This will probably be a shorter post than usual, partly because i’m tired, and partly because Smackdown ‘go home’ shows have tended recently to have less substantial progression take place during them. This is understandable, and probably the right way to build up PPV’s. It does however mean that the episodes can offer less of interest and fewer memorable moments.
The Lay-Cool shift continued as Layla and Michelle were announced as ‘co-champions.’ This doesn’t really alter the way in which the duo will apparantly split, but it makes the implications of the split more interesting. Perhaps we’ll have co-champions in the way Chyna and Chris Jericho were with the IC title in 2000, for instance? Perhaps their co-reign will be officially recognised and they’ll have to defend the championship together. It has real potential for innovation. Unfortunately, though they put on a solid enough match with Kelly Kelly and Tiffany, there aren’t many other really ring-savy divas – now Beth Phoenix is injured – to help make the storyline peak in a really good match. There has been speculation about Victoria returning, but it seems unlikely to me, given her age and the heat on her for disparaging the company after leaving the last time. I’ve said before that i’d like Gail Kim to have been drafted to Smackdown anyway, so that’s my preference. It’d be hard to justify that so soon after the draft though.
It’s clear that Smackdown is trying to re-build a tag-team division, with the arrivals of ‘the Dudebusters’ and most recently, Vance Archer & Curt Hawkins. The latter pair were certainly impressive in their squash this week, and their ‘attitude’ certainly has me interested as to how they will try to ‘make an impact’ over the next three shows. I haven’t seen much of Vance Archer, but I liked what I saw of his style and character. Meanwhile, JTG had a match against Caylen Croft. I’m not sure how much this helped either guy, or at least JTG. It certainly got over the Dudebusters to an extent, but seen as JTG isn’t going to be feuding with them as a singles competitor, it seemed like just getting him some TV time, rather than starting any kind of storyline. This is still positive for him, but doesn’t progress his character that much.
I am very intrigued by the brewing Dolph Ziggler-Christian feud. Two very talented and charismatic guys having a decent feud will be among the best things in the WWE if the storyline has some decent weight behind it. We are yet to see, I think, the driving force behind Ziggler’s actions, but if they’re interesting, this one could be mouth-watering.
There’s not too much to say about the Punk-Mysterio feud after this week’s Smackdown. This exemplifies what I initially said about ‘go home’ Smackdown’s being slightly less creatively driven, preferring instead to build general tension. The shaving of heads, while always engaging TV, is something we’ve seen a few times now, and again, Rey Mysterio came out and challenged the S.E.S. While Rey and especially Punk are always interesting and exciting to watch in different measures, it seemed this week like tension through repetition (though the bald picture of Punk was pretty funny!). By the way, MVP impressed as always. I hope he gets a real substantial feud soon so he can start climbing the card! Saying that, I suppose wrestling a match with two former World Champions is a good foundation to be on!
I really enjoyed seeing Drew McIntyre vs Big Show. There was an interesting dynamic in that match, due simply to their differences in size and techique, that I enjoyed. It was a shame then that the match was cut short by Swagger’s intervention. This is a match i’d definately like to see again under different circumstances in the future. The brawl between Swagger and Show built some great tension for Over the Limit I thought, with them both getting their respective anger across well. I have to say, Swagger’s expression was great and really believeable. This segment was probably the best i’ve seen Swagger in where he has been telling a story. Other than simply being on the back foot against his face challenger, Swagger really got across not only that he has a reason for showing up on Sunday that isn’t just defending his title, but that he might have a chance of defeating the behemoth, something that is not all that easy to do!