WWE: Laying The Smacketh Down

Well, hello. Welcome back to the column that never sleep, just takes power naps when you’re not looking, and drools on your shoulder while it does it.

So, this week, for the first time in aaaaaaages, I watched Smackdown from start to finish. When I say ages, I mean ages – I didn’t even realise that Green Day sang the Smackdown theme these days! Great song, though. gives me an excuse to watch the awesome video for that track too.

Anyway, I got sidetracked, as per the norm. As I said, I watched Smackdown. And you know what? I liked it. Todd Grisham on commentary still leaves a lot to be desired, and I really do think if Matt Striker was made of chocolate, he’d eat himself. Michael Cole is, sadly, Michael Cole.

Commentary issues aside though, it’s a good show from top to bottom. Different feel to it than Raw, which is a good thing. Usually, I just keep up to date with it by reading spoilers, so the feel of the show never really registered.

Maybe it’s just me, but even allowing for certain things, there’s more of a wrestling slant to Smackdown than Raw. From Del Rio and Mysterio to having issues that can only be settled in the ring, to Kofi and Jack Swagger delivering an excellent match in my opinion – Smackdown just seems to have more actual wrestling.

The afore mentioned Kofi is a guy that seems to have built himself back up. He was primed to be The Next Big Thing, surely, but had a mishap – or at least Randy Orton thought he had a mishap, and so was returned to mid card obscurity. Here, on Smackdown, he’s developed a nice knack for connecting with the crowd it seems.

MVP did well in his final WWE appearance – I’m no real fan of his, but the crowd certainly buy into him. The Ballin’ Elbow is/was ridiculous but again, ala The Worm and The People’s Elbow – the fans in the arena dig it. Who am I to stand in the way of popular opinion? WWE might just regret allowing him his release. He seems to understand the business, and knows how to work the crowd. Much better as a heel, too – and a wrestling company always needs good heels. Nothing sells like wanting to see the bad guy get a whuppin’ – and MVP was a great bad guy.

Ziggler and McIntyre made an interesting tag team. Y’know, I’m not saying anything that other people haven’t said – probably better and in less words – but there’s enough talent on the WWE roster, and enough TV time to fill, that they could have a KILLER tag team division. I guess it’s s dying art these days though. Shame.

I do like Kaval. He is unique in the WWE, something very important in this vast, sprawling company – and I think, while he’s never going to be the top dog in the company, he’s going to be popular, and rightly so. Although, for my money, he’s just dying for a heel turn and a feud with Rey.

As for Rey. I dunno. He just seems to be phoning things in these days. He’s found a nice little formula that gets him by, and good luck to him, he’s earned it over the years. I just can’t really watch him much these days. One thing I do like, the little touches he brings – like the mask-to-mask he does with the kids in the front row. a simple thing, doesn’t take long – but those kids will remember that for a long, long time. It’s little things that turn a casual fan into a lifelong fan. It’s like Bret with his sunglasses from years ago. it makes an impression.

Even Smackdown’s “comedy” segments were fairly quick and non offensive to me. For example:

smacktweet

Yup. Sums it up. However, I sat and watched this show with my son, and he went absolutely nuts for Hornswoggle and The Swagger Soaring Eagle. As I said, it’s little things like this that make a difference to the kids that follow the product.

Incidentally, I follow Swagger’s Soaring Eagle on Twitter. Digest that fact.

I’m pleased to see Chris Masters still has a job, as all that baby oil can’t come cheap. But seriously, Chris Masters as a pro on NXT? That’s as pointless as the Bellas being pros. wait. Doh! Love Cody’s gimmick. For months I said he was bland, and un-interesting – he’s certainly not that now. He’s solid in the ring, and with this gimmick, I think he’ll be working his way up the card and through his own hard work, rather than living off his name. Good on him.

I really, really don’t buy Edge as a face. He’s one of those guys that is just born to be a heel if you ask me. I find myself waiting for him to turn when I watch him as face. I did like his little Scooby-Doo mid air jump as he was pushing Paul Bearer off in the wheel chair though, made me snigger!

Kane is doing well with a horrific angle to work with. Everything that has been piled upon that man’s shoulders over the years, story wise, and he’s always just got on with it. He has to be the ultimate company man for that reason alone. He’s always been one of those guys, never a favourite but never hated him. For 2 or 3 years, he was one of, if not THE best “big man” in the business. I still recall the night he hit a hurricanrana on A-Train. those were the days.

In any case, Edge against Kane just isn’t floating my boat. In the ring, they’re solid, they never miss a beat – it’s just the whole angle feels wrong, back to front. Edge is the face, but he’s kidnapped Kane’s dad. Riiiiiiight. We’re through the looking glass, people – white is black.

I dunno. I miss the days where there was no need for these convoluted angles, you had two guys or teams that had problems with each other, and would sort it in the ring. End of. It’s not rocket science. Maybe I’m getting old.

In any case, Smackdown. Ain’t as bad as I thought it was, and I shall catch it again. Well worth checking out, peeps.

Until next time, have fun – go mad.

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