Fearless Nikki offers a first-look at her custom kicks for The Ultimate Thrill Ride.03/22/2017 - 01:00
Things turn volatile between Shane-O-Mac and "The Face That Runs the Place" en route to their clash at The Ultimate Thrill Ride.03/21/2017 - 23:00
Jimmy and Jey Uso make it clear that they've told everyone they were the best tag team from day one, and against American Alpha, they proved it.03/21/2017 - 22:45
The A-Lister and his bride claim to have unearthed supposed never-before-seen footage of Total Bellas.03/21/2017 - 22:45
With his girlfriend and WrestleMania partner Nikki Bella in his corner, The Leader of The Cenation takes on one half of Breezango.03/21/2017 - 22:45
Intercontinental Champion Dean Ambrose sticks a fork(lift) into The Lone Wolf's first-ever match against The Viper.03/21/2017 - 22:00
Armed with new power from Sister Abigail, The New Face of Fear and his followers trap The Viper.03/21/2017 - 22:00
Following The Usos' non-title victory one week ago, Chad Gable & Jason Jordan go to war with their longstanding rivals for the SmackDown Tag Team Titles.03/21/2017 - 21:30
The A-Lister and his bride claim to have unearthed supposed never-before-seen footage of Total Bellas.03/21/2017 - 21:30
The "Face That Runs the Place" plans to run through Shane McMahon at The Ultimate Thrill Ride.03/21/2017 - 21:00
WWE Top 10 takes you back to this week's SmackDown LIVE to revisit the show's most thrilling, physical and controversial moments.03/15/2017 - 13:15
Refusing to give in following AJ Styles' vicious attack, Shane McMahon announces a startling match for The Ultimate Thrill Ride.03/14/2017 - 22:30
Weeks after The Viper burned down the Wyatt Family Compound, The New Fear of Fear returns more powerful than ever.03/14/2017 - 22:15
Eck’s Factor: SmackDown 11/11 analysis
Talking point: Wade Barrett defeats Randy Orton
Eck’s Factor: Barrett’s stock continues to rise rapidly. A week after handing Sheamus a rare pinfall loss, Barrett scored an even rarer pinfall victory over Orton. I think Barrett may be onto something with this whole "Barrett Barrage" thing.
It will be very interesting to see how Team Barrett fares against Team Orton in the traditional Survivor Series match on pay-per-view Nov. 20. Speaking of which, it was quite a feather in Barrett’s cap to be named team captain on a squad that features two former World Heavyweight Champions (Christian, Jack Swagger) as well as the guy who has been Orton’s chief rival as of late (Cody Rhodes).
Talking point: Mark Henry defeats Daniel Bryan in a rematch from last week’s SmackDown
Eck’s Factor: The David and Goliath story with Henry and Bryan the past two weeks has been compelling, and both guys have benefitted from it. Henry comes across as the no-nonsense brute that he is, and Bryan is getting over as the likeable underdog who won’t back down despite the huge difference in size.
I thought Henry’s performance on this episode was especially good, from his backstage interaction with Bryan, to his match, to his promo with Big Show.
Talking point: Big Show wins a 3-on-1 Handicap Match
Eck’s Factor: Seeing Big Show manhandle three local enhancement guys reminded me of watching the late, great Andre The Giant in handicap matches against preliminary wrestlers on WWE’s syndicated show on Saturday afternoons in the ’70s.
Unlike Andre, however, Big Show did not perform the deadly butt-bump in the corner, nor did he stack all three guys on top of each other and sit on them for the win. He also didn’t do a post-match interview with a young, broad-shouldered announcer wearing a canary-yellow blazer named Vince McMahon.
Talking point: Sheamus continues to have Christian’s number
Eck’s Factor: There are two things that I’m certain of when it comes to matches between Sheamus and Christian: They’re always good and Sheamus always wins. Despite the quality of their matches, however, it really is time for these two to move on to other opponents – especially for Christian’s sake.
On a side note, Christian doing the neck brace gimmick to sell the chokeslam from Big Show on last week’s show was pretty entertaining. When you combine his promos, in-ring skills and charisma, Christian is perhaps the best all-around performer in WWE at the moment.
Talking point: Ted DiBiase makes quick work of Jinder Mahal
Eck’s Factor: That makes two wins in a row on SmackDown for DiBiase. This victory was especially impressive because it only took him about 60 seconds to defeat the once-dangerous Mahal. It would be great if DiBiase can sustain this momentum. The leader of The DiBiase Posse really does need new entrance music, though.
As for Mahal, he has fallen into a major slump, although I wouldn’t write him off just yet. I still think he could be a player in the future.
Talking point: Video package gives new insight into Ezekiel Jackson
Eck’s Factor: One of the main reasons Jackson hasn’t fully connected with the WWE Universe is that no one really knows anything about him beyond the fact that he has a fantastic physique and is an absolute powerhouse. This profile video showed that Jackson is more complex than that.
While he is an unapologetic badass in the ring, he’s a dedicated family man and an easy-going guy when not competing. Just by watching this short clip, I’ll now watch with greater interest the next time Jackson is in action.
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