I’m about to do my Extreme Rules predictions, so I don’t have time to talk too much about Smackdown. There were a few things I wanted to mention quickly though.
Firstly, this should come as no shock, but the wrestling this week on Superstars was top notch. It’s very much the runt of WWE programming, but the wrestling on it is usually great and features future/young stars. The main event saw Natalya and Gail Kim against Melina and Alicia Fox, and it just went to show that if you give (the right) divas decent time, they can put on good matches. With Natalya showing her technical precision and Gail flying around the ring, the faces especially shone. Zack Ryder (who inexplicably – the the wake of Z Long Island True Story – seems to be working heel) put on a very good match against DH Smith (who approached the ring in a cowboy hat …). Really solid stuff from Ryder against the technical powerhouse Smith. There was a nice finish as Ryder, trying to escape Smith’s clutches, held on to the ring-skirt, clutching it as he was dragged in to the ring. This impeded Smith enough to give Ryder and opening conducive to the Rough-Ryder and the victory. Ryder has gotten himself over with a lot of the audience, and deserves TV time. Smith, who is probably the better wrestler, is not over, and will struggle to make it unfortunately.
The first match, though, was even better. Trent Baretta took on Tyson Kidd in a high-flying technical battle. The two simply had excellent chemistry. Their move-sets blended fantastically, and the back and forth whipped the crowd in to a reverie (yes, on Superstars!) Every time I see Baretta in the ring i’m impressed by his sheer effort. This was personified this week in his performing a plancha to the outside on to Kidd. Putting your body on the line to that degree on Superstars has to show WWE that they have a keeper. I hope they see that too. His potential can also be seen in the support the crowd had for him. They were legitimately marking out for him towards the end. Kidd, who was just as excellent, managed to gain the win however in the end with a Sharpshooter. Indeed, the only downside to the match was the lack of hesitation in Baretta tapping. It was almost instantaneous, and didn’t make him look particularly strong. Nonetheless, excellent stuff! I really need to watch Superstars more often!
I’ll go in to less detail about Smackdown. The main thing I want to discuss was McIntyre’s opening interaction with Randy Orton. Drew has a great presence, but even I, a big fan, think his mic skills could do with some work, or at least I did! He approached the ring with Orton in it, and the first line he said was one of the best heel lines i’ve ever heard in response to boos: “Oh i’m sorry, did I pay money to come and see all of YOU?” It plays with so many conventions of being a heel, and eventhough it wasn’t the a hugely important line in the grand scheme, I was hugely impressed by the sentiment and the delivery. He went of to berate Orton more, retaining excellent delivery and persona, and for the first time, he came across as a main eventer on the mic as well as in the ring. Hopefully he’ll get more chances to speak now on RAW … He then went on to attack Orton, and nearly got the best of him, only to get RKOd. This would usually not be great for him, but in comparison to what hapenned to Alex Riley (RKOd before opening his mouth), it made him look good.
The only other real thing I felt I needed to talk about was the Sin Cara-Jack Swagger match (other stuff will be included in my Extreme Rules match …) The match itself was very good, and indeed, having Cara on the pre-taped Smackdown was probably a good move as it showed the best of him in his high-flying and literally unpredictable (unlike contemporary Mysterio) offense while masking the worst (like his apparent shakiness of late). What I really wanted to talk about was the lighting! Yes, the lighting. Basically, they kept the earthy tones of the lighting of his entrance that descend so suddenly, and kept them there during the whole match. Such a simple idea, but one that added a lot of atmosphere to the match and made Cara seem like a huge deal, his presence being even more visually unique than it already is, and more interesting, giving him a mystique, as if his presence alters the entire atmosphere of the setting. I loved it.
That is all. Check back soon for MY EXTREME RULES PREDICTIONS. In the mean time, follow me on twitter for MORE COVERAGE AND OPINIONS AND STUFF! @RTVWOW