The 4/6 edition of SmackDown was the first SmackDown under control by John Laurinaitus. And I must say, it was a darn good way to introduce Laurinaitus' reign of terror to the show.
The show maintained my interest throughout–which some SmackDowns fail to do.
The main thing to come out of the show was an enraged Bryan dumping AJ Lee. Apparently AJ was deadweight for Bryan. If the fans weren't such enthusiasts of Bryan, his reasoning for dumping AJ would give him lots of heel heat—considering Bryan won half of his matches due to AJ.
This angle is one of those angles that creates its self. Any route WWE wants to take with it should be pretty easy to pursue.
If you want my insight on how to continue it, I would have AJ culminate the angle when she costs Bryan his rematch clause—giving us a happily ever after. Maybe AJ can chase after the divas title afterwards.
And WWE, don't even try turning the fans against Bryan—it's clearly not working. After his rematch clause, Bryan needs to turn babyface again without being the same babyface he was before—sort of what WWE did with R-Truth initially.
They can maintain his whole "YES!" shtick and everything, and they can run an angle where Bryan admits he lost his way when he let the World Heavyweight Championship get to him.
I mentioned in the headline of this article that the angle with Bryan tonight means he should turn babyface. If the fans are still going wild for Bryan after the despicable things he did tonight—including bashing the fans—it's really an indication that Bryan will get a massive babyface reaction regardless of what he does. This was the epiphany that inspired this article.
The only way to get Bryan heel heat would be to pair him with Vickie Guerrero—and that's obviously not happening.
Now on to the rest of the show:
I've talked about the Bryan-AJ angle on an analytical standpoint, but on its entertainment value, Bryan showed legitimate intensity tonight and AJ's reactions were once again priceless, so it gets an A+ from me.
Sheamus lost by DQ to Alberto Del Rio after teasing a chair shot—giving Del Rio a future title shot against him. If the same referee had officiated CM Punk vs. Chris Jericho at WrestleMania, we would have a new WWE Champion.
The angle with Laurinaitus and Teddy Long earns applause from the creative team. It gives Laurinaitus the heartless persona—in taking advantage of Long's grandchildren's college fund—and it makes Teddy Long a sympathetic figure. By the way, props to Teddy Long for such believable reactions to Laurinaitus' evil doings.
Team Laurinaitus representatives, David Otunga and Mark Henry, defeated Team Long representative R-Truth in a match created by John Laurinaitus. People Power!
Ryback made his debut tonight and defeated a local competitor who degraded the word "promo." The local competitor cut a heel promo beforehand to give Ryback some babyface heat when he defeated him. It was a pretty mediocre debut.
Damien Sandow's debut promo on SmackDown was alright—but was in no way a home run.