I like that Josh Matthews has gotten the Smackdown gig. I initially liked Todd Grisham, but he’s gotten really boring lately whereas Matthews is witty and natural. I think now that Grisham’s been replaces, they can get Cole off the show.
It’s difficult to judge the Kaval-Swagger match. Very early on, Kaval tweaked his ankle (it seems, legitimately, as he’s been for MRIs since). With that in mind, major kudos to Kaval for continuing the match for so long! The way it visibly hurt him, the match had to be based around his injured ankle, and rather than just slapping him in an ankle lock, he and Swagger kept going for quite some time. The match they had since then, because of the legitimate story involved, was very good, but eventually the World Warrior had to succumb to the ankle lock. Following that, Swagger cut one of his best promos I can remember about how he was ‘cheated’ last week and he was going to protest it later on that night. It was great to see a more serious Swagger, and he played a heel very well here.
Later was an excellent match between Kofi Kingston and Dolph Ziggler for the Intercontinental Championship. Before the match, Ziggler cut an awesome backstage promo on how he was a champion and Kofi was forever a contender. It was the best promo he’s ever cut that I can remember. As I say, the match was fantastic. I think Kofi draws a lot more interest (at least from me) when he’s involved with a title than when he’s not. That’s no ringing endorsement, but at least he encourages interest! This was a match with great back-and-forth and shows of athleticism. One of Kofi’s genuine stand-out characteristics is his leaping ability, and he showed it off brilliantly two or three times in this match. I liked Vickie’s involvement too. It wasn’t too intrusive, but it was a way of making the champion seem vulnerable (her having to distract Kofi before he pinned Ziggler), prolong the match, and make Kofi seem like a threatening challenger. Though I usually hate title matches ending in DQ’s, under these circumstances, I liked it. Kofi was on his way to a victory, and I have no interest in seeing him as IC champ at this time; whereas Swagger’s run-in and brutal attack on Kofi’s ankle made him seem more credibly dangerous than he has in a long time and pointed to a much-needed high-profile feud for both competitors that is based on genuine bad blood.
During the comic match between The Eagle and Hornswoggle, I saw the Eagle mimic MVP’s ‘Ballin’ move. I hope it was as a nod to him, rather than a joke at his expense.
I enjoyed seeing Chavo Guerrero in high-profile competition (against the tag champs and tagging with Drew McIntyre). The match was ok, but it was all too short for Chavo, who greedily tagged himself in as Drew was in control, only to crash and burn and get pinned. I don’t think the team of him and McIntyre would have worked, but I would like to see Chavo make his way through potential partners before finding one he gelled with and made a good challenge for the tag titles. I think he deserves it, and would do a great job helping other, younger, stars get over. Drew could do with a decent feud too, before he becomes old news.
The main event was quite good. I liked that Kane didn’t show up straight away – it fitted in well with the storyline, as did Edge’s decision to pursue Kane rather than the match. Rey and Alberto put on what was essentially a good singles match with good back-and-forth; eventually seeing Rey go over.
The show was again dominated by Edge holding Paul Bearer captive and tormenting both him and Kane. Luckily, this will surely have to be the last time this takes place as Kane, sick of all the games, tested Edge by pushing what he believed to be just another Paul Bearer figure off the balcony. However, with a nice bit of symmetry with his brother’s ‘killing’ of Bearer in the cement, it turned out to be the real Bearer. Kane was obviously distraught, and I didn’t like Edge’s almost scampish reaction of “well, I did warn ya!” Obviously I didn’t expect him to go and console Kane, but a shocked face and nothing else would have been more fitting. This has gone on far too long, and now that this has happened, i’m actually looking forward to next week’s Smackdown to see what the fallout over the incident will be.