Smackdown Thoughts & Review [12. 3. 10]

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They show a Kane vs. Edge video package to start the show.

Norfolk, VA

The ring area is littered with tables, ladders and chairs. I think they’re trying to promote something here. 😛

Rey comes out in a sick maroon, silver and orange colorway. It reminds me of the great Jacksonville Bulls logo of the old USFL. Anyways, Rey grabs a mic:

  • He says he didn’t get the opportunity to be King of the Ring thanks to Alberto Del Rio.
  • Rey says something about being a king and being a leader and compares it to climbing so high that you ain’t afraid to fall (Rey’s on top of a ladder at this point).
  • Rey ends his spiel with “I prefer to fly”.

Alberto Del Rio comes out in his usual business casual gear. He has a mic as well:

  • He says it’s not about flying.
  • The reason people try to climb ladders is to be on his level.
  • He reminds Rey that he ended up in a hospital the last time he was around chairs and Alberto Del Rio.

Rey challenges Del Rio and says they should take care of business right now.

Alberto climbs the ladder to meet Rey.

Rey says he spoke to Teddy Long and that they’re having a match at the TLC pay per view.

  • Rey smacks ADR off the ladder.
    ADR pushes Rey off the ladder.
    They start the brawl.
    Rey hits a HUGE flying double legdrop, off the ring apron, onto ADR through a table outside. Sick spot!

–I liked how Rey walked through the maze of ladders and tables. Why is this feud more compelling than Edge vs. Kane? Well, besides the fact that I’m an ADR mark? A great start with two of the brand’s arguably best workers.

CUT TO THE BACK:
Ziggler and Vicky are in the back. Vicky is stoked that NXT 3 and the Kaitlyn drama are over with. Low and behold, they run into Kaitlyn. Vicky freaks. Drama!

Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre (Driggler?) vs. Kaval & MVP

  • Sniff. This will be MVP’s last televised match.
  • Both Kaval and MVP are sporting matching outfits. If Cornette showed up they could be the new Ethnic Midnight Express.
  • MVP picks Kaval up for a double team double stomp to Drew’s chest.
  • MVP hits a sick running low boot to Drew’s head for a two count.
  • OMG! Kaval jumps off of MVP’s back and dives OVER the ropes onto Driggler on the outside. Sick.
  • MVP hits the Ballin’ elbow drop.
  • The crowd is chanting MVP! MVP! MVP!
  • Kaval hits his low Brazilian kick on Ziggler’s neck.
  • Kaval with a SPRINGBOARD ENZIGUIRI. Dope! Funny, Scott Lost tweeted about this week recently.
  • Kaval locks on his hanging Dragon Sleeper on Ziggler.
  • Vicky distracts the ref while Drew attacks Kaval.
  • Ziggler hits the Zig Zag and it’s over.

WINNERS: Driggler

–Yes, I completely marked out for the Kaval dive. I never thought I’d see a double team move that is in the same ballpark as Poetry in Motion but this it right here. Not sure why they decided to put the team with less chemistry over but I suppose they need to strap Drew on the back of another up and coming superstar in Dolph Ziggler.

It was nice to see a tag team actually work as a team and use some innovative double team moves. Oh well, MVP and Kaval could have been something special.

CUT TO THE BACK:
Kane is looking for Bearer and Edge in the back. Kane sees them but they disappear as soon as he gets to where he saw them. Sneaky!

–This is some self-indulgent shit on the production team’s part. I’m sure they think they’re being clever but this comes off like a B-movie with a cheesy kidnapping plot. But whatever, I’m not the one buying merch, it’s the 12 year old kids and their parents that shelling out the dough.

#1 Contender’s Match for the Intercontinental Championship
Kofi Kingston vs. Jack Swagger

  • Crowd breaks out a KOFI chant.
  • Kofi goes to the top and Swagger takes a page out of Kurt Angle’s book, climbs up the turnbuckles and throws Kofi off the top.
  • Swagger starts working on Kofi’s legs with consecutive chop blocks.
  • Swagger slaps on an abdominal stretch! I wish Gorilla Monsoon was announcing right now.
  • The match goes outside and Kofi has an interesting way of making Swagger ram himself into the steel steps.
  • Kofi hits a sick flying Superman Elbow off the steps! Dope!
  • Kofi hits a very awkward Ranhei for a two count. It’s cool cuz it looks like they’re both fighting each other’s moves.
  • Swagger with a killer boot for a two count.
  • Kofi counters a Swagger Bomb and grabs his leg to make Swagger fall and hit his head on the bottom turnbuckle.
  • Swagger looks like he’s about to counter another Kofi’s pendulum move, but Kofi adjusts and decides not hit his pendulum double leg kick, and decides to hang Swagger’s head on the top rope. Nice.
  • Kofi hits a nice flying cross body off the top turnbuckle for a two count.
  • Kofi sets up the Trouble in Paradise – Swagger moves out of the way – Kofi dodges a big boot – Kofi goes for the Trouble in Paradise again but Swagger catches it – Kofi runs out of the ring, returns and HITS the Trouble in Paradise on Swagger, who was on the apron!
  • Kofi goes into the ring for the cover. One…two…three. Wow. Match of the f*ckin’ week!

WINNER: Kofi Kingston

–Wow. Just wow. It doesn’t get better than this and the counters were so on-point. Kofi and Swagger really put their working hats on tonight and blew the crowd away.

So since the crowd chanted “KOFI” does that mean he’ll be the next superstar to be released? It might as well happen since the WWE isn’t interested in properly utilizing their popular and more talented wrestlers.

Love how Striker mentions how The Miz might inspire the rest of his generation (Kofi, Swagger etc.). Cole ruins it by saying how this new crop of wrestlers need to work on their “charisma” if they want to be World Champ. God. You’d think the WWE still wants to keep the illusion of pro wrestling and competition in the ring instead rewarding people who can entertain with a microphone.

Also, Striker called the Flying Superman Elbow a “Superman Punch” but it was definitely an elbow. I can’t say enough about this match.

CUT TO THE BACK:
More Edge-Kane Hitchcockian high jinks. Hurray.

Chris Masters vs. Dashing Cody Rhodes

  • Masters applies the Masterlock while DCR is on the apron.
  • Cody with a nice Side Russian Legsweep into a pin combo.
  • Nice Samoan Drop by Masters.
  • DCR hits the Beautiful Disaster. I love that frikken move.
  • Crossroads. And it’s done.

WINNER: Dashing Cody Rhodes

–DCR will be getting his come-uppance sooner than later. He looked solid as usual tonight.

Rosa Mendes vs. Layla w/ Michelle McCool

  • Rosa gets a roll up for two.
  • Layla hits the Layout.

WINNER: Layla

They start picking on Rosa and Hornswaggle comes in to interfere. They both start making fun of him and Beth Phoenix comes out and wrecks shop.

The Swagger Soaring Eagle shows up and challenges ‘Swaggle. Swaggle runs into a big Eagle Boot… or Claw…whatever. Beth picks the Eagle up and hits him with the Glam Slam. Then Swaggle comes off the top rope for a Tadpole Splash. Yay!

Winner picks the Stipulation at TLC Match
Kane vs. Edge

  • Kane controls early with a chinlock and wear down moves.
  • Edge spears Kane on the apron, which knocks Kane outside.
  • Kane gets back in control with more wear down holds.
  • The match goes to the outside and Edge rams Kane into the steps.
  • Edge hits a nice flying clothesline off the steps.
  • Edge reverses out of a powerslam and hits an Edge-O-Matic.
  • Kane with a sidewalk slam for two.
  • Kane hits his flying clothesline off the top.
  • Edge gets out of a chokeslam and hits his Edgecution DDT for two.
  • *Paul Bearer comes on the Titantron and pleas for help.
  • Kane walks out for a moment, decides to return and is greeted with a spear. It’s over.

WINNER: Edge

Edge grabs a mic and says the stipulation for their match is Tables, Ladders and Chairs.

Edge leaves “Bearer” at the top of the stage. Kane finds out that it’s not the real Daddy and gives him a big boot.

Bearer is on the Titantron again. Kane goes to the back and Bearer is on the back of a run away flat bed. That Edge is one dastardly fellow.

–No one saw that finish coming. There was no way that all those tables, ladders and chairs placed around the ring actually were going to foreshadow something, right…right?

This is one instance where the gimmick actually helps the match. I’m pretty over Edge vs. Kane in the ring and it will be interesting to see how extra accessories play into the match at the pay per view. Edge always delivers his best when it comes to Tables, Ladders and Chairs matches and this should be no exception.

The Show Overall
I’ll remember this episode for the Kofi vs. Swagger match for sure. I look forward to seeing them wrestle each other again in the near future. This was very reminiscent of classic All-Japan matches where Kenta Kobashi would have to forearm the back of Toshiaki Kawada a few times just to get his feet off the ground for a German Suplex. No, I’m not saying this was on par with golden era All-Japan matches but the lineage is certainly there in the way they countered each other’s moves at the end.

This was another tightly booked show where every match and segment meant something. The Rey-ADR segment at the beginning was perfectly executed and hyped up their upcoming match with another week to build upon. I’m stoked that Kaitlyn won’t be lost in the RAW shuffle and that the Swagger Soaring Eagle didn’t get eaten for Thanksgiving. I thought I was over the Kane vs. Edge feud but I admit that I’m a little excited for their Tables, Ladders and Chairs match at the pay per view.

It’s sad to see MVP go out on a tag team loss to Driggler. The weird part of it is that MVP and Kaval looked like they really enjoyed being on a team together. That could have been a really interesting tag team in my book. I’m positive that MVP will be successful overseas and will be embraced by the fans worldwide.

*pics courtesy of wwe.com

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