Seemed a pretty sensible way to open the show given what went down last week, certainly we need to hear Bischoff's side of things. I wasn't quite sure why at the start of one passage of dialogue you started by mentioning last week then talked about two weeks ago to then come back to last week. That didn't really flow for me. But apart from that Bischoff was fine, got his point across regarding Michaels' actions well. Batista out, and I felt we didn't ear enough from him before Bischoff came back in. I wanted to hear more of Batista's anger and feeling towards Michaels, a full explanation, especially since it's technically a face calling out another face. The rest of segment was set up nicely, again perhaps I wanted to hear more from Batista, but the set up to the low blow and then the chokeslam was executed well. Certainly a different way to kick off a show with the champion down and out at the first commercial.
Pretty solid opener here, and the fact that it provided a preview of sorts for a couple of situations at SummerSlam made it a smart piece of booking. Based on what we heard in the commentary, I actually thought Haas might get the win to prove his credentials somewhat, but with Hassan pinning Benjamin, it was a decision that made a lot of sense. One thing I would say though, I can't for the life of me ever imagine Muhammed Hassan hitting a fallaway slam on Bubba Ray Dudley, especially not 2005 fat bastard Bubba.
Strong interview from Jericho, you certainly put over the kinda theme of the feud as it were, especially with the “Jericho wannabe” phrase. I also liked how much emphasis you placed on Edge's future career prospects riding on him hanging onto the briefcase. It added a sense of desperation to Edge's character ahead of the match. I also appreciated the way Jericho tried to use the opening of the promo to almost turn the tides on Edge, to place the pressure back on him. Can't really fault this tbh, it was so direct and to the point, yet at the same time, there was enough subtleness about it that it posed a few questions for Edge to answer later tonight (I'm assuming?) with his actions. Strongest segment of the show so far.
Not really a whole lot to say about the match, Hemme was never the best in the ring and Lita is on a roll, so understandable that she would get the win here.
Post match was where the intrigue was, and while this certainly advanced the feud and set up the match at SummerSlam, I thought perhaps you had Victoria give in just a little bit too quickly. She was so kinda sneaky and sinister at the start when she came out, to then kinda give in and grant the title match after just a few words about being afraid, it felt just a little bit rushed to me. I dunno what else you could have done differently, certainly all the key elements, Lita proving herself, Victoria fobbing her off, that was all fine, but the payoff was just too quick imo. But yeah, should be a good match at SummerSlam, although I'm intrigued by all the mentions of Trish. Is she somehow gonna make a late appearance and play a part in it all?
While it was certainly good to hear from Bischoff and Michaels regarding the title situation, I think the real interesting part about this was how much emphasis Bischoff placed on how important Michaels was to him and his demands. Bischoff would normally claim Michaels was nothing, but this was certainly the opposite, and it was a rather novel approach to take. One small thing, when you had Bischoff mention Michaels' family and kids, I'd have had a line describing Michaels' emotions at that point. Something subtle like that would have added to the exchange, and I think that's defo something to keep in mind for the future, especially with a guy like Michaels who is a master of using his expressions in promos.
Good to see you put Kennedy to good use, couple of points about the pre match promo. I certainly chuckled at the lost a pound comment, that was pretty funny, but it's not “further a due”, you're looking for “further ado”. As for the match, Maven actually got more offence in that I had thought he would, but obvious Kennedy was gonna get the win to keep his début roll going. Feud for him after SummerSlam plz.
Some pretty good words out of Hassan here, certainly his victory earlier adds a lot of weight to what he had to say. I liked the fact that you had him kinda stir the pot a little more between Haas and Benjamin, this added to the words of commentary earlier certainly give the impression that something is gonna go down at SummerSlam between the two. Maybe next week we'll get a bit of in-ring shenanigans between the two to build on what we've seen this week?
While I appreciate that Nemeth and Doane are the new up and coming team on the scene, I thought we'd have a Basham's victory here to even up the score from the match earlier between The Entity and The Dudleys. Although the Dudleys weren't involved in the decision, it was still a loss for their half of the eight man, and this was another one here. And not only that, it was pretty clean too. I dunno, I just can't help but think that a Basham win here would have served you better booking wise heading into SummerSlam, but I guess there's time to change that before the big show.
Nice little pep talk from Flair here, at least it showed Batista in a more defiant light given what happened at the top of the show. Flair readying himself for an appearance from Christian and almost asking for Batista's help made sense, and I'm assuming there'll be a brawl and a chance for 'Tista to get some heat back. Nothing major, but a nice little spot that sets up the main event well.
Wow, Jindrak and Show, No Holds Barred? If ya' ask me, that shoulda had much more impact in the announcement of it. It just kinda seemed like an add on here. You could have even just announced the match here then saved the stipulation for next week. Anyway, match should be good, Jindrak has been a real star in this thread (where is he tonight, btw?) and I'm sure he'll come out of SummerSlam strongly. Michaels was used well here, and in this segment you did a much better job of describing his attitude and expressions, the reluctance to square up to Show, that was all done much better here. But where oh where is Shawn off to at the end?
And it's main event time. The action was certainly enjoyable, especially that double axe handle from the top rope spot, can't say I remember seeing that from Flair all that often. I liked the little tease near the finish with Christian's music, usually that would've been enough of a distraction for Edge to steal it, but nice of you to change it up a bit and have Flair survive that. While I don't disagree with the outcome of the match, there is one thing I'll disagree with. We heard before the match that Batista would have Flair's back. Why did it then take him so long to get involved? I mean, we had Christian and Tomko out, they waited, then we had Tomko on the apron, and then finally Christian hit the chair shot. Given that we just heard from Batista before the match, he should've been out much sooner imo. He could have even taken the fight to Christian and Tomko during the match, and in the confusion, Edge got the win, which you could have still chalked up to Christian's involvement. But yeah, good to see that given how the show started, Batista seemed to be back on top by the end of it.
Oh hullo, what's happened to Shawn? Ah wait... is maybe the reason it took Batista so long to hit the ring 'cause he was busy layin' a whoopin' on Michaels? Or do you credit it to Kane? Hmmm... nice little way to end things. Really looking forward to the explanation for it.
Overall, a really solid show, certainly continued to build towards SummerSlam nicely. A few things I disagreed with booking wise, but I think you've still got enough time to change my mind on a few feuds before we get to the big show. Overall, there wasn't a whole lot to fault, and the ending was very strong, and there's a real hook to tune in for next week, and you know I will be doing so.