What's up, everybody? My name is Eric Kanes and this is the long-awaited debut of "Smack Talk." From now on, I will be reviewing RAW every Tuesday afternoon and I will be reviewing SmackDown every Friday night. Make sure to become a fan to not miss out on all the action.
Taped from Green Bay, Wisconsin (for real this time), let's talk some smack.
The show started off with Alberto Del Rio coming out with the ring filled with balloons and red roses. Del Rio says that there are four things that he loves in life: his cars, Mexico, the fact that at Elimination Chamber six guys will be fighting for a chance to face him and destiny.
He then opens up a heart to reveal a picture of himself. He says that it his destiny to win the World title at WrestleMania and unlike Aaron Rodgers, he won't just be pretending to be the World champion. Out comes Kofi Kingston, who says that he may not know the future but he knows the present, and it is Del Rio's destiny to get beaten by a kendo stick. Del Rio begs for forgiveness but Kingston winks at him and finally beats him with the stick. Ha, that was nice.
I like Del Rio but it feels like we've been here before. They need to come up with something new for him to talk about every week. The speech about "destiny" has gotten old and no progress is being made with Del Rio in terms of character development. If he does this every week leading up to WrestleMania, then this could be even worse than the Jericho/Edge feud last year where all they did was talk about the spear.
Alberto Del Rio d. Kofi Kingston (**)
This was a decent six minute match ending with Kofi tapping to Del Rio's armbar after struggling to reach the rope. What I'm not a fan of is this match taking place on free TV when it could have been a 15-20 minute match at the Elimination Chamber PPV. It would mean a lot more for Del Rio if he beat Kingston on PPV, especially if his WrestleMania title shot was on the line. We might still see the match but it won't mean as much since we already saw it on free TV. Either way, this wasn't very smart booking.
Backstage, Matthews talks with Edge about his match with Dolph Ziggler later on. Edge says that he has no idea how he will retain.
Justin Gabriel d. Vladimir Kozlov (*1/2)
This was a quick match with The Corre (in their horrible T-shirts which look like they were designed by an 8-year-old) and Santino Marella at ringside. Mid-match, Slater got involved but turned around to get hit by The Cobra. The match ended with Kozlov going for an elbow drop blocked by Gabriel's knees, followed by Gabriel hitting the 450 splash for the win. The Corre wasn't done. They brought Santino into the ring and Barrett hit Wasteland on Santino while Ezekiel Jackson hit The Book of Ezekiel on Kozlov.
On a side note, it was pretty funny how Heath Slater was selling the Cobra five minutes after being hit with it. And he's officially the worst rock band I've ever seen.
Drew McIntyre d. Chris Masters (*)
McIntyre dedicated this match to Kelly Kelly. Masters hit a nice looking spinebuster, but the match was over in about a minute after the Future Shock DDT. Not much to say here.
Backstage, Rey Mysterio talks about the Elimination Chamber and how he will go on to become the world champion even though he'll be fighting for the world heavyweight championship? Why is "heavyweight" dropped for Mysterio? Because Vince hates short people. He loves Hornswoggle, though.
Wade Barrett d. Rey Mysterio (**1/4)
This match got about 13 minutes but it was pretty slow paced. The finish was predictable with Gabriel distracting Mysterio allowing Barrett to hit Wasteland and get the win. The other two Corre members came out and Gabriel was about to hit the 450 splash when Big Show ran out and cleaned house. He tossed Barrett, Slater, & Gabriel around until Jackson came in and took him down. Jackson then held Show as Barrett, Gabriel, & Slater all hit him in the face for about a minute. Jackson then raised him and suplexed him, which actually looked pretty good.
I love how Jackson is booked as the powerhouse of the group. It's much better than if he were on his own because Barrett does all the talking while Jackson looks impressive with his power moves. This makes the entire Corre look strong. It's smart booking.
I'm also hoping that these beatdowns lead to something other than an anticlimactic match with Big Show. These guys convincingly took four guys out in one night. I think that Barrett would look like a legit threat to Undertaker's streak if the match took place. Whether he wins or not, it needs to happen. This could get him over huge whereas a match with Big Show will just kill any momentum that the group has. Back to SmackDown.
Kane d. JTG (3/4*)
Kane wins in a minute with the chokeslam. Thrilling. Once again, he heads to the back while the announcers talk about how he's a threat to win the Elimination Chamber match even though everyone knows Edge is winning.
Backstage, Michelle McCool & Layla are bickering about how they should've won the fatal four way at Royal Rumble when Vickie Guerrero comes in looking disgusted. She says that she doesn't need their help and that she will get Dolph Ziggler to win the world title by herself tonight.
Eve d. Layla (1/2*)
Typical two minute diva's match with Eve coming out on top. The crowd started a "Go Pack Go" chant during the match. Shows you how intrigued they were by the match. Afterwards, Michelle McCool and Layla tease a LayCool break up.
Edge d. Dolph Ziggler (**)
This match would have been a lot better had we not seen the same thing for the past three weeks. The story here was that special referee Vickie Guerrero was going out of her way to screw Edge. She kept counting fast for Dolph Ziggler although Edge quickly kicked out every time. At one point when Edge covered Ziggler, she put Ziggler's foot on the ropes.
Mid-match, Edge and Ziggler were both down and, for some reason, Guerrero decided to spear Edge but ended up hurting her ankle. Packers linebacker Clay Matthews, who conveniently had a referee shirt on, came out and allowed Edge to hit the spear for the win as Vickie Guerrero watched, yelling. Edge & Matthews then celebrated with their title belts to end the show.
The ending might have been decent if this wasn't the hundredth time that they did it. I mean, at Royal Rumble Edge found a way to use the spear. Last week, he found a loophole to the ban on the spear. This week, he hit the spear with Guerrero watching and she didn't even do anything. This might have been a feel good moment for the Packers fans in attendance but it was anticlimactic for people watching at home and all it did was further bury Ziggler. Not a good way to end the show.
Three Stars of the Show
1. The Corre - Their beatdowns during the show were the only thing that progressed any storylines.
2. Alberto Del Rio - He put on a decent match and the spot with him keeping Kofi away from the rope was pretty good although the match should have been saved for the PPV.
3. Heath Slater - There are rock stars like John Morrison. This guy is on a completely different level though. He's his own rock band. That's pretty badass. He gets his own star just for that.
Worst Moment of the Week
Edge winning in the same way against the same opponent for the third week in a row. They could've been more creative about it.
Overall, I'll give this show 5/10 stars. It was just average. It's the same thing that we've been seeing for many weeks. Also, they didn't do a very good job of promoting the Elimination Chamber, as two of the participants were only featured for a minute and the other four were in singles matches with almost no mention of the PPV. The fourth quarter buyrates came in a while ago and they were brutally low. You'd think that they'd at least make an effort to promote the PPV.
Question/Discussion of the Week
Are you happy about the news regarding the Barrett/Undertaker match being dropped? Would you rather see the rumored Triple H/Undertaker match or would you rather see Wade Barrett/Undertaker?
Let me know in the comment section below. Make sure to tune in right back here on Bleacher Report for the RAW Review but until then, I am out.