Re: WWE: A Strong Response
IC Title: I like the little preview, helped me catch up to speed with the main event stuff, which looks good, and I like the opening words that we get at the start of a PPV. As for the IC Title Match, I thought it was good, but not especially great. It had some nice back and forth action that flowed well leading up to the finish, which I actually really liked. I don't really know the story here, but I'm guessing it's some kind of rivalry/friendship between Kofi and Cody, with Kelly being Cody's girl. Either way, it worked really well, especially with Kofi looking concerned after Kelly got knocked off the apron. Nice touch, having him take a second to make sure she was alright before pinning. A good match, better ending, no one looked especially weak here, and it seems that this program will continue based on the aftermath. First match I've ever read of yours, and I liked it. Good job.
Orton/Bischoff Segment: A good segment here, good dialogue, but Bischoff seemed kind of face-ish with his comments about Kane. However, him talking about Orton's attacks on Kane was good, helped me get in the know a little more, and get me to look forward to the main event, as these segments sounded very good. Bischoff sounding face-y was really the only problem I had here, because I don't like the guy at all, and I could never buy him as a face, or understand why he would be one. With that said, I don't think he is, because he was still kind of a jerk, but he came off face-ish to me. Aside from that, I liked Orton's need to be WWE Champion, really makes the match seem that much more important with him absolutely needing to be champ, and this is the first show if your I've read. Good job here.
Finlay/Santino: Not the best match, but then again, I can't properly rate it, this being my first time reading your stuff, so I don't know how you book Santino. Is he jobber-comedic, or competitive-comedic, or not comedic at all? I also don't know about his relationship with Melina, and unlike the first match, I'm not too sure about the story revolving this match. I can't say I liked this match, but then again, I'm not big on Finlay (or Hornswoggle, so I can't say I liked him here), or Santino wrestling. The match was okay, one-sided like a regular Santino match, but I did like the ending. Melina's a clever girl, so I liked how she was used here, but aside from the ending, not a fan of this match.
McMahons Segment: JBL's Vince's son? He certainly fits right in with the McMahons, to say the least. As for the segment itself, I liked it, had a good meaning, but I kind of felt it odd that JBL's the one that's acting a little worried about Evolution. He's always been extremely confident about himself, but you might've changed that, so that's just my first-timer instincts. I did like Shane being somewhat relaxed about the situation, fits his heelish character nicely, but Vince, I don't know, he seemed a little too articulate in the way he spoke, and I don't think he talked like that. But again, don't know what he's like here, so can't really say much. As a whole, a good segment, really liked it, and also looking forward to their match later on tonight. Should be a great one, with Shane being in his unrestricted comfort zone.
Tag Titles: A very good match, fast-paced and exciting, with a greatly built-up finish, but the actual finish was a letdown. It made sense, to keep both teams strong, but I felt that it would've been perfectly fine to just let Kendrick get the pinfall. Everything was set for a win from either side, so a DQ, as much sense as it made, just didn't feel right. Still, it's more than apparent that this feud isn't over, and I think I have a pretty good picture of what could happen from here on out, with Miz and Morrison being deluded and saying that London and Kendrick didn't actually beat them, and therefore, still having an opportunity at the titles. Sorry for booking in your own thread, but that's what it seems could go down to me. Again, great match, just didn't like the ending.
Cody/Kelly Segment: Brilliant segment. Everything flowed so smoothly, I could just picture this going on. I'm already liking where this is going, with Cody being overprotective, and Kelly getting sick of it. Honestly, there's really nothing I didn't like here, everything was pretty much perfect. I'm not necessarily a big fan of Cody, but I'm definitely liking this angle he's got going with Kofi and Kelly. Looking forward to more, great job here.
Million Dollar Title: Really liked Ted's promo, very heelish, but also respectable, like he himself said. Good to know what he's been up to, putting his title on the line every week. I wonder what his relationship with Maryse is like, and what her role's been in his matches. In any case, though, she's nice eye candy. A successful promo that made me interested in him (well, I'm a fan of him anyway, but still, a good promo), and the impromptu match was okay. Jimmy looked solid against DiBiase, in fact, I might say a little too solid. I was expecting DiBiase to control the majority of the match, but Jimmy was in control for most of the ending. A good performance, and definitely makes DiBiase to not be as special as he claims to be, but that probably wasn't the right way to go about this match. I imagine that DiBiase's still relatively new on your roster, and that this could be his first or second PPV appearance, so I think he should've been a little more dominant on this occassion. That was really my biggest problem, but aside from that, solid match.
Kenny Interview: You managed to blend cockiness and mild intensity very well here. I don't especially agree with some of Kenny's comments, like Cena being the most overrated Superstar every, but this is a good way to push him, to put him against one of the top stars. I personally find Kenny overrated, as I never really saw anything all that special about him, but I was willing to watch him develop and maybe live up to the hype, and looks like you're doing that here. I'm guessing he trashed Cena's locker room? Way to get in someone's face, although very cheap. I'm not sure if Kenny's going over, but I expect a great showing from him. And Leticia Cline = hotness.
Women's Title No. 1 Contendership: Interesting set up, tidies things up, as sometimes, multi-person matches can get a little clustered. In all honesty, I didn't expect Kelly to win, but now that I think about it, I'm loving it. It's not just because I love Kelly, but because of what this can do with her current story. As for the match itself, I liked it, but I didn't feel it was really PPV-quality. Could've made a better-than-average Divas match on TV, but didn't have a big PPV feel. With that said, no one looked weak here, so good job there, but I didn't like the ending. A roundhouse kick as Kelly's finish? Kind of overused by the Divas, and I like her legdrop bulldog better. Still, a solid match, and the aftermath with Cody, who's not looking all that happy, further continues my speculation about how this'll work with their story. I also liked Victoria on commentary, that would've helped sell the match, and also gave her some screen time on the PPV. Very interesting stuff, looking forward to what happens next.
Evolution Segment: Triple H's first paragraph was good, got the message of what he wants to accomplish, but was a little repetitive. It went around in a circle before he finished. Reid coming in was a surprise, because the way they've been talking about it, I thought the kid got the crap beat out of him, so I didn't expect him to show up. First row seat? That's never good. I see him having a role in the match. But, and this is probably going to sound either funny or weird to you, but I kind of felt like it was a Power Rangers-ish segment, with Reid being a kid who was harmed by a monster, and Evolution being the Power Rangers, getting his hopes back up before they go out there and kick the baddie's ass. Anyway, good hype for the match later on, and Reid being here introduces a new dynamic, so looking forward to seeing what happens with him.
Cena Interview: I liked this up until the point where Cena got intense, and spoke with all caps. It wasn't so much that he was all, "Grrr, I'm gonna take you down 'cause I'm talkin' with my big voice!", but more the dialogue of it (although the caps had a part to play in it). Anyway, good to hear what Kenny did to Cena in the build-up to the match, brutal stuff, that loss to Santino must've made things personal (that's if he's a jobber here). Besides that, I liked the parts about the hole, and by Cena's own admission, Kenny's stepping into the big leagues. I honestly don't know what the point of RVD was here, but who cares? It's R-Freakin'-VD! Awesome, awesome. But, I checked out your first post in your thread, and I read he went to TNA. Anyway, awesome, RVD rules, but he didn't really contribute to the segment. Good stuff, good hype, overall.
WWE Title: Great match here. Very exciting. I really didn't think Orton would win, but I wasn't expecting it to happen the way it did. I read that Orton punted Kennedy before he demanded his rematch, but I didn't think he'd be the deciding factor in the match. Things are looking towards an Orton/Kennedy feud, which should be good, especially after tonight. The match itself was great, had a good story, some great action, Kane and Orton meshed well here. So you're using masked Kane, huh? Does he also have the long hair? I hope so, because the mask and the bald head would look weird. The one thing I didn't like was that this went before Cena/Kenny. I know you're really trying to elevate the guy, but this is the WWE Title, and I personally think that it should go on last, bar certain top-level feuds, but I don't know if Cena/Kenny fits that bill. Aside from that, great match.
Bischoff/Regal Segment: Don't know what's going on here, or why they'd be concerned with what happens. I mean, it's a non-sanctioned match. If anything does happen that they wouldn't like, it'd be their own fault, because they're the ones that made it happen. And maybe it's just because I don't like Bischoff, but who the hell does he think he is? He's going to try and punish The McMahons? As in, the people that own the company? The people that sign his paycheck? Unless I'm missing something (and I probably am), he can't do that. Evolution, certainly, but not the others. Anyway, I didn't really like this segment. Besides the Bischoff thing, Regal looked kind of like a desperate lacky, especially with his line of "Oh, thank you very much!" Felt like it was mostly filler.
Cena/Kenny: To be honest, I thought Kenny didn't look as impressive as I thought he would have. Cena dominated the majority of the match, and rightfully so, but I was expecting a little less than what we got. Kenny didn't look bad by any means, but he didn't come out looking like a million dollars, either. This match didn't necessarily showcase enough to Kenny for me to buy him entry into the big leagues. He didn't hit many big moves, and I didn't really get what you were trying to do when Kenny was on the top rope, and Cena's coming at him, and he jumps off. He did get a chance at his finish, which is saying something, considering it's a top rope move, and he did get out of the STFU, but that was really it for Kenny. Cena himself didn't benefit from the match, and the intention wasn't for him to do so, but Kenny could've walked away with a lot more than he did, even in a losing effort. However, it's a step in the right direction, so keep it up.
King of the Ring Promo: Nice voice-over narration, and glad that you're going to be bringing back the classic tournament, and in PPV form, no less. Good stuff. I think, after reading the majority of this show, I have some ideas of some strong candidates to win it - but I've yet to experience the SD! part of this thread, so not making any predictions just yet.
Non Sanctioned: Isn't the proper term "Unsactioned?" Anyway, great match, brutal and fun. Everyone got something to do in this match, hitting or being on the receiving end of a big spot, and I especially loved the Coast to Coast (well, who doesn't?). Despite being a hardcore match, this still had plenty of psychology, something not easily accomplished when you're dealing with a spot-filled match. The psychology was there, and so was the story, as all these guys took it to the max. I initially thought Reid would have a bigger part to play in this, but it seems that he was just a red herring. I read in the Advertisement Thread that a former WWE Champion would be at the show, and I thought that was RVD, but he, too, was another decoy to steer us away from the real thing, so great job with the swerves. I didn't expect Show to come out, but you really put him over strong by taking out Evolution (and then some with Reid), despite them already worn and tired. Chokeslam through the table was a great spot, and it makes sense that Hunter was the one to take the fall, as he's the leader of Evolution, and it's best to make him pay the price. Great match, fun read, looking forward to more of this feud.
Overall: Well, it's about damn time I lost my Strong Response virginity, and even though WrestleMania would've been the better place to do it, I think that Backlash is right underneath it. This was definitely a great read, and now I know why you're considered one of the best in these parts. Being my first time reading this, I got a good picture of what's going on, at least on the RAW side of things, so now, I must venture into SD!, so I'll be checking it out when it's up. I'll also be checking out RAW, because I'm now a part of the Strong Response, and I hope to give you regular reviews. There were some things I didn't like, but then again, I don't think I've ever read a perfect show. With that in mind, in the overall sense, this was very successful show, very fun read, great stuff. Looking forward to more, so great job, Nige. 8.5/10.