Sunday, September 26, 2010

WWE Smackdown Thoughts - September 24, 2010

It was the finale of Smackdown on MyNetworkTV, did the show go out with a bang?

Well, it certainly started with one, thanks to Kane's absurdly loud pyro. Kane vs. Chris Masters was our opening contest, and even though its outcome was a forgone conclusion, I'm happy to see Masters get more time on Smackdown lately. Masters is extremely underrated and at least he got some offense in, including the Masterlock, which is still a well-protected move all these years later. Match was surprisingly long, and while Masters took quite a beating, he looked tough in the process. Not a bad way to start things off.

After the match, Kane told the audience that he drained The Undertaker of any remaining powers after dumping him on his head at Night of Champions, and he had one last challenge for his big brother that he couldn't refuse.

Tag Team Titles on the line with The Hart Dynasty invoking their rematch clause against Cody Rhodes & Drew McIntyre. Not quite as good as their match last week, but way better than the train wreck that we got a Night of Champions. Rhodes & McIntyre are really gelling as a team, and even though I'm still bummed about the Hart's losing the belts in such an anticlimactic fashion, this match did what it needed to do to firmly establish Rhodes & McIntyre as the new champs. I'd like to see more from these two teams though, they mesh very well.

Backstage, Alberto Del Rio stood over a prone Christian, obviously writing out Captain Charisma, who was put on the shelf thanks to an unfortunate pectoral tear.

The Undertaker was shown backstage, just sitting on a staircase. It was a nice touch, Undertaker is never shown just hanging out backstage, because ya know, he's usually just hanging out in Hell, but now that he's powerless, he has to sit backstage like everyone else.

Hornswoggle, Teddy Long, Croft & Baretta goofing around backstage, packing up stuff for the move to Syfy was actually pretty amusing.

Kaval vs. Chavo Guerrero was next in a match that surely made smark's brains explode. Well, their shared brain explode. Chavo Guerrero actually won this match, which of course means "WWE SUX LOW-KI IS BURIEZ!" It was actually a pretty good match though and sold the idea that Kaval is a "rookie" when put up against the veteran Chavo. As for my opinion on Chavo winning his first match in months? Well, I have to quote a good friend of the site, Louis O'Hara, "I love how Chavo Guerrero is the most criminally underused wrestler in the WWE and deserves to be getting wins and higher up on the card... at least until he gets a win over someone people like, that is."

Alberto Del Rio came out to mock all of his opponents who wind up getting injured when they cross him. But guess what? Rey Mysterio is returning to Smackdown next week, at least according to Del Rio. Why do I get the feeling we're going to get the old midget impersonation bit?

But hey, Christian interrupted Del Rio during his promo, so it doesn't look like he's ready to go out yet! But Alberto's personal ring announcer grabbed Christian's leg and allowed Del Rio to get the upper hand and lock in the Cross Armbreaker. Okay, now he's written out.

Big Show vs. Hawkins & Archer in a handicap match? I call this one a "two birds with one stone" match. Big Show made quick work of these two, and that's really all there is to say about this one.

Next week's live Smackdown will be in Oklahoma, a homecoming for Jack Swagger!

CM Punk vs. Luke Gallows was set after The SES officially imploded. Before the match, Gallows promised he'd beat Punk, then celebrate with a beer. I guess with Serena's release and Mercury's injury, they're just going to go with CM Punk as a singles competitor again? Kind of a bummer, because the group had a fun dynamic, but Punk is good as the leader of a group or a solo act. Gallows falls to the GTS, and I wonder if this means he'll be sent back to rehab.

Dolph Ziggler vs. MVP was our final match of the evening, and this match could be used as a good relaunching for MVP... but I feel like that's the sixth time I've said that this year. With Ziggler walking out of the match though, it looks like we're at least going to have a brief IC Title feud between the two, and MVP looked impressive here, but who knows? I'll believe an MVP push when I see it.

Kane returned to the ring in the final segment of the show to issue his challenge to The Undertaker. Since the ring is now Kane's yard, he wants to prove it... inside Hell in a Cell! Not exactly shocking considering there's a PPV in nine days called HELL IN A CELL, and that's why I hate this PPV concept. It would be much more dramatic if Kane challenged Taker to HIAC out of the blue, but we knew these two were going to have the match when Undertaker returned at SummerSlam, completely kills the drama of the build up. Kane promised to make his brother burn in hell, but then *GONG!*

The infamous druids pushed a casket to ringside, but it wasn't The Undertaker inside, it was PAUL BEARER?! After a six-year hiatus from WWE, the "Father of Destruction," returned to Smackdown, and he carried the urn, which surely will restore The Undertaker's powers, right? Oh, I love wrestling. Undertaker appeared in the ring, sent Kane running and the final image for Smackdown on MyNetworkTV was The Undertaker bowing to Paul Bearer and the urn.

Smackdown wasn't as good this week as it's been lately, especially the last two weeks, but Paul Bearer's return was the big deal. Earlier in the week, I asked on Kick-Out!! Radio what WWE needs to do to make wrestling exciting again; well, if wrestling fans can get this excited over the return of a manager, I think that says something. There was a time, not that long ago, when every person on the show was important or had a story to tell, and that's just not really the case anymore. Look at this Smackdown, there are more than a handful of guys that are just there and have no other real reasons to care about them. Perhaps Paul Bearer's return could shine a light on that?

But I don't want to sound like a total negative Nancy, Bearer's return is really cool and just takes the Undertaker/Kane storyline back to its completely over-the-top roots. I will say this, I am more excited about Hell in a Cell now, thanks solely to the addition of Paul Bearer, even though he will add little to the actual match or card in general. It's just one of those nice little touches in wrestling that I really enjoy.


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