“Yes, sir, we promised you a great main event…” The WWE video leads us into the show.
A video package airs hyping up Smackdown’s newest superstar Wade Barrett. It talks about him taking on the biggest names on Raw and now he’s taking on Smackdown’s biggest superstar (literally) the Big Show tonight.
The Smackdown intro video plays and we’re brought into the arena with a big fireworks display. Josh Mathews, Matt Striker, and Michael Cole welcome us to the show. Tonight will feature the return of the Cutting Edge. The special guest will be Dolph Ziggler, Edge’s opponent for the World Heavyweight Championship at the Royal Rumble. His ex-wife Vickie Guerrero will be in the ring as well.
Ricardo Rodriguez is in the ring and he announces Alberto Del Rio to the ring. The announcers talk about him interrupting Shawn Michaels on Raw, a classic moment. Alberto Del Rio introduces himself and says he knows people in the South are a little slow but they know there is no one like him on Raw or Smackdown. Del Rio tells them not to get angry because it’s not his fault. It’s his destiny. In three weeks he’ll destroy their dreams and their hero’s dreams. Like he told Shawn Michaels on Raw, when he wins the Royal Rumble he will become the new Mr. WrestleMania.
R-Truth’s music hits and he makes his way to the ring. He asks Birmingham what’s up and then looks at Del Rio. It’s three weeks from the Royal Rumble and Del Rio has already lost his mind. R-Truth gets in the ring and says he’s going to explain something to Del Rio. He won’t win the Royal Rumble because of his cars, creepy ring announcer, or his destiny. A championship match on the world’s biggest stage is one thing Del Rio can’t buy or inherit. You’ve got to own that on your own, buddy. R-Truth says it’s simple. You earn it by stepping up to the plate like a man – the man that he can’t be. R-Truth calls him “Lucy” and says that’s the truth.
“Dashing” Cody Rhodes comes out to the stage and says it’s his pleasure to inform them that “Dashing” is in at the Royal Rumble and everyone else is out. If you don’t look like him then you’re going over the top rope and back to your undashing, ungroomed lifestyles. With beauty comes experience. He’s 25 years old and he’s already been in three Rumble matches. His face will main event WrestleMania.
Rey Mysterio’s music hits and he comes out to the stage to get something straight. Winning the Royal Rumble isn’t about looking like a diva or destiny – it’s about what you’re made of on the inside. It’s about beating the odds and surviving. That’s what he’s been doing his whole entire life. Del Rio says no one wants to hear Mysterio’s stories. He’ll destroy Mysterio like the dog that he is. Mysterio asks how many Rumbles has Del Rio won. Mysterio says none and he’s actually won one. Rhodes says Mysterio winning the Rumble was SOOOO 2006, and like the fashions of 2006, he’s out of style. That’s what’s up!
R-Truth isn’t happy about Rhodes stealing his catchphrase. R-Truth says he has a “dashing” catchphrase for him and he sucker punches Rhodes. A brawl ensues until General Manager Teddy Long comes out to the stage to stop it. If they want to mix it up then they’ll do it in the ring. Alberto Del Rio and Cody Rhodes will take on R-Truth and Rey Mysterio in a tag team match next!
Alberto Del Rio & “Dashing” Cody Rhodes vs. R-Truth & Rey Mysterio
Charles Robinson is in the ring to officiate this match. He’s my favorite referee. Mysterio and Rhodes start it out with a lock up. Rhodes powers him to the corner and kicks him, not giving the clean break. Rhodes gets a side headlock and gets whipped off. Rhodes hits a shoulder block and gloats about it. Rhodes puts him in the corner and Mysterio blocks a punch, coming back with some kicks. Mysterio hits some shoulder thrusts in the corner and a running dropkick to the face.
Del Rio is tagged in and the two archrivals stand across the ring. Del Rio takes Mysterio down with a quick shot and puts him in the corner. Del Rio hits a snapmare and kicks him in the spine for a two count. Del Rio knees him in the corner before being backed up by Robinson. Mysterio elbows Rhodes and comes right at Del Rio but he’s quickly taken down. Del Rio then throws him out of the ring sternum first. Del Rio sends him into the barricade before throwing him in the ring for a two count. Rhodes tags in and he punches away at Mysterio before hitting a big stomp. Rhodes misses a Ric Flair-style knee drop but is able to cut Mysterio off on the top rope. Rhodes goes for a superplex but Mysterio punches him off. Mysterio comes off the top rope with a cross-body and both men are down now.
R-Truth and Del Rio are tagged in. R-Truth hits some clotheslines and a slap. R-Truth hits a hip toss and asks “what’s up”. R-Truth hits a sit-out front suplex for a near fall. R-Truth clotheslines Del Rio over the top rope and pulls the top rope down as Rhodes charges, sending him over as well. Mysterio then drops both men with a nice Asai Moonsault!
We come back from the break to see Del Rio break out of an R-Truth headlock. Del Rio kicks him in the corner and tags in Rhodes, who hits a nice front suplex. Rhodes charges into a drop-toe-hold before getting slapped in the face. R-Truth blocks a whip and knocks both men down. Rhodes then takes him out with a clothesline as Ricardo Rodriguez fans Del Rio at ringside. Rhodes viciously stomps away at R-Truth and punches away. Del Rio is tagged in and he hits a running dropkick to the ribs for a near fall. Del Rio hits a beautiful back suplex for another near fall. Del Rio applies a knee to the back chin lock but R-Truth fights up and elbows him. Del Rio quickly stops him by slamming him down and tagging in Rhodes.
Rhodes prevents R-Truth from tagging Mysterio and knees him a few times in the midsection. Rhodes hits a Russian Leg Sweep for a near fall. Rhodes applies a body scissors chin lock combo. R-Truth breaks out of it and hits the electric chair drop! Both men are down once again.
Mysterio is tagged in and he hits a seated senton from the top rope on Rhodes. Mysterio knocks Del Rio off the apron and a springboard cross-body block for a near fall. Rhodes kicks Mysterio and sends him to the corner but runs into a boot. Mysterio goes for a second rope sunset flip but Rhodes rolls through. They trade pins and Del Rio runs in to break it up. R-Truth quickly takes him out with a spinning heel kick. Rhodes clotheslines R-Truth over the top rope and goes for an Alabama Slam on Mysterio but Mysterio counters into a head-scissors, putting him in position. Mysterio hits the 619 and slips off the top with a splash that connects anyway for the win!
Winners by Pinfall: R-Truth & Rey Mysterio
Match Rating: **
Tonight we’ll see Big Show take on Wade Barrett. We’ll also see the Cutting Edge with special guests Dolph Ziggler and Vickie Guerrero.
Str8 out of Brooklyn with JTG plays. JTG talks about CM Punk’s Nexus initiations and the Dolph Ziggler/Vickie Guerrero relationship. This didn’t work for me.
The announcers talk about how Big Show was in control of the Fatal Four Way match to determine the #1 Contender at the Royal Rumble until Wade Barrett came out and attacked him. They wonder what Wade Barrett is doing on Smackdown.
Todd Grisham is backstage with Wade Barrett. He’s asked about awakening the beast. Barrett says when he was on Raw he was like Julius Caesar, a conquering dictator that became so powerful that everyone conspired against him. That’s how scared they were. He’s on Smackdown to own it. Big Show probably won’t see it the same as he does but the fact that he attacked him shows that he respects him. Just like Raw and John Cena, he only goes after the biggest. Tonight he’ll take down the filthiest and foulest beast that there is. When he’s finished, we will all hail Caesar.
A video hyping Ezekiel Jackson coming to Smackdown airs. Trent Barreta is already in the ring as we come back. They show footage of Barreta’s NASTY missed senton on New Year’s Eve in a match against Drew McIntyre. The referee stopped the match but McIntyre still hit the Future Shock on the outside.
Trent Barreta vs. Drew McIntyre
Barreta knocks him off the apron before he gets in the ring. McIntyre is angry as he runs into the ring. The referee starts the match and Barreta ducks a clothesline. Barreta punches away at him in the corner before being backed up by the referee. McIntyre explodes out of the corner with a big boot and viciously punches away at him. McIntyre yanks Barreta out of the ring and bounces him off the announcer’s table. McIntyre backhands him and he drops! Can you say bitch slap?
McIntyre puts him in the ring and gloats to the fans. McIntyre clubs him a few times in the corner before hitting a short-arm clothesline. McIntyre waits for Barreta to get up and drops him with a dropkick for a near fall. McIntyre applies an arm bar but Barreta fights up. McIntyre clubs him down and taunts again. Barreta flips through a German Suplex and takes McIntyre down with a dropkick for a near fall. Barreta springboards off the top rope but McIntyre ducks it and hits a belly-to-belly suplex into the corner! McIntyre says Barreta has disrespected him and goes to press slam him over the top rope but Barreta slides off and rolls McIntyre up for the win!
Winner by Pinfall: Trent Barreta
Match Rating: * 1/4
Trent Barreta quickly runs up the ramp, bleeding from the mouth, as McIntyre looks livid in the ring! McIntyre can’t believe what just happened!
Big Show is seen walking backstage. He’ll be in action against Wade Barrett next!
Trent Barreta is walking about backstage feeling good about himself when Drew McIntyre sneak attacks him. McIntyre asks if he feels like a winner and stops when he sees a furious Kelly Kelly looking at him. She walks off and McIntyre chases her down. McIntyre says he knows how she thinks he has problems with aggression and that looked horrible but he was really just going to ask for a rematch… but he lost his head. Kelly thought he had some decency after he helped her last week but she was wrong. McIntyre says he really cares about her but this is the way he’s built. Kelly says she doesn’t want to be around someone who takes pleasure in beating on other people. Kelly tells him to GROW UP and walks off.
Big Show vs. Wade Barrett
Wade Barrett has some new music and I don’t like it. I actually like the Nexus song. Big Show quickly assaults Barrett and punches him around before chopping his chest. Big Show hits a body shot and sends him to the ropes but Barrett rebounds with a dropkick to the knee. Barrett kicks him in the face a few times, taking Big Show down, and punches him. Barrett kicks him in the ribs and works on the knee. Big Show writhes on the mat and Barrett covers but Big Show kicks out before the referee even counts. Barrett applies a leg lock but Big Show isn’t giving up. Big Show breaks out with his giant leg.
Big Show blocks a kick and clotheslines him down from his knees. Big Show hits another clothesline and bounces him off the turnbuckle. Big Show hits another clothesline and signals for his finisher. Barrett gets out of the Chokeslam but gets caught again. Barrett pokes him in the eyes but Big Show catches him a third time. All of a sudden Heath Slater and Justin Gabriel run into the ring through the crowd! They attack Big Show and the referee calls for the bell!
Winner by Disqualification: Big Show
Match Rating: *
Big Show winds up fighting them off when all of a sudden Ezekiel Jackson comes to the ring! Jackson gets on the apron and stares down the Big Show! Slater and Gabriel attack Big Show but he fights them off again, even punching a chair into Gabriel’s face. Big Show then turns into a vicious clothesline from Jackson! All four men now take turns beating on Big Show. Wade Barrett directs traffic and Slater hits a TKO on Big Show. Jackson picks Big Show up and hits a DELAYED body slam on the Big Show! Barrett instructs Gabriel to get on the top rope and he hits a BEAUTIFUL 450 Splash! All four men raise their arms and it looks like we have a new Nexus on our hands here!
The announcers talk about the vicious assault on the Big Show by the apparently new Nexus. They replay that amazing body slam and the 450 Splash before showing Barrett with his foot on Show’s chest, raising his arms. During the commercial break, four officials had to help Big Show to his feet.
Michelle McCool w/ Layla vs. Beth Phoenix
They circle the ring and lock up. Phoenix quickly puts McCool on her shoulder and powers her to the corner, hitting some shoulder thrusts. Phoenix sends her to the ropes and hits a hammer throw. Phoenix goes to the second rope but McCool kicks her in the knee. McCool works over the knee that was injured last year with some elbow drops. McCool taunts the crowd and kicks but Phoenix is able to come back with punches. McCool quickly controls her with a leg lock and she gets a near fall. McCool hits a chop block and gloats to Layla only to get rolled up for a near fall. McCool quickly hits the knee and gets a near fall of her own.
McCool punches away and continues working at the knee. McCool goes for the springboard splash on the knee but Phoenix kicks her over the top rope. McCool gets in the ring and walks into some forearms from Phoenix. Phoenix hits a Tully Blanchard springboard suplex for a near fall. Phoenix goes for the Glam Slam but McCool kicks the knee. Phoenix ducks a kick and goes for the Glam Slam but McCool rolls through and goes for the pin but Phoenix rolls through that to pick up the win!
Winner by Pinfall: Beth Phoenix
Match Rating: * 1/2
That may be the best divas match I’ve seen on TV in quite some time. I’m very impressed.
The Cutting Edge is still to come tonight with special guests Dolph Ziggler and Vickie Guerrero.
The Shawn Michaels Hall of Fame video plays. What a moment that was on Monday night.
Teddy Long is backstage with Vickie Guerrero and Dolph Ziggler. Long is upset about her choices last week but Long gets a call about the Wade Barrett situation and walks off. Ziggler says Edge will do everything in his power to stir things up between them but they’re stronger than that. Ziggler also apologizes about his angry comments last week and he doesn’t want her to find a new boyfriend. Vickie says she forgives him and they’ll be great on the Cutting Edge. They rub noses and it’s just disgusting.
Kofi Kingston will be in the ring next.
The new Intercontinental Champion makes his way to the ring. As he does they show footage of his win last week. Vickie Guerrero was angry about Ziggler losing and made an immediate rematch, which Kingston won again. Kingston grabs a microphone and says after five long, hard months he has done everything in his power to get the title back. Finally he can stand before us and say he is the Intercontinental Champion once again. It feels good because even though Dolph Ziggler had Vickie Guerrero in his corner he feels like he had each of us in his, so he thanks the fans. Kingston said he learned a lot but before we can find out what he learned…
Jack Swagger makes his way to the ring. Swagger says Kingston learned something and he’s proud of him but it’s time for a new lesson. 2011 is the year of the American – the All-American. He’ll be raising the bar on Smackdown and asks Kingston to join him at the top. Swagger says it’s time for an All-American American service announcement. The ankle lock is a dangerous position to be in. As you lie on your stomach, panic sets in as you realize you’re about to tap out in front of the entire world. Kingston says Swagger wants the championship and he wants him to shut up. Kingston says he’ll make that happen by beating him up right now.
Kofi Kingston vs. Jack Swagger
They circle the ring and lock up. Swagger backs him to the corner but Kingston ducks a clothesline and kicks away at him. Kingston hits an uppercut and sends him hard to the corner. Kingston charges into Swagger’s boots and gets kicked out of the ring.
We come back from the break to see Swagger viciously stomping away at Kingston. During the commercial break Swagger bounced Kingston off the announcer’s table. Swagger chokes Kingston and hits a body slam. Swagger applies an arm bar with his knee pressed on the head. Kingston fights to his feet and punches but Swagger pushes him to the corner and hits a clothesline. Swagger hits a Vader Bomb for a near fall. That move needs a name. Swagger applies an overhead wristlock but Kingston quickly fights up and just as quickly gets slammed back down by the hair. Swagger stomps away and tosses him across the ring. Swagger goes for another Vader Bomb but Kingston avoids it.
Kingston gets to his feet and avoids a splash. Kingston hits some kicks and punches in the corner. Kingston backs up and Swagger goes for a slam but Kingston rolls him up for a near fall. Kingston goes for the ranhei but Swagger counters into a Gutwrench Powerbomb attempt but Kingston gets out of that. Swagger ducks the Trouble in Paradise and hits a belly-to-belly suplex for a near fall! Swagger clubs Kingston and goes for a powerslam but Kingston slides off. Swagger runs into the boots and Kingston hits a sloppy ranhei for the win!
Winner by Pinfall: Kofi Kingston
Match Rating: * 3/4
Kofi Kingston celebrates his win as Swagger lies on the mat looking disappointed with himself.
The Cutting Edge is coming up next with special guests Dolph Ziggler and Vickie Guerrero.
The Cutting Edge
World Heavyweight Champion Edge makes his way to the ring. Edge welcomes us to the Cutting Edge and says last week a lot of people didn’t think he could come out of Last Man Standing against Kane in one piece. Edge says he barely did but he was the last man standing and he’s standing here this week as the World Heavyweight Champion. Edge goes from facing one monster last week to another monster this week – Vickie Guerrero. Her boyfriend is the new number one contender to his championship and his name is Dolph Ziggler.
Dolph Ziggler and Vickie Guerrero make their way to the ring. Edge welcomes them to the show. Edge hopes they can all be mature and professional about this. Edge says there’s a little controversy about his win last week but Vickie says there is no controversy. Vickie says he became the number one contender and he will beat Edge at the Royal Rumble. The heat is amazing. Edge says it’s just like old times. Edge says “This ship has sailed, toots.” Ziggler says if he’s just going to insult his girlfriend then they’ll leave. Ziggler asks for the camera to stop.
Edge tells him to relax. It’s not like he called her a man-eating beast or that she snores in her sleep. It’s not like he said you can go parasailing with a pair of her panties or that she makes weird noises. Vickie excuses herself and says it’s time to put all the garbage out there. For those who don’t know, he and Edge were married a long time ago. She was young and naïve, trying to discover what kind of person she was on the inside. Everyday she lives with the regret that she married him. Edge says she’s ten years older than him and she’s wearing a necklace that says “Cougar”.
Ziggler says she’s a godsend and he wouldn’t know what he’d do without Vickie in his life. Ziggler wonders how Edge could dare to not appreciate her after all she did for him. Ziggler says she breathed life into him, saying he’d never be champion again and that his career was over. Vickie stood by Edge and resuscitated his career. At the Royal Rumble Ziggler is going to pull the plug and finish his title run. Vickie says their love is pure and she brought a clip to show what a better man Dolph Ziggler is. If they ever got married, he’d never do this to her. They show footage from the July 2008 Smackdown when Triple H revealed Edge cheated on Vickie Guerrero the night before their wedding with Alicia Fox. That was a classic.
Edge says he sees where all the hostility is coming from and she screams that it was their wedding day. Edge says he understands and maybe she’s right. Ziggler is more of a man than he is. Cheating is a serious thing and the clip he brought will attest to that. They show footage of Ziggler making out with Kaitlyn two months ago on NXT. Vickie doesn’t look happy. Edge says that looked like Vickie’s NXT rookie Kaitlyn.
Ziggler attacks Edge all of a sudden and punches him down. Edge comes back with a big boot that takes Ziggler out of the ring. Vickie walks up to him and slaps him a few times. Edge looks incensed as Vickie jumps on him. Edge pushes her off and walks away but stops to set up for a Spear! Vickie laughs that he can’t touch her so Edge gets back in the ring! Edge takes off his jacket and Vickie starts begging him off. All of a sudden Ziggler pulls him out of the ring and drives him into the barricade. Ziggler then hits the Zig-Zag into the steel steps! Vickie walks over and stands over Edge with Ziggler. They then disgustingly make out to end the show.
Quick Match Results
R-Truth & Rey Mysterio* def. Alberto Del Rio & “Dashing” Cody Rhodes*
Trent Barreta def. Drew McIntyre
Big Show def. Wade Barrett via DQ
Beth Phoenix def. Michelle McCool
Kofi Kingston def. Jack Swagger (non-title)
Bump of the Night: The Zig-Zag into the steel steps!
Match of the Night: R-Truth & Mysterio vs. Del Rio and Rhodes **
This was a very well done Smackdown. From a wrestling standpoint this was a decent show but from a storyline perspective it was, in my opinion, a homerun. I guess we’ll start off with the big news. We’ve got another Nexus (not named that yet) forming on Smackdown. I didn’t know how to feel about that when I first heard about it but I have to say I’m happy now. The beat down on Big Show was very well done and it was a great image to watch. The addition of Ezekiel Jackson to this group is also a surprise and definitely the right thing to do. Jackson was lost on Raw but he’s too big to not be utilized. In my opinion this is the perfect way to utilize his gifts in an enforcer-type role. I guess this opens up Skip Sheffield’s return for the other side. Maybe we’ll see a War Games match at WrestleMania! Yeah, right… but I can dream.
The other big thing that happened tonight was, of course, the Cutting Edge segment. Dolph Ziggler truly looked like he belonged in the main event scene tonight. Ziggler didn’t say much but the attack on Edge looked strong. He’s not going to become champion at the Rumble but this is a big step for him. Ziggler is a future star and this is a major step. His performance at the Rumble will be a main factor in how far he goes in the future and I think we’ll see an excellent match between him and Edge.
The show opened up with a decent four-way promo putting over the Royal Rumble. The Rumble comes with built in hype so it doesn’t need much but it was good to see Del Rio get some follow up time speaking following Monday night’s event with HBK. My personal pick for the win at the Rumble is Del Rio so you can skip my pick in the predictions. The opening tag match that followed served no true purpose other than it was fun to watch.
I wonder where they’re going with Trent Barreta. I thought he looked good in the match with McIntyre tonight but they need to change those tights and give him a character people can get behind other than the perennial underdog. That worked a little while for Spike Dudley and Colin Delaney but eventually it flops. Barreta can be good but now is the time to capitalize on changing the gimmick. Also, I’ll probably be in the minority, but I enjoyed the quick segment between McIntyre and Kelly Kelly. It was well done but I still think it’s going to go the way of Randy Orton and Stacy Keibler.
Finally, my last bit of breaking news. I enjoyed the diva match tonight! It’s a match that doesn’t mean anything in the long run but I enjoyed it!
Final Rating: ***
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