With just over two weeks to go until the next PPV event, No Way Out, it doesn’t leave a lot of time for the creative folks at WWE to build storylines. Luckily, some pretty decent ones are already in place to build upon that should still make for a pretty good show.
This week’s Smackdown! was a bit unusual, with four out of the five matches actually being tag-team bouts. But I want to make one thing clear to the higher-ups in the company: This doesn’t mean I’ll be easing up on my desire to see the tag-team division get some renewed momentum!
Nevertheless, the show had some shining moments that definitely deserve some props.
I’ll start where the action did, with the rematch between Ric Flair and MVP. You all know that MVP tapped out to the Figure Four at the Royal Rumble, making him a rarity since VKM delivered his edict that Flair’s career was over as soon as he lost a match. Flair has kept his winning streak alive though being the “dirtiest player in the game,” countouts or disqualifications.
Tonight, MVP turned the tables on Flair by quickly countering the Figure Four, getting disqualified for refusing to break the hold when Flair was in the ropes, and then continuing to dish out some damage to the leg of the Nature Boy.
As much as I love Ric Flair, I have to say this move was brilliant. MVP, heel or not, is one of the young stars in the company and having him lose cleanly without repercussions (even if you loved it as much as I did) hurt his status. What happened this week more than made up for it.
Make no mistake about it, Flair’s “injury” will play a role in the storyline as we continue toward WresleMania. How, I can’t say for sure. But the odds have to start stacking up against the legend before we get to his final match.
(On a side note, I’ll be completely honest with you. As much as Flair has meant to this business, if they decided to make WrestleMania a one-match show with him, I’d still buy the thing!)
Certainly showing a full head of steam lately is my fellow Irishman, Finlay. The man, since showing more of a “face” side in protecting Hornswoggle, is definitely coming on strong lately and it showed as he and the little guy made short work of Deuce and Domino. I’m loving every minute of it.
It wouldn’t surprise me in the least for Finlay to show some more of that scrapping, fired-up Irish side in the Elimination Chamber at No Way Out and make a strong showing of it. I don’t suspect that they’ll let him win the thing, but I still love the push he’s getting.
So – how much longer until he gets to beat the living hell out of Vince?
Another shining star that just seems to be getting brighter night after night is the WWE’s resident redneck, Jimmy Wang Yang.
Now, I know he and Shannon Moore lost tonight to the Edgeheads, Zack Ryder and Curt Hawkins. And, if I recall, I believe I have to admit that when Jimmy first hit the scene I thought the gimmick was a bit silly. Now I know better.
First, it’s kinda hard to call a gimmick silly if it’s truly a part of who someone is. I don’t really know if Jimmy’s neck is quite as red as the act shows, but he’s definitely a southerner of Asian descent.
Second, I’ve gotten to the point where I always look forward to seeing this guy in action. He’s a lot of fun to watch in the ring, is purty dang good at the high-flyin’, and makes for a knee-slappin’ good time! Ok, perhaps I went a bit overboard there. But suffice it to say that I see big things in Jimmy’s future.
I worry about something, though.
Shannon Moore has potential as well, but I think he’s being a bit overshadowed here. It is, after all, always Jimmy’s music that plays when the pair comes out. And it was the “reject” who was pinned tonight when otherwise the duo have looked pretty dominant.
Now before some of you out there go twisting my thoughts around, let’s not blame Jimmy one bit. He’s come on strong and deserves every push he can get right now. But let’s hope the creative folks in Connecticut don’t leave another good wrestler in the dust in the process.
We saw more blood tonight, this time from Mark Henry, as Undertaker locked in the same choke variation that we saw last week on Big Daddy V. At first glance, last week’s move looked as though Taker just couldn’t get the Triangle Choke locked in and, being the veteran he is, improvised. Now it appears that he’s definitely got a new weapon in his arsenal that we’ll be seeing more of.
So, any votes on a name for this thing? It seems to me to be a move called the gogoplata, or shin choke, I believe. So let’s have it folks: The Reaper? The Fatal Leg Lock? The Choko-a-gogo? (Ok, maybe not that one.) Let’s hear what you think.
But back to the actual match, it’s always fun to see the Brothers of Destruction in action together. All things considered, the two made fairly short work of Henry and V tonight, dishing out a double choke slam to V, a choke slam to Henry and wrapping things up nicely in the end.
Rey Mysterio and CM Punk got a measure of revenge by beating Edge and Chavo Guerrero in tag action, but time was again spent focusing on the surgically repaired knee of Mysterio. It makes me wonder if that won’t be played as a factor in the upcoming rematch between Edge and Rey.
One thing’s for sure, it was nice to see Teddy Long back “in charge” tonight and not playing Vicki Guerrero’s lackey. I always found Teddy’s fair dealing to be a breath of fresh air in a world where it seems the ones usually “in charge” are heels in a big way. I honestly can’t wait to see if and when the story twists things around again in Teddy’s favor.
Being restored as the boss full-time, how will Teddy react to the woman he “gave a chance” and hired, and who later treated him like dung? I bet we won’t have to wait long to find out.
Don’t like my take? Let’s hear yours! Send me your e-mails to firstname.lastname@example.org… the best and worst of the bunch may be featured in editions of Sean Oâ<80><99>Macâ<80><99>s Pullinâ<80><99> No Punches. Remember, short ones are good, long ones may be cut, and keep the name of the column in mind when you come looking for answers!