Smack of the Week: Punk Donnes a Mask and ‘Taker Returns!

The Undertaker made his first Smackdown appearance since retiring Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania 26


Smackdown started out with one of the show’s top issues: Drew McIntyre. I’m a big fan of Drew and am enjoying this ‘chosen one’ gimmick, in which he has a constant deus ex machina looking over him, and giving him an upper hand in every situation. Matt Hardy is a perfect candidate for his ‘victim’ because, in this role, he doesn’t have to talk (a weakness of his) to invoke a crowd reaction. The image of Matt Hardy is enough to make him the victim that will draw the most sympathy, being a man who despite his charisma and storytelling shortcomings, is no doubt one of the most passionate, fan-driven performers in the industry, a real blue-chip performer. It is this side of him which makes the actions of the privileged Drew McIntyre seem all the more heinous. I do think Drew is above a feud with Matt Hardy though, simply because Matt is no main eventer, and Drew will hopefully be heading there now he’s dropped the IC title (I don’t think he’ll be regaining it next week in his rematch). 

The match that followed, like all of the matches this week, was very good. There was an interesting dynamic between Swagger and McIntyre that i’d like to see more of, both having similar ‘pedigree’ mentalities. It was a good, long, well-told match which had a very good ending for Big Show and Swagger, with Show almost executing McIntyre in front of the visibly shaken World Heavyweight Champion. They’re really giving Big Show some ‘superman’ booking right now, and it could go one of two ways, or even both: in order to give Swagger yet more credibility as champion; or to make Big Show seem an irresistable force against the champion, perhaps on his way to the title.

Another very good match came from CM Punk and Kane. Part of the reason this was a good match was, because Undertaker was also in contention for the championship match, it was a pretty unpredictable result. The main focus of this match was CM Punk’s baldness, or more accurately, his mask. In retrospect, it is a very logical development, but to me at least, it was a pleasant surprise. He is an anti-luchador in many ways, making this very interesting given his recent feud with Rey Mysterio. I only expect it to last until Fatal Four Way, but i’m looking forward to seeing what he does with the angle.

The feud between Christian and Dolph has a lot of potential, but it was a shame to see Hornswoggle wrestling. I don’t have a problem with him being a character, but he should never enter a ring. In this instance it just made Christian look weak. The only upside was that it left a spot open for Chavo to be in the match and put on a good performance. Hopefully from now on, the feud will continue without Hornswoggle, though possibly continue to include Chavo.

There was another very good match between MVP and Luke Gallows. When Gallows first joined CM Punk, I couldn’t see him surviving past the Straight-Edge Society, but he is starting to emerge as an impressive character. This was obviously just continuing to get over the idea of a sprawling, endless Straight-edge movement. Hopefully, MVP will get to feud with Punk following this. It has been hinted at, and would help get MVP the push to the top he deserves. In the mean time, I hope MVP continues to put out consistantly high quality matches.

Finally, Rey Mysterio put on a very good match with the returning Undertaker. It’s good that ‘taker returned to action earlier than he did after last year’s Wrestlemania. He also looked in decent shape, and he and Rey had a lot of good spots together. It was also good that, unlike last year, he had to earn his spot in a championship match. I imagine we’ll see him feud with Swagger over the title, which should be the making of many future memorable matches.


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