GOALS AND ACCOMPLISMENTS â€“ LOOKING AT SMACKDOWN 12/9/11
By Revin Samuel on 12/10/2011 3:57 PM
SMACKDOWN – 09/12/11
What the goals for this week show should be?
•TLC Hype. Raw did a satisfactory job on this front and like it is most weeks, Smackdown can hopefully do a better job executing this objective
•Lower tier development. The last few weeks WWE had done a nice job introducing some of the lower tier characters before totally botching this on the live show last week. I’d like to see them go back to developing and making progress with newer performers
•Wade Barrett-Randy Orton. I haven’t liked the way this program has developed going back to last week’s Smackdown and this week’s Raw. Randy has looked like a fool and they really need to do something special this week
•If Booker T is wrestling at TLC, they’ve got two Smackdown’s left to make that feel special, I didn’t think they did enough last week
•WWE’s handling of Sheamus last week was a great showcase of why this art form has gone downhill since the introduction of multiple writers and a creative team. They really need to play to Sheamus strengths, which is not hanging and banging with a midget, while acting like the second coming of John Cena
•Mark Henry and Big Show has been a compelling program and one of the more consistent things we’ve see on WWE television. I think they need to heat this up a tad more heading into TLC
•Daniel Bryan. I am not sure where they are going with him, but if he is going to be in the main event of Wrestlemania, they really need to get behind him and not yoyo him any further. If they are just going to yoyo him, I suggest they just give him his title shot at the Royal Rumble where it doesn’t matter who gets the title shot and accomplish their goal of burying him six feet under
- Love this unique opening to Smackdown building the Cody and Booker program
- Good to see Lilian back! I assume the bubble will begin their horse jokes soon enough
- I’m not sure how I feel about Cody’s promo voice, but he continues to have the look of a main eventer more and more. Solid promo from Cody, thoroughly enjoyed Cole comparing Cody to Gordon Solie
- I still am not sure why Ezekiel Jackson after weeks of vignettes is out on Smackdown like it’s any other Smackdown. This actually started last week when he was randomly in the battle royal and his random presence defines every problem with WWE and the lack of vision of the bubble. They start one thing, but don’t see it through till the end
- We are almost seven minutes into this Barrett-Jackson match and I don’t think I’ve heard the commentators talk about Barrett and Jackson’s past history as a group and their feud earlier in the year. The match is over now and if I missed it, my fault, but if not, well that’s another knock against WWE commentators and those producing them. What a surprise...
- Solid post match promo from Barrett. Barrett like Cody has a star presence especially in his promos
- Why does WWE have a generic rock theme song for every B show pay per view when all the songs just run together? Either spend the time to pick better songs and actually use them to help hype the pay per views or pick a quality production music song like the old Wrestlemania and Royal Rumble themes and use them for every B show pay per view so when you use theme songs for the more important shows they actually have a purpose and stand out!
- Was the Triple H-Kevin Nash match a huge announcement Josh? Or was it David Otunga announcing it in a backstage segment on Raw?. Also time to change Nash’s graphic, he’s clearly in his Diesel gear
- After all these years did WWE just explain why the brand split means nothing in that backstage segment with Otunga-Teddy? Three other notes on this, 1. I really like Otunga in this role and I think it plays to his strengths as a character. 2. I go back and forth on this, but sometimes I question whether Teddy has been in this role too long and Smackdown needs a new GM just to freshen things off, but I could be off base on that and 3. Thank God Aksana didn’t show up
- “Physically brutalized” – Who comes up with this stuff? When WWE uses verbiage like this, I always think to myself that they want us to know this is a scripted television show
- The Michael Cole character is just so destructive. I’m just shaking my head that Bryan is forced to have a verbal exchange with Cole like this that being said Bryan is doing a great job on the microphone. My guess is that it’s a turnoff to the casual viewers as it’s Bryan who’s character isn’t flushed out yelling at Cole who is just a channel changer
- On Smackdown Zack Ryder is treated like a breakout star, yet on Raw he’s treated like Eugene. More knocks against the bubble and their lack of vision for the product
- I don’t like to knock any performers seeing as some of them are never given a chance to show if they have breakout potential or not, but in my opinion Heath Slater is a guy who is being used correctly by the company
- I know I’ve mentioned a couple times that I am probably the only person who likes Dibiase’s theme music, but I think I’m now on board with most everyone else that it needs to be changed if he’s going to be a babyface, the lyrics are just too much
- I thought after the last couple weeks that WWE was actually going to put Dibiase-Mahal on pay per view, but thankfully it looks to be a solid mini program on Smackdown
- Jinder Mahal is another example of WWE’s failure to develop talent in 2011. When he first came on the scene he had a fresh look about him and a star aura, but WWE quickly turned him into just another guy
- On the other hand WWE seems to be on the right track with Dibiase for now. I think Dibiase could use one of those sit down interviews WWE did back in 1997 with Jim Ross interviewing Mankind or Goldust. The audience needs to know about this guy and not just cheer for him, because WWE tells us he’s a babyface now.
- Should the Big Show choke slam be taken as a comedy spot? I know it’s an award show, but another prime example of WWE not caring about protecting their product. I seem to be repeating myself alot tonight
- I have to say this might be Big Show’s best run as a babyface since he joined WWE in 1999 and I don’t think it’s because Mark Henry is an awesome heel, although that helps. Big Show just seems very genuine and comfortable in the role in 2011 something we haven’t seen from him throughout his career
- Good strategy to bring up Big Show beating Brock Lesnar
- Good plug for the Slammy’s (although this needs more promotion) Raw this Monday and the John Cena-Mark Henry match. The way Henry has been built up, WWE really has an opportunity to capitalize on a future program with Cena and Henry and so I don’t like them giving this match away on Raw, but at least they advertised it one week out. I do fear that Mark Henry will end up looking terrible in this match as WWE only knows one way to push John Cena and John Cena clearly doesn’t have an understanding of this business and just does what he is told
- I cracked a smile at the fans chanting ‘You Shut Up’ back at Mark Henry
- While it fits with Mark Henry’s character to want to say something right to Big Show’s face, I don’t think I like that his character says “But, I’m going to need you to promise that you’re not going to put your hands on me”. Henry is a bad ass, I just don’t see that line fitting with his personality and perhaps they should have found another way to address that or not bring it up at all
- I love the line in Mark Henry’s promo “We’re going to have a fight that people are going to be talking about for decades!” and that is called promoting a match and it sounded genuine, which is something John Cena could learn from (Ref: Cena’s promo leading into HITC where he got all intense and talked about going into the depths of hell. Who bought that?).
- Nice segment to put heat back on this Big Show-Mark Henry program. Show has gotten the better of Henry a few times now, hopefully Henry gets some heat put back on him eventually
- And there it is the first horse joke for the bubble to get their laughs at. I get that you need to have fun at work, but you have fun at work when everything is clicking on all cylinders, now days all the WWE product seems to be about is picking on talent that the bubble has issues with
- Hornswoggle like John Cena is a reason many of those adult male fans have walked away from the WWE product
- WWE is making a grave mistake having Sheamus endorse Hornswoggle on camera. They need to move him far away from Hornswoggle. Also the whole ‘Sheamus has a great sense of humour but when you tick him off....’ is just nonsense
- David Otunga looks as jacked up as ever
- The static at the end of these viral vignettes really makes one believe it’s for Chris Jericho
- Josh telling Michael Cole he lives in a bubble, was that the actual bubble making fun of themselves?
- Booker really shouldn’t be doing his run in with his theme music, another example of WWE letting you know that it’s all about the production and taking away from the talent
- I really don’t like the WWE Network commercial
- Ah yes, my mistake assuming Aksana wouldn’t be on the show in some nonsense backstage segment. At least this one appeared to show us that Aksana is interested in Cody, I’d be shocked if it goes anywhere thoug
- Good recap of the show long theme of Beat the Clock between Barrett and Randy. I don’t like the idea of Dolph Ziggler losing to Randy Orton in less than 7:53
- Solid promo from Randy, I guess that was supposed to justify Dolph losing quickly, but it doesn’t to anyone but the bubble
- Disappointed once again at WWE not doing a card rundown for TLC as I believe at this point there are six matches on the show
- As others have pointed out Ziggler needs to go back to his Perfection theme song, this one sounds exactly like Barrett’s
- Hey, a graphic for Ziggler-Ryder at TLC!
- I didn’t like this finish at all. You can’t be beating Dolph right now. Either have Randy not beat Ziggler in time and have Barrett put Randy through a table and then pick that stipulation, after all that would be logical to build the match up. Instead WWE yoyos Dolph so Randy can announce the match. This is what happens when you have writers putting together your shows, because writers want to write fresh material and not do what pro wrestling 101 is all about. It’s a simple concept, but I guess it’s too simple for the bubble
- Also this entire beat the clock concept was pretty convoluted as a table’s match was the only option left for them to pick. Either have a reason to do a tables match or just announce it ahead of time. Dedicating an entire show to this was just stupid.
- What a mistake by WWE to treat Dolph Ziggler like such an after thought
- Nice final drama with the glare between Orton and Barrett
What this week’s Smackdown accomplished?
•Good hype for TLC and the Smackdown matches (Show-Henry, Rhodes-Booker, Orton-Barrett)
•The continued babyface push of Ted Dibiase
•The unique opening with Cody ‘s attack on Booker T and Lilian’s back. This is in the good, because there wasn’t much else
• The beat the clock theme was a waste of television time since it was the only stipulation they could pick for the TLC pay per view. It would have been more logical to have Barrett just put Randy through a table so they could get to this point instead of being creative so to speak with this beat the clock show long theme
•Lack of hype for the Slammy’s and John Cena-Mark Henry. This is a special three hour show that happens once a year with perhaps the most marketable match WWE has, but there was an extreme lack of promotion for it
•Dolph Ziggler and Daniel Bryan treated like afterthoughts to enhance other people’s programs. I didn’t like how these two were used at all. On the one hand you were building up two TLC matches, which I get, but you are using two talents that should be on the upswing when you could easily put guys like Justin Gabriel or Jack Swagger in these roles. On another note, I mentioned how Ryder is treated like Eugene on Raw, but gets some respect on Smackdown, it’s almost like the other way around with Dolph where he gets treated like a breakout performer on Raw, but gets put back in his place on Smackdown. I guess that’s the issue if you have two writing teams and they want to make their guys look strong at the expense of the other brand’s talent.
•Sheamus and Hornswoggle. This is really watering Sheamus down in my book
•Overall lack of vision. This week’s programming on Raw and Smackdown showcased clearly that WWE has no long term vision for the product. The product is as scattered as it’s ever been and I guess that’s because they don’t stay the course on anything and rewrite the entire show on the day of.
What needs to happen next week on Smackdown
•I liked the overall TLC hype this week and they need to really hit it hard next week. No show is a dead show even if it is December, and this is a concept that should draw if promoted correctly. Key word promote. They have three Smackdown brand matches they are promoting for this show so it should be simple enough to hit those matches
• I want to see a card run down next week
•Booker T returns to the ring. They don’t need to treat this like Kevin Nash’s return to the ring on Raw for the first time in eight years, which they gave no hype to. This should be made to feel special and perhaps a Booker T video package is in order!