Saturday, May 23, 2009

Kick-Out's Smackdown Thoughts - May 22, 2009

I realize it's pretty ridiculous for me to be late on a Smackdown review considering I was actually at the show on Tuesday, but hey, it's a one man show around here. I try to have a life now and again. Speaking of which, this isn't really related to wrestling, but go see Terminator Salvation, it's awesome. I heard a lot of negative feedback on the movie and I think it's way off base, totally worth $10... and the video game sponsored Judgment Day, so I've officially tied it into WWE programming!

First up, I'll give my quick thoughts on Superstars:

Tommy Dreamer vs. Christian was a lot of fun and felt way longer watching it on TV than it did sitting in the audience. I didn't like the screwjob ending, but I'll echo the predictions from most of the internet and say they're building up for a Triple Threat at Extreme Rules. Christian's springboard faceplant to the outside was one sick bump too.

Kofi Kingston vs. William Regal wasn't anything special, but served its purpose and the crowd was behind it, so no complaints here. I'd like to see Regal doing more, but I say that every time I write a new blog entry, so I'll give you a break from going into detail about it.

Chris Jericho vs. CM Punk was flat-out awesome and is definitely going to be somewhere on this week's Five Count. I thought their match on Smackdown was good, but this blew it out of the water and is probably their best encounter to date. If you missed Superstars this week, you have to catch a replay or something because not seeing this match would be a great disservice to any wrestling fan. Oh and all those people still complaining about CM Punk losing to Umaga at Judgment Day, he now has two wins over the World Heavyweight Champion and a clean win over the 2008 Superstar of the Year... yeah, they're really burying the guy.

Onto Smackdown!

Edge got massive heat in Cincinnati, definitely the most over heel of the entire evening, but I couldn't help laugh at his opening promo because it was just so awesome. T-Lo comes out and attempts to right the wrong from Judgment Day and then Jeff Hardy makes an appearance and gets one of the most insane crowd reactions I've ever heard; not quite Hulk Hogan or Steve Austin, but definitely up there. I've heard a few people ragging on Hardy's mic skills, but I thought this promo was one of his best and the bit with polling the audience worked really well. No, he's not The Rock when it comes to promos, but he has his own style and it works for him... he's certainly a lot better than Jeff Hardy circa 2002.

I have to admit, I liked the Ricky Ortiz, Shelton Benjamin & Charlie Haas trio. I doubt they'll use it again, but the three of them worked well together and I think there's a lot of potential in an Ortiz/Haas tag team, occasionally helping out Shelton. Ricky O cut a promo on Cincinnati before the match, and I have to say that the guy has a lot of potential as a midcard heel. Think Santino before he became completely ridiculous, I think Ortiz could pull it off. As for the match against John Morrison & Cryme Tyme, it was an enjoyable six-man tag, even if it dragged a bit when JTG was being used as the guy who takes the beating and eventually makes the hot tag.

Have to laugh at all the anti-Denver Nuggets promos they're running, brace yourself for Vince to ego trip all over the place on Monday Night Raw. I assume a Stan Kroenke lookalike will get beat up or "fired," but let's all be thankful that TV-PG should save us from the Vince McMahon Kiss My Ass club. Of course, there's one big problem with a lookalike coming in, how do you find someone who looks nearly as creepy as Stan Kroenke? He looks like the kind of guy that can't come within 50 yards of a school.

I have to say it again, poor Gail Kim. Even the ultra-hot Cincinnati crowd didn't care about her and they went nuts later in the night for The Great Khali of all people! Divas match was what it was, and definitely no surprise that Michelle McCool went over, she's pretty much the only heel Diva on Smackdown that wrestles on a regular basis. I wouldn't be surprised if she takes the Women's Title off Melina.

Rey Mysterio interview was a little odd, I don't get the whole bit with him saying he was done with Chris Jericho, but then later on in the night, Teddy Long says that they're going to have a match at Extreme Rules? Confusing. That aside, the interview itself was good and Mysterio did a nice job of putting over the importance of the Intercontinental Championship.

Chris Jericho vs. CM Punk was another great match from these two, obviously not as good as Superstars thanks to Umaga's interference, but still very impressive. It's a testament to the skill of Punk and Jericho that they can go out there and have two completely different and completely awesome matches in a 48 hour period, kudos to both those guys. Punk hitting the running knee to the back of Jericho's head and busting out a La Majistral cradle were my personal highlights of this one.

A lot of people buzzing about Umaga talking, which was a bit surprising, but it needed to be done at this point. He doesn't have Armando Estrada anymore and there's only so much you can do with a character who only says "OOOHWAAAAAAAH!" Strap match at Extreme Rules should be interesting, if it's the kind of match where you have to touch all four corners, I'd say it favors CM Punk and he'll probably get his win back.

Dolph Ziggler vs. R-Truth was surprisingly fun, the Cincinnati crowd loved R-Truth, but that's the beauty of an easy catchphrase. Decent match and I really can't believe how loud the pop was for Great Khali as he sent Ziggy running off towards the Reds game.

Jeff Hardy vs. Edge was seven flavors of awesome sauce... it may have actually been better than their match at Judgment Day, but perhaps I'm biased since I was there, let me know what you think. I thought the crowd was hot for Hardy at the beginning of the night, that was nothing compared to the sustained reaction he got through the entire match, all you could hear was "HARDY! HARDY! HARDY!" or "LET'S GO HARDY *clap, clap, clap-clap-clap!" I've been to at least 25 WWE events in my life and the crowd reaction for Jeff Hardy during this match is undoubtedly top ten.

Loved the match, loved that Hardy won, even if it was no surprise that he picked a Ladder Match. Of course, there's the whole thing with Edge also being a master of the TLC match (which I'm sure the Extreme Rules match will devolve into), so I'm not sure why he was looking so scared. But Edge hasn't been in a ladder match with Jeff Hardy in a long time, so I'll just chalk that one up to "it's wrestling, don't think so hard." The two tore the house down at Smackdown, I have no doubt they'll do the same (and a lot more) at Extreme Rules. JR did a really good job of puting over the historical significance of these two competing in a ladder match as well, he's been doing a great job since he transitioned into color commentary.

Great show, loads of fun, Smackdown continues to dominate the world of professional wrestling and I wish you could've been there as well. I know a lot of people are complaining that Extreme Rules is rematch heavy and I'll tackle that here in the next couple days. Make sure you swing by tomorrow for this week's Five Count, which will definitely feature some of the highlights from this unforgettable episode of Friday Night Smackdown.

2 comments:

  1. I was quite surprised with Kofi going over Regal on Superstars, and then with Regal not giving a cheap shot. Thought for sure that Regal was going to keep getting pushed toward a match with MVP for the US title.

    Jericho and Punk brought it hard both times, and if Punk does successfully cash in the briefcase again, it'd be even sweeter to see these two at it over a title.

    I'd agree that Extreme Rules has a lot of rematches, but a PPV where every match is built around some kind of stipulation probably SHOULD be big on extended feuds. Why shoot a feud's load with a stretcher match or something on its first PPV match? Strap matches, ladder matches...all of these need to be used to settle long(er)-running grudges, instead of one-month micro-feuds.

    And how was the crowd during Christian/Dreamer? On WGN, it sounded like they were hot as hell, but I wondered if it was piped in.

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  2. I would say everything you heard on Superstars and Smackdown was legit. Although I didn't watch the Divas match,, so I don't know if they edited any reaction in for that. The crowd was on fire the entire night and really into just about everything.

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