Smackdown is over and it's time to see if the creative team is heading in the right direction for the Pay Per View in a week. We open up with The Undertaker coming out... and talking. I don't know how much I can stress this. You can not start a show by talking. It doesn't matter who it is. Talking means people will change the channel. The Undertaker character is suppose to be a man of few words. Why is he in the middle of the ring talking to everyone? La Familia is seen backstage watching the promo. Everyone leaves Vickie in the dressing room when the door locks on her. I'm willing to except this only because The Undertaker character is supernatural and weird things always happen when he's around. But for this to be the opening segment was a bad idea.
Another R-Truth promo runs, right before his match. That seemed like a waste of time. We've been watching this promo for weeks, no one was going to forget who he was. Dyksrta comes out and cuts an interesting promo. It was a worked shoot with him talking about how the company doesn't see him and that he deserves TV time. What's interesting about this is the fact that he was pulled from TV months ago after an injury but wasn't put back when he was cleared. It looks like this is his new character, which should work. History has showed that some of the best characters are just extensions of the real person. The match was pretty one sided with Dykstra taking the offense and then creative showed where the R-Truth character is going. He hits his two moves of doom and pins Dykstra. There was no build up, just an ending. Hopefully R-Truth will get in some more offense next match otherwise they're going to fall into a whole new Cena thing, circa 2005. No one was showcased in this match, so it's hard to say anything else.
McCool is in the back for a photo shoot and Maryse comes in. These two really shouldn't be talking. Maryse' accent is so think, it's so hard to understand what she says. McCool has some of the most inappropriate pauses in her speech and makes the whole thing feel awkward. We come back from break and we have a women's tag match McCool and Maria versus Maryse and Natalya. The fact that Natalya isn't the main focus of this match just shows how much they don't care about improving the divas division. Granted, there was some solid work from McCool but she's still far away from being amazing. Natalya is being booked to look very weak now. She's a third generation superstar. One of the last students of the dungeon. She shouldn't have any problems fighting McCool. Maryse is starting to pick it up but not by much. She's still very sloppy but you can tell she's trying. The end was abrupt, with Maria taking a DDT by Maryse. McCool and Maryse slug it out afterwards and continue to show us that they still need training.
An MVP and Jeff Hardy promo runs explaining the rivalry. I really liked this because it felt like this was the last match in the feud and we usually only get those at pay per views. We get some more shots of Vickie locked in her dressing, not really doing anything. Jeff Hardy versus MVP is up. Now, MVP is one of the best kept secrets in the WWE and has an uncanny ability to make you interested in everything he does. Jeff Hardy is one of the most over superstars on the roster today. For whatever reason, this match was not interesting. It had a good pace, it told a good story, the back and forth action was fine, but it was so typical that it wasn't interesting. It felt like they were playing it safe. The length of the match didn't help either. I'm for long matches on TV but only if they are interesting. Jeff gets the pin after a Swanton and Shelton Benjamin comes in and hits him with the Paydirt. MVP tries to celebrate with Shelton but gets a Paydirt also. It looks like Shelton is being pushed as the top heel on Smackdown now. Which I'm all for but he needs to lose the US Title first and let someone else carry that division.
Another Smackdown your vote video and again, they aired a different video. I still think this is a great idea and can't show enough support for something like this.
Jesse and Festus versus Hawkins and Ryder match is next, if you want to call it a match. They come out and tangle for a bit before the Big Show comes out and tears them up. Show cuts a promo about him being ignored. As I do like this story, this was the worst possible time to progress it. Not only does it look down at the Tag division, or whatever is left of it, but Vickie can't even address the situation because she's locked in her room. Who was Big Show talking to? Shouldn't he have broke the door down and rescued her then demanded a title shot for his troubles? Why come in and beat up on some tag teams that no one cares about just to address someone who can't hear you? Another interesting note about this segment is the fact that Big Show didn't attack Festus. The bell rang as Festus was outside and he never came back in save Jesse. So of all the people in the ring, the only person creative was willing to protect was Festus.
There's another segment with Vickie locked in her dressing room. At this point how come no one has come by to help her? You'd figure that with her being the GM, someone would realize that she's not around and go looking for her.
Victoria comes out for a match with the debuting Brie Bella. If I'm not mistaken, she should be one half of the Bella Twins from FCW. I've been waiting to see them called up for some time now because of all the new stories that could come from twins. However, I wasn't expecting her to be so green. She was incredibly slow and not confident in anything she did. They lost the fans quick. Victoria did everything in her power to make Brie look good, but it just wasn't working. The end sees Brie trying to escape under the ring only to be dragged out by Victoria. Brie gets a quick roll up and doesn't seem injured anymore. Hopefully, this is the new story. I'm assuming Brie's sister was under the ring and they made the switch. This is one of the stories I had in mind for them if they called up. I'm opposed to how soon they were put on TV but if this is done right, they don't need to look good in the ring to win matches now. They need to go into a feud with McCool over the title now and hopefully not make the reveal until deep in the storyline.
They run some John Cena injury footage. Usually, I would have a problem with this because Cena is on another show, but Cena is the biggest name they have in the WWE and his injury was legit. The fans have a right to know how he is doing and this isn't progressing a story on another show.
The Brian Kendrick has a promo back stage and it was honestly the best one of the night. Kendrick came off as creepy when he's quoting Sun-Tzu and very intelligent. If done properly, Kendrick could become the break away star of Smackdown. Interesting note; Ezekiel was reading a Dr. Seuss book in the background. I don't know if we were suppose to see that and it's part of the story or if that was a rib someone was pulling. Either way, Ezekiel quoting Sun-Tzu with Dr. Seuss in hand was classic.
The main event of the evening sees Triple H versus Shelton Benjamin. They had a quick promo from Shelton while Triple H was in the ring. It felt a little forced that they're pushing Shelton as the heel with this promo. These two still work great together but they had the same problem that Hardy and MVP had earlier in the night, they just couldn't keep it interesting. Something about these two seemed repetitive although they haven't fought in quite some time now. The momentum shift happens over the break which is the worst time to do this. Before the break Triple H is in control, after the break Shelton is in control. How is anyone suppose to care if they aren't emotionally involved when the switch happens. It's just too abrupt. The fans didn't seem to much into it. They chanted a few times but they weren't out of their seats the entire time. The end sees Khali coming out and distracting Triple H. Shelton comes by and tries to hit the Paydirt but Triple H counters and lands the pedigree for the win. Now, why does Triple H have to win this match? He would have lost nothing had he jobbed to Shelton because of a distraction. It would have elevated Shelton as a heel and kept Triple H looking strong. Instead, Triple H is so good that he doesn't even have to pay attention to the match to win. Shelton looked incredibly weak at the end of this match, even after he attacked Triple H with the belt and hit the paydirt. It looks like Shelton can't get the job done at all. Khali comes down and choke slams Triple H before he walks away.
We cut back to Vickie stuck in her room. The lights go out, she screams, and the show is over. Really? Two hours for the lights to turn off? That's the best creative could come up with? Overall, everything about this show was just off. The matches, the promos, the booking, everything. This was one of the worst Smackdowns I've seen in awhile and Smackdown is usually one of the best shows of the week. My rating: D+