KELLER'S TAKE KELLER'S WWE SMACKDOWN BLOG 2/3: Random Thoughts on Chronological Order including Orton vs. Barrett, Vegans, Farts
Feb 3, 2012 - 10:12:01 PM
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By Wade Keller, PWTorch editor
KELLER'S WWE SMACKDOWN BLOG
FEBRUARY 3, 2012
AIRED ON SYFY NETWORK
-I like how Teddy Long announced, as if it was news, that Smackdown would be participating in the Elimination Chamber PPV this year. You know, like Smackdown fans were out there looking at the WWE PPV schedule wondering whether Teddy would enter the Smackdown brand on that PPV this year or skip it for the first time ever.
-Mark Henry treating Long that way does move him away from what appeared to be a babyface turn in progress in recent weeks. I really like that Long stands up to him and uses his power to suspend and fine him to keep law and order - and I like that Henry respects that authority and understands Long may be smaller than him, but he holds the key to his career continuing in WWE. It was, though, a good line that he said after Long suspended him that if he's suspended, he might as well get his money's worth and dish out more punishment. It's like NBA players who get ejected after the second technical are a lot more vocal than they are after getting the first technical, because after the second technical, they have nothing more to lose.
-Why can't Teddy Long say Royal Rumble? He struggles with it every time he tries to say it. Cody Rhodes picked up on that. After declaring that he'd win the World Title and become the first dual World/IC champion since Ultimate Warrior, he said he had as much trouble understanding Long and Sheamus as Warrior.
-Sheamus came across as pretty smart in saying he's waiting until after the Elimination Chamber matches play out before declaring which title he's going to go after at WrestleMania.
-Sheamus got a definitive win over Cody, so he's getting a big push. They're not going to have the IC Champ who's part of the EC match job cleanly like that to just anyone, so Sheamus is in for his second big push for sure. The Rumble certain indicated that, but this win further cements it.
-Since Cody isn't getting buried at this stage, the question asked next backstage when planning this out is "how does Cody get his heat back?" So after the break, he's hanging around ringside throwing a tantrum when Justin Gabriel gets ready to face Hunico. Cody attacks Gabriel, then escapes before Great Khali - coming out for the save - can get his hands on him. Good basic booking 101, with Sheamus gaining from the win, while Cody keeps his heel heat for being a sore loser and a bully. That said, I'm with Greg Parks in his Smackdown report in stating: "I really hope this isn't leading to a Rhodes vs. Khali IC Title feud."
-The weekly sexually suggestive double-entendre featured Hacksaw Duggan leaving his two-by-four behind after hanging out with Santino and Teddy Long backstage. Aksana walks in, looks town in the direction of Long's crotch, and says, "Look at that massive piece of wood!" Long does a spit take before Aksana bends over and picks up Duggan's board. Duggan then comes in and fetches it. I wonder if Duggan was even going to be scheduled for the show if not for someone's idea to use his two-by-four in that skit?
-To explain how the Aksana music always plays when she's on TV, one of these weeks they should pan the camera to the side and show Hornswoggle following her around and pushing play on a boom box as soon as she nears the vicinity of Teddy.
-In the Mike Tyson Hall of Fame video announcement, when Vince McMahon introduced Tyson, he said, "Iron… Mike…" and for a second my brain automatically expected him to bring up 1980s TV jobber "Iron Mike Sharpe," one of the most awkward athletes in WWE history.
-Vince McMahon and others behind the scenes must be fascinated with this oddball "lifestyle" of Daniel Bryan to turn it into a centerpiece of his heel turn. As much as Bryan is positioned to be on one end (the annoying, preaching, holier than thou end) of the array of how vegans portray themselves (a lot of vegans would prefer to not talk about it, but it becomes an issue only because they share dinners with friends and they have to talk about it then), this is one of the most awareness-boosting situations for the term "vegan" itself. Too bad Bryan keeps talking like a "vegetarian," technically speaking, ignoring other aspects of veganism (no dairy, no eggs, no leather products, etc.). It's not big deal, but it's strange he's not bringing that up, also, if the goal is to be preachy and holier than thou. "I don't even eat cheese!" he could add. Of course, that goes against the premise that he doesn't doesn't eat meat just because he doesn't like the slaughter of animals (ignoring nature's undeniable "circle of life"), rather than the broader issue of actually being more against their treatment while they're alive (whether being raised for slaughter or for their milk or eggs). But with movies like "Forks Over Knives" and "Fast Food Nation" and books like "Eat To Live" and "China Study" out there, there's plenty of living, breathing wrestling fans out there who probably aren't cheering as loudly or passionately about eating meat as Vince McMahon (Mr. Steak & Ketchup Wrap / No Veggies = Diverticulitis) is behind the scenes.
-The irony wasn't lost on me that Big Show, after puffing out his chest and proudly declaring he just finished a steak backstage, chastised Bryan for throwing in people's faces his eating habits and expecting to be a role model. I mean, how is what Show did different than Bryan? They're both proud of their diets and boasted publicly about it, right? When Cole proudly declared Show a meat-eater, he said it as if someone couldn't be as big as Show without eating meat. Gorillas are bigger than Big Show, and they eat plants and only plants their entire lives.
-Okay, the "Natalya Has Gas" running gag plays to Vince McMahon's juvenile stunted sense of humor, but having Santino just happen to walk into the cloud of smell afterward could be pretty funny if they keep it up. I mean, they got how many weeks out of Ron Simmons doing the "Damn!" thing? I also completely understand people hating anything having to do with fart jokes on TV.
-It's great that they're presenting, via these video packages that debuted at the Royal Rumble and also aired on Raw and Smackdown this week, that The Rock and John Cena as mega-stars who are crossover celebrities, but I hope at some point they do make it seem like who wins and loses and matters, too. I think they might decide, based on the planned finish, to downplay it as not to hurt the image of the one who does the job, not to push the idea that winning is even a big deal here, but I think they leave PPV buys behind by not making it seem like the story isn't just seeing them lock-up because they're big stars, but that there's really a source of pride over whether Rock still has it and can beat Cena in his prime, and whether Cena can score a pin in his likely one and only match against one of the most gifted fast-rising stars in WWE history.
-Right before Randy Orton's promo before the main event, I nearly forgot what the scheduled main event was. This where fart jokes can be a negative if they're put in place of backstage promos throughout the show with both Orton and Barrett talking about the match, comments from the announcers building anticipation through some conversation on camera, and a video package earlier in the show. They aired the video package and the Orton promo right before the match, but I'd like to see them give more of a sense throughout the show that this is a very big deal that these two are wrestling in the main event and that something significant is at stake (revenge, title contention, pride, an actual title, etc.).
-I second this Greg Parks comment from his Smackdown Report also: "Wade Barrett came out for the main event. Of everybody on the roster, how did WWE feel the need to change Barrett’s theme? Ted DiBiase’s is RIGHT THERE to change!"
-Good main event match. Given that they broke tables and threw each other into chairs and really had an intense long 17 minute fight overall, I especially think this match deserved more hype throughout the show leading up to it.
-Is Daniel Bryan dangerously close to Gimmick Infringement with is run to the ring, jumping up and down, smiling, saluting the crowd, and then running to the back without saying anything? Or are they setting up a feud down the line?
-I'm looking forward to Bryan vs. Orton as next week's main event. I'm glad they announced it ahead of time.
Wade Keller launched Pro Wrestling Torch as a print newsletter in 1987. The newsletter is still published every week. It's distributed to thousands of wrestling fans internationally via postal mail and digital PDF's online at the VIP website. He has interviewed some of pro wrestling's biggest power brokers over the years in their longest insider interviews ever done, including Steve Austin, The Rock, Hulk Hogan, Jesse Ventura, Eric Bischoff, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Goldberg, Paul Heyman, Jim Cornette, Mick Foley, Vince Russo, Lou Thesz, Verne Gagne, Jerry Lawler, and many many others. He writes every week for the PWTorch Newsletter and also blogs on PWTorch.com. He is also the supervising editor of MMATorch, records the Keller Hotline every day for VIP members reviewing and analyzing the news of the day, and hosts the PWTorch Livecast twice a week. Contact Keller: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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