Smackdown finishes up and once again, we have to figure out what's working and what's not.
For the third night in a row this week, WWE opens with a match. I applaud them for this. All three shows opened with a match. Hopefully, they finally realize that this is how they should always open their shows.
The opening contest sees McCool versus Maryse in a title match. It was good to hear Tazz make reference that Maryse, the challenger, came out last when it's the champion that usually comes out last. J.R. makes the comment that it's probably a mind game, which doesn't make any sense because Maryse would have no pull on who comes out first in her matches. But it is good to see the WWE taking notice of this.
The match itself was actually very good, considering who was in it. They worked a good mat style with good chain wrestling. Both of these women must have been working with each other to pull off the kind of chemistry they have. They worked in some entertaining spots and got the fans interested in the match. Maryse seems to also have a following now as she's over with the fans. It doesn't seem like people don't want to boo a beautiful woman.
Maryse's submission hold still doesn't look good. It doesn't look as devastating as it could. The match ends with McCool hitting The Wings of Love (double under hook face-buster), which she hasn't done in a while. Both of these women came off looking great this week and show that with enough time, people can improve.
We get a segment backstage with Vickie Guerrero and Big Show. Eve Torres comes in asks some questions about The Undertaker. Vickie gets upset and asks Eve to continue the interview. Eve says that she's been training to wrestle and Vickie and Show laugh at her. This came off great and hopefully will work out for the better. Eve just planted the seeds for her in ring debut. If she's talented enough, she can prove to Vickie that she isn't to be mocked and can tear through the Divas ranks. If she's terrible in the ring, than this was pointless. Big Show then runs the vignette of him beating up The Undertaker.
Festus is out to face Ryan Braddock. It's sad to see Jesse working a manager role now. He is pretty talented and made a good contrast to Festus in their tag matches. At the rate he's going, the WWE will probably fire him soon.
The match wasn't anything special. It didn't showcase Braddock at all, which he really needs at this point. As far as I can remember, we have still yet to see what he can do. There's no point in bringing someone to the company to become a named jobber.
The match ends in a no contest and Jesse and Festus wrap up Braddock in bubble wrap and carry him out, just like Dykstra last week. They're really pushing this change of network thing.
We cut to back stage with Vickie and Show talking about how they beat up Taker. Show runs the vignette again.
Shelton Benjamin versus R-Truth is up next. Both of these men have long entrances and it seemed strange to have them both at the same time. Speaking of entrances, R-Truth has already become redundant. He needs to change up his dance move when he gets in the ring. It looks like that's all he knows how to do.
The fans were behind the match besides the fact that these two have conflicting styles. They didn't seem to mesh too well in the ring. It was because of this that the match wasn't as exciting as a typical Shelton match can be.
The end comes when R-Truth counters a German suplex into a quick roll up. If the WWE is smart, R-Truth should be getting a title match next week because he pinned the U.S. Champion in a non-title match.
A strange Gregory Helms promo pops up on screen at this moment where he claims that the price of gold just went down. It's going to be interesting to see if Helms is put into the U.S. Title scene when he comes back.
Jeff Hardy versus The Brian Kendrick is next. They both cut promos before the match. Jeff about how he's been working hard to get the WWE title and Kendrick about how Hardy is a drug addict. I'm getting tired of people always going to this when they want to insult Jeff. It happened. It's over. Everyone knows about it. Find something else to rag on him about. Be creative. It's not hard.
The match was pretty good but I didn't expect it to be any less. These two are great workers and both deserve to be in the main event. It's good to see that the WWE has faith in Kendrick and that he keeps getting high profile matches.
Decent back and forth action seeing both men take advantage at some point. They were smart enough to have the momentum shift right before break.
The end worked perfectly. Hardy counters Kendrick and gets a quick backslide for the win. It's always good to see people win without their signature move. It builds on the overall story that any match can end at anytime. This should be used more often.
Vladmir Kozlov comes out and attacks Hardy again. It's interesting to see Hardy working two stories now. Hopefully he can keep both of them interesting.
Vickie and Show are backstage and they do a strange production were "The Undertaker" comes into the room. The camera acts as his point of view. It came off strange because the audience is suppose to be a witness to the events happening at the time. When the camera gives the point of view shot, the audience is then that person. It's a strange tactic to use in pro wrestling and always comes off as awkward because it's rarely used at all. Turns out that it was Chavo Guerrero that came into the room. Big Show plays the vignette again of him beating up The Undertaker.
Carlito brings back the Cabana in the next segment. This actually turned out to be very entertaining. The dynamic worked out so well because Carlito was working off of his brother, Primo. I was hoping that they would try something different with this tag team where Carlito would play a heel, Primo would play a face, and they stay together because they're siblings. But Carlito as a face could work, he's done it before. but his heel character is so much better.
Ryder and Hawkins come out and talk smack to the Colons. Gregory Helms has another quick promo where he makes fun on the tag team champions in a news report.
It's great to see the WWE finally giving the tag titles a story. Ryder and Hawkins have been carrying that title for some time now and really needed a story. The Colons demand a title match and they get it for next week.
Carlito says that someone needs to pack up the set and Jesse and Festus come back out in their moving gimmick. Hawkins and Ryder attack the Colons when Primo rings the bell to have Festus attack. Funny visuals in this scene with Festus chasing the tag champs with a palm tree.
We see Maria sketching backstage as Brie Bella approaches her. They talk about how Maria designs clothes and Brie asks if she can have an outfit. Then she asks if she can make two of the same outfit. I thought this was pretty good as they're definitely setting up the reveal to be soon. It will be interesting to see how the story goes with Brie, a face, using heel tactics to win a match.
Victoria and Natalya come out and instigate a fight for next week where they claim they'll find out Brie's secret. This segment worked great with the exception of Maria's character change. Maria is suppose to be an air headed kind of character. All of a sudden she's smart and not afraid of anything. But a few weeks ago, she did a radio interview in character and she was a ditz again. Now, she has confidence when being confronted by Victoria and Natalya. The WWE needs to make up their mind on what she's suppose to be because it's coming off terribly right now.
The next match sees Scotty Goldman versus The Great Khali. Just like all Khali matches, he dominated the entire thing. Goldman gets in two shots of offense before being destroyed. It sucks to see the WWE wasting talented workers like Scotty Goldman. He's very entertaining and could become a huge draw for the kids, which Smackdown needs right now. Both John Cena and Rey Mysterio are on RAW and Hornswoggle is on ECW. Smackdown needs to have a kids draw if the WWE is pushing for this new PG rating.
Backstage, we see Ryder, Hawkins, and Bam Neely talking to each other. Chavo comes in and kicks everyone out, saying that wants to watch the tape of Big Show beating Undertaker again. It was weird to see Bam Neely and Chavo in the same room and no mention of what happened last week when Neely turned on Chavo. I guess we have to assume it never happened, much like most of WWE's story lines that have no continuity.
Chavo watches the tape again but this time it freezes up. We get that weird point of view shot again and this time it's the Undertaker. He chokes out Chavo before the break.
The main event is up and it's triple H versus MVP. It was great to see these two work together because they should be main eventing pay-per-views. The fans were really behind this match. MVP is a great worker as he made working Triple H's arm interesting. Usually, when a wrestler keeps going for the same hold to work a body part, it gets repetitive and boring. MVP found a way to make it exciting by adding little movement to the hold.
Triple H didn't sell his injuries too well as his arm didn't give him any problems after he regained the upper hand. Of course this made MVP look bad as he can't hurt Triple H. Triple H gets the win with a pedigree. I'm getting tired of seeing Triple H getting wins over up and coming main eventers. He keeps this up, no one will believe that any of these people are worth watching.
Kozlov comes out and faces off against Triple H. MVP provides a distraction and Kozlov attacks Triple H. There were several things wrong with this. Last week, Kozlov attacked Hardy all by himself. This week, the only way he goes after Triple H is after a distraction. Also, Triple H just finished a match but he still has enough energy to put up a good fight against Kozlov before being taken down. Hardy got rocked last week. Why does Triple H have to come out looking strong in something like this? The point is to get Kozlov over, so Triple H should have just taken his beating and helped elevate Kozlov. But he couldn't do that.
Overall the show was pretty good. Aside from running that vignette 4 times through the night, no resolution to the Undertaker story, and Triple H making all the younger talent look bad, everything else is going great. Smackdown is still the show to watch and has been for some time now. My rating: B+
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