Welcome peepsicles to the third edition, the second in the normal format, of The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. After two columns I have yet to receive an e-mail from anyone who’s read it, and I’m on the verge of tears. Columnists have feelings too! Enough about my despair though, time to get on with the column.
The concept of the column is simple, and is pretty obvious considering the title. I will look through the week in WWE and pick out the things I thought to be good, the things I thought to be bad, and then I shall focus on one particularly bad thing which I deem to be “ugly”. And it won’t just be Viscera’s gut.
So what was good this week? Well let’s see!
For the second week in a row there were a host of good matches on television in the WWE this week. RAW had a good contest between Shawn Michaels and Carlito, with good psychology on the left knee. Also, the main event match between Chris Masters, Kurt Angle and John Cena was pretty good, which is a surprise considering two of the people involved. But you know there are problems when John Cena is getting booed at the expense of CHRIS MASTERS.
SmackDown! obviously had two shows this week, and this gave them a slight advantage in the good match stakes. Benoit and Booker T had a match I felt to be better than their Survivor Series outing, and I was genuinely worried that Benoit had hurt his neck. That’s good selling. Rey Mysterio and Big Show also had a good contest before the overbooking from hell. On the real edition of SmackDown! I enjoyed the Tag Team Battle Royal, although I tend to enjoy battle royals most of the time. Benoit and William Regal had a good match as they always do, mainly because they’ve never heard of protecting each other, it’s almost like a real fight. Benoit and Regal are both tough as hell to go through that. Randy Orton and Matt Hardy had a good contest, but again the overbooking eclipsed the effort they put into the match.
With a series of feuds ended at Survivor Series, most notably the big RAW vs. SmackDown! feud, the writers had to come up with a few new feuds to keep things ticking over. This is probably a very difficult time of year for storylines, as the WrestleMania program is just around the corner, so no lengthy storylines can start due to the main eventers having set feuds from January to April. With no Flair due to personal problems, HHH appears to be feuding with Big Show, which could be quite good if the segment on RAW is anything to go by. Hopefully HHH will find some way to make any match between the two watchable. It will also be interesting to see what will happen to John Cena. Surely he can’t keep feuding with Kurt Angle for much longer?
Best of Seven
We’re two matches in to the Best of Seven series between Chris Benoit and Booker T has got off to a good start, with two good matches between the two, and a continuation of the storyline on Friday’s SmackDown!. I personally thought Booker did a very good job on commentary, and if he is able to smooth some of the edges over, I think he would make a good colour commentator when he retires. Sharmell, as ever, should never be let near an audio-enhancing device. The post-match antics, including the amazing dive over the table from Benoit also built some extra tension for the next contest on next week’s SmackDown!. I know I’ll be watching.
After being stopped in his tracks at Survivor Series, it was important to re-establish Lashley as the monster that they want him to be. In his match against Sylvan on SmackDown!, he certainly looked like a star again. He definitely looks like a wrestler, but some of his moves give him even more of a superstar aura. One handed stalling vertical Suplex? That was just incredible. I’m also glad they’re not giving him a Goldberg style match push, and actually giving him time in the ring to get used to things, even if he is better than most of his opponents so far.
Re-signing Jamal seems to mean a re-union of Three Minute Warning with Rosey. Although a lot of people see 3MW as purely big Samoan guys who had nothing in the ring, but they had good chemistry as a team, and I always like seeing Rosey or Jamal flying from the top rope. Of course, we’re all assuming this is what will happen when he returns, but it does make a lot of sense.
He’s The Boogeyman!… And He’s Come.. TO GETCHA!
Ah, Boogeyman, bringer of entertainment, eater of worms, singer of popular nursery rhymes, finally has his first match. Well if you can call it a match, it only involved one move and some worms being eaten. If I was Scotty 2 Hotty, I would be seriously scared about his worm fetish. Boogeyman will never be accepted by the IWC higher-powers because he can’t wrestle a 30 minute match, but he’s so damn entertaining, it’s impossible for me to dislike him. His entrance might be a bit too long and smokey, but he has nice pyro to go with his clock smash.
And the rest…
Great to hear that Saturday Night Main Event is back, but due to the amount of TV shows currently around, I’m guessing it will just be like the SmackDown! special was this week.
Mr. Kennedy interrupting the Italian guy’s comments on the review of the Italian tour with a KENNEDY was absolutely hilarious.
Hopefully after three weeks without them, the Junior division has been permanently shelved.
Obvious as it was, wasn’t it great to hear Shane’s music? He’s the only McMahon it’s ok to like.
Well that covers my positive feelings of the week, time to move to…
Heels and Faces
It was my ugly thing last week, but it’s been promoted to just “bad” this week due to there being less of it. But still, Kane and Big Show are considered faces on RAW, and heels on SmackDown!, and again, it makes no sense whatsoever. I’m not entirely sure why Kane and Big Show are needed on SmackDown anyway, but it proves that the WWE haven’t made many new stars that can fill the upper-midcard over the last year.
Ric Flair’s Week of Hell
Has anyone ever had a bad a week as Ric Flair has? After a great showing at Survivor Series against HHH, nothing has gone right for the Nature Boy. Accusations of road rage forced him to turn himself in to the police, and then his wife Beth filed for divorce on grounds of physical abuse, as well as use of alcohol, drugs and steroids. His personal life has been flung out into the open for everyone to see, and not even someone who has no respect for Flair would want that to happen. Possibly the most frustrating thing is that nearly everyone DOES respect Flair, and to see someone who has given the wrestling industry so much be given this horrible time is a big disappointment to the wrestling industry. I just hope that Flair can sort his problems out as soon as possible, and minimise the damage to his legacy at the same time.
Splitting Tag Teams
Is there anyone outside of the WWE who can explain the reasoning behind splitting up Cade and Murdoch? The two had a good chemistry as a team, and had only been teaming in the WWE for a few months. Murdoch seems to be the one being given the bigger push of the two, so I guess they’re trying to cash in on the unique look he has. Although it’s not that unique, as his appearance is similar to Matilda the bulldog. For months the main problem within the WWE has been the lack of tag teams, and whilst SmackDown! have solved that problem, RAW is still lacking behind, with the titles on an unstoppable team, and with two tag teams (Hurricane/Rosey and Cade/Murdoch) split up in the last two months. At the moment, Val and Viscera are probably the most experienced tag team in the division, followed closely by Tomko and Snitsky. What a horrible thought.
Repetitive Booking Syndrome
How many times are we going to see Trish, Ashley and Mickie vs. Victoria, Torrie and Candice, or a mixture of the teams? I can understand that the women’s division is lacking in talent following the exodus of Molly, Jazz, Gail Kim and Ivory, but can’t they find some new matches? Ashley obviously doesn’t have the in-ring ability for a singles match, and Victoria is the only decent heel diva, so why can’t they give Torrie, Ashley, Maria and Candice some extra training to make them ready for singles competition? To be fair to Maria, she knows how to sell an Angle Slam well, so obviously her training in OVW and DSW has paid off to an extent.
Mr. Kennedy has been getting more and more over every week, but this week…he’s nowhere? He didn’t make an appearance on either edition of SmackDown!, and the scheduled Velocity match that was taped on Tuesday against Kid Kash isn’t viewable on WWE.com. Instead, we get to watch Orlando Jordan vs. a jobber, lucky us. Hopefully Kennedy hasn’t done anything wrong backstage to warrant this de-push, but I’m even more hopeful that the WWE haven’t just given up on him in the way they’ve done it to so many others in the past.
And the rest…
Randy Orton’s acting levels are reminiscent of some of the worst Z-Level movies I’ve ever seen. And when will he learn, you CAN’T KILL A DEAD MAN?
Why on earth would anyone tap out to a poorly executed STF from John Cena? Masters tapped immediately despite no work being done on the neck by Cena or Angle.
And so finally, we hit the hot topic of my disappointment this week…
This Week’s Ugliness:
The death of Eddie Guerrero was always going to be a touchy subject for wrestling fans everywhere, so that natural thing for the WWE to do would be to exploit it for financial gain. And exploit it they did on the SmackDown! special this week, by using Eddie’s patented low rider as a weapon of attempted murder. When I saw the low rider head towards the stage, I knew immediately that there would be a huge negative reaction about it, and I was right.
I was happy when the WWE took away the Buried Alive match from Survivor Series as a result of Eddie’s death, and I was hoping that that example of good taste would continue to run for a bit longer than a few weeks. I can understand the goal the WWE were trying to achieve, get heel heat on Randy Orton, set up the Hell in a Cell match at Armageddon, and create a big spectacle for their special show. They achieved all of this, but at what cost? They upset a huge amount of their own fans, they angered a lot of their own wrestlers, and in the minds of many, showed no respect to the memory of Eddie Guerrero.
During the week, Chavo Guerrero spoke on Byte This about how he didn’t find it disrespectful, and how he found it a tribute to Eddie that he was still being involved in storylines despite his death. Call me cynical, but to me that sounds pretty far-fetched, and doesn’t seem like something a family member would say. I’m not an insider in the WWE at all, but my guess would be that Chavo was told to say something along those lines to get the heat off the WWE’s backs regarding the incident.
On the same show, the WWE edited out something else they had scripted, Big Show spitting on the windscreen of the low rider on his way to the ring for his match against Mysterio. And this is what I don’t understand, if they knew that what Big Show was told to do was disrespectful, did they not think for a second that having Eddie’s low rider burst into flames might upset a few people?
Whatever happens, it appears the WWE have managed to ride the storm when it comes to the backlash from the fans, so I would expect for the stunt to be forgotten about pretty soon. I suppose the whole thing can be justified by the fact that “wrestling isn’t real”, but even if it isn’t, the feelings and emotions of the fans and the wrestlers definitely are.
That concludes GB&U #3, hope you enjoyed it. As ever, I would LOVE to hear anything from my readers, be it praise or criticism of my views. Any e-mails will be published unless you request for me not to. I do intend to have an “e-mail” section if I ever get any. Don’t forget my address:
Until next time, keeeeep dancing!