RAW, SD, ECW, Impact

May 25, 2009

I’ve got a bunch of stuff I want o talk about this week so I will try to get at least two commentaries posted this week. I’ve got enough questions for a big Q and A as well so I will try to keep busy at the keyboard this week.

Since I haven’t been posting TV thoughts much lately I figured I would address all of the weekly programming in one commentary and look at the shows on the whole rather than commenting on individual aspects of each show. I’ve managed to catch most of the shows over the last month and I’ve found each show has remained quite consistent (be it consistently good or consistently bad) so I have a definitely opinion on each of the 4 weekly programs. I’d love to be able to include ROH in this but I don’t get HD NET so unfortunately I can’t comment on ROH.

I have a definite order of preference of which shows I like and which shows I don’t. By far my favourite program is Friday Night SmackDown. This show has been absolutely fabulous since the draft took effect, the week after Backlash. I used to skip SD on a regular basis because Friday is a horrible night for me to watch wrestling, but that is not the case any more. I will not miss an episode of SD. Over the last 4 or 5 weeks SmackDown has been either extremely great or at its worse real good. The show makes sense, the matches have been excellent and on the whole the talent roster feels both exciting and fresh. The top tier of Edge, Hardy, Jericho, Rey, Punk have delivered great matches and offer up so many match options ahead that I look forward to every show.

This show is a classic wrestling program. It’s not overly complicated, the feuds are about guys wanting to win matches and hold titles, there are faces and heels (and I can tell which is which), and they have great matches, which are called by the greatest man to ever sit at the desk Jim Ross. This past Friday for example was a tremendous show. I will grant you that the idea of Jeff wrestling Edge in a match to determine what their next title match will be is a bit dumb. If Jeff deserves a title match and is wrestling the champ shouldn’t they just make that match for the title? That point aside the show was awesome.

The opening promo was great booking and sums up the essence of SD PERFECTLY. Jeff came out and offered the crowd a match they wanted to see. Edge (the heel) said no way. Jeff then challenged Teddy and said [Isn’t this show about giving the fans what they want?] Teddy said, [Yes it is.] So Jeff involved the people and asked them what they wanted. The fans said [We want Edge vs. Jeff Hardy] to this Teddy replied [If that’s what you want, that’s what you get.] PERFECT!

This may sound simple but it almost never happens anymore on wrestling shows. It’s always a swerve, or a bait and switch, or a not for free you don’t this match will happen on PPV. The fans get screwed all the time. On SmackDown, fans get what they want. If fans want to have fun and see great wrestling matches all they have to do is WATCH SMACKDOWN. What a great formula. Not only did they get to see Edge vs. Jeff Hardy, the match went close to 20 minutes, was great and had a clean finish, what more could you possibly ask for. And if this regular match was this good imagine how great their upcoming Ladder match will be. SmackDown is a GREAT GREAT show. Every match on SD this week was good to great.

My second favourite show right now is ECW. I know it’s not as important of a show as RAW or Impact but I enjoy it. Christian and Jack Swagger have been real solid and for my money the Tyson Kid – Fit Finlay stuff has been some of the greatest wrestling I’ve seen in a long time. I may be a little bias since I’m a fellow Calgary boy but Tyson Kid has been awesome. He’s had 2 great matches with Fit as well as an exciting match with Evan Bourne. The best thing is his style is very unique so his matches don’t fall into that overly formulamatic TV match quagmire that bores the hell out of me. I can be a fan again watching this kid wrestle.

I missed part of the show this week, so I missed what was apparently a real long snooze fest of a match with DH and Finlay but for a 1 hour investment this show consistently delivers one or two good matches, and for my money that’s a bargain.

In at number 3 is RAW. RAW used to be the main show for me. No matter how many shows during the week I skipped RAW was the must see show… not anymore. I have not cared for RAW of late and I think it all started with the Shane-O-Mac superman show. When they put the title on Randy I thought it was a great move but since then the show has faltered in my opinion. Having the boss’s son kick the crap out of the World Champ soured me big time, and now I’m so tired of seeing Legacy handicap matches that I’ve just lost all interest in RAW. I also think the heel GM thing has just run its course. There may be a few periods that are the exception but the heel GM formula feels like it has been a staple on RAW since Montreal and the initial Vince heel turn. That’s more than a decade with the same format, which for me is just too long. I think that’s one of the main things that is making SD fresh. Baby Face Teddy is such a refreshing breath of fresh air after a couple years of dictatorship under Vicky Guerrero. Vicky was great and had nuclear heat, but it was time for a change. SD got a change where RAW got a different face playing the same heel GM role. I still catch RAW more often than not but it is not the priority it once was, and for my money, can’t hold a candle to SD.

In at number 4: TNA Impact. This show drives me crazy. I loved the go home show before Lockdown, but since then I’ve been pulling my hair out trying to figure out what this show is trying to do. This past week was the straw that broke the camels back, and after reading the Sacrifice spoilers online, I’m done. I have been so angry and frustrated since Thursday’s Impact that I have not been able to sleep; this show frustrates me that much. I don’t know why the stupidity on this show bothers me so much more than the stupidity on other shows (Santina) but it does. I lose sleep over this show and at my age I just can’t take it anymore. Venting with TNA Rants on my site used to help but I’m just too tired to even type them anymore. I went on IM this weekend to vent to some of the people I chat with online but it turns out all of them stopped watching Impact a long time ago and tell me they are much happier for it. Well I’m going to take their advice. I’m done watching Impact. I’ll keep up with the product listening to the Bryan and Vinny show on the Wrestling Observer/Figure 4 Weekly website and if I hear that it’s changed I will give it another chance, but until that day I’m tapping out. No need to send the Pointless Survivor Chick to ring side, I’m throwing my own towel in.