TONIGHT! The build for Wrestlemania continues, but without Vickie Guerrero, as she's been fired! Will we get any other matches aside from the world title match? And what does Alberto Del Rio have in store for Edge? SmackDown is NOW!
The Champ is NOT Here, as we go straight to a video package of last week's proceedings ridding us of Vickie Guerrero...for now. Tonight, our main event is the Edge/Alberto Del Rio contract signing.
Opening credits - Do You Know Your Enemy? No opening pyro, as Edge's music brings the champion down. We are taped from The Miz's hometown of Cleveland, OH. Tonight, The Undertaker RETURNS! I feel like I've typed that sentence at least three times since I've started doing these recaps. Anyway, Edge has the mic and it's promo time!
"You know, I'm, uh, I'm gonna be out here later on tonight for an official contract signing...for my match for the World Heavyweight Championship with Alberto Del Rio...at Wrestlemania XXVII. And I'm looking forward, because I want to get face-to-face with Alberto. I want him to look deep, deep into my eyes. I want him to see exactly what it takes to be a champion. I want him to look into my eyes and see what it takes to main event Wrestlemania! But I also have a bone to pick with Alberto, because last week, I was rudely interrupted. You see, I was in the middle of having a little going-away party. A going-away party for a woman that we all know and love...to HATE: Vickie Guerrero. Yeah, but see, here's the awesome part, folks! I got rid of her! She's gone! So here's what I wanna do, I want to start off where we left off last week before Alberto rudely interrupted us. So, here we go, what do you say? One more time. Because I guarantee you..."
Interruption comes from Drew McIntyre, of all people, who sprints down to the ring and the fight is on! Edge low-bridges him to take him out and Teddy Long comes out to his music. Teddy thanks Drew for losing last week and helping get rid of Vickie. He threatens to fire Drew if he doesn't face Edge right now. Edge gets a "Thank you, Drew" chant started, as we go to our first ad break of the night.
"THE RATED R SUPERSTAR" EDGE v. DREW McINTYRE: NON-TITLE MATCH Edge starts with a drop toehold to take down a charging McIntyre and hammers away in the corner. Edge goes for a corner charge, but eats the steel post. McIntyre takes Edge down with an arm wringer and stomps on the injured arm. McIntyre targets the arm, Arn Anderson-style, slamming it onto the apron. We hit the armbar. Edge hammers out of it, but McIntyre hits a big boot to send Edge to the outside. McIntyre slams Edge's arm onto the announce table. "He's not going to Wrestlemania! I'm gonna end his career!" McIntyre exposes the injured arm and starts stomping on it. Back to the armbar. Edge slips out and gets nailed with a back elbow to send Edge back to the outside. McIntyre chases in, but charges into a back body drop. Booker points out that he once fought Edge at Wrestlemania, but thankfully, the words "shampoo commercial" are not mentioned. Edge tosses McIntyre back in and climbs the turnbuckles. Top-rope crossbody gets 2. McIntyre hits the arm again, but a big boot is caught and Edge suddenly hits the spear! He pulls McIntyre up at 2! He forgoes the pin, because he'd rather apply the EDGE-UCATOR! McIntyre taps out quickly.
WINNER: Edge - A quick match that didn't show too much, but McIntyre looked halfway decent.
Later tonight, The Big Show faces Kane. Plus, The Undertaker returns...again.
Ad break - The Chaperone is out on DVD!
Your hosts are Josh Matthews, Michael Cole, and Booker T. Cole blows his own horn.
Rey Mysterio's music hits. Rey looks like he got a lot tal...ok, Cole just made the same joke. Yeah, it's "Dashing" Cody Rhodes wearing Rey's mask. Cody comes to the ring, as see what happened last week. Cody's got the mic for a promo, but the lights are dimmed in a nice touch.
"P-Please don't look at me. Don't...don't look at me. DON'T LOOK AT ME! That...that feeling...that feeling you have that's festering in the pit of your stomach right now, 'cause you heard Rey Mysterio's music, you thought you'd see Rey Mysterio, but you don't, that feeling...is disappointment. And I know disappointment, lately, I...I've been the king of disappointment everyday when I wake up and I see what once was...dashing....REDUCED TO THIS! My father, the lovable 'American Dream' Dusty Rhodes, he came to me and I convinced him...to help me set up Rey Mysterio, so that I could...I could inflict what I only imagine is a FRACTION of the damage to Rey's face that he did...that he did to mine. And when I was up there, when I was RUBBING his face in the steel grate, when I removed the mask from his head, oh, it felt, oh it felt GOOD! And nothing...has felt good lately. I knew then that it was the right thing to do. You wanna know what else is the right thing to do? I know my father is...is watching right now. And I don't wanna disappoint him. I don't wanna let some...some carnival sideshow FREAK like Rey Mysterio keep ME from becoming the World Heavyweight Champion. So Rey...if you choose to accept my challenge for Wrestlemania XXVII, I promise you...I give you my word, a guarantee, an unbreakable vow, I will remove the mask of Rey Mysterio and I will EXPOSE...his face or what he has left of a face on the grandest...the grandest stage of all."
That ends a decent promo, as Cody exits and pushes the camera away. DON'T LOOK AT HIM!
Backstage, Kane prepares for his match when he's approached by The Corre. Kane takes umbrage at their arrival. Wade Barrett points out that they helped Kane during his greatest victory, notably not mentioning what exactly that victory is. Kane says he didn't need their help. Justin Gabriel says they just want Kane to beat Big Show. The Corre exit, as the camera pans into Kane's face. Gee, they sure went out of their way to NOT mention Undertaker's name there, didn't they?
Up next, Santino Marella and Vladimir Kozlov have invoked their rematch clause for the tag titles and they'll face Slater and Gabriel.
JUSTIN GABRIEL & HEATH SLATER (w/WADE BARRETT & EZEKIEL JACKSON) v. SANTINO MARELLA & VLADIMIR KOZLOV: WWE TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH Shouldn't this rematch be taking place on Raw if Santino & Kozlov are Raw guys? Or is this the kind of question I'm not supposed to be asking anymore? And did Tamina fall off the face of the planet or something?
We start off with Santino and Gabriel getting into a wrestling sequence that Santino wins, oddly enough. Tag is made to Kozlov, who overpowers Gabriel. He hits the Al Snow headbutts and chucks Gabriel, who rolls out of the ring. Santino chases Slater off the apron by threatening THE COBRA~! That'll send us to our next ad break, because three minutes is TOO MUCH TIME TO GO WITHOUT COMMERCIALS!
We come back with Kozlov hitting the headlock on Slater. Kozlov hits a big shoulderblock, so Slater goes low to take control. Barrett gets a cheap shot to help out. Tag is made to Gabriel, who keeps things going in the heel corner. VERY UGLY snapmare gets 2 for Gabriel. Gabriel hits the headlock, so Kozlov hits a back suplex. Slater gets the tag, but he can't stop Kozlov from making the tag. Santino comes in and works over Slater. He does the splits to duck the clothesline and hits a hiptoss. Saluting gorilla press gets 2, before Gabriel breaks it up. Kozlov tries to get to Gabriel, but Barrett and Jackson pull him to safety. Slater's able to dump Kozlov, but walks into an inverted Russian legsweep. He sets up for THE COBRA~!, but Jackson's on the apron. Jackson gets out of the way, but Barrett eats THE COBRA~! That distraction, however, allows Slater to hit the Death Drop DDT to retain.
WINNERS: Justin Gabriel & Heath Slater - Perfectly serviceable tag match.
Next week, Christian returns to SmackDown! We take a look at last September, when Alberto Del Rio took him out with the Arm Pillmanizer. We then fast forward to the Elimination Chamber and see Christian's big return.
That takes us backstage, where we see Alberto Del Rio congratulate his personal artist for capturing his essence in a painting.
Up next, The Undertaker RETURNS...again.
Your hosts are 2/3 of your Wrestlemania announce team and another guy that's wrestling in it. That's depressing to think about. They take us to Triple H's promo from last Monday.
That brings us back to the arena, as the sounds of Johnny Cash bring out The Undertaker. So we're really going with "The Last Outlaw" for him, aren't we? Anyway, it's promo time.
"I find it mystifying that the strongest of the strong and the greatest of the great don't know when to leave well enough alone. You have to realize that there are mountains that cannot be climbed, seas that cannot be sailed...and streaks that cannot be broken. Now I heard Triple H's comments this past Monday on Raw...and to be perfectly honest with you, there wasn't much that he said that I couldn't agree with. We ARE...the last of an era...and a dying breed. He IS everything that he says he is, if not more. In my opinion, probably THE greatest World Heavyweight Champion of the last decade and a half. But the thing that Triple H said that I found most interesting is that he has figured out how to destroy The Undertaker, how to make The Undertaker disappear forever. And really, it was quite simple. All you have to do is beat The Undertaker at Wrestlemania. Easier said than done. Now Triple H has figured out in his mind how he is going to do this, so he is going to take everything that he has accomplished, every accolade, his legacy, his legend, and he's going to throw it all on the table and go for broke. And if he wins, he will be hailed as The Game, AS...The King of Kings. But if he loses...and he WILL lose...he will become nothing more than a statistic, a name on a long list of people that came before him trying to do the exact same thing: defeat The Undertaker at Wrestlemania. Triple H, make no mistake about it...I play no game, and I bow down to no man, especially the King of Kings. At Wrestlemania, you will find out what 18 other men that come before you have found out, that I am indeed The Last Outlaw. And you will also find out what it means...to Rest In Peace."
Coming up later tonight, a contract signing. Also tonight, The Big Show will face Kane.
Ad break - Big Show DVD promo
Here's more footage of the media hoopla surrounding Sin Cara.
ROSA MENDES & "THE GLAMAZON" BETH PHOENIX v. LAYCOOL We get footage of last week's miscue between LayCool.
We start with Beth and Michelle, as Beth overpowers her and whacks her injured ankle. Tag is made to Rosa, who also whacks the injured ankle. Tag is made to Layla and Layla gets tossed around by Rosa. Michelle distracts Rosa, allowing Layla to take control and tag back out. Michelle comes in, but bumps Layla on the way. That leads to a LayCool shoving match (!), which nearly gets Rosa tagging out before Michelle cuts it off. Michelle winds up for a big kick with her injured foot and misses. Tags are made on both sides, as Beth overpowers Layla. Layla jumps right into a powerslam, which gets 2 before Michelle breaks it up. Michelle kicks Beth in the face with the loaded boot, which allows Layla to get the 3. Yup.
WINNERS: LayCool - Quick and painless.
Up next, The Big Show faces Kane.
Ad break - Tough Enough promo
THE BIG SHOW v. KANE We get a look at what happened last week between The Big Show and The Corre guys.
Show starts off by backing Kane into the corner. Kane hits an uppercut, but can't follow up, as Show hits some headbutts. Show whips Kane into the corner, but misses the avalanche. Show gets the GOOZLE, but Kane boots Show and we get a Double KO clothesline spot. The Corre rush down to the ring, Barrett with a chair in hand. Barrett passes the chair to Kane, who whacks Show. And that'll do it for this match.
WINNER BY DQ: The Big Show - Angle advancement, drive through, please.
Post-match, The Corre guys start pouncing on Show. Show shoves Gabriel into Kane. Kane doesn't take kindly to incidental contact, so he whacks Gabriel with the chair! That sends The Corre scattering, as Barrett and Slater pull out Gabriel's corpse. Play Kane's music! The commentary team act all confused, but...this seems pretty straight-forward to me.
Your hosts are...yeah, you know. They take it to the Shawn Michaels footage from last Monday.
Jack Swagger comes to the ring for his match, as Cole gives him the Miz treatment. We take a look at what happened on Monday when Swagger took out Jerry Lawler. Cole promises to use the anklelock on Lawler at Wrestlemania. There's a visual to look forward to. Cole takes the mic and comes into the ring to talk up Swagger some more. Cole cuts a total heel promo on Cleveland and promises to reveal his special referee on Monday.
"THE ALL-AMERICAN AMERICAN" JACK SWAGGER v. JTG Does anyone give JTG a chance here? Anyone? Anyone?
WINNER: Jack Swagger - Anklelock, goodbye. I am rapidly losing patience with the lack of wrestling on this show.
While Cole celebrates with Swagger, Matthews and Booker send it to a video package for the Cena/Rock conflict.
Ad break - The Chaperone DVD promo.
The ring is decked out in the Mexican flag colors, as Ricardo Rodriguez introduces Alberto Del Rio. This week, Alberto Del Rio joins us in a convertible 2011 Mercedes XL5. He's got the mic and it's promo time, because there hasn't been enough talking on this show, I guess.
"My name is Alberto Del Rioooooooooooo! But of course, you already know that! I wanna welcome you to my Wrestlemania XXVII contract signing ceremony. And the only way to begin this incredible ceremony is with the singing of the Mexican national anthem."
Ricardo takes the mic and starts singing. Think the Amazing French Canadians singing "Oh, Canada" if you can think back that far. Anyway, Edge interrupts by walking out to his music. Edge places the title on the table, as Teddy Long mediates. Long asks if we can have the first contract signing in the show's history that doesn't end in chaos, as the crowd audibly responds "NOOOOOOO!" HA! The crowd chants "U.S.A." because they're idiots that don't remember that Edge is Canadian.
Edge: Alberto...once this contract is signed for the title match at Wrestlemania XXVII, there's no turning back, the party's over. You don't know what it's like to fight on the biggest stage in the world. But I am an 11-time World Heavyweight Champion!
ADR: I already know that, gringo asqueroso! But that's part of the past. No one remembered that. No one remembered that. That right there, that contract, is not just a piece of paper. That represent the next chapter for the WWE and that chapter is not for you. It's for ME by destiny!
Edge: You know what? You always talk about your destiny! Destiny, destiny, destiny! But here's the funny thing about destiny. It can change in the blink of an eye! Oh yeah, your destiny could be that you're the fastest rising star in the history of the WWE or...or your destiny could be that I beat you at Wrestlemania XXVII...and you're just another flash in the pan that I make famous for one moment.
ADR: Listen to me, perro, you're right about one thing. Once I sign this contract, once I sign this...it is the beginning of the end for YOU!
Contracts are signed and it's official!
Edge: Teddy, remember that favor you wanted that a contract signing finally wouldn't end in chaos? I got your answer.
Teddy Long is no idiot. He sees what's coming and immediately heads for the hills. As soon as he exits, the fight is on! Edge is all over Del Rio. He overturns the table and hits Del Rio with the Impaler! Edge tosses more furniture around and makes the Spear Face, but Rodriguez grabs the ankle, which allows Del Rio to jump Edge! Del Rio goes to the mounted punches and grabs the injured arm! Del Rio applies the jujigatime! Del Rio tosses Edge, who's noticeably bleeding with a broken nose! Del Rio chucks Edge into the barricade and calls for a chair. Del Rio wants the Arm Pillmanizer, but that brings out Christian! Christian jumps Del Rio from behind! The fight goes into the ring! Del Rio tries to escape up the ramp, but Christian catches him and beats on him some more before the referee brigade break it up. Christian picks up Edge, as his music hits to end the show.
Well, we had a nice opener, but it was all downhill from there, wrestling-wise.
In terms of angles, we got some nice movement forward with Edge/ADR and Cody/Rey, but there's not much else going here. We really don't need to see large chunks of time dedicated to Raw angles, particularly entire promos replayed in their entirety. That's getting just a little annoying.
Wait, so no more funeral march for Undertaker's theme? Damn. If they had to give the 'dead man' version of UT a rock song, it should've been back at Wrestlemania 25 --- Taker coming in to Hell's Bells would've been the greatest entrance of all time.
"It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone." --- Bart Giamatti, on baseball
Anyone know the total bell to bell times for Raw and Smackdown combined?
This is where the misuse of the Danial Bryan's becomes apparent. Angle advancement week is fine, but do what you used to do with Benoit and throw a 15-20 minute match on one of the shows so that second 'W' in your title actually has a little credibility.
I wonder if they are afraid that the matches really seem thrown together.
If they were to let Cole transition from the booth to heel manager and do something with Swagger as a result, and as a by-product limit my exposure to Michael Cole to one segment per show, I'd consider that a win-win.
(edited by Rudoublesedoublel on 8.3.11 1008) "I'm on my time with everyone." - Kurt Cobain
Well, if they'd done a memorial RAW for my grandmother, or if she'd ever had any cage matches worth keeping on tape, I'd watch 'em again just for the memories. ;-) She did bake a good apple pie, though. MM