10/9 Barnett's WWE Smackdown Report Card: Big Show returns to confront Mark Henry, The WWE Wrestlers continue their Walkout, and Randy Orton doesn't play well with others

Posted in: Barnett Editorials, MUST-READ LISTING
Oct 10, 2011 - 09:15 AM

By Jake Barnett

10/9 WWE Smackdown Report Card – for episode that aired 10/7

Main Event:

  • Big Show made his triumphant return to the show, and was able to hold on to the crowd for a good amount of time with his promo. I have my reservations about it, because I'm not a big fan of watching Big Show cry, but overall he was pretty good until after Mark Henry came out. Henry definitely gave the stronger confrontational promos of the two tonight, and it will be because of him that this feud succeeds.

  • Henry really shined again on the mic on Friday. It wasn't quite the caliber of the excellent promo he gave on this past Monday's Raw, but he was able to keep my attention and elicit a good response from the Biloxi crowd. His promos continue to be one of the pleasant surprises of the show.

  • The last segment of the show had Henry getting beat down by show and choke slammed through the announce table, bookending Show's threat to Henry at the beginning of the The Big Show. I thought the action itself was fine and definitely delivered some very high impact moments, but I question the need for physicality so early in this return feud. I understand the need to legitimize The Big Show as a threat, but they could have given the fans a little more time to build suspense before they gave away show getting his hands on Henry on free tv. It seemed a little wasteful given how much suspense they attempted to build with video packages.

  • The Main Event Tag was a bit of a mixed bag for me. The action was solid, and I like everybody in it, but it just felt like it lacked any kind of consequences for the show going forward. It got all of these guys on TV, which is important, but for me it felt like that was the only purpose of the match. It wasn't bad by any means, but it didn't feel as important as it should have.

  • Randy Orton gave a fairly pedestrian promo tonight. It was nothing special by his standards, but he was able to brush off the losses to Mark Henry a bit and keep his focus on earning another title shot. He basically brushed off the walk out as mob mentality nonsense, and while it works for him it really didn't do the people who walked out any favors. Hopefully they don't use the major stars like Cena and Orton to further pile on the rest of the roster that walked out. The situation is already muddy enough as it is.

  • Alberto Del Rio made another workmanlike appearance on this show as a part of the walk out angle. Del Rio has lost a significant amount of steam since Wrestlemania, and needs to find a feud that can really make him into a star. If he can get a decisive victory over Cena, he could turn the corner again. If he doesn't, it will take some effort to rebuilt him. The match with Sin Cara was fine, but very short and didn't really show us all they were capable of.

Final Grade: B-

Mid Card:

  • Air Boom's explanation of why they walked out on Triple H was awful. If that promo was written down and read off of cards someone needs take a creative writing class.

  • Sin Cara vs. Sin Cara will continue, whether we like it or not. I'm pleased that they actually have them wearing different gear, but can they hire an actor play a Mexican wrestling fan and voice over a vignette to explain this story? They haven't been able to tell it well with the announce team or either competitor, so let's get them some help or end this quickly and mercifully.

  • The overall walkout storyline has been a black cloud hanging over the rest of the show. How can I take the action in the ring seriously, when there is an angle going on where they suspend wrestling reality and people in active feuds cooperate with each other? WWE is confusing long time fans and alienating casual fans by having two separate storyline bubbles going at the same time.

  • Dolph Zigger and Jack Swagger continue to impress me with their chemistry. They seem to work very well together, and I'm digging the old school feel of the matches with Vickie at ringside as the manager adding another layer of possibilities. The pre-match assault was well done, and Kofi and Evan don't look like schmucks for taking the loss after wrestling injured. It did well to further this storyline and set up a good opportunity for everyone involved to gain something from the feud.

Final Grade: C

Lower Card:

  • Beth and Natalya looked vicious in their post match assault on Alicia Fox. The match was literally a throwaway, but I liked the attack after the match to get some heat back on them after getting beat up by Eve and Kelly on Monday. Alicia tried her hardest to audition for the next remake of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre selling the submission, but it was forgivable and didn't completely distract from the rest of the segment.

  • Ezekiel Jackson squashed Jinder Mahal on Friday. I'm not surprised at the continued push for Zeke, but why the sudden loss of faith in Jinder Mahal? He was very good in the early part of his run, but either creative lost interest or Mahal has rubbed someone the wrong way backstage. I hope it's just a creative hiccup and they'll give him another chance, because he looks to have all the tools in place.

Final Grade: C

Overall Show Grade: C

Questions, comments or concerns? Contact me at or on twitter @barnettjake

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