WWE Friday Night Smackdown Report: April 9, 2010

Posted: April 12, 2010 in Show Report, Smackdown
Tags: ,

courtesy of wwe.com

Last Friday’s episode of Friday Night Smackdown definitely showcased what makes the Blue Brand stand out from its live, red counterpart. The show was wrestling-heavy with overall strong promos all around. With still two weeks left until Extreme Rules (and only one SD match officially on the card as of before the show), a lot had to be done to progress feuds while also establishing superstars. Here are my thoughts on the show broken done by each segment.

Opening segment: Jack Swagger/John Morrison promo & match

Swagger made his way down to the ring (with no notepad in hand, I might add) to address the crowd about himself and the State of the World Heavyweight Championship. It makes sense for a superstar with the nickname “All-American American” to give a political-style speech and as I noticed last week, reading out of a binder actually worked for Swagger, someone without a real knack for the mic. Swagger touches on the change in his demeanor and says his new attitude suits him. In theory, I do not understand why he still can’t chest pound/skip down the ramp before doing some push-ups, but at the same time, that overzealousness never really got him anywhere other than an ECW Championship (more on that later).

Swagger talks about how he is the “odds-on favorite” to win every match that he enters. Technically, with the background Swagger has, he should be. He makes it seem that no one can outwrestle him and that to beat him, his opponents will be very lucky. Speaking of lucky, John Morrison (stealing Bret Hart’s “give-the-sunglasses-to-the-kid” bit) interrupts Swagger to tell him that he indeed was lucky to beat Chris Jericho to win the World Heavyweight Title. Swagger counters by telling Morrison that all the Shaman of Sexy will be remembered for is playing second fiddle to the Miz.

(Side note: It is alarming how true this statement actually is. When MizMo split up last year, it seemed as if Morrison was more likely to become the bigger star while the Miz would fade into obscurity. Morrison had the looks, the high-flying skills, and the athleticism while the Miz had the promo work on his side. The Miz’s strength is what catapulted him to near main-event status today and he has caught up to Morrison in the areas he seemed slighted in. While the Miz has consistently stayed at the top since his rivarly with John Cena, Morrison has floated aimlessly from challenging Jeff Hardy for the WHC to becoming Intercontinental Champion to joining with R-Truth in a team that might be already over. Oh well. Rant over.)

Morrison makes fun of the lisp, which should be forgotten about. It worked with Christian in ECW, but if Swagger is trying to be made out as a serious and legitimate champion, the speech impediment schtick needs to end. This leads into a 10 minute, uninterrupted match which displayed both mens’ talents. Swagger wins on a creative deke move to knock JoMo off the apron and scores with the Gutwrench Powerbomb (or as I like to call it, the Oklahoma City Thunder Bomb) for the much-needed win. He pounded the belt afterwards so maybe Swagger’s swagger isn’t all lost. After losing consecutive matches to Randy Orton on Raw, a victory over an upper-mid carder like Morrison will give Swagger some legitimacy. For now…

Backstage segment with Swagger, Jericho, and Wade Barrett

It is always good to see the NXT rookies featured on the other shows (Otunga hosting Raw, Darren Young’s “conversion” to the Straight Edge Society, etc.) considering the WWE wants higher ratings for the Tuesday night program. Swagger enters and tells Jericho that the real reason why he cashed in his Money In The Bank briefcase on him and not John Cena was because Jericho was hurt, which made him a “sure thing.” Good heel-on-heel interaction here. Not all heels will get along, but at least they will and should be honest with each other. Once again, Jericho does what he does better than anyone in the world: bitch and moan. But it works for the character and leaves business more unfinished between the two men.

Shad Gaspard promo

While neither I nor most people could have seen the end of Cryme Tyme last week, I think this will be good for both men. JTG was always seen as the more promising worker, while Shad played the role of the quiet giant. Shad comes out with yet another haircut (First, the cornrows. Then the Cosby bald-fro. Now clean shaven. Paging CM Punk). Shad says its “his time” and tells the WWE Universe that you should take what you want and not let anyone (i.e. JTG) get in your way. JTG makes his way to the ring. Shad retreats but then hits JTG with a big boot.  Tag team break-up storylines work to establish stars on their own accord (i.e. the Rockers, the aforementioned MizMo, and to a lesser extent, Paul London and Billy Kidman) but the issue is whether or not JTG or Shad will have something to do after this. I see a matchup this week on Smackdown or maybe even a lower card match at Extreme Rules.

Drew McIntyre v. Matt Hardy

Sometimes, its the little things that makes storytelling so much better. After being jumped and attacked before the bell by McIntyre last week, Hardy skipped the V1 stuff and stormed to the ring with a purpose. That sets up the importance of the match before it even begins. To the match itself, another good back-and-forth matchup. McIntyre worked Hardy’s neck/head region, punctuated with a toss into the steel ring supports and a Future Shock DDT on the floor. This feud has had its workings since Hardy “defeated” McIntyre to qualify for MITB. Will there be a possible IC Title match out of this? McIntyre would definitely not lose the title to Hardy. It is hard to tell who would beat the Scot for the title. Thoughts?

Darren Young’s conversion into the Straight Edge Society

To be frank, CM Punk, IMHO, is the best heel and promo guy in the business right now. I am glad that he has been allowed to use the SxE gimmick in this militant-edge way instead of the “my addiction is competition” face stuff we were used to in the WWE. I am glad that Serena (btw, MAD gorgeous) and Luke Gallows have been given a voice instead of being lackeys for Punk. It gives them more depth. I always suspected Darren Young might go the way of the Edge and he almost did. What this solidifies is the fact that Darren Young will definitely not be the first rookie eliminated from NXT (Sorry, Michael Tarver). Rey Mysterio comes out to make the save after Young gets jumped by Punk and Gallows. Mysterio catches Punk and tries to shave his head before Serena pulls Punk out of harm’s way. Mysterio accepts Punk’s challenge for Extreme Rules. It’ll be interesting to see how this mini-program progresses and/or Young gets involved with Rey and Punk again. It is weird to me that Rey has nothing on the line. Perhaps that will change in the coming weeks.

The Dudebusters v. the Hart Dynasty

Croft and Baretta get some mic work in before the match. Good idea considering this is their second or third appearance on Smackdown and they had little action on ECW before it ended. I think Michael Cole would hate these guys considering how he rails on Daniel Bryan and the “internet geeks.” The Hart Dynasty comes out to a pop and handles the Dudebusters with relative ease. It’s about time the Harts got the push generated from Bret. Right before Hitman came back, the Dynasty got a title shot against DX, but that was it for them until Wrestlemania. I could see the Dynasty taking the belts off of ShoMiz. What other tag team is there? Cryme Time! Oh wait…

Backstage segment with Edge and Swagger

Swagger pays Edge a visit. Swagger plays the overconfidence card. Edge makes a good parallel to his overconfidence after cashing in his first MITB four years ago. While I hope Swagger does not take part in live sex celebrations, Edge has a point. I do not see, however, Swagger losing at Extreme Rules. You can’t build up these new guys (Sheamus, Swagger) if they are easily going to be knocked down. Edge mentions the lisp, AGAIN. Enough.

Main Event: Chris Jericho v. Edge for the Number 1 Contender spot at Extreme Rules

i think we all knew when this match was going to end in a no contest. And it did.  Good match. Not much to say. Jericho did a great job selling the ribs. Edge did his best to exploit them and capped off the match-ending brawl through the crowd with a Spear (PS. Sometimes when Edge chants “spear,” it comes out as “shhhpear.” Who has the speech problem now?).

We are probably looking at a triple threat at Extreme Rules. But we also have Shad-JTG, McIntyre-Hardy, Punk-Mysterio, and a possible Hart Dynasty-ShoMiz title program.  No Divas tonight. Anyone complaining? Overall, a great episode of Smackdown.

Check in Wednesday for my live report/spoiler from London, England, for the April 16 episode of Smackdown as well as tomorrow night’s NXT and Thursday’s Superstars.

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