First we were told that Santino would be tangling with ‘The Giant’. That lasted all of about twenty minutes, at which point ‘The Milan Miracle’ pulled a hamstring while learning how to execute the Brogue Kick. The live crowd seemed to find this genuinely funny. I just found it nauseating: the Santino phenomenon has never made much sense to me.
Santino’s replacement was Ricardo Rodriguez. He ended up getting KOed by ‘The World’s Largest Athlete’ and so his spot was given to Alberto Del Rio. Why WWE opted for this round the houses approach to promoting a Show v ADR is a mystery. Perhaps it has something to do with Del Rio only recently having become a good guy. The company should have the courage of their convictions though: if they think ‘The Essence of Excellence’ is worth cheering they should give fans a reason to cheer him. That could have been achieved by having his name picked at the end of the opening segment.
Beyond that SmackDown was its usual muddle of fair to middling bouts and wasted opportunities. In a way it was a fitting way for the blue brand to end the year.
Tweet 1: Oh hi, everyone. Let's watch SmackDown.Tweet 2: "Tonight... on SmackDown"... MORE Sheamus v Big Show? Does Sheamus not have feuds less than four months or something?
Tweet 3: More from AJ and Dolph? Now that's win.
Sheamus promo, featuring Big Show, Booker T and the rest of the roster
Tweet 4: Sheamus kicks off the show with his lilting, mincing walk.Tweet 5: Sheamus didn't really have a great Christmas. He spent it in a ditch.
Tweet 6: This is fascinating. I think Sheamus has regressed since his mega push started in January.
Tweet 7: Sheamus calls out Big Show. Big Show waddles out. How wonderful would it have been if David Otunga had responded instead?
Tweet 8: "Don't boo me!" You should be booing yourselves...
Tweet 9: "I am the world's largest athlete" - Big Show (by largest he means fattest)
Tweet 10: Is Booker T a tweener now?
Tweet 11: Big Show will be in action. A chilling promise.
Tweet 12: Booker is putting the name of every wrestler in a tumbler. The man whose name is drawn will get a World title shot.
Tweet 13: Apparently this took all week for Booker to devise.
Tweet 14: Reminder that Eve and Teddy don't like one another there.
Tweet 15: Santino wins a WHC match. That would have been a disappointment six months ago when he was vaguely popular. Now it's an insult.
Brodus Clay v Primo
Tweet 16: This guy… #FunkasaurusTweet 17: Instead of watching Brodus squash Primo can't I just watch Naomi, Cameron and Rosa dance for three minutes?
Tweet 18: Cameron and Naomi double suplex Rosa then small children swarm the ring to dance with a man pretending he's a dinosaur. This is a low point.
Santino and Sheamus backstage
Tweet 19: Santino + Sheamus = anti-comedyTweet 20: Sheamus's teaching consists of empty rhetoric. I hope he never becomes an agent.
Wade Barrett and The Rhodes Scholars v Kofi Kingston and Team Hell No
Tweet 21: Didn't we see this six man tag last week? No wait, I'm confusing the Prime Time Players with the Rhodes Scholars. Easy mistake to make...Tweet 22: Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes!
Tweet 23: Bryan wants to be called 'The Dazzler'? That's almost as good as his request to be called 'Beutiful' Bryan.
Tweet 24: Josh please stop saying that Cody and Damien came together. Thank you.
Tweet 25: "Cody sucks" says the audience. You don't get the sucks chants much these days, he said wistfully.
Tweet 26: Did JBL just namedrop Steve Corino?
Tweet 27: Pacey little finishing sequence there. Kofi sold the Bullhammer very well.
Booker T, Ricardo Rodriguez and Big Show backstage
Tweet 28: Santino can't compete because of a torn hamstring? Eh? What's the point of this plot, exactly?Tweet 29: It feels like I'm watching an episode of Thunder. I might cry.
Tweet 30: Who will Big Show face? My money's on the KISS Demon.
Tweet 31: Booker thinks a still-technically-heel announcer being knocked out by a fat bloke is ridiculous. He hasn't said why. I don't think he will.
The KISS Demon v Big Show could have been a massive draw
Zack Ryder v Antonio Cesaro
Tweet 32: Antonio Ceasro! HEEEY!!Tweet 33: I am still bothered by the lack of kneepads. #AttitudeEratraditionalist
Tweet 34: Will 2012 end on a high note for Zack Ryder? No. Triple H has made it very clear he does NOT want to push the guy.
Tweet 35: Cesaro blasts Ryder with a hilariously stiff Neutralizer for the win.
Tweet 36: JBL predicts Khali v Cesaro will "fantastic". I predict he'll be wrong.
The Miz v Dolph Ziggler
Tweet 37: Recap of Big E hitting his finish on Miz. I still think it's a stupid move. It's like a botched Ace Crusher.Tweet 38: How do you botch an Ace Crusher?
Tweet 39: Since he turned face Miz has begun gesticulating towards his crotch before sliding onto the ring apron. Is that what good guys do?
Tweet 40: Big E is stoic. By stoic I mean bland. By bland I mean chronically bland.
Tweet 41: The match begins and JBL immediately starts reading out accoaldes regarding Big E Langston he printed out from Wikipedia.
Miz: haters heart him
Tweet 42: I'll tell you who's a better colour commentator than JBL: Cyrus the Virus.
Tweet 43: Big E catches Dolph Ziggler in what will probably be the spot of the night.
Tweet 44: Josh says Ziggler and Miz both want to end 2012 on a high note by winning in this match. I guess he's forgotten about next Monday's RAW.
Tweet 45: Ziggler can't even beat Miz without an assist? Uh oh...
Tweet 46: Big E needs to learn to throw a clotheline. And hit a proper Ace Crusher for that matter.
Tweet 47: What's that move called? I might start referring to it as the Langston Cutter.
Brad Maddox and Booker T backstage
Tweet 48: Booker hasn't got time to speak to Brad Maddox. He has to stare at Ricardo Rodrigueez and say his name repeatedly.Tweet 49: With Brad Maddox dismissed Booker can happily resume saying Ricardo's name.
Tweet 50: ADR will wrestle for the World title. He's one of the last guys I want to see wrestle Show.
Brad Maddox v Sheamus
Tweet 51: Is Brad Maddox auditioning for the part of Willy Wonka?Tweet 52: Brad Maddox versus Sheamus is WWE's Christmas gift to fans.
Tweet 53: Maddox is left handed. Miz's face turn now makes sense: WWE refuses to have two left handed guys on the same side of the heel-face divide.
Tweet 54: Brad eats a Brogue Kick. Add Sheamus to the list of guys he's jobbed to. What is the point of this story?
The Prime Time Players v The Usos
Tweet 55: Darren Young dances like he's got a ferret in his trunks.Tweet 56: The Usos have been a tag team "since day one". #DemBoys
Tweet 57: The Usos win with Twin Magic. Awful. Just awful.
Matt Striker interviews Big Show
Tweet 58: I wish Striker was facing Big Show. I'd love to see his face plastered all over the ring.
World Heavyweight championship – Big Show (c) v Alberto Del Rio
Tweet 59: How can you tell SmackDown's a taped show? ADR got a serviceable pop.Tweet 60: Why is Lilian making announcements AFTER the bell's rung? Shouldn't they be locking up by now?
Tweet 61: "Who will leave 2012 as World Heavyweight champion?" asks Josh Mathews. Big Show, Josh. Big Show.
Tweet 62: "Who sucks now?" - Big Show, channelling D'Lo Brown
Tweet 63: This match is, at best, average.
Tweet 64: Ahhhhh the old heel walking out on the match routine. It's a classic.
Tweet 65: Sheamus jumps Show. Show makes short work of him. Will Ricardo run-in next?
Tweet 66: Oh no, just the entire roster.
Tweet 67: Because they're both faces now Sheamus and ADR are happy to team up to batter Big Show.
Tweet 68: You know you're in trouble when you turn Alberto Del Rio face and use Sheamus to give him a rub.