Shore's WWE Smackdown Hitlist: The final "full" Smackdown before WrestleMania 29 produces on one Hit, Rock beats up Big Johnny, Big Shoe, Sheamus, and Randy Orton argue, and Jack Swagger vs. Alberto Del Rio still flounders

Posted in: Shore Editorials, MUST-READ LISTING
Mar 30, 2013 - 01:10 PM

By Chris Shore

WWE Smackdown Hits

Wade Barrett vs. Chris Jericho: This was a big Hit as it was a well wrestled match, and managed to add a touch more depth to two different WrestleMania matches. Miz's arguing with Barrett at ringside, and subsequent admonition to "keep his eyes on the ball" won't save that weak feud, but it helped. Jericho and Fandango gave us more of the same, but that's what the feud needs, Jericho unable to get his hands on Fandango until WrestleMania.

WWE Smackdown Misses

Overall Show: This was the final Smackdown before WrestleMania for all intents and purposes (next week's show will be almost all hype videos and video from Axxess) and WWE failed to hype the show in any meaningful way. Two minor undercards feuds got good build. The rest was disjointed, lackluster, and weak. I didn't expect a show that knocked me out of my socks, but this was a complete waste of two hours that should have been better focused on selling pay-per-views.

The Rock: The live crowd loved the Rock, and he and Big Johnny got good reactions, but the whole segment was a miss because it put zero heat on the match with John Cena. Sure, Rock mentioned Cena a few times, but beating up a guy that Cena beat up, and Johnny reminded us of that, did nothing for the feud. Not to mention the segment was about 90 percent shtick. I've never been a fan of that, especially when building to WrestleMania.

Bench Press Contest: Cheesy. That's the only word I can come up with for this. We had to watch these guys lift that bar 106 times while the crowd chanted. How exciting is that! Not to mention I don't think it added anything to their match. If you really want this feud to heat up, have them crash into each other whenever they see each other with no real resolution. Not give some "no contact" warning and then have contact happen. Have them brawl for the next week with WrestleMania being the only hope for it to end. And for the love of God, stop with the Teddy Long vs. Booker T intrigue. To quote Charles Barkley, "That's just turrible."

Jack Swagger, Alberto Del Rio, et al: Boy, this feud has been a mess from the very beginning and no matter what they do, it doesn't seem like they can get anything to work. I wanted to love this feud, and I think a lot of people were with me. Sadly, I think everyone is now in agreement that this feud has flopped completely. What a shame.

Big Show, Sheamus, and Randy Orton: The attempt to show dissention in the ranks is the right call, the way they are doing it the wrong one. Sheamus and Big Show bickering backstage was silly at best, and then they come out for a match where the US Champion is yodeling? What the hell? But then they unite and chase off the Shield! I'm still not entirely sure what happens at Mania in this match, but I'm still going with Orton going nuts at some point as his "voice of reason" breaks down into the voices in his head.

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