Shore's WWE Smackdown Hitlist: Randy Orton vs. Jack Swagger, Wade Barrett vs. Alberto Del Rio, Sheamus vs. Damien Sandow, Miz vs. Cody Rhodes, and more
By Chris Shore
WWE Smackdown Hits
Randy Orton vs. Jack Swagger: A very good match both in the wrestling and in the positioning of Jack Swagger. It would appear based upon recent videos posted by WWE that they have no intention of stopping Swagger's push, so I'm happy to see this match play out like it did. Sure, Swagger got help from Zeb Colter, but he's the heel. That's what they do. Not to mention the help was only at the finish and Swagger looked strong throughout. Orton continues to do the right thing by the young guys. I do hope the teased feud with Sheamus comes about soon. I appreciate his efforts in putting guys over, but it's time to turn him heel and give him an opportunity to put babyfaces over.
Opening segment: The opening segments of Smackdown recently have been mostly bland, paint-by-numbers moments. This week we got a paint-by-numbers segment, but it was a Hit. Alberto Del Rio showed good fire in his first promo aimed at Jack Swagger, and Randy Orton, who is the master of the paint-by-numbers promo, showed some actual emotion. That's always a Hit for me because Orton can be very good when he's plugged in.
Sheamus vs. Damien Sandow: A good match that showed off Sandow's abilities in the ring and allowed him to look strong in defeat. Sheamus continues to look great and get great reactions from the crowd, but his character doesn't seem to be doing much right now. The announce team mentioned The Shield about 13,634 times, so it's obvious that's where Sheamus is headed for WrestleMania, but I would like to see more character from him and not leave it to the announce team to sell. Lots of time left to build though, so he still gets the Hit here.
Wade Barrett vs. Alberto Del Rio: Three high quality matches on Smackdown this week with this one taking my second favorite (Swagger vs. Orton was my Hit of the week). Just like the other two, both men looked strong here. Barrett didn't lose anything in defeat, and Swagger's indirect involvement continued to lay the ground work for his feud with Del Rio. I am still not a fan of the storyline, but everyone is working hard and this is what they are giving us, so we'll make the most of it together.
WWE Smackdown Misses
Miz vs. Cody Rhodes: A meaningless match with yet another weak figure four from Miz. I can't quite put my finger on what it is that is wrong with his figure four, but I know it looks totally fake. Cody's "lovestache" line was funnier when he said it to Kaitlyn than in his cut-in promo, but I'm growing weary of his character being based on facial hair. Cracking jokes is fine. Building an entire character over it is something totally different.
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