Saturday, April 3, 2010

Smackdown Thoughts - April 2, 2010: New Champion!

Smackdown kicked off with the World Heavyweight Champion, Chris Jericho, but you don't want to read about me talking about Jericho cutting another great promo, you want to know about Jack Swagger cashing in Money in the Bank and becoming the new World Heavyweight Champion.  I've been trying to avoid talking about the issue this week so not to spoil it for everyone, like it was spoiled for me on Tuesday night... damn Twitter.  I've seen a lot of mixed opinions on this, but I think the negative side is just really pissed Jericho fans.  I honestly don't have an issue with this, and after I thought about it and actually saw this episode of Smackdown, I have to say it's brilliant.  

My only complaint is I don't know why they didn't just do it at WrestleMania after Edge speared Jericho through the barricade.  They probably didn't want Swagger's win overshadowed by Cena vs. Batista and HBK vs. Taker and instead built this entire Smackdown around his victory, but seeing someone cash-in MITB at WrestleMania is something we haven't seen yet and would've been a very memorable moment.

But yeah, aside from that, this was expertly done: it gets a fresh character in the main event scene on Smackdown, it automatically takes Jack Swagger from nobody to top talent, and it gets the Money in the Bank out of play for a few months before the MITB PPV.  They don't want to have two briefcases floating around during the summer, and by having Swagger cash-in so soon, it gives the gimmick time to cool off before July.  Where they go with Swagger from here remains to be seen, but this is how a guy makes a splash.  And for all those people always whining about WWE not making new stars and not doing anything surprising anymore, well, here you go.

Cryme Tyme vs. Truth & Wisdom was our first actual match of the evening, but honestly I think Jack Swagger's MITB cash-in took longer than this one.  Morrison picks up a quick win for his team with Starship Pain, but the big story came after the match when Shad attacked JTG, effectively ending Cryme Tyme!  I'm not sure how I feel about this one; sure, Cryme Tyme hasn't done anything worthwhile in months, but they're one of the few established "true" tag teams in WWE, they've been together for four years!  I can see JTG possibly becoming a solid singles wrestler, he's more than capable in the ring, but I really can't see Shad doing much of anything on his own.

Jack Swagger interrupting people backstage just to show the World Championship to anyone who will look at it was hilarious.

Drew McIntyre vs. Matt Hardy never even got started, thanks to McIntyre returning to his old shtick of beating guys up before the match even gets started.  I much prefer his fake undefeated streak, but I guess after losing to The Undertaker, they've dropped that.  

Dolph Ziggler vs. The Great Khali was about as good as it could've been.  These two had a somewhat entertaining (emphasis on "somewhat") feud last year, and this match picked up right where that feud left off, Ziggler coming out on top.  Ziggy won with his version of the sleeper, which according to his Twitter page, is now known as "The Name Dropper."  After the match, Khali announced that he's returning to India to refine his skills and when he returns, he'll win the World Championship.  Not so sure about that last part, but Khali taking time off is okay with me... but I hope Ranjin Singh sticks around!

CM Punk & The Straight Edge Society are the best part of professional wrestling right now, period.  When Serena said "look into his beautiful eyes" and Punk gave the camera that psychotically evil glare, I lost it.  It looks like Punk and Mysterio will get their rematch at Extreme Rules, which will hopefully right the wrong from WrestleMania where they got six minutes to work with.  The WM stipulation remains, if Rey loses, he has to join the SES, but this time, if Punk loses, he'll shave his head.  I can't imagine Punk with short hair, but right now, I can't even imagine him with clean hair, so I'm definitely intrigued by this added stipulation.

Beth Phoenix & Tiffany vs. Michelle McCool & Layla was surprisingly decent, and even more surprising is how good Tiffany is in the ring.  She's no Natalya, she's not even a Melina, but she's definitely a good fit on Friday nights where women can wrestle.  While the match wasn't anything that will set the world on fire, I could watch The Glamazon slam Layla on her face every week, so I give this a thumbs up.

Kane was out next to tell us that he's "getting bored," which is funny because I was just thinking the same thing.  Kane goes onto face the entire NXT roster in an 8-on-1 elimination-style handicap match, and yes, it was as unexciting as it sounds.  It's nice to see NXT get some exposure on the other shows, but is this really the best usage of these guys, showing them struggling against one dude?

Our "main event" of the evening was Chris Jericho confronting Jack Swagger and Edge getting involved as well.  Teddy Long was out after the war of words and screwed Jericho out of his rematch clause.  Why should Jericho have to use his rematch clause the same night he lost the World Title?  Batista has a rematch clause, he didn't have to use it at WrestleMania, so what the hell is that T-Lo?  Since Jericho didn't want to wrestle on this night (after being assaulted by both Edge and Swagger), Long set up Edge vs. Jericho for next week to determine the new #1 contender.  I smell a Triple Threat match at Extreme Rules.

A lot going on this week, but unfortunately, not much of it was actual in-ring action.  Definitely a story-heavy episode of Smackdown centered around Jack Swagger winning the World Title, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.  Though the wrestling suffered, we got great post-WrestleMania storyline progression and a huge moment with the title change.  I think it's a rare week where Raw was the better wrestling show and Smackdown was the better story-driven show, but everything worked rather well.  A very memorable end to a memorable WrestleMania week.


  1. Boooo to Cryme Tyme splitting up.

  2. Shad has 'the look' typically associated with what Vince McMahon wants. If he can get heat, not just in the ring - but on the microphone too - I could totally see WWE pushing him.

    Whether the internet fans would like that or not is a different matter, one which I'm not sure Vince cares too highly about.

  3. I thought Shad did pretty well in that promo, afterwords. I've always liked him. But, I just hope they don't try to go the "unstoppable monster" route. Trying to push him as a leviathan on a brand that already has Kane manhandling the entire NXT roster and Ezekiel Jackson being Ezekiel Jackson (read: awesome), might be a bit much. I'm honestly more excited about JTG, though. I think he has real potential.

    This is the first Smackdown I've had the chance to check out in a few weeks. I'm really glad I did. It's as solid as ever. Even the Drew McIntyre (ughhh) segment was enjoyable, if only because he laid waste to the gelatinous blob that ate Matt Hardy. I'm looking forward to next week's show.

  4. I like Shad, I just don't see him getting anywhere without JTG. There haven't been any memorable Shad moments, yet JTG is pretty damn good in the ring and had a hell of a match last year with Chris Jericho. Of course, a broom could have a hell of a match with Jericho, but if anyone's the Marty Jannetty in Cryme Tyme, it's Shad. And even if JTG can break out on his own, I think I'd rather still have Cryme Tyme.