After attending las night’s Smackdown taping, it seems clear to me that British fans, like Canadian ones, like to mark out for the heels. I’ve said it before – I hate that trait. It reflects badly on the faces, the show, and especially the cheered heels as it makes it seem like they aren’t doing their job properly.
I don’t know how it came across, but NXT seemed like a better-than-usual episode to me. The segments and challenge didn’t overshadow the wrestling, and the wrestling (and storylines) were good too.
The first dark match was a pretty good one between Chavo Guerrero and local-boy and Batista look-a-like newcomer, Mason Ryan. It was a good match, but it’s almost disturbing how similar Ryan is to Batista. There is no call for it.
They also taped the Superstars main event last night, a mouthwatering match-up of Kaval and Drew McIntyre. The match lived up to it’s billing too as they produced a long, well-paced and thought-out match which McIntyre ended up winning. If the Drew-Cody feud isn’t pursued, I think thisone could really work. It’s a shame very few people care about Superstars because it clearly focuses on good wrestling matches.
Smackdown started out with Edge coming out to share his thoughts on his upcoming title match with Kane. He was then ‘joined’ by Nexus, who surrounded the ring in characteristic fashion. Iliked how they showed support for Otunga – it made sene after he helped Barrett win on RAW. Despite Vickie Guerrero (in charge for the night) making them shake hands, Edge delivered the final shot with a spear to Otunga off the apron and into his Nexus brethren.
Alberto Del Rio was up next, and I ust say, his entrance when seen live is INCREDIBLE. He had a match with Kofi Kingston which was very quick and athletic as you might expect. Lots of high-flying and evn lucha-style moves before it was ended with Del Rio’s cross-armbreaker, which he does sometimes apply a little sloppily as compared to how he can do it. A good match, but not much interest in it (as far as I can remember, these two have no history, though it may also have been an injury angle as Kofi came out later with his arm all bandaged/taped) though it seemsthey’re jus keeping Del Rio impressive while his programme with Rey Mysterio – who jumped Del Rio afte the match with a 619 – continues.
Layla was on her own for an excellent match with Natalya. Thedivas have definately been stepping up as late, and these two are among the highest ‘steppers’. You expect Natalya to be impressive, delayed vertical suplexes (with presses!), suplexes, submission, but people don’t give Layla the credit she deserves for her skills and ingenuity. She worked really well and used that unique head-scissors she has and used it to slam Natalya’s head to the mat while retaining the grip. Natalya went over this week which makes sense in terms of build-up. Next week, i’m sure she’ll take on Michelle as they was tlk on RAW of having her face the two in a handicap match at Survivor Series.
David Otunga faced Edge next in a lumberjack match. Again, Nexus accompanied him, but the Smackdows roster as also there as lumberjacks and chased the Nexus to the ramp. This was effective at first, allowing the match to go on as normel. The match itself was pretty good. Obviously Edge was carrying the less-skilled Otunga to an extent, but the match was good. Meanwhile, outside, Del Rio decided to attack Edge when he wa thrown from the ring (until now, Smackdown’s policy had been to protect dge while attacking Otunga whenever he left the ring). This drew the ire especially of MVP, and he and Del Rio ‘discussed’ the incident for quite some time until eventually thelumberjack action kicke off eith faces against heels. The wily Nexus realise their opportunity and while some distracted the referee, Michael McGillicutty tried to help Otunga, only to receive a Spear. However, as Edg lined Otunga up for the same, Kane appeared and Chokeslammed his Survivor Series opponent, allowing Otunga to pick up a big win and stay in the Nexus. Again, it was nice to see fellow Nexus members help Otunga from the ring and fight their way through the Smackdown superstars to safety. Hopefully that will be the endof the Otunga-Barrett saga for now … As for Kane, it’s certainly notable that he and Nexus continue to cross paths. It’s impossible to know for sure just yet what the connction is though.
Next up was the part I was most looking forward to: MVP’s title shot against Dolph Ziggler. The match didn’t disappoint, and MVP’s ‘brallin” style (though that undermines his technical skills) gelled well with Dolph’s speed and grappling acumen. This match probably told the best in-ring story with there being lots of good bac and forth, as well as a few really good near falls. Either man looked capable of winning it, with MVP getting a near fall, from which Dolph saved himself with a foot on the rope, and ditto for MVP … except the referee didn’t see and Dolph was awarded the match. I wasgutted at this, but th ‘out’ of the foot on the ropes makes m confident that the match will be replayed at Survivor Series, and quite possibly, that MVP wll win!
Before the main event, Paul Bearer ent missing, and Kane had to come out alonefor his match with Big Show. Both these guys are talented veterans, but monstr vs monster rarely makes for a great match, and while this was pretty good, it was never any more than that. Towards the end of the match, Edge appeared on stage with Bearer who was bound to a wheelchair and gagged (in a moment of apt-attitude style spectacle). Pressumably pissed at Kane’s interference in his match, Edge used the threat of throwing Kane’s father offstage to distract him from the Big Show, who took the opportunity to Chokeslam Kane fo the win. In his opeing promo, Edge said he had a plan. Could it be to take away from Kane the advantage of Paul Bearer? Thi was where the taping ended.
Latter Dark Match
Kane shouted to the back that, instead of kidnapping a tired, fat man, he sould come to the ring to settle their differences. Alberto Del Rio and Rey Mystrio both decided they wanted a part of it too so it was Kane and Del Rio against Edge and Myterio. It was a dark mtch, so it wasn’t too long and involved, but quick and exciting to send the crowd home happy. Edge and Mysterio, therefore, won with a 619 in to a Spear.