Broadcasting in Madison Square Garden never gets old. The Garden crowd was hot as usual and any time a live audience emotionally invests in an event it infinitely helps that event be perceived as being more exciting and successful. It seemed that ECW, WWE Superstars, and Friday Night Smackdown largely kept the sold out MSG group engaged which resulted in a fast paced night that had few slow spots.
Nice ECW TV show this week and it is becoming a solid, one hour broadcast that features in ring wrestling which suits my tastes to a "T". Christian will be a versatile ECW champion who can have solid to excellent matches with a variety of opponents including fan favorites and villains.
Josh Mathews and Matt Striker, two of my traveling partners, are really evolving and if they continue to put the prep time and the effort into their broadcasts they will be as good as any broadcast team in WWE much sooner than people might think.
Tommy Dreamer, who grew up attending wrestling events at MSG and who is from Yonkers, New York, had a memorable night Tuesday night in his "hometown" arena. Tommy is a warhorse who loves wrestling and is also a man that will always vividly remember his bout against Christian this week in the Garden especially if it is Tommy's last one there. More young wrestlers need to tap in to Dreamer's passion and not try to act so non plussed about being a wrestling fan and if they aren't wrestling fans management should assist said talents in finding other endeavors. Tommy Dreamer is a credit to wrestling and I am proud to say I was at the Garden that night in April of 2009 when he gallantly tried to win the ECW Title.
After staying step for step with John Cena on Raw a couple of weeks ago and having a really solid title bout at Backlash, more people are seeing that my fellow Okie Jack Swagger is the real deal and in time could evolve into a major, PPV headlining WWE star. Any one with a brain can see that Swagger is an amazing athlete which still means a great deal to me. Swagger may never become an accomplished "song and dance man" but then again he might but Swagger will always be able to wrestle and as time goes on Jack Swagger, from Perry, Oklahoma, may well become of of the best hands to come along in WWE in quite some time. I will also, in the spirit of full disclosure and honesty, admit that I am not totally unbiased when it comes to this young man from Oklahoma University and from my boyhood hero Danny Hodge's home town.
Gregory "Hurricane" Helms is now doing backstage interviews for ECW and he should bring added entertainment value to the program. Helms isn't 100% physically and this assignment can keep the North Carolinian on TV and in the publics eye. I don't know what Helms' wrestling future is one way or another.
Was Tyson Kidd's upset of Finlay a sign of things to come as it relates to the brand separation and the expected youth movement scattered throughout WWE? I have said it time and again, nothing in WWE is more important than the development of new stars. Nothing. New performers need to get into the upper echelon mix and scratch and claw their way into Main Event PPV status.
MVP had an eye opening inaugural Raw Monday night and looks to be designated for bigger and better things. MVP has a memorable bout on Smackdown Friday night and will, from what I hear, be a guest on "The View" Monday on ABC. That's not 100% official but it never hurts to stay tuned.
I will go out on another limb this week and state that I think Friday Night Smackdown will be the best WWE broadcast of the week, from bell to bell, even though I really enjoyed watching ECW be taped at MSG before Todd Grisham and I went out to record our Superstars bout and then the two hour Smackdown show. You will be the final judge as that's simply one, biased man's opinion.
It seemed like the energy level this week in the Smackdown locker rooms were elevated and that people seemed genuinely excited to be there and on the "blue team." I can say this without hesitation and that is the Smackdown roster is relatively young, very athletic, and features some "hungry" individuals who want to grab the proverbial brass ring and fatten their bank accounts.
Smackdown this week features two, 2 segment main events and both of them delivered. The content on the show that would be considered "non wrestling" and produced for entertainment or comedy purposes was lessened on SD compared to other WWE broadcasts and past SD's for that matter.
Chris Jericho made a superb debut on SD and his interactions with Edge and with John Morrison are eye openers. All of Jericho's efforts felt fresh as the native of Winnipeg is going to be a major player on Smackdown, without question, and by that I mean a much more significant part of the chemistry of SD than perhaps Chris was on Raw.
C.M. Punk appeared to be reinvigorated on Smackdown and his in ring and mic work will back up that statement.
Rey Mysterio told me he was elated to be back on Friday Night Smackdown. Rey is arguably the most popular Superstar to ever appear on the Friday night broadcast. I can only imagine the # of masks, etc that WWE will sell with Rey's imagine via the Friday night show.
John Morrison is another young man who can be special and many of our readers compare Morrison to a young HBK. Those are big shoes to fill as it relates to Shawn Michaels' boots but Morrison does have HBK's athleticism, quickness, and flexibility. I'm optimistic that John Morrison will become a bona-fide star on Friday Night Smackdown in the days to come.
From what I can ascertain, the brand separation is going to truly become three, separate entities which was the original concept. I like the concept as it allows many wrestlers to get a chance at the big time that one roster would not facilitate any where near as quickly. I do know that at Judgment Day in Chicago that all three brands announce teams will be at ringside broadcasting their respective bouts. I look forward to the competition between announcers but not to the degree of all that "A" show, etc B.S. that encourages dissension and too much conversation between announcers about things that have zilch to do with embellishing the skills of the wrestlers.
I thought Miz had a big night on Raw and Miz' promo was on the money and entertaining. Very well done by all involved. Miz is a persona that is organically, easy to dislike. I have been impressed with how hard Miz has worked to improve his in ring game and respect the fact that he works so hard at being innovative and unique.
I was really sorry to hear of Buddy Rose's passing this week at the age of 56. When you get to my stage of the game, I'm 57, deaths of one's peers can bring on a variety of emotions. Buddy Rose was one of the most underrated wrestlers of his generation and could literally have a solid match with virtually any one. Buddy's weight became an issue but also encouraged the infamous "Blow Away Diet" that was featured on WWE TV programming on a semi regular basis back in the day. Buddy wrestled as the "Masked Executioner" in the first bout of the first Wrestlemania. Buddy was a funny guy from my dealings with him and had a good head for the business. I always enjoyed the rare opportunities I had to visit with Buddy usually when we were in Portland. I told Tazz on our ride down to Portland from Seattle a few weeks ago that I hoped that Buddy Rose and Ed Wiskowski would show up at the Rose Garden to say hello to the "boys." They never came to the Rose Garden on our last trip there, as best I know, and now Buddy is gone. Our condolences to the family, friends, and fans of Playboy Buddy Rose.
We can and are shipping soft goods like autographed JR's BBQ caps, autographed "JR's Cookbook's", and our T shirts any where in the world including to our friends in the UK who visit our website so often. We have priced all our merchandise affordably and hope that you will take just a moment and browse through our on line store. We will also soon, as in any day now, have our sauces in plastic bottles which will greatly reduce shipping costs to those of you who like our sauce and can receive liquid shipments from the States.
Enjoy Smackdown Friday night on MyNetworkTV and of course Thursday night is episode #3 of WWE Superstars on WGN America.
Don't forget to check out my blogs on WWE.com which can be found if you are enough of a detective on the Smackdown page. (That's just a little joke there Stocky Balboa.)
Thanks for stopping by and hurry back.