Barnett's WWE Smackdown Hit List: Daniel Bryan and Roman Reigns Drama, WWE Commentary, Kane and Big Show and more...
By Jake Barnett
WWE Smackdown Hits
Daniel Bryan and Roman Reigns Drama: Reigns and Bryan did a good job of telling a good story throughout their extensive ring work in the last hour of Smackdown. This was most obvious during the gauntlet match with the Usos, where Bryan refused to give up on his aggression and Reigns pulled Bryan off Jey Uso in order to defend his family members. Later in the match, Reigns saved Bryan from a cover, and then got attacked after a confrontation with Jimmy Uso. It wasn’t clearly explained by the announce team, but that seemed to be the turning point in the animosity between Bryan and Reigns. Roman was forced to begrudgingly accept that Bryan was correct earlier in the match when he refused to relent, because in the end his cousins didn’t share his high mindedness about doing everything “the right way”. At the end of the show, the nod between both Bryan and Reigns as they stared at the WrestleMania sign was symbolic of both men acknowledging mutual respect and desire. They didn’t have to say a lot, but they did anyway. I wish WWE storytelling achieved this more often.
The Ascension: Conor and Viktor, for all their faults, played a pretty important role on Smackdown of softening up Bryan and Reigns for their eventual final match against Big Show and Kane. They gave a convincing beating and Bryan and Reigns sold well for them. Terrible gimmick aside, it was a good performance from both men and probably the most heat they’ll get as long as they hold onto this blast from the past 80s gimmick.
WWE Smackdown Misses
The Commentary: Cole, Lawler, and Byron Saxton did Daniel Bryan and Roman Reigns a disservice. Normally I’m not one who pays particularly close attention to what the announcers are saying, but they really did a poor job of filling in the details of the story being told throughout the tag team turmoil match by Bryan and Reigns. Not one mention of any of the series of 4 million matches that Daniel Bryan had with The Shield, nothing about both men going through surgery and recovery to fight their way into position for a shot at WrestleMania, and no interpretations of the conflicts and facial expressions that made the last half of the show so good. The announcers and the people producing them need to back to the drawing board and refocus their efforts on adding something to the show instead of distracting people from it
Kane and Big Show: The conflict that arose between Big Show and Kane that led to the main event finish was mighty contrived. Going from having no discernible conflict before the math, to one errant shove leading to the disintegration of the team was pretty ridiculous. It was like watching a tag team breakup storyline on the fastest fast forward setting on your DVR. It stuck out in a bad way, and if this leads to another Big Show turn I will laugh myself out of breath.
Filler: The Adam Rose and Fandango feud is stuck in some kind of Groundhog Day time loop. The divas are just kind of there, and lots and lots of video packages made this a very filler heavy Smackdown. The rest of the show made up for it, but I hope this isn’t going to be the norm as we head into WrestleMania.
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