Re: WWE: A Strong Response
Opening Promo: Great promo, even in recap, I could just imagine what was going on. I'm not exactly sure what to think of Tazz in an official's role just yet, but I like what went down here. I remember Punk taking on Jeff Hardy at WrestleMania, and effectively taking him out, too, so I'm liking that Matt's sticking up for his brother, and the match between Matt and Punk should be a great one. I'm a fan of both MVP and Elijah, and even though I've yet to see how you handle him as a face, I like the sound of them in a No DQ Match. Both of these men being in the opening promo further establishes the apparent pushes you're given them, so good job there, a well-written promo that's promising us a very good tag team match later on. Good stuff here.
Masters of the Mat/Tazz/Jeter Segment: Master and Haas as a team is a good pairing, and I like the cockiness that they exuded here, especially Masters. I'm guessing that Haas and Tazz had a run-in at some point? In any case, I like the worry the two showed when Tazz put them up against Shawn and 'Taker, should be a great match to put over the Masters of the Mat, as well as the story between the World Champ and the challenger. Jeter's match with 'Taker must've been pretty brutal, especially if he isn't cleared to compete here tonight, but his match next week against Sydal should be a great one. Got to know a bit about Jeter's character here, a cowardly-heel type, so that's good. Smooth transition between the two segments, both of which I liked.
Mickie/Beth: Mickie and Beth are two of my favorite Divas, and have good chemistry together. You captured that well here, but I don't know what the relationship between Mickie and Michelle is. The one thing about this match was that it wasn't so much about the wrestling, but more about the introduction to this mystery woman. I know you want to keep her identity a secret for now, but it would've helped to get a brief description, like hair color, maybe. Either way, I'm looking forward to seeing what she's got to do with anything, and overall, a solid win for Beth, keeping her momentum going, and a strong showing by Mickie. Good job here.
Kash Interview: Powerful interview by Kash, who I've never really liked. Still, it seems as if he's getting a push towards the Crusierweight Title, especially after two big consecutive wins. I felt the attitude and the intensity well here, so good job there, and I'm also wondering who he'll be wrestling later on.
Jordan/Lashley: Orlando Jordan? There's a name I haven't heard in awhile. The role he played here tonight is pretty much all I'd ever do with him, a jobber to the stars. Lashley being from RAW is interesting, is there some sort of talent agreement going on? The match was really just a glorified squash to show Lashley's dominance, although there was a bit of toughness on the part of Jordan by kicking out after the spinebuster. "Open House rules"? Not too sure what that means, but if it allows people to show up on other's brands, then I'm fine with that. Anyway, seems as if Lashley might be on some sort of push, so we'll see what happens there with him.
Elijah/Layla/Matt Segment: Elijah's with Layla? Lucky him. Anyway, I liked this segment. It had some tension in it, considering the fact that the two hardly know each other, but also a feeling of respect, shown at the end with the handshake. Their respective feuds, as well as the tag match later on, got some good hype from this segment, and I've really got no complaints about this. Good job here.
Hayger Promo: A good candidate to bring up from SD!. I like this guy, so I'm looking forward to what you do with him, but I'm not too keen on the name. "Josh" has never sounded all that great to me, and "Hayger" looks a little weird with the "y" and the "g" next to each other. But that's just me being picky.
Crazy/Kash: Glorified squash, but still, showed what Kash can do and that he should be taken seriously, and Crazy didn't look too bad here, either, so good job. Shane being out here put a little more importance on the match, a nice touch, and that front flip dropkick sounds sick. Would probably fit a face better, but still, a good move nevertheless. Crazy kicking out of it and preventing one of his finishers kept him strong, but ultimately, jobbed out. Kash making the challenge for the CW Title after the match was good, and even though I'm not a fan of his, and don't know too much about Shane, you got me to look forward to it, so great job.
US Title Ceremony: Very good promo here by Shelton, it really made him seem proud of being the US Champion, putting importance on the title, and overall, I just liked what he had to say. He made himself sound like a very big deal, which is good, but there's one thing he said that I didn't like, the "warning to anyone who wants to level of competition, because no one can compete on his level." It sounded redundant. Aside from that, Tazz coming out here and saying that he agreed to give Shelton this celebration seemed really biased, something I don't really like in GM (I prefer neutralness), but again, you put even more importance on the US Title by having the first scramble match for it. It sounds the same as it was in real life, so I know how that one works, but it'd be good to know if you made some modification on it. Looking forward to seeing who the four guys'll be, and overall, a great segment here, great job.
Tag Match: Solid match here, but I was sort of expecting better. It wasn't as high-paced as I was hoping, but it was still good, and I like the ending, too, it keeps the heels strong. It'll also make for an interesting segment with MVP and Punk, and it gave Matt and Elijah some good momentum over their Judgement Day opponents. I liked the ending with the small guy hug, that was a funny description, and another good match. Good job here.
Judgement Day Promo: Very nicely done here. Undertaker vs. Shawn for the World Title will be a must-see, or read, for that matter. That's also a cool poster, too, it works well and tells a story with Shawn looking over his shoulder.
Sydal/Shannon: Poor Shannon, at least with the other squashes, the others had a moment of strength, but Shannon, not so much. As exciting as this was, had this been more competitive, it'd would've been a lot better. I've always liked how the feint enzuigiri headscissors looked, so it was great to bust that out, and I also liked the usage of the Cyclorama, doing that with someone like Shannon would look very effective. Just a match to showcase Sydal, giving him some momentum for his encounter next week with Jeter (and it was a good move to get a shot of him watching), but could've been handled better as to not make it seem like a total squash.
Chavo Interview: Intense segment here, I liked it. Chavo and Killings would make a very good feud, and this was a solid start to it. Killings getting retribution plays into his character well, that is, if he's The Truth, with the criminal background thing. If not, then it adds edge to his character, which is good. Obviously, Chavo won't take this lying down, so I'm looking forward to seeing what's going to happen next here. And poor Josh Matthews, he can't ever seem to catch a break in any BTB that includes him.
Shawn/Shane Segment: I was wondering if you acknowledge the relationship between the two, and I'm glad you do, but the names could get confusing at times. Anyway, this segment was good, it made it seem that either Shawn is definitely not scared of 'Taker, or he's just lying to himself. Either way, it's something you see a lot in 'Taker feuds, but it's a little more significant here considering it's over the World Title. Good hype for the main event, as well as the World Title Match.
Main Event: Solid in-ring action, which made Masters look good, but Haas, not as much, considering his punches had little effect on 'Taker. As a whole, though, it put the team over as a legit team, and the ending definitely made things more exciting for the World Title Match. I thought it was a little odd for Masters to grab the steel chair when it seemed as if his team was about to mount a comeback, but I loved the result of it, with him tossing it to Michaels. It definitely furthers the feud between the two, and makes it all that more exciting for next week. Definitely made me look forward to the next episode.
Overall: First SmackDown! of yours that I read, and I really liked it. It had one too many squashes for my taste, but aside from that, it was very good. The matches were all good, and the segments all furthered a story or feud, no wasted segment. While I think I may have enjoyed RAW more, SD! was still a very good read, with its own intruiging storylines and feuds. I'm wondering what happened to Edge, since I think it was he who challenged Shawn at 'Mania for the title, and his presence could've been helpful here, but aside from that, and the number of squashes, I don't have much to complain about. Great read here, I'll be back for more, so great job, Nige. 8/10.