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What's up wrestling fans? I'm back with a look at WWE's new "A" show, Friday Night Smackdown. Last night's event came to us from Memphis, Tennessee and certainly proved that the wrestling show to watch, if you can only watch one a week, is Friday Night Smackdown.
Overall the show featured top to bottom entertainment, and some of the best wrestling in one 2 hour show that I've seen on TV this year. That said, let's take a look at The Good, The Bad and The Wrestling from the go-home into "Extreme Rules" edition of Smackdown.
Pretty much the whole damn show. There was a lull in hour two when a 6 man Diva's match was booked right before a lackluster match between Dolph Ziggler and The Great Khali, but since neither segment was terrible it didn't have much effect on the show's entire momentum, which was strong.
For whatever reason, be it the creative team or Vince's philosophy of Raw vs Smackdown, the Friday night show understands the idea of simplicity. For all those who complain that the PG rating is drastically effecting WWE's product, last night's show was an example of how you can still create an exciting, well wrestled show under the so-called "confines" of a PG rating. Smackdown is simple. It tells straight forward, creative stories, and ultimately allows the wrestlers to go out there and do what they do best; wrestle. Smackdown doesn't forget that it's first and foremost a wrestling show, therefore it doesn't rely on a need for over-the-top vignettes, gross out comedy sequences, or characters that serve to be ridiculous as opposed to athletic.
The opening segment between Jeff Hardy and Edge was great, and it was capped with a really devastating looking fall off the ladder that perfectly intensified this feud heading into "Extreme Rules." Who isn't excited as all hell to see the ladder match tomorrow night? It's probably the most anticipated match on the PPV's card, and it's no surprise why. The match up between the two competitors is great, and the build up has been succinct and intense. I expect a phenomenal match out of these two tomorrow night.
The intertwining of the Rey Mysterio/Chris Jericho feud with the Edge/Jeff Hardy feud last night was also a great creative move. It wove the two stories together in addition to providing the audience with a main event that is worthy of being called the television match of the year at this point. In my opinion, watching great story lines that are either born out of or influenced by great wrestling matches is the key to a great show and is a true pleasure to watch when done right.
Another smart move which provided another great match was booking CM Punk against Umaga in a singles match just two days before the PPV. In this instance WWE can get away with booking a match like this because the rules will be completely different tomorrow night, so you get to see the talent wrestle in two totally different environments just days away from each other. This builds well for the PPV bout as I am now anxious, after seeing these guys wrestle a series of very good singles matches, to see how they will clash in a strap match.