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Fearsome Foursome

Let me start off by cutting to the chase and saying that last night's Fatal Four Way pay-per-view was quite good. I have a few beefs with some of the booking decisions made, but overall, I found the card to be solid and entertaining. As predicted, extra matches were added to the card at the time of the show's start. That was about the only thing I predicted right, but there's nothing wrong with that. There's still something to be said about unpredictability, even if it's me suspending my disbelief that any competitor in a given match would actually be given the title. More on that later.

Kofi Kingston and Drew McIntyre kicked off the show. Nothing wrong with that, Kofi and Drew are both good workers and are building quite the angle over the title on "SmackDown!" It's often been said on this website that part of having a successful product is to have a solid midcard, and I think right now they're doing a fine job of building their midcard on Friday nights, especially considering how paper thin it's been in years past. In the end, Kofi retained in what was a very good match to set the pace for the evening.

The Butterfly Brawl was...well, let's move on. Alicia Fox is the new champion, and the division seems kind of stuck in limbo because it's missing a red hot star a la Trish Stratus or Mickie James (Shouldn't have fired her, Vince).

The first unannounced match of the night was Evan Bourne defeating Chris Jericho. Sometime last year, I remember saying that the three WWE stars that I would next elevate to main event status were MVP, Jack Swagger, and Evan Bourne. While MVP continues to sort of drift around within the company because apparently someone backstage fears that ten pounds of gold around his waist will cause his heart to stop, Jack Swagger and Evan Bourne both seem to be on their way to being permanent fixtures high up on the card.

Evan Bourne rightfully deserves to be in that position. WWE loves to push Rey Mysterio as their big, high-flying underdog, but he's not getting any younger, and WWE is going to need a young star to fit that bill. In my eyes, nobody fits that better than Bourne, who is every bit as over as Mysterio with none of the chronic injuries and knee surgeries. Plus his Shooting Star Press is way better looking than Billy Kidman's or Brock Lesnar's. Sure, he's not Latino so that demographic might take a bit of a dip, but there's plenty of good Latino talent out there just waiting to be discovered if WWE's scouting department is really worth their salt.

Speaking of Rey, I'm somewhat beating my head against a wall trying to understand why he's been given the World Heavyweight Championship. I mean, I guess at some point they had to stop labeling him a great underdog story because of something that happened four years ago. But again, you have Evan Bourne to be the new underdog star. Mysterio is old, worn down, and not as exciting as he used to be. I remember seeing Rey Mysterio live at The Great American Bash in 2005 and thinking to myself "This guy isn't as entertaining in person". I've been off the Mysterio bandwagon ever since, and putting the belt on him now has done nothing to change my opinion.

My train of thought at this point is that the belt is now going to be used to further the CM Punk/Rey Mysterio storyline. As a device to drive a feud, it's certainly capable of doing so, and it also backs up my previous prediction that somehow CM Punk was going to end up with another championship reign by the time all was said and done. Mysterio is injured too often for this to be any kind of long term run. Plus the little jerk broke Undertaker's face.

The Miz rapped his way to the ring, and pardon the pun, but it was awesome. Sorry, Horse Tooth Killa, you just got your heat stolen so fast that even Sir Mixalot feels bad for you. As much as Michael Cole has irritated me on commentary the past few years, he did have a good line when talking about R-Truth's rap. "When all you say is 'What's up?', it's hard to forget your lines." That was as far as Cole's entertainment value went. If you think his normal commentary is bad, his commentary during Miz matches borders on Mark Madden level terrible. It may be worse, because at least Madden was just the third man as opposed to the supposed lead commentator.

But, 40-year-old virgin aside, Miz and Truth had a very entertaining match. I heard some chants of "This is boring" during the match, to which I enthusiastically say "Fuck you, Long Island!" I apologize if they're not doing a bunch of flippy dips, but if you can't appreciate a wrestler who is selling against a worker who is focusing his offense towards the said body part being sold, then you don't understand wrestling, so please stop watching and instead go stick your head into an angry hornet's nest.

Hart Dynasty squared off against The Usos in the second unannounced match. This match was just a treat as a wrestling fan to watch, plain and simple. I was a little perplexed as to why Matt Striker kept referring to several of the Usos offensive moves as "Rikishi-like", but didn't ever seem to actually come out and say that Jimmy and Jey were the twin sons of Rikishi. Either I missed it last night, or they've mentioned it in the past. Either way, it's nice to see two legit tag teams go at it. I know WWE isn't huge on tag team wrestling, but having a solid tag team, much like a solid midcard, is an integral part of having an optimally entertaining product, and WWE currently is starting to put some of the pieces on place to have a solid tag team division again.

So, it would seem that I won the "Train About To Hit Me" award for seeing something obvious coming in the NXT interference last night. I just picked the wrong guy who would benefit from it. Sheamus is again your WWE Champion, although this time I'm squarely on the Celtic Warrior's bandwagon, because he's impressed me a lot ever since he won his first WWE Championship last December. I like the way the match ended because, even though Edge did not win, the fact that Orton and Edge spent the closing moments of the match out cold outside the ring will let their feud continue to heat up and build steam. They hate each other already, and now they can claim that the other cost them the WWE Championship.

I am at this point wondering what they can do with the NXT Invasion angle. I mean, 7 wrestlers isn't exactly a force of WCW/ECW size, so I doubt this can turn into a full length program. Also, having this be an important part of "Raw" programming would give the impression that several of the NXT rookies are going to be big time players in the company, which obviously isn't the case. I mean, I'm not complaining that they're doing a fresh and original angle, but I also don't have my hopes up that this storyline will ultimately unfold and become one of the greatest angles we've seen over the past decade.

So there you have it. Like I said at the beginning of the article, the show was more entertaining than I expected, which is never a bad thing. I still don't understand the idea of adding multiple matches on the fly, and I don't understand why Rey Mysterio is the champion, but if the past few years have taught me anything, it's that understanding everything the company does leads to the product being a lot less enjoyable. So I'll sit back and watch how everything unfolds, hoping for the best.

Tha Results:
*Sheamus def. John Cena, Edge, and Randy Orton to win WWE Championship
*The Hart Dynasty def. The Usos and Tamina
*The Miz def. R-Truth to retain United States Championship
*Rey Mysterio def. Jack Swagger, CM Punk, and Big Show to win World Heavyweight Championship
*Evan Bourne def. Chris Jericho
*Alicia Fox def. Maryse, Eve, and Gail Kim to win Divas Championship
*Kofi Kingston def. Drew McIntyre to retain Intercontinental Championship

1 comments: on "Fearsome Foursome"

M.F said...

I think Rey-Rey's title win was an effort to get the little guys over. I remember reading something a couple weeks ago about how the fed was going to start making little guys more believable as winners to the fans. (cuz everyone's not on the juice anymore) That also explains Evan Bourne's recent push.

Sounds like a great show, mad I missed it. Love the old-school booking style they've used for the p ast 2 PPVs, where the midcard matches have just as much emotion invested in them as the mainevents. Don't know why it took them this long to figure that out, but at least they did.