Smackdown was taped at the Kansas Expocentre in Topeka, Kansas and opened with hosts Matt Striker, Todd Grisham and Michael Cole who discussed the Kane/Undertaker match from this past Sunday at Hell In A Cell and announced that Kane would have an message for his brother.
General Manager Theodore Long’s music hit and he walked out onto the ramp and introduced Smackdown’s newest Superstar Edge who was told by the anonymous RAW General Manager that he was to be traded this past Monday. Teddy Long must feel terrible that the Anonymous RAW GM’s computer gets more air time than Teddy himself does. Edge came out to a nice pop and noticeably was wearing sunglasses during his entrance, something we haven’t seen him do since 2004 his last successful face run in the company.
Jack Swagger comes out, again with his Swagger Soaring Eagle and says he’s glad that Edge is back on Smackdown as he wants to gain revenge for Edge delivering the Spear to the mascot last week. Losts of jokes about getting the eagle medical insurance as if he’s an actual eagle, just pretending he never told the WWE Universe at Hell In A Cell that there is obviously a human being under the costume.
Jack Swagger vs. Edge.
Swagger began the match by taking Edge down and doing push-ups on Edge and then took a victory lap around the ring before Edge went for the Spear and missed and took out the Eagle as we go to a commercial. We come back and Swagger is working on Edge’s left arm as the Eagle is stretchered out of the arena, yes, stretchered out.
The two traded offense before Edge had Swagger down and called for the Spear. Swagger caught the Rated R Superstar and went for an Alabama Slam but Edge reversed it into a sunset flip that was then countered into an Ankle Lock attempt by Swagger. Edge powered out but Swagger picked him up on his shoulders only to have Edge fall out and hit a Spear for the win. The last 2 minutes was a terrific sequence of moves that just seemed to be executed far too slowly by each man.
It was weird seeing Edge go over Swagger twice in 5 days, the wins have lifted Edge out of the drought he was in on RAW but it made the former champion Swagger look weak when a win would have done him wonders so I hope we haven’t seen the last of these two.
Winner: Edge via pinfall following the Spear.
The announcers hyped Rey Mysterio and Alberto Del Rio’s match in tonights main event. WWE had done all they could to make the main event have that big match feel, or at least feel like a big match for television but it looks like they didn’t exactly accomplish that.
Next was a grooming tip from “Dashing” Cody Rhodes who demonstrated how to perform good dental hygiene. Matt Striker also managed to squeeze in an Issaac Yankem reference. It was odd then when I realized he was talking about our current World Heavyweight Champion.
Co-Unified Women’s Champion Layla w/ Michelle McCool vs. Kelly Kelly w/ Natalya in a non title match.
LayCool made their entrance first. Luckily they dropped the microphone gimmick they debuted on RAW this week. When I saw this originally I thought this would just defer fans rather than gain LayCool heat. McCool had a parody of the Hart Dynasty t-shirt that read “Flawless Dynasty”. I always loved when Shane McMahon ripped off his t-shirt ideas from his opponents. It’s not often McCool’s opponents will have t-shirt’s so I don’t expect this to happen too regularly.
It was a short match which ended when Kelly Kelly went for the springboard elbow only to be kicked down by Layla who then hit her neckbreaker finisher for the win. Following the match Natalya was checking in on Kelly Kelly as Layla went for an attack who nearly found herself on the receiving end of a Sharpshooter but McCool pulled her out for the save. Is it just me or didn’t Vince ban neckbreakers at some stage? Then again he did bar the Shooting Star Press and 450 off the top rope and Evan Bourne and Justin Gabriel have been performing both moves respectively for some time now.
Winner: Layla via pinfall following a neckbreaker.
A video of Del Rio taking out Mysterio aired in hype for the main event.
The Big Show’s music hit and he came out running to the ring with a big smile on his face, made a quick plug for his upcoming WWE Films release “Knucklehead” which is released on the Friday before Bragging Rights, on which Big Show announced he will captain team Smackdown in the inter-promotional tag match. He introduced Smackdown’s mascot which was Hornswoggle dressed in blue and a viking helmet. The second mascot we’ve seen on the show and we’re not even an hour in. The Dudebusters made an extremely rare TV appearance asking Show if they could be on the team, when he declined they threatened to join The Miz’s RAW team but Big Show hit them both with a Chokeslam and then Show and Swoggle celebrated in the ring. Big Show’s overly happy character could just be to promote his film but I’d be surprised if we don’t see him turn heel at Bragging Rights or soon after it. Now with Edge becoming a top face on Smackdown there is room for Show to turn, because in fairness a man of his size should never play the babyface.
WWE Tag Team Champions Drew McIntyre & Cody Rhodes vs. Kaval & Kofi Kingston in a non title match.
All four men made separate entrances and the match kicked off with Kofi & Cody. Drew got an early tag and beat down on Kofi. Cole noted that Kingston and Kaval may be on Big Show’s Team Smackdown. Cody was tagged in and continued the attack on the Boom Squad leader who eventually tagged in Kaval. Kaval jumped in the ring and took out both opponents and locked a dragon sleeper on Cody before Drew delivered a sickening kick to the head on Kaval which allowed Cody to hang Kaval on the ropes and hit the Cross-Rhodes for the pinfall. I like that they are trying to make Rhodes and McIntyre look good, but when Striker and Cole discuss how they are two ego driven individuals as opposed to one ego driven team just makes the tag division look weak as they aren’t an actual team, but a thrown together team like Kaval and Kingston come off looking even worse by losing so easily.
Winners: Cody Rhodes & Drew McIntyre via pinfall by Rhodes on Kaval following the Cross-Rhodes.
Smackdown came back with arena lights off and just the ring light on Paul Bearer, who was standing in the middle of the ring. Bearer talked up Kane and introduced the Devil’s favorite son who walked out with the World Heavyweight Championship around his waist.
Kane delivered a spine chilling promo which was only enhanced by the horror movie style background music playing to Kane’s every word. The ring and titan tron also had an image of fire which looked great. Kane ripped on the fans for having to answer to someone just like Undertaker. He talked about how Undertaker is betrayed by everybody close to him and to watch out because he was “only getting started”. I thought we wouldn’t see Undertaker again until after Bragging Rights and he’d challenge Kane for Survivor Series which is ‘Taker’s 20th anniversary but looks like we’ll see something from the Deadman and Kane before then and even possibly a match.
More video highlights of the Del Rio-Mysterio feud aired. It’s just not working to boost this main event but WWE’s new Mexican viewers will love seeing their countries stars being showcased.
Intercontinental Championship: Dolph Ziggler w/ Vickie Guerrero vs. Montel Vontavious Porter
A recap of NXT on WWE.com aired of Vickie’s rookie hugging Dolph following her victory against her pro. Do you think many of Smackdown’s audience actually tuned into WWE to watch it? Ziggler took advantage of an early MVP mistake and set up MVP on the ropes for Vickie to pounce, but she turned around and left the ringside area as we went to the break. We came back to find Dolph still in control. MVP turned things around and scored some quick pinfall attempts but was halted when Ziggler hit a Fame-Asser, not sure what the move itself is called but it’s the same as Billy Gunn’s old WWE finisher. Ziggler locked in a chinlock and MVP powered out and hit an amazing belly to belly suplex as he began to gain momentum.
Kaitlin from NXT made her way down the ramp just as Ziggler locked in the sleeper hold. MVP was able to back Ziggler into the corner and knocked him down to set up the Bawlin’ but Kaitlin grabbed his leg and allowed Ziggler to hit the Zig-Zag for the win. Kaitlin celebrated post match with Dolph as Vickie watched from the top of the ramp.
I hope they do split Ziggler and Guerrero. Ziggler is a tremendous wrestler and a run with the Intercontinental Title on his own would certainly have fans take him that little bit more serious.
Winner: Dolph Ziggler via pinfall following the Zig-Zag.
A lengthy Tribute To The Troops in Iraq promo aired, timely enough following the report earlier this week that they would not be airing a special this year.
More Del Rio-Mysterio videos. This time from last week where Rey made his return. They really are trying to get this match over.
Raw Rebound aired focusing on John Cena joining the Nexus. I thought this past Monday was a fantastic episode of RAW. The Cena/Nexus storyline was enough to make it memorable and I’m already looking forward to next week’s show. Be sure to check it out.
Josh Matthews was backstage with Alberto Del Rio. He talked about Rey being a former World Champion, an icon in Mexico, but it didn’t matter as he still wasn’t the Essence of Excellence; Alberto Del Rio. He spoke in Spanish for a bit before saying the only thing we need to know is how he is going to wipe Rey off the bottom of his show.
Alberto Del Rio vs. Rey Mysterio
Del Rio came out first to the usual custom introduction. Rey’s entrance followed and in the early going the announcers talked about Mysterio’s injury asking if it would affect his performance tonight. There was a really cool spot when Del Rio went for a kick on Rey near the ropes but ducked and Del Rio’s front drop kick went straight through the ropes to the outside. Rey focused on Del Rio’s arm outside the ring in quite an aggressive attack outside the ring. The crowd were hot for Mysterio tonight cheering loudly as he leapt to the outside as we break for a commercial. I’ve never thought he was the right size for the main event and his promo’s didn’t do him any favors but in if they are given proper time on pay-per-view to work a back and forth match, it really could be something memorable.
We came back to find Mysterio still in control, delivering a drop kick to the face as Del Rio lay in the corner. Mysterio climbed to the top rope and out of nowhere received a kick to the head that knocked him out of the ring. The two battled inside and outside the ring but as it came to a close I couldn’t help but think it wasn’t as good as their original which was a lot more lively in my opinion. Credit to these men though, Mysterio hit Del Rio with a sunset flip powerbomb as both men stood on the top rope which shook the ring. Del Rio also hits a really nice jumping belly to back drop but Rey managed to kick out. He had Del Rio set up for the 619 but Alberto’s ring announcer caused a distraction that allowed Del Rio to knock Mysterio down only to be caught with a head scissors that threw him into Ricardo Rodriguez and it was just enough to hit the 619 and the falling splash for the win. Rey celebrated as Del Rio watched on from ringside to close the show.
Winner: Rey Mysterio via pinfall following the 619/Splash combo.
I still don’t understand how a 175 lb man can use a splash as his finisher as it’s not gonna hurt too much. Not enough to knock you out. But regardless these two put on a good match tonight, as I said before I think their original was better but here’s hoping that we haven’t seen the last between these two and we get more, possibly on pay-per-view sometime. Good Smackdown tonight, it picked up right where the Hell In A Cell event stopped and things look to be moving quickly towards Bragging Rights. Next week Big Show will continue to judge the roster to see who will be likely candidates to represent Smackdown at the pay-per-view and possibly a response to Kane from the Undertaker.
Thanks for reading guys, I hope you enjoyed the show!