Date: April 1, 2011
Location: Allstate Arena, Chicago, Illinois
Commentators: Michael Cole, Booker T, Josh Matthews
This is the final show before the big one and from what I understand it’s mainly a highlight show which is fine. There were some matches taped at Raw so at least we’ll get some original content. Expect a lot of “we see so and so from Raw” on here tonight but that’s all well and good for a show like this. Let’s get to it.
Theme some opens us up. For once I have to watch this live as there was no pre-air.
Intercontinental Title: Wade Barrett vs. Kofi Kingston
Wade looks good with the title. Kofi charges straight at him which gets him nowhere as Barrett kicks him to the floor and takes over. Back in the ring a pumphandle slam gets two. Barrett channels his inner Chris Hero and locks on a Cravate but rams Kofi’s head into Barrett’s knee as he does it for some added punishment.
Kofi comes back with kicks and strikes plus that great dropkick for two. SOS doesn’t work. There are water stains in the ring which must be from something I’ve forgotten about from Raw. Top rope cross body gets two and here’s the Boom Drop. Trouble in Paradise runs into a big boot as Booker rambles about Kofi wasting time. Wasteland doesn’t work and there’s Trouble in Paradise out of nowhere, but there’s Corre for the DQ at 3:57.
Rating: C-. Match wasn’t anything of note at all for the most part and even while it was good we were all just waiting for Corre to come out for the ending. Not much of a match and the Corre formula is getting very old very quickly. They’re a terribly boring stable even with a lot of gold like they have.
The beatdown begins until Santino/Kozlov come out to get beaten down also. Show and Kane come out for the real save. Kofi has nothing to do at Mania at all does he?
We recap last week with Cody jumping Rey and trying to hurt him.
Striker is with Cody who is in the shadows with a towel over his head. Cody says that he’s a very bitter man that doesn’t even want to look in the mirror anymore. This is a rather serious promo and it comes off pretty well. Cody says that on Sunday Rey has to contend with this, revealing his mask, and this, holding up the knee brace. Good stuff, but then again I like Cody.
Back and we get clips from Axxess where we have Todd and the Bellas. There are areas such as Hornswoggle’s house under the ring and Vince’s destroyed limo. The Bellas brag a bit and it sounds like a CM Punk chant in the background.
We get a recap of Taker vs. HHH, as in the same one from Raw with the song. Later tonight we’ll see the staredown from Raw. The video really is good.
We recap Orton vs. Punk which had a great build and then it just fell apart. The continuity was a nice touch but they kind of lost the flare with the Nexus guys getting destroyed over and over. At least it’s one on one at the PPV.
There’s an exhibit at Axxess where you can emulate various wrestlers’ entrances.
We talk about Shawn getting into the Hall of Fame a bit and then get a video about the LOD from Raw. Dang right they should be in the Hall of Fame.
We get the entire Swagger vs. Lawler match from Monday which I’ll throw in the recap from my Raw review in order to fill in some space here.
Jerry Lawler vs. Jack Swagger
Lawler has different music here. Cole pops up on the apron and gets down just before Lawler hits him. Swagger takes over and a Vader Bomb crushes him. Out to the floor and Jerry is thrown into the time keeper’s area. Lawler gets a right hand in and pops Swagger with a chair for the DQ at 1:20. That’s really the only ending they could go with here. Lawler goes after Cole but the security holds him back as Jerry tries to get in through the top of the box. Cole throws his drink at him and Jerry backs off.
Back on Smackdown now, even though I’d assume this was taped before the segment we just recapped occurred, with Jerry Lawler coming out to address Cole. Lawler talks about Cole making fun of his mother, his father and bringing his son out to insult Jerry. Cole left before Lawler came out here. Jerry says that if Cole was here, neither would make it to Wrestlemania. Austin is going to cancel out Swagger on Sunday and it’s just the two of them. On Sunday Lawler is going to do what every fan wants him to do: shut Cole’s mouth.
We get a video from the Mania press conference which had a lot of mainstream press. Allegedly Cena was booed to the point of tears which is saying a lot. Snooki looks like some kind of Xena Warrior Elf.
At Axxess you can see Austin’s ATV and Taker’s graveyard, which would be awesome if Axxess hadn’t already happened. Just to tease us in the background you can see Santino/Kozlov about to face the Usos live at Axxess. Clearly we can’t watch that though right? Wow did I really just ask to see Santino/Kozlov vs. the Usos? I must be bored.
We reair the Shawn/Taker/HHH thing from Monday. I’ve commented on it twice already so I’ve got nothing here. Eats up about 15 minutes.
Video of the Miz on Conan which really was funny. Coco is officially the Ginja Ninja with the catchphrase of “Step into my dojo mofo.” Miz is hilarious when he’s allowed to just be himself.
Sin Cara is coming.
There’s a booth at Axxess with the old WWF/E title and some autographed stuff. Trish has her own fashion booth which just makes me want to see her in them rather than on mannequins.
Time to talk about Trish/Snooki. Oh joy. Since all of the segments have been short, we see all of them involving Snooki.
We recap Del Rio vs. Edge which is more or less running down the history of Alberto who somehow only debuted in the fall.
Cody Rhodes vs. Chris Masters
Here’s your last match before Wrestlemania people. Cherish it. Cody has a new dark version of Smoke and Mirrors which is pretty awesome sounding. Cody goes straight at him which gets him nowhere. Cole comes out during the match as Cody hits the Beautiful Disaster to take over. Mad heat on Cole which I don’t think is legit. Cody gets a crossface chickenwing (what is up with people using that recently?) and calls some spots. Masters gets a Samoan Drop but can’t get the Master Lock. Cross Rhodes ends this at 2:10. Just a squash.
Rey runs out but can’t get 619. Cody avoids it again with the second time seeing Rey expose the knee brace. Here lies Cody Rhodes: the latest awesome character to be sacrificed to the King of Mystery. You know it’s coming.
We talk about Jericho on Dancing with the Stars with Matthews saying Jericho won the Undisputed Title at Wrestlemania. Are they altering THAT now too?
Cena’s cars are at Axxess and some of them are one of a kind.
Naturally the last part of the show is reairing Rock and Cena with Miz on the side from Raw. I can’t get over the fact that the Attitude Adjustment actually happened. I’m pulling for Miz on Sunday, just to hear his promo the next night. Cena leaves Rock laying to end the show.
Overall Rating: D. Now I know what you’re thinking: this was supposed to be a preview of Mania. Well that’s true. However, WWE has a roster of like 60 people. A TON of them won’t be on Mania and yet we couldn’t see any of them here? I have no desire to look at Axxess stuff for an hour and a half, see a 4 minute IC Title match and a squash. Throw Tatsu out there or something. I’m not saying make it Superstars, but you couldn’t find ten more minutes of wrestling without airing EVERYTHING from the past month? I get the point of this, but I still don’t like it in the slightest really.