WWE SmackDown returned last night (Jan. 18, 2013) from San Antonio, Texas, with a taped show on the SyFy channel featuring a fiesta in celebration of Alberto Del Rio as the new world heavyweight champion.
If you missed the show, or just want to go back and read the live blog again, click here.
Let's get to the reactions!
- Alberto Del Rio as a good guy has worked wonderfully. The turn itself at TLC: Tables, Ladders, and Chairs may have been a bit awkward, and the entire Christmas Eve episode of Monday Night Raw was a strange alternative WWE Universe, but other than that, he's been great. He has a natural charisma which just wasn't shinning through before.
- As with most fans, I was hesitant to see Sheamus come out to help Del Rio. The two had just ended a four-month feud that saw Del Rio attempt sneak attack after sneak attack and Sheamus stealing and wrecking "The Mexican Aristocrat's" car. These are two men who should not like each other.
- Nevertheless, "The Great White" actually won me over with his explanation. He's a man who likes to fight, who loves to win, but is graceful in defeat. He now has some respect for Del Rio since winning the championship, which is something he does not give Show or Ziggler. Sheamus doesn't respect Show because he's a jerk, and Ziggler is using AJ and Big E to fight his battles. So, when you have two people you don't respect attacking one person you do, it makes sense you run out to help. Sheamus may be one-dimensional with the whole "I love to fight, fella!" thing, but he's probably one of the more internally consistent characters on the roster.
- The main event was a -- guess what? -- standard faces vs. heels tag team affair between Del Rio & Sheamus vs. Show & Dolph Ziggler. Solid overall, nothing spectacular. The payoff ended up with Del Rio throwing a bucket of water in Show's face. The joke is that there is normally confetti in the bucket, but this time it was water. It was kind of a "reverse-Globetrotters" type of thing. Show got pissed off and walked away from the match, causing his team to be counted out. Del Rio vs. Show at Royal Rumble (Jan. 27) is shaping up to be a grudge match, and I'm excited for it.
- The idea of Raw Rebound made perfect sense when SmackDown was on free television. As someone who grew up watching "The Blue Brand" on UPN, I needed this to see what I was missing on Raw. Now that both Raw and SmackDown are on basic cable, everyone who has USA also has SyFy. There is absolutely no reason to show the entire freaking Rock Concert on the following SmackDown. We've all seen it before. Some people enjoyed it, some hated it. The point is, WWE is eating up 10+ minutes of prime time television with a replay. There is no reason for it, it confirms the belief SmackDown is a secondary show, and simply makes fans who have already seen it, tune out completely.
- Can we just reconfirm that Daniel Bryan and Kane are the greatest characters in WWE? And may we state for the record, that Randy Orton playing the straight man may have been the most brilliant thing in the history of everything? The look of disgust on his face when Kane and Bryan were hugging him was priceless. Keep in mind, this is Kane, the man who attacked "Cowboy" Bob Orton in the lead up to Extreme Rules, hugging Orton, the man who locked up Paul Bearer in retaliation. This is comedy of the absurd to the highest degree. And I love every second of it.
- I don't understand The Miz. He puts on a decent match with Heath Slater on the Jan. 4 episode of SmackDown, then he turns around and has a garbage match with Primo that ended with a Figure Four Lock. Then he jumps into a crowd of military members and starts mean mugging Primo, Epico, & Rosa Mendes. (Like we should all be impressed that he won against a Superstars jobber.) I actually think Miz can be a good character if he makes any type of change. But he refuses to do anything different. And it's not even like The Miz was a good persona before. For someone who wants to be a pro wrestler so badly, he lacks any basic understanding on what that really means.
- I know The Shield is ever so slowly making progress, and a lot of fans are getting a little restless, but something about the shaky-cam promos just gets me re-excited all over again. Now, I just have to find a place to put my "Believe in The Shield" tattoo...
- Kaitlyn defeated Aksana via SPEAR! SPEAR! SPEAR! I really hope that WWE can bring up a few Divas who can actually work with Kaitlyn, because she's really too good to be messing around with the dumb model types.
- Kofi Kingston was jobbed to Antonio Cesaro. It's a shame to see Kofi's talent go to waste, but he needs to learn how to create a character one of these days.
A solid outing from SmackDown this week. Some really good parts, some really bad parts, and a lot of stuff in the middle. It's a shame that after a couple of great shows last week, WWE has fallen back to average.
Enough from me, though. What say you, Cagesiders? How did you enjoy -- or hate -- this week's show?