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.
Is it just me or is the concussion to Randy Orton one of the better things to happen to this year’s Wrestlemania? Now, obviously, we can’t know (unless we’re Richard Gray) whether Orton would have won the Elimination Chamber or not, but let’s all pretend that he was going to. Not only would it have been terribly predictable (almost more predictable than what actually happened), but the final result would have been much less satisfying. Really though, going by “The Book” (which I hope someone writes one day), if Orton had competed in the Chamber match and won, the final two (undoubtedly Bryan and Orton) and the go-home sequence would not have been nearly as dramatic. If Orton had won the championship and Sheamus had come out to challenge, we wouldn’t have gotten a post-match beatdown, but instead a face vs. face “stare at the Wrestlemania sign” moment. Instead, Santino went in as the guy who everyone, even the casual fan, knew wasn’t going to win, but he sure as hell made it fun didn’t he? I credit both Bryan and Santino for making me mark out more times than I care to admit during that go-home sequence, especially when Santino started to fight his way out of the LeBell Lock. I would have lost my marbles if he had. I know last week I said that if Santino was one of the final two, I would strongly disapprove, but that was before the PPV and the airing of the Rocky training videos (by the way, they should not have redone that tonight). And from the moment that it was discovered that Santino and Bryan were the final two, not a single comedic moment was had. I was quite satisfied with the Smackdown Elimination Chamber. Alright, are we ready? It’s a Wednesday night and it’s time…let’s get to SMACKDOWN!
What? A Promo?
Good thing for bookers, bad thing for smarks – casual wrestling fans have a short memory. Granted, the last time Bryan and The Miz interacted was at least a year and a half ago, but there were several moments while The Miz was talking that I thought should have garnered more heat. I thought it was actually a pretty fantastic move on Smackdown Creative’s part to have The Miz interrupt the champ. Unfortunately, Sheamus cut us off before we got to hear if Bryan would retort against his former nemesis or partner up with him. And AJ…oh AJ…you’re so blindly in love with Daniel Bryan…There’s got to be something I can do to stop that.
Segment Grade: A-
The Miz vs. Sheamus
Well, if you thought the Miz had an actual chance to win this match, you’re…dumb. By the way, during that 6 Pack Challenge last week, on top of the spot where he missed Truth, did anyone else notice he bumped off of a non existent clothesline? Oh well…Botchamania ran wild last week. If the Miz didn’t have any mic skills, I’d say he was on the post-Wrestlemania chopping block because of the last few weeks of in ring work. Also, in this day and age, the double axe handle from the top rope should NOT be used – if there is any move in wrestling that looks ridiculously fake, it’s that one. Sorry Macho Man. At any rate, I suppose we can’t call Sheamus’ new finisher the Celtic Cross, even though that’s what it was called when Finlay used it. Joey Styles suggested the Celtic Crunch…definitely a call out to Nova’s Kryptonite Krunch…which I marked out to.
Match Grade: B
Doesn’t Long Have a Wife and Kids?
No, really, remember when Drew McIntyre made him crawl on his hands and knees? And he said something about his wife and kids? Yeah…short memories. I actually like what they’re doing with this GM vs. GM thing. I remember when Batista faced off against Umaga for Brand Supremacy at WrestleMania a few years back, and if they do that kind of thing again this year, I won’t be upset about it. If it’s a filler/come down match at Mania, it would be in a good spot. I like who they’re using, too. Otunga makes perfect sense, and Zeke definitely should be doing something around this time of year.
Segment Grade: C
Boom Little Jimmy vs. Guerrero’s Guys
Who wouldn’t mind seeing a Four Way Tag Team Match at Mania for the belts? I wouldn’t mind it. However, this idea will only work if Swagger loses the U.S. Title. If he doesn’t, then Swagger better be defending the belt against Zack Ryder at WrestleMania. This was an alright tag match with no major happenings coming out of it…yet. Setting up a feud between these two teams would be an okay move in my book. I’m trying to decide if Vickie was supposed to trip or if Swagger was supposed to back into her. I’m betting on the latter.
Match Grade: B-
Spitting Cobra? Really?
Like I said in my Opening Thoughts, this Rocky-style vignette should not have been done tonight. One night was special, charming, a nice touch, but that’s all it needed to be. It does not need to be a running gag – UNLESS…Unless…a scenario with Drew McIntyre happens, which I will discuss later. At any rate, I’m trying to figure out what the reason behind this segment was…and I couldn’t find one.
Segment Grade: D
Drew McIntyre vs. The Great Khali
Sigh. Drew…I’ve yet to discover who you ticked off backstage. Anyways, I now have a genius idea to incorporate the Santino training angle and Drew McIntyre’s eventual rise back from obscurity. Why not have Santino, who already made a slight plea for Drew’s job, motivate and train Drew? If we go with the idea of Drew having to be a face coming out of this, what better catalyst than him going to Santino for advice and training? Sure, we’d probably have to suffer through a few more Drew squashes and horrible training videos (candidates for Are You Serious?), but if it meant Drew got back in the spotlight, wouldn’t it be worth it? Oh yeah, I’m not even grading this match.
Short and Sweet
Big Show’s gonna lose it one of these days…and I LIKE IT. I’m not sure, however, how I feel about Show and Cody feuding…especially over the Intercontinental Championship. Let me specify, I think the reasoning and the build up is just about right, with Cody calling Show the reverse Undertaker at Wrestlemania and costing him the Raw battle royal (I’m going to miss Wade Barrett, by the way). I just don’t think Show and Cody should be feuding with each other. I don’t know who Show could feud with, but Cody’s got a slough of other contenders. Then again, if they’re going forward with Money in the Bank at Wrestlemania, I’ll be quite content with this feud.
Segment Grade: A
Big Show vs. Mark Henry
Heh, at the PPV watching, my friend, who happens to be African American said this in regards to Henry: “If you can’t see a brotha’s hair from the front, the brotha needs to shave his head.” Maybe it’s because we haven’t seen him in action in a while, but he’s right…Henry’s looking balder – and larger. At any rate, his talking during this match was great, and even though I know this match was just a long way to the punchline of Cody Rhodes, I was able to enjoy it. By the way, I love the fact that Big Show uses a spear. I wasn’t a fan of the fact that the match didn’t end…Show pinning Henry wouldn’t have hurt the situation. If Cody keeps showing all of Big Show’s failures, the payoff match could be money. People will be BEGGING Show to knock Rhodes out…unfortunately, this might mean that Show would have to win the IC Strap. Hmm…a quandary.
Match Grade: B-
Ezekiel Jackson vs. David Otunga
Is…is David Otunga getting a…a push? Maybe the world really will come to an end in 2012. I think his attitude is in the right place, but I’m gonna need to see a little more than forearms and chokebusters (chokeslam/spinebuster) before I’m convinced he deserves this push. Also, I don’t fault Lillian Garcia on messing up the entrances…it was really confusing, especially with John Laurinaitis not having entrance music. Otunga is up on Zeke 2-0…what does it all mean?
Match Grade: C+
Seriously, this man is a complete package. He has the modern look, the obvious in ring skills, and this promo was brilliant. He’s able to speak so smoothly and transition from one subject to the next – and the line about Daniel Bryan shaving AJ’s head was hilarious. Except for the image of AJ’s head shaved. Also, around that time, AJ tweeted “Please don’t shave my head.”
Segment Grade: A+
Daniel Bryan vs. CM Punk
Man, oh man, what a match. These two are masters of making the little things matter. It’s the facial expressions. It’s the closer than necessary pinfalls. It’s the fact that Punk had his arm worked on the whole match, so in order to whip Daniel Bryan off of the ropes, he put himself in a headlock and pushed Bryan off. That last one was ridiculous. It’s also that the third go-home of this match happened entirely on the top rope. It’s that this match was a five-star match and neither man needed to use their finisher. This was a fantastic TV match, and while at first I was opposed to the lack of a finish, I think it furthers both the GM angle and the unfinished rivalry between Punk and Bryan. Obviously both men are occupied at Mania, but if this feud continues to be revisited every so often leading up to next year’s Wrestlemania, I will be MORE than happy at this. Really though, how crazy would that be? If every single match they had was a five star match but kept getting spoiled by their respective feuds? Then finally, next year, they could settle it with, I don’t know, an IRON MAN MATCH. Yeah…that’d be awesome. Anyways, great ending to a pretty good supershow.
Match Grade: A+
In Ring Action: B Sadly, even the main event couldn’t bring this grade up to an A. Really, the quality of in ring work for the rest of the card was average at best. Outside of Punk/Bryan, the best match may have been Sheamus/Miz or the tag match, and even then, they weren’t groundbreaking. There was no Divas match, which I’m okay with, and the main event was clearly match of the night.
Out of Ring Action: B We actually got a lot accomplished as the Road to Wrestlemania really takes off. I’m giving this a little bit of leeway because we are beginning to form the picture for WrestleMania…and with 5 more weeks of build before the Showcase of the Immortals, we can let a promo heavy show slide, especially in week 1. The GM stuff has me intrigued and wondering if they’re going to do a “Winner Take All” match at Mania involving representatives. I want Cody to keep showcasing the Big Show’s Wrestlemania failures, as it’s not just a nice montage, but really makes this angle pop.
Overall: B I could have done without the Santino business, and Drew NEEDS something, or else the post-Mania axe is coming down on him. I’m wondering if the talent we saw tonight is the only talent we’ll get to see over the next month plus, or if another minor WrestleMania angle is going to take shape. And what’s Rey Mysterio going to do?
Outside the Blog Zone
This Saturday is MPX’ Pay Per View so to speak. We’ve had three shows’ worth of build up for THIS Saturday – Fight to Survive. I will be representing Team Kyle along with the Monster Regrub and taking on my old nemeses Kristopher Haiden and Danny Saint in a Tag Team Championship defense! I love this business. Until next week, thank you for making me your CHOICE for Smackdown blogging!