So some folks requested that I do old style workrate report for Smackdown again. Phil wanted in and we did one.
I liked Batista's ten minutes to vacate belt speech more than Dean and liked Angles final elimination less than Dean. And I will not toast a load to any green skinned woman not named Yvonne Craig.
Well here it goes:
TKG: My name is Finlay and I love to fight. That'll always work for me.
PAS: I liked Batista hugging the legends of the NWA as he was vacating the belt. The section with Rey got a little too emotional as there really was one too many "I Love you's" for my comfort level, and I live on a block with five gay bars.
TKG: I liked Batista's mic work as he is really good on the mic doing this kind of from the heart thing and it was a good little speech. Of course he had to put over HHH twice once as HHH and once in the insider shoot way. But hey its the WWE thats the deal. It was also a really great suit. For a Philipino/Greek this was the most Greek he's ever looked, maybe it was because I'm used to seeing him in low riders (which may bring out the Phillipino), maybe it was because he was in Philly...not sure but he really looked like Dave Vavasilliou out there. For a Greak guy from DC this was the only time I can remember him actually looking like if George Pelecanos got into bodybuilding. For entire speech I just kept thinking damn he'd be great on the Wire. Batista and Project Joe talking buisness....
PAS: Benoit v. Orton was pretty great, I think I can safely say that it is Orton's best singles match ever. I liked the really slow deliberate mat work and exchanges in the beginning, I think people who talking about the MMA stuff in the match were wrong. They were doing pro-style mat work, Tazz just decided to incorrectly channel Mauro Renallo. Man Benoit is on a fucking roll lately, all seven of these matches plus the Regal match, I think he is right back in any talk of the top 5 guys in the world. I saw American Dragon work a match based around slow mat work with a tall guy with no muscle definition in Philly last weekend, and it wasn't nearly as good.
TKG: Yeah Tazz calling the matwork as MMA matwork was funny. There was a point where Orton had hard time running the ropes but I think that was less working shoot style and more running like Rudy Reyna...I don't know. I'm not sure if this was best match in this best of seven series as I think its easy to overrate matches for length...but yeah easily best Orton match. There were sections where the outside stuff seemed to be trying to aim at getting a face v face match across which is dumb booking move but there were moments where it may have helped the match. Really liked the early matwork...the Benoit holds onto hammerlock while Orton goes for takedown was sweet. And was Benoit going for a nudo lagunero at one point?? Orton's mugging facials sometimes don't work as he'll often do too much of them in quick succession. But I think in longer matches instead of constant mugging he puts more time between one and the other...and I liked them here...liked the blinking KO sell after big bump, liked the vicious smile when ready to pounce, etc. I really liked the big bump to floor by Orton as it was really smart safe bump...second rope to floor but he managed to make it look ridiculously nasty.
TKG: Thought the Pipers Pit was nice use of Piper and nice (I assume) blow off of goofy gimmick. JBL didn't like Piper speak and Piper did burn at being cut off. Thats smart use of Piper...guy people are nostalgic for and remembr as having good mic skills but at this point comes off as either incomprehensible or just hackneyed and old. The Boogeyman eats Hall's mole is good way to end that gimmick. I guess they could make her grow hair where mole was removed but figure that they actually have just put an end to the gimmick. Really this segment delivered everything it needed to deliver. I mean yeah I'm dissapointed that the Boogeyman didn't wash it down with Bob Orton's blood....but thats just quibbling.
PAS: Battle Royal was pretty fun. Henry has been booked perfectly since coming in, and he looked really great here. His section with Rey was awesome, and I liked large portions of his stuff with Angle. Makes me want to see both singles matches, and makes me a little sad as Herny v. Eddie would have been incredible. I really think there is a chance that Henry can be rehabbed after 10 years of being humilated, because he dared accept the contract given to him. My hope is that Henry has a big run, and then skpis out at the end of his contract and goes and owns Japan. Paul London wins the bump contest in a battle royal with Psicosis, Matt Hardy, Nunzio and Johnny Nitro. Impressive if not utterly meaningless.
TKG: Battle Royale did nice job of putting over both Henry and Angle. Angle comes in and is essentially booked as Big Show and Henry booked to look strong. They were booked strong to set up the big Batista v. Kane section at end of Battle Royale. I thought the booking to make the two appear strong was better than the actual match up between the two. Build up made me expect like a real Goldberg vs. Henry match. Actual Angle vs. Henry sections weren't as good as that. But the rest of match did nice job raising expectations.
What Didn't Work
TKG: Amused by Matt Hardy's lazy bump myself. But no reason for Paul London's crazy bump not to get replay or even any focus. A bump like that in back corner that you have to be looking for inorder to spot is just poor job by production. Also don't know about the whole booking of the battle royale. Bringing in guy from other fed and booking him as Andre really makes show look like show of jobbers. Tossing out JBL first seemed especially odd as if you're turning Angle face...Angle v. JBL is a match that you want to make seem big. No Boogieman in Battle Royale either. I mean I really expected the BoogieMan climbs over top rope to chase JBL eliminating themselves from Royale spot. Its a cliche spot but still stupid not to run it.
PAS: Piper really delivered his lame dozens routine on Jillian Hall like he was the first guy to notice the mole on her face. Like it was a subtle flaw that only the Hot Rod was observant enough to pick up on.
TKG: Booker at ringside isn't Booker on commentary. Real mistake not having Booker on commentary. Why does Booker owe Orton anything when Booker won the match for Orton? Oh yeah and after complimenting Batista's mic skills...that backstage Orton and Long mic section was awfull..worse mic work on show that had an old man Piper section. Not Jackie Gayda bad but still.
I don't know. They don't seem to know what their plan is for the end of a show once it starts. I'm not sure they have any Wrestlemania plans in place for people not named Cena or Orton. Edit: Oh, and real small plans for people named Morrison.