Re: The World Wrestling Entertainment
Nice hype for the show straight away. Finlay/Albright has been given a decent story with the events from last Saturday. Putting London with Kennedy is a good idea to give London some attention going in to the Money in the Bank since he looks like he’s only there to make up the numbers at the moment. The Hardy Boys reunion is also exciting, as is the prospect of what MNM are going to do after Saturday Night’s Main Event. Bring it on!
The opening promo was very enjoyable and realistic on the back of what’s happened between Randy Orton & Batista over the last week. I saw the preview and that Batista had demanded time on the stick to vent about Orton, and I expected him to be a bit more aggressive than he was based on that. With that said, his story and the flow of the promo by talking up his year of dominance before Orton’s role in his two defeats worked well and set up Orton’s arrival. His attitude and stance on Batista’s excuses made it work too as it was always going to wind The Animal up. Bringing up the past and Evolution is always a sure fire way to make it personal, and even though I’d have liked Orton to have mentioned he was the world champion before Batista and the youngest of all time, it didn’t need it. I’m not quite sure as to the announcement by Tazz to put them in a tag match together. It works when it’s two faces who are having problems, so it’s a bit strange to see you go down this road. I’d also have liked MNM focus on getting back at the Hardys tonight too, but we’ll see how it goes.
Rey Mysterio’s road to WrestleMania and the Cruiserweight Championship has been picking up pace, and by defeating Jamie Noble in what was a very competitive match, it makes him look every bit the cruiserweight legend that he is. It was wise to include Kid Kash in all this, although it looks like he’s changed his mind fairly quickly on refusing to consider facing Rey by saying he’s open to it if Rey can impress him, which should be interesting as we don’t know what it’s going to take to do just that.
For a man who’s supposed to be furious, Batista caved in quite easily when Teddy Long told him to put up with him. He has to stay in the match, there’s no doubt about that. This little segment did add some more hype for the match and just what could happen with all the tension between Batista & Orton.
I do like the modest promo from the shy face, and it was very appropriate for Paul London. Like I said at the start of the show, he’s making up the numbers in the Money in the Bank match, he needed some promo time. I liked the modest angle you went down and then mentioning his one standout quality, his ability to be the daredevil. Having a crack at Kennedy just before their match is also going to get the crowd on his side, which is always going to help.
Wow, I really didn’t expect London to beat Kennedy. I wouldn’t have minded a screwy finish in either man’s favour, even Kendrick getting involved to help London win. At least that way it would’ve spared Kennedy a huge loss, making him look very weak at losing to London. As much as this does for London, it does a fair bit of damage for Kennedy. A roll up after the missed Green Bay Plunge would’ve done the job just as well for London, and after losing clean to Mysterio at No Way Out on top of this, Kennedy’s losing a large portion of the momentum he built up before that. The frustrating thing is that he didn’t have to lose either match, but he lost both.
JBL’s interview was a decent follow up to the needless embarrassment he was on the receiving end of at Saturday Night’s Main Event. Being JBL, I can easily see him playing it down or flat out denying it like he did here, but as long as he is gunning for Lashley like I’m sure he is, then all will be fine. Even though his comments about Lashley were entertaining and personal, he still got owned by him and Finlay. I do like the idea of him stepping aside from the Finlay match, but to call the ladder match stupid and then say the prize will be his if Albright wins kind of gives the ladder match some real importance even though he took a crack at it. I’m not against the idea of having Albright hand it over to JBL, but it seemed that Albright was against it when he said it would be the biggest payday when he grabbed the briefcase.
I was just thinking earlier on in the show about CM Punk coming to Smackdown and the timing of it. Now we’ve got the date, it gets more exciting. I was thinking that it would be odd to debut him before WrestleMania and that he’s been advertised for a while that it would be too long had he waited until after the big show. At the end of the day it’s CM Punk and I can’t wait to see what you do with him.
The Finlay/Albright match was an interesting match before as I wasn’t sure how it would go as both men would be deserving of a shot in the Money in the Bank match. It wasn’t my kind of match but it was just what it needed to be in terms of how aggressive both men were. The finish was perfect for all concerned, mainly Lashley & JBL even though they weren’t involved in the match. I wouldn’t say it took the attention of Finlay getting a spot in the Money in the Bank match all that much, but it was the Lashley/JBL storyline that stood out. If JBL really wasn’t thinking about Lashley, which he should’ve been, surely he will be now.
Adding some more hype for the big tag match was sensible, and although it was good to see Batista getting the fire back, Orton shit himself a bit too much. Instead of taking a big gulp, I would’ve preferred it if he told Batista to have it his way and walk out not all that bothered, even if it was an act since he’s been getting in Batista’s head the last week. It would’ve given Batista something else to think about going in to the match too.
Just the mention of Benoit making his way through the back has got me pumped. After Saturday Night’s Main Event, I can’t to see what happens next.
I have to say that I really didn’t like the Benoit promo. It had nothing to do with character or anything like that as it was spot on. It was just that after being screwed in the fashion that he was, he just accepted it and swept it under the carpet, opting instead to praise Orlando Jordan, the man who helped screw him over. Benoit should’ve come out hell bent on getting even, and I really didn’t get why he had to get his whole backstory either. It wasn’t needed as it had no real relevance to what he was going to say about Jordan, and even though I thought that the booking in terms of how Jordan’s role in this will progress was really good, it all came too early. This should’ve been about Benoit’s anger and nothing else. I did like how Jordan’s part in this played out with Booker saying he’ll beat him and the possible inclusion of him in the title match at WrestleMania, which just can’t happen as we need a Benoit/Booker pay off. If this was a week later, this would’ve worked perfectly.
The Hardy Boys career highlights being played through the show has been a nice touch, but it was all about this, the match. They were always going to win, but it wasn’t about that. Beating The Mexicools is a good return for them and they looked good. For me it was vital that MNM made some kind of appearance, and it was a good one. The phoney reaction from Melina and the sarcasm was funny and effective, making her come off like the total bitch that she was back then. It turned personal too which was important, playing on their own success while the Hardys have been away. All in all this was really good solid booking.
WrestleMania’s going to be awesome, and hyping up it already is fine. Since it’s the spectacle that it is, it makes sense to have the announce team run down the show already.
The Undertaker’s brief promo was effective and it had to be kept short to fit his character as he shouldn’t really be a big talker. Keeping it simple was the right way to go and his character was pretty much on the money. With nothing really happening between him & RVD this week on TV, it needed some attention. The pace needs to pick back up again come next week though.
I wasn’t so sure as to how the main event was going to play out, and for the most part it was fine. What does concern me is that Batista has now been pinned three times in a week, but at least you’re showing that it’s getting to him and we’re going to get a response from it. The victory for MNM is huge, although this was all about Batista & Orton. Orton walking out on Batista seemed like the best thing to do. Batista snapping and showing his frustration is important considering his losing streak. He needs to look like The Animal again heading in to WrestleMania. My only problem with the ending was that Orton came back out when it wasn’t really necessary. Had he stayed at the top of the stage to watch Batista lose, then I’d have had no problem with Batista directing his anger at him. It just seemed too easy that Orton would come back out when he could just have easily stayed in the back and enjoyed seeing Batista self destruct.
Overall there were some gripes with how Benoit, Batista & Kennedy were booked in the show, but on the most part it was as solid as it always is. Even despite those gripes, the writing is great and every storyline is very intriguing and entertaining. That’s pretty unique in BTB and it shows when you deservedly finished top of the Mega Standings. Congrats on that boy and I can’t wait for Raw.