WWE Friday Night SmackDown hit the SyFy airwaves last night (Dec. 13, 2013) from Portland, Oregon, with a taped show featuring the go home edition to the TLC pay-per-view (PPV) scheduled for this Sunday night at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas.
Let's get right to reactions:
- When the Wyatt Family runs its course, will there be a place for Erick Rowan on the main roster? His look is exactly right for the role he's currently in but how well will it translate to a new character later on? He can't be Wyatt Family forever. These are the things I think about while watching him try to hang with Daniel Bryan. There needs to be some running tally of whose been best against Bryan during this feud. Luke Harper is probably the runaway winner overall but week to week?
- Loved the psychology behind the match, though. Bryan overcame all three guys with slick moves and general competence in the face of idiocy and brute force. A good preview for Sunday night.
- Shout out to Goldust, who is still doing incredibly good work alongside his brother. Had you told me he would come back and they would team together to have very good matches against the likes of the Real Americans, I would have called you a liar (Mean Gene). Shout out to whoever got that reference. Last shout out: To Zeb Colter for his shocked expression when Antonio Cesaro pinned Cody Rhodes.
- The heel walks out finish is the worst thing in pro wrestling. I would rather see another Katie Vick angle than have a heel just leave a match and choose to get counted out. If there's someone who can pull it off, it's probably Damien Sandow, but it needs to go away forever.
- This weird thing happened somewhere along the line during these past six months or so -- I became a fan of the Bella Twins. They got good, at least relative to the rest of the Divas division. That may not be saying all that much but there's no longer any need to make derisive remarks about piss breaks during women's matches anymore.
- Keep Natalya off commentary, though. Forever.
- The Shield are physically incapable of having a bad match. Part of the reason for that is how they were booked during their initial six months on the main roster. These guys never lost, an untouchable trio of killers who beat EVERYBODY, even teams that included John Cena. That's what gives us interesting matches on episodes of SmackDown against The Usos, despite recent jobs. It's still important to defeat these guys, if you can. That's a product of workrate and great booking. Putting Dean Ambrose on commentary to put them over while they're laying waste to people is a nice cherry on top.
- Enjoyed CM Punk's promo for what it was. Even better? His saying "I believe..." then holding his fist to the camera, the one that spells out D-R-U-G on each finger. He finished with "... the best in the world", but it was still funny how it came across. And they had time to edit!
- Bad News Barrett already jumped the shark, you guys and gals. It already happened. There's still very real potential there but after his first few appearances, do we have any confidence in WWE figuring out a better way to use him?
- Ryback is now getting squashed by Big Show on a consistent basis. I actually hate this because Ryback is a far more interesting character than he ever gets credit for. If he could work, he would one of the best guys on the roster. Hell, he might be anyway. I do, however, completely endorse Curtis Axel taking multiple finishers in succession on every WWE program every week.
- Here's what I don't get: Why print the story on Alberto Del Rio suffering a concussion on Raw then book him for a match on SmackDown without ever running another article clearing him to work? The answer is obvious but WWE doesn't bother with that kind of detail.
- Both Randy Orton and Triple H tripped up at multiple points in there respective moments on the microphone last night. It was bad. I also don't really like Orton wanting to apologize for running into Stephanie McMahon and his doing so to Triple H, like Stephanie isn't her own person who wants her own apology. Instead we get Triple H, lord of all things WWE. After all, his theme song is the one that played us out and was the last thing we heard headed for TLC. Because that just makes so much sense and all.
- I'm a big fan of Orton's insecurity. He's been playing this role oh so well in his brief time playing it. Like, better than anything else he's ever done. And let's give Triple H credit too, he's really good at that snake in the grass role where you think maybe he's your friend but he's still a snake and you have to respect that he might bite you at any time.
This wasn't the best show, but it wasn't the worst.
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. How did you like WWE's last effort before TLC?