Good start to the show from you with the recap of last weekís important happenings, along with the hype job from the commentators for No Way Out and tonight. I have to say, the way you write the commentary is second to only Wolfy now, with an amazing flow and natural feel to it. It may just be a small thing, but it makes the show just that much more enjoyable to read.
With Kennedy having just been made the number one contender and his attack on Arn Anderson last week, plus the phone call Flair made to Batista on RAW, it makes sense for the champ to be opening the show tonight. The summary of what heís done to start the promo from Batista was good, even if Triple H was someone he beat when on RAW back at WrestleMania 21, not 22. Still, it acted as not just a good segue for him to talk about what he wants to do to Mr. Kennedy, but it also instantly reminds you of all of the big things that Batista has done, mostly as World Heavyweight Champion. The intensity from Batista was good here, really adding a personal element to the match by talking about Kennedyís actions of the past month and what they mean to him. The talk about how Kennedy is just a loudmouth was pretty nice too, playing off Kennedyís character well, before using the words from last week well with the call out. I loved the little tease of the brawl between the two, before Kennedy backed out to what he usually does in talking. Kennedy talking himself up as something different in that heís young is a good way to try to establish why heís a threat to the World Heavyweight Title more than anyone else before is a smart way to make him seem like someone who is a genuine chance at winning the title. Having him talk about letting his actions do the talking by bringing up when he took a cheap shot on Arn Anderson was clever too, while the obvious bullshit in having him say he single handedly beat The Undertaker last week is some good cheap heat. The attack at the end was a good way to finish, even if I expected a little more intensity after it, really sending a message from Kennedy to Batista. Very nice way to start the show off.
A pretty basic match here between Dreamer and Burchill, with a nice setup to the finish with the interference from Taylor prompting the all out brawl. The Extremists getting the advantage was definitely the way to go to give them some momentum headed into the six man tag match, while they also should be better under those type of circumstances due to them being brawlers. A nice way to head this feud out into No Way Out.
Nice promo here between Booker and Long, playing up Bookerís bullshit angle, which he used to do a lot irl. The exchange was pretty nice, and while Iím not sure the feud calls for a gimmick match, as it hasnít been overly big, despite lasting the whole of this thread thus far, it does add a little more interest into the show and the match.
WrestleMania is shaping up quite nicely with Edge/Batista, Triple H/Michaels, Flair/Kennedy, RVD/Lashley and Cena/Umaga from what I can see.
Not really sure what to make of this whole FBI thing, with them seeming like a joke, despite all of this odd build.
I really like the addition of Joey Mercury down into the tag division, where I think he can really help out. Helms being on commentary here is a nice little touch too. The six man tag match itself was very nice, especially at the end, with the chaos being played on well. Not so sure about the heel team getting the win when you donít really consider them threats to Helms, although I guess it works with Danielson supposed to be Helmsí biggest rival, despite having not debuted.
Interesting little Helms promo afterwards, having him show his own video. I would have maybe liked for him to have said heís had to watch videos of Danielson so he was going to play one of his own, but the audacity of it by having him attacking guys he never actually beat was clever. Having him talk shit until he was surrounded was a nice way to show the ego of Helms, while the little issue between Chavo and Moore causing a brawl for Helms to escape with was a clever way to build to Danielson making his way out and attacking Helms with that big headbutt. Obviously he has been built to be Helmsí big threat, and I thought this was a good way to debut him.
I donít mind a promo from Edge here, because last week was a little short, so itíd be good to see his actual reasons for wanting to move to SmackDown! (aside from running away from Orton). Edge making the point that making his decision early because it means he gets to choose his opponent is a clever and different way to look at things, with him really outright saying he will interfere at No Way Out. Iím not sure I would have made it so blatant, but still, as I said, itís a clever little point. I wasnít so sure about him running down his possible WrestleMania opponents like he did, because it seemed like an unnecessary way to point out their flaws, but, at the same time, the point was good. The speech about how it was Edgeís WrestleMania main event and about how SmackDown! needs him was used as a good transition too to get Edge to talking about becoming champion at WrestleMania, before the interruption from Long. You had to expect Long to ban Edge from ringside, and while the way he went about it was smart, making the contract signing of Edge next week perhaps a good segment for your next weekly SmackDown! show, Iím not sure what to make of this announcement since it would seem like Edge HAS to be there at No Way Out. Still, despite that, this was another pretty good promo.
Nice way to hype up the announcement of the stipulation later in the show, again playing with Bookerís accent well.
A nice match between Benoit and Kennedy, with some good psychology in Kennedy being so aggressive and working on the arm of Benoit. Not so sure about what we got towards the finish of the match, as Kennedy, heading into a world title match, needs to look good, and he doesnít exactly do that with Benoit surviving the Mic Check, plus the needing of Finlay to interfere to win. I get that Benoit is your United States Champion, so you obviously want to protect him, but Kennedy needed to look good here, and I just thought it wasnít enough.
Nice backstage brawl between Finlay and Benoit, with the description of it really showing the intensity these two have. Should be a great match at No Way Out.
Iím not sure Iíve said it before, but Iíve really liked this video package for WrestleMania. Kudos on that.
Ehm, Matt Hardy and Edge havenít had any interaction, but Iím sure theyíll be having some now.
A nice match between Duporee and Kendrick here, proving as a fine way to send us into No Way Out, with Dupree picking up the win so as to make La Resistance look like threats to the tag titles, only to probably fall short.
Nice confrontation, playing up the past of Matt and Edge well, allowing Edge to talk up his past credentials and Matt to do his usual start of year speech. Iím not sure this will amount to anything, but itís good to see thereís still heat there that can be used.
Glad to see you using The VIP Lounge, as it allows MVP to show off his biggest quality in talking. The beginning of the segment was pretty good, having MVP talk himself up well, while also giving us reason to believe that he will indeed win at No Way Out. The reasons were fine too, even if talking down on Mizís ability makes him look bad. I think youíd be better off saying that he hasnít done anything yet, rather than saying he canít do anything, because at least he can still make himself seem like a threat then. The little exchange between MVP and Miz about what happened the previous week was a clever way to give them some tension, making sure it wasnít just lovey dovey between the two heels. Miz didnít seem to have a real reason to make us believe heís a threat at No Way Out, but, still, the little exchange between the two about who is really a liar was nice, before the little bit of a lovefest, leading into Hardy making his way out well. I was a little surprised Hardy didnít get a word in first, although the running down of Matt from MVP was pretty nice, possibly hinting at a feud between the two of them. Mattís rebuttal was nice, talking himself up while not seeming cocky, while also giving himself some real reason to win the match at No Way Out with it being his big chance. The exchange between Matt and Miz was nice, even if, again, I didnít like it being pointed out that Miz is awful in the ring. The brawl was set up nicely too, with the Kane run in being led up to well. I liked the fact that you had Kane chokeslam Hardy too, because it makes him look like a monster, plus it gives the match at No Way Out that every man for themselves type feel. A pretty good segment here to hype up the four way.
Very nice hype job for No Way Out, which looks set to be a good show.
Very nice main event here, with the action kept at a high throughout. I never expected a clean ending here with The Undertakerís announcement to come, and a Casket Match obviously makes sense due to it being the specialty of ĎTaker (plus it lends itself to easy interference so we can find out Undertakerís WrestleMania opponent). It all set up the ending very nicely too, with the possibility of Edge and Kennedy working together against Batista I guess making it seem like Kennedy is more of a threat to Batistaís title, even if he wonít actually. A very nice way to send us off to No Way Out.
Another very impressive show here, iMac. As a go home show it accomplished all that it had to, plus the writing throughout was good. This thread continues to become one of the top in the section, and with WrestleMania fast approaching, Iím really looking forward to No Way Out and beyond. Well done, mang.