Eck’s Factor: SmackDown 10/14 analysis
DALLAS – 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 wins a 41-man battle royal in a photo finish
Eck’s Factor: Orton emerged victorious in the largest battle royal in WWE history after hitting an RKO on The Miz on the ring apron. Both Superstars tumbled to the floor, but the slow-motion replay clearly showed that Miz’s feet hit the floor just before Orton’s. If only instant replay worked that well in the NFL.
With the win, Orton gained a title shot against the champion of his choosing, and he selected World Heavyweight Champion Mark Henry. Orton ended up winning the match – but not the title – when Cody Rhodes’ interference caused a disqualification.
Wouldn’t it have been smarter for Orton to have chosen to face WWE Champion Alberto Del Rio instead of Henry? It’s pretty much been established that Orton can’t beat Henry, while Del Rio, on the other hand, has looked vulnerable when going up against the top guys in WWE.
Talking point: Christian screws over Sheamus twice
Eck’s Factor: The careers of Christian and Sheamus have been heading in opposite directions as of late, so it was nice to see Christian get the better of Sheamus for a change.
First, Christian illegally eliminated Sheamus from the battle royal (Christian had already been eliminated), and then his interference led to Sheamus losing to WWE Champion Alberto Del Rio in a non-title match. Afterward, Christian hit a couple of Spears on Sheamus for good measure. It’s about time one of WWE’s best heels started looking like a threat again.
Talking point: Zack Ryder pins U.S. Champion Dolph Ziggler in a tag team match
Eck’s Factor: What in the world has happened to Ziggler? It seems as if every time he is in the ring with Ryder or Mason Ryan, he ends up looking up at the lights.
No disrespect to those two guys, but let’s be honest: they’re not exactly John Cena and Randy Orton, and there’s no way the talented Ziggler should be losing to them on multiple occasions. I hope Ziggler gets back on track soon.
Here’s a sure-fire way to end his losing streak: book him in a match against John Morrison.
Talking point: Divas Champion Beth Phoenix successfully defends her title against Kelly Kelly
Eck’s Factor: Judging by how convincing Phoenix’s victory was, it seems as if her two losses to Kelly Kelly really were flukes. The more-aggressive Kelly Kelly was simply no match for The Glamazon.
Perhaps KK wasn’t totally focused. She has been spotted backstage chatting with a certain male Superstar on several occasions recently. Let’s just say you’d be surprised as to who it was.
Talking point: Sin Cara Negro attacks Sin Cara Azul and steals his mask
Eck’s Factor: Just as Sin Cara Azul was about to come out for his match against Justin Gabriel, Sin Cara Negro jumped him backstage and took his mask. SCN then removed his own mask, put on SCA’s and proceeded to go to the ring and defeat Gabriel. So not only has SCN stolen SCA’s name and his mask, but he also robbed him of the winner’s share of the purse.
On a side note, I just happened to be standing close by when SCN switched masks backstage (I was one of the guys in the shot on the left). Having gotten a good look at SCN’s face, I see now why he wears a mask.
Talking point: SmackDown becomes the second-longest running weekly episodic TV show in history
Eck’s Factor: With its 634th episode, SmackDown moved ahead of Gunsmoke and is now second only to Raw. Occupying the top two spots is quite an accomplishment for WWE.
Just for laughs, I wanted to see if I could make some kind of pro wrestling – oops, I mean, sports entertainment – connection with the other shows on the top 10 list of longest-running programs. Here’s what I came up with:
3. Gunsmoke: There were characters on the western drama named Festus, Miss Kitty, and, of course, Marshal “Don’t call me J.J.” Dillon.
4. Lassie: Add a “B” and you’ve got Blassie, as in legendary WWE manager “Classy” Freddie Blassie. OK, this one’s a stretch, but during his days as an active competitor, Blassie’s bite (he was known as “The Vampire”) was worse than Lassie’s bark.
5. The Simpsons: Remember Steve and Shaun Simpson, the brother tag team from South Africa with the Jon Bon Jovi hairdos that thrilled fans in World Class Championship Wrestling? Nah, didn’t think so.
6. Law & Order: With his trusty nightstick, The Big Boss Man was the law and order in WWE for years.
7. Death Valley Days: Perhaps the most iconic figure in WWE history – The Undertaker – hails from Death Valley.
8. Ozzie and Harriet: There was a TV jobber named Rikki Nelson who worked for Jim Crockett’s promotion back in the day. Yeah, I know, this one’s a stretch, too, but at least I didn’t make a bad joke about David and Ricky Nelson having a half-brother. That would have made him a half-Nelson. Get it?
9. Bonanza: If a fight breaks out on a ranch, I’ll take Hoss Funk over Hoss Cartwright every time.
10. My Three Sons: Imagine how much more fun the show would have been with the Dudley boys (Bubba, D-Von and Spike) instead of the Douglas boys.
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