Shore's WWE Smackdown Hitlist: Mark Henry is back to form, Antonio Cesaro vs. Sin Cara surprises, Big Show surprises in the wrong way, Kofi Kingston looks weak, and Jack Swagger needs a makeover
By Chris Shore
WWE Smackdown Hits
Mark Henry: When Mark Henry was injured in late 2011, he was the hottest thing on TV. He cooled significantly as they tried to work him through the injury before finally giving him time off, and I was worried he would return on that same level. It's nice to see Henry is still the same guy who was killing it in 2011. From the way he just yells random things at people to the intensity in his promos, Henry has captured the magic he had from before, and he has become my favorite to win the Elimination Chamber because of it.
Antonio Cesaro vs. Sin Cara: It is usually against my religion to give a two minute match a Hit, but this was pretty good and Sin Cara looked the best we have seen in some time. I'm still not convinced a mute with no mouthpiece can get over in today's WWE, but perhaps a good rivalry with a guy like Cesaro, who seemed more than capable to work Sin Cara's style, would do him some good.
Raw Rebound video: Maybe I'm the only one, but I really liked the Raw Rebound video of The Shield vs. John Cena and friends. Cena is limited in the video to just saying the Shield needs to be taken out, a line he delivered without too much corn, and the music sets up perfectly with the video. These are the sorts of videos that can often make up for bad storytelling, but joyfully this video just adds another layer to an already fine story. If the six-man at the Chamber isn't sold on you yet, then see this video. It will be after that.
WWE Smackdown Misses
Big Show: Jake Barnett mentioned this in our All Access Audio review and I agree: Why did Big Show go from the guy who was knocking people out backstage to the guy covered in orange paint and crying like a baby? I appreciate the need to build some nuance into Show's character now that Mark Henry is back and doing the monster heel gimmick, but this is too much nuance too fast. It feels more like regression to the silly comedy character from before his "iron clad contract." Hopefully this was just a bump in the road as Show has been doing inspired work as of late, and he needs to stay the course.
Kofi Kingston: We always joke about what bad thing someone did when we see a push stop, but I'm beginning to wonder what Kofi actually did. This is no surprise to anyone who has seen his pushes start and stop so many times, but this one seems particularly sudden as he was just feuding over the Intercontinental Championship and now he's jobbing to the mustache guy who was just in a comedy tag team. Kofi looks bad, and I wonder if he isn't drifting into that "seriously damaged" category of the roster.
Jack Swagger: Speaking of guys who are seriously damaged, Jack Swagger's return has been flat and uninspiring, and Smackdown this week was no exception. His look is still all wrong, but to come back after all that time still wrestling in a singlet and being the heel American with the "Patriot Act" ankle lock is a farce. He needs a major overhaul of character, and soon. This one carries too much baggage from before and the gimmick is hanging around his neck like an albatross.
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