‘Sup, Lords of Pain? Timing was tight this week with real life getting in the way, but here I am with the third edition of the 4-4-2 Review. I have to admit to cheating this week however and watching the SmackDown version. Will be a bit of a briefer version today as such as we find ourselves on the eve of Night of Champions. The recent product has been drawing plenty of comparisons to the Attitude Era. In one way I think that is very apt is the importance and excitement of watching TV shows to the point where they would sometimes overshadow PPVs. I am actually feeling this way a little about Night of Champions. Don’t get me wrong, it’s been sold well and I am looking forward to it but I am looking forward to Monday’s Raw just as much, and I am sure there will be plenty of shenanigans Sunday night that will build on that. But right now we are getting ahead of ourselves, let’s take a look at SmackDown’s go-home episode.
4-4-2 Review: SmackDown 13/9/13 (CPR Productions)
Sep 14, 2013 - 6:51:26 AM
1’ KICK OFF: We start things out today with The Big Show coming down the ring. A Big Show promo! How many of you would have been totally offended by that thought just about a month ago? Anyway, he dryly reads an apology for his actions on Raw, which has clearly been written for him.
4’ YELLOW CARD: It doesn’t take long for Show’s flow to be interrupted by the oh-so-apt sounds of Motorhead’s King of Kings. Hunter comes out to what sounds like some monster heat (although you can never really tell how much has been piped in. He thanks Show despite his insincerity but teases that he is going for fire him. Instead he suspends him without pay, which is made out to somehow be worse. The Game with another nasty little foul that builds on his evil heel status. I’ve got to say, whilst I like the mind games going on with Trips, Stephanie and Show, I am not a big fan of the whole “broke” storyline. I was in the same boat when it was going on with HBK and JBL. It’s not to the point where it puts me off watching or anything but I’d just prefer they had something else to hold over Big Show’s head.
11’ GOAL: Just as Show goes to leave for the evening, we hear those six words that mean destruction is on the way. Sierra-Hotel-India-Echo-Lima-Delta. Big Show stands his ground and it is on. I thought that it was an absolutely brilliant segment which managed to emphasise the strength of all four men involved, as well as The Shield as a group. Show’s size, power and pent up rage just had him keep coming back against the odds as Ambrose talked, Rollins bumped and Reigns beasted (is that a word? It should be) their way to win the segment. Highlights included Show hitting a Spear (which was really more like a clothesline) from the announce desk and, of course, the triple powerbomb which ended things. It was a series of brutal chair shots by Reigns though that really stood out to me. When they are delivered with that amount of aggression, you have no head to go for the head whatsoever for impact. Great segment.
16’ SAVE: For those of you that don’t follow football, us Brits like nothing more than spouting off a load cliches that actually probably don’t hold much weight. A famous one is “you are most vulnerable to concede right after scoring”. It is certainly fitting here though as the Show-Shield segment is followed by a Total Divas vs Incomplete Divas rematch from Raw. Thankfully, once again, it is kept short due to an AJ run-in giving E!’s finest the DQ win. We then get to go backstage where Vickie announces that if Ziggler beats Ambrose tonight he’ll get a US title shot at NOC.
18’ ON THE BACKFOOT: The save may have been made in the previous segment but can we survive an edition of Dancing with the superstars? It’s stupid as hell, but you’ve got to deal with a bit of that in wrestling. Vickie gets lots of heat at the host. R-Truth shows up first and JBL sings along with What’s Ups. Fandango and Mrs Fandango are also out to play but Miz comes out in an afro also wanting to be involved. He calls himself Mizco Inferno before Khali comes out to complete the band of misfits.
24’ RED CARD/OWN GOAL/TEN GAME BAN: Miz is twerking. MIZ IF TWERKING! IN AN AFRO WIG!!! I could deal with Truth’s buffoonery and Fandango’s shuffling but this is too much. It was only two weeks ago that Mr Mizanin looked on the verge of being a huge part of the Resistance but now it seems he has regressed all the way back to the first time when it was cool not to like him. Anyway, the fans vote Miz the winner which annoys Fandango, who ends up getting beat down by Miz and Truth.
29’ MISPLACED PASSES: Ryback conducts a backstage interview and we find out he is apparently a concert pianist and has very good linguistic skills. He interviews some random guy who has dreams of being a wrestler and it all ends in some more bullying. We then get Vickie backstage with Ricardo Rodriguez. She wants to ban him from ringside at NOC for his own safety. He protests so she says she will let him if he faces ADR in a match tonight. Serious, on what planet does that make any sense whatsoever?
33’ SUBSTITUTION: We get treated to some more wrestling next as the returning Santino Marella takes on Damien Sandow. Sandow cuts another strong promo against the Canadian crowd before the match. I’ve got to say it’s great to see Santino back. He is brilliant at what he does and as long as it isn’t overused, he is a great part of the product. I think his “5 moves of doom” are as exciting and recognisable as anyone in the company. But did he really need wins over Sandow and Cesaro this week? It’s unlikely he’s ever going to be booked above the midcard title level whereas Sandow and Cesaro are stars on the rise. Honestly I don’t think it is a huge deal. It puts Marella over as a midcard threat and it won’t be too hard for the others to get their momentum back on track. So, welcome back Santino.
40’ CHANCE: Michael Cole is in the ring with Curtis Axel and Paul Heyman. Paul doesn’t even need to speak and the segment is already a success. He sells his fear of a beating at the hands of CM Punk simply by looking like shit. A couple of weeks of stubble and bloodshot eyes get the job done. But he’s not finish yet. When he opens his mouth he sells Night of Champions by calling for fans to boycott the PPV. What a frigging genius. He spouts off a load of things that would be a better use of money. I bet there aren’t many people in the business who have the chops to pull off that level of reverse psychology over spending money and have Vince sign off on it.
45’ HALF TIME: We reach half time mid-promo with the genius of Heyman causing a wave of momentum. Can it continue and be converted as the second half gets underway?
48’ GOAL: Yes it can. He continues by telling the fans not to watch the PPV because Punk will win and he will be destroyed. The exclamation point is that he will always love Punk. Phenomenal sell job from Paul E there. It wasn’t long ago that the thought of Punk going into a feud with Axel after Lesnar was blasphemous to the IWC. The thing is though, this feud is not about Axel. Hell, SummerSlam wasn’t really about Lesnar either. It’s all about Heyman and this feud could have some serious legs in it. A proper old school feel to this where the heel manager would throw baddy after baddy at the face. Great stuff.
50’ END TO END STUFF: Next up we have Ricardo taking on his old boss Del Rio. Anything could happen here. Could be awful. Could be great. Wouldn’t be comfortable making a prediction either way. We shall see.
55’ OFF THE BAR: It was short but pretty well done. Ricardo managed to show off that he has some game despite the champ winning and looking dominant, as he should do. It wasn’t groundbreaking but once again did a good job of hyping the PPV. We obviously got some shenanigans post-match which ended with 5 Star Frogsplash and RVD standing tall. The good old go home kiss of death.
61’ CHANCE: We have a recap of the Trips interview with Michael Cole and a look at the actions of the past few weeks. It’s a reminder of just how good things have been. On that same note, we now get Ziggler vs Ambrose which has some great potential.
70’ WIDE: It was an okay match but not great. The DQ victory for Ziggler means they will go again on Sunday and hopefully they will fulfill potential then. Pretty sure there was a “Yokozuna” chant at some point. Dafuq, Canada? It ends with the Usos making the save as the Shield beat down on Dolph and things switch up to a 6-man tag.
77’ OFF THE POST: This match was actually better. Really exciting high paced action with lots of athleticism on show. Ziggler played the face in peril for a while and we got a very nice ending sequence with Spears, Superkicks and Rollins getting his knees up on a top rope splash attempt for the win. I really like the Usos but does the loss here mean they won’t be the ones to win the NOC pre-show tag team turmoil and go on to have a title match on the main show? Maybe.
79’ CHANCE: The main event of the night will be the Cutting Edge. Mr Copeland takes some shots at Trips again before Orton and Bryan come out. Now it is time to try and sell the main event of a Night of Champions where everything points strongly to Orton retaining.
90’ GOAL: We get some trash talk between the former Rated RKO buddies before Randy claims he is not a sell out and everybody would have done the same in his situation. He says the company needed a new face after ten years of Cena and he is it. He also says Bryan is good for business but he is best for business. Bryan says he doesn’t care what’s best for business. His dream wasn’t to be the face of the company but to be the WWE champion. Obviously it all kicks off and the show ends with Randy tapping out in the Labell lock. Again, not a good omen for DB if you are a follower of Wrestling 101 but an excellent final segment to set up the PPV.
90’ FULL TIME: Another strong edition of SmackDown that really added that last bit of spice to proceedings before Night of Champions. They have put as much intrigue as possible into what looks to be a fairly predictable show so kudos to the WWE on that. There were a couple of dodgy segments creeping back in this week though and that is something to keep an eye on despite the good generally being very good.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Roman reigns supreme for me on this week’s show. It was down to a choice between the Shield members again thanks to fun six man match and an excellent beatdown segment with Show. It was Regin’s brutality in that segment which gave my favourite Shield member that edge for me this week. I have already done a Ambrose vs Reigns vs Rollins column in Smarks Court and it is going to be a debate that will continue for a long time. I think it is great how they are all so different yet come together like such a well oiled machine. Hopefully they will stick around as a faction for a long time yet but the more I see of them, the more I am convinced that all three members have extremely bright futures in the industry.
And that is all for this week. I hope you all enjoy Night of Champions and I should be back next week for another edition of the 4-4-2 Review, provided I can drag myself away from GTAV for long enough. Be sure to check out the latest edition of the Right Side of the Pond on LoP Radio. This week I am joined by Uncle Joe as we look at how we would treat certain WWE midcarders. In addition Plan and Maverick look at the ECW invasion of Raw in 101 WWE Matches To See Before You Die. The whole team also give our Night of Champions predictions as our battle with Hustle, Repo and De reaches its second chapter (be sure to tune into their preview show on LoP Radio tonight). The link to the show is below along with all the usual social media. Until next time, peace!
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