The Samoan Submission Machine, now a SmackDown Superstar as a result of the Superstar Shake-up, promises to put The Big Dog out to pasture at WWE Backlash.04/19/2018 - 14:15
While AJ Styles teams with Daniel Bryan against Rusev Day, The King of Strong Style ambushes the WWE Champion for a third time, sending a message before their match at the Greatest Royal Rumble in Saudi Arabia.04/19/2018 - 14:15
The Empress of Tomorrow makes her presence felt immediately on Team Blue, helping Charlotte Flair & Becky Lynch take out The IIconics.04/17/2018 - 22:45
The Princess of Staten Island throws herself a party to celebrate her big win, but the festivities go awry when Charlotte Flair and The IIconics hit the scene.04/17/2018 - 22:30
One night after winning the United States Title, Jeff Hardy arrives on SmackDown LIVE to battle Shelton Benjamin.04/17/2018 - 21:00
The WWE Champion calls out Shinsuke Nakamura for a fight, but he instead finds himself battling The Lion of Bulgaria.04/17/2018 - 20:45
"Eck’s Factor": SmackDown 9/23 analysis
DAYTON, Ohio – Here are my takes on the big stories from Friday night’s SmackDown that the WWE Universe is talking about on Facebook, Twitter and WWE.com.
Talking point: Randy Orton snaps, batters Cody Rhodes
Eck’s Factor: Kudos to the WWE production team for editing the aftermath of the Orton-Rhodes match in such a way that made the graphic scene suitable for airing on a PG-rated program. Having witnessed the incident live, I can tell you that it was a gruesome sight.
After Orton was disqualified for using Rhodes’ facemask as a weapon, he smashed Rhodes in the head with the ring bell, causing blood to gush out of the Intercontinental Champion’s head like a faucet. Rhodes’ face quickly became the proverbial crimson mask, and puddles of blood were all over the ringside area. Rhodes’ blood also was smeared on the body of Orton, who cleaned himself off with a towel that had been handed to him by a WWE crew member.
The blood – while unintentional – clearly added to the drama and intensity of Orton’s attack on Rhodes. Orton looked like the psychotic, dangerous Viper of old, which makes his rematch with World Heavyweight Champion Mark Henry in a Hell in a Cell Match on pay-per-view on Oct. 2 even more compelling.
As for Rhodes, who received eight staples in his head to close the wound, he can use the incident to add fuel to his delusion of being grotesquely disfigured.
Talking point: Randy Orton does his first interview since losing the World Heavyweight Title to Mark Henry at last Sunday’s Night of Champions
Eck’s Factor: Orton has always been a man of few words, but I was disappointed that he basically gave a “no comment” when backstage interviewer Matt Striker asked if he had anything to say regarding his loss to Mark Henry. Orton instead chose to focus on his rematch with Henry.
While Orton did not make any excuses for losing, I was hoping that he would be a stand-up guy and give Henry his due for beating him clean in the center of the ring. Not only does Henry deserve that acknowledgement, but I think showing a touch of vulnerability would add another layer to Orton’s character and strengthen his connection with fans.
Talking point: Christian gets one more match
Eck’s Factor: The “be careful what you wish for” adage certainly applied to Christian when he asked WWE COO Triple H for another opportunity at the World Heavyweight Title.
Figuring that Mark Henry will lose the championship to Randy Orton at Hell in a Cell and that Orton will be at less than 100 percent as a result of the match, Christian proposed that he face Orton for the title after the Hell in a Cell pay-per-view. Triple H agreed that Christian deserved another title opportunity, but unfortunately for Christian, The Game made the match – Christian versus Henry with lumberjacks surrounding the ring – for the SmackDown main event.
Ultimately, Christian’s plot to get the title back was foiled, but he was still the star of the show. He had a presence throughout the episode and was at his smarmy best when trying to convince the likes of Sheamus, The Great Khali and Ezekiel Jackson to “have his back” when he faced The World’s Strongest Man. Speaking of Sheamus, he played a major role in Christian losing the match and continues to be a thorn in the two-time former World Champion’s side.
Christian is as sneaky as they come, however, so Sheamus would be wise to watch his back.
Talking point: WWE Executive Vice President of Talent Relations John Laurinaitis endorses WWE COO Triple H
Eck’s Factor: Call me crazy, but I don’t think Laurinaitis was being sincere. On a side note, now that Mr. Laurinaitis is appearing regularly on WWE programming, I’d personally appreciate it if he started using his old gimmick name of Johnny Ace. It’s not that I have any desire to see him rocking a blonde mullet and riding a skateboard down to the ring again, but repeatedly typing “Laurinaitis” is about as much fun as watching a “Best of The Dynamic Dudes” three-disc set.
Talking point: Imposter Sin Cara steals a victory from Original Sin Cara
Eck’s Factor: The finish to the OSC (Original Sin Cara) versus Daniel Bryan match had me scratching my head. If ISC (Imposter Sin Cara) really has in it for OSC, why didn’t he help Bryan win the match instead of stealing a page from the Bella Twins’ playbook and pulling the old “Twin Magic” trick?
It almost seemed as if the two masked men were working together, although I don’t think that was the intention.
Talking point: The Great Khali defeats Jinder Mahal
Eck’s Factor: Now that Khali has broken free from Mahal, doesn’t that mean that Mahal is going to divorce Khali’s sister and send her back into poverty? For those who don’t remember (or care), that’s what Mahal threatened to do if Khali wasn’t subservient to him.
My guess is that Khali realized – or perhaps little brother Ranjin Singh smartened him up to the fact – that he makes enough money as a WWE Superstar to keep his sister from ending up in the Punjabi poorhouse. Way to help a sister out, big guy.
WHO IS KEVIN ECK?
For those who are unfamiliar with me, I come to WWE from The Baltimore Sun, where I was an assistant sports editor and the author of a pro wrestling blog titled Ring Posts. In between two stints with The Sun, I worked as the editor of WCW Magazine from 2000 to 2001.
Follow Kevin Eck on Twitter at Twitter.com/KevinEck_WWE