Shore's WWE Smackdown Hitlist: Finale hype for SummerSlam; Bray Wyatt carries his feud; Damien Sandow vs. Christian, Shield vs. RVD, Big Show, and Mark Henry; Ryback misses big
By Chris Shore
WWE Smackdown Hits
Bray Wyatt: I struggle to find a better promo in WWE right now than Bray Wyatt. The former Husky Harris continues to be a Hit every single time he appears on TV, and the vast majority of those Hits are home runs. The "ring of fire" match is coming very early in this feud--some would say too early--and yet I'm willing to buy it as necessary based almost entirely on his promos alone. I'm looking forward to seeing what happens Sunday, and I hope they don't make a mistake with whatever is planned and derail the hottest act in WWE.
Damien Sandow vs. Christian: Damien Sandow is being given an opportunity to show that he deserves to be taken seriously as the Money in the Bank contract holder, and so far his in-ring work has been a total Hit. Putting him in there with Christian certainly didn't hurt, but we've seen him have good matches with a number of names now. I'm a little afraid they might move the title onto Christian just to put it on Sandow, but since I expect shenanigans in the WWE Championship match, it's only a little fear. The best thing they can do is leave Sandow with the briefcase and let him develop the character more.
The Shield vs. RVD, Big Show, and Mark Henry: Even though I am tired of seeing the Shield lose on Smackdown constantly, this at least served a purpose in setting up the expected tag title match and the booked US title match. I'm also hoping it's a Booking 101 situation too, and the Shield leaves with all of their titles still intact. RVD as champion does nothing for me personally, and I don't think it helps WWE either. The tag titles I'm more ambivalent about, but there's no good reason to take them off the Shield so I hope they leave them alone too.
Daniel Bryan vs. Wade Barrett: A very entertaining match, and while I would have been fine without all the machinations at the end, I still think this was a Hit for the average fan. As Jake Barnett said in his report, it felt a little like the Attitude Era there at the end, and in this case I think that made it work out OK. I personally still would have liked this to just be a one-on-one feud with Bryan and John Cena, I do think that they sold more PPVs by adding the McMahons. Now let's all just hope they don't screw it up Sunday.
WWE Smackdown Misses
Ryback: My how the mighty have fallen. I was never sold on Ryback as a main event star, but I understood why there was potential there. The truth is he never got a real chance because he was booked so poorly that he was destined to sink to this level. Beating up 90-pound weaklings backstage while wearing a dumb looking cut is just more of that same booking, and his destiny is not going to change. Ryback as a whole is a miss right now.
Miz vs. Jack Swagger: Take two guys nobody cares about and put them in a match with no setup or drama and what do you expect to get beside a miss? Miz's babyface run continues to be a stinker, and Swagger, along with the rest of the "real Americans," are rudderless right now.
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