For this post, I’m gonna go for more of a recap of what I consider to be the major occurrences from last night’s airing of WWE Smackdown. I’ll ignore the pointless bullshit that makes up half of an episode and focus on anything memorable. With the show being at the 02 Arena in London, I knew going in that one thing I could expect was a good vocal crowd – something that the show in blue almost always lacks. Let’s see what got those Brits going!
Alberto Del Rio v Jack Swagger
A rematch from Wrestlemania featuring two guys who seem to have been opposite each other in the ring every week for the last two months may not scream excitement, but this was a very good opening match. The fact that it was No Disqualification had a lot to do with it. It was a pretty brutal affair with good use of kendo sticks, steel chairs and ladders. There were also some great sequences and reversals from two excellent technicians.
The Shield cut a rather good promo, in-keeping with their consistency both on microphones and in the ring.
Fandango v Justin Gabriel
The ballroom dancing supremo got another great pop from the British fans who have made him moderately famous. Everyone is singing his theme throughout and now it’s more. There are tonnes of signs all over the place, actual Fandango chants and a huge cheer when he wins the match. The supposed heel put away Gabriel within a couple of minutes with the top rope leg drop. It’s a shame for the South African that he has been so drastically buried compared to his old Nexus team-mates Wade Barrett and Ryback, but it’s hardly surprising given what he lacks and they both possess in an abundance. Fandango is over with us, but will the Americans react the same way next week? I doubt it.
William Regal put over Wade Barrett in a very quick squash. Regal got a decent reaction for his entrance, but I think it could have been better. It was a good idea to do this match and this finish, but please make it a little longer next time. The two of them could have a good old fashioned wrestling match for English supremacy, but I guess Regal can’t go for too long these days.
Undertaker v Dean Ambrose
The Undertaker defeated Shield member Dean Ambrose in a singles match to end the show. The Shield then proceeded to dominate The Deadman with a three on one assault. Roman Reigns speared him through the barricade, before they delivered a triple power bomb through the announce table. This ending did everyone a favour. Taker got the win and continues to be invincible, and The Shield as a team are yet again pushed as a complete juggernaut that can’t be stopped. It was crazy special to see The Phenom in actual competition on Smackdown of all shows. To make things even more epic, it was in London! This alone would have made the show watchable.
Sadly the content I’ve discussed makes up only about an hour of the broadcast. A great hour. Nonetheless, in a standard two hour episode of anything, you would expect a lot more. The other hour is filled with wasted time. It makes me wonder why they insist on running three hour editions of Raw, when they can’t be bothered to put on a respectable card for Smackdown.
Their exploits in wasting time include: The Vault (in which they show a match from the past, which is either skipped over or more often than not upstages the actual main event of the show); Divas matches (which are notoriously used as tea breaks or a moment to go get a beer); Raw rebounds (making sure the viewer knows that what happened on the other show is far more important than what they are being expected to stay tuned in to); updates on Dwayne; infuriating Twitter bullshit or Randy Orton and Sheamus (anything involving either of them is like a sleeping pill)
All of those things have something in common. They make me want to stop watching Smackdown. Because I’m a hardened fan, I will eat whatever they put in front of me and it will take a whole lot to make me turn away from the product. Many people aren’t in such mental chains. The casual viewer will just get sick of it and tune out. That’s worrying for the WWE. They really do need to get some perspective on how they use their talent roster and how they continue to approach their two weekly programmes. They need to replace all of the pointless time wasting with positive material that actually has the interests of the company’s future at heart.
Thanks for reading and please let me know what you think of Smackdown in general. Any ideas or solutions? Any disagreements? I’d love to hear them. Thanks!