Sunday, January 23, 2011

WWE Smackdown Thoughts - January 21, 2011

We began with Wade Barrett, Ezekiel Jackson, Justin Gabriel & Heath Slater, and their bizarre new theme music. "We Are One" it is not. Wade Barrett admitted some mistakes with Nexus, making the group all about him, but he won't make that mistake with The Core... which for some reason is spelled, The Corre. Each member got some time to talk, even Heath Slater, much to our chagrin, but I'm quickly coming around on the idea of the group. The Core is a pretty good name too, The Corrrrrrrrrrrre, not so much, but whatever, I'm definitely more optimistic about this group than I was when it started... just please don't let this be leading to Nexus vs. The Corre at WrestleMania.

T-Lo ain't having any part of Nexus 2: Ezekiel Barrettloo and said the minute they try any of those old tactics on Smackdown, it'll be the last. It was a pretty friendly exchange of words, which pretty much guarantees Teddy Long getting his ass kicked at some point in the near future. Bizarrely, Alberto Del Rio interrupted the guys to tell them that he was going to win the Royal Rumble, but it was just some forward momentum for the opening match.

Alberto Del Rio vs. R-Truth (again) was our opening match of the evening, and hey, during the match they cut to the back to show Teddy Long unconscious in his office. That didn't take long. The match itself was pretty good, much better than their shorter encounters on Raw, Truth even busted out a top rope hurricanrana, but the cutaways to backstage and commentary practically ignoring the match, hurt it a bit. Del Rio picked up another win though, continuing to give him momentum as the guy to beat in this year's Royal Rumble.

Backstage, The Ccoorree insisted they had nothing to do with the attack on Teddy Long and asked Vickie Guerrero if there was anything they could do to help her out in the transition of power. Vickie put any member of the group in match with Edge later in the evening.

Layla vs. Beth Phoenix was next, but if you were just listening to the show, you'd think they were just showing footage of Teddy Long's ambulance ride. Good match though, Beth had some awesome displays of power, Layla bumped like a pinball for her, it was exactly what I'd like to see more Divas matches on TV.

Rey Mysterio (dressed as a Fruit Roll-Up) vs. "DASHING" Cody Rhodes was a match I was very excited about, but turned out to be way too short. Didn't these two have a similar situation a couple weeks ago? Mysterio picked up the win, but I'd really like to see these two get 15 minutes sometime, I think they'd gel very well together.

Backstage, The Miz arrived, because he's awesome and can do whatever he wants.

Jack Swagger challenged Kofi Kingston to an Amateur Wrestling Challenge, and it's getting hard to say Swagger isn't doing Kurt Angle's shtick when he's now doing the Angle Invitational. I think WWE showed here why professional wrestling isn't more like amateur wrestling because the crowd wasn't into this at all. Swagger picked up the win, but Kofi got vengeance after the match by attacking the guy who won fair and square. Sigh.

Trent Baretta and Drew McIntyre squared off again and these two had the best match the night up to this point. I have a feeling Baretta's going to become one of WWE's most underutilized talents, he looked great in there despite taking a definitive loss to the "Sinister Scot." My interest went out the window when Kelly Kelly scolded McIntyre for attacking Baretta after the match. Do not care. Not even a little bit.

Up next was the Most Must-See WWE Champion in history, The Miz! Miz showed the awesome destruction of Randy Orton from Monday night (I could really just watch that on replay for two hours), but then things got less than awesome when Edge rudely interrupted our WWE Champion. Edge ordered The Miz out of his ring, and the WWE Champion obliged, not wanting to spoil the main event for Monday Night Raw, but Alex Riley decided to stick around and got a Spear for his efforts.

Edge vs. Justin Gabriel was our main event, but The CoRrRrRrRe was at ringside and Dolph Ziggler was on commentary, so things didn't bode well for the World Heavyweight Champion. I really liked this match, Justin Gabriel really steps up his game when he's in there with an established veteran like Cena, or in this case, Edge. A little help from Core gave Gabriel a shocking win over the World Champ and then the wild pack of dogs jackals struck. It was like one of those Oprah giveaways, only with violence and Edge was the only recipient: "EDGE GETS A WASTELAND! EDGE GETS A BOOK OF EZEKIEL! EDGE GETS A 450 SPLASH! EDGE GETS WHATEVER THE HELL HEATH SLATERS MOVE IS CALLED!" Dolph Ziggler could've picked the scraps, but merely rested his foot on Edge's chest. Awesome ending visual.

I liked Smackdown, the wrestling was solid and Corre was established as something a little more than just a Nexus retread. I'm still not 100% convinced, but if they keep putting guys like Gabriel in matches where his chance of winning is just as good as Barrett's, then I think they're onto something. Not the best show ever, but I give it the thumbs up.

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