Shore's WWE Smackdown Hitlist: Brodus Clay wins a dance off, Justin Gabriel looks good vs. Cody Rhodes, Drew McIntyre loses again, Daniel Bryan continues to improve on the mic, and Sheamus gets protected
By Chris Shore
WWE Smackdown Hits
Daniel Bryan: Bryan continues to do his slow heel turn and continues to improve each week on the mic. Last week's solo part of his promo was only OK. This one was very good. Intensity certainly suits him better than goofy babyface, and I love what they are doing with his character. I still fear WWE creative will screw this up and turn him chicken shit, but I can appreciate it while it lasts.
Cody Rhodes vs. Justin Gabriel: While not a long match, this was one of those matches that leaves you wanting to see the PPV version. Gabriel's in-ring skills are not in question; neither are Cody's. I do wonder if Gabriel has the mic chops to make it in the mid-card, but perhaps he can surprise us. Even if not, this feud, assuming there is one, should make for great matches.
Brodus Clay, Vickie Guerrero, and William Regal: I joked on Twitter that I really wanted to hate Clay's act, but he changed my mind. I did hate it, but it wasn't because I wanted to as much as it was because I wanted something different. And I still do. But the testament to the man's talent is that even though I want something else from him, I love this act. He has sold me completely on it. Vickie Guerrero's "Elaine from Seinfeld" dance (thanks to @pttemple for pointing that out) was absurd to the point of hilarity, and William Regal has a future in comedy when his in-ring days are done. Fun segment.
Overall Show: Even though I have some problems, my gripes are primarily with the individual feuds and not the show as a whole. This week wasn't as good as last week, but it was a good offering from WWE. The two hours went by pretty quick.
WWE Smackdown Misses
Sheamus vs. Wade Barrett in a tables match: Tables matches have become so predictable in WWE that all the fun is taken out of them. They are used almost exclusively to give a guy a loss without making him take a pin. It was a little ironic to watch Sheamus be on the receiving end of that protection after he won the WWE Championship from John Cena as the guy getting the cheap win. But they made this win even cheaper by having Jinder Mahal interfere, only to get crushed by Sheamus anyway. Nobody gained anything coming out of this match, the very definition of a miss.
Lumberjack Main Event: I realize they had to do something to protect Bryan here. And I also realize that WWE always has the big schmoz as a teaser for the Royal Rumble. But that doesn't mean it's a hit. Lumberjack matches are OK at times, especially when you have the chicken shit heel. But with both guys being heels this just made for an awkward match that led to a predictable ending.
Drew McIntyre vs. Santino Marella: I don't mind this in theory, but as I said in my report, there's only room for one comedy bit. Brodus and company were not only first, they were better. The McIntyre storyline bores me to tears, and I don't think it's helping the guy get over at all. I mean, he's jobbing to Santino two weeks in a row. How does that build a guy up?
Flag on a Pole match: I list the match, not the participants, because I don't have a problem with the workers here, just the match. I hate pole matches as a rule, and this continued xenophobic Mexico vs. America theme annoys me to no great end. Ted DiBiase and Hunico can have a good feud without it.
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