This column contains a spoiler regarding a major happening on Smackdown. If you know the spoiler I'm talking about (the main event of the show) and you don't mind then keep on reading. If you want to avoid the spoiler, you can click back on your browser and read the other wonderful columns we have on TJRWrestling.com.
To guarantee those that want to avoid spoilers will in fact avoid them by clicking away from this column, here's a video montage of the greatest flops of Ric Flair's career that will precede my comments regarding the spoiler. The Smackdown spoiler has nothing to do with Flair. I just love this video.
Now let's get to the column.
The big news that happened on Smackdown was Mae Young had another baby! No. Wait a second. That's just a nightmare.
The real big news is that Alberto Del Rio defeated the Big Show to win the World Heavyweight Championship in a Last Man Standing match. If you head to WWE.com you can see photos of it.
My reaction when I saw WWE tweeting about the news at about 10:30pmET on Tuesday night was that it was smart by them. Smackdown's a show that does good ratings for a cable television show on a Friday night, but I think with fans knowing that there's a major title change and an appearance from The Rock it's going to be one of the most watched episodes of Smackdown in recent history.
By promoting the title change heavily with pictures on WWE.com they are telling the fans that you do not want to miss this. I'm sure some fans are going to be upset about knowing the result before they see it, but are they going to watch it? Yes. Will they enjoy it? Most likely.
What risk is WWE taking by sharing the results? It's not like people are going to say they're not going to watch because they know what happened. They know it's a World Title change. Are they just going to turn it off and watch something else? Chances are they're still going to watch the match just like they would have if they had no idea what was going to happen. Nothing is being ruined by a result being given.
Personally, I read spoilers most weeks although there was a time when I did my best to avoid them. That was before Twitter and Facebook, though. If you're as active on social media as I am (cheap plug @johnreport with over 50,000 tweets) it's difficult to avoid things like that.
Everybody is different, but my feeling is this: If the show is good then it doesn't really matter if you watch it "live" or knowing the results. What matters is the work of the performers and the story they are trying to tell in the ring, on the microphone, backstage or wherever they may be.
If you went to whatever your wrestling news site is, read spoilers and the fan that sent them in wrote "Wrestler A beat Wrestler B" then is that enough for you? It's not for me. I want to know the key moments of the match. I want to know how the crowd reacted to certain moves. The only way I can know that is by watching it with my own eyes and forming my own opinions as I watch it.
I'm excited about Big Show vs. Alberto Del Rio on Friday. They're two of the best performers in the company with a lot of experience and I have no doubt that the chemistry will be there for them. I want to hear the crowd reactions, I want to hear Josh Mathews & John Bradshaw Layfield calling the action and I want to hear how excited Ricardo Rodriguez is as he announces Del Rio as the NEW World Heavyweight Champion. Most importantly, I want to see the celebration of a guy winning a major championship in a city he calls home.
I believe it will be something that reminds us why we love the wrestling business. Moments like that don't happen too often especially on television. Most title changes happen on pay-per-view, but I like to see them on television once in a while because it makes the TV shows must-see even more than they were before. It leaves the fans at home thinking: "If they did a World Title change on television this week what will they do next?" It builds that enthusiasm within the viewer.
When Smackdown airs this Friday grab a drink, have a snack and enjoy the show with friends and family. If you're too busy on Friday night (some people are) then DVR it and watch it the next day. If you're a wrestling fan you should watch Smackdown every week because it really is more of the wrestling show in WWE. There are longer matches than you will typically see on Raw and the stories are just as good, if not better.
The wrestling business has always been about the drama, the story, the emotion and the action. Just because you know that one person wins a match while another loses doesn't mean you have the full story.
The reason you like the wrestling business in the first place is because of what you feel about it. You weren't told to have those feelings. You developed it over your life as a fan. You have to see it and feel it for yourself.
This week's Smackdown has an extra special feel to it. You can't give away major title changes on every show, but creating a buzz for something like that is the right move on WWE's part. Enjoy the show on Friday. I will.
What do you think? Was WWE right or wrong to share this spoiler with the fans? Voice your opinion in the comment section below or contact me by using my information at the bottom of this post.
As always Andrew Johnson will have his always entertaining Smacking of Smackdown column on the weekend here on TJRWrestling to let you know his thoughts on the match as well as the rest of the show. I may end up writing something about it depending on time. I just wanted to write about the spoiler in this instance.
On a personal note, I will also be writing some articles for JBL's website LayfieldReport.com and they will be linking to articles on here. It's a nice opportunity to cross promote with a successful website. I wrote a column on the 20 year history of Raw that's exclusive to his site that you can read RIGHT HERE.
Until next time, thanks for reading.
John Canton - firstname.lastname@example.org