Monday, November 30, 2009

Smackdown Thoughts - November 27, 2009

This may be the longest it's taken me to watch Smackdown since I started this site. I actually feel kinda bad about it, especially when you consider how great the brand has been since the Draft in April. Holidays throw my schedule all out of whack, so thanks for bearing with me and we should be back to normal (whatever that is) beginning this week.

Speaking of Smackdown being great, they decide to prove it to me once again by kicking off the show with the best in the world, Chris Jericho. Jericho's been digging deep into the Jerichopedia for new insults this week, did he just call me a
mucilaginous troglodyte? Jericho's running down DX, reminding us that they've never won a TLC match or the Tag Team Titles. I've heard a lot of people bringing up the New Age Outlaws holding the Tag Titles while in DX many moons ago, but obviously they mean Shawn Michaels & Triple H, so calm down nitpickers. Besides, does anyone really need to be reminded about Billy Gunn? Anyhoo, Jericho is upset that there's a #1 contenders match tonight for the World Heavyweight Title and he's not involved, which brings out our general manager, Teddy Long. T-Lo doesn't quite give Jericho what he wants, but we do get my favorite Teddy Long line, "tonight playa, you goin' one-on-one with THE UNDERTAKER!" Jericho vs. Taker again? They should totally be saving this for a PPV, but I'm not going to complain when I get to see them mix it up for free.

If I were 9 years old, or could get away with still playing with toys, I would totally own that Punjabi Prison play set. We did not have cool wrestling toys like that when I was kid, we got the figures that could do one thing: body slam, headlock, spring-loaded punch, that was it! And we had to walk uphill both ways to get to the toy store!

Opening contest of the evening is Cryme Tyme vs. The Hart Dynasty. Seriously? If you don't count JeriShow, this is literally Smackdown's entire tag division and this has to be at least the 15th match between these two since the summer, and that's probably a conservative estimate. I like both of these teams and they've never put on a bad match, but these constant battles aren't doing anything for either team. Cryme Tyme had loads of momentum around SummerSlam when they were working with JeriShow, but it quickly evaporated after their loss to the tag champs because there wasn't anyone else for them to work with. The Harts pick up the win here, but I doubt they'll be going for the belts anytime soon, so will this win do anything?

Backstage, John Morrison wants a crack at any of the guys who beat him at Survivor Series, but Vickie Guerrero & Eric... ESCOBAR demand a shot at the IC Title instead. Teddy relents after Vickie threatens to call the boss, but this is Escobar's only chance. I doubt this match will do much for me, but the possibility of Morrison vs. Drew McIntyre in the near future is fairly intriguing.

CM Punk is out next and he's got quite a beast walking alongside him. Come to find out, it's Luke Gallows, formerly known as Festus; wow, I wouldn't even have recognized him without the massive tattoo. Looks like Punk got Festus off all those meds; yeah, it's a little hokey, but it's probably the best thing they could've done to repackage the Cornfed Colossus. Festus is actually a pretty underrated performer, and if he gets to work as Punk's straight-edge muscle, this may be the big break he needed. Punk cuts another fantastic promo, warning us about a dangerous new street drug, the Jeff Hardy: My Life, My Rules DVD, which hits stores this Tuesday! Just like I mentioned a couple weeks ago, I don't think they'd be hyping Jeff Hardy and this DVD so much if this case against him was serious. With Punk trash-talking "the charismatic enabler," that brings out his opponent for the evening, Matt Hardy! Matt's been in a major slump lately, not doing much of anything since Jeff left, and a big wasted opportunity if you ask me, but this segment reminded me why I'm a Matt Hardy fan. Good promo from Matt and maybe we'll finally get that long overdue Hardy vs. Punk feud?

After the break, Matt Hardy vs. CM Punk is underway and a rock solid display of what these two men are capable of, but far too short to form any sort of opinion on. Luke Gallows gets involved, causing the DQ and then the mugging is on. Punk & Gallows just absolutely destroy Hardy here, and yeah, I think this definitely should set up a long term feud between these two (or three, I suppose). While it's a bummer that Punk's not on top at the moment, feuding for the World Title, it's no secret that Matt Hardy desperately needs something to get him back on track, and a feud with a 3-time World Champ could be just that.

Oh Mickie James, don't let Skeletor McCoulter get ya down!

Batista vs. Kane in a #1 contenders match is up next to determine who will face The Undertaker at TLC, and I just can't bring myself to care. Yes, Batista's got momentum, but after that ultra-lameness at Survivor Series and Kane not doing anything worthwhile in years, these are probably the last two guys that I'd want to see wrestle The Undertaker. The match is yawn-inducing, which it always is whenever these two step in the ring together. I hate to sound disrespectful, but I honestly can't think of a time when these two collided and provided anything but exactly what you'd expect out of a match between Batista & Kane. Both men are capable of good matches with the right opponent, but while The Undertaker always brings out the best in Batista, Kane seems to bring out the worst. It doesn't help that the match ends in a weak DQ finish, but now it's another match between Undertaker and Batista? Luckily it's been awhile, but still... meh.

The Intercontinental Title
is on the line with Eric Escobar (w/ Vickie Guerrero) taking on John Morrison (w/ new pyro!). Pretty decent showing here, Escobar even getting in some decent shots, but this is really just a glorified showcase for Morrison, who picks up an easy win with Starship Pain! After the match, it looks like Vickie is done with Eric Escobar! Well, that didn't take long, and I wonder what this means for their futures? Will Vickie weasel her way back into the GM role? Is Escobar heading back to developmental? Would be pretty abrupt to cut bait on the guy already, he's barely gotten a chance to work, but it's also pretty abrupt to end the relationship with Vickie, so I'm not sure if I like Escobar's chances of hanging around.

Batista's back, now doing guest commentary. Yay?

Main Event time! Undertaker vs. Chris Jericho in a rematch from just a few weeks ago, but that match was as close to WrestleMania-caliber as you can get on free TV, can lightning strike twice in one month? Answer: not quite, but through no fault of the participants. For two guys whose paths rarely crossed in the ten years since Jericho's debut, they have amazing in-ring chemistry. While I doubt this match would've been as good as their match a couple weeks ago, Batista interfering and causing the DQ guaranteed it wouldn't. Batista wails on Taker with a steel chair, obviously to set up their Chairs Match at TLC, but after seeing these guys in Last Man Standing, Cages, and Hell in a Cell, can we really get excited about a Chairs Match?

Overall, another solid Smackdown, but I can't help but think that things are about to change for the Blue Brand. I'm not quite sure where things are going, but we're extremely light on main event talent and you can't exactly build a brand around The Undertaker vs. Batista. Awesome as he is, would you be shocked if Taker takes another sabbatical after WrestleMania? Batista's Batista, but if he wins the World Title soon, there is potential for him to work with some new upcoming talent, so perhaps that's the direction WWE's going? Just gonna have to wait and see, I suppose.

And it's Monday, so don't forget about Kick-Out's Monday Night Raw coverage. I plan on continuing the live blog trend, and if I'm able to do it this evening, it'll begin at 9pm!

5 comments:

  1. No Zero, children shouldn't want a Punjabi Prison playset. They don't conform to the bland workrate that the good old humourists at Wrestlecrap.com think makes for entertainment. I love those guys because they say what everyone's thinking... and saying... and complaining about... They're so cutting edge!

    Luke Gallows' finisher is very impressive as it's two in one - the front Full Nelson submission then the slam. He seems to have lost weight since he was Festus too. He's got a good look going.

    The best encounter between Batista and Kane was at Armageddon 2002. I was bored to tears then too.

    Considering Escobar was in development for four years, if he goes back there, he will be released. Speaking of new superstars with huge pushes - where was Drew McIntyre this week? After the Survivor Series victory, I thought he'd be top priority to continue his momentum. Roll on mandatory Intercontinental Title push!

    Actually, where was R-Truth too?

    The main event was good. I wonder what a Chairs match is. Is it just a normal singles match except that certain weapon is legal?

    Good show overall, even if it was missing a lot of its rising stars...

    ...

    ...Where was Dolph Ziggler? :P

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  2. After how well Mysterio has been doing this year & assuming he can sort out his injury, I wouldn't be too surprised if the original plan was to have him win the Rumble and take the belt from Batista at WrestleMania. I certainly would be more interested in Mysterio as Champion now as opposed to his last reign. That would also leave Taker free to face Jericho or Cena or whoever else he might go up against.

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  3. GA - Truth & Ziggler wrestled on Superstars, so I assume that's why they weren't on SD. Not that guys can't or don't pull double duty, but perhaps they didn't have room for them on Friday and put them on Thursday instead?

    Agreed that if Escobar goes back to development, he's done, but the more I think about it, I doubt that's the direction they're heading with him. I don't think they would've given him that backstage segment, bothering to give him some heat by bashing Vickie, if the plan was to ship him off. Still, without Vickie in his corner, there's nothing that makes the guy stand out and I can't see him going anywhere.

    McIntyre's absence was odd, especially considering the big win at Survivor Series, but I have no doubt he'll be gunning for Morrison soon. Ziggler's out of the picture, Escobar was defeated handily, so unless The Hart Dynasty's going for the IC Title, there aren't many more heels for Morrison to work with.

    And yeah, Luke's finisher was pretty slick.

    TKz - I dunno if Mysterio needs the Rumble win, but if he can make it to Mania, I think him vs. Batista for the title wouldn't be a bad idea. Of course, we know both Rey and Batista are injury prone (especially when Batista has a title), so long-term planning involving both of them has to be difficult.

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  4. The old T'Lo/Undertaker dynamic is back then? I think Teddy's gutters just got put on notice.

    Festus makeover, i'm interested to see where it goes. Oddly enough, Bam Neely had popped into my head before watching the show and I had to do a double take when I saw Punk come out. Luke doesn't strike me as a tough guy name, I can see Striker running wild with references to Gallows though. His finisher seemed odd too.

    I, for one, didn't hate Batista vs Kane. Then again, I feared the worst going into it after seeing a horrible match, as I recall, a few years ago. I liked the finish here with Batista's chair attack being hidden from view due to the barricade.

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  5. It's not even that I hated Batista/Kane... I lacked the ability to care enough to hate it.

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