The weekly awesomeness meter, this week depicted through members of the Four Horsemen through time…
A – Ric Flair
B – Arn Anderson
C – Dean Malenko
D – Lex Luger
E – Paul Roma
The Peep Show kicks the frivolity off this week as Christian takes a little time to put himself over and then moves quickly on to getting the skinny on how Rey Mysterio feels about his Son not actually being his Son. Rey goes schizo quite quickly ranting about how Christian promised him Guerrero. Being a man of his word, Christian delivers Eddie via the big screens and Ed tells Rey that Chapter 2 is coming up tonight. Once Eddie is done, Christian feels it important to demonstrate that he’s still involved so absolutely twats Rey in the back of his head with the microphone. Smooth.
Backstage shenanigans as Jillian Hall tells us about her absurd looking deformity.
Match One: Booker T and Chris Benoit vs MNM
Melina sticks her jugs in the mix once too often and Sharmell takes it upon herself to chase her counterpart into the ring. A quick tussle ensues, ending when Jillian nails Sharmell with a spear that makes Edge looks like a pussy (but, to be fair, most things make Edge look like a pussy) and, in the confusion, Mercury rolls Booker up and hooks the ropes for the pin.
Another good tag match from Booker and Benoit, this one not perhaps as good as the effort last week with Christian and Orlando Jordan, but Christian is a little more accomplished than Nitro or Mercury. Still, the two newbies – especially Mercury – held their own well enough and the match went long enough to get the crowd into it (and VERY into it, they were!) and I loved the chanting of “Booker!” and “Benoit!” during the outing. Here’s an idea for us all – let’s do Orlando vs Booker vs Benoit vs Christian at SummerSlam, switch the IC Belt to Christian. Orlando gets pissed off that he’s lost the belt, blames Booker for it, JBL and Jordan drop Animal and Heidenreich for the Tag Belts and then we can do JBL/Jordan vs Booker/Benoit in a high profile slot at the next Smackdown PPV. Heck, you could even build it up for Survivor Series as Batista/Booker/Benoit/Undertaker vs JBL/Jordan/Christian/Orton if you wanted.
The Contract Signing sees Batista and JBL jawing back and forth for a few minutes with quips that actually make a not half bad interview but that the crowd find dreadfully uninteresting. Bottom line – it’s going to be no-holds barred at SummerSlam and that makes me think they actually might have a chance at making this one half decent, as long as they go for a full on weapons laden brawl all over the place and don’t stint on the juice. I should like to point out that I’m happy to endorse Jeremy Lambert’s idea that a refund should be issued if this match doesn’t rate above a C, given the woeful last effort by both, but I’m not dipping into my pocket for the reimbursements.
Match Two: Animal/Heidenreich vs Two Jobbers
You know the score – kick, splat, munk, zim, Doomsday Device, end of.
Same as every week – enough of nothing to not be offensive. Heidenreich’s face paint looked pretty stupid, I thought. Better luck next week. On the plus side, he seems to have got the hang of the clothesline part of the Doomsday Device now!
Randy Orton makes an incredibly unwelcome return to the microphone and bangs on about how the Undertaker did this and that and he wants a match at SummerSlam. The Undertaker’s voice shows up without the rest of him and agrees to the match. Thrilling.
Match Three: Christian vs Rey Mysterio
After what seems like an eternity of offence by Christian, Rey evades the Unprettier, dropkicks the good Captain into position for the 619, decks him what that and then follows up with the springboard legdrop for the three count.
This was an odd match – you’d think that 15 minutes or so given to these two would be awesome but it wasn’t. It was in no way at all bad, but it should have been so much better. I guess, given the character motivation at present, Rey’s got no really desire to fight anyone but Eddie, even when someone else brains him with electronic equipment, and Christian seems to be sulking a little as to his sudden lack of push – and I can’t say I blame him. Rey losing to Christian would do nothing to damage Mysterio and really help get Christian back on track. With Eddie at ringside, Rey even had the protection of not losing clean, yet Christian does the job again, spotlessly clean, clearly making him look like he’s not in the league of Rey-Rey? I don’t get it.
Eddie Guerrero, who has been sitting in the aisle with a very ugly, although svelte, Hispanic looking woman, reveals that Chapter 2 of his story is when Dominik’s real Dad issues his fake Dad with custody papers. Or was that custardy papers? If it was the latter, Rey should have just eaten them. Maybe he’s allergic to custard. I don’t know. We’ll assume it was custody for now. The woman is an attorney and, unless Rey can convince Eddie that he’s a fit Papi, the boy is coming back to Eddie next week. Mysterio gives it a crack with an impassioned and heartfelt speech, the lawyer tells Eddie to ignore it and Guerrero chuckles and tells Rey to give his boy back next week. I hope chapter 4 involves selling him to the black market.
The Overall Verdict: C+
120 minutes and we only really managed two matches but four interviews of substance? Doesn’t quite work out for me but at least both the matches I reference here were at least watchable if not pretty good. Probably a B week in terms of in-ring action, but brought down by the sheer amount of interviews, that ranged from decent (Guerrero’s efforts) to poor (Orton’s) but still an above average show overall – it just could have done with one of the interviews being cut (Orton’s was shit and unnecessary, they could have quite happily just announced the match on top of last week’s interference and then had him do the interview next week) and another match being put in – heck, they’ve switched the Cruiserweight title on Velocity this week, they should have had the match on Smackdown and given it 7 or 8 minutes so that we all get some more decent action AND get a reminder that there *is* still a Cruiserweight belt.
The Notable Participants and their Grading
Booker T – another week, another enjoyable showing from Booker. Is it me, or it the Spinaroonie actually generating a negative response from the crowd now? Peculiar.
Chris Benoit – the standard B grade for Chris for obvious reasons.
Joey Mercury – very surprising performance from the chap who I thought was by far the inferior of MNM – good selling especially this week.
Eddie Guerrero – delighting in his current role, it seems – it’s nice to see him having fun, it makes me want to cheer him. Probably not what the office want, but I am a little odd.
Rey Mysterio – stropping around as if a bear took a shit in his porridge, he didn’t let his pained expression slip once.
Christian – another week where his in-ring performance was certainly above average but still clearly not what he’s capable of. Also, I love the idea of the Peep Show but he’s got to put himself over a smidge more than he did this week – he’s spent too long helping put others over and needs to be a bit more selfish for a while if he’s going to get what he deserves.
Randy Orton: boring last time around, boring this time around. No thanks.