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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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Let’s see how much of Smackdown focuses on young people? Big Show and Kane get a shot at the tag championship, which they have held together before. But we start with Edge facing Brodus Clay. Brodus has the kind of build that Vince loves to give offence too. Even if they are facing the world champion. Clay gets several close near falls, one due to Del Rio’s interference. Then Christian attacks Del Rio and Edge takes advantage to win the match. Del Rio tries to attack Edge but Christian is still there and just attacks him again. Cue Teddy Long. Long seems to appear in the opening segment quite frequently. He books Del Rio versus Christian in a steel cage. Because we saw how a cage completely prevents interference when John Cena faced Alex Reilly.

They are giving away yet another champion versus champion match as Sheamus is set to face Kofi Kingston. If there ends up being a rematch at Wrestlemania I can live with it. But then what will Daniel Bryan do at the big show? Good match with both men looking strong. Sheamus wins but he comes away with a bleeding mouth to show for it. Weird there’s been so much more blood lately. A lot of accidents? Or a secret pact by the workers to stiffen up a bit?

Show talks to Kane and they actually mention they are former champs! Kane grabs Show’s throat, Show returns the favor. But once they escape each other Kane busts out with “You complete me” and Show admires his insanity. So they seem to be on the same page. Show has had a lot of tag partners in his time but only four different ones held a WWE tag title with him. But there were 3 others in WCW.

Trent Baretta is still on the roster. Watch that change soon after Wrestlemania when the annual trimming of the dead weight takes place. He’s facing Cody Rhodes, who has a towel masking his face. He loses the towel as the bell rings. He’s also wrestling in street clothes. Predictably, this is a squash with Rhodes using the mask assisted Headbutt several times.

Layla faces Kelly Kelly with Michelle McCool on commentary. Kelly still isn’t all that good but she was truly abysmal when she first started. Layla gets the win since she has a Wrestlemania match. This brings us to the tag title match. Kane spends a long time in at first as The Corre members get little offence. When Show gets in he destroys Slater . But Gabriel pulls the ref out of the ring, drawing a DQ. I suspected that would happen when Cole made a big deal about explaining the title can only change hands on pinfall or submission. Show and Kane take their frustrations out on Gabriel and Slater but when Wade Barrett and Ezekial Jackson arrive the tide turns. The corre end up using ring steps as weapons against Kane. Then they slam Big Show on the announce desk, which tips over rather than breaking.

Todd Grisham points out this is Del Rio’s first cage match. I bet Dos Caras Jr. had a few though. Del Rio does not appreciate being locked in a cage like an animal. Speaking of guys who should be worried about their job, Chris Masters faces Jack Swagger. Michael Cole uses the match to put himself over so the focus is off the match itself. You know from the start Masters will tap to the Ankle Lock since Swagger exists to put Cole over. Cole locks an An-Cole Lock of his own on Chris Masters. Chris Jericho is going on Dancing With The Stars. Rey Mysterio faces Ted Dibiase. Not a bad little match but utterly predictable as Rey gets a clean win. Maryse walks out on Ted when he loses.

We’re going to the main event with 20 minutes left? Wow. This is easily the best match on TV since Elimination Chamber. Cole telegraphs a near finish by repeatedly mentioning both feet much touch the floor. Del Rio kicks out of a Kill Switch; or Unprettier as I still think of it. We get a fight on top of the cage then both guys hanging off each other. Del Rio caught his arm and Christian actually escapes first for the win. That was a surprise. Del Rio does get to beat Christian down to get heat back. But Edge gets his attention by honking his own car’s horn. Edge threatens the car with a steel chair but Brodus Clay saves it. I have something similar written for my fantasy fed that I haven’t debuted yet. Now people are going to think I stole the idea. I steal enough ideas already I want credit for my original ones. Del Rio hits a solo Con-Chair-to on Edge’s arm to end the show. You don’t see chair shots to the head these days.

This was a fine, fine episode. All it was missing was an appearance from HHH or The Undertaker.

Hugh has joined me for WWE Elimination Chamber 2011. Scattered thoughts will be shared as the night progresses.

7:35 I watch the tail end of last night’s SNL rerun with Paul Rudd and Paul McCartney. It’s rare I actually listen to the musical guest but classic Beatles songs are irresistible.

7:40 SNL ends so I switch to the WWE recap show where Edge is facing Dolph Ziggler for the championship. I predict Dolph Ziggler will find a way back into the Elimination Chamber tonight. Edge will win though. Cena takes the RAW Chamber match and Miz retains. I’m not sure if Del Rio/Kingston is official but I will pick Del Rio.

7:52 Hugh actually arrives.

7:59 I check WWE.com to find Del Rio versus Kingston is official and the tag champs face Justin Gabriel and Heath Slater. No word if the titles are on the line. Expect Big Show to show up for the tag match.

8:00 Opening promo is nothing special.

8:02 Tonight’s sponsor is the National Guard. Announce team is Michael Cole, Josh Matthews and Booker T. The flat out Smackdown team.

8:03 Robert Rodriguez clues us in that Alberto Del Rio is opening the show.

8:06 Del Rio runs down people from Oakland.

8:13 Match is nothing special so far.

8:14 Kofi starts flying but Del Rio is able to hit key counters.

8:17 Rodriguez keeps Kofi from getting the pin.

8:18 Kofi fights off the Cross Armbreaker for a while but once it’s locked on Kofi is quickly forced to tap. Yeah we all saw that coming. The question is does WWE have enough faith in him to make him a champion?

8:21 Todd “Wasn’t I going to replace JR?” Grisham interviews Edge. Edge thinks the Chamber is a walk in the park compared to Vickie Guererro. Drew McIntyre interrupts to remind him about Kelly Kelly getting fired. Edge took something from Drew, Drew is going to take his most prized possession.

8:24 The Smackdown chamber is up now? I know one has to come early but why not the #1 contender match instead of the actual championship bout?

8:28 Kane enters and gets locked in first.

8:29 Drew McIntyre next.

8:31 Wade Barrett enters this heel heavy match next. My money is on Mysterio next. But Teddy Long comes out instead and we have to sort out the Dolph Ziggler situation. It’s not Ziggler, instead it’s… The Big Show.

8:35 The match is back to three faces  but we’re starting with two in the ring, Edge and Mysterio.

8:41 Wade Barrett is the next to enter.

8:45 Entrant #4 is Kane.

8:50 Second to last is McIntyre. The only other Elimination Chamber match I remember Show in he entered last too.

8:51 McIntyre puts Barrett through the Plexiglas of an empty pod.

8:53 The chaos of five competitors spikes my interest level.

8:54 Show looks like he’s falling asleep before they let him in.

8:55 Show beats on Wade Barrett. Then hits him with Knockout Punch to eliminate him way earlier than Hugh expected.

8:56 Mysterio hits a Senton off the top of a pod but it’s not enough to take out Big Show.

8:57 Beat on Big Show night ends with a Chokeslam by Kane that takes him out. Then Kane takes out McIntyre to leave just three men left. Why is Kane being pushed so hard?

8:59 Kane catches Mysterio dropping the dime but Edge Spears both men and chooses to pin Kane. We’re back down to the first two but Kane doesn’t leave until he Chokeslams both men left.

9:04 Lots of two-counts.

9:06 Not even a Spear is enough to end this.

9:07 Rey hits 619 and tries to drop the dime again only to get Speared in midair. The Spear has very little build up behind it so it’s not as impressive looking as you would hope but it gets Edge the win and, for the first time in five years, a champion retains in an Elimination Chamber. Rey looked great here, Edge was solid, Barrett came off looking the worst, Kane was booked stronger than expected, Show’s time was brief but he looked strong and McIntyre was just there. Del Rio gets in the Chamber to attack Edge post match. The Cross Armbreaker is applied but here’s a surprise. Christian returns to make the save and get a measure of revenge on Del Rio for ripping his pectoral. Christian back is a good thing.

9:15 Matt Striker grabs a moment with Jerry Lawler. Jerry looks pretty torn up still. Can’t blame him.

9:18 Booker plugs Tough Enough by revealing another trainer TRISH STRATUS!!!! Trish reminds us all mic skills were not here biggest strength.

9:23 Tag champs are here. Jackson accompanies them but no Barrett. The titles are on the line.

9:29 Cobra on the illegal Gabriel.

9:30 450 Splash on Kozlov and The Corre now control the tag team titles. I don’t want The Corre appearing on both shows.

9:33 Grisham is with The Miz. Miz at least mention The Rock and promises to get back to him. For now it’s time to end Lawler and go on to beat the Chamber winner at Mania.

9:35 Uggh. Vickie Guererro. She seems sad so there’s a silver lining. She’s pleading for Dolph’s job and could we not have had a quick match instead of this? Teddy Long arrives to try to shut her up. Long decides to hire somebody. But not Dolph. He hired back Kelly Kelly. And Long gave her free reign to “thank” Vickie. We get a taste of violence before Lay-Cool make the save. But that draws Trish Stratus to run them off. But they sucker ambush her and it turns into a real fight. Stratus is not in shape for this and she does not look well. The six-inch heels don’t help. But Trish and Kelly come out on top for a feel good moment.

9:47 Why does Miz come out first? Alex Reilly is  there. I predict Reilly costs King the match and at Wrestlemania we see Jerry Lawler in a Handicap Match against Alex Reilly and Michael Cole.

9:51 Booker T calls Lawler “in shape”.

9:58 Reilly gets ejected so there goes my c all.

10:01 Lawler throws Miz into Cole.

10:02 Flying Fist Drop but Miz gets a foot on the ropes.

10:03 Big kick  to the head, Skull Crushing Finale, foregone conclusion. It wasn’t awful but there was never any real hope Lawler would win.

10:05 The crowd still loves Lawler.

10:07 Cena is eating Fruity Pebbles. Grisham wants to talk Rock but Cena, too, is focused on tonight.

10:08 Throw to Matt Striker and CM Punk. Pun can’t see Cena beating him. Punk can’t see Cena winning. Punk can’t see anyone winning but him.

10:12 Orton is out first.

10:13 Cole thinks Orton has never made excuses for himself in his career. That’s laughable to those of us who remember Evolution, Legacy and Rated RKO.

10:14 R-Truth is #2. Four faces here but will two start?

10:15 Punk also gets to start in a chamber.

10:17 Even Cena gets locked in.

10:19 That leaves Sheamus and Morrison to start. Morrison better impress me.

10:22 Great jumps start already.

10:24 Pod #1 opens to reveal Orton.

10:25 Rope Hung DDT onto the steel grating for Sheamus.

10:28 Randy stalks Punk as the time counts down but Punk gets stuck in the pod door at Orton’s mercy.

10:29 Punk gets RKOed and pinned. Wow, that was unexpected.

10:30 An email from the RAW GM. Due to the pod malfunction the GM allows Punk back in his pod and back into the match.

10:33 Once again we let someone in, but it’s Cena not Punk.  Sheamus attacks Cena in his own pod. This is not illegal I guess. The pod worked after all.

10:36 The crowd is split on Cena.

10:36 Punk now gets to be last as R-Truth comes in. Sheamus tries another ambush but Truth turns the tables.

10:38 R-Truth doesn’t last long as he falls to a Brogue Kick  as the first elimination.

10:39 Too many people have been thrown through  the glass tonight. Why can’t people break out if the glass gives way that easily?

10:40 Punk is coming back. He closes his own door and Cena tries to AA Orton, only to get an RKO on the steel grating.

10:41 Punk is picking the scraps.

10:42 GTS on Orton and the Viper is done. Orton/Punk at Wrestlemania seems certain.

10:44 Tease of a High Cross off the top of a pod but Morrison fights Sheamus off and climbs clean to the top of the dome. He drops into Sheamus in a highly impressive spot that takes Sheamus out of the match.

10:53 Morrison catches himself in mid-air on a pod, leaps to the chains flies into Punk but misses Starship Pain and ends up in a Go To Sleep and we are down to two. But Cena comes in to Attitude Adjust Punk and, as predicted, Cena walks away the winner.

10:54 Miz has been watching and doesn’t look happy.

10:55 We’re rapping up. My picks were pretty spot on though the tag titles changing hands were a surprise. The Chamber matches had some nice stuff but weren’t as spectacular as they were in the pre-PG days. There seemed  to be a lot of filler and I would have liked one more match on the card. But a night with no surprises other than Trish Stratus doesn’t blow me away. 42 days to build to Mania, I think it will go well.

Posted on February 21st, 2011 by Lucian | Comments Off on WWE Elimination Chamer 2011 Live Recap
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Ah Smackdown, where I can hope for strong wrestling, unless Vickie Guererro is involved. But it appears Alberto Del Rio is having yet another celebration. Another new car. This guy’s carbon footprint is bigger than Matt Morgan’s. There, a TNA shout out, now we go back to ignoring them. Tonight’s theme is Valentine’s Day. Alberto’s destiny has been updated to become champion at Wrestlemania. The guy I was expecting to interrupt, Kofi Kingston, does. Kofi is nice and intense on his promo and he threatens Del Rio with a kendo stick. How far can we go as a PG show? Alberto is begging off. Kofi winks at him then canes him nicely. Del Rio bails so Kingston destroy the party set up.

Okay, so now we have a match. Kofi uses the flashier style of the pair in what turns out to be a solid match. Del Rio gets the win with the Cross Armbreaker and I am really starting to think he’ll win the title at Wrestlemania. That means Miz will have to drop the title and my money is still on Cena. One media darling to another. Edge interview; Edge brings the sarcasm like a pro. He honestly admits he has no idea how to retain his title tonight.

Vladimir Kozlov wants revenge against Justin Gabriel of The Corre. Heath Slater eats a Cobra on the outside but Gabriel hits the 450 Splash for the win. Santino eats a Wasteland after the match and Jackson slams Kozlov. No Sting signing sadly. The promo is for Taker. We still don’t know his Wrestlemania opponent, but we expect Shawn Michaels to be involved in a non-wrestling capacity.

How did Chris Masters escape NXT and Superstars? I’ll say “to lose to Drew MacIntyre”. Drew blames Edge for Kelly Kelly getting fired. The match isn’t even long. Mysterio vs. Barrett is up next. Cody Rhodes has had reconstructive surgery. Rey doesn’t see what the big deal is. It’s just a broken nose. Wade Barrett gets a chance to speak too but it’s nothing to write home about. Rey seems to be wrestling fine despite his reported injuries but Justin Gabriel’s interference is enough for Barrett to pick up the win. A Corre beatdown is interrupted by the Big Show who kicks Corre ass. Ezekiel Jackson is able to turn the tide which leads to Show being beaten down yet again. Jackson shows off his power yet again by Suplexing Show.

Seriously why is JTG still on the roster? Just to job to Kane? Kane hits a mediocre Flying Clothesline so at least he’s earning his pay before his quick win. Vickie and Dolph are not happy with Lay-Cool. Layla has to take on Eve and it’s a poor match with a weak finish with Eve picking up the win.

Main event time and the Spear is still banned. There’s no illusion of fairness as early on Vickie stops a covering by putting Ziggler’s foot on the ropes. There’s actually a really funny bit where Vickie tries to Spear Edge and just bounces off. But that hurts Vickie enough for Edge to hit a Spear of his own on Ziggler. Edge is desperate for a new ref and he gets one, somebody from the Green Bay Packers counts the pin. But Vickie saw a Spear and Edge could be in trouble next week.

Speaking of next week, it’s the 600th episode of Smackdown and we’ll see a huge 12-man tag match featuring the big names of RAW and Smackdown. Could be good. The recap is pretty short this week but most of the wrestling was uneventful. Plus, I’m going to be writing a bit less as we move forward and, I’m sorry to announce, I’ll be retiring this column with my Wrestlemania live blog. I’m just too busy to keep it going forever. So enjoy the road to Wrestlemania as I head off into the sunset. See you for RAW!

Posted on February 12th, 2011 by Lucian | Comments Off on Wrestling Recap: WWE Smackdown Week Ending 2/12/11
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Dedicated to Craig Rose, a shining light has gone out in this realm.


I do like the Smackdown opening credits. We’re in Long Island. Too bad Zach Ryder is on RAW. Alberto will throw another party tonight.

Can you dig it sucka?!

It’s Booker T, in a suit, being introduced as an announcer. He stops by the ring to deliver a Spinaroonie. Did I ever mention I once saw Lance Storm do a Spinaroonie? And it was live.

Here comes Vickie, with Dolph. Josh Matthews is saying Teddy Long might never be back. Tonight qualifying matches for the Smackdown Elimination Chamber Match, where the title is on the line. Dolph and Lay-Cool have a match tonight against Kelly Kelly and Edge. And Vickie wants Kelly out here RIGHT NOW! Huh? The title is on the line in this match? Vickie plans to humiliate KK and make her the reason Edge loses his title. Kelly goes off on Vickie and it comes close to acting. Dolph gets some mic time too. Dolph is the uncrowned World Heavyweight Champion, according to him. KK slaps Dolph clean off his feet but Lay-Cool come  to Vickie’s rescue. That draws Edge. Everyone backs off and we go to commercial.

It’s the tag champs and who I now know spells her name Tamina. We recap the punt to the skull of Husky Harris who is apparently off camera indefinitely. Justin Gabriel and Heath Slater of The Corre get a non-title match. Heath Slater still needs to go away. 450 from Justin Gabriel on Kozlov earn The Corre the winn.

The first qualifier is Kofi Kingston versus Drew McIntyre. Edge and Dolph Ziggler get in the chamber automatically so we only need 4 qualifiers. Booker T is anti-Cole. I like him. He still needs to find his feet though. He does seem to focus on the match though. Cole does his best to distract from what turns out to be a decent match by running down Jerry Lawler and discouraging anyone from getting the Pay Per View. Alberto Del Rio gets an introduction even when he’s just on the Titantron. Kofi falls victim to the distraction and a Future Shock DDT and Drew McIntyre gets a big push all of the sudden.

That awesome western promo plays again.

Rey Mysterio is getting into the ring despite his very real injuries when he’s supposed to be sparing himself for Wrestlemania where he faces his handpicked opponent, Cody Rhodes. He’s facing Jack Swagger in a qualifier I hope Swagger wins. Rhodes is never far from the announce team’s lips.

I have to pause the show to let a friend know of Craig’s passing. Not fun.

Again, a decent match but Mysterio winning means he’s going to submit himself to an Elimination Chamber.

Edge thinks Kelly will cost him his title. Kelly is not happy and also not over Drew McIntyre. Out comes Hornswoggle with Rosa Mendez. Now Roberto Rodriguez is announcing Alberto Del Rio. He has such swagger. Alberto clears up that he is interrupting the midget. He needs to be reminded where they are. He’s offering the piñata to Hornswoggle. It’s about 8 feet up how is this supposed to work? He does bring it down after a while. Hornswoggle crotches Del Rio with the stick. When he recovers he kicks the leprechaun in the head. Then he beats down the poor little guy until Kofi Kingston makes the save and drives Del Rio off. Nope he sneaks back and attacks. A good old fashioned caning follows. Then a Cross Armbreaker that needs a host of referees to break.

The Elimination Chamber was designed by the Devil himself. So I guess Eric Bischoff really is in the WWE doghouse now.

Okay I do not buy Chavo Guererro making the Elimination Chamber. So I’m betting heavily on Kane. Yeah, it’s a squash. Last qualifier is Big Show versus Wade Barrett and the whole Corre is out to support him. We’re not far into the match before a ref bump allows Jackson to level Show. Show manages one kick out but a DDT on a kneeling show finishes it and Barrett is in the Chamber. The Corre beats down Show after with Jackson again Bodyslamming Show. Big Show’s problem these days is when they want someone to look tough they have them take down the Big Show. He’s the Worf of the WWE.

The western promo again? Eh, that’s okay.

Main event time. Vickie again bans Edge using the Spear. Edge starts of course but it’s only a matter of time before Ziggler tags out and, as Josh Matthews puts it:

Ladies and gentlemen, Kelly Kelly is defending the World Heavyweight Championship.

Once Kelly is in Lay-Cool have no reason to tag Ziggler when they can just keep trading places and double teaming Kelly Kelly. When Kelly is finally able to tag the ref misses it. But Kelly hits a Spear on Layla and gets the win! Vickie only banned Edge from using the move. But Vickie fires KK. Vickie gives Dolph yet another rematch next week with Vickie as the special guest referee. And Dolph punctuates it all with a Zig Zag.

I can respect the idea of doing something different. But defending the World Heavyweight Title in a handicap mixed tag match? I’m not a big fan. Three of the qualifying matches were good. Booker T needs time to improve and losing Matt Striker was not that good. Let’s hope Booker wrestles at least as often as Jerry Lawler. Dolph Ziggler is getting tired in the title picture and needs to turn face. Del Rio feuding with Kingston until Elimination Chamber works. Post-PPV shows often stutter a bit and this was no exception. But at least the overall direction is working.

?

Posted on February 5th, 2011 by Lucian | Comments Off on Wrestling Recap: WWE Smackdown Week Ending 2/5/11
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Since last Smackdown Edge has been arrested for kidnapping, assault and reckless endangerment. No wait, that would make sense. No instead a bald monster is going to hit him with a chair. Here’s Edge now. We’re treated to a Benny Hill inspired recap of the whole silly storyline. Edge is desperately trying to steer this feud back on course by reminding us of the evil Kane has done. All he’s done is beat Kane at his own game.

Tonight we’re going to get a rematch from Monday. Rey Mysterio faces The Miz again. Teddy Long tells Edge that Kane may not even show up Sunday and it turns into a clustersnuggle as Del Rio and Mysterio show up wanting shots at the title. The end result is the Smackdown main event for TLC gets changed to a Fatal Fourway.

Kofi Kingston comes out for a tag match and his partner is Kaval. That’s good, that means he’s not really injured. Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger provide the opposition. Ziggler, Kingston and Swagger will also have a Triple Threat Ladder match at TLC for the Intercontinental Championship. Kaval and Kingston get to do some flying, but Kaval spends most of the time as a punching bag. When Kofi gets the hot tag at the end he picks up the win over Ziggler.

Time gets wasted with JTG as well as Drew McIntyre hitting on Kelly Kelly. And still more filled with one of “Dashing” Cody Rhodes’ grooming tips. At least he’s in a match when we finally come back from commercial. Rhodes picks up a win over Chris Masters in a match not really worth talking about.

The Miz/Mysterio match is coming up for the show’s midpoint. This is actually a good match up. Miz doesn’t look ridiculous beating on Mysterio and Rey provides the flash that Miz lacks. As a heel Miz’s lack of flash isn’t necessarily a drawback but I still shudder remembering his awful PPV match against R-Truth. Here Miz keeps countering or cutting off Mysterio whenever he tries to string a series of moves together. Reilly interferes, to no affect, then Del Rio interferes but it’s still not conclusive. But when Mysterio Baseball Slides Del Rio in return, then tries for a Senton off the top rope, the delay allows Miz to lift his knees then pin Rey after he crashes into them. Del Rio tries to beat down Rey, Edge comes out for the save. But before a brawl breaks out Teddy Long pops out from the back to book the four of them in a tag match tonight. That was a long match to expect Rey and Miz to wrestle again later tonight. Normally in these situations they cut the first match off quickly. But this was fine and I’m not going to complain.

The women get some time as Lay-Cool protest their upcoming Tables Match. Natalya and Beth bring a gift-wrapped table, which they unwrap to reveal awesome caricatures of Lay-Cool. Natalya and Beth are not stellar on the mic but they can get a point across and let Lay-Cool provide the entertainment. This is actually enough to provoke Lay-Cool to attack but they come up short and McCool barely saves Layla from going through the special table. Chavo Guererro brings Tyler Reks as his partner to face the tag champs. The champs win. With the Cobra.

The main event is a pretty good match, not really long but fast-paced. Miz eats a 619 and a Spear so it looks like he’ll actually eat a pin. But no, Kane arrives to interfere and toss the match out. It takes the entire Smackdown locker room to separate Kane and Edge and even then they end up brawling to end the show.

This was far less stupid than past weeks. The near total lack of Kane was smart as he’s been overexposed on the mic lately, but the jarring change of main event went nowhere and feels like two feuds being thrown together and not the culmination of a storyline. I had never planned to get the PPV. I’ll probably miss a few good matches, but I doubt it’s going to be a show of major surprises.

Let’s see what TNA expects us to swallow this week. To clarify, Matt Morgan versus Ken Anderson will be at the next Pay Per View. What will Jeff Hardy be doing? Anderson is supposed to tag with Morgan tonight but it seems Anderson still isn’t cleared. They continue Matt’s campaign against the injured wrestling. Jeff Hardy tries to stir the pot. He tries to sell the TNA belt as the most important belt in wrestling. Let me clear this up. I would rather hold the WWE United States Championship than the TNA main belt.

Jay Lethal gets yet another X-Division title match against Robbie E. This time Chrissy Hemme handcuffs herself to Cookie to keep her out of the match. Robbie E really has no moveset so it’s a pleasant surprise when Lethal pins him to regain his title. Meanwhile, Eric Bischoff is still disappointed with AJ Styles. AJ takes his frustrations out on Douglas Williams. Eric Young appears to have found the old, retired, World Title belt. He’s wearing it now and calling himself a champion. And his bosses have no problem with this? Eric then confuses his tag match with a Battle Royal. Eventually we get something of a real match with Jordan and Young coming out ahead of Generation Me.

We have the knockout tag tournament continuing as Bischoff makes Mickie James team with the debuting Ms. Tessmacher to face Tara and Madison Rain. Tessmacher can do an Arm Drag and a Dropkick but spends most of the time practicing her selling. Tara never gets in the short match but her elbow brace makes the difference as it knocks Mickie out so Madison can get the pin.

Rob Terry looks to be in the picture again as he blows off Kazarian. Amazing Red, who I expected to see on milk cartons, shows up to job to Brother Ray, who now calls himself Bully Ray. Devon drives off Ray before he can beat down Red with a chair. Speaking of Rob Terry he faces another Rob, RVD. Bischoff has put Terry in Rob’s way as RBV tries to earn a title shot and revenge on Jeff Hardy. This is a well booked match with both men’s strength played to. But, even though he controls much of the match, I never buy that Terry is going to win and it’s no surprise when he doesn’t.

Jeff Jarrett continues pretending to be an MMA star. If you are thinking of going to Impact to try to make Jarrett tap out for $100,000 then you have forgotten this is pro wrestling and they, of course, use plants. That leaves the main event. Kazarian and Jeff Hardy are united. Anderson and Morgan are divided. Anderson does wrestle, and I’m sure he’s fine, but he sells every blow to the head like it’s a gunshot. It’s a pretty short match and the end result is Rob Terry interferes on Immortal’s side and that let’s Hardy pin Morgan.

I skipped over some vignettes with The Pope because I’m not sure what they are trying to do. It might be a heel turn. Overall this wasn’t a great episode. I’m glad Lethal has the belt back so maybe he can face some real contenders but this wasn’t much of a show.

Posted on December 20th, 2010 by Lucian | Comments Off on Wrestling Recap: Smackdown & TNA Week Ending 12/18/10
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