By Jake Barnett
WWE Smackdown Hits
Triple H promo: This was a good, if not great promo. Triple H is much better than average at reciting these scripted promos. I’m sure he has hand in writing them, which helps, but he doesn’t seem as uncomfortable or insincere as say….Roman Reigns or Charlotte. The subject matter of authority and rebel made sense based on Reigns’ previous attacks on the McMahon family, and the blood, sweat, and tears threats/promises made for good promo fodder. The question remains whether Triple H and Reigns can make this feud feel like something greater than just another attempt to pass the torch to Roman Reigns, who has failed to convince a large portion of the audience of his greatness.
League of Nations vs. The Lucha Dragons, Dolph Ziggler, and Neville: This was a highly enjoyable match. You have to feel for everybody in the match, as they are very underutilized heading into WrestleMania and some have taken large steps back in comparison to where they stood last year. This match didn’t do anything to break the formula of multi-man tag matches, but it did succeed in holding my interest and building to a frenetic finish.
WWE Smackdown Misses
Overall Show: This show was awash in filler. There were matches that seemingly accomplished nothing, or ended in awkward looking distraction roll-ups. The usual deluge of video packages that focused in on lengthy portion of the Raw Show that most Smackdown viewers have already seen. The Main Event of the show was shortened by everyone getting a full entrance, and the match felt criminally short. This was not a great effort from WWE. It was a Tuesday after a weekend full of House Shows and a PPV, so some slack is probably deserved here, but it was a noticeable drop in show quality from previous weeks.
Undertaker promotion for Raw: Either WWE has no idea what The Undertaker is going to say when he gets to Raw, or they do and they did a terrible job at promoting it. The Undertaker making an appearance is a big deal, but the lack of effort in adding drama to the situation is baffling. Why isn’t it an open question as to whether or not The Undertaker would side with Vince over Shane McMahon? Why does he have a dog in this fight at all? Why would he accept the match? You’d think WWE would have the announcers putting questions like this out on Front Street, but we got the most generic appearance promotion imaginable.
Golden Truth: Does anyone have an explanation as to why these two are getting more story line attention than any other zany mid-card pairing in the last decade?
Short and pointless matches: Sub two minute matches that accomplish nothing have really become a crutch in the WWE booking arsenal. A lot of this tension could be built in other ways. I’d rather see these guys talk themselves into a match that matters rather than continue to have pointless encounters in the ring that lessen the tension in the air when it really matters.