10 Thoughts on Smackdown – 02.22.08

On the strength of me no longer hating my website and two solid PPVs, I have thus ended my almost 4-year moratorium on Smackdown. The last Smackdown I watched was a couple of episodes leading up to Wrestlemania XX at MSG. I don’t think I’ll ever actually watch it live, but DVR is my friend. That said, I have no idea who’s on Smackdown, any of the relevant storylines, who hates who, or anything else.

In some old business, the winner of Most Disturbing Thing I’ve Ever Seen On Raw was maclean with “Triple H Rapes Corpse.” Congratulation, ‘Aitch on your well deserved victory.

1) They open the show with the highlight of Undertaker beating Batista with the over the rope reversal into the Tombstone that I didn’t see coming until the last possible second. I have to say, one of the most satisfying finishes in quite some time. It’s really hard to make new and interesting finishes to matches and when you can make one that makes a room of cynical IWC fans go “HOLY!!!” then you did something right. Good job.

2) I was somewhat sad to realize I missed the entire JBL Color Commentary Era on Smackdown. When I left Smackdown, it was Michael Cole and Tazz. Now it’s Michael Cole and Coach. The moral to this story is Michael Cole is the universal constant.

3) I absolutely LOVE the sub-plot to the Edge and Undertaker title match at Wrestlemania. Not only is it for the Big Gold Belt, but both of them are laying their “Undefeated At Wrestlemania” streak on the line. I don’t know if they meant to do that or if it just worked out that way… it’s an incredible extra sprinkle of awesome to what was already a good and new Wrestlemania match. I am interested to see if they will ever point out that, while Edge didn’t technically get pinned in the Money In The Bank ladder match last year, he didn’t actually win it, either.

4) Michael Cole as Jimmy Yang was climbing the top rope and facing forward and Shelton was standing up: “Jimmy Wang going for the patented moonsault, perhaps.” How is it, in more than four years of play-by-play, Michael Cole has gotten no better at this?

5) I’ve had to elevate the Big Show on my “hardest guys alive” list. At some point, he suggested “yeah, hey… best boxer in the world. I’m gonna get on my knees and you punch me in the face four times. No, don’t worry about it… it’s all good.” He now comes in somewhere between lumberjacks and the guys on Deadliest Catch.

6) I’ve seen none of MVP’s character development on Smackdown because it fell during The Blackout. I see he gets pyro and he does the jumpshot thing and has a catchphrase. Everyone I’ve spoken too has mentioned he’s one of the better things on Smackdown. MVP is selling his lower back injury better than any wrestler I’ve seen sell an injury throughout a match. Of course, that tells me he’s losing… but whatever. However, as much as MVP was selling his own back injury, Batista never tried to “take advantage” of the lower back injury until the very end of the match when he gave multiple spine-busters before the Demon Bomb. If MVP has a bad lower back, you’d think that Batista might try a friggin abdominal stretch over a punch to the face… just me though.

7) They keep talking about Batista trying to “claw his way back” into contention after injury. He’s beaten the US Champion two weeks in a row. If he’s trying to claw his way back, wouldn’t trying to WIN the US Championship be a stepping stone?

8) Chuck Palumbo’s not gay anymore? Has anyone told the Undertaker that Palumbo’s stolen his American Badass gimmick? Like, right down to the black jeans and black do-rag. In other thoughts, how much must Sean O’Haire must have pissed off the WWE Brass such that he never got a chance to be repackaged? It seems like everyone in the WWE gets multiple chances to have something that works… of course, Palumbo’s gimmick has already worked once for the Undertaker. I look forward to his Kid Rock song.

9) I watched the recap of the Edge/Vickie proposal. Rey said that Vickie is “disgracing the Guererro name.” Either Matt Michaels or Widro made the point “how is a family name that was built on lying, cheating, and stealing disgraced? Wouldn’t disgracing the Guerrero name be like… telling the truth and donating to charity?” I tried to dispute that and could not.

10) By the way, in reference to point #6, Chavo/Rey was the type of match where “Opponent X has an injury that opponent Y knows about and opponent Y exploits.” Someone should have sat Batista down and made him watch this match. Most wrestlers could use to watch this match to know how to sell an injury so that people believe it… unlike “selling an injury all match only to forget about it when it’s time for a finisher.”