Sunday, March 14, 2010

Smackdown Thoughts - March 12, 2010

Rey Mysterio & his family started things off on Friday Night Smackdown, which was a bit odd.  Definitely weird to see Dominic on WWE TV again (and now taller than Rey) after the infamous "I'm your Papi" storyline with Eddie Guerrero.  Speaking of that feud, it's a true testament to how awesome Eddie was, because somehow, some way, he made that storyline work.  Rey brought his family to work because it's his daughter Aaliyah's ninth birthday, and the crowd shows a shocking amount of class by chanting "Happy Birthday, clap, clap, clap-clap-clap," if this were the old school ECW, I don't think they would've been that friendly.  But in the middle of Rey singing Happy Birthday to his daughter, CM Punk & The Straight Edge Society interrupt.  Okay, I'm not sure how anyone's going to top that for dick move of the year.  The interruption would've been enough, but the "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil" reference to Rey's wife and children was borderline uncomfortable.  Punk was damn near McMahon levels in this segment, and while I wasn't entirely sold on them fighting at Mania, I damn sure want to see this match now.  Punk's one of my top five favorite wrestlers on the planet right now, and even I wanted to see him get his ass kicked here.  This may have been his best performance on the mic to date.

The Miz (w/Daniel Bryan) vs. R-Truth (w/David Otunga) was our opening contest for the evening, which addressed stories crossing all WWE shows - Raw, Smackdown and NXT.  Decent enough match, highlighted by Daniel Bryan shoving Miz's feet off the rope when the US Champ tried to steal a win.  R-Truth picked up the win, giving his team more momentum heading into Mania, but I think I'm more interested in Miz vs. Bryan.

I seriously cannot handle how bad ass these Undertaker/HBK "Ain't No Grave" promos are.  The latest featured the WWE Superstars talking about both guys and really just sold the fact that this is THE match at WrestleMania.  Regardless of where it goes on the card, this rematch is the main event.  With a card as stacked as this, it really says something about the power of these performers and WWE's hype machine, that a rematch just one year later can stand somehow stand above the rest.

Drew McIntyre got his third shot at a Money in the Bank spot, his undefeated* streak still intact, but this time he had to defend his Intercontinental Championship against... Aaron Bolo?  Vince McMahon handpicked McIntyre's opponent if you couldn't tell.  McIntyre made short work of Local Competitor and is going to WrestleMania as the ninth competitor in Money in the Bank.  As I discussed in the column I just linked to, I don't mind that there are ten guys in MITB this year, I would've preferred it if the Intercontinental Title was defended at WrestleMania, especially since the US Title won't be defended either. 

Big Show vs. John Morrison was up next, continuing the story from our opening contest.  Definitely a clash of styles here, the flashy "pretty" style of John Morrison up against the "I'll toss you around like a rag doll" style of The Big Show.  I expected this match to be a bit of a mess, but I was actually rather impressed by how good it was.  Morrison fought hard and looked tough, but Big Show is Big Show and hit that malignant fist for the win.  Not going to win any match of the year awards, but it was a lot of fun. 

Hart Dynasty vs. Cryme Tyme pt. 384 was shaping up to be your standard Hart Dynasty vs. Cryme Tyme match, that was until the lights went out and GONG!  The Undertaker arrived to clean house!  Alright, I'm always happy to see The Undertaker and I didn't really need to see Cryme Tyme vs. The Hart Dynasty again, but what exactly did this accomplish for either team or Taker's feud with Shawn Michaels?

Tiffany vs. Michelle McCool was next, and I'm sure if I've ever actually seen Tiffany wrestle before.  She wasn't exactly Trish Stratus in there, but I admired her intensity and thought it could've been decent had it not abruptly ended due to outside interference.  I'm still trying to figure out why they're saddling Vickie Guerrero with Michelle McCool.  I guess they figure Vickie's the only way they can get the crowd to react to the Women's Champion, but still, what a waste.  Thrilled to see The Glamazon get involved after the match and take out McCool, Layla and Vickie though.  Looks like Beth Phoenix has finally turned face and maybe she'll actually get the spot she deserves as the industry's premiere female wrestler.

Here's how awesome CM Punk is: usually when someone has already been out earlier in the evening, their return isn't really met with as strong a reaction by the crowd... but not Punk.  After a defining moment against Rey to start the night, the crowd booed him even more when he was out for Luke Gallows vs. Kane.  I had to laugh when Matt Striker said "it's like Kane vs. Bizarro Kane" when Gallows was matching Kane's offense.  In case you managed to forget the abysmal fake Kane storyline from a couple years back, Striker's wink wink, nudge nudge moment brought back some painful memories of Luke Gallows running around with Kane's mask on.  Man, that really sucked.  Luckily, this match wasn't that bad, but it wasn't particularly great either.  I was much more into Punk and Mysterio's short brawl afterward. 

For the first time since Chris Jericho started rocking the slick suits and wearing trunks, The Highlight Reel returned!  How long had it been since we saw The Highlight Reel?  Let me put it this way, the last time Jericho hosted it, Lance Cade was hanging out with him.   Edge was the guest for the show, which makes me hope that next week, Chris Jericho is the guest in The Cutting Edge.  Good promos from both men though, Jericho played up Edge's penchant for getting injured, Edge played up his high-risk style, and we got through it without "spear" being said 87 times... at least not by Edge.  I especially liked Jericho hitting Edge with the microphone, a wooden stool and then the World Title when Edge tried to turn the tables; it gave the champ some of his bite back after being humiliated for weeks. SPEAR!

It's getting more and more difficult to give a summary of Smackdown in these reviews.  What do you say about a show that's consistently good every week?  There's nothing particularly revolutionary going on here, it's just a simple wrestling show building towards the biggest event of the year.  My only gripe about this show was the pointless bit with Taker destroying Cryme Tyme and The Harts, but other than that, everything else served a purpose and was executed well... even the stuff with Michelle McCool.  Another thumbs up for WWE's efforts on Friday nights.

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