Saturday, 17 November 2012

SmackTalk 16.11.12

This week's episode of SmackDown was the best in quite a while. It made a nice change to the inadequate, shoddy and boring show it's morphed into over the last few months.
There were a couple of things that contributed to this being an above average entry. First and foremost was WWE's decision to feature a wider variety of stars. Damien Sandow, Team Hell No and Dolph Ziggler have all been noticeable by their absence on the blue brand recently. They're the guys who need more exposure. They should be on every week.
The show long story was a good move too. It meant there was hype for the Team Foley versus Team Ziggler clash at tomorrow's Survivor Series and also meant there was a logical reason for most of the matches that were taking place. Usually I'm not fussed about matches having a reason to happen, because you'd expect wrestling matches to take place on a wrestling show, but it does help to occasionally have a linking theme.
Damien Sandow and Kofi Kingston put together a tidy opener. Hopefully 'The Intellectual Saviour's' victory will lead to a championship match in the future. Randy Orton and The Miz v Alberto Del Rio and Dolph Ziggler ranged from okay to very good depending on who was in the ring. ADR tended to slow the match down and create crowd disinterest while The Miz's trademark moves got a great reaction from his hometown fans once the bout got going. He'd struggled to gain cheers earlier in the evening but after seeing him wrestle as a babyface I'm confident the turn will work out for the best.
The tag bout ended with 'The Awesome One' tagging himself in and getting the win with a Skull Crushing Finale (a move that needs a status boost if it's to function as a finisher for a featured good guy). This irked 'The Apex Predator' who responded by hitting Miz with an RKO.

Hopefully this is an indicator of how Miz will behave as a face. If he remains a glory-seeking, self-aggrandising braggart he will be different to every other WWE guy in a similar spot but should still get over. Fans already love his catchphrases and the same approach (weekly boasts about being the best) were standard from Rob Van Dam when he became a good guy in ECW in the late 90s.
It would be nice if this was the beginning of a rivalry between Miz and 'The Viper'. 'The Most Must-See WWE Superstar' would benefit from working with a reinvigorated Orton and it would be a fresh programme for fans (they've feuded before but never with this heel-face situation). Hopefully the story will be progressed at Survivor Series. Maybe Miz's glory-hunting will result in Orton getting pinned and he'll retaliate with another RKO, signalling a heel turn and a new feud. 
Finally there was a brief tussle between Kane and Wade Barrett. Barrett's teammates quickly ran out to cause a DQ before Team Foley made the save and a low key brawl gave us our final teaser for the traditional Survivor Series match.
Elsewhere on the show the remaining core roster Divas clashed in a six woman tag. The girls got more time than usual and were far better than I expected. Kaitlyn won with a reverse DDT to keep her looking strong for her title challenge on Sunday. Had she had a couple more matches over the last few weeks and won them all with that move then it could have been established as a potential finisher. Something to bear in mind for the future, that.
Antonio Cesaro defeated Sin Cara with ease in match number five. R-Truth was on commentary and there was a standard exchange between the two after 'The Swiss Superman' got his win. They're having a decent feud considering how little is made of the prize they're fighting over.
Unfortunately the main event was a letdown. The Great Khali returned from weeks of absence to face World champ the Big Show. 'The World's Most Rotund Athlete' won with a WMD. 'The Punjabi Playboy' rolled around after absorbing the blow and was clearly conscious as Josh Mathews and JBL talked about how he was out cold. It was ridiculous.
After the match Show sauntered backstage to be battered by Sheamus. This was the climax to the episode's other story, which had seen 'Great White' challenging Show to a fight in the car park. Booker T had inexplicably stopped this occurring (babyface authority figures aiding heels never makes sense). Sheamus got his own way in the end and looked like a cheap shot artist in doing so. Still, at least it was done to build up the WHC clash at Survivor Series. It wasn't completely pointless.
More of this approach to writing SmackDown please, WWE. Only next time give us more Daniel Bryan.

Intro video

Tweet 1: Forget Children in Need, Friday night is SmackDown night!
Tweet 2: Recaps. It's all about seven minute recaps.
Tweet 3: Big Show holding the belt over his head is definitely going to keep peopel tuning in.

Miz TV, featuring Team Foley and Team Ziggler

Tweet 4: Crowd seems dead for Miz. Not a great sign for that face turn...
Tweet 5: I like the "Miz is awesome" chants. Always have. TNA wishes they had him.
Tweet 6: Foley needs to drop this lack of dress sense gimmick.
Tweet 7: Foley looks like Lou Albano.
Tweet 8: Charles Dickens reference. That'll go down well with wrestling fans.
Tweet 9: Orton's expression is one of utter disdain for this entire storyline.
Tweet 10: This segment is awful. Absolutely awful.

Nice little shot of Team Foley, no?

Tweet 11: I'm pleased Miz is calling Kofi out on his cheap shot last week. What sort of babyface turns down a handshake?
Tweet 12: No Cody Rhodes for Survivor Series. How about giving his spot to Ricardo?
Tweet 13: Alberto Del Rio doesn't like Dolph Siggler.
Tweet 14: "You have a braided neon mute who now claims he has the ability to fly" - Damien Sandow
Tweet 15: So we don't get to see a Daniel Bryan match even though he is the most talented of the nine wrestlers? Brilliant. Thanks, Mick.

Damien Sandow v Kofi Kingston

Tweet 16: Crisp arm drags. Steamboat's beaming from ear to ear in the back.
Tweet 17: I think Kofi and Roderick Strong would have a great match. Dunno what made me think that. Don't think it'll ever happen, sadly.
Tweet 18: Does that mean Sandow will get a title match at some point? He did just pin the champ.

Kaitlyn, Natalya and Layla v Alicia Fox, Aksana and Eve Torres

Tweet 19: This is literally the entire Divas division in one match. They really need to promote some NXT girls sharpish.
Tweet 20: Alicia Fox is back to being a heel again? She turns more often than Kane.
Tweet 21: Did Eve just try to do Rolling Thunder?
Tweet 22: Kaitlyn gets a sloppy pin on Alicia after a wonky reverse DDT. That proves she has a chance at winning the title you know?

Sheamus lurks in a car park

Tweet 23: Sheamus comes across as a bit simple in backstage promos.
Tweet 24: I can honestly say I don't care about Sheamus and Big Show having a fight in a car park.
Tweet 25: I'd prefer them to have a car park fight than a PPV match though. It would mean we don't have to watch them.

Randy Orton and The Miz v Alberto Del Rio and Dolph Ziggler

Tweet 26: Albertoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo Delllllllll Riiiiioooooooooo!!
Tweet 27: I predict a face win.
Tweet 28: I want Rosa Mendes to walk to ringside and start cheering on ADR, with the commentators discussing what her motives could be.
Tweet 29: The fans have warmed up to The Miz. His face turn looks better now.
Tweet 30: Ricardo Rodriguez is about the only thing tolerable about Del Rio these days. He even makes pushing a man back into the ring entertaining.
Tweet 31: Miz's face character needs to be booked like this all the time. He should always want to be the centre of attention. Makes him different.
Tweet 32: I hope that RKO leads to a heel turn and feud with Miz for Orton.

Sheamus in-ring promo

Tweet 34: Sheamus doesn't like Show because Show is a bully. Aren't all heels bullies?
Tweet 35: When did Big Show arrive? Why was it not televised?! What's the point of having camera guys in the car park if they're not used?!
Tweet 36: What is Booker's problem? Why is he being such a killjoy?
Tweet 37: Don't boo Booker T, you should be booing yourselves!
Tweet 38: Sheamus should have shouted "I respect you Booker man!"

Booker T and Big Show backstage

Tweet 39: Booker backstage making a tag match there. He should've brought in Teddy for that task.
Tweet 40: Who will Big Show face in the main event? My guess: Susan Boyle.

Kane v Wade Barrett

Tweet 41: No Barrett ring coat this week. I apologise on Barrett's behalf.
Tweet 42: All the heels run in. I am having a flashback to ECW.
Tweet 43: Little fact here: Kofi Kingston has had a pay-per-view match against everyone he's in the ring with right now except Damien Sandow.
Tweet 44: Not a good fact I know.

Antonio Cesaro v Sin Cara

Tweet 45: Antonio Cesaro… Heeeey!
Tweet 46: Sin Cara remains alluring.
Tweet 47: "Right now Cesaro has his hands full" - R-Truth as Cesaro rubbed Sin cara's face into the mat

The kravat, ladies and gentlemen

Tweet 48: Maybe Lenny Henry will be facing Big Show...
Tweet 49: Sin Cara needs to understand that the audience doesn't care about him.
Tweet 50: WWE fans like to see the eyes of the men they're expected to cheer.
Tweet 51: Truth has underrated entrance music.

Big Show v The Great Khali

Tweet 52: Big Show v Bobby Davro? Big Show v Paul Burrell? Big Show v Graham Norton? Endless possibilities.
Tweet 53: Khali can't even WALK convincingly!
Tweet 54: Khali with an inept attempt at a lockup there.
Tweet 55: Why is the main event the worst match of the night?
Tweet 56: Prediction: Khali will win via moonsault.
Tweet 57: Josh claims Khali has been knocked unconcious yet he's rolling around with his eyes open clearly fine. Somebody teach him to sell.
Tweet 58: Where is Sheamus? WHERE? I want him to do a Sting-style rafters entrance.

Matt Striker practicees his Scott Hall impression

Tweet 59: JBL just referenced the Punjabi Prison match. Never a good sign...
Tweet 60: And we finally get to see Sheamus and Show brawl in a car park! Excellent.
Tweet 61: Sheamus just no-selling being thrown through glass there.

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