April 15, 2011
Report by: Mike Tedesco of Wrestleview.com
“Yes, sir, we promised you a great main event…” The WWE video leads us into the show.
They play a video highlighting some of Edge’s great moments. They play up his career and promote that he’ll be giving up the World Heavyweight Championship tonight. They call the title, “That which defines his life.”
Ricardo Rodriguez is in the ring. Alberto Del Rio makes his way to the ring in a beautiful vintage Rolls Royce. Josh Mathews, Booker T, and Michael Cole, in the Cole Mine, welcome us to the show. Del Rio reminds us of what his name is… but tonight is not about him. Last Monday on Raw, when Edge announced his retirement, the entire locker room and the WWE Universe lost a hero. When he thinks about Edge he thinks about respect. In his 13 year WWE career he held more championships than everybody, and now he’s giving up on everything in this incredible business. To be honest, he can’t imagine how Edge feels right now. This business was his life, his passion, his love.
Even if it was his destiny to be World Heavyweight Champion, he didn’t want it to be like this. Since Edge is here to surrender the title, and since he earned the right to be the number one contender, he thinks it’s fair and just that this great athlete comes out right now to present him with the World Heavyweight Championship.
The crowd chants for Edge but instead Teddy Long’s music hits. The General Manager makes his way to the ring and Del Rio doesn’t look happy about this. Del Rio shakes Long’s hand. Long says it won’t be going down like Del Rio wants tonight. No one will be presenting him anything tonight. Del Rio reminds him that he’s the number one contender. Long says that’s correct but he earned the right to compete for the title at Extreme Rules in a Ladder Match. That’s exactly what Del Rio is going to do. As to who he’ll be facing in the match, it will be the man who wins in the main event, which will be a 20-man Battle Royal!
Del Rio says he should be the champion right here and right now. Del Rio talks in Spanish and says this is a conspiracy. Del Rio says he never liked Teddy Long and Long says that’s how we roll here on Smackdown. Del Rio laughs and says he’s glad that he hurt Edge. Long looks at him with disgust. Del Rio says he’s glad he’s the man who forced him to retire. It was his destiny to end up like a crippled coward! It’s his destiny to be the World Heavyweight Champion. Long says right now it’s Del Rio’s destiny to shut up and he leaves the ring.
Ezekiel Jackson is already in the ring. I’d normally call this a JOBBER ALERT but I have a feeling that’s not going to be the case. The rest of The Corre is on commentary.
Ezekiel Jackson vs. Kofi Kingston
They lock up and Jackson powers him back. Jackson shows off his guns so Kingston kicks and punches him to the corner. Kingston backs up and goes for a running splash but Jackson pushes him off. Jackson picks him up and clubs him right back down. Jackson hits a nasty body slam. Jackson sends him to the corner but Kingston hits a springboard axe handle. The Corre is arguing on commentary about who will win the battle royal. Kingston punches, ducks a clothesline, and dropkicks Jackson out of the ring. Kingston hits a baseball slide, taking Jackson down. Kingston goes outside and Jackson pushes him into the apron. Jackson gets Kingston in a military press and throws him into The Corre!
Kingston kicks Jackson getting into the ring. All of a sudden Wade Barrett tries to get into the ring, distracting Kingston. Jackson uses the distraction to knee Kingston and hit the Book of Ezekiel for the win.
Winner by Pinfall: Ezekiel Jackson
Match Rating: *
Wade Barrett doesn’t look happy about inadvertently helping Jackson get the win. Jackson says after tonight’s Battle Royal, the three of The Corre, and everyone in the WWE Universe will know why he is the personification of domination. He will be the NEW number one contender. Jackson then leaves the ring by himself.
Tonight Edge will surrender the World Heavyweight Championship.
They show a video from earlier in the week of Lay-Cool in couple’s therapy. Michelle McCool isn’t happy about being there. Layla tries to make things work but McCool won’t have any of it. McCool says she’s been carrying Layla for years. McCool tells Layla to stop stealing her spotlight and trying to be her. The therapist tried to speak but they cut him off. McCool leaves and Layla asks the therapist if they can have the same time next week.
Cody Rhodes is in the ring. I love his music. Rhodes says after he defeated Rey Mysterio at WrestleMania in what he thought would be the biggest moment of his life he expected to feel vindicated. Instead he feels nothing. It’s not enough and tonight he will compete in the Battle Royal for a chance to compete for the World Heavyweight Championship at Extreme Rules. Will that be enough? If he wins the title, is there a victory or a moment that will erase from his memory the disfigurement? The monster that stared back in the mirror at him after Rey Mysterio purposely crushed his face.
Everyone knows Mysterio is a father and he’s sure countless nights he’s tucked his children into bed. Rhodes says he’s sure he’s assured his kids that there’s no monster in the closet or under the bed. Rhodes says he’s not going to stop until Mysterio looks like the monster. Rhodes says he will stop at nothing until Mysterio’s face looks like his, and that is vindication! Rhodes reveals his face from under the hood.
Rey Mysterio’s music hits and he runs down to the ring. Rhodes cuts him off but Mysterio quickly hits a head-scissors, putting him in position. Rhodes stops him before he hits the 619 so Mysterio kicks him in the face. Mysterio then hits a 619 to Rhodes’s midsection. Rhodes falls out of the ring and backs up the ramp. Rhodes puts the hood back over his face.
The Awesome Kong segment airs again where she knocks the head off a Barbie doll. I love that laugh. It’s so creepy.
Rey Mysterio vs. Drew McIntyre
They have a stare down and Mysterio slaps McIntyre’s hand out of his face. Mysterio kicks and punches away at McIntyre. McIntyre cuts him off, sends him to the corner but misses a splash. Mysterio goes into the ropes and runs into a powerslam, giving McIntyre a two count. McIntyre punches away at Mysterio’s face. McIntyre hits a nice backbreaker for a near fall. McIntyre hits a jumping stomp onto the face before dragging him to the apron and stomping his face again. McIntyre hits a snap suplex for another near fall. McIntyre sends him to the corner hard and goes for another backbreaker but Mysterio counters with a head-scissor takeover. McIntyre avoids the 619 with a kick. Mysterio is sent into the ropes and kicks McIntyre in the face. Mysterio then hits a nice dropkick, sending McIntyre out of the ring.
Mysterio baseball slides him into the barricade. Mysterio goes to give him a hurricanrana on the outside but McIntyre reverses the momentum. McIntyre then slams Mysterio into the barricade.
We come back from the break to see Mysterio trapped in an arm bar. Mysterio fights up and tries to fight out but McIntyre stops him. Mysterio flips out of a back suplex and sends McIntyre out of the ring. Booker T incorrectly calls McIntyre Wade Barrett. Mysterio kicks McIntyre coming in the ring and leg drops him back into the ring for a near fall. Mysterio goes into the ropes, ducks a clothesline, and gets caught in a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for a near fall. McIntyre stomps away and hits some clubs to the chest. McIntyre grinds his face into the mat and stomps the face again. McIntyre goes to work on the arm but Mysterio gets out. McIntyre sends him to the corner and hits a running shoulder thrust. McIntyre goes for another but Mysterio leapfrogs him and he goes shoulder first into the ring post.
Mysterio goes to the top rope and hits a seated senton. Mysterio ducks a clothesline and hits a head-scissors takeover. Mysterio kicks him hits a springboard cross-body for a near fall. McIntyre kicks goes for a sunset flip but Mysterio rolls through. Mysterio goes into the ropes and eats a big boot for a near fall. McIntyre goes for the Future Shock DDT but Mysterio gets out. McIntyre goes for a powerbomb but Mysterio punches and gets on the second rope. Mysterio then springboards into a tornado DDT for a near fall. Mysterio kicks him in the face and McIntyre takes him out with a clothesline from his knees!
McIntyre hits a stiff clothesline in the corner and goes for a short-arm but Mysterio flies through and gets him in position. Mysterio hits the 619 and a splash off the top rope for the win!
LWinner by Pinfall: Rey Mysterio
Match Rating: ** 1/2
Booker T talks about how he fought Edge at WrestleMania X-8 and says he’ll miss him a whole lot. They then play an awesome career retrospective on Edge. There’s so much great stuff from him over the years and this was an amazing video. If you haven’t seen it then I suggest you find it somewhere.
Edge is walking backstage with the World Heavyweight Title. The locker room is clapping for him. Edge hugs Deal Malenko, Matt Striker, and Chavo Guerrero. Edge then walks into Kane and they shake hands. Edge will relinquish the World Heavyweight Championship next.
Edge’s music hits and the World Heavyweight Champion makes his way to the ring for the last time with the title. The crowd gives him a standing ovation. This is already a strong moment. The crowd is chanting, “Thank You Edge”. Like I did on Raw, I’ll provide a transcription of what is said because it’s important.
“I will never get tired of that. For those of you that may have missed it, it’s true. I am being forced to retire. What it’s made me do is open my eyes to everything again, you know, and really soak all of these experiences up. It’s almost like I’m seeing this all again for the very first time, like my entrance. I’ve been involved in some of the most insane matches in the history of the WWE. Some of the most insane moments, whether it was helping to create the TLC match – Tables, Ladders, and Chairs – whether it was 20-foot Super-Spears, diving into flaming tables with thumbtacks in my back, whether it was Elimination Chamber matches, or Hell in a Cell matches with the Undertaker. No matter what, every time that I was going into a match like that, or taking red eye flights and been up all night or for two days because of our travel schedule. No matter what, as soon as I came down that ramp with my music playing, which I may be biased because it is the coolest music in WWE, and I have to thank the guys from Alterbridge for giving me that song. No matter what, and hearing you guys, all of you, feeding me that energy…”
The crowd chants, “Thank You Edge” again.
“Every time I came out here you guys gave me goose bumps. I have to do that one more time. If you guys will bear with me, I’m going back there and doing that one last time.”
Edge puts the championship on the turnbuckle and runs to the back. His music hits and he makes his entrance one last time. What an awesome moment this is. I love it.
“Man I got out of shape already! That tired me out! Listen; since I announced my retirement, the outpouring of everyone from the WWE Universe has been insane and awesome. A lot of people are sad and disappointed that my career was forced to come to an end but I think everyone is actually happy and positive that WWE and our team of doctors caught this before I was in a ladder match and I landed and couldn’t get up. So that’s good – that’s a positive. I’m happy about that. I’m happy about looking at the rest of my life from here. I’m happy about the fact that me and my girl are going to take the dogs and go hiking in the mountains, go surfing down in Nicaragua. I can’t wait.
“I’m happy about the fact that I get to wear one of my two suits. I’m not much of a suit guy as you can tell. I figured if I was going out I might as well go out in style. By the way, I bought it for $100 at JCPenney. I’m happy that I got to come to Albany. I really am. I’m not just blowing smoke because Albany holds a special place for me. This is where I won my very first WWE Championship. It’s a little known fact but I was sitting in Albany in a rental car when I came up with the name Edge.
“What makes me most happy, and this is going to be the tough part, is that my mom could be here tonight. There she is right there. She’s going to be all shy and timid and everything but that is the strongest woman that I have ever met. That woman right there…”
The crowd cheers wildly for Edge’s mom. They chant, “Thank You Mom!”
“She instilled the strength in me to make it this far – to come through the broken necks and the torn Achilles tendons. If it wasn’t for her then I wouldn’t be standing here right now. Without her support over the years then I wouldn’t be able to do it. Maybe everyone here give their moms a call tonight. And, I’m happy to be here in front of you.
“I don’t want it to get all sappy and corny, though it already has, to me, this World Heavyweight Championship has meant absolutely everything to me. I worked my entire career to hold this. But, it’s not just mine – it never has been. It’s not anyone else’s in that locker room. To me, each and every one of you holds a piece of this – it’s symbolic. But now it’s time for me to come out here and do what I have to do, and that is relinquish the World Heavyweight Championship. It’s cool – I got to do it man. In closing, I really, really just want to thank all of you because this has been one hell of a career and it’s been one hell of a ride. Thank you. Thank you very much.”
Edge poses with the title one last time before laying it in the center of the ring. Edge stands over it and slowly leaves the ring. Edge hugs his mother and leaves to the back. Another tremendous and real moment. Thank you, Edge.
The 20-man Battle Royal is still to come tonight to determine who will face Alberto Del Rio at Extreme Rules for the now vacant World Heavyweight Championship.
The trailer for “That’s What I Am” plays. No thanks.
Edge is backstage with Rosa Mendes. She talks in Spanish and he says he has no idea she just said but she had him at… some word in Spanish. Rosa says she’ll miss him so much when Alberto Del Rio walks up behind him. They have a stare down and Del Rio offers his hand. Edge declines to shake it so Del Rio winks at him. Edge walks off and Del Rio smiles.
Kelly Kelly vs. Layla w/ Michelle McCool
Layla kicks Kelly down and slams her down. Layla bounces her off the mat a few times. Kelly kicks and hits a Thesz Press with some punches. Kelly slaps her on the butt and Layla kicks her down. Layla sends her to the ropes but runs into a boot. Kelly then applies an illegal head-scissor. Kelly sweeps the feet and rips her out of the ring. Kelly bounces her face off the mats outside. Layla sends her into the ring apron and kicks Kelly down. Kelly sends her into the Cole Mine and Layla has a stare down with Layla. Kelly then hits an X-Factor on the outside. Kelly gets in the ring for a count-out but McCool throws Layla into the ring. Kelly rolls her up for the win.
Winner by Pinfall: Kelly Kelly
Match Rating: 1/2 *
Michelle McCool gets in the ring and talks a little trash to Layla. Layla says she’s sorry but McCool walks off on her. Layla grabs her arm so McCool pushes her off. McCool walks to the back still talking trash to Layla.
Tonight we’ll see the 20-man Battle Royal.
The Smack of the Night was Jerry “The King” Lawler beating Jack Swagger on Raw to get another shot at Michael Cole at Extreme Rules. It will be a tag team match with King and JR taking on Cole and Swagger. That’s trouble for Cole because he slapped Swagger in the face moments before the match was made.
Booker T is laughing at Michael Cole and asks how he could be so stupid. Cole says he let his emotions get the best of him and he apologizes to him. Cole says he’ll somehow make this right between them.
They play a video of the WWE Superstars and Legends talking about Triple H vs. Undertaker at WrestleMania.
It’s Battle Royal Time! Big Show makes his way to the ring. 19 other men will make their way to the ring during the break.
Alberto Del Rio makes his way to ringside to watch the match take place.
20-Man Battle Royal
Big Show vs. Brodus Clay vs. Drew McIntyre vs. Wade Barrett vs. Heath Slater vs. Justin Gabriel vs. Ezekiel Jackson vs. Cody Rhodes vs. Tyler Reks vs. Trent Barreta vs. Jack Swagger vs. Yoshi Tatsu vs. Curt Hawkins vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Rey Mysterio vs. JTG vs. Chavo Guerrero vs. Chris Masters vs. Christian vs. Kane
The winner of this match will face Alberto Del Rio in a ladder match at Extreme Rules for the vacant World Heavyweight Championship.
The bell rings and everyone starts fighting. It’s a big cluster you-know-what to start out. Big Show quickly eliminates JTG and Trent Barreta. Cody Rhodes and Rey Mysterio are fighting it out, trying to eliminate one another. Big Show throws Heath Slater to the apron. Big Show knocks Slater off with the WMD. Big Show then clotheslines Ezekiel Jackson over the top rope but his momentum takes him out as well!
Kane goes to work on Cody Rhodes. Swagger and McIntyre are working on getting Kingston out of the ring. We’ll take a commercial break here.
Mysterio elbows Rhodes away but Rhodes hangs him in the tree of woe. Chris Masters stops him from eliminating Mysterio. Kane works on Wade Barrett but he escapes. Clay takes Hawkins’s head off in the corner. Chavo goes around the ring taking little shots on everyone. Mysterio knocks Rhodes to the apron and hits a springboard dropkick, eliminating him! Hawkins then gets Mysterio on his shoulders and Mysterio hits a hurricanrana, taking him over the top rope as well! Mysterio gets back in the ring as Kane clotheslines Tyler Reks in the corner. Masters goes for a Masterlock on the apron on McIntyre. McIntyre escapes but Brodus Clay eliminates him. Chavo jumps on Clay’s back and he rips Chavo off, sending him to the outside!
Kane and Brodus Clay face off. They duke it out and Kane goes for a Chokeslam but Clay gets out. Clay knocks him down and goes for a powerslam. Kane slides off and eliminates Clay!
Kingston skins the cat and goes to eliminate Barrett but he gets eliminated! Masters and Reks duke it out in the ring. Kane goes nuts, wildly punching at Gabriel. Gabriel tries to eliminate Kane but he’s too big. Christian drops Reks on the apron but he can’t get him off. Christian then snaps Reks off the top rope, eliminating him. Jack Swagger works over Yoshi Tatsu, who isn’t on the Smackdown roster. Swagger makes him pay by eliminating Tatsu.
Gabriel jumps into a Chokeslam attempt and Barrett gets caught as well. Barrett and Gabriel get out of it and clothesline Kane over the top rope! Masters chops Barrett in the corner but he gets dropped to the apron. Masters goes for a Masterlock but Barrett gets out and big boots him off! Justin Gabriel then comes from behind and eliminates Barrett!
Christian, Jack Swagger, Rey Mysterio, and Justin Gabriel remain. Christian works on Swagger and Mysterio works on Gabriel. Christian nearly has Swagger out of the ring. Gabriel takes Mysterio out with a roundhouse kick. Swagger starts working over Christian as Mysterio puts Gabriel into position. Gabriel ducks the 619. Gabriel goes for a powerbomb but Mysterio hits a hurricanrana that takes him over the top rope!
Mysterio and Christian fight it out. Del Rio is standing and looking stressed. Mysterio ducks a clothesline and hits a springboard cross-body. Swagger nearly eliminates Mysterio but he holds on. Mysterio shoulder blocks Swagger and hits a top rope diving hurricanrana! Michael Cole runs up and hugs Swagger. Mysterio hits a 619 and Cole takes the full brunt of it! Mysterio goes for another hurricanrana to get Swagger over but Swagger holds on and Mysterio falls to the floor!
It’s down to Christian and Jack Swagger. One of these men will face Alberto Del Rio in a ladder match at Extreme Rules for the World Heavyweight Championship. Swagger stomps away at Christian and goes for the Vader Bomb but Christian pops up and tries to eliminate him! Swagger fights him off and kicks him in the face. Swagger stomps away at him. They tussle to the apron and Christian goes to pendulum kick him off but Swagger catches the ankle! Swagger drags him back into the ring with the Ankle Lock. Christian rolls out of it but Swagger quickly gets back on top. Swagger picks him up but Christian slides off and tries to eliminate him. Swagger fights out and kicks Christian away. Swagger throws Christian and walks away, thinking Christian went over but he stays on the apron.
Del Rio tries to pull Christian off the apron but Christian fights him off. Swagger charges but Christian pulls the top rope down and eliminates him!!
Winner of the Battle Royal: Christian
Match Rating: ** 1/2
Alberto Del Rio looks none too happy about what just happened. He’ll now have to face Christian at Extreme Rules in a Ladder Match for the World Heavyweight Championship!
Edge comes down to the ring and hugs his best friend of 27 years. What a tremendous moment this was. Del Rio points at the World Heavyweight Championship as Edge raises Christian’s hand.
Quick Match Results
Ezekiel Jackson def. Kofi Kingston
Rey Mysterio def. Drew McIntyre
Kelly Kelly def. Layla
Christian won a 20-man Battle Royal
Bump of the Night: Trent Barreta’s elimination, I guess
Match of the Night: The Battle Royal ** 1/2
Man, I am really going to miss Edge. He had another highly emotional good-bye speech but he seemed a little more at peace with the facts then he did on Raw. Edge looked happy and truly excited about his future. It gave me chills when he talked about how lucky he was that they caught this now rather than him getting crippled by a fall in a ladder match. Edge walks away from wrestling with his health and he should have no regrets as he’s had a hell of a career. How many guys can say they retired as the World Champion? I honestly can’t think of a time it has ever happened. It’s a sad day in wrestling but, like I said, I applaud Edge on a terrific career and leaving with his head held high. Thank you Edge, Adam Copeland, for all the tremendous memories you’ve provided and for all the sacrifices you’ve made.
I was really happy to see Christian get the win in the Battle Royal tonight. You had to figure he’d get the win here and now he’s the sentimental favorite heading into Extreme Rules against Alberto Del Rio. I know that Christian has the label of not “looking like a star” but they can’t deny that he has tremendous wrestling ability and the crowd is all over him. I’m not saying he should win at Extreme Rules but I’m glad he’s getting his opportunity. Smackdown was really built around Edge and now that he’s gone they need to create new stars, at least until the draft happens. Christian could be the guy to do it. I know for sure that he’ll make the most of this opportunity. It was an especially nice touch that they sent Edge out to raise Christian’s arm.
As for the Battle Royal itself it wasn’t bad. Battle Royals are always tough because there are so many guys in the ring and it always looks like a big clutter-fest. The battle royal was glaring for how thin the Smackdown roster truly is. They didn’t even have twenty guys sitting around to fill up the ring, which begs the question of why it had to be a twenty-man battle royal. They fell short by one and threw Yoshi Tatsu in who was sitting around from the NXT taping, but still. Smackdown really doesn’t have much going for it in terms of roster. Half of the guys had no shot and haven’t been on the show in weeks. Why not make it a shorter number and give it the same time? Only main eventers should have been used.
Smackdown had a pretty strong opening with Alberto Del Rio feigning praise for Edge in order to have the championship handed over to him. Teddy Long quickly nixed those plans and it was only a matter of time before Del Rio took full credit for running Edge out of the business. It was a really good segment and Del Rio came out looking like a jerk, which was the point. The stare down with Edge later in the show was well done, too.
The Corre looks to be finishing up its run, if you can call it that, imminently. That’s a shame because they never even really got out of the gate. What have they actually done on Smackdown other than beat down Big Show and Kane? I think there’s a lot of potential here that isn’t being reached. I’ve always loved stables in wrestling and they could have done something better with these guys.
How awesome was Cody Rhodes’s promo tonight? What a tremendous character he has right now. The promo he cut tonight was awesome. The interaction with Rey Mysterio was great, too, and it looks like they’ll be locking horns again at Extreme Rules. Following that segment Mysterio had a tremendous match with Drew McIntyre. It looks like they’re finished with McIntyre and his “chosen one” gimmick. He’s now just a glorified jobber to the stars and that’s a shame because, as I’ve already said, we need guys who can shine on this roster right now.
I wasn’t huge on the Lay-Cool couple’s therapy segment. It was a comedy segment but I had trouble laughing, probably because I just can’t wait for this pairing to finally come to an end. McCool shoving Layla following her loss to Kelly Kelly was exactly what I wanted to see. I’d like to see them face each other at Extreme Rules and have Awesome Kong debut and destroy one or both of them.
Final Rating: ****