At the risk of regurgitating what I’ve said to you via PM, I’ll just quickly recap my thoughts on the Chavo and SINN BOWDEE~!! Stuff.
So, kicking off with the show closing angle. I think everyone expected the initial masked man to simply be Christian. I’m glad it wasn’t for a few reasons. 1) I wouldn’t like to see Christian relegated to being Edges henchman, 2) Bowdee/Kizarny/whatever you decide to call him is a perfect choice for the role of a crazy ass nut job with a death wish. From his look alone you can tell he isn’t your everyday superstar. I just hope people can see he had a lot more to offer than what was seen on television in 2009. He really can make a tremendous lackey and underling for Edge.
But, that aside, the final segment was an enjoyable one. I’ve read in interviews Edge referring to himself as the ‘Joker’ to Takers ‘Batman’, and the psychotic nature of his character in dealing with The Deadman here really makes that a perfect comparison. I think the second masked man is obvious - with the con-chair-to a not so subtle hint to the audience as to his identity. But I could be wrong - you’ve surprised me before. BTW, I just LOVED the description of Edges reaction after the con-chair-to, falling to his knees and surveying his handiwork. Very Edge-like thing for him to do.
Also, I didn’t really factor in the amount of Eric Bischoff appearances … until you mentioned it
. As it goes, I guess he was on the show a lot, but it wasn’t like his presence was suffocating the show. When a new GM is introduced, they tend to be on show quite a bit in the first few weeks anyway - at least it seems that way to me. So, him being all over the show wasn’t a huge issue.
Anyway, as I said about Chavo privately, I think his situation has to go down as a necessary evil. He looked great earlier in the night in beating Jamie Noble, and getting in the head of the rookie champion, but then got to look like a bit of a chump later in the night. However, given you went down the route of an Edge no-show, Chavo was probably the only guy with enough credibility to substitute for him. Obviously at this point, you don’t want Burchill eating a loss, so Chavo was there to take the fall too, which was unfortunate. Light at the end of the tunnel etc; at least next week, he can be put over for stepping up to do double duty, plus the fact he was left high and dry against the World Champion and the #1 Contender. Not a perfect scenario this one, but you did your best to find a work around. Just need to ‘beef up’ the midcard scene on Smackdown.
Introducing Jazz suggests you’ll be putting some added emphasis into the divas title on Smackdown. Personally though, if you’re having to bring back divas that peaked five years prior to this time, I’d say having two womens titles in the company isn’t worth your while - especially with only six women on the Raw roster. The womens roster is pretty thin as it is to have to try and service two title belts, so it surprises me that you’ve decided to try and make it work. Looking forward to seeing Ivory and Jacqueline rolled out in the next couple of weeks though
LOL at the Hooligans being, uhm, hooligans. That was a really funny segment, pranking Dykstra. More of this please
Probably the most intriguing development of the night was Bischoff trying - and seemingly failing - to get into the head of Jeff Hardy. It was a point well worth making, because I’d forgotten that irl from 2008, the man was on the cusp of his breakthrough main event run, and even had a prominent role in the early stages of 2008 … yet he is now essentially the second more important Hardy Boy. Jeff simply telling Eric ‘when the time comes’ he’ll be World Champion didn’t really seem overly inspiring if I’m honest … but what really could he have said in that situation??
Clearly, this promo wasn’t just to fill time - there’s a reason for it, and it could well tie in with the Summerslam stipulation in the 6 man/3 on 2 (depending on the finding of a partner for the Hardys - Shannon Moore wherever he may be, perhaps?) as Eric didn’t stipulate that only Matt could win the U.S Title. A Jeff pins Burchill and wins the U.S Title scenario could kickstart something for the underwhelming Jeff…
The Smackdown roster looks ridiculously thin here, in comparison to Raw. As evidenced by the double duty for Chavo earlier. That aside, it could see an opportunity arise for someone like Harry Smith to be built up into a credible midcard talent. He’s been winning matches, but that aside, he hasn’t really had a whole lot of development thus far as an act, apart from being the son of Davey and nephew of Bret. Whether the post match attacks are hinting toward him getting back up of some sort (Tyson Kidd says HI) is one thing, if it isn’t leading to that … what exactly is the point in having him win every week, but get beat down after?? Counter-productive, surely??
Finishing up then, and finishing on the burgeoning tension between Cena and Jericho. They had quite a bit of interaction on this show; the in ring segment, backstage meeting and then the tag match. But this needed to happen. Cena just waltzed in last week and immediately got a title shot against Jericho - no build, no hype, no rhyme or reason … so the heat has to be built quickly. The obvious route this can go down is a Jericho heel turn, and I’d certainly be for it … but it’s wait and see right now - there were a couple of hints toward that being the route you‘re headed; lack of a handshake in the opening segment, telling Cena to follow his lead later in the show and then seemingly showing off his skills and being reluctant to tag Cena in the match. That said, they could simply be ambiguous notes - nothing firm that you could say was heelish from Jericho. Even the threat of the belt shot after the match could be seen as mind games, rather than hints of a heel turn.
As for Cena; his reasons for moving to Smackdown came across well - he made it clear he wasn’t running from anything on Raw, but was indeed chasing a new challenge; namely a shot at winning the World Title. There’s a lot of history to work with here too, given they faced off three years prior on Raw at Summerslam whilst Eric was also GM at that time. Whether you meant it or not, the tease of Jericho turning on Cena was a nice touch back to 2005 also, as he DID attack Cena then, when they teamed up against Christian and Tomko, leading to Jerichos heel turn at that point. Just kinda dug the parallels there - even if they weren’t meant that way. Regardless, the foundations have been set well between Cena and Jericho here - it’s just a case of building on it from here.