WWE SmackDown: 5 Talking Points from This Week's Show
After an impressive showing of Raw on Monday night, the WWE World Tour marched on with a special live episode of SmackDown on Tuesday night from Birmingham, England.
Though the show bore less significance on the upcoming survivor Series pay-per-view than Raw, SmackDown still managed to put on a solid display nonetheless.
Matches including a Falls Count Anywhere contest as well as a rare in-ring appearance from William Regal were arguably the pick of the action, though there were plenty more positives to reflect on from the evening’s entertainment.
Though not as impactful as those from Raw, the talking points from SmackDown still provide us with plenty to discuss in this week’s article.
The Miz Offers Sporting Gesture
After yet another Intercontinental Title match between Kofi Kingston and The Miz, we once again witnessed the Awesome One fall to defeat in what was actually a decent affair.
But it was the events after the match which were perhaps more noteworthy.
The Miz offered a rare handshake to the Champion after his successful defence, which was rather surprisingly shunned by Kingston in the form of an emphatic dropkick to the face.
Nonetheless, the sheer fact that The Miz instigated such a gesture of goodwill is the big talking point here, as it is wholly incongruent with his current heel persona.
So could this be a sign of a face turn?
If one considers his self-imposed removal from the heelish Team Punk and the current vacancy on the Foley’s face team as well, then this would seem a very possible outcome.
He received a fairly positive reaction upon his return four months ago, thus showing that perhaps an eventual face run could indeed work.
Either way, it will be interesting to see how the WWE handle his character in the coming weeks.
Primetime Players Score Big Win
After a fairly meteoric rise in the WWE Tag Team competition, the Primetime Players then faded somewhat and took a backseat as more established names headlined the division.
However, in their fledgling feud with the team of Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara, the PTPs picked up a big win on SmackDown with Titus O’Neill pinning Mysterio cleanly for the victory.
The duo then cut a decent promo, thus proving that it's obviously deserving of a place in the limelight.
This rivalry seems destined to result in a match of some sort at Survivor Series, and if the PTPs can pick up another win on the big stage, perhaps a Tag Team Championship match beckons.
Either way, I hope the WWE persists with these guys and doesn’t allow them to fade away completely, as the pairing could have a big future in WWE Tag Team action.
Rosa Mendes and Alberto Del Rio
After their brief meeting backstage on Raw this week, we saw something of a progression here as Mendes wished Del Rio luck ahead of his match with Orton on SmackDown.
Sure, it looks innocent enough, but could this be the start of an on-screen pairing of the two?
They appeared to have decent chemistry, and since making the switch from wrestler to manager, Rosa Mendes has worked well with Epico & Primo.
But with Ricardo Rodriguez doing a stellar job of managing the Mexican Aristocrat, is there room to accommodate Mendes?
Perhaps this potential alignment could involve Primo & Epico also, in some form of Hispanic heel stable. For me, this would be a great move as it could freshen up Del Rio’s act and help him become one of the company’s truly dominant bad guys.
Of course this may not materialise into anything, but should a new alliance come from it, then the benefits for those involved could be very rewarding indeed.
Having attended Raw live on Monday night, unfortunately I did not see the Fandangoo promo that everyone is currently talking about.
However it was once again aired on the SmackDown broadcast, suggesting that Johnny Curtis’ new persona is pretty high on the WWE’s agenda right now.
And though it has sparked much debate amongst the IWC, I can’t really see the character catching on.
The gimmick can’t be taken seriously enough to be a feature in the main event, and it is too similar to a number of lower-card acts that we’ve witnessed over the years (Brodus Clay and Rico being the prime examples that spring to mind).
While it’s good to see Curtis getting an opportunity in the WWE, I can’t see too much potential in this gimmick myself.
It may well be entertaining, but is it necessary given the company’s current on-screen product?
A Live Crowd
One of the more noticeable aspects of SmackDown was the natural crowd reactions, an obvious result of filming the show live.
For me, this made for a vastly improved viewing experience, as the edited and over-dubbed crowd reactions that SmackDown has had to endure as of late have been one of few truly annoying features of the show.
This organic response creates a unique environment in which stars can be cheered one minute and booed the next regardless of whether they’re heel or face (take Wade Barrett for example).
While I understand the WWE desires certain reactions to certain superstars, the natural crowd responses make for a far more interesting and enjoyable show.
It may be a minor point, but it was something that made this week’s episode of SmackDown slightly more unique and, as a result, a particularly pleasing show.
So SmackDown may have not included the blockbuster announcements that we witnessed on Raw, but it was another solid showing once again.
With the live crowd, a rare and interesting match stipulation as well as an all-round decent quality of in-ring action, SmackDown was certainly worth watching this week.
Next week’s episode is of course the final rendition before Survivor Series, so expect some further drama involving the World Heavyweight Championship match and perhaps a minor build for a potential US title match.
But until then, comment below with your thoughts on the show, the WWE World Tour and the issues discussed in the article.