Barnett's WWE Smackdown Hitlist: The Wyatt Family, Some quality TV matches, and a whole lot of awful make for a very fast forward friendly episode of Smackdown
By Jake Barnett
WWE Smackdown Hits
Bray Wyatt Promo: We finally got a decent promo out of the Wyatt's, which had really been missing since they started on their collision course with CM Punk and Daniel Bryan. Wyatt articulated that he's tired of false heroism earning the cheers from the crowd, and they he and his family would be the reapers that set the world right again. It made sense in the context of the feud, and it finally gave us a little bit more of a reason for the initial attack. They still haven't addressed “the devil made me do it”, and they may never do it, but this was at least a step in the right direction.
Overall Match Quality: We saw several pretty entertaining bouts on this show. The opening tag match between the Rhodes Family and the Real Americans, The Shield vs. The Uso's and Rey Mysterio, and the main event between Daniel Bryan and Luke Harper were all worth watching and entertaining in their own right. If you're just looking to be entertained by some pro wrestling matches, it's hard not to recommend this show. If you follow the show for intrigue and storylines, it's hard to recommend this one.
WWE Smackdown Misses
Overall Show: This show was a huge miss for me. I was hoping WWE would really try to heat up the angles for the Survivor Series show, but they continued the process of barely limping their way in. Long term, I don't know if the last several months will have a lasting chilling effect on WWE creative, but it has been brutal and they have sacrificed four PPV's due to their refusal to really get behind their new talent. They had a lot of options open for guys like Antonio Cesaro, Daniel Bryan, and The Wyatt family to really break out, but none of it was particularly capitalized on. This show tonight was a prime example of that. Aside from the Wyatt Family promo, there wasn't anything that moved my needle in the slightest on Survivor Series.
Big Show and Randy Orton's Promo: I really didn't get this. Big Show went through hell in the past two months. He lost his job. He lost his house. Stephanie ragged on his “performance” at home while invoking his wife. Big Show should be the angriest guy on the planet right now, looking to punish everyone that was involved with what happened to him. But, on Smackdown, he felt like he was an awards show presenter, introducing video clips and interspersing them with a few canned sentences. Randy Orton was nearly lifeless as well, giving a typically banal heel promo that barely registered as having any investment in his current storyline at all. If neither of these guys seems particularly invested in this story, why should I take the time to do the same?
Alberto Del Rio's Backstage Promo: In this segment, we had Renee Young introducing videos, which made more sense than having Big Show do it. But, we also had Del Rio spend his entire promo staring a queue cards, and not once make eye contact with the camera while he was threatening Cena. Maybe this is nit picking, but you lose all the effect of intimidation when you stare off into space while making specific threats. This feud also has the same problem as Show and Orton, in that both guys seem about as interested as they would be to sit down and tackle their 2013 Taxes.
Vickie gets here “revenge” on AJ: You can tell WWE is staring into a black hole in terms of creativity, when every show features an authority figure driven handicap match. If Monday's mockery of AJ Lee's medical issue wasn't bad enough, here we had a divas handicap match, which was only made tolerable by the fact that Tamina was at ringside to make it interesting. The focus on Total Divas and the creation of some kind of Divas caste system in WWE is basically television barbiturates. It puts me to sleep, as I'm sure it does everyone else that's watching. Sometimes, peering behind the curtain to reveal real life tension between pro wrestling characters is interesting. Most of the time though, it isn't, and I hope WWE figures it out before the Divas division is completely unsalvageable.
Do you have questions, comments or concerns? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or on twitter @barnettjake.
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