Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Now I'm worried

I wrote yesterday that Raw was real strong this week with the "lottery", and that I liked the move of Aich to Smackdown.

Forget that. The results from last night's taping are in, and there was one positive move. Replacing Paul Heyman as Smackdown GM was Kurt Angle. This has loads of potential, as Angle needs time out of the ring because of his persistent neck problems, yet it still keeps him on TV and gives him a mic to work with. He's almost as good on the stick as he is in the ring, which is impressive by definition (For those of you whose only exposure to wrestling is through my blog, Kurt Angle was the legitimate 1996 Olympic freestyle wrestling gold medalist, and one of the most decorated amateurs in history - so that's pretty darned good). So Angle stays on TV while he heals and cuts back on his in-ring activity. Fine.

But here's the screwup. First off, A-Train and Chuck Palumbo go to Raw for Rico and Miss Jackie. Fine, though I liked Chuck in the FBI heel stable. Miss Jackie is better suited to Smackdown, as she has no ring skills whatsoever and is more of a valet. OTOH, her only notable accomplishment as a valet has been falling out of her top a couple of times - and that is easier to get away with on cable than it is on Smackdown's broadcast network. But hey, that's what editing is for.

The other, bigger screwup is this. Smackdown got the Dudleys and Booker T. In exchange, Raw gets...

Triple H. So he's back on Raw, which now loses the opportunity to develop good new heels with Aich squatting on them like the 800-pound gorilla of booking that he is. Tag team wrestling on Raw is doomed, and it's not much better on Smackdown. The spoiler reports from last night's taping in Grand Rapids, MI say that Booker will be going from being one of the most over midcarders around to a heel role - he opened up by running down Smackdown as a "minor league show". You'd think if the writers cared about the plotline at all he'd be happy to be reunited with RVD (who was drafted by Smackdown the night before). And they are taking Bradshaw away from his APA gimmick (beer drinking, cigar chomping good ol' boy) to a Wall Street heel gimmick. Blah.

Just think. A day ago I was enthusiastic about the shakeup. Now it's a bunch of guys Aich already squashed on Smackdown, and he goes right back into his heel faction on Raw. I'll give it a while, but maybe Goldberg and Lesnar made the right move by leaving after Mania.

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