SmackDown! (01/07/11): New Year, New RivalriesBy RichFlynn · · 2 Comments
Many thanks to Joe for setting me up with a username here on BWF. I can now say I’m officially on board, and it feels great. Also, thanks again to Jana for helping me get started here; I really appreciate it.
Anyhow! On with the show. Tonight, Edge defends his World Heavyweight Championship against Kane in a Last Man Standing match. Elsewhere, Rey Mysterio and Alberto Del Rio will collide in a 2 Out Of 3 Falls match.
[World Heavyweight Championship] Edge vs. Kane: Last Man Standing matches can go one of two ways – either they’re heart-stopping thrill-rides, or they’re burdened with too many referee counts and not enough action. I have a feeling this one will lean towards the latter, but you never know. I’m rooting for Edge in this bout; partly because Kane has been lackluster as of late, and partly because I’m going through another of my Canada-obsessed phases. The action spills backstage in this match, as Kane and Edge bounce each other’s heads off a variety of surfaces and utilities such as a water cooler (…am I saying that right? ‘Water cooler?’). At one point, Kane steals a wheelchair from a plant in a cast (his reaction as he hops out of shot is fantastic) and sits Edge in it. He tries to dump Edge down a stairwell, but the Ultimate Opportunist manages to escape in time. The two fight their way back to ringside, but an Edgecution is not enough to keep Kane down for the ten-count. The same happens in reverse after a Chokeslam, and Edge tumbles to the outside of the ring after briefly standing up. A little while later, Kane grabs Edge by the throat and drives him through the announce desk. As this happens, Matt Striker wins the ‘Commentator Overreaction Of The Night’ Award with an Oscar-worthy performance, pretty much falling to his knees. This is to set up a bizarre spot where Edge uses Striker to push himself to his feet…? Kane goes berserk and starts throwing chairs in the ring, but his plan will backfire. After literally throwing a chair off Kane’s face, Edge delivers a couple more blows to the Big Red Monster’s leg. He hits a Spear, then lays a chair underneath the leg. One Conchairto later, and Kane is suitable incapacitated. The challenger almost makes it up, but his leg fails and he tumbles to the mat as the referee counts to ten. This was a good bout, if a little slow at times.
Your winner, and still World Heavyweight Champion: Edge
[Intercontinental Championship] Dolph Ziggler vs. Kofi Kingston: Two title matches in a row! WWE is spoiling us. The announce team have mentioned that tonight sees the feuds of Kane/Edge and Mysterio/Del Rio come to a head; I’m hoping the same applies for these two. I really enjoy watching both in the ring – particularly Ziggler – but after so many matches, it’s starting to feel a little, well, same-y. Technical term for you, there. Towards the end of this match-up, Kofi goes for a Trouble In Paradise, but Dolph ducks underneath and locks in the Sleeper. Kofi eventually manages to counter with a Stunner-esque jawbreaker, and follows it up with an SOS. Dolph raises a shoulder in one of the closest kick-outs I have ever seen. Yikes. Both men are up eventually and grappling on the turnbuckle, but Kofi eventually hits a top-rope Gordbuster (thank you, Striker) and waits for Ziggler to stand before landing one of his insane crossbodies. He hooks the leg… and gets the 3! Holy cow. Nice unexpected finish to the match, but I’m gutted to see Dolph drop the strap. Kofi is busy celebrating, but Ziggler jumps him from behind and nails him with a Zigzag. Outside the ring, Vickie grabs a microphone and starts shrieking. She says Teddy Long isn’t here tonight, which makes Vickie the acting GM. She rules that Dolph gets a rematch for the title – right now! It looks like it’s official. The ref helps Kofi to his feet, and away they go! Dolph lays an aggressive beatdown on the new champ, but a few seconds later, he’s eating a Trouble In Paradise from out of nowhere! Kofi rolls Dolph over, and retains his title. I wonder what’s next for Ziggler?
Your winner, and NEW Intercontinental Champion: Kofi Kingston
After a quick ad break, we’re backstage with Dolph and Vickie. They’re bickering about who’s to blame for Kofi’s double win, and it results in Dolph suggesting Vickie finds a new boyfriend. I’d just like to let Mr. Ziggler know that I would never call him a “two-time loser”. Get in touch, Dolph.
Kelly Kelly’s strutting about backstage, and Drew McIntyre appears to wish her good luck in her match tonight. Kelly questions how genuine Drew’s sentiments are, but he insists he will win Kelly’s trust. He also reveals he has a No. 1 Contender’s Match tonight…
Big Show vs. Drew McIntyre vs. Cody Rhodes: …and here’s the aforementioned No. 1 Contender’s Match, which will be contested under Triple Threat rules. Matt Striker alludes to the fact that Big Show has been a World Heavyweight Champion “once, in a parallel universe,” which I love because, like Striker himself, I’m a massive comic book nerd. Hooray! Of course, he was referring to Show’s reign as WCW champ back in the day. Hey, remember there was a phase late last year when the announce team – Striker in particular – kept referring to Big Show as ‘The Giant’? I was hoping something cool would come of that, but apparently not. Anyway, match time. McIntyre is last out, and as he is making his way into the ring, a familiar voice can be heard shrieking into a microphone. Sure enough, Vickie Guerrero has reappeared. Surely she’s not gonna do what I think she is… She does! Vickie is making this match a Fatal Four Way! Dolph Ziggler makes his way back to ringside, to compete in what will be his third match of the night. The other competitors seem pretty angry about it, but I’m not sure why. Surely a beat-up opponent from the offset will be easier to pin than the fresher competitors? But, then again, anything can happen in the WWE – and I kind of want Dolph to steal this one! Big Show is ultra-aggressive from the offset, dealing with any and all threats from his three opponents. Drew McIntyre finally manages to level the playing field, pushing Show face-first into one of the steel posts. All three men wisely decide to take the giant out of the equation, as they ram him through the barricade! Rhodes, Ziggler and McIntyre fight amongst themselves for a while, before Show reemerges. He quickly dispatches McIntyre to the outside of the ring, and resumes his earlier domination. Show signals for the Chokeslam, but… Wade Barrett slides into the ring and starts attacking him! Barrett lands a nice elbow to Show’s chest and makes a quick exit. Rhodes takes advantage with a Beautiful Disaster kick, but Big Show kicks out. Ziggler sneaks in to the ring, takes a run… and nails the Zigzag on Big Show! Holy crap! 1… 2… and a kick-out. Now it’s McIntyre’s turn, who plants Show to the mat with his Futureshock DDT. McIntyre makes the cover… and there’s yet another kick-out. Show throws McIntyre out of the ring, while Ziggler and Rhodes conspire in the other corner. Ziggler tells Rhodes to attack first, but as Cody starts to walk away, Ziggler lays him out with a Zigzag! Show’s not even aware of what’s going on behind him, and it’s too late – Dolph Ziggler has picked up the win and is the No. 1 Contender for Edge’s World Heavyweight Championship! Wow. Wow wow wow.
Your winner: Dolph Ziggler
Michelle McCool vs. Kelly Kelly: McCool works on Kelly’s left knee throughout this match, but Kelly soon fights back and even manages to set up the K2. Layla provides enough distraction for Michelle to counter it into a Faithbreaker, and it’s an easy win for LayCool. I wish I had more to talk about here, but it was over almost before it began! LayCool lift Kelly back up and plant her down with a double facebuster. All of a sudden, Drew McIntyre appears (who saw that one coming?) and tells LayCool to get out of the ring. They oblige.
Your winner: Michelle McCool
Rey Mysterio vs. Alberto Del Rio: Before the match, Del Rio mentioned he was going to win the Royal Rumble – is it just me, or has nobody else (save Cena) even mentioned the Rumble yet? Early on in this bout, Del Rio evades a 619 attempt and quickly locks in his Cross Armbreaker to make it 1-0 in his favour. Not too long later, Rey Mysterio manages to roll up Alberto and equalises. The finish to this match is hilarious – Alberto is on the outside, as his personal ring announcer Ricardo Rodriguez checks up on him. Mysterio splashes on top of both from the top turnbuckle, and eventually rolls Del Rio back into the ring. He goes to climb in himself, but Rodriguez has latched onto Rey’s foot, and Alberto wins the 3rd fall by count-out. Del Rio makes a quick exit, leaving his ring announcer to the dogs (well, the one dog… or maybe the Chihuahua?). Rey starts laying into Rodriguez, then rolls him into the ring. He sets up a 619 and connects, as Alberto Del Rio watches from the ramp. Maybe this particular rivalry isn’t quite over yet?
Your winner: Alberto Del Rio
And that’s the lot! The difference in quality between this and last week’s show is staggering – although, I’m sure you’d disagree if you’re not a Dolph Ziggler fan. A program with a fast, young, hungry superstar may be just what Edge needs after his turgid feud with Kane. It looks like Wade Barrett has made his way over to the blue brand – I’m not sure how he’s going to cope outside of the Nexus, but I have a feeling he’ll do alright.
Well, that’s it for this week. Be sure to check back again next week as we witness the fallout from tonight. Thanks for reading!
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