Naturally after last week’s rollercoaster ride that was Friday Night Smackdown, this week was going to struggle to match it, and indeed, it was a bit of an average episode.
It seems that Swagger losing on RAW has been quite unpopular with the fans. This is a feeling I don’t share, as you can see in my post about this week’s RAW. Nonetheless, those disappointed with his loss will be feeling better after he got to wrestle another impressive match, and also win. The quality wasn’t quite as high as on RAW, but then again, John Morrison is hardly Randy Orton in the ring. Speaking of JoMo, while his ring performance was ok, his performance on the mic was dismal. Swagger’s current raison d’etre is to prove that he deserves the World Heavyweight Championship. Now, when Cena questions this (kayfabe) it has credibility because it comes from the WWE champion and current top face. What I don’t understand is how Morrison can question his credibility when he has no belt, and isn’t a main-eventer. Swagger performed better here, saying exactly what I just have, and adding that he has no reason to care what someone in the miz’s shadow thinks. How does JoMo respond? By repeating an insult (he issued earlier) about Swagger’s speech impediment. Utter crap it was.
The backstage segments were better, with Edge joking about his speech impediment in a genuinely comic way, and simply out performing JoMo. Jericho too, with his more subtle humour was great, criticising Swagger’s characteristics that could also describe himself and trying to grab the belt from Swagger. In both cases, Swagger’s rebuttal was confident and decisive. It seems that Swagger can talk the talk, but he’s still honing his skills when he has to live.
Some of you may recall my criticism of Matt Striker recently for ‘over-doing it’ on commentary. One of my main criticisms was his over-use of nicknames. With this in mind, I couldn’t believe that he kept referring to Morrison as ‘the abdominal superstar.’ That has to be the worst nickname in history, and if it was his only nickname, it may be excusable. Unfortunately, Morrison has several already established nicknames, and good ones: ‘The Guru of Greatness,’ ‘The Friday-Night Delight.’ So why Striker felt the need to add this uncreative, barren nickname to the list is beyond me.
Caylen Croft and Trent Barretta were something of a disappointment. Their references to popular culture seemed contrived and poorly exectuted. They remind me of Edge and Christian in some ways, but no-where near as engaging as those two, especially with their infantile matching ring-gear, which makes them look like wrestling figurines or lazy creations on Smackdown vs RAW. In-ring they were fine, but obviously outshone by the Hart Dynasty, and as we know, ring skills are only half the distance to being successful in this business.
It looks like they’re working their way to a triple-threat match for the WHC following the double-count out of Edge and Jericho in the #1 contenders match. As those of you that read my last post discussing this will realise, I think this is the best course for all involved. Swagger will get to win, while neither Edge or Jericho look as weak in losing. Still no stipulation, and while I’ve previously suggested a ladder match given each men’s history/proficiency in that match, the main thing is that it’s a triple-threat. As long as they don’t call ‘triple-threat’ a stipulation in itself, I should be happy.
That’s all I have to say about this week’s show. Thats not to be critical necessarily, it was just more of a formative episode for the booking of the Extreme Rules PPV, and I think this time that process took a little sting out of the show.
I’m going to next Tuesday’s Smackdown taping, so hopefully my post from then will be extra-interesting! Don’t worry, I wont post anything about the content until Friday/Saturday!