10 Thoughts on Smackdown 08.05.2011: Randy Orton & John Morrison v. R-Truth & Christian, Zack Ryder, Sheamus v. The Great Khali
by Joe Violet on August 6, 2011

Welcome to another edition of 10 Thoughts on Smackdown! The road to SummerSlam is underway, and the Summer of Punk is upon us…let’s see how the Blue Crew is responding to what’s been the hottest angle WWE’s had in about a year.

And here…we….go!

 

 

  1. If they’re trying to book Sheamus as a legitimate challenger to the new Mark Henry…THAT’S the way to do it. Not a classic, but a good match, because it told a good story of Sheamus fighting like a warrior to take down the giant Khali. I know I complained before of how weak they made Big Show look in his last mini-feud with Mark Henry, but they’re making Sheamus look good. I’ve just gotta get used to seeing Sheamus smiling, though…
  2. Has WWE been listening to us lately regarding the lack of quality in Divas matches?!?! AJ and Natalya put on a good match with good wrestling and a good story with teacher vs. student being told. However, the turn from Natalya, especially the timing of it, shows me what I’ve been saying all along…the Divas division is looking thin. You figure, Gail Kim is gone now, so is Melina. Layla is still injured, Kharma’s on leave, Michelle McCool’s gone. The quality of the matches hasn’t been good lately, and this match was a breath of fresh air. I hope we can see more matches like this one. On a sidenote, while WWE is supposedly looking at Ring of Honor, am I crazy for thinking they should try to sign Sara Del Rey to the WWE? Good idea, bad idea?
  3. “State of the Showski Address? THIS could be entertaining.” That was my thought when I heard they were going to give Zack Ryder a mic on WWE programming. He wasn’t getting a Randy Orton type of pop, but he got a decent reception on Smackdown. If he gets some wins under his belt, he could wind up with a good following. It all led to Ezekiel Jackson against Ryder, but the segment as a whole was good. With Cody Rhodes talking about the de-valuing of the IC title, Zeke calling out Ryder for botching the type of match, Teddy Long punishing Ryder with a match…it was all good. The match itself was just an afterthought, unfortunately. And it looks like a new Diva’s on Smackdown…no idea who she is, though.
  4. Looking at the members of the original Nexus on Smackdown…it looks like WWE may be high on a few of them. Justin Gabriel reaches out to an international audience, so he may be getting a small push here soon. Wade Barrett looks to be on a collision course with Daniel Bryan, which could be a very good match. Both of them have had paralleling first years, with the exception of Barrett main eventing. Barrett won the IC title, Bryan won the US title, which are, at least in WWE’s eyes, equally valued titles. Oh, what a year can do for one’s career…
  5. Tyson Kidd/Daniel Bryan??? I’m believing more and more that SOMEONE on WWE Creative reads this stuff, because I distinctly recall saying when Kidd went against Sin Cara that he’d have a good match with Bryan. And sure enough, it didn’t disappoint. In all honesty, with the way WWE’s cleaning house again, I would wager that this match may have saved Kidd’s job.
  6. Mark Henry/Vladimir Kozlov merely served to further Henry’s push, and I will give WWE some credit: at least with Kozlov being gone, he was written off with that injury, rather than being future-endeavored. It at least makes him look good on his way out…I think that’s a classy way that doesn’t insult the fans’ intelligence to send someone out of the company, rather than him just vanishing. Kozlov wasn’t the most exciting, but he wasn’t bad, either.
  7. Superstars invades Smackdown!!!! When did JTG turn heel? I must have missed that somewhere! The six-man tag makes for a good tag team feud between Otunga and McGillicutty and the Usos. The inclusion of Baretta and JTG was obviously so that neither of the Usos nor the champions would have to take the loss…smart booking. The champions are looking better as a team, but still need some work, though.
  8. So they’re finally debuting Johnny Curtis this next week…for all the segments, all the puns, it’s either going to be a big bust, or a big success. I wonder if he can go in the ring…
  9. From the “strange bedfellows” department: R-Truth and Christian. It could work to be an interesting alliance between the two, with both complaining about management and conspiracies.
  10. The main event, ironically enough, was the match I considered the least entertaining. Not because it was a bad match, but because, honestly, I was preoccupied with some other issues. Note to self: no Facebooking while watching Smackdown! I did catch a lot of the match, but not enough to make an actual diagnosis of it. From what I did see, Morrison seems to be more in his element as a tag wrestler. He’s grasping the concept of psychology better, and seems more comfortable with a tag formula. He’s set for a feud with R-Truth, which could be good. Christian and Orton are doing the same old, same old, but I did notice a little bit more fluidity in their work tonight. With most matches that get repeated, it becomes more of a cycle. With these two, they work fluidly. I will admit that the feud is getting long and drawn out, but here’s my thought to ponder for the week: Are fans of today capable of watching longer feuds? Heck, back in the 80’s, we’d see feuds go for MONTHS on a regular basis, and today, if we see a feud drag past two months, we scream that it’s stale. Hmmmm…

 

Tonight’s show was thumbs up. Good wrestling, good storyline progression…it was one of the more watchable Smackdown episodes I’ve seen in a while. On another note, SummerSlam is shaping up to be a pay-per-view worth buying…if they don’t screw it up. One other thing to mention: people have been bashing R-Truth’s weapon of choice being a water bottle. Try smacking yourself upside the head with a one-liter bottle of water and see if it doesn’t hurt…it’s still a little heavy, people…just sayin’.

Until next time…



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Joe Violet

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  • Joseph Hargrove

    @Joe: Great review, Mr. Violet. I went to the tapings on Tuesday and it was a fantasic experience to say the least. Thoughts on the trip and show.

    1. Main Event: Not a bad match but it wasn’t that much appealing to me. JoMo and Orton worked decently though so it kinda made up for the quality.

    2. Nasty Nattie Returns: Great night for the divas and it started off with a dream match between the two best wrestlers in the Divas division.

    Natalya made AJ pay after the match and I think we’ll soon get an explanation as to why she betrayed her rookies. Kaitlyn wont’t be too happy though.

    3. Aksana’s debut: I enjoyed the beautiful Euro diva on NXT/FCW and like her even more now that she is here on Smackdown. I think she’ll be good as she has improved a lot and is a double champ now in FCW.

    4. WWE/ROH: You did mention the partnership of the two companies and I love Sara Del Rey and the Kings of Wrestling so hopefully they all are able to sign and reunite down the road in WWE.

    Very nice show, Joe. Have a good day, man.

  • CB

    Aksana <—– HAHAHAHAHA! She was almost as bad as Eli Cottonwood in the promo department, then they had that whole Goldust wedding segment so she could get her green card. She is AWFUL!!!!!

  • Joseph Hargrove

    @CB: Don’t remind me of that fiasco with Goldust. As for the promos, she has an accent and the same could be said for Maryse so of course it’s not going to be an easy transition.

    I have mixed feelings about Aksana but she is an interesting and funny character so I’ll have to wait before I give my final verdict on her.

  • Mike Gojira

    I think it’s quite obvious what the WWE is doing with the Divas. Turning Beth Phoenix and Natalya, clearly the two best, is their Plan B since Kharma is not around. They’re using her angle to try and regain interest in the division.

  • Joseph Hargrove

    @Mike: Beth and Natalya as their Plan B is a lot better than no story at all and it’s only fitting for the best two wrestlers in that division to have this opportunity given to them due to their friendship with Punk among other things.

  • CB
  • Victor

    Beth and Natalya as plan B is fine by me, although I wonder what happens if Kharma returns.

    As far as 10, remember that we had longer feuds but they didn’t meet on TV all the time. The nature of squash shows let you do confrontations without actually showing the same match over and over.

  • Phil

    @Joe Voilet: There is a reason for the lack of patience in this day and age; the feuding wrestlers have more contact on a week-to-week basis with each other and of course more in-ring collisions due to the tripling of PPV events. In the 80’s the wrestlers that were feuding with each other would often actually cross paths on SNME (Every two months) and at one of the four PPV’s of the time. Now because of the weekly interaction there is a been there, done that feeling and people want something new after a short time. As I am a product of the eighties wrestling-wise I have a mind-set where I can appreciate an epic program between two top guys, so I am enjoying this angle with Orton and Cristian quite a bit. The in-ring work near the conclusion of their tag-match was excellent, fluid, and exciting. I never get tired of that kind of in-ring action, they should be showing that particular sequence to anybody in WWE developmental. I just hope that the no holds barred stipulation does not prevent such in-ring work in favor of typical hard-core action. These two need to stay creative for the Summerslam match, I still have a good feeling about it though.

    Bryan/Kidd was another classic by Smackdown TV standards; it’s about time that Kidd changed that silly looking hairstyle.

    I never thought that I’d say this, but I have been warming up to Booker T’s more recent goofball-tinged antics on commentary, and his subtle teasing of Cole. He seems to be getting a little more natural sounding out there now that he is not taking things very seriously. I liked his interaction with Barrett, and have become mildly intrigued by the building dissent with Cody Rhodes and the paper bag he gets handed.

    Good move (Finally) putting Beth and Nattie in enforcer roles for their respective brands. May eventually work up to a high-profile match between the two if they both dominate for a little while.

    JTG turned heel on Superstars a few weeks ago; just came out and decided that he disliked everybody; nobody really cared; I’m surprised that he was not among the released from this last wave of layoffs.

    Decent show from Smackdown this week and good review from you Joe.

  • LBD “Nytetrayn”

    Actually, I think JTG’s heel turn came on NXT some time back when his rookie was eliminated.

  • LBD “Nytetrayn”

    “I’m surprised that he was not among the released from this last wave of layoffs.”

    Sorry, missed that part– the funny thing is, JTG was feuding with Kozlov as late as last week on NXT.

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