Firstly, Iíll apologise for the lateness, but Iíve been extremely busy, barely having time to write my own stuff. And then Iíll thank you for the video recap of last week to open the show, as it reminded me of my new found love for Kenny Dykstra in this thread. Opening the show with Vinnie Mac and his crew at first seemed like it was going to be some generic McMahon ranting and raving promo... then he mentioned naming the number one contendership and it sort of raised my hopes for the promo, because at least heís out there for a reason. Anyway all of McMahonís bit was typical McMahon, I especially love how he refers to Cena and RVD as egomaniacs, and then in his next breath, he brags about having all the power in the WWE. Lashley being named as number one contender seems like the logical choice from McMahon, but I was sensing some sort of swerve when Cena interrupted. Cenaís stuff was typical Cena, nothing more to say really. McMahon goes back to the contract which was solid, and as soon as that happened, before reading on, I knew we were going to see Linda McMahon tonight. And as usual, sheís a thorn in Vinceís side, and well, now we donít know how long Vince will be sticking around... and Lashley was never officially announced as the number one contender, so Iím guessing that title is still open up until next week when we find out whoís in charge. I maybe felt you could have mentioned Carlito in the promo somewhere, maybe just a little mention at the beginning, explaining why Lashley is facing him. Once youíre a face and McMahon hates you, you immediately become more over. Kenny Dykstra being handpicked by Vince to face Cena is another big step for Dykstra which I like. Whilst the promo was solid overall and a good start to the show, and I understand why it had to go like this for storyline reasons... I felt like it was all a little to 2000-ish for my liking.
Before I even get into the opener, I just want to mention that I love Dykstraís new t-shirt. The match itself whilst keeping Cena looking strong with the victory, did nothing but good for Dykstra. He didnít get squashed or anything which makes me extremely pleased. Itís a simple booking technique but one that not enough use, book an up and comer with a main eventer and let the up and comers star continue to rise, nice stuff.
Just curious as to whether or not youíll be writing Backlash in full as youíve done with all the other PPVís?
Randy Orton just chatting up a random backstage whore? Nice. The confrontation between Orton, Linda and Jeff Hardy was done pretty well, although would Jeff really just stand there and talk after what Orton did to him last week with the briefcase? In all seriousness, that made him look like a bit of a pussy. Besides that, they exchanged some words, adding a little more heat, and Orton/RVD tonight sounds like an awesome idea, as does the stipulations involved with the match. However again, this match has Backlash implications for Hardy as well, yet heís not a part of it, which really makes him seem a class below RVD and Orton... and whilst realistically he is, as a booker, itís probably not the image you want to portray when Hardy will more than likely be facing Orton in a couple of weeks.
In general just because she played such a great heel throughout the majority of her on screen days, I struggle to buy Stephanie McMahon as the concerned wife character. With that being said, you wrote her pretty well here, and I thought her concern for Triple Hís health actually did a really great job of putting over the type of beast Shawn Michaels has become in this thread. On the other side of things, Triple H was put over pretty well too. He still had that real edge to him, hinting that something bad is going to happen to Shawn, yet he still managed to show emotion towards his family and stuff as well. Just a well written segment to whatís probably your hottest feud at the moment.
A solid enough interview from RVD. One thing I dislike is when face champions go around complimenting fellow competitors a little too much, which I felt like Van Dam did a bit with Hardy. I really liked the comparison of Orton to RVD though, as you hype tonightís main event (guessing itíll get top billing over Lashley/Carlito), whilst having RVD reiterate his thoughts from last week on Vinnie Mac, putting over the importance of the Board meeting next week.
Definitely a very solid tag match to name number one contenderís for the tag titles. Before I talk about everything good about the match, in a logical sort of way, I donít really think Nitro and Masters deserved to be here. Both men can go and they probably added to the match quality, but they are on a huger losing streak, a team that has lost so many times in a row should not be competing for the number one contendership, in my opinion. On a positive note it was a fun match, with the ending being done well, with all hell breaking loose. Punk and Dinsmore getting the shot makes me pleased, however Iím curious to see where you go with this feud, as the WGTT simply applaud... Iím intrigued...
I really enjoyed the Carlito interview. A simple bit of hype for his match tonight with Lashley, as well as a challenge to Dykstra to continue to build their heat. I love the constant insults towards Torrie, reminds me of Jericho/Christian/Stratus in 2004... and
at the balls in the purse line, nice little segment here, did its job.
Simply a squash, Trips was always going to dominate Holly. My only issue could be that Trips is in such a pissed off state right now that he should have just been brawling, so it didnít fit the situation when early in the match he went for a headlock takedown. Iím being very critical though, as besides that, the match was fine.
And business picks up with Hunter calling out Shawn Michaels. It was good you just had Trips get straight to the point rather than rant and rave, it doesnít seem like heís in one of those moods. Michaelsí speech was pretty good as well, and I love the extra personal aspect of HBK talking about Tripsí family, as he probably knows them as good as he knows his own. And Iíve gushed over this a few times previously, but I love the way Shawn is still mentioning god and what not, yet being sadistic at the same time, such a great character. Clever to have Trips recap some of the guys heís beaten over the years... Michaels finally accepts and the banter at the end was okay, although Iím not too sure it was entirely needed. Either way, another great promo in what is your hottest feud right now.
Another nice Claudio Cesaro video. Iím not a big fan of the guy personally, but youíll probably book him in a way that will make me like him.
Lashley/Carlito time. Iím interested to see how you book this one. I have an opinion on what I think should be done, so weíll see how it goes. Also, Joey Styles had a bit of a brain fade as he said that ĎLito wouldnít want to trade right hands with Lashley.... well yeah of course he wouldnít, because Carlito is left handed. Anyway, onto the match... Firstly, the brain fade continued as for half the match Carlito was using right hands and then in the final part of the match you had him using his left. I donít mean to harp on it but itís just a silly mistake that really shouldnít happen from somebody with your booking skills. Still, mistake aside, the match was fun enough to read, and it was booked exactly as I thought it should be. Lashley gets the win, looks like a beast, and regains some much needed momentum, whilst Carlito, much like Dykstra earlier, puts up a valiant effort and the loss does him no harm. Well done.
Dykstra or Kennedy for King of the Ring...
I enjoyed the little attack on Carlito here, adding more heat to his feud with Dysktra... and it also made Torrie look like a dead set bitch. Good stuff, and despite Dykstra declining the challenge, I obviously expect the rematch to take place somehow at Backlash.
A nice match that continues to womenís division feud at the moment, however I was a little shocked to see Victoria get the win. I was shocked because all the heat seems to be between Beth and Mickie, but a win against the champ from Victoria canít go unnoticed, can it? Mickie still looks strong though, as the distraction cost her, and I guess itís nice to see James getting some help, even if Candice is a useless piece of shit. I smell a tag match next week perhaps...
A good main event to end the show with two of the top guys going at it. A very strong win for RVD here, as heís the champion and all, and Orton still doesnít look to bad in defeat. I still think it was the wrong decision to have implications for Hardy in this match and not have him get involved somehow, even if say Orton tried to get a cheap win, and Hardy didnít let him or something. The attack from Lashley afterward was a little unexpected, but it lead to the Cena/Lashley brawl. The McMahonís get involved again, and it was a nicely booked set up for the Cena/Lashley match next week to see who gets the shot at Backlash. A nice ending to the show.
Overall, the show was solid overall. The highlights were obviously the Trips/HBK, ĎLito/Dykstra stuff, where there was proper heat involved, whilst everything else is just sort of being booked for Backlash. Still, the show was fine, and everything seems to be leading somewhere... plus the Backlash card is looking pretty good as well. Again, sorry for the lateness, but keep it up, because Iím still reading.