Barnett's WWE Smackdown Hitlist: Follow-up show to WrestleMania 29 and the raucous Monday Night Raw crowd, reaction to Dolph Ziggler, Chris Jericho, Fandango, Randy Orton, Sheamus, and Big Show
By Jake Barnett
WWE Smackdown Hits:
Opening Segment: Dolph Ziggler was a little hoarse from losing his voice, but overall I thought this segment succeeded in lining up logical challengers for his Championship and setting him up to be the heel that is perpetually seeking validation for his greatness. Dolph is a classic example of a guy who can make the wormy heel act work, and I think they set him up perfectly here in order to make that happen. Eventually down the road, I can see this becoming a feud with his bodyguard Big E Langston, which would closely model the relationship between Shawn Michaels and Diesel.
Dolph Ziggler vs. Chris Jericho: A fine match that allowed both Ziggler and Jericho to really sink in to their roles. Fandango's involvement was limited and managed to position him well to get some heat, even if the crowd would rather dance to his music. Jericho has done a fine job of integrating his Y2J revival and the improved ring psychology of his heel character together to have some fine matches since his latest return. Ziggler is easily one of the finest athletes in WWE, so it should be no surprise that they delivered a very good TV Main Event. This is worth catching on line or on DVR if you missed it, if for nothing other than doing a little fandangoing.
WWE Smackdown Misses:
Overall Show: This show was a bit below average from my perspective. The WrestleMania hangover appeared to be in full effect, because outside of the first and last segments it appeared to be a lot of going through the motions. A lot can be forgiven due to the stress of WrestleMania and the emotional hangover that must follow, and I hope to see things improve next week. I think there are a lot of positive things that will come from Ziggler cashing in his briefcase.
Randy Orton and Sheamus vs. The Big Show This is a miss not so much due to the quality of the match but more so the banality of all the characters involved. Big Show has been the most watchable of any of them, so I can't really place this on him, but Orton and Sheamus really need an opportunity to branch out. Their characters feel like they are covered in moths at this point, as it's been too long since they have really done something fresh with either of them. Sheamus is still a caricature of an Irish Hooligan, and Orton has been literally giving the same promo (If he can remember it, har har) for over a year now to different opponents. Both men are in desperate need of something to sink their teeth into, as they more often than not look like they are putting on a good face to deliver promos instead of looking truly invested in what they are doing.
The Divas: There was a 6 woman Divas match on this show, but it's rather inconsequential to the problems facing the entire division. Kaitlyn and AJ seems to be the most interesting feud they have to offer at this point, but AJ is too wrapped up in her other story to really focus on the Divas title. The Bella's and Funkadactyl's story is far from exciting, and we don't really even know who the Funkadactyl's are as human beings. Sure, they dance with Tons of Funk, but who are they? Why should I care if the Bella's dislike them and want to beat them up. The overall point is that the Divas division needs time and investment, and it needs characters that have identities women can relate with. The Divas will undoubtedly always be desired by men in the audience, and that isn't bad in and of itself, but they desperately need more humanization as characters so fans of WWE have a reason for investment.
Do you have questions, comments or concerns? Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or on twitter @barnettjake.
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