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The W - Pro Wrestling - WWE Smackdown Workrate Report 5/18/07
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tomk
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Since: 30.7.02

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So trying to get segundacaida.blogspot running on a more regular basis. maybe I'll do some more concussionblog writting. Who knows? Just trying to start writing on a more regular basis. So as part of that, a return to the Smackdown workrate reports. As smackdown allows for both wrestling discussion and snarky music criticism.

WWE SMACKDOWN WORKRATE REPORT 5/18/07

TKG: So every so often WWE decides that they need to retrain their audience to some aspect of wrestling. So you'll have a 6 week period where every match will be built around bodypart psychology. Then there will be a new backstage mandate and it will all be forgotten. Apparently this weekís new mandate is "referee's need to be booked stronger" and fuck every ref on this show was all about asserting their authority. Itís nice to book refs as not being weak, but I don't want to see tough guy refs either. Almost every match (including at least one of the squashes) had a wrestler backs down from ref spot. Booking every ref as tough ref is goofy. I don't want MVP to manhandle Charles Robinson, but I don't want MVP to be cowering from him either. I should point out that the timing of this mandate was perfect. As this only works with an injured Undertaker.

WHAT WORKED:

PAS: Jesus is Matt Hardy on a sick run lately. He seems the defacto guy to lead NOVA generation guys through long TV matches. Smackdown is full of green guys, but at least it is all green guys working stiff. Whoever is the road agent is having everyone lay it in. So instead of daylight punches, you have MVP dropping mounted elbows to the back of peoples necks and kicking them in the face. Hardy's concussion selling was great, I loved the little hesitation on climbing the ropes. I don't know what the weird backstage thing behind basing two 20+ TV matches based around worked concussion selling the week Nowitski is on REAL SPORTS talking up Post-Concussion syndrome, but I can't buy it as a coincidence.

TKG: The two concussion based matches in a week thing was weird to me, hadnít thought about the Nowitski interview. This was by far the better of the two concussion based matches as Hardy can sell without scenery chewing. Speaking of selling, it still is really odd that aside from selling a fire spot, I canít recall MVP ever being put in opportunity to sell which worries me as he may turn out to be the most NOVAíish of all the Nova generation of workers. I think Philís giving MVP too much credit for the stiffness as Hardy was really full on leaning into the Mafia kicks. Of the Nova generation of Smackdown workers, I think Miz is the only guy who actually works consistently snug, Kennedy and MVP will have moments of snugness followed by moments of 80s non-contact WWFishness.

PAS: Six man tag was fun but Deuce and Domino are pretty stinky. Domino seems able to take bumps to the floor, but can't actually execute anything in the ring. Is he a stuntman or something? What wrestling school teaches out of ring bumps before they teach in ring bumps? I don't get why they have this new thing of bringing in second generation guys and sticking them with corny ass gimmicks. I mean why would you hire a stink bomb like Duece if you weren't going to use him as Jimmy Snuka Jr., he has been wrestling for 7 years, and is completely terrible. Why would you hire tiny ass Ray Gordy, if not to have him wrestle as Terry Gordy's son, you could throw a rock and hit a indy midget just as good to play a hillbilly. Are they going to make Harry Smith a chimney sweep or something?

TKG: Killer Karl Krupp was a guy who took really great bumps to the floor but couldnít take in ring bumps particularly well. This match was really all Chavo and built around keeping Deuce and Domino out of the way. Still the best Deuce and Domino match was the Brian Kendrick vs. Deuce one where Brian Kendrick channels Johnny Valentine and works a 14 minute match around keeping Deuce in a headlock.

PAS: Whatever you think of the WWE, you have to love them for running Finlay v. Benoit every six weeks or so. This wasn't high end for their series, but that still makes it better then pretty much anything else in the world. This was worked around a bodypart way more then most of their matches, and Finlay knows how to rip apart a leg. Finlay does a great job of using Hornswoggle, he is a guy who wrestled for years with an Indian princess seconding him. He has a million nifty ways to work spots around a second. This got about 11 minutes, but at this point you are pissed when these two get less then 20 on TV.

TKG: I think I liked this much more than Phil did. Most of your Finlay vs. Benoit matches like your Regal v Benoit matches are worked around KO or submission. Here they work a bodypart. Last time these two matched up on Smackdown they also did a bodypart match but that one was almost an extended squash (Finlay worked over Benoitís leg until distracted by Boogeyman and Benoit gets rollup). This one was a lot more competitive and Finlay is really great at ripping apart Benoitís leg while Benoit is really great at selling the leg while still making his comebacks. So Iíve been really struck lately by how versatile Benoit is. I mean I guess thatís an obvious thing to say as itís Benoit and well we all know how versatile he is. But their have been points where felt like he was coasting on formula. The long April Benoit v. MVP was almost completely controlled by Benoit, and MVP got very little in. Benoit controlled 89% of the offence yet it was still worked to make MVP look competitive. Following week I think Benoit had a match with Gregory Helms where Benoit let Helms control about 70% of the offense and yet worked where clear that Benoit was a level above Helms. Following week Benoit works Miz in a Finlay v. Barry Houston stiff guy vs. young stiff guy, where I think Miz got 40% of offense. Miz got to look tough opposite Benoit with again being booked as lower tiered. Here he works tough underdog fighting against the odds. Struck at how good Benoit is at playing multiple in match roles, and how those roles are built around layout and not percentage of offense.

PAS: We can add Regal to the short list of people who can drag something out of Kane (Daisuke Ikeda and Ricky Morton are the other two). Regal just worked him over, and Kane was pretty much just throwing his uppercut which is the only thing he does well. Regal has such great combos, and he was unloading with them, really fun match. Although having a finish based around a heel attacking a midget, on the same show you have a finish based around a face attacking a midget seems like the kind of lazy booking usually reserved for TNA.

TKG: Phil dug this more than me. I didnít I liked this as much as Regal vs. Boogey. Smackdown is weird as theyíve been pushing this big Monster vs. Monster feud on top of card and also have this really undercard monster tag team. I mean when Lawler would get into his silly ďFamous Monsters of FilmlandĒ nerd booking, he didnít have Freddy and Jason on top of the cards while the Mummy and the Wolfman where working openers. Weirdest thing about the new ďworkrateĒ WWE is the lack of mic work. Michael Hayes is supposedly the guy behind pushing the new paradigm. MICHAEL HAYES is pushing for less mic work!?? WHAT THE FUCK. I mean Kane isnít very good on mic so yeah leaving him to do nothing but bemused facial selling makes sense. But Boogeyman is a guy who is great on the stick. Known for not being very good in the ring but great on the stick. Whenís the last time heís been allowed to sing? Whenís the last time heís been given a mic? Would Hayes book the BoogeyWoogieMan vs. Les Thorton and not let the BoogieWoogieMan work the mic? This feud has a guy who can work the mic in it, why isnít he working the mic?

WHAT DIDN'T WORK:

TKG: The Ozzie thing was odd. I think I first saw a Ramones show in about 87. I remember being pressed up against the front of the stage and looking up at Joey Ramone and thinking he was one of the ugliest men I had ever seen live. I remember there was a point in the early nineties where I was a t a Ramones show and noticed that Joey Ramone was starting to look less like a really ugly man and more like a really unattractive woman, he was starting to look like Cher. I think the last time I saw the Ramones may have been in 95, I pushed myself to front looked up and Joey full on looked like Cher without the surgery. So watching the Ozzie performance I was struck by how much 2007 Ozzie facially looks like Cher. Do all 70s drug casualty rock stars eventually turn into Cher? Has anyone seen recent Bootsy?

PAS: I have really been enjoying Miz lately, as he has been kind of nicely going toe to toe with Finlay and Benoit in recent weeks. I was kind of looking forward to him potatoing Christian York, but it didn't really happen. I think a Dave Taylor v. Miz series would be a good use of both guys if Regal goes to Smackdown.

TKG: I didnít really see the purpose of either of the competitive squashes. Did both of them have jobber transitions to offense after missed elbow drop? Layout of matches felt too similar. Mark Henry has gotten kind of fat since we last saw him. I mean when he was last on TV he had these nasty defined abs which no longer are there. The big collision spot where Henry walks through Funakiís crossbody was nice but really not a lot to it. Miz using the Matt Sydal clothesline-hang-on-top- ropes-and-mug spot is great. But it requires that the camera film him from the front to show him mugging. Filming it from behind ruins the taunt.

PAS: Mark Henry's promo was completely awesome, but his sqaush wasn't really violent enough. Great looking clothesline, but not much else. Funaki isn't really a big bumping jobber, this feels like it would have been a nice place for Shannon Moore or hell they were in Baltimore call up Chad Austin.

TKG: I donít think itís that Mark Henry needs a bigger bumping jobber so much as he needs a physically bigger jobber. Henry is huge and being huge standing next to Funaki doesnít mean anything. Thereís a reason you book Luger or Giant to squash RoadBlock. Picking up Roadblock is impressive. There is a reason you book Hogan to bodyslam Rusty Brooks. Does Kelly Bell still work Maryland?

PAS: The druids carrying the Undertaker is always stupid, but is especially dumb with current Undertaker. With his abs, old face and shooter gloves he is basically working a current Ken Shamrock gimmick. Would druids really come for Ken Shamrocks soul?

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Just got back from the show. It was a great time. We were right on the side of the Titantron (unfortuantely we couldn't see it from our angle). We were so close the pyro felt like it was singing my hair.. It was HOT!
- Eradicator, Off Air RAW stuff (2002)
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