January 22, 2011
Smackdown: Run, Edge, run!
By DAVE HILLHOUSE -- SLAM! Wrestling

Friday night is primed for turmoil in Tulsa, OK. Everyone is trying to get in tip-top shape for the upcoming Royal Rumble, Drew McIntyre and Kelly Kelly continue to live through the days of their lives, and, after the emergence of The Nexus spin-off last week, maybe we’ll get a name for the new group. Caesar’s Brutes? The Jackal-pac? Oh, the possibilities...

It looks like that answer is quickly forthcoming, as Wade Barrett, Justin Gabriel, Heath Slater, and Ezekial Jackson come to the ring to introduce themselves to Smackdown. Barrett claims they are leaderless, and will therefore be more successful than The Nexus. They are known as The Corre.

After a quick, basic Internet search, it seems that The Corre is either creating an intimidating name for a group that will truly run Friday night by using a form of the Spanish word for “run”; or it could refer to a group in Tennessee called The Coalition of Oak Ridge Retired Employees.

Teddy Long interrupts their introductory speech, warning them that they had better abide by the rules as he is no anonymous General Manager. Barrett tries diplomacy, but Long isn’t buying what he’s selling. After Long leaves, Del Rio arrives for his upcoming match, but first he wants to remind The Corre that Smackdown is his show – and he’s going to win the Rumble.

Match #1 – Alberto Del Rio vs. R-Truth

If R-Truth is at all concerned that he’s turning into Del Rio’s whipping-piñata, he’s not letting it show. In fact, he is the aggressor from the outset. The match, though, soon only serves as a backdrop to drama in the General Manager’s office. Teddy Long seems to have suffered from an anonymous beating, and Dolph Ziggler and Vickie Guerrero are both concerned bystanders as paramedics treat Long.

Back in the ring, R-Truth brings Del Rio down off the top turnbuckle with a hurricanrana, but soon afterwards, as R-Truth sits perched on the opposite corner, Del Rio counters with a driving kick to R-Truth’s head. R-Truth offers an answer with a huge arm-drag, but as he bounces off the ropes to follow up he finds his foot in the clutches of Del Rio’s personal ring announcer, Ricardo Rodriguez. Del Rio skulks up from behind and leaps over the ropes, taking hold of R-Truth’s arm along the way and stretching it across the top rope. Del Rio slides back in the ring and clamps on his Cross-Arm Breaker, forcing a submission from R-Truth.

Winner via submission: Alberto Del Rio

Several concerned wrestlers are in the parking lot, watching Teddy Long’s ambulance take its sweet time leaving for the hospital. Back in Long’s office, Ziggler and Guerrero enter to find The Corre waiting, professing their innocence. Guerrero accepts their claim, and makes a match featuring one of their group against Edge for later tonight. She tells them that she expects them to live up to their reputations.

Match #2 –Layla (w/ Michelle McCool) vs. Beth Phoenix

Phoenix truly manhandles (divahandles?) Layla, both with a giant swing, and by hoisting Layla up from the mat as she held Phoenix in a short-arm scissors. Layla put up a good fight, but she soon succumbs to the Glam Slam.

Winner via pinfall: Beth Phoenix

Match #3 – Rey Mysterio vs. “Dashing” Cody Rhodes

Rhodes focuses his attack on the obvious brace around Mysterio’s left knee (there’s plenty of room under Mysterio’s baggy pants to hide something like that), but Rhodes gets into trouble after he throws Mysterio through the ropes to the floor and follows him out. Mysterio meets Rhodes with a drop-toe hold, bringing Rhodes’ face onto the steel steps. Surprisingly, Rhodes keeps his cool, but he’s still unable to halt Mysterio’s march to the 619 and splash off the top rope for the win.

Winner via pinfall: Cody Rhodes

As Mysterio celebrates, Rhodes is clutching at his nose, wailing in agony as a medic tries to get a look at his face. Backstage, Todd Grisham is about to bring us an update on Teddy Long when Alex Riley interrupts to introduce the visiting WWE Champion, The Miz. The Miz has very little to say except that he’s here because he can be.

Now back in the trainer’s room, Rhodes is sitting with his back to the camera, acting like Jack Nicholson’s Joker by demanding to see a mirror to inspect his supposedly ruined face.

Match #4 – Kofi Kingston (C) vs. Jack Swagger – Amateur Wrestling Challenge

In this match, the first wrestler to score a pinfall, or to have the most points after the three minute duration of the match, will be the winner. Swagger is dressed for the occasion with protective head-gear and mouthguard. Kingston could have at least worn a hairnet. Not surprisingly, Swagger amasses point after point for his forceful takedowns, with Kingston gaining points solely for escaping pinfalls. With Swagger leading 10-4, Kingston storms back in the last few seconds, landing 5 points to make it awfully close – but not close enough.

Winner via points: Jack Swagger

Swagger, the sore loser, gives Kingston a shove after he is announced as the winner. Kingston will have none of that, and hits back with both the Trouble in Paradise kick and cross-body off the top rope.

Match #5 – Drew McIntyre vs. Trent Barreta

Barreta is his customary aggressive self, but McIntyre overpowers his burgeoning nemesis. McIntyre delivers a snap suplex, and then ups the ante by launching Barreta off the top rope for an impressive super-plex to finish him off.

Winner via pinfall: Drew McIntyre

Drew McIntyre, in full courting mode for Kelly Kelly’s attention, extends a hand to help Barreta to his feet. Barreta responds with a punch that sends McIntyre to the floor, though. McIntyre thinks things over for a moment before rushing into the ring and attacking Barreta. As he holds him in place for the Future Shock DDT, Kelly rushes down and yells at him to stop. She’s not interested in McIntyre’s explanation, and instead goes to Barreta’s side. McIntyre, burned, walks away from the ring.

After the break, The Miz walks to the ring as Michael Cole comes to his feet and gushes over the champ like Republicans over Ricky Gervais. The Miz, again, has very little to say before Edge comes out and tells him he’s done. The two champs stare each other down ahead of their upcoming match on Monday Night Raw, with The Miz stepping away from the fight to the floor. Riley, though, isn’t as prepared to walk away, and as he yells some incredible string of unintelligible jibba-jabba at Edge, the World Heavyweight Champion puts him down with the Spear. We go to break as Edge stays in the ring for his match.

Match #5 – Edge vs. ???

The Corre all move down to the ring, but it soon becomes clear that Justin Gabriel will be the challenger tonight. Vickie Guerrero and Dolph Ziggler also arrive, with Ziggler offering his services on commentary. Gabriel seems to take Edge a little bit by surprise with his kick-based attack, but Edge regains his bearings and kicks Gabriel off of the apron to the floor. After the break, Gabriel has control again and has Edge set up for the 450 Splash. Edge gets to his feet, though, and, after a moment’s hesitation, Gabriel leaps anyway – meeting Edge’s feet as the champ counters with a dropkick.

Edge hits a cross-body off the top rope and awaits Gabriel getting to his feet so he can deliver the Spear. Barrett gets on the apron first, though, so Edge has to deal with him. Slater is next, and is also dealt with, but Jackson knocks Edge down with a clothesline behind the referee’s back. Gabriel pounces on the opportunity and scores the win.

Winner via pinfall: Justin Gabriel

Edge’s long night is just beginning, though, as The Corre’s members take turns delivering their favourite moves to the defenseless champ. After they depart, Dolph Ziggler enters the ring to stand with his foot on Edge, scoring a mock pin with a little more than a week to go before their championship match.

Dave Hillhouse is a screenwriter and teacher, and can only presume that Ricky Gervais has already been contacted to host next year’s Slammy Awards.


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