Shore's WWE Smackdown Hitlist: The Shield loses and that's OK, Kane vs. Randy Orton delights, Cryback is a mistake, Daniel Bryan tilts too close to a heel, and Kaitlyn gets her heat back too quickly
By Chris Shore
WWE Smackdown Hits
The Shield vs. The Usos and Christian: As much as I hated this idea when I read it in the spoilers, it turned out to be a Hit. The Usos needed some credibility going into their tag title match with The Shield, and I really felt like they were a bigger deal coming out of this than going in. It helped that the TV camera cuts made the match feel wild and frenetic, and made the finish look like it came out of nowhere. That also protects the Shield because their style will create openings that competitors should be able take advantage of.
Sheamus vs. Damien Sandow: Sandow needs a big time win, and this would have been a good place for him to get one. Even so, he looked very good in defeat so this is a Hit. Sheamus continues to plow through everyone like John Cena Jr., but putting that aside, he showed a lot of ass for Sandow here. I assume this will get to a PPV match eventually. Sandow doesn't have to win there, but a win over Sheamus at some point would do a great deal of good for Sandow.
Kane vs. Randy Orton: After having less than spectacular matches with Dean Ambrose, Kane responds with a Hit of a match with Randy Orton. Even though I didn't like Bryan's interference, this was still a very good match that went longer than expected, yet didn't overstay its welcome. There isn't much more to say. This was just a good, solid match that deserves your time if you can spare it.
WWE Smackdown Misses
"Cryback": I get that WWE was trying to put some heat on Jericho heading into their PPV match, but making your monster heel literally whine on TV might be the biggest miss I can think of. Ryback showing a potential weakness is fine. It's unnecessary in this case because Jericho is always credible (and way over right now), but it isn't a giant sin. What is a giant sin is having Ryback wailing about not being champion. It may have been an error on Ryback's part instead of the way it was written, but either way, it was bad TV.
Daniel Bryan: This may be jumping the gun a little bit because they don't have to go full heel turn with this, but turning Daniel Bryan heel is (would be) a big miss. Bryan is about as over as you can get right now, and WWE is deficient in the babyface department. Bryan's smile at costing Kane his match can be explained away as accidental joy, but even that comes too close to having him booed by the crowd. I realize it also plays into his unstable character, but again, they have to be careful with him. Whatever feud he ends up with going forward, he needs to be a babyface, even if he is an unstable one.
Kaitlyn mocks AJ: What played out wasn't so much a miss as the timing of it was a miss. Everyone played their parts well, and it was all logical, but it would have been better to wait a little longer before giving Kaitlyn her heat back. So much of this story has been built around Kaitlyn being upset by AJ's antics that it's very rushed for Kaitlyn to have enough clarity of mind to do this to AJ.
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