Before I start this week, people always ask me if I’m on any messenger programs because they want to chat with me. I put them at the bottom, but I guess people are too lazy to read all the way until the end. I use Trillian a lot, even at work sometimes for 20 or 30 minutes when I get bored, so you can catch me on the following messenger programs: Yahoo: email@example.com (on there the most), GoogleTalk: firstname.lastname@example.org (rare), AOL: OratorJC (on there second most), MSN: email@example.com (rare). I’m not on all the time, but if you see me there I’ll talk to ya. Add me if you want. I’m nice. If I didn’t want to talk, I would avoid logging on. Now that we got that out of the way, let’s get to the show.
Taped from Buffalo, New York let’s talk some smack…
Intercontinental Title: Kofi Kingston d. Christian (***)
Teddy Long announced this was for the vacant IC title. Some people emailed me last week thinking one of the guys would go heel. I didn’t see that happening. It’s just a face vs. face match to have a good match, which is what they did. It got about 12 minutes or so, which is less than what I would have liked. They did have an even match where each guy got a decent amount of offense and it build at a good pace. The commercial midway through hurt it, but that’s what we are used to on Smackdown by now. They did a nice finish with Christian going for his finish, Kofi fighting out, Christian getting a nearfall and then Kofi ended it with the Trouble in Paradse that Grisham said was OUT OF NOWHERE~! And you know what? It was. If this went 17-20 minutes in length it could have been a four star match or higher, but due to it being only about 12 minutes it’s hard for me to give it higher than three stars. Still good, but I had higher expectations. When you see some of the time fillers that happened later you’d know why I was a bit disappointed.
Post match, Kofi celebrated with the belt. He really gave a shit while Christian was upset that he lost. Little things like that make fans think “hey maybe that belt means something.” Better than the one that’s never defended on Raw. The celebration was cut short as the “suspended” Drew McIntyre, with theme music in tact, came out. He gave Teddy Long an envelope, Teddy read what was in it, didn’t like what it said and then had Kofi give Drew the belt. The crowd booed as McIntyre walked out with the belt.
After the break, Striker read the letter. It was from Vince McMahon and said he overruled Long’s decision to strip McIntyre of the belt. Crowd hated it. Good way to add heat to Drew.
They showed Swagger backstage as some dudes unloaded boxes from a truck. What was it for? We’d find out later.
Shad Gaspard d. Jesse Guyver (SQUASH)
Shad came out, nobody cared, he won with a STO, he left and nobody cared. He’s just another guy that makes mean faces. They need to do more than simply say it’s “my time” for him.
We got a video package recapping Rey/Punk with a match coming later. Rey’s daughter is a professional actress in case you didn’t know. You could tell. She’s good.
MVP & JTG d. The Dudebusters (*1/4)
It was alright although The Dudebusters gimmick isn’t getting over that well. Matt Striker’s really trying hard to help them get over, but they could use some promo time to do that. They got what, one promo ever? Give them a backstage segment maybe. Typical tag where JTG got beat up, got the hot tag to MVP and he got the win because he’s the biggest name in the match. It was only four minutes.
Backstage, Punk told Gallows & Serena that he wants them to stay in the back for his match tonight. They stared because that’s what they do. And I like staring at Serena.
Jack Swagger Appreciation
They filled the ring up with memorabilia that we found out was from Jack Swagger’s life. Was it real? Of course not. It was over the top and campy, but that fits his heel character perfectly. There was a lot of over things that he said that were funny to me although it might have been a bit long. Don’t feel like going into all of it. I think it’s hilarious that they go to commercial during his promo as a way to make fans think he’s a guy that won’t shut up. The highlight was Swagger talking about a sandwich being named after him called “The Swaggy.” He then said it was delicious and it “tastes like freedom.” Ha, that was gold. Gold Jerry, gold! Swagger’s definitely improving on the microphone. Big Show came out. Predictably, he beat up all the trophies while Swagger sold it as if he was heartbroken that all his life’s work were now destroyed. The fans enjoyed what Show did because they hate Swagger so much now. It’s not necessarily a love of Show. It’s that Swagger’s microphone work is really pissing people off.
The first week Show knocked him out, the second week Show put him through a table and now in the third week Show humiliated him. Swagger’s retaining at Over The Limit, no question about it.
Layla & Michelle d. Beth Phoenix so Layla’s the new Women’s Champion (1/2*)
The Beth/Rosa match was changed to Michelle & Layla vs. Beth in a handicap match where Beth was selling the knee injury. Beth got a huge pop in her hometown. Well deserved. Aside from a double Samoan drop by Beth, she was mostly on the defensive until Layla won with a pinfall after a Beth/McCool collision. I thought it was an interesting booking decision to have Layla win the belt only because they rarely book her to be anything except a loser. She’s on a few matches in the last month, though, so I setup. I think as an actress she’s pretty funny. As a wrestler she’s average at best. And with Beth out now we’ll get to see one of the Barbie Girls in Tiffany or Kelly be the top challenger? Yawn. The divas division is hurting big time.
Beth has a torn ACL and she’s out for six months at least. Similar to Melina’s injury. I’m glad she got that moment in front of her hometown crowd. It’s just a shame that this injury has to happen now because she was probably the most valuable diva on the roster. Now people are asking me if this means Mickie could come back. I think she’s moved on. Maybe down the road she could if WWE wants her, but it would have to be later in the year. I don’t think that door’s closed. Not like I know, though. Just saying it could happen.
Kane d. Chavo (SQUASH)
It was 90 seconds. Kane won with a chokeslam. Why not just give 3 more minutes to the Kofi/Christian match instead of this? Lame.
Backstage, Teddy told Drew that he can’t take anything away from him, but he can give him something. Next week it’s a match pitting Drew vs. Big Show. I should also add here that Drew vs. Kofi for the IC title has been added to Over The Limit. I think Kofi will win it there probably due to Matt Hardy interference.
Rey Mysterio d. CM Punk via DQ (**1/2)
I’m not a fan of doing a singles match two weeks before they are doing the same singles match on PPV. I understand why it was done, but there could have been another way to do the same finish. Then again, they’ve done the tag match multiple times already. I’m not complaining. I’m just saying if you are advertising a PPV match in two weeks as one of your main draws it’s not the best idea to do it on free TV. With that said, this was clearly a TV match where they left something in the tank for the PPV match. They were working hart, but not as hard as they will when they are on the PPV stage. I’m expecting that one to be a 20 minute match while this one was only about ten minutes. Mysterio got Punk down with the 619, hit the springboard splash and that started the run-ins. First Gallows, then a masked person…that was Serena. Then another masked person attacked him for the DQ. They beat on Rey some more and ended the show with Punk doing the Straight Edge Society pledge with Rey’s hand on his heart. Despite being the most likable guy on the roster, nobody helps Rey. Poor guy.
The masked person is Joey Mercury although we don’t see his face of course. You may have read that Mercury actually went to rehab, got clean and that’s why he got re-hired. It’s like he’s a real life SES guy. Fits perfectly.
Three Stars of the Show
1. Kofi Kingston – Christian deserves it too, but I’ll throw in the winner here.
2. Beth Phoenix – Kudos to her for working hurt and getting that hometown pop. I’ll miss her while she’s out.
3. Jack Swagger – I thought he was very good in his promo segment.
6 out of 10
Last week: 7
It was mostly a good show. I think the progression for Punk/Rey and Swagger/Show were good while the opening match was a really solid TV match. The problem is the other matches on the show didn’t amount to much. I’m not crazy about Layla as Women’s Champion, the Shad/Kane squashes add little to the show and MVP/JTG teaming up to the win doesn’t really progress anything. You know how there are weeks where the whole show seems to have a purpose? For this week it seemed like three segments had a purpose. The rest was filler. Too much filler hurts the show. Still above average, though.
Keep checking out thejohnreport.net for exclusive articles that are only posted there on my blog. We’ve got a TNA Impact recap, a preview of Sacrifice up and I did a poll asking you who the best babyface in WWE is with myself included. I’m in second. Not bad for having zero career matches. Bookmark the site, check it regularly and thanks for the continued support.
I’ll have a new column up on Monday I hope. It might be pushed back to Wednesday, though. I’m not sure yet. I’ll try for Monday. Be on the lookout for it prior to Raw.
Thanks for reading. Have a great weekend.
John Canton – firstname.lastname@example.org
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