Lots of focus on the No Way Out main event, with the opening video, then plenty of hype from Cole and Tazz, with the wild card of Orton as referee being discussed too, and a good job done of adding more of a challenge for Big Dave, having to contend not only with Henry in a streetfight, but also Orton as a referee.
Bit of a ‘laid bare’ promo from Batista, showing some signs of human emotion, and dropping some of his bravado, admitting the last few months have been rough for him as champion. That admittance also helps solidify Henry as a threat, with Batista acknowledging how tough Henry has been to deal with. Thought the paragraph just before he started to talk about the streetfight rambled a little if I’m honest, though.
Saying that, I guess in the grand scheme, that all played into the fact that he can let himself go at No Way Out. Had to expect some sort of mention for Orton, and you transitioned into that point well, I must say. Flowed nicely into that.
And it served nicely to bring Mark Henry out to interrupt, taking umbrage to Batista seemingly showing more concern about the referee, rather than the challenger. Had to expect an appearance from Orton too, and it was timed well, just as the two men he has to officiate on Sunday were about to go at it early. Very cocky promo from Orton, full of arrogance and self importance, pretending to care about the well being of the men who are fighting to face him at WM.
Orton is sure to be involved here too (possibly appointing himself as ref here as a preview?) in order to hype his involvement at No Way Out.
Just as I predicted
Strong opening promo, doing a splendid job of building intrigue for the main event this Sunday, and sets the tone for the main event this evening.
Opening the show with a bunch of fast paced dudes sounds good. Probably a good idea to give Hardy and Moore a tune up match, and although the result was never in any doubt, t’was still for the best to showcase them, ahead of No Way Out. Makes sense for MNM to be there and get a good look at their next challengers too, and a nice touch to incorporate some of the Hardy Boys move set; Poetry in Motion especially.
After match brawl was okay too. Wasn’t overly necessary imo, but it didn’t do any harm. Just helped to ingrain the notion that Hardy and Moore have been able to get the better of MNM a number of times in the last few weeks, even after being attacked from behind here. Should be an excellent little undercard battle imo at No Way Out, well worth its spot on the show.
Might’ve been a better idea to change the colour for the video package, or place it in a quote box, just to separate it from the rest of the show. Aside from that issue, it’s refreshing to give the Cruiserweights a bit of shine, and a video package to highlight the recent Kash/Juvi angle adds a lot of importance. Expected the match to be made, so it’s no surprise to see that one added to the PPV, and it makes sense for Long to strap the no contact ruling too, after what happened last month. Still surprised it’s going down at No Way Out, as I had it pegged for WrestleMania - although I’m glad it’s happening here, as I’m not a huge fans of Juvi, and would rather see someone else get a shot at the Big Dance.
It’s probably best to keep everything Bobby Lashley says to a minimum. Actually, it’s maybe best to have him say nothing at all, as it kills any sort of aura he has as a bad ass … or just get him a mouthpiece to do it for him.
Little bit surprised it’s a six man at No Way Out, as I fully expected Finlay and Lashley to have the opportunity to settle their score. Looks like that one will rumble on for a while longer - and that’s a good thing. Finlay was always Lashleys best opponent back in the day. Good addition to the undercard for No Way Out. Maybe even a possible opener??
It’d be hard for those two teams to have a bad match with each other, and it’s good to see them getting a chance to shine with one another again here. Glad London and Kendrick got the win here, although I would assume that booking 101 suggests they lose in the six man on PPV.
I really like the angle with Kennedy and Rey, with Kennedys problem stemming from believing Rey always steals the show. It’s something fresh (at least I think it is), as opposed to the usual stuff that mid card feuds build out of. If you’d just have him stick to that, focus on it, and forget about mentioning Rey being much smaller, you’d be golden
. Glad we’ll see the match at No Way Out, as I had a slight feeling you’d swerve out of it, and have Kennedy refuse to face Rey and come up with an excuse, like Rey not being worthy enough, or big enough
, to face him. Glad you didn’t go that route though
With Sharmell providing a grand intro, and Booker using some quotes like ‘loyal followers’ in his promo, I cant help but think you’re straying toward the King Booker gimmick. Please. Don’t. It’s been done, done to death, and it’s now old. Regular ol’ heel Booker will do. Although I still hate the guy
Liked the comment about ‘The Benoit Treatment’, after saying Benoit wouldn’t give him a shot at the title last year, so he’d do the same now. Wasn’t overly sure what to make of Benoit. From channelling a bit of Jericho at the start (shut the hell up), to the wise cracks about being a ‘sucka’ and Sharmell being more manly, it seemed a little too charismatic
. The comment on Sharmell would’ve read better imo, if it had’ve just said she’s more of a man than Booker ever would be. Saying she’s more manly felt more like a shot at her physical appearance.
Anyway, the end result was good, with Benoit managing to talk himself into a potential title shot. Was wondering how you’d get around it, with Booker flat out refusing to take the bait, but you set it up well, with Orlando accepting, due to having to prove a point, after his embarrassing losses last year. Given the increased air time Jordan has had lately, I envisage a much more competitive match this time around, and although I suspect a Benoit win, I think we’ll see Jordan come out with a much better reputation.
Fairly strong promo from JBL, as you’d expect. Nothing earth shattering, and more by the numbers than anything else, but still was well written, and allowed JBL to do plenty of self promotion, especially with him leaving Taker laid out, two weeks straight.
Surprised Juvi was able to put Noble away that quickly, but I guess you were pushed for time on the show, and something had to give. Nothing more than a showcase for the challenger, but I think Kid Kash is a safe bet to retain the title.
Pretty generic ‘size doesn’t matter’ talk from Mysterio. Didn’t think this promo was required, after he made the challenge last week. Didn’t add anything new to the angle with Kennedy, but again, it didn’t do any harm either.
Again, didn’t see the need for a promo from MNM. I guess the argument could be that we havent heard anything from them in recent weeks, but the earlier involvement with Hardy and Moore set the stage well enough for No Way Out. Not that the promo was bad, or lacking … it just wasn’t required.
The tag match really helped to put Albright over in those opening exchanges, willing to go toe to toe with the Undertaker, as opposed to general heel vs. Taker rules where the heel prays for his life. Refreshing to see. Surprising to see JBL once again get one up on Taker - not because he got the better of him - but because he beat him clean. I sure as hell didn’t expect to see that happen. Big win for JBL, but it SHOULD seal his fate on Sunday, for Taker to get his win back.
Still trying to work out where Punk can fit in on Smackdown, and make a first impression, if he’s going to make his debut in the run up to WrestleMania. Will be hard to make him stand out when all the focus will likely be on the big show. Interesting time for a debut though, havent seen it done before.
Excellent shill job for No Way Out
The tag match heading into the PPV reminds me of the good ‘ol days of 2000, where this would be a regular occurrence leading into a PPV, with a tag match pitting the guys in two of the top matches. I like it.
Expected Orton to push himself into the mix throughout the match, and you did a good job of building tension between him and Henry & Batista. Good to see you having Orton get involved with Rey and Kennedy too, just to drive home the fact he’s in charge, and pushes his way around as the official. Have to say, the match was damn entertaining to read, and the finish was worked nicely, with Orton pretty much costing Rey and Batista, despite sort of playing it straight down the middle, by making sure Batista got out of the ring, before Kennedy. And that split second that Kennedy prevented Rey from hitting the 619 definitely was a deciding factor.
Had a feeling we’d see an RKO to Batista, Henry or both from Orton. But I’m glad you didn’t do it, as it would’ve been a tad predictable. I can definitely see him getting involved physically at No Way Out though, and it wouldn’t surprise me to see an RKO or two being busted out at some stage, whether it’s during, or after the match. Looking forward to it, and I never thought I’d say that about a show headlined by Batista and Henry
. That’s a testament to the solid job you’ve done in building this show, with limited resources to work off. Congrats.