How does SmackDown top Raw’s first show of the year, which featured a Falls Count Anywhere match for the WWE Championship?
It starts with a Last Man Standing match for the World Heavyweight Championship.
In one of the most physically brutal matches ever on SmackDown, Edge managed to defend the world title against Kane by keeping him off his feet for the referee’s ten count.
The match spilled out all over the building as the two took their fight into the upper seating areas for several minutes.
Kane came very close to winning the title when he chokeslammed Edge into the TV announcers’ table. But as commentator Matt Striker was trying to take cover, Edge used him to prop himself up at the count of nine.
Kane’s plan to throw chairs into the ring then backfired. Edge assaulted Kane’s left leg with a chair, delivered the Spear and then dealt the leg one more blow with the “Con-Chair-To” sandwiching the leg between two chairs. With the leg damaged, Kane couldn’t even use the ropes to get back on his feet before the count of ten.
Nothing was going to keep Kofi Kingston from leaving with the Intercontinental Championship. The West African took the belt for the third time, finally beating Dolph Ziggler after multiple attempts over the last few months.
After fighting out of Ziggler’s sleeper hold, Kingston went to the top corner, knocked Ziggler off the corner when he went up and then delivered a fling cross-body to pin him and take the title.
But then Ziggler assaulted Kingston from behind and Vickie Guererro, acting General Manager Teddy Long’s absence, ordered an immediate rematch. Kingston wouldn’t be deterred, delivering the “Trouble in Paradise” flying kick to get his second pinfall in less than five minutes.
Ziggler’s night still wasn’t done, as Guererro inserted him into the night’s Number One Contender’s match, turning it into a Fatal Four Way with The Big Show, Cody Rhodes and Drew McIntyre. The Big Show tossed around and took down the other three men one by one, and no one else seemed to have a chance, until all three worked together to plow him into one of the outer barriers. However, none of them could get a fall on another before Big Show recovered, and he began taking them apart again – until Wade Barrett, who was kicked out of Nexus Monday night on Raw, came out and assaulted Show. With Big Show out, Ziggler told Rhodes to help finish him off but then shocked Cody with the “Zig Zag” backbreaker to get the win.
While Michelle McCool did defeat Kelly Kelly without any actual help from Layla, the post-match action again made the story. LayCool again began taunting and assaulting Kelly, but then McIntyre came back out, ordered LayCool out of the ring and appeared to start comforting Kelly.
Rey Mysterio and Alberto Del Rio’s feud cane to a creciendo in a two out of three falls match, but it surely left Mysterio still feeling unfulfilled.
Del Rio scored the first fall rather quickly, dodging Mysterio’s “619” attack and countering into his own arm bar that forced Rey to tap out. He would try it again for the second fall, but Mysterio countered it into a rollup that nearly got a pin. Del Rio again avoided the 619, but Rey responded with a modified inside cradle that got him a pin. Both men then got numerous near-falls, including a flying headbutt and DDT from Mysterio. Rey finally hit the 619 from the corner, knocking Dei Rio out of the ring, and then leaped from the corner to take down both Dl Rio and his personal ring announcer Ricardo Rodriguez. But after Mysterio threw Del Rio back into the ring, Rodriguez grabbed his leg with the referee unable to see it, keeping Rey outside and allowing Del Rio to get the countout win.
Mysterio took his frustrations out on Rodriguez after the match, kicking and throwing him into the ring, shoving him into the ropes and hitting him with the 619.
Overall, the night ended with destruction throughout the ring, Dolph Ziggler as the contender for Edge’s title and a sense that Rey’s issues with Del Rio may not be over.