WWE SmackDown Likes & Dislikes: Orton, Sheamus & Show Win Main Event
I have five likes and five dislikes for this week's edition of WWE SmackDown.
Like: Daniel Bryan is really mean to A.J.
They took the next step with this storyline by having Daniel Bryan get in the face of his ex-girlfriend and give her the ultimate putdown when he said: "I wish you were never born." That's enough to get anybody pissed off, even a perpetually smiling babyface like A.J.
It was the kind of segment that I wish was on Monday Night Raw, because then more people would have seen it and understood just how awesome Bryan is on the microphone right now.
Also, credit to A.J. She's played her role very well in this feud. After being berated by Bryan, she had a match with Natalya that ended up in a disqualification because A.J. went in a rage by attacking Natalya. When she wouldn't stop, the ref ended the match in under a minute.
I'd love for them to play off this with Natalya actually having a storyline for a change, but I'm guessing this will lead to A.J. costing Bryan the World Heavyweight Title at Extreme Rules.
Sweet revenge is a dish best served cold.
Dislike: The Teddy Long saga continues
This week on SmackDown, Teddy Long got too much screen time again. John Laurinaitis made him wear a Queen's Guard hat that also meant Long couldn't talk for the duration of the show. My question is, do any fans really care that Laurinaitis is treating Long in a poor manner?
I don't care about Teddy getting revenge. What's the payoff? A match between the two down the road? I sure hope not. End the Teddy Long television character. It's over.
Want a non-wrestler to bicker with John Laurinaitis? Use Mick Foley. He has a lot of talent. He's somebody the fans actually care about. Obviously Mick is going to be in that angle with Dean Ambrose that has started online, but I'd rather see him arguing with JL instead of old man Teddy.
Like: Darren Young & Titus O'Neil get drafted to SmackDown
I watch NXT. I think I'm one of the 36 people that still watches it. It airs on Wednesday nights on TV here in Canada, so most weeks I give it a look.
There's actually some good stuff on there. Everybody on the show gets significant time to develop their character, so when you watch matches or see the stories play out, you're invested in the characters. Simple, right?
I know these two have good chemistry as a heel tag team. WWE needs tag teams of all kinds, so I'm all for it. Their win over the Usos was perfectly fine. Hopefully they use the talent on NXT and also FCW to develop more teams, because the more teams that exist, the better the tag division can be.
Dislike: The promo that saw Young & O'Neil get drafted to SmackDown
I like that Young and O'Neil are on SmackDown, but the promo they used to get them on the show was pretty lame. They went up to Teddy Long, bragging about how they were on SmackDown now. Meanwhile, John Laurinaitis went up to Long and belittled him for not signing these guys to SmackDown sooner.
Why couldn't Laurinaitis sign them to Raw, since he's in charge of that show?
During the promo, they also mentioned that they were "young talent." O'Neil is 35 years old in a few weeks—a new face to SmackDown, but not necessarily a young talent. This "drafting to SmackDown" could have been done in a more intelligent manner.
Like: The SmackDown debut of Antonio Cesaro
Even though it was another segment involving Teddy Long, I liked this. Cesaro is the former Claudio Castagnoli from Ring of Honor, who is from Switzerland and was paired with Aksana as an old friend of hers.
They taunted Teddy Long, who was forced to be silent during the segment. Laurinaitis then did an interview with him in his office, so I'd expect the debut of Cesaro to happen soon.
I'm excited about it. I've seen a good amount of his ROH work, especially with Chris Hero (now Kassius Ohno in FCW), and I think he'll be a good fit in WWE. Pairing him with Aksana as his valet could work out very well, because she's a gorgeous woman that needs to be on television regularly.
Dislike: Alberto Del Rio becomes a SmackDown superstar with no explanation given
I have nothing against Del Rio. His win over Big Show was fine, but it was because of Cody Rhodes. Del Rio is "just another guy" these days and it doesn't seem like he'll be the type of former WWE Champion that is in the main event scene.
If you're going to move a guy from one show to the other, there has to be some sort of explanation. You can't say there's a trade because the same guy is running both shows, which is why it's a silly move to have Laurinaitis running both shows to begin with.
The real reason he got moved is because the Raw midcard has become nonexistent since SmackDown wrestlers have been on the show and there was no TV time for guys like him. Now SmackDown is starting to have too many people.
How are you supposed to fit everybody on the show?
I guess there will be roster cuts coming soon. Surely, if fans like us can notice the roster is getting too big in some parts, then the company has noticed it too, which means some talent could be wished the best in their future endeavors in the near future.
Do we have to name names? I don't want to. If you're not on Raw or SmackDown regularly, you're in danger of being cut. That's how it is.
Like: Ryback and Brodus Clay win squash matches
Ryback continued his gimmick of beating a local jobber that got to cut a promo before the match. I thought it was silly to have Heath Slater and Drew McIntyre mock the jobber cutting the promo, considering they're barely used these days.
Shouldn't they be mad they're not on the show more? Why are heels that aren't on the show happy about seeing somebody else on the show? These guys should be saying that they want to wrestle Ryback to beat him. Put over the importance of winning. That's what wrestling is supposed to be about.
Clay squashed Hunico, who is a midcard wrestler that isn't going anywhere. That's like a lot of midcarders on both shows, really. I'm fine with squash matches once in a while, especially for babyface. Usually these are for heels, so it's a nice change.
The question is, when it comes time for an actual feud, how do you book these guys? Brodus hasn't had a feud for months and I'm not sure what they'll do with Ryback when he gets to that point.
Dislike: The Great Khali advertised in the main event tag match
Stop! No more advertising Great Khali in main event matches! Sure, he was taken out by Cody Rhodes before the match began (that's good booking), but clearly Khali can barely move these days.
When my 10-year-old niece watches Khali walk, she says he walks like her great grandpa. Her great grandpa is 88. Khali is 40 this year. See the problem?
It's tough to watch. It's almost as painful as when they do crowd shots during his entrance and there are only two people dancing to the song.
The roster is full of talent that needs TV time that is given to the likes of the Great Khali. Yes, I know WWE is a growing business in his home country of India, but that doesn't mean he has to wrestle. I'd rather see him getting the screen time that Teddy Long gets.
Oh crap, I'm giving WWE ideas. I'll apologize if it actually happens.
Like: Randy Orton, Sheamus & Big Show over Daniel Bryan, Mark Henry & Cody Rhodes in the main event
I'm a big fan of these kinds of matches happening in main events every few weeks or so. I wish Raw did them more often. Tag matches allow multiple stories to be told within the structure of one match. They are certainly better for a feud than a three-minute match that ends in a video package causing one of the competitors lose as we've seen in the Show/Rhodes feud.
I like that they told the story of Bryan doing everything he can to avoid getting attacked by Sheamus, which plays up his character and the feud they've got going. Cody was proud of himself for taking out Khali, but when Big Show became the partner of Orton and Sheamus he regretted it. That's two stories that were covered very well.
The finish of the match saw Mark Henry receive a Brogue Kick from Sheamus, a KO punch from Big Show and then a RKO from Orton to get the pinfall. It took a lot to put Henry away, which puts over Henry in a big way even though he lost clean on Raw and SmackDown this week.
Henry doesn't really have a feud right now, so he can afford to lose some matches.
I'm all for 20-minute main event matches that see the good guys win in a dominant manner. It doesn't have to be an every-week thing, but doing that once in a while is a good idea.
I can remember all the huge tag match main events during the Attitude Era. They don't do them nearly as much now. Instead, they give away singles matches, which isn't as good for long term business or storytelling.
Since I always use the five-star scale, let's call this one 3.5 out of five. It was a very good main event to send the crowd home happy.
Dislike: Muting the crowd as they chant "YES" during the show
I said it a couple of weeks back and it's worth repeating. Stop censoring your fans that chant "YES," because it was obvious that it was done this week as well. Not only could I tell just from watching the Daniel Bryan promo that opened the show, but I had a number of readers tell me about it, too.
On Raw, you could hear them. On SmackDown, you couldn't hear them. It was the same arena. Funny how that works, huh?
I'm not a fan of censorship. Be a star, WWE. Let your fans have their voices heard.
I thought it was a slightly above-average show. The main event was the definite highlight because it was a quality matchup that took about 30 minutes to air. Plus, they took Khali out, so that's a good thing, too.
Bryan's promo at the start was very good as well. That's become a regular thing for him.
I'd rate this week's SmackDown a six out of 10.
John Canton is a Featured Columnist at the Bleacher Report. He doesn't like 3 hour editions of Raw, but he'll review live at his site TJRWrestling.com on Monday and also post it here for you at BR. You can follow him on Twitter @johnreport too.
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