Should warn you, this isn’t a proper review, per se. It’s basically a list of comments from the last three shows. Not going to comment on everything. Some of the comments probably wont even be proper feedback … but here I go …
First things first; the second Judgment Day banner was a lot better than the first.
Opening video was excellent. You’ve certainly become the new king of the opening video at the start of a PPV. Very good package imo.
Commentary is a good position for JBL right now imo. For starters, he’s awesome in that role, but also, it gives him plenty of time to make digs at the McMahons, promote himself for the SD elections, and put himself over as a top contender.
Hot contest to open the evenings festivities, and for me, my focus was on what would go down between Rey and Batista. Glad you had them on the same page initially, and then breakdown. Glad Rey stood up for himself when Batista shoved him … but it maybe wasn’t a good idea, considering the outcome
. The level of intensity shown by Batista when demolishing Rey surely forbodes his future heel turn, as it wasn’t just a simple case of overpowering an opponent - it was a rather brutal assault. Certainly not something becoming of a so called friend. The fact he seemed to be setting up to put Rey through the table … he certainly wasn’t just competing. He was prepared to go another level.
Like I said, my main focus on this one was the interaction between Rey and Batista, so I’ll skip over the period where Rey wasn’t involved … and straight to his comeback, putting The Animal through the table. No love lost between friends, and I was impressed with the booking of Mysterio, not afraid to go as far as Batista was willing to go, despite their friendship. LOL at Sharmell “Ma Man!!”. I hate Booker though, and was always wary that he’d somehow sneak a win here.
The finish was terrifically executed, with Batista saving Rey from a Shillelagh shot, then Rey capitalising, just as Batista was finishing off Booker, and getting the fall whilst Batista was unable to do anything about it. Brilliantly done, and should go on to further infuriate Big Dave, after he saved Rey from being surely out of the contest completely. Great stuff - and we get the added bonus of Rey vs. Edge later on.
Very surprised with how the Kennedy/Hardy match played out. Not so much the brawl to kickstart the match up, but moreso the finish. Stoppage loss didn’t really do it for me. Maybe it’s because I was convinced that this would be Hardys opportunity to end Kennedys streak, and move up the mountain himself, I don’t know. With this finish, I guess you give yourself the chance to continue the rivalry, with Matt still desperate to get the better of Kennedy. I still hold out hope that Matt is the man to defeat Kennedy, as it would be a great rub for Matt to make another step up the ladder on Smackdown.
Yay, a shout out for Sky Box Office
Glossed over the match tbh, but wanted to comment on the Melina turn on MNM. Great job. Made the contest much more newsworthy, and adds another wrinkle to the three way feud for the tag titles, as well as a personal issue in the angle - and more importantly, firmly establishes MNM as a face team now, which is good for the division. As long as they rebound strongly, and don’t just look for pity of course
. Melina pairing up with Regal and Burchill, to me, DOES seem like a good fit too. I’d assume it becomes MNM vs. The Bluebloods for the next month or so, before the Hooligans plant themselves back into the equation. And I’ll call it now; TLC at the Bash - or Summer slam - for the tag belts between the three teams.
I was really pleased to see Kash take back the Cruiserweight title - namely because I called it
but also, it allows the feud to rumble on for at least another two months or so. I’m actually hoping you turn it into a Best of Seven series or something, as this feud could go on for as long as you want it to. That’s how good it’s been. Besides, there’s no one else in the division right now that seems to be on these two guys level.
No entrance for Shane?? To be honest, I’ll not dwell on the crazy amount of run ins that riddled the match. It’s obvious it was meant to be in there to highlight the ‘anarchy’ over on Smackdown right now, so, I guess you did the job. Kinda ruined the match for me though, as Rey vs. Edge could’ve been potentially awesome. Still, like I said, the objective was to get ‘anarchy’ over, and you succeeded. However, I couldn’t understand what triggered the Bluebloods to run in, as I don’t recall any deep lying issue with Chavo or Batista. I get the run in from the Hooligans … but why Noble at that point??
And Matt Hardy came off looking like a bit of a douche if I’m honest. For starters, he was battered and bludgeoned earlier in the night, and probably should be on his way to hospital in order to sell the beating, but here he is, thinking he can be the voice of reason to stop the chaos … and then he gets attacked again. At least on this occasion he fought back, as the match finally got back on track. Just didn’t get the motivation for why certain people ran in. No surprises that Edge retained the title, but hopefully Mysterio gets his rematch down the road.
FINALLY!!! Delighted we finally got the reveal of Michelle McCool as Brents valet. And while this was just buffer to fill the two main event matches, it gets Brent another win over Holly, continuing his solid start to life on Smackdown, and the Crowbar gets another win, putting it over again, as a solid submission hold.
Boston was the home of WrestleMania 14, not 15.
Last Man Standing told a heck of a story. Personally, I love to see actions from the past rare up again, as you did here with a similar opening to the WrestleMania match two months prior. Things like that make things so much better for me. Surprised though, that Taker was able to be the aggressor early on, though I guess Lashley was just a little too eager at the get go. Taker going all out on the attack puts over Lashley even more, with that tactic basically saying that Taker knows he cant give Lashley a second to recuperate - showing more than just respect for his opponent, imo, but also certain element of fear.
More flashbacks to WrestleMania with Lashley countering the Old School. Odd that when we got to the outside that Lashley rolled in to stop a count out. Anyway, the action picked up a notch outside, and the No DQ element starting to take over a little bit more, with Lashley clearly the aggressor at this point. Surprised you added in the trading blows spot, for the BOO - YAY sequence, as it just didn’t seem to fit in this environment. I guess it helped sell the knock-down, drag-out brawl aspect of the contest between the bulls.
Nice teasing with the table spots also, I might add. It’s something that isn’t done enough, imo. Adds more suspense to tease it, rather than the simple formula of stripping the table, then chokeslamming the opponent through it. And boy, was the wait worth it for the big table spot. A sick, sicker than sickly, sick table spot, that reminded me of KOTR 2000, with Shane going through, courtesy of Taker. For a moment, I thought that might do it, and end with a double count out, but thankfully it didn’t.
Another ode to WrestleMania with the counter into the Tombstone … but this time it wasn’t enough to put big Bobby down. And that is perhaps the turning point. It was without a doubt, the last act of a desperate man, after Lashley blitzed him, somehow unable to finish him off though. This time though, after his recovery from the Tombstone, Lashley annihilates Taker … shockingly making him look inferior … and finishing him in style.
Worthy of its slot in the main event. And the aftermath cements it. Intriguing to say the least if this is to be the last we ever see of Taker. Given your opinions that the future is in the younger guys, I wouldn’t be surprised if you did write Taker out after this loss. I hope you don’t though … although IF this is it for the Deadman … then you’ve created a star for life in Lashley. Where does the Real Deal go from here though?? THAT’S the immediate question …
Man, did Raw kick off with a bang or what. The simmering tension between Angle and Trips just exploded to kick it off. Actually seemed very Smackdown-esque with an anarchic opening, including the shocking return of Mick Foley~!! Looks like Mick is going to restore order to Raw, or at least act as the voice of reason.
While the announcement of the three way dance is top drawer tonight … I’m a little wary of the build up for the main event at ONS. ECW vs. Raw works for me … but Kurt Angle and Triple H fighting for ECW?? Not for me. Makes the show seem like another WWE show, rather than an ECW standalone. At least make the ECW team full of ECW originals. Same goes for Edge vs. Lance Storm.
Looking forward to finding out who the ECW Commish’ is gonna be though, as it’s highly unlikely it’ll be Heyman. So it genuinely opens the gates for a shock appearance.
One other thing I noticed from Raw and Smackdown, is that almost everything - if not everything - that happened backstage were interviews. Just wondering if it was a one off, or if that’s the approach you’re taking now, changing up the format slightly to contain mainly interviews between matches??
Good to see you taking a different approach to building Umaga, rather than the quick squash format that everyone follows. A competitive, but dominant performance from the Bulldozer, disposing of a game Charlie Haas. Great use of Umaga to get him over, without resorting to squash matches. The later promo from AAE was exceptional. He’s a big loss to the WWE. A promo God.
This was incredible stuff from Shawn Michaels. Could picture HBK, with that broken look he wears so well, just delivering a stunningly straightforward promo, explaining his actions. The un-loved veteran, passed up for the new kid on the scene. I think it may well be the kind of role that only HBK could pull off - and it’s the type of promo that only a certain few could write. That’s how good it was, highly original, put together tremendously, and given the delivery - you’ve successfully sold this match for PPV - no doubt about it, the Cena/HBK feud has just become the biggest thing in the company, now we’ve gotten to the bottom of Michaels reasons.
Not sure what was meant by the kid at the end, unless it was just done to get the fans against him. Saying that, Coach was gold here, talking about people trying to get an autograph. Simply put, a stunning promo - one for the ages. Truly memorable. Great work.
Carlito needs to get by Helms - FAST. Simply put, imo, for Carlito to be taken seriously as a legit contender with the MITB contract, he needs a clean win over Helms, and then to move onto a legit top name, like Angle or Hunter, if he’s going to be taken seriously when he cashes in the contract. With another cheap win now … it seems certain that these two will meet at least once more.
Had a feeling you might throw the belt back on Angle, but hopefully with this win, Big Show is going to get a lengthy run with the gold. It’s fresh, and he’s hot right now, so it makes a lot of sense to keep the belt on the big man. Angle vs. Show is set for Vengeance, and should be a strong headliner, and that show is starting to take shape now.
Brilliant move to use Funk as the ECW Commish. War Games / Ultimate Jeopardy sounds immense for ONS, and I imagine it’ll be the last stand for Bischoff, and RVD will be reinstated to Raw. Just noticed that Trips wasn’t on Team ECW for that match, so maybe there was a typo earlier in Foleys promo, or I just misread it. Hopefully it’s not a mistake, and he isn’t part of the match, as Team ECW should be just that (although Angle is there)
Surely that cant be it for The Deadman?? After nearly two decades, Shane merely glosses over his departure?? No way. He MUST be coming back at some point down the road. There should surely be some sort of video tribute on the show at some point for the ‘Conscience of the WWE’.
While I like the concept of the GAB contenders tournament, sooner of later, Edge, as champion is going to need an organic feud to get sunk into. At the minute, he’s got minor issues with all the top contenders, but to solidify himself as the top dog on Smackdown, I’d like to see a feud develop for him outside of ‘here’s another number one contender’, where he has a deeply personal rivalry with someone. I didn’t really make my point as I have it in my head, but hopefully you get the angle I’m coming from here.
Bit confused why a title match is signed tonight, featuring three contenders that are going to be in the contenders tournament. I assume if Edge loses the belt, he swaps places with whomever wins the belt tonight … but maybe Shane should’ve made that point when announcing the match.
Edge: Yeah, really. Next … my girlfriend … is much hotter… (Nods at Steph) than yours–
Had me in stitches. Seriously.
Surprised Holly came out on top in that tag match, but I guess he cant lose EVERY week. I assume he’s got one more go around with Albright before they move on - or before Brent moves onwards and upwards might be a better way to put it
. Possibly with Noble, given that little piece of destruction after the match??
Scratch what I said about Taker earlier. I just spotted the video
The debut of Punk was hyped, and hyped, and hyped for weeks … and it DIDN’T disappoint. IMO, the best debut in BTB history. That was a statement of intent … and I sincerely hope you push the guy to the moon from the get go, because with this introduction, I honestly think Punk could fit into the top tier on SD instantly, a bit like Wolfe in TNA, coming into a top feud instantly. This was immense. The promo alone was sensational, with JBL proving to be the perfect foil for Punk … but to go on and have the match with Punk going over as clean as a whistle with the Anaconda Vice was the icing on the cake. Seriously, I hope you don’t waste time with Punk. Pull the trigger, and hotshot him into an angle with Edge. It COULD seriously work.
No surprise that Edge came through the fatal four way test, and remained the champion - by any means - but was shocked that it was Lance Storm that took him out to close the show. Great to see Lance Storm will be getting one of the top spots at ONS, but I just wasn’t expecting it. Should be a great contest, but imo, seems a little pointless for a WWE title match on an ECW PPV (not counting RVD vs. Cena in ‘06 of course
That wraps all my thoughts in a neat little bundle for now. I’ll get back on track with an all out feedback for Raw next week, this was a catch up.
Push Punk to the moon though. That’s the message.