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WWE Smackdown: Edge says farewell; Christian earns golden opportunity

Edge made his retirement speech and walked off into the sunset on Smackdown Friday night, and as a result, his longtime best friend Christian now has a long-awaited and well-deserved opportunity to shine.

Edge, who had announced on Raw Monday that he was retiring because of spinal injuries, relinquished the world heavyweight title on Smackdown. General manager Teddy Long ruled that the winner of a 20-man battle royal later in the show would face No. 1 contender Alberto Del Rio in a ladder match for the vacant championship at the Extreme Rules pay-per-view on May 1.Christian winning the battle royal was predictable, but I like that he had to earn the spot at Extreme Rules rather than simply being handed it (which is what I originally thought was going to happen).

I’m really looking forward to the Del Rio-Christian match. The next world champion is either going to be a fresh face or a vastly underrated veteran, and I don’t think you could go wrong with either scenario.

Other thoughts on Friday’s show:

Edge delivered a terrific farewell speech that was emotional but never sappy. In a touching moment, Edge paid tribute to his mother, who was in attendance and shown on camera, and the crowd began a “Thank you, mom” chant, which brought a huge smile to Edge’s face. It also was cool when Edge, a few minutes into his speech, went back up the ramp and came out to his theme song one last time before resuming his farewell address. ...

The video retrospective of Edge’s career was well done. ...

Del Rio delivered a strong performance on this show, beginning with his promo in the opening segment. Del Rio spoke well of Edge, but when he was informed by Long that he wasn’t going to be presented with the world title, Del Rio immediately changed his tune and said he was glad that Edge is being forced to retire. Del Rio’s facial expressions during the battle royal – he was seated at the announce table – also were very good. It was a nice touch as well when Del Rio winked at Edge after Edge refused to shake his hand backstage. ...

Michael Cole sacrificing himself by covering up Jack Swagger and taking the brunt of Rey Mysterio’s 619 in latter stages of the battle royal was a nice spot. ...

The battle royal – which came down to Christian and Swagger – was entertaining, although, like I said previously, it was pretty much a foregone conclusion that Christian was winning. ...

Mysterio and Drew McIntyre had a really good match. The aggressive McIntyre has become the guy who puts up a great fight, and sometimes even has the advantage for most of the match, but ultimately loses. I hope McIntyre starts winning some of these soon. ...

The couples therapy session with LayCool was mildly amusing, as was the banter between Cole, Michelle McCool and Booker T. during the match in which Kelly Kelly defeated Layla. I could watch Kelly Kelly and Layla wrestle each other every week. Actually, I could watch Kelly Kelly and Layla do anything every week. ...

Cody Rhodes cut a decent promo in which he vowed to disfigure Mysterio. ...

Kofi Kingston lost again – this time to Ezekiel Jackson. Big Zeke needs some victories over credible opponents if he is going to get a singles push, but it does get tiresome seeing Kingston lose week after week. ...

Speaking of losing, I’m rapidly losing interest in The Corre.

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