Date: March 4, 2011
Location: Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, Ohio
Commentators: Booker T, Michael Cole, Josh Matthews
Well it’s another week closer to Wrestlemania and we’re coming off a kind of lackluster show last week. However, we don’t have Vickie around anymore so I guess our ears will be in better shape now. Tonight we have the official contract signing for Edge vs. Alberto and the approximately 100th return on Smackdown of Undertaker. There’s probably a DVD worth of them and I’m not exaggerating. Let’s get to it.
We open with a recap of the events of last week that led to Vickie being fired. She’s coming back isn’t she?
Edge and Alberto sign the contract tonight.
Theme song opens us up.
Here’s Edge whose left arm is taped up. He talks about wanting to be able to look into Alberto’s eyes so Alberto can see what it takes to main event Wrestlemania. Also he has a bone to pick with Alberto, as last week he was trying to say goodbye to Vickie but Alberto interrupted. Edge wants to finish singing goodbye to Vickie though. Drew McIntyre runs out though and is almost instantly sent to the floor.
Cue Teddy who wants to thank Drew. He also wants to thank the fans around the world (assuming that was a misspeak) because they owe Drew a debt of gratitude because thanks to him, Vickie is gone. Drew vs. Edge is made for right now. Well right after the break and a thank you Drew chant led by Edge.
Drew McIntyre vs. Edge
Drew works on the arm to start as makes perfect sense. Nice to see the show opening more or less with wrestling for once. Edge tries to speed things up but gets caught in the face by a big boot and we go to the floor. It’s been more or less all Drew in the first three minutes or so which has been about 80% arm work. Drew says he’s going to end Edge’s career and then gets two in the ring.
There goes the arm tape and we hit the armbar again. Hot crowd tonight as they chant for Edge. Edge hits the floor and takes off his elbow pad. We’re 30 days away from Wrestlemania. That brings a smile to my face. I love this time of year and we’re getting a pretty decent build to the show. Edge plays possum on the floor and gets a backdrop to shift the momentum.
Back in and Edge gets a top rope cross body for two. Booker completely ignores Josh’s questions about what Booker thinks of Edge’s arm injury. Out of NOWHERE Edge hits the spear for…two as he picks Drew up. Instead he throws on the Edgecator (the kneeling half Sharpshooter since he doesn’t use it that often) for the tap out at 5:15. During the post match stuff Cole says it was a new move to Edge’s arsenal. Considering it has a name I think that would be incorrect.
Rating: C+. Just a quick opener here but they had some psychology in there from Drew as he went after an injured body part. I’m not entirely sure I get why Drew ran in to Vickie’s defense as I know he was defending her last week but I didn’t think they were best friends or something. Fine for a quick opener and it added something to Edge as he apparently has a “new” finisher.
Show vs. Kane later.
Cole brings up his match with Lawler but apparently he’s not talking about that right now.
Here’s Rey….in a suit? Cole says he’s back. He was there last week so I guess everyone is back this week. He also grew about 8 inches. If you didn’t get that it’s not Rey but rather Cody Rhodes as the music changes and the mirror pops up on the screen. We see a clip of the Rhodes’ beatdown from last week on the real Rey which really was good stuff.
Cody says don’t look at him. Maybe the whole coming out in a Rey mask with loud rap music and fireworks before switching over to another song which would confuse the fans and then standing in the middle of a ring in the middle of the arena while talking and with a microphone amplifying your voice is causing them to look at you? Anyway, Cody talks about wanting to get revenge on Rey, giving him just a fraction of the damage that Rey gave to Cody. He challenges Rey for Mania and promises and promises to expose Rey’s face on the grandest stage of all.
In the back Corre comes up to talk to Kane. They say that they helped Kane get the biggest victory of his career. Tonight they want him to beat Show. I’m assuming foreshadowing here?
Tag titles on the line next.
Tag Titles: Heath Slater/Justin Gabriel vs. Santino Marella/Vladimir Kozlov
Ok, PLEASE let this be the last match between these teams. Is there a reason why a Raw (complete with name graphic) team is challenging on Smackdown when the tag champions can compete on both shows? Santino and Gabriel start us off with Gabriel scaring Santino back with kicks and Santino scaring Gabriel back with the threat of the Cobra. Santino gets the first offense in with a slam.
Booker still doesn’t like Jackson and still thinks he’s a thug. Off to Kozlov as Booker intentionally ignores Cole. Cobra puts Gabriel on the floor as we take a break. Back with the Russian holding Slater in a headlock on the mat. Slates goes for the knee and down goes Kozlov. Barrett sneaks in a shot and Booker isn’t happy. Off to Gabriel and we get a Santino chant.
Cravate by Gabriel as Cole brings up some cheating moments from Booker’s career. Booker says “My career is….” and he’s cut off by having to stop to call the match. I didn’t think he had retired or anything officially so that could have been interesting. Anyway Kozlov takes Slater down and it’s off to Santino. He gets his usual offense on Slater and hits the salute headbutt for two. Everything breaks down and Santino loads up the Cobra. He takes Barrett down with it but Slater hits a reverse DDT to retain at 4:06 shown of 7:36.
Rating: C-. Ok, we get it: Corre can beat Santino and Kozlov. Now give us something else with these teams. This would be a good chance to start rebuilding the tag division with some random teams facing Corre but that’s not going to happen. Nothing special at all here and more of the same stuff we’ve seen a half dozen times with these guys.
Christian is back next week. No word on if that’s in the ring or not. At the same time we recap his injury and return at the PPV. No mention of him at the Slammys which was hilarious.
Alberto and Ricardo are in the back and Alberto says he almost captured his essence. That’s all there is to this segment. No idea what the point of that was.
Time to talk about Taker vs. HHH and by that I mean show the HHH promo from Raw in its entirety. You know, you could get A LOT more wrestling on the two shows not named Raw if you stopped airing five minutes worth of talking from Raw on them. This would have been a far better promo if they hadn’t fought already at Wrestlemania in a good match.
Here comes Taker to the Johnny Cash song. I’d really rather hear the organ music for him as it just fits better. Cash is awesome but at the same time it just doesn’t seem right for someone like Taker. Taker is actually kind of moving to get down to the ring. I almost couldn’t finish marinating the turkey I cooked while he was coming down. At least the song fits the character so that helps.
Taker talks about how surprising he finds it that the greatest of the great don’t know when to leave well enough alone. There are some things that just can’t be done. There are mountains that can’t be climbed, seas that can’t be crossed, and Streaks that can’t be broken. He agrees with a lot of what HHH said as they’re the last of a dying breed and the last of an era. Taker thinks that HHH is the greatest world champion over the last fifteen years. That’s covering a lot of ground there Deadman.
HHH claims to have found the way to get rid of the Undertaker: beat him at Wrestlemania. That’s easier said than done though. If HHH can do it, he will be the Game and the King of Kings. But if he loses, he will become nothing more than a number and a name on a list. You mean like he already is?
Taker plays no game and bows down to no man, especially the king of kings. At Wrestlemania, HHH will find out that Undertaker is the Last Outlaw. That’s the new name I guess. HHH will also find out what it means to Rest in Peace. This was more like Mark Calloway playing Undertaker rather than Undertaker if that makes sense.
We see a clip from the Sin Cara/Mistico contract signing. That’s another step for WWE in their international push. Having lots of guys of different nationalities worked in the 60s and 70s so why not here?
Rosa Mendes/Beth Phoenix vs. Laycool
I guess the foot is ok. During Laycool’s entrance Cole goes on a rant against journalism and the internet for overplaying the problems Laycool has been having. Beth and Michelle start but it’s off to Rosa and Layla very quickly. Booker mentions that Laycool is like Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie. Last week I thought Michelle was starting to seem a lot like Hilton so maybe I was onto something.
Off to Beth vs. Layla now with Beth dominating her. Beth completely destroys her of course and a powerslam gets two. Michelle gets a big boot to the head of Beth for the pin at 2:20. There’s a possibility that the boot is loaded. I guess the Laycool problems are put of hold for a week which might be a good thing at the moment. No rating as again this was short but the Smackdown Divas are so far ahead of the Raw Divas it’s unreal.
Big Show vs. Kane
Remember that Corre talked to Kane earlier tonight so they might get involved here. They also show the clip from last week with Show running Corre off with a chair. This is match #847 or so between these two. Show backs him into the corner but gets drilled in the chin for his niceness. K-Mart is sponsoring the live tours now. K-Mart still exists? There used to be like 4 here in Lexington and now there is one and no one goes there. Double clothesline makes it seem like it’s time for a break but here comes Corre with a chair. Barrett slides it to Kane and it’s a DQ at 1:16.
Kane cracks Show with it and Corre comes in for the beatdown. Then Kane cracks Gabriel with it and runs off Corre with the chair. Huh?
We hear Shawn’s thoughts on HHH vs. Taker where he still doesn’t really say anything.
Here’s Jack Swagger. Basically this is to push Cole as Swagger’s student. There’s a Team Cole now. Better than Team Edward. Cole says that on Monday we’re going to find out who the referee is. The referee is awesome and one of the best of all time. Also, the referee, Swagger, Cole and LeBron James think Cleveland stinks.
Jack Swagger vs. JTG
This starts after a break. Cole goes on a huge rant, explaining how Swagger has been teaching him. Swagger massacres JTG, hitting two Vader Bombs seconds in and the ankle lock ends this in 1:03. I think Cole’s entire speech was one long sentence.
Since it’s been a full five minutes since we talked about Raw, here’s a recap of Rock’s promo on Raw. This one is thankfully cut down.
Edge defaces a painting of Alberto and leaves it in the back. Ok then.
Time for the contract signing with Teddy moderating things I guess. I love that smirk on Alberto. I’ve seen him live and you can tell he’s having a blast. Why does Alberto keep paying Ricardo if he introduces himself a minute later? Ricardo starts singing the Mexican national anthem but here’s Edge to save our ears. Teddy wants to know if we can have a contract signing end peacefully. Oh Teddy, you poor bad dancing stupid bald man.
The idiotic fans chant USA while the Canadian talks to the Mexican. Maybe they’re cheering for Teddy? Edge tells Alberto he doesn’t know what it’s like fighting on the biggest stage in the world. Alberto says this is his destiny. Edge says destiny can change and Alberto’s destiny may be to lose at Mania. Intense stuff here from both guys. Del Rio signs but it looked like just one word. Edge signs too and I guess everything is ok.
Edge asks Teddy if he remembers asking if a contract signing can end peacefully. He says he has an answer and Teddy sprints out of the ring. Edge hammers away and clears the ring of all the Mexican stuff Del Rio had set up. He sets for the spear but Ricardo grabs his feet and Del Rio hammers away. Cross Armbreaker goes on and Edge kind of taps. It’s let go quickly for no reason and Edge barely sells it on the mat. At least grab your arm dude.
Out to the floor and Edge’s nose is busted. I’m surprised they didn’t blur it out. Ricardo hands Del Rio a chair and it gets wrapped around the arm of Edge. Christian runs out (in wrestling gear) for the save. He beats Del Rio for a good while before security breaks it up to end the show.
Overall Rating: B-. MUCH better than last week. It’s not a great show but it’s a definite improvement as there was a lot more energy this time around. Storylines were advanced and there were some new developments. I still wish they’d cut out the Raw stuff but I guess it’s a Mania thing. Also some additional wrestling would help. Still though this was a solid show and entertaining throughout. Good show this week.
Edge b. Drew McIntyre – Edgecator
Heath Slater/Justin Gabriel b. Santino Marella/Vladimir Kozlov – Reverse DDT to Marella
Laycool b. Beth Phoenix/Rosa Mendes – Layla pinned Phoenix after a big boot from McCool
Big Show b. Kane via DQ when Kane used a chair
Jack Swagger b. JTG – Ankle Lock