Shore's WWE Smackdown Hitlist: The Shield, Miz vs. Dolph Ziggler, Brad Maddox, Big Show vs. Alberto Del Rio, Santino Marella, and Antonio Cesaro
By Chris Shore
WWE Smackdown Hits
The Shield: I still find the herky-jerky look a nice touch to their videos, and once again all three men delivered. Roman Reigns continues to impress me every time he speaks. He never tries to do too much, and always finds the right delivery for his lines. Seth Rollins growth on the mic is still impressive, and Dean Ambrose walked in the door at FCW as the best talker in the building. I was concerned for this act early on, but so far, every time they show up it is a Hit.
Miz vs. Dolph Ziggler: While it is arguable how much of an actual Hit this was, it was the best wrestled match on the show and deserves to be listed here if nothing else. Ziggler seems to be drifting just a little bit. He's moved from Vickie to pseudo-Vickie to AJ, and yet he doesn't seem to be taking any real steps forward. How much of that is him and how much is creative is unknown, but I worry about him as we go into WrestleMania season. If you have MITB during Mania, why wouldn't you cash in on the "grandest stage of them all?" Yet I don't see that being the case for him. His current run with AJ and Big E Langston feels like it wants to be big time, so I'm hoping I'm wrong about the briefcase.
Brad Maddox: Maddox wasn't particularly impressive in this outing, but the Hit comes from seeing something in him. He has raw, natural charisma that rolls off of him in waves. The problem is that it is still very, very Raw. He needs polish and refinement, a direction if you will. I think the kid has a big future ahead of him once he learns to harness his talent effectively.
WWE Smackdown Misses
Big Show vs. Alberto Del Rio: There are so many misses I can through under this umbrella. The opening segment with Sheamus and Big Show was poor. Booker T picking a title challenger out of a hat was dumb. The fact that he had to do it twice and then just pick a guy was worse. And then after all that, we get a DQ/countout finish. Considering it was the only story on the show that had any teeth, it was disappointing to see that the teeth were soft, pathetic things that were easily knocked out.
Santino as World Champion challenger: Look, I like a good comedy act and match. I think there is a place for that in wrestling, and have been blown away by many matches and acts that would fall under that category. What I don't like is when comedy works its way into a major title picture, especially when that comedy is Santino pulling a hamstring and then doing a bad movie version of a death scene.
Antonio Cesaro vs. Zack Ryder:Cesaro continues to be a miss in WWE, and I blame the creative team for the problem. And I do mean the team. The anti-America gimmick is weak. He's not facing credible opponents. Add in that his match style of slowly building doesn't translate well for the two minute TV match, and the guy is floundering right now. Some of the problem might be on him, but I saw this guy be amazing several times in ROH and other indies. I haven't seen it once in WWE. It can't all be him.
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