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Smackdown! Special Draws Anger


Why wait to trash a memory?
The WWE has been on a road of late to get back their edginess. Sadly, it’s taken them dark places, and to storylines that don’t make much sense. Sadly, they did one on Tuesday night that really took away a lot of the good will they had garnered from the Eddie shows and the Drug Testing announcement.

The SmackDown! Tuesday live special (which was very average, even with a good Benoit vs. Booker match), featured the Rey Mysterio vs. Big Show Main Event, which told a good story of big man vs. little man.

It’s an easy story and it won’t lead to great feud heat, but it will do good for building Rey a bit. He had dedicated the match to Eddie’s memory and even came out to his music in the Low-Rider. This was the big point. They had them wrestle and then they ended up having Rey about to win when Kane came in and broke it up. They slammed Rey onto the car and Big Show spat on the windshield, which was ultimately heelish and disrespectful, but I didn’t expect anything different from the WWE at that point. It was a bad use of Eddie’s car, but what are you gonna do? The Undertaker’s music hit and he came out and drove away the RAW boys.

Randy Orton came out and hit Taker with the RKO. That led to Orton getting a tire iron from Eddie’s Low-Rider and braining UT with it before setting him on the back of the car and driving reverse through the SmackDown! set into some audio equipment. The equipment then waited a bit, then it exploded and caught on fire. The crowd popped big for it, especially when it went through the set. It was an awesome sight to see.

The problem is symbolic.

Doing an angle like this so close to the time of Eddie’s death is, at best, dumb. They’ve been trying to capture interest again, and they did well raising the bar with edgy material in 1997 and 98, but it’s not working like it was then. They keep upping the ante, and doing this kind of angle with Eddie’s car in a match that was dedicated to Eddie was a wrong move. Not to mention Randy Orton.

Orton 2005 is HHH 1998 in the way he’s being shoved down our throats. I’m more bothered by the content of the angle, but the fact that Orton’s nose ends up in everything is a bad sign for the current path of booking. They need to give him the belt and let him have a real run at it, like they did with HHH, and they’ll just have to deal with the drop in ratings and buyrates.

Chris Benoit, who is the one guy who people buy as a contender who isn’t in the World Title hunt, is being held in the US title series. They should give him a chance to work with Batista…but he’s hurt!

The fates are against SD! at this point. They have a Champion who can’t work right now, a great challenger who is tied up in a series that will probably go another month, a rising star that the crowd is only so-so into, and they’re being overshadowed by RAW, even after they soundly defeated them left and right at Survivor Series.

SmackDown! needs to smarten up, and it doesn’t look like they’re going to. There have been changes in the booking team (and I believe that Dave Lagana was taken off of the SmackDown! writing team) and they are not for the best.

Things need to change, because there are more people who seem more angry by this then were after the JR skit a few weeks ago.

Talk about today's column in the forums!

Chris Garcia

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