Date: January 14, 2011
Location: Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex, Birmingham, Alabama
Commentators: Michael Cole, Josh Matthews, Matt Striker
We continue on the path to the Rumble with this week’s Smackdown. The main story will be Dolph building up to his title match with Edge which the website confirmed would be there. I like them giving a guy like Ziggler a quick test run in the main event. Also this goes to show you: never let a bad gimmick convince you that a guy can’t succeed. The WWE Champion was a chick magnet and the biggest star in the company was a rapper. At least he wasn’t saying Yo Baby Yo Baby Yo. Let’s get to it.
The opening video is about Barrett vs. Show which I had completely forgotten about. That can’t be a good sign.
Cue theme song. Something tells me the Insurgency is never going to rise as there is no blood to sacrifice in WWE.
Dolph and Vickie will be on the Cutting Edge tonight.
Here’s Alberto to open the show. It’s a 59 Jag this week. Seeing Del Rio live gave me a new respect for him. He talks about how Southerners are slow but there is no one like him in WWE. Also he’s still going to win the Rumble and go to Mania. It’s nice to see them build up a few people this time as it’s boring when they don’t. Truth comes out to interrupt him and says Del Rio has a rabbit mind. What the heck is this guy on?
He says Del Rio can’t win the Rumble because of having cars or a creepy ring announcer or because of destiny. Actually if it’s his destiny, yeah that would make him win. He says that Del Rio steps up by beating the one guy he can’t beat….who is named Lucy. WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS GUY?
They’re interrupted by Cody Rhodes who says that Dashing is in the Rumble this year. He’s only 25 and has been in three Rumbles so he’ll win. Cue Rey who says it’s not about looking like a Diva or destiny but about what’s inside you. If this turns into another I HAVE A BIG HEART speech I’m going to be sick. Also shouldn’t he get a heart that big looked at by a doctor?
Anyway, he and Albert make fun of each other some more and Rey says that he’s won a Rumble while Alberto has won zero. Oh that’s so cute. He still thing that he won that Rumble and not Eddie. Such a delusional masked annoyance. Cody says that’s What’s Up. Truth asks if Cody is stepping on his pinkie toe. Rey says he’s stepping on your pinkie toe. Is this some new language that I don’t understand? Truth drills him and the fight is on. Teddy pops up and we get a tag match. Truth and Rey hug at the announcement.
Rey Mysterio/R-Truth vs. Alberto Del Rio/Cody Rhodes
The match starts after a break. Rey vs. Cody to start us off. Rey dominates to start and it’s off to Del Rio. Alberto is officially an arch-nemesis so you know he’s awesome. Cole asks a good question: how many times do Truth and Mysterio have to lose to Del Rio before they shut up? Alberto sends Rey to the floor and rams him into the barricade.
Cody comes in and misses a knee drop. I love his old school style. Top rope cross body by Rey takes him down. That move has been coming back lately which is a good thing. I love simple moves like that. Off to Truth and Del Rio now. Sitout Gordbuster (dang it Striker stop saying the same things I do) by Truth. He sends both of his opponents to the floor where Rey kills them both with a big moonsault and we take a break.
Back with Truth holding a chinlock on Del Rio but Cody is in seconds later. It’s confirmed that all four guys will be in the Rumble as I think everyone expected. For some reason the commentators keeps speaking Spanish seemingly at random. Del Rio gets two on Truth with a move that isn’t important enough to make note of. That and I was typing and didn’t see it.
Cody beats on Truth a bit more and gets two off a Russian leg sweep. Crossface Chickenwing (what is with so many people using that recently?) and a body scissors makes Bob Backlund say “Oh, to be dashing”. Truth fights out of it with an Electric Chair and gets the tag off to Rey. For no apparent reason Cody doesn’t tag and gets a seated senton for his troubles.
Rey cleans house and we get a pinfall reversal sequence, won by Rey into a sunset flip for two as Del Rio saves. Truth sends Del Rio to the floor with a side kick and it’s down to Cody vs. Rey now. I don’t like the Dashing one’s chances. Cody almost counters a headscissors into an Alabama Slam but gets caught anyway. 619 sets up the Springboard Splash at 10:28 shown of 13:58.
Rating: C+. Not the best tag match here but these guys have no history as teams so that makes up for it a bit. This was the usual decent Smackdown tag match of the week which means it was at least good. They have the formula for these things down pat and this was no exception. Fun match to start off the show.
Time for Straight Out of the Hood with JTG as I refuse to butcher English like the title card does. Basically it’s his take on recent events in WWE which is actually kind of entertaining.
We get a clip of Barrett costing Show the #1 contender spot last week.
Barrett says he came back to Raw as a conquering hero like Julius Caesar but was thrown out. He came to Smackdown to continue his dominance and picked the Big Show because he’s the biggest star on Smackdown, and Barrett only goes after the best. When he’s done, all will hail Caesar. I’d rather Hail Sabin but whatever. Also, please not another British gladiator character.
Video package on Ezekiel who talks about the Book of Ezekiel.
Trent Barreta vs. Drew McIntyre
I liked Barreta last time he was on Smackdown so this should be good too. Drew gets a semi-face pop. Trent goes straight for him to start but Drew takes his head off with a clothesline. He still isn’t completely healed from his big dive two weeks ago apparently. Drew destroys him here, taking him to the floor and possibly knocking out a tooth. Trent is more or less dead a minute into this. The fans are cheering for Drew here.
Dropkick gets two as Drew adds something new to his arsenal. He must be emulating Mr. Cena. Off to an armbar now and Cole plugs the video game by saying Trent is only going to win there. Trent makes a brief comeback and gets a one footed dropkick for two. Drew counters into a belly to belly and the referee is thinking about stopping it. Drew goes for a gorilla press instead of the Futureshock and gets countered into a sunset flip/rollup for the shocking pin at 3:24!
Rating: C+. I like this Barreta guy. He’s likely not going to go anywhere and this is probably just a plot device for the Kelly/Drew story but at least they’re letting someone new get some TV time and even a clean win here. This wasn’t quite a squash but it was kind of close to one. Trent got beaten badly here but he hung in there and it became a good match. This was fun and the ending wasn’t contrived, which is always a big plus. Fun stuff.
Post break Trent is walking in the back and gets jumped by Drew. Before the beating gets too bad though Kelly comes up and glares at Drew. He throws Trent aside in an unintentionally funny moment and goes after her. Drew says he was only going to ask for a rematch but that’s not what Kelly saw. She says that she was starting to believe him but now that’s not what she sees. Kelly says she doesn’t want to be with someone that takes pleasure in beating on people and tells Drew to grow up.
Big Show vs. Wade Barrett
As Show makes his entrance, Josh plugs the Hall of Fame introduction ceremony. He says it’s the most prestigious night of the year, the night before Mania. Wouldn’t Mania be more prestigious. Wade has his own music now and….yeah not feeling it. It’s fast paced and almost techno-lite. I’m not liking it but maybe it’ll grow on me. Show goes right at him and the beating is on early.
We talk about Otunga and his jumping of Show on Smackdown as Barrett takes Show down. Show of course shrugs off the offense and tries for the Chokeslam. Barrett manages to block it twice though so at least this isn’t a two and a half minute match. He tries a third time but Slater and Gabriel run in for the DQ. Show tries to fight them off but the numbers catch up to him. Only for a bit though as he fights them off again.
Big Zeke of all people pops up on the apron and stares down Show. Slater tries to jump him again and Gabriel brings in a chair. Show DRILLS it into his head but Zeke runs in to beat him down further. The 4-1 assault happens with Zeke getting a nice delayed slam on Show and the 450 capping it off. The new team raises their hands up. Replays take us to a break. No rating as this was like 2 minutes of an actual match.
Michelle McCool vs. Beth Phoenix
Layla looking incredible in a blue dress here. Beth looking great too. Sorry, hot women make me write in choppy sentences. The Divas on Smackdown have gotten a lot better recently so we’ll see if that stays true here. Michelle beats her down to start as we make NFL predictions and comparisons. Josh as usual gets us back on track.
Beth fights back but Michelle gets a slick rollthrough to hook the leg and take Beth down again. That was cool looking. Crowd does not care for the most part here. Beth’s knee is killing her here but she manages to get a rollup for two. Blast it I’m getting tired of Laycool’s song getting stuck in my head every time they have a match.
Michelle tries to cannonball down onto Beth’s knee but gets launched to the floor. Beth hammers away and gets a slingshot suplex for two. She tries for the Glam Slam but Michelle counters. Big boot is blocked into another attempt into the Glam Slam. Michelle rolls through but Beth rolls backwards to get the pin at 4:10.
Rating: C+. Wow I’ve used that rating a lot tonight. Everything has been above average tonight but nothing has been incredibly good. This was good enough though and another passable match from the Divas. The main thing with them lately has been that they’re looking much more confident in the ring. Instead of looking like they have to plan each move out individually we see them looking smooth out there and that it’s instinct, much like a seasoned competitor. That’s a very good thing indeed and something I haven’t seen since Lita and Trish.
Shawn Hall of Fame video. The line of “I’m going to give you a show you’ll never forget. Why? Because I can” sums up Shawn as well as anything ever could.
Vickie is yelling at Teddy who is mad because of some decisions she made last week. Teddy gets a phone call and has to leave because of something involving the Barrett situation. Ziggler tells Vickie to not let Edge get to her in the interview segment later. He also apologizes for yelling at her last week. They rub noses in an awkward moment.
Here’s Kofi for a match but there’s no opponent yet. Kofi is another guy that has incredible energy live. I saw him in his first defense after the televised title change and he was probably the highlight of the show after Edge. Everything he does he looks like he’s giving everything he can which is a nice this to see. We get a clip of the title change and defense last week which was a cool moment.
Before the match against whomever, he says that he had the fans in his corner last week and because of them he’s the Intercontinental Champion again. He learned about himself last week and the first thing he learned was check one two. Here’s Swagger in case you didn’t get that. Swagger says he’s proud of Kofi for learning something but 2011 is the year of the All-American. I still have never heard his lisp that is constantly talked about. Swagger warns him about the ankle lock so Kofi says let’s go right now.
Kofi Kingston vs. Jack Swagger
Non-Title it seems. Even though there was a bell before the entrance of Kofi and he was introduced with his weight and all that, this seems impromptu. We hit the floor almost immediately and Swagger drops him on the announce table as we take a break. Back with Swagger stomping away as he’s in total control. Vader Bomb gets two.
All Jack so far. Another Vader Bomb misses though and here comes Kofi. Sunset flip gets two. Kofi can’t get the SOS but Swagger can’t get the Gutwrench Powerbomb. Out of NOWHERE, Kofi gets the SOS for the pin at 5:00 shown of 8:30 total. That really was a surprising ending.
Rating: B-. This was probably the best match of the night so far. Nothing great here but these two work well together which seems to be the case of everyone that Kofi faces. The SOS is a great secondary finisher for Kofi and this was no exception here. Good little match and a great way to start the reign of Kofi.
After a final break it’s time for another cutting Edge. Before Dolph and Vickie come out, Edge says that last week he wasn’t sure if he was going to survive the last man standing match, but he did and is still champion. There’s something cool about a champion holding up the belt slowly like that. He’s going from facing one monster last week to another this week in the form of Vickie Guerrero. Cue the challenger and the creature that hangs out with him.
Edge says there was controversy with the victory last week which Dolph and Vickie deny. Edge accuses Vickie of giving him the eye or something but Dolph says they’re leaving. The champion makes fun of Vickie with some good lines. Vickie says she was young and crazy when she married Edge.
Dolph says Edge owes his career resurgence to Vickie. This is almost a therapy session. Vickie has a clip to show them which is Edge making out with his wedding planner (not identified as Alicia Fox). Dolph gets a jab at Edge, saying he looks about 14 in that clip. Vickie lets loose the screeches. Edge of course has his own clip which is Dolph making out with Kaitlyn.
Edge asks Vickie who that was and as she’s shaking, Dolph DRILLS Edge who fights back. Vickie yells that it was their wedding day and slaps him three times. She jumps on Edge so Edge looks for a spear. He changes him mind and leaves then changes his mind again. Dolph pulls him out for the save though and the beating is on. Great heat on Dolph as he and Vickie stand over Edge to end the show.
Overall Rating: B-. This was still a good show but it wasn’t great. The wrestling was a bit down this week but after last week it was still pretty decent with no real bad matches. The main point tonight was two fold in that we had Show vs. Barrett as well as a good focus on Dolph vs. Edge. The world title match seems like it could be very good and likely will be. Vickie adds a nice dynamic to it so overall, this should be a fun Rumble. Either way, good stuff this week but not their best.
Rey Mysterio/R-Truth b. Alberto Del Rio/Cody Rhodes – Springboard Splash to Rhodes
Trent Barreta b. Drew McIntyre – Sunset Flip
Big Show b. Wade Barrett via DQ when Heath Slater interfered
Beth Phoenix b. Michelle McCool – Rollup
Kofi Kingston b. Jack Swagger – SOS