WWE Friday Night SmackDown hit the SyFy airwaves last night (April 4, 2014) from Washington D.C. with a taped show featuring the go home episode to the WrestleMania 30 pay-per-view (PPV) extravaganza this coming Sunday night in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Because it was a scaled back show, we'll give scaled back reactions. Go back and read the live blog by clicking here.
- I don't know that Titus O'Neil isn't destined for big things one day but I don't know that he is either. There's a certain charisma there that you would think could be exploited but something falls flat when he's in the ring. He's had nothing but forgettable matches and botching spots with the likes of Dolph Ziggler isn't going to do him any favors. After that feud with Darren Young, he's been on television more often despite it being WrestleMania season but he's done very little to capitalize on his screen time. Last night's showing just furthered the idea that he's not going to take the next step. It's a shame too because something is there.
- The amount of stopping and starting with tag team break ups over the past two months is stomach turning. I hate rollercoasters and prefer WWE to stick to its guns and tell a story rather than rewrite the script 50 times to appease a fickle owner who isn't sure what he wants to do day-to-day. That said, it certainly looked like the seeds of a Cesaro split were planted deep here, enough so that I expect dissension at WrestleMania 30 leading to uncertainty heading into Monday Night Raw and the actual break away at Raw. If there's ever a crowd to capitalize on who will appreciate Cesaro starting his run to singles stardom, it's the one WWE will be playing in front of Sunday and Monday.
- Here's to hoping Zeb Colter sticks around in some form, though. He's way too fun not to be in the picture.
- Jerry Lawler actively makes me uncomfortable. His commentary is cringe worthy on Raw but sitting at a desk and having the first thing he says to Renee Young -- who is awesome at her job -- be that he couldn't like her any more unless she was dipped in chocolate is bothersome. Renee is a beautiful woman, sure, and she was undoubtedly hired in part because of that. But she's also as close to a ''serious" journalist type WWE has had in some time and it would be awful nice if she wasn't treated to rampant sexism from old perverted farts who can't help themselves.
- They main evented a SmackDown taping with Hulk Hogan cutting a meaningless promo in front of an admittedly hot crowd who were eating up his presence. Still, it would be nice if WWE did a little something more for the final show before the biggest event of the year and in this case, maybe history.
- The interviews they ran with Randy Orton and Batista were both extremely well done. Booker T actually played the part well, though I would have preferred Renee got that spot. And if it wasn't clear already, Orton is so much better served for his position than Batista. If there were an order of who should win at WrestleMania it would look like this: 1. Daniel Bryan 2. Randy Orton 3. Triple H 4. Batista.
- Speaking of interviews, Dean Ambrose managed to put The Shield in the same company as the New York Yankees and Los Angeles Lakers and it both didn't seem like he was making an outrageous claim and he didn't come across like a cocky heel who thinks too highly of himself or his crew. Here's one last hail mary that this stable sticks together. Just be friends forever, fellas. Break away from each other, fine, but go amicably.
This show was everything it was supposed to be and nothing more. Los Matadores vs. Real Americans was fun, but Ziggler and O'Neil was not. Plus, Hogan promo headlining? No, thanks.
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 it, if you liked it at all?