Saturday, October 22, 2011

WWE SmackDown! 4/21/11

Trying a different approach here: sort of a stream of consciousness live commentary, a mixture of observation and play-by-play, with analysis at the end of each bout.

John Morrison vs. Mark Henry

Morrison starts off with a kick to the mid-section and some strikes but Mark just shoves him away like an insect. Spills to the floor, then back in, where Henry delivers a cranium-crushing headbutt. Henry's chinlock looks like an offensive maneuver whereas Orton's just looks like a rest. John fights out but gets caught with a back elbow after springing off the ropes. Henry charges in the corner but eats some foot casserole, this gets Morrison cooking, and he gets the Flying Chuck and a Shining Wizard variant in. Starship Pain lands! 2 count. Mark tosses Morrison high in the air and catches him in a World's Strongest Slam in an impressive visual and physical feat.

Score - 3
Good opener, Henry's dominance continues, which is well deserved. Outcome was never in question but I liked that Morrison got a little offensive run there toward the end.

Wade Barrett vs. Daniel Bryan

Thought these guys had a damn fine match together back at SummerSlam '11. Bryan's letting the beard grow back in. Some nice countering early. Barrett catches Daniel in a huge spinning sidewalk slam. Daniel was draped through the ropes on the apron and a running boot by Barrett sent him flying to the floor. Daniel firing back with some forearms. He catches Wade charging in with a boot then hits a tasty missile dropkick. Wade mounts Bryan and drops some punches, sure Daniel's been in that predicament before at Xtreme Couture once or twice. Nice crisscrossing rope sequence that ended with an explosive flying forearm/clothesline by Bryan. Pump-handle slam by WB gets 2. Barrett abuses him in the corner. Bryan gets caught coming off the top and splattered with Wasteland.

Score - 5
Heels go over two in a row. Bryan's losing streak continues. My only grip is Bryan's built as a smart, logical wrestler, but makes common mistakes like the leap onto Barrett's shoulders that lead to the finish. Action was good but we've seen them produce much better.

Shaemus and Zack Ryder vs. Christian and Dolph Ziggler

Ryder and Dolph start, quick go-behind by Zack but he eats an elbow and Ziggler takes over. Christian in and he cuts off Ryder's momentum by tossing him to the floor. Nice neckbreaker by Dolph who's back in. DZ telegraphs two rights that are blocked and Zack fires back shots of his own so Dolph dropkicks him right in the face. I liked Dolph kicking out of a cover and immediately grabbing Zack's ankle so he couldn't leave their side of the ring. Shaemus comes in hot blowing through Dolph. Shaemus sidesteps a Fameasser attempt and hits a nasty backbreaker. Christian bails to the back. Shaemus turns Ziggler inside out with the Brogue Kick for the finish.

Score - 4
Hard to give this too much love as it was short. Ryder didn't do much with the time he was in, Shaemus just got that hot run at the end to continue his monstrous push, Christian played chickenshit, but it was Ziggler who stole the focus with his nutty bumping.

Sin Cara vs. Sin Cara - Mask Match

So it's Azul (blue/babyface) vs. Negro (black/heel) in Mexico. I saw a knockoff Mistico action figure at a dollar store yesterday -- didn't recognize any of the other nameless wrestlers but one looked like a non-dwarf Blixx. We get the mood lighting. Feels like we're in Applebee's. Negro stomps away and smacks a kick off of Azul's back. He needs to put some more stank on those, like, ODB's puss level of stank. Azul does his scale the ropes plancha to the floor on Negro. Weird thing about this feud is the lack of hate or physicality during their in-ring stuff together. They're doing the same head scissors, etc. they did against guys like Justin Gabriel with no added emphasis. Negro gets backdropped to the floor where he rolls down the aisle. Too bad there's not a sewer grate for him to get lost in like how it used to happen in my neighborhood all the time. Instead of mask I wish this was "loser leaves" and we got a double countout or something. Negro nails a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Negro utilizes a camel clutch for the second time now tugging at Azul's mask in the process. Negro does a running somersault in the corner but Azul escapes -- he did it at about quarter-speed. Azul rallying and we get a series of elaborate pin attempts that don't cut it. Negro does something resembling an Angle Slam/Death Valley Driver hybrid. Azul was scaling the corner, changed his mind, ran across the ring to the other side, then did a Swanton Bomb. Bad judgement call. Azul wins with La Mistica. Post-match Negro doesn't want to unmask, and even punks Azul, but a tussle leads to Azul removing the mask and hitting a suicide dive for the hell of it.

Score - 4
As stated above, given the nature of the feud, would have liked more velocity and intensity, lots of flash, but no hatred on display. Hell, even the flash was dull like a Greyhound bus window. Not sure where this leaves Negro.

Big Show vs. Alberto Del Rio

Show's new "W.M.D." t-shirt looks like ass. He can't pull off pea green. I'm expecting some sort of screwy finish here. Show tosses Alberto early, clubs him on the back, gets a big chop in the corner, then slams him hard on the mat. Del Rio is grounded throwing "up kicks" like he's Nazareno Malegarie. Del Rio bails to the floor for a breather. Show tries to pull him back inside by the skull but Del Rio uses his weight to pull Show throat-first onto the top rope buying him some time to scale the ropes only to be caught with a big open hand chop by Show. Vengeance returns this weekend after taking a couple years off. Del Rio dropkicks the stairs into Show's legs which didn't really work. Back inside and ADR bumps for another body slam. Alberto goes after the base of Show targeting the legs which is good psychology. Then he switches to the arm trying to wear it down for his finisher. Show's back up and moving all around the ring, running ropes, etc. as if the limb work never happened. Del Rio slides out of a chokeslam attempt, drops down, clips the legs, then hops into a Cross Armbreaker. Show, just like at Golden Corral, won't tap out. Show eventually powers up to his feet and throws ADR. I don't think anyone else has lasted that long in Del Rio's patented hold. Ricardo Rodriguez interferes leading to ADR taking a KO shot and then Henry who ran down getting knocked out as well.

Score - 5
Even with the predictable "fuck finish" this was still a hoot with ADR looking really good, nice strategy, etc. and Show retains the heat from his recent return going into his World title match on Sunday. We saw them at Capitol Punishment '11 and in a cage match on Raw but maybe we'll get an extended program between the two of them down the road.

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