Shore's WWE Smackdown Hitlist: Daniel Bryan vs. Big Show put on a solid main event, Cody Rhodes impresses, Justin Gabriel vs. Heath Slater deserves credit, but Sheamus wastes all of our time

Posted in: Shore Editorials, MUST-READ LISTING
Jan 14, 2012 - 03:38 PM

By Chris Shore

WWE Smackdown Hits

Daniel Bryan vs. Big Show: Other than a few too many chair spots, this match was pretty flawless. The psychology of the match was very good. They told a sensible and building story with a great finish. Show played his part perfectly, and Bryan was the best I have seen him since starting with WWE. The collision with AJ was a little weak, but I'm sure there was legitimate concern of Show's 500 pound frame slamming into her 95 pound body. But that's picking nits. AJ sold it like a champ, and I cannot wait to see where this one goes next.

Mark Henry: While Bryan was great at the end of the show, his opening promo was a little weak. At least until Henry came along and saved it for him. Mark Henry continues to be a must see WWE Superstar on the mic. To those who argued that a monster loses all his heat after suffering a loss, the defense present Mark Henry as exhibit A to the contrary. I hope his limited work rate has allowed him to heal well enough to have a good match with Bryan next week as these three men are the best thing on all of WWE television right now.

Justin Gabriel vs. Heath Slater: Putting the ignorant Hornswoggle finish aside for the moment, I thought this match was very good. Nobody cars about these guys, but the match itself was very entertaining. Gabriel could be a great babyface mid-card act, and perhaps that's where he is going with the Hornswoggle connection. Slater is a terrible character, but he has solid in ring skills. Hopefully they can find something for him that doesn't make him sound like a country bumpkin. And I say this fully acknowledging my Southern heritage (and slight accent).

Ted DiBiase vs. Drew McIntyre: This was a short match, but it had a lot of good things going on. The match was solid, McIntyre took the loss to continue his story, and I though Hunico and Camacho did well on the headsets (Camacho primarily by keeping his mouth shut). This is the bottom of the card on Smackdown right now, but all of these guys have an opportunity to do good things over the next few weeks, and I like where they are right now.

Cody Rhodes: Besides carrying Zeke to a passable match, Cody cut a good promo that shows his comfort level has reached the point it must to be a major star. Trust me when I say it is very, very difficult to cut a promo in front of a big group, even if you are reciting lines. Cody continues to be a quality champion who has a big year ahead of him.

Overall Show: After witnessing the best live show I have been to in my adult life just the night before, I was worried Smackdown would be a bomb. Instead, I was pleasantly surprised to watch a show that flew by. When it was over, I didn't want it to be because I was thoroughly enjoying myself. No, it wasn't perfect (see below), but the good far outweighed the bad, and it is an episode I would highly recommend.

WWE Smackdown Misses

Sheamus vs. Jinder Mahal: It's not that this was a squash match. Squashes have their place, and Jinder got in a little too much offense for most to call this a true squash. It's more that they spent a couple of weeks now building Jinder just to feed him to Sheamus. And it didn't help Sheamus one bit. A complete waste of time and effort.

Tamina vs. Natalya: I asked it before in jest, now I'll ask it in seriousness. Whose gym bag did Natty take a dump in? A squash match on Natty? I would get upset about this, but it's the Divas. They never do anything that makes sense. But it's still a miss, no matter how you look at it.

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