WWE Friday Night Smackdown 4/8/11
April 8th, 2011
Time Warner Cable Arena, Charlotte, North Carolina
April 8th, 2011
Time Warner Cable Arena, Charlotte, North Carolina
Just a quick note, I did not review last week's episode of Smackdown for those who have asked about it. The show was 90% video packages and highlights, with maybe about 15 minutes of newly filmed content, which equaled about two squash matches and less than 5 minutes of wrestling. No need to review a highlight show and nothing major happened anyways.
We're five days removed from Wrestlemania XXVII and only three days removed from the colossal announcement that the main event of next year's Wrestlemania will see the return of The Rock against John Cena in The Rock's return to wrestling after a seven (or eight by the time Wrestlemania rolls around) year hiatus. Can Smackdown live up to the hype of this week's RAW? How will Alberto Del Rio react to his loss to Edge at Wrestlemania? Who will be Edge's next challenger? And where does Christian fall into all of this? All of that and more on tonight's Smackdown. Let's get to it.
Your hosts are Michael Cole, Josh Matthews, and Booker T
We open the show with Alberto Del Rio coming out to the ring. Oh Christ Cole is back on commentary again. He's atleast bearable on Smackdown where he can just heel it up and not have to switch gears into being the play-by-play man every five minutes. Del Rio gets on the mic and tells us that destiny can be delayed, but not stopped. He gripes about his loss to Edge and the fact that he and Christian destroyed his Rolls Royce after the match. Before he can get much further though Edge's music hits and the World Heavyweight Champion comes out on the back of a tow truck, with Del Rio's destroyed Rolls Royce in tow behind him. He tells Del Rio that a little TLC should fix his car right up, so Edge pulls out a can of yellow spray paint and sprays something on the hood that I can't quite make out. Del Rio demands a rematch but Edge declines, saying there are many other more deserving people ahead of him, such as Christian, who steps out of the driver's seat of the tow truck to a nice pop. Edge reminds Del Rio that Christian has beaten him twice already before teasing coming down to the ring and getting into it Del Rio right then and there. Teddy Long's music hits of course though and the Smackdown GM comes out to the ramp with a mic and sets up a Number One contender's match tonight between Del Rio and Christian, with the winner going on to face Edge at Extreme Rules in a LADDER MATCH! Could it be? Could Christian's main event run FINALLY be upon us?
2/3 Falls Match
Big Show/Kane/Kofi Kingston/Santino Marella vs. Wade Barrett/Justin Gabriel/Heath Slater/Ezekiel Jackson
Oh joy, the rematch nobody was dying for. The Corre has about as much credibility as the nWo B-Team at this point, so there's really no excuse for them not to go over in this match here. No clue why it's 2/3 falls though. Gabriel and Santino start us off with some silly kicking and punching. Slater tags in and stomps away at Santino in the corner. Kane and Big Show take turns beating down Slater. Kofi tags in and teases going for the Trouble in Paradise as we cut to commercial. When we return Kane is beating down Barrett in the corner. Big Zeke tags in for a bit to bring the upper hand back to his team before the rest of The Corre starts trading frequent tags, isolating Kane in their corner. Kofi and Gabriel tag in and Kingston flies off the top with a big cross-body that gets the 3 count on Gabriel for the first fall at 5:30 (shown). After a commercial break we return to see Slater slamming Santino for a quick two count. Santino starts the comeback and hits a few hip-tosses and a headbutt before setting up for The Cobra. Barrett tags in though and boots him and then gives him the Waste Land for the pin to tie it up at one fall apiece at 7:25 (shown). Santino is isolated in The Corre's corner for a few minutes until finally he gets the hot tag to Kane, who cleans house on Wade Barrett with a big sideslam for a near fall. Kane hits the flying clothesline off the top but Big Zeke breaks the count up and things completely fall apart from here as everyone begins brawling in and around the ring. Kane tries for the choke slam on Barrett but the rest of The Corre hit the ring and attack Kane...and the ref calls for the bell for one of the absolute lamest DQs I've ever seen in my life, awarding the match 2 falls to 1 to Kane's team at 11:11 (shown). After the match Big Show and company completely destroy The Corre in the ring, just to make sure they're nice and buried. Somehow this got over 10 minutes, and The Corre's burial continues. There is NO EXCUSE for them not going over here, especially after the loss at 'Mania. Bad match and bad booking. ¾*
Cody Rhodes vs. Trent Bareta
Trent Bareta sighting! One of these days the WWE will figure out what to do with this guy, him and Zach Ryder. As you may have guessed, this is just a glorified squash match. Cody hits a few forearms before Trent actually gets some offense in with a nice missile dropkick that gets him a quick two count. Cody hits a big Russian leg sweep and then works him over in the corner for a bit. Rhodes finishes him off with the Cross Rhodes at 1:31. After the match Cody continues the beatdown on Trent until Rey Mysterio comes out and makes the save. So I guess that feud is continuing, which is good news in my book. Typical squash match, but hey, Trent actually got some offense in! That has to count for something, right? ¼*
Since this wouldn't be Smackdown without an excessively long video package of something that happened 3 days ago on RAW, we get to see the entire Rock-Cena segment that closed RAW, in it's entirety. I get showing highlights, but showing the ENTIRE segment is a waste of time.
Backstage Edge and Christian are together in the locker room, where Edge tells Christian that he hopes he wins tonight so they can wrestle at Extreme Rules, and that Christian deserves the title shot (which, damnit, he does). They joke around a bit about the possibility of facing each other later and Edge wishes him good luck and takes off. The camera lingers on Christian though as he stares intently at Edge's World title until Edge comes back in to grab it. Yeah, you definitely forgot something champ.
Michelle McCool/Layla vs. Kelly Kelly/Beth Phoenix
Well, atleast Kelly looks good as usual. Michelle and Beth start us off and Beth quickly dominates, slamming McCool around at will and hitting a backbreaker for a quick two count. Layla tags in and her and McCool argue a bit until McCool shoves Layla right into Beth Phoenix, who slams her on top of the turnbuckle and tags Kelly in, who locks in her weird semi-Tarantula submission in the ropes before hitting a cross-body off the top that gets a close two count. Facebuster from Kelly gets another near fall. Layla gets a few kicks in and goes to tag Michelle, who feigns an injury and falls of the apron, allowing Kelly to roll Layla up for the 3 count at 2:40. After the match LayCool argue all the way up the ramp. The LayCool break-up continues to be teased, and I'm still not sure who the hell thinks that is a good idea for either woman. Usual short Diva's filler. ¼*
After a quick commercial break we return to see Michael Cole in the ring. He introduces Jack Swagger and both men brag for a bit about Cole's DQ win at Wrestlemania against the King. Glad to see that Swagger push last year was so useful. They pat each other on the back some more and decide to celebrate with a victory lap around the ring, doing the Soaring Eagle run. The lights flicker suddenly though and Mistico---I mean Sin Cara's music hits. Nice pop for Cara as he sprints down to the ring and leaps into the ring straight from the floor in an impressive display of agility. Cara and Swagger stare off until Cara hits a handspring back elbow and a big headscissors takedown that sends Swagger to the floor. He follows him out with a twisting splash and he takes off, his impact having been made. Apparently Cara was so awesome on RAW that he was immediately told to scale back some of his trademark moves, which is why we got a twisting splash and a headscissors takedown instead of the usual crazy Mistico spots that not even Mysterio in his prime could pull off. Either way, he looked good again here tonight and the fans seem to have taken to him pretty quickly.
Backstage Layla walks up to McCool and hands her a piece of paper for a couples therapy appointment for the two of them next week. The only way I'll give a shit is if the therapist is DDP, otherwise, let's just move on.
World Heavyweight Championship Number One Contender's Match
Alberto Del Rio vs. Christian
Edge is our guest commentator for this match. These two have had some good matches over the last few weeks on Smackdown, pretty much saving the show from being a glorified 2 hour highlights show of RAW. Lock-up to start and Del Rio tries working a side headlock. Del Rio works some stomps on Christian until he gets tossed over the top rope. Big baseball slide dropkick from Christian sends Del Rio into the announcer's table as we take a quick commercial break. When we return Christian is getting slammed into the steel steps at ringside by Del Rio. Back inside the ring Del Rio hits a big backbreaker on Christian for a two count. Del Rio starts taunting Christian in the corner, slapping him around. Christian gives him a big slap of his own and then heads to the top rope, but Del Rio meets him there and delivers a nasty superplex off the top. Kind of sloppy execution from Del Rio, but it made the move look much more devastating. Christian rolls up Del Rio and almost gets the win then and there, but Del Rio kicks out at the last possible second. Both men clothesline eachother over the top rope and tumble to the floor as the ref starts his count. Both men barely make it back inside before the ten count. Del Rio goes for a big back senton (Dick Togo style!) but Christian moves out of the way and starts hitting big forearms on Alberto, trying for the comeback. Missile dropkick off the top gets another very close two count for Christian. He heads to the top again and hits a huge cross-body, but again Del Rio kicks out at two as the crowd is starting to really get into it now. Del Rio tries for the flying armbar, but Christian evades and tries for a springboard sunset flip, only to get catapulted right into the turnbuckle. Del Rio applies the armbar finisher now, but Christian immediately gets the ropes and Del Rio has to break. Brodus Clay at ringside tries to distract Christian, but Edge spears him. Christian climbs to the top rope but Del Rio hits that big running enziguri he's been using and that's enough to get him the win and the title shot at 10:29 (shown). And for the 9000th time, my hopes as a Christian fan have been crushed. These two have developed some good chemistry together in no time at all, and this continued their streak of good Smackdown main events as Del Rio gets the win, which is really the right call to be fair given how quickly he was beaten at Wrestlemania. Another fine match between these two to close out an episode of Smackdown. ***
We go off the air with a crushed Christian in the ring next to Edge as Del Rio walks away with a big smirk on his face.
Bottom Line: Pretty decent show this week as once again Christian and Del Rio had a good main event that made the show worth checking out, if only for that. The rest of the show was pretty bad though, with a ton of highlights packages that ate up a ridiculous amount of time and another really bad 8 man tag that continues the neverending burial of The Corre. A large chunk of this show is totally skip-able so I can't exactly give the show a glowing review, even with the fun main event. Still, the Del Rio/Edge/Christian trifecta continues to make Smackdown watchable, so I can't be too harsh. We'll go with a thumbs in the middle for this week's show. slightly leaning up.