Shore's WWE Smackdown Hitlist: Smackdown is Daniel Bryan, Ryback kills Kofi Kingston, Damien Sandow and Sheamus goof around, Curtis Axel is still uninspiring
By Chris Shore
WWE Smackdown Hits
Hell No vs. The Shield: Both pairs had good matches, Roman Reigns's greenness notwithstanding, and the biggest Hit was that the show opened with those two matches. Far too often Smackdown is booked like a house show where they have the big talking segment to setup the main event. By having this planned out in advance, WWE gave us a different start and set a different tone. It lead to an enjoyable Smackdown, even with the flaws the show had.
Daniel Bryan: Holy crap! Daniel Bryan's explosion of offense at the end of the show was crazy hot. Perhaps the biggest Hit of that were the shots of the live crowd. The number of people pumping their arms was reminiscent of the number of middle fingers held in the air during the Stone Cold era. Not total number, of course Austin had bigger crowds, but the same percentage. Part of me wants to see Bryan handed the ball and told to run with it to see what he can do, but part of me says to go ahead and turn him and make him a great heel. Either way they go, Daniel Bryan is going to be very, very successful if he can keep that level of crowd response going.
Ryback kills Kofi Kingston: Wow. The three table bumps were a great visual and that is how you get a guy off TV effectively. Ryback looks like the monster he should have been throughout, and the place is going to go crazy when Kofi comes back after his surgery. I speculated if this injury wouldn't be a blessing in disguise for Kofi. WWE has certainly given him a huge setup to take advantage of when he returns.
WWE Smackdown Misses
Damien Sandow and Sheamus: Don't get me wrong; I appreciate Damien Sandow being involved in any feud with a top level star. That shows great faith in him. The problem is the story and its similarity to what Sheamus just did with Mark Henry. Sheamus punked Mark Henry and we're supposed to cheer that, yet when Sheamus gets punked we're also supposed to cheer his revenge? Sheamus has looked like a douchebag heel for months now, and he's killing this story for me, just like he killed the Mark Henry story.
Curtis Axel: More mediocre mic work and an average match at best. I have developed a new concern for Axel being paired with Heyman. Heyman represents the major league stars. When you stick a new guy with him who, at least partly, works below that top level, he feels like a project you can ignore until he starts staying at the top of the card consistently.
Big E Langston vs. Alberto Del Rio: Trading wins has to be the worst thing WWE does. It's one thing if they happen months apart, but when they swap from show to shot, it just waters down any juice they might have in the story. I realize this is a place holder for the injured Dolph Ziggler, but that's no reason to book it as weak as it has been.
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