Hey Hey Hey. Today’s N & A will mostly focus on SmackDown, but with Unforgiven airing tomorrow, I’ll once again give some final thoughts and expectations of the show. Let’s get to it.
WWE presented arguably one of their best programs of the year on Thursday night in what was WWE SmackDown. From top the bottom, the show was amazing with some awesome in-ring action, and plenty of it, including the IronMan match between Kurt Angle and Brock Lesnar. SmackDown’s rating came in at a 3.2 this week, and it’ll be interesting to see how the show does as all the “big” Thursday programs come back from reruns and renew their seasons soon.
Chris Benoit and Rey Mysterio had a great match with Rhyno and Tajiri on SmackDown. All four men continued their respective programs, and they proved that they deserve their spots on the program. Benoit and Rhyno have had a good rivalry, although I still feel that Benoit should be in the main event. Tajiri meets Rey Mysterio next week, and I personally love the program these two have put up together. They’ve torn the house down on several occasions and always seem to work brilliantly together. I hope Tajiri will get the win next week so the feud will go on, but we’ll see what happens. Poor Billy Kidman once again gets the short end of the stick. Will that change next Thursday?
WWE is using Shaniqua very well lately. It’s not that her wrestling is topnotch, or that her opponents in Nidia, Torrie, or Dawn are all that good, but the storyline itself is actually interesting and enjoyable. They’re pushing Shaniqua big and booking things the right way. When a story is told right, it’s still good. If executed well it becomes perfect. I really do enjoy it, and maybe eventually Shaniqua will move to RAW?
I give WWE a lot of credit for their booking of Eddie Guerrero as of lately, and the Guerreros as a team since last week. First, they realized that the fans want to cheer the Guerreros and love them. They pushed Eddie as a face, put the US Title on him, and then inserted him in a great program with John Cena. They picked the perfect time to have Chavo return (instead of rush things in El Paso), and perfect timing to give the two the straps the week later. Chavo was set to be a tag champion several months ago, but got injured, so giving them the titles is the right thing to do, especially for Chavo. Plus, after feuding Cena, there wasn’t much for Eddie to do as a singles competitor for now, since he can’t make that next step and jump into the main event. Also, Shelton Benjamin is having some minor problems with his knee, so that will let his team rest up a bit. A change is always fresh and good in wrestling, and that’s how I feel about the tag belts on SmackDown, and I love it.
That’s when we go to the IronMan match. It was what it was. I personally enjoyed it a lot. It was superb. It was booked interesting, and carried out well. There were some gaps and minor things that annoyed me, but you can’t help it. It’s free TV folks, they can’t just get rid of the commercials, it’s too expensive. Another thing that got to me is when both guys were on the outside and when one of them would get advantage on the other, he’d go back in the ring to break a ten count. That makes no sense. If both guys are counted out nothing changes. They’ll add a pin to both on their score, therefore there won’t be a difference. I found that a bit weird. When Lesnar F5ed Angle on the outside, the ref started counting them out. Lesnar got in the ring before the count of 10, yet instead of starting a new count, the ref counted to 10 and signaled for the bell. Later in the match, when Angle got the better of Lesnar on the outside and got inside the ring at the count of 9, the ref just broke up the count instead of counting Lesnar out when he got to 10, like he had done with Angle earlier. That kind of got to me at first, but I don’t think it’s that big of a factor in matches like that. Such an event rarely occurs on free TV, so I appreciate it for what it is. The wrestling was great, the booking was awesome, the announcing from Tazz and Cole was topnotch, and most important of all, I really enjoyed how they hyped it up throughout the first hour of the program. It was definitely a great night.
It’s clear to me that SmackDown has once again become the better show. The things that are done on the program make sense, and when the involvement of Vince and Steph is kept at minimal, the show becomes superb. Great wrestling with great stories behind it is the simple formula for success. It’s weird that WWE seems to understand that on Thursday nights, but they’re missing the point on Mondays. It’s for obvious reasons. I think a lot of us forget that RAW is supposed to be the “entertainment” show where they try all these crazy things, whereas SmackDown is your “wrestling” program. I think they’ve done that all along, but the problem is that RAW just isn’t that “entertaining” at times. I hope things will improve.
Speaking of RAW, they present their Unforgiven PPV tomorrow. I gave a pretty long rundown of the show in my last edition, and you’ll see my predictions in TBL’s Roundtable. I just thought I’d let you know that I’ll be helping Andy Steven out over at RingsideMayhem.com for the live coverage of the event. There’ll be a link on our main page if you’re interested in following the event with us for whatever reason. Now that I’ve said that, let’s take a look at what’s ahead for the RAW brand…
I pretty much expect Unforgiven to be the show of the babyfaces. With Goldberg winning the belt (99.99% sure it’ll happen), they’ll try to suck us into the thought that we’re entering a new era, which will be good. To do that, they’ll have to count on the midcarders and other matches to build up the “good” feeling inside of us and then end it all with Goldberg winning and making us feel great. It’s a trick used in wrestling when the promoters want to get over a huge match or title change, and that’s the way to do it. I expect the faces to win, with the only exception being Shane and probably HBK. They can’t afford to have Kane and Orton lose at this point. I think we might even see RVD pull a win and grab that IC title, but I might be pushing it there. Elsewhere, I am going with the faces. Oh yeah, there’s also Test and Steiner, but I don’t think it matters who wins that one, really.
As far as RAW the next night goes, it should be Goldberg’s “celebration” party. Don’t forget that The Rock will be on RAW this Monday, as they’ll have him appear from the premiere of his movie. They should also focus more on Lita the night after, and I have the feeling there’ll be a title change in the tag teams division on RAW. Another focus will hopefully be the IC belt, and maybe with Triple H fading slowly, Kane will be pushed through the sky and become the next opponent for Goldberg, if it’s not too soon.
Well, that’s my fair amount of rambling about Unforgiven and RAW. Let’s see what happens. Have a great weekend and enjoy the wrestling programs ahead of us!
Thanks for reading. See ya.