Stand back. This is a review of Friday night's Smackdown. I wanted to test the waters. Since I stopped watching WWE, I've noticed one or two promising tweaks that the McMahon-Helmsley faction has made to the product. So with a bottle of Cheerwine and a gut full of trepidation, I checked out the blue brand. Let's see what happened...
~ I'll start with the main event picture, as it started the show. I'm not convinced that Sheamus is the prospective uber-babyface that WWE wants to build, but I'm glad that his push is persistent. He has all of the tools. As for the triple threat curtain closer, I loved the fact that Daniel Bryan attacked Kane before the match. It keeps DB relevant and it allows The Big Red Machine to lose gracefully.
~ Christian is a fan favorite again, huh? Okay, I'll roll with it. To me, it's a prudent idea to give him a string of (relatively) easy wins. Dig the frog splash.
~ Finally! The former federation is beginning to develop a tag team division. Obviously, we're still not where we need to be (too many teams don't even have names), but I'm thrilled that we're heading in the right direction. On the downside, The Uso's continue to be inexplicably buried. On the upside, O'Neil/Young look decent. So far, their matches have been adequate. I'm hoping that they will be embroiled in a full-scale feud with Rikishi's pups, provided that the right team goes over.
~ Ryback's double musclebuster. It's time for Goldberg Jr. to advance past the "jobber squash" stage. The crowd is already antsy.
~ There is a place for comedy if the bit is...y'know, funny. Personally, I was entertained by the "match" between Santino and Ricardo Rodriguez. Chapfallen, fatalistic smarks tend to forget that this is sports entertainment above all else.
~ Damien Sandow cracks me up. It's a garden-variety gimmick, but he makes it work. "Do your job!"
~ Big Show gets an "A" for effort. It's refreshing to find him turning against the WWE Universe. However, I'm deducting points since he merely repeated everything he said on Raw.
~ Eve is awful on the mic.
~ The match was strong, but how many times do we have to watch Sheamus wrestle Jack Swagger? Blah.
Only a pair of cons, but is that indicative of a dramatic shift in the creative process? No. This was just a favorable episode. Besides, Smackdown is usually superior to its Monday night counterpart. Regarding the future of this column, I'm content to play it by ear.
Posted by Dom Coccaro at 11:24 PM