My apologies for this being late…I’ve had a hell of a week – 20+ hours of overtime, preparing for Metroplex Wrestling both over the weekend and in a couple of weeks, and it’s Mother’s Day – Happy Mother’s Day to all of you mothers that may be reading this…I doubt there are any…anyways, are we ready? Let’s get to SMACKDOWN!
Randy Orton/Sheamus vs. Chris Jericho/Alberto del Rio
So this was supposed to be a continuation of sorts from where Monday left off. I’m not gonna lie, I’ve been so busy, I haven’t been able to watch Raw from last week. I was surprised at first that the match ended in a no contest. It made sense, though, and it was even better once we saw where it was going later. We haven’t seen a multiple man (not in a cage-y structure of some kind) match for one of the major belts in a while, so it’s actually kind of refreshing to see one happening at Over the Limit. I remember back in the Attitude Era where a ton of matches for the WWF Championship was a triple threat (Austin, Rock, HHH) or a fatal four way (throw ‘Taker in there). I’ll be interested to see what feuds pop up from this match though. Will Sheamus feud with Jericho or del Rio for the title? Or will we see a face/face feud leading up to SummerSlam? I think the announcement of the singles matches later should have been done in the arena to the live audience and not just on announce. That’s a personal preference – how did the live audience know what was going on?
Match Grade: B+
A.J. vs. Kaitlyn
It makes me happy when smaller people squash bigger people. It doesn’t make me happy when there’s a multiple week build to a match like this, and no story is told. Let me clarify: I was fine with the squash, and especially with A.J. going over, but I would have liked to see more of either one of these ladies wanting the match and the other wanting to talk it over or something before the action started. I know that it makes sense for these two to go at it, but Kaitlyn didn’t seem angry enough or something to me. I hope that makes sense. Daniel Bryan coming out for the save was brilliant – his promo afterwards was, too – but man…what a freaking d***!!!!! I’m interested to see if Kaitlyn and D-Bry really do end up together after all this. And who will A.J. pair up with? Hmm.
Match Grade: SQUASH
Segment Grade: A
Daniel Bryan vs. The Big Show
Daniel Bryan should not be used to further this thing between Show and Laurinaitis. He’s the number one contender to the WWE Championship…on that note, however, I don’t see who else you could use to put in there. This was a decent match – kind of a tried and true formula, and I was surprised when the “Screwjob” finish went into effect – but upon recalling what little of Raw I did see, it makes sense. I kind of wonder where they’re going with Big Show and Laurinaitis now. Will Show turn into the corporate assassin that he basically was with McMahon? The promo he cut on his match after the promo he cut on Big Show was really weird timing-wise. It reminded me of an e-fed promo. Points to anyone that was in an e-fed.
Match Grade: B-
Segment Grade: B-
Heath Slater vs. Ryback
I never want Heath Slater to be given a microphone. I follow the man on Twitter, and I don’t understand where his fan base comes from. He’s not great in the ring, he’s definitely not stellar on the mic, and instead of looking tanned, he just looks like he’s permanently sunburned. I appreciate them trying not to make this as much of a squash, but let’s call it what it was – a squash. I will say that the counter of the neckbreaker where Ryback just stood up and let Slater bump was unique and funny. The only question for Ryback now, as the live crowds keep referencing, is “Who’s Next?”
Match Grade: SQUASH
Alex Riley vs. Antonio Cesaro
New music for Cesaro please. Immediately. As for Alex Riley – if you were once headlining Pay Per Views because of a grudge match, and something that you have control over (ring work) is preventing you from doing that again, wouldn’t you be motivated to get better? Alex Riley didn’t even have MUSIC for goodness’ sake. Again, I appreciate that they tried not to make this a squash match, and Riley got in just enough offense to make it not a squash match, but it wasn’t a strong showing of Cesaro’s skill by any means. I know what Castagnoli is capable of – I saw it in his “tryout” match if I’m a casual fan, and I know ROH if I’m more than that, but this kind of match doesn’t really do much for him. I will say that the delayed gut wrench suplex was way more impressive on Riley than it was on whoever it was two weeks ago.
Match Grade: C+
Randy Orton vs. Alberto del Rio
This was actually a very decent del Rio match. I know he worked the arm like he does every time, but there was just something different about this match that got me into it a lot more. The credit might go to Randy for that, but regardless, it was a great match. There was emotion, false endings, and then Richardo Rodriguez got RKO’ed coming in for a cross body. I approve. I was a bit confused (especially because of the next match) when the DQ happened and Ricardo didn’t actually hit Randy with anything. But this was the right call, booking wise. Having del Rio apply the cross arm breaker afterwards was also the right call.
Match Grade: A
R-Truth w/Kofi vs. Jack Swagger w/Ziggler
Well, this was a good “build-up” match. I’m really glad that Swagger and Ziggler are competing for the tag team titles again, as it was a bit weird when Ziggler had the US Title and Swagger was just an accessory (and vice versa). I think it’d be okay if Truth and Kofi were transitional champions, as I think Swagger and Ziggler can be a more legitimate tag team. That, and I just like the idea of stables. On that note, is Mason Ryan now with A.W.? From what I heard when my friends did backstage stuff at the WWE event in Dallas, Mason Ryan’s one of the nicest guys in the locker room, so I’m glad to see they’re going to use him somewhere. If Truth and Kofi retain, would A.W. be the next challenge for them? Will we ever see a face stable again? The finish of this match bothered me, as, per the rules of the previous match, Swagger should have been DQ’ed since Ziggler got punched by Truth. It’s the little things.
‘Match Grade: B
Co-Bro vs. The NXT Big Things
Here’s another squash match that wasn’t a squash match. Building up Titus and Darren is a good thing, and with A.W., Swagger and Ziggler, The Usos, Truth/Kofi, and Gabriel/Kidd (when Justin gets back), it seems like the Tag Team Division is slowly returning. I approve of this and hope that the teams don’t just implode later this year. Decent ring work here, but everyone knows that the big mission of this match was to build up O’Neil and Young (maybe we can call them Young Neil? “Hey, I’m Neil. I live here.”). I like the look of the team, and I like their chemistry in the ring – but what the heck are they trying to do on the mic? It’s like the girl that’s super attractive until she opens her mouth and then you’re like, “Ehhh, maybe not.”
Match Grade: C+
I’m Welcome? For What?!
Ah, an interviewer segment with Mr. Sandow. I love the crack at Striker being an educator, and then bringing up the Tundra Bean Goose, whatever the heck that is (I’m an unwashed mass), was great. The hype going into this guy is ridiculous, and I really hope that when he does get his matches in, they’re not squashes. This guy doesn’t seem to need squash matches to get over…
Segment Grade: A-
Brodus Clay vs. Hunico
Okay, I have to call this one a squash, even though Hunico and Camacho jumped the Funkasaurus from behind. I thought we’d finally get to see some sort of challenge on TV for the big guy, but it seems that for now, the only legitimate match he’s had was against Dolph Ziggler.
Match Grade: SQUASH
Chris Jericho vs. Sheamus
Two men who are great at their craft went at it here, and just like the earlier match with del Rio and Orton, this told a great story and had me invested in it. Matches like these are getting me pumped up for the fatal four way. My only complaint with this match was the attacking of the arm and then trying to use the Walls of Jericho. I know it’s his signature move, but I’d really prefer to see a more psychologically sound submission attempt. Other than that, I loved watching this match, and again, the right call was made with a no contest finish. The beat down of del Rio by Orton and Sheamus was good stuff too, as del Rio is the weak link in the four way.
Match Grade: A
In-Ring Action: C+ Why wasn’t this a higher grade? Yes, we had three good matches, but look at all the squashes we had! It’s what Guy and I have been worried about with all of these new faces coming in – tons of squashes. Even the building of new angles had to involve squashes. I’m hoping we’ll get beyond this squash fest, but I will admit that I like the influx of new talent that we’re getting.
Out of Ring Action: B+ Honestly, most of the out of ring stuff was actually conducted in the ring. Between Johnny’s promo, Bryan’s promo, and the pre/post match beatdowns, the only out of ring segment, really was Sandow’s. And that was brilliant.
Overall: B- It was going to be a “B” flat out, but I’m still not a huge fan of a ton of squashes. And when three of your matches involve four of the same superstars, it’s bound to be a bit monotonous. That being said, the build to the fatal four way at Over the Limit is going swimmingly thus far, and I look forward to seeing what else the Tag Team Division is going to offer.
Outside the Blog Zone
Good news and bad news for Metroplex Wrestling: Brian Kendrick was invited to a tournament in Japan on the weekend of the 26th, which was when he was supposed to be on our show. Good news: We were able to replace him with Funaki, who you may or may not know, is a current WWE talent scout, and he’ll be conducting a seminar and workshop with us before our show on the 26th. Also good news: Kendrick re-booked with us for JUNE 30th! Not a bad time to be a fan of MPX Wrestling. Until next week, thank you for making me your CHOICE for Smackdown blogging!