DISCLAIMER: THIS IS A BLOG, NOT A NEWS ARTICLE. THE FOLLOWING WRITINGS ARE THE OPINIONS OF A STAFF WRITER OF WRESTLING NEWS WORLD. THEY DO NOT NECESSARILY REFLECT THE VIEWS OF THE OWNER OR THE OTHER MEMBERS OF STAFF. ALSO: COMMENTS ARE WELCOME AS LONG AS THEY PROVOKE MEANINGFUL CONVERSATION OR CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM. GRAMMAR/SPELLING IS SUBJECT TO RIDICULE.
It pained me to have that be the title of this blog, but that’s pretty much what tonight was about. At any rate, I’m beginning to agree with a lot of people in saying that Cena’s mic work has outshone Rocky’s lately…now the real mind trip is to wonder whether Rock’s letting that happen because he knows who to put over going in to WrestleMania. If he is, that just makes him that much better. Honestly though, it seems that a lot of Rocky’s promos are centered around personal insults directed at John, and Cena’s promos are centered around what he’s actually going to do at WrestleMania. I think the latter is how one should go about this, but I also understand that’s just how Rocky does things. A lot of people are saying that Punk/Jericho or HHH/Taker are going to be the better wrestling matches, but anybody that doesn’t think Rock/Cena is going to end up being All-Inclusive Match of the Night is crazy. All-Inclusive here means hype, words, action, and booking. Can you imagine how many falses there are going to be in this match? I’m excited for it. This is good for wrestling, and since nobody’s going to pay $60-$70 just to watch the last thirty minutes of a PPV, it’s good for everyone else that’s on the card as well. Are we ready? Let’s get to SMACKDOWN!
United States Championship Steel Cage Match: Santino Marella (c) vs. “The All American American” Jack Swagger
Amazingly enough, this was a very entertaining, very believable steel cage match, given the circumstances. I like that Santino can put on a very decent match when called upon, but he doesn’t really have to do much except counter moves. I mention this everytime there’s a steel cage match, but I hate that A) pinfalls and submissions count, and B) there’s a door. If you really want to test someone’s mettle, force them to climb over the top to win. The psychology is just better. I hate watching a person stagger to the door like he’s drunk as a way of “struggling” to get to the door. However, as I say that, I did like the finish, with Vickie costing Swagger the match by slamming his head with the door. Ah well…the good comes with the bad. In terms of really small things bugging me, I like when people sell the actual Cobra strike as being paralyzed; I don’t like that Ziggler sold his hands as being paralyzed. I’m probably overreacting. Anyways, great opener to Smackdown, although Santino got WAY more of a pop from Boston.
Match Grade: B+
At Least This Isn’t Happening at WrestleMania
As was stated several times throughout the evening by the commentators, this is just a weird stipulation. I still REALLY don’t like the Long/Aksana angle because of the previous mentions of Long’s wife and family. Just…weird. Eh, I just don’t like this particular part of the GM angle – the whole thing overall I’m a fan of, but this deal with Kane and Aksana just rubs me the wrong way.
Segment Grade: C
Really? This is how this goes down?
Ugh, all of that build up for McIntyre losing his job and this is how he gets it back? No big drama? No move to Raw? For the sake of this blog, I’m calling this a segment and not a match. He beats Hornswoggle and gets his job back…I don’t think I’m the only one here that thinks this was a pretty lame and anticlimactic way to finish off this angle.
Segment Grade: C
Mark Henry vs. Ezekiel Jackson
RANDOM. Well, it’s random to the casual fan. To those of us with insider knowledge/Premium accounts, we know that the push of Mark Henry has come to an end. However, you can’t just have the person that was your World Heavyweight Champion a few months ago get The Miz treatment (more on that later). I like the way this match started out, although I think it needed a bit more history for it to come to that kind of beginning. I don’t think anyone thought Zeke was going to win, and it’s a shame he’s the one that had to be fed to Henry. I’m still a fan of Zeke, dating back to his days with the “Man with a Plan” The Brian Kendrick (CHEAP PLUG: he’s appearing at MPX in May!) and I think he deserves a little more. As it is, he gets eaten by Mark Henry here in a previously stated Random match.
Match Grade: B-
MATCH OF THE CENTURY: Teddy Long vs. John Laurinaitis
Okay, so I had a much better way to book this match. I mean, it started off well enough, with Johnny offering a chance for Teddy to lie down and lose the match for Aksana. I even like that Teddy didn’t want to – HOWEVER, it all seemed like Teddy didn’t give two *bleeps* about Aksana facing Kane. He gave no indication that he knew that Randy Orton was going to come out and save the day from Kane. THIS is how I would have booked it: Teddy Long refuses to lie down. The bell rings. Johnny makes the offer one more time. Teddy refuses again and kicks ol’ Johnny Ace square in the balls. Johnny wins, Kane/Aksana doesn’t happen, Teddy looks like a hoss, and still gets to go out to dinner with his concubine. I’m submitting my application for team writer now. Oh, and who else loved the struggle Laurinaitis put up when he was being School Boy’d? I know I did.
Segment/Match Grade: D
R-Boom vs. The Colon Cousins
From Air-Boom to R-Boom…well, at least Kofi can say he spent this last year trying to rebuild the tag team division. On this note, however, how does everyone think a heel Evan Bourne would work? I don’t think he’d be thrust back into the limelight immediately upon returning, but would it be a terrible thing if we saw a heel Evan going up against Kofi and/or Truth? It presents a possibility, that’s for sure. As for this match, it was a good tag team match. The Colons are definitely the sleeper hits of the WWE right now. They do good work in the ring, and they really are making the Tag Belts mean something when they’re featured. Obviously, if they’re not on the card, nobody thinks twice about them, but when you see them come out, it actually gives credibility to the Tag Belts. I liked the double team tactics employed by the Colons, and I liked the chemistry of personalities with Truth and Kofi. That’s one thing I can say about Truth being Kofi’s partner – the personalities match up a LOT more. In this day and age, it’s not enough that styles match up (Air Boom), but personalities have to as well (R-Boom). Evan still has no personality. Now, I wouldn’t mind seeing these two teams go at it at Mania, but I would much rather see a triple threat or fatal four way tag team match. I suppose I’ll just be happy that the tag team belts would be defended on the televised card and not in a dark match.
Match Grade: B
OH NO HE DIDN’T!
Guy, I think the time has come to put our differences aside. We must unite against a common enemy in Daniel Bryan, because when that jerk told our (really, MY) girl to SHUT UP, the gloves/wrist tape/elbow pads came off at my house and I was ready to knock him out. In all honesty, I don’t think enough of a stink was made of Bryan telling AJ to shut up by anyone – especially AJ. It didn’t seem like she had a strong enough reaction to that, for someone who is supposed to be in LOVE with the guy. Somebody tweeted to AJ that she was Harley Quinn to Bryan’s Joker now. I’m kind of in agreement. Moving on from that point, I am going to do something slightly odd here and commend the work and chemistry of Michael Cole and Daniel Bryan. Everyone here said that if Cole ever DID jump on the Daniel Bryan bandwagon, it would be an immensely unpopular move, but I gotta tell you, the way that Cole has transitioned to support Bryan has been very carefully done, and he’s not going over the top with it. When he does go over the top, it’s because he’s in direct confrontation with Bryan and it comes off more as desperate cowardice. I still like that Bryan is condescending when he’s talking to Cole (“Oh, it’s Champ now, is it?”). I’m still not a fan of Sheamus talking, but his one liners are still nice. All in all, it was a decent segment and a nice way to transition into the main event.
Segment Grade: B+
Sheamus, Randy Orton, and Big Show vs. Daniel Bryan, The Miz, and Cody Rhodes
This was a good main event, don’t get me wrong, but I would have liked to see the feuds spread out a little more instead of tossed all together like this. I wonder where they’re going with The Miz, but as Booker T stated, the guy was a One Hit Wonder. Whether through backsatge attitude problems or just a complete lack of character development (the fault of both Miz and creative), Miz has just descended to fodder status. Sure, he’s a special kind of fodder, because he still has the resume of a “big deal” kind of person, but he really just isn’t a big deal anymore. Like I said, he has had no development over the last year or two, and his character is just stale. I like the story of Cody backing away from Show because he’s legitimately scared to get in the ring with him anywhere except WrestleMania. Like I said last week, Sheamus and Bryan are the only two WrestleMania opponents that should be involved in extended physical confrontations leading up to the Big Dance, and this really was the best way to go about doing that. Obviously Miz had to go under to Orton. Not a bad way to wrap up Smackdown this week.
Match Grade: B+
The Feud From Out of Nowhere
Well, regardless of whether they actually supply a reason for the feud or not, Orton and Kane’s brawl afterwards made it seem like they’ve been lifelong enemies. I said it on Guy’s Rundown last week, and I’ll say it here. The best thing about being a psychologically demented monster like Kane is that you don’t need a reason to enter into a feud with someone. The worst thing about being a psychologically demented mosnter like Kane is that there is no reason for you to enter into a feud with someone. I guess Booker said it best: “It’s WrestleMania time, that’s just how people get at this time of year!”
Segment Grade: B
In-Ring Action: B+ Steel cage match, tag team match, main event. Okay, so there were four legitimate bell-to-bell matches, but those three made up the majority of the action tonight, and while it wasn’t a lot of wrestling time, it was good wrestling time. I’m fairly sure that Marella is going to get some sort of spot on the Mania card, and based on his recent performance, I think I’ll be okay with that.
Out-of-Ring Action: C- Really, the best promo/non-wrestling segment was the Bryan/Sheamus debate. Everything else was ridiculous and not entirely entertaining. As long as they move on to a different chapter in the GM Saga and stay away from including Aksana and physical confrontations between Long and Laurinaitis, this will be a nicely built angle. If they ever meet in the ring again, it’ll go to hell pretty quickly. The McIntyre stuff was a huge disappointment, and now they need a HUGE thing to come up for Drew if I’m going to care about him again. I was so excited to see where it was going, and it was a major let down.
Overall: B- This episode got done what it needed to get done in putting over the two major angles (Bryan/Sheamus, Rhodes/Show), but until more stuff is booked for April Fool’s Day, everything else seems to just be floating with the current, so to speak. I anticipate a Tag Team Match to be the next match announced for Mania, followed by some sort of All or Nothing Match for the GMs.
Outside the Blog Zone
MPX is tonight, and while I will be in action, as will our new MPX Champion, Frankie Fisher, the biggest news coming from Metroplex Wrestling is that the Man with a Plan, THE BRIAN KENDRICK is coming to MPX on May 26th. We’re trying to arrange a clinic with him before our show, and from all accounts from the people in our camp that have talked to him, he’s genuinely excited to be coming here. More details will follow, and I hope anybody that reads this site that’s close to the Texas area will be able to come to that show when it comes. Until next week, thank you for making me your CHOICE for Smackdown blogging!