Saturday, February 19, 2011

WWE Smackdown thoughts - February 18, 2011

It was the 600th episode of Smackdown last night, the final show before Elimination Chamber and WWE started off this historic show in a big way, with a massive 12-man tag team match featuring the Elimination Chamber participants from both brands.

Edge, Randy Orton, John Morrison, R-Truth, Rey Mysterio & John Cena vs. CM Punk, King Sheamus, Wade Barrett, Drew McIntyre, Kane & Dolph Ziggler was our opening contest and I'm out of breath just by typing all those names... I need to get in shape. Interesting to note, the only person in this match that's only competed on one WWE brand is Drew McIntyre, who has been exclusive to Smackdown since his 2009 debut.

This match felt big, had loads of back and forth action and the crowd was red hot for it, whether the bad guys were dominating, Edge got a hot tag, or the hometown hero, Rey Mysterio was in there. It's not easy to keep these monstrous matches like this interesting while letting everyone get to do their shtick, but I think they pulled it off quite well here and the crowd gave it a great boost. The finisher fest at the end was a fun way to end things, and the good guys getting the big win just made sense. You don't do matches like this to give the win to the bad guys, they're purely to get the crowd excited.

After Edge won the match for his team by Spearing Dolph Ziggler, Vickie Guerrero cut off his his celebration and ordered him to hand over the World Championship after he illegally used the Spear last week against Dolph Ziggler. Hey, she had a point. Vickie took a step further though and said that since she knew Edge was the one who attacked Teddy Long, she fired him! Interesting twist.

Backstage, "DASHING" Cody Rhodes was wearing a face guard, but kept most of his face shadowed out since he's still recovering from his facial reconstruction surgery. The Dashing One promised he'd be back next week to make an announcement about his future. Hilarious stuff, I still wish he'd rock the Phantom of the Opera mask though.

Eve & Beth Phoenix vs. Layla & Maryse was next with Michelle McCool on commentary, and I kinda like the Laryse team, if they ever make the odd decision to split up LayCool, they should put them together. McCool provided the distraction to give Laryse the win and that's really all that happened in this match. #WeWantKong

They showed a clip of The Rock's return on Monday, but no actual Rock sighting on the 600th episode of Smackdown. He needs to show up on Fridays at least once before WrestleMania, just so I can hear him say, "The Rock's show, SMACKDOWN!" one more time.

And after taking on the United States Champion on Monday, The Miz set his sights on the Intercontinental Champion on Friday, battling Kofi Kingston in one-on-one competition. Kofi obviously doesn't have the chemistry with The Miz that Daniel Bryan does, but I thought these two meshed well. Alberto Del Rio distracting Kofi to give Miz the win adds a little bit of intrigue to their match tomorrow night, though after Del Rio made him tap out fair and square last week, I'm just not as interested in the rematch.

Justin Gabriel & Heath Slater vs. Santino Marella & Vladimir Kozlov was up next with the WWE Tag Team Titles on the line and there wasn't really much to this one until Santino KIPPED UP and nailed Gabriel with the COOOOOOOOBBBBBBBBBBBRRRRRRRRRRRRAAAAAAAAAAAA! Wade Barrett & Ezekiel Jackson interfered to cause the DQ, and somehow this gets Slater & Gabriel another shot at the titles this Sunday? Big Show made the save for the good guys, but honestly, the only thing I care about in this entire situation is Big Show vs. Big Zeke. I'm sorry, but The Corre just isn't working, Barrett's stock keeps dropping and while Slater & Gabriel could be decent tag champs, there just aren't any teams for them to work with.

In what I thought would be the final segment of the evening, Dolph Ziggler was officially named the NEW World Heavyweight Champion! Seriously, check the title history on, it's official, Dolph Ziggler is a World Champion.

Well, former World Champion, because Teddy Long made a shocking return here, playa. T-Lo reveals that it wasn't Edge that attacked him, it was Dolph Ziggler, and Vickie quickly throws him under the bus... what a dysfunctional relationship this is. T-Lo is back in charge and his first order of business was to rehired Edge and give him a rematch for the World Championship!

Edge vs. Dolph Ziggler is the main event of the 600th episode of Smackdown, and guess what? Edge is the NEWER World Heavyweight Champion. Edge picked up the win with the decriminalized Spear and is now an 11-time World Champion, putting him just four reigns behind the Nature Boy!

After the match, T-Lo had one more thing to add... Dolph Ziggler is FIRED! Tough break, going from World Champion to unemployed in the span of ten minutes, and to add insult to injury, Edge serenaded him with Steam's "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye," which is used so often whenever someone is kicked out of WWE, I wonder if they own the rights to it.

I've seen a lot of smarks upset about Ziggler's story, which isn't surprising, because anytime something bad happens to someone they like, they've been "buried." Actually, I even saw someone say that Dolph Ziggler was "castrated" on this show, but I'm pretty sure that hasn't happened since Kaientai was around.

Okay, they kinda painted themselves into a corner with Ziggler and they could screw this up pretty bad, but let's not act like fake firings are the death knell for a wrestler's career... John Cena says "hi." Plus, we're about to enter the Elimination Chamber, the screwiest PPV of the year, I wouldn't be surprised to see Ziggler worm his way back into his vacated spot and set up a Triple Threat at WrestleMania. Or maybe he'll go to Raw? Either way, I think WWE has a vested interest in the guy, even if they tried a little too hard to make his transition to the main event unique, though they clearly weren't ready to commit to it.

Rest of the show was fun stuff, much better than the last two weeks, though The Rock recap went way too long and the Divas tag was what I've unfortunately come to expect. Should be interesting to see where they go from here with Edge and Ziggler, I'm confident a good portion of it will play out tomorrow night. But please WWE, don't just throw Big Show in the Smackdown Chamber and call it a day.

WWE: Satan's Prison - The Anthology of the Elimination ChamberSmackdown: The Best of 2009-2010WWE: Elimination Chamber 2010

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