Despite the misleading title of this post, the show didn’t rock my world but when can Smackdown ever do that these days? It’s been so devalued, demoted and dejected for so long now, that a barely passable episode comes as a welcome surprise. Even in this surprisingly good edition, Smackdown consisted of only 90 minutes of material after advert deductions. If you take away The Vault and the RAW Rebound, you are looking at not too much more than an hour. Sounds a lot like Sunday Night Heat. Nonetheless, the action itself was pretty great. Coming straight after Wrestlemania and one of the best episodes of RAW in recent memory, it was never going to match up, but it delivered solid entertainment.
The show opened with a celebration for Dolph’s brand new World Heavyweight Championship reign. Alberto Del Rio, Jack Swagger and Chris Jericho all disrupted his scheduled time and undermined him however they could. He played the role of the disgruntled talent with a chip on his shoulder to perfection, as he always does. He showed genuine aggression, passion and honesty in his promo. As for his match, which was the main event against Chris Jericho, it was a good match as you would expect from these two. He moved forward with an important first win as champion, but it’s worrying to see Chris doing the job AGAIN.
My boy Wade was predictably placed in a pointless mid-card match against super jobber Santino Marella. Despite such a shocking position, he still managed to stand out and shine on a show full of established stars. Like Antonio Cesaro, in his similarly useless match with Kofi Kingston, he moved well in the ring, executed some great moves and represented his championship well. Unlike Cesaro, he also got the win over his opponent. Hopefully they can come up with something real for him to do soon, because the Intercontinental Championship and its Champion are being booked disgracefully a lot of the time in this modern era.
The Game delivered a great, albeit short promo on his previous match with Brock Lesnar. He should have been afforded more time to speak but in the period he did have he was emphatic as always, and his usual epic entrance was greeted by a huge ovation from a pretty great Boston crowd. He was surrounded in the ring first by legendary upstarts 3MB, then by The Shield. Team Hell No came to his rescue which was a pretty awesome moment.
I do have two concerns about this segment. Does this now mean The Undertaker is gone for another year? After the tease last week, I actually thought we were gonna be treated to one more PPV match at Extreme Rules featuring The Deadman. It now would appear that Triple H is taking that spot. Still good, but it kind of makes the tease last week a bit pointless. As for The Shield, they just keep rolling and rolling, but I pray that Punk is eventually unveiled as being their leader all along. That would be the perfect way to push them straight into another level. I also didn’t like the fact that there was no Daniel Bryan chokeslam. I saw a .gif apparently from the Smackdown taping which spoiled an awesome chokeslam from the World’s Toughest Vegan. Maybe it was a house show.
The World’s Strongest Man (all diets included) made a very short appearance when he took out Sheamus from behind during an interview with that new hot female interviewer. Sheamus was talking about how it doesn’t matter how big or strong you are – “heart” is all that matters *vomit* thankfully the big man came out, laid him out because that’s what he does! I’m not really foaming from the mouth over a Sheamus and Henry match, but at least it’s something noteworthy for them both to be doing.
The love affair continued between the charismatic ballroom dancer and all good wrestling fans. I didn’t expect the Boston crowd to be as good as it was. I thought we would be back to the usual flat, child-ridden hordes, but these guys were humming the theme tune from the start to finish of the man’s appearance. He got his entrance with all the trimmings as usual, even though he was only coming to ringside to watch the Jericho v Ziggler match. WWE clearly aren’t ignorant enough to ignore The Fandango Revolution. The cameras were pointed straight at the man who wasn’t even scheduled to compete on the card.
He got the upper hand on Jericho again by helping to distract the referee and cost him the match. He then proceeded to beat a defenceless Y2J down in the ring after his match in typical heel style. There seem to be a lot of these tweener types cropping up lately and it’s all to do with good, educated wrestling fans mixing it up with their crowd reactions. The fans were still humming his theme song as he beat down one of their heroes. It wasn’t that Jericho wasn’t over. They went crazy for him as usual, but the time has come for interesting characters (regardless of face/heel) to be recognized.
BONUS BALL: JBL
This man gets better every week and has to be the most underrated part of the whole Smackdown brand. Without his textbook colour commentary, the show could put you to sleep a lot of the time. His anger and passion make for so much comedy. He is constantly calling out and belittling Michael Cole and especially Josh Matthews. With Cole now as face as The King, audio for both shows would be very boring without this man to balance things up a bit.
I have to give this show a thumbs up overall. It wasn’t the best episode of Smackdown I’ve ever seen, and it obviously wasn’t on par with Raw. Nonetheless, compared to the kind of standards that have been set in recent months, I have to say it was an improvement. Some good in ring work, good promos, a lot of star names and the elevation of the young studs who represent the future of the company.