Sunday, May 8, 2011

THE WEEKLY SMACKDOWN REVIEW

FILL THE ROCKET SHIP WITH THE ROCKET FUEL TO TAKE IT AS FAR IS WANTS TO GO.

With the draft being over and things settling into a groove after Extreme Rules, I thought it would be a neat time to start reviewing Smackdown every week. If you don't know, I'm a die hard Smackdown fan. An enthusiast, if you will. I only watch The Blue Brand and I take the brand split pretty seriously. I'm weird that way. From the Smackdown 6 Era, to the Matt Hardy Weekly Wrestling Clinic, to the present, Smackdown will always be where the real action is. And I'm excited to embark on a new era featuring a vastly different cast than we've had in the last few years.

I am Peeps. And He is Peeps.
Previously Smackdown was the home of stars like Rey, Batista, Edge and The Undertaker. Now those guys have retired or moved to RAW, and we're left with some cats who have made most of their fame working for the Red Brand. Guys like Randy Orton, Sheamus, and Daniel Bryan have been developed the most via RAW. Even Sin Cara, who has only been on TV for a few weeks, made his biggest impacts on Monday Nights. It'll be interesting to see them work in a very different environment than the one they're used to. Many wrestlers seem liberated when they join Smackdown, and I think that this will be the case for the new members of the roster. At least I hope so anyway. They may just wrestle worse. Like John Morrison did.

But enough history. Let's get into the now.

CHRISTIAN'S FIRST LESSON AS CHAMPION:
Be prepared to get interupted. A lot.

It's crazy to see Christian as World Champion. He doesn't quite look like he should be carrying the title, but that's really part of the appeal here. He should be, but he is, and it's enjoyable.  His quick exchange with Mark Henry was pretty funny. Khali trying to inject himself into the world title was laughable, but I'm actually a little interested in him being a contender again. I liked him better when he killed people with the Khali Chop and the jobbed to Dolph Ziggler. Now they need to build him up again so he can job to Heath Slater.

Teddy must be feeling lazy because he was in a pretty good spot to do a Smackdown Beat The Clock Challenge, but instead he's just, "What do y'all want? Randy Orton? Yeah sure that's fine. Holla holla holla"

Orton looked like a pretty massive super star compared to everyone else in the ring, including Captain Charisma. I have no idea if Christian can ever achieve that feeling, but if you watch Bret Hart's first run, you might find your self asking how he ever became a great WWF Champion, too.

SHEAMUS VS. DANIEL BRYAN
Super solid match. I haven't seen much of Sheamus, but what I have seen has been really pleasant. He really looks snug and hard hitting with what he does, and The American Dragon is a good guy to pair him with. Obviously I'd love to see Daniel Bryan win matches, but it was competitive and he still came out looking good. Loved the finish to this match and they had some fun creative spots, like their apron work.

I actually expect Byran to be like Matt Hardy when Hardy came over to Smackdown after his Edge feud. A dude getting over by working the best matches on the show.

CODY RHODES TALKS WORDS
I think it's pretty certain that Cody Rhodes will be the top heel of this show. If you compare mic time, he gets more time on the stick than probably anyone on the Smackdown roster. He cuts a decent promo here, but it feels like filler until they determine who he faces next. I love the paper bag masks being handed out to members of the crowd. I find it funny that he does and funny that people wear them. At least the accept their ugliness.

THE BIG SHOW vs. THE BIG ZEKE
Zeke better thank Show everyday of his life for giving him so much. Zeke looks like a MONSTER here doing body slams and back body drops. Even beating him with a lariat, sounds insane. This is the same guy that beat the whole S.E.S. and couldn't get pinned after eating finishers from 6 guys in that awesome 4-Way in January. Fun match over all. Also, if you're watching this, don't let Heath Slater's bump into the barricade go unnoticed. Even when he's just taking a toss from The Big Show he gives it his all.

LAYLA vs. ALICIA FOX 
Post-LayCool Diva Division is a sad place. No Flawlessness, no Smelly Kelly to beat up every week, it's depressing. But hey, at least Alicia Fox takes a good bump on the neck breaker.

Kharma comes down and drops the bomb on poor Fox too. I'm thinking Layla vs. Kharma could be awesome. Layla is kind of an anti-hero. She's still the same bitch who made fun of Piggy James, Manly Beth Phoenix, and Smelly Kelly. Her being the last survivor of this horror film could be awesome. Plus she's one of the best, if not the best Diva, in the entire company so the match should be pretty good.

ZEKE GET'S DUMPED
Yeah, who needs a guy who's arm is bigger than his head?
CORRE beat the snot out of Ezekiel Jackson. Because who wants a guy that can lift up The Big Show so easily on their team? Cole gets to fit in "excommunicated" again. Booker saves the day by telling it like it: "That was a beat down, dog. That's what that was. Straight up." Thank goodness for Booker T. He's gotten truly awesome at commentary.

SIN CARA vs. TYSON KIDD
Tyson Kidd was a good pairing. This is one of the first matches were Sin Cara looked like he was in rhythm with his opponent. He definitely shined more here than he had in some of his other matches where he looked a little clunky.

Chavo on commentary was great, building a story around him and his family as innovators of the style that Sin Cara is using. It's really the best use of both guys if they move forward with this as Sin Cara's first long term feud.

I also want to point out that I don't think Sin Cara's special match lighting do him any favors. He doesn't have any facial features so he needs to utilize his body for his selling. Dimming the lights the way they do kind of hurt his ability to connect effectively to the audience during beat down segments.

CHRISTIAN'S SECOND LESSON AS CHAMPION:
First reigns suck for pretty much everyone these days. At least yours is over now.

This main event was just plain great. Both guys work really well together and really this match did a more in making Christian look like a big deal than his title win. He held his own with a 7 Time World Champion, and didn't look out of place. Randy seems so much more exciting and motivated than he did on RAW recently. He looks like a guy who's not taking for granted his opportunity to be the Top Dog on a Brand without John Cena to overshadow him.

So much good stuff in this, my favorite highlight might be how they set up Randy Orton's rope assisted DDT. It's one of those moves that can feel forced in its set-up and they fit it in very organically here.

Just really good match that you need to go out of your way to see.
"Wait a second...this bottom rope isn't regulation....I WAS SET UP!"
OVERALL SHOW
Lots of good wrestling from all kinds of people. Zeke/Show was good. Bryan/Sheamus was really good. And the main event was great. Sin Cara's match was probably his best so far and Cody Rhodes continues to shine with his promo work. There's some fun stories getting launched like Jinder Mahal and Great Khali as well as Chavo and Sin Cara.

I've got no idea where Christian goes from here, but I believe this isn't over by a long shot and could be the start of something really cool. Especially if it leads to more matches between he and Randy Orton.

This was a VERY strong show to kick things off with the new roster and even though Christian loses the World title in his first match, I'm still very excited in the direction of the show.

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