January 1, 2011
Smackdown: Little in the way of resolution on New Year’s Eve
By DAVE HILLHOUSE -- SLAM! Wrestling

As Dick Clark serves as the perennial grandee of New Year’s celebrations just a reasonably short drive away in Times Square, Teddy Long looks to close out Smackdown’s year with a grand party in Rochester, NY. Old acquaintances are not forgot, pitting World Heavyweight Champion Edge and Rey Mysterio in a tag match against Kane and Alberto Del Rio, along with a Triple Threat Match for the Intercontinental Championship.

The current Intercontinental Champ, Dolph Ziggler, heads to the ring coddling his girlfriend Vickie Guerrero. She claims to be suffering from Vertigo after being mistreated at the hands of John Cena on the latest edition of Raw. Kofi Kingston heads to the ring not only to question Guerrero’s Vertigo diagnosis, but to insist that he deserves another title shot. Jack Swagger follows suit, also looking for another chance at winning the belt. As Dolph spurns their claims at the title and punctuates it by attacking his two challengers, Teddy Long appears to make a Triple Threat title match for later in the evening.

Match #1 – Big Show vs. Dashing Cody Rhodes

After being terrifically manhandled by the World’s Largest Athlete, and in particular suffering the last great chops of 2010, Cody Rhodes manages to sneak in a little offense – including his Beautiful Disaster kick. As Big Show threatens to land his knock-out punch, though, Rhodes picks up his ball and goes home, walking away to suffer the count-out loss.

Winner via count-out: Big Show

Backstage, Teddy Long is hosting a New Year’s party and invites anyone who wishes to make a resolution for 2011. Drew McIntyre is the first to take the GM up on his offer, and promises a championship win and a betterment of his personality (he looks at Kelly Kelly while making this last statement). Chavo Guerrero is next, clutching a bottle of wine and rambling about the lack of talent in the Smackdown locker room. As he digs himself a little deeper, Long informs him that the wine is non-alcoholic. Chavo is justifiably embarrassed.

Match #2 – Drew McIntyre vs. Trent Barreta

The match is even-handed from the start, with each wrestler either trading maneuvers back–to-back or managing to slip away from each other’s attempts. McIntyre finally takes control as he throws Baretta back-first into the corner turnbuckles. Unable to finish the deal, though, McIntyre retreats as Baretta fights his way into the match again. With McIntyre out on the floor, Baretta goes for broke with a dive over the top rope – but McIntyre moves and lets Baretta hit the floor flat on his back. The ref immediately calls for the match.

Winner via referee’s decision: Drew McIntyre

McIntyre is very pleased with the result, and, since it’s still 2010, he has one more chance to be a rotten egg before turning over his new leaf. He drives Baretta into the floor with his Future Shock DDT.

Back at the party, Chavo is opening his heart to The Soaring Eagle, embracing him as a true friend. Teddy Long is about to announce his own resolution when Michelle McCool and Layla interrupt, griping about their loss at TLC. Natalya and Beth Phoenix step up to take over to join the argument, leaving Long with the easy decision to make a tag match for later on in the evening.

Match #3 – Edge (C) and Rey Mysterio vs. Alberto Del Rio & Kane

Del Rio and Kane, although showing little in the way of understanding or partnership, nonetheless function very well as a team. They first isolate Edge, wearing him down in the ring and from the apron when the referee’s back in turned. Even when Mysterio enters with the hot tag, he quickly succumbs to his oversized opponents. Still, the heroes find a way to prevail – largely because the referee loses control of the match. With both Edge and Mysterio in the ring together, they dispatch Kane to the outside floor and hit Del Rio with a 619-Spear combo for the win.

Winners via pinfall: Edge (C) & Rey Mysterio

Returning to the party backstage, Guerrero is still on his quest to have fun – this time by sucking in the helium from a balloon to amuse Kaitlyn. Sadly, the balloon is filled with regular air, deflating Guerrero’s hopes to lift his spirits. Party happenings: Kaitlyn walks off with the shirtless Hornswoggle, despite the also-shirtless Masters and his amazing dancing pecs standing by; Big Show warns Kelly to be careful with McIntyre; Rhodes tells everyone how angry he is that Big Show tried to punch his face; and Teddy Long announces the main events for next week’s Smackdown. Namely, Rey Mysterio and Alberto Del Rio face off in a Two out of Three Falls match, and Edge puts his Heavyweight Championship on the line against Kane in a Last Man Standing match. That’s half of a pay-per-view right there.

Match #4 – Natalya (C) & Beth Phoenix vs. Lay-Cool (Michelle McCool & Layla)

There’s more sub-par refereeing in this match, as McCool enters the ring in plain view of the official to pull Layla out of the Sharpshooter and drag her back to her own corner for a tag. McCool doesn’t fare much better, though, falling victim to the Glam Slam and taking the loss for her team.

Winners via pinfall: Natalya (C) & Beth Phoenix

All good parties must come to an end, and so it is for the 2010 Smackdown New Year’s Eve shindig. Just as Long is proudly proclaiming that this year’s edition was trouble-free, Guerrero gets on the mic one more time and Big Show douses him with punch to shut him up. Somehow, the food and fists start flying all over the room, and thus ends Long’s dream of peace and harmony on his professional wrestling show.

Match #5 – Dolph Ziggler (C) (w/ Vickie Guerrero) vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Jack Swagger – Triple Threat Match for the Intercontinental Championship

Putting an Intercontinetal Title match in the main event slot of any show is always a big deal, but it’s a lot easier to count on a great match with these three in the ring together. They avoid the Triple Threat stereotype early on, keeping all three in action as Swagger and Ziggler turn it into a de facto handicap match against Kingston. Eventually, though, Swagger and Kingston have the spotlight – and the latter seems to have the match won following a DDT. As he attempts the pin, though, Guerrero deftly places Swagger’s foot on the ropes to force the break. Undaunted, Kingston continues to control the match and nails Swagger with Trouble in Paradise. Ziggler pounces on the opportunity, though, and rolls up Kingston from behind for the win.

Winner and STILL Intercontinental Champion: Dolph Ziggler

Dave Hillhouse is a screenwriter and teacher, and, all sarcastic cynicism aside, wishes everyone all the best for 2011.


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