Sierra. Hotel. India. Echo. Lima. Delta. -- Believe in the Shield! - YouTube/WWE.com
Previewing the March 22, 2013 episode of WWE "SmackDown", featuring the continuing feud between World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio and #1 Contender Jack Swagger, The Shield's challenge to their "WrestleMania 29" opponents, and MORE!
Del Rio! Swagger! Ricardo! Zeb! Sneak Attacks! Holding Pattern! Three More Shows!
Did you know, dear Cagesiders, that World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio and his best friend Ricardo Rodriguez are from Mexico? And did you also know, Cagesiders, that Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter are not fans of immigrants
coming sneaking into our country?
I'm sure you were aware of such facts, since it's been Smackdown's main event storyline for the past month and change.
It's always frustrating when WWE starts an angle strong, then lets it tail off as we get closer to the pay-per-view (PPV). This could have been a really cool feud, with Swagger and Zeb evolving their hatred over the course of weeks. They needed to find a way to get past the basic xenophobia and really find a way to go over the top. The battle for the "soul of America" is a nice idea, but it's been surrounded by the same song and dance.
Stories have to evolve. It's the nature of the beast, and it's something SmackDown's main event has not realized in quite some time.
How WWE planned on stretching this feud to Extreme Rules (May 19) is completely beyond me. It seems that it has already run its course, and we haven't even gotten to the first matchup between them. This thing has basically stalled out.
Swagger attacked Del Rio and Ricardo last Monday on Raw (March 18), practically breaking the ring announcer's ankle with the Patriot Lock, which admittedly is a nice advancement. Now, hopefully Del Rio can retaliate and start to get momentum back into this feud.
But I fear that it will be more of the same.
Del Rio, Swagger, and Zeb will hit the same notes over and over, because that is all they want to do. Instead of really digging into this angle and finding the subtleties that are lying beneath the surface, everyone involved just wants to shout the obvious and overplayed.
It's a shame, really. This could have been really fun to watch.
The Shield! Orton! Sheamus! Show! Ryback? Nope! Henry! Walk The Damn Thing Back! Redundancy Department Of Redundancy!
You know what is one of my biggest pet peeves? When a fan's attention is deemed worthless. When someone tunes in to watch the show, sees an angle be advanced, and then is told everything they witnessed was a giant waste of time.
I personally may have to sit around and watch the show. But there are plenty of people with better things to do on a Friday night than be insulted.
Last week (March 15) The Shield challenged Randy Orton & Sheamus to a match at WrestleMania 29. The pair accepted, but they needed to choose a third partner. The obvious pick was The Big Show, who had battled The Shield over the previous weeks. But Orton & Sheamus decided to choose Ryback instead.
Which makes plenty of sense given "The Big Hungry's" history with the NXT Trio.
But on the same show, The Shield attacked Ryback before his match with Mark Henry. "The World's Strongest Man" would take advantage of the interference, and lay out Ryback with a trilogy of Worlds Strongest Slams inducting The Hungry He-Man into both the Hall of Injustice and the Hall of Pain on the same night.
The two stories were weaved together pretty well. All WWE had to do was finish it properly.
Instead, though, the promotion simply chucked everything out and hit reset.
On the following Monday Night Raw, Vickie Guerrero told Ryback that he will be facing Henry at WrestleMania 29. Then Show would come out later in the night and point at the WrestleMania sign, signifying his intention to fight against The Shield.
Just like that, Friday's show was deemed pointless.
There was a way to build upon last week's SmackDown, but what happened was not it. By having Vickie make the decision to put Ryback and Henry together, it became arbitrary. Ryback could have demanded the match. Henry could have continued to push for the match. This should have been a choice the talent made, not a figure of authority. The way it went down was thoroughly unsatisfying.
But it is what is is, and now we move forward.
So Ryback and Mark Henry will face off in a hoss fight come WrestleMania, leaving Randy Orton & Sheamus no choice but to let The Big Show into their little gang to fight The Shield. There is sure to be dissension in the ranks, with Show and Orton both wavering in their faceness. We'll see how well this group will band together in the coming weeks.
Going against The Shield, they are going to need to be as stable as possible if they have any shot at winning.
One! More! Thing!
I'm still loving the Fandango gimmick, but now is the time to really push him forward. With a possible feud between him and Chris Jericho hinted at on Raw, this should be entertaining to watch. There are few people smarter about the business than Jericho. Whatever potential Fandango has, it will surely be brought out in this feud.
Hopefully, this has prepared you for the night's festivities. Leave a comment below about what you are looking forward to, and please join the entire CSS Friday night gang in the live blog TONIGHT!