Sunday, 23 February 2014

SmackTalk 21.02.14

For the final (relatively) significant piece of WWE television to air before the arrival of The WWE Network SmackDown felt anti-climactic. The new streaming service was, to the best of my recollection, not mentioned once and the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view was half-hearted. It was as though WWE were producing a piece of television by the numbers. While that’s nothing new I would have expected their final non-Network era piece of work to be more meaningful.

As understated as the show was it was still enjoyable. The opening two matches in particular were very good. The first saw Daniel Bryan defeat Jack Swagger relatively quickly with a running knee. The second also featured Bryan, this time tangling with his old indy foe ‘Don’t Call Him Antonio’ Cesaro. That one got longer and was more enjoyable, even though it saw Bryan writhing in pain for a lot of its run time.

The main event, Christian v Sheamus, wasn’t bad but wasn’t especially good either. It was a standard match from the two men. That they’re deemed worthy of headlining SmackDown demonstrates how little effort is put into the programme these days. The same match closing RAW simply wouldn’t happen.

A better choice for the main event would have been the lively six man tag that pitted Erick Rowan, Luke Harper and Bray Wyatt against Goldust, Cody Rhodes, and Rey Mysterio. The Wyatts are easily as over an act as either Christian or Sheamus, Goldust and Cody aren’t far behind and Rey Mysterio, for all he’s falling apart and passed his best, can still excel in multi-man showings. It was the best match on the show.


Tweet 1: It's SmackTalk time!
Tweet 2: Nothing says B show like a Christian v Sheamus main event.

Daniel Bryan v Jack Swagger

Tweet 3: But don't worry, Daniel Bryan's in the opener! "Why put the most over man in the company on last?" he asked rhetorically.
Tweet 4: Lengthy recaps of RAW happenings. Never a good sign. Still, it's nice to see Kane wrestling in his vest again.
Tweet 5: Swagger v Bryan? And we could have had Cesaro v Bryan. #continueddisappointmentofSwaggersexistence
Tweet 6: Anyone else noticed that Zeb Colter usually wears a tie? I like that. So few people dress for ringside anymore.
Tweet 7: Just look at Jerry Lawler.
Tweet 8: Actually, don’t.
Tweet 9: I still don't understand why The Real Americans aren't wrestling in red, white and blue gear. Natural fit for their characters.
Tweet 10: Swagger's working the injured arm but I bet he'll still try the ankle lock at some point.
Tweet 11: Swagger gets randomly belted with the knee then loses. Completely unsurprising result.

Daniel Bryan v Cesaro

Tweet 12: Oh look, it’s Rita Repulsa!
Tweet 13: Oh we ARE getting Bryan v Cesaro? Delightful.

Bryan v Cesaro never gets old

Tweet 14: JBL says it's best for business. I think that line's played out by WWE. Does Triple H even say it anymore?
Tweet 15: How many times has Vickie Guerrero been the SmackDown general manager? It's got to be at least four.
Tweet 16: Michael Cole concedes that, on paper, Bryan v Cesaro is best for business.
Tweet 17: "Whaddaya doing, Jack?" - Unbiased commentator Michael Cole
Tweet 18: "No! No!" - Jack Swagger, misunderstanding the concept of yes chants
Tweet 19: Why was Kane's walk down to ringside not televised? That could have been a highlight of this show.
Tweet 20: Why refer to your most popular wrestler as a gnome and a farm animal?
Tweet 21: Small package followed by a Swiss Death European uppercut. Good exchange. Nice that those moves are now established as convincing finishes.
Tweet 22: Kane interferes. What a bad dude. I'm pretty much convinced he's going to do the same at Elimination Chamber.
Tweet 23: I'm getting worried that WWE are planning Kane v Bryan at WrestleMania. The correct use of Bryan at 'Mania is a triple threat title match.

Christian speaks to Renee Young backstage

Tweet 24: Christian getting some boos there.
Tweet 25: 'The Man of the Peeps' lashing out at the fans there. No reason for it beyond reminding us he's a heel now.
Tweet 26: I'm bored of all WWE heels sounding the same.

The Wyatt Family v Goldust, Cody Rhodes and Rey Mysterio

Tweet 27: JBL is wearing a polka dot tie and a checked shirt. Not cool, bro. #fashionsense
Tweet 28: The Wyatt Family are being booed. What exactly have they done or said to make them heels?
Tweet 29: Bray Wyatt: king of nonsense.
Tweet 30: Remember when Mysterio and Cody Rhodes hated each other and Dusty came in to betray his pal for his son? Well now they're tagging together.
Tweet 31: I miss Goldust’s pink gloves.
Tweet 32: "Constantly talking in riddles..." - Michael Cole on Bray Wyatt. I think he was thinking of The Riddler
Tweet 33: Goldust needs a better brand of face paint. The one he currently uses is always running. Maybe put in a call to Prince Devitt...
Tweet 34: Goldy gets the hot tag to Cody. Has Rey even been in this match yet?
Tweet 35: Ah he's just tagged in. Knee status: frisky.
Tweet 36: I couldn't be more pleased that Harper escaped the 619. Mysterio is a smug little ferret who needs taking down a peg.
Tweet 37: Erick Rowan is tossing Rey Mysterio around in a bear hug. It's not particularly interesting but bless 'im for trying.
Tweet 38: "He's like a member of the MENSA society" - Michael Cole on... wait for it... Bray Wyatt

FYI: Rey Mysterio's outfit was modeled on the Swiss flag

Tweet 39: Goldust is the most over man on his team. WWE need to find a way of transferring some of that reaction to Cody permanently before they split.
Tweet 40: Tasty little springboard from Cody there.
Tweet 41: Great finishing sequence to that match. Lots going on and people being taken out. Right result too: Wyatt over Goldust with Sister Abigail.

Sheamus speaks to Byron Saxon backstage

Tweet 42: Sheamus, cut back on the hair gel, yeah?
Tweet 43: "A fired up Christian is just what the doctor ordered!" - Sheamus, revealing his view on America's leading religion

Renee Young hosts a dance off involving Emma, Santino, Summer Rae and Faaaaaan… daaaaaan… goooooo

Tweet 44: Emma and Santino... *rolls eyes*
Tweet 45: Renee Young's hosting the dance off, so it's not all bad.
Tweet 46: And in fairness I love me some Fandango.
Tweet 47: I wasn't that into this crowd to begin with but they've completely lost by not humming Fandango's music.
Tweet 48: Cole's feigned enjoyment of Emma's dancing is nauseating.
Tweet 49: #hipaction
Tweet 50: Forget Bryan, Fandango v Santino needs to be the WrestleMania main event! #grudgematch

Titus O’Neil v Dolph Ziggler

Tweet 51: I'm still a fan of Titus O'Neil even though he's not going anywhere as a singles wrestler.
Tweet 52: Darren Young's on commentary claiming that The Prime Time Players were the roughest and toughest tag team in WWE. He is incorrect.
Tweet 53: This match is a waste of Dolph Ziggler.
Tweet 54: Darren 'You Know What?" Young.
Tweet 55: Nice that Ziggler won but doing it off a WHISTLE distraction? C'mon, WWE.

Road Dogg v Jimmy Uso

Tweet 56: The Usos gets a televised entrance but the Outlaws don't? Poor...
Tweet 57: It says something about the younger members of the WWE roster that Road Dogg has worked the crowd better than anyone else on this show.
Tweet 58: Yes, including Bryan. He's more over than Road Dogg but he was selling for most of his matches. There wasn't much interaction there.
Tweet 59: Road Dogg loses. That makes me think the Outlaws will be winning at Elimination Chamber.
Tweet 60: So does Michael Cole saying that the Usos have the Outlaws' number.

Sheamus v Christian

Tweet 62: "Sheamus is out there, cue up the piped in crowd noise, quick!"
Tweet 63: After my comments about Road Dogg's crowd interactions it's probably fair to point at that Sheamus is also doing well in that area.
Tweet 64: Who does Michael Cole think has the most momentum going into the Chamber match? Cesaro...
Tweet 65: Even if that were true (it's not) Cesaro ain't winning the WWE title at EC.
Tweet 66: Orton's never won a Chamber match. That's another reason to predict a victory for him.
Tweet 67: Why did Sheamus take a bump near the timekeeper's table? He wanted to look up Lilian Garcia's dress. #filthySheamus
Tweet 68: It sounded like Sheamus just shouted "I'm Irish!"
Tweet 69: JBL's sports guru gimmick is annoying.
Tweet 70: Mostly because he only knows things because he looks them up specially on Wikipedia, as opposed to having a genuine interest.
Tweet 71: JBL thinks Christian is bad looking. What he needs is a blue dot over his face...
Tweet 72: Tornado DDT being countered into the Irish Curse was nice.
Tweet 73: Anyone who thought Christian would win doesn't know WWE. 
Tweet 74: SmackDown ends with Sheamus hitting his own chest and then being knocked out of the ring by Christian.

It was never going to end well for Christian

Tweet 75: Maybe 'The Celtic Warrior' will be the man jobbed out by Lesnar at Elimination Chamber.
Tweet 76: I don't want to see that. Because ti will almost certainly mean we're getting Lesnar v Shaymo.

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