Frank McMahen sent this report in:
2/12/2011 WWE Smackdown results: Lubbock, Texas
Before we get into the card and the matches, I’d like to state that Lubbock is in dire need of a TV taping. I’ve been to TV tapings in Corpus Christie, Laredo, San Antonio, and Wrestlemania 25 in Houston. But the fans of Lubbock just were so amped up and were vocal compared to the shows I’ve been at in Corpus, Laredo, and San Antonio. They popped hard for the babyfaces and booed hysterically for the heels. The arena holds almost 9,000 people, but I’m sure it would be worth a shot for the WWE to try. The arena was about 90-95% full.
Fun fact: There had been a Raw taping in Lubbock before. The last one was the Foley/Funk promo back in 2006.
Also, the sign guy was in front of me throughout the show (since I had 2nd row seating). He was pretty much a part of the show.
Match 1: Chris Masters vs. Jack Swagger
Chris Masters comes out to a decent pop and does a few poses to the crowd. Jack Swagger then comes out to the Oklahoma Sooners theme song which garners the most heat of the night. Swagger kept playing off that OU was superior to Texas Tech by mocking our “Guns up” salute. Masters would then lock horns with Swagger and overpower him on multiple occasions. Swagger then manages to get the upper hand and works on Masters’ arm and leg. Swagger kept playing the crowd with his anti-Texas Tech bravado, which the crowd was just eating it up and booed him like crazy. In return, the crowd got much more into Masters because they just wanted to see Swagger get his ass kicked. Masters manages a comeback and locks the Masterlock but Swagger makes it to the ropes. Swagger then goes for his ankle lock but Masters counters into the Masterlock once again. Swagger powers out and goes for his gutwrench powerbomb. Masters then counters it, mid-move, into the Masterlock in which Swagger eventually taps out.
Winner: Chris Masters via Submission
This was a solid match to start out with. It went about a good 12 minutes that really had the fans into it. Masters is one of the WWE’s top sellers and his offense just looks devastating. Swagger’s offense looked a bit odd in this showing with him not doing some signature moves he usually does and did the springboard splash more often than usual. That being said, it was a great opener to get the crowd hot for tonight.
Promo: Dolph Ziggler comes out to do a promo on how is he the uncrowned World Heavyweight Champion. He talks about how the fans would wish they didn’t come see the show after what he and Del Rio are going to do to Edge and Rey Mysterio in their tag team main event. He then talks about how he is upset that Vickie Guerrero isn’t there to cheer him on. To close out, Dolph Ziggler says, “I can make these claims because I’m Dolph Ziggler, and you’re not!”
Match 2: Triple Threat Elimination Match for #1 Contendership for the WWE Tag Team Championship: Tyler Reks & Curt Hawkins vs. Percy Watson & JTG vs. The Corre’s Justin Gabriel & Heath Slater
Reks & Hawkins didn’t get much of a reaction because not many people knew who they were. When they came out to the ring, they were having a verbal argument. Slater & Gabriel got a mixed reaction. People booed Slater and some cheered Gabriel throughout the show. I asked those around me why they were cheering Gabriel and the consensus was because of the 450 splash. JTG and Watson got a decent pop themselves. The match started with Hawkins and JTG starting things off. Watson and Reks would take their turns getting into the match while the Corre just stood on the apron, looking bored that they were not getting a tag. More dissension came with Hawkins and Reks as when Reks went to make the hot tag, Hawkins just walked off leaving Reks to get rolled up for the three by Watson. Gabriel then enters the match and starts wailing on Watson. Gabriel and Slater alternate tags to now keep JTG from making the hot tag to Watson. Eventually, JTG manages to counter Slater’s offense and nails the hot tag to Watson. Mass pandemonium breaks out and Slater catched Watson with his reverse DDT finisher for the victory.
I must say, Heath Slater has impressed me a whole lot with his work as a heel. He got the fans riled up at times by him just milking his cocky attitude. His offense is rock solid just like his selling. Gabriel is a great seller, but his offense just needs some tuning. JTG is fine for what he does. He could work a bit more on constructing a more sound offense at times. Percy Watson, to me, is a man that should already be on WWE tv. He seemed more over than JTG was. His offense is flashy, but effective. He can sell fine as well. To me, he is like a better version of Darren Young right now.
Out comes Kaitlyn, “our guest host”, in order to give one lucky fan a chance to ring the bell for the next match. I must say, Kaitlyn is a gorgeous woman. But, for the love of all that is sacred, she wore the tightest dress which made her breasts just stand out like a sore thumb. A bit uncomfortable with all the children in the crowd and the jealous wives too!
Match 3: Layla vs. Beth Phoenix
Sign Guy Alert: He had a sign regarding how trashy Egypt was and how trashy Layla was. Yeah, WWE security were not too happy with that sign.
Layla is playing the chicken sh*t heel role to perfection. She spent about 5 minutes just running away from Beth and calling “timeout” one too many times. Layla keeps doing the old “truce” schtick. Beth eventually overpowers Layla and just throws her around like a rag doll. Layla finds an opening and starts working on the arm of Beth. Beth then does a babyface comeback and manages, with one arm, to take down layla and hits her finisher on her.
Such an entertaining match this was! Layla is probably the best chicken sh*t heel the WWE has right now. Her facial expressions are just beyond amazing as well. Beth did a very great job getting the fans to cheer for her. She got a pretty good pop and sold very good in the match. She has charisma because she helped keep the fans into the match.
Match 4: Intercontinental Championship: Kofi Kingston vs. Kane
Sign Guy Alert: Sign Guy had a sign that said “Kane Kardashian”. Kane would then look at the sign and call him a “sick freak” for coming up with that sign.
A match that shocked me because I had no idea these two would lock horns. This match was nothing that hadn’t been seen between these two. This was the usual fare with Kane trying to overpower Kofi but the aerial attacks of Kofi managing to topple the monster known as Kane. A referee bump happens ad Kane hits his chokeslam. Kane goes to wake the ref, and when he does, Kofi hits Trouble in Paradise and manages to barely retain his Intercontinental Championship.
During intermission, I see a sign that says “PG?! RTC have won their fight!” Seriously, PG is here to stay, the 90s happened, GET OVER IT!!!
Match 5: Drew McIntyre vs. Chavo Guerrero
Sign Guy Alert: He had a sign that, I believe, had a picture of Tiffany and a pair of pants.
Chavo cuts a mini promo, a face promo, about the “fake Mexicans” here in west Texas. I didn’t quite understand what he intended by that promo at all. McIntyre is playing off the cocky; I don’t want to be here heel. Every time Chavo seems to get the upper hand, McIntyre just wants to bolt. McIntyre does a lot of funny gestures here and there as well to rile up the crowd. Chavo then goes on the offensive and manages to nail the frog splash. McIntyre manages to get his foot on the rope. Chavo lets his emotion gets the best of him and gets a rake to the eye and a future shock DDT which seals the victory for McIntyre.
Chavo knew how to work the crowd well here in Texas, especially with Lubbock being several hours away from El Paso. It was a great babyface performance by Chavo which the crowd got behind. McIntyre has some great mannerisms and gets involved with the fans very well at house shows. His offense is strong but, for me, he still has to find a way to tie it all together. He has come a long way since his Intercontinental Championship reign back in early 2010.
Kaitlyn and Hornswoggle then proceed to throw shirts and signed stuff by Big Show into the crowd.
Match 6: Wade Barrett vs. Big Show
Wade came out to very strong heat. Whenever Barrett did that “punching thing” he usually does, the crowd just booed him like crazy. Big Show, in turn, got a very strong pop.
Barrett kept getting man-handled by Show and got the chest slap done to him about 5 times. (I tell you, that slap is LOUD) Barrett then managed to get the upper hand on the Show by going after his leg. Big Show manages a comeback but Barrett keeps halting it by going after the leg. Barrett then attempts his Wasteland finisher on Show but Show powers out and nails him with a chokeslam for the win.
I must say, Barrett had some very solid offense that looked very good just like his selling. Barrett, little by little, is beginning to put the pieces to his offense together. He couldn’t do the moves he usually does on Show since Show is massive, but Barrett looked very strong in this outing. As for Show, what else is there to say? It’s the Big Show and he was great all around. Sold beautifully to make Barrett look very good.
Match 7: Tag Team Match: Alberto Del Rio & Dolph Ziggler vs. Rey Mysterio & World Heavyweight Champion Edge
Alberto Del Rio is the first to come out and cuts a promo on how it was his destiny to win the Royal Rumble. He then berates the crowd by saying that it was our destiny to have crappy jobs and to have crappy lives. He also says the people in the cheap seats were poor too! He then proceeds to take the sign that the Sign Guy has which said, “I’m Alberto Del Rio’s cousin and I need a loan”, complete with mustache and a sombrero!
Dolph Ziggler comes out to strong heat just like Del Rio did and they just pose in the turnbuckle until Rey Mysterio comes out. In possibly the loudest pop of the night, Mysterio comes out to his theme he had back in 2006.
Everyone went nuts for Mysterio to the point where everybody was flocking to the guardrails just to touch the guy. Kids were getting squished, adults were being inconsiderate of others, and people were just falling down getting there. Edge came out to a strong pop as well but people were less interested in wanting to touch Edge. Del Rio then proceeds to give sign guy back his sign. Instead of giving it back, Del Rio just ripped it right in front of his face. Edge manages to get a hold of Del Rio’s scarf and uses it as a red flag while Mysterio would charge at it like a bull. Edge then blows his nose on it and throws it to Del Rio.
The match then begins with Edge and Del Rio locking horns. Del Rio manages to get the upper hand and keeps Edge in his corner and tagging in and out to Ziggler to subdue him. Crowd gets behind Edge to go and make a tag to Mysterio, which he does which causes Mysterio to clean house. Mysterio gets Del Rio set up for a 619 but Ziggler managed to blind tag Del Rio and levels Mysterio with a lariat, much to the dismay of the fans. Del Rio/Ziggler then proceed to do the same thing they did with Mysterio as they did withEdge and subdue him in their corner. Mysterio manages to overcome the odds and hot tags Edge. Edge then cleans house and mass pandemonium breaks out in the ring. Del Rio gets sent to the outside which enables Mysterio to hit the 619 on Ziggler followed by an Edge spear for the win. Edge and Mysterio pose for the crowd and Mysterio feigns stealing Edge’s belt for fun.
This was a solid tag match with the usual house show fare where both babyfaces manages to get a hot tag. Del Rio worked over the crowd so well on the mic and his selling and offense was pretty strong. Ziggler was also very great on the mic earlier and shined very much in this match. Mysterio looks like a man who didn’t have any knee problems to begin with. He just did all his high flying moves with ease and connected beautifully with all of them. Edge, I must say, is a solid babyface in peril. He can illicit a reaction from the crowd from a sympathetic standpoint in which Orton, Austin, and Rock wcouldn’t because they were/are “badass faces.” Edge may get scrutinized for having some uninteresting solo matches, which is true sometimes. However, Edge as a tag worker is very good as he makes some of the hottest hot tags I’ve seen from today’s crop of talent.
There was not a match in this show didn’t like. Each match had an entertainment factor which drew me and the crowd into them. The crowd was hot all night and WWE just gave us a show that I would put on par with Wrestlemania 25 as the most enjoyable show I have been to live.