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WWE: The Week in Review from JHawk's Beak (10/9/2005)
Posted by Jared "JHawk" Hawkins on Oct 9, 2005, 21:38
WWE: The Week in Review from JHawk's Beak
by Jared "JHawk" Hawkins
OK, guys, this is the debut of the new format for Raw and SmackDown recaps, at least until the people in charge find somebody to cover one of the shows for me. Rather than straight recaps, which in all honesty can be found pretty much everywhere, I'm going to bullet point what did (or didn't) work on the WWE's two big TV shows of the week.
Raw 10/3/2005: WWE Homecoming
The Ironman Match: Kurt Angle and Shawn Michaels put on another classic match that wound up being the only match of the first hour. They've had better matches, but this might have been the best free TV match of the year so far. Good psychology with Angle tying to slow the pace down pretty much every second he had the lead, with both men's desperation showing in the final few minutes as they tried to grab the deciding fall. Perfectly timed finish too. With title matches apparently at stake, the draw keeps both men in the title hunt, and it also keeps the possibility of another rematch open in the future.
Piper's Pit: While not a horrible segment by any means, it made absolutely no sense. Orton was not one of the SmackDown stars that Teddy Long had announced as being there, so his appearance was a bit of a stretch. Logic gaps like that make things hard to swallow.
Stone Cold stuns every McMahon except Ed: Not only was the segment way too long, but we continue with the logic gaps. That's what now, the third time that Stephanie came back to TV after being banned "forever"? Even if it's only a one shot deal, I don't like my intelligence being insulted. Then there was the stunner to Linda that was so horrible, they didn't even show it on SmackDown when they recapped the segment. This could have gone to that SmackDown match that didn't happen. Which brings me to:
The "Eh" Files
The SmackDown "invasion" of Raw: I want to like the possiblities, but I can't. I mean, the battle royal at the end of the show was a huge crowd pleaser, and I enjoyed it, but WWE has a history of botching these invasion things. In addition to completely dropping the ball with the WCW/ECW invasion (even though the in-ring work at the time was awesome), there's also the largely-forgotten NWA invasion of 1998. The chance of doing it right is there since these are both WWE products...at least if SmackDown gets renewed next year.
The Ladder Match: Again, here's a case where the match was good...until you compare it to the rest of the feud. First off, this one should have ended with a last man standing match after the street fight last month. Plain and simple. Secondly, Matt should have won the blowoff since his revenge was basically the entire point of the feud. Third, Matt should, at the very least, gotten one last shot in on Lita before he got escorted off. Good match, horrible booking.
The legends' reunion: While it was nice to see some guys I grew up watching on the show (and even nicer to see Kevin Von Erich get that awesome hometown pop for the Iron Claw), they did it at the expense of the younger talent they should have been introducing and pushing. The burial of Rob Conway wasn't bad if you look at it like it was 20 on 1. But it kept guys like Shelton Benjamin, Tajiri, and even Tag Team Champions Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch off the show completely.
Friday NIght SmackDown! 10/7/2005
The Batista-Eddy in-ring segment: Finally we get some sense out of this storyline, as we finally find out that Batista doesn't really trust Eddy, even though Eddy insists he's changed. We know he hasn't really changed, and that's the beauty of it. Which leads us to...
The six man main event: Good action that served to push Batista-Eddy while downplaying the other feuds they needed to push, which almost put this in the "Eh" Files. But Batista saving Eddy adds to that storyline...maybe Batista's actually buying Eddy's line of bullshit. Eddy's facial expressions sell the angle here.
SmackDown: Home of new stars: Not just this week's thing, but in general over the last month. First, you have Ken Kennedy, who has gotten over with his ring intro schtick and some decent matches, and appears in line for at least a brief main event push based on his involvement in the Raw invasion. Then you have Bobby Lashley, who is quickly getting over without even saying a word. Just a few suplexes and some decent power moves, and crowds are going nuts for this guy. Hell, they've gotten Heidenreich of all people over.
The No Mercy buildup: Let me put it this way. I'm actually writing this as the pay-per-view is taking place. What does that tell you? I actually forgot there was a PPV tonight until I watched the tape of SmackDown to work on this article.
The "Eh" Files
The Handicap Match: Bob, Roddy, I love you guys, but stay out of the ring. That being said, Piper's prematch interview was a classic, and The Undertaker showing likenesses of the Ortons in the casket was creepy. The match, however, sucked. Call it a draw.
Booker T's unwanted win streak: Booker likes the wins, but doesn't like Sharmell helping him get them. And yet, when Booker finally smacks her and gets the face pop for it, we'll probably be told to boo Booker.
What worked: SmackDown 3, Raw 1.
What didn't: Raw 2, SmackDown 1, but SmackDown's one was a lot worse than Raw's two.
The "Eh" Files: Raw 3, SmackDown 2.
Overall: Sadly, I enjoyed Raw a lot more simply because the matches themselves were better, but outside of the actual PPV buildup, SmackDown seems to be more focused lately. SmackDown wins this week based on that.
What do you think of the new format? Drop me a line and let me know.