Philip Torkington sent this report in:

Hello there. I attended WWE’s Smackdown tapings in Manchester (UK) yesterday and thought I’d give you a more detailed synopsis of what went down …

In the first dark match of the evening, Chavo Guerrero was defeated by newcomer Mason Ryan (who was announced as being from Manchester, which only a handful of kids in the audience seemed to believe). After a few good exchanges and a great looking top-rope missile dropkick from Chavo, Mason scored the victory via pinfall following a modified black hole slam.

The NXT tapings then began and the ‘judges’ got quite a bit of heat, particularly Vickie Guerrero who was booed out of the building. Goldust then came out and cut a promo on Aksana, asking her “why she did what she did” last week during the Wedding Ceremony. She said that now her visa/immigration issues were sorted out she didn’t need Goldust and she didn’t love him. Naomi appeared and challenged Aksana to a match later on in the show (to no reaction). Kaitlin won a boring arm-wrestling contest. Amusingly, when Matt Striker mentioned that this season of NXT would end in four weeks, a large majority of the crowd cheered. This was acknowledged by Striker as he laughed before continuing with the contest. During the arm wrestling matches, Michael Cole was shown on the titantron – he was fast asleep. Classic!

One of the Bella Twins was defeated by AJ in a boring match to … once again … no reaction, except when a loud voice boomed over the speakers *AVAST VIRUS DATABASE HAS BEEN UPDATED* – seriously! The entire arena laughed along with Michael Cole, who clearly found it amusing. For a second, I thought the Raw General Manager had invaded NXT. AJ then won a competition to identify superstars from old photos. The superstars featured were Jack Swagger, Jerry the King Lawler (who nobody guessed right as he was pretty unidentifiable), John Morrison, Mark Henry and Eve. Vickie Guerrero then attacked Kaitlyn backstage after Kaitlin told Vickie that she had a huge rear end. In the main event, Naomi defeated Aksana in a really bad match which featured mistimed spots, too many rest holds (from Aksana) and kicks that didn’t even come CLOSE to connecting (but were sold anyway). Kelly Kelly and Goldust celebrated after the match and Aksana was distraught.

On to Superstars: Drew McIntyre defeated Kaval in the match of the night. A great contest with good moves and superb action, including a crazy rolling kick from Kaval onto McIntyre on the steel steps and a suplex from McIntyre onto the side ring-apron. McIntyre won after hitting the Futureshock DDT. McIntyre was majorly over with the crowd and received a great ovation afterwards.

Now for Smackdown: Edge came out to a HUGE reaction and spoke about David Otunga. He also said that he would become a 10 time World Champion after defeating Kane at Survivor Series. The Nexus then appeared (minus Wade Barrett) and surrounded the ring. Before they could attack Edge, however, Vickie Guerrero appeared and stopped them by threatening to cancel Otunga’s match with Edge if they stepped in the ring. Vickie said that Teddy Long had been detained at customs (perhaps he was smuggling something), and thus she was in charge for the night. Guerrero changed the match to a lumberjack match involving the entire Smackdown roster and the other Nexus members.

Alberto Del Rio defeated Kofi Kingston in an okay match after “injuring” Kofi’s arm on the ringpost. Del Rio made Kofi tap with his patented armbar submission. Both were over with the crowd, but not in a huge way … I’m surprised how much Kingston has fallen since his feud with Randy Orton last year. After the match, Mysterio appeared and 619’ed Del Rio. Note: during Del Rio’s entrance, his personal announcer’s voice was piped in as opposed to him being live in the ring. I guess he missed his flight.

Natalya defeated Layla in a short match which was okay. Layla submitted to the Sharpshooter after about 1 second.

David Otunga defeated Edge to retain his Nexus membership in an average match. Once again, Edge was super-over. During the match, Otunga was beaten down by the Smackdown roster whenever he was thrown out, and Edge was at one point dragged off the apron by Alberto Del Rio which incited a riot involving all the Superstars. Del Rio then received a dropkick in the face for his troubles. During the chaos, Kane appeared and waited for about 30 seconds before deciding to interfere and choke-slam Edge. I think something may have gone a little awry communication-wise during the ending, as everybody was just standing around, looking at each other, wondering what to do. It was probably Otunga’s fault.

Dolph Ziggler defeated MVP to retain the IC belt in a decent contest. MVP was NOT over in the slightest, and Ziggler received more cheers during the match. Dolph pinned MVP after the Zig Zag, although MVP’s feet were on the ropes and the referee didn’t see them …

Cody Rhodes came out and cut a great promo advising us to brush, wash and floss our bad teeth regularly. He even handed out free mouthwash and gave a kid in the front row a toothbrush. Rhodes got a great ovation following a titantron video/tutorial on good oral hygiene! I’m not sure why the audience loved him so much …

In a non-title match, Big Show defeated Kane via choke-slam following interference from Edge, who appeared on the ramp with Paul Bearer (who was tied up in a wheelchair). Edge implied that Paul may take a nasty tumble off the edge of the ramp if Kane took one step further! Show took advantage of the distraction for the win. The match was much better than it had any right to be, and both wrestlers were over with the audience.

Following the main event, a tag team dark match took place pitting Kane and Alberto Del Rio vs. Edge and Rey Mysterio. Everyone who had got up to leave after the main event promptly sat back down. After approximately 3 minutes, Rey 619’ed Del Rio and Edge immediately speared him for the win. Good stuff!

All in all, a good show that probably won’t come off that great on TV. Still, a great experience for me and my boy (the latter who, incidentally, had never seen a match before attending this taping!)