For my pleasure, WWE is actually sticking with that “The Power Is Back” montage as their new opener as opposed to thing with a weird techno sound and stereo look to it. I like the new one a lot; it’s got a good blend of new/old school. They then show the recap of the brawl between the shows last Monday. God, I hope this means that the brand extension is coming to an end at Wrestlemania. How great would that be? To add to that, how needed is it at this point too? Anyway, they show the crappy SD opening package and we head right into it.
Teddy Long and Palmer Cannon are in the ring. Why is Cannon still there? By this time, the guy has done everything he could possibly do. He’s stale, over-done, and overly trite at this point. It’s nothing against the guy playing Cannon, just the little gimmick/storyline they got going. Long puts over the brawl and the fact the match Bischoff cancelled will be the main event tonight. Long then invites Raw to No Mercy and Orton’s music hit as the beloved family of SmackDown! comes out. Orton yaps on about how no one made an impact but him on Monday because he interrupted Piper’s Pit. I see the significance of RKOing a legend to the degree of Piper, but when the guy can barely pose a comeback, is it really considered an impact? Here’s a question for you: If Orton RKOs a legend in a forest far away from human eyes and ears, it is still overdone? Anyway, they dismiss Long/Cannon and we get ourselves a run-on segment! They talk about Taker, of course, and how they are going to sacrifice Piper later on. The fat, older one then gets on the mike for some reason that even I have trouble comprehending. I don’t even spend time trying to decipher what he’s trying to convey because Piper comes out with a pipe and clears the ring. It was good to see Piper with the pipe going nuts, but not much else good came out of this lackluster opening segment. Oh God, I hope that’s not a sign of things to come.
Commercial break. Sorry, I ran out of “funny” lines to do with them, so you’re just going to have stick to my already boring commentary.
Booker T Vs. Orlando Jordan
This was a surprisingly good match. There was nothing really outstanding about it or something that sticks out in my mind, but I just thought they did a good job of setting themselves up for Sunday as well as insanely hyping up the crowd. This match definitely should have opened the night. It would been much more effective to rile up the crowd in the opening. Also, it seemed really obvious in this match that Jordan has grown up so much in the worker sense since Great American Bash 2005. Working with Benoit has really given him a good rub and he’s got all aspects of a heel down pat in my opinion. I would like to see Jordan get in a non-one-sided feud at this point. I’m still waiting for the Chief of Staff to turn on the so-called God. Anyway, like I said, the match wasn’t out of the ordinary; it was just so effective in what it was trying to do and Jordan’s little heel tricks here and there added to it vastly. If other heels like Christian would start adding stuff like that to their comeback offense or throw-away offense, it would make them miles better. Finish came when Sharmell trips up Jordan who tries to Suplex Booker T. Booker T falls on Jordan and gets the pin. This little storyline they got going between Sharmell and Booker T is getting really good as well. For once this year, Sharmell is actually bearable!
Winner: Booker T
Star Wrestler: Orlando Jordan
It was a good match and I think part of it was that I finally noticed just how much Jordan has grown. It was just kind of like, “Hey, Jordan’s actually working pretty decent with a talent who doesn’t have the reputation of carrying broomsticks to five-star matches! Sweet!” No offense to any Booker T fans, but I think Book’s feud with Mark Henry proved he can’t carry his own bags. Both wrestlers were good in this match and were great at putting over the feud and the turn of Booker, but Jordan’s little tricks and his mannerisms have finally matured and it was a good thing to see.
Commercial break. Again, no so-called witty lines this time. Sorry.
Sylvan Vs. Hardcore Holly
This match was average, but not hard to watch unlike other Sylvan or Holly matches so that’s a plus. In a weird not, I’ve been pleasantly surprised with Holly in the last few months. He’s finally starting to work! I swear I gave up all hope when he didn’t turn it up a notch even for a quick stint in the main event in January 2004, but now, things are looking up. Ken Kennedy was at ringside basically putting over himself and their “feud.” There could have been so much more WWE could have done to promote this feud other than just having Kennedy and Holly in a random tag match last week. Of course, Kennedy and Holly got into during the match which led to Kennedy clocking Holly with the mike in the ring. Sylvan took control and hit a nice finisher which was a suplex into a DDT. I know I’m a commentator and I should know the names of the moves, but I’m an idiot. What can I say?
Star Wrestler: Hardcore Holly
Sylvan still has a ways to go in his single career, but he wasn’t horrible or bad by any means. Like I said though, Holly has started to pick up his workrate a bit in my opinion. It’s not just him working the crowd either because he’s always had a good rapport with them. He’s starting to get a bit more intense besides his chops and it’s working.
After his loss, Kennedy gets on the mike and screams, “Here is your loser: Hardcore Holly.” This moment just solidified all the hype Kennedy receives in my book. Yes, my book does have some meaning albeit a very small amount.