Friday Night SmackDown Review: Through the Eyes of the Youth
WWE present their Money in the Bank pay-per-view tonight, and I haven't written a wrestling article since my No Way Out preview.
Although a few issues related to home ownership have preoccupied me over the last few weeks, the real reason I haven't been writing is because I have been so disappointed with the direction WWE's booking team has been going lately.
I didn't agree much with the results of No Way Out, and I haven't agreed with much since.
CM Punk and Daniel Bryan in a feud that focuses more on a love triangle than the fact that they're arguably the two best wrestlers in the company, if not the industry?
Dolph Ziggler cleanly losing to Sheamus five times within the last five weeks?
Super Cena ridding the WWE of the man garnering the most heel heat in as long as I can remember?
Hornswoggle as the anonymous GM, discovered by Santino doing his impression of Sherlock Holmes?
There are a plethora of writers and bloggers out there who constantly write about how terrible WWE is. There's no need for me to add to the list of whiners. Like they always say: if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all.
So I kept my mouth shut...or rather, my laptop off.
But I can't help this urge to write, and I do hope WWE turns things around soon. So I sat down with my nephews (Logan, age 8 and Caleb, age 5), watched SmackDown, and got their take on it. Who knows, maybe WWE isn't as bad as I've been saying. Maybe it's just me.
After watching SmackDown, I asked them what their favorite part was, what their least favorite part was, and whether watching SmackDown made them want to watch Money in the Bank.
Caleb's Favorite Segment: Sheamus Defeats Chris Jericho
Image credit: WWE.com
Dustin: Caleb, what was your favorite part of this week's SmackDown?
Caleb: I liked it when Sheamus won Chris Jericho.
Dustin: Why was that your favorite?
Caleb: Because I hate Chris Jericho.
Dustin: Logan, how did you feel about the Sheamus/Chris Jericho match?
Logan: Happy that Sheamus won.
Dustin: Do you think he'll win at Money in the Bank?
Dustin: Caleb, what do you hope will happen in the World Heavyweight Championship match at Money in the Bank?
Caleb: I hope that Sheamus wins, but I hope Alberto Del Rio doesn't do the cross-armbreaker to Sheamus. I hope Sheamus beats Alberto Del Rio so hard that he won't be able to come back to WWE and he cries for him mommy.
Dustin: Logan, what do you hope happens between ADR and Sheamus at Money in the Bank?
Logan: Burrito dies. [He refers to Del Rio as "burrito." I don't think he's old enough for that to be intentionally racist, just an issue of phonetics.]
I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Sheamus shouldn't be getting the push he's receiving. He's been World Heavyweight Champion for over three months, and hasn't gotten over any more than he already was three months ago. It's time for the WWE to let someone else run with that title for a while.
Logan's Favorite Segment: "All of Them."
Image credit: wwephotos.org
Dustin: Logan, what was your favorite part of this week's SmackDown?
Logan: I'd probably have to say all of them, because they were all good.
Dustin: How do you think Zack Ryder did a as General Manager?
Logan: Great, because Teddy Long said that himself.
Dustin: Caleb, do you think every week should be ZackDown instead of SmackDown? Or should someone else be the GM?
Caleb: I would love Zack Ryder to be the General Manager of Raw and SmackDown, so it can stay ZackDown. And I hope every week, it can be Kane vs. somebody and The Big Show vs. everybody, but I hope Kane fights every week and Randy Orton fights every week.
Dustin: Logan, who do you think should be the General Manager of SmackDown?
Logan: Kane, because he's a cane... like a walking cane. And because I bet in one of the matches, he'd kill somebody.
Friday Night ZackDown should have happened three or four months ago, when Ryder was really blowing up for the first time.
Since WWE already rode that wave and then completely shut it down, putting Ryder in such a position for a night doesn't do him much good in the long run, and doesn't do WWE that much good either.
One way that they could salvage this: let Ryder, the Internet Champion, be the new GM of NXT and put it back on WWE.com.
Caleb's Least Favorite Segment: Sin Cara Jobbing to Alberto Del Rio
Image credit: WWE on Facebook
Dustin: Caleb, what was your least favorite thing about the show this week?
Caleb: When Sin Cara lost against Alberto Del Rio. [Caleb was visibly sad when Sin Cara lost.]
Dustin: Why didn't you like that?
Caleb: Because I hate Alberto Del Rio, and I love Sin Cara.
Dustin: Logan, how do you feel about the ADR/Sin Cara match?
Logan: Um, I'm happy Alberto Del Rio won, because I don't exactly like Sin Cara.
Dustin: Why don't you like Sin Cara?
Logan: I don't know, because he doesn't have really cool moves.
Dustin: Caleb, how do you think Sin Cara will do in his Money in the Bank Ladder Match?
Caleb: Well, I hope he does the spear. I'm joking, he can't do the spear. I hope he double-drop kicks them when they're all in a line, knocking them all down, and then climbs a ladder and gets the briefcase so he wins.
Dustin: And how did you feel about Dolph Ziggler and Cody Rhodes against Santino Marella and Christian?
Caleb: Well, I would just have to say it was pretty awesome, and the next time they have that match I hope that Santino Marella has a girlfriend. And I hate Dolph Ziggler, because he does the sleeper hold and all he likes is the woman who used to be General Manager.
WWE still hasn't seen the return on their Sin Cara investment that they were hoping for, but that's at least as much WWE's fault as it is Sin Cara's.
Whether they'd want to make Sin Cara the kingpin, they have enough talent to create a division that would rival TNA's X-Divison or WCW's Cruiserweight division. The weird lighting and bright outfits aren't going to be enough to get Sin Cara over.
The US Championship is becoming a joke, in large part due to Santino Marella running with it for so long. Scrap that title (or give it to someone legit for a long time) and replace it by bringing back the Hardcore or Cruiserweight Championship.
Create a division focused on impressive in-ring talent, and give guys like Sin Cara, Justin Gabriel, Yoshi Tatsu, Tyson Kidd and the like a place to truly thrive.
Logan's Least Favorite Segments: Big Show/Great Khali & Sheamus/Chris Jericho
Image credit: BollywoodWorld.com
Dustin: Logan, what was your least favorite segment of the show this week?
Logan: The Big Show vs. Khali and the Sheamus and whatever-it's-called... Chris Jericho.
Dustin: Why didn't you like those matches?
Logan: Because Sheamus, he didn't do one of his moves [he demonstrates for me on a teddy bear and I'm still not sure what move he's talking about]. I didn't like the Big Show/Khali because they are both giant, The Big Show was being weird, and The Great Khali was being slow. In other matches, he always beats up the other guy really, really fast.
Dustin: Caleb, how do you feel about the Great Khali?
Caleb: I would say, he's good. And I like it when he teams up with somebody that's a girl.
Dustin: Do you think he has a girlfriend?
Caleb: Uh, I would have to say his girlfriend is Layla, because they teamed up once and hugged at the end. [I have no idea if that ever actually happened...]
Weird, maybe The Great Khali really is over with the youth? And Chris Jericho clearly isn't.
Is that the reason we are subjected to the slow, belabored matches of The Great Khali all the time? Do they always act like he's a threat because the kids still fall for it?
I'm just thankful that he's not a part of either ladder match tonight.
Are You Looking Forward to Money in the Bank?
Image credit: WWE.com
Dustin: Did watching this week's SmackDown make you want to see Money in the Bank?
Caleb: Really bad. I wanna see Sin Cara beat everyone's butt off!
Caleb: Yes! Yes! Yes! [Daniel Bryan style].
Logan: I wanna see both ladder matches and the World Heavyweight Championship match.
Dustin: Do you think John Cena will win his Ladder Match?
Logan: No, he sucks. I would probably pick Kane or Big Show to win.
Caleb: Yes! Yes! Yes! [more Daniel Bryan chanting, in response to the Cena question].
Dustin: Caleb, will Daniel Bryan win? What will AJ do?
Caleb: No! No! No! I think AJ will turn it into a table match. Or a ladder match. Or a regular match. Or any kind of match.
Dustin: Logan, who do you hope wins the WWE Championship match?
Logan: Well, I hope CM Punk will, but if AJ hits Daniel Bryan, then I'm totally guessing CM Punk. If AJ hits CM Punk, then he will lose and Daniel Bryan will win.
I had hoped that WWE would find some good ways to extend the Punk/Bryan feud, but I think they've gone a little too far with AJ.
I think the move is great for AJ, but it doesn't belong at the center of a feud between these two, especially when the biggest title in the industry is on the line. I hope it doesn't completely ruin the match, but I don't have high hopes.
Money in the Bank is one of my favorite concepts in WWE, right along with Royal Rumble and the Elimination Chamber.
I like the World Heavyweight Championship Ladder Match line-up, but four former champions for the WWE Title Ladder Match? What a waste. This is supposed to be a chance for a new star to shine, like King of the Ring used to be.
I have low, low expectations for the PPV tonight. Let's hope WWE surprises me.