Sunday, June 6, 2010

WWE Smackdown Thoughts - June 4, 2010

Smackdown started with a cold open and a somber Teddy Long informing us that over the Memorial Day Weekend, The Undertaker had been attacked and was found by his brother Kane in a "vegetative state." Okay, I know he's The Undertaker, he's no mortal man, so he can't simply be beaten up and put on the shelf, but a vegetative state? Really? Despite the silly terminology, I like the idea of the angle (keep in mind I'm writing this as I'm watching Smackdown, so that could change), because we haven't had a good old fashioned "whodunnit?" in a long time. I doubt it'll be as enthralling as "who ran over Stone Cold?" but "who put The Undertaker in a vegetative state" could be fun.

The show opened with Druids bringing a casket to ringside and Kane not far behind. The coffin was empty and Kane said The Undertaker "would no longer walk among us." This funeral service caused many people to be reminded why wrestling and its fans aren't taken seriously, because people on the internet (specifically Twitter) thought The Undertaker was actually dead. C'mon guys, aside from the years of 2000-2004, the guy's been dead for 20 years!

I was skeptical that Kane was the star of this show as many had told me on Twitter, but yeah, his promo was pretty awesome. Obviously The Undertaker "dying" for the 47th time is a little hokey, Kane did a great job selling the whole thing, and this show is honestly the most entertaining I've seen Kane since he first took his mask off and was destroying anyone in his path. Great stuff.

Jack Swagger vs. MVP was our opening bout, and I really liked this one. MVP certainly looked a lot better in this match than he did against Luke Gallows last week, and going back to what I said in last week's Five Count, yesterday's loser could be tomorrow's World Champion. Not to say that's necessarily the case here, WWE's got a lot of work to do with MVP to get him back in contention, but this match was certainly a good start. Swagger picked up the win in this hard-fought match with a quick roll-up, so I doubt this is the end of this story.

After the match, MVP was attacked by Vance Archer & Curt Hawkins, who are still looking to make an impact during their 30-day contract. Still don't really care about these guys, but stuff like this helps... a little.

T-Lo announced a battle royal with the "entire" Smackdown roster to determine Undertaker's replacement for Fatal Four Way.

Good to know that CM Punk & The Straight Edge Society were not responsible for The Undertaker's demise, they're far more honorable than that.

Kofi Kingston vs. Drew McIntyre for the Intercontinental Championship was up next, thanks to the former champion invoking his rematch clause. Matt Hardy was in the front row watching, but that wound up being McIntyre's downfall, because he couldn't just stop himself from backhanding Matt. Worrying about Hardy allowed Kofi to take advantage and nail the SOS for the win, and the fact that the SOS is now a finisher is awesome. Great match between these two, McIntyre's growing on me as a performer and Kofi is Kofi, who is always enjoyable. After the match Matt Hardy nailed McIntyre with a Twist of Fate and ran from the ring like it was a taxi in Northern Kentucky. (jokes!)

Jack Swagger singing the Oklahoma fight song with a bouncing Swagger head graphic (like those old Disney sing-a-long videos) was freaking hilarious.

Rosa Mendes vs. Kelly Kelly wasn't bad, although Matt Striker's commentary was. This guy is the king of cheap heat at this point, "women are more emotional than us men!" That's our Striker! I like Kelly busting out the old Rocker Dropper as her finisher too, way better than the "I'm gonna jump off your back" legdrop that rarely worked.

Main Event time! The Smackdown Battle Royal to determine The Undertaker's replacement at Fatal Four Way! I'm always skeptical when I hear the phrase "entire roster," but I was pretty shocked that FINLAY was in there, and kicked ass! Looks like the only active guys missing from the battle royal were Cody Rhodes, Shad Gaspard, and Tyler Reks (though calling Reks active may be a bit of a stretch). Luke Gallows was a beast in this one, and when one of the Dudebusters got flung over the top and clipped the other one in the head with his boot, you know what I was thinking... NASTY! I was not happy to see Christian eliminated, of course that's my personal bias coming through and it wouldn't make much sense for him to be in the main event of Fatal Four Way, but I'd love to see him mix it up with CM Punk sooner rather than later.

The battle royal came down to (no surprise) Kane & Rey Mysterio, with Mysterio picking up the win. Saw a lot of people pissed off about that decision, especially considering how fired up Kane was earlier in the evening, but Kane shouldn't be focused on the World Title right now, his quest should be finding who took out his brother. Rey doesn't really have anything else to do right now anyway, so might as well put him in Fatal Four Way with his archnemesis, CM Punk.

I really enjoyed this Smackdown. It sucks that The Undertaker got hurt, but this storyline with Kane looks to be pretty entertaining, and yes, I just used "Kane" and "entertaining" in the same sentence. Not a lot of wrestling thanks to the long opening segment and battle royal, but Kofi vs. McIntyre and Swagger vs. MVP were very enjoyable. One minor gripe though, can we get some more hype for the PPV? The only matches scheduled so far are the Four Ways and aside from Matt Hardy vs. Drew McIntyre and maybe Christian vs. Ziggler, what else will the Blue Brand offer us at Fatal Four Way?

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