I’ve been meaning to post this for a while, but it’s been tough to find the whole match online on its own. Alberto Del Rio’s shocking World Heavyweight Championship win over the Big Show on Smackdown in January was the best TV match I’ve seen in quite a while, particularly in terms of the psychology and emotional beats of the match. Remember, this is like two weeks after Alberto Del Rio ALMOST KILLED SANTA CLAUS, and by the end of the match, he’s getting some pretty outstanding babyface reactions. It’s also, in my opinion, better than their rematch at the Royal Rumble. That’s probably not an overly brave assertion, because the finish in their match at the Rumble was really dumb, but I think overall it was a more enjoyable watch. Enjoy, and come back tomorrow for a new comic.
Posts Tagged ‘Smackdown’
I stumbled upon this clip while I was on the Botchamania site, and thought you guys might get a kick out of it. I don’t want to encourage the humanoids who constantly pine for the Attitude Era, but in 2000 Smackdown still mattered. In fact, it was still new and a pretty big deal. Also, listen to that crowd! The story here is really simple: Triple H and Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley tried to rig a lottery to get Triple H an easy title defence coming off of a brutal match with The Big Show on RAW. Being the heel champion, that goes poorly for ol’ H, and he ends up defending against the also huge Rikishi, who also happens to be MASSIVELY over. The crowd proceeds to lose their shit over every near-fall that Rikishi gets on the Game, and again when Triple H gets himself intentionally disqualified to save the belt.
That is one thing I miss in WWE nowadays: crowds that give a shit. Rarely will you get a midcarder getting that kind of a reaction when he’s suddenly thrust into a main event, and if you did, that guy would get buried immediately (see Ryder, Zack).
Also, as much as people hate him now, the Triple H of 2000 was a WORKHORSE.
Fun fact: in the opening frame of this clip, I thought Stephanie McMahon was Cactus Jack.
The internet wrestling community spends most of its time complaining. I have been known to indulge in my share of that complaining, because really, other people doing things that are terrible is a fun area to mine for comedy. On the other hand, people who buy/watch/whatever a product just to complain about it annoy the crap out of me, which resulted in thinking about finding positives. So here are some decidedly terrible aspects of wrestling today that I’ve dug around to find the positives of.
Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler’s Neverending Feud
Why People Complain: Jerry “The King” Lawler, while undeniably a legend of wrestling, is 61 years old. Michael Cole is not a trained wrestler, and also does his best every week to make WWE television unwatchable. Their feud has gotten at least 15 minutes on RAW for MONTHS now, pissing away time that could be used to build up young wrestlers or at least establish an actual midcard on the WWE’s flagship show.
It Could Be Worse: On last night’s (Monday, May 16th) episode of RAW, Jerry Lawler put over Jack Swagger as a former champion with high-level skill being held back by Cole’s douchebaggery. Swagger might come out of this feud as the big winner, with renewed relevance. Also, Cole’s singlet allows us to see his hilariously awful tattoos while not having to see much else of his “physique.” Could you imagine having to watch him parade around in the traditional speedo-style trunks? I would have bleached my optical nerves by now.
Christian is World Heavyweight Champion… for Five Days
Why People Complain: After carrying TNA’s main event scene as the NWA World Heavyweight Champion and 17 years of putting on consistently high-quality matches, Christian finally won the big one in the big leagues, with his best friend at ringside. Internet fangasms galore at the thought of Christian getting a run at the top of the card. Then the spoilers come out and it’s revealed that Christian loses the belt to Randy Orton in his first title defence. Fans go berserk.
It Could Be Worse: Christian and Orton had a very good match, then followed it up with an excellent tag team contest against Sheamus and Mark Henry. While Orton is boring as fuck, he’s decent enough in the ring that a guy like Christian (or CM Punk in recent months) can drag good matches out of him, and Christian will be able to carry the feud on the mic while Orton stares intently at nothing while trying to remember what he’s supposed to say next. The feud also means that Christian might regain the WHC at some point down the road. And, above all else, at least Randy Orton and John Cena have been separated so we don’t have to see them main event the other 17 or so PPVs WWE will be putting on this year.
TNA Becomes Impact Wrestling, No Other Changes Are Made
Why People Complain: TNA’s roster features a strong base of young, talented wrestlers capable of amazing feats of athleticism and top-shelf matches. Under the Hogan/Bischoff regime (and before that, but especially so now), these guys have been swept aside in favour of twenty minute promos that accomplish nothing but to set up medicore-at-best matches with screwy finishes featuring a revolving door of past-their-expiration-date former stars and WWE cast-offs. AJ Styles? Feuding with Tommy Dreamer. Samoa Joe? Not even on pay-per-view. Oh, and their Heavyweight Champion was a raging drug addict who showed up to work a match while nearly comatose. On pay-per-view.
It Could Be Worse: While Vince Russo being in charge of creative and Hogan and Bischoff turning TNA into the clusterfuck that killed WCW seems like as bad as it can get, it could be worse. Vince Russo could be on TV and integral to storylines. While most people have blocked it from their memory, he used to have long promo segments, often involving building a mostly pointless faction that includes half of the roster. Now, to be fair, that’s basically what Immortal was, except with Hogan and Bischoff at the head, but I contend that those two knuckleheads are marginally more desireable than listening to Vince Russo spout wrestling insider terms laced with the attitude that he’s the edgiest motherfucker on the planet and that worked shoots are the pinnacle of storytelling. And the best news is that whoever is pumping money into this disaster of a company will decide to pull the plug, allowing the young talent to either move on to the WWE or hit the North American indy scene with a much healthier bank account and be made to look like the stars they are in Ring of Honor or somewhere.
We left off with the Nexus continuing to stagger along after SummerSlam. Our resident superhero, John Cena, continued to feud with Wade Barrett and the Nexus, even though his team’s victory at SummerSlam really killed the storyline’s momentum. Injuries shuffled up Nexus’ lineup, with Skip “my name should really have been attached to Alex Riley’s character” Sheffield and Michael Tarver sustaining injuries and Darren Young dropping off the face of the earth to be replaced by Michael McGuillicutty and Husky Harris, who caused John Cena to become a Nexus member by attacking him prior to their induction into the group. Cena being forced into the group he had been battling for months had the potential to revitalize the Nexus and really shake up John Cena’s stagnant character. Unfortunately, Cena got to deliver some of the worst-written promos I’ve ever had the displeasure of hearing as he suffered under Wade Barrett’s snarky British yoke. Eventually the whole thing came to a head as Wade Barrett, despite never having used Cena to do anything productive, fired Cena for not awarding him the WWE Title. Cena proceeded to engage in the shortest firing of all time, as he NEVER LEFT TV. Seriously, WWE, what the fuck? Do you really believe that if John Cena is not on TV that nobody will tune in? Needless to say, Cena was re-hired and Wade Barrett was buried. Literally. Under some chairs.
After a wonderful feud with Daniel Bryan that produced some very exciting matches, The Miz cashed in his Money in the Bank and won the WWE Title from Randy Orton. Who is still ridiculously over despite not having the title (or mic skills, or any noticeable wrestling talent), so clearly taking it from Sheamus to put it on him was brilliant. Anyway, The Miz winning the WWE has been mostly positive, except for Michael Cole, who does his best to try and ruin Mike Mizanin’s career by attaching himself to the champ.
Speaking of Michael Cole, a review of 2010 can’t go without mentioning the buffoonish little troll’s new character direction, which appears to be based on WWE attempting to do as much damage to their own product with one character as is possible. The WWE has shirked the face/heel announcer dichotomy for quite a while now, which makes it even more off-putting and distracting now that Cole flies off on seemingly random heel tangents that eschew all of the hallmarks of a good heel announcer in favour of verbally shitting on the wrestlers. Hopefully Jerry Lawler murders him with a series of piledrivers in the near future.
Over on Smackdown, Dolph Ziggler, with help from Vickie Guerrero, made the Intercontinental Title relevant again. Having good matches on a weekly basis was, of course, overshadowed on the show by a truly horrendous storyline involving Edge challenging for Kane’s World Heavyweight Championship. Oh, and the Undertaker was buried alive, thus leading me to believe that blood and necktie choking is not okay but death by dirt-based suffocation is PG. I think I’ll continue to forget that the Edge/Kane storyline ever happened, because it’s better for my mental health. Now Edge is the World Heavyweight Champion and a babyface, despite torturing Paul Bearer for several weeks.
The real big deal on Smackdown, though, was Alberto Del Rio. After a series of kind of lame vignettes, he stormed onto the scene and was the hottest heel on the roster within a matter of weeks. I don’t think Mysterio beating him clean on Smackdown was a wise move, since people would have paid to see it on pay-per-view, but that’s WWE’s problem, not mine.
In 2010 the WWE retained a lot of the problems it had when I stopped watching (around 2004/5), primarily at the top of the card. While the main event scene got some shake-ups this year with Sheamus, The Miz, and Alberto Del Rio stepping up full-time, the usual suspects are still around and I have a hard time believing Randy Orton or John Cena won’t have the WWE Title around their wasit by Wrestlemania. The Tag Team titles have been rendered meaningless as any team that shows potential is broken up before they can accomplish much. The midcard produced some fantastic matches while the guys holding the belts are frequently all talk and no work.
And I still don’t get why Randy Orton is over.
I left off the last post with the fallout from Wrestlemania 26, so that’s where I’m going to pick up here.
I mentioned last time that the post-Wrestlemania shakeup of the main event scene was something I was really excited about. I didn’t mention that, initially, I was a bit concerned about putting the World Heavyweight Championship on Jack Swagger. I loved the feud he had with Christian over the ECW Championship, but that title didn’t have a whole lot of value attached to it. While Swagger’s reign turned out to be pretty disappointing due to some pretty lacklustre booking, it proved that the All American American could carry the gold. Swagger’s long, hilarious speeches about his lifetime of achievements really sold me on him. Unfortunately, his reign was overshadowed by the head-shaker that was the “Kane, P.I.” storyline. Before finally dropping the belt to Rey Mysterio for basically no reason, Swagger was forced to carry the Big Show through a feud which reminded me that, improved work rate or no, the Big Show can’t pull his substantial weight at the top of the card. Swagger pretty much disappeared from the main event scene after losing the title, much to my disappointment.
Speaking of Smackdown Superstars who disappeared after a title run, what about Drew McIntyre? During his run with the Intercontinental Championship he was running pretty hot as a heel. The way they played his undefeated streak didn’t work quite as well as it could have, but it didn’t kill his heat. Seriously, though, having your undefeated Intercontinental Champion lose to Kane in a non-title Money in the Bank qualifier with a kick to the face is a terrible idea, even if it’s immediately expunged. Since his title loss, he might as well have a bucket of ice water thrown on his heat. He had a pointless run with Cody Rhodes as a tag team (more on that another time, perhaps), and is now involved in some truly painful segments with Kelly Kelly.
On the RAW side, Sheamus toppled John Cena (literally) to win the WWE Championship before being turned into a total pussy by the creative team. The thing with championships is that nobody is going to pay to see a champion that seems like a fluke. The finish of Sheamus’ bout with Cena made his win look like an accident, which is fine as long as some time is spent building the Irishman back up. WWE took it in a different direction and had him cheat to win against EVERYBODY, even guys who the WWE Champion should be able to demolish. Sheamus lost the title, then won it back by taking advantage of Nexus interference at Fatal Four Way, and continued where he left off: looking like a particularly cowardly jar of margarine. What did Sheamus’ neutering accomplish? Putting over John Cena and Randy Orton, the only two guys on the roster who didn’t need it AT ALL. Good thinking, writers.
The Nexus were the big deal on RAW for much of the year. Their initial appearance, where they stormed onto the scene and destroyed everything in their path, was an instant classic WWE moment. Pretty much everything after that went downhill. In a series of matches on RAW designed to show that the Nexus could compete individually, Darren Young was pointlessly exiled from the group (and WWE TV entirely) because John Cena is apparently not allowed to lose ever, for any reason. Things stayed fairly hot until SummerSlam, when the Nexus was effectively shut down by Team WWE because, once again, John Cena is not allowed to lose for any reason, even if it would make the storyline better. Daniel Bryan’s return to battle his former comrades was a delightful twist, but if the WWE had really wanted Nexus to remain a legitimate threat to RAW, they needed to win at SummerSlam. There were plenty of ways for Cena to lose to Nexus and not look bad. For example: all of them. No matter how the thing ended, Cena would still be over because he’s beyond wins and losses mattering. He’s the face of the WWE. The Nexus continued to trundle along, shuffled their line-up a bit, and got John Cena as a member, which was a good idea in theory but really stupid in practice. More on that next time, though.
I started watching WWE again in 2010, and need stuff to write about so this place isn’t barren until January.
Late in 2009 I started watching the WWE-branded ECW out of curiosity. I hadn’t watched wrestling regularly since 2004-ish, and wasn’t particularly interested in getting back into it, but ECW had a very significant advantage over other wrestling programs: it was the only thing on in its time slot. I could probably write an entire post about that version of ECW, but that can wait for another time. Why ECW is important to this article is that it’s how I found out that Bret “The Hitman” Hart was going to be returning to WWE for the first time since 1997. Now THAT I had to see.
Watching RAW for the first time in six years had a lot of the same excitement as the first time I watched wrestling back in 1993. The sense of discovery as I parsed out who everyone was and what exactly was going on, the thrill of seeing wrestlers I recognized, the sense of amazement when I saw a new move. It was all there.
The Bret Hart/Vince McMahon storyline really got me back into wrestling, which is odd because I knew the resulting match would suck. But it did what a good story should: it got me invested in the characters and seeing the heel get his comeuppance.
Aside from the Bret/Vince story, the WWE actually wasn’t that much different than it was six years ago. The main event level talent was actually almost identical; Triple H, Shawn Michaels, John Cena, Batista, Randy Orton, Chris Jericho, and The Undertaker were all still kicking around. The first quarter of the year featured John Cena and Batista in the kind of feud that the WWE loves and I hate: the kind where lots and lots and lots of talking leads to a series of matches which are mediocre at best, godawful at worst. I get John Cena’s popularity, because he’s basically a modern Hulk Hogan (okay, technically Hogan is the modern Hogan, since he still refuses to retire) and has more charisma than you can shake a stick it. Why you would want to shake a stick at charisma, I’m not sure. Why anyone would think that having him engage Batista, who had mic skill roughly equivalent to the average cactus, in incredibly long verbal exchanges that led to awkward, boring matches was a good idea, I don’t know.
The 2010 Royal Rumble was the first WWE PPV I’ve seen since the 2002 Royal Rumble (I don’t count 2005’s ECW One Night Stand as a WWE PPV). You can read more about my Royal Rumble experiences, most of which involved a drinking game that seemed like a really good idea at the time here.
The mid card really stood out to me, mostly because it’s where the new faces were found. Jack Swagger’s run of matches with Christian in ECW really solidified him in my view as a guy I wanted to see a lot more of. Young guys like Kofi Kingston and Dolph Ziggler impressed me as well, although not as much as they would later on. Drew McIntyre spent the first half or so of the year on fire with the Intercontinental Title, although that cooled down significantly later on. The WWE tends to neglect it’s midcard, though, so I suppose it’s not much of a surprise that guys like Swagger and McIntyre didn’t break out to the extent that they could have.
The build-up to Wrestlemania made me seriously consider buying the PPV… until I saw how much it cost, at which point I decided that the $25 DVD would suffice (PPV’s are $50 Canadian, or $55 for HD). It was worth it for Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker alone, the other good stuff was really just icing on the cake.
I was excited when the first third of the year ended, because all of a sudden the main event scene wasn’t so familiar. Triple H and the Undertaker took time off and the Undertaker got hurt, which shook things up enough for Jack Swagger to capture the World Heavyweight Championship (not that WWE creative did anything with it, but I thought he did a lot with what little he was given) and Sheamus to really catch fire.
At some point after Christmas, part two!
Since I started watching the WWE again regularly in January, Smackdown has been my preferred show. I find it has a much more tolerable wrestling-t0-talking ratio than RAW, which is the primary reason I like it better, but I’m also strongly on board with a secondary singles championship that actually matters and commentary that doesn’t make me want to climb through my TV and kill a motherfucker (I’m looking at you, Michael Cole).
It has become clear that Smackdown got hosed in this year’s draft. Badly.
Monday Night RAW added Chris Jericho, Edge, and John Morrison to a roster already boasting John Cena, Randy Orton, Sheamus, and now the Nexus. RAW’s main event scene is so jammed that Morrison has been relegated to jobbing to Skip Sheffield (seriously, a clean pin!?) on last night’s episode and Jericho and Edge are just sort of floating around. Adding Wade Barrett to the mix just further crowds the top of the card, and stunts the ability of guys like The Miz and Evan Bourne to climb up the card effectively.
In return, Smackdown got… the Big Show. While RAW has so many main eventers that guys are being left out and underutilized, Smackdown is hurting for top-card talent. Jack Swagger’s World Heavyweight title push petered out after he lost to Mysterio a few times in a row, dropping the belt for essentially no reason, other than maybe to set up some kind of element in the Kane/Undertaker story where Kane took out the Undertaker because he couldn’t beat him for the belt, so he got rid of him so he could take it from an easier opponent. Swagger has had a lot of his, well, swagger taken away while Rey Mysterio, Kane, and the Undertaker are all aging and the Big Show has never really been a consistant main eventer. CM Punk is really the only solid main event piece they have right now, but his Straight Edge Society is kind of dragging him down to the midcard.
Speaking of midcards, Smackdown’s is the highlight of the show right now. Unlike the US Title, which is basically just that thing The Miz wears to remind us that he matters, the Intercontinental Title is almost more valuable than the World title, in my estimation, since it’s the division having the best matches and the most interesting stories. It’s really the only area where Smackdown improved in the draft, with the addition of Kofi Kingston and Christian. RAW has the pieces for a decent US Title division, but they don’t appear to be very interested putting them to use.
Hopefully in the future they dump they either dump the draft or have the two brands draft from NXT, but in the present Smackdown’s main event scene is in depserate need of an overhaul because they got screwed at the drafting table. WWE writers being, y’know, competent might help a little, too.
I didn’t get to see WWE NXT season 1 when it was airing because none of my local stations were carrying it, but now that The Score is carrying season 2 (albeit in a crappy time slot) I’ve been able to watch it. Well, the first episode and the most recent episode, anyway, because of the aforementioned crappy time slot. I was going to post stream-of-consciousness reactions to the show on Twitter (kind of like what I do with RAW and Smackdown once in a while), but decided to just blog it instead, because more site content beats out Twitter posts read by tens of people.
– “Talk the Talk Challenge” Meh. A couple of good promos (Alex Riley and Michael McGillicutty), a couple of stinkers (Eli Cottonwood and Kaval), and the rest were mediocre. The concept of having challenges is kind of interesting, but I’m not a fan of how it’s implemented. Having everyone line up and cut a promo on a “random” subject seems kind of pointless when they could just as easily have them cut promos before their matches or something. The “winner gets a talk show segment” prize… eh. I don’t really like those segments when they’re hosted by wrestlers I like, let alone ones I’m ambivalent toward.
– Josh Matthews and Michael Cole
Josh Matthews’ reaction to Michael Cole’s talk show name suggestions was brilliant. Actually, his reaction to Michael Cole in general is pretty entertaining, like he’s annoyed that he can hear the words coming out of Cole’s face. I think Matthews works pretty well as the snarky heel announcer (well, snarky, anyway, since the heel/face announcer thing seems to have dropped out of style like thought balloons in comics). I don’t quite understand Cole’s Miz-boner though. Is it something that makes sense story-wise or just Cole being a douche?
– Percy Watson vs. Michael McGillicutty, Kaval vs. The Miz, Rhodes & Harris vs. Henry & Cannon
I like the way they shoot the matches. The camera never seems to stay still, almost like a hand-held effect, but a little bit smoother. It’s got a nice energetic feeling to it, and it’s good to see the WWE trying some new things with the camera work, which has been pretty much the same for the last twenty or so years. The main event was pretty short, but fairly good. I liked Husky’s reaction when his team won, like he hadn’t proved his point yet. The other two matches were unspectacular, but good enough, and I haven’t seen somebody get pinned with a sunset flip since, like, 1990.
– The Rookies
Michael McGillicutty: I like this guy, but some of the choices the WWE made for his gimmick confuse me. In his intro promo he talked about his lineage, being part of the famous Hennig wrestling family, which is cool, I like it when they make nods to that kind of stuff. But… why isn’t his last name Hennig? “I’m the son of Curt Hennig and grandson of Larry ‘the Axe’ Hennig! But my last name is inexplicably McGillicutty.” Er… what? That weirdness aside, he’s pretty solid all-around, and I could see him winning, or at least ending up on the main WWE roster in the future.
Husky Harris: In this case I can see why they changed his name, since Husky Rotundo would be pretty hard to take seriously. They might as well call him Fatty McFatfat. His mic work hasn’t been fantastic, but he’s pretty athletic and he just has something about him that makes me think he’s going to do well.
Kaval: I like the dynamic they’ve set up with Kaval and Team Laycool, but I’m not sure if being a crowd-pandering babyface is the right move, character-wise. When I first saw him in TNA he had a kind of mysterious, sinister foreigner thing going, which I think would work in the WWE. His voice sounds awesome, but the less he talks, the better. Maybe if they gave him something other than “Hey WWE Universe, you guys are pretty awesome.”
Eli Cottonwood is a walking billboard for why the WWE needs to bring back managers. The guy’s got a cool backwoods psychopath look, complete with facial tics, but then he talks and the effects of all that size and crazy evaporates.
Percy Watson is trying too hard. Faces shouldn’t have to practically beg the audience to love them.
Alex Riley: This guy has a bit of an early Kurt Angle vibe to him. I haven’t seen him wrestle yet, but his microphone talent is certainly in the upper echelons of the NXT cast.
Lucky Cannon: Not fond of his catch phrase, or his name. Also, I had to look up the NXT cast on the WWE website to remember who he was.
– Other Observations
I haven’t heard anyone on WWE programming use the term “professional wrestler” in a loooong time, but Husky Harris busted it out during his “doorknob” promo. Certainly beats “sports entertainer.”
– The NXT theme song is kind of awful. RAW’s is by Nickelback, and therefore I’m legally obligated to hate it despite it’s near-infuriating level of catchiness, and Smackdown’s is rad.
I just upgraded to the newest version of WordPress, so mostly this post is about checking to see if it’ll work. But also, I’ll talk about… I dunno, wrestling, I guess. Seems like the kind of thing you guys would want to read about, hey?
I started watching wrestling again regularly earlier this year, when Bret Hart was the guest host on RAW. At that point, I honestly couldn’t have cared less about what was going on in the WWE, I just bit hard on their obvious ploy to recapture the attention of their older fans. Since then I’ve been watching RAW and Smackdown pretty regularly, and also attempted to get back into watching TNA. Attempted being the key word.
Honetly, I haven’t been able to sit through an episode of Impact since they had the big “head-to-head” with RAW one with Hulk Hogan. Maybe it’s because they’re building their brand around washed-up stars from the early ’90s that should have retired by now. I was never a big Hulk Hogan fan, I’ll just say it flat out. I got into wrestling after he had passed his prime, and even when he was part of the big NWO phenomenon I always wished the focus was on the other guys instead of him. Since Hogan and Bischoff (blech) showed up it seems like the whole show is just trying too hard. TNA can’t compete with WWE on the WWE’s level, and I don’t see how it does anybody any good for it to try. They seem to be trying to emulate the Monday Night Wars (they moved Impact to Monday night in the same time slot as RAW, for crap’s sake), which does explain the WCW circa 1997 feel that they’ve got going. I mean, seriously, does anybody really want to see Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair yell non-sensical promos while AJ Styles stands in the background holding the belt that is overshadowed by “wrasslin’ with the oldies?”
One thing I think is important for a wrestling promotion is to know what it is. ECW in the ’90s knew it couldn’t match the glitz and glamour of the WWF and WCW, so they focused on having the best in-ring wrestling, with something to cater to everyone’s tastes. The blood and guts hardcore wrestling, the lucha libre, the superb technical grappling, and sometimes all of those in one match. Ring of Honor strikes me as a similar case, although the in-ring styles they focus on are different.It’s also great seeing young wrestlers grow and develop, which TNA certainly doesn’t seem very interested in doing anymore.
It’s almost like what parents tell their kids: don’t try to be anyone else, just be yourself. Think about it, wrestling world.
Note: Can you believe my original intent of this post was to talk about the main event scene on RAW these days? Holy off-topic, Batman.
I watched WWE RAW last night and uh… four matches in two hours, totalling about half an hour of TV time (probably not even that much). Now, I know that WWE has gotten even talkier since I stopped watching it a few years ago, but seriously, four matches in a two hour show? And Jack Swagger vs. Santino and MVP vs. … whoever MVP fought barely combined to break the one minute mark.
Ted DiBiase vs. Randy Orton and DX vs. ShowMiz were okay, and I guess a decent length by modern TV standards, but considering that the other hour and a half of the show were nothing but yakkity yak yak, it was pretty disappointing. Despite also being a WWE show, Smackdown seems to have a much higher wrestling-to-talking ratio, which I approve of. Until it was canceled, that was my favourite part about the modern ECW: it was almost entirely wrestling, without a whole lot of promo time. Which is also why I was a huge fan of Ring of Honor when it was running on the Fight Network: lots of really good wrestling. Except that when they did talk, the audio was so terrible a lot of the time that it was basically unintelligible.
I think where I’m going with this is that I watch wrestling for wrestling matches, and thus am excited to see Monster Pro Wrestling live in Edmonton this Saturday. All wrestling, no fifteen minutes of John Cena and Batista nattering about their upcoming match, which resolved nothing. So yeah, if you’re in Edmonton, check out Monster Pro Wrestling on Saturday night. Should be a good time! Vance Nevada is taking on Massive Damage in the main event.