Saturday, 16 June 2012

SmackTalk 15.06.12

You can tell when it’s the final week of TV before a pay-per-view because WWE load their opening segments with big stars and book confrontations between John Cena and whoever he’s currently feuding with. This week’s SmackDown was no exception: a fairly average show followed a rammed opening segment that featured not just one but two world champions, and was topped off with John Cena punching John Laurinaitis (who’s been feuding with since just after WrestleMania) in the face.

Personally I think a better approach would have been to announce Cena for SmackDown in advance (RAW would have been the most logical time)rather than pretending he was at home and was provoked into driving to the arena by what was said during Big Show’s promo. Cena could have opened up the show and the tag battle that kicked the night off could have been saved as the main event. That would have had the added bonus of the final scene form SmackDown being Ziggler celebrating his pin on World champ Sheamus.

The blue brand seems to have slowed a little over the last month. Damien Sandow and Ryback are still being booked consistently well and are getting promising responses from audiences but where’s Antonio Cesaro and why haven’t any other new stars been introduced? Cesaero enjoyed a good introduction to the main roster and had some solid matches but hasn’t been used much in recent weeks.

Similarly Cody Rhodes hasn’t been receiving much air time over the last few weeks. That’s more alarming than Cesaro’s absence as he has a match at Sunday’s No Way Out and should be someone WWE are looking to promote to the main event in the not too distant future.

That said SmackDown is still generally more entertaining than RAW. I can’t see that changing anytime soon. A third hour is not going to do the Monday night drama any favours at all.

A recap of RAW

Tweet 1: Recap of RAW. #Vincebump
Tweet 2: Vince makes a point of taking a bump or two every year. He thinks it makes "the boys" respect him.

Opening promo segment, featuring AJ, Vickie Guerrero, Dolph Ziggler, CM Punk, Daniel Bryan and Sheamus

Tweet 3: AJ opens the show. Let the insanity begin...
Tweet 4: The July PPV will feature AJ v Kane in a kiss match.
Tweet 5: Don’t ask me what a kiss match is.
Tweet 6: "I just wanted to say something before the show started" - AJ, at the start of the show
Tweet 7: Vickie Guerrero. This is promising…
Tweet 8: This is Ziggler's BEST mic work EVER!!
Tweet 9: CM Punk is now in the ring. Of the four people in the ring only AJ is a member of the SmackDown roster.
Tweet 10: Beautifully illustrates how the Brand Extension has been forgotten.
Tweet 11: Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes!
Tweet 12: YEEES!!
Tweet 13: Ahhh he didn’t do it. #heel
Tweet 14: Sheamus is sporting a lovely new T-shirt (that will fail to sell).
Tweet 15: That's the best SmackDown opening segment in months.

A lone tweet about another wrestling company

Tweet 16: Chris Sabin is the number one trend worldwide right now. I wish it were for a more positive reason. #injury #wrestlingfan

Dolph Ziggler and Daniel Bryan v Sheamus and CM Punk

Tweet 17: There are STILL "Yes!" chants to be heard.
Tweet 18: Booker T is pushing how good Ziggler and Swagger are as a team even though the plot is that Ziggler wants to get over as a singles star.
Tweet 19: Cole just mentioned Ziggler's World title reign was "a couple of years ago." It was February last year.
Tweet 20: "Zig Zag!" - Booker T as Dolph Ziggler went for the Fameasser
Tweet 21: Ziggler pins Sheamus in a desperate attempt to convince someone, somewhere that he stands a chance of winning the World title on Sunday.
Tweet 22: AJ takes a bump. Kane wanders out. I hope he goes mental and Tombstones her.
Tweet 23: Punk and Kane are now battlign over AJ. Why are Kane and AJ involved in what a feud between Punk and Bryan?
Tweet 24: It's worth pointing out that even though she's wearing a CM Punk T-shirt AJ is dressed in black and red (Kane colours).

Brodus Clay v Heath Slater

Tweet 25: Funkasaurus. It’s not old yet.
Tweet 26: I'd like to see Brodus Clay swim. I imagine it would be frightening and compelling in equal measure.
Tweet 27: Brodus is cutting a promo about being banned from RAW and not being allowed near Big Show. I don't care. I just want him to squash someone.
Tweet 28: … Then dance with some kids.
Tweet 29: Heath Slater should be billed as 'The Confederate Colonel.'

David Otunga attacks Brodus Clay

Tweet 30: I don't care why David Otunga's attacking Brodus Clay, I just care that he is.
Tweet 31: Otunga v Clay is a money feud.
Tweet 32: This is the No Way Out pre-show match and will be broadcast live on YouTube. This one segment is more than Layla v Phoenix have had...
Tweet 33: … and that’s on the pay-per-view.
Tweet 34: #Otungaflex

Beth Phoenix v Alicia Fox

Tweet 35: Maybe I spoke too soon. Layla is on commentary for a Phoenix v Alicia Fox match. It won't help...
Tweet 36: Phoenix beat Fox in under a minute. Second squash match in a row. Who's deciding the running order on this show?
Tweet 37: I was right: Otunga v Clay (a YouTube match) has had more build than Layla v Phoenix (a PPV match).

John Laurinaitis and Big Show promo

Tweet 38: John Laurinaitis just claimed he's the Executive Vice President of Talent Relations. He's not.
Tweet 39: What a compelling recap that was. It was perhaps even more enjoyable than the recap that started the show!
Tweet 40: "The most destructive force in WWE history"? Vince Russo?
Tweet 41: Big Show's promo has provided us with logical reasons for his heel turn.
Tweet 42: Now if only Laurinaitis could explain why he dislikes WWE's top star...

Big Show tells us all exactly why he turned heel. Just like he did on RAW...

Christian v Jack Swagger

Tweet 43: Christian versus Jack Swagger. Could be good.
Tweet 44: #victorylap
Tweet 45: What's with Swagger and these really high leg drops?
Tweet 46: Clean win for Christian via frog splash. Swagger is going nowhere fast.

Ryback v two jobbers

Tweet 48: These jokes don’t scan…
Tweet 49: A "Ryback!" chant. That's a first.
Tweet 50: "Stupid." I LOL'd.
Tweet 51: This time next year Ryback will still be beating jobbers but he'll be doing it in eight-on-one matches.

Damien Sandow v Tyson Kidd

Tweet 52: Damien Sandow! It's about time!
Tweet 53: Where's Antonio Cesaro lately...?
Tweet 54: "Please remain silent when I'm speaking, thank you" - Damien Sandow
Tweet 55: Tyson Kidd. Now with added hair.
Tweet 56: The pose Sandow pulls when pinning people for the win is good, fun heel stuff.

Sandow connects with the match-winning neck breaker

Various backstage segments

Tweet 58: I thought I'd tweet that in the overexcitable style of a WWE commentator.
Tweet 59: Now let's hear from David Otunga and Stephanie McMahon on why children shouldn't bully one another.
Tweet 60: "Seeing David Otunga was... shocking" - A child on seeing David Otunga

John Cena and John Laurinaitis in-ring confrontation

Tweet 61: "I'm sorry I'm late. I wasn't even supposed to be here" - John Cena with a typically stupid comment
Tweet 62: Cena, if you're going to hit him just get on with it.
Tweet 63: Cena punches Laurinaitis and then swaggers off. SmackDown ends. Good work getting the Be A Star campaign over there, Cena...

Don't forget No Way is this Sunday. My preview is available to read here.

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