I did not watch Raw. I have no intention to, except for perhaps the first segment. When you read about how terrible the rest of the night was, and the complete lack of logic and sense from WWE, that kind of kills your desire to watch that programming. Unfortunately, I think that has somewhat of a negative effect on my Blue Crew – people are only turning in to Smackdown to see how what happened on Raw affects it. Of course, last week was a bit of a blunder, but overall, Smackdown is producing good stuff. I think that’s being overlooked by people. It’s sure as hell a lot better than the stuff Raw is putting out – we’re seeing the emergence of Cody Rhodes as a main event talent, the cementing of how Mark Henry will be remembered, and the Tag Team Champs (who are Raw superstars) are getting some decent storyline action. I’ve got a definite mark out moment that happened to me last night, and I’ll recap this in Outside the Blog Zone after we get…to SMACKDOWN! Tonight’s episode is from my neck of the woods in DALLAS, TEXAS!
The 41-Man Clusterf***
If you couldn’t read Randy Orton’s face just before he entered the ring, it said, “This is going to be a complete f***ing mess.” I’ll tell you what though, for what it was, it did what it should have. Giant roster meetings like this need to be messy up until the last ten or so. That makes enduring the first few minutes worth it. I don’t like that Cody Rhodes was the first one eliminated. I’m trying to figure out the logic behind this, and I can’t really figure it out, especially since Cody’s had the angle with Orton (which will continue later tonight). The last few minutes were very entertaining with multiple storylines entangled, from CM Punk and Awesome Truth to Sheamus and Christian. I kind of wish Orton hadn’t have won, but who else are you going to make win and go against Mark Henry? By the way, regarding that RKO on the apron – the more it got played in slow motion, the worse it looked. I’m not going to review the after match interview because it was not only predictable, but super straight forward.
Match Grade: B+
Alberto del Rio gets Smackdowned
Yes, that was a lame title for this segment. Oh well. ADR still hasn’t convinced me that he’s a viable champion. He hasn’t changed his character up at all, and really the best chance of that was to have taken charge of the “revolution” and been the leader that everyone said he was. Everyone remember that? When everyone thanked del Rio and put him as the figurehead of the revolution? Yeah, none of that here tonight. Instead, we got same old Alberto. I’m not thinking his match with Cena at Vengeance is going to help him either.
Segment Grade: C
Beth Phoenix vs. Kelly Kelly
Was this for the title or not? The graphic did not display, but all of the announcers spoke as if it were a title match. I know it wasn’t, but think about how the casual fan feels. For what it was, this match was actually better than most Divas matches we’ve come to expect. It wasn’t their Money in the Bank match, by any stretch, but it wasn’t a Rosa Mendes style mess up. The worst part is that it just kind of seemed to fall flat. I was fine with no dirty finish, and no after match beat down, but even the announcers were just like, “And Beth wins. The World Heavyweight Championship match is tonight!”
Match Grade: B+
Sin Cara Negro Negates Azul
Hey, guess what this Sin Cara angle should have been like before they actually had a match? JUST LIKE THIS. I swear I would be giving this segment an A+ if not for the fact that it should have happened two months ago. I would also really like and hope that Sin Cara Negro talked to the Azul mask in promos.
Segment Grade: B-
Sin Cara ULTIMO vs. Justin Gabriel
As much as I felt like Phoenix and Kelly put on a decent match, I do feel like this match should have gotten a bit more time than what it was allotted. Then again, we had a two-commercial long battle royale open the show…and maybe that should have been shorter. This match was good for the time given, but the ultimate goal of this match was to get Sin Cara over as the best. I would have hated if he lost, but thankfully, that wasn’t the case. Justin Gabriel is still impressive, and I think he’s starting to get to the crowd-riling stage now. He can definitely be a major player within a couple of years. Until then, the midcard is the perfect place for him.
Match Grade: A-
Woo Woo Woo, BRO.
Hey, look at that – Zack got a mention as the Assistant to the General Manager, AND he worked himself into a match! I like it, a LOT. Also, as much as Evan Bourne is impressive in the ring, I very much prefer the combination of Zack Ryder and Kofi Kingston. Here’s a match to look forward to!
Segment Grade: A
Alberto del Rio vs. Sheamus
This was a good match. It was a good match, but a good match is not what del Rio needs. Every single match that del Rio has should display him as dominant. Maybe not Mark Henry dominant, but del Rio does NOT look like a champion. He looks like he has all the potential in the world, but none of the execution required. Sheamus was great in the match, and the ending was very nicely booked, all the way down to Christian laying down by the ring after the interference. Even del Rio’s finish looked stupidly weak. The guy needs some sort of impact move to be able to finish matches off against people who aren’t going to submit, or in matches where he doesn’t concentrate on the arm. I’m curious as to what they’re doing with the “Christian needs two spears to take down Great White” angle. Christian sold the “Crap, I’m in over my head” look well, and I’d be curious to see how the angle progresses.
Match Grade: B+
Guerrero, Inc. vs. Boom Boom Boom, You Know It
HA. Yes, that’s what I’d name them. This was pretty great tag team wrestling here, stuff I haven’t seen in ages. I love that we got two hot tags, great heel tag work by Swagger and Ziggler, and Zack Ryder getting the win, along with Vickie saying that Dolph was gunning for him, points to a potential United States Championship match for Long Island Iced Z. I’m very glad that Swagger is getting this opportunity with Ziggler because that boy was floundering. If this match was any indication of the future of the Tag Team Division, I am very excited for it. Thanks to my hometown Dallas crowd for showing Ryder some major love.
Match Grade: A
Christian tries to bite Sheamus on the Arse?
Speaking of Matt Striker, wow did he last longer than I thought in that battle royale! I love Sheamus’ stories from Ireland, but I don’t like that he had to explain what it meant. I could put two and two together. I’m looking forward to the Sheamus/Christian angle.
Segment Grade: B+
World Heavyweight Championship Match: Mark Henry (C) vs. Randy Orton
Orton may have his detractors in the WWE Universe when it comes to booking, backstage politics, and other things, but the guy can put on an entertaining match. I know I mentioned before that I hate how he oversells his own moves, but I love the little, subtle things that he does, such as getting dazed after headbutts. Mark Henry, as Cole said, is getting smarter in the ring, especially now that he has that top of the card experience. This was a great match psychologically as we got Orton continually fighting back, scoring three or four strikes on Henry, before the World’s Strongest Man cut him off in a HUGE manner. The ending ended predictably – with interference – but it was not at all who I was expecting to come out. I honestly thought that Big Show was going to come out first, but Cody coming out was a great call. The chemistry that Show and Orton had together in these last few minutes was very nice, and it dawned on me that if Orton goes for the Intercontinental Championship and he spends a bit of time in the upper mid card, I’d love to see him and Show go for the Tag Belts! Talk about restoring prestige to the Tag Team Division, that would be on par with Jericho and Edge, two other main event talents who did wonders for the Tag Team scene. Anyways, that is probably a LONG way off from coming to fruition, but it looked nice on paper.
Match Grade: A
In-Ring Action: A- I was greatly pleased at the rebound from last week’s episode in this category. This was the perfect combination of in ring and out of ring action, and even with the giant battle royale mess to open the show, the rest of the card tonight flowed nicely. The match of the night was a tough call, but I’m giving it to the tag team match, because it did the most out of all the matches on the card. Good times!
Out-of-Ring Action: B+ The Sin Cara segment was actually my favorite tonight, but I really just wish that it had happened earlier, or that their match was held off until Survivor Series, or at the very least, Vengeance. I read that there’s a mask vs. mask match next week in Mexico, and well, that’s not a Pay Per View, but if there’s going to be any place to have this kind of match, it’s in Mexico. I look for the crowd to be VERY hot for this match. I really hope del Rio does something in the next few weeks.
Overall: A- Thank God for this episode of Smackdown, because last week’s bit the dust. I wish I had been able to go, but funds prohibited that movement. As we head towards Vengeance, Smackdown is very happy being involved in its own world and not having to worry about the corporate giants in WWE like Raw is. Raw is having to deal with putting on a good show for Raw while still trying to get the Corporate storyline over. Smackdown is Smackdown and it doesn’t have to work the Corporate storyline into everything. Thankfully, that means we get a decently entertaining episode.
OUTSIDE THE BLOG ZONE
Last night, I wrestled a tryout match for the North Texas Wrestling Alliance (which also runs Wrecking Ball Wrestling), and who was there? “Maniac” Matt Bourne! For those of you that don’t recognize that name (and a lot of people in Seven Points, TX didn’t) that’s DOINK THE CLOWN. I met Doink the Clown! Not only did I meet him, but he got in the ring, evaluated, and workshopped with me and the other MPX guys that went down there to do tryouts. Coolest thing ever? Doink the Clown said that I had solid ring work and, that he was “really digging [my] s***.” Also a small victory for us at MPX was that the Powers that Be in NTWA said that it’s refreshing that it looked like we didn’t train in a backyard – but MPX started in a backyard. Winning. Until next week, thank you all for making me your CHOICE for Smackdown blogging!