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WWE Smackdown Report
TAIT'S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT 1/28: Detailed alt. perspective Report, Analysis, Reax on Smackdown leading to Royal Rumble

Jan 29, 2011 - 10:52:52 AM
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WWE Smackdown TV Report
January 28, 2011
Taped in Cincinnati, Ohio
Report by James Tait, PWTorch contributor

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-A video package aired recapping the debut of The Corre on Smackdown last week, including the mystery of Teddy Long’s severe head trauma as well as Dolph Ziggler standing tall over Edge following the Edge vs. Gabriel match.

-Josh Mathews introduced Smackdown in Cincinnati tonight as Vickie Guerrero excused herself in the ring to a deluge of boos. Vickie said after severe injuries from a brutal attack last week, she regrets to inform everyone that Teddy Long will not be here tonight and she is the acting General Manager of Smackdown. She said she’d like to wish Teddy Long a speedy recovery and said that she misses him.

She began to address the Royal Rumble, but was interrupted by the music of Randy Orton. The Viper, here tonight to reform Rated-RKO with Edge and face the team of Miz and Ziggler, walked to the ring with a smirk on his face. Cole expressed disgust that Orton interrupted the acting General Manager. Orton stepped in the ring with a mic in hand, but was interrupted by Vickie, who said she didn’t understand what he was doing out here as he doesn’t have a match until later tonight. Orton told Vickie to relax as the crowd chanted ‘RKO.’ Orton said he is only here to show his appreciation for being invited to Smackdown. He said he doesn’t know Vickie all that well and said that she would have to excuse him. Pun intended. He said Vickie would have to excuse him for what he is going to do to her boyfriend later tonight, just like The Miz will have to excuse him this Sunday when he takes the WWE Title away from him. Nice crowd pop.

Orton continued, putting his arm around Vickie and complimenting her hair to more ‘RKO’ chants. The Legend Killer leaned closer to an uncomfortable-looking Vickie and said that, as for her, there is no excuse. Dolph Ziggler’s music hit and out came the number one contender to the ring. Ziggler asked Orton who he thinks he is. He said nobody talks to the acting GM that way. He asked Orton if he had any idea who he or Vickie is. Orton retorted that Dolph is the same guy he beat up two weeks ago on Raw. Dolph said that he is actually the man who will be World Heavyweight Champion after the Royal Rumble and that Orton will show him respect. The crowd didn’t like that much.

Dolph said Orton will also respect Vickie and that never again would he disrespect him, his girlfriend and everybody who stands behind them. He said to remember that next time he comes on ‘his’ show and starts running his mouth. Dolph said that after tonight and Sunday night, Orton will have no choice but to show him respect. Orton said sorry, but around here one has to earn respect. He then nailed Ziggler with an RKO. The crowd went nuts as Orton celebrated on the turnbuckle and Vickie checked on Ziggler. Mathews asked if Orton was just 48 hours away from being WWE Champion and hyped tonight’s Champions and Challengers tag team main event.

Tait Reax: Good to see an opening segment that didn’t drag on for once, tension was carried over from Raw and built upon between Ziggler and Orton, Randy finally got some mic time to hype his match at the Royal Rumble, and Ziggler got some more good heel heat. Overall, it accomplished what it was supposed to.

[Commercial Break]

-Lay-Cool made their entrance after the break with Matt Striker crooning along to their theme song like a 13-year-old girl into a hairbrush. May Hornswoggle be thrown into the Intercontinental Title mix before this ever happens again. Lay-Cool were out for a Divas tag match, but were assaulted from behind by Kelly Kelly and Kaitlyn as they made their way to the ring. Male saliva glands were in overdrive for this pairing, as Kaitlyn was finally given some airtime. Striker said Kaitlyn is the only Diva who can stand next to Kelly Kelly and still look beautiful. The winner of NXT Season Three threw McCool into the crowd barrier and Kelly sent Layla crashing after her. Kaitlyn and Kelly rolled Lay-Cool into the ring and hit a clothesline each. Kaitlyn hit a double clothesline on Lay-Cool, then Layla left the ring, leaving McCool and Kaitlyn as the legal participants as this match began.

1 –- LAY-COOL (LAYLA & MICHELLE MCCOOL) vs. KELLY KELLY & KAITLYN

Striker called Kaitlyn ‘Ralph Wiggum-like’ in her innocence. This man has problems. McCool went for a kick to Kaitlyn’s head, but it was ducked and Kaitlyn hit two shoulderblocks followed by a bodyslam and scored a one count as Kelly cheered from ringside. Kaitlyn attempted a move off the ropes but was grabbed around the legs by Layla on the apron. The distraction allowed McCool to hit a vicious big boot on Kaitlyn and the crowd actually showed some life. McCool got a three count and secured victory for Laycool.

WINNER: Laycool via pinfall in 1:00.

After the match, Cole said Kaitlyn should go back to NXT and that the two got what they deserved for ambushing Laycool. Striker hyped the Divas Championship match on Sunday as Kelly checked on Kaitlyn. Lay-Cool jeered them on their way to the back.

Tait Reax: This match was looking promising with some good aggression shown by Kaitlyn early, but once again, it turned into a too-quick Smackdown Divas match. Points for McCool’s awesome big boot and the pre-match beatdown by Kelly and Kaitlyn, but Kaitlyn’s return to Smackdown after a few weeks off (outside of a backstage cameo last week when Teddy was loaded into the ambulance) should have had a little bit more substance than a one-minute match. Lay-Cool also could have benefited from an after-match beat down or scathing promo to garner some more heat before the title match at the Rumble, which has hardly been hyped. How many re-matches for the Divas Championship did their clause stipulate they could have, anyways?

[Commercial Break]

-Drew McIntyre’s entrance began as Smackdown returned. Nice to see his full entrance being utilized for maximum impact, as it’s the entrance of a main event player. The camera cut to the announce table to reveal Kelly Kelly sitting at ringside for this match. Cole said he had a bone to pick with Kelly for criticizing McIntyre last week for his aggression when she just ambushed Lay-Cool from behind in a blatant display of aggression. Michael Cole: apparently the champion of logic as well as poor play-by-play. JTG’s music hit and the former Cryme Tyme member danced into the ring to an above-average crowd reaction. Refreshing to see JTG doing something on Smackdown that isn’t Straight Outta Brooklyn.

2 -- DREW MCINTYRE vs. JTG

The two traded punches early with JTG hitting a dropkick to knock McIntyre out to the floor. Cole said Drew has to get his head on straight. McIntyre pulled JTG to the outside and hit a nasty clothesline before ramming JTG’s head into the steps and rolling him back in the ring. McIntyre kept control with a swinging neckbreaker followed by a regular neckbreaker that scored a two-count. The announcers continued to discuss McIntyre’s love life instead of the match at hand as Drew backed JTG into the corner and hit three more clotheslines with force. McIntyre sized up JTG before hitting a nice dropkick and cinching in an armbreaker on the mat. Striker commented that Drew had positioned this hold so that his back was turned to Kelly Kelly, which was symbolic of where his focus is. Is there any way Mike Adamle can be brought back to the desk? Maybe even the Coach?

JTG fought out of the hold and hit a running crucifix pin for a two count, but was clotheslined soon after. Back and forth between the two before McIntyre slammed JTG’s head into the mat for another two count and then locked in another armbreaker. The crowd chanted for JTG, who fought out of the hold and hit a backslide pin for a two count. JTG hit a running clothesline, then tried for another backslide pin but McIntyre countered into a double-arm underhook before hitting his Future Shock for the pin and the win.

WINNER: Drew McIntyre via pinfall in 4:00

After the match, Kelly Kelly got in the ring, but McIntyre left without even looking at her, a feat no mortal man could ever hope to accomplish.

Tait Reax: Not really much to say about this match. The match itself didn’t advance the storyline any further, but was okay. To see JTG get in a bit more offense would have been nice, but he should be grateful for any match time on Smackdown he gets. Nonetheless, JTG is a solid wrestler who elicits a positive crowd reaction and could easily be a fixture in the mid-card. McIntyre’s intensity was good and him ignoring Kelly after the match added further intrigue to the angle and saved us from another week of mediocre acting. I'm not sure where Trent Barreta is in all of this, but he could have been featured at some point. Overall, a moderately enjoyable match.

-More hype was given to the Champions and Challengers tag match main event.

[Commercial Break]

-Outside shots of Cincinnati were shown as Smackdown returned to replays of Rey Mysterio’s victory last week over Cody Rhodes. Striker pointed out that Rey had been wearing a steel knee brace when he hit the 619 on Rhodes and that was to blame for breaking the nose of the Dashing One. Striker said there were rumors swirling about the condition of Cody Rhodes’ face.

The camera cut backstage to show Cody with his back to the camera. Todd Grisham asked Cody to show his face, but Rhodes refused. Cody said after what Mysterio did to his face, he may never be able to show himself in public again. The crowd cheered. Rhodes said he had it on good authority that Mysterio wasn’t even concerned with winning the match, only with disfiguring his face. Rhodes said he has a deviated septum and a broken nose and that he will require extensive reconstructive surgery. He said doctors have told him he is not to compete in the Royal Rumble match. More cheers.

Rhodes said not only has Mysterio shattered his face, he has also shattered his dreams of headlining WrestleMania. He said he didn’t understand why anyone would want to do that to his face. He said he is, or was, the most handsome man in the world and that his looks defined him, he made his living off of his looks and now he can’t even stand the sight of himself in the mirror. Rhodes said it’s not who we are on the inside but what we do that defines us. His voice broke with emotion as he asked Todd what he was going to do. He asked if he was going to stand up and keep fighting? He shouted that Rey Mysterio doesn’t decide his life, he does. Rhodes recounted that a little kid yelled at him today and said that he wasn’t dashing anymore. Rhodes said the worst part is that he’s right, before ending the interview.

Tait Reax: Nice promo showing a more serious side to Cody Rhodes. There was a subtle shattered dreams reference thrown in there that would be wonderful if it led to Rhodes and Goldust eventually teaming up when the Bizarre One returns from injury. However, that wouldn’t be for a few months and this angle won’t last that long. Disappointing if Rhodes really is out of the Rumble, as he is one of the top mid-card players in WWE and would add some much needed depth with that match. Perhaps a surprise masked entrant this Sunday?

-The camera cut to Jack Korpela backstage, who introduced the reigning World Heavyweight champion Edge as his guest. Edge wore his old-school sunglasses for this interview; somehow they always make him look even more like a Superstar. Korpela asked for Edge’s thoughts on the tag match tonight just two days away from the Royal Rumble. Edge said he’d get to that in a minute, but he’d first like to talk about what The Corre did to him last week. He said he has the memory of an elephant and didn’t forget. He said he even remembers their names: Ezekiel Jackson, Wade Barrett, D.J. Gabriel, and the guy with the really bad hair, the rock band guy. Whatever happened to D.J. Gabriel anyways?

Edge said he would let them think about this. He said he isn’t called the Master Manipulator and the Ultimate Opportunist for nothing. He said they’d better sleep with one eye open. In the meantime he said he had bigger fish to fry like the tag match tonight and reuniting with his old partner from Rated-RKO, Randy Orton. Edge said that the last few weeks their opponents tonight, Miz and Ziggler, have been really frustrating him. He said that he’s going to take that frustration and is going to tear Dolph Ziggler in half with a spear.

-The camera cut to Alberto Del Rio walking backstage. Michael Tarver appeared and shook his hand. Del Rio introduced himself and Tarver departed. Does WWE seriously have plans for Tarver or is he just going to be the wrestling version of a tree in an elementary school production? Mathews said that Del Rio has promised a Royal Rumble exhibition match tonight as the Mexican Aristocrat jumped in his Mercedes convertible and blew the horn to take Smackdown to a commercial.

[Commercial Break]

-Tony Chimel welcomed Ricardo Rodriguez, the personal ring announcer, whose hair is only rivaled by Heath Slater’s in terms of sheer awfulness, as Smackdown returned. Cole said this is his favorite part of Smackdown and even Raw for the last couple of weeks as Del Rio made his grand entrance in a 2010 Mercedes 550 SL convertible costing $120,000. Del Rio introduced himself in the ring with much grandeur. He said tonight he’s not going to tell everyone that his destiny is to win the Royal Rumble. He said tonight he is going to prove it. He said that he has 39 fighters from all over the world ready to fight him. Del Rio said tonight he is going to have a Royal Rumble exhibition, starting with one opponent and introducing a new one every 30 seconds until he has thrown everybody out of the ring. He gestured for his first opponent to come to the ring and out came Seth Allen: Jobber Extraordinaire.

3 -- ALBERTO DEL RIO (w/RICARDO RODRIGUEZ) -- Royal Rumble Exhibition Match

Del Rio quickly took down Allen. Cole said Seth looks like Tim Allen at this point. Striker attempted what sounded like Tim Allen’s signature grunting noises. Won't somebody please think of the children? Del Rio tossed Allen over the top rope for the first elimination. The clock ticked down to the next opponent: Mike Stevens. Cole sarcastically declared that Stevens was world-renowned. Striker tried to claim that Stevens was the Brass Knuckle Champion of something before being cut off by Mathews and Cole for being a goof. Del Rio hit Stevens with a running double leg dropkick as soon as the jobber hit the ring. Del Rio hit a running clothesline on Stevens in the corner as the clock ticked down again to the next opponent.

Del Rio dropkicked a seated Stevens in the head as hellfire and brimstone exploded out of nowhere to signal the arrival of Kane. Del Rio sold shock as he tossed Stevens out of the ring. Cole said he didn’t think this was part of the plan as Kane made his way to the ring. Cole said Kane is one of the greatest Royal Rumble competitors of all time. Kane entered the ring and stared down Del Rio, who looked about nervously. Del Rio asked Kane what he was doing here. His reply was a throat thrust from the Big Red Monster. Kane sent Del Rio into the corner and attempted a running clothesline, but the move was dodged and Kane hit the turnbuckle hard. Del Rio followed up with his running enziguiri. Del Rio then set Kane up to be clotheslined out of the ring but Kane locked in the goozle at the point of impact.

Kofi Kingston’s music hit and the Intercontinental Champion came flying towards the ring. Kane and Del Rio struggled to push each other over the ropes and Kingston came from behind and toppled them both over and to the floor for a double elimination, for which the crowd popped huge. Kane and Del Rio attempted to ambush a celebrating Kofi from both sides but were interrupted by Booyaka 619 and the entrance of Rey Mysterio, who ran out to the ring to even the odds. Rey and Kofi stared down Del Rio and Kane in the ring, but before anything could go down the shrill cry of ‘Excuse me’ assaulted the ears of the audience, who gave an entering Vickie Guerrero their usual reception. Vickie insisted that she would not have her show out of control. She said that since the four of them were already in the ring they would have a tag team match. Kane and Del Rio vs. Kingston and Mysterio right now.

WINNER: No Contest in 3:00.

[Commercial Break]

4 -- IC champion KOFI KINGSTON & REY MYSTERIO vs. ALBERTO DEL RIO (w/Ricardo Rodriguez) & KANE

Kane and Kofi Kingston squared off in the ring as Smackdown returned. Kane took control early with a throat thrust to Kingston. Kane went for a big boot on Kofi, but the Intercontinental champion ducked it and dropkicked Kane’s knee to take him off his feet. Kingston got a two count and picked Kane back up but was backed into the corner by the Devil’s Favorite Demon, who made the tag to Del Rio. Del Rio dropkicked a seated Kofi Kingston in the back of the head and scored a two count. Cole said Kane must be one of the favorites to win the Royal Rumble, being eliminated last in 2001 and having the most eliminations for one match.

Kingston countered a running Del Rio with a diving elbow and pushed Del Rio into his corner to make the tag to Mysterio. The two propelled Del Rio into the ropes, who rebounded into a drop toehold by Mysterio followed by a jumping elbow drop by Kingston. Nice bit of teamwork there. Rey hit a running leg drop on the downed Del Rio as the crowd led a rousing ‘619’ chant and Cole brought up the emotional interview with Cody Rhodes earlier. Cole derided Mysterio for maliciously attacking Rhodes last week and Striker agreed with him. Del Rio regained control and backed Mysterio into the corner, where Kane made a blind tag to re-enter the match. Mysterio ducked an incoming Kane and hit him in the thighs with some quick kicks before dropkicking his knee to send the Big Red Machine into the ropes. Rey went for a 619, but Kane rolled out of the ring. Rey hit him with a dropkick as he climbed up on the apron. Del Rio chastised Kane on the outside as Mysterio tagged in Kingston and the duo hit a pair of running baseball slides on Kane and Del Rio. Kofi Kingston then hit a suicide dive through the ropes on Del Rio and Mysterio hit a seated senton off the apron on Kane. Both heels went down with Ricardo stupidly fanning Del Rio with his scarf.

Striker said this epitomized the type of unpredictability the Royal Rumble brings as Kane got back in the ring and Kofi went to the top rope. Del Rio climbed up on the apron and pushed Kingston off the turnbuckle and onto the mat at Kane’s feet. Kane stomped Kingston and ran him into the corner for a clothesline, tagging in Del Rio in the process. Del Rio ran Kingston into the adjacent corner and hit a bulldog for a two count. Kane tagged back in again and continued the beat down on Kofi, hitting a body slam and a leg drop for a two count. Rey got the crowd behind Kingston, who fought out of a Kane chokehold only to run into a sidewalk slam trying to make the hot tag. Del Rio tagged back in and went to work on Kingston as Cole announced Kane’s record 13th consecutive Royal Rumble match this year. An impressive statistic. Del Rio hit a side slam for a two count. Cole said he noticed on Raw the new level of aggressiveness from Del Rio in his quest to win the Royal Rumble as Kane tagged back in.

Kofi fought back and made the hot tag. Mysterio climbed the turnbuckle and hit another seated senton on Kane, followed by a tilt-a-whirl into an inverted DDT. Mysterio bumped Del Rio off the apron and hit a seated Kane in the face with a dropkick, being shaken off after two. Cole said we could see twenty men in the ring at the same time on Sunday. For the sake of wrestling, let’s hope not. Mysterio slingshotted off the ropes into a big boot from Kane that knocked the perennial underdog out to the floor to set up the break.

[Commercial Break]

Del Rio was in control as Smackdown returned. Del Rio hit a sunset flip on a running Rey Mysterio that was countered with a swift kick to the face from Mysterio. Del Rio prevented Mysterio making the tag and hit a fireman’s carry into a gutbuster on Mysterio before tagging out to Kane, who continued to dominate Rey. Kane picked Mysterio up over his shoulder but Rey countered into a DDT. Kofi Kingston was begging for the tag and Mysterio hit it as Kane simultaneously tagged Del Rio. Alberto came running into the ring only to be hit with an amazing cross body from Kofi Kingston. Kingston hit chops to Del Rio’s chest followed by a beautiful dropkick and then another to knock Kane off the apron. Kingston ran into a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker from Del Rio that scored a two count.

Del Rio went for the tag only to find that Kane was still on the floor. Del Rio yelled at Kane to get back up, then ran at Kofi in the corner only to be hit by Kingston’s neat little rope-assisted Pele kick. Kingston hit a second, not as nicely executed, cross body on Del Rio for a two count that was broken up by Kane. Del Rio got to his feet and began pushing Kane in the chest. Kane took this about as well as could be expected and hit Del Rio with a big boot before leaving the ring and walking up the ramp. Del Rio screamed at Kane to come back as Kofi picked up Rey and ran him feet first into Del Rio’s back, pitching Del Rio forwards and into the ropes. Mysterio hit the 619 followed immediately by Trouble In Paradise from Kofi to knock Del Rio out for the count.

WINNERS: Kofi Kingston & Rey Mysterio via pinfall in 15:00.

Kofi and Rey celebrated as a beaten Del Rio retreated to the back with Ricardo. Cole said that only one man would be celebrating this Sunday.

Tait Reax: A great, great match. The opening Royal Rumble exhibition was fast-paced but pointless, although it was actually acknowledged ahead of time for once instead of coming out of nowhere. The tag match was lengthy for Smackdown of late. All four competitors were given the chance to showcase their individual talents ahead of the Rumble. Kofi continues to impress with his high-flying maneuvers that are simply breathtaking, Kane’s dominance was asserted as per his history in the Royal Rumble, and Del Rio looked good in defeat having destroyed two jobbers prior and delivering solidly in the ring and Rey Mysterio was Rey Mysterio. Kofi and Rey also delivered some innovative tag team wrestling which is good to see even in these random pairings. All four participants looked like legitimate contenders heading into Sunday and it provided some good hype for the Rumble match itself.

The announcers recapped the Edge vs. Miz match on Raw along with the aftermath involving Ziggler and Orton before again hyping the Champions and Challengers tag team match before the break.

[Commercial Break]

-Big Show made his entrance after the break. For some reason, he just doesn’t look right with a clean-shaven face. Mathews said that Show has gone on record in saying that he will win the Royal Rumble. Big Show said that when you’re 7-feet tall and 440 pounds, you’re not just the world’s largest athlete, you’re the guy who can’t fit in airplane bathrooms and accidentally breaks furniture. He said you’re a former World Champion, admired by your peers, but sometimes you’re a target. Show said if you’re a target people try to make an impact at your expense before he replayed The Corre’s beat down of Show two weeks ago on Smackdown.

Show said The Corre accomplished two things. One, they made him angry. Show said they don’t want any part of him when he’s angry. Two, they reminded him what it’s going to be like in a Royal Rumble match with four or five wrestlers attacking him from every angle. Show said he has never won a Royal Rumble match, but this time – he was cut off by the entrance theme of The Corre. The group entered garbed in brand new t-shirts. It took them long enough, although it’s doubtful that these will sell anymore than Nexus shirts have. Very uninspired. Cole said together they could toss Show out of the Rumble and be the last four standing. Striker said Corre single-handedly changed the face of Smackdown in one night as the group surrounded Show outside the ring.

Show asked if this was how it was going to be, with the four of them attacking him again. He said none of them have the guts to take him on one-on-one. Show called Gabriel ‘pretty boy’ and challenged him. Show called Slater ‘Wendy’ and challenged him too. Show rounded on Barrett and said that there was no leader of The Corre because none of them had guts. Show turned to Jackson and asked if the big man was living famous after that bodyslam before challenging him as well. That suggestion elicited the biggest reaction from the crowd. Show turned back to Barrett and was hit from behind by Slater with little effect. The bell immediately rang so Slater walked into a one-on-one with the Big Show.

5 -- BIG SHOW vs. HEATH SLATER (w/The Corre)

Show grabbed Heath Slater and tossed him aside, then hit him with a kick to the chest. Show headbutted Slater. Cole said maybe Heath had guts, Mathews said maybe Slater was an idiot. Striker said Slater was the Matthew McConaughey of The Corre, a smooth-talking Southern gentleman. McConaughey may sound as silly as Slater at times, but he has the looks of a Hollywood actor; Heath Slater looks like a foot with red hair. Truly soul-destroying commentary from Striker. Show picked Slater up but the One Man Rock Band wriggled out and chop blocked Show’s knee from behind. Slater dropkicked the same leg to take Show down, who hit an incoming Slater with a thunderous clothesline from one knee. The crowd dug that one. Show hit a back body drop with a lot of hangtime on Slater as The Corre looked on. Show hit a running back bump on Slater in the corner followed by a shoulder block off the ropes. Show did his one handed roar to a roaring crowd. Show hit a chokeslam on Slater for a squash victory if there ever was one.

WINNER: Big Show via pinfall in 2:00.

After the match, the other three members of The Corre climbed onto the apron. Show flipped Gabriel into the ring and headbutted Barrett before being hit by a huge clothesline from Jackson. A beatdown on Show ensued that was interrupted by R-Truth, Chris Masters, Santino, Vladimir Kozlov, and Daniel Bryan, who were all beaten down by Jackson in an awesome display of power. Mathews said Show was taking down everyone from Smackdown despite there being only one Smackdown wrestler among that group. The Corre were eventually overwhelmed and left the ring as Big Show’s music hit. Cole said Show may have had allies tonight, but guaranteed that every man in that ring will gang up on Show on Sunday. Mathews said they could also team up to eliminate a common enemy in The Corre before hyping Rated-RKO vs. Miz/Ziggler again.

Tait Reax: An underwhelming series of events. Slater being squashed was expected, as he’s far and away the weakest member of Corre. The post-match beat down started out great with Jackson taking out Big Show and then each interfering wrestler one after the other in a cool little sequence, but all of a sudden Corre was overwhelmed and sent packing, which made them look weak when they should be looking like a dominant force heading into the Rumble. Equally as frustrating is the fact that nothing is being done to distinguish Corre from Nexus. Different faces and t-shirts, same old gang beatdowns. The announcers may be selling Corre as a huge threat but they haven’t done a thing to prove it.

[Commercial Break]

-The announcers hyped the Royal Rumble match upon Smackdown’s return before again playing the same Royal Rumble package from last week. It hyped the Rumble well the first time, but I don't believe replaying it multiple times does anything. WWE could have found some different statistics or played Royal Rumble flashback moments from different years to further remind the audience of the history and great moments associated with the Rumble instead of going for the "reinforcement route" of the same stats and video clips.

-The Miz and Alex Riley made their entrance to a standing ovation from Michael Cole. The tone of Tony Chimel’s voice when he announces The Miz is possibly the best thing he does. Miz got on the mic and said that in 1947 in an effort to stop Communism spreading, President Harry Truman implemented the Truman Doctrine. The doctrine granted $400 million in military and economic aid to Turkey and Greece. Miz asked what this has to do with the Royal Rumble and answered his own question: absolutely nothing. Thanks for the pointless history lesson, champ. Miz said Randy Orton strutting down here, insulting Vickie Guerrero, and hitting Dolph Ziggler with an RKO means absolutely nothing. He said Orton could come out here for all he cares and RKO every single person in this arena and declare himself the undisputed king of RKO and it would mean absolutely nothing.

Miz said he is the WWE champion now and he will be WWE champion after this Sunday. Miz referenced Randy Orton’s song saying he hears voices in his head. He said the only voice Orton will hear after this Sunday is his, saying that he is the Miz and he is still WWE champion and he’s awesome. Miz may never be The Rock people want him to be, but he can sure cut a promo. Cole said he had chills as Dolph Ziggler made his entrance accompanied by Vickie Guerrero. Cole said Ziggler was The Miz of Smackdown.

[Commercial Break]

-Randy Orton made his entrance to a huge pop as Smackdown returned. Miz watched on, creepily stroking his belt. Edge made his entrance to an equal pop and huge pyro. Striker asked for a close-up on Vickie and said that she could use some Proactiv, perhaps due to nerves. Can this poor woman catch a break?

6 -- RATED RKO (World Hvt. champion EDGE & RANDY ORTON) vs. WWE champion THE MIZ (w/Alex Riley) & DOLPH ZIGGLER (w/Vickie Guerrero)

Orton and Ziggler locked up as the bell rang. Back and forth between the two before Orton took control with a clothesline and some European uppercuts in the corner. Mathews predicted that Miz would lose this Sunday. Miz approached Orton on the apron, who chased the WWE champion around the ring. Miz ran into the ring and Orton followed, only to be met by a big boot from Ziggler, who rained down punches on Orton. Orton countered a running Ziggler with a Lou Thesz press before tagging Edge in. The Rated-R Superstar hit a diving shoulderblock off the top rope for a two-count. Ziggler countered Edge with a facebuster in the middle of the ring as Vickie cheered from ringside. Ziggler tagged Miz in. Alex Riley snuck a hit in on Edge as the referee was turned away. Miz put a rear chinlock on Edge as Orton willed the crowd to get behind Edge, who fought out, hit a big boot and made the hot tag to Orton. Orton hit a series of clotheslines on Miz before a powerslam to enter the zone before the break.

[Commercial Break - What an odd point in the match to stick a commercial.]

Miz was in control after the break with Orton in a rear chinlock. A replay from during the commercial showed Ziggler dragging Orton out of the ring before the Viper could strike with an RKO on Miz. Loud ‘Randy’ chants echoed throughout the arena as Orton fought out with some elbows to the gut and a headbutt but ran into a Kitchen Sink from the Miz, who scored a two count. Miz beat Orton down and locked on another chinlock. Edge reached out from the apron for the tag and was inches away before Miz dragged Orton off.

Mathews continued to deride the Miz and his tactics. Cole compared his relationship to Mathews as similar to Miz and Riley’s in a mentor-pupil way. Orton fought out of the hold but was hit with Miz’s backbreaker-neckbreaker combo and went down for two. They went to a close-up of Miz's intensity-filled face as he ran at Orton in the corner, only to be hit with a clothesline from the WWE’s apex predator. Miz crawled to make the tag to Ziggler as Orton made the hot tag to Edge.

Edge hit a series of clotheslines on an incoming Ziggler followed by a flapjack and a punch to knock Miz off the apron. Edge went into his zone upon seeing a downed Ziggler and set up for the spear but was interrupted by A-Ri on the apron. The Ultimate Opportunist knocked the Miz’s apprentice off and hit a Black Out on Ziggler. Miz broke up the pin and was clotheslined to the outside by Orton for his trouble. Orton followed him out and hit Riley with a clothesline. Ziggler went for the Zig-Zag on Edge but Edge grabbed the ropes and brushed Ziggler off before hitting him with a huge spear for the win.

WINNERS: Rated-RKO (Edge & Randy Orton) via pinfall in 10:00.

After the match, Vickie screamed, "Excuse me!" She said as General Manager she is acting in the best interests of Smackdown. She said that until further notice, the spear has been made illegal and is banned. Vickie said if Edge hits Dolph Ziggler with a spear at the Royal Rumble, not only will he be disqualified, but he will lose his championship. Ziggler was using the ropes to prop himself up on the apron and Edge turned around and hit a spear to knock Ziggler out to the floor. Edge followed him outside and hit another spear on the floor. Where did Orton and Miz disappear to? WWE wrestlers have made a habit of disappearing in the middle of segments lately. Vickie stood in front of Ziggler and shrieked unintelligibly at Edge, who looked tempted to hit one last spear for tonight. Edge ran at Vickie, who jumped out of the way, causing the Rated-R Superstar to connect once more with Dolph Ziggler. Edge raised the devil horns high and celebrated with his belt in the ring to close the show.

Look for my "final thoughts" recap in the Smackdown Roundtable Review for this week's show.

[Torch art credit Grant Gould (c) PWTorch.com]


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