The opening segment was a mixed bag. On the one hand, I thought Triple H was very entertaining, and liked the “town meeting” set-up for a televised wrestling show. It’s the exact kind of thing a narcissistic heel would do. Also, having Hunter describe himself as the COO of WWE and, therefore, “the WWE itself,” was a great way to draw heat. Unfortunately, some of the booking just didn’t make sense. Why would he give Kofi Kingston a (non-title) match against Curtis Axel? Was that punishment? And how is making Dolph Ziggler fight Ryback a bad thing, exactly? Illogical booking.
On that note, Ryback and Ziggler was a waste of my time. Not that these two aren’t fun to watch, but there wasn’t much to this match, and it made zero storyline sense. Apparently Ryback has had a change of heart and is glad to wrestle again – even though he was just walking out on matches a month or so ago. Plus, he’s a bully… in which case, why can he only win a match if Dean Ambrose interferes?
Heels were booked to look good last night. Randy Orton defeated Rob Van Dam, Ryback picked up the victory over Dolph Ziggler, and The Real Americans got the win against The Usos. Actually, all of these guys had to cheat to win, so maybe they didn’t look so good. I’d like a little credibility with my antagonists, please…
Daniel Bryan beat Seth Rollins… *yawn*. I’m sorry, he’s wrestled The Shield about a dozen times in the last few weeks, and Randy Orton always ends up coming out to strike at the end. I’m hoping WWE does something different heading into next week. Otherwise, Night of Champions is going to be a long night, indeed.
Big Show has become the most interesting thing about this “new corporation” storyline. After weeks of riding the fence, he’s finally flipped into bad-guy mode again. I think this is smart booking, and Triple H giving him an ounce of revenge against 3MB really helped cement Show’s turn. Good stuff here.
I also really liked AJ Lee grouping with the the non-’Total Divas’ divas. It made a lot of sense. But, I’m curious why WWE feels the need to push this group as the heels against a ‘Total Divas’ face group. The audience in attendance feels the exact opposite about those two factions. AJ could use a solid “good guy” run here, but I guess WWE is trying to protect its ‘Total Divas’ brand. Meh.
Overall show made me feel indifferent.There was a lot of missed potential on last night’s Smackdown, and the wrestling failed to excite me. I am glad that creative has decided to re-tool the show a little. Seeing the major stars from Raw, including Triple H, Vince McMahon, and Randy Orton, has made the show seem a lot more legit. But, simply having them appear isn’t enough anymore. Build the stakes up for Friday nights, and viewers might actually return.