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October 31, 2009

Smackdown: Jericho wins! Jericho wins! Jericho wins!

These days, any time Chris Jericho isn’t flat on his back staring up at the lights is cause for celebration, so imagine my delight when Jericho actually won a match to earn a spot in a pay-per-view world title bout.

By virtue of Jericho’s victory over Kane Friday on Smackdown, the world heavyweight title match between The Undertaker and The Big Show at the Survivor Series pay-per-view on Nov. 22 is now a triple threat.

Despite Jericho’s less-than-stellar won-loss record as of late, I actually was pretty confident that he was going to beat Kane as soon as the match was announced at the start of the show. There’s no way WWE was going to do a triple threat with a hobbled Undertaker and two big men. Jericho obviously is being inserted into the Survivor Series match to save us, I mean, it.

The world heavyweight title match now has the same scenario as the WWE title match between John Cena, Triple H and Shawn Michaels – a champion defending against members of a tag team.

Other thoughts on Friday’s show:

The Jericho-Kane match was OK, but it was below Jericho’s usual level. …

A large part of the show was built around Batista’s heel turn. He and Rey Mysterio both did a good job in their verbal confrontation, especially Batista, whose babyface character had gotten stale. With his size, steely glare and deliberate speech, Batista is an intimidating heel presence. …

It was a nice move to have Batista sneak attack Matt Hardy from behind in their backstage segment rather having him take out Hardy face to face, as he easily could have. Fans are going to want to cheer a cool, powerful heel, so Batista is going to have to do things such as this to get heat. …

I was surprised that Dolph Ziggler only beat Intercontinental champion John Morrison by count-out in their non-title match. Doesn’t the top challenger usually pin the champ in these contests to set up a title match? Ziggler really needed a pinfall victory to regain some credibility after losing so many IC title matches. …

It didn’t make sense to me that CM Punk was happy when Vince McMahon booked him in a match with referee Scott Armstrong after denying him a world title shot. I get it that Punk wanted revenge because he blamed Armstrong for costing him his title match last week against The Undertaker, but shouldn’t he have been more disappointed that he wasn’t getting another crack at the championship? …

It was interesting that Armstrong was treated as just another referee, with no mention of the fact that he was a wrestler or that he comes from a wrestling family. I’m not sure what, if anything, this is leading to. Perhaps Armstrong’s brother – Road Dogg Jesse James – is coming in to feud with Punk. Probably not, but with James’ well-documented problems outside the ring, Punk’s promos would write themselves. …

I like what WWE is doing with Drew McIntyre. Just as he did against R-Truth, McIntyre laid out Finlay before the match could even get started. That gets even more heat on McIntyre than if he would have defeated Finlay. …

Beth Phoenix looked like the Glamazon of old with her squash victory over enhancement talent Jenny Brooks. …

The costume contest with the divas was predictable and a waste of time. Plus, as much as I like Mickie James, Layla should have won with her entertaining Michael Jackson impersonation.

Posted by Kevin Eck at 12:29 PM | | Comments (31)


Creative is really earning their pay. Three main events in now with friends/partners in the main event. Do you think they realized that the story for the main events in exactly the same? or did they think that it was such a great idea they had to do it for both brands. I would rather just see UT v. Y2J. Maybe jericho will win and hold the title until wrestlemania where he will hopefully defend against edge.

"Jericho obviously is being inserted into the Survivor Series match to save us, I mean, it. "

nice one kevin....i cant agree more though. Jericho desperately needed to win to be taken seriously. off late he has just become a comedian. This is a big thing for me to say . Being a big Jerichoholic i want to see him winning. there is a fine line between promoting young guys and jobbing at a regular basis. just imagine jericho holding three titles at the same time if he wins at survivor series.. i think he has done everything humanly possible with the unified tag titles..It was a shame that he participated in a tag team match in every ppv.

Kevin and the readers, please to weigh in on this question:

Despite not have ever officially won the WWE Tag Titles and considering their entire body of work, where do you think The Rockers would stand compared to other WWE tag teams of the 80's and early 90's if the match came down to a pinfall result?

Slot The Rockers among: The Wild Samoans, Atlas & Johnson, Adonis & Murdoch, Windham & Rotundo, Shiek & Volkoff, British Bulldogs, Hart Foundation, Killer Bees, Studd & Bundy, Rougeaus, Blanchard & Anderson (count NWA too if you want), Valentine & Beefcake and any others that would help in the comparison.

Thanks for your opinions.

RESPONSE FROM KE: I did a favorite tag teams list in July.

Y2J Y2J Y2J Y2J Y2J Y2J Y2J Y2J Y2J Y2J Y2J Y2J...............................

Jericho can pin Show to win the title at SS (obviously, Undertaker can never be pinned by any human). That is the best I can hope for.

Also I hope that DX breaks. Right now whatever is going on is probably the worst way to use Michaels... at least Jericho is visibly carrying the two shows.

Also, can Jericho get some wins against other biggies before SS? Why only one guy have to elevate all the talents (he himself never had that luxury), while other much inferior ones NEVER-EVER suffer a clean loss!

"It was a nice move to have Batista sneak attack Matt Hardy from behind in their backstage segment rather having him take out Hardy face to face, as he easily could have. Fans are going to want to cheer a cool, powerful heel, so Batista is going to have to do things such as this to get heat."

I don't know about that; he was getting a lot of heat when he was threatening Rey in the ring.

It was a nice change of pace to see a face acting scared, acting like he really had to summon up the courage to stand his ground. Great acting on Rey's part. Usually it's heels who are cowards and faces are fearless, which isn't realistic. (As much as there can be realism in a world where one guy can attempt to literally blow another guy up and not get charged with attempted murder or anything.) In real life you have terrible people, bullies like this version of Batista, whom you'd hope would be cowards at heart...except they're not always, which makes them harder to deal with. And the more decent people sometimes do get intimidated. Doesn't mean they're not good people, just means they're human.

A few months ago, I was with a bunch of people and this one guy had been acting like a jerk by talking about how certain other people were all losers. I didn't appreciate that, so after a few minutes I went up to him and called him on it, told him exactly what I thought of him dissing people he'd never even met. I was angry, and it showed. In response, the guy started threatening me and asking me to either step outside or get out of his face. And I admit, I didn't want to get into a fight with this guy, partly because no matter how it ended up I was sure the both of us would get arrested, partly because I had just wanted to call him on his boorish behaviour without wasting the rest of the night on him, but also partly because the dude was bigger than me. Not to the extent that Batista's bigger than Rey, but still bigger.

So I didn't agree to go outside with him, but I was going to be damned if I let him intimidate me into turning around and walking away with my tail between my legs. So I didn't move an inch, and kept on arguing with him, stayed in his face, until a friend persuaded me to finally stop and somebody else was getting ready to physically get in between us since it was attracting more and more attention.

I'm not trying to impress anybody by writing about this. Maybe I chickened out (and I'm not saying that because I want people to tell me "Oh no, you didn't chicken out, etc."), and maybe the courageous thing to do would've been to accept the jerk's challenge and fight him, win or lose. But that scene between Rey and Batista reminded me an awful lot of that. Rey didn't want to take the guy on, and it was clear from his facial expressions that it wasn't just because of their friendship; it was also because he was scared. And he did start to walk away after Batista threatened him, but then he stopped and turned around. "No, I ain't leaving!" If Batista wanted to attack Rey again, he could've, and Rey knew it, but he wasn't going anywhere. Good for him, and it made me feel a little better about how I handled my own situation.

"Plus, as much as I like Mickie James, Layla should have won with her entertaining Michael Jackson impersonation."

THAT I agree with! Like I said once before, I love me some comic books so Mickie's Elektra costume didn't go unappreciated, but the dance (or whatever) she did wasn't very entertaining, certainly not very entertaining compared to Layla's. And Layla's costume was better. They were cheering for Mickie the babyface wrestler, not Mickie as Elektra. Still, it was cool Layla got a pop.

You know what I want to see?
Y2J vs Santino Marella.

Its fresh, no previous feuds (I dont think), one solid worker and one excellent worker, excellent promo skills on each side, plenty of heat on one and, well, toleration of another?

Come on Vince. See the light.

I was happy to have had a respite from seeing Big Show on Smackdown. Why is WWE so obsessed with pushing this guy? The days when wrestling crowds would oooohhhh and aaaahhhh at a seven-foot-tall man are over. Edge's injury is the worst thing that has happened to Smackdown in recent months, far worse than Batista coming to Friday nights or Shelton Benjamin being traded to ECW. Get well soon, Edge. Smackdown misses you - Big Time.

I really hope Jericho wins the title. It would be nice if he started a program with CM punk but that wont be likely since they are both heels. Please tell me why they put the strap on the undertaker if he's so limited in the ring due to his injuries. They really dropped the ball on this one. CM punk should have remained champ at least till the Rumble. He then could have lost the title to Jericho in a triple threat with taker at the Rumble which then would have led to EDGE vs Jericho at wrestlmania for the world title..Thats my two cents creative

thank goodness Y2Job got a win. i doubt hes gonna win the title tho, it seems like they want to do batista-taker again. hopefully that will end by the rumble and not drag all the way to mania.
i love cm punk, but i think the problem with more punk-taker is that taker is such a fantasy character. the great thing about punk-hardy was how real it was. maybe unlikely, but i want punk-hbk. how bout u eck?

"The world heavyweight title match now has the same scenario as the WWE title match between John Cena, Triple H and Shawn Michaels – a champion defending against members of a tag team."

Does that mean Survivor Series will now be renamed "Triple Threat"?

You think Mysterio did a good job on the mic Friday? Come on, Kevin. he was dawgright awful.

RESPONSE FROM KE: I thought he was very natural and realistic. The situation did not call for a "sports entertainment" promo

An inside joke with a few friends of mine: one of them was a huge Jericho fan back in his original WWE run. Every time he would appear on TV, especially on a pay-per-view, the joke was that she'd get a wide-eyed look going and scream "JERICHO GUNNA WIIIIN!" Because only a faithful idiot would think that Jericho was going to win the match.

The point is that this is how it's always been with Jericho. Jericho jobbed, and still does, because he's willing to job. He's always been the good soldier, willing to do what it takes. If Jericho were not such a nice guy, he might have been a bigger star.

Now his main-event window has passed. Back in the day, if he had been willing to be less of a team player, he might have had a bigger career. Now he's found a comfortable niche doing his Jericho thing, making tons of money, and helping out the young guys. Let's face it: the dude's almost 40. He's in phenomenal shape, but he's not going to connect with the kids. He's playing the role of the Authority Figure.

I always thought that the angle that they should have gone with for WM25 with Jericho was, when he was ranting about Hall of Famers and such, was that someone waltz out and point out that he fears the old-timers because he's about to become one.

Hey Kevin, What do you think of more women enhancement talent on TV? I think the last time, besides Friday, one was used was Talia Madison a few years ago against Victoria on Sunday Night Heat. I think the idea would be good considering the diva roster is so short.

One dumb question: if the tag belts have been "unified", why are there still four belts? Seems like a lot of weight to be shlepping around

How Great would it be if Jericho got the belt and held it all the way to mania with the worlds biggest manager until then? Oh for a clean win or Jericho over HHH or Cena though, Edge should be the next big thing on his return for sure.

Divas segment was a waste of time and sad. Love Mickie but I had to change the channel that kata routine was so weak and the plastic, toy sai didn't help.

Sadly looks line Mickie's going to join the big lips/ big hair club as she gets older. She's put on a few pounds like Kane and Matt.

And all night kicks and punches weren't getting stopping way short. Production crew should switched to another shot.

"Fans are going to want to cheer a cool, powerful heel, so Batista is going to have to do things such as this to get heat."

Fans DO want to cheer a cool, powerful heel, so why hasn't WWE let that happen in a while?

Did'nt mention Hardy's mactch with Eric E. as Hardy returned with a clean pin this week. Man, it looked like they were really working stiff on that match!

Thanks for the link, but even in that post, you said those tag teams were your favorites.

I was talking about if it came down to all the marbles and someone had to win, where would the Rockers stand then? Would they really be ahead of the Bulldogs or even the Hart Foundation in that scenario? Could anyone be rated higher than the Road Warriors? That's where my question was headed. Just wondered if The Rockers would still be a Top 10 or 20 tag team even though they never won the title. Sorry if I didn't make that clear.

RESPONSE FROM KE: The team that would win is the one the booker wanted to win. If you're asking about The Rockers as an act, I think their charisma and in-ring work puts them somwehere in the top 10

I thought the highlight of the night was Batista's saying "Eddie's dead!" Not that there was any chance of him and Rey reconciling, but that line was the final nail in the coffin (no pun intended). That had to be one of the best heel lines ever.

I cannot recall a time when a deceased wrestler has been continued to be referenced within the script like Eddie has been over the years.

Kev how would you overall rate the respective returns for Jericho & Big Show? Both stepped away from WWE (Jericho's hiatus much longer of course) and both TNA & WWE were very eager to sign them. It just seems like it was more vital to Vince that TNA didn't sign them.

Also curious if you had any rankings for "Most Disappointing Runs" with the respective feds. Not so much guys whose careers flamed out but situations where established names showed up in a fed with all kinds of thunder and it just went nowhere. I think Bret Hart in WCW and Goldberg in WWE would be 1 & 2, and this Jericho run would be 3rd.

What about a Jericho - Taker feud till the rumble?

At the rumble, babyface Edge enters 30 and wins the thing. And then Edge - Jericho till mania. With these two, it could be one of the best mania build-up feud ever.

Oh wait, is Triple H okay with that? Sounds like a dream, we're most likely gonna see a Triple H - Michaels for the WHC at mania, and a Triple H - Sheamus - Cena for the WWE title... at mania.

Chris Jericho I really Luv U as a wrestler N I will be more happy than U 2 c u as A ChaMp

So lets say it was real sports.You keep getting pinfalls that can win you the title but your "buddy",an aggravating little Mexican who keeps calling you "Dog" for cryin out loud,keeps breaking up the pinfalls.I wouldnt blame you a bit for clotheslining him.Hard to justify this making somebody a heel,in my mind.
Guess I wont be expecting a call from Stephanie anytime soon.

What is going ON with Punk? Matches vs. referees? I was waiting for Hornswoggle to pop out and get involved. A shameful waste of a white-hot talent. So frustrating.

As for 'Taker, I am (was?) the biggest fan of the Phenom out there, but he's... I hate to say it, but he's... stale. "Just For Undertaker" is not wrestling good matches, not compelling as a character, and doesn't need to be champion.

Heel Batista is indeed awesomely intimidating. He's a monster, and as a wrestler and performer, I've gone from changing the channel when he came on (his dreadful feud with Khali) to looking forward to seeing him in action. Like with the Miz, I've gone from hater to fan.

Hey i think that jericho will definitly beat big show for the whc as undertaker will lock in hells gates and K.O the big show and Y2J will take advantage of the situation.

Layla deserved to win the contest and they need to bring back bras and panties matches

Edge is coming home winning the rumble introducing his new theme alter bridge coming home and will facee Y2J and Show for the unified tag gold with randy orton as his partner at no way out. win or lose y2j and edge will surely face at WM 26.

This is my theory.

Chris Jericho for Unified Tag Champ, WHC Champ and another title.

I am glad Striker was on commentary. The problem with the Ross/Grisham duo is that it is not clear who is the play by play and who is the color guy. They have to play off of each other. That's why despite what might be their downfalls, Tazz and Cole were the best because they played off of each other so well.

It was great to see Jericho win and I was pleasantly surprised to see Kane finally have a decent match, at least a match that was somewhat different than his usual ones. As much as I hope they put the belt on Jericho at Survivor Series it's never gonna happen, he's only in there to do the job for Undertaker. That then will lead to a program between Batista and Taker where Batista will get the title. It also makes sense because you have to turn Big Show face soon for his movie promotion. At that stage you'll have a heel champ that a face Show can feud with. And of course that will keep any midlevel talent from being elevated, so it makes perfect sense.

Since Creative continues to book themselves into corners, Christopher Irvine gets his yearly run with the belt. Under normal (Pre gimmick PPV) circumstances, Jericho is Y2Jobber, but since the next pay per view is TLC themed, he gets the belt. There is no way in blue hell (no pun intended) that Taker will be able to compete in a TLC match. As for the Big Show, not only is he a Raw wrestler, Big Show and ladder matches do not coexist. Jericho wins this match.

I understand fully that despite the fact that it would COMPLETELY AND TOTALLY DESTROY THE TLC GIMMICK, that the WWE is going to have heel Batista face Taker at the pay per view formerly known as Armageddon. Save us, Jericho.

Hopefully, Jericho can sneak his way to becoming the world champion again in the triple threat match. Have him "accidentally" screw over the Big Show to get the win.

Then, build some anticipation for Show's eventual babyface turn in the coming weeks.

I show that match of wwf.I rally like the jarico.It's type of fighting with other component's is so cool.He is really doing hard work for winning the games.

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About Kevin Eck
The Baltimore Sun's Kevin Eck blogs about professional wrestling.
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