Sunday, March 6, 2011

WWE Smackdown Thoughts - March 4, 2011

After my least favorite Raw in quite sometime, Smackdown was my last hope for quality wrestling this week, did WWE correct their mistakes?

Edge kicked things off, with his elbow heavily taped up from the attack last week and told us about his contract signing tonight with Alberto Del Rio. I love a good contract signing, those always end well. Before that though, the World Champ wanted to finish his going-away song to Vickie Guerrero, but was interrupted yet again, this time by Drew McIntyre. I don't really understand why Drew has an issue with Edge, he had no relationship with Vickie, he should be thanking Edge and Teddy Long for bringing Kelly Kelly back.

T-Lo makes the match though, Drew McIntyre vs. Edge is our opening contest and while I didn't get the issue here, the match was pretty good. McIntyre was especially vicious, trying to destroy Edge's arm and screaming about ending his career. Edge managed to turn things around and had the match won with the Spear, but instead locked in the Edgecator and forced McIntyre to tap out. I've always said every top guy needs an impact finisher and a submission finisher, glad to see Edge brought that move back.

Rey Mysterio was on his way to the ring, but looked really strange in a suit... wait, it's "DASHING" Cody Rhodes wearing the mask he stole from Rey Rey last week! After this promo, any doubt that Cody Rhodes was the star of Legacy and Orton and Ted DiBiase were holding him back should be erased. This story has been expertly crafted and Rhodes is doing the best work of his career, I daresay it is the match I am the most excited about at WrestleMania 27.

Backstage, The Corrrrre threatened Kane, telling him that after three of them helped him win an "important match" (hey, they kinda remembered), that he should take out the Big Show. Whose stock has dropped more since that Buried Alive match, Wade Barrett or Kane?

Justin Gabriel & Heath Slater vs. Santino Marella & Vladimir Kozlov was next and the former champions invoked their rematch clause, so the Tag Team Titles were on the line. They managed to make this match a lot more fun than their previous outings and the crowd was way into it, so I enjoyed it... even if Heath Slater won the match.

Christian returns to Smackdown next week!

The Undertaker making his way to the ring with "Ain't No Grave" as his theme music literally gave me chills. Undertaker on the mic is a rare treat, and while he's never been mentioned in the same breath as Roddy Piper, Mick Foley or The Rock, he never fails to create this huge vibe surrounding whatever he's doing. I definitely preferred Taker's promo to Triple H's on Monday and not just because I prefer The Undertaker to Triple H, but that certainly didn't hurt. I especially liked the line "I bow to no man, especially the King of Kings," because he's the devil incarnate! Can't wait to see the next turn in this story.

Hey, The Glamazon was in action! Not only that, she renewed Rosa Mendes' internship and they teamed up to take on LayCool, who were not color coordinated, that could be the biggest sign of trouble yet. Despite the dissension as of late, LayCool managed to pick up the victor after the referee was distracted. LOVED Booker T talking about Michelle McCool's "loaded boot," now that's old school.

Kane vs. Big Show, I'm sure a match you were just begging to see! Of course, The Corre got involved, giving Kane a steel chair, who then hit Big Show with it, then started attacking The Corre as well. I swear if they're turning Kane face again, I'm just going to laugh because just a few months after almost getting this character back on track, they totally dropped the ball yet again.

Jack Swagger made his way to the ring to be hyped up by Michael Cole and I have to ask all the people whining about Swagger being "reduced" to this, did you hear the heat for this segment? Swagger's never had this kind of reaction and if he's ever going to rehabilitate his credibility and get back to the top, this is the first step. After a commercial break, Swagger totally squashed JTG, which was unfortunate for JTG, but good for Swagger. Cole doing the Swagger run around the ring was priceless as well.

Our main event of the evening was the official contract signing for the World Heavyweight Championship match at WrestleMania 27! Alberto Del Rio made his way to the ring first and welcomed us to his contract ceremony and insisted that Ricardo Rodriguez sing the Mexican national anthem, which Edge rudely interrupted, those disrespectful Canadians! T-Lo begged for this to be a contract signing that doesn't end in chaos (ha!) and the crowd started chanting "USA! USA!" I guess they wanted to cheer on Teddy, he was the only American in the ring, after all.

Great work from both of these guys here, Edge actually treated the situation with some seriousness, telling Del Rio that his destiny could change in an instant and he could leave WrestleMania as a flash in the pan that he made famous for one night. Del Rio called him a dog and told him it was the beginning of a new era, all while wearing that patented "punch-me" smile of his. Edge basically told Teddy that he wasn't going to be able to respect his request and all hell broke loose. Edge struck first, but Del Rio got the upper hand and tried to break the champ's arm with a steel chair, but CHRISTIAN returned early and made the save! I'm amazed that didn't get spoiled for me. Show ended with Christian helping up a busted-open Edge while Del Rio and Rodriguez hightailed it.

Very good episode of Smackdown, little too much Raw recapping for my taste, but that's probably going to become the standard during the WrestleMania season. Not really a ton of wrestling either, but again, WrestleMania season. What I did like was the story progression, specifically Cody Rhodes, The Undertaker and the closing segment, which were all flat-out awesome. I don't know where they're going with Christian, I doubt it'll be a Triple Threat at WrestleMania, but I don't want to see him get his ass handed to him by Del Rio in the next couple weeks either. No sense in fretting about it now, just gotta see where things go from here, but with stories this good, that won't be too difficult.

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