Shit, son, I haven't discussed Smackdown in a month! Perhaps that's because Smackdown has been kind of boring. I watch it and find I have nothing to say except for the odd bit of outrage at how the shit with Rey Mysterio and Jack Swagger played out. If the WWE's goal was to make me loathe Rey Mysterio, mission accomplished. I understand their need to make the current world champion an underdog because he's a small little man, while Jack Swagger is bigger than he first looks, but... come on. Swagger pretty much spent two hours holding Mysterio's ankle in the Ankle Lock. It was on so long that it was hard to believe that Rey Rey could walk, let alone wrestle. I'm not one to call bullshit on wrestling for guys coming back from injuries or beatdowns, because, if it were realistic, it would be MMA and that shit is boring. (Yes, real violence is either repulsive or boring. It either last too long and becomes a grotesque self-parody where you wonder why two people would do this to themselves, or it's so short that you wonder why you even bothered... I prefer fake violence where there's a point to it.) But, at some point, you have to wonder if they considered that they oversold it to the point where it became unbelievable. It did for me. So that made Smackdown pretty uninteresting for a while.
Then there was the Straight Edge Society looking like shit because of the Big Show. The WWE threw away the unmaskings of CM Punk and Joey Mercury for reasons that no one can explain. The SES seemed to get it together a bit this week, but I still think they need one more member: an existing wrestler who is converted to the cause through feuding with the SES. Then they'd have the right numbers to take a world belt, a secondary singles belt, the tag belts, and a woman's belt. Maybe this is just the dip before the SES rises to the top? I doubt it. (Possible candidates for conversion: MVP, Kofi Kingston, Evan Bourne, maybe even Yoshi Tatsu...)
I am digging "Dashing" Cody Rhodes. The new gimmick seems to have given him a purpose and direction he's been lacking. His match against Matt Hardy this evening was one of his best singles matches. He was focused and acted his character in the ring. He just needs to push it a little further and he'll be golden. I suggest he makes an obvious show of going for pins where he can watch it happen on the screen. I'm reminded of the scene in American Psycho where Patrick Bateman is having sex with two hookers and spends much of it admiring himself in the mirror. More of that, please. Rhodes should change positioning of moves so he can admire them. More of him watching the screen post-match to see how great he is. Maybe give him a valet or assistant to hold up a mirror during matches so he can watch himself. It could become too cartoonish, but it needs that little bit more.
Dolph Ziggler winning the Intercontinental Championship was a smart move. The finish was odd since the distraction from Vickie didn't actually help him since Kingston never went for a pin. In fact, Kingston never would have hit Trouble in Paradise if Vickie had been a distraction on the outside for Ziggler. I want to like Ziggler more than I actually like him, sadly. He never really wows me in the ring.
Drew McIntyre, on the other hand, has been impressing me lately. He's been better on the mic and in the ring since that deportation/visa bullshit. His inclusion in the Rey/Kane stuff was odd, but worked out well. Aside from Rey doing his usual routine of getting the shit kicked out of him for ten minutes straight and then winning after hitting four moves. The more I watch Rey Mysterio, the more I don't believe him. I did like McIntyre attacking Rey's image as a hero by pointing out that he doesn't do anything that doesn't benefit him. Rey's insistance that various things weren't his business made me turn to Michelle and go "That's not Spider-Man's philosophy." Real heroes don't need it to be their business -- they make it their business.
I did enjoy LayCool outsmarting Teddy Long with their breakaway Women's Championship belt.
All in all, an alright episode, but nothing that blew me away. I do like them playing with the taped nature of the show and including music/videos in the promos more. When Rey first said the Undertaker's name and we got a quick flash of images, I wanted that to happen every time his name was said. Not really, but it would have made me laugh.
One question to end things: where was Jack Swagger? I missed him and his All-American ways.
U2's U-Shaped Concert
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