WWE Smackdown live event (Knoxville, Tenn.)
Report by Matthew Baldwin and ProWrestling.net
The arena was about 3/4 full, with maybe around 6,000 or 7,000 in attendance. The cheap seats and floor seats were sold out. That’s pretty good, considering it was about 20 degrees outside with ice. For those of you not familiar with the South, if it snows an inch, we treat it like it’s a blizzard.
I saw four people fall in the parking lot on ice on the way out. It was awesome. There were lots of families and bouyakas (kid Mysterio fans), and a lot of teenagers. Like a ton. And most of them were wearing Miz and Nexus stuff. Anyway, the show began promptly at 5 pm. Nice. They play an audio recording about not videotaping stuff and some type of anti-piracy campaign.
1. R-Truth defeated Alberto Del Rio. Truth is out first to a pretty solid pop. He’s a pretty bland performer on TV, but he really resonates with the kids. Del Rio cut a promo about us all being poor, and pointed out the people in the cheap seats. That got some heat, but that was about it. Same match as the night before in Lexington.
2. “Showtime” Percy Watson defeated Chavo Guerrero Jr. No reactions for either really. Watson’s music sounded like something Jim Powers would’ve come out to. Both guys worked hard and got the crowd into it. Percy Watson is pretty good at working the crowd too. Watson got the schoolboy roll-up for the pin, and got a nice little pop.
3. Ezekiel Jackson beat Tyler Reks. Before the match, Rosa Mendes came out and asked a little kid what the next pay-per-view was, and he was the guest timekeeper. Not much of a reaction for either guy. The crowd is kind of dead overall. Big Zeke squashed him in about 4 minutes.
4. Cody Rhodes beat Chris Masters. Rhodes comes out first and cut an anti-Rocky Top promo. That’s like going to Boston and bad-mouthing Larry Bird. Intense heat. Masters grabs the mic and screams, “Who wants to see me slap Cody Rhodes in the face?!” And I swear to Flair that he sounded just like Tony Danza. Surprisingly good match. Rhodes got the win after a Cross Rhodes.
5. Drew McIntyre pinned JTG. There was a very mixed reaction for Drew. There were lots of Jeff Hardy-esque girly squeals for Drew. Is he a face? Is he a heel? No one knew. Anyway, Drew won after a future shock and got a loud girly pop again and TONS of women and girls rushed the barrier. I thought that was weird.
6. Kofi Kingston beat Dolph Ziggler to retain the Intercontinental Title. Dr. Ziggles cut the same promo from Saturday night about recapturing the IC title. Kofi came out to the biggest reaction of the night. Really solid match with a lot of back and forth. Kofi won after a Trouble in Paradise. Ziggler was helped to the back.
There was an intermission, and I noticed a table back by the wrestlers entrance ramp, and it looked like there were some agents sitting out there going over stuff.
7. Natalya defeated Layla to retain the WWE Divas Title. Layla came out first to A LOT of cat calls. Layla is SUPER hot. Natty is out next to a solid reaction. Layla wants to “warm up” with the exercise ball. Pretty funny actually. Natty gets a “You Suck” chant going. Natty wins with a Sharpshooter. Layla attacks her after the match and Beth Phoenix makes the save. As always, a body scissors on Layla drew a “Scissor Me Timbers” to much delight of all the fathers and South Park fans in attendance.
8. The Big Show beat Wade Barrett. Show gets a nice pop. He’s always been over in East TN for some reason, maybe because his shirt looks like a Kodiak can. Barrett attacks him before the match and then cuts a promo about not needing Nexus to fight his battles, and that he’s on Smackdown to prove who the real big man is in WWE. Show gets the win after a chokeslam. This was my first time seeing Barrett, and he’s pretty impressive. Barrett was helped to the back.
9. Edge defeated Kane in a Street Fight for the World Hvt. Championship. Kane gets a really nice pop (he’s from Sevierville, which is about 25 minutes away from Knoxville) and Edge gets a decent pop. The fans were given the opportunity to pick between a Street Fight and a 2 out of 3 falls match. C’mon buddy. You’re surrounded by rednecks. Street Fight it is. Good back and forth action, both guys worked pretty hard. Edge eventually gets the win after a Spear. He slaps hands afterwards with the kids around the ring.