Sunday, May 4, 2008

Smackdown - BOO!

So - I didn't get to catch SD afterall but at least now it isn't a spoiler to say what I know happened on it- Undertaker was stripped of his title by Vicki Guerrero. The rest of the show, from what I can tell, is almost irrelevant - minus the replacement of Jon Coachman on colour commentary by Mick Foley (welcome Mick! and doing an awesome job!). Oh ... and something I forgot to mention after Raw but came up on SD as well - Shawn Michaels and the 'is he or isn't he' faking a knee injury? He was favouring his knee thru his match with Batista on Sunday, but managed to deliver a perfect Superkick on his bad leg. Obviously the injury is worked - but is it a worked real injury, or a worked ... worked injury? Way to play on Shawn Michaels' dubious past of phantom injuries and dirty tricks, and a great way of keeping this Michaels-Jericho-Batista angle going despite a definitive victory having been achieved. I like it.

But the World Title angle ...

I've said before that I'm reserving judgement on the 'weirdness' of the Raw and ECW endings from earlier this (last) week; while I think we wrestling fans need to be more patient for our payoffs these days, I do understand the skepticism that decent payoffs are coming for those kind of cliff-hangy endings. But this one is just plain dumb. Here's my thought; stripping UT of the title can only mean they don't want him as champion right now. Which is fine - I disagree personally, but whoever Vince wants to trust with the belt is his business, I'll choose to tune in or not. But SD was taped not two days after a title defense at a PPV - if they wanted the belt off him, why not have him lose to Edge then? It would have made more sense, and been put to better use, to have the title change hands in-ring, for paying viewers, than on free TV without so much as a match.

Now that's not to doubt WWE's judgement TOO much - there might be a payoff with this, as there might be with the other two angles. But I can more easily see those other two angles going in a few different interesting directions. I fail to see what will happen with this one that will contribute to the intrigue of SD, that him losing the title to Edge or whoever wouldn't have created. Except maybe a tournament ... and even then, have him or Edge have gotten a dubious victory over the other, or a schmozz ending to their Backlash match, giving a real reason for Vicki to declare the title vacant and hold a tournament. Lots of titles were stripped, and changed hands due to injury last year - Undertaker and Edge themselves both lost their titles due to injury; John Cena, and so forth; after a year of many titles switching hands outside of the ring, I would just not go to that well for awhile is all I'm thinking.

But ultimately it's all about the payoff right? In a way, I'm withholding absolute final judgement on all these angles - but while I'm leaning that Raw and ECW's bizarre angles can have some decent mileage in the coming days and weeks, I'm more skeptical of this one.

There won't be a Raw report tomorrow night right on the money as I will be at the show LIVE in Toronto! But I will definitely post an update Tuesday talking about the experience, and the upcoming week in wrestling. Enjoy it guys and see y'all at the matches.


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