Staples Center – Los Angeles, California, TV Rating: 4.1
The Good: The angle where Chris Jericho calls out Stone Cold Steve Austin only for a fat impersonator to walkout is an old hat in terms of the content, but the Austin guy is pretty funny. And the obvious result of the REAL Austin turning up and battering the imposter makes for a good pop too… We’ll get to the Posedown.
It’s not exactly a catch-as-catch-can classic, but the Undertaker’s Hardcore title defence against Maven, yes MAVEN, is a very good bit of business. Ok, so it’s interference from The Rock that means that Maven can pull off one of the biggest upset wins of all time but that fits into the storyline superbly. And at the end of the day, no matter how it happens, Maven PINS the Undertaker here 1-2-3. Kudos to the Dead Man for getting Maven over big time. Even if it wasn’t to last because a load of veterans who never drew a dime were annoyed an untested kid got a push Or something.
The Bad: The posedown between Billy & Chuck and Stacy & Torrie exists. That’s about all you need to know about this…
The Indifferent: So on Raw a few days ago, HHH opens the show, challenges someone else but is answered by Booker T and we get an impromptu match. On Smackdown, The Rock opens up the show, calls out The Undertaker but is answered by Booker T and we get an impromptu match. Very creative… The Rock pins Booker clean, in less than five minutes, to boot.
The six-man tag team match between William Regal & The Dudley Boyz and Rikishi, Rob Van Dam & Edge has at least been set up by other angles/matches on previous shows but that doesn’t mean that it’s particularly welcome or exciting.
We are teased that it will be Jericho against HHH but Vince changes it to a handicap match and puts Kurt Angle with Y2J for the main event match. It’s fine for a TV main event but not exactly brilliant and only seems to exist so that Stephanie can get on TV again and we can further the angle between her and her husband… Did you remember that she was pregnant?
Overall: There’s surprisingly little that’s bad and there’s actually some “good” bits to boot. It may get a pass because it’s following a very mediocre Raw and there is plenty of filler on the show but as a whole, it’s a solid show that has a fast pace to it… That posedown was questionable.