Saturday, August 15, 2009

Smackdown Thoughts - August 14, 2009

Well, I'm never going to complain when CM Punk opens a show, so Smackdown's already off to a great start. Punk deviates from his usual talking points and instead of telling the audience to live a clean lifestyle, he wants to show them at SummerSlam by "ending" Jeff Hardy. Sounds like foreshadowing to me. T-Lo makes an appearance to scold Punk and an injured Jeff Hardy arrives and tells Punk that he's "in his face" and that's really about it. A bit of an awkward exchange there at the end, way too abrupt.

After the break, Vince McMahon calls Teddy Long and orders him to put Jeff Hardy in action against The Hart Dynasty later tonight. Well that's not very nice at all!

Dolph Ziggler vs. Finlay was a good, hard-hitting match - that running boot Ziggler hit on the apron was the greatest thing I've seen him do since his debut when he kicked Batista in the face. Finlay was as good as he always is, looking like the toughest SOB in the business while simultaneously making his young opponent look like a million bucks. Mike Knox interferes in the contest, hitting Finlay with the
Shillelagh and allowing Ziggler to hit the Formal Introduction for the win. Seriously they've got to come up with a name for that move besides "Jumping Reverse Bulldog." After the match, Knox assaults Finlay and cuts an absolutely bizarre promo about how the slightest trauma on the cervical vertebrae can cause extreme discomfort. That's weird enough, but Knox's voice, which doesn't match his appearance at all, is just the icing on the crazy cake.

The Kane/Ranjin Singh hostage videos might be the dumbest thing WWE does all year. I hate stuff like this because even in the ridiculous world of pro wrestling, it takes it to a whole new level of absurd. It's completely unbelievable and painfully lame.

CM Punk vs. John Morrison was simply amazing. They've already had two Match of the Month contenders and then they go out and top them both with this outing. The match had everything a wrestling fan needs: two highly talented performers, a great story and even better in-ring action. The evolution of CM Punk over the last two months culminated in this bout; we've seen him snap and attack people after matches or when he's frustrated, but in this contest, we saw pure aggression. The final sequence of the match, with Morrison in the Tree of Woe position while Punk throws a series of knee strikes, lifts him up for the GTS (with that evil look on his face) and then that final elbow after the ref had counted the three was absolute heel perfection. This is it friends, you're looking at the best heel in the business right now, CM Punk.

Melina vs. Layla seemed pretty long for a Diva's match. Not too bad either, Layla's proven herself to be more than capable and Melina's always solid. Still, that does change the fact that Smackdown's Women's Division is the glaring weak point of an otherwise tremendous brand.

Good promo from Cryme Tyme, I don't think these guys get enough credit for the mic work. JTG vs. Big Show wasn't anything special, but with Jericho on commentary and the confusion at ringside, it was a fairly enjoyable segment. I'm struggling to think of a better-promoted tag team match in WWE in the last few years not involving a "mystery partner" angle, than this one. Even though it probably won't be the best match of the night and it's fairly likely that JeriShow will win, I'm legitimately excited about seeing these two teams lock up at SummerSlam.

Jeff Hardy vs. The Hart Dynasty was good for a handicap match, but I question the logic behind presenting the Champ as the sympathetic face in this equation when he's going up against The Harts... in Alberta, Canada! Much like Thursday night on Superstars, the crowd was solidly behind their hometown heroes, but thankfully they weren't booing Jeff Hardy either. It was one of those rare moments when the crowd just cheers for everything, which is pretty cool and it worked for this match. I was honestly surprised that The Harts picked up the clean win and I LOVE their new take on the Hart Attack with Tyson hitting a springboard version of the clothesline instead of simply running off the ropes.

But the show wasn't over there, CM Punk rushes the ring after the match and viciously attacks Hardy for the third week in a row. John Morrison tries to make the save, but is overwhelmed by The Hart, who he's been dealing with for the last few weeks. It's total bedlam at ringside, but just before Punk can attack Jeff with a steel chair, Matt Hardy makes the save!? Matt cleans house and helps his brother get to his feet! T-Lo and Vinny Mac are backstage, and we've got ourselves a six-man tag next week: The Hart Dynasty & CM Punk vs. The Hardyz & John Morrison... yes please!

Okay, so it would appear Matt Hardy is turning face, to that I say good. I'm sure a lot of people (myself included) will wonder why the Hardy brothers are reuniting after Matt pretty much tried to kill Jeff on multiple occasions, but to that I say, let's just forget about it. The Hardy feud was just plain bad and the sooner we can put it behind us, the better Smackdown will be for it. Plus, if Jeff is taking time off, I can't think of anyone better to take his place than his own flesh and blood. Matt Hardy vs. CM Punk for the World Title? I'm definitely okay with that.

Another terrific edition of Friday Night Smackdown, there wasn't as much in-ring action as there usually is, but CM Punk vs. John Morrison and the storyline progression picked up the slack. Can't wait for next week and can't wait for SummerSlam!


  1. I thought the relationship between Khali and Singh was pretty weird before, some guy with crazy sideburns is friends with a 7ft giant and takes particular delight in setting him up with fat chicks. But add to the equation the fact that it's his BROTHER and it goes to a whole other level.

    That also reminds me of JR calling Singh 'kid' last week. Come on now, the guy must be in his mid 30's at least! The commentators have a weird knack of doing this as of late, normally calling guys 'young man', which I guess they are in comparison to JR or King. It irks me though.

    Other than that, I loved the Knox promo. It reminds me of his (probably) last one during RAW when he was asked why he was attacking Rey, to which he basically shrugged and said 'I don't know.' That and the last time we had this Finlay/Knox feud over the fact that Finlay and Hornswoggle were dancing in a PPV Promo.

    Actuallly, one more thing, I find it strange that you can poo poo small, trivial matters but when it comes to Matt Hardy turing face after trying to murder his own brother only a few months ago, you're happy to Bobby Ewing the whole thing. :P I'm glad it was pointed out that it was Matt helping Jeff, for a second I thought it was Juventud Guerrera. Jeff seemed slightly reluctant about the whole thing though so I wonder if it might take him and his fans a while to come around to the idea. As you say though, maybe if CM Punk does take out Jeff and end up fighting Matt, maybe Matt fighting for his brothers honour or whatever will bring them around and Jeff if he does come back. Though a part of me is secretly hoping Matt ends up saying something like 'I'm not doing this for Jeff, only I get to beat up my little brother.'

  2. Well, I've been a pretty staunch critic of the Matt & Jeff Hardy Saga, but due to it getting so ridiculous, I don't know how else for them to get out of it. Just try to downplay the fact that Matt tried to murder his own brother, burned his house down and insinuated that he killed his dog and work from there.

    If Jeff's leaving, it definitely complicates things and makes it something that needs to happen a lot faster than it should. Matt's injury didn't help either, so I think at this point they just have to say "screw it" and move on.