Renewed Faith

October 25, 2008

I don’t catch Smack Down as often as I would like to. In Calgary SmackDown airs at 6 pm Friday nights and with a wife and two young kids that is not a time I can usually sit down and watch wrestling. I try to record the show and watch it at some point over the weekend but the “TV Guide” feature on my DVR has stopped working, so I can no long just set it to tape every week, so I now have to remember to record it every Friday. My memory for things like this is not good so I usually remember late Friday night when I’m getting into bed, and the show is already over.

Thankful that was not the case this week, and I caught the show, because Friday’s Main Event renewed my faith in the wrestling business. I’ve been starting to lose faith that there are still people in the wrestling business, that understand the fundamentals of how this business is supposed to work. So much of what I see on TV lately I just don’t understand. Far to often I find myself shake my head while watching RAW, Impact, or SmackDown. The constant over use of stipulations in matches, or worse yet nonsensical concept matches that I can’t for the life of me figure out what they are supposed to accomplish, leaves be baffled. I seldom find any of these things entertaining and can’t for the life of me figure out how they are supposed to peak my interest in future shows, or PPVs. I don’t even want to get into the amount of cheap slapstick comedy being used in what should be serious money drawing angles.

After Monday’s “Adamle Original” double Gauntlet match, and TNA’s “I don’t even know what the hell that thing was supposed to be” Gauntlet match, I was at my wits end, and to the point where the last thing I wanted to do was watch another wrestling program. Fortunately for me my good buddy Edge was in town on Friday and we hooked up for lunch. During lunch we got talking about wrestling and SmackDown, and because of this I made an extra effort to catching SD, despite having a real bad wrestling taste in my mouth after the shows earlier in the week.

I DVRed the show, and there were still portions of the show I opted to fast forward through (Kahli Kiss Cam) but that main event I sat through and watched in it’s entirety and loved every minute of it. The HHH vs. The Undertaker match is what I think wrestling is supposed to be. There were two serious competitors competing to win a match. It was not a special concept match, there were no stipulations, there wasn’t any comedy, any jokes, there were just two guys fighting in a straight up singles match to see who the better man was.

They were given more than 15 minutes for the match, which allowed them to take there time, build the match and make everything mean something. This match had wrestling, fighting, some fantastic pacing, great selling, and was just a tremendous… tremendous…(I can’t say this enough)…tremendous wrestling match. This is the kind of match that makes wrestling great, and both of these guys were awesome.

There may be those who will complain about the run-in DQ finish, but even that made perfect sense in the grand scheme of things. This show is supposed to sell Cyber Sunday and the PPV isn’t about HHH vs. The Undertaker, it’s about HHH – Koslov (or so they are hoping) and Taker – Big Show. Taker and Hunter looked fantastic during their match, and Show and Koslov looked mean, strong, and evil in the aftermath. The heels left with HEAT, and if fans want to see the Baby Faces get even, which they should after this show, they have to both vote and order Cyber Sunday.

They even took the time to let Big Show lay out Taker, and got both of them out of the picture before bringing Koslov down to finish off Hunter. This is something TNA should take note of; because it is way more effective when you don’t run angles together. There was no confusion over who had an issue with whom, I was not left with a desire to see a follow up tag match pitting HHH and Taker against Koslov and Show, I was left with a desire to see two specific matches I can PAY to see two days later on PPV.

This was perfect pro-wrestling 101. It was great to watch, everyone involved got over, and it left me with a desire to see the show they are trying to sell me. Thank you HHH and Taker for being such great workers and working so hard. Thank you JR and Taz for adding to, rather than detracting from, this great match, thank you to the writers, bookers, agents, and anyone else who had a hand in getting this match on my television. Thank you all for entertaining me, and more importantly thank you for restoring my faith in the fact that there are still some people in this business who know how to do it right.

Lance Storm