Shore's WWE Smackdown Hitlist: Daniel Bryan shines, the crowd gets dampened, two superstars are reintroduced, and not a single match makes the hit part of the list
By Chris Shore
WWE Smackdown Hits
Daniel Bryan: Much like Mark Henry late last year, Bryan continues to be the single best thing on Smackdown each and every week. His mic work this week was excellent, and I was especially impressed with how he didn't sound like a loon when he started yelling, something not every wrestler is able to do. At first blush, I do not like he and AJ breaking up as the dynamic between them was very entertaining, but just because they broke up doesn't mean that dynamic will necessarily go away so I will wait to pass judgment as the story progresses.
Ryback and Damien Sandow: The former Skip Sheffield and Idol Stevens made their first re-appearances for WWE on Smackdown, and any new blood is a hit. Ryback was introduced as a former contestant on NXT season 1. That's interesting because that's two performers now who have had their previous runs alluded too. He's big, arguably too big, but seems to be in much better control of his body than last time. Sandow looks nothing like his former gimmick, which was not mentioned. He is coming in with a "smart heel" gimmick. His pre-tape was well done. We'll have to see if his ring work is on the same level.
WWE Smackdown Misses
Smackdown crowd audio: The crowd seemed incredibly muffled on the show, and it was obviously dubbed a few times in the Bryan promo as you could see scores of people chanting "Yes" while not being heard. Even though the Raw crowd got a little obnoxious Monday night, they made that show a ton of fun, and WWE should not only not mute crowds, but encourage them to go crazy. I don't know how rabid Orlando was, but they were certainly more active at times than the audio showed.
Sheamus vs. Del Rio: This main event was disappointing. The match itself wasn't very good. There wasn't a lot of ring psychology in play. It just seemed like some random spots thrown together. The finish was terrible. The pretend chair shot has never been my favorite, even when the late Eddie Guerrero did it. But when Eddie did pull it out, it was at least more entertaining than this because of the humor involved. This just looked like a referee that was stupid enough to fall for anything.
Big Show and Cody Rhodes: There might have been a weaker way to follow up on their WrestleMania match, but I struggle to come up with one. Big Show squashed a guy who got squashed by a rapper, and Cody looked like a punk. That's exactly how to keep my inter...wait, what were we talking about?
John Laurinaitis: There is no question that Johnny Ace has been a million times better than I thought he was going to be. Tonight, however, he wasn't very good. The whole opening segment wasn't very good, in fact. We've seen Teddy beg for jobs before. We've seen the heel GM embarrass the guy in the ring before. It's the same tired ass storyline that has played out in some form for the last 15 years. Enough already.
Kane vs. Randy Orton: So Orton gets his win back in a no DQ match so they can raise the stakes at Extreme Rules to give us this same basic match but with more weapons. At least that's my prediction. Here's the biggest problem with this match, which wasn't all that bad in and of itself. This match is based on a feud that is based on a match just eight months ago. And what type of match was that? A no DQ match. Been there, done that, and it wasn't all that long ago.
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