WWE Friday Night SmackDown hit the SyFy airwaves last night (Nov. 8, 2013) from Charlotte, North Carolina, with a taped show featuring all the latest build to the upcoming Survivor Series pay-per-view (PPV) scheduled for later this month in Boston.
Let's get right to reactions:
- I'm not sure there was anyone on Earth who wasn't disappointed when CM Punk opened the show calling out the Wyatt Family and was answered by Curtis Axel, of all people. I mean, yeah, unfinished business, but Axel's promo before the match was boring and the ensuing encounter ran a bit too long for my liking. Axel really has been given every chance to get over since coming back and he just isn't connecting. He's a good enough hand, though, I suppose. Then again, shouldn't he win a match or two when he gets aided by a distraction to get the upper hand before hitting his finisher clean? Maybe not against Punk, but it needs to happen if he's to get over sometime.
- There really isn't anything bad to say about Punk feuding with Bray Wyatt, though. I mean, that's just cool.
- I could really do without a breathless R-Truth rapping while JBL shouts "what's up" along with his theme. It's a little too much like watching season 5 of TV series and the insistence on playing out the entire opening sequence.
- That said, the six-man tag with Truth teaming with the Usos against 3MB was mindless fun. Michael Cole's call of the finish -- "See ya, bye!" -- was noteworthy for its ridiculousness.
- Really liked the interaction between Tamina and the Funkadactyls, at least before the Divas tag match. Naomi looking afraid, Tamina looking smug and confident in her badassery. Little stuff like that matters and they did good playing it up. It's better for both, no matter the outcome of the match. As for AJ Lee, what can be said that hasn't already? She does great work.
- I've never cared much for things like nationality, so it's hard for me to care so much when Alberto Del Rio comes out and says he's better than me because he's a Mexican world champion. I guess I'm supposed to be offended because I'm American? I don't really care either way. You're good or you're not, Mexican or American. I did like the angle he took on his loss at Hell in a Cell, that he was sick and battling a fever so he wasn't at his best.
- John Cena really does make SmackDown feel like a bigger deal, even if he was acting like a "stupid little kid", as Del Rio called it.
- Del Rio vs. Great Khali was as bad as you would think. Khali is just too limited physically with his size and build, plus, they've run this match a million times and Khali never wins. A better question to ponder is how many actually good matches we've seen from Khali during his career? Maybe two or three?
- We've now seen Luke Harper work two solid matches against Punk and Daniel Bryan on back-to-back shows. Sure, his opponents are two of the best in-ring performers in the industry at present time but there's something to be said for how well he did in both matches.
- I kind of hope Bryan wears the chest/arm tape for the rest of his WWE run. Am I the only one?
- I understand having a Raw Recall but replaying damn near the entire segment/match from the main event this past week? We're talking like 10 minutes of time dedicated to something that already happened as opposed to something new for SmackDown.
- Thought Cena vs. Ryback was a serviceable main event level match. They were definitely setting up Ryback vs. Goldberg for WrestleMania XXX next year. The fact that WWE is openly acknowledging the link between the two on commentary really seals it, especially with the rumors that came out recently. If they put it together, I don't think I would hate that match either. Jackhammer vs. Shell Shock and what not.
This was your typical episode of SmackDown, nothing really special but nothing really awful either. It's interesting, too, because this show had damn near all the star power a typical episode of Raw would.
That's it from me, Cagesiders. Now it's your turn to sound off in the comments section below with all your thoughts on last night's show.