Shore's WWE Smackdown Hitlist: Big Show, Daniel Bryan, and Mark Henry do their best to sell their Royal Rumble match, rest of the show is "must miss TV"
By Chris Shore
WWE Smackdown Hits
Opening Segment: Usually as you add more guys into a talking segment, it starts to lose its punch. The exact opposite occurred on the show. Big Show did a great job, Daniel Bryan came out and added another great layer, and then Mark Henry joined them as the icing on the cake (which we all know is the best part). This flat sold the triple threat match for me, and I'm looking forward to what they do on Sunday.
First Half of Randy Orton's Return: The initial brawl between Orton and Barrett was well done from Barrett's promo until Barrett escaped. I'm not a fan of showing Orton walking through the back while his music played, but that's a minor detail. Orton looked good and not like his back was hurting him at all. Barrett getting away so they can continue this feud makes sense, and I expect lots of fun from these two in the Rumble.
Final Segment: It would appear that Henry might have hyper-extended his knee during his match with Big Show, so the end was apparently booked on the fly. That said, they did a nice job of continuing to put heat on Daniel Bryan and Big Show.
WWE Smackdown Misses
Overall Show: From a hype for Royal Rumble view, the show would be a minor hit. From an entertainment point of view however, the show is a big miss. The matches were too many and too short, and they mostly meant nothing. There were too many gags on the show with the backstage segments and Brodus Clay, and nothing felt special except for Bryan, Show, and Henry.
Brodus Clay: No, I'm not reversing my already reversed decision on Brodus. His act is still fun, but the squashes are getting old fast. It's time for him to move into his first feud. I assume they are waiting until after the Rumble to do so, and that makes sense. But I have grown weary of the dancing squash match and hope the next time we see him it is setting up something long term.
Teddy Long and Aksana: This would have been a hit if for no other reason than Teddy shut Aksana up by coughing, "Kayfabe," at her during the innuendo part. But then they added a fart. Why? I'm sure Vince McMahon thought it was the funniest thing he had ever seen. I'm also sure anyone who had a friend watching for the first time wanted to kill themselves. Ridiculous.
Second Half of Orton's Return: While the brawl and whatnot was good, the RKO train at the end of the segment was not only unnecessary, but killed a lot of what was good about the brawl. The five guys who took the move look like morons, and Orton looks like a caricature of a wrestler. I knew someone was going to get an RKO, and one probably would have been fine. But the extended string is worthy of much ridicule.
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