Shore's WWE Smackdown Hitlist: Alberto Del Rio, Randy Orton, and Sheamus vs. Jack Swagger, Mark Henry, and Big Show (and setup) are Hits, Chris Jericho vs. Antonio Cesaro misses the mark, announce team confusions, and more
By Chris Shore
WWE Smackdown Hits
Alberto Del Rio, Randy Orton, and Sheamus vs. Jack Swagger, Mark Henry, and Big Show: A fun match that managed to keep all three singles matches at Sunday's pay-per-view relevant. Usually these combo tag matches are given little thought, but between the opening segment and what happened in the ring, they made this mean a little more than it normally would have. Perhaps the best reason for calling this a Hit is that it didn't telegraph any of the finishes for Sunday. Sometimes we need (or want) to be tipped off, but all of these matches need some mystery to them to work, and they kept things quiet with the way this match played out.
Opening Segment: As mentioned above, usually the "let's throw three of these matches together into one" tag matches are poorly contrived. This one was certainly contrived, but in a way that managed to make each of the singles matches important without diminishing the others. That's tough to do on its own, and WWE has not shown deftness in its ability to make much of anything feel special as of late. I thought the opening segment was a Hit for breaking that slump, at least for one week.
WWE Smackdown Misses
Chris Jericho vs. Antonio Cesaro: I went back and forth on this match a lot. From an in-ring standpoint, it was a Hit. Cesaro and Jericho can work. They didn't have great chemistry, but it was better than most, and there weren't any egregious botches. That said, it becomes a miss when you consider it didn't give either guy a lift in the least. Cesaro is so damaged that a win over him is meaningless, and even though he looked good, it was still another loss for Cesaro. Cesaro eating a Codebreaker after tapping out didn't help matters for him either.
The Miz vs. Damien Sandow: I do not think I have ever seen a more distracting segment than this one. There was a match going on, but WWE seemed to be trying its damndest to take every ounce of attention off the match. Whether it was Cody Rhodes on the mic, Cody on the headset, or the very random Wade Barrett non-audio promo, or some combination of the three, this was a big miss for the show.
Announce team: The three man announce team on Smackdown wasn't very good to begin with, and Josh Matthews's recent, and oddly timed, heel turn has only made it worse. Josh and JBL were starting to develop good chemistry when Michael Cole was added to the mix. Since then, the team has devolved into a squabbling mess, with Matthews now apparently trying to out heel JBL. It's wildly distracting, and a big miss for the show each and every week.
Tons of Funk vs. The Primetime Players: The match itself isn't what makes this a miss, not that it was anything worth watching. The miss comes in considering what this was supposed to do. This match occurred because of things that happened exclusively on the WWE app. While I applaud WWE for trying to push viewers to their other platforms, Tons of Funk and the Primetime Players are not going to draw traffic. If you aren't going to use real stars to promote your other platforms, then just don't promote them. This make WWE look silly.
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