411 Instant Analysis 2.21.14: Sellers on Smackdown
Posted by Nick Sellers on 02.21.2014
Sheamus battles Christian in the main event, The Wyatt Family are in 6-man tag team action and Daniel Bryan has to battle BOTH Real Americans in seperate singles matches. All this and more in 411's Instant Smackdown Analysis!
Disclaimer: Depending on which version of the show you've watched, the running order may be slightly different.
Short but it was good for the most part. The finish was surprising and it does put over the Running Knee as a finisher which you can just bust out from out of nowhere, but after all the work Swagger had done to Bryan's shoulder throughout it just seemed like a bit of a waste, especially when Swagger's going to be in a title match on Sunday. Of course it becomes apparent why we got the quick finish afterwards when Kane and Vickie Guerrero book him against Cesaro, but it's still a little dumb. I'd have fed a different heel to Bryan to protect Swagger but that's just me.
Rating: 7/10. - Action was fine, finish left me scratching my head.
Match #2: Daniel Bryan Def. Cesaro via DQ
Essentially an extended version of the previous bout. Bryan taking such crazy risks while selling the injury will be one for debate; you can look at him as someone who has a never-say-die attitude and fights through the pain, or call it bad booking because in theory he'd have to wrestle a lot smarter from a kayfabe standpoint. How they'd get around that I'm not sure, maybe through submissions and through constantly trying to outsmart the heels, who knows. Kane chokeslamming him at the end keeps the Bryan/Kane stuff going and you just know Kane's interfering in the Chamber match and doing exactly the same thing, which I must confess doesn't grab me at all.
Rating: 7.5/10. - Good from an overall standpoint if you combine the two matches together, though not without it's faults or points for debate.
- Christian, apparently a heel now, talks about how desperate he is to win the Chamber match because the window of opportunity for him is closing in his career. A heel Christian is a good Christian to watch IMO.
- The Wyatt's are here. Bray says the Shield will fall like dominoes. How can they ask people to believe in them when they'll be crawling on their hands and knees? Follow the Buzzards. Usual stuff.
Match #3: The Wyatts Def. Rey Mysterio, Cody Rhodes & Goldust
Good 6-man for TV, really liked Bray cutting off Goldust's nut-punt finisher. Action-packed tag matches like these are part and parcel of WWE broadcasts these days and it's another sign that the in-ring action is so much improved from the past five years or so. The only problem is that there isn't much consequence to them, which is why I was loving the four-way #1 contender IC title match last week for instance, or when titles are on the line, or it's beat the clock, etc etc. In terms of this particular match though, things picked up nicely as it went along, Bray looks like a beast (Harper was brilliant too) and the babyfaces helped his cause in that regard. Good stuff.
Rating: 7.5/10. - Solid TV 6-man.
-Sheamus gets interviewed. He's looking forward to facing a fired up Christian. Sheamus can cut a decent promo on his day.
- Emma wins a dance-off against Summer. Good, wholesome family fun for about two minutes. I skipped the rest.
Match #4: Dolph Ziggler Def. Titus O'Neil
Essentially just a quick vehicle for the PPV match between the ex-Primetime Players. Ziggler sold well for O'Neil who I think has grown into this heel role very quickly and effectively. Can't see the PPV bout being anything special but considering the split happened on a whim, they've built it up well enough for the time being.
Rating: 6.5/10. - Short, simple, effective.
Match #5: Jimmy Uso Def. Road Dogg
Another quick bout and The Usos gain some momentum going into their tag titles match at the PPV. The transition of the belts from the Rhodes Brothers onto the Usos via the Outlaws has been on the cards for weeks now, and we appear to be getting closer to that resolution. Down with that.
Rating: 6.5/10. - Got its point across.
Match #6: Sheamus Def. Christian
Another solid main event bout, but another without any real consequence to it. Sheamus is a rock-solid worker but he's been main-eventing Smackdown several times over the past couple of years in matches with little to no consequence about them, and even though he's only just returned it's already starting to wear a little thin. Also, where are Randy Orton and John Cena? Why do the other four Chamber participants have to work Smackdown while they have the night off? Don't get me wrong, it's good to give other guys time to headline a show, but without the two biggest stars of the big PPV-headlining match involved on the show in any capacity, it devalues it and it means it's hard to care about what any of the other combatants actually do. Still, the match was good and Christian tailored his offense well when working on Sheamus' wrist, I.e going for a tornado arm-breaker as opposed to the tornado DDT from the turnbuckles. His aggressive side makes him more fun to watch IMO, but after Sunday he'll probably be back to a babyface role.
Rating: 7/10. - Decent but you've seen it all before.
Sadly this week's show just lacked any spark about it compared the previous edition. The matches meant little in the grand scheme of things and at times the show almost felt like more of an inconvenience than what would've been a good chance to further build drama and interest going into the PPV. Cena, Orton and The Shield were notable absentees this week which didn't exactly help with the aforementioned problem about a spark. There's solid matches and decent enough promos, but nothing major. Hopefully next week with the road to Wrestlemania properly underway, things will get more interesting.