Hey. Welcome to another edition of News & Analysis. This one comes to you a bit late, on Sunday night. Before you start blaming me, I should let you know that it’s all Roland’s fault. It really is. You know those links he does at the end of his RAW Rage report? Yeah, don’t click on these unless you really have time to kill. All hate mail can be sent to Roland.
Anyway, back to wrestling… WWE presented SmackDown this past Thursday night, and the backlash from the show is mixed, judging by the mail I got. By the way, thanks to everyone who sends in mail to me. You guys are awesome. And for those of you who still haven’t done that, you should be ashamed of yourself. Feel guilty. Go in the corner.
Some people felt that WWE did a good job of setting up the SmackDown part side of things for Survivor Series, whereas others felt that the show was nothing different than the usual, with Mr. McMahon getting the attention once again. I fall somewhere in between. I felt that SmackDown did something storyline wise to show the importance of the Survivor Series PPV, but at the same time the show could have been a lot better from what we got. I won’t complain. The work was good in some matches, and desired some work in others. Let’s go through some things…
The Basham Brothers are the new tag team champions, as they defeated Los Guerreros on SmackDown. I was definitely surprised by this move, but I don’t mind it so far. The truth is that the Bashams are two guys that WWE has high expectations of for the future, and now is the time to capitalize on them. They haven’t done a good job of keeping fan interest on the duo since their debut, but with the addition of Shaniqua, who got some attention recently, the duo is now more credible, and obviously the company is giving them a huge push with the tag belts. The tag team division on SmackDown seems a bit fresh now, with The Bashams, WGTT, Guerreros, APA, and Rikishi/Scotty 2 Hotty all back in action. I think that ultimately, it’ll be WGTT once again getting the belts back somewhere down the road. As far as the Guerreros go, you can expect a Chavo/Eddie split very soon. Ever since Chavo returned, Eddie has lost two championship belts after all.
Paul Heyman is the new General Manager of SmackDown. I want all of you to take a second here and go back to the year 1999. Did you ever in your lifetime think that Eric Bischoff will be the General Manager of Monday Night RAW, and that Paul Heyman, at the same time, will be the General Manager of SmackDown? Both guys working for Vince McMahon. Wow. Talk about history…
At any rate, Heyman is already back in the midst of things, and he already proved this past Thursday night on SmackDown that he’s an incredible on-screen talent. That alone deserves a lot of recognition. However, there’s a down part to all of this. What happens to Paul when Stephanie McMahon returns next month? And yes, the plan is for Steph to return to TV within a month or two. She’s absolutely in love with her position as General Manager and will definitely take it back. From what I understand, the rumor is that she’ll turn heel by joining her father to get position back. Maybe then we’ll witness a Heyman face turn, and he’ll go on as an agent or a leader of the faces, or something. We shall see. Just keep in mind that while Heyman is a great on-TV character, nobody knows how long he’ll last, really.
Hmmmm. Benoit-Angle. Is it just me or did they do that one several hundred times now? I don’t think I’m the only one here when I say that I’d love to see them do it yet again. You can never get enough of those two. But is it the right thing to do? And what happens to John Cena? I have the feeling that somewhere down the road, Angle will find the “bad” inside of him yet again. For now, I can’t say much, let’s see how it goes with Benoit and what WWE has planned for those two.
Yes. That was Bob Holly you saw on your TV screens on Thursday night. Don’t ask why, but you saw it. I am the only one online who will say that, but I’m actually looking forward to Holly returning this time around. His “persona” is something WWE could capitalize from when it comes to Brock Lesnar. They just have to do it right. I hope they won’t have Lesnar break him apart the first time he sees him. That’s not to say that Holly should go over him, but the simple fact that they could use some TV time off of Holly. We’ll see how it goes.
I already love the Japanese Mafia. It’s probably the highlight of the night for me, when it comes to SmackDown. I’ve been a huge Tajiri fan throughout the past several years, and I have loved watching him perform. Pairing him with those guys is a brilliant move, and WWE hasn’t screwed up there so far. They have to build them as credible guys and get them more TV time. From what I hear, the Mafia has plenty of potential, and when great athletes of their caliber are combined with Tajiri, this could be an amazing series of crusierweight action. If you missed it, Billy Kidman teamed up with Rey Mysterio and Ultimo Dragon on Velocity against the FBI. Wow. Exciting.
The Undertaker goes one-on-one with Vince McMahon at the Survivor Series PPV. It’s going to be a Buried Alive match. There’s been plenty of mixed feelings about the move by Internet analysts. There’s one thing that I’ve wanted to see for a long time now, and that’s the Phenom returning to WWE programming. With all the crappy storytelling the company has done over the past several months, and all the surreal events that have taken place (mostly the Kane/Shane feud), I’d like to see the one character that we were all willing to believe in and loved. That was The Phenom! Well, there’s a chance we might see that. WWE has teased that change in ‘Taker plenty of times now, but has never really went along with it. The Undertaker himself is in love with his Biker gimmick and doesn’t really want to go back to being the Dead Man. Obviously, that can’t happen in today’s wrestling world, but it can always happen “one more time” just for one night, probably for Taker’s last. There’s a chance that McMahon will win at Survivor Series, and then Undertaker will be off TV for a bit. He’ll return at WrestleMania XX with his old character maybe for one last match, or a last title reign. I’ll leave this topic here, but I just feel that it’ll be great to see the Dead Man one more time.
RAW hits the airwaves tomorrow, and you can’t help but wonder if the Monday brand will be able to keep the momentum rolling. In the past two weeks, they have given us some above-average shows, as the action has been better than recent showings.
I’m really looking forward to Christian and Chris Jericho’s involvements with Lita and Trish. What’s going on there? Shane McMahon should be back on the screen, probably having some sort of response to Kane from last week. Steve Austin is expected to put together the “Austin team” for the Survivor match at the PPV. RVD and Lance Storm will probably find their spot on there. Randy Orton should have some sort of confrontation with Booker T, and Maven probably won’t be too far behind Evolution in some fashion. Batista should get back in the midst of things by picking up a fast win over someone like Rico, or Tommy Dreamer. Goldberg will most likely not be around, as he’ll be selling his injury. Triple H might make an open challenge to the Champ, or might just get himself a return match from Eric Bischoff. And finally, the Dudleyz will be probably still going at it with La Resistance. Sounds like a good opportunity for a good show! I’ll hopefully be back on Tuesday or Wednesday with my thoughts!
Thanks for reading. See ya.