Last week’s edition of Smackdown was hot when they weren’t just recapping what had happened on RAW.  Vickie Guerrero got fired.  Things progressed with Big Show vs The Corre.  Cody Rhodes got the jump on Rey Mysterio with some help from “American Dream” Dusty Rhodes, the father-son duo coming away with Rey Mysterio’s mask in the process.  WWE Creative continued things between Kelly Kelly and Drew McIntyre, in addition to continuing to drive a wedge between the members of LayCool.  Alberto Del Rio showed up at the last moment to get the upperhand on Edge.

This week, The Undertaker is scheduled to make his return, there’s not too much stuff from RAW to recap, and with the departure of Vickie Guerrero and the return of Teddy Long we have the chance to have things feel refreshed as we continue to head to Wrestlemania.

The show starts out with a recap, and in surprising fashion, it’s not a RAW recap, but they remind us of what happened last week with Edge and Kelly Kelly beating Vickie Guerrero and Drew McIntyre, leading to Vickie being fired.  Ah yes, the sweet sweet images of Kelly Kelly wearing a skimpy outfit and Vickie Guerrero being kicked to the curb.

After we listen to some Green Day, Edge shows up, and we get to hear from the Rated R World Champion!

Tonight is the official contract signing between Alberto Del Rio (ADR) and Edge for their Wrestlemania 27 match.  Seems to me like they could’ve had this segment a couple weeks ago, after Edge was victorious in the Elimination Chamber, but I’m cool with them having waited.  Edge wants ADR to look into the eyes of someone who knows what it’s like to main event Wrestlemania… and I’d hate to tell him this, but with Triple H vs The Undertaker on the card, there’s no way Edge vs ADR is going to be the OFFICIAL main event.  Sure, they can CALL it a main event, but if you’re talking about Main Event in the “final match of the evening” sense, there won’t be a championship match to end the show unless Triple H or Undertaker takes the belt from The Miz before April 3rd.

Drew McIntyre rushes the ring, tries to attack Edge, ends up getting thrown out of the ring… and Teddy Long rewards him with a match against the World Champion for it?  Long Island Iced Z, Zack Ryder, should take a page out of that playbook to get noticed… and to actually get a match.

What’s that?  Ryder is on RAW?  That just goes to show that he’s being SOOO under-used that a guy who watches RAW and Smackdown each week can’t even remember what show he’s on.

Let me try this again…  Trent Barreta should take a page out of McIntyre’s playbook.

Okay, so he’s not a heel, but we like him just as much as we like Zack Ryder, which is quite a bit!  If either of them went to TNA Wrestling, sure, they’d be under-utilized there, too, but they’d stand a chance of getting to put their craft on display.

Back to the show at hand…

Match – Drew McIntyre vs Edge

Did anyone else see Edge tapping on his shoulder, as if to tell McIntyre where to stomp on him?  As if the white bandage and the out-stretched arm weren’t enough of an indicator.

Drew McIntyre dominates a huge portion of the match, working over Edge’s arm and yelling to the announcers that Edge isn’t going to make it to Wrestlemania because Drew intends to end his career tonight.

Wrestlemania is apparently 30 nights away, a little over four weeks to go, and that’s actually a fun mention by the announce team because it puts some things in perspective.

Apparently Booker T wrestled Edge at Wrestlemania?  That’s what he claims, at least…

Edge spears Drew McIntyre, but instead of getting the pinfall, Edge pulls Drew up off the mat at a two count, then locks on his variation of the sharpshooter.

Outcome – Edge wins the match by submission

If Edge had this move in his arsenal, how come he never used it during the matches with Dolph Ziggler where the SPEAR was deemed illegal?

Back from commercial, Rey Mysterio’s music hits… and it’s Cody Rhodes wearing Mysterio’s mask!

Why is it such a big deal that he stole Rey’s mask?  Have you ever seen Rey wear the same mask two weeks in a row?  I didn’t think so, and there’s ZERO chance that Rey would be wearing that generic black mask for Wrestlemania.  I recall one year he wore a mask (and costume) themed after the movie AVATAR, and another year it was made up to look like Joker from Dark Knight.  I’m sure he would have used a different mask for this week anyway.

Cody gets on the mic and talks about how he’s disappointed that he has to look in the mirror every morning and see how his once “dashing” face has been transformed… and I have to wonder, giving it a closer look, how Cody managed to keep that nose piercing as they “surgically reconstructed” his face.

This segment is actually a highlight of the show for me, and this feud will hopefully continue with this sort of intensity and tone leading up to Wrestlemania.  Cody Rhodes is doing a damn good job with all of this, really stepping up his game a few notches with these promos.  It’s a totally different gimmick than Mankind, but he’s certainly bringing some of the same elements that Foley used over a decade ago when he debuted.

Backstage, The Corre approaches Kane and they actually reference the fact that they helped Kane a few months ago, Kane said he didn’t want their help then and he doesn’t want it now… and I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s the only recall we get back to the way Undertaker was buried at the hands of all those guys.

Tag Team Championship Match – The Corre (c) {Gabriel & Slater} vs Santino Marella & Vlad Kozlov

Because we’re getting this match, we’re not likely to get a tag team championship match at Wrestlemania.  And even if we do, why would anyone care about something we’ve seen over and over again.  It’s not like they’re going to add other teams to the mix, because quite frankly there’s no one to add.  It’s not like The Nexus could field a team, what with them each getting booted in the head by Randy Orton, and they’ve buried the storyline between Santino, Tamina and The Usos.  Congrats, WWE Creative, for continuing to bury an entire division despite giving us somewhat regular title defenses.

Outcome – Heath Slater gets the victory in the successful title defense by hitting Santino with his reverse DDT

I’m just now realizing that Heath Slater and Justin Gabriel are three-time tag team champions.

We find out following the match that Christian will be returning next week, and we get a reminder that Christian showed up at Elimination Chamber two weeks ago and took out Alberto Del Rio.  What they don’t tell us is why it’s taking Christian three weeks to show up.  I understand it’s a decision made based on the timing of things. I understand why WWE would want to do it, but in the “suspension of disbelief” / “pretend it’s real” aspect of things, you’d think Christian would’ve shown up last week, and Edge would’ve mentioned it already.

Next, Smackdown shows us Triple H’s segment from RAW, and I’m not recapping that. I don’t recap recaps.

To no one’s surprise, they follow up Triple H’s promo recap with the return of The Undertaker.

It seems like they’ve altered The Undertaker’s theme to now include the Johnny Cash song, featured prominently.  Though it’s very fitting, it is something of a disappointment that they didn’t include more of the Undertaker’s signature bell tolls.

Undertaker says that some people (Triple H) don’t know when to quit, as he likens the streak to a mountain which can’t be climbed.  Undertaker says that at Wrestlemania, Triple H will become just another statistic and wil learn what 18 other men have already learned.  First, Triple H was already a statistic.  He lost to Undertaker 10 years ago at Wrestlemania X-7 in 2001, and further more thaere are only 17 men who Undertaker has beaten over the years.  He beat Kane twice, Shawn Michaels twice, and the only reason he has 17 different opponents instead of 16 is because he won a tag team match at Wrestlemania 19 back in 2003.  It’s WWE’s history, and I guess they can present it however they’d like.

Match – LayCool vs Rosa Mendes & Beth Phoenix

During the match, Rosa took down Michelle McCool and they sold the ankle injury again.  McCool made the tag to Layla, but Beth Phoenix didn’t have much difficulty in working over Layla from there.  Michelle got involved and not only broke up a pinfall, but kicked Beth Phoenix with her protective boot and then allowed Layla to get the pinfall.

Outcome – Layla got the pinfall on Beth Phoenix

Looks like the tension leading to the eventual split of LayCool takes a break for at least a week.

Match – Kane vs Big Show

Battle of the bohemoths, and before the match gets too far, The Corre shows up and gives Kane a chair, which he uses to take out The Big Show.  The Corre gets involved and starts beating down The Giant, but Kane takes the chair and then wacks Justin Gabriel, showing that he more than likely doesn’t have an alliance with The Corre like it initially seemed would be the case.

Outcome – Disqualification with Kane using a chair

Another recap from RAW, this time involving HBK’s comments about the Triple H / Undertaker situation.

Jack Swagger comes to the ring, and we get yet another recap from RAW, this time reminding us that Jack Swagger will be Michael Cole’s trainer when Cole faces Lawler at Wrestlemania.

Match – Jack Swagger vs JTG

So JTG gets some in-ring time, but this is more of a bathroom break match than the Diva’s contest, given that this is just an opportunity for Swagger to show some dominance.

Outcome – Jack Swagger got the submission victory without JTG getting any offense

Another RAW recap, this time getting a double-dose, as we see not only The Rock’s recap from four nights ago, but also a bit of recap of Cena’s speech from February 21.  Not going to recap that, either.

Time for the official contract signing!

ADR hits the ring and says that he wants to start things off with a singing of the official Mexican National Anthem.  While I don’t like the guy, I think the fans should at least respect the National anthem.  Edge has the biggest showing of disrespect, as he makes his entrance before Del Rio’s special introduction guy is done singing the anthem.

Teddy Long wants a contract signing which doesn’t end in chaos… and clearly he’s delirious with a case of the ‘wishful thinkings’.

Edge tries to dissuade ADR from taking the match at Wrestlemania, saying that Alberto doesn’t understand what he’s in store for, and I think Edge is barking up the wrong tree if he’s trying to make ADR worry that he’s not going to live up to his “destiny”.

They both take pens and sign the contract and then have their little staredown.  Edge tells Teddy that he can’t oblige the favor of having a peaceful contract signing.

Anyone wondering when they’re going to bring out Del Rio’s portrait?  I know Edge painted over it backstage, but they could’ve at least done a reveal to show that ADR was pissed about it being defiled.

Before Edge can hit a spear, Ricardo Rodriguez (or whatever the name of the ring announcer for ADR is) holds Edge’s foot, letting Alberto rush in and put Edge on the mat with a series of punches, finishing it off with a Cross Arm Breaker submission.

ADR takes things outside the ring, bloodies up his nose, then gets a chair and puts it over Edge’s arm to do more damage.  The crowd starts cheering and we get the return of Christian a week early, as he shows up and takes it to ADR.  He’s wearing his ring attire, which I find weird given that there’s no reason for it.  He’s not going to be wrestling tonight, and he could brawl just as easily in a pair of jeans or sweat pants or a suit like what ADR is wearing.

The referees hold Christian back, now that ADR is bleeding a bit from the mouth, and Christian’s music plays as the show ends.

Over the next couple days, I’ll post an explanation regarding a comment contest through which GuysNation presents the opportunity to have your Wrestlemania pay per view purchase paid for! Details to follow… but if you want a chance, you should leave a good comment on this article.  QUALITY over QUANTITY!

Undertaker Wrestlemania Wade Barrett Nexus The Corre