Sunday, January 9, 2011

WWE Smackdown Thoughts - January 7, 2011

It was the first Smackdown of 2011, a show hyped with two huge main events and naturally... it got spoiled for me. I'd been doing so well avoiding spoilers, but that's the way it goes sometimes, especially in this line of work. Let's see if it adversely affected my view of the show.

Kane vs. Edge in a Last Man Standing Match for the World Heavyweight Championship started things off and I was already excited since that meant we were getting it out of the way. No disrespect intended, but this has to be the worst feud for both of these guys in several years and I hoped that this LMS match would be the end of it once and for all. Match was actually pretty fun though, an Attitude Era-esque "brawl around the building" main event that saw Edge getting chokeslammed through a table, Kane getting a Con-chair-to on his leg and the crowd was actually into it for a change. At least some good finally came out of this embarrassing feud, a fun, almost 30-minute long, Last Man Standing match.

Dolph Ziggler vs. Kofi Kingston was next in another title match, this time with the Intercontinental Championship on the line. These guys are no strangers to each other and know exactly what to do together to keep the crowd into it and this match was no exception. Kofi shocked the crowd, winning the IC Title off an INSANE Frog Cross Body, but Dolphy Z attack him after the match and Vickie Guerrero used her power as acting General Manager (T-Lo wasn't there) and ordered the match to be restarted!

Dolph Ziggler vs. Kofi Kingston pt. 2 wasn't really much of a match, Ziggler got some quick offense in, but one Trouble in Paradise later, Kofi Kingston retained his newly-won championship. I like it, nice way to turn heel chicanery on its head and it makes up for that time he got screwed out of it back in May when Drew McIntyre was stripped of the title. I'm not thrilled about Ziggler dropping the IC Title because he's been so good with it lately and I was hoping to see him hold onto it for a long, long time, but more on that later.

A Triple Threat Match to determine the new #1 contender for the World Heavyweight Championship was next with Big Show taking on Drew McIntyre and "DASHING" Cody Rhodes. But "EXCUSE HER!" Vickie Guerrero turned the Triple Threat into a Fatal Four Way with the addition of Dolph Ziggler! Match was pretty standard Fatal Four Way fare, but things took a turn for the bizarre when Wade Barrett ran in and attack Big Show. Wait, what?! I guess Barrett's just going to ignore the fact that Nexus abandoned him? I guess it's better than trying to turn him face and keep him on Raw where he'll undoubtedly get lost in the shuffle, but still... weird. Anyway, Big Show fought through the interference and fought off all three guys, but Dolph Ziggler got smart, caught Cody Rhodes with the Zig-Zag and became the new #1 contender! I guess losing the IC Title wasn't so bad after all since this night was absolutely Zigtastic.

Drew McIntyre saved Kelly Kelly from LayCool, but really, who cares about this storyline? No one wants to see the kinder, softer side of McIntyre and I certainly don't want to see another storyline where a face Diva lets her heart blind her to the evils of her boyfriend. Because you know women, they just let their emotions get the best of them and can't be trusted to make good decisions! Sigh.

Main Event Time! Alberto Del Rio vs. Rey Mysterio in one of my all-time favorite gimmick matches, 2 out of 3 falls! Can't think of two guys in WWE right now that I'd rather see in a 2 out of 3 falls match besides these two either. They got about twenty minutes to work with, I would've liked to see them get a little more time since Del Rio's first fall was pretty quick and Mysterio taking the second fall wasn't long after the return from commercial, but the third and final fall is when things really picked up. Loved Rey's NASTY battering ram headbutt off top rope, but he's lucky he didn't break his neck with that one. Lots of fun back and forth action and it looked like things were going to get really crazy, but the ending fell a bit flat for me. Ricardo Rodriguez held Rey's foot on the outside to give Del Rio a count-out win, which is great heat, but I would've liked to see a more explosive finish for what was advertised as their "final" encounter (at least for now).

But what an episode of Smackdown this was. I know a lot of people really enjoyed Raw this week, but but I thought everything after the opening match wasn't anything great, but Smackdown, that was pretty much non-stop awesome. Don't care about the Kelly Kelly/Drew McIntyre stuff, but aside from that, we got four really fun matches and tons of storyline development. The matches perhaps weren't PPV quality, "THIS IS AWESOME!" stuff, but they were all way above average and very entertaining without giving too much away. In fact, I'd say this episode should be the model for all episodes of Smackdown, perhaps even all of WWE.

WWE Entrance Greats Roddy Piper FigureWWE Entrance Greats Rey Mysterio FigureWWE Entrance Greats Shawn Michaels FigureWWE Entrance Greats Triple H Figure

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