Yo. You’re reading News and Analysis for which I thank you. Today’s report will focus on SmackDown!, and I will also take a look at Roddy Piper’s release. With that said, let’s get to it.
WWE presented that one show they like to call SmackDown! on Thursday night. For the most part, I felt it was a good effort which delivered in some cases, but in some, it failed to entertain or do anything for me. I don’t know, but it seems like every weekend when I sit in front of the computer to type up my SmackDown! thoughts, it’s always the same thing. There’s always some of the good, and some of the bad thrown in on one show. I feel that when I discuss RAW, one side (positive/negative) is always heavier than its opposite. Just a thought. Highlights on SmackDown! included the debut of the one and only Ultimo Dragon, a six-man tag main event pinning the three top faces on the show against Big Show and the Best Damn Tag Team Period, as well as a continuation of the US Title tournament, and advances of the Zach Gowen storyline. SmackDown!’s rating is in and the show scored a 3.4, which is up from last week’s 3.2 score. It should be noted that the previous week the show was pre-empted in Los Angeles, and this week it was pre-empted in Philadelphia.
I’ll dare to say this, but for once I enjoyed Zach Gowen’s storyline on the show. The main reason for that is the great mic work that Gowen showed on Thursday. Ever since his first sit-down interview with Stephanie McMahon (which I saw an embarrassment to her), Zach showed that he’ll be a great interview, and on SmackDown!, I felt that he “stepped up” on the mic and proved it’s one of his strong sides. I also did enjoy how they advanced his storyline. As weird as it sounds, the involvement of Stephanie has added more to the overall value for me. On the flip side of the coin, Vince talking about his daughter and “deflowering” her and whatnot, that’s just what I can’t stand. Last week’s comments were even worse, and this week didn’t do much to improve things for me on that side of things. Overall though I must say, I felt that WWE tried to advance the Gowen storyline on Thursday and they were somewhat successful.
For two weeks now, Big Show has been built up as a monster, as he’s been getting the better out of the top three faces on the show. Funny thing happens after those two weeks of pushing him through the roof — he’s booked in a match that has a McMahon in it, and he’s booked for that very match by another McMahon. Funny how that worked out. 🙂
I think that they’re at a nice ground with Show. That’s where he needs to be, and doing spots like the ring break a couple of weeks ago can only help, not only his character but whoever he is in the ring (i.e., Lesnar for that example). The thing about The Big Show is that they have to be very specific with how they carry his program. They’re four weeks away from the first-ever SmackDown! PPV, and they still haven’t announced any matches. I wouldn’t be surprised if the main event ends up being Kurt Angle vs. Brock Lesnar vs. Big Show in a three-way match. As a matter of fact, right now I’m pushing more towards that. It’s going to be a great one too. Angle and Lesnar can carry their own program, but when you add in show, and most importantly, when he’s used right (when they take advantage of his size the right way — to put over the other two guys and Show all at the same time), I honestly feel entertained and happy with what they do.
With Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin now working their new “gimmick” if that’s what you want to call it, I can see an even better future for the tag teams division on SmackDown!. The return of the APA, the debut of the Basham Brothers, and the great work of the FBI in recent times only backs that statement up. I would indeed expect for the tags team division to get moving really fast. Tajiri and Eddie Guerrero are great as a tag team, but both guys are too good to be wasted in that spot. Eddie is main-event material and I expect him to eventually get back on the top once his “tag team” gimmick ends. Tajiri on the other hand can be a very vital and important part of the cruiserweight division which brings us to…
The debut of the Ultimo Dragon was great. I’ve been hyped to see Dragon back for a long time, and to see him accomplish his dream of wrestling in MSG on his debut was great. Although Shannon did mess up some spots during the bout, I thought it was a good match. Two other things to note here. WWE deserves a lot of credit for already setting up the seeds in the cruiserweight division. They have established the “friendship” between Rey Mysterio and Ultimo Dragon, which was a great spot, and they have also hinted at a Billy Kidman heel turn, which was also done nicely to introduce Kidman back on TV. I would look for some great moments with the cruiserweights, and I would even expect that WWE will be booking more triple threat, or four-way dance type of matches soon, because that’s where the real cruiserweight action kicks in.
It’s good to see Jamie Noble and Nidia get a new storyline. No matter what it leads to or what happens from here on, it’s about damn time Noble returned to the screen. He needs to get back in the ring though, and not just be used for humor. Man, is he in the doghouse or what?!
It’s about damn time Matt Hardy moved back up to the mix with the heavyweights. Is it just me or now is the perfect time to turn him face? Those “Let’s go Hardy!” and “Let’s go Matt!” chants still ring in my ear, as the crowd in MSG definitely seemed to be behind Matt in his match with Rikishi. Hell, I even heard people booing when Rikishi was about to go for the Stink Face. Mattitude will be taking over soon, and entering Hardy in the US Tournament was a great step towards converting him into a heavyweight into our minds yet again.
So Billy Gunn, Chris Benoit, and Rhyno are on Velocity? Interesting.
If you have been under a rock or your computer wasn’t working properly in the last few days, you probably haven’t heard that WWE has decided to terminate their work relationship with Rowdy Roddy Piper, following his comments made on HBO’s Real Sport. I talked about this in the last edition of N & A by the way. All I can really is that Piper had it coming. The comments he made were certainly not ones that WWE would like to hear and after the way they ended up being portrayed from the piece, I was not surprised to see Piper go. There really isn’t a whole lot to say here. I hope WWE goes on with Sean O’Haire’s push, but based on his mic work, his chances don’t look too bright right now. We’ll see what happens.
That will do it for this edition folks. I will be back next week with RAW Thoughts. Have a great weekend!
Thanks for reading. See ya.