Now I have never ever liked Matt Hardy, but in this thread, I am kinda starting to root for him. I can see where he is coming from, but I think having him slag off the Intercontinental Championship in a way undermines the championship itself as well as the champion, Alberto Del Rio; who in the best part, has been a good IC Champion. The issue with Hardy and Cole could well heat up after the Rumble, and I see either Hardy winning it or Cole in a way costing him it. So the fact that I am getting behind the guy despite my own personal feelings towards him, not only means that Hardy is being played well as a face, but only makes Michael Cole a better heel. Great angle, and I hope to see things come to a head in an epic 'Mania conclusion.
A great win for Punk here, and once again good exposure for the Bourne/Henry team. Punk winning was obviously a good move, and not only does build his momentum up going into the Rumble, but puts him over in a big way by beating a guy with the size and experience of Henry. The promo afterwards was very good; it captured Punk well, and Christian coming out afterwards was the right move to say his piece and combat all of Punk's points. But the best part of this promo I feel is how Christian is totally buzzkilled by the always have-a-comeback Punk. The imagery of the title just laying in the centre of the ring with Christian staring at him only makes you want him to win it more at the Royal Rumble. Was good to see Christian make up for it physically though and then run off with the Championship.
Good to have some exposure to the Divas on Smackdown, as there was a title change, but on NXT, so it is only right to have the fallout from that here on Smackdown. I'm guessing Maryse is just the transitional champion for McCool, and we could see McCool vs Kharma at Wrestlemania, or you could keep the belt on Maryse until then, who knows?
Very much expected Taker and Big Show to get involved in Kane vs Kofi, and the way it played out was brilliant! Kofi getting the HUGE win against a competitor like Kane only bolsters his chances of winning the Rumble, and he got one up on Show in the process.
The Casket Match next week will be epic for sure, and I am expecting a Taker victory, as obviously we are starting the Road to Wrestlemania, so Kane needs to get out of the way so Taker can move onto someone new to challenge the streak, unless you are going for the brothers at war again. We've obviously seen it before but I know how good a booker you are so I can only imagine any possible slant you can put on it.
Having Maryse lose here would be stupid, which you are not. Obviously the loss would have completely undermined her Divas Championship victory. I'm intrigued with this Michelle and Kharma situation though.
GREAT interaction between Kofi and Big Show, and now we see the big man finally turning heel, and also the fact that Kingston was the man to turn him puts over Kofi quite well, and I don't know when this match will happen but when it does it will be a blockbuster, and possibly Kofi's Wrestlemania moment with the underdog win over The Big Show. I know that Kofi is always good for MITB matches so I wouldn't blame you if you decided to let this feud end before Mania. But you have Bourne for all the spots so maybe Big Show vs Kingston at Wrestlemania; I'd like to see that. Also, heel Big Show FTW.
I think the Cena promo was my favourite part of the show, as it really made clear that he is now a different person, and this heel turn has to last... for a long time. Heel Cena is definitely a lot more entertaining than generic, face Cena, and he brings a lot to your Smackdown, not just star power.
The main event itself was great, and Christian doesn't really lose momentum as it was Punk that cost him, only intensifies the feud heading into the Rumble. Punk getting the last laugh was a good touch and this feud is red hot!
Sorry I may not have explored things that much/well, just I thought I hadn't left you any comments in a while so I'd just leave my thoughts on this. Great show as usual, and I will be reading on as per usual for sure!
Thanks for the review, matey. Just to clear one thing up - just noticed this before I read your feedback. I initially wrote that Undertaker challenged Kane to a Casket Match next week on SMACKDOWN. I don't know why I wrote that (they had a Casket Match at Cyber Sunday) when I meant to put a Buried Alive match. It has now been edited. You make some excellent points in there and a couple of bits and pieces made me think about some future plans. I like to listen to any feedback I get and use it to mould my BT where I need to. However, one thing that will not happen at WM27 is Kane vs. Undertaker. I can quash that one now. No way. If it happens, it happens on SMACKDOWN - both are in the Rumble, both are likely to be in the Elimination Chamber, they won't be meeting on PPV in a one on one match.
What strikes me about what you say and what others have told me elsewhere is that nobody seems to know who will win the Rumble. I appear to have made a big case for Hardy with yourself, Kofi with others, Cena, Orton, Taker, Kane, Sheamus are all involved, Miz is in his hometown plus Edge is trying to force his way in. I'm enjoying the guessing games that are taking place! Maybe I'll include a WrestleMania main event prediction on the Rumble prediction contest when I finish the final week's build towards the Rumble ...
I cannot wait to write the Royal Rumble match either. It should be epic.
Thanks for the comments, keep on reading. Will check your show out soon. GCB