Initially I was on the fence over the cruiserweight title match going with the DQ then restart process, as a straight up win for Danielson would've sufficed - BUT - on a second viewing, I did come around to the idea. Imagining the reaction of the fans just as they thought Danielson had been screwed over AGAIN
, only for Theodore Long to stamp his authority would've been immense. Slightly annoyed at myself for not picking this as opener as it makes complete sense - especially with the title change to bring down the record setting title reign of Helms. I was particularly fond of JBL getting involved, because he's always championed Helms, plus he got involved in the feud itself on Smackdown & also was glad to see Helms looking to take the cheap way out during the second match - obviously at his most desperate to keep the belt.
As someone else previously stated, Helms - despite this loss - looks ready to 'move up' from the Cruiserweight division and a feud with Matt Hardy over the U.S Title - given their roots - could be brilliant to see. Before that though, for selfish reasons, I'd love a 30 minute Iron Man match between Helms and Bryan on a Smackdown in the near future. Go on, make it happen
And, as for Danielson, I suspect he'll dominate the Cruiserweight division for the forseeable future. Chavo Guerrero looks the best fit for his first big challenger, but outside of the CW ranks, the seeds are certainly there for a grudge match with everyones favourite commentator. Imagine what a win over JBL could do - not only for Danielson - but for the cruiserweight division as a whole, being able to get the better of a former (albeit retired) WWE Champion.
Kane vs Finlay was what it was. A time filler feud to keep both men busy. The match itself was a solid, undercard PPV bout that delivered nicely. Kane was obviously the right winner, as he can easily slot into the main event scene at any time, be it for a proper feud or just to main event the odd episode of Smackdown. Wins over tough acts such as Finlay keep the Big Red Monster chugging along, and help him to always look a threat when facing the top dogs - even if he is to come out as the loser of those particular meetings. While I think that is the future for Kane (just hovvering around the main event scene) I think Finlay might just be ready for a change of scenery, after a number of losses now, and no way back into the U.S Title picture, a switch to Raw might just be the best thing for him in the near future.
For the Coalition to have any future, they obviously had to win this match. Again, no complaints on the match itself, it read nicely to me, and Coaches trio came out of it looking like the superior group - as they should. The interesting thing was that it was Booker that scored the fall, instantly - in my mind - setting him as the focal point of the group, which at this point (despite his age) is probably for the best. Too soon for MVP to be positioned ahead of Book imo, and I suspect Henry will simply be the 'muscle' of the faction. I'm more interested in how they continue to function and come together united, as I still sense a little bit of a lack of togetherness in the pre-match promo, with Coach looking to rally the troops but kinda ... failing. Promising group though, and I look forward to what the future holds for them on Smackdown and just where they settle in the grand scheme.
Chavo Guerrero has been completely transformed in this thread ever since WrestleMania - it's been remarkable how interesting you've made him as a character. His cold delivery (especially the "I have no father") to his father was simply chilling. Although it's 100% that he's losing tonight, it would be a shame to just see him disappear into being a background player again on Smackdown. As I stated before, he probably deserves a run with Danielson over the CW title, as a real threat to the championship.
Must say, I've enjoyed the build of Miz into a more serious threat on Smackdown, trying to prove himself as worthy of his roster spot, and it being made clear that he's working on his all round game to improve. Still not sold on the pairing of him and McCool as it doesnt fit as a naturally pairing imo, but the addition of a valet/manager was needed for him at this stage of his career. Rightfully, Hardy went over, but not without a fight from the much improved challenger, who will surely one day rise to become a champion - just not yet. Simply, it would be too soon for Miz to take the title - not only because he isnt ready for the belt, but because Hardy deserves a run with the title - and maybe Miz could do with finding a tag team partner in the near future; just to keep him relevant on Smackdown, as with this loss (and I doubt there'll be much clamour for the feud to run on) it's hard to see where he fits in on the show in the immediate future. Saying all that though, I'm convinced you have something
in mind for him to keep him hanging around the show. If you didnt, I dont imagine you would've spent the last two months of TV time in building him up as a legit threat to Hardy.
As for Hardy, well, I've already commented on where I'd like
to see him go next, and looking at the lay of the land, Helms does seem like the next natural contender for the title - or - perhaps a challenge could come in the form of Coachmans Coalition. What I would like - regardless of who the challenger is - is something for the readers to get their teeth into. The Miz angle was fine for what it was, and established Hardy as champ, but moving on, I'd like to see something a bit more personal, where we can get more out of Hardys character.
Nice touch for all four guys in the main event to have some
on-screen time before the big match. Typical Benoit and Batista promos, and typical Edge; trying to weasel someone onside. Good to see Kennedy has a good memory of when Edge left him high and dry at SNME, and told him to take a hike. That promo alone set the stage for an 'every man for himself' vibe in the main event. And rightfully so, as, while they both heels, Edge and Kennedy have been at each others throats just as much as they've been at Batistas, so they have no reason to double up.
For the most part, the tag title match just didnt click for me, as a reader. Maybe I was just more interested in seeing what would happen with Kendrick, or what he would do, but the match wasnt the usual brilliance you'd expect from the Hooligans. Anyways, the finish was the important part, and I was pleased that the titles remained in tact ... but, oh boy, it would seem (The) Brian Kendrick is no longer above cheating. The brilliance here was that Ashley spotted it - but London didnt - which should play out brilliantly on Smackdown, when (I assume) he will have watched the replay. Obviously he'll not be happy, and the disintegration of the tag champions will slowly continue.
Mysterio as the last man standing was a lock - and rightly so - but what a match it was. From the outset, there was no holding back, with a chair coming into play in the second paragraph. Chavo was always going to target the knee, given the reason Rey missed so much time and the match type itself. Thought the blood was a little early, but the gruesome nature of the match probably called for it. Another thumbs up - the old cable around the throat spot
. Chavo crashing (literally) and burning after missing the Frog Splash was a hellacious spot, and you made the angle extra personal by having Chavo include the family of Rey. Aalyh/[NAME] really made an impact
with her slap to Chavo. On top of the cable choking spot, another favourite is the Figure Four around post - and you managed to include that too. The turnabout with Rey taking out the knee of Chavo was a great spot too, and was brilliantly written too, I must add.
All in all, I have to say, this match really did have it all for me. From the build up, to the psychology behind the match, and the hatred, plus the personal touches using the family, and a couple of my favourite spots to see
, there is no doubt this was the MOTN. In fact, this might've been my favourite match you've written. The finish was rightfully epic, with Rey JUST beating the count and Chavo JUST unable to do the same. I was slightly worried beforehand that the match might end up being somewhat of a squash in Reys favour, but Chavo was the equal to Mysterio, and it made for a superb MOTY contender. Brilliant. Rey will likely slot right back into the main event mix, but Chavo certainly wont be forgotten. He deserves to remain a big factor on Smackdown, as (for my money) he's been the most entertaining aspect of the show since WM.
One word on the Great American Bash promo - EPIC.
Coming off the heels of the incredible LMS, the main event just couldnt follow it imo. Nothing wrong with the match, but it just couldnt follow the sheer drama of LMS. Edge played his part well in the opening sequence, wanting the other three to the fight it out, which was never going to go down well. Kennedy cheap shotting Edge was also a good touch, because he would've looked an idiot for agreeing to team up with Edge after rightfully turning him down earlier in the night. Despite being a bit down on the match, it did deliver some great sequences, such as Benoit trying to clamp on the Crossface, being fought off by Kennedy and then Speared by Big Dave, and later, Edge setting up a Spear on Batista, only to get tripped and rammed (balls deep
) into the post, then Edge spearing Batista when he was going for the Batista Bomb, and then rolled up after by Benoit. So, in that sense, you utilised the multi man aspect brilliantly.
But the finish?? Man, I didnt see that finish coming - at all. And it asks a lot of questions. Obviously, Batista will be ultra pissed at Umaga for costing him the title, but Benoit and Kennedy have every right to be pissed too, and will surely be gunning for the Bulldozer. Given the fact that Batista had it won when he arrived, I suspect he and Umaga will get it on first, and I suspect Kennedy might end up with his focus on winning the KOTR for the time being, leaving Benoit and Edge. With time ticking down on Benoits career, I suspect a Benoit vs Edge match in the next few weeks, possibly with Benoits career on the line.
As for Edge winning ... it certainly played up to his billing of being the Ultimate Opportunist. Playing dead while Umaga was on the prowl made me smirk, I could certainly picture that happening. Still, I cant lie, while winning this way suits Edge, it feels like a waste of the end of Batistas title reign, where him losing in a one on one environment would've been brilliant for the eventual champion - however, I can understand why you went down this path, especially as it's Edge becoming champion. Sneaking in, feeding off the scraps and taking the gold suits the M.O of Edge winning under these circumstances.