Saturday, March 19, 2011

WWE Smackdown Thoughts - March 18, 2011

WWE pulling a bait & switch, advertising Edge & Christian challenging for the Tag Titles on Monday, then turning around and announcing Big Show & Kane going for them instead, is not a good way to get things started. Promising anything, then replacing it with Kane is generally a surefire way to hurt my interest in a show.

Edge vs. Brodus Clay was our opening contest, Alberto Del Rio & Ricardo Rodriguez accompanied the big man to ringside, but the numbers game was evened up when Christian came to ringside and allowed Edge to hit the Spear for the win. I thought they were going to give it to Brodus for a second. Surprisingly good match, I think it's pretty clear the fan voting on NXT is legit since we've been seeing Brodus Clay every week since he lost, but we haven't seen Johnny Curtis (that's who won, right?) one time.

Everybody brawled afterward and T-Lo came out to announce the main event for the evening, Christian vs. Alberto Del Rio... inside a steel cage!

Champion vs. Champion was next with the new United States Champion, Sheamus taking on Intercontinental Champion, Kofi Kingston. Nice to see Kofi get some friggin' TV time after being left off Smackdown for the last few weeks, but his luck isn't quite turning around just yet. After a big mistake on the outside, Sheamus kicked the stairs into Kofi's groin and nailed him with the Brogue Kick to continue his successful week. Hey, it was St. Patrick's Day on Thursday, Sheamus had luck on his side! Fun match, but both guys really needed this win and someone had to lose.

Big Show and Kane choked each other backstage and Kane said "you complete me." Disturbing... but not as disturbing as Kane once again inexplicably becoming a good guy.

Trent Baretta vs. "DASHING" Cody Rhodes was absolutely brilliant. Much like last week, Rhodes wrestled in his street clothes, but this week he had a slowed down, hard rock version of his theme music, wore a towel over his head and snapped at the sound of the bell, making quick work of Baretta. I love Rhodes as the Phantom of the Opera, it obviously has a limited shelf life, but I assume once he beats Mysterio at WrestleMania, he'll find his smile.

Layla vs. Kelly Kelly was next with Michelle McCool on commentary yet again. Kelly was particularly aggressive here, but it wasn't enough to stop Layla, who picked up the win after Kelly took her eye off the match. Another ridiculously short Divas match, but at least they got enough time to do stuff besides a roll-up pin. Progress, right!? Okay, maybe not.

Triple H is Mr. Bradstone... he's The Chaperone!

Still wasn't happy about The Corre vs. Big Show & Kane for the Tag Team Titles, it certainly makes more since than Edge & Christian challenging for them just two weeks before WrestleMania, but seriously, don't tease me with an E&C Tag Title run and give me Kane! Worked out okay in the end since at least we didn't get another Kane title reign. Corre caused the DQ, then - get this - they actually looked like a legitimate threat! After weeks of all four guys getting run off by Big Show, The Corre just annihilated the challengers. Wade Barrett repeatedly throwing the steel stairs onto Kane was particularly impressive, made an awesome sound. The ringside area looked like a car wreck when it was all said and done and I have to admit I was wrong, this was a much better idea, especially for the WrestleMania build.

Jack Swagger took on the most underrated Superstar in WWE today, Chris Masters and I'd like to see these guys lock up more after WrestleMania. Would make a great Intercontinental Title feud and it would at least give Kofi something to do in the transition. Swagger picked up an easy win, forcing Masters to tap to the Ankle Lock, then added insult to injury by holding him down while Michael Cole applied the An-Cole Lock! Yeah, they definitely need to continue this after Mania, I want to see Cole in the Masterlock.

Rey Mysterio had the unfortunate task of taking on Ted DiBiase, I suppose tying into Cody's Legacy past, but the further they distance Rhodes from Legacy, the better. It's pretty clear Legacy was holding Rhodes back and he was silently carrying DiBiase (and Orton) the entire time! Rey Rey can make anyone look good though and had a pretty enjoyable match here, made even better by the fact that DiBiase lost!

Main Event time! Alberto Del Rio vs. Christian in a steel cage match! Teddy Long had no choice but to make this a cage match with all the interference going on lately, because no one ever interferes in a cage match!

I thought it was a little odd to just give this match away on Smackdown, especially if Christian doesn't get added to the main event at WrestleMania. Christian vs. Del Rio for the World Title would make a great PPV match for Extreme Rules or Over the Limit, but I suspect if Captain Charisma doesn't get added to Mania, we'll get the Triple Threat at one of those two PPVs. I've been saying this about WWE a lot lately, it's just strange that they continue to give away fairly big matches on TV, especially when looking at this year's WrestleMania card, they don't have a lot of "Wow, I've never seen that!" matches left.

Great TV main event though and it's tough to argue against WWE entertaining me too much for free. Christian picked up a HUGE win here, giving Del Rio his first singles loss in quite sometime if I'm not mistaken. Captain Charisma just beat the #1 contender for the World Title match at WrestleMania, surely he should be added to the match, right?! Del Rio threatened to destroy Christian after the match, but Edge provided the distraction and was about to go to town on Del Rio's car with a steel chair, but Brodus Clay attacked the champ from behind, allowing Del Rio to smash Edge's arm with the Con-chair-to. Another big night for Del Rio, but hey, Christian won the match!

Excellent episode of Smackdown. Pretty much non-stop wrestling, not a lot of Raw recapping and Christian beat the #1 contender fair and square! I went into this show pretty bitter about the bait and switch on the Tag Title match, but I think it's safe to say everything worked out better in the end. I'm less than thrilled about WGN canceling Superstars since that was the wrestling show, but if Smackdown is like this most weeks, I think it'll wind up being okay. If you missed this episode, make sure you check it out.

WWE Christian Figure Series #8EDGE - MATTEL WWE SERIES 6 WWE TOY WRESTLING ACTION FIGUREWWE 2010 MATTEL SHEAMUS ROYAL RUMBLE HERITAGE SERIES WRESTLING FIGUREMattel WWE Wrestling Royal Rumble Series 1 Action Figure Cody Rhodes with Commemorative Championship Belt

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