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There's really nothing to pick apart here when it comes to last night's show, so I want to take a minute, or longer, or shorter, depending on how fast you read, to discuss the current women's division in WWE. This was an element of the show that suffered last night, and has the same problems each week on Raw.
The current WWE women's division is too spread out over the company's 3 shows. Much like the tag team division, the women's division needs to be consolidated and located on one show. The story lines and wrestling matches would benefit from a move like this in a heartbeat, not to mention the audience. There are too many extraneous and under skilled women on the WWE roster to have the women spread out over 3 shows. Imagine what kind of a division WWE would have for the Diva's if the lesser talented women were pulled from TV and the talented wrestlers were consolidated on one show. You'd have a roster than consists of Melina, Michelle McCool, Gail Kim, Beth Phoenix, Mickie James, Natalya and I'd even include Kelly Kelly and Maryse, who although are not at the level of the aforementioned women, are improving as they wrestle. This would be a division that could showcase great feuds not to mention excellent wrestling matches.
Instead, Raw and Smackdown are bogged down every week with too many unremarkable 6 diva tag matches that are lukewarm at best from a creative standpoint, and don't ever advance past mediocre from a wrestling standpoint because wrestlers like Layla or Eve, for example, are distracting the bouts with poor wrestling skills. If reports are true that Vince is frustrated with the current women's division in WWE, then here's to hoping he makes a bold move to focus on the women who can really entertain us.
John Morrison vs Shelton Benjamin: A fantastic opening match. Morrison and Benjamin really elevate wrestling to an art form, and there was some innovation in this match that we haven't seen from either of these guys in the past. Morrison's one-legged kip up was genius, and Benjamin's focus on working his opponents leg was methodical and psychologically fun to watch. Morrison is the absolute future of Smackdown, and it's good to see his potential being maximized against and opponent like Shelton Benjamin. Out of a possible 9 stars, I give this opening bout 7 Stars.
Chris Jericho vs R-Truth: Another good match. But more importantly here, we finally got a chance to see Truth flex his muscles a bit on the mic. He is so over with the crowd, it's a shame WWE didn't capitalize on the creatively awesome way they introduced him into the company with the vignettes they ran for him. This is a guy who has tons of potential, and I really hope we get to see more of him in the way we saw him last night. 5.5 Stars.
CM Punk vs Umaga: A great match. These two guys work really well together and are as physical as it gets. Umaga is such an agile athlete for a man his size, and Punk adapts well to different styles. This was a great preview of their match tomorrow night, although it will be wrestled in a completely different light. Punk's kicks continue to be amongst the best in the business, and Umaga comes off as downright violent when he's in the ring. 7.5 Stars.
6-Diva Tag Match: Michelle McCool, Layla & Alicia Fox vs. Gail Kim, Melina & Eve: I pretty much summed this up in the "Bad" section, but this match suffered because there were too many women involved that most people just don't care to see wrestle as they don't make the grade when matched up against talent like Kim, Melina and McCool. There was no meaning in this match, and it was simply thrown out there to be the requisite diva's segment of the evening. Melina showed some flashes of great offense, but on the whole, this was a forgettable bout. 4 Stars.
The Great Khali vs Dolph Ziggler: Eh, at least it was kept short. I didn't mind the match so much, but more so the fact that WWE should not be booking up and coming talent like Ziggler in these types of matches. He's losing to everyone, and in the meantime, he's losing momentum and ultimately care from the audience. WWE should be working with Ziggler in the same way they are a talent like Morrison, so that we get a taste of his true potential, which I have a feeling is large. 3 Stars.
Edge vs Rey Mysterio: A great main event. These guys worked very well together and provided a good cross build-up for both of their matches at "Extreme Rules." I especially like how the show opened with Edge hitting Hardy with a cheap shot off the ladder and gaining momentum, only to have the show close with Hardy getting one over on Edge by using a ladder as well. A really solid book end to the overall program. 8.5 Stars.
This was a great edition of Smackdown, and more importantly it sold the Smackdown side of "Extreme Rules" to the best of its abilities. It didn't take for granted that the audience was watching wrestling show by only pushing the PPV and not offering much by way of in-ring action, as we were treated to a host of very good TV bouts. Out of a possible 9 stars, I give last night's edition of Friday Night Smackdown 7.5 Stars.
-How badass was Rey leaping off the entrance ramp onto Jericho?
-How badass is The Starship Pain?
-How bad is Layla?
-I'm really starting to like the combination of JR and The Grish. Yes, I will concur that Todd's jokes are more often than not lines that my drunk uncle would say, but he does work well with JR and doesn't bother me NEARLY as much as Cole.
-I think the strap Umaga uses is actually Mark Henry's pants belt.
-Maria is stunningly beautiful.