A video recaps Wade Barrett vs. Big Show from last week. Big Show had the match in hand until Justin Gabriel and Heath Slater came down to save Barrett. Ezekiel Jackson then came out and assaulted the Big Show, including hitting him with an amazing delayed body slam.
Wade Barrett’s music hits and he makes his way to the ring accompanied by Heath Slater, Justin Gabriel, and Ezekiel Jackson. All the men grab microphones when they get in the ring. Barrett says it gives him great pleasure to announce that Big Show will not be here this evening so they’ll take the opportunity to introduce themselves to the Smackdown audience. Barrett introduces himself and says he’s assisted in revolutionizing Monday Night Raw as the leader of Nexus for the past six months until the group dismissed him. Since then he’s seen the error in his ways because the Nexus shouldn’t have been just about him – it should have been about the entire group. That’s what this is all about. This is the Corre.
Ezekiel Jackson introduces himself. For weeks Teddy Long has been promoting his imminent arrival on Smackdown. He’s definitely a proud member of the Smackdown roster but he’s extremely proud to be a member of the Corre. Heath Slater introduces himself and says he’s the one-man rock band. One reason why Nexus was so dominating was because of him. Slater says we haven’t seen anything yet. Justin Gabriel introduces himself and says he’s from Cape Town, South Africa but now Smackdown is his home. The Corre is his family. Now we can watch him every Friday night delivering the most spectacular move in WWE – the sternum crushing 450 Splash.
Barrett says for those who witnessed the destruction the original Nexus caused that will pale in comparison to what the Corre will achieve on Smackdown. Teddy Long’s music hits and the Smackdown General Manager makes his way to the stage. Long says he’s not naïve. Sometimes things happen that he might not like but what the four of them need to understand is before they make grand stands about taking out everything they see, he is still the General Manager and in charge. If the four of them are going to start playing outside the rules, then they’ve got a problem.
Barrett asks where the hostilities are coming from. They respect him as an authority figure. Barrett says he should be happy they’re on the show, coupled with the fact that they’re in the Royal Rumble. They’ll be representing Smackdown. If they’re representing Smackdown it’s because they want to work with him, not against him. Long is going to go down in history as the General Manager who presided over the show when they came together as a group as the Corre.
Long says they can call themselves the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria for all he cares. Long saw what they did on Raw and they’re not going to trick him into thinking they’re working together with him. Long says he’s not going to stand here and let Barrett lead them. Barrett says he never said anything about leading because the Corre doesn’t have a leader. This is about equals. Long says that’s good. The other thing they need to learn is he’s not an anonymous General Manager. He’s not a chirping computer. Long saw what they did on Raw and they’re not bringing that to his show just because they have the numbers. Last week they ganged up on the Big Show and that’s the first time they ever came together on Smackdown. If they try that nonsense again then it’ll be the last time.
Jackson says they’re extremely disappointed that he didn’t introduce them to Smackdown with an open mind. Jackson says they can take Smackdown to a whole new level. Long says they can all be cool as long as they play within the rules. If they don’t they can either like Smackdown or they can leave it. Holla-Holla, playa!
Alberto Del Rio’s music hits and he makes his way into the arena. The Corre continues to stand in the ring as he makes his entrance. Del Rio has a microphone and says he knows they’re new on Smackdown so he’ll introduce himself. He is Alberto Del Rio, but we already know that. Del Rio says they’re welcome on Smackdown but there’s something they need to know. This is his show and he’s the man who’s going to win the Royal Rumble just because it’s his destiny. Del Rio will take on R-Truth next.
Ricardo Rodriguez is in the ring and he does the formal introduction of Alberto Del Rio. This is the best act in WWE. It’s at least the best act on Smackdown. R-Truth then makes his tired entrance.
Alberto Del Rio vs. R-Truth
They lock up and Del Rio powers him to the corner. Del Rio hits a cheap kick after breaking the hold. Del Rio whips him to the opposite corner but R-Truth explodes out with a clothesline. Del Rio rolls to the outside so R-Truth follows and punches. R-Truth slaps him and puts him in the ring. R-Truth avoids an elbow drop and gets a two count. R-Truth applies an arm bar and…
We cut to the back where EMTs run into Teddy Long’s office. Dolph Ziggler and Vickie Guerrero are standing over a fallen Teddy Long, as is Michael Tarver, surprisingly. No mention is made of Tarver. They’re trying to see if Long is alive and if anyone saw anything. Back in the ring R-Truth hits a splash in the corner and puts Del Rio on the top rope. R-Truth hits a top rope hurricanrana and clotheslines him over the top rope. Rodriguez helps Del Rio up as we go to commercial.
We come back from the break to see Del Rio punch R-Truth and send him to the corner. Del Rio runs into a boot and R-Truth goes to the second rope. Del Rio quickly rips him off the second rope and gets a one count. Del Rio knees him in the back of the head a few times and hits a snapmare. Del Rio applies a chin lock but R-Truth soon fights up and punches out. R-Truth goes into the ropes and runs right into a drop-toe-hold for a near fall.
We go backstage to see Teddy Long strapped to a gurney. They say he has a good pulse but he’s unconscious. Vickie Guerrero is worried about him but the EMT asks for the room to be cleared so they can do their jobs. Back in the ring we see R-Truth clothesline Del Rio and dropkick him. R-Truth hits a sit-out front suplex for a near fall. Del Rio counters a suplex and shoves him to the corner. Del Rio hits a step-up enzuigiri for a near fall. Michael Cole relays information from a source that Teddy Long suffered severe trauma to the back of the head.
Del Rio kicks R-Truth and goes for his Cross Arm Breaker but R-Truth shoves him to the corner. R-Truth hits a hip toss and gets the crowd into it. R-Truth goes into the ropes and Ricardo Rodriguez grabs his legs. Del Rio quickly capitalizes by snapping his arm off the top rope. Del Rio then gets the Cross Arm Breaker and the submission victory.
Winner by Submission: Alberto Del Rio
Match Rating: *
We see the EMTs loading Teddy Long into the ambulance as a bunch of the guys who wrestle on Superstars watch on. They’re not busy tonight anyway. The ambulance rides off to the hospital.
Vickie Guerrero is talking to Dolph Ziggler about Teddy Long. They enter the office and The Corre is in there. They say they just heard about Teddy Long and they had nothing to do with that. Slater says they just wanted to set the record straight because she’s in charge. Barrett says if they need any assistance then they’re at her service. Vickie thinks about it and says her boyfriend is facing Edge in two weeks at the Royal Rumble. Tonight one of them will face Edge and she wants them to live up to their reputation.
The announcers talk about this very newsworthy half hour of Smackdown. Teddy Long was taken out and Vickie Guerrero is now in charge. They then discuss the Royal Rumble match and bring us into the numbers video.
Tonight we’ll see Rey Mysterio take on “Dashing” Cody Rhodes.
Layla w/ Michelle McCool vs. Beth Phoenix
Beth quickly powers Layla to the corner but Layla quickly comes back with kicks and punches. Beth stops a whip but lowers her head and eats a kick. Beth counters a dropkick and hits the giant swing. Beth steamrolls her and gets a near fall. Beth gets Layla on her shoulder but she slides off and hits an arm breaker. Layla kicks and gets a near fall. Layla applies a key lock to Beth’s injured arm but Beth powers up and drops Layla to the mat. The ANNOYING Sign Guy is trying to get more face time on TV. They need to ban him from events. I cannot stand that guy.
Beth comes back with clotheslines and a nice slingshot suplex for a near fall. Beth sends her to the corner and runs into an elbow. Layla goes for an arm bar but Beth counters into a backbreaker. Beth then hits the Glam Slam for the win.
Winner by Pinfall: Beth Phoenix
Match Rating: *
Rey Mysterio is walking backstage. He’ll take on “Dashing” Cody Rhodes next.
The announcers hype up the Mashable Award WWE won for the “Stand Up For WWE” campaign.
Rey Mysterio vs. “Dashing” Cody Rhodes
Charles Robinson, my favorite referee ever, is the official of the match. Rhodes quickly grabs Mysterio’s leg and pushes him to the corner. Rhodes punches Mysterio and applies a headlock. Mysterio whips him off but Rhodes is able to drop him with a clothesline. Mysterio quickly kicks Rhodes away and hits a head-scissors takeover. Rhodes runs into a boot. Rhodes charges again but catches the boot and kicks Mysterio in the knee. Rhodes exposes Mysterio’s knee brace and works over the leg. Rhodes drops a knee on the leg and twists the joint. Mysterio kicks him off and slingshots over. Rhodes catches him with a kick and slides him out of the ring but Mysterio lands on his feet.
Mysterio ducks a baseball slide so Rhodes shoves him into the steps. Rhodes charges into a drop-toe-hold, sending him face first into the steps. Mysterio puts him in the ring and drops him with a top rope seated senton. Mysterio ducks a clothesline and hits a springboard cross-body block for a near fall. Rhodes pushes him to the ropes but lowers his head and eats a kick. Rhodes quickly comes back with a Russian Leg Sweep for a two count. Rhodes kicks Mysterio and goes for a sunset flip but Mysterio rolls through. Rhodes ducks the kick but can’t avoid the dropkick to the face for a near fall. Mysterio dropkicks him into the ropes and hits a 619. Rhodes immediately grabs his face and Mysterio hits a top rope splash for the win.
Winner by Pinfall: Rey Mysterio
Match Rating: * 1/2
The announcers talk about the exposed knee brace going into Cody Rhodes’ face during the 619. Rhodes is still holding his face as trainers come out. Rhodes is implying that his nose is broken. Mysterio celebrates his win with the fans.
The announcers talk about Teddy Long and send it to Todd Grisham, who is backstage with an update. Grisham says he was just taken to a local hospital… and that’s all we get as Alex Riley interrupts him. Riley says he’s a nerd and he should stop talking about people that aren’t on the show. It’s time to talk about people who are and The Miz is shown on camera. Michael Cole squeals, literally. Grisham asks why he’s on the show. The Miz says he’s the WWE Champion and he can do whatever he wants. The Miz is here tonight because after what he did to Randy Orton on Raw, he’s like to share it with everyone.
Tonight Edge will take on a member of The Corre in our main event.
“Dashing” Cody Rhodes is backstage with the doctor. The doctor says he nose is broken and he’s given a mirror. Rhodes nearly cries and the doctor sets it. We never actually see the nose.
Tony Chimel explains the rules of our Amateur Wrestling Challenge. Whoever gets the pin or the most points in three minutes will be the winner. Jack Swagger makes his way to the ring and Kofi Kingston, his opponent, follows him.
Amateur Wrestling Challenge
Jack Swagger vs. Kofi Kingston
Jack Swagger has the amateur wrestling headgear on. The match begins and Swagger takes him down, quickly getting 2 points for that. Kingston gets a point for no reason other than getting up. Swagger takes him down and rolls him around the mat. Kingston gets up and gets another point. It’s 4-2 in Swagger’s favor. Swagger gets another takedown and gets a two count for that. Kingston gets up and it’s 6-3 now. They don’t touch until there’s 1:10 left. Swagger gets another two points for having Kingston on his back for two seconds. It’s 8-4 now. Swagger gets another takedown and rolls on his back. Swagger rubs his head into the mat. Kingston takes Swagger down out of nowhere and gets a few more points but Swagger win 10-9.
Winner by Points: Jack Swagger
Match Rating: N/A
Swagger shoves Kingston but he quickly comes back with the Trouble in Paradise. Kingston then drops him with a big cross-body block.
They show a video recapping The Cutting Edge segment from last week. Edge embarrassed Vickie Guerrero so Dolph Ziggler punched him out. Edge got him out of the ring and went to Spear Vickie but Ziggler pulled him out of the ring just in time. Ziggler then hit a Zig-Zag against the steel steps and made out with Vickie Guerrero.
Edge will take on a member of the Corre in tonight’s main event.
Trent Barreta vs. Drew McIntyre
The announcers remind us of Barreta’s upset win over Drew McIntyre last week. McIntyre then attacked him backstage and stopped when Kelly Kelly was angrily watching him. She told him to grow up.
McIntyre misses a punch and Barreta quickly punches back. McIntyre immediately gets on the offensive and takes him down. McIntyre punches away at him and stomps him. McIntyre viciously clubs him in the corner and hits a nasty snap suplex for a near fall. McIntyre pushes him and sends him to the ropes. Barreta counters a back body drop into a dropkick. Barreta kicks McIntyre through the ropes and goes for a springboard senton but McIntyre counters with a powerbomb. That gets him a near fall. McIntyre puts him on the top rope but Barreta is able to kick him away. Barreta gets on top and McIntyre quickly catches him with a top rope belly-to-belly suplex for the win.
Winner by Pinfall: Drew McIntyre
Match Rating: 1/2 *
Drew McIntyre offers his hand and Barreta punches him out of the ring. McIntyre loses it and viciously takes him down. McIntyre punches away at him until Kelly Kelly makes her way to the ring. Kelly gets on the apron and tells him to stop it. McIntyre drops Barreta and says he hit him first. That is true. Kelly then goes to check on Barreta. McIntyre tries to plead his case but she doesn’t care. Kelly tells him to leave her alone. McIntyre walks off upset.
Edge will take on a member of The Corre tonight.
The Miz and Alex Riley make their way to the ring. Michael Cole stands up as they come to the ring, giving them a standing ovation. The crowd boos wildly and Miz tells them to tell him how they really feel. The Miz says there’s a popular saying that they may have heard of – “Awesome is as awesome does.” The Miz says being awesome is about doing awesome. Last Monday on Raw he proved how awesome he is by doing awesome to Randy Orton. They show us footage of Orton beating Dolph Ziggler and Miz immediately attacking him afterwards. The Miz put him through the barricade. The Miz says the record will show that he’s The Miz and he’s…
Edge interrupts him before he can finish. Edge says he’s The Miz and he’s dumb. Edge says he’s sick of the Raw rejects coming to Smackdown thinking they run the place. Edge says he’s wasting everyone’s time about what he did to Randy Orton, skirting around the fact that he did it after he wrestled Dolph Ziggler. The Miz says what he did to Orton is nothing compared to what he’ll do to him on this coming Raw. Edge says he’s low on the list of the things he has to do tonight. Tonight Edge has his hands full with The Corre so he’ll deal with him on Monday. Edge tells him to get out of his ring.
The Miz gets out of the ring but Alex Riley stays in the ring. Riley screams on the microphone and immediately gets Speared down. Miz drags him out of the ring and takes off his jacket. The Miz gets on the apron but quickly backs down when he sees Edge is ready for him. Edge will take on a member of The Corre next.
The Corre makes their way to the ring with new, terrible music. EXCUSE ME! Vickie Guerrero comes out to the stage to insane heat. Before the match begins she’s here to introduce the special guest commentator – her boyfriend, the future World Heavyweight Champion Dolph Ziggler. Ziggler joins the announcers at the table. The Corre talk about who will take Edge on and it looks like it’ll be Justin Gabriel.
Edge vs. Justin Gabriel w/ The Corre
Charles Robinson, my favorite referee, is back for another match. Edge wrenches the arm and applies an arm bar. Gabriel punches out but quickly gets kicked down. Edge punches and whips him hard to the corner. Edge kicks away at him and sends him to the ropes. Gabriel slides through his legs and goes for a roundhouse kick that Edge ducks. Edge quickly follows up with the Edge-O-Matic for a near fall. Gabriel punches and kicks Edge down. Gabriel chokes him in the corner with his boot. Gabriel kicks him in the corner but Edge comes back with punches and elbows. Edge puts him in the corner but runs into an elbow. Edge counters a head-scissors attempt by putting him on the apron and big booting him off. So far this match is a snoozer.
We come back from the break to see Gabriel kicking Edge and getting a two count. During the commercial, Gabriel kicked Edge in the leg. Wow! Gabriel applies a grounded abdominal stretch but Edge gets out of it. Edge gets to his feet but runs into an STO. Gabriel gets on the top rope for a 450 Splash but Edge gets to his feet. Gabriel dives off the top and right into a dropkick. Both men are down but they answer the count.
Gabriel runs into a flapjack and he rolls out to the apron. Gabriel gets up and gets snapped off the top rope, sending him to the outside with a thud. Edge sends him back into the ring and goes to the top rope. Gabriel cuts him off with a big kick to the temple and gets on the second rope. Edge blocks the superplex and head-butts him off. Edge hits a cross-body for a near fall. Edge sets up for the Spear and knocks Wade Barrett off the apron when he goes for a distraction. Edge spears Slater off the apron but can’t avoid an Ezekiel Jackson clothesline. Gabriel then crawls over and picks up the win.
Winner by Pinfall: Justin Gabriel
Match Rating: * 1/4
The Corre surrounds Edge. Edge fights them off but Jackson clotheslines him down. Heath Slater hits an STO and Barrett hits the Wasteland. They then set Edge up and Justin Gabriel kills him with a beautiful 450 Splash. The Corre raise their arms and pose over the broken Edge. They leave the ring and Dolph Ziggler gets in. Ziggler knees by his head and puts one foot on Edge. Ziggler smiles and his music plays. Vickie holds the World Heavyweight Championship in her arms as the show ends.
Quick Match Results
Alberto Del Rio def. R-Truth via Submission
Beth Phoenix def. Layla
Rey Mysterio def. “Dashing” Cody Rhodes
Jack Swagger def. Kofi Kingston via 10-9 points (Amateur Wrestling Challenge)
Drew McIntyre def. Trent Barreta
Justin Gabriel def. Edge (non-title)
Bump of the Night: Edge big booting Gabriel off the apron
Match of the Night: Mysterio vs. Rhodes * 1/2 (Best of the worst)
This just wasn’t a good Smackdown tonight. I thought the show started off hot with the introduction of the Corre and the fall of Teddy Long but it quickly lost focus after that. The first half hour was great and the rest was just random stuff happening for no reason other than to fill time until the Royal Rumble.
Like I already said I enjoyed the opening segment with the Corre and Teddy Long. It was a simple but effective segment that got some good heat from it. The takeout of Teddy Long was done well but I hope they don’t continue pretending to not know what happened to him until he wakes up from his coma in a few weeks and reveals it as the Corre.
That’s as far as my enjoyment went. Thank goodness for the Teddy Long thing because I don’t know if I could have sat through a full Del Rio/R-Truth match again for the third time. There’s still no explanation for why Raw and Smackdown wrestlers are just going back and forth on the shows. The divas match wasn’t anything to write home about and neither was Rhodes vs. Mysterio. It’s all just filler for the Rumble. Edge’s promo with the Miz was a waste of time that was just an attempt to get the Champion vs. Champion match over on Raw. That match should feel like a big deal and it should promote itself but we’ve seen it in the past a few too many times and it’s lost the luster. The main event that followed was just a snoozefest. They kicked each other a few times, Ezekiel Jackson clotheslined Edge, and that’s it. Thrilling and compelling television. The beat down was the usual. I think Ziggler should have come in and hit a cheap Zig-Zag. They need to do a little more to make Ziggler look ruthless and I think that would’ve worked. Oh well, I don’t want to play armchair quarterback so I’ll stop there.
Final Rating: **
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