I cannot explain to you just how much I love these old school SNME openings. They just kind of seem innovative these days compared to the same old opening video package crap that we constantly get these days. Starting off with The McMahon’s makes sense, and I’m sure it’s no coincidence that they are opening up the intros. The egomaniacs that they are, they’d love that sort of thing. I’m pretty sure Vinnie Mac says “don’t cross the boss”, I’m not to sure if he’s actually ever said “never cross the boss”. Not an overly big thing, but it’s just something that stood out when I read this. The rest of their intro was nice, and I couldn’t help but chuckle at Vince putting him and his son over as a sadistic team. That’s just typical dickish McMahon stuff. The intensity from Cena was nice, absolutely no complaints there, however Cena constantly calling Vince “Vinny” was really irking me. Cena’s is a really intense character, and I don’t know, the whole Vinny thing just seems a little ‘not intense’ for lack of a better term. Despite that, it was alright. The other three superstars intros were all perfectly fine. I especially enjoyed Triple H and Van Dam being on the screen at the same time, I think it was needed before their match.
The opening commentary from both brands was effective in hyping the card. Good work. I think sometimes bookers, myself included, don’t understand just how important good commentary can be.
Before I get to the match, during the commentary for Kennedy’s entrance, you had JBL rip Tazz a new one. He called him a loser, and basically just insulted his whole career. I was a little shocked to see Tazz not say anything back. Tazz has always been a somewhat tough character, and I definitely wouldn’t expect him to take crap like that from JBL without saying something back. Plus, JBL and Tazz owning each other with Cole playing something of a mediator type role could create some awesome chemistry.
I love how SNME always opens with a huge match to. Everybody always worries about a fiery opener to get the audience into your show, right? Well, hell, what better way than to put one of the biggest matches on your card straight up? I know a lot of people will say the main event needs to always go last, but if you think about it, this formula is kind of logical. Batista starting for his team is the obvious choice as he’s the World Heavyweight Champion, which means he’s simply the best. On the other hand, I expected something like this from KK and Edge. They’ve talked such a big fight, and now neither man wants to start the match. Wow. I was shocked by just how much you had ‘Tista dominate KK early on. No offense at all from KK, as Batista truly looks like an animal. I don’t mind that though, as he didn’t hit anything to drastic, just some basic moves, before he tagged in Hardy. The quick tags from the face team further emphasizes which team is on the same page, nothing at all wrong with that. Good stuff for Edge’s cheap shot to allow KK to gain the advantage, and then for the heels to use continuous heel tactics to maintain the advantage. Edge distracting the referee from making a tag is typical tag team wrestling, which relates back to Edge’s epic run with Christian, and to a lesser extent, Rey Mysterio in the tag division. Typical Edge insulting ‘Tista and then hiding behind the referee as well, good stuff. Edge nailed the Spear rather easily, I really didn’t expect that. The build to it was nice though, as the excitement from the attempted tag would have built up the crowd, only for Edge to shut them back down. I’m not to sure about Batista making the save though. He seemed to recover from KK’s attack a little too quickly for my liking. KK’s arrogance mouthing to Batista possibly ruining him was good as well. Edge walking out suits his character fine once again, and it allows the faces to finish off Edge rather comfortably. A solid match to open up, nothing special, but did the job well. KK attacking the referee after the match has me very interested to see just where you go with his character from here. Flair waits at ‘Mania, but is this perhaps going to be the beginning of a much more intense KK? I shall wait and see.
I love The Hart Legacy! They are definitely going to be useful in your tag division. A feud with WGTT would be absolutely epic.
I enjoyed the idea of Kelly not wanting to stand in Knox’s corner. It’s just a clever representation of pretty much what this whole thing is over, and its Kelly. Punk attacking Knox to start the match fits the situation, as this feud has real bad blood to it. I probably would have preferred if Knox attacked Punk though, as attacking somebody from behind can seem cowardish, which is something the Punk character is not. Punk starting off so well is a nice way to show his anger regarding the situation he is involve din though. I thought the way Knox potentially stopped his momentum by pushing him off the ropes was good as well. I understand Knox turns his attention towards Kelly again, but Punk recovered too quickly from that crash into the crowd barricade. With that being said, the human shield spot was cleverly inserted so that Knox can keep the advantage. All of Knox’s offense being focused on the ribs was the right way to go about things obviously. Once Punk regained the advantage, despite Knox trying to get the win, it was always going to be Punk’s victory. With that being said, I was surprised Knox got so close to winning the match, Punk is just so much better. Kelly helping Punk get the win doesn’t do anything for Punk, even if it does maybe fit in with the storyline. Probably could have been just as effective if Punk won cleanly, and then Kelly slapped Knox, who still tried to boss her around. Another solid match anyway.
A nice promo from Shawn Michaels, focusing on both of his potential ‘Mania opponents. I know you’re going to go down the triple threat route, and this interview suited that fine. Good job.
This Cruiserweight Fatal four way is one I’ve really been looking forward to. You seemed to really enjoy writing the Cruiserweights at NWO so this could potentially be a match stealer. Talk about an explosive way to start this match, very innovative with all four men being outside the ring very quickly. Not to sure how often that happens, but I enjoyed it. The fast pace beginning of the match was nice, and it was clever to have Danielson be disposed of, allowing the two heels to double team Moore. Once again, it was obvious that the heels would double team Danielson, although I must say, I was a little disappointed to see Chavo and Mercury not duke it out at all. It makes sense though, as it seems you want Danielson to overcome all the odds tonight, judging by the way he eliminated Mercury. Guerrero and Danielson going at it was nice, and cue the much anticipated, and I use that term lightly, Vickie Guerrero interference. I disliked Bryan getting a foot on the ropes after the Frog Splash. Why? It seems illogical. The Frog Splash more often than not takes place close to the middle of the ring, nowhere near the ropes, so unless Danielson is eight feet tall, this wouldn’t happen. If the Frog Splash was being performed in a different position to usual you should have mentioned something about it beforehand. And Danielson gets the win, defying all the odds, putting forth another epic performance. I was about to complain about no Helms, so I was pleased he decided to actually show up and attack Danielson. Their match at Mania should own, and this match was probably my favorite of the night so far.
‘Mania is going to be one of the top events of the year no doubt.
at Carlito beginning the match by spitting apple into Haas’ face, just awesome. The initial dueling attacks from the champions were nice, making for an exciting fast paced start to the match. Not only that, but Flair and Carlito are not exactly looked upon as a proper tag team, so showing some dueling tactics perhaps shows that they can be a formidable team. WGTT gaining the advantage was alright, although when Shelton came into the ring, you wrote that he Clotheslined Punk. Not a majorly huge thing, obviously a mistake, but mistakes that glaringly obvious bother me at times. All of the offense from the WGTT was well done, with a few double team moves standing out, especially the Double Backbreaker move that they hit. I really liked the sequence that lead to Carlito finally making the tag, with Shelton going for the Back Slide. It just flowed really nicely, and that’s when matches are the best to read. Flair dominating was expected, but I think it seemed stupid that after simply knocking Haas down with a chop, he attempts a Figure Four on Benji. Everybody knows a chop isn’t going to keep somebody down for long, so just seemed strange. From here, the action really picked up, leading into the ref bump. Once the ref went down, I knew what was coming, and the KK interference was inserted perfectly, ending what was yet another solid match.
A nice little confrontation between the two sets of tag champions here. Obviously WGTT are going to be really arrogant, having just won the gold, and it makes sense for The Hooligans to point out that they needed Kennedy’s help. It was a good read, and a meeting between these two teams would certainly be epic somewhere down the line, possibly even ‘Mania.
An error with your formatting to begin the Belfast Brawl, nice one jobber. A little thing here is that the referee called for the bell before Finlay got into the ring. Belfast Brawl or not, don’t both superstars have to have stepped foot in the ring for the match to begin? A nice start anyway with the two brawling outside the ring. I’m really pumped for this match; I’m expecting an absolutely brutal affair. The brawl going into the crowd was a nice way to show just how intense both these guys are. A monitor shot as well as a Diving Headbutt through the table really raised this match a few notches. The all out relentless war was already making for a match that was taking its toll, but now it’s damn right crazy. It was smart booking to place the commercial break where you did, and then still have Benoit working on getting Finlay into the ring. It allows Finlay to realistically pop a shoulder up, yet at the same time, he still looks like an animal. With Benoit dominating, it was a smart place to put The Little Bastard interference. I still hate this little prick though, I vote for Matt Hardy to end him at ‘Mania. Yet another hard assault with Finlay attacking Benoit’s arm with the shillelagh. Later on, Finlay survives another Diving Headbutt, before picking up the victory. Just wow. Finlay looks pretty good here, even if he couldn’t beat Benoit without help. Definitely a brutal match though, glad you didn’t over do the weapons either.
Smart to play the NWO video package and refresh everybody’s memory of what’s going on between Umaga and ‘Taker. Obviously most readers would know, but the video still fits in nicely. Not much to say about this match except it did exactly what I thought it would do. You’ve done a great job at making Umaga look like a monster in this thread, and it continued here. Kane couldn’t even knock Umaga off of his feet, just great stuff really. I was however a little disappointed that ‘Mags wasn’t actually able to destroy Kane tonight, would have been even better if he did. I marked the fuck out for the Paul Bearer appearance by the way. Bearer was written pretty well, as everything he said made sense, making the showdown official for ‘Mania. With the urn or not, I doubt Bearer would be dumb enough to step into the ring alone with Umaga and Estrada. Then we get the typical Undertaker showing, where he shows up, and beats down the opponent. It was done nicely, although I was extremely happy with the fact that Kane had to help ‘Taker land the Chokeslam, it keeps Umaga looking great. Definitely a good segment here, mate.
McMahon’s segment was alright. I like the arrogant Coach, but I think you actually made him look slightly dumb here. As the GM of Smackdown, I don’t think the Coach should come across like this. Segment did the job of making us think just what the McMahon’s have planned though.
Owen Hart going into the HOF is a huge positive for me. He was/is one of my all time favorites.
Triple H against Van Dam is one I’ve been waiting for all night. I sometimes enjoy the stop start nature of big matches in the beginning, just to almost set the scene. I liked it here as well, although I was a little, maybe shocked, to see Triple H land a High Knee Strike so early into the match. It’s almost one of his five moves of doom, so not saying there’s anything wrong with it, I just really didn’t expect it. As usual, all of RVD’s offense was pretty damn impressive. Triple H is a brutal bastard so I was surprised that when he had Van Dam down on the outside that he just sent him straight back into the ring. ‘The Cerebral Assassin’ would usually just beat RVD around the ring for a little. With that being said, the offense was pretty good once they were back into the ring, and then we got the eventual outside the ring action anyway. The match seemed to flow along nicely from here, although I was stumped as to why after Triple H nailed three Clothesline in a row he went for a Sleeper. He’s just started to build some momentum, so wouldn’t a sleeper hold just kill that? Anyway, the next set of offense from Van Dam was good, leading to the Superplex. Wow. I really didn’t expect HHH to kick out of the Five Star Frog Splash, definitely a well executed false finish there. The Pedigree coming out of nowhere was good to read, and it was obvious RVD was going to kick out of that. Smart stuff, doesn’t make RVD look bad. Triple H hitting Michaels was nice, eventually somebody was going to. The ending was great as well, with Michaels inadvertently helping Triple H pick up the victory. This was probably my favorite match of the night so far, a great read. I didn’t really understand Van Dam’s “you didn’t earn this” argument, as Trips had the match won with the second Pedigree anyway. If that’s the angle you’re going to take with RVD, maybe the second Pedigree shouldn’t have happened. Good stuff anyway.
An interesting segment here between Dykstra and Carlito hopefully starting something between the two, whilst Flair focuses on Kennedy. If this ends with Dykstra ending up with Torrie, I’ll be a happy man. Anyway, a good segment, ending well with Torrie slapping Kenny.
It was a smart start having Cena attack The McMahon’s. It makes him look really smart, and just starts things off in a really exciting way. The start has been what I expected, with Cena simply dominating.
at Shane McMahon trying to leave his father in the cage, although it lead to a nice spot with the Fisherman’s Suplex from the top. The Coach being used as a distraction was clever, as eventually The McMahon’s had to have some sort of advantage. I marked for the Coast To Coast spot, although Cena recovered pretty quickly, already trying to battle out of the FU after that.
at Vince trying to nail the FU as well, by the way, more dickish McMahon stuff. Another low blow followed by the transition into Vince being trapped in the steel cage alone with Cena was all done pretty well. Awesome ending with Lashley interfering and giving McMahon’s the win. A heel Lashley is so much better than a face Lashley, so smart booking as well. You made this match as easy to read as you possibly could, so I commend you with that.
The matches that were the least fun to read were all still solid, with four matches being a very good read. You managed to produce a good show, and ‘Mania is shaping up wonderfully now, and as long as you keep writing like this, you should have no issue maintaining this thread as one of the big movers of this year. Well done.