What's up, ladies and gentlemen? My name is Eric Kanes and I am bringing you this week's edition of Smack Talk.
This week we had one of the most controversial editions of SmackDown in years. Just two days after winning the world title for the first time in his career, Christian lost it to Randy Orton. As soon as it happened, the Internet seemingly blew up with fury. People were outraged that the title was taken off Christian so soon after he spent 17 years working for it. However, I have to disagree. Taking the title off Christian may be a blessing in disguise. My full thoughts on the situation will be at the end of this article.
And now, from Orlando, Florida, let's talk some smack!
-The show started off with Christian coming out to say that his dreams paled in comparison to what it actually feels like to be world champion. He then got emotional and said that he was going to enjoy every moment of this reign. I guess he read the spoilers.
Mark Henry came out to the ring and said that he wanted a title shot. Christian wasn't sure if Henry knew that the title was made out of gold and not chocolate. The Great Khali joined the fracas and said that he should get a title shot because he's a former world champion himself. I guess we're supposed to forget that two months ago Mark Henry and Khali were participating in dance offs on RAW.
Finally, Randy Orton came out and requested a world title match as well. Cue Teddy Long who left the choice to the live crowd, as if they had anyone to choose from. A loud "Randy" chant broke out and Randy Orton vs. Christian was set up as the main event.
-Backstage, we saw more of Jinder Mahal with The Great Khali and Ranjin Singh. As Khali walked off, Singh let Mahal know that he is keeping Khali's career on track. Mahal wanted to know if it was his idea to have Khali wear a tutu on RAW. I have to say that I like the idea of having The Great Khali and Jinder Mahal as a monster heel team, possibly with Daivari as their manager. That is, if WWE doesn't break them up after a month.
-Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan was a fun match and it was executed perfectly. I love the fact that Daniel Bryan is on SmackDown and actually gets to put on extended matches. That's what he's there to do. I absolutely love the way that Sheamus is being booked right now. Honest to god, I can't remember the last time a heel went over clean. If Sheamus is consistently booked like this and doesn't get RKO'd or put in a dance off by next week, then he can be a solid world champion in the near future. WWE had a good thing going with Umaga in 2006 and Vladimir Kozlov in 2008. For some reason, their pushes were halted. However, if they keep this up, Sheamus can be the next big monster heel.
-What's the deal with Cody Rhodes? I get that his character is supposed to be psychotic but he genuinely sounds retarded. He's just repeating the same thing every week now. We get it, he's ugly. He's repulsed by the fans. He likes giving out paper bags. Now let's move on with the show.
-Haha it seems like at the start of Big Show vs. Ezekiel Jackson, a production crew member yelled something to Big Show. Big Show couldn't hear him so both he and Ezekiel had to do a 180 around the ring in the middle of the match. Oops!
Ezekiel got the win in four minutes after the rest of The Corre distracted Big Show and Ezekiel hit his clothesline. Ezekiel walked off without the rest of The Corre. Thrilling!
-Layla defeated Alicia Fox in about 30 seconds. Right afterwards, Kharma's music hit and both Layla and Alicia Fox just sat there. I don't think that's the best strategy. Alicia Fox at least had the smarts to try to defend herself but Kharma still ended up hitting a clothesline and her signature implant buster.
By the way, Alicia Fox legitimately hurt her shoulder here. For shame. I was looking forward to the epic Melina vs. Alicia Fox rematch.
-Backstage, Wade Barrett confronted Ezekiel Jackson but Ezekiel just decked him. The rest of the Corre members attacked Ezekiel and threw a dumpster on him. At this point, does anyone even care? WWE is taking the lazy way out again. Rather than actually trying to make the stable mean something, they end it before it can even start. The same thing is happening with The New Nexus on RAW.
As for Ezekiel, I can't imagine what the point of this is. If he's going to be getting a push as a face, then it will fail epically. It worked with Batista because he had been with Evolution for years and the fans were practically begging for him to be pushed. Ezekiel has not been able to connect with the crowd at all. I can only imagine how this is going to end.
-Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus and Sin Cara vs. Tyson Kidd in one night? Happy birthday to me. As soon as Tyson Kidd was drafted, the first thing I said in my draft review was that I want to see him square off against Sin Cara. It looks like that request was granted. However, I do have one major complaint. What the hell is up with the lighting in Sin Cara's matches? Seriously, it looks like something you'd see at an indy show. Unless Sin Cara has a part time job as a lights technician, there's no good explanation for this. WWE needs to lose it. It's cheesy.
-Given 15-20 minutes on PPV, Sin Cara vs. Chavo Guerrero has lots of potential.
-Booker T: "I don't think Chavo likes Sin Cara coming in and stealing his fire." Get him off commentary, please.
-Alright, so now it's time for the grand finale. The main event. Randy Orton going over Christian. To start off, I have to say that this was a fantastic match that was PPV quality. I have to question giving it away on free TV but after Miz vs. Morrison in January, this was the best TV match of the year. The finish with Randy Orton reversing the cross-body into the RKO was way up there with Air Bourne into the RKO last year. This one literally came out of nowhere too.
My thoughts on the booking decision? Initially, just like everyone else, I was shocked. However, before getting hysterical and attacking the WWE Facebook page like most other fans, I thought about it. Did we really need this? Did we really need another "underdog" world title reign only for Christian to go back to being a mid-carder in several months?
Honestly, Orton winning the strap might be the best thing to happen to Christian. The underdog/Money in the Bank pushes have been so overdone in recent years that there was no way Christian was going to look like a credible main eventer. Case in point - what happened to Rey Mysterio after he got a push out of nowhere and won the world title? What happened to Rob Van Dam after he cashed in money in the bank? What happened to CM Punk after he cashed in money in the bank for the first time? All of those guys went back to being mid-carders because they weren't ready for those pushes. Throwing the world title on a random mid-carder does not make him a main eventer.
Therefore, this might actually be the start of a proper push for Christian. He can turn heel and become the top heel on SmackDown, as the show is severely lacking in that area. I mean, who else is there to challenge Orton? Wade Barrett? Mark Henry? Clearly, Christian will remain in the main event scene. Except now, it can be done correctly. Now, Christian can become a legitimate main eventer rather than a transitional one.
Was Randy Orton's title win rushed? Absolutely. However, it had to be done.
Overall, SmackDown gets a strong 8/10 from me. Is it a bit high? Maybe. However, I really enjoyed the wrestling this week. Daniel Bryan and Sheamus had their best match yet, Tyson Kidd and Sin Cara put on a decent match, and Randy Orton and Christian put on the best TV main event of the year. The Corre break-up and Cody Rhodes promo were unnecessary but tolerable compared to some of the other stuff we've seen this year. This is easily the best SmackDown of the year so far. Keep up the good stuff, WWE!
By the way, just throwing it out there. In case you haven't noticed, I am now a featured columnist which is pretty cool. Basically, what that means is that on top of Smack Talk and The RAW Review, I will have some additional weekly columns so be on the lookout for those.
I will be right back here this Tuesday with my weekly RAW Review but until then, I'm out!
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