Friday, March 25, 2011

WWE Friday Night Smackdown 3/25/11

WWE Friday Night Smackdown 3/25/11
March 25th, 2011
Nationwide Arena, Columbus, Ohio
Attendance: ???

The Road to Wrestlemania takes a stop in Columbus, Ohio tonight for another episode of Friday Night Smackdown. Last week on the show Christian defeated Alberto Del Rio in a cage match but both he and Edge were beaten down after the match as the show went off the air by Del Rio and Brodus Clay. Tonight, Christian faces off against Del Rio again in our main event. Sounds like a good show, so let's jump right in.

We open the show with Edge and Teddy Long arguing backstage about a new ruling Teddy has made that if either he or Del Rio touch each other again before Wrestlemania, they'll both be banned from participating in the event. Cue that...errr..."catchy" theme music!

Your hosts are Michael Cole, Josh Matthews, and Booker T

Rey Mysterio vs. CM Punk

Oh HELL YES, now this is how you start off a show! These two have had some fantastic matches in the past, so hopefully this will be more of the same as this is another "Wrestlemania Rewind" match. Mysterio goes for the 619 early but Punk avoids it only to eat a kick for a quick two count. Punk hits a baseball slide dropkick and tries a cover of his own, but Mysterio gets the shoulder up at two. Punk works an abdominal stretch for a bit but Rey fights him off and sends him to the floor. Punk lifts Rey up onto his shoulders in the electric chair position and just launches him face-first into the guard barrier! We take a commercial break while Rey recovers and when we return Punk has Mysterio rolled up in the ring in a pin attempt, but Rey kicks out at two. Punk drops a leg and tries for the pin again, but again Mysterio kicks out at two. He tries a suplex but Mysterio counters, only for Punk to his a cross-body block on him for another near fall. Punk comes off the top rope but Mysterio meets him with a dropkick inmid-air. Mysterio flips Punk out of the ring and hits a beautiful springboard moonsault to the outside floor! Moments later though Cody Rhodes runs down the ramp and tosses Rey into the steel post for the DQ at 5:30 (shown). After the match Cody continues the beatdown on Rey until we go to commercial. Aw man, this was just starting to get good too before the DQ finish, but you can understand why they wouldn't want to have another guy lose clean so close to Wrestlemania. Still, it's Mysterio and Punk out there, give 'em five minutes atleast and the results are always going to be entertaining. **½

Backstage Edge and Christian share a few words, with Edge promising to be in Christian's corner tonight for his match with Del Rio.

Edge vs. Drew McIntyre

I have no idea what their plans on for McIntyre anymore. It looked like at one point last year he was bound for the main event, but now it's like they can't make up their mind about whether to push him or not. His music sure does rock though. Both men are fired up to start, trading big lefts and rights which Edge quickly gets the upper hand of. McIntyre hits a back elbow though and starts to work on Edge's injured and wrapped-up left arm. Drew slams his knee into Edge's arm, getting a near fall in the process. Edge counters a wristlock attempt and goes for the DDT, but his arm is too hurt and he can't get the move. Drew tries for the Futureshock DDT, but Edge counters into that unique variation of the Sharpshooter he's been using lately and that's enough for Drew to tap out at 2:27. After the match Edge gives McIntyre a Spear for good measure. Nothing match, not sure what the point of feeding Drew to Edge here was as it doesn't really accomplish anything for either man. ¾*

Video package hyping up the Undertaker-Triple H match at Wrestlemania. Same one we've been seeing for the last week, one of the better video packages they've come up with since last Wrestlemania with tons of blurbs from past and present wrestlers. Tonight, Undertaker addresses Triple H on Smackdown.

Michelle McCool/Layla vs. Kelly Kelly/Rosa Mendes

Michelle comes out to the ring with her hair done up like Snooki's, mocking the Jersey Shore cast-member with a fake tan spray can and some lame fist-pumping. This is actually kind of funny in a weird, bizarre way. Michelle and Layla keep doing their lame little fist pump dance while the bell rings and both Kelly and Rosa take them down and start laying in fists. Kelly and McCool fight on the outside while Layla and Rosa exchange forearms in the ring. Rosa hits a clothesline and a nice suplex. What the shit, when did Rosa learn to wrestle? McCool distracts Rosa long enough for Layla to hit a big neckbreaker on her, and that's enough to give Layla the pin at 1:10. After the match Michelle and Layla get on the mic and talk some more trash to Snooki at home, McCool looking smoking hot in the process. Usual diva's filler here, but hey, Rosa hit a few nice moves and looks like she might actually have some potential as a wrestler. ¼*

WWE Intercontinental Title Match
Kofi Kingston © vs. Wade Barrett

So this is quite the random title match out of nowhere. Quick lock-up to start but Kofi quickly uses his speed to hit a few big kicks and get an early near fall. Wade whips Kofi into the corner and then sweeps his legs out from under him. They fight to the outside of the ring briefly but Wade tosses Kofi back inside.Kofi hits a series of forearms but then eats a huge sidewalk slam from Barrett for a two count. Barrett drives his knee into Kofi's back in a bow and arrow like submission. Barrett misses a big elbow drop off the top rope and Kofi fights back with some big chops and a dropkick. Barrett tries a pumphandle slam but Kofi counters out and comes off the top rope with a big cross-body block for another close two count.Kingston goes for the Boom Drop but Justin Gabriel distracts the referee while Heath Slater climbs up on the apron. Kofi gives Slater the Trouble in Paradise and then tries to deliver the same move to Barrett, but Wade catches him on his shoulders in mid-air and delivers the Wasteland on Kofi! That looked awesome, and it's enough to give Wade the pin and the title at 5:19. After the match Gabriel hits Kofi with the 450 Splash. So, that was quite unexpected. I like the idea of giving Barrett the IC title as he finally has actually WON something and can be taken seriously as a main player on the show after struggling to find credibility following the many losses to Cena. I wonder if this means a bump up the card for Kofi as well after 'Mania? Only time will tell. Pretty decent match with a hot finish. **

Backstage Alberto Del Rio argues with Teddy Long about the ban on any interaction between himself and Edge.

After a quick commercial break, Johnny Cash's "Ain't No Grave" plays and out comes the Undertaker, as promised. That is seriously one of the best entrance themes, ever. Undertaker doesn't even come down to the ring this time though, instead cutting his promo on the rampway. He says that Triple H thinks he has the "equation" as to how to defeat him, but that he can see Hunter's confidence begin to fade as they come closer and closer to their match. He says he looks forward to seeing Triple H on RAW and telling him all of this face-to-face. Nothing new here really, just your standard Undertaker promo.

Jack Swagger vs. R-Truth

Poor Truth, from a spot in the Elimination Chamber to jobber extraordinaire in a month. Swagger hits a big belly-to-belly suplex to start but Truth kicks out at two. Cole is going ape-shit throughout this entire match, cheering on his coach Swagger. Lots of heat for Cole and as a result, the crowd is even more into Truth than usual. Swagger shoots Truth into the corner but he comes back with a series of clotheslines. Swagger gets tossed to the outside floor and Truth slingshots himself over the top, taking out Swagger (and himself) in ugly fashion. Either Truth launched himself too far or Swagger didn't catch him when he was supposed to there. Truth goes to the top but Swagger knocks him down and Truth's ankle gets caught in the ropes. Like a shark smelling blood, Swagger focuses on the ankle now, going to work on it. Swagger applies the ankle lock and Truth taps out at 2:54. After the match Cole hits the ring and gives Truth the ankle lock as well, garnering more heat. Just another squash match for Swagger so we can take him seriously as Cole's coach after months of jobbing and doing nothing. ¼*

We recap the events that took place on RAW this week. I really hate how they waste a good 15 minutes every week on this show recapping what happened on RAW. It was four days ago guys, I think we can remember what happened four days ago.

Alberto Del Rio vs. Christian

Edge does indeed come out to be in Christian's corner, hopefully negating Brodus Clay's role in Del Rio's corner. Both men lock-up to start as the crowd is into this one early. Del Rio hits a few knees and tries a side-headlock, but Christian counters out with a shoulderblock for a quick one count. Del Rio lays a stiff kick into Christian's ribs in the corner and stomps away until the ref pulls him off. Del Rio runs towards Christian but get's backdropped over the top rope and to the floor outside. Christian climbs to the top turnbuckle and flies off the top with a beautiful cross-body block all the way to Del Rio on the floor! We take a quick commercial break and when we return Christian hits a sunset flip for a near fall. Christian clotheslines Del Rio out to the floor again right in front of Edge, who does nothing while Christian misses a baseball slide and is tossed into the guard barrier. Del Rio slams his arm into the steel steps and throws him back inside for a cover, but Christian gets the shoulder up at two. Del Rio tries working an armbar (not his finisher version) for a bit but Christian fights out of it. Del Rio hits a sweet back senton splash off the top rope, but again Christian kicks out at two."Let's Go Christian" chant starts up as Del Rio is in control here, stomping away on Christian. He goes to the top but Christian meets him up there and gives him a Frankensteiner off the top rope, 1-2--NOO! Del Rio kicks out at two. Big right hands from Christian and a flying forearm. Christian does his little spot where he slingshots out of the ring and punches Del Rio in the face, then he climbs to the top rope and tries for another huge cross-body block, but Del Rio moves at the last moment. Del Rio tries for that running enziguri into the corner, but Christian ducks and delivers a huge tornado DDT to Del Rio, 1-2--NOO! Ricardo Rodriguez, Del Rio's personal ring announcer, puts his foot on the ropes. Edge goes to chase after him but big Brodus Clay attacks him from behind. Del Rio tries for his flying armbar finisher, but Christian counters and tries for the Killswitch Engage. Del Rio avoids it though and connects with the running enziguri for a VERY close two count that the crowd totally buys into as the finish. Del Rio applies the armbar finisher, but Christian quickly gets to the ropes. Both men clothesline each other while Edge delivers a huge spear to Brodus Clay on the outside! Edge grabs a chair and attacks Clay with it, which distracts Del Rio long enough for Christian to give him the Killswitch Engage and get the pin at 8:53 (shown)! Another excellent TV match between these two men, though again you have to question why Del Rio is losing clean only a week before his Wrestlemania title shot, but hey, as a Christian fan I can't complain. Maybe they're finally going to give Christian that main event push after all. Damn good main event for the time it got. ***

After the match Edge teases hitting Del Rio with the chair, but Christian grabs the chair out from his hands to keep his Wrestlemania match alive, and Christian hits Del Rio with the chair for him! We go off the air with Edge and Christian talking smack to a fallen Del Rio, extracting a measure of revenge for the beatdown they received last week to close out the show.

Bottom Line: Another solid week of Smackdown here. They got most of the Wrestlemania programs some TV time, we got another great main event, and the show really just flew by in no time at all. Nothing to set the world on fire or anything, just a good, solid 2 hours of WWE programming that continues the build for Wrestlemania while still giving us a match worth watching in the main event. Thumbs Up.

Score: 7.5/10


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