WWE SmackDown Tour arrives in Lexington Saturday

ssloan@herald-leader.comJanuary 6, 2011 

  • Veteran names

    SmackDown's younger wrestlers won't be the only ones working on Saturday night.

    Three of the brand's biggest stars, veterans Edge, above, Kane, below, and The Big Show are scheduled to appear. Edge is expected to wrestle Kane in a championship bout.

    Kane made his name starting in 1997 as the brother of The Undertaker, and Edge emerged in the late 1990s and rose to prominence early as primarily a tag-team champion with Christian. He has since become a standout individual star and is the world heavyweight champion.

    The Big Show rose to fame as The Giant in World Championship Wrestling in the 1990s and is slated to face Alberto Del Rio on Saturday, according to Rupp Arena's Web site.

  • IF YOU GO

    World Wrestling Entertainment SmackDown World Tour

    When: 7:30 p.m. Jan. 8

    Where: Rupp Arena, 430 W. Vine St.

    Who: The following WWE wrestlers are among those scheduled to appear, according to WWE's Web site: Edge, The Big Show, Kane, Alberto Del Rio, Dolph Ziggler, Kofi Kingston, Cody Rhodes, Drew McIntyre, Natalya and Layla.

    Tickets: $15-$60; available at (859) 233-3535 or Ticketmaster, 1-800-745-3000 or Ticketmaster.com.

Less than six months removed from hosting the popular Monday Night Raw television show, Lexington's Rupp Arena will get another dose of raucous wrestling action Saturday.

World Wrestling Entertainment's SmackDown wrestlers will stop by for a non-televised event on their SmackDown World Tour.

It's a time that fans typically see more of the wrestling and less of the blend of wrestling and comedy that fill shows like Monday Night Raw on USA and SmackDown on Friday nights on Syfy.

Those shows, especially Monday Night Raw, recently have seen visits from wrestling stars of yesteryear. Among those visiting have been Rowdy Roddy Piper, "The Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase, right, and "The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes.

In a tribute to WWE's efforts to remind fans of yesterday's favorites, we spoke with Rhodes' son Cody, now a SmackDown wrestler. The question: Who do the company's younger stars who are scheduled to visit Lexington remind you of in your dad's generation?

We also spoke with James Caldwell, assistant editor of PWTorch.com, one of the leading online wrestling news sites.Alberto del Rio

Who he is: Del Rio debuted in WWE last year but had spent years as a masked wrestler in Mexico. An arrogant bad guy, he is introduced by his own personal announcer and is driven around in a swank vehicle.

Rhodes: "Alberto's probably the most difficult guy to place in the past, mainly because, with no negative connotations, typically the men who would play the role of the big-time spenders, the billionaire talents, were not Mexican. So he's kind of a combination of ... Antonio Inoki; then my boss himself, Vince McMahon; and then John Bradshaw Layfield and "The Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase ... For Alberto, he's the first of his kind, and that's very good for him."

Caldwell: "He seems like the Mexican version of JBL (Layfield), the rich aristocratic-type character with the big flashy vehicle and air to him."Kofi Kingston

Who he is: Kingston is a high-flying wrestler who debuted in 2007 and has held titles and is the new Intercontinental champ after a bout taped Tuesday.

Rhodes: "Kofi Kingston is easy. He reminds me of Pedro Morales ... because Kofi embodies the fighting spirit that everyone has in them."

Caldwell: "Looking at his wrestling style, I come up with Juventud Guerrera because of the flashy, high-energy in-ring style that Kofi brings. He's one of those guys you don't see as a main eventer, but he's really good for his role like Juvi was on Nitro for WCW (World Championship Wrestling) back in the 1990s."Dolph Ziggler

Who he is: He joined WWE's main roster in 2005 and eventually became a member of the Spirit Squad. In 2008, he returned under his current name and has since taken on the gimmick of an arrogant wrestler. He was WWE's Intercontinental champion until this week and will challenge Kingston at Rupp.

Rhodes: "Dolph Ziggler is very easy. He's Mr. Perfect (Curt Hennig). Even his song chimes out the 'I am perfection' lyrics. A lot of people compare Dolph to Shawn Michaels and Mr. Perfect, but I see no Shawn Michaels and all Mr. Perfect. It's funny we have (Mr. Perfect's son) Joe Hennig wrestling as Michael McGillicutty, but I see Curt Hennig in Dolph Ziggler so much more. That's a credit to Dolph being a huge Mr. Perfect fan."

Caldwell: "He reminds me of Curt Hennig and Billy Gunn. Dolph's look is a mix of those two. He's kind of Hennig's size and wrestles like Billy Gunn, though he doesn't have Gunn's size. I think he's the next Curt Hennig, as Hennig was an AWA (American Wrestling Association) champion but never a top star in WWE ... He's sort of that second-tier guy who's real dependable in the ring and a good heel (bad guy)."Cody Rhodes

Who he is: The son of the legendary Dusty Rhodes and brother to Goldust (Dustin Rhodes), he grew up around the business and debuted on WWE television in 2007.

Rhodes: "Everyone says I'm like someone from the past ... that I'm a bit of a narcissist like Rick Rude or Rick Martel. I actually personally think my favorite type of superstar who did something like I do was Gino Hernandez.

"Gino Hernandez was not only someone who would tell you how good he was ... and what he did last night and where he did it, but he would beat you up. That's what I liked about him ... Gino's one of the guys I draw a lot of influence from."

Caldwell: "I would say Rick Martel because Cody's ... got the arrogance, the look, the heel (bad guy) mannerisms. I look at Cody being at the Intercontinental title level. I don't see him being at the world title level. Martel was like that, a steady heel but not world-championship material. Cody could break that, though."Drew McIntyre

Who he is: From Scotland, McIntyre made his WWE television debut in 2007 and has become known as "The Chosen One" because of the endorsement of McMahon, the WWE's top boss.

Rhodes: "I tagged with Drew, and he reminds me of Gino's partner, 'The Gentleman' Chris Adams. Drew's Scottish, while Adams was English. I know they're obviously not the same, and if his family heard me say that ... . I always joked with Drew that I was going to blind him like Chris Adams was in World Class (Championship Wrestling)."

Caldwell: "I would say he's a combination of three guys: Lex Luger, the British Bulldog and Scott Steiner. He's sort of like mid- to late-1990s Scott Steiner before Steiner transformed into Big Poppa Pump. It's that rugged style he brought to the ring. I say Luger because of the power, the British Bulldog (Davey Boy Smith) because of the power and European background, and Steiner because of some of his moves."

Reach Scott Sloan, who likes to think he would be compared to legendary big man The Big Boss Man, at (859) 231-1447 or 1-800-950-6397, Ext. 1447.

Lexington Herald-Leader is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service