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 April 29 edition of Smackdown.
Angle 1: Christian vs. Randy Orton for the World Heavyweight Championship
This Week’s Successes:
- This was the best Randy Orton match I think I’ve ever seen. As much as the outcome was controversial, the content of the match was phenomenal and I think Randy Orton may have silenced many of his detractors with this match. Christian was excellent as well, and I think we’ve only seen the beginning of where these guys can take this feud.
- This will sound like a repeat of what I said on the Smackdown Audio, but Christian proved to me that he was ready for a Main Event run in WWE with his performance this past Friday. I’ve always been high on him as a talent, and I thought at some point he would get his lengthy run as champion, but I think we saw WWE turn taking the title off of him into a positive. He is better as a heel, and we haven’t seen that since his return to WWE, so I think this is a perfect opportunity to set him up as the top heel on Smackdown. There are plenty of Mid-Card heels on the show that could use him as a mentor as well. Overall, I like the move, despite the internet kneejerk that happened after the announcement on Tuesday.
This Week’s Failures:
- Christian’s face character was definitely running out of gas, as was seen in the latter half of his promo to open the show. The emotional high from his best friend’s retirement and winning the title were temporary, and when that thrill faded the promo had nothing else to run on. It was a good move to take the title off of him because of this and this alone. He would have had a regrettable run as champ because his character only could have taken a step back in emotional investment on the part of the fans.
- Randy Orton needs to shave his beard. He looks like a 17 year old late bloomer with a patchy beard.
Final Grade: A-
Writers Note: There weren’t any major singles angles developed on this show, so I’m just going to make a few comments a few of the show’s more notable moments.
Moment 1: Kharma makes her first appearance on Smackdown.
- Kharma took some heat backstage for the injury sustained by Alicia Fox on this show. As Chris Shore and I both concurred in our Smackdown Audio, this didn’t appear to be anyone’s fault. I think the clothesline combined with Alicia’s leg being held caused her to fall in an odd way and land awkwardly on her shoulder. I hope the bad blood backstage diminishes quickly, because this was another great segment that both girls deserve credit for. Alicia took the Implant Buster better than any of the Divas so far, and Kharma looked like a beast in the best way possible.
- It was odd to see Layla scamper off after Kharma made her way out to the ring, after Jim Ross did the hard sell on Monday for Kelly Kelly being “frozen with fear” in the ring. Hopefully we get some consistency on that in one way or another, because it would be odd for Kharma to have super powers that work on some people and not others.
Final Grade: B
Moment 2: Ezekial Jackson walks away from The Corre, gets beat down backstage.
- I don’t understand why you’d make Zeke the first guy to break out of this faction. He doesn’t really seem like he’s got it all figured out on the microphone yet, and we haven’t seen him sell enough offense to really determine if he can work with wrestlers of varying styles. Call me a skeptic on this one but I don’t really know where he goes after he gets done feuding with his Corre faction mates, if my assumption about this feud is correct. I hope to be proven wrong, honestly.
- Why is Wade Barrett not getting mic time? It makes me wonder if he has some issues backstage that we aren’t aware of. Or Maybe he never ingratiated himself to the Smackdown locker room, I have no idea. Whatever it is, I hope it gets resolved soon because he has a lot of talent that we’ve yet to see tapped on Smackdown.
Final Grade: C+
Overall Show Grade: B+
Overall Show Comments:
- Cody Rhodes needs to move his character in a new direction, any direction. He has given the same promo now for several weeks, and the crowd is just not responding to him.
- The Great Khali and Jinder Mahal could be interesting. I know The Great Khali has a huge fan base in India that probably is just about as happy with how he’s used as the Christian marks are about his title loss. Will we see a return of the heel Great Khali? I’m not sure yet, but if used sparingly in the right situations it could be a lot better than what they are getting out of him now.
- Daniel Bryan and Sheamus had a great match with little fanfare surrounding it. Given a decent build and an actual storyline, an eventual win by Bryan over Sheamus could be, as Joe Biden said, a big f’n deal.