The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
YANS is busy today. First of all there’s been a leak that AJ Styles might be going shopping in Detroit following the TNA House Show, so YANS has flown over especially to see if he can catch a glimpse. He has instructed me to inform you that “the TNA house show drew a bigger crowd than every WWE house show since 2004”. That’s not actually true, but he told me to say it, so blame him. Meanwhile, we still have a column to do…
Don’t forget, now it’s separate GB&Us for separate shows, giving you a complete overhaul of both RAW and SmackDown!. Each segment will be rated, either Good, Bad, Ugly, or None. Extremely good or extremely bad segments will be rated with “Very Good” or “Very Ugly”, which will add two points to the final tallies instead of one. But also, mainly for filler space, I’ll be going through some news items and giving them a Good, Bad or Ugly rating as well.
Let’s go over to the Newsreel now to catch up with all the news since Wednesday.
Our top story today:
“WWE has an opening for a WWE agent position. “Cowboy” Bob Orton was expected to fill it; however, he was recently released. It looks like that agent position will be filled in by none other than former NWA Champion Barry Windham. Windham’s possible hiring may be part of a deal to get his father Blackjack Mulligan to attend the 2006 WWE Hall of Fame ceremony. WWE are trying to get him to sign a Legends deal, however, he has refused to sign it for some reason. Apparently, Mulligan is upset because he feels his so-called friends abandoned him after he finally got out of prison due to a counterfeiting scheme a few years ago. Mulligan currently owns a used car lot in Florida in which his son-in-law Mike Rotunda (Irwin R. Schyster) currently manages. Rotunda is married to Barry Windham’s sister.”
Wow, long news story, covering two things. Firstly, it seems bizarre that they’d release Cowboy Bob if they had a position lined up for him, but at least Barry Windham is a more than capable replacement. As for Mulligan, I don’t get why people not working in the indies turn down WWE deals. But hey, I’m sure he’ll come around, even BRET managed that.
“This past week’s edition of Raw drew a 4.2 cable rating. The overrun drew a strong 4.6 rating. The contract signing between John Cena and Triple H drew a 4.4 quarter hour rating. The 4.2 cable rating is up from last week’s 4.0 rating. ”
Wow, I can’t believe that the boring HHH/Cena segment got such a strong rating, maybe I was wrong about Cena and HHH being draws after all? Anyway, it’s nice to see the ratings back on the increase, maintaining a hugely positive start to the year in the RAW ratings.
“Henry O. Godwin (H.O.G.), wrestled in a dark match prior to the Ohio Valley Wrestling tapings on Wednesday night. He defeated a wrestler by the name of Chuckie in his match. According to reports, it was said that he didn’t look too good out there. However, it should be noted that Godwin has hardly wrestled since 1998 due to a neck injury with caused him to retire.”
Hmm, probably quite a step down from Shannon Moore and Test. The reasoning behind it is needing more “big men” to accommodate for the drop in size of most of the roster now the wellness programme is in effect. Even so, he hasn’t wrestled for 8 YEARS, and although I like the gimmick, I don’t see how he can keep up and learn what he’s missed.
“Tim White is at it again, this week trying to kill himself by locking himself in a car with exhaust fumes. Go to WWE.com to see the video..”
Oh this one was good too, purely for the fact that BIG TIME by Peter Gabriel played whilst Tim died. ‘Nuff said.
No Mail this week, don’t forget:
And now, time for SmackDown!
March 17th, 2006 (taped March 14th)
Bossier City, Louisiana
Money in the Bank Qualifier
Lashley vs. Finlay
I have to immediately say that I was surprised that Finlay won the match, but considering he lost, Lashley still looked like a megastar as he fought off the lumberjacks. And wasn’t it nice to see the lumberjacks actually doing their job of throwing the wrestlers back into the ring for the first five minutes? Obviously the heels were going to get involved at some point, but at least we had a proper lumberjack match to begin with. Lashley is certainly learning fast and getting over as well, the crowd’s reaction during the one arm suspended Suplex is testament to that. Another great little point is that three people were applauding and cheering all the way through, Nunzio, Simon Dean and William Regal. And who are they? All victims of Lashley over the last few months. Nice little touch. But the shilleighly shot wasn’t nice or little, or a touch, it was brutally hard. Kudos to Lashley for taking it.
MNM could very well become the new Edge and Christian, not only in terms of tag team success but also in comedic backstage segments. I was a bit annoyed that Vince had to put himself over by having Melina want the magazine to… “read”. And hey, it’s Pirate Burchill! Didn’t really need the penis jokes either, yes, it’s a sword HAHAHAHAHAHA we get it. Fun little segment though despite the small things being aggravating.
William Regal and Jillian Hall vs. Krystal and Paul Burchill
Burchill’s entrance is still awesome. I do however wish to point out that very few pirates actually GIVE THEIR JEWELLERY AWAY. And WHAT WAS THAT? Did Krystal just hit a pretty-much perfect spinning headscissors?! Where did she learn that from so quickly? And why is Jillian SO SO hot now the mole has gone? All these rhetorical questions add up to what surprised me as being a pretty good match. Jillian and Krystal were a lot better than I thought they would be, and Burchill has an “ARRRRR!” taunt that will get over in seconds. And once again, the C4 looks tremendous, and at least this week Burchill didn’t go through HBK’s moveset.
I used to really dislike Sharmell when she and Booker were a face unit, but since she’s turned heel she has been so much more entertaining. This segment didn’t really do anything for the show, but I think it would have been hilarious if given a bit longer and Booker was given some more time to talk.
Booker T vs. Jeremy Young
I’m not a big fan of squash matches taking place on the major TV shows. On Heat and Velocity they’re fine, but on RAW and SmackDown! you know they have the talent backstage who could’ve done this job perfectly. Of course, by not choosing an established superstar, you don’t have the risk of Internet fans complaining about jobbing people out. Sharmell in a beekeeping suit plus tiara was a great visual, and it was also great to hear the huge BOOGEYMAN! Chant, mainly because it proves to all the Internet nay-sayers that he’s over. If YANS were here he’d probably claim that the Boogeyman chant was piped into the arena, but considering you could see the people chanting it, it’s unlikely. Booker was always going to win, and the Boogeyman was always going to be wherever Booker and Sharmell tried to hide. Predictable maybe, but fun nevertheless.
Three way interview: Orton, Rey and Angle
Despite the incredibly obvious Michael Cole question over-dub, this was a good little interview. I would’ve liked to hear more from Rey and Angle, but with Orton playing the over-bearing constantly talking heel, that didn’t seem to matter too much. The promo skills were good from all three men, but I can’t help wondering what this actually achieved. We all knew that Rey and Angle had mutual respect, and that they both hated Orton, and Orton hated them. So yeah, good promo work, but room for improvement.
Money in the Bank Qualifier
Matt Hardy vs. Animal
And now my really negative point about this show. First of all, this heel push for Animal is purely coming about because he’s Johnny Ace’s brother. He’s 44 years old, which despite being 3 years younger than Finlay, isn’t working for him. Finlay has taken four years off and is in great condition, Animal has only just been granted approval for singles matches again after a severe injury. And we all knew that Animal had no right being in a LADDER match, because he would’ve stunk it up big time, whereas Matt would’ve been a useful addition. So to make sure that not only Johnny Ace’s brother goes over, but to also get Matt in the MITB match, they do a screwjob finish, making sure Matt gets pinned and Animal gets the pinfall, and then screwing the fans over. I hate politics.
Chris Benoit vs. Orlando Jordan
I found it more than a little strange that absolutely no mention of the three sub-minute matches from the summer was made, but I was more than happy listening to JBL ranting about how much better he was than both Benoit and Steve Austin. JBL is so good on the mic it’s incredible. Jordan managed to last longer than his three previous matches with Benoit put together, but we all knew he was going to lose. JBL’s beer cooler shot to the back was all kinds of vicious, and it’s nice to see them not completely ignoring the Benoit feud and concentrating on Austin.
Mark Henry promo
Big Craig’s gonna kill me for this… But I didn’t like this promo that much. For a start, Henry’s delivery was pretty off, there were HUGE gaps in between his sentences that made me think he had forgotten his lines, and the content was what we hear from Undertaker’s opponents year after year, they’re not scared of Undertaker, they don’t fear anything, they don’t fear caskets, they don’t fear the winning record, it just gets repetitive and not interesting to hear any more. Sorry Mark, but you know I think you rule.
Mark Henry/MNM vs. Randy Orton/Kurt Angle/Rey Mysterio
Allow me to say first of all that Melina looked absolutely smoking hot. Secondly, I was actually quite disappointed with the match. I can understand the way they were booking it, Rey was the wrestler in peril, Angle wanted to help the team, and Orton didn’t want anything to do with it. But Rey spent SO much time in the ring and Angle and Orton spent SO much time on the apron that it just didn’t go anywhere. It was nice to see MNM shown as a legit threat when in a tag team environment, and Melina and Daivari double-teaming on the outside was a nice touch. Orton blind-tagging to get the pinfall made sense to the storyline, but I fail to see how a 619 can keep someone down for 5+ seconds. It was a nice build-up to both SNME and WM, but I feel it had more to offer. Still a good TV main event though.
So, overall we have:
Ugly: 1 (x2 = 2)
Not as good as the last week’s show or the week before that, but still a good show that did all the things it set out to do, and I still found it a lot more entertaining than RAW. SmackDown! is the dominant brand right now in terms of show quality, yet I can still see the SNME Main Event only going one way, despite the handicap. If you have anything you wish to ask or an opinion to give, drop me a line at:
And I will see you next week for the RAW review. Take care amigos.