TKG: Michael Cole’s pervy starter stash looks like it has the potential for Tony Schiavone perv stash level greatness.
PAS: Boogeyman has been a ridiculously protected guy, and it is pretty weird to see him totally squashed like this. Still I love me some asskicking Mark Henry, and crushing a protected guy like this really establishes him as a guy who can't be stopped. It feels like they are writing off Little Boogeyman, which is kind of a mistake, if you are bringing in a celebrity midget, you need a secondary midget to feed him to, set up the Hornswaggle PPV match.
TKG: Really felt like Henry was protecting Little Boogey on the splash which kind of hurt it too. Part of me thought they were writing both Big Boogey and Little Boogey out of show, but there is a Boogy shirt poll on WWE.com (http://poll.wwe.com/boogeyman3/ vote #4) so I assume they are just sending Boogey to RAW or ECW. This really felt like jobbing a guy out of the territory.
PAS: It is about time that Orlando has a good juniors spotfest. I haven't seen Davari in a while and it looks like he stole all of Vince's roids. He really looked too big to be in with skinny guys like Kendrick and Jamie Noble. I assume Kendrick and London are getting split up, and London will get switched to RAW and fired. Kendrick v. Chavo look like they could have some really fun 7 minute TV matches.
TKG: Yeah London/Kendrick are going to be split. This was advertised as cruiser match, so they've been demoted from tag wrestlers to cruisers. London grew the greatest pro-wrestling Mexican facial hair in the history of Mexican pro-wrestling facial hair. He saw the writing on the wall and was hoping that the international branding was going to still happen and he might get traded to Latino brand. Unfortunately European house shows didn't draw and doesn't look like he's got much of a future. Knoble is dragged out of the attic and given new trunks. I think the trunks had the Smackdown “S” on them...so his new gimmick is "Smackdown branded wrestler". Knoble and Jimmy Yang wrestle together like two guys who trained together and everything was super smooth. I don't think I've ever seen a Chavo v Kendrik match before but Kendrick gets the pin on Chavo and their sections together absolutely ruled.
PAS: Benoit v. Edge was pretty great, really based around both guys taking crazy bumps into the turnbuckles. I am not a huge fan of Steiner style killing of suplexes, but the triple verticle into the triple German is a really cool near fall set up. The finish was pretty terrible, Edge's spear blows and doesn't look like it should put anyone down, especially someone who has been semi-protected like Benoit.
TKG: These two had a really good cage match a couple years ago where they worked match like a heated cage match instead of the usual WWE spotfest cage match. In general Edge's problem is that when left to his own devices he wants to wrestle those spotfest matches. It never looks to me like he's actually FIGHTING to BEAT his opponent, he’s instead fighting to get to spots. Matches have this real IC title feel. But you put him against Benoit and it's a FIGHT. That spear was a super flat finish.PAS: Matt Hardy v. Deuce and Domino should have been a lot worse then it was. Hardy is on a pretty untouchable streak right now, I am assuming at one point he worked a handicap match against T.C. Brimstone and the Rambunctious Bobby Barnett in OMEGA, so he probably has some experience working these kind of turds. I hadn't seen Cryme Tyme in a while, but watched this weeks RAW, and I think both Deuce and Domino are worse then the lesser Cryme Tymer, and Michaels is hurt. It is funny though, both can kind of do one thing, Domino can take nice out of ring bumps, but can't bump in ring or execute offense, Deuce has stiff offense and can of eat stuff but often looks completely lost in the ring. Hardy is good enough to work a match around the couple of things that they can do.
TKG: I don't think Deuce can actually eat stuff. Kendrick was able to control both guys and carry them to watchable singles matches. London was able to get something out of Domino in the ring in their singles. London let Deuce do too much in their singles and that was a fucking mess. Neither Kendrick or London were ever given the burden of trying to carry both guys simultaneously. Two on one really requires that Deuce and Domino double team and do timing spots.. They were completely unable to do that and looked lost waiting for shit to happen but Matt Hardy and the cameramen did a real yeoman's job keeping this from ever falling apart. Matt turning his Tanaka stunner bulldog spot (which I hate) into a bulldog/lariat when Domino was out of position kind of ruled.
PAS: MVP v. Batista was way better then it had any right to be. Batista seems like a guy who works really well with NOVA generation guys, as he a good series with Kennedy too. After watching this, I really want to see him work the Miz, see what he can do with the cream of the crop. MVP seems to be culling the stuff he does, and getting simpler, which should only help him. The kicks to the head have gotten pretty good looking, and both of them were sold huge. I also liked all the early boxing stuff, although he needs to snap his jab, rather then just stick it out there. Batista can time him, come over the top and catch him with a right hand.
TKG: For Nova guy, MVP was less iNOVAtive then usual. For guy who criticized AJ Styles, Batista has similar problems. Batista can work from bottom, or from top but really can't work even. The NOVA guys allow him to work from top, then they take control through short cuts and then they attack hard. Same formula used with Kennedy. I think part of the advantage of this formula is that on some level one of the things Batista does better then people give him credit for doing is selling. This formula allows him to sell for chunks. The two more evenish guys slugging it out, trading doesn't allow for that. That may not be a good explanation. Whatever, this is formula that works well with Batista.
What Didn't Work
TKG: "As I walk through the shadows of death...ashes to ashes dust ". So Vince's attempt to play insane consists of him doing bad impression of Duvall in the Apostle? I guess evangelist would explain the cheap looking aqua suit. Ashley offers to drycleam that suit? That suit doesn't need dry cleaning. So there was a thread on the DVDVR board about the relative advantage and disadvantage of scripted v unscripted dialogue in wrestling. The whole argument misses the point that wrestling is a show with badly written scripts and non-professional actors. Now I like Italian neo-realism as much as the next guy. But I don't speak Italian so may not notice if the non-professional actors can't read their lines well. It might also be that Neo-Realism is built around stories of lower class existence, and non-professional actors may be able to get across the lower class life of a Boogey Woogey Man, the son of a plumber or working class existence of Anderson Brothers...but current US wrestling isn't about poverty and working class struggle. Vince is wealthy and Edge is playing a high roller. All of the WWE wrestlers are presented as " WWE SUPERSTARS". Anyway the backstage stuff with Vince was embarrassing by porn acting standards. Vince and Austin had a good rapport and knew how to play off each other. Vince has no rapport with anyone here, sub-community theater.
PAS: I am not signing on with the love for current crazy Vince. His crazy Southern preacher stuff and Bob Backlund facials come off really hackneyed. The opening section was really hurt by how bad Edge is at these interviews. Vince does come off better when he has a more polished performer like Ashley to work off of.
TKG: So I'm watching a good MVP promo and distracted by his lil cheap looking fake gold hoop earring. The MVP gimmick requires MVP to have at minimum fake diamond earrings.
PAS: "Your voice sounds like Rosanne Barr singing the national anthem?" That was seventeen years ago, is JBL scripting Diva snaps now?
TKG: Someone needs to tell JBL what “gentrify” means. Every show he refers to a wrestler “gentrifying”. He consistently uses it to describe developments of the younger wrestlers. “Week to week we watch the gentrification of__________ (Miz, Kennedy, Batista, Edge as champ, MVP, etc”. Gentrification isn’t a synonym for development. If JBL was working a redneck who misuses word gimmick it would be one thing but JBL worked for “business”news channel CNBC, a FOX “business analysis”show. It’s embarrassing.
It's a clever final paragraph and I don't totally disagree with it (my mantra remains "crowd chants are ruining wrestling" and I have great fear for what people think they are going to accomplish by their collective performance art in Chicago......