As expected, but rightfully, the explosive entrance of Kane was the first image of this week’s Smackdown. I was glad to see him get right back on the storyline about the Undertaker, relating it – touchingly, I thought – to his own World Heavyweight Championship reign in a way which neutralised any bad feeling that some may have had towards him relating to the way in which he won his title. It would have been very easy for him to come out and admit to the attack himself, turning heel, and killing the storyline. But thankfully that wasn’t what happened and the investigation is very much on!
I was glad to see Christian and Matt Hardy tagging together. I think a nice boon to the tag team division and to a future feud would be to have them challenge (unsuccessfully) for the Unified tag team championships. Smackdown has put out a lot of very good tag matches recently, and this was no different, being given a lot of time, and both teams having good chemistry, whcih was no surprise between tag team veterans Christian and Hardy, but a pleasant one between their opponents Drew McIntyre and Cody Rhodes. This was ultimately a vehicle for the Christian/Hardy angle, with a red herring suggestion of disunity towards them with the classic accidental punch to the tag partner from Hardy something Christian instead seemed to forgive. This would all fit with the brief teaming of Hardy and Christian which would last until Summerslam, if my hopes are to be fulfilled. It was certainly more to do with Christian and Hardy, and didn’t much affact McIntyre and Rhodes, but it was a good match to be involved in and make the two up-and-comers look strong nonetheless.
Dolph Ziggler then pushed on towards the Intercontinental title by beating current champion Kofi Kingston. This was a pretty good match, with good in-ring storytelling regarding Dolph attacking the back of an already hurt Kingston’s head, and Vickie controlling things at ringside, having Michael McGillicutty ejected and causing Kofi, indirectly, to lose the match. That did necessitate a pulling back in terms of back and forth and chain wrestling etc, which slightly detracted from the entertainment of the match, but it nevertheless pointed to a mouth-watering feud between the two over the Intercontinental championship. all without making Kofi look weak in his loss. Something inside me tells me it’s Dolph’s time. Looking at this level of the card though, where was MVP!? He wasn’t on at all. He deserves much much better than that! Hopefully he’ll be back next week.
The big show match wasn’t of great interest. The revelation that Joey Mercury is the masked member isn’t interesting in itself. While I would look forward to a Big Show-S.E.S. feud, it will only be of real interest if CM Punk is central, which looks unlikely for the time being.
A 2-out-of-3 falls match always promises some great storytelling, and there was some on show at this week’s main event between Jack Swagger and the injured (crucially) Rey Mysterio. The sacrificing of a fall for the greater good is a common but brilliant conceit in these sorts of matches (Ironman matches would also qualify), so I liked how Swagger gave up a fall to administer a devestating ankle lock to Mysterio, the idea being that he could then go on to win the next two falls. Indeed, he did do this, leading up (as you would expect, but again, rightfully) to a third deciding fall. In many ways, I was disappointed initially when Rey took the final fall. I have grown tired of his constant underdog victories, and am keen for Swagger to establish himself at the main event. However, I soon realised that if Mysterio lost, that would take him away from Kane and my overriding hope that he is ‘Taker’s attacker and turns heel (and alter the attributes I previously said irritate me about Mysterio). Kane then came down to the ring and eventually attacked Mysterio, making me wishfully think that he had come to the conclusion that the attacker is Mysterio. Whether this is the case or not remains to be seen, but with Kane’s renewed focus on his investigation, and his clear and distraction-free feud with Rey, it is all in position if they do want to reveal Rey as the attacker, perhaps at Summerslam? I certainly hope their feud centres around the investigation.