Shore's WWE Smackdown Hitlist: Mark Henry, The Shield, Jack Swagger, Zeb Coulter, Rock, and CM Punk talk up the Elimination Chamber, but nobody "wrestles up" the PPV, Tamina and Layla have a bad night
By Chris Shore
WWE Smackdown Hits
Mark Henry: While his match with Randy Orton wasn't all that, Mark Henry's backstage promo was once again above par. Henry is the perfect monster for the Chamber match, and it's good to see they intend to keep this character for a while. WWE needs strong, credible heels, and nobody is more credible than Mark Henry. That's pretty impressive considering he just returned from a nine month layoff.
The Shield: The Shield delivered a much better in-ring moment on Smackdown than they did on Raw. Dean Ambrose still looked enraged, but nearly as crazy as he did Monday. Roman Reigns staying away from the microphone and screaming like a banshee, an act he plays very well, and Seth Rollins pacing back and forth in the background made for an effective visual. I felt like they needed something after John Cena and crew got the best of them two weeks in a row, and I think this did it.
Jack Swagger and Zeb Coulter: I am oh so happy that the Swagger/Coulter act pulled back from the xenophobic tack it took on Monday. The "I hate people who don't look like me" act is so overplayed and ridiculous, but a general "There's something wrong in America" gimmick appeals to me. My only concern is that this sounds an awful lot like Antonio Cesaro's shtick that I worry one of them gets lost in the shuffle.
The Rock vs. CM Punk: While not the biggest Hit of the feud between these two, Rock and Punk accomplished what they needed to accomplish. They needed a strong face to face, and while there were certainly ways this could have been better, the product we got wasn't weak either. I hadn't really thought about it until Jason Powell said it in Dot Net Weekly, but part of me doesn't really want to see this match yet because one of them has to lose, and, assuming Punk would win via the special clause, neither guy really benefits from their win.
WWE Smackdown Misses
Elimination Chamber hype: Was there any? Sure, we got a few promos from guys for the show, but did Orton vs. Henry really add anything to the Chamber match? Did Big Show vs. Jericho? Did any match make you want to see any of these guys again? Good promos can certainly sell PPVs, but the best formula will always be good promos that build off of interesting in-ring scenarios. WWE hasn't done a good job of making me believe any of these matches are going to be dramatic.
Tamina vs. Layla: The funniest thing about calling this a miss is that the botches here were so bad at times that the moves looked more painful. Layla's fall from the apron looked especially nasty. Still, I find Layla to be underrated as a wrestler, and this does not bode well for a Tamina vs. green as gooseshit Kaitlyn. Hopefully for them, athleticism will make up for experience.
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