Smackdown (5/1) Notebook

The Katz Giles – Arnie Katz
My Smackdown (4/30) Notebook
The Kingfish Arnie Katz highlights the major developments and discusses what they mean.

A Note from the Kingfish
Trying new things is part of the fun of doing a column like that. As an experiment, I am overhauling the format of the Notebooks to highlight the key points instead of embedding them in a recap.

There are lots of recaps, so no one who wants one will go without,. On the other hand, there’s very little intelligent analysis; that’s the aspect I’ll stress in the Notebook series.

Draft Aftermath
On the surface, >I>RAW appeared to get the best of the talent reassignment. They got several huge stars, including Triple H. In practical terms, Smackdown is actually the chief beneficiary at the moment. Chris Jericho, Rey Mysterio, Kane and CM Punk have moved right into the thick of the title picture and John Morrison appears to have started a babyface turn with his match against Shelton

RAW will have its day when everyone comes off the disabled list, but right now, there’s more lively action on Smackdown than on WWE’s flagship TV show.

A Triangle Treat
While the spotlight was on the four-way number-one contender match, there is a very intriguing three-way rivalry coming to fruition. The tremendous mic work of Chris Jericho, Edge and CM Punk has established the basis for a really wild three-way dance.

The opening segment o0n the 5/1 <Smackdown set it up very nicely. First Chris Jericho came out and, with his angry-man-in-a-suit rap, alienated the entire crowd and kept them seething. Then Edge came out, playing the tweener brilliantly as he zapped Jericho with a barrage of clever wisecracks. Finally, the out-and-out babyface CM Punk hit the ring and acted tough and brave in the face of Jericho’s attempts at bullying and Edge’s bid to slap him down to the mid-card.

<BThe Four-Way Elimination Match
This match showed the superiority of the four-way elimination match over the kind where the first pin or submission wins. The quartet of wrestler had time to develop the match, including some fairly exciting high spots and near falls.

One aspect of the match struck me as very strange, though. Why did the combatants constantly try to break up other wrestlers’ attempted pins? Having any of the four eliminated would be a plus for any of the three who survive, so why interrupt the weeding out process? (The sequence in which Jericho ultimately pinned Kane after Punk did all the work was valid, however, because it was character-driven; Jericho is an egomaniac who wanted the distinction of scoring the one-two-three.

The bookers took a chance in orchestrating a face-versus-face finish, but it came off well. The fans really got into the action 00 and that is the real test, isn’t it>

That’s all for now. I’ll be back tomorrow with a fresh installment of the Internet’s fastest-rising pro wrestling column. I hope you’ll join me then and, please, bring your friends.

— Arnie Katz
Executive Editor
[email protected]
(5/5/09)