Sunday, March 21, 2010

Smackdown Thoughts - March 19, 2010

Before I start with my thoughts on this week's Smackdown, I wanted to give a very quick review of WWE Superstars:

Kane vs. Shelton Benjamin - thumbs up.  Seriously, if WWE wants to get a crowd pumped up before Raw or Smackdown, use Kane on Superstars, because they go freaking nuts for him.  Decent match too, which is always a pleasant surprise when the Big Red Machine is involved. 

Diva Tag Match - Yawn.

Jack Swagger, Zack Ryder & William Regal vs. Christian, Yoshi Tatsu & Mark Henry - awesome stuff.  Fun little ECW alumni match that the crowd was insanely hot for. This is what makes Superstars such a good show, because we never get to see stuff like this on Raw anymore.

Okay, Smackdown time!  We started with Matt Striker & Todd Grisham really overselling the CM Punk/Rey Mysterio controversy from last week.  Sure, it was an extremely well-executed segment, probably CM Punk's greatest performance ever, but c'mon guys, don't cheapen it by acting like someone died.  Still, it is a testament to how good CM Punk is, they've turned a simple birthday interruption into this heinous act, and he didn't even physically attack Mysterio in front of his family.  Rey Mysterio made his way to the ring to address the situation and accepted CM Punk's challenge for a match at WrestleMania, but not just any match, he wanted a street fight!  I'm all for that, these two have had a few matches in the past, but putting them in the ring at WrestleMania in a match with no rules?  Awesome.  CM Punk made his way out next to rub some salt into Mysterio's wounds and gave us another stellar performance on the mic.  This guy has surpassed everyone else in the industry to become the top villain in all of professional wrestling, I might be more excited for this match than anything else on the WrestleMania card besides HBK vs. Taker.

Some Money in the Bank hype in our opening contest, former Tag Team Champions Matt Hardy & MVP vs. Jack Swagger & Dolph Ziggler.  Swagger & Ziggler should form a permanent team, they both have amateur backgrounds, their personalities mesh, and they're not really doing anything anyway, so why not?   Decent enough match, Ziggler picks up the win and poses atop a ladder after the match with the MITB briefcase in his hands... enjoy it for now Dolphy Z, because you won't get nearly that close next Sunday.

Tiffany & Beth Phoenix vs. Michelle McCool & Layla up next, and now the Mean Girls have found their new ridiculous insult, calling Beth Phoenix a man.  Sigh.  Good guys win, Vickie Guerrero announces after the match that she will face Beth Phoenix next week, one-on-one... oh yeah, I'm sure there won't be any shenanigans there.

Last week, Edge was the guest in the Highlight Reel, this week Chris Jericho (w/ Wade Barrett) is the guest in the Cutting Edge!  I think these guys realized how the "SPEAR, SPEAR, SPEAR!" thing wasn't really the kind of hype worthy of a WrestleMania main event and have made adjustments in the last week or so to make things better.  Focusing on Edge's injury and how the match will be about more than just one move is the kind of thing Jericho needed to get some of the momentum in his favor.  The crowd is still excited to chant "SPEAR!" which is fine since it's caught on, and they went nuts when Edge hit Barrett with it, but I'm glad they've dialed it down a bit.

R-Truth & John Morrison vs. The Hart Dynasty was criminally short considering the talent in the ring, but it continued to build Truth & Wisdom as Tag Team Title contenders.  Still not happy with how the Harts are being used though.

Rey Mysterio vs. Luke Gallows up next and the stakes were high for this one.  Rey lost in this one, which means if he loses at WrestleMania, he must join the Straight Edge Society!  As hilarious as that is, I would've much rather have seen a street fight between Punk and Rey.  Good match though, Rey and Gallows have good in-ring chemistry, and I'd like to see Gallows get more singles action, he is an underrated talent.  And even without the street fight stipulation, I'm sure Rey and Gallows will tear the house down next Sunday.

Main Event time! The Undertaker vs. Drew McIntyre, excuse me, the undefeated* Drew McIntyre.  It's the battle of guys with really long entrances, add Randy Orton in this match and the entrances would be longer than the actual show.  It's a nice treat to see The Undertaker actually wrestle on Smackdown, I feel like it's been awhile.  Also a nice treat for McIntyre, getting a chance to step in the ring with a living legend, and even though it was a definitive loss, just being in the ring with the Deadman makes you a bigger star than you were before you came in.  Still not sold on McIntyre, but if this loss gets erased from his record, and they keep playing him up as the anti-Goldberg, I may just come around.

Another great episode of Smackdown with phenomenal hype for WrestleMania.  If you're not excited for WrestleMania after this build, then I have to wonder if you're actually a wrestling fan.  Next Sunday cannot get here soon enough.

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