Smackdown kicks off on their new network and it's time to figure out if they made the right choices to try and keep an audience.
First thing that needs to be discussed is the new open. Now, something just didn't feel right about it. It didn't scream WWE. It was actually kind of simple in comparison to what the WWE editors can do. I was slightly disappointed with. But it also didn't look like it was the final version of the open. Maybe there will be a new one next week.
We open the show with a huge 8 man tag, the way that a show should open. We get Jeff Hardy, Rey Mysterio, Finlay, and Batista versus MVP, JBL, The Brian Kendrick, and Kane.
This match was amazing. They were given enough time to showcase everyone in the match and made everyone look good. For the new audience at home, this had to have been very exciting to watch, especially Rey Mysterio. JBL shows some good ring strategy during the match; when Kendrick is getting beat, JBL grabs Kendrick and slides him in the ring on his corner. JBL then tags himself in. I always wonder why wrestlers don't do this more often when their partner is in danger.
Batista had some good spots with the Batista Bomb as he gave Kendrick a back body drop from that position. Batista look very strong in this match as he dominated almost throughout.
The end sees Jeff Hardy hitting the Swanton Bomb on MVP for the win. This is a great move because Jeff needed the momentum going into No Mercy this Sunday and MVP can't lose anything because he doesn't have a match.
Backstage we get Adamle and Teddy Long talking. Big Show comes in and tells them that because Vickie Guerrero is injured, he will be taking over the GM duties. Chavo Guerrero comes in and says he's scared of The Undertaker showing up tonight. Show blames Chavo for what happened to Vickie, so he puts him in a match later that night. It looks like they are starting a face turn for Chavo. Only good thins can come from that.
Santino Marella versus Shelton Benjamin is up next. Santino does his typical Honk-A-Meter skit and Shelton gives his strange promo before the match. Shelton's promo is really of putting as it disrupts the flow of the entrances when they run these.
The match itself wasn't too exciting. The fans really didn't know what to do because both men are heels. After a few minutes of Shelton beating on Santino, R-Truth makes his full entrance through the crowd. The distraction allows Santino to get the quick roll up for the win.
This came off as weird because R-Truth had everything going for his entrance. The lights and the music were going but the match continued. It's rare that they go this far with someone coming out to provide a distraction and it always seems that the match should end in no contest.
Big Show comes out to announce the next match. We apparently get Chavo versus Mark Henry and The Great Khali in a handicap match. I really didn't see the point of a squash match on a night like this. Squash matches shouldn't be on special nights like this, when the WWE is trying to capture a larger audience.
This match was a typical squash. Chavo attacks first but immediately gets stopped. The rest of the match is Henry and Khali taking turns beating him up. Eventually, Khali gets the win with the Vise Grip.
After the match, Big Show punches Chavo and knocks him out. It really looks like Chavo will be turning face soon. Hopefully he goes back to his character that he had when he team with his uncle, Eddie Guerrero.
As Big Show gets back in the ring, he tells Taker that this is what will happen to him. The bells chime and Show begins to walk away. The lights cut and when they return, The Undertaker is standing in the ring. I thought this was weird as The Undertaker is such a huge name in wrestling that I thought he would get a match on a night like this. It's good that he showed up, but it feels like a waste of resources.
The next match is Priceless and Manu versus Carlito, Primo, and C.M. Punk. This was a decent match with lots of action. Everyone did a good job showcasing themselves. DiBiase specifically looked really well. He has the potential to go far in his career. Hopefully the WWE will give him the chance when he's ready.
The end sees C.M. Punk hit the GTS on DiBiase for the pin. I'm not too sure where this feud is going as it seems that C.M. Punk keeps coming out on top. It looks like he's just going to tear through this faction.
Beth Phoenix versus Michelle McCool in a lumberjack match is up next. It was funny to see Beth holding up her title and McCool holding hers. The Divas title looks so bad in comparison. I don't see how that title can be taken serious.
The match looked very awkward. It was clear that even with all the improvement that McCool has been showing, she is still nowhere near the level of Beth Phoenix. Sadly enough, the fans didn't really seem to care about the match as there wasn't much reaction.
The end sees Beth hitting the Glam Slam for the win. McCool really didn't come off looking good in this match. The entire time she seem to be on defense, even when she was the aggressor. Beth never looked to be in danger. This really elevates the threat level of Beth but destroys the credibility of McCool.
The main event sees Matt Hardy versus Triple H versus Chris Jericho. The match was decent but there were a few things that came off as strange. Triple H dominated a majority of the match no matter who he was against.
Triple H was also in the Walls of Jericho for too long. It always seems that submission holds aren't respected anymore, with the only exception being Jamie Noble and his armbar.
The end sees Triple H hitting the pedigree on Matt Hardy. Triple H really didn't need to win this match. Either Hardy or Jericho could have benefited from the win a lot more. If anything, Matt should have pinned Triple H to bring up the question if Jeff can do it too.
After the match, Jericho attacks everyone with a ladder. Eventually, Jeff Hardy comes down and forces Jericho out. Triple H tries to get Jeff's attention but he's hit with a Twist of Fate.
As Jeff climbs the ladder, Vladimir Kozlov comes down and lays out Jeff. It's good to see that this story hasn't been dropped, but hopefully he won't cause a disqualification on Sunday during the match. That would be such a cheat to the audience that has been wanting Jeff to win the title.
Overall, this was a good show. I think they did a good job show casing as much talent as they could with 54 characters being shown in two hours. Granted, this really is confusing for anyone who may have just started watching but if they saw someone they liked, they'll tune back in next week.
Not much progressed this week but it was expected as this was a show to highlight all the wrestlers. They did a good job to promote No Mercy and hopefully people will be buying it on Sunday. My rating: B+
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