8/7 Barnett's WWE Smackdown Report Card: Randy Orton and Christian deliver in the Main Event, Mark vs. Sheamus is building nicely, plus the Divas, Daniel Bryan, and Tyson Kidd entertain.

Posted in: MUST-READ LISTING, Barnett Editorials
Aug 7, 2011 - 06:01 PM

By Jake Barnett

WWE Smackdown Report Card – Episode Airing 8/5/11

Main Event:

  • Well, we got a great match out of Orton, Christian, John Morrison and R-Truth that really picked up the last hour of this show. Christian's pin on Orton and his celebration after the match was excellent in the context of the feud, even though he had pinned Orton on Raw just a week ago and it was apparently written out of history. Morrison and Truth looked very good here as well, with both guys adding to the entertainment value of this match in a big way. Morrison hadn't really been entertaining me since his return, so it was good to see him find his groove and deliver in a main event match.

  • If you had told me a few months ago that Mark Henry and a Sheamus would be in a feud where Mark Henry had gotten over as a bad ass heel and Sheamus was getting major baby face pops, I probably would have asked you where you got your drugs. This feud has been fun to watch develop, as Mark Henry is very effective as a destroyer, and Sheamus has been very successful at convincing crowds that he never backs down from a fight. The eventual confrontation between them will be intense, and I hope they are able to stretch this feud out long enough for both men to benefit from it.

Final Grade: A-


  • Daniel Bryan and Tyson Kidd really impressed me on Friday. It wasn't the flashiest match I've ever seen, but it was 10 minutes of great wrestling that told a great story in the ring and had a logical finish. There isn't much more to say about this match except you should go out of your way to check it out, especially if you are a fan of old school Pro Wrestling matches. It's like Mid 80's NWA with better conditioning and without the awful haircuts.

  • I do have to ask, what the hell is going on with the Intercontinental Title? The champion is limited in the ring and on the mic, and the guys chasing him don't seem terribly interested in the belt at all. Cody Rhodes character showed a lot of promise early, but he seems to be stuck in limbo. We don't know anything about him besides that he's really mad Rey Mysterio ruined his looks, and they've beaten every “ugly” metaphor to death, so now apparently all he's left with is this paper bag gimmick? And why does Ted Dibiase still follow him around? It's not like he's gained anything from it in the past few months. The more I try to understand this booking the more I get nosebleeds. I'm sure this started out as a great idea, but they're going on a month now with a weeks worth of material.

Final Grade: C+

Lower Card:

  • The Divas match between AJ and Natalya was really a good example of how they should be developing this division. These girls don't need to be acrobats or high fliers, and they certainly don't need to go out there and perform high spots or high risk moves every night in order to get their point across. The divas division is perfectly suited to mat wrestling, story telling, sex appeal and possibly breaking out a big spot once in a while to really put over a big moment. This match delivered on all of those fronts, and was a great follow up to the Beth Phoenix assault on Kelly Kelly on Monday. I have high hopes for the future of the division if they are able to keep the lion share of the focus on the girls that are established as good workers.

  • I'm under the impression that this story line with the Great Khali and Jinder Mahal was specifically crafted to appeal to the WWE audience in India. With that in mind, I have to say that I have been less impressed with the delivery the further this has gone on. I think this angle can be saved if they involve another wrestler that is more over with the US audience, but as of right now this seems to be dovetailing off into the abyss. It's sad to say, because it started off quite well.

  • Well, so much for a Tag Division resurgence. Just a few weeks ago I was talking about how Slater, Gabriel and the Usos were really reigniting the possibility of a genuine tag division, but the follow through has been less than stellar to say the least. Two 3 minute matches without any real story development or enough time to sell a story in the ring doesn't make for much interest from me. But the Haka the Usos perform is still entertaining. Unfortunately it is probably the most entertaining thing about the Tag Division right now.

Final Grade: C-, but only because the Divas were good.

Overall Show Grade: C

Questions, Comments or Concerns? Feel free to contact me at or on twitter @barnettjake.

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