A rookie Randy Orton has to take a break from his workout after Stacy Keibler stops by to wish him good luck with a kiss!05/11/2017 - 15:45
WWE Top 10 takes you back to this week's SmackDown LIVE to revisit the show's most thrilling, physical and controversial moments.05/17/2017 - 11:15
The No. 1 contenders to the WWE and United States Championships clashed on SmackDown LIVE. See how the match unfolded in this thrilling-slow-motion video.05/17/2017 - 11:00
With his WWE Championship defense at WWE Backlash looming, The Viper takes on the dangerous Baron Corbin in SmackDown LIVE's main event.05/16/2017 - 23:45
After pinning Naomi on SmackDown LIVE, The Princess of Staten Island believes she should be No. 1 contender to Naomi's title.05/16/2017 - 23:15
The Showoff compares his accomplishments to those of Shinsuke Nakamura before their battle at WWE Backlash.05/16/2017 - 22:15
Tye Dillinger gives his thoughts on his match with Aiden English at Sunday's WWE Backlash Kickoff, until The Drama King interrupts.05/16/2017 - 22:15
The Lone Wolf promises he will end Sami Zayn at WWE Backlash this Sunday on WWE Network.05/16/2017 - 22:15
Kofi Kingston, Big E and Xavier Woods are ready to clap back at negativity as they prepare for their SmackDown LIVE debut.05/16/2017 - 22:15
The six women in this Sunday's tag team throwdown gather to make the match official in the first-ever contract signing of its kind.05/16/2017 - 22:00
With their SmackDown Tag Team Championship opportunity looming, Tyler Breeze & Fandango take on The Colons while keeping their heads on a swivel for The Usos.05/16/2017 - 22:00
Prince Pretty digs deep to get new dirt on The Usos in the latest edition of Breezango's "Fashion Files."05/16/2017 - 21:30
The No. 1 contenders to the United States and WWE Championships collide just days before their title matches at WWE Backlash.05/16/2017 - 21:15
The Ravishing Russian continues to show her best dance moves ahead of her arrival on SmackDown LIVE.05/16/2017 - 21:00
The New Face of America takes over Chris Jericho's talk show, and hostility escalates between AJ Styles and The Maharaja.05/16/2017 - 21:00
Tye Dillinger and Aiden English will clash during the WWE Backlash Kickoff this Sunday on WWE Network, WWE.com, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other digital platforms.05/16/2017 - 17:15
Check out the latest version of SmackDown LIVE's exciting introduction.05/16/2017 - 15:00
"Eck’s Factor": SmackDown 9/16 analysis
Here are my takes on the big stories from Friday night’s episode of SmackDown that the WWE Universe is talking about on Facebook, Twitter and WWE.com.
Talking point: Edge returns to host “The Cutting Edge” with special guests World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton and Mark Henry
Eck’s Factor: It was great to see The Rated-R Superstar on the show, which took place in his hometown of Toronto, Canada. In addressing the live crowd, engaging in a verbal battle with Intercontinental Champion Cody Rhodes and appearing in a backstage vignette with longtime friend Christian and former WWE Diva Trish Stratus, the retired 11-time World Champion reminded the WWE Universe why he is one of the most compelling and entertaining WWE Superstars of all time. It was in “The Cutting Edge” segment, however, in which Edge truly shined. He made good on his vow to call it like he saw it and ask the tough questions, which was a daunting task considering his guests were perhaps the two most intense and dangerous competitors in WWE in Orton and Henry.
Talking point: Mark Henry lays out Randy Orton yet again
Eck’s Factor: As soon as Edge officially concluded “The Cutting Edge,” Orton and Henry – who had both been warned earlier by SmackDown General Manager Theodore Long that there was a "no contact" rule in effect during the interview segment – started exchanging punches. On Long’s orders, several members of the locker room hit the ring in an attempt to break up the brawl, but keeping the two rivals away from each other was easier said than done. In the end, the physical confrontation ended in familiar fashion – with Henry clutching the World Heavyweight Title as he stood over a fallen Orton. Will that scene be repeated again Sunday when Henry challenges Orton for the title at Night of Champions? Normally, I wouldn't dare underestimate The Viper, but after what we've witnessed the past few weeks, I’d say the odds of Henry becoming World Heavyweight Champion Sunday are very good. What do you think? WWE's Facebook page
Talking point: Will the real Sin Cara please stand up?
Eck’s Factor: It certainly was a bizarre scene when Sin Cara came mask to mask with another Sin Cara moments after one of them had been disqualified for ignoring the referee’s five-count during a match against Daniel Bryan. Despite the surreal nature of the Sin Cara-Sin Cara confrontation, Sin Cara’s recent aggressive streak and lack of sportsmanship – not to mention the revelation last week that he speaks English – suddenly makes sense. Clearly, the man under the Sin Cara mask the past several weeks is a fraud. So just who is he and why has he been masquerading as the international sensation? I have no idea, but I’m looking forward to seeing how this plays out. If history is any indication – remember years ago when doppelgangers for The Undertaker and Kane showed up on separate occasions to torment the originals? – the impostor Sin Cara is going to regret assuming the real Sin Cara’s identity. (PHOTOS: DOES THE WWE UNIVERSE KNOW SIN CARA?)
Talking point: Ted DiBiase attacks Intercontinental Champion Cody Rhodes
Eck’s Factor: The last time we saw DiBiase was three weeks ago on SmackDown, when Rhodes had placed a paper bag over his former friend’s head following DiBiase’s loss to Randy Orton. Just when Rhodes probably assumed that he had seen the last of DiBiase, a member of the audience wearing a paper bag assaulted Rhodes and revealed himself to be DiBiase. It was nice to see the usually laid-back DiBiase so fired up. Perhaps Rhodes will be responsible for DiBiase getting his career back on track after all, but not in the way that Rhodes had hoped. Rather than having DiBiase as an ally that he can control, Rhodes just may have inadvertently created a viable threat to his Intercontinental Championship.
Talking point: Trish Stratus makes a couple cameo appearances
Eck’s Factor: It’s never a bad thing when perhaps the greatest WWE Diva of all time shows up – well unless you’re Teddy Long, that is. It made for quite the awkward moment for the esteemed SmackDown general manager when Stratus caught him in a compromising position with Aksana. Stratus undoubtedly knows how Long felt. Several years back, she was on the other end (so to speak) of such a situation involving Triple H and Stephanie McMahon.
Talking point: Beth Phoenix scores a dominant victory over A.J.
Eck’s Factor: If I were Divas Champion Kelly Kelly – well, first of all, I’d never leave the house, if you know what I mean – I’d be extremely worried about defending my WWE Divas Title against Phoenix Sunday at Night of Champions. Kelly Kelly managed to slip past the challenger at SummerSlam last month, but I have a feeling she won’t be able to do it again. (WATCH AS TRISH STRATUS WEIGHTS IN ON DIVAS DIVISION)
Talking point: R-Truth puts a new twist on his entrance music and then defeats Evan Bourne
Eck’s Factor: I have to admit that I found R-Truth’s remix of “What’s Up?” – which featured The Miz on background vocals – to be pretty darn entertaining. As for R-Truth’s victory over Bourne, that makes WWE Tag Team Champions Air Boom 0-2 in singles matches against The Miz and R-Truth this week (The Miz defeated Kofi Kingston this past Monday on Raw). Can Miz and R-Truth keep the momentum going when they challenge Air Boom for the championship Sunday at Night of Champions? Unless there really is a conspiracy against Miz and R-Truth in the WWE, I don’t think they can lose.
Talking point: Sheamus chooses Justin Gabriel to be his tag team partner against Christian and Wade Barrett
Eck’s Factor: Sheamus could have picked anyone in the SmackDown locker room to be his partner, and he went with Gabriel, which is quite an endorsement for the South African Superstar. It also was sound strategy on Sheamus’ part because no one knows Barrett better than Gabriel, who was an ally of Barrett’s in The Nexus and The Corre. Gabriel ended up scoring the victory for his team by hitting the 450 Splash on Barrett, which obviously is not going to sit well with the former bare-knuckle fighter. A singles match between these two, who have vastly different styles, would be quite interesting.
WHO IS KEVIN ECK?
For those who are unfamiliar with me, I come to WWE from The Baltimore Sun, where I was an assistant sports editor and the author of a pro wrestling blog titled Ring Posts. In between two stints with The Sun, I worked as the editor of WCW Magazine from 2000 to 2001.
Follow Kevin Eck on Twitter at Twitter.com/KevinEck_WWE