I don’t really have any for this week, I suppose…except that it’s looking more and more like Ryback is going to be Punk’s opponent for Hell in a Cell. I don’t think John Cena’s going to be ready to go three weeks after surgery, and they keep building Ryback up like he’s gunning for the chance. Also, about Tensai sandbagging Ryback: Didn’t Tensai get Shell Shocked before by Ryback on Smackdown? Why the change of heart, Bloom? Or were you really just too gassed to jump? We may never know, but for now, are we ready? Let’s get to SMACKDOWN!
Introduce a little chaos…
Maybe I’ve stopped looking at wrestling like a kid, because this promo by Show was stupid. “He must have a plan! I’m going to ruin that plan!” All that was missing was an evil laugh. On the other side, the way Sheamus retorted with his hand shake offer was cheesy as well. The video packages teasing Show and making fun of him are old hat, as it seems like Paul Wight’s entire career has been his retaliation or his defiance of people making fun of him.
Segment Grade: C
PrimeTime Players vs. R-Boom
I was kind of worried that Truth and Kofi were going over and that all of the legitimate tag teams in this tournament were going to be tossed aside in favor of these “singles mashup” teams. Rhodes Scholars still falls under that heading. This was your typical tag team match, complete will cheap shots by the heels and hot comebacks by the faces. Most tag team matches can be judged by their go home sequence, because up until that, it’s all pretty much the same. The timing on the outside by Titus before he went to pull Truth out of the ring was a little off, but other than that, the outcome was decent, and PTP rightfully won. I’m getting a bit tired of the Truth and Kofi tag team as it’s reached a completely stagnant phase since losing the tag belts that they never did anything with anyways.
Match Grade: B
Ryback vs. Primo
Ryback’s been very inconsistent in his meals lately. He’s had some decent matches recently, but someone like Primo? No chance. If we’re going to try to build Ryback up like a legit contender, he’s got to stop squashing people like this. I know it seems counter-intuitive, but I’m not impressed anymore. Also, when did Primo and Epico turn heel again?
Match Grade: SQUASH
Layla vs. Alicia Fox
When did Alicia turn heel between slapping hands with the crowd and entering the ring? This was a confusing match to start off, and while it was no Beth/Natalya, it was an okay match. There was some form of psychology in it, but that broke down when Layla used her damaged legs to springboard off the ropes, and then used her damaged legs to kick Alicia Fox in the head for the win. Guess we can’t ask for Beth/Nattie every week, huh? Post-match interview was fine. I was just thinking the other day that I missed when someone like “Mean” Gene Okerlund would get in the ring after a match and interview one of the participants.
Match Grade: C
Punk and Ziggler Confrontation
This is an interesting turn of events…pretty big gamble, too. It’s a heel vs. heel matchup, but can there be enough of a dynamic between these two to make it an interesting contest? Given that it’s Punk and Ziggler, I’d say yes. I loved both of their looks after Booker said his catch phrase.
Segment Grade: B
Wade Barrett vs. …….that guy…
Is Wade still open for business? Because I don’t think he has anything I want to buy right now. He’s above this jobber squashing. The only reason I can think of for still having him do this is so they have a nice assortment of video footage of the Souvenir. Good move, by the way, that elbow.
Match Grade: SQUASH
Champion vs. Champion: The Miz vs. Sheamus
About halfway through this match, I came to the conclusion that Sheamus just has way too many “signature” moves. Irish Curse Backbreaker, Forearms in the ropes, Rolling Hills, his entire hot comeback (hammer, hammer, shoulder block in corner, high knee lift), Running Powerslam, Top Rope Shoulder Block, White Noise, Brogue Kick. Hitting all of those, including selling, is probably a five minute segment unto itself. That being said, when you have only about 8 minutes for a match, the match becomes more about cramming all of these moves in. At least, that’s what this match felt like. Obviously, this was just a means to an end (Big Show KO’ing Miz), so I guess that’s all this match had to be.
Match Grade: C
Alberto del Orton
What the heck was David Otunga doing in there? Aside from providing a catalyst for the pending tag team match, his involvement in this segment was highly unnecessary. I would have enjoyed the Orton-mocking without him. And of course, nothing gives away the fact that someone’s going to be in a match more than one guy, standing in a ring for no reason, in his wrestling gear.
Segment Grade: D
Hell No vs. Alberto del Rio and David Otunga
Can we just take the “TEAM” away from team names? I thought it was dumb when 3D did it, and I think it’s dumb today. As for the match and the characters, I love how Daniel Bryan is turning his “I hate you guys when you do that” attitude towards the fans into a face thing. Face/Heel turns are great when they happen naturally. Daniel Bryan hasn’t changed anything about his gimmick at all. People just love it. The tag match was a bit interesting, as you still had the damsel, there were still cheap shots, hot tags, etc, but the focus of the match was on the competitors tagging themselves in. Most notably, Bryan and Kane teasing their tags of each other and Otunga ultimately tagging himself in to take the loss. I think it’s funny that Otunga hit his finishing move, a move that nobody has every really acknowledged is his finishing move, and Kane kicked out. Otunga’s like that guy that desperately tries to fit in with the big boys but just can’t.
Match Grade: B
Problems in the Administration
So are we going with a “Teddy lost his mind” angle? Will Teddy turn heel? Will he be an even bigger face when everyone not in the audience realizes that Eve’s a two timer? Questions that…I don’t really care about.
Segment Grade: C
Big Show vs. Tensai
Another “means to an end” match. For two behemoths, this wasn’t a terrible few minutes of in ring time. I always enjoy when Show hits the “spear,” although in this case it seemed to be more of a John Cena shoulder tackle. Sheamus ran in and did his thing. I liked that he was all like, “WHOA! DID YOU SEE THAT?!” to Show after he kicked Tensai.
Match Grade: C
CM Punk vs. Dolph Ziggler
Just a good ol’ wrestling match, here. Two evenly matched competitors going at it with nothing on the line but dignity and respect. What this does do, however, is add intrigue to the Hell in a Cell PPV. I envisioned someone working some sort of clause into the MitB contract that Ziggler could challenge for either title. I still think something could be worked out where Ziggler beats Sheamus with the contract, and then later (because Vince, on the day of the show will realize that Ryback won’t be over enough), he comes out and challenges Punk. Eh, I’m nuts. Anyways, I enjoyed what these two did with this odd heel vs. heel matchup, and while the outcome was correct with Punk going over, I would have had no problem with Ziggler making his case to be put over the champion.
Match Grade: A-
In-Ring Action: C+ I feel like maybe I’m a bit grumpy this week and that affected my viewing of these matches. With the exception of the main event, I feel like all of the matches on the card were either plain and boring or just subpar. Again, I think I’m just growing weary of this product.
Out-of-Ring Action: C+ I don’t need David Otunga around, the opening segment was too cheesy for my tastes, and the rest of the segments just seemed like Booker was upset with everyone. Kind of how I’m feeling this week.
Overall: C+ I suppose this did the job of building up Show and Sheamus, albeit not very well. The Tag Team Division plods on, and Ryback is still beating insignificants. Let’s put him in there against Cody Rhodes or Big Show or someone else with a HISTORY.
Outside the Blog Zone
Did I mention Jerry Lynn is coming to MPX on November 10th? If I didn’t, here we are again. Sorry for my grumpiness this week…until next week, thanks for making me your CHOICE for Smackdown blogging…BLAH.