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Smackdown: Okay, Edge, play the blues
By DAVE HILLHOUSE -- SLAM! Wrestling


It’s understood that when news breaks in the WWE, it happens on Raw. However, while that means that Edge’s announcing concerning his retirement necessarily played out on Monday night, Smackdown has been Edge’s home for a number of years. Tonight, Adam Copeland gets to say goodbye to his Friday night fans.

Opening the show in Albany, NY, though, is the number-one contender to Edge’s soon-to-be forfeited World Championship: Alberto Del Rio. He’s in the ring asking for the belt to be delivered to him tonight. Smackdown General Manager Teddy Long has other ideas. He marches out to the ring to announce a 20-man Battle Royal in the main event to determine Del Rio’s opponent at Extreme Rules for the title. Del Rio calls conspiracy.

Match #1 – Kofi Kingston vs. Ezekial Jackson

Jackson’s Corre stablemates Wade Barrett, Justin Gabriel, and Heath Slater join Josh Matthews and Booker T on commentary (while, yes, Michael Cole is still in the Cole Mine). Jackson predictably tosses Kingston around in the opening moments as The Corre argues over who should win the Battle Royal. The action spills outside where Jackson press-slams Kingston and tosses him into the laps of the other Corre members. Jackson drags Kingston back in where he choke-slams Kingston for the win.

Winner via pinfall: Ezekial Jackson

Following the break, Michelle McCool and Layla are in couples’ theory, where they bicker about which one of them has been dragging Lay-Cool down and spoil the ending of Thelma & Louise for those who haven’t seen it.

In the ring, Cody Rhodes cuts a pretty creepy promo from under his black hood, promising victory in the Battle Royal and continued vengeance on Mysterio. Speaking of Rey, he runs down and hits Rhodes with a 619 to the gut. And speaking of creepy, a mysterious, Awesome Kong-ish figure is seen beheading a Barbie.

Match #2 – Rey Mysterio vs. Drew McIntyre

Mysterio starts off hitting the ropes quickly, but a scoop slam and snap suplex slow him down. Out on the floor, McIntyre stops him cold by swinging him hard into the barricade. Mysterio tries to scratch and claw his way back into the match, but McIntyre maintains control with hard hits like a boot to the head and a clothesline that drops Mysterio like a rock. Mysterio takes advantage of about ten seconds of offense, though, with a 619 and splash off the top for a win.

Winner via pinfall: Rey Mysterio

Josh Matthews and Booker T set up a retrospective video of Edge. The most amazing part is that someone at Edge’s high school had enough foresight to write “Most likely to win the WWE championship belt”. Not WWF ... WWE. How did they know that?? Following this, Edge is walking backstage, shaking hands in a manner less, well, raw than he did on Monday night.

In the ring, Edge waits patiently through a lengthy ovation, and is again much more composed in his second time through this. He wants to do his entrance one more time, so he jogs back up the ramp, waits for his music cue, and re-enters in full-adrenaline mode.

Ever the face of the company, Edge credits the WWE and their team of doctors with preventing a debilitating injury in his future. He gives high praise to his mom, who is sitting ringside, and then gets down to the business of giving up the World Heavyweight Championship. In fact, he simply leaves it in the middle of the ring and walks away.

After the break, Rosa Mendes is backstage chatting with Edge when Del Rio interrupts, offering a handshake that looks less than genuine. Edge declines, and walks away, leaving Del Rio grinning and winking.

Match #3 – Kelly Kelly vs. Layla (w/ Michelle McCool)

Kelly and Layla exchange a lot of punches, kicks, and shrieks, but the purpose of this match becomes clear at the end. With Kelly in the ring, Layla on the floor, and the referee at a nine count – McCool rolls Layla into the ring and into the waiting arms of Kelly for a roll-up victory.

Winner via pinfall: Kelly Kelly

Kelly skedaddles and McCool enters the ring with a nasty look on her face. Layla still wants peace between them, but McCool shoves her to the mat and backs away up the ramp.

After the break, it’s time for the panel of experts to weigh in on The Undertaker’s Wrestlemania match with Triple H. Steve Austin, Edge, CM Punk and others share their awe of the battle. That, however, was then – the Battle Royal is now.

Match #4 – 20-Man Battle Royal – Winner to face Albert Del Rio for World Heavyweight Championship.

Battle Royal matches typically start with some quick, ring-clearing eliminations, but this one starts off a little more slowly. Del Rio has a good view at from the announcer’s desk, as JTG, Trent Baretta, and Heath Slater are fastest out. Two heavyweights go out shortly after as Big Show clotheslines Ezekial Jackson over the top, carrying himself over with his own momentum.

Cody Rhodes and Curt Hawkins are dumped out by Mysterio, then Brodus Clay takes out Drew McIntyre and Chavo Guerrero. Kane follows by eliminating Clay. After a break, Barrett gets rid of Kingston, then Christian rids the ring of Tyler Reks. Yoshi Tatsu is gone next, then Kane is knocked over and out. As Barrett kicks Masters to the floor, Gabriel eliminates Barrett and gets s staredown for his trouble.

Gabriel further regrets his turn on Barrett as Mysterio lifts him over the top. Michael Cole inserts himself by shielding Jack Swagger from a 619, which allows Swagger to take Mysterio out of the match. Swagger and Christian jostle for position, and Del Rio even tries to lend Swagger a hand -- but Christian allows Swagger to dive over top of him to make a date with Del Rio for the belt.

Winner via elimination: Christian

Del Rio looks very upset, so he, as opposed to everyone else watching, must not have seen this coming. Edge returns to the ring to raise Christian’s hand in victory as Del Rio fumes.

Dave Hillhouse is a screenwriter and teacher, and counts himself as two-thirds right with his bold prediction of a Christian/Del Rio/Edge match at Extreme Rules.