SmackDown! (04/15/11): Thank You, EdgeBy RichFlynn · · 1 Comment
On this week’s RAW, Edge shocked the world (…I almost said ‘WWE Universe,’ there. Ew.) by announcing his forced retirement on medical grounds. Tonight, we bid farewell to the in-ring career of the Rated-R Superstar, Edge.
Sorry this is coming to you guys as late as it is – I’ve only just got round to writing due to some unfortunate family circumstances.
Nevertheless, on with the show!
Alberto Del Rio kicks off proceedings. He starts with a faux-sincere speech about Edge’s retirement. He goes on to say that Edge should come out and present him with the World Heavyweight Championship. A few minutes pass, and Teddy Long’s music hits. The SmackDown! GM says that, when Del Rio became No. 1 contender, he earned the right to compete for the title at Extreme Rules – and that’s exactly what will happen. Del Rio’s opponent will be decided in tonight’s main event – a 20-man Battle Royal! Del Rio plays the conspiracy card, then says he’s glad he is the one who forced Edge to retire as a “crippled coward.” Ouch.
Ezekiel Jackson vs. Kofi Kingston: The other members of The Corre have joined the commentary team, which unfortunately means we’ll be subjected to Heath Slater’s voice. D’oh. Kofi Kingston comes out in the brightest green ring gear I’ve ever seen. Josh Mathews is my hero after correcting Heath Slater’s grammar. You tell ‘im, Josh! We’re also informed that all four members of The Corre will be participating in the Battle Royal later tonight. Kofi sends Ezekiel to the outside and knocks him to the announce table, as Booker T gives us an early Quote of the Night: “Look at the rolls on the back of Ezekiel Jackson’s head, man. LOOK AT THE ROLLS!” Big Zeke catches Kofi in mid-air, and it looks like he’s planning on dumping him through the announce table. Instead, Zeke launches him into the other members of The Corre. That looked pretty deliberate… Zeke picks up Kingston and rolls him back into the ring. Wade Barrett goes after Zeke, but his distraction inadvertently allows Jackson to pick up the win. I always preferred APPLE, anyway… Your winner: Ezekiel Jackson
We’re treated to the first ‘couple’s counseling’ segment with LayCool. This is pretty good, but not as funny as I hoped it’d be. There’s definitely potential, though, and Layla is certainly being painted more as the ‘face’ of this near-split.
Cody Rhodes is in the ring. He says that, following his victory over Rey Mysterio at WrestleMania, he expected to feel vindicated; instead, he feels nothing. It wasn’t enough. He finishes by saying he’s not going to stop until Rey’s children are horrified at the sight of his face. Rey’s apparently heard enough, and he comes running out to exact some revenge. Rhodes retreats backstage.
We’re shown the teaser video for Awesome Kong (or whatever her name shall be in the ‘E)’s arrival. All I will say is this: WWE, please, please do not mess this up. Please.
Rey Mysterio vs. Drew McIntyre: I had been wondering where McIntyre was – he hasn’t been on TV for ages. Or, at least, it’s felt that way. The Sinister Scotsman is super-aggressive throughout this match, but we all know where this is heading. Rey manages to set up the 619, lands a top-rope splash, and gets the victory – but it wasn’t an easy one. Your winner: Rey Mysterio
We get a recap of Edge’s farewell on RAW, and a great package of clips from throughout his career. Then we go backstage, as Edge makes his way to the stage. On the way he meets Dean Malenko (which is awesome), Matt Striker(!), Chavo Guerrero… and Kane, who stares silently at Edge for a few moments before offering a handshake.
And we return from an ad break to Edge’s music. Edge comes down to the ring and delivers another heartfelt promo, which I won’t try to justify or recreate here. If you haven’t seen it… off to YouTube with you! Instead, I’ll give my own (very brief, I promise) two cents.
I still remember Edge’s debut in the WWF. Immediately, he was the most intriguing guy in the company – the music, the entrance, even the trench coat. Everything about the guy was so fresh, and so dark. He was part of The Brood (which, for a ten-year-old boy, was just about the coolest thing on the planet), and was later part of my favourite faction of all-time: The Ministry.
When I started watching wrasslin’ again a few years back, Edge was en route to SummerSlam, and a Hell In A Cell match with Undertaker. His journey there was some of the best character work I’d ever seen. Every segment – from matches, to backstage interviews, to tormenting a wheelchair-bound Vickie Guerrero – saw a man truly in his element.
Who knows what lies in store for Adam Copeland? I remember him providing guest commentary on SmackDown! many months ago, and it struck me how much of a natural he was with a headset. If that’s what he wanted to do in future, the WWE would be fools to pass up the opportunity.
More than anything, though, I’m glad Adam gets to enjoy his life outside of the WWE as a healthy man. We’ve had more than our fair share of tragedy in the world of professional wrestling – it’s good to get a happy ending for a change.
Oh, and he’s right: his music IS the coolest in the WWE.
Kelly Kelly vs. Layla: We’ve all seen this match before, and not much is different this time around. Kelly and Layla end up grappling outside of the ring, and Kelly sends Layla into the wall of the Colemine. Kelly follows it up with her facebuster finisher – on the floor – and rolls back in. Bit strange for the babyface, but hey-ho. Layla’s about to be counted out, but Michelle McCool grabs her and rolls her back into the ring just in time. It’s a pointless endeavour, though, as Kelly rolls Layla up for the win. Your winner: Kelly Kelly
20-Man Battle Royal: I’ve never had to report on a Battle Royal before! I’ll try not to get too frenetic and keep things simple. I’d love it if Trent Baretta won. Can you imagine? It’s worth noting that Alberto Del Rio is sitting at ringside for this bout. The first elimination comes less than a minute in – JTG is dumped over the top ropes by Big Show. I actually forgot JTG had a job. Trent Baretta then tries to single-handedly lift Show over the top, but instead is quickly thrown out for his troubles. Boooo! Big Show punches Slater off of the apron – ouch – then clotheslines Ezekiel Jackson over. The giant’s momentum, however, means he tumbles over with Big Zeke. Let’s fast-forward to the final four participants: Rey Mysterio, Jack Swagger, Justin Gabriel and Christian. We all know who’s winning this, guys. Mysterio takes Gabriel out and begins scrapping with Christian. Swagger tries to take advantage of the others’ distraction, but instead he’s hung up on the second rope. Mysterio goes to hit the 619, but Michael Cole jumps in front of the proverbial bullet, trying to curry favour with Jack Swagger heading into Extreme Rules. It looks like Rey has gotten the best of Swagger, but a last-minute reversal sends Mysterio onto the floor. It’s to-and-fro for a while between Swagger and Christian. As the latter is recovering on the apron, Del Rio tries to eliminate Christian himself, but gets a kick to the mouth instead. Jack Swagger charges at Christian, who pulls down the top rope, and eliminates the All-American American for the win. Edge comes down to the ring to congratulate him on his victory. Awww. Your winner: Christian
That’s it for another week! Cheers for reading, guys.
Oh, and once again:
Thank you, Edge.
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