In my opinion, SmackDown was pretty darn great this week.
It was the first time in a long while that I found myself feeling decidedly satisfied with the show, and it was much of an improvement on recent episodes.
There were a number of entertaining matches, as we were treated to seeing the WWE Champion, the World Heavyweight Champion and the Tag Team Champions in action as well as a whole host of the company’s best workers.
The star power on the show was perhaps greater than usual for the Blue Brand, and I must admit I think the standard of the show was easily on par with that of Raw, which is unfortunately something of a rarity these days.
But it wasn’t just one-off contests that highlighted the show; there were a number of other significant events with long-term repercussions to come from this week’s SmackDown.
This article identifies and discusses these talking points and what they mean for the WWE.
Now, I wasn’t expecting these two to win the tag team tournament, but to see them go out in the opening round was somewhat surprising.
Having the former tag champs fall to the Primetime Players also says a lot about how highly Titus O’Neill and Darren Young are being valued by Creative, and deservedly so.
But what does this mean in the long term?
In my view, the loss could signal the end of Kofi Kingston and R-Truth as tag team partners.
Though an effective partnership, they were never a particularly natural team, what, having been thrown together presumably because Creative didn’t have anything for either man in the singles division.
The fact that after months of teaming together they still didn’t have a team name speaks volumes and is testament to this.
With many calling for Truth to return to his heel days of old, I wouldn’t be at all shocked to see this partnership dissolve.
Both men are capable of bigger and better things in singles competition, and with Team Hell No now headlining the tag team division, a split would realistically suit all parties involved.
When will The Miz be given a decent feud?
After defeating Christian for the Intercontinental Title on Raw 1000, the WWE’s most must-see superstar has hardly set the world on fire.
He engaged in a mini-feud with Rey Mysterio, which later involved both Sin Cara and Cody Rhodes, but that soon fizzled out and he has done little else of note in over two months with the belt.
I genuinely thought that giving the Miz the strap would mark the end of the months of him being misused by Creative, as he remains one of the most adept talkers in the company, and his in-ring work is equally proficient.
But once again, the Miz was overlooked.
After being used as bait for Ryback in recent weeks, he was once again the sacrificial lamb, as the WWE booked him as nothing more than cannon fodder to the World Heavyweight Title feud between Big Show and Sheamus.
This needs to stop, both for the sake of the Miz and the Intercontinental Championship.
Speaking of misused superstars, Barrett appears to be another one.
I was hugely excited for his return, as he is a man with the potential to be one of the biggest and best heels in the WWE.
But once again, this week we witnessed him squash another opponent, this time stooping to a new low as he faced merely a local competitor.
The return of his pump-handle drop was a highlight, though, demonstrating a more complete style of wrestling as he blended such technical skills with his typical smash-mouth, brawler approach.
In my view, this style is far more appealing than simply having Barrett compete as the “bare-knuckle champion” that he once was, and his character appears to be developing very nicely indeed.
Hopefully he will be given a decent upper-card feud sooner rather than later, as he is definitely deserving of a main-event spot. Perhaps he will have some involvement in the World title match at Hell in a Cell?
I for one certainly hope so.
Despite his mass of critics, I’m quite a fan of Alberto Del Rio.
And I found his mocking of Randy Orton rather amusing this week on SmackDown, as it really highlighted Orton’s awkward and uneasy face persona.
But more importantly, it would appear that the WWE is pushing ahead with a feud between these two, perhaps culminating in a match at Hell in a Cell at the end of this month.
I first thought that Orton would be completely taken off TV while filming the 12 Rounds sequel this month, but it appears that he will continue to be featured on SmackDown with a full-time return at the pay-per-view on Oct. 28.
Thus, having ADR face Orton is very much possible and now probable.
Having two main-event stars clash is a wise move as it garners interest despite the fact that no title is involved. Furthermore, it removes Alberto Del Rio from his stale feud with Sheamus, which even I was starting to get increasingly bored with.
A good move all round if these two see out this fledgling rivalry.
After the Ryback incident on Raw this week, many were suggesting that the WWE would cut their losses with Tensai and wish him all the best in his future endeavours.
But he featured fairly high up on the card on SmackDown, facing the Big Show in a match where he ultimately was the victim of Sheamus’ Brogue Kick, as the Celtic Warrior gained retribution for the World’s Largest Athlete’s earlier actions.
Though not the most glamorous of roles, he was still a part of the show nonetheless.
Thus, it would appear that Tensai has escaped from the incident on Raw relatively unscathed, and no further punishment will be taken.
This is a fair move from the WWE, as it would have been harsh to lay all the blame for the failed manoeuvre on Tensai. After all, he isn’t the most agile of competitors.
He may of course still be penalised, but for the time being, it would appear that the WWE are blaming neither man for the botch.
These events may of course not play out as I have anticipated, but revelations on SmackDown have certainly made these issues well worth discussing in the show’s aftermath.
But whatever conclusion they eventually arrive at, arguably the most important thing to take from SmackDown this week was the fact that it was a particularly enjoyable show, and hopefully the WWE can keep up this standard of programming well into the future.
As ever, make sure you comment below with your thoughts on both the show and the article, and be sure to let me know if you agree or disagree with the aforementioned points.