Good way to start the show, showing the dominance of Batista well in the video package, which, of course, was the big talking point coming out of last week’s show. The little hype job from the commentators was done well too, as I’ve come to expect from you.
Starting things off with Big Show? I don’t mind it, as he has a right to want to call Batista out for redemption, but this show really seemed like Batista’s to come out and own, declaring himself the man on SmackDown! after last week. A small thing, but the commentary from Striker during Big Show’s entrance really didn’t sound like something I would expect from Striker. Big Show was fine to begin with, talking down on how Batista went about the beatdown well, bringing up the low blow to take control, as well as really making the attack seem as brutal as possible by saying he nearly broke Show’s back. The lines about Mysterio and Jericho being pissed too, really bringing up how much of a warpath Batista was on last week were good, leading to Big Show talking about the Rumble, which I thought you did pretty damn well, capturing some good emotion to show how desperate Big Show is to retain the World Heavyweight Title, before calling out Batista. Jericho interrupting instead was fine, and he was instantly on with his normal heel shtick to get the crowd to hate him. The talk of how he’ll become champion was fine too, as was the speech about why he deserves to be the one to face Batista tonight, bringing up The Undertaker well, reminding us of that feud, and connecting it with Mysterio, who has been in the thorn in the side of Jericho in it all. The way in which Jericho called out Batista was good, although again, the interruption of Mysterio instead was expected by now. Rey immediately bringing up his history with Batista as a reason for him to face ‘Tista was a fine way for him to start, in character well, before the little exchange broke out between the three, which I liked in terms of all the characters, working well. Batista interrupting, only to just come out to the stage is a nice little heelish touch on his behalf, before a nice little speech on how destructive he’s been, along with the great line that it’s his ring. The brawl that broke out, with Show’s patience finally snapping was nicely done, again allowing Batista to look strong, while further doing damage to Big Show’s back, in what could prove an interesting little touch. The announcement from Long for the main event is certainly a good one too, and one that brings a lot of possibilities. It should be interesting to see where you go with it.
The squash victory for Ziggler is fine, keeping his momentum roaring along. The sickening post-match attack is good to see following last week, keeping the ruthless streak to his character too, even with no Matt Hardy in the arena. The comparison of Funaki to Matt Hardy after he beat him down in similar fashion was a nice one, keeping the focus of Ziggler on Hardy while also talking about what had just happened well. The lines Ziggler used to get heat, calling Hardy worthless and saying that it wasn’t the year of Matt Hardy were done well too, especially the line about Jeff. Like I said last week, bringing up the real life of Hardy, and how he blogs, using his catch phrases and stuff is all good to see, as is the line that Hardy is a quitter, and that he will die. Ziggler talking himself up in there is good to see too, contrasting himself with Matt, before giving the emphatic statement that Hardy should stay away. I’ve really been enjoying this ruthless streak you’ve given to Ziggler, and what he showed here was certainly no exception. He’s fast becoming one of my favourite characters in BTB.
I liked the way you had Morrison go about addressing The Brian Kendrick here, before moving onto talking about the Rumble and Morrison’s match tonight, giving it a real good flow. The lines about Kendrick were fine for Morrison, talking himself up in a good way for a face, while also talking down on Kendrick’s attitude. Nice promo.
Nice little recap of last week’s beatdown of Mickie before the match here. Nice to see this match not a total squash, since the talent pool doesn’t run too deep in the women’s division, but Michelle comes out looking good, like you’d want.
Very sudden interruption from CM Punk, which I like. A bit surprised to see him owning Lay-Cool, because they’re heels, and I really don’t think the crowd would care about them being insulted, even if his lines about them were gold, really integrating the straight edge stuff in well, with the cheap shot at the crowd topping it off. Again, not so sure at the Lay-Cool stuff that followed, especially when it would get them cheered. The owning of the fans that followed was great again, as was the little Jeff thing, in a smarky little Jeff Hardy reference. Punk then taking his beer and shattering it was great, as were the described mannerisms as he did it, really heeling it up well. The cutthroat motion was also clever, before using JR, which is great for heel heat, especially with him being friends with Austin. The way in which he spoke of Austin, mockingly using JR’s lines, before the “I WAS RIGHT” line was really good, as were the closing comparisons between Punk and Austin, calling Austin the devil, while Punk is the saviour. Every week you’ve come out with a very solid promo from Punk, and while I’ve said in the past I don’t like Austin wrestling again, which appears likely, it is, at least, providing us with some promo gold.
Nice little way to keep Kendrick connected by having him watch from backstage. Not a whole lot to say on this match, other than it did a good job of hyping the Rumble with some of your midcarders, and I also liked how it allowed Morrison to look impressive. Perhaps a nice little feud between Finlay and The Hart Dynasty could be followed up on following the eliminations, which I certainly wouldn’t object to.
I don’t mind the arrival of The Dudebusters to SmackDown! – in fact, I quite like it – but this vignette seemed a little bland for my liking. I would like to see a little more personality shown.
Ah, I love the Friday Night Kendrick live you’re using, and it’s great for some cheap heat for the cocky Kendrick. The little digs at Moore were okay too, if not a little over the top, but the way Kendrick addressed Morrison and hyped both the Intercontinental Title match, that has to be coming soon, along with the Royal Rumble Match. The sunglasses line on Morrison was a little weak, but apart from that, the rest of the promo worked fine for me.
Kendrick attacking Moore with the mic before the match is a nice little heel move for Kendrick. The win, of course, is good for Kendrick, keeping things going, but perhaps what I liked more was seeing the temper of Kendrick at almost being embarrassed by Moore, showing how serious he can get with both that and the attack on Wang Yang after the match.
Nice little reminder of the events of RAW.
Good to see the tension between partners before the main event even kicks off, following on strongly from how things started at the top of the show. The way you worked on that at the beginning of the match, pointing out the forced tags, while also saying Batista and Jericho worked together due to their mutual want to beat down Rey was clever, and I liked how you allowed for that to make the match your regular type of tag match. The action at the end was very exciting, especially with how you incorporated the tags, along with the counter from last week of the Codebreaker on Rey, using some smarts in following up on what you’ve done. That tag at the end from Jericho to Batista was a nice way to show the heat between the two, while Mysterio getting the surprise win works fine for me, because it doesn’t really halt Batista’s momentum at all, and it allows Rey to show what he’s capable of. Batista attacking Mysterio post-match is a good way for him to get his heat back, while having your world champion come out standing tall, having got a measure of revenge on Batista was a good way to close things.
Overall, I found this to be a very enjoyable show. Your promo writing continues to improve, getting to the point where it’s really some of the best in the section, especially with some of your characters (CM Punk in particular). Your feuds are continuing to progress nicely, and with a lot of your young talent looking good week in, week out, this show always has an exciting feel to it. Good stuff my man.
3 - Triple Threat Tag Team Match
Christian and ??? vs Shelton Benjamin and ???
vs Paul Burchill and ???
The hype has been all about the other two, so I feel Shelton needs the win to get some momentum going.
5 - Career Threatening Extreme Rules Match
vs Tommy Dreamer
If Tommy Dreamer loses, he must retire
Woo woo woo, you know it.
2 - Singles Match
vs William Regal
I don't really see the point in Regal winning. Zeke has much more he can do right now.
4 - Singles Match
Kane w/ Tiffany vs Big Daddy V w/ Abraham Washington
If Kane wins, Abraham Washington is fired from ECW
If Big Daddy V, Washington becomes ECW General Manager
While I'm a fan of Tiffany as GM, I can't see you doing this if you wanted to keep her on board.
1 - Singles Match
Keep his momentum rolling.
1) Predict the match order. Yup.
2) Who will score the fall in the Triple Threat Tag Team match? (Christian’s partner, Burchill’s partner etc. is fine) Shelton Benjamin.
3) Who is Christian’s mystery partner? This is too low key of an event for Edge to return at, imo, so instead I'll go with a young guy who you're giving a rub to. Yoshi Tatsu.
4) Who is Shelton Benjamin’s mystery partner? Charlie Haas.
5) Who is Paul Burchill’s mystery partner? As much as I'd like Regal, he's already competing, so Brutus Magnus it is.
6) Will there be any surprise appearances? If so, who? Yeah, we'll get the ECW Originals making an appearance to farewell Tommy Dreamer and possibly interfere in his match. If you want actual names, I'll go with Terry Funk, Sabu and The Sandman.