I’m not running a picture of Randy Orton holding his newly acquired World Heavyweight Championship; the sting of viewing the tragic scene is too great. I’m not going to get into how horrific a decision I think the title change was either; I said my piece last week, and I don’t want to rehash the hate. That being made clear, I will say this: the Christian vs Randy Orton match was pretty solid, outside of the outcome of course. I also think Christian’s reaction to the loss was encouraging. He played it perfectly, obviously distressed over losing the prize he’s fought to attain for so long. In my eyes, this can go one of two ways. He can call it quits, hang up the boots, and ride off into the sunset as a dejected former World Champion. Or he can snap, go mega-heel, and stop at nothing to put the title back around his waist. Naturally, I’d prefer the latter, and I think most of you would too. I’ll have a more detailed look at the potential Christian heel turn in a piece of pure fanboy booking that I’ll post tomorrow.
The egregious lapse in judgement by the WWE creative team as it pertains to the World Title aside, the big story from Smackdown was the disbanding of the Corre. Ezekiel Jackson notched a victory over the Big Show (about time), but refused to celebrate with his stablemates after the closing bell. As a result, the Corre’s other three members jumped Big Zeke later in the show, assaulting him with an array of weapons and effectively booting him from the group. It looks like Jackson’s in line for a big face push, and an Intercontinental Title program between he and Wade Barrett seems likely. It’s interesting to note that the Corre and the New Nexus continue to run parallel courses, with both Mason Ryan and Ezekiel Jackson apparently departing their respective teams this week and leaving both groups as “leader & tag team” combinations. The rest of Smackdown following the jump.
- Teddy Long let the crowd decide who they wanted to see in the main event: Randy Orton, Mark Henry, or The Great Khali. What a shocker that Randy won.
- Sin Cara’s hot streak rolled on when the masked superstar had his hand raised after a match with Tyson Kidd. Chavo Guerrero sat in on commentary for the match, and he entered the ring to extend his hand to Sin Cara at the conclusion. I know Chavo’s about as low on the card as you can get, but a program with the third generation star could really serve to benefit Sin Cara. Chavo’s more than capable of putting on a good cruiserweight match, and he’s an industry veteran that can break Cara in to the WWE style. Whether they engage in a heated feud or form a rivalry out of respect, it would be wise for the WWE to pursue this course rather than succumb to the temptation of pushing Sin Cara straight up the card. Also, more Tyson Kidd on TV, please.
- A pair of Brogue Kicks were enough to put Daniel Bryan down, allowing Sheamus to gain a victory in a match that was originally penciled in for the WrestleMania 27 card. I love seeing these guys work together, but this was an instance in which I didn’t want to see either man job. I’d love an extended program between these guys as they ascend up the card. Maybe someday they can even have a match that doesn’t bookend a commercial break.
- A debuting wrestler, whose name I understand is Jinder Mahal, encountered the Great Khali and Ranjin Singh backstage. Let’s be honest – nobody enjoys the Great Khali. In fact, the quickest way to make me not care about someone or something is to have them interact with him. Khali’s awfulness makes all that surround him awful by association. We’re off to a bad start, Mr. Mahal.
- Cody Rhodes continues to ride his Dr. Doom gimmick, and it’s still great. The paper bags he hands out to the crowd are a fantastic addition. Despite losing at Extreme Rules, Rhodes declared himself the victor over Rey Mysterio since he exposed Rey as being a coward. Cody did carry the feud, so if they want to rewrite history and portray him as the one who came out on top, that’s more than OK with me.
- Layla established herself as a babyface and promptly gained a win over Alicia Fox. Post-match, Kharma hit the ring and dominated Fox, laying her out with the Impact Buster. The match was obscenely short, but at least there was a finish, unlike the 12-second affair between Kelly Kelly & Maryse on Monday. I really hope that when Kharma starts an actual feud, it’s with someone like Beth Phoenix and not one of the Barbie divas she’s been attacking.
I can’t give an honest opinion on Smackdown, as knowledge of Orton’s title win skewed my perception of the whole show. I was so upset over what was inevitably coming at the end that I couldn’t enjoy anything that preceded it. Hopefully there’s a master plan behind the title change, but in all likelihood it’s a panic move due to a lack of faith in Christian. Bleh.