WWE Smackdown is LIVE tonight (Nov. 29, 2011), ladies and sirs, from the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Tonight's episode is being billed as a "Holiday Special," which means we can expect some sort of silly gimmick akin to what we got from Mick Foley last night on Raw dressing up as Santa Clause.
But that's fine, because the main event will feature Daniel Bryan challenging Mark Henry for the world heavyweight championship in a steel cage match.
I won't say what else to expect from WWE because these days they've made a habit of starting and stopping. Advertisements have never meant less. So all I'll say is to stay tuned.
And, of course, come back here tonight at 8 p.m. ET to shoot the breeze with all your favorite Cagesiders. It's always a good time.
Smackdown live blog after the jump.
WWE SMACKDOWN RESULTS LIVE BLOG NOV. 29
Broadcast is live.
They're going full on gimmick for this one. Oh dear god, they've got a complete set built with fake snow, Christmas trees, presents, red, green, gold, all the colors.
Mick Foley is out first wearing the goofy Santa suit. He's good old jolly St. Mick! Josh Mathews dogs him by saying, "It looks like Santa's gained some weight this year."
Foley takes the mic and acknowledges that it's not even December, so he knows this whole Holiday Special is a bit odd. He's just a big mark for it, though, so that's what we're getting.
Foley runs down the card. Bryan vs. Henry for the world heavyweight title in a steel cage match, a Miracle on 34th St. fight and an over the top rope battle royal, where the winner gets a special gift.
Oh and sorry, folks, but Michael Cole actually will be here tonight, despite all Mick's assurances to the contrary.
He is, however, dressed up like Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.
Just another Tuesday night with the WWE, ladies and sirs.
Cole is livid and for once, he doesn't look like a complete heel because we can all agree that this entire thing is utterly ridiculous.
Booker T hasn't been announced just yet and Foley gives him a special announcement. Booker comes out in a Santa suit not unlike Foley. Mathews says he looks good and Santa must have lost some weight. Cole starts cracking borderline racist jokes.
Foley begs for a spin-a-roonie and Booker does it to a decent response. The crowd is starting to turn, though. Booker says it's cool because he can dig the holiday spirit ... SUCKA!!!!
Enter Cody Rhodes.
He says in the past he would have let this farce continue but because he's no longer wearing the mask, he's seeing things more clearly. And what he sees is a lowly announcer doing childish things inside the ring and taking time away from him, who can still compete.
Booker says he's not trying to take his time and he doesn't want to throw hands with him but Cody better calm down and don't test him, son.
Son? Rhodes shooshes the crowd. Got some good heat out of it.
Cody starts dogging Booker for not ever being able to hold a title again, namely the beautiful white Intercontinental belt. Foley cuts him off and he's pissed because Rhodes is affecting his ability to enjoy the holidays. So tonight there's going to be a match.
Rhodes vs. Booker T.
Booker looks tentative when asked if he's cool with it but eventually says yes, he's good with it.
Foley has a party in the back to get to, so let's kick things off with the Holiday Special just right with a ....
... Diva's match. Ugh.
The ladies come waltzing out in festive gear. All of them. Is this the battle royal?
Apparently, this is a "Mistletoe on a Pole" match. There's a gigantic candy cane near the close corner that the Diva's will have to climb to get to the mistletoe.
Oh shit, it's already over. Brie Bella kicked her sister over and climbed up her to grab the mistletoe to win the match.
Foley comes back out and says there was a misunderstanding. Brie didn't win a title match. She won the opportunity to give a WWE superstar a kiss between now and Christmas.
Uh ... what?
This has been the worst 20 minutes of TV I've ever watched. Smackdown has been a great show for months now and they go live and put out this absolute garbage to kick off the show.
Justin Gabriel vs. Jinder Mahal -- Mahal comes out cutting a promo on Christmas, saying Americans buy gifts with money they don't have for people they can't stand. Which is basically true. "You are all living a lie," he says.
That was actually pretty good, save for the stupid patriotic angle Vince McMahon can't help but always play.
Mahal dominates Gabriel for a few minutes until Ted DiBiase's music hits and he comes out with a sack full of gifts. Mahal is pissed about it and gets distracted just long enough for Gabriel to hit two moves setting up his finisher, the 450 splash. And there's the pin.
Cut to the back and the Usos are teaching Foley their dance. Roddy Piper shows up and tells St. Mick he wants a new straight jacket for Christmas. Lame Hornswoggle comedy follows. Dusty Rhodes shows up, cracks another dumb joke. Goldust now in the picture.
Eventually we get to David Otunga coming in and he says John Laurinaitis wants to make sure they don't play any music that hasn't been cleared legally. Otunga says he's just going to shut the party down. Piper starts singing for reasons no one knows and Foley finally brings this awesomely stupid segment to an end by revealing that because Otunga is a Smackdown talent, he's going to place him in the Miracle on 34th St. Fight against none other than Randy Orton.
Another promo airs for Kane and I no longer see the point in them. Just bring him back already.
Backstage interview with Booker T, saying he doesn't really know what Rhodes' problem is but after tonight, it's coming to an en....
Rhodes comes through and pops him with the Intercontinental belt before bailing. Booker sells by saying "goddamn" while some geek ref lightly asks him if he's okay.
Kofi Kingston vs. Tyson Kidd -- Hey, what happened to Evan Bourne? Shouldn't he be back by now? Cole tells us on commentary that Rhodes vs. Booker T is no longer happening tonight thanks to the assault in the back just a bit ago.
A Twitter graphic comes up and Cole marks out for the fact that he's trending right now. Meanwhile, Kingston hits the boot drop and goes for the Trouble in Paradise but Kidd rolls out of the ring. Kofi chases him and gets a dropkick off the apron.
Now he's telling Cole how ridiculous he looks and takes his Rudolph mask. Oh my god, he puts it on before going up top and hitting the cross body off the top rope. Mathews enthusiastically shouts, "THE FLYING REINDEER!"
Hi, Vince. Didn't you just turn 62-years-old? This is 8-year-old stuff, man. Really? Really?
Backstage and Sheamus is talking to Teddy Long. He wants to know what the "All I Want for Christmas" battle royal is. Long has no clue. Aksana comes into the picture with the jazz porn music. Puts the Mistletoe over Teddy's head, they tease a kiss, she eats it instead and makes a lame joke about her throat getting tickled.
Why am I here right now? Vince, I hate you for ruining this show.
Randy Orton is shown walking through the back and the crowd pops huge. Finally, something worth watching.
Recap of Raw last night showing Wade Barrett costing Randy Orton his match against Dolph Ziggler.
Randy Orton vs. David Otunga -- Otunga is built like a brick shithouse but he's got bigger tits than every Diva on the entire roster, maybe combined.
This is one time I would like to see Orton just clown a fool. Looks like that's what he's doing, too. Yeah, Randy is just beating the crap out of Otunga. There have been two separate instances in which Otunga tried to get offense in and Orton just snuffed it out and tossed him into an errant Christmas tree.
Finally, Jennifer Hudson's main squeeze is allowed to hit a spot against the side of the ring. That lasts for about two seconds, though, and Randall just goes back to stomping Otunga out. He's getting cute now, eating cookies before using the baking sheet as a weapon. Puts a wreath on Otunga's head and sends him into the steel steps ... but not before saying "HO, HO, HO!."
THAT'S how it should be done, WWE. Simple, light but not overbearing.
Otunga gets a reversal in and grabs a candy cane from under the ring. He tries to use it on Orton but gets stole on first. Then he literally runs away, to which Orton chases him down, picks up a green box and chucks it at him. It hits the mark, too, drilling Otunga right on the back of the head.
He falls like a sack of bricks and Orton just stops and starts laughing his ass off. Oh, this is the greatest match ever.
Randy points at the top of the ramp where the big Christmas set is and the crowd screams for more pain for Otunga. Orton obliges them, too. He just keeps rolling right on through him, taking him back down to the ring to hit the draping DDT. Except he does this while draping Otunga off the apron and to the outside floor.
Wade Barrett suddenly enters the picture and beats on Orton for a bit. He sends him in the ring and wakes Otunga from his stupor to try to get the pin. It doesn't work, though, of course.
Orton soon after dominates Otunga again, hits the RKO and gets the pinfall.
That was really, really fun.
Mark Henry in the back yelling at Teddy Long for his unfortunate situation. Says he'll take care of Big Show at TLC and he'll take out Daniel Bryan tonight. Mark is in the spirit of giving, you see, and he's going to give Bryan the worst whooping of his life. Scares off Long and that leads to a replay of last week's episode of Smackdown where Bryan tried to cash in the Money in the Bank briefcase.
Time for the battle royal. I think they said it's going to be a 20-man over the top. I see a lot of people in the ring already. Hunico gets a TV entrance, as does Sheamus, who is obviously the guy who is going to win here. Hornswoggle is introduced last. He goes under the ring instead of getting inside, presumably to make an impact late in the match.The action in matches like that is hardly discernible, so let's just call 'em as they go out.
Darren Young is out already, eliminated by Sheamus.
An Uso is out, not sure which one, also via Sheamus.
JTG is gone, not sure who tossed him.
Curt Hawkins is sent flying thanks to Ezekial Jackson.
Jackson got into it with Sheamus and got sent out.
Johnny Curtis is gone.
The other uso is sent out via Kofi Kingston.
Kingston is quickly sent out as well.
Yoshi Tatsu is gone.
Tyson Kidd is nearly eliminated by holds on and eliminates Ted DiBiase. As he's trying to climb back in, Hornswoggle comes out from under the ring and eliminates him by pulling his leg down.
And they go to break. Seriously. How the fug do you go to break in the middle of a fuggin' battle royal?
We're back and down to seven now, according to Mathews.
Justin Gabriel is sent out by Jinder Mahal.
Titus O'Neil hits a sweet spinebuster and gets tossed by Sheamus right after.
Wow. Sheamus gets double teamed by
two jobbers Jinder Mahal and Heath Slater and makes his comeback by just pushing them off him, one hand for each guy.
Now the remaining members of the battle royal gang up on Sheamus on the outside -- didn't go over the top so they aren't out -- and put him out of action until it's timely for him to return.
They climb back in the ring and before they start going after each other, they gang up to get Hornswoggle out from under the ring. They grab him and send him in and start bullying him, which gets some great heat from the crowd.
I mean, how could it not? They're bullying a midget.
Here's where Sheamus comes back like Superman.
Tyler Reks is gone.
Hunico is out.
Jinder Mahal, bye-bye.
Heath Slater, get owned with the Brogue Kick and sent out.
That leaves just Sheamus and Hornswoggle.
The little guy shadow boxes and tells Sheamus to bring it. "The Celtic Warrior" orders him out and Hornswoggle says, "No, you get out." Then he kicks Sheamus in the leg. Pushes his luck again and Sheamus picks him up to send him out. Hornswoggle wraps around the top rope to keep from getting dumped out.
Sheamus gets out and hits the apron to put Hornswoggle there too. Sheamus pleads with him to just get down. Hornswoggle seemingly obliges before surprising Sheamus and pushing him off.
Hornswoggle wins the "All I Want for Christmas" battle royal.
Sheamus gets in the ring and raises the little guy's hand before putting him on his shoulder. Sheamus' music plays him out as he just smiles and shakes his head.
Hornswoggle celebrates in the ring like he just won the Royal Rumble.
A replay of last week shows Bryan winning a number one contender match to earn the title shot he's getting tonight.
Backstage segment and Hornswoggle hugs Santa and gets the ability to talk. The rest was lame.
Bryan interviewed by Stryker and he says he really wants the feeling of winning the world title back. "Sooner or later, everyone taps." Could be a good catchphrase.
The cage is coming down, folks. Main event time.
Mark Henry vs. Daniel Bryan -- Solid babyface heat for Bryan, a bit more heel heat for Henry. Bryan starts by just trying to haul ass out of the cage. He gets caught, though, as Henry is hardly selling his foot injury. Basically, he's just wrapped it. Bryan gets squashed against the cage leading to break.
A replay upon return shows Henry using the ropes to sling shot Bryan into the cage. The champ has the edge and is just working Bryan over. Big lariat and Henry tells the ref to open the door. He does and Bryan makes a big comeback. Squash that. Huge clothesline sends Bryan flying. Henry literally falls down on him for the pin but only gets a two count.
Henry tries to get up and walk out but Bryan catches him and starts working on the injured ankle. Bryan tries to climb out and escape but Henry stops selling and hits him with a running clothesline.
That was unfortunate.
Bryan makes another comeback and he actually puts Henry in the LeBell Lock. The crowd gets hot but Henry just powers out. Henry tries to power him up for a slam but Bryan gets the Ankle Lock and the bum ankle. Still, Henry powers through.
The crowd chants for Bryan, who gets up and tries to climb out of the cage. Henry sends him flying and now "The World's Strongest Man" actually tries to climb out. That's laughable. Bryan catches up and tries to pass him by but gets caught.
HA. Bryan tries a hurricanrana but fails. Throws himself up again and nearly gets over but Henry grabs him and hits "The World's Strongest Slam" off the top rope for the pin.
That was a great finish and a pretty damn good match.
The show fades out with Henry holding up his belt and screaming like King Kong.
What am I saying. King Kong ain't got shit on Mark Henry.