THE SPECIALISTS 12/18 WWE Smackdown Hits & Misses: Beth Phoenix, DX Video, Kane's Role, Hart Dynasty, Mysterio vs. Batista
Dec 19, 2009 - 6:51:12 PM
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By Jon Mezzera, Torch Specialist
Opening Segment: Smackdown was far from a great show, but compared to Raw and ECW this week it felt like it at times. It certainly got off to a good start with the in ring segment featuring Teddy Long talking about naming a new #1 contender for the World Title. Batista did a good job in his interruption telling Long that he doesn't have to look far to find that contender. He also was good in his threatening stance towards Long. Rey Mysterio then interrupted and cut a solid promo on Batista, playing up his heart as a reason why he is Championship material. That led to Long setting up the #1 contendership main event. It was well done.
Hart Dynasty: I have not been impressed much by David Hart Smith, but he seems to be getting better. I really liked his triple belly-to-belly suplexes culminating in the big overhead version. They looked strong in this win over Jimmy Wang Yang and Slam Master J. It was also nice to hear them talk. Natalya did most of the talking and was good for her part. Smith and Tyson Kidd were both good too. I like that they appear to be ready to be elevated into a feud against DX. Who knows? It may be just a one week thing, but considering how much emphasis was put into their past as trying to get revenge on DX for their past sins against the Hart family, it seems like this is going to be a longer program. I also like their catch phrase "better than the best."
Beth Phoenix: I was impressed with Beth Phoenix tonight. Some of the scripting was a little off, but on the whole she did a good job. I liked how she scolded Mickie James and Maria for playing video games instead of focusing on their careers. It should have been a babyface move and it sounded like the fans responded positively to her until she threatened to make Maria's return short lived. That is some of the script issues I mentioned. But, Phoenix was good in her role. I enjoyed her scene later in the back when she ran into Michelle McCool and Layla. Here she seemed to be getting a babyface audition in her response to McCool and Layla making fun of Mickie James' weight. A babyface run and feud with McCool seem inevitable. She also looked strong in her dominating win over Maria.
Mysterio vs. Batista: This was a very good main event. I am worried about Rey Mysterio's health and I hope that his knee holds up (or more importantly that he doesn't injure something else while trying to protect his knee). But, you couldn't tell from watching the match that he is hurt. He and Batista put on a very good match. I like that despite being the underdog, Mysterio actually was given a good amount of offense. He had a few legit nearfalls after some high impact offensive moves before the leverage three count. Batista looked good too. I loved how he screamed "you're kidding me!" after a Mysterio kick out. His tantrum and attempted use of a chair was well done. It played into the storyline and his match from TLC. The nearfall after the big spear a moment later was great. I also like that Mysterio got the win. My only complaint is that the match is taking place next week, likely to get Mysterio out of the way to set up Batista to ultimately challenge Undertaker at Royal Rumble.
DX Vid Replay: This is the second week in a row that WWE has replayed a DX video from Raw on Smackdown. I didn't like either of the videos on Raw, and I definitely didn't need to see either of them again on Smackdown. It is their way of plugging wweshop.com (or whatever it is), but there has to be a better way than this crap with DX and Hornswoggle.
Kane Does Vickie's Bidding: I am really tired of Eric Escobar and his hateful rants against Vickie Guerrero. There is plenty of fuel other than her looks that could be exploited for this angle. Instead, WWE goes the easy route to have Escobar make fun of how she looks. That was bad enough. But, I was also upset about the fact that Vickie Guerrero got Kane to do her dirty work by destroying Escobar in a match. Sure, she has some (undefined) power to book matches on Smackdown, so a case could be made that Kane was just trying to win his booked match. However, with Kane constantly shifting between babyface and heel roles on Smackdown this year, this just seemed like another example of that. He was a babyface helping Christian on Raw this week, and a babyface in wrestling Zack Ryder on ECW. Now he seemed like a heel on Smackdown.
Jericho vs. Khali: I hate The Great Khali. I love Chris Jericho. Jericho gave another good promo before his match about losing the Tag Titles and his partner The Big Show. Then came this match. I hate the fact that Jericho has to be booked to look this weak. Khali serves no purpose (other than to draw an audience in India). Watching ultra talented workers like Jericho have to flop around and then run scared from Khali is terrible.
Raw Rebound (Again!): I don't want to sound too repetitive as I have complained about this video twice already this week, but WWE showed it a third time so I have to complain about it a third time too. It was too long and it focused on a crappy show.
Jon Mezzera is PWTorch.com's WWE Hits & Misses Specialist, providing his point of view for Raw, Smackdown, ECW, and Superstars each week. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For another view from the original Hitlist author, compare Jason Powell's views to mine by visiting prowrestling.NET's "Hitlist" section here.
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