Date: March 25, 2011
Location: Nationwide Arena, Columbus, Ohio
Commentators: Michael Cole, Josh Matthews, Booker T
After last week’s awesome show we’re here at the last real show before the big one. Next week is going to be a clip/review/highlight show which I can’t say I blame them for. I’d want to get to Atlanta as intact as I could also. Probably more with Alberto vs. Christian/Edge tonight which I really hope doesn’t turn into a triple threat at Mania. Anyway let’s get to it.
We open with a recap of last week’s main event inside the cage and the big beatdowns that followed, one to Edge and one to Christian. Edge has a bad arm now due to Del Rio and his Conchairto to the arm.
Edge is complaining to Teddy about the injuries. There’s been a ruling apparently that Edge thinks is geared towards Alberto. Teddy insists it’s in the best interests of the company. Edge can’t touch Del Rio and vice versa or they’re both off Mania. The classics never die.
Theme song hits. Get your reinforcements. And get a new joke for me because that one has gotten really old.
Rey Mysterio vs. CM Punk
Not a bad way to start things off. This is another Wrestlemania Rewind match. We hear a lot about Cody, more or less saying he’ll be making an appearance in this match. We get a clip from the bus incident from Monday which is just a failure. This feud started out white hot and is now awful. Wow we’re only 9 nights away from Mania. That’s awesome.
Punk takes him into the corner and stomps away to start us off. Rey speeds things up a bit and gets a headscissors to send Punk into the 619 position. Big swinging kick to Punk’s head gets two. Springboard cross body misses and here comes Punk. They’re going through the motions here which is rather odd from these two. Can Booker say anything besides “almost got him right there”?
Abdominal stretch goes on which doesn’t last long as Punk is sent out to the floor. Rey jumps on his shoulders but is launched ribs first into the barrier. Back with Punk in control in the ring with a body scissors. Punk uses various offense on the ribs which makes perfect sense. The fans chant 619 and Punk smiles. Cross body gets two for CM.
An attempt at a second cross body off the top eats a dropkick though and both guys are down for a few seconds. Rey uses some leverage to send Punk out to the floor and hits an Asai Moonsault to take Punk down. And just as it was obvious about, here’s Cody to send Rey into the post for the DQ at 5:30 shown of 9:00.
Rating: B-. This was good while it lasted but the length and the ending hurt it a bit. They started off going through the motions but it got better after the break. See what happens when you put good workers together and give them a few minutes? You get a pretty good match. What are the odds of that?
Cody beats up Rey post match and exposes a metal knee brace which he rams into the head of Mysterio to leave him laying. Nice little touch of continuity there.
Edge is in his locker room when Christian comes in. Christian isn’t sure that Edge fighting Drew McIntyre later is a good idea. Edge says it’s cool and that he’ll be in Christian’s corner against Alberto.
Undertaker responds to HHH later tonight. Dude can they do ANYTHING but respond to each other?
Edge vs. Drew McIntyre
Both guys have cool music. What in the world happened to Drew? He was the hottest thing in the world what, six months ago? Tiffany better be awesome in bed to cost him this much of a push. Edge stomps a Canadian mudhole into Drew but Drew goes right after Edge’s arm like a smart man. The psychology has been good here tonight. After some more work on the arm, Drew goes up and Edge is able to pull him off.
So much for the momentum though as Edge can’t use the Edgecution. That’s a good thing as instead of just shaking his arm, Edge is selling the move to the point that he can’t use his offense. Little things like those make a big difference. Futureshock is reversed by a backdrop and it’s the Edgecator (the kneeling Sharpshooter hold) for the tap out at 2:25. No rating but this was fine. Edge spears Drew post match.
The Taker/HHH video from Smackdown eats up a few minutes.
Kelly Kelly/Rosa Mendes vs. Laycool
Laycool is dressed up like Snooki including the hairdo. The non Flawless girls take then down and it’s a big brawl to start. This is totally nothing as it’s more or less just a quick brawl with Layla beating Rosa in 1:08 with the Layout.
Laycool runs down their Mania opponents and say that Snooki may be famous but she’ll never be *fist pump* flawless.
We recap Corre vs. Show/Kane last week and the big beatdown.
Intercontinental Title: Kofi Kingston vs. Wade Barrett
Kofi fires off some strikes and gets two off a dropkick. Lots of early covers by Kofi here. Corre is outside the ring, meaning in this match we have: a guy from Ghana (Ghanan? Ghanian? I’m really not sure what the right term is there), an Englishman, a South African, a South American and an American. It’s remarkable how international WWE is getting, including people like Sheamus, Mason Ryan and Sin Cara. Good idea too.
Kofi tries to go to the middle rope for something with his back to Barrett but gets kicked off as Barrett takes over. Big boot puts Kofi on the floor. That looked great. Boss Man Slam gets two and it’s off to a bow and arrow. Middle rope elbow misses for Barrett and here comes Kingston. The cross body gets two and there’s the Boom Drop. He sets for Trouble in Paradise but Corre distracts him. The delay doesn’t really work as Kofi fires the kick but Barrett ducks and catches Kofi on his shoulders for the Wasteland. That was awesome looking and it gives Barrett the title at 5:10.
Rating: B-. I like Barrett’s in ring style and this was a good example of that. He mixes things up out there and it works rather well when he gets to use his various stuff. Most importantly though: this gives Barrett something. He hadn’t won anything since the first season of NXT and now he has something concrete on his resume. That’s been lacking for him so I’m well pleased here. Pretty good match too.
Alberto wants to hurt Edge but Teddy says he’s not allowed. Albert says Teddy doesn’t have the guts to ban him from Mania. Teddy says there have been 26 Wrestlemanias without Del Rio and Teddy can make it 27. That was a good comeback actually.
Cue Undertaker with the Johnny Cash music so I guess it’s staying. He stays on the stage to address HHH. Taker says the more things change, the more they stay the same. HHH thinks he can break the Streak, which is what everyone has said. Taker says that soon HHH will learn he can’t do it. This is all going to be said to HHH’s face on Monday.
HHH’s number is coming up and everything goes on the line at Mania. That number is nineteen. Good ending to the promo, but good grief I could not be less hyped about this match if I tried to be. The lack of contact has really hurt it a lot. Also the lack of an actual reason for them to fight.
Jack Swagger vs. R-Truth
We get a clip from Monday of Swagger beating up Lawler. Truth’s singing sounds off. Cole goes into full on psycho heel mode here as we get going. Belly to belly by Swagger gets two. Cole and Booker get into a cheerleading contest as Swagger takes over. Truth pulls the top rope down and a charging Swagger hits the floor.
Truth seems to be limping a bit and he dives out to the floor. He’s clearly not on full strength as that dive was weak looking and he landed on his shoulder it seemed. Back in the ring and Truth goes up, only to get dropped and have his leg caught in the rope. Swagger gives Truth’s leg a DDT and the ankle lock ends it at 2:50. Cole talks about being in a dojo with Swagger which freaks Booker out. Just a glorified squash for Swagger here.
Cole “raps” to Truth post match and runs him down. He and Swagger take a victory lap. That’s going to be an epic beating when it finally happens. I’d love to see an army of people come out and hit their finishers on him like what happened to Bischoff at the first One Night Stand.
We see the ending of Raw with the Miz/Cena segment which was great.
That transitions into running down the Mania card. Del Rio’s graphic has him in a robe kind of thing. When has he ever been in that?
Alberto Del Rio vs. Christian
There’s a ton of time left in the show here so this could be long. I think it’s a Mercedes this week. Brodus and Edge are the seconds here. Solid pop for Christian. Christian gets the clapping going and it’s time to go. Shoulder gets two for the Canadian. Alberto gets Christian in the corner and stomps him down but is backdropped over the corner and out to the floor.
Big cross body takes Del Rio down on the outside as we take a break. Back with Christian getting a sunset flip out of the corner for two and Del Rio hits the floor. Baseball slide misses and Del Rio shoves Christian into the barrier to take over again. Fast paced stuff here. Arm bar goes onto Christian which doesn’t last long.
Senton back splash off the middle rope gets two for Del Rio. Armbar again doesn’t stay on long as Christian is put on the mat. Edge distracts Del Rio a bit and Christian gets a rana off the second rope for two. Christian starts a comeback but a top rope cross body misses. The corner enziguri misses and Christian gets a tornado DDT for two as Ricardo puts the foot on the rope.
Edge goes after Ricardo but it’s Brodus with the save. Cross armbreaker is attempted by Del Rio but Christian flips into the Killswitch. That gets countered also and Del Rio hits an enziguri to put Christian down for a long two. Crowd is way into this. Cross armbreaker goes on but Christian grabs a rope. Both guys are down as Edge spears Clay and pops him with a chair. Christian reverses the armbreaker into the Killswitch to end it at 8:49 shown of 12:19.
Rating: B+. Good stuff here indeed as again you give two guys time and the match works much better. The arm was the story throughout the match and in the end another attempt at going for it cost Del Rio. Good match here but I do kind of question Alberto losing back to back matches mostly clean in a row heading into Mania.
Christian pops Del Rio with a chair since Edge isn’t allowed to, ending the show.
Overall Rating: A-. Another strong outing from Smackdown this week as they go into Mania on a high note, yet with almost none of the focus being on them as usual. It’s really starting to get awkward with Christian as he’s been in the main event scene the entire time for this feud yet he doesn’t have a match at the PPV. I don’t want a triple threat though as we need a one on one match for the title. Very good stuff here and my faith in Smackdown is restored.
Rey Mysterio b. CM Punk via DQ when Cody Rhodes interfered
Edge b. Drew McIntyre – Edgecator
Laycool b. Rosa Mendes/Kelly Kelly – Layout to Mendes
Wade Barrett b. Kofi Kingston – Wasteland
Jack Swagger b. R-Truth – Ankle Lock
Christian b. Alberto Del Rio – Killswitch