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.