I believe youíre the last one I need to catch back up on before Iím completely up to date, so expect feedback to become far more regular from here on out.
Good way as usual to start off by showing the major happenings of last week and then giving the show some good hype courtesy of your commentators. Beat the Clock sounds good to me, especially with the two matches you mentioned there.
Seemingly a bit of an odd choice to start with in Chavo, as, while heís not a bad wrestler or anything, apart from his recent interaction with his rookie, he hasnít really been seen since Ron Killings beat him awhile back (or at least to the best of my recollection). I guess it works as a segue into a Beat the Clock match between he and his rookie well though, and having Chavo talk up how heís the pro and how heís the superior one before making the challenge to J-Red to prove himself was done well.
A smart match to start with, considering not only are the two cruiserweights that can get the crowd excited, but with the crowd already excited to start the show that should give J-Red some extra support, plus these two actually get to finish their match due to it being the first. Having Red pick up the win seems like the right move as it keeps him looking strong and allows him to keep gaining momentum after his debut. Chavo attacking post-match is a great way for him to come out looking strong though and gaining some real heat, opening up the possibility of a match between these two down the line well.
While Shelton isnít the best speaker on the mic (and thatís an understatement), Iím glad youíre having him come out and cut an in-ring promo, because this feud between Sydal and Benjamin has been going for quite some time, and it really needs big in-ring promos to keep it going strong without dragging. Benjamin heeling it up by pretending heís not a bad guy despite injuring Sydal and then challenging him when injured was nicely done, gaining some good heat, while Benjaminís claims that Sydal doesnít have the guts it takes to be a champion and that he should be stripped of the title due to not defending it thanks to Benjamin taking him out is a good way to explain the actions of Benjamin, showing the lengths heíll go to to get his title back well. Burke coming out to stand up for his friend was done well, as was his aggression in challenging Benjamin to a match. Benjamin trying to shake off the challenge because he has nothing to prove to Burke is a good way to show him as the true coward too, while Burke calling Benjamin out on his actions again was a nice way to respond, and having him sum up what the feud about was a good way to show how everything has tied together and why it is that Benjamin took Sydal out, before the surprise interruption of Sydal. Sydal accepting the challenge of not just a match, but a Ladder Match was good to see, and I feel like a Ladder Match is probably a good way to end a feud between these two, especially considering how long it has gone for and the athleticism they both have. Sydal playing Benjamin by pretending his arm was broken was a nice little gimmick, although I feel like the promo maybe should have ended with that, rather than Sydalís explanation that itíll be Benjaminís last match with him. While that was all well and good, and IU actually think it was some of the better work youíve done, especially considering the guys youíre using, I just feel like the big statement was the arm not being broken, and that with that, plus maybe a kick to knock Shelton from the ring, that would be a higher impact way of ending the promo. Still, a good promo here and a nice way to set up the final match of this feud.
Nice basic way to continue Michelleís momentum along while also allowing the newly debuting Roxxi to look strong in the process. The post-match stuff was good too, with Michelle continuing to go after Beth, while having Mickie interject herself to continue the path to the Triple Threat Match is good. I find it a little odd that Mickie is in two of the situations here with Sydal too since it seems sheís diverting her attention, but this is still working pretty well itself isolated.
Jeter talking himself and his victory over Shane up is all well and good, but I donít get why he would have entered Tatsu into the Beat the Clock Challenge and not himself. I donít mind you giving rookies a chance, but Jeterís a dick in this thread, and while he has a rookie, he seems like the type of guy who should only be looking out for numero uno. Having him do something for Yoshiís benefit, especially when it means a possible World Heavyweight Title shot is on the line, doesnít seem right.
This match has been ready without anything really happening between these two for awhile now, so Iím happy to see it finally going ahead. Haas not caring about the Beat the Clock Challenge and just wanting to put Masters through as much punishment as possible was a nice way to show how personal this thing has gotten. It was good to see Sheffield getting involved too, while Lashley making the save gives him something to do, possibly making for a tag team feud that I wouldnít mind. Nice little way to set up some possible future matches while picking the heat back up in the Masters/Haas situation.
Like I said earlier, I find it a bit weird that youíve got Mickie seemingly working two angles here, but regardless this was still a good promo to show how sleazy Dolph is in his advances towards Layla, especially with the ďOh I haveĒ line in response to being told to keep dreaming. More good progression here as you build to the match between Burke and Ziggler at No Mercy.
Nice simple way to set up a match between Masters and Lashley next week. The characters were fine, and the match next week should be good too.
Again, Iím really not sure about Jeter not caring for a spot in the Beat the Clock Challenge, especially when he went out and got his rookie one. While I thought Tatsu surviving the Codebreaker was a little unnecessary, I was glad to see you try to make another one of your rookies like good here. Having Jericho beat a rookie was also a good way to get him the new time to bat without burying anyone, meaning heís in the position expected considering his recent interaction (along with Christian) with Punk.
Nice way to start the promo off by having The Empire garner some cheap heat by calling the Canadians out for being just like the Americans. Sanders calling MVP and Killings out on their past and calling them criminals is also a really clever way of gaining some more cheap heat, while also making it seem like the common American is a criminal just like them. Itís a simple insult considering itís been used before in the WWE, but itís smart in this context. The rest of Sandersí speech centred around that was done well too, especially when it came to relating back the whole view they have of America to their issues with Killings and MVP, and why they wanted to wrestle them. Having them use the criminals as an example is a smart way to go about why The Empire are going after them. MVP and Killings coming out with MVP immediately calling Sanders out on being a hypocrite is a smart way to go, while having MVP address the whole ďcriminalĒ issue was good too, as ducking it would seem odd. MVP bringing up that The Empire would be buried under the American flag before challenging them to a fight was clever, while the way you set up the brawl breaking out was well done too, making The Empire seem heartless, while MVP and Killings represent the people. Killings and MVP prevailing in the brawl was a good way to go, and while this feud has been dragging a bit, this promo itself was well done.
Ehh, mixed feelings about this one. While the match itself was good and I understand your want to make your rookies look good, having Devine lose cleanly to Wilson, despite it being his debut and it being in Canada, seems like an odd choice when Devine and Williams are about to challenge full-fledged superstars for the WWE Tag Team Titles at No Mercy. A good start for Wilson, but a bit of a momentum breaker for Devine and Williams.
Okay backstage promo here as a nice way to put over Del Rio-Ramirezís in-ring abilities, although his lack of a gimmick at this stage is a bit disappointing considering how good he is at portraying one. Hopefully that develops over time.
Swagger talking himself and his match with Shawn Michaels up at No Mercy was nice and effective, while the way you portrayed Swaggerís arrogance was also good. Nice to see him making Santino seem like a big deal jokingly before their match too, as thatís probably the best way to show what an egomaniac he is.
Having Michaels cost Swagger a match against a guy like Santino Marella in a matter of seconds is a nice way to continue this feud, along with having Michaels lay Swagger out to make his big statement. The little promo from Michaels was fine too, perfectly in character, making for some good hype for No Mercy.
No Mercy should be good.
Simple but effective booking to set up the Triple Threat Match at No Mercy. Weíve seen it before, but having Jericho cost Christian the win and causing the time to expire, bringing Tazz out worked just fine, along with also allowing Alberto to hang with one of the best. Good way to finish the show with the big announcement, getting the crowd excited at the end of the show.
Honestly, after reading that, I think that was probably the best show that Iíve seen you put out. While not all of the feuds have had me enthused in the past as a few feel like they havenít been going anywhere, they all seemed to progress well with this show, and the promo writing throughout was at the standard where I feel like you could have been reaching all of this time, but you hadnít quite been extending yourself. Match writing was fine like always too, making for an impressive show. Good way to build towards No Mercy as things really begin to pick up now on SmackDown!. Good stuff.
As per usual, the video recap at the start of the show is a good way to catch us up, while the commentary afterwards also does a good job of selling the show thatís to follow.
Starting off with John Cena is a bit of a different way to go considering he hasnít been the focus of any of the major angles, but having him address the whole SmackDown! situation is good. Cena talking up about how heíd like to wrestle if it wasnít for Orton was a good way to show that heís a fighting type of guy, which is what you expect from a Cena promo, while the segue across to him talking about the possible move to SmackDown! was done well. The way he talked about his time on RAW was done well, as was the usual Cena motivational speech about how he will not quit. The internal struggle in his mind was characterized fine, although Iím not sure about him coming out to start the show to tell us heíll talk to us again at Unforgiven. At the same time, the interruption from Randy Orton is very interesting, especially considering Cena did mention earlier in the promo that Orton was the one to injure him. Orton telling Cena that he should leave and bringing up that Cena was the one who lost the match back at WrestleMania with Kane was a nice way to show the history between these two, while the threat that if Orton doesnít win the title at Unforigven then heíll take him is a nice way to show how desperate Orton is to win the title back and how much he blames Cena for losing him the title. Having Orton then bring up that he took out Cena before and that he also took out Triple H, before making the threats and claiming he could back them up is a nice way to show the type of badass that Orton is. Cena coming back from Ortonís threats in his typical fashion was done well as the two continued the exchange, while I was glad to see you having Orton talk about Young here too. Cena getting Orton all fired up only to shake it off was done nicely, although having Cena decline a fight seemed really odd. I know you had Cena explain himself, but after having Cena spout off how much he loves to fight, how he always comes back and how he never backs down earlier in the promo, it now seems odd to have him decline a fight, despite being injured. Orton having the final statement after that probably would have been better imo, as what he said seemed like a better note to end the promo on, while heís also the one heading into a title match at Unforgiven, so any type of momentum is welcome, even if itís coming out with the last line in a promo. Still, a good way to open the show, giving us something else to look forward to at Unforgiven.
This seemed a bit like a filler segment for a week to keep DiBiase and Bischoff connected, but I guess it also worked as a good way to remind us of the stipulation of the Intercontinental Title match at Unforgiven. No real advancement, but youíre keeping Bischoff and DiBiaseís feud simmering just fine.
This is probably the type of match I thought you would have been better off debuting Kaval and Daniels with, because while itís a victory over jobbers, itís still a clean win to back up their claim that theyíre the best tag team in the world. I thought the win could have been a little more decisive; even if it is in a tournament, I think a squash would have worked fine to showcase these two, but a clean win is pleasing.
Simple post-match promo from Daniels to show that theyíre not all that interested in talking, but rather that theyíre men on a mission as they chase the tag titles. Good to see them bringing that real serious edge, especially with Kaval.
Nice simple way to hype up the match between Capotelli and Miz tonight and what it means with Capotelliís state. It should be a good way to head this feud off as you go to Unforgiven.
The little challenge from Ryder to Mysterio and Mystico to a match was fine. Rey accepting, like youíd expect, shows him to be the fighting little man that he claims to be, while Ryder getting Sheamus as a partner is a clever way to not just put Sheamus over as a beast, but also Ryder as a sneaky, slimy bastard, having revealed his partner after the challenge was accepted by Mysterio.
I thought that this match did a lot to continue to show Sheamus as an absolute beast by having him do the brunt of the work and get the pinfall. Ryder looked good in his own way too, playing the coward that didnít actually want to get involved with Rey, which heíll obviously have to do at Unforgiven.
The post-match was good too, with Ryder again trying to get Sheamus to take Rey out, only for Finlay to make the save. Not the biggest hype job for the Celtic Brawl at Unforgiven, but it still does the job considering itís an undercard match.
Not too sure what to make of this. While the main part of the Kofi/Kelly relationship (or non-relationship) was to do with the feud with Cody Rhodes, ending it now as a storyline kind of stops you from going as far as you could with it. Everything here was written fine, and having Kofi be pissed off is good, but I just hope this isnít where you stop it, because this has the potential to bring out something else in Kofi, especially if it leads to a heel turn, which is something I donít believe weíve seen in BTB.
Basic promo from Mr. McMahon, but I thought it hyped the match with Big Show later on in the show just fine. McMahon was good in terms of character, and the talk about how Bischoff is throwing his weight around like he was accused of and thus removed from his position for was good, as was the talk about beating Bischoff in a war in the past and connecting with the The Corporationís issues with Show. Like I said, your promos are looking better and this was no exception.
The promo from The Miz was alright, if not really necessary. Nothing of note throughout it apart from the last line, which was chillingly good. Apart from that though it was a bit of a nothing promo and not something that I really saw a point of including.
This match was only going to go in two simple ways, but Iím a little surprised with the direction you went. I honestly thought you were going with a surprise inspirational win from Capotelli thanks in part to Morrison, but having The Miz show what a sick bastard he is by having him lay out Morrison and Capotelli is a good way to get him even more heat. It surprised me, but at the same time I have no problem with it.
Nice way to drum how just how despicable The Miz is. A small, simple promo, but it does wonders for him. The no DQ stipulation to the match between Miz and Morrison seems okay now, I guess adding to the match. It probably fits qith how personal it has become between the two.
Again, not sure this was necessary considering DiBiase already made his big statement to Bischoff, but I guess this works as a nice way for Ryder and DiBiase to heel it up together after you first connected them last week.
Pretty good match here, especially in portraying the anger of Kingston, which I was glad to see you follow up on once he got in the ring. A bit odd that Gregory Helms never seemed to get in on the action, but outside of that this seemed like a good contest. Iím not so sure what to make of the lights going off, but I really hope The Undertaker isnít signaling a move to RAW by interrupting midcard matches. Whatever the case Iím sure you have something planned, so I guess we can only wait and see.
Not a bad way to start a feud between the divas on RAW who arenít champions by taking advantage of Rainís bully persona. Not so sure about the way the people interacted in this promo as it didnít quite seem as natural, but it was still nice enough. I find it a bit odd that your actual champion Melina isnít doing anything right now, but hopefully that comes with time.
Okay promo here from Batista, keeping the intensity up throughout like you have to with Batista, who really canít do much else as a face. Some good decisive statements from Big Dave in relation to what went down with Triple H and to do with Orton were good. Also a nice way to get some more hype for the Cena announcement at Backlash.
Since you didnít have the feel good moment with Capotelli earlier in the show, then it was probably necessary to have it here with Show and Gabriel. The match went pretty much as you would expect, with the finish to it all being the 450 splash from Gabriel to Mr. McMahon being a nice way to finish it and continue to thrust the youngster into the limelight.
Batista winning here was the natural choice, although Young had to also look good since it was the main event. I wasnít so sure about the ending to the show, as Batista should and would know better than to turn his back on Orton considering how well he knows him. Still, with that said, not a bad way to go into Unforgiven with the challenger standing tall over the champion.
As I said with SmackDown!, I feel this show was probably a step above all of the other shows that Iíve read from you. The promos seem to be clicking a lot better, and the booking all looked to be headed in the right direction, making for a good go home show before Unforgiven. With a pretty stacked card and a good build up off the back of this show, itís now a card to really look forward to, along with the next SmackDown!. Good stuff.
PS: Iím now officially up to date.