The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
No April Fool’s jokes here, and due to how late I am, no Newsreel or Mailbag either. That’s right, I’m phoning it in this week, mainly because I’ve written quite a lot this week and I’m having a bit of a burnout. Plus I have the Hall of Fame and Impact to watch, and badminton to play. Yeah, you can call me whatever you want, the column’s here isn’t it?
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. And normally, mainly for filler space, I’ll be going through some news items and giving them a Good, Bad or Ugly rating as well.
March 31st, 2006 (taped March 28th)
Kansas City, Missouri
I’m not Randy Orton’s biggest fan by any stretch of the imagination, but I thought he did a great job during this segment. I think the thing that stood out to me was Orton and Long bickering, it sounded like a real argument where people actually talk over each other. Rey and Angle did a similar thing, which led to the perfect line from Angle – “nobody can beat me”. That didn’t suggest Rey shouldn’t be in the WrestleMania main event, but also suggested that Rey couldn’t beat Angle. A good little segment, if a little predictable that Orton would return after being escorted out of the building.
Chris Benoit vs. Road Warrior
Road Warrior’s push, name change, heel turn, image change and constant promo time may seem baffling to some. But allow me to suggest that the reasoning behind it is less to do with some untapped potential the WWE think Road Warrior has, but more to do with his brother being Head of Talent Relations Johnny Ace. At least he’s not winning, and I did have a horrible feeling he would beat Benoit here with JBL interference. Luckily common sense prevailed, and Animal tapped like a baby. I will however give credit to Road Warrior for getting “BIG TIME” into his promo. But the match was just kinda meh, and the fact I spent most of it worrying about whether Benoit would win or not summed it up.
Verdict: Bad (And it’s not often I give a Benoit match that.)
I read shortly after watching the show that people were upset about what JBL said regarding Eddie Guerrero. I would like to ask these people to shut the hell up and stick their heads in a toilet as punishment. How on earth “I beat Eddie Guerrero for the WWE title, one of the greatest technical wrestlers ever” can be considered insulting Eddie’s memory completely baffles me. I thought this was yet another good segment to set up a WrestleMania match, and to be honest, I think these segments do better than video packages.
JBL vs. Daniel Cross
I was a bit concerned when I saw JBL’s opponent, I was worried that JBL’s momentum might be stopped short by such a high calibre of opponent. But JBL proved me wrong, and he beat the crap out of Cross BIG TIME style, and I enjoyed it. People like to complain about squash matches on the major TV shows, but JBL’s recovering from a broken hand, there’s no need to put him in the ring for a 10 minute match 5 days before WrestleMania 22.
Booker T vs. Paul Burchill
Wahey, in swings Burcill. It’s nice to see they’re beginning to let Burchill’s moveset develop a little bit, although I think a Standing Moonsault will be as close as we come to seeing him do his Standing Shooting Star Press. It was also nice to see a change in Boogeyman stuff, normally with JBL and Booker they hit their finishing move and were about to win a match when Boogeyman came out, this time it was a bit more unannounced with Booker on the back foot. As soon as Booker ran from Sharmell I thought, “Booker, THAT’S NOT WISE!” and I was right. Of course, Sharmell being inducted made me remember the Kurt Angle/bestiality storyline, which did ruin things a bit.
Lashley, Matt Hardy and Tatanka vs. MNM & Finlay
Yeah, Finlay loves to fight. Good to see he does have some heel coward tendencies too, but he’d still beat the crap out of you. MNM really do deserve a place on the WM card, they bumped like madmen during this match for Tatanka, Hardy and especially Lashley. One thing that did confuse me is that whilst RVD and Flair are playing the “every man for himself” card on RAW, Lashley and Hardy are seemingly remaining friendly. That didn’t really help in terms of building up the MITB match. Also, last year’s build-up contained a lot of use of ladders, with a ladder always position in the entrance way and often used as a weapon during matches. I think the MITB match has been grossly overlooked by the WWE this year, and given the inter-promotional aspect of it, I’m surprised.
Mark Henry promo
As you may know by now, I’m a much bigger fan of Mark Henry than 95% of the Internet columnists. I think he’s a much better talent than people give him credit for, and he proved that he has some decent promo skills with this segment. People have complained about the same formula of promo from last year, with every Undertaker victim being named, but I liked it last year and I liked it this year. Add on to that the fact that not only was Mark Henry wearing a suit, but he also gave a very impressive “WOOO!”, and you have the makings of a segment that I certainly enjoyed.
Kid Kash & Jamie Noble vs. Mexicools
Wow, a Jamie Noble SmackDown! sighting! I think you get 100 points for that in I Spy. Whilst this match was good towards the end, I found the early part of it a bit slow and un-cruiserweight like. It was if the cruisers had been told to work a more heavyweight style… again. In the same way as the Spirit Squad match on RAW, I would have to question the necessity of this match considering it has no bearing on WrestleMania whatsoever. At least two of these guys SHOULD have a match at WrestleMania, but they don’t, so what purpose does this serve? However, Super Crazy’s Spanish Fly/Top Rope C4 is enough to keep this out of the bad regions.
Booker finds Sharmell
WOOORRRRRRRRRMS! Ah Booker, how you make me laugh. I still don’t agree with Sharmell being added to the match on Sunday, and if Boogeyman’s injury that has been reported is true, then I’m a bit worried about just how short this match could be. Of course, I’m sure all the negative people will be ecstatic that the stupid Boogeyman will be off TV for several months, but I for one will miss him. Why Sharmell couldn’t climb off that box is something else that confused me.
Rey Mysterio vs. Kurt Angle
Needless to say I was looking forward to this match as soon as it was announced earlier in the show. Every time Rey and Angle hook it up it’s been a good match, and they were given the time they need to have another one. This match also makes me think that Angle will be out of the World Title race post-WrestleMania, and they way he beat Rey and then took down Orton proves to me in stone that Angle won’t be walking out of Chicago with the World Title. I did really enjoy the match though, and I felt the 619 into Ankle Lock counter was one of the best counters I’ve seen for a while. All the other best counters are from Angle in his matches with The Undertaker. I was surprised that the WWE were willing to give away 2/3 of the WM main event on free TV, but that just added fuel to the fire of my thinking that HHH/Cena will be the last match on the card ahead of the 3-Way.
So, overall we have:
That suggests it was a really entertaining show, and I thought it was. However, I would suggest that it didn’t do quite good enough of a job at building up WrestleMania as RAW did, but as a result it was a better show wrestling-wise. Don’t forget, you can e-mail me:
And I will see you next week for the RAW review. Take care amigos.