Saturday 23 June 2012

SmackTalk 22.06.12

I don’t know if there was a new agent helping with match layouts or there was a conscious decision to improve the quality of the in-ring action but for whatever reason this week’s episode of SmackDown featured some great wrestling sequences. The final moments of Christian v ADR was the standout but Kane v Bryan featured some nice moments too and the entire Ziggler v Sheamus match was exceptionally laid out.

The result of this renewed emphasis, conscious or otherwise, was that the matches were more entertaining and the participants looked like bigger stars. I’m hoping this is something WWE continues in the future.

I was also impressed by the fact that Ziggler v Sheamus went on last. When it was announced at the start of the episode along with Kane v Daniel Bryan I was sure the men feuding over AJ would headline the show. Having ‘Great White’ in the final bout of the evening was the right move if he’s going to get over as a franchise star for the organisation. It helped ‘The Show Off’s’ standing too. He entered yet another great performance. Sooner or later WWE will put a world title on him. I hope it comes sooner rather than later but for now at least he’s getting to show what he can do in a featured position.

I thought Ryback got a nice response this week too. The lack of “Goldberg!” chants is a promising sign that the man from Sin City is beginning to get over in his own right, as does the audience’s readiness to chant along with his cry of “Feed me more!” If WWE keeps using him in exactly the same fashion (perhaps increasing the number of guys he’s squashing to three and perhaps even four in a month or two) I think Ryback will get over huge and could have the potential to be a successful world champion.

The key to Ryback’s success is that he doesn’t sell much. As soon as he’s asked to show weakness he will lose some of his lustre. If and when he’s put into matches against top names he needs to be booked in exactly the same fashion, no matter who the established name is.

The final comment I have to make is that Cody Rhodes is slipping back down the card. A few months ago he was a regular on both RAW and SmackDown. Now he is reduced to a brief run-in on the blue brand and he’s still associated with the Intercontinental championship.

Considering the lack of main event talent at the company’s disposal ‘The Dashing One’ should be getting a much stronger push. That’s something WWE really need to look into. There’s still plenty of time to have him ready for a world title bout by SummerSlam. That’s something that should be strongly considered by the writing team.

Show intro

Tweet 1: It's SmackDown time... with a new beginning video?
Tweet 2: Barrett's on it anyway. I don't remember that form before.
Tweet 3: Josh Mathews just mentioned Money in the Bank. That should have been done on RAW...

Big Show promo, featuring Brodus Clay and David Otunga

Tweet 4: Teddy Long is back helping to run SmackDown. Losing at WrestleMania meant nothing then?
Tweet 5: Big Show is cutting exactly the sort of promo Kevin Nash would have cut when WCW was winding down.
Tweet 6: Big Show in a Money in the Bank match? That will be poor. Put him against Sheamus instead: he needs a hefty heel opponent.
Tweet 7: Brodus Clau. #seriousBrodus
Tweet 8: Otunga! Yes! Clay v Otunga is money!
Tweet 9: According to Booker David Otunga knows all about cowardly attacks from the backside. No comment.
Tweet 10: Big Show beats up fan favourite Brodus Clay and the fans decide to chant "You can't wrestle" at him. Why? He's not TRYING to wrestle now.
Tweet 11: Big Show says he doesn't care about their boos. He does. Deep down he just wants to be liked...
Tweet 12: Big Show screaming at children to smile is one of the most heelish things he's ever done.
Tweet 13: Otunga is now on the mic talking about he's going to call Clay's momma.
Tweet 14: Otunga does the dancing gimmick way better than Brodus. Why? Because he incorporates flexes into the routine!

Big Show gives the Funkasaurus a good kicking

Ryback v Frank Venezia and Jared Wachtler

Tweet 15: Frank Venezia and Jared Wachtler. TNA should sign these guys...
Tweet 16: Venezia looks like an extra from Arrested Development.
Tweet 17: Wachtler is the cousin of Brickhouse Brown is he, Booker? That sounds like rubbish.
Tweet 18: An idea for Ryback: have him squash an assortment of legendary jobbers on RAW 1,000. Naturally this would include the Brooklyn Brawler.
Tweet 19: In a few months Ryback should be booked to win the World Heavyweight championship in precisely this fashion.

Backstage segment featuring Mick Foley, Yoshi Tatsu, Vickie Guerrero and the Great Khali

Tweet 20: Tatsu and Foley backstage. Why is Tatsu in a suit?
Tweet 21: "Don't you have some sushi to go eat?" - Vickie Guerrero to Yoshi Tatsu. A beautifully racist little comment there.
Tweet 22: Khali and Foley dance. Sadly Foley would not escape the scene without being raped by Khali.

A Spanish advert for Money in the Bank

Tweet 23: I'm watching a version of SmackDown with Spanish adverts. Their version of the MITB ad is BRILLIANT. I hope we have it too.

Alberto Del Rio v Christian

Tweet 24: Alberto Del Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiioooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!
Tweet 25: Ricardo must have a sore throat tonight. Pity.
Tweet 26: Christian's new T-shirt is designed to resemble the periodic table. WHY?!
Tweet 27: ADR just took a big bump over the top rope. That's very impressive for a guy his size.
Tweet 28: Back from the break to see Del Rio applying a modified Crippler Crossface. That wasn't acknowledged by Cole.
Tweet 29: I never like Christian's finisher being called the Killswitch. The Unprettier is a much better name.
Tweet 30: That was one of the best finisihing sequences I've seen on a WWE TV show in months. More matches need that level of attention.
Tweet 31: Cody Rhodes wants his shiny white belt back. He should be going after a world title in my opinion.
Tweet 32: I really want the Ziggler v Sheamus match to headline the show. It will help establish both men as main eventers in the eyes of viewers.
Tweet 33: Which should be a top priority for WWE.

Kane v Daniel Bryan

Tweet 34: Why did Kane stop his "Embrace the hate" campaign?
Tweet 35: Daniel Bryan v Kane. Who's meant to be the face here? I know who I'm cheering for...
Tweet 36: Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes!
Tweet 37: How many times are they going to cut to AJ during this match? We get it, she's the "special guest timekeeper"! Stop ramming it home.

Guest timekeeper AJ looks concerned doesn't she?

Tweet 38: Yes kicks!
Tweet 39: Headbutt into a choke slam attempt into a Yes lock attempt into another choke slam attempt countered with a guillotine choke...
Tweet 40: ... is another great sequence.
Tweet 41: AJ randomly ringing the bell. No, I didn't see that coming. #sarcasm
Tweet 42: After some AJ-inspired confusion Kane gets the win via choke slam. Most enjoyable Kane match I've seen for a while.

Mick Foley promo

Tweet 43: Foley's in charge this week. Vickie's in charge next week. I'm looking forward to the return of the Anonymous RAW GM.
Tweet 44: Heath Slater's new gimmick is interrupting promos from old stars? It's better than nothing.
Tweet 45: 'The One Man Rock Band' is actually a pretty good comedy heel.

Zack Ryder v Heath Slater, followed by Foley and Ryder celebrating backstage

Tweet 46: Ryder v Slater. This will be worthwhile if they get five minutes and 'Long Island Iced Z' goes over.
Tweet 47: Right result but they should have had a little longer to, y'know, wrestle.
Tweet 48: All too brief Sandow appearance. One of the best characters in WWE. You're welcome.

The Prime Time Players v The Usos

Tweet 49: AW is a very crisp promo man. The "hashtag" mentions are a nice touch to his character.
Tweet 50: Rare mention of Rikishi there. I'd like to see him come back to get squashed by Ryback.
Tweet 51: According to Cole and Booker AW is "paying dividends" to the PTPs. Thing is, they were winning before...
Tweet 52: Brief backstage scuffle between Epico and Primo and the PTPs there. Why not book that to happen in the ring after Young and O'Neil won (read more on these teams here)?

Santino looks for signs in the ring, with no explanation as to why

Tweet 53: Santino in the ring talking about audience signs. This feels like a during-the-break segment... because it is.
Tweet 54: Some random woman dressed in Santino merch is now in the ring. She's clearly a plant.
Tweet 55: She kissed Santino and is now fanning herself with her hands. Clearly a plant. What a stupid, pointless segment.
Tweet 56: No offence to the woman but doesn't have the look that Vince McMahon likes so she's clearly not a new callup. No idea why it happened.

Dolph Ziggler v Sheamus

Tweet 57: Dolph Ziggler! #heel #showoff #heelsdoitbetter
Tweet 58: Giving Sheamus v Ziggler the main event spot is a good move. This should be a solid match.
Tweet 59: Ziggler sold those steps SO well. Give that man a headline push!
Tweet 60: FAMEASSER from the steps!! #BadAssBillyZiggler

Ziggler v Sheamus was an excellent main event to a show that was far above average

Tweet 61: "Let's go Sheamus!" "Let's go Ziggler!" PUSH THE HEEL!
Tweet 62: White Noise countered into a sunset flip, followed up with a jumping DDT. There are some amazing sequences on tonight's show.
Tweet 63: Punch from Sheamus when he was sitting on the top rope: Ziggler sold it like he'd been hit with an anvil.
Tweet 64: Ziggler goes down to the Brogue Kick in a tremendous match.

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