Wrestling's 4Rs 1.06.14: WWE Smackdown Reviewed
Posted by Daniel Clark on 01.06.2014
CM Punk teamed with the Usos to battle the Shield, The Rhodes Brothers defended the tag team titles against the Wyatt Family and more! Wrestling’s 4Rs breaks down the Right, the wRong and the Ridiculous of WWE Smackdown!
How the 4Rs of wRestling Work! Here is a quick explanation of the 4R's. The column will run TWO times a week. We will group our feelings on the shows in various categories: The Right, the wRong and the Ridiculous. The Right is stuff that worked very well: a great promo, a great match and so on. PuRgatoRy is a section between the right and wrong. It shows equal traits from both sides that cannot be ignored and needs discussed. It is not a bad place per say, as things can get remedied or go the wrong way the very next week. The wRong is what it sounds like: bad matches, bad or boring promos and so on. The Ridiculous is stuff that had no right on TV: Stupid angles and so on. And there is always a possibility of a 5th R, which is as bad as they come. This column is supposed to be analytical, and at the right time very critical of the shows, it was the whole reason it was created. This is not a "mark" column, nor a "smark" column, our goal is to analyze the show from many different fronts, reward the good and call out the bad. We will not apologize for our opinions, they are as they are, whether positive or negative.
We are looking for someone to write the 4Rs of Impact on a weekly basis. You will need to have your work completed by 6PM ET on Sunday. If interested, send a sample of a show review, done in the Rs format, to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Smackdown 1.03.14 By: Daniel Clark
QUICK MATCH RESULTS:
The Usos d. The Shield at 10.21 by DQ
R Truth d. Fandango at 2.48 by pinfall
Cody Rhodes and Goldust d. The Wyatt Family at 12.34 by pinfall to retain the WWE Tag Team Titles
Nikki Bella d. Aksana at 3.39 by pinfall
Big E Langston d. Curtis Axel at 4.09 by pinfall
CM Punk and the Usos d. The Shield at 13.01 by pinfall
THE RIGHT: The Shield Promo/Dean Ambrose on Commentary: I'm separating this from the matches involving the Shield to break up the text, but also because it would have stood alone as a good segment even without the matches, and I wanted to mention Ambrose on commentary as well. The promo was on screen an answer to the questions and the issues surrounding any potential tension within the Shield and the subtle acting from Roman Reigns in particular in regards to what Dean Ambrose was saying was excellent, with the big man giving off a look on not quite believing what Ambrose is saying and thinking that he is getting slightly too full of himself. Ambrose on commentary though was fantastic as well, as he kept the dialogue with Cole and JBL flowing well, was answering the questions really well, in particular his answer around the unification match for the IC/US titles and you could believe him when he said he didn't want a match because he didn't want to have to carry around two belts, and that is the perfect amount of delusion and confidence from a heel.
The Usos (and CM Punk) vs. The Shield: Grouping the two matches together as essentially they are a continuation of each other, and yet again, The Shield, The Usos and CM Punk deliver a great TV tag team match and it has almost got to the point where you can rely on them to fill as much TV time as you want them to (although the constant matches between them perhaps suggests that the creative team is not exactly full of ideas as to how to fill time on their shows). The initial tag team match was solid, but they were clearly holding back for the six-man tag match, which was another great showing from these men. Again, the little subtle touches of the match help to put it over, particularly Roman Reigns standing on the ring apron to stop one of the Usos going to the outside which makes him look like a genuine threat that everyone is scared to get in a fight with, and it took all three members of the other team to take him out of the ring near the end, while his frustration continues to boil over with him not getting the tag from Ambrose. I'm predicting it might not be too long before Reigns takes out Ambrose with a massive spear, and when he does so, will get a huge pop from the crowd.
The Rhodes Brothers vs. The Wyatt Family: A nice touch at the start of the show for a preview video for the tag team title match to be shown, which made this match feel important, and the commentators did a good job of covering up why Daniel Bryan wasn't at ringside as well. As for the match, another excellent match on the show and even in defeat, Harper and Rowan remained strong as they didn't lose through their own mistakes but the cleverness of the opponents. It was a nice change up for a match involving the Rhodes brothers to have Cody as the face in peril, and although he isn't as good at doing it as Goldust is, he performed well in this role. The Wyatt family controlled the match well, particularly by not allowing Goldust into the match at all and cutting off the hot tag continually, and it was only a blind tag and a rollup that beat them. Could well be another match around the corner, and definitely, a match where Daniel Bryan takes on either Cody or Goldust could be excellent.
Randy Orton video: A very well produced video that makes Randy Orton come off looking like a major star. This is something that the WWE tends to get right, and you would come away from watching this convinced that Orton is a credible face of the company.
Paul Heyman's interview: Only a few words of the promo from Paul Heyman were needed, but they got across the point well and also looked to the future. Heyman explaining that Brock Lesnar decided to return when there was just one champion makes the unification match look even more important and puts over the title as something that Lesnar would want, and sets out what his next aim is going to be. And the mention of Lesnar going "old school" on Raw gets you interested in Raw, as the assumption is that Lesnar will be on the show.
Bray Wyatt video: Throughout the show, recaps of Daniel Bryan joining Bray Wyatt on Raw were shown, and the show ended with a video of Bray proclaiming that Bryan is a part of the family now, and how he has always needed him, and how Sister Abigail gets her own way. Another good, although slightly ambiguous promo from Bray, but does make you want to see what happens next in the story with the Wyatt Family and Daniel Bryan.
puRgatoRy: Aksana vs. Nikki Bella: A match between these two that was surprisingly decent and although had nothing too memorable at the end of it, also had nothing terrible either and was a match that exceeded the expectation that I had going into it. Aksana has definitely improved as a wrestler since she was last featured heavily on TV, and I guess that is why she is being put back into the divas division. Not quite sure how much of a threat we are supposed to portray her as though yet, as her win on Raw came as a massive surprise to anyone watching it. Her last win on TV was in October 2012. Her last win in which she scored the fall came in January 2012 when she beat Natalya. So Nikki Bella winning the match isn't quite the high-caliber victory it was portrayed as by the commentators.
Big E Langston vs. Curtis Axel: An okay match which was nothing special, but another win for Big E Langston keeps him looking strong, and by beating Axel again, seemingly shows that he is above his level now. Promo before the match between the two of them was not the best, with Langston surprisingly being the weaker of the two men in the segment, and his delivery came across as if he was saying the words rather than meaning the words. Curtis Axel words in the promo about laughing at Langston when he beats him will surely be forgotten about, but a gimmick for me as the man who laughs at his opponents when he beats them, although not a great gimmick to have, it would be better than his current total blandness.
Bad News Barrett: A perfectly acceptable promo, but the time has surely come for him to be doing more than this. Barrett is clearly having a bit of fun with the gimmick, and the delivery for the promos are fine, and the rising podium is a great touch that adds a lot more to the gimmick. But the time for introducing the gimmick to the audience is now over and instead of just making statement to get some heat from the crowd, it is time for it to be relevant to the WWE, be that by starting to make comments about the WWE roster, or one individual to start a feud with them. The gimmick itself is now established, so they have to do something with it.
THE wRong: Fandango vs. R Truth: This started off so promisingly, before managing to lose its way spectacularly by the end of the segment. It began with the commentators putting over the fact that Fandango was disappointed at losing to Langston on Raw for the Intercontinental Title, which makes that match and the title feel important. Then we Xavier Woods (who was on commentary here) get fleshed out as a character, with him explaining that he is studying for a PhD and also is a guy who likes to get down and dance. This is followed by an explanation as to how/why Woods and R Truth are friends, as R Truth helped out with Woods's first ever match and he took him under his wing following this. Of course, this had virtually nothing to do with the match that was taking place, and Woods has been on TV for six weeks now before any of this was mentioned, but at least now they have decided to tell us something about Woods. And then he goes and ruins all of the progress that he has just made by saying that he cannot do this anymore and summons the Funkadactyls. to come out and dance, which distracts Fandango and R Truth gets the win. The match itself was just there and got no attention from the commentary team at all. So the man who is doing a PhD (and thus, must be fairly intelligent), cannot stay concentrated and interested long enough in a three minute long match that his mentor and friend is involved in too not decide that he wants to start dancing. And obviously the Funkadactyls. have nothing better to do than just dance on command of whoever tells them do. This was clearly supposed to be a showcase for Woods and his gimmick and backstory was fleshed out to make him a real character and would have been absolutely fine had he not decided to ruin the match that was taking place and get bored of wrestling, the thing he is apparently passionate about. I took away from this that Woods is a man who likes to dance more than anything else, even more than wrestling. And I'm not sure that should be the case. And none of what happened in this segment had anything to do with the match that was taking place.
THE RIDICULOUS: NOTHING
It is very hard to go wrong on a show with 35 minutes of wrestling involving the Shield, The Usos, CM Punk, The Rhodes Brothers and the Wyatt Family, and all ten men produced some really good stuff in the ring, but there was an element of the show existing as a filler episode to a point that had you not watched it, you wouldn't have missed anything vital and nothing would be confusing to you on Raw. The Daniel Bryan/Wyatt Family storyline obviously couldn't have been advanced due to this being taped before Raw was live, and although there were subtle hints again from the Shield that despite what they are saying, all is not quite as rosy in the garden of the Shield as they are claiming, I would expect more hints to steadily be dropped as the Road to WrestleMania rolls on. But there was nothing too bad really either. Just a show that existed and contained some good wrestling that was enjoyable to watch, which given the lack of stars who were on the show, is perfectly acceptable.
Show Rating: 7.0
As a reminder, I will be going by the 411 scale…
0 - 0.9: Torture 1 - 1.9: Extremely Horrendous 2 - 2.9: Very Bad 3 - 3.9: Bad 4 - 4.9: Poor 5 - 5.9: Not So Good 6 - 6.9: Average 7 - 7.9: Good 8 - 8.9:Very Good 9 - 9.9: Amazing 10: Virtually Perfect
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