Shore's WWE Smackdown Hitlist: The Shield losing for the first time both Hits and Misses, Kaitlyn goes crazy, Dolph Ziggler gets diminished, Chris Jericho gets a big reaction, The Miz turns two smart heels into dupes
By Chris Shore
WWE Smackdown Hits
Daniel Bryan, Kane, and Randy Orton vs. The Shield: From the opening segment to the finish of the match, this was a ton of fun to watch play out and a major Hit for the two hour show. Greensboro was a very hot crowd, and they made the moment even more special. It should be a testament to the Shield's ability to draw heat that this crowd reached the peak that they did once they realized the Shield was going down. Of course that's also why this is a miss (see below).
Kaitlyn: Jake Barnett made some good points in the All Access audio about Kaitlyn looking like a dope in this storyline, but at least we are getting an actual story in the Divas division. Even though we have to accept that Kaitlyn is a tad too gullible, I thought her reaction in attacking Aksana, and the ref, were a Hit. I want to see what happens with her on Sunday, and beyond. Part of me hopes the new Wyatt Family preys on her fragile mental state and recruits her to the fold. It would fit in well with the cult-like feel of the group, and continue to give Kaitlyn an avenue to be crazy.
Chris Jericho and Alberto Del Rio vs. Dolph Ziggler and Big E Langston: Fun tag match made even better for how hot the crowd was for the babyfaces. I find it interesting that the two guys that we are thinking about turning were the most over for this Smackdown. Jericho got a wild reaction from the crowd, as did Daniel Bryan. The only problem with this match was that Ziggler did the job, but that was par for the course for this show (see below).
WWE Smackdown Misses
The Shield losing without buildup: Many people will point to the reaction of the crowd and the way it all played out and ask how I can call this a miss. Easy, it's a miss because of those things. As big as it was, imagine how much more this would have been had they built to this being a possibility. There was no general clamor to see the Shield defeated, at least not any more than any other heel. Lilian Garcia's announcement of the first loss for the Shield in a six-man match reinforces that this should have been a big deal, not a half-assed built match on the B show. It was fun to watch, no question, but WWE left a lot of money on the table in the process.
Dolph Ziggler diminished: It's not just that Dolph took the pin in his meaningless match, though that was bad. It isn't even that he was virtually ignored and dismissed by Teddy Long for a hamburger. It's both of those things, coupled with his impotent promise to show off during the show, all while he makes his triumphant return to the show he is the champion of. Could they have possibly made this guy seem less relevant? I gave up on the idea of Ziggler being booked strong, but I thought they would do something to make his return from injury feel special. Instead, he was meaningless on Raw and worthless on Smackdown.
Wade Barrett vs. Curtis Axel: The two minute match was what it was, but the biggest miss in this whole segment is how easily Miz made these two (plus Paul Heyman) look like dopes. Barrett's heelish move to suggest they not wrestle was smart. So why would they suddenly abandon intelligence because Miz showed up and got the crowd to chant "Fight?" What are they, third graders egged on by their idiot classmates? As dopey as Kaitlyn looks for falling for the secret admirer gimmick, she looks like a genius compared to these two.
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