Re: WWE: A Strong Response
As usual, good way to catch us up with the two major happenings of Unforgiven being shown to kick off the show.
Surprised to see Bischoff starting things off rather than Orton, but I liked how you made it seem important by having him cut off the commentary, out in a hurry to open the show. Iím really surprised you didnít have Bischoff talk about the WWE Title situation to begin with, because that seems like a far more pressing matter after the way the show closed, and really, I feel like a promo about it should have been the way for this show to open. Still, the Bischoff promo about Cena was leaving, brushing it off and talking up RAW well, before again hyping the big SmackDown! signing, whoever it is (thinking it may be Shawn Michaels too with all of the accolades detailed). The rookies speech coming before any mention of the WWE Title didnít seem right either, because you would think Bischoff would be pissed at Triple H and want to run him down very early in the show, although I guess the Triple H interruption should fix all of that. Bischoff immediately addressing Hunter like he was going to anyway because you would think interference in the main event of his Pay-Per-View should have taken top priority and thus being the first thing for him to address, although Triple Hís attitude was good to see. I was surprised that Bischoff didnít put Triple H in his place immediately, although I thought the way you went about it worked out better, as you got Triple H to say his piece, then head Bischoff call him out on not deserving a title shot. I was a little surprised to see Orton come out, because I really donít like the heel/heel dynamic, although he would obviously want revenge for being hit with the sledgehammer the previous night. With Orton seemingly playing more of a tweener role, and thus being the face of this situation, I find it a little odd that he uses the cowardly tactic of staying at the top of the stage, away from Triple H, especially when he has the numbers edge with Young by his side. Orton bringing up the past he, Triple H and Batista have shared and using it against Triple H to make it seem like a current occurrence that he and Batista have been screwed by Triple H is clever, and really gives this whole angle that extra dynamic. The trading of words between Orton and Triple H was done pretty well, although the idea from Orton isnít something I like at all. I believe weíre supposed to be getting behind Orton as more of a likeable guy against Triple H, so giving him the numbers advantage in a match against Triple H is just plain odd, because he has the advantage. I understand it fits in well with what Bischoff has said and what happened at Unforgiven, but from the point of view of trying to get the crowd to cheer Orton when he faces Triple H, I just donít think it works. A pretty good segment in terms of writing, but Iím unsure about the booking.
Good to see Ryder keeping his laid back attitude even when around Bischoff, catching Bischoff a little off guard. The decision to make Ryder a wrestler is the right one in my mind, although Iím a little disappointed he wasnít host for a bit longer before getting involved in any of the wrestling at all, because I thought it was a good, different way to introduce someone. At the same time, him being a wrestler now is by no means a bad thing, and having Bischoff talk him up a bit was good to see. The little exchange between DiBiase and Bischoff was good to see too, continuing their little thing with another good match for tonight.
Not really sure the promo from Cody was necessary. It doesnít really build on his character, nor does it start anything else up or further anything. It just addresses that he has a past with Kofi, which I think is the job of the commentators to detail.
Clever way to have Rhodes bounce back with a win here, while continuing the breakdown of Kingston along. The more serious side worked for Kingston in real life, so hopefully an angry Kingston will here too.
Okay post-match promos from both teams, although both were a little bland. I understand Matt has a lack of character, but Helms seems to have inherited too by teaming with him, while Kaval and Daniels need a little more to them than just being confident, which will hopefully come as they cement themselves on RAW.
Simple win for Daniels to keep the momentum for him and Kaval rolling, while Helms taking the loss doesnít really do a whole lot to harm him.
Really glad to see The Miz getting some mic time after scoring what was a very big for him at Unforgiven. Simple way to get some cheap heat at the start by thanking the crowd for his ďovationĒ, before talking up his victory over Morrison in good fashion, along with some decent cheap heat tactics with the Capotelli mention as well. Miz taking on that real Hollywood heel persona, calling his naysayers ďhatersĒ and rubbing in that they were wrong about him is great to see, especially with the line that heís a star both in the ring and out of it, continuing the slight tweak on his real life persona that is working well for him in this thread. I thought it was overdoing it a bit for him to bring Capotelli up towards the end, even if he was talking up the Intercontinental Title match pretty well, and it seemed weird that he went to do his awesome shtick first, especially when it probably wasnít needed the first time. Iím not so sure about the Michaels interruption either. Heís already feuding with Jack Swagger in a similar role to what youíd expect he would be feuding against Miz with here, and while a feud between Michaels and Miz would be okay if Michaels were the one to move to RAW, it feels a bit similar to the other thing he has going on at the moment for mine, so Iíd need some convincing. Michaels taking exception to Miz mocking Capotelliís religious views was a good way to show why Michaels has a major problem with The Miz, although the little exchange between Miz and Michaels, again, seemed a bit similar to what is happened between Michaels and Swagger. I donít mind Michaels playing the grizzled veteran type continually, but I think Miz is kind of stealing Swaggerís thunder over on SmackDown! a little here. Again bringing the religion up separates it a bit, while Michaels and Miz having their little exchange, with Miz really calling Michaels out on his past was done well. Miz using his awesome shtick for the third time in the segment was overkill imo, but Michaels landing Sweet Chin Music on Slater rather than Miz was a fine way to end the segment. As I said, not sure about how much this is overlapping with Swagger/Michaels, but a pretty good promo here.
Simple way to get Ryder his first win over Hardcore Holly, but it works, as a few squashes should help build Ryder well.
The simple promo from McMahon, but I expected something more lavish from them tonight in terms of a celebration. Having them continue their momentum along with a squash victory works though, I guess. I found it a bit off that Big Show and Gabriel came out for the save after the match, considering, if they were there, they could have just accepted the challenge themselves logically, although I donít mind you continuing this along at a slower pace.
Not too sure what to say about this. While Michaels getting Miz with Sweet Chin Music here is fine, and the action in the match was good, having DiBiase drop the title now seems very random, and I think it hurts him a fair bit. Up until this show, he had looked a worthy foe to anything that Bischoff could throw at him, and if you had built that up for several months, he would have been in a great spot. Instead heís dropped the title here in a random match, and it kind of throws him back to square one. Sheamus seems like a bit of an odd choice for champion here as well, as he just debuted not long ago. As I said, not too sure about this decision, as I think itís really hurt DiBiase. I hope this isnít a result of you maybe colling on his push, because I thought you were doing a good job of it.
God to see DiBiase is at least determined to get the gold back, while having Kelly get a word in there is a nice bit of justice for whatís happened between them with the Kofi/DiBiase storyline.
Good to see you utilizing the rookies in the divas division too, although the lack of anything of substance in the womenís division of late is disappointing. I think you need to get Melina back in action soon, because as Womenís Champion she has been doing nothing of late, and Iím not quite sure why.
If this gong thing is to indicate The Undertaker is the guy Bischoff signed (and therefore signed weeks ago), then these arenít bad teasers, although I find it weird that youíve had it in the midcard every time. As Iíve said every show, I guess itís a wait and see type thing.
Good way to make a match for next week, as well as signaling that Miz will go after Michaels now, with a nice last line especially.
Alright little promo with Sheamus, which I thought was going well with him talking up the importance of the IC Title, until he suddenly took the focus off it and started talking about becoming WWE Champion, which I donít think was right. Carlito feuding with Sheamus seems very odd, because Carlito bringing up the injury to Primo now seems a bit random after it happened a few weeks ago, while Carlito was very much a heel last we saw, and Sheamus is too. Okay segment, but Iím not sure about the pairing of Carlito and Sheamus for a feud.
The main event never actually getting underway was a bit of a surprise, and I thought the way Triple H dealt with both Young and Orton so easily was a bit weak, especially in Ortonís case, considering you would think he would be able to counter out of the pedigree. Iím surprised Batista made his first appearance of the night now, as even a backstage interview would have been good from him to talk about what happened at Unforgiven, although him standing tall is a pretty good way to finish.
All in all, a bit of a mixed bag here. A lot of the booking I was a little unsure about on this show, although I guess thatís to be expected with a whole bunch of new feuds starting. At the same time, I donít think the booking was quite right in parts already, although the writing throughout was up at the new standard you seem to be setting for yourself. Maybe Iíll get into these storylines a little more as the weeks go by, but for now, I donít think it was really your best effort in terms of pure booking, despite the writing improving.