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Big Night for Big Show
September 30, 2012

by Rick Scaia
Exclusive to OOWrestling.com


Pyro's taking the weekend off... which normally wouldn't have been an issue, at all.
But here it is, Sunday afternoon, and I've just now finished watching SmackDown on DVR, putting me WWAAAAAYYYYY behind schedule in terms of cobbling together a recap of my own.

What could possibly have caused me to become otherwise occupied on Friday night, eschewing my normal late night SD viewing in favor of re-watching a baseball game I'd already watched once, all while enjoying another couple rounds of cocktails, causing me to be too groggy on Saturday afternoon to feel like going to "work"?
Homer Bailey, that's what.
The Reds have had a no-hitter in my lifetime (a perfect game, even), but that was before I adopted the Reds as my "other" team, and certainly before the advent of every game being televised. So this was the first time ever I got to experience my team twirling a no hitter. [The Yankees have had plenty of them, but never televised so I could witness it live, in its entirety.]
Beats the hell out of the only other no-hitter I ever watched live and in its entirety, to say the least. [Ahem, 2010 NLDS.] So I really enjoyed that. But you probably didn't give a shit, so let's cut the chit chat and go on with a recap of Friday night's rasslin'...

Opening Theme/Pyro/Etc., and we're taped in Buffalo. It's Cole and Mathews at the commentary desk, assuring us it'll be a great show, as Big Show hits the ring.
Big Show Wanty
Show made an ambiguous return on RAW (KO'ing both Brodus and Tensai), after nearly 2 months off TV. So he wastes no time declaring his intentions here tonight: he's back because he wants the World Heavyweight Title. Why? Because while he was out of action, he realized that his last WHT reign was 45 seconds, which is embarassing enough... but then the guy he lost to in 45 seconds lost the title in 17 seconds at WM.
So yeah, he wants to erase all that from his memory, and the way he intends to do it is by squashing Sheamus and holding the title for a really long time.
And on that note, Randy Orton interrupts, and says that Show's putting the cart ahead of the horse. Because Orton just talked to Booker T backstage, and learned that tonight's main event will be Show vs. Orton in a #1 Contender's Match. Show isn't particuarly upset that the road to Sheamus goes through Orton.
Someone who IS upset? ALberto del Rio. So he comes out to interrupt the interruption.... he's still pissed about Booker unbanning the Brogue Kick, after Alberto had gameplanned for a Brogue Kick-less title match. So he feels like HE deserves to be in the #1 Contender mix, and Orton and Show can go screw. Show responds by shrugging. Orton -- ever the petulent douchebag -- responds by hitting Alberto with an RKO for no defensible reason.
Play Randall's music! Because here in WWE where we are against bullies, it's perfectly acceptable to physically assualt a man who just wants to talk!
Antonio Cesaro vs. Santino Marella (US Title Match)
Last week, Santino beat Cesaro in a non-title match, which had two effects: (1) Santino gets a title shot and (2) Cesaro dumped Aksana due to her failed interference.
Of note: as they were rehashing the dumped girlfriend story, and then talking about Santino's recent success in the tag division, Josh Mathews managed to mention "Santino's girlfriend, Zack Ryder" and Cole didn't bother correcting him. OK, it wasn't "of note," but it DID happen, and was about as interesting as anything else that was happening in the ring.
A rare "serious" Santino match, it wasn't terribly exciting or memorable. But man alive does Cesaro ever look sharp delivering some of the most unique offense we've seen on the WWE stage in some time. So beating the crap out of Santino, then snuffing out his babyface rally (by rolling out of the way when Santino showed just how serious he was by going to the top rope for his diving headbutt), and getting the win with The Neutralizer was still a solid and effective "reboot" for the now-single US Champ.
Your Winner: Antonio Cesaro, via pinfall, in about 3-4 minutes. A glorified squash, but certainly quite watchable.
Beth Phoenix vs. Natalya
Not only was this easily the best women's match WWE's served up in ages, but the crowd was actually appreciative, since Beth is a hometown girl.
Out of the gate, they play it face vs. face, acknowledging that they are friends and tag partners (or were the last time Nattie did anything substantial on TV). Nice chain wrestling and counters for 2-3 minutes. But then things get testy when Beth keeps getting the better of it, and Nattie lashes out with a shove, out of frustration.
Beth doesn't care for that, and they jaw for a bit, then Nattie just slaps Beth in the face, and we kick it into second gear, where Nattie is the heel, and th epace pickes up. No extended heel beatdown, instead, it's just back and forthy, with things escalating to near falls pretty quickly.
In fact, Nattie is first to get a finisher, as she locked in the Sharpshooter. But Beth is able to escape. Some more grappling, and Beth counters a suplex directly into a Glam Slam, but Nattie is able to kick out. Crowd pops for the false finish, and I'm into it too... both women end up on the top rope, where Beth is thinking about a top rope Glam Slam, but Nattie counters it into a Victory Roll. But Beth rolls through it, and ends up with her own small package for the surprise pinfall. Good stuff.
Your Winner: Beth Phoenix, via pinfall, in 4-5 minutes. This is what happens when you put two trained wrestlers in the ring: a good match and a crowd that's paying attention. It's a shame that Beth is so unmotivated by WWE's current treatment of the diva division that she's planning to leave next month.
After the Match: Eve hits the stage with a mic, and proceeds to poop on Beth's party... you see, Booker T's Office is reviewing Kaitlyn's injury/assualt at the PPV, and has decided that Beth Phoenix is a "person of interest" in their investigation. As such, until the investigation is done, Beth is indefinitely suspended. Huh? Wha? That's not exactly the most sensible/logical line of reasoning, but maybe it's just to write Beth out?
Backstage: Booker T and Teddy Long are chatting, and we quickly learn that they've set up a tournament to determine the new #1 Contenders to Team Friendship's tag titles. But they are quickly interrupted when Beth and Eve show up, bickering over this whole "suspension" thing. Booker claims he never authorized any such thing, and un-suspends Beth. Beth is happy and leaves. When Booker tries to ask Eve what the hell she was doing, Eve points the finger at Teddy... it wasn't her idea, Teddy made her do it. Yep, totally believable. Ahem. And yet, Booker seems to believe it. Sucker.
Zack Ryder vs. Wade Barrett
Pretty much a do-over of the earlier match featuring "Zack Ryder's girlfriend," except a bit more competitive. Chalk it up to Ryder being a bit more adept at "serious" matches than Santino. Ryder's big fire-up rally even saw him hit a Super Broski Boot (Wade rolled out of the way of the regular Boot, but Zack made an adjustment and hit a flying Broski Boot from the apron to the floor), which had the fans thinking he might get the win.
Not so fast. Wade counters the Rough Ryder into a sidewalk slam, and then hits The Souvenir for the decisive win.
Your Winner: Wade Barrett, via pinfall, in about 4-5 minutes. Another glorified squash, but another one that effectively showcases the squasher.
MizTV: Obligatory Sheamus Appearance Theatre
Gotta get the ALbino Warrior squeezed onto the show somehow, so here we are. Miz boasts for about 7 and a half seconds about how awesome his new show is, then Sheamus' music hits, and he comes on down to the ring. He takes the mic right out of Miz's hand, and proceeds to do about 2 minutes of shtick about how terrible Miz is. It's not quite bullying, but it's also not quite funny.
Miz finally goes and grabs another mic, and decides to retort by declaring that pretty much every thing Sheamus just said was hyperbole, or just plain wrong, and Miz has the IC Title to prove it. Miz has a point. Maybe that's why Sheamus' shtick seemed a bit off: he was clearly bullshitting.
WIth that bit of business taken care of, Miz does what a talk show host should do, and asks Sheamus questions about his upcoming WHT Match, and the Orton/Show #1 Contender match. He asks in a sort of pointed manner (suggesting it doesn't matter, and Sheamus will lose to whichever one he faces), but he also lets Sheamus get his two cents worth in (it boils down to how it'd be an honor to face a competitor like Orton, but he's more than happy to tackle the challenge that is Big Show).
And with that, an interruption. It's Dolph Ziggler (w/ Vickie Guerrero). Much like Alberto before him, he feels there's somebody being left out of all this WHT talk. In fact, Ziggler makes a promise: he's going to walk out of HiaC PPV with the WHT. It doesn't matter if it's Sheamus, or Orton, or even Big Show... all that matters is whoever wins inside a Cell will have gone through Hell, and they'll be easy pickin's for Dolph.
Sheamus' response to that? He pummels Miz (who was standing off to one side, laughing at the thought of Sheamus getting beat), then turns to Ziggler, tossing both out of the ring, and posing to end the segment. Once again, a segment that I just don't think paints Sheamus in the best way, but it did accomplish something by having Ziggler make his cash-in promise.
The Uso Twins vs. THe Rhodes Scholars (Tag Tournament Match)
The heels enter together, using Cody's music. Utilizing my years of Wrestling Knowledge, I take this to mean that Sandow will be scoring the pinfall and they'll play HIS music after the match. Shows what I know...
I had high hopes for this, but it was super short and never got any traction. Half-hearted back and forth leading to a brief Pier 4 Brawl, where Sandow makes a save that allows Cody to avoid a Superfly Splash and hit the CrossRhodes for the win. Play Cody's music again!
Your Winners: the Rhodes Scholars, via pinfall, in 2-3 minutes. Short to the point of uselessness. For the record, Cody and Sandow will face the winners of Santino/Ryder vs. Kidd/Gabriel in the semi-finals. The bottom half of the bracket is Kofi/Truth vs. the PTPs, and Rey/Sin Cara vs. Epico/Primo. Rhodes Scholars vs. Rey/Sin Cara at the PPV, anyone?
Ryback vs. Tensai
No Sakamoto, again. So Tensai really has made the transition into a full blown jobber. First he lost the title "Lord," then he lost his elaborate entrance and costume, now he's lost his lackey.
Oh, and he also lost this match. But you could have figured that out on your own.
Your Winner: Ryback, via pinfall, in 2-3 minutes. A big ol' whatevs. I guess it wasn't unimpressive to see Ryback hit his finisher on a 400 lb guy, but on a show where matches have tended towards short/squashy (best match so far: the women), it's really hard to get fired up for more of the same.
Backstage: Randy Orton is WALKING~! And then, he is getting attacked by Alberto del Rio. Officials quickly swarm and break it up, but poor Randall is crumpled in a heap. See, dumdum, that's what happens when you viciously attack an innocent man: karma's a bitch, eh Randall?
Big Show vs. ??????
After an ad break, Big Show makes his full entrance. But then, when Orton's music plays, it's Alberto del Rio who hits the stage, with a mic. He says that Randy can't compete tonight, so now, this match will be Show vs. Alberto for the #1 Contendership.
Then, as Alberto saunters down to the ring, Orton comes stumbling out, and attacks Alberto from behind. With Alberto down, Orton says he's ready for his match. Officials swarm again, and try to sort the mess out....
Big Show vs. Randy Orton (#1 Contender Match)
Back from the break, and we've decided to go ahead with the originally scheduled match. But the story here is that Orton has already been injured by Alberto, and is fighting through rib injuries. And Big Show wastes no time targeting said ribs.
We'll be charitable and call the first several minutes of the match "methodical." WIth Show lumbering around, hitting big bombs, then taunting the crowd while Randy was laying around, writhing. Anytime Orton showed any signs of life, Show just punched him in the gut, and that was that.
Just when you thought it couldn't get much more thrilling, Show locks in the dreaded Iron Claw, but doing it to Orton's ribs, instead of to his head. Whee. But his provides the impetus for Orton's final babyface fire-up... he rallies by trying to knock Big Show's knee out from under him, and actually gets him set up for the Hangman DDT. But he can't execute it, due to his injured ribs.
Big Show decides now is time to finish things, so he goes for a chokeslam. But Orton counters with an RKO Out Of Nowhere.... but it only gets a 2. Orton decides he'll bust out the ol' Booty Kick of Doom, but Big Show is having none of that happy crappy. He avoids the punt, and immediately snags Orton with a chokeslam... but Orton kicks out at 2.
Show registers mild annoyance, then just hits another chokeslam. FIN.
Your Winner, and New #1 Contender: Big Show, via pinfall, in about 12-15 minutes. Not the most kinetic or action packed of matches, but still a pretty effective match from a story side. The Alberto attack gave Show the opening to wrestle a dominating monster heel match, and Orton was a punky enough underdog to make that formula work. So now, we've got Sheamus vs. Big Show set for the PPV, and this beating will provide the excuse Orton needs to disappear from TV for a couple months (he's making a movie; a sequel to "12 Rounds" to be precise).
The big show fades to black on Big Show celebrating his win, and making vague threats into the camera...
And so ends the show. A whole lot of Big Show, from opening promo to main event... and how you rate the overall show will have a lot to do with how much you care for a Show/Sheamus feud. At the very least, it's a fresh match up (after a summer full of Sheamus/del Rio matches), so you give WWE credit for that from a purely procedural perspective.
The main event was solid, but the only other worthwhile match was the women's match, which isn't really saying much. I guess, from a story perspective, the introduction of the tag title tournament is also a good thing. But until it generates some decent matches, it's more a good thing in theory than in execution.
A big fat "meh" of a night, if you ask me.

SMACKDOWN RECAP: Bonding Exercises
RAW RECAP: The New Guy Blows It
PPV RECAP: WWE Night of Champions 2012
RAW RECAP: The Show Must Go On
SMACKDOWN RECAP: The Boot Gets the Boot
RAW RECAP: Heyman Lands an Expansion Franchise
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Losing is the new Winning
RAW RECAP: Say My Name
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Deja Vu All Over Again
RAW RECAP: Dignity Before Gold?
PPV RECAP: SummerSlam 2012
RAW RECAP: Bigger IS Better
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Hitting with Two Strikes
RAW RECAP: Heel, or Tweener?
RAW RECAP: CM Punk is Not a Fan of Dwayne
SMACKDOWN RECAP: The Returnening
RAW RECAP: Countdown to 1000
PPV RECAP: WWE Money in the Bank 2012
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Friday Night ZackDown
RAW RECAP: Closure's a Bitch
RAW RECAP: Crazy Gets What Crazy Wants
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Five Surprising MitB Deposits
RAW RECAP: Weeeellll, It's a Big MitB
RAW RECAP: Johnny B. Gone
PPV RECAP: WWE No Way Out 2012
RAW RECAP: Crazy Go Nuts
RAW RECAP: Be a Star, My Ass
RAW RECAP: You Can't See Him
RAW RECAP: Big Johnny Still in Charge
PPV RECAP: WWE Over the Limit 2012
SMACKDOWN RECAP: One Gullible Fella
RAW RECAP: Anvil, or Red Herring?
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Everybody Hates Berto
RAW RECAP: Look Who's Back
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Care to go Best of Five?
RAW RECAP: An Ace Up His Sleeve
PPV RECAP: WWE Extreme Rules 2012
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Sh-Sh-Sheamus and the nOObs
RAW RECAP: Edge, the Motivational Speaker?
SMACKDOWN RECAP: AJ is Angry, Jilted
RAW RECAP: Maybe Cena DOES Suck?
RAW RECAP: Brock's a Jerk
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Back with a Bang
RAW RECAP: Yes! Yes! Yes!
PPV RECAP: WWE WrestleMania 28



Rick Scaia is a wrestling fan from Dayton, OH.  He's been doing this since 1995, but enjoyed it best when the suckers from SportsLine were actually PAYING him to be a fan.



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