WWE SmackDown hit the SyFy airwaves last night (May 17, 2013) from Wichita, Kansas, with a taped show featuring the go home show to the Extreme Rules pay-per-view (PPV) set for this Sunday night in St. Louis. It was the last thing fans would see before the big event, so you would think the company would put its best foot forward.
And you would be wrong.
If you missed the show, or just want to go back and read the live blog again, click here. That's enough with the potatoes, let's get to the meat:
- Here's my problem with SmackDown in general, because let's just get to the point already: WWE doesn't seem to give two shits about this show. There's nothing so wrong with the booking, necessarily. It's actually not all that bad. It's just that I'm sick and tired of being able to book the show myself before I ever see anything happen. It's so stock, like they have a book somewhere that they bring down in situations like this where it says something along the lines of: Promo segment, near brawl, tag team match set up for main event by ridiculous dude in power, stock tag team main event. And that's fine on a normal show but this wasn't a normal show. This was the go home show to a PPV that's supposed to matter. It doesn't feel like it does.
- Seriously, can someone just take Teddy Long out behind the woodshed? That character is beyond stale. We're talking left out on the counter during the family vacation stale. You ain't touching that when you get home, it doesn't matter how hungry you are.
- The Miz is still grating, Randy Orton still doesn't have a single interesting thing to say, and Big Show is still bogged down by the fact that he's a good performer with the wrong look in the wrong place at the wrong time. Sheamus is still lame and Mark Henry is still outstanding. Jack Swagger is still hardly useful and Alberto Del Rio still can't get over no matter how many times he wildly waves his arms around when he's really pumped up and/or trying to get the crowd to react. Speaking of which ...
- Let's knock it off with the heat machine. The piped in crowd noise is understandable but pick your spots. Kaitlyn isn't getting big babyface reactions on Raw, don't bother trying to give her one on SmackDown when you can control the pitch. And if you're going to try to convince me everyone is booing and all up in arms over a heel, don't pan to the crowd where I can clearly see everyone sitting on their hands with blank expressions on their faces.
- Never liked the Spear as a finisher because no one ever made it look as good as Goldberg and he didn't even use it as his finisher, but Roman Reigns rocks that move.
- I don't ever want to see Kofi Kingston run off The Shield again. Ever. I don't care if it was done to set up something later, or to create unpredictability for a match, or for a cheap pop on a TV show. Just never again.
- I really want to see "The Damien Sandow Show." But instead we get MizTV and, to add insult to injury, they book Miz to go over Sandow despite the fact that Cody Rhodes was ringside to help out. I get that Miz is supposed to look strong in his return to TV and he's a valuable commodity to the company and all this other nonsense but at some point there needs to be a realization that a guy like Miz is not going to change the business. He's not going to be the next thing to take pro wrestling to a new level. Maybe a guy like Sandow or Rhodes would be but they never get the push a guy like Miz does. The real issue is it's not just that they don't get that kind of push but that they're actively sacrificed to a guy like Miz, an established star. You can't make a wrestler look like shit over an extended period of time and expect fans to forget about it later. That's fine for Heath Slater, who was never going to be WWE champion but for guys who could actually change things, that's not okay.
- The rant above also applies to Antonio Cesaro. In trying to understand or explain why he's so great to those who may not understand, think of all the times you watch wrestling and don't see anything new. You watch and it's the same old song and dance, as was the case with this entire show. Then Cesaro comes out, wrestles a match, and breaks out that superplex he hit on Kofi Kingston not long ago. He does things like that often and it's not something you see all the time. That alone is a big reason we love Cesaro. He's entertaining in a way the rest of the roster is not. That's why I want him getting a bigger push. Because that means more time on my TV and more time and ability to entertain me even more. Can you imagine the type of shit he would break out if he was in the main event? The real main event, not the Wednesday night show on Ion.
- Stock six-man tag team main event goes long featuring near total control from the heels with a few hot tags for the babyfaces leading to a finish that sees a bunch of chaos and finishers until only two men are left in the ring and the final finisher gets the pin? Yep, couldn't have seen that coming from 600 miles away.
This wasn't a strong show if only because more should have been done to get to the PPV. You could argue I should have been this hard on Raw, and maybe you're right, but this was just days before the actual event. Not acceptable.
That's it from me, Cagesiders. Now it's your turn to get after SmackDown. Go!