SmackDown! (01/28/11): WhodunnitBy RichFlynn · · 3 Comments
Can Edge even the odds before his title defense against Dolph Ziggler on Sunday? Why was Michael Tarver skulking around backstage (and again on RAW)? And, most importantly, who was responsible for the attack on Teddy Long?
Vickie kicks off the show tonight, informing us that Teddy Long will not be here. Therefore, she is the acting General Manager. There’s a motive right there for attacking Teddy Long – with him out of the picture, Vickie has complete authority and the ability to potentially screw Edge over at the Rumble and cost him his title. Vickie is soon interrupted by Randy Orton who, we are told, is on the blue brand to participate in a tag match in tonight’s main event. Randy makes some promises about his tag match against Vickie’s boyfriend, and also vows to take back his WWE championship from The Miz this Sunday. Then he insults Vickie’s hair. Okay… ‘creepy, intimidating Orton’ is always great; ‘personal insults Orton’? Not so much. Dolph comes out to the rescue. He demands Randy shows Vickie and himself respect. Seriously, Ziggler has come on leaps and bounds on the mic. Dude has ‘it’. Not that ‘it’ helps him in this scenario, because he’s soon eating canvas as Orton strikes with an RKO.
LayCool vs. Kelly Kelly/Kaitlyn: It’s incredibly lame, but I love it when Striker sings along to LayCool’s entrance music. The No. 1 contenders for the Divas title are taken out on the ramp by Kelly and Kaitlyn – wait, Kaitlyn has a match?! I swear I can hear some members of the crowd booing this sneak attack on LayCool. This match lasts about a minute – that’s not me being hyperbolic; it seriously lasts around 60 seconds. Layla distracts Kaitlyn, and Michelle McCool takes advantage with a big boot. And people say the Divas don’t get enough screen time! Your winners: LayCool
Drew McIntyre vs. JTG: Kelly Kelly has remained at ringside for this bout; Michael Cole rightly calls her a hypocrite for attacking LayCool earlier on, despite going flippin’ mental (my words, not Cole’s) at Drew for essentially the same thing last week with Trent Baretta. Right on, Cole! This match goes on a little longer than it should, I reckon. As is typical of Drew’s matches lately, JTG is resilient and even manages a few offensive flurries (I need to stop saying that phrase; seem to use it every week) but, in the end, McIntyre prevails. I like this finish – JTG goes for a backslide, which Drew rolls through and delivers a devastating Futureshock DDT. These matches against lesser opponents have been noticeably longer than they would have been, say, 6 months ago. Is this deliberate on WWE’s part to give the impression that Drew is working hard, in order to give the fans a reason to respect or get behind him? He’s as vicious as ever, but he seems to appreciate getting pinfalls lately. This is gonna be a slow-burning face turn, for sure. Credit to Kelly Kelly – she’s performing her role in this storyline very well. I totally didn’t mean that to sound so patronising… Your winner: Drew McIntyre
Todd ‘Don’t Look Him In The Eyes’ Grisham is backstage with Dashing Cody Rhodes, who has his back to the camera. Last week, Rey’s 619 – complete with an exposed knee brace – broke Cody’s nose. Cody keeps his back to the camera as he delivers his promo; a whining affair about deviated septums and extensive reconstruction surgeries. Basically, it’s great. Rhodes sounds on the verge of tears as he informs Todd that doctors have told him he is not to compete in the Royal Rumble match. Jeez, Rey. What a jerk. This is the best promo I’ve ever seen from Cody. Good job, Not-So-Dashing One!
We cut to Jack Korpela (Jack Korpela?! We want Scott Stanford, damn it!) who is with Edge. Edge talks about his tag match tonight, where he will reunite with his former Rated RKO partner. After he’s said his piece, we see Alberto Del Rio walking backstage. He bumps into Michael Tarver and introduces himself. Tarver smiles and walks away. WHAT IS GOING ON WITH TARVER?! I’m dying to know, but I want them to drag this out for as long as possible. Providing the outcome is exciting, of course.
Alberto Del Rio’s Royal Rumble Exhibition: Del Rio announces that backstage there are 39 fighters from around the globe who are ready to fight him. He’ll start with one, and another will enter every 30 seconds. First up is Seth Allen. WOO! SETH ALLEN! Seth Allen has a sweet beard. Unfortunately, his in-ring prowess isn’t quite as sweet – he lasts about 25 seconds before Del Rio throws him over the ropes. Next up is Mike Stevens, whose beard is even sweeter than Seth Allen’s. These guys look like default create-a-wrestlers in the SmackDown! vs. RAW games, it’s amazing. The clock ticks down for the 3rd competitor… and flames erupt. Uh-oh. Here comes Kane. Damn it, I was genuinely looking forward to 37 more jobbers with generic names! What about Zac Stone? Rick Daniels? Chuck Awesomesauce? (Actually, Chuck Awesomesauce is a real wrestler. I kid you not. He is my hero, purely for having that name.) Kane grabs Del Rio by the throat and goes to push him over the ropes, but for some bizarre reason, Kofi Kingston appears. He grabs Kane’s legs and pushes both men over the ropes. Umm. Okay. Del Rio and Kane slowly get back in the ring to seek revenge. I was hoping the 39 jobbers would run to the rescue (they could start a new megafaction) but, unfortunately, Rey Mysterio appears instead. The goodies stare down the baddies, and Vickie Guerrero comes out to announce they will compete in a tag match… right now!
Alberto Del Rio/Kane vs. Kofi Kingston/Rey Mysterio: Most of this match is standard, nondescript fare, so let’s skip to the end. Alberto’s mad at Kane, because Kane wasn’t there to be tagged in. Uhh, he was kinda busy lying on the floor after Kofi knocked him off, jerk. Kane doesn’t like being pushed around, so he hits Del Rio with a big boot and takes off. Mysterio hits a 619 (watch you don’t break his nose, Rey! Yeah, I said it! Jerk.) and Kofi follows it up with a Trouble In Paradise. Striker reiterates what he said earlier about his belief that a ‘new face’ will win the Royal Rumble this Sunday. Nice sentiment, but it’s never gonna be Kofi Kingston. Your winners: Kofi Kingston/Rey Mysterio
Big Show vs. Heath Slater: Big Show’s in the ring to talk about the emergence of Corre and their attack on the giant 2 weeks ago. Needless to say, he’s pretty angry. The Corre soon appear, replete with terrible t-shirts. Heath Slater slides into the ring, and I guess this is a match-up! Every time Big Show runs the ropes, I wince, expecting them to snap and send him tumbling to the floor. Show soon plants Slater with a Chokeslam, and it’s all over. The other Corre members enter the ring. Show swats Barrett and Gabriel away, but Jackson takes him down with a clothesline. A bunch of good guys run from the back to chase off The Corre. Your winner: Big Show
The Miz/Dolph Ziggler vs. Edge/Randy Orton: Midway through this match, Ziggler hits Edge with an X-Factor facebuster. Is Ziggler working his way through DX members’ finishers? Actually, I joke, but I’m pretty sure he’s used a superkick a few times in the past! This match reaches fever pitch as Dolph fails to connect with the Zigzag. Edge hits the Spear, and it’s all over. Or not, because Vickie Guerrero grabs a microphone and starts shrieking. She announces that, until further notice, the Spear is illegal. Wow, this is very reminiscent of Vickie protecting Edge by banning Undertaker’s gogoplata submission hold, eh? How time flies. Vickie announces that if Edge hits Dolph Ziggler with a Spear at the Royal Rumble, not only will he be DQ’d… he will lose his World Championship! Edge snaps, and hits Ziggler with a trifecta of, yes, Spears. Better get it out of your system tonight, buddy.
I started out this report focusing on the Teddy Long mystery, but not a lot was said about all that… Oh well. Seeing as we’re oh so very close to the Rumble, here’s my take on what will (but probably won’t) happen.
Rich Flynn’s Royal Rumble Predictions (Which Probably Won’t Happen)!:
Beth Phoenix made history last year by being only the second female entrant in Rumble history – and the first to eliminate a Superstar. There’s a good chance she could appear again.
And what about Awesome Kong? I have a strong feeling she will make an appearance – either during the Diva’s title match or the Rumble itself. It’s a long shot, but what better a way to debut a monster Diva?
Drew McIntyre will have an impressive Rumble. He’ll make a very deep run, and I’m putting him in the final four.
I fully expect Triple H to return during the Rumble. Admittedly, I haven’t heard what his recent plans are regarding his in-ring career, but giving Sheamus the King of the Ring is too perfect a set-up for a ‘Mania match between the two. Sheamus will dominate early on, but Triple H will appear and throw himself at Sheamus. Both men will be eliminated, but all Triple H will care about is destroying Sheamus on the outside.
When a friend pushed me for a Rumble winner prediction, I could only make one cautious choice – John Morrison, but with the caveat that his ‘Mania match would be at least a Triple Threat affair so the WWE don’t have to rely on his star power to sell the match. My friend, however, picked CM Punk, and it is a very good choice. I could see the following happen: Punk wins the Rumble. Miz retains against Orton. At the Elimination Chamber, Morrison eliminates Miz early on, resulting in a guaranteed new champion. John Cena wins the belt, which sets up a WWE championship match against Punk at WrestleMania. This also establishes a nice little grudge match between Morrison and Miz, either midcard or between the two big title bouts. One of the headline matches is going to have to be a biggy and, with SmackDown!’s lack of headline Superstars, I think we’ll be seeing it on RAW’s side. So, long story short, I’m going with CM Punk (but secretly I’m rooting for a big surprise such as Morrison).
Either way, this year’s winner needs to be a ‘new face,’ as Striker said. With their youth movement and the dire need to create new stars, the WWE needs to use the Rumble as a tool for pushing someone who has never before won. The increase to 40 men has given the Royal Rumble a shot in the arm, so hopefully this excitement will result in an equally thrilling result – not another victory for Randy Orton, John Cena or the like.
And, most importantly of all, the Soaring Eagle will be an entrant. Mark my words, kids.
See you next week!
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