If you haven't seen Smackdown yet, you probably should. The Jeff Hardy v Shelton Benjamin contest is now on my shortlist for Match of the Year.
My shortlist (because I know you care) ------------------------ Tyler Black v Nigel McGuinness (Take No Prisoners) Ric Flair v Shawn Michaels (Wrestlemania) Shawn Michaels v Chris Jericho (BASH!) Jimmy Jacobs & Tyler Black v Austin Aries & Bryan Danielson (Respect is Earned II) Undertaker v Edge (Wrestlemania) Shawn Michaels v Jeff Hardy (RAW) Jeff Hardy v Shelton Benjamin (Smackdown!)
In my mind, Undertaker vs. Edge at WrestleMania is match of the year. I was actually there, which adds something extra special to how I remember it. I'm not just crazy, but super crazy, about that match. I don't know if it's toppable in my mind, but Hell in a Cell sure will try. If I did have a match of the year shortlist, William Regal beating up CM Punk a couple of weeks ago on RAW would be on it.
As for Smackdown, I loved the Jeff Hardy vs. Shelton Benjamin match. I've always been crazy about the "working on a body part" (like an Anderson!) style of wrestling. I liked that it was divided into two sections separated by commercial: Shelton's nasty rear chinlock on Jeff (and Jeff's eyes-popping out facial expressions selling it) and Shelton working on the leg, even tearing Jeff's pant leg in half. Saw some of Jeff's leg, which isn't quite as weird as seeing both of Jericho's, but I guess the legshow was a theme this week. Second week in a row Shelton had the best match in the whole company. He seems to be over his acute case of bronchitis.
I'm totally into this Jeff Hardy vs. MVP feud. It's my second most anticipated match at Summerslam. They have this intense, personal issue between them that really shakes my soda. Hope it's less of a match and more of a fight at the PPV.
On a side note, you know who impressed me unexpectedly? Eve. MVP gave this great heel promo, again making some good points about how Jeff attacked him after his match last week and how Jeff is his own worst enemy. And Eve's facial expressions and facial reactions were great. Almost Mean Gene Okerlund-qesue. Eve might have a little Mean Gene in her (and would she like one? That would no doubt be Mean Gene's pick up line to her. And then he'd sing "Tutti Fruiti" and seal the deal.)
Speaking of Divas, I liked how quickly JR pointed out that Maria was the only Diva dressed for the WINTER Olympics. Maybe that was a nod to Maria's airhead character of yesteryear.
As I always do, I reflexively fast forwarded through the Hawkins and Ryder match, not realizing it was Shannon Moore's last WWE match. I no doubt missed a farewell for Moore the likes of what Ric Flair got. "Leave the Memories Alone!" and all that.
The Brian Kendrick has the best douchebag walk down the aisle since X-Pac. I like that he puts his jacket back on after he wins. Kendrick is fast becoming one of my favorites. Besides his ECW shirt, did Super Crazy actually appear on ECW after the Draft? Now he's on Smackdown? Which is it?
I did not watch this because I have plenty of wrestling to watch and forsee giving NJPW my money and sleeping hours in a couple weeks anyway. But it sounded good. NJPW's usually allows a few of the early matches (beyond the dark match) to air for free.