Shore's WWE Smackdown Hitlist: Too much GM drama takes away from good work from Chris Jericho, Curtis Axel, Paul Heyman, Damien Sandow Cody Rhodes, Alberto Del Rio, Randy Orton, and more
By Chris Shore
WWE Smackdown Hits
Chris Jericho vs. Curtis Axel: Not only was this the match of the night, but Jericho did Axel a solid on his way out the door. Axel is in desperate need of his own character outside of Paul Heyman's pet project. He didn't do much to fill that hole with this match, but he did make an impression in the ring by hanging with the wildly popular Jericho. And while the win wasn't clean, people will remember it. Now young Axel needs to capitalize on it. Jericho will be missed while he is gone because of matches like this.
Paul Heyman: Of course just prior to the match of the night, we got the promo of the night, and what could have been promo of the week most weeks were it not for the beginning of this feud on Raw. Heyman once again carried the entire segment by himself, and he also managed to move a storyline forward entirely by himself. That's great talent of course, but it also makes the feud bigger because it limits the exposure of both Punk and Lesnar, making their appearances even more meaningful.
Damien Sandow vs. Cody Rhodes: If you had told me Cody Rhodes would turn babyface and feud with Damien Sandow, I would have been unimpressed and not expecting much. While I'm still not expecting them to get great time to get this over, they have managed to make the most of the act so far. They benefited from great work at MITB (and a great call by Michael Cole) and have sold me on the idea going forward.
Alberto Del Rio vs. Randy Orton: Even though there was no real reason to have this match, and even though I'm not a big fan of champions losing non-title matches like this, the match was good enough to be a Hit. Del Rio looked very aggressive and was protected as much as possible in a clean finish, and Orton got a good win over one of the few good heels in WWE. As long as this doesn't become a running gimmick for Del Rio, there's no reason to freak out about this considering how good Orton looked.
WWE Smackdown Misses
General Manager Drama: I completely understand why general manager characters are used in WWE, and while control over the promotion annoys me, it is an available storytelling tool when they need it. The problem is when they spend too much time on these no-wrestling characters. It doesn't matter how good any of these people are, they aren't the ones drawing money for you. They help, certainly, and that means you can't leave them in a pile to rust, but this show went too far, and spent way too much time, on characters that don't need it. And in the process, they left on dozens of characters that do need that time.
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