Shore's WWE Smackdown Hitlist: Miz TV, Randy Orton, Dolph Ziggler. The Shield, and Daniel Bryan all get hits individually, but their total storyline, along with Big Show, gets a miss

Posted in: Shore Editorials, MUST-READ LISTING
Aug 31, 2013 - 03:03 PM

By Chris Shore

WWE Smackdown Hits

Miz TV: A solid opening segment that gave a logical setup for the rest of the matches. Normally I groan when Smackdown opens like a house show where some talking segment makes matches for later, but this worked in the context of WWE television. Show and Ziggler showed proper frustration over things. Miz came across as douche again, but less so than normal. Hunter is getting great heat, and his acting here was well done. It was the first of many Hits as it related to the WWE Championship story line, unfortunately, it was one of too many things in that storyline (see below).

Miz vs. Randy Orton: Another stop on the Corporate express was also a hit. Miz looked better in this match than he has at any point since the babyface turn, and I think he managed to elevate himself in the process. The beauty of Randy Orton in this spot is that he can go out there and have a good match with most of the roster, so he's the perfect champion here. That hasn't always been the case with Randy over the years, but he has settled into a veteran's role nicely and seems to mix well with just about anyone.

Dolph Ziggler vs. The Shield: It's rare that I give a four minute match a Hit, but this qualifies because they managed to tell a clear, if somewhat short, story in the ring and Ziggler ended up with a ton of sympathy. They hadn't quite gone too far with the program at this point, so Show's rage was a nice touch. I just hope Ziggler gets a good lift out of this.

Paul Heyman: Another Hit performance by Paul Heyman again. I thought he got a little turned around at the end and confusing with his words, but he delivers it so well that I think any fan who was confused probably just moved on because Paul is so oily. Curtis Axel managed not to stink in this bit, but I agree with what Jake Barnett said in the All Access audio. Axel still looks like a guy playing a part. I don't believe anything he says. He needs to find his own character internally and then he will benefit from Heyman's presence.

Daniel Bryan vs. Ryback: This was a tough match for me. After Ryback made me want to turn the TV off with his terrible promo, he and Bryan went out there and had a very good match and an easy Hit. That is kind of what frustrates me about Ryback. He's had very good matches with the right opponents, but his act always seems to hold him back. Sure, Bryan gets a lot of the credit for getting a good match out of Ryback, but one guy bringing out the best in another is often the hallmark of a great match. They need to figure out what to do with his character before he gets stuck in the mud.

WWE Smackdown Misses

Overall show/Big Show: Some of you may be looking at the list of Hits and are trying to figure out how the show could be a miss with so many. All of those Hits were Hits in their own rights. As the show progressed though, the continued attacks and Big Show's impotent rage" started to mount until the crowd was ready for Big Show to make his move. Hell, I was ready for Big Show to make his move.

Unfortunately, we all got there before WWE was ready, and so we were all left wanting. Normally that is a good thing, but this was a big miss. They should have pulled the trigger here with Big Show. The crowd started to turn on Big Show because of his lack of actions, and it made the beat down of Bryan at the end more uncomfortable than heat producing. The story isn't ruined or anything like that, but they missed an opportunity by not pulling the trigger here, and I don't think they can reach that level again.

Ryback the character: How bad was Ryback's promo backstage? Bad enough that I have written him off as a fan. I don't want to see him get his just desserts; I just want to see him go away. The Bully Ry gimmick was bad enough on its own, but his delivery of that character is not only light-years below Bully Ray, but it stinks in its own right.

Damien Sandow vs. RVD: Damien Sandow is the uncrowned World Champion who is going to beat everybody until he is crowned champion. Except for Rob Van Dam, of course. Sandow might be the biggest joke winner of Money in the Bank to date. I love the kid and want to see him used more, but I don't think the act is main event worthy, and they are pretty much confirming that with his current losses.

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