5/29 WWE Smackdown Report Card: Randy Orton, Christian, Sheamus and Mark Henry angle on Smackdown is very good, but the rest of the show is once again a Mixed Bag

Posted in: Barnett Editorials
May 29, 2011 - 03:00 PM

By Jake Barnett

The purpose of this editorial is to rundown the latest edition of WWE Smackdown by highlighting the top angles on the show, list where I think they succeeded and where they failed, and give it a final letter grade in the traditional grade school format. I will also give the overall show a letter grade. The following Report Card pertains to the May 27th edition of Smackdown.

Angle 1: Randy Orton vs. Sheamus for the World Heavyweight Championship:

This Week’s Successes:

  • The opening promo for the show really showcased how well the Main Event picture on Smackdown is clicking right now. All 4 guys got great reactions from the crowd, and the creative team is doing a great job of making it feel like any of these guys can beat the others.

  • The finishing sequence in the Main Event really sold me on the future of this storyline. Orton costs Christian the match, Christian gets his motivation for a heel turn, and Randy has plenty of room to spin it in a way that will enable him to stay a babyface. The whole thing came together with great timing and it looked great on TV.

  • WWE booked the Christian vs. Sheamus Title Match for next week’s show, and I like the decision for a number of reasons. One, it practically guarantees a great match to close next week’s show, and two, it opens up more options for Christian to develop his character without having to do it in the context of another Title Match.

This Week’s Failures:

  • I wish the announce team would have spent more time putting over what had happened to Christian in the main event. I’m not sure what broke down in the booth, but it felt pretty negligent to not even plant a seed regarding the potential fallout of Orton (potentially inadvertently) costing Christian his Title Shot.

  • I wasn’t completely thrilled with how magnanimous Christian was about his title loss at the PPV. I understand he was still playing the good guy and that he respected Orton, but that doesn’t mean he has to like him or compliment him regularly. It seemed forced, but luckily it didn’t last long.

Final Grade: A-

There aren’t any other angles worth talking about on the show, so I’ll give an overall rundown.

Overall Show:

This Week’s Successes:

  • Daniel Bryan and Cody Rhodes both came out of their match smelling like roses. Both men were excellent in the ring, Bryan got a much needed win, and Cody got some good heat back for his post-match beat down. I hope this turns into a long term program, because given some time these guys could really give us something special.

  • Jinder Mahal continues to impress. Khali turning his back on Ranjin Singh and leaving with Mahal was well done, and the crowd booing them on their way out of the arena was an indication that the casual WWE fans are buying into this as well. I hope we see this story move a little more quickly going forward, as I think the crowd is ready to see Jinder in the ring in some capacity.

This Week’s Failures:

  • Sin Cara and Chavo Guerrero delivered another clunky match on Smackdown. There has been a lot of criticism of Sin Cara about botched spots since his debut, and honestly in the past few occasions I see this as more of an issue with his opponents being unfamiliar with his spots. Chavo did not help on either occasion with his La Mistica finisher, and none of Sin Cara’s offense had the snap it had during his match with Daniel Bryan. I hope we see him get in the ring with some opponents who are familiar with selling his style of offense to see what he is capable of. To see it sold correctly, check out this link.

  • The women’s division is dying without Kharma. It was a shame to see she’d be out for 9+ months. I hope the Diva’s division isn’t still on life support when she gets back.

  • Kane’s match with the Great Khali was just plain bad. It was clunky, full of missteps, and then it was just over. If Michael Hayes reads this, please man, you’re killing me. I know you don’t know me, but you can only watch so many of those matches before accusing WWE of crimes against humanity at The Hague.

Overall Show Grade: B-

Questions, Comments, or Concerns? Please contact me at or on twitter @barnettjake.

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