You Say Goodby, I Say Hello

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The old Beatles tune could sum up what took place on Smack Down tonight as both the olds stars and new made their presence felt tonight. It looks like the WWE will wait until after Sunday to fully implement the changes that came via the draft as ECW and Smack Down still featured their former stars. The first noticeable change tonight was the voice of Jim Ross calling the shots. I expressed concerns on how he would mix with Mick Foley on our draft pod cast, but I really like this pairing after what I heard tonight. Foley cleaned up his foolish bantering and was an excellent color man adding good insight to Ross’s impeccable calls. This just shows the level of respect Ross commands in the industry. Instead of being a character, Foley just was himself, which was exactly the opposite of when he was paired with Micheal Cole. Of course their isn’t much to say about Ross as he is as close to perfection as you can get in this industry.

Mysterio would also say good by to the fans on Smack Down and even received a hug from the departing Batista. I know Rey has a special connection to Smack Down due to its Latin roots, but the speech was a bit lame. It’s not like he is leaving the company. Yes he is switching brands, but fans can still watch Raw, and its not like the brands only go to certain towns so they will still get to see Mysterio.

We had our first clash of the big names on Smack Down as WWE champ Triple H and World Heavy Weight champ Edge clashed egos tonight. As the two exchanged verbal barbs Batista made his way to the ring and got a piece of Edge with Triple H helping by throwing Edge out of the ring to the waiting Batista. After a quick beating Edge fled and Batista took the belt. This of course would lead to some trouble for him in his match with Umanga.

Speaking of this match, were was this performance at Mania? Maybe I’m a bit off due to the large expectations I had for that match and the low ones for tonight, but the match was a great example of two great big brawlers going at it. Of course Edge and his family interfered to reclaim his title and put a beating on Batista. This would be short lived as Triple H would come to the rescue. I liked the fact that Edge stayed around to fight for once. Since it looks like he and Triple H will be the new big dogs on Smack Down this helps to build some heat for this.

Kane also made what might be his last appearance on Smack Down as he teamed with the Big Show in a tag match against MVP and Mark Henry. This of course was the obligatory lets take guys who are facing each other at a pay per view and make the tag partners match. There was really not much that happened as MVP spent most of the time in the ring. They did try the old MVP leaving the ring gimmick, but Henry threw him back to the wolves as Kane got the pin. I’m really getting tired of this gag as MVP is better than being shown as a coward. I know they are using this to show how much of an arrogant jerk he is, but let his talking take care of this. He deserve better than being humiliated by a stiff like Henry and has a very bright future in the WWE.

The Divas match featured some good action as the quest to take on Natalia continued with a tag match. We saw Kelly Kelly, Cherry and Michelle McCool go up against Natalia, Victoria and Maryse. All the ladies looked good especially Kelly Kelly for once. Her action was limited, but the nice flip moves she landed looked really nice. Maybe her hard work is finally paying off as for once she did not look awkward in the ring, but remember it was in very limited action. I really want to applaud the efforts of all the Divas as they all seem to be really working on their in ring performances. Last year at this time if you would have told me there was going to be two womens championships I would have laughed in your face and told you were crazy. But in the last few months these ladies have really worked hard to to show they are more than pretty faces. I really do give them credit for proving me wrong that they are there only for their looks.

Will Hawkins and Ryder ever develop into anything more than Edge’s stooges. You would have thought their alliance with the family would have pushed then into tag title contention. Instead tonight they took on the number one contenders in Finlay and Hornswoogle. You know you going nowhere when an aging superstar and his leprechaun son are getting a crack at the title while you just get your butts beat each week. The kids looked good tonight as they took some good bumps and have show decent moves when they have actually competed. I really don’t know why the WWE feels no need to develop the tag divisions anymore as there are plenty of talented duos. Give Hawkins and Ryder a chance, and you might be surprised what they can do. Unfortunately I feel they have been type cast as lackies and thei is the best they will ever see.

Edge would also see himself in a match tonight as it was champion versus champion with Matt Hardy. Hardy pretty much dominated this match but was distracted at the end and speared by Edge, giving the Rated R Superstar the win. I know I have stated I really don’t see Hardy peaking anymore than where he is now, but he did hold his own in this match. His in ring performance is as solid as they come, but he really needs to spruce up his personality. His mic work is average and I really don’t get excited when I hear his music. He has an average personality with some nice moves. Sometimes that all it takes for short term success, but if he wants to be one of the big names he really has to find a way to get the crowd pumped up before he takes the ring like his brother does very well.

And of course I know the big question on everyones mind is did Kozlov stay undefeated? Yes he did as he beat Domino tonight. You can tell they are getting ready for a major match for Kozlov as his matches keep going longer and longer. Again this is another wrestler who may suffer from a lack of personality, especially since he is just a brawler. We already have this type of persona in the company like Snitsky and Palumbo and you see how far those guys have gone. I feel Kozlov is headed down that same path.


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