Friday Night Smackdown: 7 Potential Feuds To Kick Off 2011
The new year will bring many new feuds between the biggest names in the WWE. There is anticipation in the WWE Universe on what 2011 will bring and many are thinking that the company will continue to improve this year.
Dolph Ziggler is the #1 Contender for the Edge's World Heavyweight Championship and Wade Barrett came onto Smackdown to beat up the Big Show, but those are the only two established rivalries. All the other Superstars are free to battle anybody else on the roster. So I was thinking about what combination of wrestlers would provide Friday nights with the best overall program and this is what I came up with.
So please let me know what you think about these feuds. Are they realistic match-ups? Would these be entertaining or just so so? Thank you for reading my article; I greatly appreciate all of your feedback and comments. Even though we might have some disagreements about what Smackdown should do with their show, one thing still remains and that is "It is what it is!"
Before We Start: THe Odd Man Out
I foresee Jack Swagger not engaging in a feud with anyone for an extended period, for the time being. After Kofi Kingston beat Dolph Ziggler for the Intercontinental Championship last Friday night, Jack Swagger essentially lost a compass, because his character now has no direction. Swagger won't get a championship chance because matches between him and Kofi have already occurred and would be too repetitive. So where does this leave Swagger?
There are other heels on the roster that deserve to be pushed in front of Swagger currently, even though he is a previous ECW Champion and World Heavyweight Champion. His lack of mic skills and at times rigid moves in the ring has slowed his development. So unfortunately, Swagger is going to get lost in the shuffle and occasionally wrestle some jobbers from "WWE Superstars" or occasionally hop into another feud to add some spice to it. However, Smackdown only lasts 2 hours and there just isn't enough time to push everybody, so Swagger's role will be limited.
However, this new found problem is a good thing for the show as a whole. There should be at least one legitimate guy on the show that can be used as back-up just in case somebody gets injured. This allows for flexibility that Smackdown hasn't had in awhile, due to the fact that they only had 10 wrestlers who were regulars on the show.
Smackdown has added two big names to their roster in Ezekiel Jackson and Wade Barrett. WWE.com has not switched Barrett onto Smackdown's page on the website but the latest commercial for this week's Smackdown advertised Barrett as Smackdown's newest star, so I would say it is pretty official. This new talent being infused into Friday nights is a great thing but has also sadly kicked Swagger to the curb.
Lay-Cool VS Kelly Kelly
If Beth Phoenix isn't around, these three are the only Divas on the roster that can actually wrestle. Now I know that the Divas division can be pretty fluid in between the rosters, but I predict that they keep the talent in house for a little while, because Raw is focused on the Women's Title fights.
This feud could give Kelly Kelly the opportunity to prove to the fans that she is improving in her wrestling skills. She still has a ways to go but the WWE will be patient with her because they want her to become a top face in the future.
This feud could also be the place where Lay-Cool splits up. Unlike TNA, there is no Women's Tag Team division and there doesn't seem to be enough Divas to make that thought a possibility, so it's a little awkward to have only one tag team. Besides, the "whole cheating for each other to help each other win in singles matches" is past its prime and I think both Divas would appear stronger if they had to fight for themselves.
The final match could be a triple threat match because both Michelle McCool and Layla want to pin Kelly Kelly by themselves so this match is then scheduled. I would hope Layla would get the pin over Kelly Kelly and that would give her some more credibility as a wrestler and help establish her solo career. I love it when feuds advance the careers of wrestlers.
Ezekiel Jackson Vs
I don't know when Ezekiel Jackson is set to arrive on Friday nights, but when he does he is sure to get some monster victories over some jobbers. Zeke is physically intimidating already but the writing team will want to establish him as a dominant force on Smackdown right off the bat.
My vote for the lucky fellows who would get the privilege to step in the ring with Jackson would be Trent Barreta and Tyler Reks. I think they are the two best performers out of the 5 "WWE Superstars." Trent Barreta can sell being thrown around the ring while still putting on good offensive moves when his name is called. Tyler Reks is an imposing force with a unique finisher in the Burning Hammer that makes him the total package inside the ring (his mic skills are basically non-existant at this point and that is what is holding him back.) These guys have put in the hard-work for the company and deserve a chance to put on quality matches under the blue lights.
This will allow the audience to get to know Ezekiel for a couple of weeks before he receives his big push on the roster. This is a fairly standard procedure to introduce any superstar onto a new show (unless your Wade Barrett can go after the Big Show right after you get kicked out of the Nexus.) Zeke will probably start off as a mid-carder but if he continues to improve he could do many great things on Smackdown.
Drew McIntyre VS Kane
These two Superstars do have some history together as they competed for Drew McIntyre's Intercontinental Championship at the 2010 Elimination Chamber pay-per-view. McIntyre held on to the title, but this battle gave me the inspiration for this storyline.
Drew has been sweet talking with Kelly Kelly as of late and last week came to her rescue during an uncalled for beat-down by Lay-Cool after her match. This seems to indicate a face turn is in the near future, but he still needs to prove that he is truly a good guy.
One possibility would be to have Kane, the creepiest man on Smackdown, try and become more friendly with Kelly Kelly. Although this would be great comedy for the WWE Universe, it would obviously scare Kelly Kelly more than reading Goosebumps as a kid and she would run to Drew for protection. In the past, Kelly Kelly would have run to the Big Show for help but this sign of trust would go a long way in their relationship.
Drew could now come in and be her Scottish knight in shining armor and have a rivalry with the Big Red Monster. They are both large and powerful men who need some direction for their career. Kane is now out of the World Heavyweight Championship chase and needs to start acting more like a heel to get more heat, and being a creeper would certainly accomplish that. While Drew needs to start looking like a true face and defending Kelly Kelly in honorable ways without being a violent jerk who cheap shots his opponents when they are vulnerable. He needs to grow up and be a true man and this would give him the chance to.
Rey Mysterio VS Cody Rhodes
With Wade Barrett's arrival on the scene, it appears that the Cody Rhodes and Big Show storyline that got a promo during the pay-per-view of Tables, Ladders and Chairs is now over. Rey Mysterio is fresh off a loss to his long-lasting rival, Alberto Del Rio. This wouldn't be the first match between these two because they also met in a King of the Ring qualifying match in 2010.
Rey Mysterio is easily the biggest hit on Smackdown because he is so relatable to the audience because of his undersized, underdog attitude that combines with his high flying, high risk wrestling style. Cody Rhodes has established himself as a unique heel because he gains heat by just being an annoying, vain, pretty boy. They are also both great on the mic which would allow this a tremendous feud with just the two of them instead of using outside help to spice it up.
They both are talented in-ring wrestlers who can perform prolific moves for the fans entertainment. The fans would give this match match plenty of pop because of the popularity (and hatred) of the two competitors. Rey should win this feud because the fans deserve to see him actually succeed instead of always just coming up a little short. I don't want Rey to become like the Chicago Cubs- a lovable loser.
Wade Barrett VS The Big Show
Here is the moment we have all been waiting to discuss. Their first encounter was during the #1 Contender match for the World Heavyweight Championship when Wade Barrett stopped Big Show right in his tracks right when it was appearing he was going to win. Then he left as quickly as he appeared, but a match between these two has been scheduled for this Friday's show. And so begins Wade Barrett's tenure on the Blue brand.
Big Show is one of the most popular wrestlers on Smackdown and can now add actor in the movie "Knucklehead" onto his resume. He also has the physical size to make the fans believe that he actually could dominate his opponents. Wade Barrett, the former leader of the Nexus, has now had his umbilical cord cut, and he is ready to make a name for himself by himself. His accent gives a certain charm when he is talking and he combines that with a developing arsenal of power moves.
Many people are expecting Wade Barrett to explain why he left Raw this week and I hope this is true. I also hope that they come up with a reason that doesn't make him look weak, because he was on the path to stardom on Raw and I would hope that it would continue. A win over Show definitely put him on the map, because the WWE basically tries to make us believe that Big Show is almost unbeatable. But I see Wade Barrett doing something the Texas Rangers couldn't do - take down a Giant.
Kofi Kingston VS Alberto Del Rio For The Intercontinental Championship
Smackdown has not established who will be the #1 Contender to Kofi's belt. This opportunity could go to Cody Rhodes, but I think it would be best to give him some more time to develop before he gets a major push. Alberto Del Rio is a budding superstar who is making a huge impact on Friday nights with his charismatic rich man persona and will continue to get pushed as the top mid-card heel.
Del Rio hasn't held a championship in the WWE yet, although he was placed in the Fatal Four-way World Heavyweight Championship match at Tables, Ladders and Chairs. This feud would be a huge draw for the WWE Universe because the matches would put Kofi's high flying moves against the powerful and cunning maneuvers of Alberto. This is about as premier of a match-up the WWE can put on outside of the Main Event sphere.
I think Kofi will end up holding on to his title for a couple of reasons. First off, the WWE doesn't seem to be that interested in putting Kofi into the premier championship matches, but recognize he is one of the fan's favorite stars. His face is on almost every promotional item and to keep the fans happy they decide to give him a title for now. Also, there will be more heels that deserve to be Intercontinental Champion than faces soon. Wade Barrett, Ezekiel Jackson, Kane and Cody Rhodes all could feud Kofi for awhile and put on very entertaining matches.
Edge VS Dolph Ziggler For The World Heavyweight Championship
This feud has already been established and will be the biggest draw on Smackdown until the Royal Rumble. This will be Edge's first battle besides Kane's rematch which he recently won. Dolph Ziggler is fresh out of the Intercontinental Championship scene where he had a solid and lengthy run. However, this is Dolph's first taste of the biggest stage and he is battling Edge who is a very accomplished wrestler.
Edge has held a total of 30 championships in the WWE, he is a 10 time World Champion, and is one of only two males to hold every active championship today. Needless to say, Edge has paid his dues in the WWE and his a legendary wrestler in the minds of many in the WWE. He brings the huge star power and incredible experience to this match up.
Edge is also known for his antics on the mic and with promos and that is an area that Dolph doesn't excel in. However, Dolph makes up for it with the performances that he puts on. His moves are very well executed and he sells his opponent's attacks very well, which is a great attribute to have. Dolph is a rising star and could use the high profile feud to help establish him in the main event.
Ultimately, I see Edge winning this feud, because a loss to Dolph this early in his championship would make Edge look weak. Also, I don't think Dolph is ready to hold the biggest title on Smackdown, because he still has a lot to work on with his verbal skills. He has the talent to be a big name, but being a World Heavyweight Champion also requires charisma and poise that he doesn't quite have yet. But don't worry Dolph fans, because his time most certainly will come.