WWE SmackDown Likes and Dislikes: Ten Matches Equals a Rushed Show
Once again, I have five likes and five dislikes from SmackDown this week. This isn't a full recap of the show. It's not even in order of the events on the show. It's just a series of thoughts on key moments from this week's telecast.
Like - The brawl that ended the Jericho/Del Rio vs. Sheamus/Orton tag match
I loved this brawl to end the match. It was nice to see the tag match disintegrate because neither guy likes their partner and they all want what Sheamus has, the world title. The brawl made sense. It would have been even better if that was the ending of the show. A wild brawl to end SmackDown would have made people more interested to see what will happen on Raw. Instead, we didn't have to wait too long.
Dislike - Doing two singles matches after the tag match to open the show
After the tag match, we got an Orton vs. Del Rio singles match at the top of hour two (typically the second biggest match of the show) and a Sheamus vs. Jericho main event. It felt like they went through two weeks of angles in one show.
As a result, everything else in the show felt very rushed. Having four guys work twice in the same show is very rare. They could have placed the singles matches on Monday's Raw to space them out a bit. Rushing angles isn't a positive thing. It's a sign of shortsighted booking.
It should also be noted that last week, they had Sheamus and Daniel Bryan working twice as well. Is that going to be a regular thing? It's okay once in a while, not every week.
Like - Ryback squashed Heath Slater
It was nice to see Ryback destroy somebody that's not an unknown jobber. Slater is a known jobber. Maybe I just put it as a "like" because I'm anti-Heath Slater? It could be that. You decide. It was also a match between two former, original Nexus members, although we're probably not allowed to remember that Ryback used to be Skip Sheffield. Yep, yep what it do! I feel weird just typing that. Google it if you don't know what I mean.
Dislike - Three disqualification finishes on the same show
We get it, WWE. You want to protect Sheamus, Orton, Jericho, and Del Rio to the point that you didn't want any of them to lose cleanly on SmackDown this week. Jericho pinned Sheamus on Raw, but on this show none of them took a loss. Instead, there were three disqualifications during their matches.
The positive thing out of all this? At least they didn't book that "heel walks out of the match" finish they did on Raw and last week's SmackDown. That's refreshing.
Like - Life in the tag team division again
Slowly but surely, the tag team division is gaining steam. They announced that Kofi Kingston and R-Truth (I'm calling them The Boom Jimmy's) would be defending the tag titles against Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger (Zigswag). The outcome resulted in Truth beating Swagger to get payback for Ziggler beating Kingston on Raw. I was fine with all of this. At least they're doing something productive with Ziggler and Swagger, so that's good.
In addition to that match, the "new" SmackDown team of Darren Young and Titus O'Neil soundly beat Santino (the forgotten United States Champion) and Zack Ryder in tag team competition. After the match, they got a chance to showcase some personality. Wow! Wrestlers with gimmicks? That's a nice change. They bragged about their win and said the difference between them and the others is millions of dollars. It's nice to have goals.
It's also nice that there are actual tag teams. With Kingston/Truth, Primo/Epico, The Usos, Zigswag, Young/O'Neil, and the Kidd/Gabriel team back in action when Justin heals from injury, it looks like we're actually getting a division again. I'm all for it.
Dislike - Big Show is the world's biggest apologist
Why is Big Show such a wimp when it comes to John Laurinaitis? We've seen CM Punk and John Cena stand up to the guy repeatedly, but the 400-pound guy that's the biggest man on the roster is weak when it comes to authority figures. He apologized to Eve on Raw, then on SmackDown, after John Laurinaitis screwed him in a match against Daniel Bryan (the infamous "ring the bell" angle), Big Show again looked like a wimp.
There has to be a payoff here. My guess is that Big Show turns heel at Over the Limit, becomes the muscle behind Laurinaitis, and helps him beat John Cena. I realize that they have Tensai in that role in some ways, but I think Big Show being the permanent bodyguard of Laurinaitis, so to speak, would be a good spot for him. Plus, I've always liked Show more as a heel.
Like - Daniel Bryan
What can I say? He's a like every week. After AJ beat Kaitlyn in less than one minute, Bryan went to the ring, talked to his ex-girlfriend AJ, and then told her that he was so impressed that he was going to go after her former best friend Kaitlyn now! I love how much of a jerk Bryan is. I'm still waiting for AJ to cost him a big match, but I think that could happen at Over the Limit, although I'd prefer it if Punk vs. Bryan was clean. He also "beat" Big Show thanks to Laurinaitis ringing the bell as soon as the Yes Lock was applied. He then celebrated as if it was a legit victory. He might be the best performer in the company right now.
Dislike - Michael Cole dancing
Never show that again, please. Thank you.
Like - No backstage acting segments
I don't remember the last time there was a Raw or SmackDown where there were no acting segments backstage. There were clips of guys walking to the ring, and Damien Sandow did one of his typical promos in the backstage area, but no segments where performers were talking to each other backstage or anything like that. Is this going to be a new thing? I doubt it.
I'm guessing it happened simply because they threw ten matches on the card and there was no time for anything backstage. I'm fine with no "sketches" on the show.
Dislike - 10 matches in two hours
Don't get me wrong, I'm a big fan of in-ring action. That's my thing. It's what I love the most about professional wrestling (or sports entertainment). However, when you have ten matches in a two-hour period and none of those matches get more than nine minutes (Jericho vs. Sheamus went nearly that long) you're doing a disservice to the performers.
What I usually love about SmackDown is that they tend to have a couple of matches every week that get over ten minutes. They'll tell a story, the characters will get a good reaction, and we'll usually get a finish. On this show, though, everything felt rushed. It felt like 1999 or 2000 WCW, when Vince Russo was booking shows with too many things going on at once.
- I love that Sheamus continues to sell the arm injury by taping it up. It's also great that his opponents are targeting it. It's important that injuries are focused on for weeks at a time. It shouldn't be a one show thing. Keep them going. It's also a way for Sheamus to get sympathy heat, so that makes it very worthwhile.
- The ongoing Teddy Long/Aksana saga seems to have ended this week as she proclaimed her love for Antonio Cesaro. Good. Now can we retire Long as a regular on television? I sure hope so.
I'm not sure what was up with some of the things they did this week. Having four guys work twice, booking ten matches in two hours, and no backstage segments were all uncharacteristic of what I expect out of SmackDown. I think it's a case of booking on the fly (obviously since they changed the original world title match) and trying to get "new" faces on the show.
May is usually one of the most poorly booked months in WWE. They're showing it again. It's just a matter of getting through it and looking forward to bigger stories down the road.
At least we're getting Punk vs. Bryan for the WWE Championship at Over the Limit next Sunday. See that? I'm always about the positivity.
I rate this week's SmackDown a 5 out of 10.
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