The hope for Smackdown was that the Raw crew would be back in the US to give Team Blue a break before Extreme Rules. Unfortunately, as Friday Night Smackdown is taped on a Tuesday, the Smackdown kids had to do another night’s work. Jack Swagger was given the honour of opening the show, which he did with his usual brand of self-confident promotion. In a repeat of their match from a couple of weeks ago, Swagger and John Morrison faced off in another thriller. I never would have thought these two would work so well together, but they do. In the ring, anyway. If they start something long-running they’d both better get a manager to translate some of their dubious promos. This week, the wrestling did most of the talking, with Morrison making the pin. Why they’d have the champ lose the week before a PPV is beyond me, but under the circumstances I think WWE did well to get their main shows out this week, so we’ll let it slide.
On Raw, Rey Mysterio started the shaving festivities a week early and decided to give CM Punk a nice little fringe.
Punk wasn’t too pleased about his diagonal-do and went to Teddy Long to complain. Reminds me when I took some scissors to my own hair when I was six years old. Yes, there’s photographic evidence. No, I’m not showing you. Teddy didn’t think it was his problem and punished Punk for wasting his time by placing him and Luke Gallows in a tag match against Rey Mysterio and Kane.
Next we had a tag match with Drew McIntyre and Dolph Ziggler vs Matt Hardy and R-Truth. Now, I will say that we’ve been a little harsh on Matt Hardy lately. Admittedly, I haven’t been as harsh as Andrew, but still he’s been our blogging punching bag. I almost had a little compassion for him this week when he fell foul of Ziggler and McIntyre’s attack. Apparently, he’s suffering with Post-Concussion Syndrome, of which the main symptom is dizziness. Dizziness is my middle name at the moment, but I was quickly cured of my compassion when McInyre kicked him in the head and Matt Striker proclaimed:
Anyway, they beat Hardy until he didn’t know which planet he was on, then the ref called the match off because he was too unwell to continue. Sad times for Matt Hardy.
Edge and Jericho have a Steel Cage match at Extreme Rules, so they and Wade Barrett did some promo for that. First Jericho and Barrett were in the cage, then Edge joined, then Jericho left leaving Barrett to face Edge alone. Edge speared him then pulled this face.
It spooked Jericho so much that he locked the cage door and ran way. Nobody’s seen Wade Barrett since.
The next match is a little strange to comment on. As we know, Smackdown is recorded on Tuesday and aired on Friday. On Thursday WWE announced the release of a whole load of talent, including Mickie James (!), Shelton Benjamin, Katie Lea….the list goes on. Also released was Mike Knox, who had a match against JTG. Shad Gaspard was on commentary in a chalky-blue custom suit. It was a very confusing few minutes.
Anyway, the whole purpose of this was to promote the JTG vs Shad Strap Match at Extreme Rules, where the former buddies will whip the hell out of each other with a leather belt. Nice! Knox lost the match and his job, JTG won the match but realised he’d lost his best friend forever.
Now to the Divas match. Since I ranted my heart out at the beginning of the Piggy James storyline, I’ve been trying to keep a lid on my displeasure with the pathetic storylines given to the Divas. I even started to enjoy what’s been going on with Beth Phoenix, Michelle McCool, Layla and Vickie Guerrero. But this week I came away from the Smackdown Divas match genuinely infuriated. Again, it was strange in that it was Mickie James’ last match, although nobody knew it when it was taped.
It was announced that Michelle McCool and Beth Phoenix would have a match at Extreme Rules. Great, right? That’s what I’ve been waiting for. Hmm, I wonder what kind of extreme stipulation they might be given? Apparently, their match will be an Extreme Makeover Match. Oh shit! Nobody really knew what this meant but I had an eerie feeling that it didn’t have much to do with wrestling. While we watched the Smackdown match, I even exclaimed to Sidekick Andrew that I might cry if the PPV match ended with Beth being held down while the three ‘Flawless’ ladies spread make-up over her face. It turned out I didn’t have to wait until Sunday to cry those tears.
Layla and Michelle were fighting against Mickie and Beth in a tag math. Layla won the match for Team LayCool by pinning Mickie James. Mickie left the ring (goodbye, Mickie) leaving Beth alone with the other three hovering over her. First, they pulled an ironing board from under the ring. AN IRONING BOARD? REALLY? Oh because they’re women and Beth is supposedly manly so she’ll learn to be more lady-like by being whipped into an ironing board on the turnbuckle. Of course! Then, as predicted, Beth was held down, plastered in lipstick and left slumped over the ironing board.
Ok, so I didn’t cry, but I was extremely disappointed. Just like the Piggy James story, Beth with overcome the bad girls and strike a blow for women everywhere blah-blah-blah. But the Divas deserve better than this. Maybe I’ve been watching too much indie wrestling lately and I’m expecting too much, but if this is supposed to be the pay-off for getting to the big leagues, it must be quite the anti-climax. Women don’t need stereotypical gimmicks and stipulations any more than men do. “Errrm if we’re doing a Divas match at Extreme Rules they need a stipulation. Ummm… they’re women, women like cosmetics, we’ll make it an Extreme Makeover match. Get it?” Yeah. I do. And It’s insulting. I’ll hope for better at Extreme Rules, but I’ll expect more of the same.
Back to the fun with CM Punk and Luke Gallows vs Rey Mysterio and Kane. They had another fantastic match, Punk winning by sitting on Mysterio’s face and pinning him. And he wasn’t done when the bell dinged either. Punk continued to kick Rey, but soon found himself sat in the barber’s chair which had conveniently appeared in front of the announce table. Rey grabbed the clippers to finish the job he started on Raw, but Serena managed to get between them and pull Punk out of harm’s way.
Will Punk be bald by tomorrow morning? I’ll find out tomorrow night. The Sidekick and myself are avoiding spoilers and watching tomorrow instead. Whether I’ll be able to wait that long to see if Punk’s head gets shaved or not is a whole other matter!