Lewis sent this report in:
I attended the NXT/SmackDown taping last night at the O2 in England, – and thought I would email you with a detailed recap.
The doors opened at around 6.30pm, and when we got into the arena the ring and stage were all set up for NXT. However, soon after we arrived a team of crew came down and changed the ring so it was ready for Superstars. They changed the apron, and also changed the ring ropes. It looked as if they were getting stressed and were rushing, and the referees soon came down to give them a hand. Once everything was set, the lights went out and a WM26 VT played.
Tony Chimel & Savannah came down the ramp together, – and Chimel welcomed us all to the show. Todd Grisham & Matt Striker then took their place at the announce table, and the Superstars opening and pyro hit.
Matt Hardy (w/Justin Gabriel) then defeated Carlito (w/Michael Tarver) in a match taped for Superstars. The match lasted around 10 minutes, and the crowd was heavily behind Hardy. Following this, the crew then came back down and re-adjusted the ring so it was set up for NXT again! They once again changed the apron and the ring ropes, – and Michael Cole & Josh Matthews took over at the announce table. Cole was not very popular with a lot of the audience.
The NXT opening played, and Matt Striker then introduced all of the NXT rookies. All of the rookies were then required to talk to the crowd about a word given to them by Striker. Striker announced that the winner would be decided by the crowd – and that the winning rookie would earn their own entrance theme. It was a pretty random segment, but still entertaining. Wade Barrett and Skip Sheffield received the loudest cheers, – and Daniel Bryan was surprisingly booed. Barrett eventually won the contest after almost everyone in attendance cheered for him!
Afterwards, Barrett faced Christian in a Pro vs. Rookie Match. The crowd seemed split on who to cheer for, – but Christian eventually won. Jericho & Slater were both at ringside.
Daniel Bryan (w/The Miz) then faced William Regal (w/Skip Sheffield) in another Pro vs. Rookie Match. The match was over really quickly, and I think Regal won after kicking Bryan in the face. Miz attacked Regal after the match, and then attacked Bryan.
In the main event of NXT, Darren Young defeated Luke Gallows (w/CM Punk & Serena). Because of his win, Young was not forced to have his head shaved. This match was also fairly short.
Following NXT, the ring was changed for SmackDown. Grisham & Striker once again took their place at the announce table, – while Cole, Matthews & Savannah went backstage. Savannah gave Tony Chimel a hug before leaving! The SmackDown opening and pyro then hit, and Chris Jericho came to the ring.
Jericho complained about Randy Orton getting a shot at the World Heavyweight Championship, before he was interrupted by Edge. After Edge had spoken, Theodore Long came out to the stage. He announced that Jack Swagger would defend the World Title against Jericho & Edge in the main event!
The first match of SmackDown saw Drew McIntyre take on Kane. McIntyre cut a promo before the match and received some good heat. McIntyre ultimately won the match after Matt Hardy interfered and caused a disqualification. Kane chokeslammed both McIntyre and Hardy afterwards.
Dolph Ziggler then came to the ring and apologized for attacking Josh Matthews with the sleeper hold. He then faced R-Truth, and defeated him with the same move. The crowd loved R-Truth’s entrance, and weren’t crazy about how the match ended.
Mickie James then faced Michelle McCool (w/Layla & Vickie Guerrero). Mickie was very popular with the crowd, – and McCool got some great heat during her entrance. The two worked really well together and put on a great women’s match. McCool ultimately won, – and people started chanting for Beth Phoenix afterwards. Phoenix then came to the ring, while McCool, Layla & Vickie all escaped through the crowd. Beth received a great reaction.
Afterwards, Rey Mysterio teamed with The Hart Dynasty to face CM Punk, Luke Gallows & Darren Young. The match was really great, and all involved received great responses from the crowd. The Miz watched from commentary, and the match ended when David Hart Smith gained the pin.
JTG then faced Caylen Croft (w/Trent Barreta). The crowd was pretty dead in this match, although Croft & Barreta did get some heat. JTG won, and then fought with Shad afterwards (who had been watching).
Jack Swagger then defended the World Heavyweight Championship against Chris Jericho & Edge in the main event. The crowd was mostly split – with most chanting for either Edge or Jericho. The match was a great way to end SmackDown, and Swagger won after pinning Y2J. Jericho then brutally attacked Edge after the match.
After SmackDown had finished taping, Rey Mysterio came out and attacked Jericho. CM Punk then came out with Gallows & Serena – and faced Mysterio in the dark match main event. Mysterio won after a good back and forth contest. Punk then got on the mic and told us how he hated us before leaving.
Overall, the show was great fun and very entertaining. This was the first time I attended a SmackDown taping – and thought the night was just as good (if not better) than Raw last year.