Though there’s nothing much in the way of original content in these ‘go home’ Smackdowns, I do appreciate the presentations from WrestleMania Axxess. I think they really add to the feeling that the big show is imminant. Saying that, having the Bellas analyse the intricacies of the main event feuds was a little laughable.
The show started with Kofi Kingston’s Intercontinental Championship re-match against Wade Barrett. There wasn’t much special about this match particularly, and I feel it was booked to spend Kingston’s statutory re-match so both he and Barrett can move on. The match was ok though, with Barrett being booked as particularly aggressive in comparison to Kofi, whose downfall seems to be only increasing these days, with Booker T being specifically criticising Kingston’s wasting of time when preparing for a Trouble in Paradise, which led to Barrett gaining an advantage. Luckily for Kingston, he didn’t look a total chump as Corre came to the ring to assault Kingston, causing a DQ finish. In other circumstances, this might lead to another re-match, but I doubt it in this instance.Corre commence a beat-down on Kingston, before the faces from their feud hit the ring and clear. Classic build.
Following this, Cody Rhodes had a nice backstage promo saying much of what he has in the past, but accentuating it with the unveiling of his broken-seeming face and his knee brace. Ridiculous as it sounds, he really appears to be like some sort of part machine, part beast. Again, very visually stimulating from Rhodes.
The second, and final match of the show saw Rhodes take on Chris Masters, and of course, the result was predictable, with the former on his way to WrestleMania. Rhodes new music, I realised this week, is a dark, reworking of his ‘Dashing’ theme, which is a touch I really like, though I don’t know why he didn’t wrestle in his suit like he has been of late – another touch i’ve enjoyed. There was a little back and forth here, but Rhodes was just a little too much for The Masterpiece, managing to hit a Cross-Rhodes for the win. Mysterio, traversing the line between hero and villain, claimed revenge on Rhodes along the same lines of an eye for an eye, preparing to attack him with an exposed knee-brace, like Rhodes did the previous week. Rhodes escaped this attack, providing us with a stare-down going in to WrestleMania.