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April 16, 2011

WWE Smackdown: Edge says farewell; Christian earns golden opportunity

Edge made his retirement speech and walked off into the sunset on Smackdown Friday night, and as a result, his longtime best friend Christian now has a long-awaited and well-deserved opportunity to shine.

Edge, who had announced on Raw Monday that he was retiring because of spinal injuries, relinquished the world heavyweight title on Smackdown. General manager Teddy Long ruled that the winner of a 20-man battle royal later in the show would face No. 1 contender Alberto Del Rio in a ladder match for the vacant championship at the Extreme Rules pay-per-view on May 1.

Christian winning the battle royal was predictable, but I like that he had to earn the spot at Extreme Rules rather than simply being handed it (which is what I originally thought was going to happen).

I’m really looking forward to the Del Rio-Christian match. The next world champion is either going to be a fresh face or a vastly underrated veteran, and I don’t think you could go wrong with either scenario.

Other thoughts on Friday’s show:

Edge delivered a terrific farewell speech that was emotional but never sappy. In a touching moment, Edge paid tribute to his mother, who was in attendance and shown on camera, and the crowd began a “Thank you, mom” chant, which brought a huge smile to Edge’s face. It also was cool when Edge, a few minutes into his speech, went back up the ramp and came out to his theme song one last time before resuming his farewell address. ...

The video retrospective of Edge’s career was well done. ...

Del Rio delivered a strong performance on this show, beginning with his promo in the opening segment. Del Rio spoke well of Edge, but when he was informed by Long that he wasn’t going to be presented with the world title, Del Rio immediately changed his tune and said he was glad that Edge is being forced to retire. Del Rio’s facial expressions during the battle royal – he was seated at the announce table – also were very good. It was a nice touch as well when Del Rio winked at Edge after Edge refused to shake his hand backstage. ...

Michael Cole sacrificing himself by covering up Jack Swagger and taking the brunt of Rey Mysterio’s 619 in latter stages of the battle royal was a nice spot. ...

The battle royal – which came down to Christian and Swagger – was entertaining, although, like I said previously, it was pretty much a foregone conclusion that Christian was winning. ...

Mysterio and Drew McIntyre had a really good match. The aggressive McIntyre has become the guy who puts up a great fight, and sometimes even has the advantage for most of the match, but ultimately loses. I hope McIntyre starts winning some of these soon. ...

The couples therapy session with LayCool was mildly amusing, as was the banter between Cole, Michelle McCool and Booker T. during the match in which Kelly Kelly defeated Layla. I could watch Kelly Kelly and Layla wrestle each other every week. Actually, I could watch Kelly Kelly and Layla do anything every week. ...

Cody Rhodes cut a decent promo in which he vowed to disfigure Mysterio. ...

Kofi Kingston lost again – this time to Ezekiel Jackson. Big Zeke needs some victories over credible opponents if he is going to get a singles push, but it does get tiresome seeing Kingston lose week after week. ...

Speaking of losing, I’m rapidly losing interest in The Corre.

Posted by Kevin Eck at 9:01 PM | | Comments (16)
        

Comments

Hey Kev,

Gotta say, i am so gutted that Edge has to retire. I really feel for him, because it is very clear how much this business flows in his blood. But one thing is for sure, and i'm certain that you'll whole-heartedly agree with me on this Kev: when you watch those video packages highlighting Edge's sensational career, at least we can both be at ease knowing that Edge will be somewhere on this planet watching them too. I watched my Legacy of Eddie Guerrero DVD earlier and it is a tragedy that he is not here with us, and had Edge not been tested, as he himself said, that could have been his eventual fate too.

Viva La Raza.

Ezekiel Jackson said he is the "personification of domination"? I guess the WWE will bring back Farooq, D'Lo Brown & Zack Ryder can be the new "nugget"?

some great stuff happened after the show ended. with edge & christian in the ring, christian got the mic and said "for the benefit of those with flash photography" and e&c did some 5 second poses. while they were posing, the whole smackdown locker room came out and applauded, and u could tell edge didnt know it was coming. big show, chavo, and rey came down and hugged him. while they were all in the ring hhh's music hit and he came to the ring and hugged edge and raised edges arms while everyone applauded. after everybody left the ring, edge started to leave but turned around and picked up the mic, he talked for another 10-15 minutes and gave another heartfelt and classy speech. he thanked some more people including taker, kane, vicki guererro, and lita. when he thanked vicki the crowd booed and edged remarked that even in a heartfelt thank u she gets boos. when he thanked lita he mentioned that the two of them had alot of fun, he then said "hey, get ur minds out of the gutter thats not what i meant... but we did that too ". overall, it was just really good and genuine so hopefully u can see it on youtube or something, just wanted to let everybody know what happened after the show. for all the edge-heads its an extra 30mins of the rated r superstar to enjoy

You can watch Kelly Kelly and Layla do anything every week? Even taking a dump in the toilet? Eww! You sick freak!

I kid, I kid...

WWE is pretty good about going for the emotional moment, so I'm optimistic that Christian will win the title at the PPV. While I expect a short reign with Del Rio picking up the belt rather quickly, Christian has certainly earned the chance. And I'm sure that Edge is using whatever backstage pull he has to see that it happens.

Kev (and everyone else reading),

If you haven't seen it already, go out of your way to watch the video on WWE.com from after Smackdown went off air (I don't seem to be able to post the link). It includes a bit of E&C nostalgia, a tribute from the Smackdown roster and an additional speech from Edge. Very touching.

No mentions of a final 5-second-pose? And the final segment where everyone came out to congratulate him, including HHH?

Not until I listened to Edge's speech did I realize how much I liked, appreciated and respected him. I will miss watching him perform. I thought Del Rio's facial expressions, during the battle royal, made no sense. He was happy every time a face was eliminated and unhappy whenever a heel was thrown out. Very predictable but, didn't make much sense to me. As for your comments on Kelly Kelly, I could watch her read the phone book every week, one letter per week! It's a real crime that this stupid PG rating prohibits us from seeing her in old time matches like bra and panties or evening gown.

The problem with the corre is that they're too similar to every other heel faction ever created. They beat people up, Wade Barrett talks about how great he is, but he's backed up by two losers and a giant who doesn't speak coherently. They have no personality, and that's unfortunate because Barrett, and to a much lesser extent Gabriel have some talent. The other two, in my opinion, should have been cut long ago. Aside from big muscles, Zeke is nothing special.

A wrestler's ring entrance is one of those things that you kinda take for granted. But ultimately the ones that are done well are an important part of the entertanment value of the product. I didn't really like Edge's music at first, but just like Edge it grew on me, and listening to the words they actually fit Edge's character right now to a tee. The image of Edge standing mid-ramp, arms raised while the pyro explodes in the background is iconic and epic, and it's hard to believe we won't be seeing that much any more.

But atleast Edge gets to go out on top and retire as The World Heavyweight Champion. And what a glorious trophy that belt is. Edge leaving it in the center of the ring, and the close ups they showed of it really brought home for me the history and importance behind the belt. No re-design will ever be necessary. It's the ultimate chamionship trophy, and "real" or not, it must be an honor just to carry it.

Which is why this match between Alberto Del Rio and Christian is so compelling. I've been a fan of Christian for a long time and I would love to see him win the WHC. He deserves it and it would serve as a culmination to Edge and Christian's story as a tag team and as best friends. It would be a crowning achievement for Christian's career. And the competitive side of sports entertainment may not be "real", but the emotional side of this is hitting home on so many levels.

However, on the other side, man geez! Alberto Del Rio is hitting on all cylinders right now! Every move, every facial expression, he seems to have World Champion written all over him, and I don't know if putting the belt on Christian is worth delaying Del Rio's ascension to the top any longer. Timing is everything and Del Rio is so hot right now, I just think he has to go over. But either way it's going to be a great match, and the story it's going to tell should be very special. This match makes Extreme Rules "must see", and I can't wait to see it, but it would be even greater to see Christian raising that big gold belt in victory.

And oh yea, Kelly Kelly is a phenom isn't she? It's almost unbelievable how fine she is. I think her looks actually distracted Josh Matthews during the commentary, but I can't say I blame him.

Before watching the show I was already preparing to come on here and open with the line "Who did Drew McIntyre and Ted Dibaise piss off??"

Imagine my surprise when Drew's music hit. That was a great match with Rey. Some of Drew's moves (wow....that clothesline) drew big pops from the crowd. Very nice and I wish he would of won. He actually deserved it IMO. As the match went on I was waiting for him to go for the FutureShock DDT but he never did :(. WWE NEEDS TO PUSH THIS GUY!

That still leaves DiBiase. Who'd he piss off??? haha

Edge is a legend and the rest of the show was decent. I called Christian winning the Rumble as soon as it was announced.

I still say the retirement is an angle at this point. Edge is going to come back, screw Christian, and have a final match at WM against his longtime friend. Perfect setup......

RESPONSE FROM KE: Unfortunately, this is not an angle. Edge really has retired.

"I could watch Kelly Kelly and Layla wrestle each other every week. Actually, I could watch Kelly Kelly and Layla do anything every week. ..."

Perv.

... converse to Michael's retirement, I can say goodbye to the Best entrance theme in sports entertainment...

Edge giving Alberto air (no handshake) was nice!!!! Possible Extreme Rules appearance???

Booker T looking at Ezekial Jackson - "Look at the rolls on his head! Look at the rolls on his head!"

omg. I don't care what anyone says. Booker T is freakin awesome. He's the only person that makes me laugh on that show.

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About Kevin Eck
The Baltimore Sun's Kevin Eck blogs about professional wrestling.
E-mail Kevin.
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