1/7/11 - Entry #2 : Stipulation Week on WWE TV Continues!
Hello again, current and future readers, I take this opportunity to welcome you to the very FIRST Smackdown review of this blog, and because this week on WWE was "quote, unquote" the First Shows of the New Year it looks like they tried to start the year off as perfect as they could in the ratings calculator.
As I mentioned in my first ever RAW review (and post) I very rarely review NXT, Superstars, or Impact UNLESS something major takes place that is worth noting. And unfortunately, this week on NXT, something did.
Keeping your Champions relevant, Novak is eliminated from NXT after being traded for Byron Saxton.
However, that wasn't the shocker of the night, is was more of the way it was handled. The very first match of the evening didnt feature the Rookies, it actually was a Over the Top Battle Royal featuring the Pros with the stakes that whoever won, would be allowed to "trade their rookie for another." Now, comically, as Alberto Del Rio walked down to the ring, his personal ring announcer Ricardo Rodriguez offered to take his place in the match. Now, in my mind I thought "wow! the WWE in-ring debut of Chimaera" which for those who dont know is the name of the persona Ricardo uses on the Independent scene. (thank you Solomonster)
Now of course I say it was comical that he entered the ring as his ring announcer persona and was proceeded to be put in one of the longest spin cycles ever performed by Daniel Bryan and swiftly eliminated.
However, the winner of the battle royal, was Dolph Ziggler. And almost immediately I knew that if he decided to trade Novak for someone else it was because Novak was definately being eliminated and they needed to give the current Intercontinental champion someone else in order to stay as relevant as possible. To which I was right, Dolph traded Novak for Byron Saxton and Novak was eliminated at the end of the show.
Clash of the United States contenders on Superstars
Daniel Bryan w/ The Bellas & Mark Henry def. Tyson Kidd & Ted DiBiase w/ Maryse
It is questionable why this match was held on Superstars instead of RAW but I assume it was because the timeframe was absorbed by the extended WWE Championship match that went on for almost 30 minutes. It is worth noting however, that Tyson's bodyguard Jackson Andrews was not at ring side so I am curious to find out why.
Poorly timed commercial breaks RUIN Main Events
Onto Smackdown, and just like RAW, the first match of the night was the first main event...
Edge (c) def. Kane in a last man standing match for the World Heavyweight Championship
This match was everything one would expect to get from a Last Man Standing Match. Outside the ring brawling, audience stalking and street fighting, and backstage pursuit and hardcore moments. However stupid WWE decides to send us to commercial break while both competitors are backstage, and when we come back they are ringside. I understand its NOT that important but the brawling involved in between attempted count downs is what makes the suspense of this particular match nail biting and exciting. Now, I half expected a Kane victory when he choke slammed Edge through the announce table, (even with the "OOOOOOH" face by Matt Striker who kneeled down to continue commentary) alas, a One Man Con-chair-to to the knee of Kane forced the Big Red Monster to become unable to stand and the Champion retains. At least, there was no goddam duct tape involved...
Keeping your Champions relevant Part 2
Kofi Kingston def. Dolph Ziggler (c) for the Intercontinental Championship... twice!
So you remember how I mentioned that clearly keeping face time for your champions is important, well clearly I was wrong... or was I? As yet another opportunity for the IC title is given to Kofi due to Vickie's interference during the triple threat match last week. Now, due to Vickie's interference, I agree with this decision... but then again... I think "Dolph v. Kofi" again!? Alas, after utilizing the very same move Kofi won his second reign against Drew McIntyre at Over the Limit followed up by a leaping crossbody from the toprope, Kofi defeats Ziggler and wins his third reign as Intercontinental Champion... unfortunately, Vickie doesnt take this lightly and opens up her big mouth.
Stating that Teddy Long is AWOL tonight, and that she is "acting General Manager" she forces Kofi to immediately defend the championship against Ziggler who caught Kingston in a Zig Zag off the top rope while Kofi was celebrating. Now one would think "screwjob" in the back of their mind, but not tonight as Kofi pulls an amazing Trouble In Paradise out of oblivion and KO's Ziggler for the second win of the night.
If it works... dont change it
Now, I thought it was rather shitty how John Morrison's treatment as #1 Contender went on Monday... sure he lost his FIRST opportunity at the WWE Championship but to not even allow him to be involved in the Cage Match later that night is a highway robbery...
However Kane's shot tonight was his "rematch" clause from TLC and therefore by losing another contender HAS to be determined, and indeed it will as the match is announced as
"Dashing" Cody Rhodes v. Big Show v. Drew McIntyre in a triple threat #1 Contenders match for the World Heavyweight Championship
However prior to this match we had two backstage segments, one of which I thought showed the breakup of Vickie and Ziggler after he called her a "bonehead" for ordering the rematch and she retaliated by calling him a "two-time loser..."
The second segment however, showed more of a "tweening" Drew McIntyre talking with Kelly Kelly about his upcoming opportunity at the "big one"
Unfortunately, and mind you remember what I said earlier about keeping your champions relevant Vickie comes out and changes the match from a Triple Threat to a Fatal 4 Way and re-introduces Dolph Ziggler as the fourth competitor, and he goes on to the win the entire thing!
Dolph Ziggler def. Cody Rhodes, Big Show, and Drew McIntyre in a Fatal 4 Way #1 Contender's Match for the World Heavyweight Championship
During this match, several things of note occured... Big Show dominated, Drew McIntyre got knocked out of the ring and couldnt get back in and multiple attempts saw him being hit once more to the ground by every other competitor. Big Show dominated again... until... Wade Barrett made his Smackdown debut and attacked the steamrolling Show to stop his rampage in the ring. This allowed the three others to "team" up on Show and take him down... However a distraction by Ziggler to Rhodes by pointing out Show re-entering the ring, turned Rhodes back to Ziggler who proceeded to hit the Zig Zag for the pin
Now if this was a graph one could show several high points for Ziggler over the past few weeks. There would be multiple slopes and multiple peaks. His two loss streak to a rehired Cena gave him great exposure as a potential main eventer, he trades his rookie away the night that rookie gets eliminated, he loses the midcard championship title ONLY to win an opporunity at the main event title. To that I say... its about damn time we get a fresh face in the main event picture... Now will it be Edge v. Ziggler @ Royal Rumble or will Ziggler recieve the John Morrison treatment and lose on network television and be dropped back down the ladder for Kane to recieve another title shot? Only time will tell.
As for Drew McIntyre... his "face" turn is completed tonight as he runs out to protect Kelly Kelly who gets distracted at ringside by Layla, Styles Clashed by Michelle McCool, pinned and beaten up some more after the match was done. Now, about this I say... about damn time something FRESH. (I originally re-started watching Smackdown around the time in 2009 when McIntyre debuted)
Rey Mysterio seems to have multiple month feuds... that lead to what exactly?
IMO I am tired of the Cena of Smackdown always defeating the big guys or coming from behind hitting two moves and winning the match... I know its a show... and bla bla bla... theres filler in each match, a punch here a kick there... but with Mysterio its always the same... get demolished the entire match then hit one move and win. Sound familiar?
Alas, tonight was ... wait for it... wait for it... FRESH
Alberto Del Rio def. Rey Mysterio in a Two out of Three Falls Match
So there you have it. A New #1 Contender for the WHC, a New Intercontinental Champion, a Victory for the Heel in a "feud conclusion" match, a face turn for a long time heel... (take that Cena! no wait... wrong direction damit) and a new storyline for Wade "Mufasa" Barrett, the ousted former leader of Nexus. Something that was left in limbo after being "thrown to the stampede by CM "Scar" Punk"
This week IMO was amazing on Television and I hope the following weeks continue to suceed like this.