Barnett's WWE Smackdown Report Card for the 7/22 Show: Featuring Daniel Bryan, Mark Henry, Christian, Sheamus, and Randy Orton

Posted in: Barnett Editorials, MUST-READ LISTING
Jul 24, 2011 - 07:41 PM

By Jake Barnett

WWE Smackdown Report card for episode airing 7/22/2011

Main Event:

  • I’m sad to report that Christian is still floundering as a heel. I wish it wasn’t the case, as I’m a huge Christian fan, but the fact of the matter is that WWE has damaged Christian with his repeated clean losses to Orton. They also haven’t helped matters with they way they’ve booked Orton’s character, which I will discuss in a moment.

  • Randy Orton has been frustrating for me to watch as a babyface because he continues to employ heel tactics in his matches and use heel type insults on the mic. Those things make it very difficult for his heel opponents to get over. It’s a peculiar situation to be in as a wrestling fan, because I’m not given a very good reason why I should cheer for one guy that kicks his opponents in the nuts and calls them pathetic whiners in their promos, and yet boo another guy who does basically the same thing.

  • Randy Orton’s match with Kane was very, very good. Aside from the very dangerous looking announce table mishap, this was damn near a PPV quality street fight.

  • Christian’s match with Ezekiel Jackson felt like watching an action movie fight that took place underwater. Both guys could just not get into a rhythm, and the finish itself involved the Killswitch, which I have stated before has the worst setup in all of wrestling. It looked patently ridiculous on Ezekiel Jackson.

  • Mark Henry continues to show us that he has something in the tank that very few people saw in him, and that's a legitimate run as a Main Event Monster Heel. I was impressed with everything Henry did on this show, and I haven't really been able to say that about anybody in quite a while. Good work both on the mic and in the attack on Kane to close the show. While I hope it doesn't happen for a while, I think whoever stops him could get a major boost as a babyface.

Final Grade: B-, for Mark Henry and the Streetfight.


  • Daniel Bryan had a decent segment on the mic with Michael Cole prior to his match with Heath Slater. I call it decent because I think its fairly obvious that Daniel Bryan has some work to do on the microphone, and Michael Cole helped keep this segment on a good pace to keep Bryan from struggling. That being said, I’m legitimately excited that Daniel Bryan announced that he was going to wait until WrestleMania 28 to cash in his MITB Briefcase, as it will give him some time to clean up his microphone work, and give WWE time to give him a well defined character.

  • Heath Slater is just not my cup of tea on the microphone. He just doesn’t come across as much of a legitimate threat to anybody, and I think the crowd reactions bear that out.

  • The match between Bryan and Slater was good, but nothing spectacular on television. I think a lot of the match was eaten up by commercials, and most of what was on TV was Bryan flying all over the place having a match with himself, and Slater just being out there so Bryan didn’t look like Al Snow.

  • Sheamus and Wade Barrett was a pretty brutal match, with both guys looking tough and getting in some hard hitting offense. Sheamus appears poised to be turned babyface by the audience, as he has been getting big time reactions from the crowd. What WWE does with him in the weeks to come will determine whether or not that happens.

Final Grade: B-

Lower Card:

  • What lower card? For whatever reason, WWE didn’t use anybody on this episode of the show?

Final Grade: N/A

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

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