A day late (and a dollar short?), but here's this week's SmackDown. Out seeing Despicable Me with the niece and nephew, so it's time to bring this week's show through the magic of the DVR (as opposed to the magic of TiVo...which is pretty much the same thing).
TONIGHT! If Wade Barrett came back last Monday, it's not hard to guess who else is coming back from Visa Exile Hell. Also, fallout from last week's revelations from the Straight Edge Society. SmackDown is now!
The World is NOT Watching again this week, as we go straight to a video package from two weeks ago, where Jack Swagger breaks down the Big Show with the Kurt Angle Memorial Anklelock. That, of course, takes us to last Friday, where Swagger counters Rey Mysterio's 619 with the same anklelock. Swagger's a on a tear with the anklelock. Will it continue tonight?
Opening credits - Let it roll! We are taped from Atlanta, GA. This is the home of next year's Wrestlemania, don'tcha know? Tonight, we get a rematch between Jack Swagger and The Big Show.
We start off...well, guess who's back? It's Drew McIntyre, already in the ring, dressed in tights and not his usual dapper shirt and pants. Before Drew can say a word, Theodore Long's music hits and a grinning Teddy walks to the ring. Long points out that McIntyre was last seen getting deported. McIntyre assures everyone that his citizenship issues are resolved, but not the issues between him and Teddy (who he notably calls "Mr. Long"). Drew admits disrespect and wrongdoing on his part and apologizes for his actions. Long calls McIntyre a liar and accuses him of trying to get in good with him now that Mr. McMahon is out of action. Long says McIntyre will be on the same playing field as everyone else. Drew tells Mr. Long that he's nominating him as a candidate for the WWE Hall of Fame c/o 2011, which Drew says will happen while he competes at Wrestlemania as the world champion, 'natch. Long says that can only happen if he wins the SmackDown Money in the Bank match and gives his confidence to McIntyre. Of course, Mr. Long wants Drew to beg for his opportunity. McIntyre takes umbrage, but Long responds by showing video of his own begging from three weeks ago. McIntyre begrudingly gets on his knees. Long lays it on thick and has McIntyre tell him that he's the most handsome, debonair, high class, sharp-dressed, and intelligent. I love that McIntyre can't seem to keep a straight face here, which is a nice touch. At Teddy's urging, McIntyre says it's an honor and a privilege to have Teddy Long as his boss. Of course, Drew's not in the MitB match just yet, because he has to earn it. He has to earn it against Kofi Kingston. Mr. Long wishes Drew luck as his music hit.
Up next, a MitB Qualifying Match between MVP, Chavo Guerrero, and Dolph Ziggler.
DOLPH ZIGGLER (w/VICKIE GUERRERO) v. CHAVO GUERRERO v. MVP: MONEY IN THE BANK QUALIFYING MATCH Vickie Guerrero goes on commentary. Lucky me. The heels team up on MVP early and pound him down, before MVP goes to work on both guys. The heels get back in control and hit a double suplex on MVP. Dolph pushes Chavo aside and gets the near fall. MVP is able to back body drop Chavo and toss out Dolph just before we go to our next commercial break.
We come back with MVP nearly getting a pin on Dolph. Dolph gets a knee to the gut, before MVP fights back. He gets tripped up by Chavo and the heels go back to double teaming MVP. MVP tries to fight back to no avail and Chavo holds MVP while Dolph scales the ropes. MVP counters by shoving Chavo into the corner and crotching Dolph. MVP gets Dolph with a superplex and everyone's down. Chavo's the first one up and stands around, looking like he's got a sinister plan. He takes forever in pinning MVP, so naturally he kicks out. Vickie takes umbrage to Chavo going into business for himself. Los Guerreros argue amongst themselves and Dolph wipes out Chavo from behind. Chavo hammers away at Dolph and hits the Three Amigos. MVP's fully recovered, though, and takes out Chavo and Dolph. MVP dumps Dolph outside and hits Chavo with a facebuster, which sets up the Ballin' Elbow. Dolph tries to interrupt and gets a belly-to-belly throw and hits the big elbow on Chavo. MVP hits the Play of the Day to finish off Chavo, but Vickie pulls out the ref. Dolph runs in and hits the Sleeper Hold on MVP. The ref runs back in and calls for the bell.
WINNER: Dolph Ziggler - Man, that's dopey, even for a ref. Can't argue with the result, though. Nice to get Dolph in such a big time match. Post-match, Vickie and Dolph celebrate. One spot is left for either Kofi Kingston or Drew McIntyre.
Later tonight, The Rematch (as opposed to The Decision, I suppose). It's Jack Swagger and Big Show in tonight's main event.
Ad break - The PPV's next Sunday.
It's time for our weekly Alberto Del Rio vignette. It's the inspiration vignette from last week.
We go backstage to Josh Mattews with Rey Mysterio and a WWE Physician Dr. Michael Samson. Doc Samson calls it a ligament tear and recommends rest and rehab. Matthews asks Rey how this injury will affect his title defense, but Jack Swagger busts in and orders everyone out. Swagger attacks Rey and hits the anklelock, dragging him out of the room! Rey cries out in pain and no one's coming out to help. Swagger's dragging Rey around the backstage area with the hold applied. Swagger bangs the ankle, leaving Rey laying. Then he grabs Rey and chucks him head-first into a wooden board. Attack's still not over, as Swagger continues to drag Rey around. Anklelock applied again. You'd think the Usual Gang of Idiots would step in by now, but Swagger's still going and drags Rey out to the arena. Anklelock applied for a good, long while before FINALLY The Big Show comes in for the save. Swagger backs off as the trainers check on the fallen champion.
Recap of what we just saw a few minutes ago. I'll give it that it was a really effective segment, but it was already dragging borderline-long. Did we have to see it again in almost its entirety?
CHRISTIAN & MATT HARDY v. CURT HAWKINS & VANCE ARCHER The story here is, of course, whether Christian and Matt Hardy will be able to get along in the wake of what happened on last week's Peep Show. We start with Matt and Hawkins. Matt applies the side headlock, as Hawkins pushes off. Matt hits a shoudlerblock and a clothesline. Grisham acknowledges Hawkins as a former tag team champion without mentioning the word "Edgeheads". Hawkins gets control and backs Matt to his corner before tagging Archer. Double-team avalanche hits and Archer covers for 2. Belly-to-bell suplex gets a near fall. Matt tries to fight back, but Archer gets a corner whip. Corner charge eats boot and Matt gets a tornado DDT. Matt goes for the tag, but Christian slings Matt over the ropes! Nope, Christian didn't forget what happened last week. Christian takes a walk, leaving Matt to the wolves. Archer hits the Death Drop DDT and Hawkins hits the Savage Elbow for the finish.
WINNERS: Vance Archer & Curt Hawkins - Some will look at this as a Christian heel turn, but I'm looking at it more like Christian getting payback for Matt leaving him laying last week. Not that a Christian heel turn doesn't sound enticing.
Later tonight, The Rematch. But up next, it's Kofi Kingston and Drew McIntyre for the final MitB spot.
Ad break - John Cena has to beat the odds again next Monday when he goes 7-on-1 against Nexus. More pimping for the Ricky Steamboat DVD.
DREW McINTYRE v. KOFI KINGSTON: MONEY IN THE BANK QUALIFYING MATCH Kofi starts by rolling up Drew for a quick near fall. We get a lock up that leads to the corner. Drew misses a cheap shot and Kofi applies the side headlock. Drew fights out of it, but Kofi hits a cross-body block. McIntyre gets the hairpull and hammers away. We ALREADY hit the chinlock. Kofi tries to fight out of it, but Drew knocks him down with a clubbing blow. Clothesline misses and Kofi gets a monkey flip. McIntyre gets a kick and knocks Kofi's noggin into the corner. More stomping. More punching. Hangman's neckbreaker to the knee gets 2. Drew argues the count and nearly gets rolled up, but kicks out. More punching and "methodical" offense. Corner charge eats boot, but Kofi gets crotched on a springboard attempt. This takes us to a commercial, because we clearly can't take the incredibly fast pace of a Drew McIntyre match.
We come back with McIntyre hitting the abdominal stretch, of course. Kofi gets out of it, but McIntyre knocks him down. Leaping legdrop misses. Kofi starts hitting the double chops, but dropkick misses. McIntyre clubs away in the corner to counter the S.O.S. Kofi gets propped in the corner, but fights back and hits a frog double axe handle (!) for two. Buzzsaw Legdrop hits. Trouble in Paradise misses, but a spinning heel kick does not. That gets a two count. McIntyre gets a back elbow and slams Kofi down with an inverted wheelbarrow slam. Drew goes for the Future Shock, but Kofi whips him to the corner. Kofi goes for a springboard tornado DDT, but gets shoved off. Drew misses a big boot and Kofi hits a dropkick that sends McIntyre to the outside. Kofi hits a suicide dive. Striker spouts some nonsense about a countout not helping McIntyre because Kofi's already in the MitB match. What the hell is he talking about? If Kofi's already in, then why is he putting up his shot? Kofi throws Drew back in and goes for an apron legdrop, but Drew nearly gives everyone a good look at Ghana's southern region (if you know what I am saying) and pulls Kofi's head into the turnbuckle. Future Shock will finish and put Drew McIntyre in MitB.
WINNER: Drew McIntyre - Good match whenever Kofi was on offense and had a hot finishing sequence. I love what Drew's done in the last few weeks, but his matches are becoming brutal to watch.
Your announcers are Todd Grisham and Matt Striker. Kane is still looking for his brother's attacker, as we go to video of Serena giving Kane Punk's alibi. The Straight Edge Society is walking to the ring and they're coming up next.
Ad break - I know Kevin Butler (well...no I don't, actually) and you, Marcus, are no Kevin Butler.
Another Alberto Del Rio vignette. "My name is Alberto Del Rio. Yo soy un producto de educacion superior. Of my many attributes, the one I'm proudest of is my intelligence, fostered by my education. I attend the finest universities in Mexico, United States, and abroad. It's been said that knowledge is power. So many of you have squandered your opportunity at a formal education." He looks at his servant pouring him wine. "Thank you, Juan. For me, an institute of higher learning was like a lactating mother and I was a hungry baby, consuming as much knowledge as possible. That is why, so un producto de educacion superior - a product of superior education: Alberto Del Rio."
We go to CM Punk, coming to the ring in street clothes with his arm in a sling. Luke Gallows is already in the ring. Promo time...for LUKE! "Last week, all of you people saw a side of the SES that you were never supposed to see. And it's all due to one person, so Serena, if you have even one shred of dignity left, get out here right now!"
Serena comes out without music, but with a mic in hand. "This has been the hardest week of my life. Punk, you mean, you mean WAY more to me than my leader. You are everything to me, you are my world. Last week, I made a terrible, terrible mistake when I allowed myself to get drunk and I made a mistake when I defied you. You have to know why I did, you have to know why I did what I did last week. I did it for you, I did it to save you and protect you! Kane is a monster! He's crazy! He's out of control! If I hadn't saved you, I don't know what would have happened to you. You think I could have let that happen? I had to put a stop to that. Punk, please. Please. Please forgive me."
Gallows responds. "Serena, you're the most pathetic person I've ever seen in my life. He's not gonna forgive you. It makes me sick to think that I ever considered you a sister in our Straight Edge Society. And when we found you in the bar that night, I wanted to kick you out of the SES and let you wallow in the horribleness of your addiction. But it's not up to me, it's Punk's decision and he made me see the bigger picture. You see, you were supposed to set an example for women all around the world that, they too, could lead the straight edge lifestyle. But you, you ruined it!"
Serena: "I'm sorry, I'm sorry! How many times can I possibly say I'm sorry?"
Luke: "You're sorry? You're sorry? If you're sorry, you'll leave the SES forever."
Punk takes the mic from Gallows. Looks like he's next. "The only good thing you've said so far tonight is that it's not you're decision, it's MINE!" He says that to GALLOWS. "And I forgive her."
Luke looks conflicted and bails from the ring. Serena takes the mic back. "Punk, I can never explain what you've done for me. But please, I promise, I promise, I will never fail you again."
Punk slowly looks Serena in the eye, menacingly. "You better not."
We get the tearful embrace to end the segment, as Gallows shakes his head from the ramp. Great segment that showcased all the mic talents of the three SES members.
Ad break - The MitB PPV is next Sunday.
"DASHING" CODY RHODES v. JTG Remember a few weeks ago when I said it looked like they might actually get behind JTG? What was I thinking?
WINNER: Cody Rhodes - Still not loving the new Cody Rhodes.
Backstage, Josh Matthews talks to Kelly Kelly. Kelly barely gets a word out before Layla (obnoxiously) interrupts and shoos Matthews away. Kelly slaps away the Not Arrogance and gets in Layla's face before she gets jumped by Michelle McCool. Beatdown ensues. Referees and Tiffany check on Kelly, as we go to break.
Ad break - Is it bad that the Last Airbender video game looks better than the movie? That really doesn't say much, does it?
Once again, we look at Jack Swagger attacking Rey Mysterio earlier.
Josh Matthews is backstage with The Big Show. Show says he's aware of what Jack Swagger can do. Swagger wishes to cause suffering and Rey's suffering. Show says that Swagger's anklelock is the closest he's felt to feeling his bones break. But Show assures that he's 100% tonight and that he'll put fear into Jack Swagger. Show says he'll be the one making Swagger suffer.
Ad break - Nexus returns to NXT where it all began for them next Tuesday.
"THE ALL-AMERICAN AMERICAN" JACK SWAGGER v. THE BIG SHOW We've got about eight minutes of airtime left, so I'm not expecting this to go long. Swagger goes for the anklelock immediately, but Show pie-faces him away. swagger goes for a Greco-Roman takedown, but gets nothing and likes it. Show gets a spinebuster and a shot in the gut. Big corner chop. Corner choke. Shhhh! Corner Chop. Another chop. Choke. Corner whip. Show channels Ice Train and hits a big butt avalanche. Big shoulderblock sends Swagger to the outside. Swagger punches the knee and hangs Show across the top rope. He grabs Show's ankle and smacks it across the steel post. Show shoves out of an anklelock attempt and sends Swagger back to the outside. Swagger runs back in, but Show grabs him by the throat and chucks him back out. Show follows and both guys are exchanging blows. They're going up the ramp and I don't think they're beating the count.
WINNER: Double Countout - Short, nothing match.
Show's chased Swagger to the ramp, but Swagger's able to go low and knock the big guy down. Swagger DDT's the ankle onto the steel ramp and runs off to fight another day. Referees tend to Show.
Swagger goes to the back, looking triumphant, but out of nowhere, Kane grabs him by the throat. "WE NEED TO TALK!" Kane drags Swagger by the throat to what looks like a red-lighted interrogation room. Kane accuses Swagger of doing the deed, while Swagger vehemently denies it. Kane yells a lot, as Swagger looks like he's about to crap his pants. Swagger claims to have an alibi and he'll have it next week. Kane gives him one week to end the show.
I really don't get that ending. Why would you spend the show establishing Jack Swagger as a dangerous guy (and SUCCEEDING, mind you) only to throw it all away by having him completely cower in Kane's face the way he did?
The wrestling on this show has been sub-par these last few weeks. A lot of the matches were either too short or were just there to set up an angle. No good wrestling to be found this week, either, outside of the Kingston/McIntyre ending.
Next week, it's the PPV hard sell.
MD: You have to win, no matter what. SC: Why didn't you try that this year?
The reason Swagger cowered before Kane when he wasn't afraid of anyone else, including the Big Show is simple. If Big Show kicks your ass, the worst that's likely to happen is a few broken bones. If Rey Mysterio kicks your ass, you'll be fully recovered within the hour. If Kane kicks your ass, you could very well find yourself tied up in his basement having god knows what shoved up god knows where for god knows how long. Remember when Kane kept Rey locked up in his basement for several months? (Nobody else does either, but the point stands.)
I don't think JTG getting beat in short order by Cody Rhodes is a sign that his push is necessarily over. Remember when Jack Swagger was losing to everyone including Santino?
Teddy Long going into the Hall of Fame actually makes some sense. Sure, there are plenty of people more deserving but there are also several people already in who were probably less deserving. Maybe they could put him and Ron Simmons both in and they could induct each other.
I think it's obvious that Kofi is the one who put Undertaker into a vegetative state. He was clearly mocking the comatose dead man by trying to do his apron leg drop.
The segment with the SES absolutely demonstrated that Punk is one of the greatest of all time. You have the woman humiliating herself to save the man she loves. You have that man setting aside his strict moral values to forgive her. Under any other circumstances that would be a face turn but the fans hate Punk so much that they never even considered cheering. If this leads to the rumored Luke Gallows face turn, it would have to be the first time in history where someone turned face because they refused to forgive someone for making a mistake. Better mic work from Gallows than I would have expected. Punk's "You'd better not." to Serena at the end was awesome.
It would be really nice if they'd reward Serena with at least one TV match, even if it was on Superstars. I realize that she'd likely embarrass the rest of the Smackdown divas by looking so much better than them but that's not her fault. (Random Fact: Of the seven divas on Smackdown,
I would have popped for Chavo picking up the victory in the three way because it would have paved the way to making him less of a comedic character. Plus Chavo vs Rey for the world title could be an excellent match if there was at least a smattering of possibility that Chavo could win, though I don't think Rey will be champion long enough for Chavo to build up that sort of legitimacy.
Did I imagine the announcers on Raw talking about how Smackdown was going to be a supershow with Cena, Edge and several other members of the Raw roster appearing?
Originally posted by CRZ (I agree about the digital mirror, though. "How'd they do that?")
Originally posted by InVerse(Random Fact: Of the seven divas on Smackdown,
Now I already regret asking this, but how'd you plan on finishing that sentence?
You know, right before I posted that, I had a feeling that I'd forgotten to finish one of my thoughts in all of my random jumping around.
I was just going to point out that of the seven divas on Smackdown, only two of them started their wrestling training outside of the WWE. Serena was initially trained in OVW but not as part of a WWE developmental deal. (Beth Phoenix was the other.) And Kelly Kelly was the only other diva on the Smackdown roster who didn't start out in the Diva Search. (I did say they were random not relevant.)
One of the things which I think often goes unsaid here as we criticize wrestlers is the fact that we all look at what they do as something out of the ordinary, and in most cases as people who are out of the ordinary.