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I don’t believe I’ve ever said this before in the short time I’ve been writing these articles/blogs/columns/what have you, but this was a really solid week of WWE programming.  Every show had at least one memorable/great match, storylines were built strongly for just about every match at the upcoming PPV…the whole week was just all-around awesome.  Usually there are some serious stinker moments, but besides the Raw match on Superstars, this week was strong, and probably the best week of build I’ve seen for a PPV this year.  All for a PPV that in essence shoundn’t matter in the grand scheme of things.

We’ll start with Raw.  The build for the Batista/Orton steel cage match was phenomenal.  A quick squash for Batista and a surprisingly well-done final segment with Flair and Orton.  I was expecting one of those boring, generic beatdowns that Randy Orton has gotten so good at, what with all the practice he got during his feud with HHH.  I wasn’t terribly looking forward to this match, mostly because I knew it was going to be the main event over the Edge/Hardy ladder match, which in all honesty SHOULD be the main event.  Well, I can still hope.  But this past week has made it a bit more interesting, especially with the whole Flair/ROH debacle now behind us, but still stinging in the eyes of the ROH fans, I’m sure.

Also we were treated to a classic US Title match, with Kofi Kingston defeating MVP for the championship.  This hopefully means one thing: that it’s time to move MVP up to the true main event.  His first night on Raw was hopefully a prelude to some matches with Randy Orton, and I pray that it culminates in a match between the two at the Bash in three weeks.  I’m really hoping this happens simply because I’ll be attending the show and I’m hoping to see some new faces in the world title pictures.  All three of them.  Anyway, back to the match.  These two had a great back and forth affair, and I was honestly surprised to see MVP drop the title so soon before a PPV.  There’s going to be a Fatal Four Way US Title match at Extreme Rules with MVP, Kofi, Matt Hardy, and Regal, and that should be awesome.  I hope this wasn’t just a way to get the belt onto Regal or Hardy and just give Kofi a 6 day reign as US champ.  Because I would have bought MVP losing to Regal this past Monday, no problem.  Or even on Sunday.  It all just remains to be seen.  I’ll do picks for Extreme Rules either tomorrow or early Sunday.  I’ve got a lot to think about for this show.

ECW – I must say, WWE is pushing the Hart Dynasty about as strongly as any faction I’ve seen in recent memory.  Tyson Kidd and David Hart Smith are getting 15-20 minutes to hone their craft on national television every week.  Smith is a very talented old-school wrestler, and he’ll only get better as time goes on.  But I have reason to believe that Kidd may be one of the most important young wrestlers today.  He has a near-seamless blend of old and new-school tactics in the ring.  He’s a great tactician, he’s a fantastic high-flyer, and he’s got great striking ability.  He’s got tons of talent all-around, and nowhere to go but up.  And with guys like Finlay and Christian around to help him grow, he may be, as his faction states, a true dynasty waiting to happen.  I’m not trying to blow his talent out of proportion, but if you watch him closely, you see a guy who is performing beyond his years, and will soon be one of the best wrestlers in the company as they move towards a more youthful roster.

The Dreamer/Burchill match was also pretty decent.  The ECW Title match is probably going to be the toughest match for me to pick for the PPV, because all three of the participants have a legitimate chance to win.  Even Swagger.  I’m going to have to do a lot of thinking about this match, and whomever I do end up picking will not be my only choice.  It should be a fun match to watch.  Even with Swagger participating.

Superstars had a great main event.  The Raw opener was pathetic.  I do wish they would just sideline Hornswoggle for good.  Yes, he’s good for a larf, but we have Santino for that.  He’s good for the kids, but we’ve got Mysterio for that.  We really need to stop pushing a midget with no real wrestling potential and let guys like Kendrick and Noble finally get what they deserve and have deserved for so many years.  Anyway, the Smackdown match was great.  Hardy and Killings (I’m just not going to call him R-Truth anymore) were on point, and I was severely impressed with the team of Jericho and Ziggler.  Ziggler’s improving every week, and he’ll be a champion soon, and I finally noticed, after months of complaining, that Jericho is much more savvy in the ring than I’d realized.  He’s a great in-ring general.  He can pace a match fantastically, much like Edge can.  He knows when to let the faces have a glimmer of hope before quashing it with a strong strike, and he’s great for building heat.  I’m looking at his performance a little differently now.  He had a great match with Killings on Smackdown today as well.

And for Smackdown, we had one hell of a main event.  We all know that Edge can deliver great matches, and we know that Rey Mysterio can deliver great matches, so why not put the two together?  You’re almost guaranteed a great match.  And this one did not disappoint.  These guys went nearly 20 minutes, and it was entertaining down to the last second.  The opening segment with Edge and Hardy was entertaining, as well as the Punk/Umaga match.  Though I think that the results of these various segments really exposes a lot of the winners for Extreme Rules.  Let’s hope we get a real feeling that maybe we’re getting some title changes on Sunday.

I’m also hoping that the next challenger for the World Heavyweight Championship is John Morrison, so I can see him fight for it at the Bash.  But that’s just me.

Speaking of the next WWE PPV, I am truly hoping that it isn’t a set-up show for Night of Champions, much in the way that Judgment Day was a set-up show for Extreme Rules.  I don’t want to see a bunch of matches that will just be done again three weeks later.  I’m also praying that they leave a few talents off the card.  Guys like Khali, Mike Knox, and Big Show.  You know, the big guys who can’t do anything with anyone.  If two or more of them are on the card, I may just forego the show entirely, because I wouldn’t be getting my money’s worth.

Okay, that does it for me for now.  I’ve got a couple of features planned for the next couple of columns/entries/whatever.  Besides my Extreme Rules picks, I’m going to take a look into the past, all the way back to April, and do some analysis on the 2009 WWE Draft.  Who won, who lost, and were the right moves made.  I may even do that tomorrow.  If I’m feeling frisky enough to do so.  Stay tuned for my Extreme Rules picks.  I gotta start keeping track of these picks, and see how I do over the rest of the year.  I’ll probably never get all of the picks right like I did at Judgment Day, but hey, I can always hope.  So I’ll see you next time, probably in a day or so.

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