Pulse Wrestling Report: WWE Smackdown! 04.15.2011 — Edge says goodbye, Christian says hello

Chills shoot up my arm as a video package featuring the Rated R Superstar begins Smackdown. Tonight, he will sacrifice the belt. I really don’t wish to cry again…

Panning out to the crowd, Ricardo is in the center waiting to introduce Alberto del Rio. He saunters down the ramp, into the ring, and begins. He says that the WWE lost a hero when Edge announced his retirement, and finds it difficult to empathize. “This was his life, his passion, his love,” he claims. But that’s all too good to be true, as he shifts gears and explains why he thinks the belt is now rightfully his. The fans chant for Edge, but Teddy Long’s music begins, instead.

Teddy begins to inform him that he did not win the right to receive the belt just like that. He won the right to compete for it at Extreme Rules, and he would do just that. Against who, one might wonder. Well, music to my ears, folks…there will be a 20-man Battle Royale tonight! Needless to say, Alberto is fairly cross, incensed by this development. Virtually taking back everything he said, Alberto says he is glad that Edge is leaving, even calling him a “crippled coward”…but he’s cut off by Teddy, who ends the rant then and there.

Commercial.

Come back to Big Zeke in the ring, the only member of Corre not touting gold. Kofi out next. Here we go!

Kofi’s bright green trunks are blinding as he takes a knee, letting Zeke flaunt the steaks on his arms. Back into a corner, with Barrett’s gruff voice drifting over the action. Jackson tries his hand at taming the Ghana beast as the other members of Corre begin arguing over who should win the Battle Royale. The two move outside the ring, and Kofi is tossed effortlessly onto the Corre members, who are shocked. The three stare down Big Zeke, who uses Barrett’s attempt to storm the ring to win over Kofi.

Grade: D+
This match had a tricky little bump in the road, with a member of the Corre targeting his brethren, which was pretty interesting. But it still could have been a real match up. We still have yet to see anything more than flash with Jackson. Perhaps it isn’t there.

He takes a mic, and promises to win the Battle Royale, because he’s the “personification of domination.”

Commercial.

Apparently the two lovely LayCool Divas are in couples counseling. Michelle seems angry, demanding to know why they are there. Layla has a box of tissues, and asks how Michelle’s back. “My back hurts, I’ve been carrying you since day one.” And now they’re bickering. Michelle accuses Layla of stealing her spotlight. Layla retorts with how she carried the team when Michelle was hurt. Layla continues to be belittled. Ah, the end of LayCool as we know it.

Cody Rhodes is in the ring when we get back to it, looking like a minion of Voldemort more and more. He expected to feel vindicated with his win against Mysterio, but feels nothing instead. He discusses his opportunity to win the Battle Royale, in a cryptically desperate promo that might be his best work yet. He rips his hood off, bellowing, when Rey runs out. Cody dodges the first attempt at a 619, but hits a standing Cody in the torso on the second attempt. Cody drags himself towards the ramp, and we go to…

Commercial.

Back with the Kong vignette…I’m ready for that.

Rey is in the ring, awaiting his opponent. Drew McIntyre walks out.

Drew probably has a crick in his neck now, from staring down at Mysterio for so long once the bell rang. Quick to manhandle the pint-size star, Rey is lifted about his head and tossed effortlessly. Then, the stomps begin. Rey’s pour little head bounces off the mat before he is viciously suplexed and slammed down hard. He’s lifted up once more, but hurricanrana, into the ropes, dodges the 619. But Rey’s not done. Drew is ejected from the ring, and Rey hits a slide that dazes the Scottish star. Rey launches himself at Drew, but is caught and thrown hard into the barricade.

Commercial.

We’re back, and so are these two, back in the ring. Drew has regained his control from earlier…spoke too soon. He’s is sent through the ropes, hitting the ground hard. He dangles over the middle rope, Rey jumps from the top rope and crashes down hard. He flies around the ring, building momentum but Drew hits a fast backbreaker, but the rally doesn’t last long. Senton from Rey, another dizzying hurricanrana, springboard, halted by a kick out. Rey eats a big boot, Drew pins, but he kicks out at just a millisecond under three. Goes for Futureshock…countered, hoisted up…fought out of. Big DDT from Reyburt, both men rise up, and Rey nearly loses his head to a clothesline. Both in the corner of the ring, Drew smirking, BOOM, quick set up for a 619 that finally connects, and it’s over!

Grade: B+
People still roll their eyes at me when I profess my love of Mysterio, but take a good look at this match. It was so even, so fair, all the way through. Drew would dominate, Rey would counter. Then Rey would dominate, Drew would counter. Rey coming up with the win was kind of a ”duh” moment, but it was a great ride all the way through.

Now another clip for Mr. Edge himself. Just don’t show him crying…too late. That breaks my black, bitchy heart. As do all the clips of him backstage, in the ring, doing what he loves to do. Wrestlemanias, Money in the Bank cash-ins, childhood, yearbooks, brotherhood with Christian, championships. The tears in his eyes represent every moment he has ever lived, every moment we’ve watched. And it’s damn amazing.

Straight from there, he’s backstage to another line of applause from his peers, even shaking hands with Kane. Thank god for commercial breaks, I need to go blow my nose…

Commercial.

Oh, it’s not over. Edge enters for what will most likely be the last time. He’s dressed in a dapper fashion, and I might seize from all the crazy flash photography. The fans scream “Thank you, Edge” and he loves it. He recounts his memorable matches, his hand in creating the TLC match, and all the extreme stipulation matches. He really takes a moment to try and verbalize just how much the fans mean to him. He wants to enter one last time, so he dashes up the ramp and the music begins again. The utter joy painted on his face makes the fans erupt harder than they ever have. He milks the time, running back and forth, finally signaling for his pyro, as well. And there’s not a dry eye in the house.

From there, he tries to give evidence to the fact that this is a good thing. It’s a good thing because he won’t reach that breaking point in a match where perhaps he won’t get back up. More chills shoot up my arms as he addresses Albany, the city he’s in, as the place where he won his first championship. We also find out that his mom is in attendance tonight, clapping for and supporting him. He pays tribute to her, and the fans shout “Thank you, Mom!” Moving along, he discusses the belt, and it’s value to not only him, but the WWE Universe, as well. Now, to the gravy of it. Time to give it up. He gingerly places it on the ground, giving it one final glance, and leaves.

Now, while I weep like a bitch, let’s watch the trailer for the new WWE movie. I’m intrigued by the bullying angle, the era, and Ed Harris. It doesn’t look nearly as painful as The Marine or The Chaperone, so I’ll give it a try. Not in theaters, though. Definitely has “Redbox” written all over it.

Commercial.

Damn it, it ain’t over! Edge is backstage with Rosa’s boobs. Who walks up right behind him? None other, than Alberto del Rio himself. He extends his hand, chuckling and winking, but Edge shakes his head, and walks away.

Oh good. I need a good buzzkill from all the feminine emotion. Back to hatred. Joan Cena makes her way up to the ring, followed by LayCool, but they’re not walking in sync, and there are no dance moves. Layla will be the one to compete tonight.

Bell rings and we’re off. Joan smacks Layla…on the ass. Layla is getting dominated by Joan, the fight moving outside the ring. She’s driven hard into the side of the ring, and then shot into Cole’s box. Joan rolls back in, and Michelle shoves Layla back in, only to be pinned by Joan, and it’s over.

Grade: D
Quick and painless enough from Joan. I’ve learned that everything from her is better when it’s rushed. But this match is an excuse to build up the delicious tension between the two members of LayCool, which I’m anticipating very, very much.

Michelle, hands on hips, belittles Layla and tries to turn her back on her, but Layla stops her. That leads Michelle to shove her, to her complete shock.

Commercial.

Is the Cole/Lawler/Swagger/Ross stuff still happening? Well, at least it makes JR relevant again. How I’ve missed him…

Wait, wait, wait. Not only are the lovebirds quarrelling, but now it’s going to be Lawler and JR in a tag team match against the two? God.

An epic recap of Trips and Taker at Mania. Hmmm.

Battle Royale time!

Contestants:
Big Show
Yoshi Tatsu (?)
Wade Barrett
Heath Slater
Justin Gabriel
Ezekiel Jackson
Trent Barreta
Cody Rhodes
Chavo
Jack Swagger
Brodus Clay
Tyler Reks
Chris Masters
JTG
Rey Mysterio
Curt Hawkins
Christian
Kane
Kofi Kingston
Drew McIntyre

I forgot to pause earlier and write down all their names when they showed the screen cap, so I had to pause now while they were all in the ring and try to make out the faces. No easy feat. Anyway, I digress.

It’s mayhem from the get-go, with what feels like 1,000 people in the ring. Big Show being tossed out so quick is a bit surprising.

Commercial.

Cody and Rey go at it, getting their hands on each other one more time. Cody is on the top rope but it’s Chris Masters to the rescue! Barrett is being targeted by Kane, while Hawkins and Brodus battle it out. Cody hops over the top, and that’s a mistake as Rey flings him out, followed quickly by Curt Hawkins. Drew is put into the Masterlock with the ropes between them, and Brodus cleans up to eliminate him. Chavo lunges onto the mammoth star, but not for very long. Kane and Clay stare each other down, and Kane makes quick work of him. Tries to Chokeslam, but fails. But Kane gets the upper hand, anyway.

Commercial.

Kofi dangling outside the ring, but clutches Barrett on the way back up. Oops. Barrett gets rid of him. I didn’t notice until now, but Swagger is hiding out in the corner while Christian battle Reks, Tatsu and Barrett, Kane and Swagger. A wild Mysterio appears! Tatsu is doneski. J-Gabe in Chokeslam position, as well as Barrett, but both Corre members eliminate Kane. Masters, Barrett, J-Gabe, Rey, Christian, Swagger are the few still standing. Masters charges, is tossed over the rope but stops on the side. Masterlock attempt, but Barrett gets rid of him. Seconds later, J-Gabe eliminates Barrett! Gabriel is smiling like a child. I love an angry Barrett. Swagger and Christian battle it out, Rey and Gabriel too, in the strangest final four I’ve seen in some time. 619 position for Gabriel, dodged, but is eliminated anyway. Rey is stopped by Swagger when attacking Christian, and is thrown but catches himself. Swagger goes for Christian, Rey to the top rope, ropes for Swagger, 619 to Cole’s back as he checks on Swagger. A bit of a struggle, but Rey is out. Swagger stomps Christian, and is stopped in the corner, dangling. Christian rolls under the bottom rope, hoists himself up on the ropes, pulls Swagger over the top. But they sneak back in, Ankle Lock in place. Swagger goes to toss Christian over, is caught, tries again, doesn’t succeed, Del Rio charges to pull Christian’s foot down, but is kicked off. Swagger charges, Christian pulls the rope down, and Swagger’s feet hit the floor.

Elimination order:
JTG
Trent Barreta
Heath Slater
Big Show
Ezekiel Jackson
Cody Rhodes
Curt Hawkins
Drew McIntyre
Chavo
Brodus Clay
Kofi Kingston
Tyler Reks
Yoshi Tatsu
Kane
Chris Masters
Wade Barrett
Justin Gabriel
Rey Mysterio
Jack Swagger

Winner: Christian

Grade: B
Very well done. It wasn’t the average Battle Royale, and the storylines were played into perfectly. I liked it when J-Gabe eliminated Barrett…so much tension! Christian was the obvious winner, but it was still a fun ride.

Edge runs out to congratulate his bestie, and the credits roll.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Join our newsletter

never miss the latest news, reviews, live event coverage, audio podcasts, exclusive interviews and commentary for Movies, TV, Music, Sports, Comics, Video Games!