Unlike most people, I pay attention to the commentary of a show; and so right off the bat I can see that by bringing Joey Styles onto the Smackdown announce team, and causing some friction between him and Michael Cole, one of the two is going to end up leaving the team pretty soon. What am I saying? Cole is going to be leaving the team soon.
Iím sure youíre going to have fun writing this while it lasts as I will reading it, so donít tune it down just because you think people arenít paying attention. I am.
Again, whilst most people wouldíve expected you to have Randy Orton open the show, Iím glad you decided to take an alternative show. Edge, Orton and Lesnar are all undoubtedly going to have something to say on this show, so by kicking off with Batista, youíre giving someone else the spotlight for a change, and I like it. As per usual old man, your characterisation of Batista was spot on, and cannot be faulted. I like how youíve been giving Batista a little push in this thread as of late, but I hope itís not just a temporary thing just because Jericho, RVD and Taker are currently out of action.
I canít really say much about Edge, other than Iím DESPERATE to see this guy finally get the WWE Championship. You know Iíve made it clear that by now, heís pretty much a main eventer, and the only thing he needs to solidify his status is the world title. Again, the characterisation was spot on, and I especially like how you had Edge circle the ring before entering, rather than just storm down and come face-to-face with Batista.
Am I the only one who doesnít like Arn Anderson as GM? I donít know what it is, but I just donít like the guy in this role. He seems a little boring to me. Especially now that Jesse Ventura is the WWE Commissioner, your authority figures are all starting to seem the same to me...over the hill. Perhaps itís time to shake things up a little? Nonetheless, putting my opinion to one side, the Edge/Batista match was expected. Considering this title shot is for next week on Smackdown, Iíll say Batista will get the win, rather than Edge.
Oh my God. Booker T is part of a match, AND IS ON THE WINNING TEAM?!?! Are you getting sentimental for the old guy, old man?? Iím not going to say much on the match since it was recapped so Iíll talk about the booking. I like that Burke and Booker got the win, and to be honest, itíd be fun to see them finally get themselves some tag team gold in this thread.
Doane beating Holly was more obvious than the sky being blue.
Wolfy, you know Iím an honest man, a man who tells the truth, unlike most of the sycophants and parasites of this section. So Iíll tell you the truth. Iíve read this same Anderson promo about three times now. Every week he keeps saying the same thing about his position as GM, how RVD might never wrestle again, yada yada yada. Itís not a badly written promo, but itís just not new material. Obviously this thing with Anderson is leading somewhere, and I think wherever itís going; it needs to get there quicker.
Moving onto a more positive note, I have to give you credit for this Paul London push. He wins a nice back and forth match with Dinsmore, with both men looking good as a result, and he had a nice little promo beforehand. Whilst I like how youíve pushed London, I severely doubt heíll ever win the WWE Championship, but you being you, I guess anything is possible.
Not much to say on the next segment. A good continuation of the imminent New Wave break up, but I hope that Orton shaking Doaneís hand isnít a sign of those two keeping an alliance. As much as I dislike the Orton character in this thread since heís practically become what he was a year ago in real life, Iíd still rather see him solo than with lackeys. Much like my Batista/McMahon alliance in the Era of Darkness was questioned, Iím going to question Orton having any lackeys. On another note, I didnít like Orton saying ďcue my musicĒ. Came off as a little cheesy if Iím being honest. You couldíve just gone straight into the next segment without that.
Despite my dislike for the Orton character, his promo was actually well written. Not that should come as a surprise since this is you, but it was. I liked how you had Orton refer to Edgeís missed opportunities, as well as Batistaís role in Evolution. That is typical Orton; trying to expose the weaknesses of his opponents and thus make himself look better in the process. Orton trying to get Arn Anderson fired makes me actually like the guy.
Lesnarís appearance at the end of the promo was very well done, and having him shut Orton up with a simple F-5 puts him over well. The revelation of Triple H being behind the sledgehammer at Judgment Day wasnít exactly a shock, but thatís not a bad thing. I expect some sort of Brock/Triple H rematch to come from this, and if Lesnar were to beat Orton for the WWE Championship, thatíd make it even more interesting, IMO. However, you also have to fit in Orton vs. Lesnar for the title somewhere, so at this point, Iíd say you should consider your options. Whichever way you go though, the future of this thread looks mighty interesting. Just make sure to have Orton do something big next week, because right now he looks destined to lose the title to Brock Lesnar.
@ the next segment. Brian Kendrick is easily the best character going in your thread right now, and your writing of the character is just brilliant. I think itís very clever of you to have Kendrick ignore London up until London wins a championship; as if to say that Kendrick doesnít accept those without one, including Chavo. Kendrick suggesting double gold would look good on him was a nice touch, and whilst I think this was just a one-time backstage segment, it would be interesting to see Kendrick and London (as champions) feud somewhere down the line.
I REALLY like how you had Albright shifting focus to the King of the Ring from the United States Championship. On one hand, he looks like a right coward (as heels should do) by not going after the title and very subtly admitting he doesnít want it back; but it also works in the sense that he can now start to move up the ladder. I wouldnít be surprised at all to see Albright to win the whole thing, and to be honest, youíre doing very well to hype this thing. There are so many contenders to win the KOTR that itís completely unpredictable, which is nothing but a good thing. Iím not too keen on the ĎMaster Craftsmení team name though, old boy. Makes Albright and Haas sound like two handymen rather than wrestlers.
Again, with such a short recap, I canít really say much on the match other than the booking and finish. Iím not too sure on Kendrickís interference. On one hand, it makes sense for him to come down and subtly distract Chavo. On the other, even if Super Crazy is still his friend, I doubt that would matter to him. The way you developed the character as of late would make it seem Kendrick would be in the back relaxing rather than coming to the ring to help. Itís not a big deal, but yíknow, I have to debate these things out aloud. After that interview backstage and the fact that Albright lost at Judgment Day, it made sense for him to pick up the win, but without Chavo looking bad. Itíll be interesting to see how you develop the ever so subtle yet obvious at the same time tension between Haas and Albright in your future shows.
The Randy Orton segment was alright, I guess. I donít think it was completely necessary though. I assume you put this in to make Orton look a little bit stronger after getting his ass handed to him by Lesnar, but you couldíve just as easily done that by having Orton disappear for the remainder of the show and then pop up and attack Lesnar next week. Again, not a big deal, but one of those things I just thought Iíd mention.
I like that you continue to build the tension between Cole and Styles. Donít think nobody notices.
Carlito is a character Iíve ALWAYS struggled to write promos for, and so seeing you pull it off so well is very pleasing. Obviously we are used to the cool (pun intended), collected, even funny side of Carlito, so seeing you bring out some of his aggression was both believable and enjoyable. I also think MVPís few lines, even though they were few, were well written. As usual, your understanding of heel psychology is evident as Chris Masters coming out with MVP is the PERFECT thing for MVP to do. The subsequent brawl and setting up of a match (god, Anderson AGAIN?) was well written. Either Jeff or MVP going over wouldíve worked, but I think you made the right choice to have MVP go over. With the KOTR looming, realistically (since you hate Jeff, it seems), MVP needs the momentum.
The main event was the match of the night, and above everything else on this show, it did its job of making Batista look and feel like a main event player. Iím not just saying that because of his real life rise to the top; Iím saying it because of the way this match was booked. You didnít have the heel Edge dominate, or Batista use his strength to dominate. Both men got in (Iíd say) an equal amount of offence, both looking good as a result. Batista vs. Orton next week was expected, and whilst I FULLY expect Orton to retain, I hope you do another good job of making ďThe AnimalĒ look like a main event star, as Smackdown is in need of them right now.
Just one question in my mind now...where does Edge go from here? You made sure to promote this ďback of the lineĒ business for the loser of this match, and obviously, Edgeís failure to win the gold must be leading to SOMETHING. I know Iím repeating myself, but I just hope you havenít gotten cold feet and slowed down his push again. I expect a promo full of whining and complaining next week, but the clock is ticking. If this were real booking, how much more could the audience tolerate of this? Would they, after all the missed opportunities, buy Edge as a main eventer when he (Iím assuming he will finally make it) wins the WWE Championship? I think thatís another point you need to think about as you book your next few shows.
Overall, I found myself unable to really criticise you. I know that sounds incredibly ridiculous on my part, but itís true, Wolfy. Your characterisation with nearly every single character is damn near perfect, and your match booking all makes sense. Iíve numbered out the things that bother me (Arn Anderson, Edge, the New Wave and Orton needing to look stronger next week). So apart from those things, this was another solid performance on your part. Now donít disappear because I didnít suck up to you and keep this baby rolling. And just one more time, just for you.