Sean O’Mac’s Take On Smackdown! – January 18, 2008


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I waited for a couple of episodes before commenting on this, but the first thing I need to cover in this week’s edition of my Take on Smackdown is, believe it or not, Jonathan Coachman.

Smackdown regulars know that he’s taken over the color commentary on the show, replacing JBL who’s back in ring action on Raw. The first night Coach was on, I was mildly surprised to say the least. Is this a complete change in character? Is Coach going face on us?

Then he’d throw in a comment or two that showed some of the old Coach. Naw, same ol’ guy.

But it’s become apparent that he’s behind Smackdown’s table, we are indeed hearing a different Coach. The old coach would have never found reason to give credit to a face wrestler – something would always be wrong with them. Today’s Coach appears to be putting on a more neutral front, willing to give credit or speak in defense of both face and heel.

Now the question is: Do I like the new-and-improved Coach?

Well, fans, the jury is still out on that one. While I can appreciate the neutrality, and perhaps Coach’s desire to have his character be something other than a complete arse, there’s something to be said from the chemistry that came from the “good announcer – bad announcer” mix that Michael Cole and JBL had.

Perhaps it was time for a change, however. Personally, I love the dynamics that Jerry Lawler and J.R. share on Raw, and maybe over time Coach and Cole could potentially have that. Perhaps not.

This fan needs a few more episodes to decide.

On with the show …

You know, I can’t seem to remember the last time we saw London and Kendrick in action (yes, I know they’re on Raw) and right now I’m too lazy to look through my archives. But it seems to have been a while. My memory isn’t what it used to be.

But I am really getting into one of the most unlikely of tag teams, the Redneck and Reject, Jimmy Wang Yang and Shannon Moore. Granted, I already enjoyed watching JWY work and thought the two worked well as a unit, but the more I watch them the more they fill my need for a high-speed, high-impact match.

R&R took it to D&D (Deuce and Domino) tonight and looked damn good doing it. (Although it’s my opinion that Jimmy is certainly the better of the pair.) But Moore is coming along and the two work well together. This very well could be the team that brings the WWE Tag Team Championships back to Smackdown.

After last week’s dressing-down by Chavo toward Vickie for her relationship with Edge, then the help from Edge at ECW on Tuesday during Chavo’s match against CM Punk, it’s all good in “La Familia” as tonight’s show saw apologies from Chavo and embraces between the two after they left Rey Mysterio decimated (with the help of the Edgeheads).

But there’s one problem with getting heads-up news on the tapings – we can be very disappointed in what we miss. Tonight, we saw the show end with Edge and Chavo standing tall over the fallen Punk and Mysterio. What we didn’t see was their attempt to do even more damage with a double con-chair-to, a big save by Batista and Undertaker, and Punk handing Edge’s title over to Rey as they stood triumphant.

Yeah, call me old fashioned but I think I like that ending better.

Can’t complain about everything, though. Thank God they are giving Ric Flair mic time!

The Nature Boy was MVP’s guest on the VIP Lounge tonight, and damn the spot was great for both of them. The pair really came off well together tonight, showing some respect for each other but egoes too big to fit in one ring. Granted, we all know it’s not time for Ric to lose yet – but I absolutely love it now that they’re giving Natch’ the time to do his thing.

Michelle McCool looked damn good tonight – and I’m not just talking about those hot black pants she was wearing tonight. Nice finishing move, but she pretty much carried that match. Leyla has a ways to go, folks.

Batista made fairly short work of Mark Henry, although it did take a couple of spears and a spinebuster to do the job. The man’s surely going to be in the mix to get a title shot again soon, but I’m finding myself wondering if they won’t wait long enough to have him make a heel turn? It’s been a while since we’ve seen a star who’s very much “over” with the crowd shock the world – could be fun to watch.

Taker and Big Flabby V, er, Daddy V, exchanged blows after The Dead Man cut a rare in-ring promo warning all other particpants of the Royal Rumble. Taker got the upper hand after a short brawl, just enough to try and pump up a couple of favorites for the big match.

Lastly, it’s amazing how subtle changes in a character can sway a crowd from treating you like a heel or a face. Finlay is definitely over with the fans nowadays, and personally (as an Irishman myself) I love it. He’s still the same ol’ Finlay at heart, a brawler who isn’t afraid to play dirty to get the win – but he just happens to be looking out for the little guy (Hornswoggle).

Unfortunately for Fit, looking out for his “little buddy” got him a loss tonight against Khali.

Hey, did any of you out there ever watch “Kids in the Hall?”

“I’m squishing your head! I’m squishing your head!”

I digress.

Not a bad show overall tonight. Next week’s will be the last before the Rumble, so look for an even better one next week.

Don’t like my take? Let’s hear yours! Send me your e-mails to… the best and worst of the bunch may be featured in Sean Oâ<80><99>Macâ<80><99>s Pullinâ<80><99> No Punches. Remember, short ones are good, long ones may be cut, and keep the name of the column in mind when you come looking for answers!

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