Saturday 21 July 2012

SmackTalk 20.07.12

Compared to recent episodes this week’s SmackDown was a solid effort. We were treated to two lengthy tag team bouts, an enjoyable segment featuring over stars, and a Kane bout that was actually entertaining. You can’t say fairer than that.

There are, regrettably, a few negatives to be mentioned. The lack of Ryback after he’d handily dealt with both members of the MidCard Mafia at Money in the Bank felt like a blown opportunity. Was it really too much for WWE to book him to beat three jobbers this week? That seems the next natural step now that he’s proven he can handle combos from the main roster. Once he’s finished handling trios? Move him on to matches with mid-carders and have him squash them, then get him into a feud with a world champion.

I also thought that the Damien Sandow v Zack Ryder match was an anti-climax. A feud between those two has been teased for around a month now and while having ‘The Self-Proclaimed Intellectual Saviour of the Masses’ beat Ryder in under three minutes gets him over it doesn’t do ‘Long Island Iced Z’ any favours.

As that match began I tweeted that with a little care and attention the two could actually provide a worthwhile mid-card entry at this year’s SummerSlam. Having Ryder beaten so easily makes that a much harder prospect now. It made Sandow look good this week, but a similar outing on a pay-per-view would have done more for him long term.

It’s another case of WWE rushing a potentially enjoyable story.

Finally, it’s distressing, but not surprising, that Tyson Kidd has not had a meaningful appearance on the blue brand since qualifying for Money in the Bank. His entry into the ladder battle surprised and excited a lot of people. WWE seems uninterested in capitalising on this popularity and handing Kidd a proper push. Again, with a little work he could be involved in a credible mid-card match at SummerSlam.

Despite these criticisms I feel the goods outweighed the bads. The eight man tag match pitting Kofi Kingston, R-Truth, Epico and Primo against Huncio, Camacho and the Prime Time Players was given enough time to actually mean something and everyone involved did themselves proud. More booking like that and WWE could have a tag team division worth talking about again.

The subsequent squash of everyone except the PTPs by the Big Show could be viewed as a negative but frankly the doubles scene means so little, and Show has been booked to dominate these men previously so many times, that it didn’t do any harm at all. I still perceive the men ‘The World’s Largest Athlete’ KO’d in exactly the same light as I did before.

Daniel Bryan and AJ entered enjoyable performances in a mildly confusing Peep Show. Christian, a babyface, came across as a bad guy during his grilling of the apparently happy couple. Bryan and AJ are both in tweener territory, meaning that they (or at least Bryan) should have been booked a little more heelishly. Christian was far too antagonistic and Bryan too sympathetic. At least Kane got a pop when he came out, I suppose.

The headline bout of Sheamus and Rey Mysterio v Dolph Ziggler and Alberto Del Rio was good until the finish. Disqualifications are rarely satisfying, and this was no exception. In fairness it was done for a reason: to keep the feud between ‘The Essence of Excellence’ and ‘Great White’ alive for SummerSlam. The post-match sequence in which an attempted Ziggler cash-in was thwarted by Mysterio was similarly designed to keep ‘The Show Off’ in the World title picture and create a reason for Mysterio to be involved in time for SummerSlam too.

Rey Mysterio is the reason Dolph Ziggler is not the World Heavyweight champion right now

Right now I’m expecting the four men to clash for the World Heavyweight championship on that show. It could be an enjoyable match, despite the already lengthy Sheamus v Del Rio feud and the fact that ADR and Mysterio have clashed many times previously.

An early prediction if that four-way does get booked: Sheamus will retain and ‘The Show Off’ will use his Money in the Bank contract to win the gold in an instant rematch. You heard it here first.

Rey Mysterio promo, featuring Alberto Del Rio, Dolph Ziggler and Sheamus

Tweet 1: SmackDown! Here we go then...
Tweet 2: Rey Mysterio opens the show. Bad booking, you say?
Tweet 3: He's wearing the outfit he wore during his return run-in on RAW. Lazy Mysterio...
Tweet 4: Mysterio v ADR at SummerSlam? Is that what we're getting? How about something fresh?!
Tweet 5: Rey's come out to say officially that he's back. Great.
Tweet 6: Del Rio, wearing a snazzy suit and scarf combo. I like the scarf gimmick and the fact that it's lasted for so long.
Tweet 7: Four-way between ADR, Sheamus, Mysterio and Ziggler would be good for SummerSlam. Or a three way without 'The Show Off'...
Tweet 8: ... with him cashing in after.
Tweet 9: Speak of the devil.
Tweet 10: Teasing a Ziggler face turn? I'm down with that.
Tweet 11: Sheamus has a lot of hip action when he walks briskly. #butch
Tweet 12: Sheamus just garbled out some words. The only thing I understood was "Pacific Ocean."
Tweet 13: Peep Show with Daniel Bryan and AJ. That should be a highlight.
Tweet 14: The predictable Sheamus and Rey v ADR and Ziggler tag match has been made. BUT WHO BY?!

Kofi Kingston, R-Truth, Epico and Primo v Hunico, Camacho, and the Prime Time Players

Tweet 15: Darren Young has some moves. Hunico and Camacho don't even have an entrance...
Tweet 16: How do you tell Epico and Primo apart? They have their names written on their bibs. It's simple really.
Tweet 17: Eight man tag. When was the last time you saw one of these in WWE?
Tweet 18: So is Kofi friends with Epico and Primo now? Guess that feud they had going has been forgotten since E&P turned.
Tweet 19: The commentary team have not acknowledged Hunico's previous alliance with Epico and Primo. I'm not surprised.
Tweet 20: "The tag division getting good around here, Book" - Michael Cole on the four average or thrown together teams in the match
Tweet 21: An ad break always restores order in an unruly tag bout. Always.
Tweet 22: Camacho's getting a lot of time in this match.
Tweet 23: How do you get someone over as a powerhouse? Book them to do a spinebuster on someone smaller than them.
Tweet 24: Titus is stiffing Kofi. He looks reckless.
Tweet 25: Everyone runs into the ring. Cut to another break! That'll restore order...
Tweet 26: What was that move that Young hit as Primo (or Epico) fell off the top meant to be? Didn't connect whatever it was.

Post-match Big Show appearance

Tweet 27: Big Show's here to job out some tag teams. That's how to get your doubles division over.
Tweet 28: Show just choke slammed Hunico and Camacho together. Does that signal a face turn for them?
Tweet 29: Big Show has a microphone. He needs to cut a promo declaring himself the sole tag team champion.
Tweet 30: He said. "And? What?" My idea would have been better.

The obligatory Cena recap segment

Tweet 31: Cena's cash-in has been described by Josh as the most prestigious in history. Not doing Ziggler any favours there, is he?
Tweet 32: "What a week for John Cena!" - Josh Mathews on what happened to Cena in a 24 hour period

Damien Sandow v Zack Ryder

Tweet 33: Sandow is not a fan of Ryder.
Tweet 34: I don't understand why this segment wasn't book on last week's show when 'Long Island Iced Z' was in charge. That would've made more sense.
Tweet 35: With a bit of thought and effort this feud could be built up for SummerSlam. Both men would benefit from being on that card.
Tweet 36: It'd help WWE if they got over. Why not let them? Sandow in particular has main event potential.
Tweet 37: That SS bout won't happen now. Sandow just jobbed out Ryder in around two minutes. Good performance from Damien. Aggressive heels are good.

Peep Show, with guests AJ and Daniel Bryan

Tweet 38: Peep Show. That's right, Christian, get your meaningless belt into shot.
Tweet 39: Seeing this recap of the proposal segment has put one thought into my mind: AJ has surprisingly chubby hands.
Tweet 40: $20,000 ring? Yeah, and The Rock's shirts really used to cost $500...
Tweet 41: Bryan is hilarious in this wedding planning video! Highlight? Putting a submission hold on a teddy bear.
Tweet 42: True love? If this doesn't end with some sort of swerve turn (preferably from Bryan) I will feel cheated.
Tweet 43: Christian is coming across as a heel here.
Tweet 44: 'Captain Charisma' tells Bryan that he has a match. Bryan acts surprised yet he's wearing his wrestling gear. Hmmmm...

The Peep Show was decent, but I'd rather see Bryan and Christian in a match

Kane v Daniel Bryan

Tweet 45: Yes kicks!
Tweet 46: Have people always used that campy jump counter to the choke slam? Strikes me as something that's come up in the last few years.
Tweet 47: Kane wins via DQ after AJ chucks herself onto his back.
Tweet 48: I'm now expecting Kane to involve himself in the wedding segment on Monday. I hope we're not getting a Kane v Bryan feud.

Heath Slater v Road Warrior Animal

Tweet 49: Slater cowbell!
Tweet 50: Road Warrior Animal should team up with John Laurinaitis to form the Legion of Laurinaitis.
Tweet 51: Animal is sporting the Triple H physqiue.

What a rush? Not for Heath Slater...

Vickie Guerrero and Ricardo Rodriguez argue backstage

Tweet 52: What was the point of the bickering between Ricardo and Vickie?
Tweet 53: Wait. What? Ricardo speaks English…?

Alberto Del Rio and Dolph Ziggler v Sheamus and Rey Mysterio

Tweet 54: Albertooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo Del...
Tweet 55: Vickie Guerrero ruined my tweet.
Tweet 56: Jericho looks OLD.
Tweet 57: Sheamus is out first for his team. We know who the star is here...
Tweet 58: Rey's changed his mask. Or maybe it's one to take off and give to a kid.
Tweet 59: Yeah, he gave it to a child. That's how you know someone's a babyface.
Tweet 60: "Rey Mysterio has set the standard for guys his size stepping into the business and going straight to the top" - Booker T on midgets
Tweet 61: Rey's wearing an outfit that covers his chest. Is that because he's out of shape? Shouldn't be, he's just had eleven months off.
Tweet 62: I want this match to end with either ADR or Ziggler pinning Sheamus to set something up for SummerSlam.
Tweet 63: I imagine Rey will score the pin for his team as he's just come back to TV and it's his hometown.
Tweet 64: Then again WWE don't always like booking hometown wins.
Tweet 65: "C'mon referee, watch your back" - Booker T with a meaningless piece of advice
Tweet 66: Tip for Rey and Sheamus: if you're going to do a near miss tag spot make sure you don't actually touch hands.
Tweet 67: Hot tag to Sheamus. Clean house. Win. #prediction
Tweet 68: Big bump from the apron into the announce table by Ziggler. Convincing way to write him out of the finish.
Tweet 69: Ricardo interference on Sheamus causes a disappointing disqualification finish.
Tweet 70: Officials come in to break up the post-match cross arm breaker. Where's Rey? Shouldn't he make the save to get over a triumphant hero?
Tweet 71: Ah, he saved Sheamus from a Ziggler cash-in instead. That makes him a heel in my book. Surely people would've liked to see a title change?
Tweet 72: A face against face Sheamus v Rey would be something interesting and different for SummerSlam.

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