WWE Smackdown Likes and Dislikes: Daniel Bryan Shines Again
I have five "likes" and "dislikes" from Smackdown this week.
LIKE - Daniel Bryan dumps AJ
I think it goes without saying that I'm a huge fan of Daniel Bryan. I'm not shocked by anything he does because I know how good of a performer he is dating back to his Ring of Honor days, but I am still surprised that WWE is pushing him the way they are.
Don't get me wrong, it's a good kind of surprise. His promo this week was that of a classic heel blaming his innocent girlfriend AJ for the loss and then kicking her to the curb by looking her in the eyes to tell her that he doesn't need her anymore.
The run with AJ was a lot of fun. However, I think for him to grow even more as a performer he'll need to do it on his own and he's fully capable of doing that.
While I'm disappointed that Bryan lost the World Title, he did have a good run with it (certainly better than what Christian had) and there is plenty of reason to think he'll get another push to that level.
I was also happy that the Orlando crowd was chanting "YES" although not as often as the Miami crowd on Monday. I think that's largely due to the fact that a lot of the WrestleMania (and post WM Raw) crowd are "smart" fans that made the trek to see both shows.
It will be interesting to see what Monday's crowd in Washington D.C,, Tuesday's crowd in Hampton, Va, for the live Smackdown and the crowds in London, England, the week after are going to do when it comes to these "YES" chants.
Are they a temporary thing or will they last? Obviously, though, WWE isn't a huge fan of idea which brings me to the next point.
I know that CM Punk and Chris Jericho had a match on Sunday to determine the "Best in the World." I think Daniel Bryan is right there with them. He may even be a level above right now. He's that good.
DISLIKE - WWE silences the crowd during Bryan's promo
As happy as I was that the "YES" chants continued on Smackdown, I'm disappointed that WWE obviously tried to mute some of them as well.
You could tell that they wanted to muzzle the crowd at times because the crowd appeared to be making a lot of noise, yet when you watched the show it wasn't as loud as what we got on Monday.
It's almost as if WWE is saying "we didn't tell you to chant that" and as a result, they chose to alter what we hear. It's what they always do.
I guess the concern is that it would turn him babyface if the fans kept chanting this for him. He's obviously great as a heel and should stay in that role, but if the fans want something bad enough, then it's up to creative to make it work.
At least WWE was smart enough to release a new Daniel Bryan "YES! YES! YES!" t-shirt that is available on wweshop.com already. There isn't much creativity to the shirt, but hopefully it's a good seller.
Randy got his win back after losing at WrestleMania, which basically made Kane's win pointless.
Either that or this is the second match in this feud that people don't really care about, which would lead to another match at Extreme Rules in a few weeks. I'm not sure if that's where they're headed.
The reason this got a "like" is because they really worked hard to put on a good match that I'd rate at three stars out of five. I'm ready for it to be over, though.
Orton needs a new opponent. You know who else needs a feud? Dolph Ziggler. I'd love to see a Ziggler/Orton feud. I'll keep writing about it until it happens.
DISLIKE - Beth Phoenix Loses to Nikki Bella
To quote Booker T: WHAT DA HELL? Nikki Bella? They are trying to convince us that Beth is this dominant champion, yet she lost to Nikki because she got rammed into the turnbuckle (I swear they use that as a finish setup every week) and then a X-Factor type move. Really? That's it?
It should be pointed out too that Beth was distracted by Kelly Kelly, who basically did nothing outside the ring, yet it was enough to cause Beth to lose.
Why can't they pull the trigger on the Beth/Natalya feud? They've given no explanation as to why they don't enter the ring together. It would be a very fresh story.
It's pretty simple to have Natalya accidentally screw up in a tag or something like that, which would cause Beth to attack her and set up the singles feud. Instead, it's back to Kelly vs. Beth again? Yawn.
LIKE - Ryback debuts to beat a jobber who got promo time
I saw Ryback (Skip Sheffield) during WrestleMania week. He said he'd be back on TV soon. He was right.
What was especially awesome about this was that the jobber he beat, Barry Stevens, got to cut a promo before the match. When was the last time that happened? I felt like I was watching WWF Superstars from 1991. Awesome.
It will be interesting to see where Ryback goes. I wonder how they can use a dominant overpowering heel type heel character when they already have a bunch of wrestlers with the same gimmick (Henry, Tensai, Lesnar?). The lack of credible babyfaces in the midcard makes it hard for any midcard heel to really get over with the fans.
DISLIKE - Teddy Long has to work for John Laurinaitis
When Teddy's team lost at WrestleMania I was happy because I thought that meant his stale character would be off WWE TV for the foreseeable future. Nope. I was wrong. During Laurinaitis' opening show promo, he said that Teddy had to stick around because of a trust fund that was set up for his three grandkids.
The idea of a face working for a heel usually doesn't work out. Remember those awful skits when Cena had to work for Wade Barrett of the Nexus? It wasn't good television. I don't care who is in charge of the shows. Focus on the wrestlers, not Teddy freakin' Long. Thank you.
LIKE - Damien Sandow makes his debut promo
Who? He's one of the better stars in Florida Championship Wrestling that you might remember as "Idol Stevens" from back in 2006. He got released, then he re-signed in the summer of 2010, they created this Damien Sandow character and he's been somebody that has garnered a lot of attention ever since.
You can tell from his promo that he'll be the kind of heel that talks down to people by using his intelligence. It's not necessarily a gimmick that we haven't seen before, but if they book him right, he could take off.
I really hope this is the sign of some FCW wrestlers making the jump to Raw or Smackdown sooner or later. I saw a great Seth Rollins/Dean Ambrose match at Axxess last week. Ambrose shot a YouTube video angle with Mick Foley. He could be brought up soon.
Rollins is the most ready of anybody in FCW. Don't be shocked if you see a few more FCW wrestlers being called up in the coming weeks.
DISLIKE - The booking of the Sheamus/Del Rio main event
Who booked that match? It was pretty awful in terms of structure. I understand why they did it because there was no way for them to book Del Rio to win in a manner that actually made him look good. However, doing the Eddie Guerrero finish with the fake chair attack left a lot to be desired.
I'm amazed at how much Del Rio's stock has fallen since he was pushed as a top guy for much of 2011 and then injured his groin to start this year. It reminds me of how far The Miz has fallen too. It's as if they get behind these guys when they're getting a push and then as soon as they lose the title it's a free fall to a level on the roster than where they should be.
When Del Rio gets his title shot on Sheamus, will anybody believe he has a chance to win? Absolutely not. That means they're doing a poor job of building him back up to the level he should be at.
LIKE - Sheamus attacks referee Chad Patton after his loss and WWE.com follows up on it
After he lost to Del Rio via DQ, Sheamus destroyed ref Chad Patton with a Brogue Kick that "knocked him out." If you check out WWE.com, there's a video with other referees talking about how they don't like what Sheamus did and they don't want to be in the same ring with him. I guess they're making Sheamus into a "Stone Cold" type of face that doesn't have any friends or respect for authority. It will be interesting to see how they follow up on it.
DISLIKE - "Good Feeling" by Flo Rida
I hope that there aren't any more video packages featuring this song. I used to love the song two months ago. On the road to WrestleMania, though, WWE has absolutely killed it for me.
- I'm okay with the Big Show/Cody Rhodes feud continuing for one more PPV. After that, though, it's time for Cody to move on to better things. I wouldn't be shocked if Cody got moved to Raw in the draft if that kind of thing even matters anymore.
- The David Otunga character is intriguing as long as he doesn't wrestle. This week, they had him act like a coward while he won a handicap match with Mark Henry over R-Truth. It worked out well. I think Henry acting as the muscle for Laurinaitis and Otunga is a good role for him.
- I'm cautiously optimistic about next week's "Blast from the Past" Smackdown show that will be live on Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET. They mentioned that a lot of wrestlers will be returning for it, so it should be fun for nostalgia sake. It's a nice change of pace from what we normally get.
Aside from the awesome Daniel Bryan promo, it was mostly a forgettable edition of Smackdown.
Call it a 5 out of 10.
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