Saturday, June 20, 2009

Kick-Out's Smackdown Thoughts - June 20, 2009

With ECW nipping at its heels, can Smackdown remain the dominant brand in sports entertainment?

In-ring interview kicks things off, you don't see those a whole lot anymore. I've been reading reports that Smackdown is going to be more of an in-ring storytelling show while Raw will rely on more backstage interviews, I think it's a great idea to create more distinction between the two main brands. Jeff Hardy and CM Punk duel on the mics a bit, we even get a small hint of "straight edge vs. not-so-straight edge" when they mention how they live their lives. Josh Matthews polling the audience and Punk getting booed will only create more speculation about the possible heel turn.

Jeff Hardy vs. Chris Jericho was a pretty good match, but definitely not giving too much away with this one. An extended Hardy/Jericho feud would be highly enjoyable once they finish up with Punk and Mysterio respectively, so hopefully we'll see more of them in the future. The ending to this match was awesome, Mysterio getting revenge for Jericho's sneak attack with one of his own was pure brilliance. I love this feud!

Dolph Ziggler vs. The Great Khali... again? Two notable things about this match though, Ziggy continues to remind me of the long lost son of Jeff Jarrett and Billy Gunn, he even tried to do the Rocker Dropper! Also, nice job stealing the match by using the old Eddie Guerrero trick. Oh and Ziggler's new music is cool, I've already heard a lot of people complaining about it, but WWE didn't own his old theme. It was stock music, which creates all sorts of problems when trying to put it on DVDs or video games.

Melina vs. Alicia Fox was too short to really say anything about, but Melina's flexibility is just insane. She's past the point of "oh wow, she's flexible" and is now in "eww gross" territory. Good finish to the match, but the Michelle McCool stuff did nothing for me.

How weird is it to think that Edge is out of the World Title picture? The last PPV that he was on where he wasn't involved in a World/WWE Title match was last year's SummerSlam, but even then he was in the main event with The Undertaker. Before that, you'd have to go all the way back to WrestleMania 23 to find a PPV that Edge competed on where he wasn't involved in the main event or a World/WWE Title match. But even then, it was the Money in the Bank, which is something like a title match. Just for fun, the last time Edge was on PPV in a non-title, non-main event, singles match, you have to go all the way to WrestleMania 22 when he took on Mick Foley. Wow.

Edge vs. John Morrison was an absolutely tremendous match and definitely my pick for Match of the Week. I feel like there's huge potential for a major rivalry here, why not give them a spot on the PPV? Would love to see what these guys could do with 20 minutes.

Cryme Tyme & R-Truth vs. Shelton Benjamin, Charlie Haas & Ricky Ortiz was fun, aside from Ortiz's new ring attire. Did Carlito sue for gimmick infringement on guys with big hair and vinyl pants? Anyway, the best part of this whole segment was during R-Truth's entrance, JTG popping up in front of the camera and yelling "WHAT'S UP!?" I'd like to see those three team up more often, let's call them True Crime.

The promo with Chris Jericho and Rey Mysterio was one of the best verbal back and forths I've seen on WWE in some time. Mask vs. Title is always a good selling point, but I can almost guaran-damn-tee that there's no chance WWE will ever unmask Rey Mysterio. Those masks make way too much money at merchandise stands and as we learned in WCW, an unmasked Rey Mysterio is not nearly as marketable as a masked one.

Rey Mysterio vs. CM Punk was a solid main event, not as good as their outing at Armageddon last year, but it probably wasn't supposed to be. Jericho was great on commentary and he continues to prove his point about hypocritical fans when they boo CM Punk for winning a match in an extremely similar fashion that Jeff Hardy did earlier in the night. Hell, Hardy won by countout, Punk at least won by pinning his opponent in the center of the ring, yet he's the one that gets booed? Punk's absolutely right too, there's no rule that says you can't cash in MITB on Jeff Hardy and there's no rule that says you can beat Chris Jericho via outside interference, but you can't beat Rey Mysterio via outside interference. If CM Punk does turn heel, an alliance with Chris Jericho would be a heat machine, but I'm beginning to wonder if these are the guys I should be booing?

Smackdown slipped last week, but climbed right back up to the mountain and reclaimed its place as the best wrestling show in America. The Punk/Hardy & Jericho/Mysterio feuds molded together on this show and made for very entertaining television; plus we got an absolutely phenomenal match between Edge and John Morrison and a fun six-man tag. Raw has all the gimmicks, but it wouldn't need to go commercial free if it was as good as Smackdown. I'm worried about the build-up for The Bash since it's just a couple weeks after the last PPV and Raw's going to be busy trying to make this Monday's show a big deal, but I have no doubt that as long as Smackdown and ECW continue to be this good, it should be a PPV worth ordering regardless of what Raw contributes.


  1. True Cryme, you mean.

    And my god, when they do pull the trigger on the John Morrison main event run, he's ready. You put together a great performance with a main event guy who is capable of being great on his own, and his promo was FINALLY something that people can get behind as a face. At least now, it's like "he's just tired of the heels hogging the spotlight and knows he can bring it, too, and trains and is cool and whutnot." I did laugh at the fact that he mocked Edge for long, boring speeches when Raw and 2007 ECW were infamous for "the Johnny Nitro promo."

    Overall, great show once again. I felt that Smackdown keeps bringing it, and I HOPE that John Morrison/Edge II is match number 7 on The Bash card.

  2. Actually, I think all the cool kids spell True without the 'e' now, so how about Tru Cryme?

  3. Chris Jericho just keeps getting more and more awesome, and I am loving how this feud is playing out. He just sells it so well, and he is just fun to watch even outside the ring (I was especially taken by his commentary work... he built up Mysterio's skills while attacking him on the morality issues... and the look on his face as he closed out that segment was picture perfect). I think the writers on Raw should be taking notes. And Edge/Morrison was an unexpected treat.

  4. Another thing: You can really tell that Jim Ross LOVES John Morrison. For weeks, he's been referring to Morrison as "a main event waiting to happen" and he's sold every match Morrison's been in as a big deal, but ESPECIALLY this match with Edge where once again, Morrison is THAT CLOSE to beating him. It's good to see Ross use his best attribute in the ability to truly sell a guy like he's the real deal and on a guy as gifted in the ring as Morrison.

  5. And correct me if I am wrong, but is it really babyfacish to kick someone in a part of their body which is injured repeatedly... because I thought that was sort of heelish on Mysterio's part.