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.
I’m not going to lie, I haven’t gotten a chance to watch Raw this week. Also, I’m not going to lie, I tried sitting in a Whole Foods to watch this episode and write this blog because my internet at home got KO’ed, but the Wi-Fi connection wasn’t the greatest for streaming videos. ANYWAYS, I apologize for this being late, and I am ready to let loose on this episode. So are we ready? Let’s get to SMACKDOWN!
Cheesy Sheamus is Not the Greatest Sheamus
Does Sheamus REALLY need to talk about being bullied outside of the Be a S.T.A.R. campaigns? This was not my favorite promo by the Great White until the end part where he talked about being proud of being a pasty faced Irishman. Wade Barrett and Cody Rhodes really helped clean up this opening segment, and the two comments to Big Show about Snooki and being the reverse Undertaker were priceless. I will say that for all of Big Show’s skills, WWE books him to lose (albeit believably) in almost every single big match he has. Why? Would it be too predictable or too obvious to have the biggest dog in the fight win? This has happened to him even before the smaller guys got their spotlight. It’s pretty much a given now: Anytime Big Show’s in a fight and is the “odds on favorite because of his size,” he’s going to lose. It would actually be more of a surprise to see Big Show WIN a Pay Per View match.
Segment Grade: B-
Jinder Mahal vs. The Great Khali
You know, for what it’s worth, this match was not as absolutely terrible as I was predicting it to be. A) it lasted more than 2 minutes, B) it wasn’t actually a complete squash. Were there pristine and pretty technical wrestling moves? No. Did Khali break out the same old move set? Yes. But there was something about how Jinder was fighting back and making himself look like a legitimate threat to Khali that actually got me involved in the match. Maybe it was Khali’s level change? He was actually horizontal for once – that added some dynamic, I think. Anyways, I’m giving this a high(ish) grade based on expectation alone.
Match Grade: B
We Don’t Know What They’re Doing Either Bryan
As much as I’m not digging the whole Vegan Vicar deal with Bryan, the idea of him using the Barbecue as a reason to be sick to his stomach so that he couldn’t compete was pretty awesome. The great thing about it was that Bryan wasn’t forcing the issue and making it so obvious that he was trying to escape the match. He kind of just slipped it into the conversation – subtlety is a powerful weapon when used correctly.
Segment Grade: B
Beth Phoenix vs. Alicia Fox
I have to give props to these two because I think they had the first televised singles Divas match in 6 months that has lasted longer than thirty seconds. Again, like the Khali/Mahal match, I wasn’t expecting much, and Alicia’s offense consisted of kicks and forearms, but because of that, it gets a higher than usual grade. I like Tamina challenging Beth, and I think that if they have even a five minute match at Elimination Chamber (or…somewhere) they can showcase something great. Hopefully, Kharma will return to challenge Beth at WrestleMania…hopefully.
Match Grade: C+
Big Show (cont…) vs. Cody Rhodes and Wade Barrett (cont. from prev…) and Sheamus
Was anyone else confused about the order of entrants? I feel like that kind of weirdness has been done before, but I can’t for the life of me remember who was involved. Anyways, this was a very nice tag match, and I like the pairing of Rhodes and Barrett. I don’t want to see them as a regular tag team, but every so often, this can be a pleasant surprise. Two smart in-ring competitors displaying some great tag team psychology. I don’t necessarily agree with Sheamus winning – but then again, what are your other options? Hear me out: I don’t agree with it because Sheamus doesn’t need the build going into Elimination Chamber. However, he’s still got to come out looking strong after the Rumble win. Eh, I suppose they don’t want to give any particular man the advantage going into the Chamber, creating the element of surprise. I get that. I don’t know what I was wanting in a winner for this match. It was just a good match – and I liked when Show speared Rhodes and Sheamus turned around with a “What was that? Oh well.” look.
Match Grade: A-
The Face Girlfriend and the Heel Boyfriend
There’s been another instance of this in the past, but just like the previous match, I can’t remember who was involved. Anyways, I like the idea of AJ being the face and Bryan being the heel. Wait, was it Santino and Beth? The roles were reversed, right? Beth was the heel and Santino was the face? Eventually Beth turned face by association with Santino though, right? Help me out, please. Anyways, this could create for some interesting storylines headed into WrestleMania. I pray that we don’t get AJ vs. Cole at WrestleMania (because of Cole, mind you) but it wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest if it happened. This segment lasted a wee bit too long, and I can only take so much of Daniel Bryan preaching about meat ruining my intestines. Some of you may say that he’s doing his job right then, but I just think it’s way too cheesy of a gimmick for as serious as they want it to be. Again, it feels very CM Punk/Straight Edge Society, but out of these two options, which one do you take more seriously? A) “Why don’t you recycle your beer bottles?!” or B) “Drugs poison your system.” Everyone get my point? Daniel Bryan’s turning into Captain Planet…and Captain Planet was NEVER a heel. Oh…and that look that AJ gave Bryan after he said he cared about her…just…heart melting. Damn you Bryan.
Segment Grade: C+
Leave and Lose
Again, with the subtlety, Daniel Bryan does not OVER exaggerate things to the point that you say “Ah yes, he’s acting.” Just another segment to reinforce that point.
Segment Grade: B
Ted DiBiase vs. Hunico
I’m not tired of seeing this rivalry. I think the broken wrist happened at just the right time to give this feud an extended run. Hunico probably would have done fantastic in the original ECW. I like his moveset, I like the adaptability, and while I don’t think this gimmick entitles him to anything more than a midcard feud, I also don’t think it’s out of the realm of possibility to think of him as a good test for people to break through the ceiling. This was an enjoyable match, especially from a psychological standpoint. The quick roll up at the end evens the playing field of this feud, and I could see it going on for at least another two episodes. I think Camacho needs to make more of an impact soon – he’ll start to become stale if he doesn’t.
Match Grade: B
Live from Abu Dhabi – where’s Nermal?
How necessary was this segment? Not.
Segment Grade: F
Randy Orton vs. Daniel Bryan
These two put on an awesome TV match. I like that Orton opened up by reminding us all that he’s not just a big moves guy. He was able to match Bryan on the mat, and the stakes started to be raised as the bout went on. The little interplay between Show and Orton towards the beginning of the match was nice and planted the seed for the finish. Daniel Bryan is reminding me of Edge as a Champion (during the Edgehead days) – he’s sneaky, conniving, and can still come out looking strong, even with a DQ finish. I imagine next week we’ll see some sort of match between Orton and Show, which will inevitably lead to the Champ’s interference. The commentary on this match wasn’t terrible either, and I think Show could actually have a career after in-ring performance in the booth. Somebody asked J.R. on Twitter the other day who he thought could be great commentators and he said Punk, Jericho, and Christian. I think Show should be included in this as well. Anyways, strong main event, and a strong ending to the show.
Match Grade: A-
In-Ring Action: B With the first two contests surprising me by being not-horrible and the last three being pretty good, I think tonight went well inside the squared circle. Maybe I’m just high off of our psychology analysis from last night’s MPX show, but a lot of things in the ring made sense tonight.
Out-of-Ring Action: C- The opening segment was the best part of this category. Other than that, you had Aksana, video packages, a segment that went too long, and the flatulence segment that I didn’t even bother mentioning above because it was so incredibly insulting to me as a viewer. You’ll notice that the crowd grew quieter as the Daniel Bryan/AJ/Cole segment went on because they were about ready to move on to the next thing.
Overall: B- This was a decent episode. It was better than last week’s debacle, and the build for Elimination Chamber was nice. I’m glad that the actual Chamber match itself is being built up and that we’re not getting a series of shows highlighting side stories (i.e. the build for the Rumble). I look forward to next week’s go home to Elimination Chamber.
Outside the Blog Spot
My Internet is fixed. That’s reason enough to celebrate. Oh, and we had another full house last night at MPX Live. By the way, The Professor Rick Craig has asked about my matches being viewable. Metroplex Wrestling has uploaded their entire library of matches to YouTube – look up username MPXWrestling or try to type my name in the search and see what comes up. Until next week (when I’ll be on time) thank you for making me your CHOICE for Smackdown blogging!