Date: January 7, 2011
Location: Tucson Convention Center, Tucson, Arizona
Commentators: Michael Cole, Matt Striker, Josh Matthews
In the first show of the year we have the World Heavyweight Championship on the line in a last man standing match as well as Alberto vs. Rey in a 2/3 falls contest. The most intriguing thing to me is if Kane vs. Edge is finished tonight, what does that mean for the Rumble? Hopefully this doesn’t see a double countout or a tie etc as that would make me rather irritated. Let’s get to it.
The opening video is more or less what I just told you. Now why can’t I get paid to do something like that? I said more or less the same thing minus a few basic lines.
Do you know your enemy? That’s a good question actually and I certainly don’t know mine.
After a brief opening statement from the announcers, it’s time for the main event!
Smackdown World Title: Edge vs. Kane
Edge has the red sunglasses back which I think he’s had recently but not for very long. This is last man standing remember. We get the big match intros here which isn’t something you see that often in WWE anymore. It might be the angle of it but the belt looks quite different for some reason. Kane puts Edge down in the corner with powerful strikes to start us off.
Edge gets a swinging neckbreaker to put both guys down for about a three. Sideslam by Kane gets another three on Edge. The champion hits a spear to Kane while Kane is on the apron and the bald man is down on the floor. It only gets a six though and we hit the floor. Up the ramp they go with Kane in control. Isn’t it amazing how a single shot in one of these matches can send one or both guys off for a good 8 feet?
They go into the back towards the concourse and Edge is slammed into a wall. Why are the concession stands closed? Back into the arena in the crowd with Edge blocking a chokeslam off the stands. They fight up the steps into the luxury suites which have their own concession and merchandise stands. Dude that’s kind of awesome. Trashcan to the stomach of Edge breaks his momentum.
With Edge down after being rammed into various things and hammered a bit, Kane finds a flight of stairs and a wheelchair. I think you know what’s coming here. Edge counters at the last second and only the chair goes flying. A big boot puts Kane down for 5. We take a break with Edge in firm control.
Back with Edge in control still and the fight going on in the crowd near the announcers’ table. Kane clears off the announce table but Edge manages to reverse to send Kane into the steps. That gets a 9 which sounded a lot like ten but they kept it going anyway. Edge does one of those jumps off the top that exist only to jump into a shot from their opponent, in this case an uppercut.
The uppercut is good for 8 and here comes Kane. Top rope clothesline misses though and Edge gets the Edgecution to put both guys down. Cole informs us that if it’s a tie then we keep going. That makes me feel all tingly. Chokeslam out of nowhere has Edge and the title in big trouble. Edge is up and 9 and heads/falls to the floor.
Kane wants a Tombstone on the steps but Edge counters into an Edge-O-Matic onto the steps and the big fried freak is in trouble! Kane gets up at ten but is down at eleven. Edge sets for the spear but runs into a huge boot to the face to put him back down again. That gets 9 but Kane gets a chokeslam onto the table to half kill Edge! Striker was sent flying and is partially pinned under the table in a funny looking visual. Edge uses Striker to pull himself back up and beat the count. That was kind of funny actually.
The challenger is all fired up here and he throws a chair into the ring. Make it a pair of them. He goes up but Edge pelts a chair at his head to take Kane down one more time. That looked sick. BIG chair shots to the knee have Kane in big trouble. The spear hits but Edge isn’t happy yet. He goes out and gets the pelted chair and hits a Conchairto to the knee of Kane, which is enough to end this at 17:20 shown of 20:50.
Rating: B. This was a fun brawl with some fairly creative spots, namely Edge using Striker to get up. I like the ending as instead of the spear it was instead the spear that set up the Conchairto to end Kane. That’s a nice touch and it prevented the match from ending stupidly with a spear ending Kane when nothing else could. I liked it rather well and the ending only made it better. Good match.
Intercontinental Title: Dolph Ziggler vs. Kofi Kingston
They’re certainly pushing this as a huge show with the title matches and all that jazz. Striker calls Vickie the female version of Rosie O’Donnell. Why are so many people obsessed with Rosie? What has she ever done? Nice reaction for Kofi here. We get a quick video of last week’s match where Dolph more or less stole the win from Kofi which is true only to a degree.
Kofi hammers away to start as Cole says that Kofi needs to move on instead of trying to get the title back time and time again. Neckbreaker by Dolph gets two. Off to a clear choke that they’re going to call a chinlock because they want to I guess. Splash in the corner misses though and here comes Kofi. These two have some solid chemistry together to be sure.
A rollup by Ziggler with some tights gets two. They’re moving very fast out there. Trouble in Paradise misses and it’s off to the Sleeper! Kofi simply grabs the hands and rips the hold off and gets the SOS for an incredibly close two. Middle rope suplex is blocked by Dolph. I know it seems like I’m flying through this but there is almost nothing between these fast moves. After Kofi knocks Dolph off the ropes to block the suplex, the HUGE crossbody ends this perfectly clean at 5:31. That came out of nowhere!
Rating: B. Ok, this grade is going to require some explanation as to how it can be equal to the first match and I think it might clear up a bit about my grading system in general in case some people think I’m a bit inconsistent. While I’m giving this match the same grade, it’s certainly not as good as the first one. There are two key differences though.
The first is that the opener was meant to be a long brawl, as evidenced by giving it nearly four times as long to work with. That match had time to work out spots and to be a brutal fight, whereas this was supposed to be fast paced and exciting. Different styles of match, but both well done.
Second, which ties into the first, was the ending. Dolph literally turned around to get hit by the cross body. Kofi is already horizontal when Dolph sees him. I love matches that end very quickly and with moves that aren’t finishers. To the fans it looked like another big move that Kofi would hit to get a two count. Instead it’s over and the fans are surprised. That’s an excellent touch and it keeps the matches interesting.
As for the match itself, one important thing to make clear is that this was NOT a squash. Dolph was definitely in this the whole time and Kofi got a big shot in to get the win. That’s very important as it keeps Dolph looking strong while still switching the title. This was a very fun and fast paced match which is what you come to expect from these guys. Good stuff.
Dolph, ever the villain, destroys Kofi post match. Vickie gets on the mic and says that since Teddy isn’t here tonight, Dolph gets a rematch RIGHT NOW!
Intercontinental Title: Kofi Kingston vs. Dolph Ziggler
LOUD Kofi chant but he’s more or less d…..and screw that as he hits Trouble in Paradise and it’s over in 43 seconds! That kick looked great.
Rating: B-. Well the opening 13 seconds were very weak but they picked it WAY up in the next 19. The final 21 were completely awesome though and it definitely was good enough to make this a passable match. Dang man those final 21 seconds with Kofi rolling Dolph over for the cover were more exciting than the entire Flair vs. Steamboat trilogy.
After a break Dolph is yelling at Vickie and telling her that was a boneheaded move. Vickie blames him so Dolph says that maybe she should get a new boyfriend. He leaves and she screeches in a terrifying voice. I’ll be sleeping with the lights on tonight after hearing that.
Long recap of the cage match Monday.
Kelly is on the way to the ring when Drew stops her. He says he’s a different person than he is out there. This was allegedly supposed to be used for Tiffany and not Kelly, which means absolutely nothing but this is a short segment and I need something to talk about. Drew wants to earn her trust and wants her support in his #1 contenders match tonight. She smiles and says thanks and leaves.
Cody vs. Drew vs. Show for the #1 contender spot up next.
Cody Rhodes vs. Drew McIntyre vs. Big Show
See I told you it was up next. Cody does look good in the jacket. I have to give him that. Could Drew look any more like a natural face than he does? And here’s Vickie of course. She makes it a fatal fourway with Dolph thrown in too.
Cody Rhodes vs. Drew McIntyre vs. Big Show vs. Dolph Ziggler
Drew has a headache and is still tired from the previous two matches. Show looks very pissed off about the extra person being added in. They all surround Show who is like screw it and beats up all three guys. Drew is tossed to the floor first and then the other two get beaten on a bit as well. Down to Show vs. Cody which is a mini-feud at least. Dolph breaks up a pin by Show which gets him picked up by the hair and slammed down.
All Show for the first two minutes or so. Channeling his inner Bobby Heenan, Cole says Show could have won this five minutes ago. Stinkface to Cody has him gasping for air. Show is busting out some of his old spots here like the Final Cut (Nightmare on Helm Street) and the one where he lifts up his leg and drops it onto the other guy’s chest like a standing legdrop (Wiki calls it the Showstopper but I’ve never heard that name for it before)
Drew has been in the ring maybe 20 seconds so far. Big chop in the corner misses Dolph and Cody teams up with Dolph to beat down the Giant. And that fails completely as Show blocks a double Irish Whip and sends both guys flying over the top with a simple tug. Out on the floor Show is triple teamed and sent through the time keeper’s area. He’s down but so is everyone else as we take a break.
Back with Cody vs. Dolph in the ring. Cody goes for a moonsault but Drew shoves him off the top into the waiting arms of Big Show. Cody gets back in to stop Drew from destroying Dolph and shouts that he’s #1. He’s Paul Jones all of a sudden? Drew back in now but Show is back up to a big reaction. He picks off Drew and sends him flying on the floor and I think we’re about to pick up again.
Cody gets crushed in the corner and down goes Ziggler. Show calls for the Chokeslam and out of nowhere Wade Barrett comes in to destroy Big Show! A few big boots and a top rope elbow take down Show and Wade leaves. Something to note there: Barrett just took down Show when three guys couldn’t. Cody can’t steal the pin after the Beautiful Disaster but Ziggler manages to get the Zig Zag for two.
Futureshock gets two as this is ridiculous. Show took a beating from Barrett, Cody’s second best move, Ziggler’s pin finisher and Drew’s finisher and is up a few seconds later. We get that he’s a giant but don’t make him look invincible. Cody and Dolph team up again but Dolph grabs the Zig Zag on him out of nowhere and gets the pin at 10:12 shown of 13:42.
Rating: C+. Fun match and told a decent story, but for the love of heck I can’t stand Show being made to look invincible like he does with those power kickouts. Doing that to one move is ok, but how weak does the Futureshock look when it can’t get a pin after all that softening up mere seconds before it? This still was more good than it was bad though so points for that.
Michelle McCool vs. Kelly Kelly
Kelly looking GOOD tonight. They’re flying through this show too with maybe two backstage segments so far tonight. Michelle charges into the corner to start but Kelly gets a choke with her legs while hanging upside down over the ropes. Michelle fights that off with ease and goes after Kelly’s leg. Kelly manages to get a headscissors to take her down and sets for the K2. Michelle casually counters into the Faithbreaker to end this in 1:42. Not quite a squash but you could call it that pretty easily.
Laycool beats down Kelly post match until Drew runs down for the save.
Alberto Del Rio vs. Rey Mysterio
2/3 falls here. This show has been PACKED with wrestling so far at a level I haven’t see in a long time. Before we start Alberto says that it’s his destiny to win the Rumble. He talks about how there are pure Latinos and then the rest of them, who are car washers, gardeners, and Rey Mysterio. I like that.
Rey starts us off here with some speed moves and wants the 619 maybe 75 seconds in. Alberto ducks and the Cross Armbreaker makes it 1-0 in 1:37. I was under the impression that there would be no math. We get a graphic telling us that it’s 1-0. Are fans really that stupid? After a quick break we’re back with Rey in an armbar and then taking a big backbreaker to put him down again.
Rey gets sent to the floor as we debate if Rey tapped out just to break the hold, which would make sense. A big rana takes down Alberto but Rey can’t capitalize immediately. Alberto gets up and goes for the armbreaker again but Rey turns into it and gets a rollup for two. 619 can’t hit again but a cradle gives Rey the 1-1 tie at 8:12 (total time elapsed) and we take our second break of the match.
Back with Alberto holding another armbar as Rey is in more trouble. Del Rio gets caught by the usual speed and leverage moves from Rey but Del Rio fights Rey off with a Codebreaker to the arm. The fans chant 619 over and over and Rey gets a body scissors into a DDT for two. Rey tries to go up but Del Rio gets to the ropes and down comes the masked man. He’s caught in the Tree of Woe so Del Rio hammers away.
Alberto goes up for a suplex while being on the outside. In other words he’s trying to suplex Rey to the floor. Rey’s arm is really hurting him here. I’m not sure why Alberto isn’t getting back in the ring but rather is fighting from the apron. Rey gets a 619 around the post to take down Alberto. Rey gets a big dive to take out Alberto and Ricardo and get a big reaction from the crowd. Del Rio gets back in but Ricardo grabs Rey’s ankle and it’s a countout to give Del Rio the win at 11:53 shown of 18:53 total.
Rating: C+. This was pretty good for the most part but I wasn’t feeling it for some reason. Rey losing on the countout to end the match doesn’t do it for me at all. If you’re going to have Rey lose in the end, have it be to the armbreaker. Del Rio still looks good but at the same time the ending feels kind of silly. Decent match but I didn’t like it for some reason.
Rey beats up Ricardo a bit post match including a 619 and the springboard splash.
The announcers recap the show and announce Show vs. Barrett next week.
Overall Rating: A. This show was packed and it worked the whole night. With two nearly 20 minute matches plus a title change and a new #1 contender, how in the world can you argue against this one? Oh and I forgot that Barrett is here now too which is good as the show is dying for star power. I really enjoyed this show with it being so wrestling heavy. Good stuff indeed and a great way to kick off the year.
Edge b. Kane – Conchairto to Kane’s Leg
Kofi Kingston b. Dolph Ziggler – Top rope Cross Body
Kofi Kingston b. Dolph Ziggler – Trouble in Paradise
Dolph Ziggler b. Cody Rhodes, Big Show and Drew McIntyre – Zig Zag to Rhodes
Michelle McCool b. Kelly Kelly – Faithbreaker
Alberto Del Rio b. Rey Mysterio two falls to one