Welcome back to yet another edition of the Wrath of Tito. Call it 5 in a row. No, I'm not doing a column streak, for it will end today. Call it motivation to write a little extra this week. You know what irks me the most about wrestling criticism towards my columns? The fact that I usually like Smackdown is so overlooked. All it takes is a handful of RAWs that I do not like, and suddenly, I'm a negative wrestling fan. The majority of the time, I write on Tuesdays, mostly reviewing RAW. Time contraints wouldn't allow write on Fridays, so if I liked a Smackdown, nobody would hear about it but they'd only see my RAW review, and with a roster with Triple H as your champion, ZERO #1 contenders that mean anything, and a weak midcard, it's usually not pleasant to read.
The parts I HATE about Smackdown involve McMahons, mainly Vince McMahon. I acknowledge that Vince was over as a great heel boss from 1998-1999. After that, the act was overdone. His hole feud with Hulk Hogan/Mr. America was just crippling Smackdown, for the storyline was too corny. Ratings for Smackdown couldn't increase due to UPN's young audience not wanting to watch two guys over 40 arguing about what happened in the 1980's. Make sense? Then, we have Zach Gowen and the fact that Vince's role on Smackdown hinders Stephanie from doing her job as the General Manager. Vince's hard-on for larger wrestlers continues on Smackdown, for Albert is always in line for a push thanks to that fact.
But the rest rules, just like last night's show. More on that in a bit.
What I want to say is something I'll probably go to hell for and I'll probably anger a lot of people for saying it: I hate the Zach Gowen character! Nothing against the guy personally, as I'm sure he busted his ass to get where he is and I'm sure he inspires a lot of handicap children. HOWEVER, the WWE paints him the wrong way. They present him in a way that we must feel bad for him because of his handicap. Oh boo hoo. This kind of babyface push isn't exactly a big trend in the 21st Century, as people still root for the badass faces instead of someone they are TOLD to feel sorry for. I'm probably messed in the head, but it was somewhat fun seeing Gowen getting his ass handed to him by Brock Lesnar. That's the kind of wrestler I cheer for. Someone who wants to strike fear in his opponents and shows he's one you shouldn't mess with, such as Brock Lesnar. Besides, why doesn't anybody just dropkick Gowen's good leg to start the match, anyway?
For the most part, I cheer on the heels to do damage to the good guys. I cheered on Flair and the Horsemen to attack Sting. I cheered on anybody to beat Hulk Hogan. I loved the Vader character in WCW. I was a HUGE New World Order mark during 1996-1997. I cheered on Steve Austin as he first called out Bret Hart in 1996, before he turned face. Now granted, there are some heels I can't friggin stand, and by reading this column often, you'll know who I mean. I enjoy a great heel beatdown, but I dislike a terrible one, such as Steve Austin attacking Lita in 2001.
I'm pure evil and I make no bones about it. On to the Smackdown review!
Our first match of the night was Rey Mysterio vs. Nunzio. Who says Cruiserweight wrestling is boring? HA! Very solid bout between these two. I loved the near falls of this match, and the crowd was heavily into those. Every crowd seems to have inherited the "TWO" chant after a 2 count is made from the Canadian crowds. This match was a perfect example of why Cruiserweight wrestling should be a regular feature on Smackdown. Think about the division! You'd have Rey Mysterio, Billy Kidman, Nunzio, Tajiri, Jamie Noble, and Ultimo Dragon, if Vince ever wants to use him. That's 6 solid performers, right there, who could compete for the title. How hard is it to have confidence in this division?
Chris Benoit vs. Albert-Train was next. Chris Benoit bumped like a champ for A-Train, thereby making the match look decent. Some good near falls in this match, too. The ending had Benoit making A-Train tap with the crossface, but Albert's feet were under the ropes. The ref didn't see it, but Albert went to confront Benoit about it later. Upon confronting him, Rhyno shows up out of nowhere and GOARS Benoit through a door. A-Train and Rhyno then taunt Benoit that "he can't win matches". Hmmm... I really hope this leads to something good for Benoit, like you know, a push for a very deserving guy. We can only hope.
Brock Lesnar would then hit the ring, yelling in a high pitched voice that it was a miracle he tapped out at Summerslam. No, it was a miracle that the referee didn't break the submission hold when he did in fact hit the ropes. What is with the WWE relaxing rules lately? Kurt Angle gets on the screen and talks trash, and says he's coming down. But before he can do that, Undertaker and the Big Show come down, insisting that they are the #1 contenders for the World Title, not Lesnar. For shame... Stephanie comes down, looking enormous as ever up top, and makes a 3 way for the #1 contendership with Lesnar, Big Show, and Undertaker. Ok... The segment was by the book for a way to set up a match, and I have no complaints about it.
Eddie Guerrero vs. John Cena was next. Cena stole the tires off of Eddie's car before the match. Cena was busted open very early when Eddie ambushed him after Cena walked down with one of Eddie's tires. The match was a pretty good bout, with the crowd fully behind Guerrero and totally against Cena. Lots of counters, as well as more near falls in this match. I wasn't much for the DQ finish, but the Cena beatdown afterward could lead to a pretty good feud for the next few weeks. I'm sure the FU Drop on the tire didn't feel good, whatsoever.
The main event was pretty decent with Big Show vs. Brock Lesnar vs. the Undertaker. I think the Angle vs. Undertaker vs. Rock match from a Summer Pay Per View last year is the new pattern for main event 3 ways, as the match featured lots of switching off between the wrestlers to keep things fresh. It seems to work. Angle actually beat the Big Show on the Smackdown before Summerslam, and he beat Lesnar at the Pay Per View. Both, given the rules, were clean wins, so the Undertaker winning makes sense. However, you have a Face vs. Face match, which is always dangerous grounds in professional wrestling. And guess who the Undertaker pinned? His name wasn't the Big Show.
LAST WORD: I really liked this show. Even without some of my personal favorites (such as the World's Greatest Tag Team), the show seemed to thrive without Vince McMahon hogging up television time. My hope is that the focus on Eddie Guerrero provides an extra spike in the ratings this week, just to show everyone that he truly is the biggest thing in the WWE right now. The show had good wrestling and good talking segments. [ A- ] (A Minus) in my gradebook. Very nice. These are the kinds of wrestling shows I like to watch, not the crap RAW has been churning out lately.
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@Just chill till the next episode...
Take care, and thanks for reading!