It’s time to test my theory that TNA is better without Hogan, because he’s back tonight. Immortal is riding strong once again after running the table at Turning Point. They debut a new title belt, which looks like a Halloween mask. The Pope, Matt Morgan, RVD and Samoa Joe step up to oppose them. They still seem heavily outnumbered. Samoa Joe has to take on Gunnar and Scott, Matt Morgan gets three opponents: Beer Money and Doug Williams. RVD faces Kaz and if he wins he gets a title shot. AJ Styles already has a date with Stevie Richards so it’s a full card already.
Team 3D tease me with retiring but Ray turns on Devon so they’ll be around a while yet. Joe wins his match easily but Jarrett leads a beat down until Kurt Angle appears to drive him off. RVD loses when Rhino turns on him, despite supposedly no longer being under contract. The Pope gets to beat up Eric Bischoff and Matt Morgan manages to win his three-on-one match and earn a rematch versus Hardy from a cocky Bischoff. This managed to be an ok show, despite Hogan being here. But at a time when the heels are running wild over the show did we really need two more heel turns?
Time to close out the wrestling week with Smackdown. Edge is set to face David Otunga so Nexus prepares for a beat down. Vickie Guererro is in charge tonight since Teddy Long got delayed by customs. Vickie makes the Otunga/Edge match a Lumberjack Match with not only Nexus but the whole roster surrounding the ring. There’s also a Big Show versus Kane match set for tonight.
Alberto Del Rio face Kofi Kingston. This is a good match and serves as a reminder that this show busts out good wrestling with more regularity than RAW. Del Rio gets the win but his celebration is short as Rey Mysterio arrives to reignite their feud. Layla and Natalya have a pretty good match that ends with Layla tapping to the Sharpshooter. The Survivor Series match will pit Natalya against both Michelle McCool and Layla so I don’t see Natalya winning.
I figured Edge and Otunga would be last but they get the 9:00 slot, leaving Kane and Show to end the night. Nexus being at a disadvantage numbers wise is a nice change. Although they seem to be scraping to find 16 lumberjacks. Goldust is out there and he’s a RAW superstar. Even Fit Finlay is out! Yay Fit! Alberto Del Rio doesn’t play nice and messes with Edge a few times. But Otunga is on the ropes until Kane appears out of nowhere and Chokeslams Edge, giving Otunga the win. Nexus has lost enough people. As weak as Otunga’s ring skills are he can act and plays a decent role in the stable.
MVP gets his shot at Dolph Ziggler’s Intercontinental title. There are two reasons he won’t win. One, this is free TV. Two, he’s MVP. It’s not a great match but there are a lot of cover attempts to add drama. MVP should have won at one point when the ref was distracted reattaching a turnbuckle cover while MVP scored more than a three-count. In the end Ziggler wins, but only after pulling MVP’s foot off the ropes, which should force a break. Hard to say if this was a filler match or this feud will go on for a bit.
Cody Rhodes goes for cheap heat by making fun of British people’s teeth. It’s not original but it works.
Kane versus Big Show is a pretty major match for filler in someone else’s feud. This could easily have been the Survivor Series matchup instead of Kane/Edge. Paul Bearer has been missing all night and we soon see him tied up next to a convenient monitor showing the match. Props to Todd Grisham for remembering these two were once tag team champions together. Again, the wrestling here is not superb but the storytelling helps a lot. I’d rather watch this again than another Kane v. Taker match. Kane looks to finish off Show when Edge interrupts the match by wheeling out Paul Bearer and threatening to shove him off the stage. Remember, he’s the face. Big Show recovers to Chokeslam Kane and win the match. Show may be the only other person on the roster who could beat Kane at this point in time without killing Kane’s heat. Edge leaves with Paul Bearer, presumably holding him captive for a week. Man the laws that are casually broken on wrestling shows.
Not a bad match. It pushed the PPV fairly well and the wrestling was interesting if not technically stellar. Kane cost Edge his match; Edge cost Kane his match. Nexus never looks as strong without Wade Barrett and perhaps that’s the point. At this point I’d like to see the Survivor Series card settled, perhaps with a Survivor Series match? But what they are doing so far should be getting people interested in buying the show.