The John Report: Talking Smack for 12/04/09 (Taker/Batista Confrontation)
Welcome to the Talking Smack column where I offer up a quick rundown of WWE’s Friday broadcast, Smackdown.
Obviously the big news this weekend is that Edward “Umaga” Fatu passed away last night of a heart attack at age 36. If you didn’t know, he got released on June 11, 2009 after having his second Wellness Policy violation. Like they always do, WWE offered to pay for him to go to rehab. He refused. That’s why he got fired. It wasn’t because they were disappointed in his performance. I’ve never had to deal with somebody that had an addiction, so it would be hypocritical of me to say anything about what he should or should not have done. The belief at this point is that prescription pills led to the multiple heart attacks that led to his death. I know there’s probably a lot of second guessing about it now, but I think it’s more important to think about his wife, his kids and the rest of his family and friends that are going to miss this great man. I know from reading and hearing things through the years that he was a really likable, popular guy that was a pleasure to work with. I enjoyed him as a performer both when he was a part of the Three Minute Warning team (what a fun gimmick that was upon their debut) and as Umaga. My favorite Umaga spot was that running charge in the corner with his hip. It was one of those moves that when you saw you always wondered how didn’t that dude get seriously hurt? It’s because Umaga knew what he was doing. He was a pro. And we’ll miss him. RIP Eddie Fatu.
I need to make my usual plug for my most recent big column, which was called “My 29 Favorite Moments in Wrestling History” and it’s located right here. I posted a few hours before the Umaga news broke, so I realize some of you might have missed it. I’m really proud of it, I’ve loved the feedback I’ve got so far, but I want more and I will likely be posting a batch of that feedback next week at some point. Read it (after you finish reading Talking Smack of course) and give me your thoughts because I want to hear from you.
Thanks to twitter friend (I don’t want to call somebody a follower) Steven Thewissen for making that banner for me. Those are my two favorite people on SD although it makes it look like Jericho’s checking Mickie out! Stay away, Chris. You’re my boy, but stay away! Now, onto Smackdown.
Taped from Hampton, VA let’s talk some smack…
R-Truth d. CM Punk via DQ (**)
Luke Gallows (aka Festus) was in Punk’s corner. He was crouching down the entire time with his head peering up above the ring apron. I thought the announcers really did a good job of putting over how Punk has saved Gallows from his addiction (kind of sad to talk about this considering the Umaga news) and that’s basically why Gallows is there with him. It fills people in that maybe didn’t know. They went to commercial midway through the match with Punk working on the arm. I liked his offense. Truth came back and sold that arm injury great. He went for something off the ropes and Gallows tripped him up to get the DQ. Post match, Gallows gave him the reverse full nelson and then slammed him down. This was fine for a ten minute TV match. I guess the feud continues.
Kane d. Mike Knox (1/2*)
This was a three minute squash basically with Kane scoring the win with the chokeslam. Kane never seems to have a feud. By the way, if I ever did my 29 Most Hated Moments in Wrestling History there’d be plenty of Kane. It’s not even him. He’s just been booked in so much bad shit over the years.
Matthews interviewed Jerishow backstage. Chris did all the talking. It was pretty lengthy, but he basically said he beat HBK in last year’s ladder match and Show’s fist is the biggest weapon in the match. It was just a way to put over the physicality of the match. They ended with Big Show “punching” the camera, which was pretty hokey. I can’t complain about Jerishow stuff, though. I named them, after all.
Mickie James d. Natalya & Beth Phoenix to become #1 Contender to the Women’s Title (***)
Best women’s match of the year, I’d say. I don’t know what else there is. Michelle and Layla were sitting ringside in “Piggie James” t-shirts. You know what made this match really good compared to most of the WWE Diva matches? These three know how to work. The offensive moves looked like they might actually hurt, the selling was perfect and the timing by all three was excellent. No slips or anything that looked like a mistake. It was a pure wrestling match. Is it a surprise that this happens from three women that WWE hired without the use of the diva search? I’m not saying all the diva search girls can’t work because Michelle’s become very good, but this match is an example of what women’s matches should be. They even went to a commercial break in the middle of it. How often has that ever happened in a divas match? Pretty rare because they’re usually so short. The finish was good with Beth hitting Natalya with the Glam Slam, she went for the cover and Mickie dropkicked her out of the ring. Then she pinned Natalya for the win. Good booking because it gives Beth an out due to the fact that she wasn’t pinned. Maybe they should do more triple threat matches with the divas because the flow to this was great. It also helped again because the three women in the match are arguably the three best workers among the divas in WWE. This means Mickie’s the new number one contender although they didn’t say the match would be. I’ll assume the TLC PPV, but I guess we’ll know next week.
Post match, my girl Mickie James-Canton told Michelle things have become beyond personal with them and that she would shut her mouth permanently. She shoved her. She went after Layla, then Michelle attacked and it was a 2 on 1 beatdown. Maria came out. Her offense on Michelle was a slap and she took care of Layla while MJC got rid of Michelle. This was really well done. One of the better women’s segments when you include the match, the post match promo and brawl afterward. I’ll assume there’s a tag next week and hope that any Maria/Layla interaction is kept short for quality purposes. I’m not just saying that because Mickie’s now on Twitter and I will shill this to her. I swear I’m being honest. It was well done.
Backstage, Batista talked to Long saying he didn’t want to fight Rey again. Teddy said he would fight him next week in a street fight, which is what Rey wanted. Batista said fine, as long as the Hold Harmless agreement is still in tact. I don’t want to see Rey win thanks to Undertaker interfering because Batista needs to continue to be built up like a monster going into the PPV. I guess we’ll find out next week.
Backstage, Matt Hardy was playing the SD vs. Raw 2010 video game when Morrison told him that he had to create Drew McIntyre in the game because he wasn’t in it. I guess that’s a way of trash talking…if you are 12.
Drew McIntyre d. John Morrison (***1/4)
Non-title match of course. Gee, I wonder who’s going to win in a non-title match? In last week’s Talking Smack I wrote: “Where was Drew McIntyre? They booked him to be one of the final three guys in his Survivor Series match and then completely left him off this show? He should be feuding with John Morrison for the IC title.” To the WWE employees reading this, I say thank you. They had a very good match that went back and forth with neither guy ever really getting the advantage. I liked the pacing of it a lot. McIntyre got the win after he went to the floor, Morrison followed him out, the ref put on the slowest count in the history of counts and McIntyre pulled him head first into the steel under the ring. Very creative. He then dragged Morrison into the ring and hit his sit out DDT finisher (still needs a name) for the win. Best McIntyre match so far and I believe the longest one he’s had too (it was about 14 minutes). I continue to be impressed by him while Morrison was awesome as usual. They’ve announced on WWE.com that they’ll have a IC title match at the TLC PPV, which is the right thing to do. They always book champions to lose non-title matches and then defend the belt against the person at the PPV.
Vickie came out. She talked shit about Eric Escobar. Yes, it’s the blowoff for the relationship that lasted maybe two months that barely saw the guy in the ring. Instead of firing him (that would be “too easy”) she was going to put him in a handicap match against the Hart Dynasty. Escobar came out, the crowd was behind him a little bit because they hate Vickie so much, and said he was sorry he ever met her. Cue the match.
The Hart Dynasty d. Eric Escobar (½*)
On my list of people that need a real feud, the Hart Dynasty sits at the very top. Kane could use one, but I care a lot more about THD than I do Kane. Escobar got a little offense in. Not that much. THD won with the Hart Attack clothesline after about two minutes. Post match, they held Escobar up and Vickie slapped him. I have no idea if this means he’s off Smackdown or if he’ll stay as a babyface, but I wouldn’t be shocked if he gets down to the minors again. Good angle as far as getting over Vickie’s power. She should have busted out a Cartman-like “respect my authority” line just for fun.
They did an interview backstage with Gallows talking about how he once was lost, but now was found thanks to CM Punk being his savior that has showed him the straight edge lifestyle. I like the pairing. And a good promo from Gallows. Can’t wait for the Gallows vs. Slam Master J feud now. Biscuits and Gravy explodes! Okay, not really.
Jerishow d. Cryme Tyme (*)
A three minute squash basically. Jericho was in there for all of it. He tagged in Big Show. Shad came charging at him and Big Show KNOCKED HIM THE FUCK OUT for the KTFO finish. Match over. Good job of putting over how powerful that punch can be. I wonder if HBK will sell the punch while falling off a ladder. That’s what Shawn does.
The last segment of the show saw Undertaker slowly walking to the ring to call out Batista, which they had hyped all show. Instead, Batista attacked him from behind just as he was about to get to the ring. He hit him with a chair right in the back. He choked him with the chair, then hit him in the head with the chair back in the ring. He also gave him a spinebuster and posed with the belt to end the show. Good attack. Batista’s really been booked well since the heel turn. I’m pleased with it.
Three Stars of the Show
1. Mickie James – Very good match, a strong post match promo and I liked the brawl too. I’m not being that biased putting her in the number one spot, am I?
2. Beth Phoenix – I really liked the match.
3. Natalya – All divas for the top three. They should be rewarded for having a really good match. McIntyre and Morrison were good too, but I’m always honoring those guys.
6.5 out of 10
Last week: 4.5
Good show. I liked the heavy amount of wrestling. Three matches had the commercial break in it. That’s cool with me although in all cases I wish there was no break because the matches were good. Totally different from this week’s Raw. The Batista heel turn has been handled really well. He’s turned into this emotionless monster that he should have been long ago. I’ve always liked the Batista/Undertaker matches and I’m looking forward to the next one too.
I actually like the looks of the TLC PPV a lot. Survivor Series was an above average show. The TLC PPV looks to be a god one too. I really love the commercial for it. More on that PPV next week, though.
Here’s a poll to vote on the star of the night:
That’s all for this week. Remember to check out the blog for some smaller posts including my five thoughts on TNA from this week although I haven’t seen it yet. It will probably be tonight at some point and I’ll try to get something posted on Sunday for it. The link to the blog is below and I’ll leave you by saying once again that I want your thoughts on “My 29 Favorite Moments in Wrestling History” column that’s located right here because I want to know what your moments are too.
Have a safe weekend and please keep Ed “Umaga” Fatu’s family and friends in your prayers.
Thanks for reading.
John Canton – firstname.lastname@example.org
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