Smackdown: New feuds for end of month
JON WALDMAN -- SLAM! Wrestling
Welcome to a spooky episode of Smackdown. It's All Hallow's Eve...Eve. The
Bragging Rights victory is still fresh in the minds of the blue brand, so there
should be some bragging tonight.
And speaking of bragging, we get Teddy Long to kick off the show. Teddy gloats
for a bit before moving on to the business at hand, namely the main event for
Survivor Series which was announced on Raw (Undertaker vs. Big Show) which of
course brings out Chris Jericho and the BR trophy. Jericho brags a bit but says
he did it for himself and wants the title shot. This brings his co-captain,
Kane, who says he deserves the shot, not Show.
The two start getting physical, with Kane gaining the upper hand (on Jericho's
throat). This urges Long to set up a match between the two, with the winner
getting into the match at the Series.
Match 1 - Dolph Ziggler vs. John Morrison
A little bit of back-and-forth on the stick precedes this back and forth match,
which again is decent between the two. You can't help but wonder if it's getting
to be too much of these two -- it feels like it's been a variation of these
guys fighting every week since Summerslam with the lone hiccup being the mini
feud between Morrison and Miz.
The tied turns a bit in this bout as Ziggler gets the duke, taking the countout
victory. There have been a lot more of those of late eh?
Winner: Dolph Ziggler
Back after a break, we head to Long's office which is quickly filled by Vince
McMahon. Vince reminds Long about his probation (which by the way is an angle
that's going nowhere fast) when CM Punk comes in. Not surprisingly, Punk wants
a title match too. A slip of the tongue about Scott Armstrong, however, leads
to Vince making a match between the wrestler-turned-ref and Punk. Man, Long
looks so weak in these skits.
Match 2 - Beth Phoenix vs. Jenny Brooks
If this was meant to be anything more than a squash, it epically failed. Give
new colour guy Matt Striker (yes!!!) credit though -- he gives a good back story
from high school wrestling. Implant Buster finishes this one in short order.
Winner: Beth Phoenix
Match 3 - Eric Escobar vs. Matt Hardy
It's good to have Vickie back on Smackdown (wait, did I actually just say that?),
but Escobar is greener than the Philly Phanatic. Hardy takes the duke with a
Twist of Fate (or more accurately an RKO in this instance) out of nowhere. I
think this might be the beginning of the end of Escobar's run on SD!
We now come to the Batista and Rey Mysterio segment. Every heelish trick in
the book is used here, including referencing Eddie Guerrero, but all this does
is make Batista look so wicked as a heel. This is the badass version of Dave
that we've been waiting for -- the one that was teased with the matches vs.
Michaels. I don't think this heel side will last long and fans are going to
keep him face. I just hope the intensity stays.
Back from break, Hardy confronts Batista and references the rocky recent past
with his brother Jeff. This results in a severe beatdown. Looks like we have
a match next week.
Drew McIntyre then comes out and begins to talk about not wanting to be on
Team SD! in the first place. He readies himself for his opponent tonight, Finlay,
and attacks before the Irishman can even get in the ring. McIntyre brings out
some strong intensity here, continuing from his dominance of R-Truth. The match,
of course, doesn't even start.
Next up is a Halloween costume contest. The less said the better (especially
since Michelle McCool is involved).
Match 4 - CM Punk vs. Scott Armstrong
Need I say more?
Match 5 - Chris Jericho vs. Kane
I've said it before and I'll say it again -- Kane's been beat so often that
he's no longer a title threat. Now, he's not even a title match threat. Jericho
Winner: Chris Jericho
Well, this wasn't what you'd call a great show, but it wasn't bad either. It
was more of a transitional episode with new feuds being established, which is odd
given that Survivor Series is usually the kickoff for new rivalries. Such is
life, I suppose, in the new WWE.
Jon Waldman is the co-editor of SLAM! Wrestling: Shocking Stories from the Squared Circle. To hear more of Jon's opinions on the wrestling biz, come see him and Greg Oliver live in Winnipeg at our book launch, Thursday, November 5, 7:30pm at McNally Robinson's Polo Park location.