WWE Smackdown was taped last night (Jan. 24, 2012) for the Royal Rumble go-home show that will air this Friday on SyFy from Tuscon, Arizona.
The show features Daniel Bryan and Big Show -- as well as Mark Henry as an outsider -- continuing their feud centered around first the world heavyweight championship then Show's emotional anguish at the "injuries" he caused A.J. when he ran her over two weeks ago.
Because this is the final episode of any WWE programming that will air before the Royal Rumble pay-per-view this Sunday night in St. Louis, we can probably expect a match to devolve into an assload of superstars inside the ring tossing each other over the top rope, right?
Let's find out in the spoilers (via ProWrestling.net) after the jump.
-- Big Show opens the festivities with a promo about how bad he feels and how tore up he still is about what happened with A.J. He used to have this happen as a kid, you see, when he would hurt people because of his size. Now he's thinking of calling it a career because he doesn't have the heart to go on. Cue Daniel Bryan, who cut a promo of his own before slapping Big Show and telling him to beat feet. This led to a teased confrontation interrupted by Mark Henry, who reminded everyone they have a steel cage match at the pay-per-view on Sunday. Teddy Long eventually made his way out to announce Show vs. Henry tonight.
-- Cody Rhodes def. Justin Gabriel and somehow managed to get cheers during this match, which is likely an indictment on Gabriel more than anything else.
-- They continued the gimmick of Drew McIntyre being close to getting fired, even though he actually got fired last week but no suddenly he's not. Teddy Long told him he's "on his last straw" and set him up for a match against Sheamus. He lost, of course, but managed to get a reaction. It really sucks what they're doing to this kid, because he's got talent and potential. Alas, the burial continues.
-- Santino Marella formed a tag team with Yoshi Tatsu and dubbed it "Santoshi." They had a match with the tag champs (because you can magically form a team and then fight the guys holding the belts) and predictably lost.
-- The advertised main event for the show was Wade Barrett vs. Randy Orton, who was making his big return to TV following the back injury he suffered. The way they got him off TV was to have Barrett throw him down a flight of steps. So, of course, he came back with a furious vengeance and tried taking Barrett's head off. Just like at the house show this past Sunday when Orton first returned, he brawled with Barrett before a bunch of jobbers came out to help break it up. They all ate RKO's for their trouble while Barrett escaped.
-- Hunico def. Ted DiBiase, working over his (seemingly legit) injured wrist after the match.
-- Brodus Clay won in another squash with Alex Riley being the victim this time. It was said that he was super over and his act is really catching on.
-- Aksana def. Natalya in seconds with a roll-up, part for the course with the Divas. Natalya kicked her ass afterwards to lead to Tamina coming out and getting all Superfly on her.
-- Big Show def. Mark Henry via countout because Henry just walked away, which is quite sad considering the monster this guy used to be. Remember that time? This led to Bryan getting in the ring and hitting Show with a chair. They traded finishers and that's how the show ended.
Sounds like a fairly entertaining show, though I hate it how bad Mark Henry looks today versus where he was three months ago.