Monday, January 18, 2010

Smackdown Thoughts - January 15, 2010

As I mentioned on last week's Kick-Out!! Radio, I've honestly been kinda bored with Smackdown lately. It's still undoubtedly the best wrestling show on television right now, but considering its competition, that's not exactly saying much. With a steel cage match between Rey Mysterio & Batista to determine a #1 contender at the top of this show, maybe we can finally freshen up the main event scene?

Well, I should hold my tongue, because I don't think I'll be too bored with Smackdown when it opens with a match like Chris Jericho vs. John Morrison. Nice touch with Morrison adopting the Bret Hart shtick of giving his sunglasses to a fan at ringside. But before this match could even get started, Drew McIntyre made his way to ringside, why not put him on commentary? As for the actual match, it was Jericho vs. Morrison getting a decent amount of TV time, what do you think? Good stuff all around, Jericho lives up to the "best in the world" moniker, Morrison continues to impress and his feud with McIntyre continues with the IC Champion simply taunting him. Jericho takes advantage of the small distraction and nails the Codebreaker for the win. I know people want to see Jericho back on Raw, and I'm never going to complain when we get to see Jericho twice a week, but watch a match like this, then watch his matches with DX on Raw and ask yourself where do you really want to see Chris Jericho? JeriShow was a blast, but it's time for Jericho to get involved with the main event scene, and hopefully that means a strong showing at the Rumble, a strong showing at Elimination Chamber and then beginning a feud with a (hopefully) returning Edge.

CM Punk & Luke Gallows were out next to save another member of the WWE Universe by converting them to a straight-edge lifestyle. Good promo from Punk (as always), but I was surprised by Gallows, who plays his role extremely well. The head-shaving of "fans" is a good visual and a great way to get heat, but it has to end with Punk losing his hair, right? Expose him as a hypocrite for not wanting to shave his head and then force him into some kind of hair vs. hair match, that's the kind of fun storytelling that I love to see in wrestling.

CM Punk & Luke Gallows vs. The Hart Dynasty vs. Cryme Tyme vs. Matt Hardy & The Great Khali (???) in a Fatal Four Way for a shot at the Unified Tag Team Titles was our second match of the evening. What a weird match to throw together, and seeing Matt Hardy thrown into a team with Khali was just flat-out bizarre. Definitely fun to be had in this match, especially when Khali was kept out of the ring, but it was definitely a clusterfrack. Somewhat surprisingly, Punk & Gallows picked up the win (my money was on The Hart Dynasty), and will go on to face DX in the near future. Looks like integrity and sobriety goes a long way!

Just so we're clear, The Tooth Fairy is a rip-off of The Santa Clause, right? And wow, it looks awful. If The Rock keeps making movies like this, we might just see him back in a WWE ring after all.

Undertaker speaks! If you missed it, the word "darkness" was used a few times. Taker doesn't care who wins tonight (I don't think any of us really do either) and instead turned his attention to Shawn Michaels and WrestleMania. Undertaker will be at Raw tonight to give his answer, and I'm still wondering where exactly they're going with this.

Mickie James vs. Beth Phoenix was our Diva contest of the evening and if this doesn't show the gap in quality between Smackdown Divas and Raw Divas, I don't know what will. These two are WWE's best female athletes and can work a match on par with their male counterparts. Meanwhile, over on Raw, we applaud Kelly Kelly for simply being watchable. With TNA making a splash and presenting the novel concept of women actually wrestling, WWE might want to take note. As for the match, The Glamazon got herself disqualified by not adhering to the ref's five count, and Michelle McCool & Layla were there to pick the bones. Pretty much the same thing we've been seeing for weeks now.

Dolph Ziggler gets mic time? Wow. Unfortunately, he had to follow it up with a match against Kane, so my piqued interest is already waning. Match wasn't awful, actually I'd go so far as to say I actually enjoyed it, but Kane winning? Really? Is it time for one of his inexplicable wins at the expense of a potentially rising star? Before this match, I had a feeling this could be the beginning of a turnaround for Dolph, but now I'm starting to wonder if he's this year's Mr. Kennedy.

Main Event time! Batista vs. Rey Mysterio inside a steel cage and the winner goes on to face The Undertaker at the Royal Rumble. As bored as I've been with this feud, I really liked this match. Classic WWE storytelling: Rey can't hit the 619, as a result, Batista gets cocky and it winds up biting the Animal in the ass. Rey escapes the cage, becoming the new #1 contender and will face The Undertaker, which is definitely a better option than Taker vs. Batista round 27. Guess this leaves Batista in the Rumble match, but here's hoping he gets nowhere near winning the thing.

A much better Smackdown than what we've been getting the last few weeks; solid wrestling all over the place, a great promo from Punk, and plenty of storyline progression. This is the Smackdown I loved in 2009, and it's nice to finally see some of that in 2010. Keep it up, WWE.

2 comments:

  1. I think one of the big problems with SmackDown so far this year is that they don't have two guys like Hardy & Punk as the main things on the show. I love Rey and Batista is okay in small doses, but those two aren't anywhere near as entertaining when put together as guys like Edge/Undertaker or Hardy/Punk.

    The rest of the show is usually pretty good (we've had some kind've naff stuff like Ziggy/Kane and Michelle McCool just in general), but it's been let down lately by the lack of a captivating main event. Like you say, if anything can save SmackDown right now, it'd be Chris Jericho.

    I'd love to see him mix it up with Morrison in some kind of program, which would easily make up for the lackluster Batista/Rey stuff and could become a central part of the show.

    ...Then they could give him the title and make the entire show revolve around Y2J. Then again maybe I'm just a little bit of a mark for the guy. >_>

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  2. I think SD's biggest issue is the fact that they're lacking top guys. Edge is on the shelf, no one stepped up to replace Jeff Hardy, Jericho's been preoccupied with the tag titles since June and Punk's fallen by the wayside a bit, but is doing well with his own thing at the moment. That really just leaves Batista, Rey and Taker; Batista vs. Taker's been done to death over the years and Batista vs. Rey's been done to death over the last few months, so it's a tough spot for SD right now. I think when Edge comes back, everything will start to balance back out.

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