WWE SmackDown: 5 Talking Points from This Week's Show
SmackDown may have been slightly less impressive than last week’s episode, but it was another decent showing from the Blue Brand nonetheless.
We saw some solid matches throughout the night as well as some intriguing segments relating to some upper-card feuds that look set to culminate in matches at the upcoming Hell in a Cell pay-per-view on Oct. 28.
Thus, as ever, there were a number of issues to come from the show which could have something of a more lasting impact on future events in the WWE.
This article discusses theses key talking points and assesses exactly what they could mean for the company.
Sheamus Lifts Tensai (Thrice)
As if Ryback hadn’t had enough bad press for his failed lift on Tensai, World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus just made the situation a whole lot worse for the WWE’s undefeated star.
The Celtic Warrior lifted the man formerly known as Albert, first to execute a vertical suplex, before pulling off an inch-perfect powerslam as well as his signature White Noise manoeuvre.
Now I’m not saying that Sheamus is necessarily stronger than Ryback, but to me it would seem that the Irishman at least has greater stamina and is in better shape in that regard.
Though Sheamus’ match wasn’t particularly long, he still managed to pull off three big lifts throughout the match, something that Ryback could not achieve despite a more limited and less exhausting moveset.
And I know the technique for Ryback Shell Shocked finisher is different to Sheamus’ White Noise, but the fact that the World Champion’s nailed three different lifts on Tensai, with relative ease, is a very telling sign.
I’m not his biggest fan, but Sheamus certainly deserves credit for this admirable show of strength. Ryback, on the other hand, evidently still has work to do.
The band. The encore. The international house of hits.
Call them what you want, but they defeated Zack Ryder and Santino Marella this week on SmackDown, thus apparently signifying that the WWE are taking the team slightly more seriously than many of us may have first thought.
Personally, I don’t know where I stand with this one.
I’m all for the WWE utilising the entirety of its roster, but it just seems an odd grouping of three very different superstars in terms of their gimmicks, their appearance and even their nationalities.
This strange allegiance gives the impression of a rushed team, and one that the Creative Team haven’t really put too much thought into.
The risk may of course pay off, but even if it doesn’t, at least the company are giving a chance to some of their more underused and underrated talent.
Still No Ziggler Feud
Dolph Ziggler faced Kane this week on SmackDown, in a match that presumably will be taken no further due to Kane’s position as Tag Team Champion.
This continues a trend of having Ziggler partake in matches that don’t have a great deal of longevity in terms of drawing out into a meaningful feud, such as last week’s one-off clash with CM Punk.
And with around two weeks until Hell in a Cell, it would appear Ziggler has nothing booked for the PPV’s card.
Apart from perhaps a Money in the Bank cash-in.
To be quite honest, I hope this isn’t the case as it just looks too predictable. By all means have Ziggler cash in the contract this soon, but if he were to do so on a night in which he already had an earlier match, the shock value of the cash-in would be much greater.
I may of course simply have fallen for the WWE’s bait, and there may well be no cash-in at all at Hell in a Cell.
But with Ziggler otherwise unoccupied, and Big Show’s KO Punch in the main event, the omens seem all too convenient to pass up a cash-in opportunity.
Don't you agree?
Brogue Kick/KO Punch Challenge
This was something of a strange segment, and like the forming of The Band, I have mixed feelings on this one.
Big Show pretty much summed up my initial reaction in refusing to take part in a meaningless game, and it must be said that rather surprisingly I’m very much enjoying Big Show’s persona in his feud with Sheamus.
But however trivial this “challenge” seemed, I do appreciate the fact that Creative are trying to use new methods in building their feuds. Although, perhaps the statistics produced remain somewhat questionable.
I’m no expert on the subject, but believing the Big Show’s punch is well over twice as powerful as that of an elite boxer seems rather far-fetched to me.
After some research it seems that Booker T’s average figure of 776 pounds per square inch for boxers is rather accurate, but even if the results were true, I highly doubt any of these boxers were seven feet tall and pushing 500 pounds.
So for me, it seemed a rather unsuitable test, but I’ll leave you with these figures from which you can draw your own conclusions on the validity of the challenge.
Heels Tied the Faces
This is a particularly rare occurrence in the WWE, but the bad guys actually tied the good guys at an aggregate score of 3-3 on SmackDown.
Alberto Del Rio, Big Show and The Band delivered for the heels, while Sheamus, Sin Cara and Kane leveled the scores for the faces.
This is definitely a positive sign for the WWE, as there has been too great a tendency to have the faces come out on top in recent history; thus by changing things up a bit, it keeps things exciting and most importantly, unpredictable.
Hopefully the company persists with this evenness and continue to share the victories more equally between heels and faces.
But unfortunately, this was only one episode of SmackDown, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see a return to a landslide win for the faces where it really matters at the next PPV.
A solid showing of SmackDown produced a number of issues and talking points, many of which will have long-term repercussions on storylines and developments.
Though I may be off with some of my predictions, such possibilities have definitely been opened up as a result of the WWE’s current booking methods.
Either way, it will be interesting to see how such matters play out as we head into this month’s Hell in a Cell event. And with two more episodes of both Raw and SmackDown left before the PPV, anything could still happen.
Don’t forget to comment below with your opinions, and let me know what you think of both the show itself and the resultant issues discussed in the article.