over Kidd for the body of the match. Rosa got a slap in on Kidd, so Nattie put her on her ass. The finish then came kinda outta nowhere. Primo blocked a Kidd sunset flip and made a pin, but Kidd rolled backwards to reverse the pin for the three count. Don't think I've seen that before. Justin Gabriel never tagged in.

Epico & Primo attacked Kidd, but Gabriel got rid of them. Khali chopped Young. Hornswoggle gave Titus O'Neil a crossbody splash off the apron, but Titus, obviously, just caught him, although Kidd & Gabriel dropkicked Titus back. Then then hit stereo suicide dives on the Puerto Ricans. Khali just stood there because he can't move for shit.

They finally announced the main event of the show, Sheamus vs. Cesaro here. I mean, like quarter of the way through the second hour...

12: Muse - "Panic Station"

Kofi Kingston def. Alberto Del Rio in a "He must have decided that if he's not winning, he's not bothering it the arm..." match
I was somewhat prepared to just write "It's an Alberto Del Rio match, sing it if you know it", but believe it ot not, for once in his life, the arm wasn't the main (if not sole) focus of Del Rio's attack. Yes, it was an element, but Del Rio did a lot of work on the back and ribs, starting from when he took control of the match, posting Kofi before the break.

Despite giving his back a good working over, Del Rio couldn't put Kingston away, which led to him getting frustrated. However, this led to his downfall as he went for a suplex after taking his eye off the ball, Kofi turned it into a roll up for the win. If this wasn't a good match, then it was at least encouragingly different, given Del Rio's gameplan.

After the match, As Kofi headed up the ramp, Wade charged down. But Kofi saw him coming, ducked a clothesline and hit the trouble In Paradise at ringside.

Back from break, the RAW Rebound was a long recapping of the events of RAW focussing on Dolph Ziggler and Sheamus, with long section of the opening segment and then their match later on. Before the break, they said we would be looking at John Cena & Dolph Ziggler ahead of their ladder match. I suspect that what was on this copy I just to review wasn't what we were supposed to see but an insert of something mildly related, because this video didn't build shit for Sunday. The announcers talked about it a little bit in coming back to them before recapping the start of the show.

Backstage, we saw Sheamus & William Regal in the locker room. Regal told Sheamus not to let Show get to him and keep his cool as he's only 2 days out. Sheamus said that Show could do what he liked to push his buttons, he wasn't pushing back until Sunday. What's that in the sky? IT'S SOMEONE DROPPING AN ANVIL! Take a wild guess at the end of the show now...

11: White Rabbits - "Temporary"

Antonio Cesaro def. Sheamus by Count Out in a "Whomever has "Regal gets beaten up and Sheamus can't do jack about it" in the pool wins. And someone, although I forget who, had it..." match
Much their match from a couple of weeks back on RAW, this was oddly even, and Cesaro got to show off his impressive strength while getting most of the offence. Josh said early on that Orton didn't have a concussion and "may be able to compete" but didn't elaborate past that. Cesaro took control of the match catching Sheamus coming back in the ring after sending him out.

After escaping a chinlock that trapped an arm, Sheamus tried to make a comeback, but had a charge blocked early to cut him off, with Cesaro picking up a 2 count with a European uppercut to the back of the head. He then gave Sheamus the dead-lift suplex. They started trading shots, which Sheamus "won" as he started a comeback. He hit the Battering Ram off the top rope before hitting the clubs to the chest.

However, after suplexing Cesaro back in the ring, we saw that on the stage, Big Show had downed William Regal. Sheamus left the ring, ending up taking the count out loss. Regal got up and tried to hold Sheamus back, but it just left him wide open and defenceless for a chairshot to the back. As Regal went down, Sheamus SEETHED while Big Show was as smug as hell as he left and the show ended.

Good show, even if the build to TLC was slightly muted. As obvious a play it is (and indeed was), the use of taking out Regal was effective. Big Show was embarrassed when "cornered" into keeping the PPV match alive, but wanted to do something to get Sheamus right good and pissed off. That and the MizTV segment were effective hype jobs for the PPV. That was about it though, although, really, the only thing that sucked was the women's match.

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