Barnett's WWE Smackdown Hit List: A much better show that featured The Shield, Daniel Bryan's new attitude, a fantastic main event, but a few disappointments
By Jake Barnett
WWE Smackdown Hits
The Shield: What more is there to say about The Shield? They are easily the best positioned act in all of WWE and they have been delivering the performances that warrant it. They had another barn burner of a match with Randy Orton, Sheamus and Kofi Kingston, and continue to get some of the best reactions from live crowds in all of WWE. WWE is doing a good job of striking while the iron is hot in this case, and I'm looking forward to see how they develop The Shield futher going into Payback.
Daniel Bryan: While I'm not particularly enthusiastic about the apparent Daniel Bryan heel turn, I can't deny that the man has a ring presence and a connection with the crowd that is hard not to notice. The match he had with Swagger on Smackdown was surprising in how dominant he was, and I really hope that's how they are considering pushing him for a singles run. Bryan's offense is some of the most dynamic in WWE and I think he will find a way to succeed whether he is positioned as a babyface or a heel.
Fandango, The Miz, and Wade Barrett: While MizTV is generally a snoozer of a segment, I enjoyed how Fandango parried most of Miz's insults by simply showing a lack of interest in anything he has to say. I can't say I don't sympathize with him in that sentiment. Barrett was portrayed here exactly how he should be, which is a smash mouth brawler who doesn't put up with nonsense and isn't out there to make any friends. I'm probably overstating how good this was because I'm just excited to see the Intercontinental Title get any attention at all, but it was a promising development towards that end.
Randy Orton: Orton seems poised to make a charge back towards the top of the card. I think they could likely get some mileage out of him and Sheamus feuding if Sheamus turns heel. I know everybody is probably shaking their head at me saying that Orton should remain a babyface and feud with a heel Sheamus, but my gut reaction is that Sheamus is in more of a need of a change of pace than Orton is. Randy just got a quality win over Big Show in his hometown, and is getting mega reactions from crowds, and is delivering solid matches on TV whenever he is given the time to do it.
Curtis Axel and Sin Cara: A much better effort on the mic compared to Monday for Axel. Paul Heyman is going to help him mature quickly, which is exactly what is needed here, and you can already see the positive effects. My only criticism is that Axel doesn't seem particularly comfortable speaking other people's words yet, as he adds pauses in areas where I they don't really make sense. I'm sure that will improve over time. The match with Sin Cara was better than most Sin Cara matches, which are generally awkward looking due to most wrestlers not being well versed in his type of offense. Axel looked comfortable and Sin Cara sold his offense and his unnamed finisher very well. I think they could have a very strong TV match if given more time.
WWE Smackdown Misses:
No Dolph Ziggler update: What gives? No pre taped interview? No via satellite promo? Nothing? He's the World Champion right? Why doesn't anybody care about letting us know where he is in his recovery?
Chris Jericho vs. Big Show: This was the worst kind of Big Show match. The man is a giant, yet a codebreaker sends him flying over the barricade into the time keepers area for a count out, and then Jericho runs him off with a chair. Is this the same guy who knocks people out by landing a punch in the general vicinity of their face? The booking schizophrenia around him is always so jarring. One week he's an unstoppable train of fists, and the next he is Sloth from The Goonies. Jericho was portrayed as Superman here, which I can only assume means he is going to be set up to job to someone who WWE wants to get over in a big way.
Excessive Video Packages: Just stop it already. It's too much, and it makes Smackdown feel overproduced compared to Raw.
Do you have questions, comments or concerns? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or on twitter @barnettjake.
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