Nice start to the show here with the recap of Judgment Day along with the announcers giving us something to expect from the card with some nice matches already there. I already like the little bits of tension between Joey Styles and Cole too, so hopefully that makes the SmackDown! announce team a little more interesting to write for you, as I seem to remember you saying you didnít particularly enjoy it.
Batista coming out to start the show is a shock, although he said at Judgment Day he was going for the top title now, and a good way to kick that off is right here and now. Batista getting straight to the point is probably for the best, calling Orton straight out. The reasoning behind wanting him after running through The New Wave at Judgment Day is sound, and I liked the way you had Batista legitimize his claim for a shot at the gold by saying heís the one guy who can stand up to Orton, while also putting Orton over strong with the list of people heís beaten and taken out. Bringing up their history is a nice touch too before the interruption from Edge. Ever since I started reading this thread, I really feel like that as each show goes by, you get better and better at writing for Edge, and this was no exception. Maybe itís due to the way the character has evolved for you, but the whole rant from Edge about how itís not fair is great, and why Batista shouldnít get a shot over him. Batista having the no nonsense attitude in his reply is good, and I loved how Edge took what Batista said about how long heís been waiting and ran with it, using it to again go off on his tangent about it not being fair. The way Edge makes it seem like itís his title shot thatís being taken is a great way to explain why there would be tension between the two for Batista wanting a shot, while again, Batista being no nonsense before the Arn interruption was good. Arn was good with his own no nonsense style, shutting Edge down for a nice little face pop, before announcing what looks like a pretty good main event. Honestly, after their confrontation at Judgment Day, I thought this may have been more of a long term feud, but putting the match on tonight works just fine. Whatever the result, we should be in for a good match next week too. The stipulation about Edge going to the back of the line only makes it all the more interesting. Pretty good start to the show.
As I said in the comments on your preview, Iím very surprised this rematch came so soon, and to drag this feud out a little more due to your weak looking division, I thought you maybe could have had Double B being forced to earn even a non-title rematch with the champs due to the champs saying theyíve already beaten them. Regardless, this was a nice sounding match, getting Double B back in contention, and also allowing Elijah to look good following Judgment Day. Good stuff.
Honestly, youíve done a great job hyping the King of the Ring thus far, making it seem huge. Itís very pleasing to see, even if just a small thing (sidenote: another small thing, but the continued tension between Cole and Styles is great).
Extremely happy to see Doane winning, even if it is just against Hardcore Holly, because The New Wave NEEDS to look strong. A good performance in the King of the Ring should do a lot for them, no matter who itís by.
This whole saga with Van Dam has been very interesting and different to what you usually see in BTB, and itís actually been something Iíve found myself enjoying more and more. Van Dam being injured following Judgment Day was obviously, and Arn putting over the sick actions of Orton was good, but the way Arn went about admitting to abusing his power was done the best of it all. I really liked the way he went about declaring he was the one to blame, not Orton, and that he was doing all he did to eliminate Orton as champion, only for Orton to stand tall. The way he talked about replacing Paul Heyman in an important role, only to turn out like Heyman was done really well too, and topped off with the medical suspension, it made for a very good promo. Iím a little surprised that this thing between Orton and Anderson seems over, because you still have Flair to seemingly come back and represent his friend, but I guess weíll see where things go.
Pretty good little feel good promo from London here to sum up his feelings on winning the title. The way London talked about his desperation to finally get that big win was done well, as was the way he put over Albright as a champion, saying he wanted to be just like Albright as a fighting champion, which not only makes London look good, but also Albright. The address to Orton was also very interesting, as it seemed to surely hint at a confrontation down the line between the two, but I honestly canít see it coming. Whether it does or doesnít, the intensity in this part of the promo was still great, and it was good to see some real fire brought to the promo.
Very nice match, showing the contrast between the two as Dinsmore did something a little different and went after the head of London which I really liked, while London was just the high flier youíd expect. If this is what we can expect from London every week as US Champion, then Iíll be very happy, because putting on the standout matches of the show is what you should be trying to get him to do. Good stuff, allowing London to have a good first night as champ and progress in the King of the Ring, while you also did Dinsmore a lot of much needed good.
Very interesting segment here to continue the storyline between The New Wave and Orton, with Doane looking to be the golden child of the group at this stage. Honestly, I donít mind that, as I think he fits best with Orton, although like Iíve said before, itíd be a shame to see this group go to waste with no real progression for any of them.
I donít mind this positioning of Orton coming out to speak on the show, because not only is it something different, but it also adds that main event feel to the middle of the show. The callousness with which Orton spoke of RVD to start the promo was great, as was the speech about Paul London, showing the typical Orton intensity that you love to see, while also doing a good job of putting London and his US Title victory over at the same time. The Lesnar mention was a little weak unfortunately, but the other two were done well. The way Orton transitioned it all to the main event for tonight was done really well too, addressing Batista and Edge in good fashion, before another nice transition over to Anderson, really giving this promo a good flow thus far. The way Orton spoke about Anderson was great, bringing up the prior history which would demand action to be taken against him, while I loved Orton taking such pleasure in putting the injuries to Jericho and RVD on Andersonís head, making them his fault. Lesnar interrupting and attacking Orton from behind seemed strange at first, but the way Lesnar explained it was good, and his desperation to find out if Triple H was the person to plant the sledgehammer was written well. The emphatic call out from Lesnar to Triple H was nice too, although I was disappointed in the way Ortonís segment suddenly turned into something nothing about him. As the champion you feel he shouldnít look like a bitch, unless itís by his choice of being a coward, and this just bitched him out far too much in my opinion. Itís a shame too, because his promo up until the Lesnar interruption was great.
God I love the arrogance weíve been seeing from Kendrick of late. I know this does absolutely nothing to continue his feud with Chavo, which I thought we would see after Judgment Day only seemed to inflame the situation between him and Kendrick, but some of the arrogance from Kendrick was great. Him wanting London to dedicate his victory to him and saying he left the cruiserweight division so he could have some success was both gold. I was glad to see Kendrick at least acknowledged Chavo, and made it seem like he was the good friend out of the two as well. Maybe not a necessary segment, but still a great one to show Kendrickís attitude.
I guess iutís good to see Albright putting the title loss behind him and refocusing on the King of the Ring. I love the seemingly permanent pairing of these two together as well, because they just seem perfect as a team. As far as the name The Master Craftsmen goes Iím not entirely sold, and I think itís a little odd, but it may grow on me. Regardless, a pretty nice promo to continue to show these two together.
Nice way to allow Albright and Haas to look good with a tag team victory, while Kendrickís arrogance was again showcased well here, continuing his thing with Chavo along.
Interesting way to continue this New Wave thing along, seemingly keeping the drift apart going.
Honestly, Iím disappointed about the positioning of this segment on the card. Carlito/MVP had been one of your bigger feuds headed into Judgment Day, and to me, this segment just seems buried away under ďmore importantĒ stuff on the card. Carlitoís intensity in calling MVP out was good, and I liked that he was just straight on right to the message. MVP trying to back out with the fight at first, only to bring backup in Masters was a nice way to show the type of guy MVP is, and I like how you connected it all with the King of the Ring, with Masters being Carlitoís opponent for it. The brawl between those three before Jeff came down to help out was nicely done as well, and Michael Coleís little comment was very interesting, seemingly continuing to signal a heel turn. I donít mind the match between MVP and Hardy either, and the way Anderson explained why it would be only those two was done well.
The match between the two was done well too, with the dirty finish courtesy of Masters protecting Jeff, while also allowing MVP to look good in victory. Nice to see him running for his life after the match too, keeping the intensity from Carlito there.
JBL, a tag title match and a WWE Title match next week? Thatís an amazingly stacked show. Should be good.
Hmm, Iíve been enjoying this commentary thing for the whole show, but I thought this was too obvious, even with Cole not knowing that were back. Honestly, I would have liked the sly digs to have just kept building up from Cole to Styles for weeks before he flat out admits he doesnít like him and goes heel.
Edge jumping Batista to start the match is a fine way to go, showing his intensity right from the beginning. The match moved nicely, with Batista getting retribution leading to Edge playing the cowardly role working well. Edgeís frustration was characterized beautifully as well, and the way the match flowed up to the counter wrestling ending felt spot on. The ref bump leading to the use of the chair by Batista after Edge brought it in was clever too, because while Batista wins and gets his title match, it also gives Edge yet another thing to complain about. Iím not sure how thatíll work with him now being at the back of the line, but weíll see. Big way to finish SmackDown!.
Another good show here, Wolfy. While the roster still lacks that bit of depth, especially in the tag division, the booking of everyone sans Orton looked very good here, because everyone seems to have something going on. The writing, like always, was good, and youíve now got a huge show for us to look forward to next week when you get to it. Hopefully you donít take too long in between shows and leave us waiting.