I make no qualms about Smackdown being my favorite WWE show. Smackdown has lengthier, better matches than RAW and distinctively less ‘comedy’ segments. Most of all, it’s Cena free! At least most of the time it is. Thankfully, Smackdown escaped having Cena come over in the draft, albeit WWE did manage to give me a fit for about an hour this past Monday.
Instead, it’s Randy Orton who makes the trek to SyFy. He’s a SUPERFACE like Cena is, but he hasn’t been one for seven years. Plus, he still has some heelish tendencies in him, so I can stand him… for now.
WHAT I LIKED:
Sheamus: Sheamus was easily the best draft pick for Smackdown in the Supplemental Draft. Although I question why Sheamus, a 2-time WWE Champion and current US Champion, was set aside for the Supplemental Draft in the first place. Sheamus should do very well on Smackdown where the writers love to build up young heels and let them flourish. I hope he stays in the US/IC Title hunt for a while before going back up to the main-event, where Randy Orton will undoubtedly reign supreme. We all know how Sheamus is made to look when he goes against Orton.
Swagger vs Sin Cara: A problem with the lights, WWE? You know, Smackdown is taped. You’d think they could have waited until they got the lights fixed before they started the match. It’s irrelevant, but a thought. Speaking of editing, it didn’t seem like they to edit Sin Cara’s entrance this time around as he hit that jump perfectly. Welcome to Smackdown, Sin Cara! As for Jack Swagger, I think his involvement in the announcer’s ordeal will be good for him on RAW. Swagger is a braggart and a showman, which will work well for him on RAW as well. Then factor in his impressive in-ring ability and he might just be the one guy who can bring some ‘wrestling’ to RAW.
Cody Rhodes: I read an interview that Cody Rhodes did recently with Marvel, where he said he draws a lot of his characteristics from Dr. Doom – an elite villain in the Marvel Universe. I can see that. I am so glad that Cody did not get drafted to RAW because his place is right where he is on Smackdown. I worry what’s going to happen starting next week after Rey Mysterio is no longer on RAW, but I’m certain the Smackdown writers have something good in store for the best young heel in WWE.
LayCool: I really hate that WWE is breaking up LayCool, but lost in those thoughts is the fact that this new rivalry is better than the one from Wrestlemania. WWE was actually headed this way before the whole Snooki debacle occurred. I would much rather have seen this match than anything having to do with Snooki. I also read that Michelle McCool is set to leave WWE after Extreme Rules, which is why they dubbed ‘WWE’ over ‘Smackdown’ in this broadcast. For all the people who hated on McCool, WWE is about to lose one of the few divas who can actually wrestle. I’m sure she’ll be back after a while, but I’m going to miss her while she’s gone.
Orton/Christian vs Clay/Del Rio: There are a lot things in this match alone that the draft brings into question. The most important being who will win the World Heavyweight Championship at Extreme Rules. It’s easy to assume that Christian will win so the World Title can remain on Smackdown, but that’s not a given. In the end, I think that will happen, but not before WWE gives us a scare or two. Second is Brodus Clay. His association with Del Rio in a few months time has done more for him than Alex Riley’s association with The Miz, and Del Rio wasn’t even champion. Clay has served as a BIG bruiser for Del Rio, but has also served as his pin cushion. Now that Clay is no longer at his side on RAW, Del Rio is going to have to get pinned more often in his matches – and given he’ll be going against John Cena sometime soon, I expect that happen often. As for Clay himself, I hope they keep his status up high and don’t forget about him once Del Rio is gone. He has a great look and can be a huge threat given the right push. Fortunately for him, he’s on Smackdown.
WHAT I HATED:
Randy Orton: First, what’s up with the beard? I know he’s meant to replace Edge, but is he supposed to become a carbon copy? Dude, shave the beard. It’s not a good look on you. Second, you see how Smackdown started off? RKO’s to Drew McIntyre and Alex Riley. Five minutes on Smackdown and already Orton is SUPERFACING on everyone. This seems like the beginning of a trend. You have to figure that his debut match on Smackdown would end in a win, but what about the subsequent matches? I’m starting a win/loss record watch for Orton for his time on Smackdown to show just how bad this switch is going to be for everyone else involved. So far, he’s 1-0 on Smackdown. This record won’t include DQ wins/losses – they’re just cop-outs anyway. I expect the win column to reach 10 before the loss column reaches 1. It might even reach 20 before the first clean loss is recorded.
T-Shirts: Why is everyone wearing their Smackdown or RAW T-shirts? Does WWE really think we can’t keep up with who has been drafted to what show? Well, they’re probably right for the more feeble minded fans. But for me it’s insulting to my intelligence. Even worse was the announcers who made sure to tell us every single person who was drafted, even though they were wearing their brands’ shirt. Just do either one or the other, but doing both was just overkill.
Henry vs Mysterio: They can keep trying to push Mark Henry all they want, but he will never make it as a main-eventer. I said in my WWE Draft blog that Henry’s best time/place/situation is right now, but even at his best, he’s just not the guy. And Rey Mysterio should get used to being the prone position. Because on RAW, that’s going to be his role – a bean bag for the bigger guys. Of course, he’ll still get his fair share of victories because he’s a beloved babyface, but it’s not going to come easily. As his career dwindles, so will his time as a top-level competitor.
Tag Team Championship: I hate title matches that have no chance of a new champion. Slater & Gabriel were never going to win this match and I doubt anyone thought they would, so what was the point of the match. The match itself was a decent, if not typical, tag match featuring two BIGS versus two smalls – in stature and status. I know I said I liked that Big Show and Kane were on different shows, and I do, but there honestly aren’t any tag teams on either show to give them any real competition. I don’t want them to just run roughshod over both brands. WWE needs to start building up their tag team division because they have the perfect foils as tag team champions right now.