Sunday, April 26, 2009

Analysis: Big Show Vs. The Undertaker.

The April 24th edition of Smackdown was to feature several talents who would be leaving the brand after the Backlash PPV. One of those talents was The Big Show. The Big Show was drafted to the seemingly over-crowded RAW brand and would be facing a man whom he had several battles with in 2008: The Undertaker.

This match had next to no hype and on Sunday, and neither man is booked for a PPV match. So why was this match more intriguing than pretty much anything going this week in wrestling?

In terms of structure it was pretty typical for these two: two beasts slugging it out. Depending on your tastes you either loved it or didn't. I'm a fan of two guys who can slug it out well and these guys can. The match was built around the Undertaker's neck not being 100% since he lawn-darted himself into the floor at Wrestlemania. And it worked fine.

The real drama came when The Undertaker went for "Old School" walking for the ropes. On the way down, Big Show blasted him in the face with the deadliest right hand in wrestling. The Undertaker was sent loopy and rolled in the ropes, keeping the Big Show from capitalizing with a pin. The Undertaker was amazing here. For a guy who spent the first chunk of his career being a guy who wouldn't sell for anyone, now being one of the best ones on his company's roster is kind of amazing if you think about it. So while Undertaker was trying to pull himself up in true Rocky fashion, The Big Show fired another shot at the back of The Undertaker's head, knocking him out. The ref stopped the fight and The Big Show was handed a huge win over The Deadman. By KNOCKOUT.

Up until this point there was a good amount of tension. Many wrestlers in their last show before jumping brands lose. It's kind of a strange way of WWE keeping that "time honored tradition..." going despite the wrestlers still staying under the same roof. When Undertaker was caught up in the ropes, you had to think that this is how he was going to be saved. That he'd turn around and catch The Big Show before he could deliver that fatal blow and win the match. But it never came. The Undertaker got dropped.

The post-match work was just as engaging. The Undertaker pulling himself and asking for more. Big Show ready to oblige but getting peppered with some fists and sent out of the ring. What's great here is that he never takes a smile off of his face. He won. Most folks would run off with their tails between their legs and have a boo-boo face on. Not Show. He was laughing at the guy. Laughing at The Undertaker.

So why was this more interesting than just about everything else that going on in the "WWE Universe"? Because, it could just as easily mean nothing as much as everything for both of them. This match gives The Big Show a ton of bragging rights heading over to RAW. He's got heat for beating up on The Undertaker. It's enough to set him far apart from a very crowded RAW. If Randy Orton doesn't get to go over Triple H and get another title run, then Big Show should most certainly be next in line. This angle with Undertaker has given him more than that awful love triangle story could ever give him. It gives him his edge. It makes me really dangerous.

For The Undertaker, this could set up a very intriguing run as The Deadman Who's Almost Done. With word going around that he's looking to leave the business in over a year, The Undertaker being portrayed as an underdog, is a novel and fresh approach to a character that has run a gamut of reincarnations. Not just an underdog to men bigger than him like the Big Show, but men younger than him. It's a way to not only humanize but assuredly immortalize this character one of the most enduring draws in wrestling.

So yeah, there's a little bit of buzz going around, but unfortunately this could just as easily be dropped. Neither man is booked for this Sunday's PPV and neither man will face each other for any type of pay off. This could be a brilliant angle worked by two amazing performers so that both are in a good position on their respective shows. Or it could be two amazing performers wanting to tell a good story for the fans. Even if it's for just one night.

Regardless, The Big Show and The Undertaker proved that they can continue to be engaging and fresh, despite being two seniors of a very young roster. I can't think of many wrestlers with their experience in the WWE or in TNA who are doing the same. So for that, they should be applauded.

Feel free to share YOUR feelings one way or the other. That's what comments are for.

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