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WWE Smackdown Report
TAIT'S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT 4/15: Alt. perspective review of Edge's farewell, Tait's Overall Show Break Down

Apr 17, 2011 - 10:09:34 AM
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WWE Smackdown alt. perspective review
April 15, 2011
Taped in Albany, N.Y.
By James Tait, Torch int'l Smackdown correspondent


- Smackdown opened with a video package highlighting Edge's history and unfortunate retirement. The package hyped Edge relinquishing the World Heavyweight Championship tonight.

- Smackdown opened without pyro as Ricardo Rodriguez introduced Alberto Del Rio, who was out tonight in a 1950 Rolls Royce worth over $100,000. Looks like the cars are back. Booker T reminded everyone that Del Rio is the number one contender.

- Del Rio took the mic and introduced himself. He said tonight is not about him, it's about somebody else. Del Rio said when Edge announced his retirement, the entire locker room and the WWE Universe lost a hero. He said when he thinks about Edge, he thinks of respect. In his 13-year WWE career, he held more championships than everybody and now he's giving up on this business. Del Rio said he couldn't imagine how Edge feels right now. He said all this was his life, passion and love. Del Rio said even though it was his destiny to be World Heavyweight Champion, he didn't want it to be like this. He said though that since Edge is here to surrender the World Heavyweight Championship and since he is the number one contender, he thinks it is just fair that this incredible man and great athlete comes out here right now and presents him with the World Heavyweight Championship. The crowd booed.

The crowd chanted for Edge but instead got Theodore Long. Long apologized for disappointing Del Rio, but it won't be going down like that tonight. Long said nobody would be presenting him anything. Del Rio protested that he's the number one contender. Long said he's right, and because of that he has earned the right to compete for the World Heavyweight Championship at Extreme Rules in a ladder match. Long said Del Rio would face the winner of tonight's main event: a 20-man, over-the-top-rope Battle Royal!

Del Rio glared at Long and demanded to know what he was talking about. Del Rio screamed that he's the number one contender and should be champion right now. Del Rio protested in Spanish and said that this is a conspiracy. Del Rio said he never liked Long. Long said that's how we roll here on Smackdown, playa. Del Rio laughed and said he's glad he hurt Edge. Crowd booed hard. Del Rio said he's glad he's the man who forced him to retire. Del Rio said it was his destiny to end up like a crippled coward, just like it's Del Rio's destiny to be World Heavyweight-

Long cut him off and said right now his destiny is to shut up. Long's music played and the GM left Del Rio in the ring. Cole agreed that it was a conspiracy. Del Rio looked murderous.

[Commercial Break]

- Ezekiel Jackson was already in the ring as Smackdown returned with the other members of The Corre all at the announce desk. Kofi Kingston was out in his blinding neon green ring gear. Josh Mathews implied that Wade Barrett was Intercontinental champion because of the other members of The Corre. Barrett rebuked this and asked Josh if he'd even seen that match. Slater interjected with 'we all seen that match.' Mathews mocked his poor grasp of the English language.

1 -- EZEKIEL JACKSON (w/The Corre) vs. KOFI KINGSTON

Booker noted that it was the first time he'd seen Jackson in singles competition. Booker asked what Jackson's role was in The Corre as Big Zeke powered off Kingston and hit a double bicep pose in the ring. Barrett said Jackson might not be the smartest guy but he's big and powerful as Kingston connected with a flurry of kicks to work Zeke into the corner.

Barrett said everyone else in the group is a champion but Jackson needs to prove himself. Zeke hit a clubbing blow across Kofi's back. Mathews noted that The Corre would all be involved in tonight's Battle Royal and asked if they would work together. Barrett said The Corre would make sure that he goes a step further in becoming World Heavyweight Champion, the group bickered over who should win the Battle Royal as Kofi knocked Jackson out of the ring with a dropkick.

Kofi hit a second dropkick between the ropes but was pushed back into the ring apron when he came to the outside. Jackson military pressed Kofi over his head and threw him into the other members of The Corre. Jackson rolled Kofi back in the ring but was kicked by Kofi on his way back in. Kofi went for the S.O.S. but was distracted by Barrett trying to climb in the ring. Zeke used the distraction to hit the Uranage to get the quick three-count.

WINNER: Ezekiel Jackson via pinfall in 2:00.

- After the match, Barrett shot an icy glare at Jackson, who was celebrating in the ring. Jackson argued with the other members of The Corre on the outside before getting on the mic and declaring that after tonight's Battle Royale, the other members of The Corre and the WWE Universe will learn why he is the personification of domination and the new number one contender. Jackson made his exit, hitting his most muscular pose on the entrance ramp and leaving the rest of The Corre standing at ringside. A replay of Jackson throwing Kofi into The Corre was shown.

TAIT REAX: Good to see Jackson finally getting a dominating singles victory, though I question why it had to be at the expense of Kofi Kingston and in two minutes. It was good to hear everyone from the group putting forward the reasons why they should be champ and I liked Zeke being given a chance on the microphone. It looks like a Corre split is close, which is probably a good idea given Smackdown's growing need for singles stars now that Edge is gone. So far, the set up for tonight's main event has been well done.

- Hype for Edge surrendering the World Heavyweight Championship.

[Commercial Break]

- Cole plugged the new-look WWE website.

- External shots of Albany, New York were shown.

- A video from earlier in the week showing Lay-Cool in couples therapy was shown. Michelle and Layla were sitting on a couch with the therapist. McCool asked Layla to remind her why they're here; it's not like they're Brangelina or Jay-Z and Beyonce, because they're not a couple. McCool asked Layla why she was holding her hand. Layla was shown clutching tissues and she said because they're a team like Bert and Ernie or Thelma and Louise. McCool scoffed that they're being compared to a pair of puppets and two women who drove off a cliff. Layla said they used to be friends and Michelle emphasized 'used to be.' Layla asked Michelle how her back was and Michelle said it hurt from carrying her since day one. Layla said she was talking about her match last week.

The therapist tried to interrupt but was shouted down by the pair. McCool told Layla to stop trying to steal her spotlight and her shoes. Layla said she carried Lay-Cool when Michelle was injured with her big, fat Frankenstein foot. McCool retorted that all Layla did in that time was lose matches. Layla said that hurt. Michelle said it should hurt because Layla was getting her butt kicked every week. Michelle said Lay-Cool became uncool when she got hurt and Layla "tried" to take the lead. Layla said she just wanted to be equals. Michelle said if she wants them to be equals she needs to get blonde hair, grow about three feet and get a whole lot better in the ring. Michelle walked out. Layla yelled that she was keeping her shoes anyway.

- Cody Rhodes was standing in the ring. Cole said, "Speaking of people who need therapy." Rhodes had his hood up and was shrouded in darkness as he got on the mic. Rhodes said after he defeated Rey Mysterio at WrestleMania, in what he thought would be the biggest night of his life, he expected to feel vindicated. Instead he feels nothing. He said it's not enough and tonight he's competing in the Battle Royal for a chance at the World Heavyweight Championship. Cody pondered whether that would be enough. He said if he wins the championship is there a victory or a moment that will erase his disfigurement, the monster that stared back at him through the mirror after Rey Mysterio purposefully crushed his face?

Cody said everybody knows Rey is a father and that he's sure countless nights he's tucked his kids into bed and assured them there's no monster in the closet or under the bed. Rhodes said he's not stopping until he makes Rey that monster. He said he wants Rey's children to be horrified at the sight of their father's face, just as he is horrified by the sight of his own. Rhodes removed the hood and said that would be vindication.

Mysterio's music hit and Rey sprinted out to the ring. The two traded blows with Mysterio getting the upper hand and sending Rhodes into the ropes for a 619. Cody dodged it but was kicked in the face by Rey. Cody stood on the apron with his back on the ropes and Mysterio hit the 619, his legs connecting with Rhodes abdomen and knocking the former Dashing One off the apron. Cody clutched his stomach and pulled his hood back up on his way to the back.

TAIT REAX: What a fantastic promo by Rhodes. He keeps getting better and better each week in his deeper descent into his character. Telling Rey he wants to make him a monster to his children was pretty cutting. Where I felt Cody was overacting with his Dashing persona I think he's found the perfect balance with his current dark character, just excellent. Some more great build up to tonight's main event as well as propelling this feud forward.

[Commercial Break]

- The same Awesome Kong vignette from Monday's Raw was shown. Boy, was it creepy.

- Mysterio was still in the ring when Smackdown returned apparently ready for a match. Drew McIntyre entered as his opponent. Cole noted the chip on Drew's shoulder over not having a match at WrestleMania. Booker said Drew was his guy to be a breakout star in 2011.

2 -- REY MYSTERIO vs. DREW MCINTYRE

McIntyre stared down at Mysterio to start the match. The two traded blows before McIntyre took the advantage with a scoop slam on a running Mysterio for a two count. Drew lifted Mysterio up from a prone position on the mat and hit a backbreaker for another two. McIntyre stomped on Mysterio's head on the apron before hitting a snap suplex for another two-count.

Some sparse '619' chants sounded and Drew attempted to hit a sidewalk slam on Rey, who turned it into a huracanrana and sent McIntyre into the ropes. The 619 attempt was met with a kick to Rey's gut but Rey followed this up by dropkicking McIntyre out of the ring and hitting a baseball slide between the ropes.

Rey tried to hit a huracanrana on Drew on the outside but the Sinister Scotsman caught Rey's legs and swung him into the barrier hard to send Smackdown to a commercial.

[Commercial Break]

McIntyre was in control with an armbar as Smackdown returned. Rey countered out of it and propelled McIntyre out of the ring again, Drew landing back first on the outside. Rey kicked Drew in the gut on his way back through the ropes and Drew lay between the middle rope dazed. Mysterio climbed to the top rope and hit a leg drop across McIntyre's neck for two.

Mysterio bounced off the ropes but was caught by McIntyre into a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for two. McIntyre stomped Mysterio in frustration before hitting a series of forearm blows across his chest. Drew hit a hard shoulder block on Mysterio in the corner. Drew went for another one but Rey leapfrogged him and McIntyre went shoulder first into the ring post.

Rey climbed to the top rope in the opposite corner and hit a seated senton on Drew. Rey hit a huracanrana on McIntyre and began beating him down. Rey hit a springboard cross body and got a near fall. McIntyre Sunset flipped Mysterio for a pin cover, Rey rolled through and came off the ropes but McIntyre floored him with a huge big boot for a near fall of his own.

The crowd was starting to get into this one as Drew sold frustration. Drew stood over Mysterio and went to lock in a double underhook. Rey fought out and Drew went for a powerbomb but Mysterio caught himself on McIntyre's shoulders and hit punches to the face. McIntyre tossed him off onto the turnbuckle and Rey jumped straight back off and hit a Tornado DDT for a pin cover that was broken up by McIntyre's foot on the ropes.

Rey lifted McIntyre up to his knees, but Drew pushed him into the turnbuckle and nailed him with a huge clothesline. From his knees. Wow. Drew went back on the offense in the corner. He tried to pull Rey into another clothesline but Rey slipped around Drew's back and dropkicked his knee to send him into the ropes.

Rey connected with the 619 and climbed to the top rope. In a poor sequence of editing, Rey jumped off the top rope towards Drew McIntyre, who was standing. There was a cut to another camera and Rey connected with a cross body on a now somehow prone McIntyre. Rey got the pin and the win.

WINNER: Rey Mysterio via pinfall in 12:00.

- After the match the announcers sold what a fantastic match it was as replays were shown. Rey celebrated with the fans on his way to the back.

TAIT REAX: A real spectacle that showed exactly what these two are capable of. If that match didn't cement Drew's place as a future star and cornerstone of Smackdown in the minds of the higher-ups at WWE, then I'm not sure what will. It had innovative offense from both men, sucked the crowd right in, and was a joy to watch. The mark of a good Mysterio match for me is that I will often have to pause it just to try and comprehend and put into words what I have just seen him do. Overall, a great match to keep Smackdown rolling strong.

- Mathews and Booker talked about what an emotional week it had been for Rey's good friend Edge.

- A video package of Edge's career highlights was shown. Emotional stuff.

- Edge was shown walking in the back with his title. He hugged Matt Striker, shook hands with Chavo, but stopped dead when he saw Kane. The Big Red Monster shook Edge's hand nonetheless.

[Commercial Break]

- Edge's music hit for what may be the last time for a long time and the World Heavyweight Champion made his way out to the ring to a massive crowd pop. Edge stood in the ring and soaked in the cheers from the crowd. A 'Thank you, Edge' chant was started up.

Edge said he would never get tired of that. Edge said it was true; he is being forced to retire. The crowd booed. He said what it's made him do is open his eyes to everything again and soak everything up, almost like he was seeing it all again for the very first time. He said he has been involved in some of the most insane matches and moments in the history of the WWE whether it was helping to create the TLC match, whether it was 20-foot super spears or diving through flaming tables with thumbtacks in his back, Elimination Chamber matches, or Hell In A Cell matches against The Undertaker, every time he went in for a match like that and no matter how tired he might have been, every time he came out to his music (which he acknowledged he may be a little biased in calling it the coolest music in WWE and thanked the band Alter Bridge for giving him the song) as soon as he came out and heard the crowd he was fed energy. Another loud 'Thank you, Edge' chant was started. Edge said every time he came out he was given goose bumps and he said he has to do that one more time. He said he would go back up there, run out and do it one last time.

A loud 'Edge' chant rang out as the Rated-R Superstar's music hit again and out came Edge. Edge made his encore entrance to possibly an even bigger pop than before. Booker said he had goose bumps himself. Edge got back on the mic and said that tired him out. He said since he announced his retirement the outpouring from everyone in the WWE Universe was awesome. He said a lot of people are sad and disappointed that his career is ending but a lot of people are happy that WWE and its doctors managed to catch this before it got worse. He said he's happy about looking at the rest of his life from here. He said he and his girl are going to take their dogs hiking and go surfing and he can't wait.

Edge said he's happy that he gets to wear one of his two suits. He said he's not really a suit guy but if he's going to go out he'll do it in style. He admitted he'd bought it for $100 at JCPenney, though. He said he's happy he got to come to Albany. Crowd pop. He said Albany is where he won his very first WWE Championship. He said he was sitting in a rental car in Albany when he came up with the name Edge. He said what makes him the happiest is that his mom could be here tonight. The spotlight shone on Edge's mother, who was in tears. Edge said that is the strongest woman he's ever met. A 'Thank you, Mom' chant started. Edge said she was the one who instilled the strength in him to overcome broken necks and torn Achilles tendons. He said he wouldn't be here without her and encouraged everyone to call his or her mothers tonight.

Edge said he was happy to be here in front of the fans. He said he didn't want it to get all sappy and corny but it probably has. He said the World Heavyweight Championship means everything to him and he's worked his entire career to get it. He continued that it wasn't just his though and it never has been. He said it's not anyone else's in that locker room. He said that everybody holds a piece of it and it's symbolic. He said it was time to do what he had to do and relinquish the title. Crowd booed. Edge said it was cool and he had to do it. He said in closing, he really just wants to thank everyone for one hell of a career and one hell of a ride.

Edge posed with the title in the ring before laying it down and leaving the ring to more 'Thank you, Edge' chants. Edge hugged his mom at ringside and high-fived the fans on his way to the back. Edge flipped the devil horns on the entrance ramp before leaving to the back.

TAIT REAX: As touching a retirement as you will ever see. There goes a man who lived and breathed this business almost from birth. I've had the pleasure of watching the majority of Edge's career and know for certainty that he will be greatly missed. Thank you, Edge.

- Michael Cole hyped the Battle Royal main event later tonight.

[Commercial Break]

- Edge was shown backstage with Rosa Mendes. Rosa spoke some words in Spanish. Edge said he had no idea what she just said, but she had him at 'Quiero.' Rosa got tearful and said she would miss Edge so much and everything he'd done for the business. Alberto Del Rio suddenly stood behind Edge and the crowd booed.

Del Rio stared Edge down before offering his hand. Edge walked away without accepting it. Del Rio laughed and shook his head, winking as Edge walked off.

- Kelly Kelly was out for a match. Lay-Cool were out next with Layla as Kelly's opponent. A replay of the argument between Layla and Michelle from last week was shown. Michelle joined the announce desk.

3 -- KELLY KELLY vs. LAYLA (w/Michelle McCool)

Layla hit Kelly with a kick to the gut and then slammed Kelly's head repeatedly into the mat. Kelly fought back and hit a Thesz press and pounded away at Layla. Kelly spanked Layla's behind and then did her handstand head scissors over the rope before flipping over and sweeping Layla's legs from behind.

Kelly pulled Layla from the ring and slammed her head into the floor. Kelly ran Layla face first into the Cole Mine before hitting the K2 facebuster on the outside. The ref was at the count of nine before Michelle got up and rolled Layla back in the ring. Kelly rolled a dazed Layla up in a schoolboy and got the three-count.

WINNER: Kelly Kelly via pinfall in 2:00.

- After the match, Michelle chastised Layla for losing again. Layla apologized and grabbed Michelle's hand but McCool ripped away and shoved Layla over. Michelle left Layla in the ring looking distraught.

TAIT REAX: More of the same, you know the split is coming and now it's just a matter of time until it happens. It looks like Layla is going to take the face role in this, which should be a natural transition for her. Just hurry up and do it already so Kong can come and run riot!

- More hype was given for the Battle Royal.

[Commercial Break]

- A Raw Rebound showing Jerry Lawler's victory over Jack Swagger as well as Cole turning on Swagger was shown.

- Booker asked Cole how he could be as stupid to slap the guy who's been training him. Cole said he loves Jack Swagger and apologized for getting out of control.

- The same video package with WWE Superstars discussing Triple H vs. Undertaker from Raw was shown.

- Big Show came out first for the Battle Royal. Cole said he was the absolute favorite as Smackdown went to commercial.

[Commercial Break]

- Alberto Del Rio was out upon Smackdown's return posing next to the World Heavyweight Championship. The rest of the superstars were already in the ring ready to go. Kane was the last wrestler to enter, startling everyone with fire in the ring corners. Booker stressed the importance of alliances as the bell rang.

4 -- BIG SHOW vs. KANE vs. JACK SWAGGER vs. REY MYSTERIO vs. Intercontinental Champion WADE BARRETT vs. WWE Tag Team Champion HEATH SLATER vs. WWE Tag Team Champion JUSTIN GABRIEL vs. EZEKIEL JACKSON vs. CODY RHODES vs. BRODUS CLAY (w/Alberto Del Rio) vs. TYLER REKS vs. DREW MCINTYRE vs. KOFI KINGSTON vs. JTG vs. CHRIS MASTERS vs. CHRISTIAN vs. YOSHI TATSU vs. TRENT BARRETA vs. CURT HAWKINS vs. CHAVO GUERRERO -- 20-man Battle Royal to determine the second number one contender to the World Heavyweight Championship

JTG was eliminated first, tossed over the top rope by The Big Show. Show hoisted Trent Barreta over his shoulder looking to throw him out but Barreta struggled off and tried to tip Show out to no avail. Show grabbed Barreta by the throat and threw him over too. Gabriel tried to attack Show but was pushed off; Slater rushed in but was met with a goozle. Show tossed him over the top rope but the One Man Rock Band landed on his feet on the apron. Show hit him with a knockout punch to send Slater straight to the floor and out of the match.

Show spotted Ezekiel Jackson on the other side of the ring and hit a huge running clothesline that knocked both Jackson and Show over the top rope. Del Rio applauded in glee.

[Commercial Break]

Cody Rhodes had Rey Mysterio tied to the Tree Of Woe when Smackdown returned. Rhodes was stomping Rey but was pulled off by Masters. Kane and Kofi Kingston were shown trying to eliminate Wade Barrett. Cole continued to argue that Del Rio should have been handed the title.

Chavo Guerrero and Curt Hawkins were locking up at the ropes. Cody ran at Rey in the corner but Rey pushed him over the top rope onto the apron. Rey dropkicked Cody off the apron and onto the floor to eliminate the Dashing One. Curt Hawkins picked Mysterio up on his shoulders from behind and tried to eliminate Mysterio but Rey turned the momentum against him and sent Hawkins over the top rope instead.

Kane hit a running clothesline on Tyler Reks in the corner. Chris Masters pushed Drew McIntyre over the top rope and onto the apron. Masters tried to lock the Masterlock on Drew between the ropes but was unsuccessful. Brodus Clay steamed in and shoulder blocked McIntyre off the apron and out of the match. Chavo jumped on Brodus's back, but the NXT season four contestant flipped Chavo off and over the top.

Kane and Brodus squared off in the middle of the ring. Kane hit Brodus first with a throat thrust before nailing him with rights and lefts. Kane ducked a clothesline from Clay and got a goozle on that Brodus fought out of before shoulder blocking Kane over. Brodus picked Kane up over his shoulder and tried to eliminate him but Kane struggled free and pushed Brodus over the top rope and out to the floor. Del Rio looked furious as Brodus screamed in frustration.

[Commercial Break]

Wade Barrett flipped Kofi over the top rope but Kofi held the top rope and skinned the cat. Barrett caught his legs however and kicked Kofi in the gut, sending him sprawling to the floor and out of the running. Booker said if Barrett and Gabriel, the two remaining members of The Corre, could work together they have the advantage.

Mysterio hung back watching the action, which Cole called sneaky. Christian heaved Tyler Reks over the top rope and onto the apron but Reks ran Christians head into the turnbuckle. Christian hung Reks throat-first over the top rope and Reks tumbled to the floor. Swagger was going to work on Kane with a knee to the head.

Christian ran Yoshi Tatsu over the top rope and to the floor. Cole cheered on Swagger from the outside. Kane hit Gabriel with a throat thrust and sent him into the corner. Gabriel rebounded off the middle rope and into a goozle. Barrett came to his aid but got hit with a goozle of his own from Kane. The two fought out of the double chokeslam and double clotheslined Kane over the top rope and out of the match.

Barrett and Masters traded chops. Barrett threw Masters over the top rope and Masters attempted to hit the Masterlock from between the ropes again but was unsuccessful. Barrett responded with a big boot to knock Masters out of the match. As Barrett taunted Masters, Gabriel snuck up from behind and tossed Barrett over the top rope. Barrett was furious as Gabriel smirked in the ring.

The final four were in the ring: Swagger, Mysterio, Gabriel, and Christian. Swagger paired up with Christian and Gabriel with Mysterio. Gabriel countered an Irish whip from Mysterio with a roundhouse kick. Mysterio monkey flipped Gabriel into the ropes and went for a 619 but Gabriel ducked and tried to powerbomb Mysterio over the top rope. Mysterio once again reversed the momentum and sent Gabriel over the top rope and to the floor.

Christian and Mysterio stared each other down before trading blows. Mysterio hit a springboard cross body on Christian before Swagger interrupted, sending Mysterio over the top rope onto the apron. Mysterio punched Swagger off and went to the top rope, hitting a huracanrana on Swagger to send him into the ropes. Mysterio went for the 619 but Cole leapt out of his seat and covered Swagger, taking the 619 for him.

Mysterio stared at Cole from the apron. Swagger strangely pulled him back into the ring before pushing him over the top rope and eventually flipping him over and to the floor. Messy looking spot. Swagger stomped a downed Christian in the middle of the ring before attempting a Swagger Bomb. Christian caught Swagger on the middle rope though and began to push him over the top.

Swagger fought out, though, and pushed Christian off before regaining control with a kick to the head. Swagger continued the beat down on Christian before pushing Christian onto the apron and trying to eliminate him again. Christian pulled Swagger onto the apron with him and went to hit his Pele kick through the ropes. Swagger grabbed his ankle and cinched in the anklelock, pulling Christian back into the ring.

Christian withstood it before kicking Swagger off. Swagger put Christian over his shoulders but Christian struggled free and tried to push Swagger over the top rope but Swagger kicked him off again. Swagger tossed Christian over the top rope but Captain Charisma held on. Del Rio grabbed Christian's leg on the outside but Christian kicked him off. Swagger ran at Christian but Christian pulled down the top rope to send Swagger out to the floor and win the match!

WINNER: Christian via elimination in 22:00.

- Del Rio looked distraught after the match as Christian celebrated in the ring. Edge came out and hugged Christian in the middle of the ring. Del Rio stood on the announce desk and pointed to the belt and motioned around his waist. Edge raised Christian's hand to close Smackdown.

FINAL THOUGHTS: Finally, a Smackdown that actually felt impactful and important. From start to finish, the show felt like it actually had some weight. This was helped by the fact that there was only one replay from Raw this week instead of the usual four - it definitely made Smackdown seem like its own show, which it has been lacking in previous weeks.

Christian winning the Battle Royal was inevitable but still a special moment. Despite Del Rio and Christian having plenty of one-on-one matches over the last few weeks I'm still looking forward to their next at Extreme Rules. I'm hoping the next two weeks will effectively build that match to the sky with a lot of tension coming from Del Rio retiring Christian's best friend Edge.

The match itself was usual Battle Royal fare with a few interesting moments thrown in. I liked the square off between Brodus Clay and Kane but I felt Brodus could have been made to look huge here by eliminating the Big Red Machine. Brodus really needs to do something big, as I don't think he's even won a match yet since debuting on the big stage.

The Corre looks to be in tatters after Gabriel eliminated Wade Barrett. I think the fact that Gabriel was in the final four of the Battle Royal shows that WWE are looking to push Gabriel as a new star, goodness knows Smackdown is in desperate need of some.

Cole taking the 619 for Swagger will no doubt put the two on good terms again leading into their match at Extreme Rules. I'd also like to point to Smackdown being able to have a 20-man Battle Royal (with Yoshi Tatsu from Raw) despite claims of the roster lacking depth. Sure, bona fide stars may be few and far between at the moment, but Smackdown has the numbers and the talent in those numbers to create plenty of new stars and hopefully this will materialize in the coming weeks and months post-Edge.

I felt Smackdown this week was great. Individual segments helped to further feuds while at the same time generated hype for the main event. Smackdown tonight felt like a story, with a few subplots building up to a final climax and it was really effective in terms of keeping the audience interested.

On a final note, wishing Edge all the best in the future. His contributions to Smackdown and WWE in general have been outstanding and the Rated-R Superstar has left some enormous boots to fill. All that was missing was one last Five Second Pose to end the show. Thank you once again, Edge.

SMACKDOWN BREAKDOWN

Match Of The Night: Rey Mysterio vs. Drew McIntyre

Match To Forget: Kelly Kelly vs. Layla

Star Of The Show: Edge

Please Go Away: Michael Cole

Quote Of The Night: WWE Universe - "Thank You Edge!"

Quote Of 1000 Facepalms: Heath Slater - "We all seen that match"

Most Entertaining Move: Drew McIntyre's kneeling clothesline on Rey Mysterio.

On The Next Episode Of Botchamania: Jack Swagger pulls Mysterio back over the top rope, then pushes him over it again a moment later to eliminate him.

Best Moment: Edge and Christian celebrate following Christian's victory.

Worst Moment: The realization that Edge will never wrestle again.

Overall Grade: A-


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ABOUT US

THE TORCH REACHES MORE COMBAT ENTERTAINMENT FANS THAN ANY OTHER SOURCE

PWTorch editor Wade Keller has covered pro wrestling full time since 1987 starting with the Pro Wrestling Torch print newsletter. PWTorch.com launched in 1999 and the PWTorch Apps launched in 2008.

He has conducted "Torch Talk" insider interviews with Hulk Hogan, The Rock, Steve Austin, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Eric Bischoff, Jesse Ventura, Lou Thesz, Jerry Lawler, Mick Foley, Jim Ross, Paul Heyman, Bruno Sammartino, Goldberg, more.

He has interviewed big-name players in person incluiding Vince McMahon (at WWE Headquarters), Dana White (in Las Vegas), Eric Bischoff (at the first Nitro at Mall of America), Brock Lesnar (after his first UFC win).

He hosted the weekly Pro Wrestling Focus radio show on KFAN in the early 1990s and hosted the Ultimate Insiders DVD series distributed in retail stories internationally in the mid-2000s including interviews filmed in Los Angeles with Vince Russo & Ed Ferrara and Matt & Jeff Hardy. He currently hosts the most listened to pro wrestling audio show in the world, (the PWTorch Livecast, top ranked in iTunes)


REACHING 1 MILLION+ UNIQUE USERS PER MONTH
500 MILLION CLICKS & LISTENS PER YEAR
MILLIONS OF PWTORCH NEWSLETTERS SOLD
PWTORCH STAFF

EDITORS:
Wade Keller, editor
(kellerwade@gmail.com)

James Caldwell, assistant editor
(pwtorch@gmail.com)

STAFF COLUMNISTS:
Bruce Mitchell (since 1990)
Pat McNeill (since 2001)
Greg Parks (since 2007)
Sean Radican (since 2003)

We also have a great team of
TV Reporters
and Specialists and Artists.

PWTORCH VIP MEMBERSHIP

PWTorch offers a VIP membership for $10 a month (or less with an annual sub). It includes nearly 25 years worth of archives from our coverage of pro wrestling dating back to PWTorch Newsletters from the late-'80s filled with insider secrets from every era that are available to VIPers in digital PDF format and Keller's radio show from the early 1990s.

Also, new exclusive top-shelf content every day including a new VIP-exclusive weekly 16 page digital magazine-style (PC and iPad compatible) PDF newsletter packed with exclusive articles and news.

The following features come with a VIP membership which tens of thousands of fans worldwide have enjoyed for many years...

-New Digital PWTorch Newsletter every week
-3 New Digital PDF Back Issues from 5, 10, 20 years ago
-Over 60 new VIP Audio Shows each week
-Ad-free access to all PWTorch.com free articles
-VIP Forum access with daily interaction with PWTorch staff and well-informed fellow wrestling fans
-Tons of archived audio and text articles
-Decades of Torch Talk insider interviews in transcript and audio formats with big name stars.


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