WWE SmackDown returned last night (March 22, 2013) from Cincinnati, OH, with a taped show on the SyFy channel.
And it was another weak outing for "The Blue Brand."
If you missed the show, or just want to go back and read the live blog again, click here.
To the reactions!
- Randy Orton and Sheamus finally accepted The Big Show as a teammate to face The Shield at WrestleMania 29. But it wasn't without issues, as Sheamus refused to fully trust Show. It looked like they were able to settle their differences going up against 3MB, with Sheamus using Show's big corner chop and Show using Sheamus' Irish Hand Grenades. Sheamus would end up stealing Show's pinfall, though, and everyone engaged in a shoving match. The Shield, sensing weakness, made their way down to the ring. Orton, Sheamus, & Show managed to stop pushing each other to form a united front, forcing The Shield to retreat without launching an assault. It's a simple story the "faces" putting aside their differences to repel the invading force. And I'm very interested to see how things shake out come WrestleMania. But there's nothing really interesting here for the next few weeks. With this storyline being stretched out over Raw and SmackDown, there is simply not enough material to work with.
- Mark Henry destroyed Zack Ryder in about five moves, which was fun to watch. He then laid out the Internet Champion with two additional World's Strongest Slams, which was more fun to watch. But the enjoyment would be short lived for Henry when Ryback came out to save the little fellow. The pair stare downed, Ryback hit the clothesline, then Henry runs away. It's simple booking for the hosses, but it's all you really need.
- Dolph Ziggler picked up another win against Kofi Kingston, because apparently there is no one else in the back who is willing to job to "The Showoff." It was a solid match, but there's something taken away from seeing it go down so many times recently. AJ Lee sat at the commentary desk and was her generally awesome self. Why she hasn't been on the mic in a while is beyond me. She is too damn good to be standing off to the side. Push her front and center of this trio. Ziggler has shown he needs all the help he can get. It should also be noted that Ziggler has officially adopted the Fameasser as a signature move. It's a bit of a drop off from the Superkick, but hell at least it's something recognizable.
- Zeb Colter and Jack Swagger had another cliché promo before Swagger's match with Chris Jericho. Yes, WWE continues to pair people off in rematches because...reasons. The #1 Contender would pick up the victory, but only after Fandango would interfere with a kick to Jericho's head. So the main event of SmackDown is playing second fiddle to a midcard feud. I don't get this at all. Dumb booking is dumb.
- You know who didn't even make an appearance? Alberto Del Rio and Ricardo Rodriguez. Swagger broke Ricardo's ankle, and there was no response. I know I've been complaining about everyone saying the same stuff, but complete silence is far worse.
- On the other hand, I'm loving Fandango. The man looks the part of the arrogant heel, and dropped the top rope leg better than most I've seen in a long time. I am fully looking forward to Fandango vs. Chris Jericho at WrestleMania 29.
- The Miz made Antonio Cesaro submit to the Figure Four lock in the absolute worst match these two men have had. Miz then stared down Wade Barrett, who was chilling at commentary. If this ends with a midcard title unification match at WrestleMania 29, then this all makes sense. Any other result makes this completely absurd. Can he just pick a belt to chase? And can WWE stop jobbing out it's champions?
- Team Rhodes Scholars faced off against Brodus Clay & Tensai, but the big story coming out of the match is The Bellas getting into a cat fight with The Funkadactyls. This is a collective "Creative has nothing for any of you."
Once again "The Road to WrestleMania" is proving to be mediocre and dull. The main events have stalled. The midcard is virtually non-existent. There is little to no advancement in any of the angles. The matches are virtually squashes. Worst of all, everyone seems bored. I get that there's this really big pay-per-view (PPV) coming down the pipe. But phoning it in now isn't doing anyone any favors.
What say you, Cagesiders? Am I being too rough on WWE's Friday night offering? Or does everyone need to step up their game? Let me know how right -- or how wrong -- I am in the comments below.