WWE Friday Night Smackdown 3/11/11
March 11th, 2011
Toyota Center, Houston, Texas
March 11th, 2011
Toyota Center, Houston, Texas
Your hosts are Michael Cole, Josh Matthews, and Booker T
We open the show with Edge coming out to the ring while we get a video recap of Del Rio's beatdown of Edge last week until Christian made the save. Edge grabs a mic and hypothetically asks if Del Rio thinks a little blood will stop him from winning at Wrestlemania. Before he can get very far Del Rio's music hits and he comes out with Brodus Clay. So I guess Clay is officially the heel muscle for Del Rio, and I'm cool with that as Clay cut a great heel promo on the season 4 NXT finale and this is just the kind of role he should be used in. Del Rio and Clay put the beatdown on Edge, and then of course Christian's music hits to a very nice pop and he cleans Del Rio's clock before getting beaten down by Clay. Teddy Long comes out among all this ruckus and books a tag team match tonight between the four, which is the first reunion of the famous Edge and Christian tag team in 10 years. Yeah, as an E&C mark, color me excited.
Kane vs. Wade Barrett
Before the match starts Barrett comes out with a mic and tells Kane that he's made some monumental mistakes in not going along with The Corre's plan. The match starts and they brawl for a bit until the Corre make the run-in and beatdown Kane for the DQ at 0:42. N/A, I don't rate matches less than a minute long. Big Show makes the save for Kane after the match as we cut to commercial. No rating. When we return it's been turned into a tag team match....
Big Show/Kane vs. Wade Barrett/Heath Slater
So this is a tag match now. Why not. Big Show lays some big open palm slaps on Barrett in the corner to start this match. He toys with him a bit and then tries for the chokeslam, but Barrett evades and hits a pair of big boots that takes Show down to the mat. Heath Slater tags in now and gets a quick two count. He tries for a sleeper but Show eventually gets the lukewarm tag to Kane who cleans house. Kane knocks Barett off the apron and signals for the chokeslam on Slater, but Justin Gabriel of the Corre slides into the ring and we have ANOTHER DQ at 3:21. After the match Big Show cleans house with a chair. This was just weird, if you wanted the DQ finish why not just leave it in the first match, why did we have to get another short nothing match for another DQ? We get it, Barrett relies on his lackies, sheesh. ¼*
After a quick commercial break Michael Cole starts plugging a special interview with John Cena later tonight, but first Booker T wants us to watch the entire Cole/JBL/Austin segment from RAW earlier this week. I hate these extended re-viewings of what happens on RAW, it's wasted time that could be better spent used on the midcard.
Cody Rhodes vs. JTG
Cody comes out in a suit and tie with his creepy Patrick Bateman mask as JTG doesn't even get an entrance these days. I smell a delicious slice of squash. Rhodes is all over JTG to start, looking psychotic while Booker T makes a Dick Murdoch reference that makes me respect him more as a commentator. Rhodes quickly hits the Cross Rhodes for the win at 0:52. Rhodes worked this squash perfectly, screaming at the fans and trying to cover his face to put over how deranged he is. I love where this character is going, even if Rhodes himself is just average as a worker. ¼*
When we return from another quick commercial break, John Cena comes out for his interview with Michael Cole in the ring. Always nice to see Cena on Smackdown. We recap the Miz attacking Cena on Raw, and before Cole can say another word Cena just snatches the mic from him. He says that the Miz has made the biggest mistake of his career when he attacked him on RAW. He threatens to break Miz's face (seriously), and that's it I guess. But before he can leave the ring Cole gets back on the mic and starts poking fun at Cena, telling him The Miz shut him up on Raw. Cena is pissed now, but Jack Swagger hits the ring to protect Cole. Swagger beats Cena down at first, but eventually Cena comes back and tries for the Attitude Adjustment on Cole, but Swagger sacrifices himself and takes the move instead. Something tells me this whole Cole heel character is a test to see if he can take over the evil promoter role that Mr. McMahon worked with such sucess after Vince dies.
Layla vs. Kaitlyn
Kaitlyn was the winner of NXT Season 3 and they kept her around for a few weeks before sending her back to Florida. I guess she's back now though. She gets a nice pop as this is her hometown and she is rather hot, so the dots all connect doncha know? Lockup to start here with Kaitlyn overpowering Layla at first, slamming her into the mat. Kaitlyn gets involved with McCool at ringside and this distracts her long enough for Layla to hit a big neckbreaker for the pin at 0:56. We're over an hour into this show and not a single match has hit the one minute mark. That is very, very bad. ¼*
Rey Mysterio vs. Drew McIntyre
Here we go, now this is more like it. This is Rey's first match since the Dusty/Cody beatdown while Drew has just been doing nothing since looking pretty awesome at the Elimination Chamber PPV. McIntyre hits a huge boot as the bell rings and then starts laying in shots on Mysterio on the mat. He hits a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker and tries for the cover but Rey kicks out at two. Drew is very aggressive here, but Rey is too quick for him. He tries for the 619 but Drew slides out of the ring, only for Mysterio to come out after him and give him a drop toe hold into the apron! Drew slams Rey's back into the steel post and then gives him a side-slam on the ring apron. Wow that's pretty creative. After a quick commercial break we return to see McIntyre applying a modified version of the Mexican surfboard on Mysterio. Rey counters into a pin for a quick two, but Drew just slams him into the corner turnbuckle. McIntyre gets knocked off the top rope and Rey hits the seated senton and tries to follow it up with a springboard cross-body but Drew moves out of the way. McIntyre rolls him up for a quick two, then misses a spear attempt and eats a kick to the face, followed by the 619 and a big splash off the top rope which is enough to finish Drew off at 2:27. Finally a match actually lasts more than a few seconds, I'm shocked! This was about as good of a two and a half minute match as you could possibly have. **
After the match Cody Rhodes comes out and reminds Rey that he's still waiting for an answer to his Wrestlemania challenge. Rey is pissed about Cody pulling his mask off last week, and accepts Rhodes' challenge. Keep your eye on that match come Wrestlemania time, it might just be a show-stealer.
After another quick commercial break we return to Triple H's music playing and The Game making his way to the ring. He grabs a mic and shows us a video package of the Game basically being the most intense man in the history of the WWE. Nice counter-promo to the Undertaker's from last week. Triple H puts over the two classic HBK/Undertaker matches at the previous two Wrestlemania's, and he laments over how his best friend and mentor couldn't get the job done. He blames emotion for HBK's losses and says that won't be a problem for him at Wrestlemania, and he promises to beat the Undertaker. Pretty good promo here actually as Triple H gave us a good enough reason to think he could beat 'Taker because he is so cold and calculated while HBK was so emotional. He thanks Undertaker for making the match No Holds Barred and then exits.
Backstage Matt Striker gets a few words with Christian about teaming up with Edge tonight for the first time in a decade. He cuts a good promo on Del Rio and we take a commercial break.
Edge/Christian vs. Alberto Del Rio/Brodus Clay
I have been longing for an Edge/Christian program for so long now that I never thought it would actually happen, but here it is, finally, we're seeing Edge and Christian as partners once again! Now we just need to get started on laying the seeds for a feud between the two over the World title this Summer, and I could die a happy peep. Christian and Brodus start us off, exchanging big lefts and rights. Clay tries a shoulderblock but Christian is too quick for him. Christian goes for a tornado DDT (the move he beat Clay with on RAW a few days earlier) but Del Rio distracts him, letting Clay counter with a big suplex. Del Rio tosses Christian into the barricade outside the ring and Edge chases after him briefly to no avail. Back in the ring Clay hits an elbow for a quick two count. He slams Christian and then tags in Del Rio. Del Rio gets a quick two count and then starts laying in closed-fists until the ref makes him stop. He goes after the injured arm of Christian, applying a tight armbar as a big "Let's Go Christian!" chant starts up. Del Rio exposes Christian's injured arm and starts working it over now, but Christian comes back with a big flying back elbow off the second rope. Christian gets the hot tag to Edge and Brodus tags in as well, grabbing Edge and giving him a bodyslam for a quick two count. Del Rio is yelling at Clay now, but Edge starts making the comeback, knocking Del Rio off the apron and then attempts the spear, but Clay just gives him a clothesline. Christian knocks Del Rio out of the ring and then hits a tornado DDT on Clay, which Edge follows up with a big elbow drop off the top rope for the pin at 5:48! This was pure flat-out fun to see Edge and Christian together again, even if only for a few minutes. Hopefully this leads to more interaction down the line, because the WWE would be fools not to realize the money-making potential in a new Edge and Christian program as either allies or foes in 2011. **½
We fade out of the show with Edge and Christian celebrating in the ring as a dismayed Alberto Del Rio looks on from the entrance ramp.
Bottom Line: Apart from the awesomeness of seeing Edge and Christian together again, this was a pretty bad show. Almost no wrestling to speak of until the main event, and way too much time spent recapping events that took place on Raw yet AGAIN. Still, there was some nice micwork from Cena and Triple H tonight and the main event was fun for nostalgic reasons, so I can't be too harsh on this show. We'll go with the old reliable Thumbs in the Middle.