Hey yo. You’re reading News and Analysis for the weekend, for which I thank you.
On Thursday night WWE presented what was a very anticipated edition (for weeks by some) of SmackDown!. Whether the show delivered or not is another topic. For the second time this week, I found myself not completely satisfied with the final product. Just like with RAW though, I believe that I expected way too much out of the show on Thursday, and I ended up not as satisfied with it as I thought I would be. The show did have some ups, but it equally had some downs. It was nonetheless a mix of what SmackDown! has been as of late. Rey Mysterio captured the Cruiserweight Championship, Kurt Angle returned, and Sable was announced the new SmackDown! Assistant if you’re looking for a short summary. For more, you can always check out our SmackDown Showdown by the one and only Foz. Ratings are in and the show scored a low rating of 3.1, down from last week’s 3.4. It should be noted that SmackDown! didn’t air in Philadelphia, a major market where wrestling is concerned.
After two weeks of rehab and recovery, Kurt Angle made his return to the WWE, as the Olympic hero made an appearance on SmackDown!. Angle returned as a fan favorite and was immediately thrown in the mix with Big Show and Brock Lesnar, the current main eventers. It feels damn good to see Kurt return. I’ve been waiting for “the best there is today” to return and I’m glad he’s back. As far as short-term future plans go, it’s already been advertised by WWE in some local areas throughout the country that Brock Lesnar will take on Kurt Angle at Vengeance, the July PPV which is going to be the first-ever SmackDown!-brand show. I think they might change their mind and save the match for SummerSlam, but yet I’m doubting that. I’d look for Kurt Angle and Brock Lesnar to form a strong tag team combination and act as a group for a while. Angle would play good to Lesnar but at the same time quietly and slowly continue to tease him with his greater achievements, which will ultimately end up with another showdown between the two. If they meet at Vengeance though, I can’t help but wonder what their program will be like afterwards. Stay tuned.
Rey Mysterio is the new WWE Cruiserweight Champion. Amen! It took Rey Rey almost a year to accomplish what he came to WWE for in the first place — win the Cruiserweight Championship. WWE hired Mysterio as a way to jump-start the division, but they have been unsuccessful for almost a year to do so. Also, Rey’s popularity was so big that he was inserted into matches and storylines of bigger caliber, such as a great intense feud with Kurt Angle. Nonetheless, the cruiserweights are taking over SmackDown!, and with Rey Mysterio as the champion, and with Ultimo Dragon entering the company pretty soon, I would expect for WWE to now spend more time and push the division through the sky. You might say that Vince likes “big-men matches” and you’d be right, and yes, there’s the possibility it’ll be yet another push for the division that will end up bad and nothing will change, but if I look at it that way I shouldn’t call myself a fan.
The Mr. America/Vince McMahon storyline continues and it’s not even Saturday morning, when cartoons usually air. Zack Gowen has now been thrown in the mix… let me stop here. Is it Zack Gowen or Zack Gowen? If somebody can clear that up for me, I’d appreciate it. Oh yeah, if you find out, let WWE know, because they keep changing it themselves… Anyway, I remember that about a month ago in my Judgment Day predictions I said that Gowen and America would probably team up to take on Piper and O’Haire. I’ll stick to that, but WWE has advertised a McMahon vs. Hoga..er.. Mr. America match at Vengeance, again in some local areas, so take this for what it’s worth. I hope all of this ends soon because it’s becoming a really big down-point of the program. At least they didn’t have as much TV time on Thursday as they usually do.
Stephanie McMahon now has her own Assistant on SmackDown!, though that’s against her wish/will. Vince McMahon has hired Sable for the job. If you’re scratching your head over what qualifications Sable has to be an Assistant, you’re not the only one. Word has had it for quite some time now that Stephanie McMahon wants more TV time and a storyline on SmackDown!, and that wasn’t exactly happening. She wanted to be a part of the Torrie/Sable storyline, but obviously that couldn’t work out either. So now WWE has finally moved on from Torrie and Sable and inserted Sable into the spot. This will secure more TV time for Stephanie, which is what she wanted in the first place. Stephanie’s argument is that Bischoff and Austin get a lot more TV time over on RAW, and that she should have more TV time as well. To be honest, I agree a little bit. Especially with Vince around, Stephanie has become totally useless and not needed on the show. She does need to be on there and make decision, but more TV time and a Stephanie storyline is NOT what we all need. I know you’ll agree on that. It’s also interesting to note that this is a bit lame — RAW gets a Co-G.M., so they go right ahead and appoint an “assistant” to SmackDown!. How long until Shane McMahon puts an end to all this G.M., Co-G.M., Assistant crap? I can’t wait for that one, I know that much.
Rhyno and Chris Benoit might be feuding with each other in the near future would be a good guess based on what went down on SmackDown!. If you missed the show, John Cena defeated Benoit but it all happened when Rhyno came down to the ring, trying to help his buddy out, but instead accidentally hit him with a right hand, causing the Wolverine the match. Are they mad at Chris Benoit? What did the poor guy do? He’s been getting no matches (PPV), no feuds, most importantly — no wins. I hope WWE puts him in a feud with Rhyno, because the Man Beast isn’t exactly at his best either. They should use those two, and word has it that if Angle and Lesnar team up and become the top two faces at the PPV, Rhyno and Benoit would climb the ladder as heels and oppose them for a while. Now, THAT is a good storyline.
Other SmackDown! thoughts… The Basham Brothers need to show something else than a powerslam, an elbow drop, and a spinebuster. They’re really good in selling and putting over, but their offense isn’t that good… Don’t you agree that with Rey as the champ and with Dragon coming over, the cruiserweight division will need Tajiri added to it eventually to make it even better? Guerrero also needs to be on his own, where he belongs… Big ups to WWE for the Freddie Blassie tribute video. They always do AMAZING job with video packages and that one was no different. The Kurt Angle video from last week was also unbelievable! Very good job!… Though the storyline is not all that, I have to agree that Zack Gowen is very good on the mic.
I think that will wrap it up. Next week should be a fun week at TBL with all sorts of PPV updates for Bad Blood, so check that out! Until then, I’m Eddie, and I’m out!
Thanks for reading. See ya.