Saturday, April 25, 2009

Friday Night Smackdown! Review 4/24

Two days away from "Backlash" meant that the WWE had to do their very best to try and encourage us to buy the PPV. Did they come through? NOT AT ALL.

After an awesome Smackdown! last week, I was almost positive that we were seeing a new trend in the WWE. If we wanted to see good wrestling, we could count on Smackdown! to deliver that. If we wanted "Days of Our Lives" wrestling style, we could watch RAW. Who knew that RAW would be the better show this week? And on top of that, by the looks of things, WWE Superstars topped them both, and that's only an hour show. Anyway, let's get on with it (this is almost as painful writing this as it was watching).

The show opened up with JR and Grisham teasing the main event of the evening which was the Undertaker vs. Big Show. I was thinking, "ok, we go." They also mentioned that Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase would matchup against Shane McMahon and Batista. I immediately felt like I got punched in the stomach. Aren't these guys on RAW? Didn't they say last week on Smackdown! that this week would feature the newly drafted Smackdown! superstars? More on that later.

Cue the best music in the WWE. Edge comes out to the ring and does a pretty serious promo. The only thing was that all of a sudden, the lights in the arena went out making it a bit too gothic for me. Edge did show his mic skills, and did his best to pump up his match against Cena at "Backlash." He (Edge) mentioned that he won his first world championship in 2006. Well, it's 2009 now which made me think of something...

He's won the title 8 times in three years. If he wins Sunday against Cena, which I'm sure he will, he'll have won the title 9 times in three years. Isn't that a bit obnoxious? Do you think the WWE realizes this? How much does this tarnish the legacy of the world championship in the WWE? In my opinion, this superficially catapults Edge onto lists of former champions like Hulk Hogan, Macho Man, Ric Flair, Triple H, The Rock, HBK, Bret Hart, and Stone Cold. You get what I'm saying... Edge is fantastic, but his three year reign happens a bit too soon.

Matt Hardy and Kane vs. CM Punk and Jeff Hardy

I'm really not a fan of mid-card matches at a PPV being promoted via a pre-show mixed tag match. Back in the day, a mixed tag match before a big PPV showdown was left to main eventers. Because this formula has been used so often, it's become stale to me.

The match was alright though. I thought for certain that because Kane was involved, they'd lose, but I was wrong. Matt Hardy and Kane won, which left JR and Grisham to say "That's three in a row for Matt over his brother Jeff." Here's where I have the problem. Doing this three times in a row all but cements a win for Jeff at "Backlash." Does the WWE really think we think Matt has Jeff's number? It bit too obvious guys. We shall see though at "Backlash."

Big Show vs. Undertaker

This match started with the Big Show doing a promo in the ring. Personally, I can't stand it when Big Show talks. I want to imagine him as this gigantic phenom that just destroys people, but the minute he opens his mouth, he ruins it for me. The gimmick's over. When Andre opened his mouth, you could hardly understand him. That was part of the appeal... Question: Do you still get chills when the Undertaker comes out? I do. His entrance is still one of the best, and it's good to see it hasn't changed much. Although the minute his matches start, he loses the persona of "the dead man," and becomes a boxer.

This was a ridiculous moment. Undertaker has entered the ring, and he's doing his removal of the hat routine, and while this is going on, Big Show is jumping up and down, shaking his arms, and shadow boxing as if he's getting prepped for a heavyweight boxing fight. Again, this just ruins it for me. I want to see Big Show just look straight at him. Not move, just stare at him. The match begins and they both start at each other as if it was the beginning of UFC 98. I guess I'm just old school here, but to me it's absurd to see the Undertaker get hit, and then stand up throwing punches at the air indicating that he can't see straight, if at all. Who made the decision to turn the Undertaker into this? I just can't let that go guys, I'm sorry.

I also want to comment, yet again, on the predictability the WWE shows. Why is it that it seems whenever someone initially goes for a choke slam, it's countered. Seriously, the next time you watch a WWE show, I guarantee the intial choke slam attempt will be countered. They make such a big deal about the "slap" noise of getting the lock on for the choke, but it's always countered. The WWE MUST see this. And of course, the Big Show did his usual, pin opponent up against the ropes, take a running charge missing him completely, fall to the outside of the ring.

Anyway, the Big Show won with a knockout punch, but instead of winning by pinfall, the ref called the match. Seriously? Since when does the towel get thrown in? WTF? This match sucked.

BTW -- JR and Grisham kept referring to this match as the "Main Event." If this was the "Main Event," then why is it ending the FIRST hour of the show?

Gail Kim vs. Maryse

"sandwich break"

A pretty cool Jeff Hardy promo happened where he appeared to be in a boiler room talking about his match with his brother at "Backlash." Reminded me of the old days. Good job here.

Chavo vs. MVP

Why did the WWE even bother with this one? And isn't Chavo and MVP on RAW now? Didn't they say on Smackdown! last week that it would be MVP's final appearance on Smackdown!? Inconsistent WWE, again, YOU MUST SEE THIS! Add the fact that MVP is AGAIN facing Dolph Ziggler next week on Smackdown!, and I'm certain that the WWE thinks we're idiots.

MVP won the match

At this point, I don't know how much more I can take. It has been an awful show, and I was ready to turn it off.

I didn't even want to watch the actual "Main Event," and turned the TV off. I couldn't help myself though, and turned it back on. Luckily, I did catch an awesome promo of John Cena talking about his match with Edge. Cena was right, they both are the Yankees and Red Sox of the WWE. The WWE has made certain of that. I'm looking forward to this one at "Backlash," but I can't see how Cena walks out of there with the belt. If he did, what a pleasant surprise that would be from the WWE.

Shane McMahon and Batista vs. Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase

I love Ted, you guys know that, but I'm not even commenting on this match. These guys are RAW superstars taking Smackdown! real estate to hype their "Main Event" match at "Backlash," because the bookers / writers aren't convinced, after beating us over the head with this storyline, that we are convinced. The only thing this match showed was that Batista may turn at "Backlash." They won the match by the way.

No random notes guys. Why do you think I've waited this long to write my review? It's 9:08 PST, and I still haven't gotten over it. The show sucked, and if I wasn't gone last weekend, "Lockdown" would've been my PPV of choice because of this show, I've lost hope for "Backlash."

I hope I'm wrong. Sort it out WWE!

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