Saturday, May 30, 2009

Kick-Out's Smackdown Thoughts - May 29, 2009

What a week it's been for WWE. All this business with the Denver Nuggets, having to fill the Staples Center for two shows in less than a week, supposedly bringing Ric Flair back full-time, bringing back Mr. Kennedy to presumably start a feud with Randy Orton only to fire him four days later -- it's exhausting just thinking about it. Smackdown had the tall task of closing out this hectic week.

Rey Mysterio kicks things off (always a good way to get a crowd on their feet) and mentions all the moves he's going to use in the No Holds Barred match at Extreme Rules. These moves are apparently all the area codes in southern California... trust me, you don't want to get hit with the 818, I hope Jericho has caller-ID block. Speaking of the good and honest man, Chris Jericho interrupts and vows to unmask Mysterio. Now I know my predictions haven't been the most consistently accurate part of Kick-Out!! Wrestling, but I can almost guarantee that you will never see Rey Mysterio unmask in WWE. I've seen a couple people on Twitter who are convinced it's going to happen, but there's no way WWE is going to give up the obscene amount of money they make off Mysterio merchandise. You think they're going to sell this shirt without the mask? Do a Google image search of "Rey Mysterio unmasked" and think again.

Also, it was a nice little treat for them to work Mickey Rourke into their promo, very cool that he was there for the show.

Great Khali & R-Truth vs. Mike Knox & Dolph Ziggler was enjoyable. Obviously not a mat classic by any definition, but it was fun. Surprisingly, this Khali/Ziggler feud isn't bad and it's doing what it needs to be doing. R-Truth has been criminally underused as of late, so it's nice to see him finally getting some wins here and there. Mike Knox was there too, and yeah... that's all I can really say about him, oh and I'm surprised Khali could hit him with the double-handed chokeslam.

Melina vs. Alicia Fox (w/ Michelle McCool & a lot of hair) was a lot like the Divas match we saw on Monday. It's nice to see more of a focus on the abilities of the Divas rather than T&A, but Melina isn't quite at the level of Beth Phoenix or Mickie James where she can carry any Diva to a decent match. Nothing against Alicia Fox either, but I think she needs to work more multi-Diva tag matches before they throw her out there in one on one matches.

Jeff Hardy's promo was short and pretty much to the point. Not sure why they didn't just do it backstage, but whatever floats WWE's boat.

John Morrison vs. Umaga would be my pick for Match of the Night, even if there were way too many restholds from the Samoan Bulldozer. I get it, the nerve pinch is a signature Umaga move and it weakens the area for the Samoan Spike, but do we need to keep it locked in for five minutes at a time? Thankfully DVR lets me fast-forward through the lulls and the match was very enjoyable aside from that; Morrison's crazy around-the-world DDT counter was awesome. Umaga getting DQed for using the strap and CM Punk making the save made perfect sense. Loved the promo after the match from Punk as well, give that man more mic time!

Shelton Benjamin & Charlie Haas vs. Cryme Tyme was very enjoyable, almost as good as the match with The Colóns on Superstars. Haas has really upped his game since moving to Smackdown and I usually find him about as exciting as watching grass grow, so that's saying a lot. Good win for Haas & Benjamin, I'm curious if they're going to keep teaming up and gun for the Tag Titles, or if Shelton's going to go back out on his own. And as a sidenote, maybe I'm alone in this, but I really see major star potential in JTG; his style is unique, he's very animated in the ring and has a solid connection with the crowd. If they ever split Cryme Tyme (not saying they should), I could see him making some waves in singles competition.

I fast-forwarded through Eve vs. Layla, but I'm worried that I may have missed the match to dehtrone HBK/Taker as frontrunner for Match of the Year.

Edge's promo about how Jeff Hardy may be the star of their ladder matches, but Edge always winds up winning was exactly how I hoped he would respond to the stipulation. As JR said, it's a completely valid point because aside from the show-stealing match at No Mercy '99, I'm pretty sure Edge & Christian won all the rest. It's not just Jeff Hardy's match, it's Edge's match too, which makes Extreme Rules all the more exciting.

Okay, so Chris Jericho posing as a Rey Mysterio fan and assaulting him during his entrance was one of the most brilliant evil schemes I've ever seen in wrestling. Not even Wile E. Coyote (super genius) could've come up with a dastardly plot like that one. Unfortunately, the plan was beyond just evil, it was heinous. Why? Because it resulted in another freaking handicap match!

Chris Jericho & Edge vs. Jeff Hardy was what it was. You're not going to put Hardy over both of the top two heels on Smackdown in a throwaway match, so the ending was predictable the minute they announced it. Isn't the whole point of having a good guy like Teddy Long as GM to avoid situations like this? I know it makes Jeff Hardy look fearless and all, but again... handicap matches suck and I feel like we've seen one every week since the Draft Special! Punk didn't wrestle, why not send him out there? C'mon WWE, I've been a loyal fan since the 1980s, why do you insist on punishing me with handicap matches?!

Overall, a good show, but way below par when you consider how great Smackdown has been since the Draft went into effect. Better than Raw, but that's not saying much; I actually think Smackdown was eclipsed by both ECW and Superstars, which both had stellar outings this week. I'm confident it was just a one week thing and the go-home show before Extreme Rules will get the brand right back in the saddle.

Smackdown concludes one of the most insane weeks in recent WWE history, make sure to come back to Kick-Out!! Wrestling tomorrow for The Five Count, which is sure to feature some of this week's unbelievable moments.

5 comments:

  1. that shirt is terrifying. Is JTG the smaller of the two? He is, right?

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  2. I really liked that one Melina kick to Fox's head when she was on the ropes... it was something I wasn't expecting and I think it was the high water mark of that match.

    And I may be in the minority here, but I would much rather see more Giant on Giant matches than those David vs. Goliath things they were running all across RAW last season (and where did Kane go BTW... seems like he hasn't been around since his last PPV appearance).

    The weird thing for me was I noticed there was a security guard in the audience when Rey Mysterio came out, and yet I was still shocked by the assault... I guess I didn't put two and two together fast enough, so it was a great surprise.

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  3. It's funny you mention Kane. Every week after I write a Smackdown review, I realize I forgot to ask where Kane is, but by the time the next week rolls around, I completely forget about him.

    It's crazy, he's been around in a major capacity for twelve years, but he's been largely forgettable for what... the last five? I honestly can't remember the last time I cared about a Kane feud aside from Taker's return as The Phenom at WrestleMania 20.

    I'd love for them to do something interesting with him, but that character has just been run through the wringer so many times that it's hard to get even remotely excited about his angles.

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  4. I was thinking Kane/Khali as a face giant tag team might be an interesting angle.

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