After the issues that occurred in Kendra’s Raw Is Blogged this week, I feel the need to add in a disclaimer starting this week.
The Smackdown Breakdown is a weekly opinion based review of Smackdown posted for the enjoyment of everyone here on WNW. As such, I don’t expect everyone to agree with me. If you do disagree, I encourage you to comment. But I ask that you please do so civilly, as WNW has a fantastic community that will gladly debate your point in a respectable manner. These views are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Richard Gray or the views of WNW as a whole.
While I am notoriously a fickle individual in these blogs, I like to think it is for good reasons. I grew up watching wrestling in the late 80s and early 90s, and back then we had all sorts of colorful characters. From IRS and the Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase to Doink the Clown and Razor Ramon to The Undertaker and HBK, that era had some of the most diverse gimmicks that we had ever seen. Fast forward to today, and we now have so many people with the normal “Tough Guy” persona or just focusing on the ethnic background of the Superstars. Sure, they have a few quirks, but where are all of the gimmicks? Fandango is where WWE finally seems to get back to trying to build up unique characters, and it is a step in the right direction. Will you remember Tyler Reks in 10 years? I know I won’t, but I will promise you I will remember people like Fandango, Santino, and Zack Ryder because their characters stood out from the crowd.
Break it down!
Opening Video: 4
It was a good recap of what happened in the key feuds of Smackdown on Raw, but I just can’t stand these videos! They may only be a minute long, but the voice-over in them is awful and they typically recap what they did in the opening video yet again later in the show.
Fandango and Santino Pre-match Promo: 9
Fandango’s turning into a sleazeball , and I like it! It’s a breath of fresh air in this era of cookie cutter characters, and something WWE needs to take note of. And I like how Fandango is really trying to keep himself as a heel, and I hope it doesn’t kill his momentum. I don’t think he would work very well as a face at this time. Santino is always funny on the mic, and that he got the better of Fandango before the match began gives me hope that a comedy character such as him can be taken seriously at some point.
Fandango vs. Santino: 8.25
I see the failed kip ups are going to continue with Santino. I know I bashed them last week and while I am still not a fan of them here, I understand their importance to Santino’s style of character. While the match was nothing overly special, I do like Fandango’s new finisher. It fits very well with his character, and looks impactful. It is leaps and bounds better than the top rope Legdrop! Until it gets a formal name, I am calling it the Dip of Doom! But the thing that stood out in this match is that we had two of the most colorful characters in WWE in the ring together, and neither one outshined the other one. They both found excellent ways to allow their opponent to show their colorful nature while not detracting from themselves, and the rest of the locker room should take notes on it!
Winner: Fandango (Pin)
Backstage Segment: 8.5
Booker and Teddy are about to hit their breaking point! And it looks like Teddy is the one turning heel, but with the way they have booked it so far, I am questioning where it will go. But Big Show coming in to thank Teddy made me think that Booker will fire him from his position as Senior Advisor and he will manage the monster team of Big Show and Mark Henry. Only time will tell, but I hope WWE will pull the trigger soon.
Champion vs. Champion Match
US Champion Kofi Kingston vs. Intercontinental Champion Wade Barrett: 8.5
I’ve always loved Barrett’s smash mouth style and Kofi’s high flying style, and I feel they work very well off of each other. Maybe it just shows how long that Kofi has been in the mid-card or maybe it is just the sheer amount of talent that was in the ring between the two of them, but I know that both of them could easily pull a great match with anyone. I enjoyed the pace of this match, as most mid-card matches here lately have felt very slow. And Barrett getting cocky here with his pin and getting caught in a backslide was a different way to end this match! With Kofi winning here, WWE has given themselves yet another opportunity to merge the mid-card titles. And like the announce team said, they had a good rivalry over the IC Title at the start of the year. I think it would make for a great way to give one of these two men that kind of massive push that they need to break into the main event scene.
Winner: Kofi Kingston (Pin)
Henry Interview: 7.75
It’s about time Sheamus gets some retribution for the two attacks that Henry has performed on him! This is shaping up to be a nice holdover feud for Sheamus until he can get back into the Title hunt. I just hope that Henry doesn’t get lost in amongst everything that is going on with Smackdown. Even though I may not like how he has shown himself in the ring since his return, I respect the contributions he has made over the last 15 year to the business.
Recap of Raw: 5
It was a good recap of what happened in the World Heavyweight Title feud, but they covered most of this during the opening video.
Alberto Del Rio with Ricardo Rodriguez vs. Jack Swagger with Zeb Colter: 9.5
First off, I hate the fact that they have now given us this match 3 times in as many weeks (Yes, I count the “Handicap Match” on Raw last week as one.), but after the match began, I quickly squashed that hatred! These two left everything out there this week, and told an excellent story with the match. This is how a great match should be! Both men sold their “injuries” quite well throughout the match, and I love how they both specifically targeted those respective areas. I gripe about people having a submission finisher and not targeting the affected body part, so this match ending with a roll-up by Del Rio utterly surprised me! It was a fantastic way to end a very technical bout that had so many false finishes. We got a PPV quality match here! On a side note, there was one small section in the crowd that was very obviously a heel crowd, and they were most noticeable here as they had a We The People chant going.
Winner: Alberto Del Rio (Pin)
Raw Rebound: 8
This was a better Raw Rebound than they normally put together, and it highlighted the budding feud between Ryback and Cena very well. I know Ryback won’t beat Cena for the WWE Title at Extreme Rules, but this could be an interesting feud for them to lengthen out! Ryback has been booked as a dominant force that can’t get it done at the PPV, and what a better way to give him a rub than to extend this feud past the hot shot 5 week booking and have it go all the way to SummerSlam, and have Ryback pick up a win there.
Shield Video: 9.25
Yet another amazing video by the Shield! While I can’t say that Ryback is afraid of the Shield, I can say that the spin The Shield puts on everything that involves them just sucks you into the group's psyche. And while I felt Reigns was somewhat weak here, the rest of the group brought it up quite a bit. After they are done here, I know that all three will have immense success at the top of the card.
The Great Khali, Natalya, and Hornswaggle vs. Primo, Epico, and Rosa Mendez: 3.25
It’s been a pretty long time since we saw Rosa in the ring, and I remembered why I didn’t miss her here. She has never been very good in the ring, and tonight’s match further showed that. Then we had to have that walking abomination Khali enter the ring! This was a giant waste of time, and of my brain cells to watch this! Even the announce team had to reassure the viewers to not change the channel!
Winners: The Great Khali, Natalya, and Hornswaggle (Pin)
Punk Recap: 9
Even with as much as they cut out of this video that, it still showed a ton of emotion from Punk. I may catch flak yet again, but Punk conveys more emotion than anyone else on the roster. Whether or not you like him or think it is just how the writers portray him, there is a certain element of it that is him.
Lesnar’s attack on 3MB from Raw: 7
JBL said it best that Lesnar is out of control. I know it is just how he is booked, but every time I see him attack someone that is lower in the card, I halfway expect to see an injury report from Richard. I know he had some great matches in his previous run, but he has done nothing during this run to impress me like he did back then. Honestly, he has made me wonder why, other than for his name and marketability, he was brought back.
Mark Henry and Big Show vs. Sheamus and Randy Orton: 6.75
This was a fairly standard match between the four of them. But after the shows that we have seen from them lately, I am getting tired of all of them not putting out their best performances! Other than Big Show throwing in a Final Cut this week, it felt like they were all just running through the motions. Hopefully they can get that passion that they once had and get it to show in their ring work.
Winners: Big Show and Mark Henry (Pin)
Overall Match Grade: 8.25 (7.25 if you add in the awful 6 Person Tag)
Overall Segment Grade: 8
Overall Show Grade: 8
While I don’t like the amount of recaps they felt needed to be shoved into this week’s Smackdown (We did watch Raw, Creative!), they at least were well done. I will admit that I was a little shocked when I averaged the scores up this week and they came up to as high of a score as they did! We did have some excellent wrestling this week, Khali and Rosa aside, and the 3 new segments were exceptional in quality. My biggest complaints this week was that The Shield, while making a video appearance, did not make a live one and that Dolph Ziggler, the World Heavyweight Champion, didn’t make an appearance either! The Shield has been a focal point of Smackdown for the last 2 months, and while I know that they aren’t technically involved with a Smackdown star, they could have came up with some reason for them to attack someone. And there is no excuse for WWE to not have Smackdown’s Champion on the show! WWE may have abolished the Brand Extension last year, but they still have two Champions and Ziggler should be on his show.
Last week’s trivia question was answered by Disqus user Kblitz! I’m going to keep the theme going with this week’s question.
Who has had the longest continuous employment as a wrestler in the WWE/F? Time off due to injury and being semi-retired counts, however they must still have been under a performer’s contract and not a Legends contract or another type of deal.
Thanks for reading, and I will see you next week for another Breakdown!