On This Day: February 26, 2010 – Smackdown: It’s Time To Point At A Sign

Smackdown
Date: February 26, 2010
Location: Bradley Center, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Commentators: Todd Grisham, Matt Striker

This is a little trip back to the past for the sake of the day the show aired. We’re just after the Elimination Chamber and on the road to Wrestlemania 26. I barely remember anything about this time period but I believe Batista and Jericho both won world titles on Sunday and Shawn is about to face Undertaker again in his retirement match. We’ll find out the rest in a bit so let’s get to it.

We open with the introduction of the new World Champion Chris Jericho. Oh that’s right he’s going to face Edge at Mania. The champ says that he’s the new champion and then he says it again. It took him fifteen months but he’s finally gotten back to where he belongs. Monday was supposed to be his inauguration as champion but instead Edge interfered and broke it up. Jericho says he didn’t deserve that treatment but here’s Edge with a rebuttal.

Edge hates to admit it but Jericho did what he set out to do on Sunday. Jericho says he did it because he’s the best in the world. Edge lists off some of Jericho’s accomplishments and says spear more and more with each one. After listing the final thing he says spear about ten times and is looking Jericho straight in the eyes.

Edge thinks the spears are getting into Jericho’s mind because he sees fear in his eyes. Jericho knows he can beat Edge but Edge still sees doubt in the champ’s eyes. Edge doesn’t want any excuses at Wrestlemania because if Jericho isn’t at his best, it means a spear. Jericho says Edge will never spear him again and there’s a shot to the non-champion’s head. The Codebreaker is blocked and there’s a spear to take Jericho down. Nice opening segment but just shouting SPEAR over and over again never worked for Edge.

The MITB case is above the ring.

Money in the Bank Qualifying Match: John Morrison vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. R-Truth

Of the eight MITB spots, only Christian is in so far. Truth has his NXT Rookie David Otunga here with him. Yeah this was when NXT was an actual competition and pretty awesome actually. Ziggy heads to the floor almost immediately but both other guys head to the floor after him. That goes nowhere so we get Morrison vs. Truth in the ring. Truth does his flipping around sequence and hits the leg lariat for two. The cover draws Ziggler back in but he heads back to the floor again right after.

Morrison his a dropkick for two as Ziggler makes another save. John chases Dolph around the ring before Dolph heads back in to get beaten up by Truth. Ziggler gets sent to the floor where Truth hits (in the loosest sense of the word) a big dive to take him out. We take a break and come back with Ziggler hooking a chinlock on Truth. Morrison comes back in but is immediately sent to the floor again.

Ziggler hooks a sleeper, his finisher at the time, on Truth and gets the bodyscissors as well. Morrison runs in for the save and gets a Fameasser for his troubles. A reverse slam gets the same on Morrison as Truth is down on the floor. Morrison grabs a quick small package for two but Truth gets in in time for the save. Ziggler gets two on Truth off a dropkick but can’t hit the Zig Zag. Instead a belly to belly puts Truth down for two and a small package gets the same for Truth.

Morrison comes back in and pounds away on Dolph, only to get caught by the spinning forearm from Truth. That gets two from both Truth and Ziggler after the latter throws Truth to the floor. Dolph loads up a superplex but Truth comes back in to break it up, shoving Ziggler out to the floor in the process. A sunset bomb by Morrison takes Truth down but John can’t cover. Starship Pain hits but Ziggler breaks up ANOTHER cover by pulling Morrison out to the floor. Dolph slides in and steals the pin and the spot in the ladder match.

Rating: B. Nice fast paced match here with all three guys looking good. Ziggler was starting to rise up the card at this point but he wasn’t quite there yet. Morrison was the likely candidate to go on and win something big before the end of the year but it would wind up being his old partner named Miz that won the world title first, which shocked a lot of people. Anyway, very fun triple threat here and I think Truth/Morrison would hook up as a team soon after this.

Career vs. Streak is official for Wrestlemania.

Women’s Title: Mickie James vs. Michelle McCool

Mickie is defending and Vickie Guerrero is guest referee for no apparent reason. Apparently Mickie accidentally threw cottage cheese on Vickie. I’m sorry I asked for a reason. Michelle grabs a headlock to start and runs Mickie over with a shoulder block. She dances a bit in celebration but Mickie erupts with a tackle and punches for no count because Vickie is yelling at Layla. Mickie avoids a charging Michelle and sends her to the floor for a baseball slide. A nice rana sends Michelle flying onto the floor as Vickie screeches.

Layla gets kicked in the face but the distraction allows McCool to take over with some hair pulling. Beth Phoenix is watching in the back. James comes back with some forearms but they don’t get her very far. Michelle’s powerbomb is countered into a rana but she comes back with a belly to belly, only to have Vickie fall out of the ring on an attempt to slide into counting position. Mickie gets a rollup but Vickie slaps her in the face. A big boot from Michelle is enough for the pin and the title.

Rating: D. I guess they were going for the screwjob here but it didn’t work for the most part. Even after hearing the explanation for the feud, I’m still not sure why Vickie and Mickie don’t get along. Maybe they don’t like rhyming names or something. Anyway, it still amazes me how much better the divas seem here. They seem much more serious and competent than they are in modern times. The fact that this is three years old makes it all the more stunning.

Money in the Bank Qualifying Match: Kane vs. Drew McIntyre

Drew is IC Champion and undefeated here. He was supposed to go and win the world title eventually but hey, domestic violence with a Diva can derail plans. If nothing else we get the full Broken Dreams entrance for Drew which is still awesome. Drew’s big boot is caught by Kane and there’s an uppercut from the Big Bald. A suplex gets two for Kane but Drew slides to the apron and hits a neckbreaker onto the top rope to take over.

A BIG clothesline gets two for the champion and it’s off to a cravate. Kane fights out of it with the side slam for two but the top rope clothesline misses. A modified Zig Zag (even the announcers call it that) gets two for McIntyre but he can’t hook the Future Shock DDT. Instead it’s a big boot by Kane for two which shocks the announcers way more than it should. The referee gets tripped up for what appears to be inadvertent reasons as Drew can’t hook the Future Shock again. Kane kicks him in the head for the surprise pin to end the undefeated streak. Well that’s sudden.

Rating: C-. Not much of a match here and the ending was really weird. Instead of a big move or anything it was just a quick boot to the face for a pin. If I remember right this match wouldn’t count or something like that which became a running theme for McIntyre matches over the next few weeks. Nothing special here though.

Drew goes on a path of rage post match and yells at Striker for no apparent reason.

Here’s Miz, who at the moment is a Unified Tag Champion and the US Champion, meaning he has three belts. Be Jealous I guess. He says that since he’s a tag champion he can go to any show he wants, but he still doesn’t have a match at Wrestlemania. Miz insults Teddy Long a bit which brings out the bald GM. Since Miz’s partner Big Show isn’t here, we can’t have a tag title match. Instead it’s going to be Miz one on one with Edge.

Cheech and Chong are hosting Raw. Good freaking grief.

Money in the Bank Qualifying Match: CM Punk vs. Shelton Benjamin

This is back when Punk actually had hair. Shelton is freshly back on Smackdown and freshly face as well I believe. Feeling out process to start until Shelton gets in some kicks to the chest to send Punk to the floor. Benjamin charges in like an idiot though and gets guillotined down on the top rope. A hard whip into the corner gets two for CM and it’s off to a front facelock.

Punk hits a swinging neckbreaker for two and it’s off to a figure four necklock. Shelton stands up in an impressive display of power and hits a quick suplex for two. In an impressive display of athleticism, Benjamin jumps to the top rope and springs back for a clothesline for two. Shelton was INSANELY athletic but the Gold Standard thing killed him.

Punk hits a high kick for two but can’t hit the bulldog out of the corner. Luke Gallows (currently Doc in Aces and 8’s) tries to interfere but Rey Mysterio runs out and takes him down. Paydirt (jumping Downward Spiral) hits Punk out of nowhere for the upset pin to send Shelton to Mania.

Rating: C+. Better match here than I was expecting but Shelton was so bored by this Gold thing and it was obvious. To go from as hot as he was a few years earlier to this is a very telling sign. Punk was perfect in the Straightedge Messiah role but the angle got stopped very early because they wouldn’t let Punk win anything. Good match here and better than I was expecting to be sure.

We look at the Mania card, which looks way better than I remember it.

Edge vs. The Miz

This is non-title of course. Edge is very aggressive to start but Miz hides in the corner like any heel worth anything. Off to a headlock by the Canadian as we hear about Miz’s NXT rookie: Daniel Bryan. Edge easily takes him down to the mat and Miz is frustrated. Miz heads to the floor where Edge sends him back first into the barricade. Back in and Miz tries to get a big boot up in the corner, only for Edge to slip by him and ram Miz’s face into the mat. Miz sends him out to the floor to FINALLY get a breather as we take a break.

Back with Miz holding a chinlock for a bit before getting two off a running knee to the face. A running big boot to the back of Edge’s head in the corner connects and the Canadian is in big trouble. Miz goes up top for an ax handle but Edge blocks it and comes back with a flapjack to take over. The Canadian hits a Russian (legsweep) on the American as Daniel Bryan is watching in the back. The Edge-O-Matic gets two but Miz decks him in the head to slow Edge down. The Skull Crushing Finale is countered into an Impaler and the spear is good for the pin.

Rating: C. Miz wasn’t quite up to the level of Edge yet but at the same time, Edge was nowhere near back to what his top form was. That ankle injury was the latest in a LONG line of injuries for Edge and he was only starting to get back to normal when he had to retire the next year because of his neck. Not a great main event but it did its job well enough.

Surprisingly enough no Jericho run in to end the show.

Overall Rating: B-. This was a nice surprise and a fun reminder of why Smackdown used to be so fun. Back in the day you would get entertaining shows like this one with a ton of wrestling and some nice quality matches that actually ACCOMPLISHED SOMETHING. 2010 was a good year for the blue guys but don’t worry: WWE would manage to screw it up soon enough.

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