Smart to open up with a video package of the highly anticipated new GM, and what not that took place last week. Especially since, not me, but some may have forgot what happened since you took so long to get this up.
Before I get to the actual segment itself, I just wanted to touch on the opening commentary. You’ve pretty much got Michael Cole spot on, and it makes your commentary readable. There are only a handful of bookers whose commentary I read and don’t get bored, and I’m happy to say you’re one of them.
As for opening the show with Jerry Lawler, whilst it may not be the most entertaining man to start off with, it certainly makes sense. Last week he was announced as GM, but at the end of the show, so it makes perfect sense for him to begin his first full night in charge addressing everybody. I’m not sure what to think about you playing up the hometown thing so much, because if I remember correctly, the only place Lawler got a really good ovation was Memphis. Lawler immediately beginning with an insult to Cole was nice. The following thank you speech was expected, and once again, whilst it’s not the most exciting thing in the world, it’s necessary. I thought it was smart that he went back to Cole, although maybe he could have just got Cole out of the way in the beginning, then said thank you, and then got interrupted? I’m not saying you did anything wrong, because I’m not even sure it’d work better that way, but it would have saved you from going to Cole, then something else, then back to Cole. The Miz was alright on the mic, although I was hoping for him to maybe insult Lawler a little bit more, rather than just try and get him to rid Cena of his rematch. I like how Miz tried to trick Lawler into it though, calling him a coward. Typical heel stuff. Lawler standing up for himself is obvious, and pick your poison sounds pretty damn good to me. This gives us two pretty good matches for the night. Honestly, I thought you did a good job with this segment, not only giving yourself two big matches for the night, but creating some chemistry between Lawler and Miz.
at Truth’s cheap pop. Please keep them off of the show. I know they’re what he does, but it’s nothing more than a waste, unless he’s going to say more afterward. Zack Ryder is such an awesome character and you pretty much had him down well here. I enjoyed the surveying of the crowd to, just all pretty entertaining stuff, tbh.
Nothing wrong with the opening contest, with nothing exceptional happening either. A solid enough opener, as the association with R Truth, and a few more wins like this, will continue to raise the profile of Johnny Curtis. I think that’s smart booking, although on a personal preference, I just want anybody associated with Ryder to do well.
An interesting segment between Melina and John Morrison. I’ve no idea what the go is with Morrison and whether he’ll listen to Melina or not. I’m intrigued to see how you book him, but I’m more excited to see what you do with Melina in the women’s division. Melina is probably one of the best women you have on either roster, so turning her heel, and actually using her effectively is something I’m glad to see.
at Tarver also.
Another solid interview with Dolph Ziggler. I like the fact that you’re signaling Ziggler’s intent for the WWE Championship. The threads that are always more fun to read are the ones that have mid carders genuinely pushing to step up to the next level. With that being said, I doubt a win over Bourne will really earn Ziggler anything. It looks like Ziggler will be feuding with Bryan though, and this interview did a good job of furthering that.
With the attack last week, and now the easy squash this week, you’ve done a good job of writing Sheamus as an unstoppable force. Smart booking, making your champion look really strong.
at Cole not knowing how to spell Sheamus as well.
John Morrison wanting to challenge Sheamus again makes sense. His speech at the start was good enough, although it’s nothing special. I didn’t expect anything great either, because Morrison isn’t exactly the best mic worker, so props for keeping him relatively short. I found Sheamus’ bit really interesting. He’s talking down to Morrison but he’s talking down to him in a way that could really inspire him. Sheamus’ speech was probably my favorite of the night so far. Morrison’s little scream at the end with Sheamus annoying him wasn’t bad, but I don’t think it was needed. I think this could have been a little more effective if Morrison kept himself silent after this, perhaps showing some self doubt.
Is Extreme Rules going to be in full?
A lot of people in BTB ignore the kiddy friendly product, and I really wish you would do the same. I thought the interview was pretty good, with intense Cena probably being the most interesting Cena, but that little bit at the start where he said “”Yabba Dabba Doo” was just really hard to read and not get annoyed. I know it’s part of what he does, but I’d love you to iron that shirt out of his character, because whether in real life, or BTB, reading that just takes away so much from his intensity. Anyway, this interview from a booking standpoint did a good job of promoting pick your poison and Extreme Rules.
Randy Orton being The Miz’s partner is the perfect choice. Being a highly credible face, it would have hurt Orton if Miz didn’t sell the fact he was a bit weary, however dropping to his knees seemed a little overboard. Firstly, I don’t see the point in recapping the match and exactly what happened when I have nothing to complain about, but I’m not one of those guys who just skim matches. It was written pretty well, with some nice false finishes, as well as that awesome sequence that lead to the Inverted Backbreaker from Orton. Regarding this match though, it’s just booking 101. Punk interferes, furthering his feud with Orton, and the WWE Champion picks up the victory.
at Marella having problems with his green card, funny stuff. I love the way he tried to sacrifice his girlfriend to get away as well. I doubt you’d put a pointless segment on the show, so I’m expecting maybe a tag team between Black and Henry. Oh, and TARVER~!
Much like the previous contest, another pretty good one here, although I felt it was always about Ziggler. I understand you didn’t want to job Bourne, but I just feel Ziggler has a better standing, and perhaps shouldn’t have needed Guerrero’s help to pick up the victory. I really feel like that may have actually hurt Ziggler a little. I thought the Shooting Star Press, but Bourne landing on his feet was a pretty nice way to set up the ending. I love innovative matches, it makes things just seem that much better. The attack after the match was done well, leading to the Daniel Bryan appearance. I thought maybe Bryan locked in the Lebell Lock a little to easily, but I guess Ziggler had competed just moments ago. A ladder match bveing announces between these two is something I’m really looking forward to. It’ll be good to see somebody different (Ziggler or Bryan) get a title shot as well. I don’t think I’ve seen many, if any, Ziggler/Cena feuds.
Smackdown Rebound huh? This may be a little hypocritical, but I hope you post SD before Christmas.
Cena being forced to run the Gauntlet is just smart stuff by The Miz. Something similar happened in somebody else’s thread not that long ago, and I liked it then, as I like it now. Cena pretty much dominated DiBiase from start to finish. First off, I’m going to say I hope this losing streak leads somewhere, because I think DiBiase is great. Second of all, in booking terms, the Gauntlet has to start off with Cena looking like an absolute machine. The Great Khali as a second choice is definitely a shock, but it makes perfect sense, as a win for Cena over Khali makes him look really good. If I wanted to be really critical, I could say the offense in this match was fairly boring, but it’s Khali, so it’s expected. An awesome twist with The Miz picking himself as the last guy, just more great booking. A five second win over Cena, and the fact he beat Orton and Cena in the same night, puts Miz on a higher level right now. I loved the comparison by Cole with Miz and Jericho. I was actually about to rite that in my feedback, until I read further on and realized you already mentioned it. Triple H coming back after Mania was a huge surprise, as he hadn’t really been mentioned at all. This attack does put him straight into title contention to. What a big way to end the show, as your main event scene has just become so much more exciting.
Honestly, I’m pretty loud on the fact that I hate this time period. Yet you continue to be one of the only guys who can do enough to keep me reading. The booking was first class throughout the show, whilst the writing for the most part was as well. With the return of Triple H, and some mid card feuds being established, you’re really setting things up nicely here. A good show, keep it up.