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TJR: Talking Smack for 01/15/10 (Batista/Mysterio in a Cage)

The John Report: Talking Smack for 01/15/10 (Batista/Mysterio Cage)
Welcome to the Talking Smack column where I offer up a quick rundown of WWE’s Friday broadcast, Smackdown. For the second straight week, I was spoiler free heading into SD again. It’s a better way to enjoy the show. Also, I asked for some reader comments similar to the Commentfest we do for Raw, so those will be seen after my review of Smackdown. Let’s get right to it and then I have some things to plug at the end of the column.

Taped from Green Bay, Wisconsin let’s talk some smack…

After the usual video packages, we start out with Chris Jericho. 10 out of 10 already. Or not. He’s got a huge bruise on the left side of his face to sell what Tyson did to him. When Big Show, a WWE employee, punches somebody like that nobody has a bruise. When Mike Tyson, a guest host, punches somebody they put it over huge. What I’m saying is maybe you might want to put over your own employees as much as you do the guest hosts. Anyway, Chris cuts his usual awesome promo ripping on the fans, calling himself the baddest man on the planet and talked about winning the World Championship again.

Chris Jericho d. John Morrison (***)
First move of the match? Morrison punched him in the jaw. I love that. They went to a quick commercial as Drew McIntyre – newly engaged to Tiffany by the way – came out to make mean faces at ringside. The match was solid as predicted with a lot of great counter wrestling, which is typical in a Jericho match. They had some good nearfalls throughout and then Jericho had him in the Walls of Jericho. Wasn’t as good as last week when he did it to JTG by burying the knee into his head, but that’s probably because they needed Morrison to get to the ropes. Morrison got back to his feet, talked shit to McIntyre, turned around and ate a Codebreaker from Jericho for the pinfall. Hopefully by the summer we see this as a World Title feud with Jericho as the champion against Morrison. That’s the feud to really make Morrison.

Did you know? 7 of the last 10 Royal Rumble winners went on to win the World Title at Mania. That’s nice although I bet you can’t tell us who won in 2004, eh WWE?

CM Punk came out. Same deal as last week. He was there to save a member of the audience. Who was it? A black man named Trevor that shockingly looked like an indy wrestler. Amazing. Punk shaved his mini fro as Trevor converted to straight edge. If you’re wondering, yes, Punk is going for the Jesus look by saving people. The plan is to have a Mania match against Mysterio in a mask vs. hair match that Punk would lose.

CM Punk & Luke Gallows d. Matt Hardy & The Great Khali, The Hart Dynasty & Cryme Tyme to be #1 Contenders to the Tag Titles (*1/2)
Yes, they actually had Hardy team with Khali. Is this version 2.0 of Matt Hardy? I have no idea. I think Ranjin Singh was pissed that Hardy almost did a dance beside Khali. The match was just okay, nothing special. It’s hard for me to get excited about a tag match with four different teams where you know at least two of them aren’t winning. I thought the Hart Dynasty would go over, but I’m fine with Punk/Gallows winning. I like the pairing. The pin was done by Gallows on JTG with the Twelfth Pole, which his reverse full nelson slam. After the match, Trevor the Straight Edge dude celebrated with them. This means Punk & Gallows get a title shot at DX whenever they want to work on a Tuesday, I guess.

Backstage, Matthews talked to Batista who said he’s done talking about Rey and that he’s scared of the Undertaker. He was also in his locker room, angry about being interrupted. Insert Batista jokes here.

Undertaker came out. Hey, first time he showed up to work in a couple weeks. Nice. He mentioned it being a new decade and how he dominated the last two decades. In other words, he’s old. He said whoever wins tonight will lose to him at the Rumble. He also said he’ll be at Raw on Monday to answer Shawn Michaels’ WrestleMania challenge. He says no matter his reply, Shawn will rest in peace. Five minutes of airtime and did a good job of promoting him to be at Raw on Monday. This was fine.

Mickie James d. Beth Phoenix via DQ (*1/4)
They showed the build to it, Mickie James-Canton smiled at her actions when she kicked Beth last week and Beth came out pissed off. No Glamapose, even. That’s how pissed she was. It makes you think: “That woman’s so mad she’s not even doing her pose!” They had a physical match. It was Beth dominating with Mickie trying to fight back, which is great because she’s a good underdog due to her size. They have the best chemistry of any two women in the company, no doubt. Beth hung Mickie upside down in the corner (Striker called it the “Tree of Joey Lawrence” because he used to say “whoa” – made me want to punch Striker) and the match ended there with the ref DQing her. In came Michelle, who was shoeless, with Layla. Beth left showing she had no concern for Mickie. Team Laycool beat up on Mickie, including a bump where they swung her head into the turnbuckle that looked painful. MJC was a bump machine here. Michelle, the shoeless heel in her ripped shirt/jean look (WTH?), then finished her off with the Styles Clash…err Faith Breaker. I’m assuming this leads to a triple threat at the Rumble. I know I’m biased, but it really is one of the better feuds in WWE right now.

Kane d. Dolph Ziggler (*3/4)
Third straight week. This was longer than the first two, going over 10 minutes this time. I understand why they’re doing it – to try to make Dolph more credible – although I can’t say I love it. The match was just…I don’t know…okay. It’s not bad, but it’s not great. They’re trying to get Ziggler’s sleeper hold over as a big move. The problem is nobody’s reacting to it. We’ve been conditioned to think the sleeper is just a transition hold in this era. They had psychology by Kane breaking up the sleeper on the floor this week as opposed to last week when he lost by countout. Back in the ring, Ziggler hit a Fameasser for two (legdrop on the back of the head) and went for the Zig Zag. Kane blocked it and won with the chokeslam. Basically they worked 12 minutes so the nearly 40 year old can beat the rising star in his 20s. Good effort. It’s just that they really didn’t click in terms of having as good of a match as they wanted.

In case you forgot, here’s a video package from the Fiesta Bowl that was shown on Monday telling you that John Cena’s the biggest star in WWE. Thanks for the reminder.

Matthews caught up to Rey backstage. It was hilarious seeing random people like Maria wishing him luck. She looks like a giant compared to him. Mysterio talked about being the underdog

Rey Mysterio d. Batista in a Steel Cage Match to become the #1 Contender to the World Title (**1/2)
Their best match was about a month ago on Smackdown when Rey won on a counter. This one was pretty good and better then last week’s terribly booked match although it was short at only 8 minutes. They really told a good story in the match with Mysterio using his speed to climb up the cage a number of times with Batista chasing him. I like how they used some psychology by making a big deal about Rey not being able to hit the 619 in the cage, so instead he jumped off Batista’s shoulders to climb up. My one gripe with WWE cage matches is nobody goes for the door enough. If you knock a guy down and out, why not just walk out of the door quickly? They should do it where you can win by pinfall, submission or climbing out, but no using the door. It’d be better for the psychology of the matches. I also wouldn’t mind blood. That’s not happening, though. The finish saw Batista going for the Batista Bomb only for Rey to counter and climb up the cage quickly to get out. Batista went out the door, Rey kicked it into his face and fell down for the win. This means Batista’s in the Rumble match, which adds more star power to that.

I was very sure that Batista was going to win this match while heading to the Rumble to take the belt from Undertaker. I guess I’m wrong on that. Now it makes me think Undertaker’s going to hold the title until WrestleMania, Michaels is going to win and that’s how they’ll set up the rematch. Who knows, though? Could be a lot of twists and turns between now and the end of March.

Three Stars of the Show
1. Chris Jericho – For the promo, the match and the bruise. Best in the world.
2. Rey Mysterio – Consistently great. Maybe he’s even underrated.
3. John Morrison

7 out of 10
Last week: 6

There were barely any backstage segments. When there were, they were done like old school wrestling promos. It was a wrestling show with good booking from top to bottom. The promos by Jericho and Punk were great as well. That’s what Smackdown is. No attempts at lame comedy like last week either. See, you don’t even need a GM at all. Just let the stories tell themselves.

My scores for the last four weeks of Smackdown (including this week) were 7, 7, 6 and 7. For the last four Raw’s, I think I gave only the Raw on January 4th with Bret Hart a score above 5. That should tell you something. Smackdown is the better show. You need to be watching it. I feel the need to write a “Why Smackdown is better than Raw” type column.


Here are the reader comments from my Facebook page. It’s like Commentfest-lite. Instead of 1500 comments, I have about 100. The readers will be in blue while my comments will follow in the brackets in regular black font.

A Jericho promo is always a good way to start the show, but then Morrison comes out for a match with him? Boo-ya!

SPOILER ALERT: Matt Hardy doesn’t win, o wait everyone knew that. (So very true.)

Khali & Hardy – Slammy Award Winning Tag Team of the Year for 2010. (I just bet on it in Vegas.)

Khali is there to help Matt with his mic skills.

They should bring back Mantaur and have Danielson hit CATTLE MUTILATION! (Yes!)

Hey look did you know wwe is a wrestling company also? I thought they just did bad comedy sketch shows.

CM Lumberjack with another great promo. Now watch…since I just said that he probably doesn’t have a promo this week.

Anyone think creative have got this the wrong way round? We’ve got heal vs heal for the raw title and face vs face for the SD title. (Vince is an old man, give him credit for just being awake.)

cm punk is awesome! and matt striker should partner j.r. he’s such a good heel announcer.

Just watching Smackdown with a friend who I often watch retro stuff with but rarely current day stuff. We are both 24, he has spent the last 15 minutes telling me that his favourite current wrestlers are Hornswoggle and John Cena. Am I in the minority, is Vince actually a genius producing fantastic television? As I type this he has added who is this shit commentator in reply to Matt Striker. What is going on with the world. (I’m willing to wager that your friend is NOT straight edge. Has to be heavily influenced. Am I right?)

Check out the sweat patches on Trevor! (He means sweat under his arm, people.)

Vince must think that the fans are all atheist…as a christian I think it is very offensive but as a true fan I think it works very well.

Matt Hardy teaming with Khali, eh? If the fork has already been stuck in Matt, it’s now been twisted.

Punk cuts the most brilliant promos. He is a Heel Messiah.

Did anybody else notice that Trevor looks like Orlando Jones from the 7UP commercials? (Bet they all look the same to you, eh Costanza?)

“Hardy likes Picasso, Khali likes Indian Cuisine.” Dear 9lb, 8oz, newborn Baby Jesus, please bring back Jim Ross. Soon!

The Batista jokes just write themselves. His Valtrex prescription on the other hand comes straight from the Doctor!

The Glamazon just gave MJC a Stinkface! (She did and you know what? I’m going to do the gentlemanly thing and let it go.)

Is the sleeper going to become Ziggler’s MasterLock? Because if so, it’s a gateway move that leads to dancing titties!

Ladies and Gentlemen, hide your daughters. Here comes the baddest Grandpa on the planet! (With a nose piercing, no less!)

I’m not sure if I’ll be doing this again. The participation is pretty weak. Maybe I’ll try one more week and then decide.


Now for some plugs. On my blog I added a donation button on the page. I’m not begging for money. I do okay. Work a regular job like most people, have bills to pay and debts that I’ll probably never catch up on because of all my years in university. That’s life, right? I’ve had people email me or chat with me about wanting to donate as a thank you to me for the writing I’ve done. I figure hey, why turn down generosity like that, right? I will most likely use any donation money I get on improving the blog down the road and also investing in some wrestling DVDs that I may not have otherwise purchased in order to review them for you. I’ve got the button on my blog and it will always be there, but you can also read this for more info about it. I’ve also got some Bret Hart and Booker T. news in that post too.

Going forward into 2010 I want to know what kinds of columns you want to see from me. I threw up a poll on my blog with six options. Please check it out. The link is here and I’ll keep it open for another week or so. Also on the blog I posted a recap of the 2007 Royal Rumble PPV as well as a recap of the fantastic HHH/Cactus Jack match from the 2000 Rumble. I have links to my ten most recent posts on the blog at all times, so any time you’re behind just check those out and you can catch up quickly. Better yet, just bookmark the blog, subscribe to the RSS feed and save yourself the work. The internet is the lazy person’s paradise, isn’t it?

If you’re not doing so already, check me out on Twitter at Twitter.com/johnreport where I try to have a lot of fun with some of the performers in WWE. I thought it was pretty cool that during Smackdown Matt Striker mentioned the feud with Beth and Mickie carrying over to social networking sites. It even involved me at one point. I got in trouble from Mickie when I praised Beth for being funny. It’s tongue in cheek stuff (they like it better if you don’t use insider terms like “angle” for example), but we have fun with it. I also do my best to reply to every message sent my way. I’ve eclipsed the 500 follower mark, which is cool, but I want more. I’m nearly at 1500 on Facebook, so come on Twitter people, get on that!

Thanks for reading.

John Canton – oratoryjohn@gmail.com
Visit the blog: johnreport.wordpress.com
Check out the petition to get me hired by WWE with nearly 600 signatures.
Add me on Facebook at Facebook.com/thejohnreport and Twitter at Twitter.com/johnreport
AOLIM: OratorJC MSN: oratoryjohn@hotmail.com

Visit My Archives to view ten years of The John Report columns.

  1. E
    January 16, 2010 at 2:13 PM

    Beth may be taller but Mickie probably outweighs her by 30 pounds

    • robyn
      January 18, 2010 at 2:23 AM

      Thanks for posting, Vince McMahon. =P

  2. January 16, 2010 at 2:14 PM

    i love cm punk. He can cut a promo as good as anybody. His holyer than thou heel persona and an awesome tag partner like luke gallows create a team of the year for 2010. I expect to see these guys get over bigtime. A dx rivalry is going to be great aswell. they replaced jericho on raw with cm punk. Well.. Till the draft show. Btw Is cmpunk the only guy carrying around a slammy. A slammy that they cant even talk about. Save us cmp

  3. paul jacques
    January 16, 2010 at 2:24 PM

    I got a comment in here and a reply from JC score for me.

    Mr Ken, gotta agree CM Punk is awesome and i can even live with Y2J being of Raw if he is replaced by Punk. I really hope Punk/Gallows win the titles as it is just stupid having a unified tag title holders that dont appear on both shows

  4. CJ H
    January 16, 2010 at 4:57 PM

    Great idea on Jericho (w/ title) and Morrison feud, he could could help J-Mo (just shorthand) out a lot. Dammit, I commented in my blog (click my name on the left) that I didn’t want to see a lose-hair match come out of the Punk angle. It’s stupid (unless they put on a 15 min wrestling clinic). Totally agree with your view on Mickie and Beth: good and gettin’ better feud. If what you say about Ziggler is true (gettin’ sleeper hold over) than he’s going to become boring. [At this point in commenting plus during last night’s show, the lack of faces is striking.] Michaels vs. Undertaker at Mania w/ the title on the line? No way. Killing the streak would be a horrible idea. Get the title to someone else a month/month and half before Mania.

  5. Justin
    January 16, 2010 at 5:08 PM

    What happened to TNA?

  6. CJ H
    January 16, 2010 at 5:33 PM

    oops link didn’t work, you can check out my blog here, http://regularguy87.wordpress.com/

  7. Jay
    January 16, 2010 at 5:59 PM

    I think a bald Punk or a maskless Rey are both bad ideas. Does anyone really care if Punk is bald or Rey loses his mask again, but it will make one of them look weak which is unnecessary. Would a win elevate either of them? The answer is NO.

    The Underwearer needs a vacation so he needs to lose the title before mania. Having Michaels retire the Underwearers streak makes no sense. It doesn’t elevate Michaels, and it just wastes someone under 45 getting the opportunity to step up. But we all know the Underwearer is too selfish to job regardless. He just wins or takes his toys and goes home and says my knees hurt. H3 or VinnyMac ends the streak or no one will. The Undertaker is one of the few people that can make Hogan look humble, and the only reason that nice peice of ass is with him is for her career. Do you think she is turned on by a 50 year old smelly guy with the name Sara tattooed on his neck.

    The Divas are one of the best WWE feuds proving WWE writers are not strong or powerful. But MJC is better than half of the men’s locker room, and this idea that she is fat makes me want to hit Vince McMahon over the head with a brick. Rey really carried Batista. At least Batista is a better wrestler than Hulk Hogan. I long for the old NWA where a steel cage was something special. At least Rey made sure Batista didn’t look like a total ass.

  8. David K
    January 16, 2010 at 6:34 PM

    First off, just have to laugh at the comment above calling the Undertaker the “Underwearer” like that’s an insult. Not sure if that’s a joke I missed somewhere else, but regardless, horrible horrible joke.

    Secondly, the idea of a Mask vs. Hair match is completely gone on the generations now. People fail to realize the deep meaning these matches had back in the old generations of Luchadores. Unfortunately what ruined this was Rey’s unmasking at the hands of Kevin Nash, an angle that is one of the biggest atrocities WCW committed. If you wanted to make this match special, you need to have more masked wrestlers peform on both shows, at least 2 a piece. I’m even okay considering Hurricane a masked wrestler. Is it THAT difficult to have 6 really good masked guys on the rosters? I think not.

    The Divas angle works, but it’s only because they brought credibility with Beth Phoenix and Mickie James. It’s the same stuff we complained about months ago, but instead of having Maria involved, it’s got Mickie. I’m glad they’re getting time on Smackdown, but they need better writing still. Guess I can’t have cake and eat it too.

    I don’t watch Smackdown because it’s on Friday nights. It was a bad move, and I’m sure you can back up that it’s a good move with ratings, but I’m not 12. In my humble opinion, the shows should switch. Maybe not names, but writers and talent. Friday is when you want this kid-friendly comedy bullsh*t. Monday’s shold be left for wrestling. Problem is the guys at the top wanting what ‘Taker and HBK have, which is years of loyalty and respect. There needs to be a reality check for some of these guys who think they’re big like them, namely HHH and Booker T. Trips will never get that respect from a lot of people, because he holds too much power for no good reason. And Booker T wants a deal like HBK? How long was he even in the WWE? Loyalty is nothing to him, and that’s why he doesn’t get respect.

  9. Tyson
    January 16, 2010 at 7:22 PM

    Yeah, I’m in agreement with Jay and David regarding Mysterio vs. Punk’s Hair vs. Mask match. Rey won’t lose because that would be bad for merchandising purposes…which would be fine but, (I believe) Rey is set to get his knee worked on after WrestleMania and will be out of action for a substantial amount of time. So, he beats Punk, shaves his head, and leaves. Even if Punk “injures” Rey for retaliation, it seems a bit anti-climatic.

    However, I could definitely go for Danielson vs. Punk, Hair vs. Hair at Mania.

  10. Rated R
    January 16, 2010 at 8:09 PM

    “I feel the need to write a “Why Smackdown is better than Raw” type column”

    To that I say: DO IT!

  11. robyn
    January 16, 2010 at 11:24 PM

    Not a Smackdown comment, but I’m catching up with this week’s programming and have on ECW. Legit lol’d when Helms told Rosa Mendez “Press 1 for English.” Had to share that ‘cos it’s annoying to not know what the hell she’s saying…I’m not fluent enough in Spanish to follow along.

  12. Adam Bomb
    January 17, 2010 at 4:44 PM

    This CM Punk heel Jesus angle seems familiar…… Didn’t they do this a few years back with some guy named Mordecai?

    Sorry I know that wasn’t a warranted comparison. Punk is great and that was only meant as a joke so don’t kill me.

  13. January 18, 2010 at 2:02 PM

    Just one question that I don’t know whether it has been asked or not;

    Why wasn’t Matt Hardy teamed together with R-Truth or, oh I don’t know, Finlay, instead of the Great Khareer Khiller?! At least Hardy’s teamed with both of them in the past, albeit briefly!

    SmackDown needs some more face talent at the top of the card. It’s all well and good elevating Morrison (I hope they do!), but asides from him (assuming they do push him in 2010), ‘Taker and Rey, who have they got? Kane? The guy that pre-Survivor Series was facing Jericho for a No.1 Contender’s Match – the very same guy that this Tuesday on ECW was fighting for a chance at the title that means so little it’s made from silver?!

  14. Dave
    January 21, 2010 at 2:27 AM

    It’s a shame that Smackdown isn’t on Thursdays…or any other day of the week. It has been such a quality wrestling show for the last year and a half.

    Maybe someone can inform me, but what the does head creative team consist of on the Smackdown side?

    Also, does anyone think WWE would even attempt to produce a show like Smackdown on Mondays, it seems to me that WWE believes that Raw viewers have an attention span a little under 7 minutes. That’s not conducive to Smackdown! type of programming.

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