The show begins with a montage of great SD moments and its progression of logos. And who do we see first? Eddy Guerrero. Arnold clocks Triple H and hugs Austin. And there's The Rock. Interesting hierarchy there. The sliding dress-shoe People's Elbow! A very young John Cena challenges Angle as we move to those still with us in the WWE.
I'll skip to the highlights: the post-9/11 show (the first live national entertainment broadcast after that Tuesday); Bischoff kisses Steph and reveals himself as the officiate for Billy and Chuck's wedding; Heidenreich has a moment with Cole; evil Austin and Angle suck up to Vince; Vickie Guerrero emerges as a bona fide star; Hogan's last hurrah; Rhyno gores Edge through the sign; Brock and Show break the ring; Jeff, Punk, Edge, and Taker end the compilation.
Either they've never played the opening while I've recapped this show or that's a new opening. Drew McIntyre is already in the video. Tonight we are in Boston.
JR and Todd start in the ring to pump the crowd. We look backstage at a cross-roster party, and we'll come back to that later.
Batista vs Kane A top 100 moment from the SmackDown DVD shows Batista and Rey Mysterio beat the Edgeheads for the tag titles. They dedicate it to Eddy, who I'll tell you now is a giant presence on tonight's show. Back-and-forth to start, and Kane suplexes out of a headlock. He keeps Batista reeling and DDTs the bad arm to weaken Dave. Batista powers him outside. After the commercial break, Kane is back on that arm after a big boot. A double-KO big boot spot lets Batista back into it. Kane hits the turnbuckle lariat but not the chokeslam. He mounts the corner for punches, and that lets Batista Bomb him down for the three.
Teddy plays host backstage at the party. There's Chavo and Brooklyn Brawler and lots of divas. Hornswoggle smacks Maria in the tush, and Cole yells "vintage Hornswoggle." He does to other people throughout the skit. Hornswoggle plays bartender, and Finlay cajoles Teddy into ordering a drink. Before Teddy can drink it, CM Punk interrupts to scold the locker room and proclaim Prohibition rules from now on. Teddy walks off with his drink, and here's Vickie with a nice new haircut. She introduces her "hot new little boyfriend," Eric Escobar, newly signed by Vince, who also allows Vickie to manage Eric on SD. Teddy knew none of this and is caught cold. A gloved hand and a gong sound effect surprise Teddy further until he discovers it's Santino, who thinks it's a costume party. A shaken Teddy will, yes, throw back that drink now.
Cole is drunk with Finlay. Hornswoggle brings them a platter of shots and walks over to an MVP corner blocked off with a red velvet rope. Mark Henry plays bouncer and refuses Zach Ryder entry. Matt Hardy and Kelly Kelly get in. Divas galore get in. Charlie Haas and Lydia. Sergeant Slaughter gets in. THE IRON SHEIK gets in. Ryder is agog, and Sheik calls him a jabroni.
A big tribute package to Eddy follows, and it's a full life-spanning retrospective. Holy cow, I forgot about the mullet. How is that possible? There's the world title win and the memorial bell salute (timed to punctuate the music in a clever bit). The SD audience chants his name as we fade to commercial. That was well done, and I miss that guy all over again.
IC champ John Morrison/US champ Kofi Kingston vs. Dolph Ziggler/The Miz Jack Swagger is at ringside and LOCKS UP on the mic even when the announcers feed him cues. Even when the entrance music dies down, he is offering nothing. He finally throws the headset down in mock protest. Miz and Morrison start with some jawing. JR says there's no love lost, but I would argue much love IS lost, and its absence is proof of Miz's punking Morrison when the draft split them up. Miz controls until Morrison knocks him outside. After the break, Ziggler and Kofi are going at it, and Kingston uses a nice fallaway slam/uppercut combo for two. Swagger distracts Kofi, and the bad guys take over. Swagger is not selling his character at ringside; he looks awkward and uncomfortable. Hot tag to Morrison, but Ziggler blocks the Flying Chuck and Zig Zags him for the clean pin.
Backstage, Funaki, Yoshi, and Jillian and doing karaoke to Michaels's entrance theme. Slaughter and Sheik trade USA/Iran chants until Sheik chokes on his shrimp cocktail. Hurricane saves him, and he spits the shrimp into Cole's dish. Cole doesn't see this, eats it, and gets queezy. Jericho and Show arrive to sing their praises, and Cole vomits on Jericho's shoes. This makes Show sick offstage. Jericho's silent repulsion is fantastic. The segment ends when Joey Styles surveys the shoes and yells "OHMIGOD."
Here's The Rock in a long taped monologue. He can't remember his "finally" phrase to start off and tries several adverbial phrases. "By the way, who the blue hell is Dolph Ziggler?" "Is that my latte? Finally." And there it is. And there he goes. And Dwayne becomes The Rock by dropping his voice, adopting in a wide stance, and letting it flow. He hands the mic back to someone offscreen. "You take the mic, you shine it up real nice, TURN IT SIDEWISE AND STICK IT STRAIGHTi'm just kidding." He pauses during his bit a few times to crack that blinding smile, and he looks like this is the most fun he's had all year. He reminds us he named the show, that it was indeed The Rock's show. The monologue is his greatest hits. He sings a bit, uses every catchphrase, starts a Rocky chant twice. He calls the champ "BM Punk" and rails on Undertaker but backs off when he remembers that he only beat him once by DQ and asks that the crew edit that out because he doesn't want to get Tombstoned. He calls onscreen a crewmember to set up the "it doesn't matter" and some insults. Rock ends it by suggesting he should guest host RAW and inviting the camera close to see the eyebrow as he whispers "cooking." I think he could do this in his sleep, and it would still eclipse any promo by virtually everyone on the roster. But it did feel like the package was edited down to a brisk pace.
Women's champ Michelle McCool vs. Melina in a lumberjill match A whole buncha not-much to set up the big fight outside. Beth trips up Melina, allowing McCool to hit the Faithbreaker.
In a taped segment, Taker rails against Punk and his "black horse of self-righteousness." Punk has to use a "white horse" joke to reply. The cell is now "Satan's structure." Given the WWE's new kid-friendly material, shouldn't the undead Hell warrior be a bad guy? Why not team him with Vince to turn him?
At the party, Drew McIntyre toasts to his own future, calling himself the newest member of the roster (guess he didn't meet Escobar), but Truth tackles him. The cake is destroyed.
DX/WWE champ John Cena/Undertaker vs. Randy Orton/Legacy/Straight-Edge Champ CM Punk Holy cow, Michaels can barely walk. He looks like his back is made of Christmas ornaments. Cena gets a big welcome home, and the DVD's #100 moment is the spinner belt introduction. When Taker does his super-serious hat-doffing and eye-rolling, Cena is hopping up and down, bouncing the mat. Taker looks genuinely pissed. Moment 32 is Taker Tombstoning Vickie (it really is a Night of Guerreros). Even Legacy's entrance mosey is boring, but Orton's legs look phenomenal.
Rhodes and DiBiase get worked over to start. When Michaels moves to tag out, he eventually reaches to Taker, and this is the first time they've locked eyes since Wrestlemania. Taker is slow to reach in, and DiBiase fights Shawn away from the corner. Taker blind tags himself in as Ted is chopped down, and the two faces are staring toe-to-toe. Taker socks a freshly tagged Rhodes, and we go to commercial.
The announcers push this as the biggest 8-man in the show's history, and DiBiase/Rhodes undercut that a great deal. Even their photos for the PPV package look goofy. Orton is still using the "deliberate Viper" style, and it seems he's wrestling as if he were 100 pounds heavier. That prolonged gut stomp would work best for Henry or Batista. I'll skip to the finish here: Hunter chucks Rhodes outside, and DiBiase is superkicked and Pedrigreed out with him. Cena gets Punk in the Attitude Adjustment and tosses him over the rope to Legacy. The four faces circle Orton, and Taker gets the pin after a Tombstone. Confetti flies as all four good-guy entrances play.
If you chart the pinfalls before a PPV to predict the big show's ending, Batista, Taker, McCool, and Ziggler came out on top tonight.
"To be the man, you gotta beat demands." -- The Lovely Mrs. Tracker
Lauren Mayhew, the new Lillian 2.0, sang the national anthem and announced the dark match of Mike Knox vs. Jimmy Wang Yang. She blew the cues, and later when Knox won, all she said was "Mike Knox!" No, "here is your winner..." or anything. Just "Mike Knox!"
The children are really in control of the product. Little kids everywhere. We were seated by the side of the stage and we had screaming kids all around us, screeching in surround sound. The adults don't even make noise anymore, don't try to make themselves heard. Boston has always been at last a 50% hostile crowd to Cena but not on Tuesday night. Cena wasn't audibly booed anymore. Nothing but cheers.
Of Morrison, Miz, Kofi and Ziggler, the guy who got the least pop for his ring entrance was Morrison. In order of loudness, it was Kofi (local boy from Winchester, MA... er, Winchester, Ghana, West Africa by way of Jamaica), Miz, Ziggles, then Morrison. Miz was definitely more over than Morrison.
Speaking of not over, you could hear crickets chirping when McCool came out. She is so not over, she's under. But then, that also went for the Divas match itself, which was wrestled to near total crowd silence. No one seems to care about that division, not management nor the fans. Melina's entrance pop was good, the loudest any Diva received, but no support for her while she wrestles.
The show played well on TV but it was a bummer to see live. So many backstage segments meant we spent half the show watching the Titan Tron. Nor was there anything shocking or surprising to denote the 10th anniversary of Smackdown. No major angles, no surprises.
Who wasn't there was a bummer (No EDGE?! No JBL?!). Instead we got appearances by Iron Sheik and Sgt. Slaughter. That's right, legendary Smackdown Superstars Iron Sheik and Sgt. Slaughter. You remember their epic battles on Smackdown, don't you?
No Mr. McMahon appearance was just wrong. Now, most times, I'd rather shoot a BB gun in my eye than hear Vince, but an occasion like A Decade of Smackdown calls for a Mr. McMahon appearance. Or at least Stephanie, former Smackdown GM. Doing a major anniversary show without Vince or Stephanie is like doing Hamlet without Hamlet or Ophelia.
The Rock's promo was awesome... and an awesome reminder of what's missing from the current product. Is it me, or does Dwayne Johnson seem a little... effeminate? He seems a little... ding-a-ling-a-ling, if you will. He remembers who The Rock character is, but his Rock these days seems softer. I mean, go on YouTube and search for old Rock promos from a decacde ago. His voice seemed to be deeper then and he didn't smile nearly as much. It was like when Mike Judge brought back Beavis and Butt-Head to promote Extract a few weeks ago and he had trouble doing Beavis' voice. Still, it was great to see The Rock.
More than a few eyes were wet from the Eddie video.
Why were Jericho and Big Show not in the main event instead of Legacy, who have never been Smackdown? Since Orton was eating the pin anyway, you didn't need Cody or Ted out there at all. It should have been Jericho and Show. What a waste of two of the biggest Smackdown stars ever to be relegated to a backstage puke sketch.
The confetti was a great visual live. It was like being in the middle of a Smackdown snowglobe. Really pretty. So pretty I wanted to cry, especially when we realized there would be no post-show. DX and Cena slapped hands with the front row and left. That was it. If Stone Cold were around, he'd have held court in the middle of the ring after the show, shot the shit with the crowd, and drank beer for half an hour. Now, nothing. Nothing extra for the live crowd.
The show was a big letdown live. It really felt like a half-assed effort. There was nothing that happened that was worth actually going to the arena to see live. Compared to the last live show I attended, the RAW in Houston the night after WrestleMania 25, that RAW seemed like a huge deal. Steamboat wrestled, Batista made his surprise return. That RAW felt like a bigger deal than A Decade of Smackdown.
Why were Jericho and Big Show not in the main event instead of Legacy, who have never been Smackdown?
It was all the Hell in a Cell guys. I thought it would be so the heels would go into the PPV with heat but obviously not.
Jericho and Big Show's skit really was terrible. Never let the Raw writers contribute to Smackdown again. They've really taxed themselves between writing all the guest host material and three PPVs in two months when best they could come up with was this stupid party stuff, Japanese karaoke hooracism, and humiliating someone in Michael Cole to whom the anniversary probably actually meant a little bit. Matt Hardy and MVP reminiscing about their Smackdown tagteam was the lone nice touch.
Ziggler and Kofi seemed to have really good chemistry together. The smoothness which which Ziggler leapfrog/hurdled over Kofi was beautiful and they had a couple of other really nice spots as well. I'd love to see the 2 of them face off as Champion vs Champion at Bragging Rights.
I may be the only person who wasn't enamored by Rocky's spiel. I finally ended up fast forwarding through the rest of it about midway through the 4th hour of it. If he's going to be running people down (Ziggler, Punk) then he could at least have had the courtesy to show up and give them the opportunity to respond. But to an extent, I can understand him not being bothered to put in a personal appearance, it's not like many of the fans would be attending his movies, either.
Hopefully Vicki Guerrero being Escobar's manager is just a short term deal to get some quick heat on him. If she's coming back long term, what was the point of leaving to begin with?
And when did Kofi start being announced from Ghana? I noticed it on the Superstars taping but hadn't noticed it prior to that. Shouldn't he have went through a mystic ceremony, possibly in a parking lot, to get back in touch with his roots before making the change?
Seeing the Iron Sheik made me hope he shows up on Raw with Beetlejuice in tow just so we can see Beetle feud with Hornswoggle. After all, Beetlejuice not only has wrestling experience, he was involved in a world title match, which I'm pretty sure is more than Hornswoggle can say! Even better, we could bring back Eugene one more time. Eugene and Hornswoggle vs The Iron Sheik and Beetlejuice would go down as one of the greatest spectacles in the history of profesional wr sports entertainment. The only way you could top it is if The Ultimate Warrior were to serve as special guest referee.
This was a phenomenal show. The matches were hit and miss, but everything else was gold. Rock's promo was terrific, as he almost did too much. The joke about CM Punk was great, because he was talking about Punk's promos (which the Universe is supposed to hate), not about Punk's wrestling (which you are supposed to care about as CM is the champ after all). Ziggler didn't fare as well, but come on, it's just Mr. Ziggles.
The highlight of the night was easily Iron Sheik throwing Zach Ryder's catchphrase back in his face.
Oh, and the team that Batista and Mysterio beat for the titles was MNM, not the "Edgeheads." And WWE seemed careful in only showing Dave and Rey beating up on Mercury and not Morrison.
"Put on your helmets, we'll be reaching speeds of 3!" "It was nice of you to give that dead woman another chance." "All right, look alive everybody...oh sorry Susan."- MST3K: Space Mutiny Click Here (myspace.com)
Originally posted by TorchslasherOh, and the team that Batista and Mysterio beat for the titles was MNM, not the "Edgeheads." And WWE seemed careful in only showing Dave and Rey beating up on Mercury and not Morrison.
Wow, I was off there.
"To be the man, you gotta beat demands." -- The Lovely Mrs. Tracker
Originally posted by InVerseZiggler and Kofi seemed to have really good chemistry together. ... I'd love to see the 2 of them face off as Champion vs Champion at Bragging Rights.
Yeah, that match had the fun dynamic of each brand's athletic young babyfaces against each brand's Arrogant Young Men. I hope they have both interbrand combos in matches at Bragging Rights but I'd prefer the belts on Miz and JoMo.
I may be the only person who wasn't enamored by Rocky's spiel. I finally ended up fast forwarding through the rest of it about midway through the 4th hour of it. If he's going to be running people down (Ziggler, Punk) then he could at least have had the courtesy to show up and give them the opportunity to respond.
But he was promoing the Punk/Undertaker match. He ran down Punk and put over Undertaker.
But to an extent, I can understand him not being bothered to put in a personal appearance
By fast forwarding, you missed the end when he said he wanted to guest host Raw.
Originally posted by kentish Rock tossing the script at the beginning of his promo says it all. It just wasn't needed.
I should hope not. After giving the same promo over 9,000 times, it should be pretty hard to forget it, even after not using it for a few years.
Also, I like how everybody stood around watching the Drew McIntyre vs R-Truth brawl until they destroyed the cake, *then* everyone got involved. Too bad it didn't end with Killings shattering a champagne bottle over McIntyre's head while getting slammed through a table, thus knocking them both unconscious.
What Worked: TKG: That main event was better than it had any right to be. Cena's been consistently unimpressive and this may be his best match since the brand switch. Carlito may be the ideal foil for him. Really liked the wild swinging punch exchange.