“Yes, sir, we promised you a great main event…” The WWE video leads us into the show.
Justin Roberts is in the ring and he asks us to welcome back to Smackdown the eleven-time World Champion, one of the greatest superstars in the history of the WWE, Toronto’s own Rated R Superstar, Edge! Edge comes out to a monster pop from the hometown fans and he looks pumped up. Edge will host an edition of The Cutting Edge with Randy Orton and Mark Henry as his guests. Edge soaks up the great reaction from the fans.
Edge says he really missed that. Even if this never happens again, it feels so good to stand in a WWE ring again. Edge says he’ll do one even better – it feels even better to be back in his hometown Toronto. Since he was forced to retire he’s got to do some pretty cool things. He shot a TV show and has been in all kinds of stuff. It’s been fun, but that doesn’t mean that he doesn’t miss the hell out of this. Edge misses getting into the ring and having a twenty-minute wrestling match. He misses the competition and his friends in the locker room. He misses walking into a room and his theme music and pyro doesn’t automatically go off. That doesn’t happen in the real world. Edge asks us to resist the urge to puke because this is cheesy, but he misses the hell out of all the fan. They chant, “Thank you Edge”.
Edge says he’ll host The Cutting Edge later tonight and his guests will be the World’s Strongest Man Mark Henry and the World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton. He knows both guys really well so he won’t pull any punches. He’ll ask the tough questions, but that’s later on tonight. Right now…
Cody Rhodes’s music hits and he makes his way to the ring with his baggers. Rhodes says he’ll give credit where credit is due. Rhodes was sure that Edge was going to come out and pontificate on his appearance on the SyFy show “Haven”, which airs right after Smackdown. An opportunity for the “Ultimate Opportunist” and he doesn’t take it. Rhodes says it sounds like he was sucking up to the people. Rhodes says he thought Edge was above that. Rhodes gets in the ring and says maybe he’s not. Maybe he’s just like all of these blank and hopeless faces that are in need of paper bags over them. Edge says maybe he should quit bitching and moaning about injuries and masks over your face, and blaming everyone but himself. Maybe Rhodes should do something himself and quit blaming everybody else. Edge tells him to look in the mirror, even though it’s disfigured.
Rhodes says it sounds like Edge is a little bitter. Rhodes asks why he would be bitter. The last time Rhodes saw Edge, he was triumphant at WrestleMania, and he was wallowing in tragedy about his blemished exterior. But, he went on to become the Intercontinental Champion and dispose of the weak minded Ted DiBiase. Then, last Monday on Raw, he defeated the World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton. Rhodes asks just who is triumphant now. Rhodes guesses that makes Edge the tragedy. Rhodes grabs a paper bag mask and hands it to Edge. Rhodes says he knows Edge won’t put it on, but he wants him to take it home and place it on his mantel as a reminder of what Smackdown has become – the new home of the new face of Smackdown, the Intercontinental Champion Cody Rhodes.
Edge thanks him for the offer, but if Rhodes is the new face of Smackdown, then the show needs a paper bag much more than he does. Rhodes says that doesn’t make sense. Edge says what doesn’t make sense is how someone as charismatic as Dusty Rhodes sired him. Edge says he thinks he’s going to leave because if Rhodes keeps on talking then he’ll fall asleep. Edge walks off and Rhodes yells that he’s not done with him. Edge rolls his eyes and keeps walking.
Rhodes says he’s the Intercontinental Champion and no one is better than him. Rhodes says he’ll enhance everyone’s lives by giving them paper bags. Rhodes goes around pointing out the audience members who need paper bags. Rhodes eats a punch from someone wearing a paper bag mask and it’s revealed to be Ted DiBiase. DiBiase is seething with anger as he sends Rhodes into the barricade. DiBiase rolls him into the ring and continues punching him. DiBiase ducks a clothesline and hits Dream Street. DiBiase punches one of the baggers and takes a paper bag mask. DiBiase gets back in the ring and Rhodes quickly runs out with his title.
Sin Cara and Daniel Bryan are seen walking backstage. They’ll be in action next.
Sin Cara vs. Daniel Bryan
They show footage of Sin Cara kicking Daniel Bryan in the head two weeks ago on Smackdown and then putting him in the LeBell Lock last week. Bryan makes his entrance and immediately wants to get into it with Cara, but the referee holds him back. The bell rings and Bryan immediately takes Cara down with a running knee. Bryan hits a running dropkick in the corner and he punches away at him. Bryan kicks away at him and uppercuts him down. Bryan stands on Cara’s face before sending him to the corner. Cara flips to the apron and Bryan knocks him off. Bryan goes into the ropes and Cara quickly dropkicks him in the knee.
Cara kicks him in the back and punches him down. Cara stomps away at him and wrenches the arm. Cara hits a knee breaker and he works on the knee with kicks. Cara lifts him up by the knee and launches him out of the ring! That was a nasty bump!
We come back from the break to see Cara executing an Indian Death Lock. Bryan fights out of it with some punches and he goes to town on Cara’s face. Cara quickly kicks him in the knee and hits a running dropkick to the face. Cara gets pumped up and charges him in the corner. Bryan drops him to the apron, but Cara quickly bounces him off the turnbuckle. Cara hits a springboard flying head-butt for a near fall. Cara goes for a Figure Four, but Bryan kicks him off. Cara tries to rebound with a springboard moonsault, but Bryan gets his feet up. That looked awesome, but you wouldn’t be able to tell that if you’re listening to the announcers.
Bryan blocks a punch and hits some of his own. Cara kicks him in the knee and goes into the ropes, but Bryan levels him with a right hand. Bryan kicks away at him and finishes him off with one to the head for a near fall. Bryan viciously kicks away at him in the corner and sets him up on the top rope. Bryan climbs up and Cara slides through the legs. Cara crotches him and hangs him in the tree of woe. Cara kicks away at him and the referee warns him to stop. The referee counts to five and disqualifies Sin Cara.
Winner by Disqualification: Daniel Bryan
Match Rating: * 3/4
Sin Cara backs up and hits a running dropkick to Bryan’s face, who is still hung upside down. Sin Cara’s music hits and the pyro goes off. Another Sin Cara comes through the curtain and Booker T simply says, “What the hell?” The new Sin Cara jumps into the ring and they circle the ring, staring at each other. The new Sin Cara that comes out is much skinnier than the one that wrestled tonight. The evil Sin Cara leaves the ring.
A video highlights Mark Henry attacking Randy Orton after Orton’s cage match two weeks ago on Smackdown. They’ll meet in the ring tonight as they’re special guests on The Cutting Edge.
Zack Ryder is backstage with General Manager Teddy Long. Ryder questions his decision to let Randy Orton and Mark Henry in the same ring tonight. Long said they will both act like professionals and he’s invoking a No Contact rule. If they get into any physicality then the match on Sunday is off. Long tells Ryder to tell them. Ryder doesn’t look happy and Long says, “Woo, woo, woo – don’t blow it.”
The cheesy saxophone cues up and Aksana walks on. She says she loves when Long gives orders. Aksana says her responsibility in her country is to give massages. Long says he’ll have a quick one. Aksana gives him a massage and she says it feels really tight. Trish Stratus walks in and Long stutters around. Long says it’s not what she thinks. Long bumbles and says this is awkward.
JOBBER ALERT: AJ is in the ring with no TV entrance. Kaitlyn is with her.
AJ w/ Kaitlyn vs. Beth Phoenix w/ Natalya
AJ looks very intimidated. They lock up and Beth easily pushes her to the corner. AJ slides through her legs and kicks her. AJ goes for a wheelbarrow bulldog, but Beth counters with a back suplex. Beth lifts her up and press slams her down. AJ writhes around in pain. AJ tries to fights back and kicks Beth in the face. Beth immediately big boots her down and picks her up. Beth smiles as she hits the Glam Slam for the win.
Winner by Pinfall: Beth Phoenix
Match Rating: N/A
Kaitlyn gets in the ring and quickly fetches AJ before Beth Phoenix can attack some more. Beth grabs a microphone and says the clock will strike midnight for Kelly Kelly on Sunday. She and all the other Cinderella in the WWE are about to have a very unhappy ending for their little fairy tale.
The Cutting Edge will make its return tonight and feature Mark Henry and Randy Orton as guests.
They play a really good hype video for Sheamus.
Edge is backstage with Trish Stratus. She’s trying to teach him yoga. Christian walks up and calls Trish selfish. Christian says it’s great to be back with Edge again. Edge says they’ve missed some phone calls after what happened at Summerslam. Christian says it might have cost him the World Heavyweight Championship by making him lose his focus, but we’ll never know. Edge was only speaking his mind. They hug. Christian says since tonight is a big deal for Edge, maybe he can slide into Teddy Long’s office and tell him he deserves one more match for the World Heavyweight Title as some payback. Edge puts his head down and Christian flips out. Christian says at WrestleMania, Edge’s last match, he had his back. Edge says he has a headache and says Christian is acting like a little bitch. Christian whines and leaves.
Zack Ryder runs up and asks Edge to tell Randy Orton and Mark Henry that there’s a No Contact rule. Ryder runs off and Edge asks what just happened. Stratus wonders if that was the Internet Champion.
Wade Barrett makes his entrance. They show footage of Sheamus getting the best of both Christian and Wade Barrett last week. Barrett will team with Christian to take on Sheamus and Justin Gabriel next.
Wade Barrett & Christian vs. Justin Gabriel & Sheamus
Before the match, Sheamus grabs a microphone. Sheamus offers Barrett and Christian some pleasantries, which is common in his homeland of Ireland. Sheamus can’t think of anything nice to say about Christian because his face reminds him of a horse’s arse. Sheamus says Barrett is about as thick as a bag of cow manure and only half as usual. Sheamus says he’s teaming with Justin Gabriel because he couldn’t get Demolition so he chose the 450 Splash.
Barrett starts off against Gabriel. Gabriel ducks a lock up and goes for a drop-toe-hold, but Barrett doesn’t go down. Barrett punches and goes for an elbow drop, but Gabriel moves. Gabriel hits a drop-toe-hold and applies an arm bar. Barrett fights up and whips him off. Gabriel counters an arm drag and takes him down with a leg sweep for a one count. Gabriel wrenches the arm and eats a fist. Barrett head-butts him and throws him to the apron. Gabriel punches him away and scares Christian off. Barrett ducks a springboard and catches him with a Boss Man Slam for a near fall. Booker T gives a shout-out to the Big Boss Man, who left us seven years ago this month.
Christian is tagged in and he uppercuts Gabriel down. Christian punches away at Gabriel and steps on his face. Christian goes for a suplex, but Gabriel counters into an inside cradle for a near fall. Christian pops up and hits a clothesline for a near fall. Barrett is tagged back in and he kicks away at Gabriel. Barrett goes for a suplex, but Gabriel again counters into an inside cradle for a near fall. Barrett, like Christian, follows up with a clothesline. Barrett digs his knee into Gabriel’s back and applies a chin lock. Gabriel fights up and kicks away at Barrett. Barrett ducks a roundhouse and hits a nasty flapjack for a near fall. Christian is tagged back in and he punches Gabriel down. Christian chokes him on the rope and sends him into the ropes. Gabriel slides through the legs, but Christian quickly grounds him with punches. Christian whips him hard into the corner and talks some trash to Sheamus.
We come back from the break to see Barrett hit a running kick to Gabriel’s head. Barrett sends him to the corner and hits a backbreaker for a near fall. Barrett punches away at Gabriel and hits another running kick. Christian is tagged back in and he punches Gabriel in the midsection. Christian sends him to the corner and charges, but Gabriel leapfrogs him. Gabriel hits a STO and they’re both down.
Sheamus and Barrett are tagged in. Sheamus hits some clotheslines and runs into a boot. Sheamus catches Barrett charging with a powerslam. Sheamus hits a running splash on the ropes and a high knee. Sheamus goes to the top rope and Christian grabs his ankle. Barrett cuts Sheamus off and goes for a superplex, but Sheamus head-butts him off. Sheamus hits the flying shoulder block and gets pumped up. Sheamus kicks Christian trying to interfere and goes for the Celtic Cross, but Christian slides off. Barrett goes for the Wasteland, but Sheamus slides off and hits the Brogue Kick! Gabriel is tagged in and he hits the 450 Splash for the win!
Winners by Pinfall: Justin Gabriel & Sheamus
Match Rating: * 3/4
Christian thinks about attacking Sheamus from behind, but quickly runs off when Sheamus looks at him. Sheamus tries to goad him back into the ring, but Christian simply backs away. The crowd is chanting for Christian.
They show Mark Henry viciously assaulting Randy Orton after Orton beat Cody Rhodes in the main event. They’ll meet in the ring tonight during The Cutting Edge.
They show footage of The Great Khali shoving Jinder Mahal last week and walking off on him during the tag team match last week.
The Great Khali vs. Heath Slater
Heath Slater does not look too excited about being in this match. Slater kicks Khali and runs off. Slater ducks and starts punching. Khali grabs him by the throat, pushes him into the ropes, and clotheslines him down. Jinder Mahal comes out and starts yelling at Khali in their native tongue. Khali chops Slater’s chest and clotheslines him down. Khali looks at Mahal and doesn’t look happy. Slater attacks from behind and nearly takes the Punjabi Plunge, but Jinder Mahal blindsides Khali.
Winner by Disqualification: The Great Khali
Match Rating: N/A
Mahal and Slater punch away at Khali in the corner, but Khali fights out. Khali big boots Slater and clotheslines Mahal down. Khali picks him up and goes to give Mahal the Punjabi Plunge, but Slater breaks it up. Khali knocks Slater down and hits the Punjabi Plunge on him. Khali stares at Mahal as he watches on in horror on the outside.
R-Truth will take on Evan Bourne later tonight.
They show a video package for CM Punk vs. Triple H at Night of Champions.
Evan Bourne makes his way to the ring with his tag team partner Kofi Kingston. He’ll fight R-Truth next.
R-Truth and The Miz make their way to the ring while rapping “You Suck” to R-Truth’s old song. This is hilarious. The Miz is unbelievable ridiculous in this. Kingston and The Miz join the announcers for this match.
Evan Bourne w/ Kofi Kingston vs. R-Truth w/ The Miz
R-Truth gets sent to the corner and kicks Bourne in the face. Bourne is thrown to the outside and booted down. R-Truth rolls him in the ring for a two count. R-Truth applies a chin lock as The Miz and Kingston argue about what a champion should dress like. Bourne fights up, but R-Truth stops him. R-Truth goes for a suplex and Bourne knees him in the head. Bourne hits a high knee to the mouth for a two count. Bourne kicks away, but R-Truth splits under a kick. Bourne kicks him and hits a hurricanrana while R-Truth was still on his knees! Bourne goes to the top rope and goes for the Air Bourne, but R-Truth moves. Bourne lands on his feet and R-Truth takes him out with the Little Jimmy for the win.
Winner by Pinfall: R-Truth
Match Rating: 1/2 *
The Miz and R-Truth celebrate in the ring. Their team name is The Awesome Truth.
They show a video package of Mark Henry attacking Randy Orton with a steel chair this past Monday on Raw. Edge is seen walking backstage looking a little worried. He’ll host the Cutting Edge with special guests Mark Henry and Randy Orton next.
The Cutting Edge set is up in the ring and Edge is sitting down. Edge says Cody Rhodes came out earlier tonight and said he was pandering because he said how great it was to be in a WWE ring in front of all the fans. What the Phantom of the Opera doesn’t realize is how important Toronto has been to him. Edge sat eleventh row at ringside at WrestleMania XI and watched the Ultimate Warrior beat Hulk Hogan for his first WWE Championship. It’s also the city where he won his first title in WWE, the Intercontinental Championship. Edge knows how important championships are in WWE and how they should be revered. That’s why he’s excited to have the following guests on The Cutting Edge. First, he’ll introduce the challenger: the World’s Strongest Man, Mark Henry. Mark Henry comes to the ring and doesn’t even look at Edge. Edge then introduces the World Heavyweight Champion, Randy Orton.
Orton and Mark Henry stare at each other and Edge is in the middle of them. Edge reminds them of Teddy Long’s No Contact rule during The Cutting Edge. Edge says he’s not pulling any punches here. Edge says it’s a good thing for Orton that there’s a No Contact policy since Mark Henry has been tearing through everyone. Henry doesn’t even look human. He’s done things to Orton that no other human has ever done. Edge asks if Orton honestly thinks he can beat Mark Henry this Sunday.
Orton says Edge is right in that Henry has demolished a lot of people, namely Big Show and Kane. Orton says the only time Henry wants to get physical with him is after he’s already had a match. Orton says Henry hasn’t proven anything to him. Orton says maybe that doesn’t matter and Henry just wants to make a statement. Maybe Henry knows the reason why he’s never won the big one in WWE is that his very best just isn’t good enough. Orton says he doesn’t think he can beat Mark Henry – he KNOWS he can.
Edge says he hates to say it; no, actually he doesn’t. Edge says Orton has a point – Henry’s career has been disappointing. Edge says he’s calling it just as he sees it. Edge started in WWE in 1998 and Henry was already a veteran. For someone as big and devastating as Henry, he’s never won the WWE Championship or the World Heavyweight Championship. Edge asks how that’s possible. Henry should be one of the most decorated champions of all time. Some might say it’s because of fluke losses here and there. Maybe it’s injuries at bad times. Maybe it’s that Henry doesn’t have the desire. When Henry wants to hold the title, it’s a whole new level. Maybe Henry just isn’t good enough to get to that level.
Henry says he and Edge need to get something crystal clear. The only reason he’s going to let him leave the ring under his own power is because Edge is right. Fifteen years he’s seen men smaller and weaker than him become champions. He’s seen Randy Orton become champion over and over again. What they tell him is to go out and smile. Henry says he’s done smiling and showing personality. He’s here to destroy and take what Orton has. Fifteen years he’s come out and had to show what he can do. It didn’t work. Fifteen years it has taken him to get here. Come Sunday, he will be a World Heavyweight Champion. Orton says their match at Night of Champions will indeed be symbolic of Henry’s career. Henry may look impressive and may even come close to winning, but in the end, he’ll be the same as he’s always been. A 400-pound, fifteen-year, World’s Strongest FAILURE.
Orton and Henry stare at each other as Edge reminds them that there’s a No Contact during The Cutting Edge. Edge leaves the ring and says this is the part of the show where he says The Cutting Edge is over. Orton and Henry come to blows and Teddy Long runs out to the stage. Long calls for the jobbers in the locker room to separate them. Henry breaks free of all of them and continues punching. They eventually grab him and keep him back. Orton dives over them and beats on Henry. They back Orton up, but he breaks free. Henry quickly grabs him and hits the World’s Strongest Slam!
Henry demolishes the rest of the Smackdown guys in the ring and hits Orton with a big splash. Long is on the outside begging Henry to stop. Henry picks Johnny Curtis up and throws him out of the ring. Henry press slams Zack Ryder out of the ring and hits another big splash on Orton! Henry picks Trent Barreta up by the neck and throws him out of the ring. Henry head-butts one of the Uso brothers down and stares at Orton. Henry picks him up again and hits another World’s Strongest Slam! Henry picks the World Heavyweight Championship up and holds it in the air while standing over Randy Orton!
Quick Match Results
Daniel Bryan def. Sin Cara via DQ
Beth Phoenix def. AJ
Justin Gabriel & Sheamus def. Wade Barrett & Christian
The Great Khali def. Heath Slater via DQ
R-Truth def. Evan Bourne
Bump of the Night: Sin Cara launching Daniel Bryan over the top rope and Mark Henry’s destruction of everyone!
Match of the Night: Daniel Bryan vs. Sin Cara * 3/4
This was a pretty good edition of Smackdown. The show opened up with Edge coming out and he got an awesome reception from the Toronto crowd. That gave me chills. Now that he’s been away for a few months, I can genuinely say that I truly miss Edge coming out every week. Was he the greatest wrestler in the world? No, but he was passionate and could entertain the hell out of you. You could tell how much he loves the business and how much the sudden retirement pains him as he stood in the ring and said the words that he said. After they got all that stuff out of the way, Cody Rhodes came out and had some interaction with Edge. Rhodes’s voice was really cracking tonight. He said his same spiel that he’s been saying for the past few months and Edge shut him down with some insults. Rhodes then went around ringside and got blindsided by Ted DiBiase. I thought that was really well done. DiBiase really looked good in that exchange and showed some good emotion. My only complaint is that he’ll now face Cody Rhodes for the Intercontinental Championship in two days. This should have happened last week to at least get some buzz around it. Rhodes attacked him a few weeks ago, it’s barely mentioned in the two weeks after, and then he inexplicably returns and gets a title shot. Oh well. Hopefully they have a good match on Sunday.
Daniel Bryan and Sin Cara had a pretty good match that wound up ending in disqualification. That match isn’t the big story. The big story is the original Sin Cara making his return and having a stare down with the evil Sin Cara. This didn’t get much of a reaction from the crowd as I think most of them didn’t know what was going on. I’m not sure how they’re going to do this since I believe the real Sin Cara doesn’t speak a lick of English, so there goes any talking to build it up. The matches I’m sure will be good, but they need to wear some different wardrobe. It tripped coming out of the gate so hopefully they get this thing rolling better in the coming weeks.
Am I the only one who thinks those skits between Teddy Long and Aksana are ridiculously stupid? Also, am I the only one who thinks Aksana is wildly unattractive?
Beth Phoenix squashed AJ pretty quickly and said she was going to do the same to Kelly Kelly this Sunday. That was simple and to the point. I’m not huge on squash matches, but I liked this. Two weeks in a row of praising the divas? No, I haven’t been kidnapped or bribed.
The tag team match at the top of the second hour was a lot of fun to watch. I wish we were going to see Sheamus take on Christian this Sunday. That should be a really good match. They’ve fought each other before, and if those matches are any indicator, a match up between them now would be absolutely awesome. The match itself was decent. They worked over Justin Gabriel seemingly forever until Sheamus finally got in the match. Justin Gabriel did a good job of selling tonight. Wade Barrett also looked good in this match. He’s another guy who can really go in the ring, but I’ve definitely said that before. To sum up this little section of my thoughts, everyone in this match looked good tonight. That was simple. I probably could have just typed that.
After that tag team match, the second hour kind of fell off for a little bit. We had some more Great Khali and Jinder Mahal drama. Can somebody wake me up when that’s over? I’m ashamed to admit that I was going to give their storyline a chance a few months ago. They sucked as a team, the story behind them sucks, and their breakup sucks. I’m sure the revenge matches will suck as well. Pipe bomb (or truth)! NEXT!
R-Truth and Evan Bourne had a quick little filler match as their respective partners were on commentary. This was nothing to write home about. The only thing I really enjoyed happened before the match. It was R-Truth and The Miz coming down the aisle rapping about how Toronto sucks. That was absolutely hilarious! The Miz acting like a rapper while wearing his suit with the vest was hilarious. I can’t wait to hear them on Sunday.
The show closed strong with The Cutting Edge. Edge was really good, asking all the edgy questions. See what I did there? Pun intended! Randy Orton had a decent showing on the microphone, but holy good god of fake professional wrestling did Mark Henry knock my socks off with what he had to say. Simply put, if you try to argue that Mark Henry isn’t THE best heel character of the year, then you don’t know what you’re talking about. Mark Henry went from being on the cusp of being future endeavored to becoming one of the most awesome characters in wrestling, all in a span of six months. Pick your superlatives – they all describe him. I know what you’re thinking. “Jesus, this Mike Tedesco guy is way over the top about Mark Henry!” If you’ve been watching Mark Henry these past six months, you will see that I’m not being over the top at all. Actually, I’m underselling him. His promo about having to watch on the sidelines for fifteen years while guys smaller than him won titles was out of control good. There was some real anger and hurt there. Just awesome. The brawl afterwards was great with Mark Henry destroying all the jobbers in the locker room. Henry just looks like a beast and I’m really hoping for him to walk out as champion. I normally save my predictions for Mr. V’s column, but I’m calling it here. It’s not often you have a guy blindside you like this with greatness. Enjoy it while it lasts.
Final Rating: ***
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E-Mail – MikeTedesco@wrestleview.com
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Thanks for reading! Enjoy Night of Champions 2011!