It’s Friday Night, and that means I sit down at my computer and do my best to keep up with what’s going on with WWE’s Blue Show, Smackdown, giving my perspective in the format of questions and comments.

I do this each week at GuysNation.com, and some people read it for the humor (which has been compared to Jerry Seinfeld), while others read it for the show recaps.  Some people just like to use my articles as a place to leave their comments on the show.  I’ve got no problem with that, although if they left some of their comments at GuysNation, they could be in the running to win a free shirt.  Regardless, I just want people to enjoy the article.

I tried something new last week, and I’m not doing that tonight.  Let’s see how this goes as I return to the old format.

The show begins with Wade Barrett leading his group of folks to the ring.  I’m looking forward to seeing what the dynamic is between them, as Zeke Jackson could potentially embrace his role as enforcer… or he could eventually be an alpha male who wants to lead the way.  I also want to hear if the group has a name.  Are they “Nexus” or something different?

So long as they’re not a version of Nexus with the name of a color in their name.  Too many

The Core?  I guess that could be fitting of this group, as that’s the part of the apple that usually gets thrown away.

All kidding aside, I do like Justin Gabriel, and from time to time I’ve seen potential in Zeke Jackson and Wade Barrett.

Did anyone else laugh when Ezekiel Jackson introduced himself and the production crew immediately splashed a graphic up on the screen to show us his name… as if we needed subtitles?  They have been hyping his arrival for nearly a month.

Thanks, production crew, for reminding us who Heath Slater is.  I’ve been working hard to try to forget.

Teddy Long shows up and says that The Core needs to play by the rules, and that their “takeover” tactics and strategy aren’t going to be acceptible.  Wade Barrett says he respects Teddy Long as an authority figure… how does that fit in when Wade is setting up to rule over the Blue Show?

Teddy Long isn’t buying into it either, and as he mentions that Nexus isn’t going to work like that on Smackdown, Wade makes an interesting statement:  he’s not the leader of “The Core”, they’re equals in that group.  What made for the change in Wade Barrett?  He went from being a dictator on RAW to a member of a congress on Smackdown?

Alberto Del Rio shows up after Teddy Long leaves, and if he starts talking about how his destiny is so much greater than that of The Core, I might clap right here in my home office in which I write this article.  If he joins The Core, I’ll end up burying my head in my hands in disappointed disgust.

Is anyone else feeling the same level of disgust I am when hearing that R-Truth is the opponent for Alberto Del Rio tonight?  How many times do we need to see that match?  Is that the only way WWE Creative can think to push Alberto Del Rio is to match him up against the same mid-carder?

match – Alberto Del Rio vs R-Truth

Am I the only one who still wishes we’d get subtitles for Del Rio’s ring announcer (whose name I refuse to learn)?

Does anyone remember ADR’s ring announcer’s name?

Has hell frozen over? For the second time in a week I find myself agreeing with Michael Cole in the fact that I don’t think it’s much fun to sit here and listen to the R-Truth “What’s Up?” sing-along, and it doesn’t have anything to do with him taking my gimmick of asking questions (not all of which are rhetorical… as I do like responses to some of the questions… probably more than R-Truth cares what’s up with the fans in the arena.  Shouldn’t he know what’s up?  They’re watching Smackdown, that’s what’s up)

Whoa, we cut backstage, and that’s two crazy things that we just saw:  1 – Teddy Long is knocked out cold (which we’re probably supposed to equate to The Core); and 2 – Michael Tarver was backstage visiting?  He immediately claims that Long was laid out when he got there, and I hope he’s correct, because that’s too obvious, and I’d rather him try something other than joining up with his former Nexus cohorts.

Outcome – Alberto Del Rio gets the submission victory, despite R-Truth getting within inches of the bottom rope which would’ve broken the count.

Was there any other outcome?

Teddy Long gets hauled off in an ambulance, and after the commercial The Core deny having involvement in Teddy Long being laid out backstage.  Vickie Guerrero says that one of the members of The Core will be facing Edge tonight.

So we get another history lesson for past Royal Rumbles, and something occurs to me:  they mentioned a few times that there are plenty of Hall of Famers who have won the Rumble, and they mention that the winners have done well at Wrestlemania, and yet even with everything which applied to him, there’s still almost NO sight of Hulk Hogan in the video, aside from a side glimpse of him when one of the Bushwackers got eliminated.  Interesting as it is, this video loses a lot of credibility by trying to basically erase Hogan (a two-time winner) from the event’s history.  And why, just because he’s affiliated with TNA Wrestling now?  That’s sad.

Match – Beth Phoenix vs Layla

The announcers mention that Beth Phoenix beat Michelle McCool last week, and she’s looking for the clean sweep this week.  What are the odds that women watching Smackdown think the Blue Show writers and commentators are being too sexist, mentioning SWEEP, as if to say she should be at home doing chores?

I kid.  And now because I said “kid”, the Divas and feminists are going to target me.

Also, does anyone else think that Layla is actually the better wrestler of LayCool?  She has shown more during this match than I’ve seen from Michelle McCool, including some great psychology in working over the left arm and doing some (dare I say it) innovative offensive moves.

Outcome – Beth Phoenix doesn’t let the arm injury bother her too much, as she’s able to defeat the blue show’s version of The Beautiful People…. LayCool.

So now that Beth Phoenix has beaten both members of LayCool, can that feud be over with?  Can LayCool either find someone else to target, or start up the Diva’s Tag Division?

I don’t know if anyone else views it this way, but I’m a bit inspired by the next match which the blue show booked.

match – Rey Mysterio vs Cody Rhodes

Great decision to put Cody Rhodes into (at least a mini) program with Rey Mysterio.  It helped his credibility stature to be facing him in a tag match last week, and now this match helps give him a higher profile opportunity.  For all my frustration with Alberto Del Rio being booked week after week against R-Truth, at least they aren’t wasting Rey Mysterio’s potential to “give the rub” to an opponent.  They very easily could have booked Mysterio to face ADR week after week.

Also, I’m sorry that I used the phrase “give the rub” in the same situation involving a guy who gives man-scaping / beautification / effeminant tips on a weekly basis.

Does anyone else think it’s interesting that Cody Rhodes basically had NO offense after his face got slammed into the steel steps with the drop toe hold?  That could be an interesting “Achilles Heel”, as it were, if that were Cody Rhodes’ only weakness.

Outcome – Rey Mysterio beats Cody Rhodes after the 6-1-9 (to the face) followed by the top rope splash (which is more like a Tadpole Splash than Hornswoggle’s version of the move, given the way Mysterio hits it)

Is anyone disappointed to see The Miz on Smackdown, not because he’s annoying, but because it takes away Dolph Ziggler’s opportunity to continue to raise in stature?  They already booked Ziggler’s Royal Rumble opponent to face a member of The Core.

Amateur Wrestling Challenge – Kofi Kingston vs Jack Swagger

So we’ve already heard that Kofi Kingston wrestled a bit in college, and while Amateur Wrestling is Jack Swagger’s strength, what are the odds that he ends up having to cheat to win?

With 15 seconds left in the “match”, how wrong was I that Swagger was going to have to cheat to win?  How one-sided would this match have been if he didn’t let Kofi get up after each takedown?

How in the world did Kofi win all those points there near the end?  It went from 10-5 all the way up to 10-9.

Outcome – Jack Swagger wins 10-9

In the aftermath, Jack Swagger attacks Kofi Kingston out of frustration from nearly losing to him (which would’ve been his own fault for having let Kofi get up each time), and in an encouraging display, Kofi Kingston does get the one-up on Swagger, taking him out before leaving the ring with his belt held high.  Had Kofi been attacked and left on his back while Swagger celebrated, it would’ve been a huge slap to the credibility and momentum of the Intercontinental Champion, as it would’ve represented him losing AND getting punked out all in the span of 5 minutes.

I don’t know if anyone else is excited for this match, but after the match I saw last week from Trent Barreta (which I just learned only has one T in his last name), I’m looking forward to a good match.

return match – Drew McIntyre vs Trent Barreta

Just as a reminder, here’s a look at the poll from last week’s Smackdown concerning Trent Barreta.

Does anyone else find it ironic that the announcers mentioned that “the sky could be the limit if he beats Drew McIntyre” right after talking about how he got lots of autograph requests at the airport this week – with the airport being the place which defies the sky being “the limit”?

After getting basically squashed the first part of the match, Trent Barreta gets a few decent reversals / counter-attacks and gets right back into the match.  He’s not doing as well this week as he did last week, but that’s to be expected, given how McIntyre is approaching this match.

Outcome – Drew McIntyre throws Barreta off the top rope and gets the pinfall on the Dudebuster.

In the aftermath, Drew McIntyre offers a handshake, and we’ll never know if he was serious or not, because Barreta smacks the taste out of his mouth – likely some retaliation for what happened backstage last week.  As McIntyre is working over Barreta and setting up for the Future Shock DDT (I wonder if it’s in his contract that he gets to at least ATTEMPT IT once every show), Kelly Kelly shows up to stop the beatdown.

Does anyone else (other than Trent Barreta) think it would be a good way to teach Drew McIntyre a lesson if Kelly Kelly were to start dating Trent Barreta?

Next up, The Miz returns to Smackdown, the show he used to host.  Any chance he’ll mention that?  Doubtful.

We get a recap of what happened on RAW, where The Miz beatdown Randy Orton.  Wouldn’t it have been better for The Miz to have helped Dolph Ziggler get the victory?  Wouldn’t the fans be booing him a lot more right now if he not only beat down The Viper, but also helped give one of their least favorite Smackdown superstars a HUGE victory?

That reminds me of a poll I had back on Monday…

Despite the fact that it looked like The Miz was about to leave the ring, giving his catchphrase that he always uses right before leaving, Edge shows up and goads him into staying longer.  Thanks Edge.  Thanks for nothing.

Did Edge just say he’s tired of guys from RAW coming to Smackdown, acting like they own the place?  Isn’t that exactly what Edge did when he left RAW and showed up on Smackdown and went after the biggest names on the blue show?  There’s some irony for you.

If Edge says that The Miz is number 21 on Edge’s list of things to do, then why didn’t he just sit back and let The Miz finish his little catchphrase and leave the ring like he had planned to, instead of showing up and prolonging the inevitable and essentially moving The Miz up to the top spot on his list of things to do?

The Miz backs off instead of getting involved in an altercation with Smackdown’s champion, but the two will face off Monday night as, yet again, the lines are blurred between roster members belonging to specific shows.  Had The Miz cost Orton the match against Ziggler, this could be an opportunity for Ziggler to show up on RAW, try to help The Miz win his match, then Edge could show up and we could end up with a tag match featuring The Miz and Dolph Ziggler taking on the reformed (if for one night only) Rated-RKO.

WWE Creative, take note:  THAT is how you book things!

Main Event Time!

Apparently Wade Barrett’s team is spelled “The Corre”.  Is “core” spelled incorrectly here because it’s some sort of British spelling, like towne or colour?

Vickie Guerrero shows up as The Corre gets into the ring, and she lets everyone know that Dolph Ziggler is going to be on commentary.  For some reason I was expecting her to make the match a handicap match.  Did anyone else think that was going to happen?

Is anyone else really glad that we get to go the entire show tonight without having to see Dolph Ziggler in his creepy boy-shorts ring-attire?  Something about the design in front which almost looks like it’s half-unzipped just makes me uncomfortable… which is likely what they were going for with that.

Main Event match – Justin Gabriel vs Edge

Out of all the members of The Corre, I’m glad Justin Gabriel’s getting the opportunity to once again compete in a one-on-one contest.  I’ve been impressed with his work thus far, and he could beneffit from getting into the ring more frequently…. unless WWE is afraid Gabriel’s going to get too many fans, which begs the question:  why have him be a heel at all?

Matt Stryker asked Dolph Ziggler if if there were any chance that Ziggler and Vickie were going to go to Boston early and possibly get married before the Royal Rumble.  I’m sure it’s not what Stryker was intending to imply, but as some guys think Vickie looks like a man, did it strike anyone else as ironic that Stryker was talking about Ziggler taking Vickie to a state where men can enter into civil unions with one another?  Even if they didn’t want to draw the connection… I just did.

How great did Justin Gabriel do in this match?  Giving him some serious offense against an opponent of Edge’s stature makes him look more and more like a million bucks.

Outcome – Justin Gabriel gets the win over Edge after some outside interference from Zeke Jackson.

After the match, The Corre surround Edge and take turns attacking him with Justin Gabriel getting his 450 Splash before the group make their exit.  Was anyone else hoping that Christian would show up to help Edge?

Did anyone else see the sign in the front row which incorporated Vickie Guerrero’s face into a scene from Angry Birds?  Brilliant!

Dolph Ziggler ending the show with his foot planted on Edge’s chest was near priceless, but how much better would it have been if Vickie Guerrero had gotten into the ring instead of just holding the World Heavyweight Championship outside the ring?  At least put the idea in peoples’ mind that Dolph could be holding the big belt.

Be sure to go back and check that you voted in each poll, as some were added into the mix along the way not just as the sections were written the first time!  The top comments in response to this article could get you a point which would lead to getting a free shirt once you’ve earned enough of those points!

Another favorite image of the night: