Its a problem Smackdown has had since Sheamus became champ. Strong showings and promos here and there, but overall it always just seems to fall flat. The crowd is generally dead, the pacing seems slowed down, and the star powers on the brand tend to just flicker these days.
Smackdown needs something. I just don't know what it is yet.
Big Show segment.
See my nice little heading above? Yep, its my own version of stairs. By looking at the heading you may already realise that this is me expressing my opinion on the whole segment without even going into detail about it yet. It was a segment that just went down step-by-step as the clock ticked by.
The segment started off very well, with Daniel Bryan showing once again how enjoyable he is to watch on the mic. Everything from him stepping up for his refereeing performance on Raw this past Monday to the use of his catchphrase just came off very well.
And then the segment went down a step when Del Rio came out. I know they probably want the Mexican Aristocrat to be the next in line to challenge Sheamus for the World Title, but really, what was the point of his involvement in Bryan's air time? And I know I'm going to sound like a broken record talking about Del Rio's repetitive promos, but I have to, because Del Rio also comes off as a broken record. Actually, scratch that, he sounds like a record that has been stamped on repeatedly, broken in half, thrown into a blender and pissed on my a stray dog. That's how much I dislike his promos.
And then it got worse. The step went down another notch when the World's Largest Athlete came down to the ring and confronted Bryan and Del Rio. After saying “Yes... or Si” for what felt like an eternity, Big Show was then left in the ring with Ricardo, who then received a Choke Slam.
And maybe this is the segment that sums up Smackdown at the moment. Daniel Bryan is the creative sparkle, Del Rio is the constant reminder that no one else feels fresh, and Big Show is the super-face who beats up people for fun, like he's at some sort of house show.
Titus O'Neil and Darren Young vs. Yoshi Tatsu and Ezekiel Jackson
Huh, that actually wasn't half bad from O'Neil and Young. When they first popped up from the latest NXT I wasn't sure they'd be anything special. I thought they'd be just another 'thrown together' tag team that would be gone within a couple of months (although still manage to win the straps at one point knowing the tag team division), but they seem to be gelling pretty well together.
The pre-match segment with Yoshi showed that they are trying to come across as a genuine tag team (albeit using some borderline racist heel tactics) and their chemistry ain't half bad either.
As for the match, nothing great, and their new tag team finisher looks dodgy as hell, but I'll try and remain optimistic about this tag team. Who knows, they may be the saviour to the tag team division... yeah, alright, probably not.
Randy Orton segment
I generally like Michael Cole interviews, but this one just simply didn't hit home with me. I guess it's just been the same thing from both wrestlers. Just lots of angry expressions, revenge plots and less than average matches.
I never liked this feud to begin with, so I guess the fact that its still going on after all these months (Really? It's only been two?) is enough to show that I was never going to get into it.
Oh, and I guess I got to mention Jinder Mahal coming out. That was eh, unexpected... and really, really stupid.
Antonio Cesaro vs. Tyson Kidd
This was a match I was looking forward to the most, even though I knew it was just going to be a squash match. More than anything I wanted to see if we'd see that deadly uppercut in Cesaro's arsenal, so it came as a relief to see him lift Kidd up in the air and spash him across the face with it. I guess he was always going to use it, but you never know with the WWE.
Cesaro looked impressive here, for the whole two or three minutes of the match anyway. Not sure about his finisher, looks a bit awkward, but I guess it's something I can easily deal with. Really, I'm just happy to see him on the main roster.
Sheamus vs. Mark Henry
I'll admit, I was a bit sleepy at this stage so the match doesn't stand that clear in my mind, even though its only been a day since I've last seen it. Nonetheless though, I was awake enough to see that this was a decent match.
Nothing overly exciting about the match, although that was always to be expected considering this was just your standard Smackdown main event. I know Mark Henry has lost a lot recently, yet has kept his dominant reputation intact, but maybe its time he picks up some momentum again. The loss to Sheamus here was needed I guess, but why not go with a controversial ending? Why not have Bryan attack Sheamus and give him some more momentum going into Extreme Rules?
I think that could have been a better ending to be honest, but alas, they decided to go with yet another house show ending. A clean win by Sheamus, a jab at Bryan's catchphrase, and even more momentum going into Extreme Rules.
I know its obvious Sheamus is going to retain on Sunday, but sometimes they make it all TOO obvious.
- “Yeah, in slow motion that did look pretty fair.” “Slow motion?”
- Skipped a lot of stuff this week, including the Divas match, Rhodes/Khali and the Ryback squash match. Simply put, there just wasn't enough to talk about it. I will say this though, there was absolutely no reason for Rhodes to job to Khali. No reason at all.
- Not only did Cesaro have an impressive debut, but he also made Teddy Long cry. HEY!!