So here I sit at 1:30 a.m. writing my Take on Smackdown. I tell you this to make two points, one much more significant than the other.
1. A person gets punchy at this time of night when theyâ<80><99>ve been up at a respectable hour, so this could be an interesting editorial.
But I digress â<80>¦ on to the show!
Tonightâ<80><99>s (or last nightâ<80><99>s as I write this) Smackdown! was a big improvement over last weekâ<80><99>s episode. Many storylines building, rivalries are born or renewed, and some pretty good ring time as well.
So much going on tonight, but the top story has to be the World Heavyweight Champion Batista. Or, more specifically, those targeting him and his title.
A number one contenderâ<80><99>s match was held between Rey Mysterio and Finlay to end this night as the champ watched from ringside. Rey was quite fired up after the fake-out and beat-down he received at No Mercy, and showed uncharacteristic offense as he quickly attacked Finlay with punches and kicks. Finlay got a few blows in and even managed to dodge a moonsault, but a venture outside the ring saw a fast recovered Mysterio flying down to nail the Irishman.
After a commercial break, Reyâ<80><99>s offense continued until he has a â<80><9c>meetingâ<80> with a ringpost. Finlay then concentrated on the back of Mysterio, including a Boston Crab. When Rey turned things around finally, the match dissolved into a brawl with the contenders exchanging punches and takedowns aplenty. The match apparently ended in a no contest when the referee was shoved out of the way while trying to bring some control back into the match.
Finlay went for his shillelagh as Rey pulled himself up when suddenly, that all-too-familiar darkness and gong hit. When the lights return, Undertaker stands amongst two fallen wrestlers and quickly turns his gaze toward Batista. Batista rose to meet the stare as the Dead Man motioned that he wanted the gold back around his waist. Batista held his title high in response.
This one is just FULL of possibilities. Undertaker wants the belt back, and the number one contenderâ<80><99>s match decided nothing. Where does it go from here? A triple-threat match with Mysterio, Finlay and Taker to determine the number one contender? Or do the three continue battling it out until we are left with a fatal four-way for the title?
We know that Undertaker, before his injury, was set for a long reign as the champ. Edge filled that void quickly until he, too, was injured. Itâ<80><99>s going to be interesting to see which direction this one goes â<80>” if Taker gets to resume his reign as champ, a returning Edge may find himself waiting quite a while before he gets gold around his waist again.
Whichever way it goes, a massive feud involving Mysterio, Finlay, Taker and Batista is definitely worth watching and should make Cyber Sunday another interesting PPV.
Brett Major of the Major Brothers took on Scotsman Drew McIntyre in a very short, boring match. I would like to have seen more of McIntyre in my first look at the man.
Iâ<80><99>m also still not entertained by the 50s gimmick of Deuce and Domino, and found the whole segment involving them tonight dull. For those of you who missed it, Jamie Noble convinced the duo that rival high-flier Jimmy Wang Yang had said some derogatory things about Cherry. Well, that led to a match between Yang and Deuce â<80>” which Yang won but paid a heavy price for afterward.
For his trouble, Noble got to get squashed by Great Khali, who also bores me to tears.
The Brothers of Destruction reunited tonight as Kane and Undertaker took on the Tag Team Champs, MVP and Matt Hardy, in a non-title bout.
Prior to the match, the story here showed some semblance of chemistry between the champs as Hardy and MVP shook hands â<80>” agreeing that they needed to be on the same page before taking on these opponents.
That was of little help in the beginning, however, as the BoD quickly overpowered and dominated the champs. Hardy, having been recently cleared from the ring by Kane, spent the last moments before a commercial break pulling his partner free of a double choke slam, much to MVPâ<80><99>s chagrin.
Once again, a chance meeting with a ringpost (this time by Kane) would be a turning point in the match. MVP went on the attack, followed quickly by a tag to Hardy who lost the upper hand soon after. Taker gets tagged in next and puts Hardy down with a series of right hands. Hardy took advantage however when MVP grabbed the Dead Manâ<80><99>s hair and held him in the corner long enough for his partner to get in some blows.
MVP tags in and goes to town on Undertaker in the corner, but is soon finding himself thrown to another corner as â<80><9c>The Strikerâ<80> let loose with blows of his own. It wasnâ<80><99>t long before MVP felt the weight of a leg drop from Undertaker while hanging outside the ring.
Kaneâ<80><99>s turn, but heâ<80><99>s met with an elbow while charging at MVP, giving the opportunity for a much-needed tag to Hardy. A flurry of offense ensued and Hardy unloaded on Kane. A boot to the head was followed up with both an elbow and leg drop from the second rope. A failed attempt at the Twist of Fate seemed to be leading to another momentum change, but Hardy quickly recovered and nailed the signature move.
MVP tags himself in at this point and gets a near-fall. Surprised by the kick-out, he decides he wants his partner to tag right back in. Kane decides better for him and tags in Taker. MVP soon feels the snake eyes on the top turnbuckle. After a near fall, MVP ducks a blow from Taker only to watch Hardy, on the side of the ring, take the blow.
All alone, MVP would have the honor of receiving a Tombstone piledriver, and thatâ<80><99>s all she wrote.
Although it certainly isnâ<80><99>t a lesson in the fundamentals of wrestling, I truly enjoy watching the Brothers of Destruction team up. Interesting possibilities arise with this victory, however. Will the giants get a title shot? If so, will it be at Cyber Sunday when Taker could possibly also be involved in a shot at the Heavyweight Championship?
Why the heck not? Sounds like a fun evening to me!
– Chuck Palumbo opened up the show by taking on Chris Masters. Palumbo wins this one, but is taken down by the Master Lock post-match. I still donâ<80><99>t like the lack of storyline here (other than whoâ<80><99>s the toughest kid on the block), but the potential of this one has got my interest at least enough to take them out of the Downsiders for now.
– Jesse and Festus took on Conrad Carnes and Jay Adams. Again, split personality shows through for Festus when the bell rings and he turns vicious. They actually let the underdogs get in some offense here, but then Jesse would display his quickness followed by the destructive power of Festus and it didnâ<80><99>t take long for this one to be decided. I still donâ<80><99>t like this gimmick, but I am liking this combination.
– An update on Teddy Long (who suffered the worst fake heart attack I can remember) said that heâ<80><99>s out of ICU and resting comfortably with his â<80><9c>fiancÃ©â<80> by his side.
– Two flashbacks to the Punjabi Prison match at No Mercy? Maybe they just like watching Batista leap from cage to cage.
– Second Coming bit aired again. These Matrix-style promos still havenâ<80><99>t really given up their secrets, which Iâ<80><99>m sure the writers intended. However, Iâ<80><99>m going to take the red pill and hopefully return with some answers for you soon.
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 the weekly editions of Sean Oâ<80><99>Macâ<80><99>s Pullinâ<80><99> No Punches (found in the editorial section). 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!