“Yes, sir, we promised you a great main event…” The WWE video leads us into the show.
The Smackdown video plays and we’re brought into the arena with some fireworks. We’re 16 days away from WrestleMania 27. Josh Mathews and Booker T welcome us to the show. Big Show and Kane will take on Justin Gabriel and Heath Slater for the WWE Tag Team Championships.
The production crew is constructing the “Cole Mine” at ringside. Tony Chimel then introduces the “Voice of WWE” Michael Cole. Cole comes out waving his Slammy Award to massive boos. I’m sorry but this is absolutely hilarious. I love Michael Cole. Cole calls himself a “pop icon” and the Cole Mine a “broadcast palace” and a “fortress of attitude”. How can it get any better than that? Booker T is at his best ripping at Cole right now.
Edge vs. Brodus Clay w/ Alberto Del Rio & Ricardo Rodriguez
They circle the ring and Edge ducks a clothesline. Edge punches but is unable to whip the massive Clay into the corner. Clay sends him to the corner but runs into a boot. Edge jumps off the second rope right into a leg hook belly-to-belly suplex. Clay starts to work on the injured arm of Edge, stretching it out on the rope. Clay wrenches the arm and brings Edge to his knees in pain. Edge fights to his feet but Clay punches him right in the heart. Clay applies a standing arm bar but Edge fights up again. Clay knees him and sends him to the corner but runs into a back elbow. Edge goes for a tornado DDT but Clay pushes him off and clotheslines him down.
Clay goes into the ropes but Edge avoids the falling head-butt. Edge hits a few running forearms and goes for an impaler DDT but clay pushes him to the corner. Clay charges into a drop-toe-hold, putting him face first into the turnbuckle. Edge this a top rope cross-body block but Clay kicks out at two. The kick out sent Edge to the apron. Edge shoulders him and goes for a roll-up but Clay KILLS him with a BANZAI Drop but it’s only a near fall! Clay drags him to the corner and props him up. Clay goes across the ring and charges but Edge avoids the butt bump. Edge goes to the second rope and hits a diving bulldog.
Edge gets up in the corner and the crowd is really feeling it right now. All of a sudden Rodriguez distracts the referee and Del Rio distracts Edge. Clay levels Edge but Edge kicks out at two and a half. All of a sudden Christian runs down and beats up Del Rio. Clay picks him up by the head and head-butts him off the apron. Clay turns and tries to clothesline Edge but Edge ducks it and Spears him for the win!
Winner by Pinfall: Edge
Match Rating: * 3/4
Edge can barely celebrate before Alberto Del Rio runs in and dropkicks him down. Christian runs in and beats up Del Rio before he can really injure Edge. They brawl at ringside and roll right over the announce table. The referees run down and pull them apart.
Smackdown’s General Manager Teddy Long comes out and tells them to break it up. Long says he’s not going to just standby and watch the four of them get into each other’s faces. Tonight our main event match will be Alberto Del Rio taking on Christian. Long says he means one-on-one and to assure that happens, that match will take place inside a STEEL CAGE!
We’ll see the Intercontinental Champion take on the United States Champion next. It’s Kofi Kingston taking on Sheamus!
United States Champion vs. Intercontinental Champion
Sheamus vs. Kofi Kingston
They lock up and Sheamus quickly powers him to the corner. Sheamus quickly takes down Kingston and starts working on the left arm. Kingston rolls out and starts punching Sheamus to the corner. Sheamus reverses a whip to the corner but Kingston avoids the charge. Kingston leaps up to his shoulders and starts punching but Sheamus gives him snake eyes. Sheamus hits a short-arm clothesline for a near fall. Sheamus hits a nice neckbreaker for another near fall. Sheamus drops a knee on the lower back and applies a chin lock. Kingston fights up and elbows out. Kingston goes into the ropes and eats a back elbow from Sheamus.
Sheamus gloats to the crowd and they’re eating it up. Sheamus goes for a neckbreaker but Kingston rolls him up for a quick two count. Sheamus quickly gets back in control by sending him to the corner but loses it quickly when he runs into a pendulum kick. Kingston hits a top rope cross-body block but Sheamus rolls through and goes for a powerslam but Kingston slides off. Sheamus runs into a boot and Kingston punches. Kingston goes into the ropes, counters a powerslam, and hits a Russian leg sweep. Kingston hits a superman punch and the Boom Drop. Kingston signals for his finish but Sheamus rolls to the apron.
Kingston goes to bring him back in but Sheamus snap shots him off the ropes. Kingston counters Sheamus and hits the ranhei, or SOS, but Sheamus grabs the bottom rope just in the nick of time. Sheamus rolls out of the ring and seems to be bleeding from the mouth. Kingston goes outside and jumps off the steps, leveling Sheamus with a superman punch. Sheamus gets out of it and goes behind the stairs. Kingston follows and Sheamus kicks the steps into his knee. Sheamus rolls him into the ring and hits the Brogue Kick for the win!
Winner by Pinfall: Sheamus
Match Rating: ** 1/4
We see some video from two weeks ago in a match between Big Show and Kane. The Corre came out and gave Kane a chair, which he used to crack Big Show with. Kane then assaulted the Corre after that. Then last week Big Show took the Corre out with the chair and then Kane.
Kane and Big Show are backstage. Big Show says they should put their differences aside and put a dent in the Corre. Big Show says they’ll be united and take the Tag Team Titles from the Corre. Big Show asks if Kane remembers how they dominated as tag champions in the past. Kane grabs Big Show by the throat and Big Show grabs him as well. They fight each other off and Kane laughs, saying Big Show “completes” him. Big Show laughs and says he’s crazy. Um, ok.
JOBBER ALERT: Trent Barreta is in the ring with no TV entrance. Cody Rhodes makes his way to the ring with a slowed down version of his song. It sounds so weird. He’s also wearing a towel over his head and is in his suit. This is awesome.
Trent Barreta vs. Cody Rhodes
As soon as the bell rings, Rhodes rips the towel off and beats Barreta down. Barreta desperately gets Rhodes in the corner and the referee backs them up. Rhodes head-butts Barreta in the face with the facemask and does it again. Rhodes hits him one more time with the mask and picks up the win.
Winner by Pinfall: Cody Rhodes
Match Rating: N/A
Rhodes quickly puts the towel back over his head and leaves, keeping his face completely covered.
They show footage from last September when Alberto Del Rio injured Christian, tearing his pectoral muscle after a vicious assault with a chair. They’ll face each other in a cage match tonight.
The announcers hype up Undertaker vs. Triple H at WrestleMania. They then show the video of HBK talking about Undertaker, saying the streak is the hardest thing to try and beat.
Layla makes her way to the ring with Michelle McCool. She’ll be in action next against Kelly Kelly.
Layla w/ Michelle McCool vs. Kelly Kelly
Michelle McCool is on commentary for the match. Charles Robinson, my favorite referee ever, is the official of this match. Layla shoves her and Kelly shoves her right back. Kelly kicks her down in the corner but Layla quickly comes back. Layla runs into a boot and Kelly chokes her out with a head-scissor. Kelly knocks her down and walks on her back. Kelly hits a Thesz Press and clotheslines her down a few times. Kelly hits an X-Factor for a near fall. Kelly sends her to the corner and goes for a handspring back elbow but Layla kicks her down.
Kelly pretty much no sells that and beats on Layla a bit. Kelly knocks her down and McCool distracts her. Layla rips her off the second rope and picks up the win. They spent the whole time talking about Snooki instead of calling any of the match action.
Winner by Pinfall: Layla
Match Rating: 3/4 *
The Corre is making their way to the ring. They’ll defend their titles next against Big Show and Kane.
A Sin Cara video plays. I can’t wait for him to debut.
WWE Tag Team Championship Match
Justin Gabriel & Heath Slater (c) vs. Big Show & Kane
Gabriel starts out against Kane. Kane backs him to the corner and punches away at him. Kane hits a snapmare and a low dropkick to the face for a near fall. Kane sends him to the corner but Gabriel flips over him and tags in Slater. Slater runs into a punch and gets sent to the corner. Kane pummels Slater and hits a sidewalk slam for a near fall. Kane punches away at him in the corner but winds up missing a big boot. Slater works on Kane’s knee and tags in Gabriel. Gabriel continues to work over Kane’s injured leg. Kane fights them off but they keep making frequent tags, preventing him from tagging Big Show. Kane eventually uppercuts Gabriel out of mid-air and tags in Big Show.
Big Show clotheslines Slater a few times and hits a nasty back body drop. Big Show hits a big butt bump in the corner and a running shoulder block. Big Show gets the crowd into it and hits a Chokeslam. Gabriel pulls the referee out of the ring and Scott Armstrong calls for a disqualification.
Winners by Disqualification: Big Show & Kane
Justin Gabriel & Heath Slater remain Tag Team Champions
Match Rating: * 1/2
Kane punches Gabriel down at ringside and throws him into the ring. Big Show goes for a Chokeslam but turns into a nasty clothesline from Ezekiel Jackson. Wade Barrett sends Kane into the barricade and the four of them beat up Big Show. Barrett hits an impressive Wasteland on Big Show. Kane tries to fight the Corre off but they eventually beat him down. Barrett and Jackson send Kane into the steel steps and then set them up over Kane. They beat Big Show down again and then Barrett smashes the steel steps on top of Kane! This is exactly what the Corre needs right now. They clear the announce table and Barrett and Jackson slam Big Show through it! The Corre gets in the ring and celebrates.
Todd Grisham is backstage with Alberto Del Rio. Grisham asks what the ramifications will be when Del Rio steps into a cage for the first time in his career. Del Rio says Long is trying to interfere in his destiny. Del Rio says he’s not an animal.
Chris Masters vs. Jack Swagger
Michael Cole is really putting over his ankle lock. His character is so great. Swagger works over Masters in the ring and takes him down with a clothesline for a one count. Cole is calling his Ankle Lock an “An-Cole Lock”. I LOVE IT! Masters comes back with a Samoan Drop but Swagger quickly comes back. Swagger fights out of a Masterlock and he gets the Ankle Lock applied but Masters gets out. Swagger smashes his ankle off the ring post a few times and he applies the ankle lock for the win.
Winner by Submission: Jack Swagger
Match Rating: N/A
Michael Cole leaves the Cole Mine and applies the An-Cole Lock to Masters! Cole screams, “Come on Lawler” a bunch of times. This is awesome. Cole and Swagger hug before dancing around the ring. This is hilarious.
They show a video of Chris Jericho talking about his upcoming gig on Dancing With The Stars.
Rey Mysterio is walking backstage. He’ll be in action next.
Rey Mysterio vs. Ted DiBiase w/ Maryse
DiBiase kicks Mysterio but Mysterio counters a body slam. Mysterio slides through the legs but DiBiase catches him, punching away at him. Mysterio eventually gets a head-scissor into the turnbuckle but jumps into a dropkick from DiBiase for a near fall. DiBiase drops a knee and stomps away at Mysterio. DiBiase sends him to the ropes but lowers his head and eats a kick. Mysterio counters a powerbomb but DiBiase clotheslines him down for a near fall. DiBiase applies a chin lock but Mysterio fights up and punches out. DiBiase counters into a backbreaker and hits a knee to the spine.
Mysterio punches DiBiase away and goes for a head-scissor but DiBiase counters into a powerslam attempt. Mysterio counters that counter into a spinning DDT! Mysterio hits a head-scissors takeover and goes for a second but DiBiase counters into a slam for a near fall! DiBiase goes for the Million Dollar Dream but Mysterio counters out. Mysterio dropkicks him into position and hits the 619! Mysterio hits a top rope splash and picks up the win!
Winner by Pinfall: Rey Mysterio
Match Rating: * 1/2
Maryse, obviously angered by yet another loss by DiBiase, walks off on him. Rey Mysterio celebrates his win in the ring.
They show footage of Christian returning at Elimination Chamber to save Edge from a vicious assault by Alberto Del Rio. Christian and Alberto Del Rio will face each other in a Steel Cage Match.
They show all the media coverage that came out of the Snooki appearance on Raw. They then run down the WrestleMania card.
The Steel Cage is being lowered. Christian will take on Alberto Del Rio next.
Steel Cage Match
Alberto Del Rio vs. Christian
Charles Robinson, my favorite referee ever, is the official for this huge match. Christian quickly punches away at Del Rio but Del Rio just as quickly comes back with a snapmare and a kick to the back. Christian comes back with a kick and a back body drop. Del Rio blocks Christian sending him into the cage and also blocks a Kill Switch. Del Rio clotheslines him in the corner. Christian whips him to the corner but Del Rio scales the cage and nearly escapes but Christian cuts him off. Del Rio goes to German Suplex him off the top rope but Christian holds on to the cage desperately. Christian tries to scale the cage but Del Rio gets him with a Samoan Drop and they crash to the canvas! That was a nasty bump!
We come back from the break to see Del Rio kick Christian in the head. Del Rio punches and sends him to the ropes but lowers his head and eats a kick. Christian charges but Del Rio sidesteps him, sending Christian face first into the steel cage. Del Rio then dropkicks his face into the cage and grinds it in there. Del Rio stomps him and hits a nice back suplex for a near fall. Del Rio applies a chin lock but Christian fights up and punches out. Del Rio counters and slams him right back down.
Del Rio starts to climb the cage but Christian cuts him off before he can get out. Christian hot shots him off the top rope but Del Rio quickly comes back with a kick. Del Rio puts Christian on his shoulder and goes to slam him into the cage but Christian blocks it. Christian counters into a reverse DDT for a near fall. Christian punches and takes Del Rio down. Christian smashes Del Rio’s face off the cage for a near fall. Del Rio grabs Christian before he can make it to the cage door. Christian begins climbing to the top but Del Rio stops him. Del Rio then scales to the top rope and hits an enzuigiri for a near fall!
Del Rio goes to leave through the cage door but Christian stops him. Del Rio kicks him away but again fails to get out. Del Rio kicks him down and looks at the WrestleMania sign before attempting the Cross Arm Breaker. Christian counters the Cross Arm Breaker into a Kill Switch for a near fall! Christian begins climbing the cage again but Del Rio pulls him down and shoves him twice into the cage. Del Rio kicks him and uses Christian’s body to climb the cage! Del Rio gets on top of the cage and Christian grabs him.
They both sit on top of the cage. Del Rio punches and smashes Christian’s face off the steel. Del Rio goes to get out but Christian out of nowhere struggles over Del Rio and drops to the ground first!
Winner by Escaping the Cage: Christian
Match Rating: ***
Del Rio flips out and attacks Christian with a dropkick. Del Rio sends him over the barricade and grabs a microphone. Del Rio says he’ll destroy him like he’ll destroy Edge at WrestleMania. Del Rio grabs a chair and all of a sudden we hear honking.
Edge is in the car that Del Rio drove into the arena. Edge says it’s a nice Bentley and must’ve cost $200,000-300,000. Edge admires it and says it’d be a shame if something happened to it. Edge threatens to destroy the car and Del Rio begs him not to. Edge grabs a chair and all of a sudden Brodus Clay attacks him from behind! Clay smashes the chair off Edge’s back and Del Rio stands over him, talking trash. Del Rio sets Edge’s arm up on a chair and hits a con-chair-to on the arm! Del Rio stands over Edge as he lays in pain.
Quick Match Results
Edge def. Brodus Clay (non-title)
Sheamus def. Kofi Kingston (non-title)
Cody Rhodes def. Trent Barreta
Layla def. Kelly Kelly
Big Show & Kane def. Justin Gabriel & Heath Slater via DQ (Gabriel & Slater retain the titles)
Jack Swagger def. Chris Masters via Submission
Rey Mysterio def. Ted DiBiase
Christian def. Alberto Del Rio in a Steel Cage Match
Bump of the Night: The top rope Samoan Drop by Del Rio on Christian!
Match of the Night: Christian vs. Del Rio ***
This was an excellent edition of Smackdown. It was a wrestling-heavy show but all the matches had a point and were interesting in some way. We opened the show up with a surprisingly good match between Edge and Brodus Clay. I’ll admit I haven’t really watched NXT since I stopped recapping it. OK, I haven’t watched one episode since I stopped recapping it. Given that, I wasn’t really sure what to expect from Brodus Clay. I was really surprised and impressed with the way he handled himself with the World Champion Edge. Clay looked like a regular veteran and a true monster. The pull apart brawl between Christian and Del Rio after the match was well done, as was the set up to the main event.
We followed that up with probably the one match that didn’t have a true point for WrestleMania on this show between Sheamus and Kofi Kingston. These two will probably be left off the card but they gave us an excellent match tonight. They’re putting over that Sheamus’s losing streak is over, but what about Kingston? This guy was red hot and then they pulled the rug out from under him. Then he got red hot again, and again they pulled the rug out from under him. I don’t get it. He has talent and he can talk. What’s the hold up?
I really love the new Cody Rhodes. Rhodes has really embraced everything that has been given to him and he’s really run with it. His new version of this character has a tremendous edge and I’m looking forward to seeing him perform at WrestleMania against Rey Mysterio. It could be the sleeper hit of the show.
The diva match was just there but they did put over the Snooki thing big on commentary. I will admit that it looked like they tried hard in this match but no one, including the announcers (including Michelle McCool) cared.
I was really impressed with the beat down of Big Show and Kane tonight. Since coming to Smackdown, the Corre has had one or two nights where they’ve looked dominant and quite a few where they’re just there. Tonight they got the edge they’ve been missing for a while. It’s probably not going to translate into an epic encounter at WrestleMania but hopefully it’ll make Wade Barrett more of a central focus on the show after the big event. I thought Barrett had so much potential after going head-to-head with John Cena on Raw but he’s kind of been lost in the shuffle on Smackdown, and on a roster as thin as Smackdown’s that’s saying something.
Holy hell. How hilarious is Michael Cole anymore? The An-Cole Lock?! That’s classic! Cole’s character is so good I almost hope they keep it going even after he gets embarrassed at WrestleMania by Jerry Lawler. I’m going to miss the Cole Mine after Mania.
Rey Mysterio had a very good, quick match with Ted DiBiase. DiBiase is another guy that can be filed under the “What the hell are they doing with him?” category. DiBiase has a lot of talent but he just can’t get off the launch pad. The gimmick he has sucks so that’s probably what it is. They need to distance himself more from his father and give him his own character.
Was that an excellent cage match or what? It’s not going to go down as a classic or anything but it was a hell of a lot of fun to watch. Christian and Del Rio tore the house down and hit some really cool spots. The finish was pretty creative, too. I’m sure quite a few are griping about Del Rio losing only two weeks before WrestleMania but this loss won’t mean anything in the long run, especially because they put the focus right back on Del Rio right after it was done. He took Christian out and then he took Edge out with the con-chair-to to the arm. The way they keep stacking the odds against Edge heading into WrestleMania makes me think that they’re going to keep the title on him. I hope my feeling is wrong because Del Rio is awesome and I’d like to see what he could do as the top guy on the brand.
Final Rating: *** 1/2
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