This week’s SmackDown felt like a chore to watch, partly because of the Big Show’s ascension to the lofty status of number one contender. His boring, plodding victory over Randy Orton didn’t make either man look good and did nothing to excite me for the WHC match that will take place at Hell in a Cell.
At this point the only interesting thing I think WWE could do with the situation they’ve placed themselves in is to have ‘The World Largest Athlete’ defeat Sheamus and then lose the title to a cashing-in Dolph Ziggler. That would get the title onto a wrestler who would inject something new into the stagnant headline scene and would tie in nicely to Show losing the title to Daniel Bryan moments after winning it at last year’s TLC.
There were only two good things on this week’s show. The first was the news of a tag team tournament to crown number on contenders to the WWE tag team championship, currently held by Team Hell No. WWE’s tag team division has been crying out for attention for years and it’s nice to see it finally get some. True the bout pitting Jimmy and Jey Uso against the Rhodes Scholars wasn’t a great example of tag wrestling but there’s still plenty of time for the tourney to improve.
Future WWE tag team champions?
The other good thing about the show was the Divas battle between Beth Phoenix and Natalya. ‘The Glamazon’ did everything she could to fire up her hometown crowd and they reacted to her like a genuine star. That had to be nice for Phoenix. The match was the best Divas match of 2012 and shows that if WWE gave the women lengthier matches and some basic plots fans would view them as a relevant part of the show.
The way WWE treats its female grapplers is unlikely to change anytime soon, and that’s part of the reason Beth Phoenix is leaving. Assuming she’s not convinced to stay Phoenix’s departure will be another blow to a division that is thinner than it’s been in years. On the plus side WWE seems to be going somewhere with Eve Torres as the league’s figurehead. We can only hope that the ladies get the same treatment as the tag teams have.
In conclusion I’d say that if you missed this week’s episode of SmackDown then there’s no real point catching up with it. You can find out what happened below and save an hour and a half of your life being lost.
Tweet 1: SmackDown. Yes! Yes! Yes!Tweet 2: Recap of the shenanigans between Bryan and Kane, including Bryan hiding in a bin.
Tweet 3: As good as that show-long story was does it really warrant a three minute recap?
Tweet 4: Ah, wait, they finished on that shot where Kane looks like Al Bundy. It all came good in the end.
Tweet 5: "It's one of the biggest main events in SmackDown history" - Michael Cole on Randy Orton v Big Show
Big Show promo, featuring Randy Orton
Tweet 6: For the last year Big Show has been continually involved in title feuds. #worryingWWEstatisticsTweet 7: Looks like Orton's teasing some sideburns.
Tweet 8: On Show's WMD punch: aren't closed fists illegal?
Tweet 9: Oh good, Alberto Del Rio's still in the title picture.
Santino v Antonio Cesaro for the United States championship
Tweet 10: The United States championship is every WWE fans favourite championship.Tweet 11: Is Aksana going to be paired with Santino next? Might as well. She's got nothing else to do.
Tweet 12: Santino's singlet is a bit loose. I don't like it. I'm worried it's going to slip off. Nobody wants to see that.
Tweet 13: Maybe Jack Swagger will return as a babyface and beat Cesaro for the US title on RAW. I'm going to make that an Official Prediction.
Tweet 14: I now want Cesaro to say "winner" in five different languages.
Tweet 15: Has anybody made a Swiss gold joke yet? Probs.
Beth Phoenix v Natalya
Tweet 16: I've heard Phoenix v Natalya is a great match. I'm looking forward to it. Looking forward to Eve's Tout less.Tweet 17: Beth and Natty adhere to the Code of Honor.
Tweet 18: This match should be for the Divas championship. Best WWE women's match of the year.
Tweet 19: Eve promo. This one's live. No Tout involved.
Tweet 20: So they know that a blonde attacked Kaitlyn. Assuming that's true why does nobody suspect Kelly Kelly.
Tweet 21: Oh yeah… She left.
Booker T, Teddy Long and Eve have a natter backstage
Tweet 22: Is Booker going to reform Harlem Heat to compete in the tag team tournament? Hope so.Tweet 23: More trouble brewing between Teddy and Booker. GM storylines are the bestest!
Wade Barrett v Zack Ryder
Tweet 24: Want to see Barrett's ring coat? Too bad. He's retired it.Tweet 25: Barrett is doing a bare knuckle boxing gimmick and starts the match by kneeing Ryder multiple times. Also, Kassius does it better.
Tweet 26: "Wade whadda you doin', uh?" - The referee that looks like Benedict Cumberbatch
Tweet 27: Barrett should be feuding with Sheamus. His weekly battering of jobbers is wasteful.
Miz TV, with Sheamus as guest
Tweet 28: I like Miz but I couldn't care less about Miz TV. WWE's cycle of chat segments needs to come to an end. #datedconceptTweet 29: What's this segment meant to achieve?
Tweet 30: A radio show, a book, and a film. Miz is actually doing a lot better than Sheamus overall. Gutted, fella.
Tweet 31: #Zigglerpop #heel #heelsdoitbetter
Tweet 32: Ziggler has just announced he'll cash-in at Hell in a Cell. I'm not convinced.
Sheamus prepares to take flight
The Usos v The Rhodes Scholars
Tweet 33: Reason for the lack of shouty entrance for the Usos? They have sore throats.Tweet 34: The Rhodes Scholars seem like a safe pick here. I can't see the Usos getting close to the belts anytime soon.
Tweet 35: Not much of a match but the right team won.
Ryback v Tensai
Tweet 36: Ryback being on Twitter feels wrong.Tweet 37: "Smash! Smash! Smash!" - Tensai as he threw punches at Ryback
Tweet 38: What is Ryback's finisher called? Ryback Buster?
Randy Orton v Big Show
Tweet 39: I assume Orton has been written out of the match and Del Rio will replace him. I'm tired of ADR. He should be given a month or two off.Tweet 40: Bring him back and give him a fresh feud.
Tweet 41: Being a super-babyface Orton is going to wrestle despite the handful of punches he received backstage.
Tweet 42: It's also interesting to note that ADR smashed a box into 'The Viper's' leg but Orton's holding his ribs.
Tweet 43: It's almost like wrestling isn't real...
Tweet 44: "Big Show's hands are as wide as a football" - Michael Cole
Tweet 45: Christ, this match is dull.
Tweet 46: An RKO isn't enough to keep mega-heel Big Show down. He shrugs off finishers like a machine.
Tweet 47: Not to be outdone Orton kicks out of a choke slam. Show hits another and gets a (sort of) clean victory over 'The Apex Predator'.
Tweet 48: Sheamus versus Big Show. That will be utterly diabolical. Jim Ross on commentary could make it tolerable but that won't happen.
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