Saturday, April 18, 2009

Friday Night Smackdown! Review 4/17

With only a week and 2 days left until "Backlash," and 4 days removed from the WWE "Draft" on RAW, Smackdown! was determined to make us buy that damn PPV, and I'll tell you what, they really worked their asses off!

If you didn't get to watch last night's Smackdown!, then you missed 2 hours of ALMOST wall to wall wrestling action. This show was packed to the gills with young talent that's sure to be the future of the WWE. The show also only had one "sandwich break!" (I'll explain later) Let's get on to the matches shall we?!

Jeff Hardy vs. Big Show

Smackdown! opened up with Jeff Hardy coming to the ring for a MATCH. Not to talk, not to spend the next 15 minutes in a promo, but to wrestle. Big Show came out next, and it was on. The match had your typical aerial maneuvers by Hardy, and your "I'm a big dude, so I move slowly and just use my weight" moves by Big Show. One thing that bothers me is that the WWE uses Big Show in a predictable fashion sometimes. Do you notice that every time his opponent is near the ropes and he (Big Show) gears up to run at him, the guy just drops to the apron sending Big Show over the top rope? You don't think we see it coming WWE, but we do! I'd also like to see Big Show go on a little undefeated streak. When I used to see guys like him, I used to think they couldn't be beaten. Now I KNOW they can be beaten and it's just a bit sad (just a little).

During Big Show's matches, the commentators are always talking about how he's "the largest professional athlete," and "an unstoppable force!" Well, use him like that. Let the biggest stars in the WWE only beat him, and in PPVs only for that matter. With that said, Big Show won the match (did I just contradict myself?) with his "knockout punch." The match was good and clean. Smackdown! was starting off on the right foot.

Side Note: Matt Hardy came down to the ring to distract Jeff Hardy, but Jeff would have nothing of it jumping over the top rope and onto Matt leaving him down for the remainder of the match.

Maryse vs. Gail Kim

"sandwich break"

R-Truth vs. John Morrison

You knew that when they promoted this match before the commercial break, that it was going to be a good one, and it was. I'm so happy to see Morrison in singles competition, and JR alluded to him possibly making a run on Smackdown!. R-Truth actually was the show stealer in this match though. He performed outstanding athletic moves that made the audience cheer while mixing in the occasional "Wassup?!" chant. After all of R-Truth's work, Morrison hit his "moonlight drive" quickly to win the match. It was a fun match to watch , but that's because R-Truth's work overshadowed what the WWE did for the match. They had a nice opportunity to have both of them go back and forth, but instead chose to go the usual route of having the eventual winner get beat down until an opportunistic moment for him to hit his finisher for the win. It feels like a cop out.

Shelton Benjamin vs. The Undertaker

This is the first time I've seen the Undertaker since Wrestlemania 25 (WWE Superstars doesn't air in Canada until Sunday). Shelton Benjamin was a perfect opponent for him though. Benjamin's always been an incredible wrestler, but his mic skills are terrible leaving him in low to mid-card status for eternity. The Undertaker was apparently nursing a "neck injury" which left him vulnerable throughout the match. Benjamin took advantage of it hitting a devastating neck breaker that would change the momentum a bit. Benjamin, showing his cockiness (good writing), tried to go for a tombstone, but it was reversed by the Undertaker into a tombstone of his own to win the match.

MVP vs. Dolph Ziggler

This was my favorite match of the night. I love MVP as a face, and Dolph Ziggler is that perfect narcissistic heel. They went back and forth the whole match, and it looked like Ziggler was actually outperforming MVP, who seems like he's put on a little baby fat. The crowd didn't react much to MVP's call for support (stupid fans), but he did his usual ring gimmicks anyway ("Ballin!"). Ziggler won the match on a roll up for a pin while grabbing the tights. I loved the classic heel pulling the tights. It's a clean win, but not really which makes it great!

Batista vs. Ted DiBiase

It's good to see Batista back in a WWE ring, and I was pretty excited for this matchup. I think Ted DiBiase is already a phenomenal wrestler, and he proved it in this match. DiBiase always uses the ring well, working all four corners and focusing on individual body parts. This match was like the R-Truth vs. Morrison match though, with DiBiase winning the whole way until Batista hit his spinebuster which sent him into his "routine" (I hate those btw) resulting in a Batista Bomb for the win.

DiBiase really shined in this match, and I think the audience felt that he deserved the win for the effort he put in. Please WWE, make him JUST like his father. He's perfect for it. He wore red trunks tonight, but it just looked wrong. Keep him in black trunks.

Overall, I really enjoyed Smackdown! significantly over RAW this past Monday. Why? Because it had WRESTLING in it. Not tons of crap (they had promos too btw), but WRESTLING. I know I usually have my sarcastic undertones to show reviews, but I have to hand it to the WWE, Smackdown! was good. It may not have been the best wrestling in the world, but I don't know if I know what that is anymore.....

WWE fans, if you're looking for which show to watch between RAW and Smackdown! post-draft / Wrestlemania, I have Smackdown! 1, RAW 0.

Random Notes:

- Matt Hardy loves being a heel. You can just see it in his eyes.

- The Great Khali "Kiss Cam" is "wrestlecrap," and he could be used so much better!

- The Triple H / Orton "Face-Off" was out of place. I know they're trying to hype "Backlash," but it just broke up the momentum of the show. I think no matter how hard the WWE tries to promote this "personal" match, it's not working. Triple H won at Wrestlemania. Orton should be gunning for him, not the other way around.

- R-Truth sounds like DMX when he raps

- Triple H's entrance is still the best in the biz

- The "I Quit" match announced at "Backlash" between the Hardy's has the potential to be GREAT!

- The Undertaker is still going strong, but I don't want to see him as a human. He's a "dead man." Stop having him move around like a MMA fighter, and instead slowly creep towards his opponents.

- MVP to RAW is upsetting now that there's tons of talent on Smackdown! (US title's a joke)

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