Eck’s Factor: SmackDown 10/28 analysis
Talking point: Raw’s CM Punk makes an appearance, faces Christian in the main event
Eck’s Factor: Not to be outdone by the Raw SuperShow concept, SmackDown General Manager Teddy Long decided to invite some Raw talent to appear on a SuperSmackDown. I could sit here and talk about how the brand separation has become a joke, but it’s a moot point. Besides, if compromising whatever is left of the brand separation means I get to see Punk and Christian engage in a verbal confrontation as well as a match, then I’m all for it. The match was entertaining, even if the result – Punk defeated Christian after hitting the GTS – was predictable. At least Christian can blame the latest in his string of losses on the fact that Sheamus distracted him – and I’m sure he will.
Talking point: Randy Orton vs. United States Champion Dolph Ziggler steals the show
Eck’s Factor: These two don’t face each other all that often, but it’s apparent that they have great chemistry in the ring together. Ziggler looked very good in defeat, and there’s certainly no shame in losing to Orton. I just wish Ziggler wouldn’t have lost so much as of late to the likes of Zack Ryder and Mason Ryan. There’s no doubt that Ziggler is one of the most dynamic in-ring performers in WWE, but the time has come for him to take the next step from being “a hell of a hand” to a main event player.
Talking point: Daniel Bryan & Tyson Kidd settle their Shawn Michaels-Bret Hart argument in the ring
Eck’s Factor: Bryan – who was trained by Michaels – and Kidd – the last graduate of the Hart Dungeon – decided to face each other in a match after a disagreement over whether Michaels or Hart was better occurred while the new “Shawn Michaels vs. Bret Hart: WWE's Greatest Rivalries” DVD was playing backstage. Since Bryan prevailed, I suppose it further proved what any intelligent fan already knew: Shawn > Bret. On a side note, it was nice to see Bryan end his losing streak, even if it was against one of the only guys on the roster who wins less frequently than he does.
Talking point: The Miz & R-Truth def. WWE Tag Team Champions Air Boom
Eck’s Factor: This was a good match and it gave The "Awesome Truth" a significant win heading into their big showdown with John Cena and The Rock at Survivor Series on Nov. 20 (if Rock accepts Cena’s request to be his partner, that is). The challenge for Miz & Truth right now is to be entertaining (which they always are) without being too comical. Their performance Friday night was a step in the right direction.
Talking point: Hunico (formerly known as Sin Cara Negro) cuts his first promo since losing his mask
Eck’s Factor: Since he delivered some of his promo in Spanish, I’m not sure I got all of what he said, but his intensity came through regardless. When I saw Hunico’s new look, however, my first thought was that he looked like he belonged with another wrestling promotion.
Talking point: The "Barrett Barrage" begins
Eck’s Factor: Before he went out and squashed Trent Barreta, Wade Barrett declared that the "Barrett Barrage" was about to get underway. It was an impressive victory, but my question is: What happened to "The Great Wade Barrett" Uprising? Perhaps after thinking about it for a week, Barrett decided that alliteration is the way to go. Plus, the way Barrett pronounces barrage is pretty cool.
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