Wrestling’s 4R’s Monday Edition 6.06.10: Superstars, Impact & SmackDown Reviewed!
In HD where available…
By: Steve Cook
Mark Henry d. Primo (*½)
Gail Kim d. Jillian Hall (**)
Michelle McCool d. Tiffany (*½)
Chavo Guerrero & Dolph Ziggler d. Christian (**½)
MARK HENRY vs. PRIMO: The Texan-born Henry was a huge favorite of the crowd in Austin this week, making it pretty easy for him and his opponent to get the reactions they wanted. Primo is still un-established as a WWE heel, so it’s smart to put him in situations where it’s easy for him to generate dislike from the audience. Facing a Texan in Texas is one way to get hatred from people, as is doing cartwheels. Texans don’t put up with guys that do cartwheels. Primo bouncing off of Mark Henry for 3 minutes and ultimately getting slammed into oblivion is pretty good television in my book, and it got a great reaction from the crowd.
GAIL KIM vs. JILLIAN HALL: Gail & Jillian have been part of some good Superstars Diva matches, and this might have been their best yet. The one thing I didn’t like about it was that Gail got practically no offense before hitting her finisher and getting the victory. Other than that, a pretty good outing from the Divas.
CHAVO GUERRERO & DOLPH ZIGGLER vs. CHRISTIAN: This was a pretty decent way to continue Vickie Guerrero’s displeasure with Christian and her crush on Dolph Ziggler, by inserting Dolph into the scheduled match between Christian and her nephew Chavo and making it a handicap match. Chavo’s reaction to Vickie fawning over Dolph backstage earlier in the show was pretty entertaining. The match itself was pretty decent…nothing worth going out of your way to see, but as far as handicap matches go it was solid.
MICHELLE McCOOL vs. TIFFANY: This wasn’t quite long enough to inch into the “Right” column, but it was a better match than I was expecting. Tiffany has shown some potential lately, and she & McCool had pretty good chemistry here. The spot with McCool ramming Tiffany’s head into the front of the announce table was pretty cool. As Jim Ross said in his blog last week, it’d be a good idea for WWE to feature more Diva matches on Superstars and give the women more ring time in order to improve their craft. We usually get one every couple of weeks, but I wouldn’t be opposed to seeing them more often. That’s probably not a surprising statement coming from me.
Nothing of note.
Nothing of note.
Another solid outing from Superstars this week. There’s nothing on this week’s show that you absolutely have to see, but there wasn’t anything bad either. There was even some angle development on the show this week, which always ensures bonus points from me.
SHOW RATING: 7.0
By: Chad Nevett
Samoa Joe (#9) and Sting (#1) almost had a match… I mean, the bell rang to begin it, but the ref didn’t seem to care when Matt Morgan interfered, so I don’t know if it counted or not [N/A]
Roxxi defeated Rosey Lotta Love [1/4*]
Jay Lethal defeated AJ Styles (#2) and Kazarian (#10) [**]
Jeff Hardy (#3) defeated James Storm [**1/2]
Robert Roode defeated Mr. Anderson (#4) [**]
Abyss (#5) & Rob Terry (#8) defeated Desmond Wolfe (#7) & Orlando Jordan [1/2*]
Rob Van Dam defeated Sting (#1), Samoa Joe (#9), and Matt Morgan [*1/2]
AJ STYLES (#2) vs. KAZARIAN (#10) vs. JAY LETHAL: I wasn’t expecting much from this match give my distaste for this story. It was set up with AJ Styles in the back surprised that he’s even in the match, while Flair and Kazarian are buddies and totally calm. The match began with AJ watching from the outside, content to let Kaz and Jay Lethal fight it out before getting involved. When he did, it led to a long series of Styles and Kaz getting in one another’s way and trying to one up the other in their beat down of Lethal. If I had to call it, I think AJ looked a lot better. Even when Lethal made some attempts at comebacks, AJ was the one to neutralize the threat with Kazarian always the one to act against Styles… including a double suplex where both men tried to lift Lethal in an opposite direction. Entertaining match that ended with Lethal rolling up AJ for a quick win. After the match, Flair laid into AJ, telling him that he needs to figure out what he wants and, until then, he needs to go away. The story surrounding the match is a little stupid, but the match was entertaining and it’s, hopefully, leading to AJ Styles becoming a face once again. While Flair isn’t what he used to be in the ring, I would love to see Styles/Flair.
KURT ANGLE MEETS THE GOD OF WRESTLING AND PAY RESPECT: Kurt Angle came out, passing AJ Styles on the way, and addressed Kazarian, the #10 ranked contender, saying that he wanted to warn him about what he would do to him at Slammiversary as the first victim in his quest to rise through the ranks of the top ten, eventually earning a world title shot. Ric Flair interrupted him and chastised Angle for just walking past Flair. Where’s the respect? Kurt Angle may have done everything there is to do in amateur wrestling, but this is professional wrestling and in pro wrestling, Flair’s accomplishments are ten times what Angle did in the amateurs. In pro wrestling, Ric Flair is god. Flair’s rant was glorious as it eventually led to two fantastic lines: “I’ve been world champion more times than you’ve been down with different women” and “Don’t make me take off my sports coat.” He demanded that Angle hold the ropes for him to leave and that Angle take off until he’s willing to show the proper respect. Angle held the ropes and, then, attacked Flair from behind, tossing him off the ramp. Kazarian came to Flair’s rescue, but Angle got the upper hand soon. It ended with Flair and Kaz on the ramp, both pissed off, Flair tossing his sports coat around, and Angle standing tall.
JEFF HARDY (#3) vs. JAMES STORM: What impressed me most in this match was the energy both men brought. There was a lot of passion on both sides and that elevated the pretty standard back and forth action. I always like seeing James Storm wrestle solo and it shows one of the great things about Beer Money: either one of these guys could be singles competitors at any given moment. Jeff Hardy picking up the win set up the match between Anderson and Roode, so no complaints with the finish. Really, just a solid match with some good passion.
MR. ANDERSON (#4) vs. ROBERT ROODE: This match was a little slower and less energetic than the Hardy/Storm one. Roode doesn’t have the mean streak of Storm, while Anderson just isn’t the in-ring performer that Hardy is, but this was still a pretty good match. Roode won by using the ropes, making the two groups even and further establishing the idea that Anderson is a face. After the match, he got on the mic and said something about how it seems no one can beat him without cheating
SMOKE & MIRRORS: The episode began with Sting coming out and the fans chant “Why Sting? Why?” Okay, maybe it’s just me, but didn’t Sting explain himself already? It was poorly written, but he’s turned heel because he hates Hogan and wants to take out his supporters. That’s what I got out of it, but that’s not the explanation? Then what was the point of THAT explanation? Anyone? Anyway, Sting came out and said he’s not explaining himself, just that things aren’t what they appear to be and, after he takes the title from RVD, people will reveal their true colors. Eric Bischoff came out and cut a pretty good promo on Sting, talking about how Sting is putting himself before everyone, including the company, and that’s something that he and Hogan aren’t doing (yeah, right). He also mentioned that Sting had a match right then and his opponent was right behind him. Sting turns and — SAMOA JOE! Joe starts pounding on Sting, the bell rings, Earl Hebner pops into the ring, and, three seconds later, Matt Morgan attacks Joe from behind. Here, I was confused, because the bell did ring, meaning the match had begun, but Hebner didn’t seem to care that Morgan was interfering. No attempts to break it up or stop the match. Stupid TNA. RVD came down and made the save, and Bischoff announced that the four men would continue this fight with RVD and Joe teaming up against Sting and Morgan, but RVD wants to make it a four way instead. Bischoff liked the idea, but he couldn’t make that match, he had to go talk to Hogan. Really? Since when? So, Hogan comes out, talks for no real reason and books the four way. As far as I can tell, Hogan only came out so that Hogan could be in this episode. Pointless. The segment as a whole was decent and had some good moments, but some really stupid ones, too.
THE ASSHOLE AND THE MORON MEET BEER MONEY: Christy Hemme introduced Mr. Anderson and asked him about his recent change, but Anderson just stared at her chest and went into his new asshole routine that others find a lot more amusing than I do. It really just leaves me cold. He announced a match against Beer Money at Slammiversary with his new partner… the Enigmatic Enigma Jeff Hardy. Hardy put over Anderson as one of the craziest, funniest guys he knows, which has little to do with wrestling. Beer Money came out, said that they’ll win at Slammiversary, because they’re tag team specialists. Hardy knows a little about that even though his brother carried his ass and they weren’t that great. A decent ending to a segment I’m sure others liked more than I did.
DOUGLAS WILLIAMS ON THE X-DIVISION: A very short documentary-shot promo with X-Division Champion Douglas Williams in the back where he once again made the argument for more technical mat-based wrestling and how it’s superior to the more acrobatic style used by many X-Division wrestlers. It was fine, but nothing new nor nothing specific to his match at Slammiversary with Brian Kendrick, which I would have liked.
ROB VAN DAM vs. STING (#1) vs. SAMOA JOE (#9) vs. MATT MORGAN: I don’t know why I’m disappointed when matches like this kind of suck, because they’re always a bit too much of a clusterfuck to be good. Especially when they’re only given six minutes. The participants made the most of this with all of them getting a chance to shine a little. It began with RVD and Sting fighting, while Joe and Morgan went at it, eventually with the faces getting the upper hand and finding themselves alone in the ring. But, they danced around one another too long, and the heels gained the upper hand until some back and forth and series of guys taking out one another led to Joe hitting Morgan with the Muscle Buster and RVD hitting him with the Five-Star Frog Splash for the win. I would have rather saw Joe get the win to further sell his dominance, but Van Dam winning because of Joe is good enough. This match was just too cramped to be good.
ROXXI vs. ROSEY LOTTA LOVE: We finally get to see TNA’s newest knockout, Rosey Lotta Love. An odd choice putting her up against Roxxi since you’d presumably want both of these women to win right now with this being Rosey’s debut and Roxxi having a title shot at Slammiversary. The match was just awful. Rosey can’t really do much and Roxxi had no idea what to do with a larger opponent. Thank god that Madison Rayne interfered by hitting Roxxi with the belt, but, then, Rosey just argued with Rayne before Roxxi got the roll up for the win. After the match, Rayne yelled at Rosey before Rosey laid her out and got on the mic with JB, delivering a decent enough promo about how she’s big and beautiful before laying a kiss on him. I miss Awesome Kong, Alyssa Flash, and Hamada…
ABYSS (#5) & ROB TERRY (#8) vs. DESMOND WOLFE (#7) & ORLANDO JORDAN: Because these feuds must continue! Because… someone demanded it? The match began somewhat decently with Wolfe and Jordan working as a team against Abyss before Jordan got thrown outside and spent some time admiring Chelsea, pissing off Wolfe, and leading to the faces picking up the win. A pretty crap, nothing match that didn’t even advance the stories in any way I can tell beyond the faces winning. Pointless waste of time.
NOT A DAMN THING: Come back next week to see if TNA can finally make it two weeks in a row without anything in this category…
The best Impact since that episode that focused on only two stories. Lots of solid wrestling and some decent promos. They kept things simple with no stupid swerves or gimmicks. If every episode was like this, I’d be very happy.
SHOW RATING: 6.5
By: Jeremy Thomas
WWE SmackDown 06.04.10
Jack Swagger d. MVP [** ¾]
Kofi Kingston d. Drew McIntyre [** ½]
Kelly Kelly d. Rosa Mendes [*]
Rey Mysterio won a battle royale [**]
IT WAS KANE, I PROMISE: SmackDown kicked off with Teddy Long informing us, with great regret, that the Dead Man was found by Kane in a vegetative state and that there was an ongoing investigation into the situation. Okay, who’s got money on Kane being the perpetrator for another nonsensical heel turn? Seriously, a vegetative state? That’s nothing; Taker’s shrugged off multiple situations of being on fire, being buried alive twice, locked in caskets, been run down by Randy Orton and that’s just for starters. A mere coma is child’s play. But no, they were taking this all the way as druids came out with a coffin, after which we saw the arrival of…Kane. Oh yeah, he totally did it. He was acting all pissed and upset about how someone attacked his brother and that the most feared and respected force in the history of the ‘E would no longer walk amongst us. And he was going to get revenge. Seriously, it’s TOTALLY Kane. Anyone else would be not obvious enough for the ‘E. I gotta say, this is another example of why Kane should have gotten better pushes, because he did some great work in the promo here. Glen Jacobs is the master of doing great work in crappy storylines. Did he go over the top? Yes, undoubtedly. But playing this one straight would have been wrong and it would have made things seem like something we’re supposed to take seriously instead of another goofy Taker/Kane storyline.
Listen, I’m not going to knock this whole storyline too much. Yes, it’s undoubtedly silly. Comas, really? But I also know that the ‘E is in a tough situation in times like this. Taker broke his orbital bone and they had to do something, and they decided to use it to give Kane a storyline. Taker and Kane have been in enough goofy storylines that in a strange way, it works with them. I wanted to crap on this and I hated the way it sounded when I first heard about it, but I really didn’t mind it one bit. It gives Kane something to do and I enjoyed his angry interrogating of the talent. We’ll see where this goes (it was totally Kane), but for now I’m intrigued against my better judgment.
JACK SWAGGER vs. MVP: Our opening match was this non-title affair, featuring the World Heavyweight Champion against MVP. Does anyone take MVP as a serious threat to the World Champion? The dude lost to Luke Gallows last week. But I will give him credit for having a pretty damn good match here against Swagger. I was always looking forward to seeing their feud that never really coalesced on Raw, and I thought this match had some pretty solid chemistry between them and a good story to the match. Ironically, this is the kind of match I tend to call a “Swagger match,” where the guy who has been buried by iffy booking over the last several weeks (or months) gets a push by looking competitive against a main eventer. He lost of course, and that’s exactly how it should have went; what made this match better is that it made MVP look strong without hurting Swagger at all. That has a lot to do with how well these guys work as a duo in the ring, and should he ever make it to the main event I would still love to see these guys have a real, extended feud.
DREW McINTYRE vs. KOFI KINGSTON: This was Drew’s rematch for the Intercontinental Title, and he came out first with his awesome entrance. He was nicely in character as he shouted for Kofi to come out already so he could take back what was his. I thought they had a nice little bit of intensity here; they were wrestling a solid match but that undercurrent played out well. There was no way in my mind that they were taking the title off Kofi, and to that end they had the Sensei of Mattitude show up front-row with a ticket. This wasn’t the best match we could have gotten from these two but it received plenty of time and they had a good thing going here to cap off Drew’s challenges for the belt and continue his feud against Hardy. One could argue that it did Kofi a disservice to win the match without a clean finish, but Kofi’s more than over enough; he just needs to have the wins and credibility to match his crowd reaction. This was a step in that direction and the distraction to Drew wasn’t severe enough to make it look like Kofi was only saved by Matt. Good stuff as far as I’m concerned.
JACK SWAGGER SINGS: Okay, this was a little silly. But in a mostly good way. Jack Swagger, who I must note showed up for his previous match and here in his Sooner’s jersey, appeared to talk about his accolades and to speak about the quality of Oklahoma over the hometown football team. This was typical decent Swagger promo work, but was capped off by a ridiculous moment of brilliance where he sang the University of Oklahoma fight song. It was silly and retarded, don’t get me wrong. I appreciate Swagger going into this with all his heart. But if I never hear him sing again, I’ll be happy. Nearly a Right, but not quite.
MAIN EVENT BATTLE ROYALE: So, this was our main event of the evening and was for the Undertaker’s spot in the Battle Royale. The only people to get their own entrances were Rey Rey, Dolph Ziggler, Drew McIntyre, Kofi Kingston and Kane. I guess we know who the people with a shot to win were. I had a few problems with this battle royale; it followed the standard format of a TV battle royale by keeping everyone in for a bit too long in the beginning and then making up for it with massive eliminations all at once. But at the same time the match was an opportunity for them to extend feuds and we had some nice moments such as Rey Rey running out to try and yank the mask off Punk, as well as the Christian/Dolph feud continuing. Doing Kane’s little angle throughout the show made it a question as to whether he would take the Dead Man’s place, but it wasn’t to be as the legit main eventer in Rey Rey won. It makes sense for him to do so since Kane can continue to assault people until Taker comes back and exacts revenge, while Mysterio has more feuds with those in the match, aka Punk. I also liked that Gallows was one of the last three; it helps put him over as a monster and getting tossed out by Kane doesn’t hurt him any. Rey won and he’s going onto Fatal Four-Way; while I wish the match could have been a bit more I’m okay with the result.
HAWKINS AND ARCHER TRY TO MAKE THEIR MARK: So, let’s see if I’ve got this storyline right. Archer & Hawkins are trying to do everything they can to make an impact and earn a contract…and instead of winning matches or beating up the winners of matches, they’re beating up the guys who lost the match? That doesn’t show you have skills; that shows you can mop the floor. I think the janitor position is filled guys. Why not…you know, actually get yourselves into a match? Oh that’s right, the only tag team you guys would be able to face are the Dudebusters. Why exactly did they put these guys on SmackDown again? I can’t fathom it. Not terrible work from Archer and Hawkins, but putting them on a show with no tag teams reeks of no thought to their characters and that doesn’t bode well for them.
ROSA MENDES vs. TRIPLE K: Wow, this was just a nightmare in the making when they decided to put this on the booking sheet. Rosa has little to no talent in the ring and Kelly may not be as bad as she used to be, but she’s by no means an actual talent. They did make this as good as they could have, with Team Lay-Cool showing up to distract Kelly and distract from the iffy wrestling. And by no means were Rosa and Kelly unwatchable. They sure as hell weren’t good though; instead they were just as good as they could have been. I’m not going to particularly fault Kelly and Rosa for this because they did what they could, but whoever put these two together should have been smacked upside the head.
DID YOU KNOW?: Nope. And, as always, I don’t care.
After a few weeks of mediocrity, SmackDown stepped it way up this week. The storyline with Kane is goofy but it works for him and we had less matches but longer and better ones. Outside of the minor wRongs, this was a good show that has helped the Friday night show gain some momentum that it had lost. That was essential and they did exactly what they needed to accomplish this week.
SHOW RATING: 7.5
“So I have to assume this is the beginning of a face turn for Koz, but what was with Maryse leaving with the man? That didn’t make a huge amount of sense.”
Maryse wasn’t leaving with him. She was leaving the match to get away from Eve and didn’t care enough about Regal to stay and break up the pin. She didn’t acknowledge Kozlov while she was leaving even though he was near her.
Typically in those situations they have one person (the one not being focused on) leave up the side of the ramp; that was why I interpreted them as leaving together. Good point though.
Finally 411 did something right. Very objective reviews.
Thanks! And thanks for your comment.
If I was working with the announcers, I’d say that WWE could go in a new direction than they normally do. Have a snarky heel lead announcer and a nice guy color commentator. Cole to me is only watchable when he’s heeling on AmDrag. He could seriously use that as a full on turn. It would make him bearable.
If Cole would go full heel, I would be pleased. He’s better as a heel, and my biggest problem is how he flips back and forth like a schizophrenic light switch. Let him go full heel, and let Lawler play the face. Nothing wrong with that.
So we’re about to get a Booker/Golddust like tag team
I’m thinking more like Head Cheese
Anything that brings back a return, even if just in style, of Al Snow and Steve Blackman would make me happy.
From midcard madness:
I want to give Raw an 8 just because I like how it had a beginning middle and end. Edge hitting Orton was very viper like since he didn’t say anything when he did it, just actions speaking louder than words much like Rand is doing now.
I was fine with the Ryder part just because like my namesake I do enjoy the midcard quite a bit. I think anything that doesn’t involve hornswoggle for a midcarder that gives them that much TV time is fine as long as the guest host isnt totally horrible, I mean he wan’t that bad for not even being there.
I see your point with Ryder, and I understand. I just don’t like a guy with potential like him being saddled with the Chavo treatment of “roster guy embarassed by the guest hosts weekly.” There’s worse ways to earn a paycheck to be sure, but this just kinda bugged me.
From The Great Capt. Smooth:
I think Evan Bourne would be perfect for a live action Mega Man. Props to Cena for giving him the win. Nice combo of the A.A./SSP, too.
Bourne would be an interesting motion-capture model for the next Mega Man game, I’ll go that far. He could use some serious promo work though.
The best part of the Bryan/Miz match was the exchange between Cole and Lawler after Bryan won:
Cole: (with a shocked look on his face) Well that certainly is the biggest upset in the history —
Lawler: No Michael, dont you dare say it. That is not the biggest upset —
Cole: (blurts out) THAT’S THE BIGGEST UPSET IN THE HISTORY OF THE WWE!!
Lawler: Oh come on. You can’t be serious…
I admit, I enjoyed that. One thing I’ll give the announcers credit for, they don’t mind clowning on themselves from time to time.
Didn’t Koz turn face on ECW when Regal and Zeke beat him up? That’s why I don’t get why he had been back tagging with Regal, Santino even mentioned it a few weeks back.
He turned heel when he played hit man for Vince against John Cena during the gauntlet match in the build to ‘Mania. This was essentially a face turn for him.
“Maryse, by the way, was a bit hotter than usual in some indescribable way.”
It’s that new attire she had on. Damn!
If she was around in the attitude era with all the bra & panty matches, bikini contests etc and being able to dress half naked each week, she would have been huge. She’s MUCH hotter than Sable and the rest of them were.
We can dream, 9379. Maryse during that era would have been epic.
Kudos to Chris Jericho, he is probably the only main eventer who is happy to job to people like R-Truth, Heath Slater and JTG to name a few, the guy just deserves so much credit
Agreed. Jericho’s a guy who’s never had problems putting people over and I enjoy that about him. He knows that losing to these guys doesn’t hurt him one bit but helps them, and while he probably doesn’t request to lose he sure doesn’t seem to take issue with doing it.