Barnett's WWE Smackdown Hitlist: Daniel Bryan gives Ryback a fantastic match, Fandango continues to impress, as do the Shield, but the rest of the show leaves much to be desired
By Jake Barnett
WWE Smackdown Hits:
Daniel Bryan vs. Ryback: A very fun match that showcased both men well. Bryan's offense made perfect sense in the context of who he was facing, and Ryback did a very convincing job of selling it as well. Bryan pushed the pace of the match well, and his speed mixed with Ryback's power made for an interesting clash of styles that helped the match come together nicely. The finish was what you would expect given both competitors current positions on the card, but I'm not sure Ryback gained much from beating Bryan, who hasn't had a meaningful win in quite some time. Kudos to Bryan for giving Ryback his best singles match we've seen from him in WWE.
Fandango: Fandango continued to illicit strong reactions from crowds, both good and bad. Apathy is the enemy to any wrestling act, so whether fans choose to love him or hate him is better than not caring at all. I like that they've integrated Summer Rae into his act, because if the act ever gets to the point where they need her to take an active role she's more than qualified to do that. WWE needs to find a secondary program for Fandango if Chris Jericho's appearances are going to be few and far in between, because Fandango is definitely at hit best with someone to antagonize.
The Shield vs. Team Hell No: I was happy to see this program evolve into something over the Tag Team Championships, because I think it's time for the Shield to dominate that division and for Team Hell No to finally bid us adieu. I've like them as a team in the past, but Bryan and Kane have spent enough time way from singles programs that they would feel fresh if they were introduced back into the main even picture. The Shield have been excellent since WrestleMania, both in how their attacks on television have been presented an in their backstage promos. We still haven't seem them give an explanatory promo about what “justice”is to them, but they have been very entertaining once their promos moved from the general ranting now onto specific ranting about their targets.
WWE Smackdown Misses:
Overall Show: This show was almost an echo from Raw in regards to it not having a particularly good flow. There were moments that I liked, as detailed above, but they were accompanied by a lot of video packages and filler that didn't really make the show feel very important. A lot of the segments were either hokey or meaningless, and if it wasn't part of my site responsibilities to watch the show in it's entirety I may have just fast forwarded right through them. To be clear, I don't blame the talents involved in these poor segments, I blame the material, and it seems WWE has a hard time focusing on more than a couple of programs at a time.
Mark Henry and Sheamus Arm Wrestling: I think everyone knows by now that Pro Wrestling is a work, so every time they drag out these silly contest segments, it seems to be that they are asking a little too much of their audience. Mark Henry was really one of the smartest and most dominant heels in the sport when he held the World Heavyweight Championship not that long ago. Now, I am supposed to believe that he is dumb enough to be consistently fooled by playground antics. By the way, why is the babyface doing the playground bullying to the larger, stronger heel? This one is silly enough to just write off, but the sad part is I think they'll still have a pretty good match.
Del Rio, Swagger, and Ziggler gets convoluted: I'm not sure why we needed to have three successive matches involving the managers, enforcers, and eventually the wrestlers involved in this feud. We saw a hokey match on Monday to determine the ladder match stipulation, but this series on Smackdown overstayed it's welcome and ended up being way too cheesy for this viewer. I actually like the people involved in this feud and am looking forward to this match at Extreme rules, but these matches just felt like they were there to kill time rather than any specific purpose.
Randy Orton vs. Damien Sandow: I was perplexed that we didn't hear from Sandow at all about Orton beating his partner on Monday, and then we got a virtual squash match with Orton dominating before and after the commercial break. Big Show's promo taking about what he would do to Orton at Extreme Rules would have been fine, had it not been for the part where they don't actually have an Extreme Rules match yet. This whole segment seemed like it would have been better with Sandow cutting a promo at the outset and Big Show's interference leading to a cheap heel victory to set up a match at Extreme Rules.
Do you have any questions, comments or concerns? Please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or twitter @barnetjake.
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