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WWE Vengeance results: The tag title match opened the show with Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger challenging Air Boom, Kofi Kingston and Evan Bourne. Kofi and Evan maintain after some good action and, immediately, Dolph Ziggler has to defend his United States championship against Zack Ryder. It’s a short match and Jack Swagger’s interference allows Ziggler to retain as well. I would have preferred the reverse results for these two matches.

The Diva’s title is next as Beth Phoenix defends against Eve. Beth and Natalya Niedhart have been on a crusade to punish the “Barbie Doll” Divas of the WWE. At least everyone else is banned from ringside for this. Eve impressed me a lot more than usual in this match, but Beth comes out on top via a Glam Slam.

Christian has to face Sheamus next despite his desire for yet another world title match. Sheamus gets a clean win which lines him up to be Mark Henry’s next opponent.

Triple H allows himself to be fairly low down the card as he teams with CM Punk against The Miz and R-Truth. It’s a good match and Triple H is still in fine ring shape, but Kevin Nash shows up again and attacks Triple H outside the ring. Why the ref ignores this is beyond me. Miz and Truth are able to pin CM Punk and Nash continues the beat down on Hunter after the match ends. So, is Nash finally cleared to wrestle? Will we see him face HHH at Survivor Series?

Is it bad I had forgotten Cody Rhodes faces Randy Orton tonight? This is non-title which makes it far more likely Randy Orton wins. Cody’s facemask remains a solid addition to his character. Both guys really give it their all and it’s a great match as a result. A distraction by one of Randy Orton’s “baggers” allows for the Cross Rhodes, but it’s not enough. Rhodes tries to steal Orton’s RKO finisher but Orton counters and this sets up Orton hitting the rope-hung DDT and the RKO for the win. Yeah, most likely outcome happens. Sometimes WWE is too predictable for their own good.

(Remember, The Rock wrestles at Survivor Series.)

The Mark Henry/Big Show match is back. Henry has been a monster lately, bulldozing through the roster and inducting injured superstars into his “Hall of Pain.” Big Show was one of his first victims and now he’s back for revenge. Take away Henry’s title and you take away the only thing that validates his fifteen-year career. This match is way better than anybody expected. It builds well and we get an incredible spot where Henry superplexes Big Show and the ring collapses! You can bet there are a ton of replays of that spot. Neither man can continue afterwards so it’s an non-finish that should drag this feud out for a while. Meanwhile, it leaves the main event with a destroyed ring. It’s a Last Man Standing Match so that’s not as big a deal as it would usually be.

Del Rio’s announcer jumped-on and attacked Cena early on, which allowed Del Rio himself to gain an early advantage in the offense. It was a good back and forth match with some smashed tables and a lot of general violence. But Miz and R-Truth interfere near the end and that’s enough to tip the balance Alberto’s way. So Cena doesn’t get yet another title match and has a built in feud going into Survivor Series.

Expectations were low for this and I’d say the show exceeded them. The ring implosion was pretty impressive and it’s clear Miz and R-Truth will spearhead the team opposing John Cena and The Rock at Survivor Series. That’s one of WWE’s big four annual shows so it should be even better.

This is the end, my only friend, the end…

The last Smackdown on the road to Wrestlemania and my last regular column. With just the Mania live blog and going away column after this I’m starting to get wistful. I know next to nobody reads this but I hope you’ll miss me too. The show opens with a rematch for the Intercontinental Championship. Wade Barrett come to the ring alone. We get some decent wrestling. Kofi Kingston escape Barrett’s Wasteland Finisher and hits his own, Trouble in Paradise. But as he covers the champ the rest of The Corre run in and attack him for a DQ. That means Barrett keeps the title. Santino and Kozlov run in to make the save but can’t pull it off until Big Show and Kane join them. And Kofi will be in some kind of Battle Royal dark match at Wrestlemania. They usually have one to throw everyone on the card for the big show. Dark means untelevised by the way.

We recap the Cody Rhodes attack on Rey Mysterio before Matt Striker interviews Cody. Not as good as some of Cody’s recent work but he works in that he’ll have both the face mask and the knee brace for Wrestlemania. I expect he’s going to lose anyway. Todd Grisham and the Bellas are at Fan Access, probably taped well after Smackdown itself. Todd introduces the HHH/Undertaker promo video. A commercial is followed by another promo. This one is for CM Punk versus Orton. The Score reveals that Sin Cara debuts on RAW Monday. I guess they want him away from Rey Mysterio for now. Now the Road Warriors video again. Is this a clip show or something? Then they have a promo for playing the recap of The Rock, Miz and Cena from RAW coming later tonight. After another commercial we get a recap of the Jack Swagger versus Jerry Lawler match from I’d like something live to happen so I can start a new paragraph. If I were at this show live I would be demanding a refund.

Ok at least Jerry Lawler is coming out to talk. Cole has vamoosed. Boy is Lawler looking old. Lawler cuts a fine promo reminding Cole just why he’s mad at him and also that Stone Cold Steve Austin will take care of Jack Swagger at Wrestlemania. That will leave just him and Cole. And Lawler will do what the entire WWE universe wants: shut Cole’s mouth.

Wrestlemania press conference. This is a sad Smackdown to go out on. Now a long, long HHH/Undertaker recap from RAW. Now we get The Miz on Conan O’Brien. It’s cool but I’m just sour on the whole show by this point. Sin Cara video. We’re seeing more from Fan Access than a live show. Maybe there was no Smackdown taping this week and the little ring action we’ve seen was taped before or after RAW. Snooki storyline promo. Chaperone trailer.

Del Rio and Edge get a promo and, woah, we have another match! Cody Rhodes will be in action. More Rhodes recap before that. Rhodes’ opponent is Chris Masters so this shouldn’t be much of a match. And with 22 minutes left and the Miz, Cena Rock recap still to come this will be the last Smackdown match I cover. Cole is coming back, accompanied by security. Cody is in total control. He wins easily but Rey Mysterio runs in. Back and forth affair until Rhodes is in the 619 position and he reveals a knee brace of his own. But Rhodes slinks away and Mysterio is denied vengeance. Recap of Chris Jericho on Dancing With The Stars where Jericho is tied for fourth.

Fan Access trio throws us to the last video of the night. The promised Rock, Cena, Miz promo. I can stand watching this again. What exactly The Rock’s roll will be at Wrestlemania is one of the big questions left. Plus there’s Austin to watch for. And Trish is back in the ring. The Hall of Fame class will be introduced but will HBK have an even larger role? This was one the weakest Smackdowns of all time but I’m still psyched for Mania.

Wrestlemania Predictions

  • Triple H versus Undertaker – Undertaker
  • John Cena versus The Miz – John Cena
  • Edge versus Alberto Del Rio – Del Rio
  • Lay-Cool and Ziggler versus John Morrison, Trish Stratus and Snooki – Snooki
  • Sheamus versus Daniel Bryan – Sheamus
  • The Corre versus Big Show, Kane, Santino and Kozlov – The Big Red Ukrainian Cobra
  • Cody Rhodes versus Rey Mysterio – Mysterio
  • Jerry Lawler versus Michael Cole – Lawler
  • CM Punk versus Randy Orton – CM Punk but it could easily go either way

Sunday is my last column. I hope you’ll drop by.

My last RAW recap for the foreseeable future starts with CM Punk in the middle of the ring in front of a cheering Chicago crowd. Punk toys with the crowd for a bit before making them hate him. Punk doesn’t care about the New Nexus or the Chicago crowd. Punk stole Orton’s family’s respect from him. And he will end this sick and twisted story at Wrestlemania. But Orton is here, limping at tortoise speed, with a heavily taped knee. Orton still manages to fight and hits his rope assisted DDT. Orton tries for the punt but his bad leg gives out. That leaves Orton at Punk’s mercy and he delivers the Go To Sleep to look strong going into thebig show.

Edge and Christian are teaming up again. Apparently the RAW GM has no problem with Edge laying hands on Alberto Del Rio. The opponents are the rather obvious Alberto Del Rio and Brodus Clay. Clay starts and Edge and Christian end up double teaming him. Then a commercial before Del Rio is even in the match. Back from commercial Edge and Del Rio have not been legal at the same time yet. Christian takes the face in peril role. When he finally does tag out Clay comes in. Christian and Del Rio mix it up on the outside which allows Edge to Spear Clay for the win. Del Rio has the Cross Armbreaker on Christian but runs when Edge nears. When Edge turns back Del Rio comes back and ambushes him. Del Rio again hit Edge with his finisher and we won’t know who comes out ahead until Friday.

Cole has an iPad, which looks more like a netbook, so he can read the GM’s emails without leaving his Cole Mine. GM wants to see if Jerry Lawler is ready so tonight he will face Jack Swagger. Yet another great HHH versus Undertaker promo that continues to ignore that HHH already lost to Undertaker at Wrestlemania. Kane and Big Show are at ringside as Justin Gabriel (accompanied by The Corre) faces Santino Marella (accompanied by Vladimir Kozlov) and they finally announce a Wrestlemania match for these people. It will be an eight-man tag with The Corre facing Big Show, Kane, Kozlov and Marella. Sucks to be Kofi Kingston right now. Also means neither the tag belts nor the IC title will be defended at the biggest show of the year. The faces keep order at ringside, Santino hits the Cobra and a very short match ends happily. Have Kozlov and Tamina been doing Santino’s trombone motion for a while? Big Show doing it is funny. Kane doing it is even funnier.

Here’s Undertaker. Here’s Trips. Taker steals HHH’s thunder this time around by interrupting his water spit with a peal of the gong and the lights going out. I have some cable problems as they stare each other down. Neither has a microphone. Then HBK shows up. HBK plays to the crowd for ages before actually getting a microphone. HBK has a ghost of a beard and he is in dire need of Just For Men. HBK recaps the whole situation before asking his best friend what makes him he think he can do what Shawn couldn’t? HHH tells him he went soft. Cared more about being the Showstopper than winning. HHH turns to Taker and rhymes off how amazing he was when Hunter started out. But now HHH has to respectfully tell him it’s time to go. He can’t do it anymore. And if he can’t accept it then it’s Hunter’s job to take him out. He even steals “Rest in Peace.” Now Taker grabs the microphone. Taker respect Hunter and if it were time to put him down he’d want Hunter to do it. But it ain’t that time. The streak will live. Ask HBK. Taker runs down Michaels until he tries a Superkick, which is caught. Hunter pushes Shawn out of the way and stares down Taker before asking Shawn to tell him why he’ll beat Taker at Mania. But Shawn has nothing to say. Oh great a “One more match” chant. Shawn retreats to the entrance ramp before admitting he thinks Hunter won’t win. Taker just tips his hat triumphantly and heads off to the sound of Johnny Cash. Top notch segment from three of the best of all time.

Swagger versus Lawler leaves only Josh Matthews to call the match as Cole is at ringside. Let’s see if Matthews can do what Joey Matthews did for years. It spills to the outside right away and Lawler just grabs a chair and wails on Swagger getting DQed. Josh Matthews sits silently. Lawler threatens Cole with the chair and Cole retreats to the Cole Mine. Lawler beats on it with the chair as Josh tries to warn him he’ll be fired. Lawler does what seems most people should have thought of and climbs over the top. But with security holding him back he can’t reach Cole who throws what looks like ginger ale in his eyes.

Vickie Guererro makes fun of John Morrison then Snooki. Dolph Ziggler joins her to wrestle a tag team match. His partner is Sheamus. Let me guess: John Morrison and Daniel Bryan will be the opponents. Yep. This close to any PPV the match-ups are fairly predictable. We get a commercial early in the match. Daniel Bryan gets a La Bell lock on Ziggler but Sheamus breaks it up. Fast forward a bit and he almost gets it on Sheamus but the Celtic King is able to escape and hit a Brogue Kick to win the match. Since Morrison is probably winning at Mania and Bryan is probably losing I would have gone with a different finish. Sheamus pinning Morrison would work better.

New interviewer guy asks Orton if he’ll make Wrestlemania. Orton has anger management issues and he despises CM Punk more than anyone else. It’s not if he will make it to Wrestlemania; it’s if CM Punk will make it out. The final Hall of Fame inductee of the year is, actually are, the Road Warriors. Snooki has been training with Trish. Not to speak proper English though. They’re live via satellite at a bar so Lay-Cool can attack them in a new and interesting location. They manage to fight them off only to have their calls of “bitches” bleeped by USA Network.

Time for a main event promo. The three-way faceoff between The Rock, John Cena and The Miz. This show is going to go way over time, I can tell. Rock is out first. He long-windedly, and catch-phrase heavily, calls out Cena. And yeah, of course he shows up. All Cena wants to say is Rock is still awesome and this is where he belongs. But Cena actually fights back by pointing out that Rock has been making fun of Cena for colors, music and appealing to kids. Who the Hell is he? And a potential fight is cut off, finally, by the arrival of The Miz. He’s sick of being overshadowed by Overhyped and Overrated. But at least Cena will go down fighting. Rock’s a movie star too scared to risk Miz hurting him. Miz has flipped the W on his microphone again. It takes Alex Riley and The Miz together to even give The Rock pause but he beats them off and delivers a People’s Elbow to The Miz. Cue John Cena to return to camera range and hit The Rock with an Attitude Adjustment, or FU if you prefer the original name. Cena gets to play his music at the end of the show and the last RAW on the road to Wrestlemania.

See you Friday for one last Smackdown!

Posted on March 31st, 2011 by Lucian | Comments Off on Wrestling Recap: WWE Raw (3/28/11)
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Hard to believe but we’re into my final four columns. Or maybe I’ll do an epilogue after my Mania live recap. We’ll see. I will miss doing this but I need to spend more time at the office.

So Teddy Long steps in and says Edge and Del Rio can’t touch each other before Mania or they are both off the card. Edge is pissed because Del Rio already hurt him and he can’t retaliate. Meanwhile, in the arena itself, CM Punk arrives and we get a quick recap of his set-up and ambush on Randy Orton from RAW. He’s facing Rey Mysterio, who he robbed of the chance to beat Randy Orton clean. It’s a very good match and given some time but Cody Rhodes runs in for yet another non-finish. Rhodes delivers repeated Headbutts with his mask the lifts his pant leg to reveal a knee brace. He delivers running knee strike directly to Rey’s face.

Not only is Edge planning to face Drew McIntyre tonight he also plans to be in Christian’s corner when he faces Alberto Del Rio. Oh Edge’s match is now? His left elbow is heavily taped. You know if a guy has an injured left arm why not target the right one so he has no arms left at all? Edge still wins with a submission hold based entirely in the right arm. And he can follow up with a Spear too.

Repeat a HHH/Undertaker video from RAW (and NXT) then Kelly Kelly and Rosa Mendez are set to lose to Lay-Cool. Lay-Cool come out mocking Snooki with their hairstyles and footwear. This might be hilarious if I watched Jersey Shore. The faces ambush on the antics. Some matches you are glad are short. Subsequent promo highlights include Trash Stratus and John Snorrison.

Surprise Intercontinental title match as Wade Barrett, accompanied by his stablemates from The Corre, faces Kofi Kingston. Ok match. Kofi has Barrett where he wants him until Gabriel distracts the ref. Slater tries to interfere so Kofi hits him with Trouble in Paradise. But when he tries it again on Barrett the Brit has recovered enough to reverse the move into Wasteland. 1…2…3! We have a new Intercontinental Champion and Kofi has to be disappointed with his reign. A 450 Splash lets Kofi know he’s beign depushed. Maybe, just maybe, he gets a rematch at Wrestlemania. More likely he ends up on a four-man team with Big Show, Kane and someone else to face The Corre.

Time to continue the war of words between The Undertaker and HHH. How is it Undertaker can say Armageddon with ease but says “prolific” instead of “prophetic”? He’s going to be on RAW Monday to go face to face with HHH. Does everything big have to happen on RAW? Is Smackdown truly the B-show now?

Michael Cole is in full on booster mode as Jack Swagger faces R-Truth. Truth does an ugly looking rolling flip to the outside. He clearly lands on his shoulder but sells a hurt leg so Swagger can go for the Ankle Lock and Truth taps out.

Whole segments go by with no new material.

Main event time. I have nothing against Brodus Clay but do both The Miz and Alberto Del Rio need an NXT dropout hanging around them? It makes them seem too similar. The Del Rio characters is so incredibly different from Dos Caras Jr. and yet the performer behind both of them can excel in both roles. Wresters who can excel as both faces and heels are not a dime a dozen. Christian has looked great in the match. He nearly gets a pin but Rodriguez puts Del Rio’s foot on the rope. The leads Edge to attack him and Brodus Clay to go after Edge. Edge manages to Spear Clay, taking the focus totally off the match, then follows up with a chair. This is enough to distract Del Rio for the Kill Switch and Christian beats Del Rio again! Edge really wants to waffle Del Rio with the chair but Christian stops him. So Christian decides he can hit Del Rio and not get fired.

This was a good show and it did what it was supposed to do, focus on Wrestlemania. Swagger’s win was the closest thing to a clean finish on the whole show, but this close to Mania every win seems to need an asterisk next to it.  But too much of the really good stuff is being saved for RAW. Smackdown has good matches on the WM card. We have Cody Rhodes versus Rey Mysterio which has been really well booked and has featured Rhodes’ best work ever. We have Edge/Del Rio which got some great emotion tonight. Something still has to be booked  involving The Corre, Big Show, Kane and maybe Kofi Kingston. If it were up to me I’d book a 4-on-3 Handicap match but if the faces win they get the titles. Undertaker versus HHH transcends both shows and, unless Taker is in much worse shape than they are letting on, I assume it will be the main event. One week left then it’s curtains for me. I hope you’ll stick around for the big finish.

Posted on March 26th, 2011 by Lucian | Comments Off on Wrestling Recap: WWE Smackdown (3/25/11)
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HHH, theoretically a RAW Superstar, will be on Smackdown tonight to respond to The Undertaker, a Smackdown Superstar, made on RAW. It’s definitely Wrestlemania time. But it’s Edge, the champion, who opens the show and we get a long recap of Christian coming to Edge’s rescue last week. Edge reminds us he went through a lot to get here. A little bloody nose is not going to stop him. He wants Del Rio for a fight. Del Rio shows with Brodus Clay. Del Rio has one epic line “I’m the man who’s going to replace your legacy, with my destiny.” The two-on-one assault again draws Christian and I smell a tag match coming. But Brodus and Del Rio are too much for Christian as well. And here’s Teddy Long. Tag match, Edge and Christian reunite for the first time in ten years.

Kane is here and Wade Barrett runs him down before their one-on-one match. No other members of The Corre in sight. That lasts less than a minute before the rest of The Corre run in and blatantly attack Kane for the DQ. Ezekial Jackson is able to bring down Kane but Big Show lumbers in with a steel chair and drives them off. At least that was brief.

I spoke too soon. Kane and Big Show are now mid-match with Barrett and Heath Slater. We get some unremarkable wrestling then Jackson and Gabriel run in again for a DQ again. The Corre beat down Kane again and Show gets a steel chair again. Gabriel takes yet another chair shot but the real payoff is Show swatting the downed Kane with the chair to show they are not bosom buddies just yet. If you’re from my generation you just pictured Kane and Big Show in dresses and wigs. No mention that these two are former tag team champions.

Insanely long recap of Cole/JBL/Austin from RAW. Let me clear something up before I end this column. I hate Michael Cole the character. I think Michael Cole the performer is doing a good job doing what he’s told to do. His “why me?” routine after Austin showed up with well acted. Cody Rhodes returns to action and makes short work of JTG. He is able to Headbutt JTG with the mask, which has been cleared as legal apparel. He still hates people looking at him and no longer wants to be called “dashing.”

Michael Cole is about to interview John Cena. Cena does us all a favor and just grabs Cole’s mic. Miz should have stayed under the radar. If Miz is the face of the WWE then Cena will break the face of the WWE. Cena makes the mistake of giving Cole the microphone back before he leaves and that lets Cole go off with loaded pro-Miz questions. Cena grabs Cole by the lapel and Jack Swagger comes to his pupil’s rescue. Cena sells for a bit before the comeback. We tease an Attitude Adjustment on Cole but Swagger throws himself under the bus and he’s the one who eats it.

The Sin Cara promo is awesome. Lay-Cool are here as Layla is set for one-on-one action. And the claim is they have made up yet again. Kaitlyn is her opponent if any of you remember the NXT winner. This is a complete squash. They beat her down for good measure.

Rey Mysterio returns and faces Drew McIntyre. Rey actually makes Drew look good and this is the best match I’ve seen in a while now. Rey does get the win but Drew has nothing to be ashamed of. Cody Rhodes comes to the ramp to ask for his answer. Rey wore, wears and will wear his mask with pride when he beats Cody at Wrestlemania.

HHH has realized why HBK couldn’t beat The Undertaker. Emotion was his Achilles Heel. That won’t stop Hunter.

Christian cuts a cool little promo rhyming off things that have arrived since the last time Edge and Christian tagged together like iEverything, YouTube, Survivor and Jersey Shore. The match itself is fine. Christian gets beaten on for a while then finally tags Edge just as Del Rio tags Brodus. That avoids having Edge ever face Del Rio. They let Brodus stop a Spear with a Big Clothesline which shows they must have faith in Clay. It breaks down. Christian manages to throw Del Rio to the outside then hit a Tornado DDT on Brodus Clay. That sets up Edge for a Flying Elbow to pick up the pin. Del Rio is not pleased at this hitch in his destiny.

I don’t know if there are a lot of people in the US who watch just one of the two shows but do we need huge recaps of RAW every Smackdown. How about we trim Cole and JBL a little and give Kofi Kingston some screen time? Still I finally got to see some decent wrestling with the Mysterio match and the main event so I’ll just sign off while Im ahead.

Posted on March 13th, 2011 by Lucian | Comments Off on Wrestling Recap: WWE Smackdown Week Ending 3/13/11
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I want some wrestling. RAW did not deliver on that front. Yet our opening recap is about Vickie Guererro. The fact that Vickie Guererro and Michael Cole are not only in major storylines but in matches says something about the sports entertainment sub-genre of professional wrestling. At least it’s the champion himself who opens the show. That’s Edge, Canada’s own Adam Copeland, for any new readers who know nothing about wrestling. I can throw you a bone once in a while but, honestly, you’re going to be pretty lost here. ?

Tonight: contract signing. That’s a tried and true wrestling segment and busting it out for Wrestlemania makes perfect sense. But Edge quickly stops talking about Del Rio attacking him and starts talking about Vickie. I’ve never been this happy to see Drew McIntyre as he runs in and lays out Edge. General Manager Teddy Long (Bald, African American, middle aged man with a vaguely 70s vibe that include phrases like “Holla!”) interrupts and tells McIntyre it’s his fault Vickie got fired and if he doesn’t face Edge right now: he’s fired too!

I’m so starved for good wrestling Drew McIntyre looks good. It’s back and forth and technical until Edge hits a Spear but breaks his own pin to go for a submission hold instead. I think he’s used this one before but I don’t know what they’re calling it now. It gets a quick win and apparently he’s “sending a message to Del Rio.”

Cody Rhodes in Rey’s mask coming out to Rey’s music is an awesome tease and swerve. The crowd hates him. He takes off the mask to reveal he is still wearing his clear protective mask. Recap of Rhodes and his father, Hall of Famer Dusty Rhodes, setting up Rey Mysterio and Cody stealing Rey’s mask in the first place. Cody orders the crowd not to look at him. Cody wanted the crowd to share his feeling of disappointment after he missed the Royal Rumble and Elimination Chamber Pay Per Views thanks to Rey Mysterio. Cody cuts a decent promo and vows to expose Rey’s face at Wrestlemania.

Kane paces in the parking garage. The Corre (a four-man stable, or gang, of wrestlers consisting of Wade Barrett, Heath Slater, Justin Gabriel and Ezekiel Jackson) reminds him they helped him against Undertaker. He didn’t want their help. The Corre just want him to neat Big Show tonight. But now the tag titles are on the line as the former champs, comedy duo Santino Marella and Vladimir Kozlov, have invoked their rematch clause. Nothing special wrestlers means nothing special match. Santino looks to set up his comedy finishing move The Cobra, but the other members of The Corre interfere and The Cobra ends up striking Wade Barrett instead. That leaves him open to the champs and they retain.

We get recap from RAW of Triple H addressing The Undertaker. That means Taker is about to show up. Yep. The gong sounds as soon as the video ends. They’re using the Johnny Cash music as his entrance theme. Undertaker looks like he’s walking slowly by choice, not out of need. Taker maintains his usual position: the streak is unbreakable. But Taker is happy to agree Triple H is impressive. But when he loses at Wrestlemania he will become nothing more than a statistic. Another name on a long list who have tried and failed.

Divas tag action as Beth Phoenix and Rosa Mendez face Lay-Cool aka Layla El and Michelle McCool. McCool is wearing an ankle brace and her ankle gets targeted heavily. She gets Layla in but Beth comes in fresh at the same time. McCool has to break up a pin. Then Beth falls victim to the brace and Layla scores a pin. They constantly tease dissention in the pair then have them make up right away. I actually like that. Someday one of them will actually turn on the other and, if they can pull it off, it could be amazing. I just hope something stupid like an injury derails it.

I’m not excited for Kane versus Big Show and I’m justified. It’s a very short match before The Corre arrive and throw Kane a chair. Kane uses it and gets disqualified. But when The Corre try to beat down Show Kane waffles Justin Gabriel with the chair and sends The Corre running.

Michael Cole takes center stage to introduce Jack Swagger, his trainer for Cole’s match against Jerry Lawler at Wrestlemania. He will reveal the referee on Monday but teases it’s The Miz. The Swagger squashes JTG who seems to be the Zack Ryder of Smackdown. Then a long recap of The Rock and John Cena’s feud. Production has added a few interesting clips and sound effects to make it less repetitive. Kudos. Alberto Del Rio’s personal portrait painter get ambushed by Edge who sabotages the painting.

Time for the contract signing. Del Rio has his ring announcer sing the Mexican national anthem. He gets farther than I’d like before Edge interrupts. Edge’s arm is taped thanks to Del Rio’s Cross-Armbreaker. Teddy Long hints at the elephant in the ring when Long asks if this can be the first contract signing that doesn’t end in chaos? The crowd is chanting “USA!” while a Canadian faces off with a Mexican. Sigh. Del Rio plays the destiny card but Edge tells him destiny can change in the blink of an eye. They sign. The crowd now seems to be chanting “Triple H” What a weird crowd. Violence does break out with Edge starting it and gets the early jump. Then he trashes the set. But when he sets up for a Spear the ring announcer gets involved again and Del Rio make a quick recovery. Del Rio gets to apply his finisher on the injured arm yet again. But he varies the beatdown a bit and somehow Edge ends up bleeding from the nose. Then he tries to use a chair on the arm but Christian makes the save. Edge is marred with crimson as Christian helps him up.

Well, my hopes for good wrestling were pretty much dashed. Is the road to Wrestlemania going to be long on talk and short on action? Couldn’t they trim the recaps and let the Intercontinental Champion defend the title? Do I have to YouTube Superstars to see wrestling?

Posted on March 5th, 2011 by Lucian | Comments Off on Wrestling Recap: WWE Smackdown Week Ending 3/5/11
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This is Smackdown number 600 and we are being promised Dolph Ziggler’s coronation tonight. Is Teddy Long coming back? Will Vince show up? Edge comes out first and is announced as the World Heavyweight Champion. The big promised twelve-man tag match is opening the show. Edge, Randy Orton, John Morrison, R-Truth (who doesn’t rap), Rey Mysterio (huge pop from the San Diego crowd) and John Cena make up the white hats. CM Punk, King Sheamus, Wade Barrett, Drew McIntyre, Kane and Dolph Ziggler are the Really Rottens. Edge starts with Drew. Soon Truth and Ziggler match up but Truth soon tags Orton. Ziggler lasts through several faces but gets the advantage on John Morrison. Ziggler tags in Sheamus and we go to commercial.

When we come back Sheamus is still throwing Morrison around so I doubt they left much out. The face side is heavily RAW and Smackdown dominates the heels. That means most of the match-ups are from different brands. Edge and Ziggler actually get to face off in the match. It all breaks down with everyone running in, one-by-one and hitting a finisher on the last guy. Mysterio managed to 619 both Barrett and Ziggler, the legal man, who is knocked into a Spear to end the match. That went about 25 minutes and was quite decent. But Vickie is out now. She wants the title belt from Edge. We see last week’s footage with Clay Matthews counting the pin despite Vickie seeing the Spear. And she’s again accusing him of taking out Teddy Long. So she fires Edge.

Cody Rhodes, in a plastic mask, has had successful surgery. He’s cleared for travel and will make an announcement next week. Not as good as his last promo but still solid. Beth Phoenix and Eve are going to face Lay-Cool but not before a commercial and some vintage footage. No… Layla is teaming with Maryse? McCool is on commentary. She soon distracts and the heels win. We see most of Rock’s promo form Monday, which was on NXT too, so I make pizza pockets.

The Miz showed up, with Alex Reilly in tow. He faces Kofi Kingston. I predict Del Rio costs Kingston the match and the end in a match Sunday. Well, yeah Del Rio costs him the match but no follow-up yet.

Okay Gabriel and Slater of “The Corre” face the tag champs. They come out alone but, when Santino looks to win, the others attack for the DQ. Big Show makes the save and we get a long tease of a real one-on-one between Jackson and Show but The Corre back off. I feel like we’re still going to add some matches for Sunday before this night is through.

Coronation time, with lots of show to come. And cue Teddy Long. Teddy thinks she was the one who attacked him. She sells out Dolph so Long books Dolph to face Edge. I guess Ziggler’s reign is official he just needs to defend the title. It’s a pretty short match so it’s nothing special but Edge wins with the Spear then Teddy returns to fire Dolph. Shouldn’t a replacement for him in the Chamber match be named? Edge gets on the mic to lead the “Na na, na na, hey hey hey, goodbye” chant.

This may have been nice for a 600th episode but they didn’t sell the Pay Per View very well. It feels really light and I expect some new matches to show up Sunday. They’ve been coasting on the Chamber matches yet the winners seem like foregone conclusions. Lawler is going to lose and I can’t name another booked match. They keep giving away champion versus champion matches with no build. No one has RSVPed for Sunday yet. If no one comes I’m not even sure I’ll get the show. If I do expect a live blog of the event. If not, see you for RAW.

Posted on February 19th, 2011 by Lucian | Comments Off on Wrestling Recap: WWE Smackdown Week Ending 2/19/11
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