8/14 Barnett's WWE Smackdown Report Card: Sheamus and Mark Henry is great, Orton and Christian has some issues, and Triple H continues to be everything I feared he would

Posted in: Barnett Editorials, MUST-READ LISTING
Aug 14, 2011 - 05:40 PM

By Jake Barnett

WWE Smackdown Report Card for the 8/12 Episode

Main Event:

  • Well, the opening of this show was a major snoozer. First we got a 12 minute monologue where Triple H explained once again just how awesome he is, followed by another 4 or 5 minutes of Triple H telling us how little we should care about the current World Champion. I’m no marketing genius, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say that didn’t sell many tickets for SummerSlam.

  • Immediately following the opening segment, Sheamus took in Christian in what was a passable match. Sheamus looked very strong here against the World Champion, which is good considering his opponent for SummerSlam, but Christian again found himself looking like a guy out of place in his own match. The crowd didn’t react for his offense positively or negatively, and when he walked out to get himself counted out, the crowd cheered for Sheamus and didn’t even bother to boo the World Champion. That match felt like something you book to start a feud between a strong babyface and a vulnerable heel World Champion, not the match on a go home show to a major PPV when your heel World Champ is desperately trying to obtain some credibility.

  • Randy Orton’s promo tonight was basically the same script he’s had for the last two weeks. In fact, if somebody told me the filmed them all backstage on the same afternoon and he just changed shirts, I probably would have believed them.

  • Well, the Orton vs. Khali match to close the show wasn’t anything super spectacular, but it served its purpose and Orton came out of it looking strong as usual. Christian’s promo to close the show was the most intriguing thing he did all night, but why they waited for the close of the show on the Friday before the PPV to finally add a wrinkle to this match I’ll never know. Felt like something that should have opened the show and should have been built upon, and folks that didn’t watch this show don’t even have any clue that Christian has an ace up his sleeve. The booking of this whole angle has been pretty sloppy up until this point.

  • Mark Henry and Sheamus is going to be awesome. It has been the best booked angle on Smackdown leading up to SummerSlam, and I’m pretty confident they will deliver in the ring on Sunday. I never thought I’d want to see this match, but kudos to whoever is responsible for this backstage, because it has been a hell of a lot of fun to watch. I’m stoked that they have managed to keep them apart until now. It should add a big match feel to when they lock up that is absent from a lot of other WWE matches.

Final Grade: C-


  • Daniel Bryan and Alberto Del Rio put on one hell of match for the 4 minutes they were given on television on Friday. The selling was good. There was plenty of high impact offense, and we got a clean finish that benefitted the loser and didn’t really take much away from the winner. I don’t know how you do much better in terms of storyline development. Wade Barrett’s post match attack was well done, and we got a Barrett vs. Bryan match booked out of nowhere. Not a bad bonus match at all.

  • Cody Rhodes picked up the IC Title from Ezekial Jackson in a match that would have gotten booed right out of any NWA or ECW event. This match was slow, for one, and often times seemed to be operating at whatever FPS the WWE slows down John Morrison to in his entrance. Cody definitely isn’t at the point in his career where he can carry people like Zeke, and Zeke isn’t at the point yet where he should be put in a position to sell a lot of offense from a smaller guy like Rhodes for extended periods. He’s just not there yet. I think he can and will be, but it’s not today.

  • Johnny Curtis debuted tonight in a match with Mark Henry. He got squashed in less than a minute, but it actually worked for me. He didn’t look like a goof, he actually took Henry’s offense and got some in of his own, and in the end I think his interview with Henry earlier in the show was probably the best verbal segment of the entire broadcast. Nobody is going to remember this loss in a few weeks, but I think he did a good job laying down part of the foundation of his character, and he did himself a service in that regard.

Final Grade: C

Lower Card:

  • Sin Cara defeated Tyson Kidd in what was an ok match, but Mistico’s replacement Hunico was definitely not the same guy in the ring. He was quite a bit larger, had a different move set, and wasn’t as light on his feet for the aerial maneuvers. That being said, this match was still very entertaining and Kidd sold everything extremely well. The announcers, on the other hand, overplayed their hand making the Sin Cara seem out of place. Booker commented on his size, and Cole mentioned his new move set twice like it was out of the ordinary. Very Odd.

  • Natalya and Beth Phoenix continue to demolish everyone in their path in the Divas division. While they request to be called the Divas of Doom is probably half joking, I think it could work if they change up their looks. I don’t buy Nattie as a smiling and pink clad Diva of Doom. Give me a darker character and a color change and I think it will start to click. The match tonight was just a means to an end. The finishing sequence was pretty good, though.

Final Grade: B-

Overall Show Grade(not an average): C

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

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