Shore's WWE Smackdown Hitlist: The final show of 2011 disappoints, Cody Rhodes impresses, Drew McIntyre does not, WWE turns a Tongan into a Mexican, and Big Show bickers with Daniel Bryan
By Chris Shore
WWE Smackdown Hits
Cody Rhodes, Booker T, and Dustin Rhodes: This was probably the best segment of the night, but that's kind of like being the least stinky pile of crap. Don't get me wrong, this wasn't terrible. Cody is infinitesimally more comfortable on the mic than he has been in the past, and I thought he did a very good job, as did Booker and Dustin to a lesser extent. But it was 15 minutes that was used to setup next week's show instead of putting heat on this week's show. Promoting next week is good. Taking up an entire quarter to do so is overkill.
Randy Orton vs. Wade Barrett: This was a decent match that soured on me at the end. Orton was working hurt and did a nice job of toughing it out, and the action was good throughout. The problem comes at the end. I don't mind the stair spot because you have to write Orton out to heal, but the cheesy security footage and illogical actions by the cameraman on the stairwell made it impossible to suspend my disbelief. Overall it is a hit, but one they almost missed on.
Big Show and Daniel Bryan: The match with David Otunga was stupid, but I really like the dynamic they have with Show and Bryan. Bryan can come off as a dork sometimes (OK, a lot of times) and that hurts the dynamic some, but as a whole I think this is working well.
WWE Smackdown Misses
Overall show: I know it's the holidays and all, but the "phone it in" shows are exceptionally bad because the regular shows can be bad too. This was more of a holding pattern show, but so many things just didn't make sense. Not to mention they bored me greatly. Tough way to end the year for Smackdown.
Jinder Mahal vs. Ted DiBiase: Neither of these guys have any real heat, but of the two, DiBiase certainly has the most. So creative decides to have Mahal not only squash him, but squash him and make him tap to a move that nobody has tapped to since 1985. It's almost like they don't want anybody to climb out of the basement.
Hunico and Camacho: I received several emails in response to my question about whether this act was offensive to those of Latin heritage. The response was about 50-50, but the one that shocked me the most informed me that Camacho is not Latino, he's Tongan. He's Haku's (Meng) son. That is where the biggest problem comes in. Don't get me wrong, I think Hunico has serious skill, but this gimmick is terrible.
Drew McIntyre: I'm happy to see Drew back on the air. He's a guy who has great ring presence, they just need to find him the right gimmick. I don't think this "fighting for his job" gimmick is the right one, but we will see where it goes. Having him job to Zeke is not the best way to get him back on track for sure.
Sheamus: Don't get me wrong, I like Sheamus. A lot. But I hate what they are doing with him right now. He's been floating in this nebulous area where he beats people up, but none of them really matter. With Orton out, I hope they can find better stories for Sheamus because he needs it bad.
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