"Eck’s Factor": SmackDown 9/30 analysis
Talking point: Randy Orton finally hits an RKO on Mark Henry.
Eck’s Factor: Just when it appeared that Henry had gotten the better of Orton yet again, The Viper gave the WWE Universe a reason to believe that he really can regain the World Heavyweight Title from The World’s Strongest Man in a Hell in a Cell Match Sunday on pay-per-view. As Henry prepared to assault Orton with a steel chair following the latter’s match against Christian that ended in a double count-out, Orton took advantage of Henry’s lack of urgency and nailed him with an RKO as he was stepping through the ropes. The crowd at the Scottrade Center exploded after the hometown boy sprung to life and took down the seemingly invincible monster. I’m looking forward to seeing if Orton can do it again at Hell in a Cell or if Henry learned from this setback. Personally, I’m hoping that Henry walks out of the cell with the championship still in his possession. With all due respect to Orton, Henry as a no-nonsense, dominant World Heavyweight Champion has been a breath of fresh air in the WWE.
Talking point: Mark Henry inducts The Great Khali into the Hall of Pain.
Eck’s Factor: While Henry physically dominating Khali in a match and then crushing the Punjabi giant’s ankle with a steel chair afterward was impressive, I found Henry’s words to be even more impactful than his actions. In an interview with Booker T. prior to his match with Khali, Henry cut an awesome, intense promo that truly had me believing that he is the baddest man walking the face of the earth. Go ahead, bring up “Sexual Chocolate” or “The Hand” to Henry, I dare you. (PHOTOS | MARK HENRY'S HALL OF PAIN)
Talking point: Randy Orton and Christian have one more match.
Eck’s Factor: These two rivals proved once again that they’re simply incapable of having a bad match together. I do, however, have to disagree with commentator Josh Matthews, who said that Orton and Christian have had “one of the most even rivalries in WWE history.” Sure, all of their matches have been exciting, back-and-forth contests that could have gone either way, but the fact is that just about every one of them ended the same way – with Orton coming out on top. When you look at the record books, the Orton-Christian rivalry is about as even as the rivalry between the Harlem Globetrotters and Washington Generals.
Talking point: A group of heels represented by David Otunga says it will deliver a message to WWE COO Triple H Monday on Raw SuperShow.
Eck’s Factor: Good for Otunga for using his legal background to advance his WWE career, but he’d better be careful. My guess is that a Harvard law degree is no match for a Pedigree.
Talking point: Natalya stretches Kelly Kelly while Beth Phoenix cuts a promo on the Divas Champion
Eck’s Factor: Kelly Kelly defeated Natalya in a non-title match but she sure didn’t look like a winner moments later. After Phoenix attacked Kelly Kelly from behind, Natalya placed the champion in her new, as-of-yet-unnamed submission hold. As Kelly Kelly screamed in agony, Phoenix mocked her and vowed to take the championship from the “undeserving Barbie doll” Sunday at Hell in a Cell. It’s often a challenge to get the audience to become emotionally invested in angles involving the Divas, but Phoenix and Natalya received genuine heat from the crowd for their actions. Well done, ladies.
Talking point: Imposter Sin Cara shows his true colors
Eck’s Factor: After Original Sin Cara made quick work of Heath Slater, Imposter Sin Cara appeared on the TitanTron and removed his blue and gold mask to reveal a sinister black, silver and red mask. I’m digging the new look for ISC. I’m also thankful that it now appears that I’m not going to have to try and figure out which Sin Cara is which when the two luchadors are flying around the ring in dim lighting at Hell in a Cell Sunday. The other revelation during ISC’s appearance on SmackDown was his claim that OSC stole his identity as Mistico in the past and he is now returning the favor. There is legitimate history between these two regarding the Mistico name when they both competed in Mexico, but I’m surprised that it was referenced on WWE programming. Hopefully, OSC will get himself a translator at some point and give his side of the story. (CAN YOU TELL THE TWO SIN CARAS APART?)
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