Shore's WWE Smackdown Hitlist: Damien Sandow and Cody Rhodes get good time, Alberto Del Rio wins a match by surprise, AJ carries Dolph Ziggler who just misses, the Wyatt Family spooks, and more
By Chris Shore
WWE Smackdown Hits
Damien Sandow vs. Cody Rhodes: Even though there were some silly moments, there's no question Sandow and Rhodes have a Hit on their hands with this feud. Rhodes is settling into his babyface role well, and while Sandow didn't get great reactions for his offense because WWE hasn't given the fans any reason to take his offense seriously, he still gets very good heat on the mic. Obviously Cody has to lose this feud, but if WWE is careful, they will propel both guys forward nicely.
Rob Van Dam vs. Alberto Del Rio: I never thought I would enjoy a sub-three minute match, but I absolutely thought this was a Hit. The surprise kick and pin from Del Rio is something that is missing in WWE nowadays. Not every match needs to end in a finisher or cheesy roll-up. A surprise win, and Del Rio's over the top celebration, was the right finish here.
AJ: Dolph Ziggler tried to get this segment over (see below), but AJ had to carry him through to the end and deserves the Hit here. The crowd was more into making fun of her than they were cheering Ziggler. Part of that was the bad material he had, but the other part is a testament to how well she played that segment out to keep the fans otherwise engaged. The visual at the end with her taking the spear from Kaitlyn was simply fantastic as well.
Wyatt Family: As I said in the Smackdown audio review with Jake Barnett, I sure hope Bray Wyatt can wrestle, because I see no other flaw in his act. Even in this poorly thought out tag match, the Wyatt Family continues to be a big Hit, and as long as Bray can deliver in the ring, I fail to see how this act--barring terrible booking, natch--couldn't climb to the top of the card very quickly.
CM Punk: CM Punk showed once again how effortless he has to be to produce a Hit of a promo. He walked out, did his thing, expressed appropriate outrage at Paul Heyman for his actions--and Fandango for his interruption--and left. I'm not trying to oversell it, but Texas loved CM Punk and what he had to say, as was evidenced by their reaction to Fandango.
Fandango: Speaking of his reaction, it seemed Summer Rae took the bulk of the boos thanks to timing, but this went a long way to continuing heat for Fandango, and I thought the kid looked like he belonged out there. Obviously he took a quick beating, but as I have said before, losing is not a problem as long as you lose for a reason, and there was definitely a reason here.
WWE Smackdown Misses
Dolph Ziggler: This is one of those rare misses where it's not so much of a complaint as it is a good, hard cut at the ball that just missed. Ziggler looked very comfortable on the mic, and he had a line or two that was worthwhile, but the material failed him. I'm not sure if it was his work or if it was written for him, but the insults were neither funny nor brutal enough to invoke much reaction. AJ carried the water here so he doesn't come out looking terrible, and the Fameasser on Big E certainly helped, but this promo came up just a tad bit short.
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