Barnett's WWE Smackdown Hit List: Daniel Bryan is apparently a turd, Roman Reigns is bailed out by Mark Henry, and The Divas are still waiting for a chance...
By Jake Barnett
WWE Smackdown Hits:
Mark Henry: This was the only thing I liked on Smackdown last night. Mark Henry not only rescued us from a Roman Reigns promo, but he showed how good he is on the microphone once again by taunting Reigns and getting under his skin face to face in way that was generating a strong reaction from the live crowd. There is still a lot of value left in Henry in the right spots, and this was an excellent example of using him the right way. Can we get another Hall of Pain run at some point? Or at least more excuses to get Mark Henry some mic time on a regular basis?
WWE Smackdown Misses:
The Opening Segment: Bryan requesting to be added to the Intercontinental Championship Match was expected, and Bryan did a nice job of pointing out a number of his heroes that stole shows as a part of Intercontinental Championship matches. That being said, the rest of this was just a continuation of the rather banal verbal barbs and comedy tropes that have made this feud so boring to begin with. When this segment was ended, I was begging the television gods to please introduce some element of animosity into this feud that could carry my interest. What I got later was interesting…
Roman Reigns Promo: Despite his pleadings, I did not believe it. Reigns delivery is still shaky and his performance on Smackdown was downright awkward in parts. I’m perfectly willing to overlook a guy who has work to do on promos if he’s fantastic in the ring, and vice versa, but the WrestleMania main even is pretty rarified air and Reigns is behind where he should be on both. The result is a guy who has failed to get over to the level of his push, and promos that are scripted to such a degree that Roman appears uncomfortable. He was chewing on certain words too long, his own frustration was visible on his face.
The Divas: This was another very short throwaway match, so the watching and waiting continues for the Divas to get their chance. The WrestleMania match between The Bella Twins and Paige and AJ is being held back by the poor writing. The crowd seems to want to see the Bella’s get their comeuppance, but we have yet to see strong character development from AJ and Paige that helps me forget their terrible feud in 2014.
Daniel Bryan is a turd: I wanted to see animosity built up between the competitors in the Intercontinental Ladder Match, but it doesn’t do any good if WWE is asking fans to disbelieve what they see with their own eyes. Daniel Bryan is as white meat as a babyface can get. They spent part of Monday’s Raw chronicling his tear jerking friendship with Connor Michalek, and how much WWE and Bryan specifically went out of their way to try and let that brave young soul experience as much joy as he possibly could in his short life. He’s a perennial nice guy dork on Total Divas, and his return to wrestling after losing his Dad and potentially his career in a short time was nothing short of inspiring. Yet, here we are two weeks before WrestMania, and “some of the boys” know the real Bryan, and that guy is a real turd. If they had been dropping hints at this since Bryan returned it could be forgiven, but as is this came across a half-baked and will do nothing to calm down the conspiracy theorists who insist WWE is intentionally cooling off Bryan to make Reigns look better in comparison.
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