In theory it's a shrewd move. Overcoming adversity is one of the key attributes that makes someone a good guy in the wrestling business. Unfortunately WWE have used the trick so often with 'The Celtic Warrior' that it's become meaningless. We know heels are going to try to place limitations on Sheamus or weasel out of matches with him but we've seen several times that the Irishman always gets his way in the end. There's no reason to back him. He’ll succeed whether we support him or not.
The latest setback suffered by 'Great White' was an unintentional nudge to Big Show. 'The Giant' deliberately misinterpreted this as Sheamus disregarding their no contact before TLC agreement and demanded the match be scrubbed. Yep, schoolyard level antics between two men feuding over a world championship.
Naturally Sheamus didn't take kindly to this cowardice. He marched to the ring clenching a chair and (loudly) announced that if the match was off he'd have no reason not to attack Big Show. The champion, of course, backed down and the bout will take place as planned.
To my mind this made Sheamus look weak. He had to have a chair with him to be taken seriously by Big Show. It may be part of a storyline that started at Survivor Series but it doesn't do the challenger any favours. The scenario also made him look like a whiner. Again. Why would fans want to get behind a man who complains so much? That's what the bad guys are supposed to do.
This guy gobbles up screen time like there's no tomorrow
The ending of the episode seemed unsatisfactory too. This also involved Sheamus. 'Great White' had been facing Antonio Cesaro but had become distracted when Big Show appeared on the stage with an injured William Regal. Shaymo left the ring and minced up the ramp to confront Show, only to be stopped by Regal (the no contact clause, remember?), who was then smacked with a chair by Show.
The programme went off the air with Show and Sheamus glaring at each other. It was a complete anti-climax. When you remember that this was the final show of note before TLC it seems an even more ridiculous ending. In these situations we should see a fight, not intense glaring.
What should have ended the show was the Miz TV segment. That saw the incredibly over Ryback make an appearance (WWE have remembered that less is more with him at least) to fend off The Shield alongside Team Hell No. Not only were more popular acts involved with this portion of the show but it's also the bout that will headline TLC. It may have been another stare-off but with some of the men in the crowd it would have been more acceptable than the Show and Sheamus one. They weren’t within touching distance and it was booked to get Ryback over rather than to further a nonsensical clause.
SmackDown wasn't without its high points. The Cesaro v Sheamus main event was very good until the end sequence begun. I'd like to see a proper feud between them at some point. The return of Cody Rhodes to Friday nights was also very nicely handled. Giving him and Sandow promo time helped them re-establish their tag team and get some heat. 'The Intellectual Saviour' was particularly good in this segment.
And that was SmackDown. A decent broadcast that didn't quite pull off the job of a "go home" show. But, sadly, that's normal.
Tweet 1: Let's talk some Smack.
Tweet 3: Sheamus on the other hand...
R-Truth v Big Show
Tweet 4: Opening shot features Antonio Cesaro (Heeeey!) and his satchel. Lovely way to kick off the show.Tweet 5: It's been ruined by the arrival of Big Show.
Tweet 6: JBL and Mathews don't seem interested in putting over the US title feud. It doesn't matter. Antonio doesn't need their help.
Tweet 7: There's a reason four man annoucne booths have never caught on.
Tweet 8: Sheamus thinks his match at TLC will be one of the toughest of Show's career. Um... Didn't Hogan once throw Show off a roof?
Tweet 9: In a car?
Tweet 10: #satchelbump
Tweet 11: That match existed only to highlight two singles feuds. It was okay for what it was.
Tweet 12: Sheamus lightly brushed Show and that will, in the heel's mind, be enough to have the title bout match cancelled. I can't see it somehow.
Tweet 13: This no contact thing is very similar to the banning of the Brogue Kick during the ADR programme. I didn't like that either.
Big Show and Booker T backstage
Tweet 14: Big Show fears no man.Tweet 15: Booker hasn't cancelled the match. How predictable.
The Rhodes Scholars v The Usos
Tweet 16: #SandowpopTweet 17: Sandow and Rhodes are best friends. Classic.
Tweet 18: Sandow's reaction to the crowd's noise was brilliant. He needs a title in 2013.
Tweet 19: "Cody's moustache!" - The audience on Cody's moustache
Tweet 20: Why push a pay-per-view that will make you money when you can push the Slammy Awards?
Tweet 21: The Usos have "day one" written on their trunks. They are also brothers. Could it be more obvious they're stealing from the Briscoes?
David Otunga promo, featuring Big Show, Booker T and Sheamus
Tweet 22: Who do you go to if you're a WWE wrestler and you have a legal problem? Why, David Otunga of course.Tweet 23: Oh good. We're getting a legality-based Otunga promo.
Tweet 24: Otunga is recapping a fake legal document. I can almost hear the ratings soaring.
Tweet 25: Booker should just make a match between Otunga and Show. It's what I'd do in this situation.
Tweet 26: Sheamus gets way too much air time. Less is more. If we're to embrace him as a top guy his appearances need to be kept to a minimum.
Tweet 27: Otunga sold that kick like he'd had an anvil dropped on his head.
The Shield assault Randy Orton backstage
Tweet 28: That's Orton off TV. Again.
Kaitlyn v Aksana
Tweet 29: Aksana's a wrestler again? Since when?Tweet 30: Why is Kaitlyn wrestling in combat fatigues? Where is her wrestling gear? WHAT IS GOING ON?
Tweet 31: This match, like the Bret Hart v Shawn Michaels match at WrestleMania XII, is based around a headlock. I don't rate either.
Tweet 32: "Ask her!" - Aksana Jericho
Tweet 33: Kaitlyn overcomes a fearsome headlock to get the win with a generic move.
Tweet 34: It's worth noting that that match was a payoff to something that happened three months ago. Who says WWE doesn't treat the Divas seriously?
Matt Striker backstage
Tweet 35: Matt Striker standing outside a room containing Randy Orton there. Like a ruddy stalker.
Miz TV, featuring Daniel Bryan, Kane, The Shield and Ryback
Tweet 36: Miz TV. #boredfaceTweet 37: I miss Bryan's entrance music.
Tweet 38: Talking of Team Hell No's anger management therapy where's Dr Shelby?
Tweet 39: Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes!
Tweet 40: Dean Ambrose's facial expressions remind me of Scott Hall. I hope he enters with a toothpick in his mouth at TLC.
Tweet 41: I think Ryback's hungry.
Hornswoggle, The Great Khali, Tyson Kidd and Justin Gabriel v The Prime Time Players, Epico and Primo
Tweet 42: Khali can't even walk convincingly!!Tweet 43: I've changed my opinion on Titus O'Neil. I now think he's pretty entertaining. He's just not a very good wrestler.
Tweet 44: "I will be heading south tonight" - Josh Mathews, offering us a glimpse into his personal life
Tweet 45: Please can someone fire Hornswoggle?
Rosa Mendes takes a crisp bump...
Kofi Kingston v Alberto Del Rio
Tweet 46: Albertooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo Dellllllll Riiiiiiiooooooooo!!Tweet 47: ADR sporting some nice white trunks here. Perhaps a precursor to a babyface turn? That'd be a stupid move...
Tweet 48: How great would it be if Wade Barrett was disguised as the referee and attacked Kofi mid-match?
Tweet 49: Kofi wins a surprisingly good match on a rollup. It was portrayed as a fluke victory, natch.
Tweet 50: Barrett DOES attack, but he's not dressed in ref garb. Pity.
William Regal and Sheamus chat backstage
Tweet 51: This faux friendship between Regal and Sheamus makes me think less of Regal.Tweet 52: Look into Regal's eyes as Sheamus is hollering. He looks bored.
Sheamus v Antonio Cesaro
Tweet 53: Antonio Cesaro. Heeeey!!Tweet 54: Who covets the United States title, Josh?
Tweet 55: Cesaro is making Sheamus entertaining. Witchcraft?
Tweet 56: JBL is referencing football (soccer) on a wrestling broadcast. Practically nobody in the US will understand who or what he's talking about.
Tweet 57: Cesaro just powered up Sheamus. The big question is can he lift up Tensai without botching?
Tweet 58: Cesaro wins a stop-start match by count out. The right guy won in the wrong way.