Shore's WWE Smackdown Hitlist: Sin Cara and Rey Mysterio impress, Dolph Ziggler and Wade Barrett swing and miss, Damien Sandow continues to shine, Daniel Bryan stalls, and Kofi Kingston exposes WWE incompetence
By Chris Shore
WWE Smackdown Hits
Sin Cara and Rey Mysterio vs. Cody Rhodes and The Miz: This was a Hit all the way around. The match was very good, probably match of the night, and Rey and Sin Cara are showing that they make an interesting and entertaining pair. Short term I think this match goes to setup singles matches with Rey and Miz for the Intercontinental Championship, and Cody vs. Sin Cara in a match, probably involving the mask. Long term, I hope this moves Rey and Sin Cara to the tag division together where WWE would then be forced to give the tag teams some legitimate time. Or at least that's what I tell myself.
Damien Sandow vs. Randy Orton: I like that Sandow continues to get good love from the top of the card, but I worry that his gimmick will become the guy who runs away. Still, he was good on the mic here, and he and Orton had a surprisingly entertaining match. They were given more time than I thought the would get, and they used the most of it. This hit reminded me, on a much smaller scale and order, of Chris Jericho and The Rock when Jericho debuted. If Sandow can continue to hold his own in promos with the big guns, and they protect him from becoming the run away guy, he could have a bright future very quickly.
Brogue Kick ban setup: This story was a Hit all the way from the beginning of Smackdown. It fell apart at the end (see below), but I don't want to throw out all the good storytelling because of a terrible finish. The finish matters, ultimately, but Ricardo and David Otunga did all the right things to get this over. Alberto Del Rio managed not to mess it up, but his promo skills seem to be receding, not progressing. Still, I enjoyed the build, right up till the end.
WWE Smackdown Misses
Dolph Ziggler on commentary: We are once again given a perfect example of an actual Miss. Ziggler was not bad on commentary. He seemed comfortable in hi own voice, and he played well with Cole and Matthews. But he utterly failed to get himself over on the mic. He added no real personality to the mix. He sounded like a heel commentator you would get from a computer program: efficient, but not exactly effective. Ziggler is very close to shattering the glass ceiling in WWE. Finding his character on the microphone might be the last tool he needs.
Wade Barrett: This is another blown opportunity for WWE on a guy they blow opportunities on time and again. Barrett needed a strong return. Beating Yoshi Tatsu, who managed to get in enough shots to keep from calling this a squash, and then declaring himself "Open for business," wasn't that return. WWE needs to go back and watch the vignette's they created for this guy and make his character just like that. Quiet, but not silent. Intense, but not enraged. Confident, not cocky. There's still time, but they missed this chance.
Daniel Bryan: Along the same lines, Daniel Bryan needs to advance this anger management storyline, not just sit in it. I realize that's going to happen on Raw and not Smackdown, but then either find something better than what we got tonight or don't do it at all. Neither Hornswoggle nor Zack Ryder matter at this point, and their involvement added nothing to the act. It wasn't terrible, but it was kind of stupid, and I found it uninteresting.
Tag Team Segment: The match was fine and Truth didn't stink on the mic. The problem here is that Kofi was very good on the mic. Yeah, that's a problem because Kofi is still languishing in no man's land when he has proven time and again he has all the skills he needs to become a big star. Does that mean he will? No, but it does mean WWE should quit f---ing with him and just let him take his shot. This segment seriously pissed me off as a fan because I cannot stand to see guys with significant talent wasted again and again. Get the straps off Kofi, turn him heel to give him a new start, and get the hell out of his way.
Sheamus vs. David Otunga: As I mentioned in the Hits, I liked the build to the banning of the Brogue Kick. The actual banning itself was a huge let down that unraveled almost all the good work done in the setup. Otunga was able to use the distraction of both Booker T banning the Brogue Kick and Alberto Del Rio's jawing match with Sheamus to get in exactly one forearm shiver. That was it as Sheamus brushed off the outlawing of his finisher to still win easily and in dominate fashion. That's just a terrible ending to an otherwise good build. They aren't done with this stipulation yet, but they have taken a big part of the shine off my interest level in it.
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