Green Day and pyro kick us off as Josh Matthews welcomes us. Later tonight, Triple H returns to Smackdown to respond to the undertaker.
But that’s later- Edge’s music hits and it’s promo time. In 23 days, Edge will face off with Alberto Del Rio for the World Heavyweight Championship at Wrestlemania. Does Del Rio know who Edge is? Does he know what he has been through to get here? Tonight, Edge wants a fight. He isn’t giving Del Rio a choice- if he doesn’t come out right now, he will find him…
With that, Del Rio’s music hits and he comes out from the entrance stage with a bloody scarf and Brodus Clay at his side. Who does Edge think he is? Does he know who Del Rio is? Edge knows who he is- he is the Ricky Martin look-a-like trying to reform Menudo. He is a cocky, egotistical, arrogant coward. No, no, no, no- Del Rio is the man who sent Edge home in pain every single week. He is the man who will replace Edge’s legacy with his destiny. At Wrestlemania, Del Rio will be the new World Heavyweight Champion. Edge doesn’t think so, and he attacks. The numbers game is too much for Edge though, as Del Rio and Clay take him apart…
Until Christian comes out for the save. He attacks Del Rio, but is overpowered by Clay. The heels still have the advantage. Teddy Long’s music hits, and he is about to lay down the law. Looks to him, these guys still have some issues to work through. So, tonight will be one of the most historic nights in the history of Smackdown. Del Rio and Clay will face one of the greatest tag teams ever, reunited for the first time in 10 years- Edge and Christian!
At ringside, Michael Cole babbles about going back to his journalistic roots. He will have the “Interview of the Year” with John Cena later tonight.
Before our next match, Wade Barrett has something to say. Kane has made a couple of monumental mistakes as of late. First, he didn’t appreciate what the Corre did for him. Second, he had the audacity to put his hands on Justin Gabriel. Let’s face it, Kane is nothing but a great big chemical experiment mistake. Boom roasted.
Match One: Kane (2-6) vs. Wade Barrett (2-4)
Barrett kicks Kane in the midsection at the start and slugs in the corner. Kane connects with an uppercut and attacks with a clothesline in the opposite corner. He rams Barrett’s head into the turnbuckle as the Corre run down and attack Kane for a disqualification.
Winner: Kane in 1:00
Rating: N/A (Umm, what to say…Barrett’s hair looked good. His styling technique is nearly impeccable.)
Post-match, the Corre continue the attack until Big Show runs down with a steel chair for the save. The Corre retreats and we go to commercial.
Match Two: Kane (3-6)/Big Show (4-3) vs. Wade Barrett (2-5)/Heath Slater (3-2)
Back from break, this tag match is in progress. Show clubs Slater’s back and gets in a big chop in the corner. He hits a big bodyslam and allows him to tag in Barrett. Show meets Barrett with clubs and attacks the midsection with fists in the corner. He drops him with a big chop and powers him into the opposite corner. He delivers another big chop and charges with a big splash. In the center of the ring, he tries for a chokeslam but Barrett counters and takes out the knee. Barrett continues with two boots to the head and stomps away. Slater tags in and mounts with punches. He stomps and covers for one before applying a chinlock. The crowd is solidly behind Show and it helps him get to his feet and drop Slater. Kane tags in and he heads to the top. He comes off with a diving clothesline and gets a charging clothesline in the corner. He goes for the cover but stops it when he sees Barrett approaching. He knocks Barrett off the apron and drops Slater with a big boot. Kane calls for a chokeslam but the rest of the Corre run in again and cause another disqualification.
Winner: Kane/Big Show in (approx.) 6:00
Rating: *1/2 (What we saw wasn’t bad, but there wasn’t enough of it. They were able to create some good movement and the crowd was all over it. This was also the best I’ve heard Booker T do on commentary- he was alert and into the action. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that we are in his hometown.)
Post-match, the Corre continue their attack on Kane as Big Show gets his steel chair to even things out. With the Corre out of the ring, Show delivers one final blow to Kane’s back- payback for what Kane did to him last week.
In the back, Rey Mysterio gets ready for a match later tonight.
We get the Michael Cole/JBL/Steve Austin segment from Raw, in full.
At ringside, Michael Cole is still upset over it, and Booker T can’t stop laughing. Cole promises Steve Austin will be forced to raise his hand in victory at Wrestlemania.
Later tonight, Edge and Christian team up to take on Alberto Del Rio and Brodus Clay.
In the back, Cody Rhodes makes his way to the ring. He comes out to the ring in a suit, but the bell rings during his entrance so this isn’t a promo.
Match Three: Cody Rhodes (0-3) vs. JTG (0-3)
Somehow, I think one of these winless guys has an advantage over the other. Rhodes takes off his blazer and tie for the match. He attacks JTG at the bell with stomps and clubs. He drops him with a right and continues with the stomps. JTG fires back with forearms but gets dropped into the middle rope. Rhodes rips at JTG’s face but the ref backs him up. Rhodes picks JTG up and hits the Cross Rhodes for the win.
Winner: Cody Rhodes in 1:00
Rating: * (This was Rhodes’ first match back and it accomplished exactly what it had to. Good decisive win for the Undashing one heading into the biggest match of his career.)
We get a promo video package from the great Sensei himself, Shawn Michaels. The one where he talks about Triple H.
The Interview of the Year
John Cena’s music hits and we’re ready. Cole thanks Cena for joining him on his show tonight. The WWE is buzzing over what happened this past Monday. We get a video on Miz attacking Cena after his promo and hitting the Mizfit’s Elbow. Back live, Cena grabs the mic from Cole’s hand. If this is supposed to be the interview of the year, Cole should turn around and leave. Miz got one by Cena. Congratulations. Cena has had all his time and focus on something that doesn’t even exist, but Miz has made the biggest mistake of his career. Cena has been caught up in this war of words that all Miz needed to do was stay under the radar and cruise into Wrestlemania with a chance of winning. Cena is done wasting his time with BS. Miz wants to be must-see? Miz wants to make a statement? Miz is the new face of the WWE? Then Cena’s focus has shifted to one goal- breaking the face of the WWE. He hands the mic back to Cole- he’s done. Cole, on the other hand, is not done conducting his interview. Could it be that Cena is underestimating Miz? Maybe Cena is scared that he will blow his opportunity at Mania. Cole isn’t asking Cena to rap, he just wants an answer. Maybe he can’t because Miz shut him up on Monday. That’s enough to make Cena rip off his own shirt. He is about to attack Cole but Jack Swagger runs in to make the save. Swagger beats Cena down as Cole shouts, “teach him about respect!” Swagger is about to apply the Anklelock but Cena shoves it off. Cena tries to hit Cole with the Attitude Adjustment, but Swagger stops him and ends up taking it instead. Very good segment.
We get the sin cara video that aired on Raw.
Match Four: Layla (3-5) vs. Kaitlyn (0-0)
Kaitlyn? Is that the girl from Jersey Shore? No. Come on Nick, get your head out of your ass. Ohhh that’s right, the girl that won NXT a couple seasons ago. Good to see her back! They lockup and Kaitlyn shoves her down. she grabs Layla by the feet and drops her on her back. Layla looks for help from Michelle McCool but ends up getting tossed to the side. Kaitlyn grabs McCool between the ropes but takes a boot to the face by Layla. Layla continues with a neckbreaker and it’s over.
Winner: Layla in 1:00
Rating: ½* (Kaitlyn looked good…physically. Wrestling-wise, this wasn’t exactly a showcase of her talents, so it remains to be seen if she has improved.)
Post-match, LayCool team up to take out Kaitlyn. Layla holds her in place in the corner as Michelle McCool delivers a knee to the back.
Rey Mysterio returns to Smackdown next!
Match Five: Rey Mysterio (6-3) vs. Drew McIntyre (4-6)
McIntyre drops Mysterio at the bell with a big boot. He mounts and fires away with fists and destroys Mysterio with a huge tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for two. He stretches the shoulders but Mysterio kicks his way out. McIntyre gets back on offense with clubs and stomps in the corner. Mysterio floats over on the opposite corner and puts McIntyre in the 619 position with a headscissors. McIntyre retreats to the outside just in time and Mysterio follows with a roll through under the bottom rope. He ducks a clothesline and drop toe holds McIntyre into the apron. Mysterio kicks at the legs and props McIntyre on top of the apron. Mysterio follows but gets pushed into the ringpost. McIntyre takes advantage by hitting a modified sidewalk slam onto the apron! Nice. McIntyre shouts that he will be at Wrestlemania as we go to commercial.
Back from break, McIntyre works over Mysterio’s back with a stretch. Mysterio eventually counters into a cover for two but McIntyre comes back with clubs to the back. McIntyre forcefully sends Mysterio back-first into the turnbuckle and covers for two. He perches Mysterio on the middle rope but gets knocked off. Mysterio climbs to the top and comes off with a seated senton. He tries to continue with a springboard crossbody but McIntyre makes him miss and covers for two. He sends Mysterio to the corner but misses a charge and shoulders the ringpost. Mysterio sees an opening and hits the 619. He comes off the top with a big splash and that’s enough for the win.
Winner: Rey Mysterio in 8:00
Rating: **1/2 (The rating is really not representative of what this could have been with a few more minutes. The ending was abrupt, but everything before was very good. Again, take the commercial out, add a few more minutes and this is a ***+ match.)
Post-match, Cody Rhodes appears on the entrance stage. He is still waiting for his answer. Rey Mysterio wore his mask with pride before Rhodes took it off his face. He wears it with pride now, and will wear it with pride when he beats him at Wrestlemania.
Up next, Triple H responds to the Undertaker.
Back from break, Triple H’s music hits. The Undertaker was gracious enough to remind him of what he’s capable of in the ring. Let HHH show him what he does…we get a video on how awesome HHH is. The past two years at Wrestlemania have had the two greatest matches HHH has seen in his career- Shawn Michaels vs. Taker. Unfortunately for Michaels, he lost both attempts at ending the Streak. HHH couldn’t figure out why. Michaels answered that question on Raw. It’s emotion. Michaels has always had trouble separating emotion from his matches. He said he was overwhelmed with the emotion of standing in front of Taker. That was his Achilles heel. Michaels went to the ring- not to win- just not to lose. HHH will not have that problem because he has a darkside- a darkside that allows him to do unspeakable things without regret or remorse. That sounds like a horrible person, but it’s true. (A mic hilariously picks up a fan shouting, “Whatever happened to Chyna?”) At the biggest match in his entire life, HHH will look into the eyes of the greatest legend this business has ever seen. Mark his words, HHH will do what no man has ever done before. At Wrestlemania, HHH will beat Taker. He will have no emotion; he will not flinch; he will not blink; he will not hesitate; he will not become unglued by things that go bump in the night. Taker made this match No Holds Barred. Thank you. Another fantastic promo.
In the back, Matt Striker is with Christian. E&C is back together after 10 years. A lot of things can happen in a decade: iPods, iPads, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Jersey Shore, Survivor, Martha Stewart lost her freedom, Janet Jackson lost her shirt and Charlie Sheen lost his mind. What we haven’t seen are the two guys that started this decade off right. The two guys who totally reeked of awesomeness. That was then. This is right here and right now. Houston- more specifically Alberto Del Rio- we have a problem. Edge steps in. They are ready.
Match Six: Alberto Del Rio (5-2)/Brodus Clay (0-0) vs. Edge (10-1)/Christian (0-0)
How great is the name Brodus Clay? I know we usually complain about the generic names WWE hands out, but Brodus Clay is for winners. Anyway, he is in the ring with Ricardo Rodriguez for Del Rio’s entrance. Christian ducks a Clay clothesline at the bell and unloads with rights. He goes to hit Del Rio on the apron but Del Rio steps off. Christian goes right back to Clay with more rights. He ducks another clothesline and slaps Clay across the face. Clay manages to toss Christian into the corner but he misses a splash. Christian tries for his mid-rope DDT but Del Rio distracts him and allows Clay to hit a fallaway slam that sends Christian to the outside. Del Rio takes advantage by throwing Christian into the barricade. Edge chases Del Rio and scares him into the crowd. Clay sends Christian back inside and comes down with an elbow for two. He hits a bodyslam and tags in Del Rio who kicks and covers for two. Del Rio mounts and unloads with strikes before locking in an armbar on the injured arm. Christian fights it off but Del Rio drops him with strikes. He kicks at Christian’s back and covers for two. Del Rio rips off the elbow pad protecting the bad arm and wraps the arm on the top rope. He perches him on the top rope but Christian shoves him off and comes off with a diving back elbow. Both guys make hot tags and Edge meets Clay with a clothesline. Clay is able to stop the momentum and catch Edge with a powerslam for two. Edge comes back with a drop toe hold into the middle rope. He knocks Del Rio off the apron and calls for a Spear. Clay clotheslines him on the charge and sets him up in the corner. He charges but Edge moves away. Del Rio attacks Edge from behind and Christian makes the save. He sends Del Rio over the top and hits Clay with two boots in the corner before coming off the middle rope with a tornado DDT. Edge comes off the top with a flying elbow for the win.
Winner: Edge/Christian in 6:00
Rating: **1/2 (Fun little match, but nothing spectacular. Then again, this didn’t have to be. It was cool to see Edge and Christian in there together again, and that alone was enough.)
Post-match, Edge and Christian celebrate the win.