Michael Cole informs us that we're 3 nights away from Backlash, welcomes us to “television's hottest new show” and lets us know that the champ is here, recapping Edge's attack on Cena from Raw with a still photo of Edge standing over an unconscious Cena.
Rey Mysterio comes out to an absolutely wired crowd and Union Jacks adorn the entrance.
Recap of Big Show destroying Rey Rey on Raw.
Rey's partner tonight... Mr. Money in the Bank and fellow Smackdown superstar C.M. Punk. Both being billed as “Big Superstars from Raw” by Jerry Lawler, who seems as confused by the draft as everyone else.
Lillian announces Big Show as 7' tall, 441lbs. Wasn't he 485lbs last week? And even then, JR said that that weight was outdated and he was closer to 500lbs.
An explosion from the stage lets us know that Big Show's partner is Kane. After a replay of Punk vs Kane from Raw, we're informed that they will be facing off in a rematch at Backlash.
Rey Rey starts us off against Kane. Mysterio with a kick to Kane's side but Kane responds with a punch to the head and an uppercut. Headbutt from Kane who then slams Rey's head into the turnbuckle. Kane punches Mysterio in the gut and then drops him with a kick to the head. The Big Red Machine picks Rey back up and Irish whip's him across the ring. Mysterio off the ropes and slides between Kane's legs but catches another kick to the gut. Kane then launches Rey Rey headfirst, under the bottom rope and Mysterio hits the ground with a nice little somersault, coming up shaking the cobwebs from his head as we go to commercial.
We come back as Kane whips CM Punk off the ropes and lifts him up for a sidewalk slam, but Punk flips out of it and kicks Kane in the back. Kane lifts Punk over the rope and sets him on the apron, having missed a blind tag. Kane goozles CM Punk but catches a 619 from Rey, followed by a leg drop. Instead of going for the pin, Mysterio leaps at Big Show but gets thrown off and turns around to eat a big boot from Kane. The Big Show is tagged in and lifts Rey into the air by his head and throws him to the mat.
Open hand slap to the chest by Big Show, followed by a headbutt. Leg drop garners a 2 count which is broken up by Punk. Punches to the gut by Big Show and then he tags in Kane. The Big Red Machine hits a running kick to Rey's head and then pulls him up into a sidewalk slam. Rey kicks out at 2. Punk cheers on his partner as Kane lifts Mysterio up into a bear hug. Rey attempts to break the hold by pushing on Kane's throat with both hands, then punching him in the face. Kane stumbles back and Rey is within inches of making the tag, but Kane recovers and charges across the ring, slamming Rey into the corner.
The tag is made and Show palms Rey by the skull and lifts him to his feet. Short arm whip into an open hand chop by Show who then walks right over Rey. Mysterio hits Show with a jawbreaker then plants both feet in Show's face from the corner. Rey to the second rope but Show lifts him up and drops him on his face. Kane tags in and whips Rey into the corner and then cinches the bear hug in once again. Forearm shots break the hold but Kane lands a kick to the gut and whips him into the corner. He lifts Rey up for a body slam but Rey slips out and hits an enziguiri
Rey finally makes the hot tag. Punk with kicks Kane misses a big boot and Punk hits his trademark slaps & kicks. Running knee into the corner but instead of the normal bulldog, Punk lands a second running knee. Punk to the second rope, but spies Big Show on the apron and leaps at him. Not entirely sure what was intended here, Cole claims that Show swatted Punk off but it looked to me as if they had something else in mind that didn't quite work. Regardless, Punk walks into a chokeslam and Kane gets the 3 count. The monsters stand over Punk, staring down at him, as if contemplating eating him for dinner.
Prior to commercial, we see Hornswoggle play boxing with Finley.
Jeff Hardy retrospective video airs to the song Rooftops by Lostprophets. Is this how Jeff gets his heat back after losing 2 straight matches to Matt?
Finley and Hornswoggle are on the way to the ring where Tyson Kidd & Natalya are already waiting.
Recap of Hornswoggle vs Natalya from ECW.
Kidd and Finley start it off. Finley quickly takes Kidd down, then lifts him up on his shoulders and hits the forward roll. Quick tag to Horny who sends Kidd flying out of the ring with a headscissors takedown. Tyson back into the ring, finds Hornswoggle juggling tennis balls. Horny then pelts Kidd with the balls and slides out of the ring. Kidd gives chase but is met with a clothesline from Finley who leapfrogs over Hornswoggle. Horny then spears Natalya on the floor. Back in the ring, Hornswoggle lands a sit down splash, but the pinfall is broken up by Natalya. While the ref is distracted by Natty, Finley cracks Kidd across the skull with the shillelagh. Tadpole splash and Hornswoggle gets the 1,2,3.
After a replay, we find Finley standing in the ring with a mic, his arm around Hornswoggle. He says that because of the draft, it may be their very last match as a team, so he asks the crowd to join him in singing Horny's favourite song, Irish Eyes Are Smilin'. Finley sings while walking up the ramp while Hornswoggle stands in the ring, first smiling and then looking sad. I kept expecting Hornswoggle to get attacked during all of this, but it ends with Horny running up the ramp for one last embrace with Finley.
TONIGHT! We hear from John Cena for the first time since receiving a solo conchairto from Edge. Also, Edge faces Kofi Kingston in preparation for Backlash.
Back from commercial, Jim Ross informs us that we're in London, England. We see a replay of the conchairto and then Todd Grisham is backstage with Cena. Grisham must be in pretty good shape, he doesn't seem to be the least bit out of breath after sprinting backstage from the announcer's table during the replay.
Todd asks Cena how the conchairto is going to affect him. Cena says that this is the point where he says he's fine, how he's ready for Backlash. Then Todd will have some follow up questions, but Cena says not tonight.
“For once, I'm going to talk to you, the fans. Some might say that the footage you just saw was overly graphic, but it was a necessity. Our rivalry has nowhere else to go. We've walked down every road, danced every step, told every story. This is one of the greatest rivalries in sports entertainment history. In fact, we've manufactured each other's careers. This is the WWE version of the Yankees vs the Red Sox. Now what if they were only going to play one more game? Ask any of the 9 if they would risk their careers for that game. Would they risk their health? Would they put it all on the line, make the big gamble, to be victorious? Yes. This is how serious this match is to me. And to Edge. You'll probably hear from Edge how confident and cocky he is that he'll win. But I'm still here. And I'm still thirsty. Thirsty for a knock down, drag out brawl, knowing that the winner writes the history books, knowing that only one of them will be the better man, knowing at the end of the night that there will only be one last man standing.
Edge's music hits and he makes his way to the ring. He poses in the ring as we cut to commercial.
We come back for Kofi's entrance.
Standard lockup to start things off. Kofi hooks in an armbar, then wrings the arm and snaps it over his shoulder. Edge kicks Kofi in the gut, hits a forearm and locks in a side headlock. Kofi with an elbow to the stomach and then whips Edge into the corner but the Rated R Superstar comes back with a shoulderblock. Edge shies away from a Kofi kick but then runs into an arm drag and Kofi returns to the armbar. Kofi drops a knee to the arm and then cinches the armbar in once again after a 1 count.
Edge with a forearm to the face to break the hold. Edge punches Kofi in the head and then whips in into the corner. Edge charges in but Kofi floats over, jumps up to the second rope and rains punches down on Edge. European uppercut from Kofi scores a 1-count. Kofi grabs the armbar yet again and forces Edge to the mat, face down. Knee to the back from Kofi, who once again cinches the armbar. JR rightly acknowledges that Kofi is working a much more mat-based style that he normally uses. Edge pushes Kofi into the corner, then forearms him in the face during the break, kicks him in the ribs and then elbows him in the back. Kofi lands punches to the stomach and face, then goes back to the armbar. (Apparently, the signature of WWE Superstars is a main event featuring a wrestler not known for his ring psychology doing a good job of working a body part for an entire match.) Armbreaker of the shoulder, then Edge once again forces Kofi into the corner and this time hits a shoulder to the gut on the break. Kofi whips Edge into the opposite corner and charges but Edge lifts him up and over the ropes, onto the apron. Edge pulls Kofi down the apron and attempts to slam his head off the turnbuckle, but Kofi blocks with his leg and slams Edge's head into the corner instead. Kofi climbs to the top but Edge knocks his feet out from under him, causing Kofi to land across the turnbuckle just in time for a commercial break.
When we return, Kofi is draped across the second rope and Edge hits him with a running double knee. Kofi kicks out after one and Edge locks on a body scissors. Kofi forearms Edge in the legs, then simply grabs his feet and pulls them apart to break the hold. Kofi walks into a hard knee to the gut, flipping him onto his back, which Edge follows up with a gut buster for a 2 count. Forearm across the back and then Edge lifts Kofi up to the top rope. Kofi fights out and hits the flip kick between the ropes. Kofi to the top and hits what I would describe as a frog cross body block but Todd informs us is apparently called the Jamaican Getting High. A couple of punches and then Kofi plants a standing drop kick directly to Edge's face, followed by a flying clothesline. Edge rolls out of the way of the Boom Boom Leg Drop but Kofi lands on his feet and hits a DDT for 2. Edge floats over Kofi and goes for a face buster but Kofi reverses it into a... I know know wtf that was... replay shows that it was a Side Russian Legsweep with Edge facing the opposite direction as normal. Neat looking move. Edge lands a 1 armed flap jack. Edge goes for the spear but Kofi leapfrogs him and sends him flying from the ring with the Trouble In Paradise kick. Kofi rolls him back in and hooks both legs, but Edge grabs the ropes at the last second. Edge with a schoolboy but only gets 2. Kofi with punches and kicks to the gut. Kofi whips Edge into the corner but it's reversed. Kofi leaps to the second rope and feints a cross body block, causing Edge to duck, setting him up perfectly for a sunset flip. Edge attempts a sharpshooter but is rolled up for a 2 count. Suddenly, Edge hits a spear out of nowhere for the win. The show ends with Edge standing victorious.
Not a bad show, one decent match, one entertaining comedy match and a pretty good main event. I'm sure some people will bitch about Tyson Kidd being jobbed to Hornswoggle, but it was far from clean and might lead to a Finley/Kidd program on ECW now that Horny is on Raw.
I'm a big fan of Tyson Kidd but I didn't have a problem with the loss. Even though I don't like Hornswoggle it made sense to send him off with a win in a comedy match. Some can complain that Natalya lost on Tuesday and Tyson lost on Thursday but I see it as a sign that they're actually going to be used on ECW and I think they both did good heel work in this brief feud.
Ugh. My predictions would have been much closer if I had just said, "whoever is oldest wins." Some good matches, but kinda depressing overall. LAX vs. Senshi and Rhino: Senshi replaces Chris Harris, who is out for unexplained reasons.