#notsohappy: Happy-go-lucky Big Show is out to open the show and it’ll be interesting to see how they handle his buddy Daniel Bryan taking the WHC away from him. It ended a 9 year drought which isn’t really that long since he won the ECW title in 2006, but since WWE likes to pretend that it is the only wrestling company in the world, that reign doesn’t count. Show gave that emotional interview on RAW and the internal conflict he showed then could be something to watch for on Smackdown. Asking D-Bry to come out brings Mark Henry out instead, who proceeds to suggest Show should quit and get a job working as Santa, a little humor from the menacing WSM. Displaying alot of courage, Bryan comes out and points out all the traits of a WWE wrestler that he says he lacks. They really are making a concerted effort to paint him as an atypical champ who doesn’t fit the traditional mold. Show and Henry argue over who gets the first shot at Bryan, so cue Teddy Long to come out. Shockingly, he doesn’t make a tag match but instead of #1 Contender match between Show and Henry for later on.

#champvchamp: Of course when Cody comes to the ring, he has to do a little mocking of Booker. Cole is happy since he gets to blast Booker some more, but then THE NEW UNITED STATES CHAMPION ZACK RYDER comes out, who I believe is Cole’s 2nd least favorite person, behind Bryan of course. Seeing Ryder raise that title is still a bit surreal and might not go away anytime soon. Now that he’s champ, he has to show he is a legit champ and not an internet sensation. He had a good match with Ziggler at TLC and is having another with Cody right now, so that’s a start. Though Rhodes does show he’s much better in the ring then Ryder with some technical prowess, such as his signature Alabama Slam and a sweet submission where he does a spinning arm hold and then a front facelock. In fact he applies it twice in the match. So do people really put their smartphones up to the TV to scan that barcode Ryder has on his trunks? Considering where it’s placed, I shudder to think what they get from a successful scan. Ryder is successful in getting the pin after a Rough Ryder. However, Cody was distracted by Booker singing ‘Cody The Broken Nosed Reindeer’. I am a bit concerned that Ryder didn’t get a clean win, as he needs them to be considered legit, and his ‘win’ was overshadowed by the continuing Booker-Cody feud.

#toosoon: Shouldn’t this have been the main event? I mean it is a #1 Contender match, even though it’s billed as ‘first to face Bryan’. Then again Henry-Show has been the main program on Smackdown for the past few months and Bryan-Ziggler will probably be tonight’s main event. Before the match starts, we get an appearance from David Otunga’s Travel Mug and his sidekick David Otunga. Travel Mug is out as usual to rain on everyone’s parade by saying Henry is not ‘medically’ cleared to compete and that the match is off. For all of Travel Mug’s fancy words, his companion Otunga gets a WMD from Show. The replay showed some wicked recoil as Show’s fist hit Otunga’s face. So I guess the match is saved for some other time?

#really: Miz is on Smackdown? Teddy has no idea why he’s there or who he’ll face? At least we get a Miz promo, which is always a good thing. He can combine annoyance, contempt and any number of emotions into a single facial expression. Plus we get to play The Really Game! So Miz is calling anyone to face him? Normally this is where The Great Khali would come out, but I’m guessing it’ll be Sheamus. It turns out I’m right and he gets right down to business with Miz. I am disappointed that we didn’t get Storytime with Sheamus and also that we have Cole marking out like crazy for his man crush The Miz. Miz does gets crushed, but this time by a Brogue Kick from Sheamus for the win. Best moment of the night so far is a shot of a kid in the crowd with spiked red hair and a ‘beard’ drawn in red marker. Hilarious. As much as I like The Miz, I’m still wondering why he showed up here at all. It didn’t really accomplsih anything.

#barragebeatdown: It never ceases to amaze me how great Barrett is on the mic. I don’t know if it’s that sinister smirk or the way he carries himself so confidently, but it shows in his promo abilities. After his ‘dominance’ of Orton, he claims he’s in line for a shot at Bryan and the WHC. I’m all for that as it could be a great feud. The two of them have history together from NXT and, briefly, The Nexus. Also, it would have two of the younger guys battling over a World title, which is something we haven’t seen in the past few years. Barrett starts to walk up the ramp, but Orton runs out and starts a brawl, with it spilling into the backstage area. I’ve always enjoyed these backstage fights as it allows for some inventive offense. We get that as Orton uses a hose, the contents of a trash can and even RKOs Barrett on the roof a car. At least it wasn’t one of Del Rio’s.

#singletagaction: So the tag division gets its turn in the spotlight as a singles match. How does that work? Kofi takes on Primo with their respective tag partners at ringside. I’m liking the team of Primo and Epico more and more as they continue to show solid work in the ring. We know they can fly, but Primo does show some nice technical skills with a submission that’s some combo of a Koji Clutch and an armbar. Plus they have the attractive valet in the form of Rosa Mendes, so you know they can be successful. Kofi wins with a surprise Trouble In Paradise, but more importantly, where’s Hunico?

#futureisnow: Though both Bryan and Ziggler are considered among the WWE’s young, rising stars, there is an interesting dichotomy in this match, and it’s that of one of the company’s biggest issues. You have Ziggler who is a product of the WWE developmental system and Bryan who spent about a decade in the indies before even coming to WWE. It’s a big issue because while the company wants to find and mold its own wrestlers, they have to be aware of top talent outside of their system is they want to remain viable as a wrestling promotion. At least they seem to be moving away from their infatuation with big, muscly guys. The match itself is great, showcasing both guys’ technical skills. But of course Cole has to rant on and on about how much he hates Daniel Bryan. It’s fine for a commentator to not be for a certain wrestler, but Cole heels on Bryan way too much. At one point, Swagger makes his way down to ringside and inevitably gets involved, taking out Bryan while the ref is distracted with Vickie. The odds swing back in Bryan’s favor when Big Show comes out. None of this fazes D-Bry as he continues on, even at onepoint getting a roll up on Ziggler, then r.olling through into a very impressive German suplex. This is when the action really starts to pick up as both are able to pull off some sweet counters and keep the flow of the match going. Swagger tries to take out Show, but it just ends up angering him. While he has Jack set up for a Chokeslam, Teddy runs out to stop Show. He then proceeds to set up a tag team match. Ugh. Again? Does Teddy do anything else as GM? Even though Show is Bryan’s partner, he seems to be challenging the WHC in a way, looking straight at him, while he pummels on Ziggler. Bryan gets almost no offense in and has to crawl across most of the ring while Ziggler has him in a Single Leg Boston Crab to try to tag Show. Dolph thwarts that but gets tossed into the ringpost by Bryan out of desperation. The ending sequence of Swagger countering a top rope attack from Bryan into the Ankle Lock and Bryan countering that in the LaBell Lock for the tapout was a great end to what was a solid main event. The tease of a Bryan-Show feud continues as Bryan celebrates in the ring while Show looks on from the outside.

NOTE: As a side note, I’ll be out on vacation for about a week and won’t be posting here on GN. Since I won’t be doing RAW on Monday, I asked Rob to take over, since I know you guys come to my Insight column for all your WWE happenings. I’ll be back for next Friday’s Smackdown, so have a happy holiday.