Barnett's WWE Smackdown Hit List: A very good episode of Smackdown that had great segments from Randy Orton, Kane, Daniel Bryan, Damien Sandow, Sheamus and more
By Jake Barnett
WWE Smackdown Hits:
Randy Orton, Kane and Daniel Bryan on MizTV: This was another house show type opening segment to get the story of the show fired up, but I thought it worked and everybody delivered a solid performance. Kane left the ring towards the end, which I think was a good move because it allowed some space for Orton and Bryan to develop more tension for their feud. Once again The Miz kind of felt like a prop on his own show, but he did keep things moving when it needed it, so I didn’t mind him here at all.
Chris Jericho vs. Curtis Axel: A minor hit. I liked the way they managed to intertwine the match with Jericho’s feud with Punk, but that was mostly the finish of the match and the post-match beating Jericho put on Axel. I thought the actual performances in the match were OK, but nothing to write home about. Heyman’s performance on commentary was solid as well, as he did a great job of putting over Punk and Axel from his position.
Kane vs. Ryback: An above average big man match that surpassed my expectations. After Ryback’s great match with Daniel Bryan on Monday, I was expecting a letdown in this match that didn’t come. Ryback took a very good looking choke slam from Kane, and the power bomb into the table that ended the match looked brutal on television. The match was very physical and a good reminder that I should know better about underestimating the talent and experience of Kane in the ring. A good effort from both men, and and equally good backstage trash talk segment between the two before the match. Ryback wasn’t nearly as awkward as he was on Monday and Kane held up his end of the deal as well.
Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins vs. Randy Orton and Daniel Bryan: I enjoyed this match quite a bit. I like the tag team isolation offense that The Shield focuses on, and Orton did a great job selling for the middle part of the match. Reigns and Rollins continue to really surprise me with how high a standard they have set for their work rate in their matches, and this one was no exception. The finish was clever and I thought they made Daniel Bryan look like a complete rock star again. The inadvertent kick to Orton by Bryan was a bit predictable, and so was the RKO on Bryan post-match, but it was predictable in a good way.
Fandango vs. Zach Ryder: Fandango heeled it up again here, and really did a great job of manipulating the crowd. He and Summer Rae may not be able to dance, but they are drawing a strong crowd reaction and that’s probably better than the inverse. The match with Ryder was short and sweet, but very competent, with a nice looking power bomb and Alabama Jam. The Miz also stepped up on commentary to hard sell his triple threat with Fandango and Wade Barrett, and he did a very good job.
Damien Sandow’s Feat of Intelligence: A much better segment this week, with Sandow getting the better of Sheamus, and finally establishing a physical presence in the ring. I didn’t like the previous two segments because I thought Sheamus’ promos had been really bad in them, but he used a little brevity here and let Sandow do most of the talking. Sandow monopolizing the promo time was a lot better than the other way around, and I liked the offensive fire Sandow showed after he snapped.
WWE Smackdown Misses
None! Go watch this show, it was much better than the average Smackdown!
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