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    Default Column: SmackDown Critique and Thoughts 4/10/12

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    WWE SmackDown originated live from Hampton, VA. As always, you can check Elio Cannella's recap for the rundown.
    SmackDown did two unusual things tonight, being labelled “Blast from the Past” and being live. Daniel Bryan and Sheamus would look to continue their build towards Extreme Rules in a few weeks. In addition, Kane and Randy Orton would continue building their animosity towards one another before the big International Tour.
    Let’s go!
    The Good
    Opening Segment. Sheamus was in nice form during his apology, with the casual style suiting him here. Laurinaitis did alright in his power trip mode and forcing Sheamus to apologize to everyone on the planet. It was an alright setup for the main event tonight and furthered Sheamus’ storyline with his anger.
    Orton vs. Henry (with Kane Promo). The two opened up with a good pace given Henry’s girth. Henry’s over the shoulder slam looked nice. Henry also looked solid overall on offense. Good switch in the pacing when Orton teased the RKO and the Hangman’s DDT. Kane’s interruption wasn’t unexpected. Pity the match never finished, but Bob Orton’s involvement was nicely done.
    Slater and Kidd vs. The Usos. It was nice to see Jimmy Hart and Mick Foley again. I had some hope for the match given the participants. The roll up reversals were nicely done. The Usos’ looked good in the ring on offense. The Leapfrog Splash was nicely done. Foley and Hart were worth a chuckle as well and it was nice to see The Usos get a win. *¼
    Piper’s Pit. Pretty apparent this was a rub segment for Bryan. Alright announcement for their match at Extreme Rules. AJ played the “beaten spouse” type of role alright, but it wasn’t without a bit of cheese. Roddy and Bryan gave a nice dynamic to play off AJ and give her some sympathy. Piper’s “Reason you suck” speech was nicely done. Alright sell for the World Heavyweight Championship match at Extreme Rules and good TV.
    The Meh
    Hunico vs. Duggan. Quick segment to give the old guys some time to putz around in the ring. Not entirely awful actually. I don’t know about the nationalistic overtones of the match, but what can ya do.
    Rhodes and Show Segment. Again, good to see Dusty on TV again. The video segment was, again, worth a chuckle. I’d like to see more interplay between Rhodes and Show. Overall, really too quick to do much.
    Del Rio and Bryan vs. Sheamus and Okerlund. The WWE has a standard formula with these “Legends” matches. Sheamus and Del Rio opened up with a nice pace. Interesting ending, but it could have been much more. ¾*
    The Bad
    Camer vs. Ryback. Impressive deadlift by Ryback before pinning Camer. That’s it. ¼*
    McIntyre and The Bellas vs. Khali, Fox and Kelly. Both teams got a jobber entrance. Um, that’s about it. ¼*
    Random Thoughts
    “Last week, I broke that code and let everybody down.” Oh really!
    Permanent probation? Is that like a double secret probation?
    “You must be out of your damn mind Cole.” Thanks Booker.
    “I’m a sucker for family reunions.” *rimshot*
    “The crowd is really loving this guy right here!” Oh really?
    Nice to see Slater get some speaking time. That said, he’s a ham.
    Holy crap, The Usos won!
    “Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes!” And thus, it becomes a running gag. Better than “What?”
    Well, at least AJ acts better than Eve.
    Natalya proves once again that farting means face turn.
    Damien Sandow is Ludwig Borga’s lost son.
    If Okerlund does a Gorilla Press...
    Final Grade: C-
    I usually consider SmackDown the stronger overall show of the two flagship programs due it's continuity. Whenever they get a wild hair and decide to do these specials though, it seems to fall flat on it's face.
    No real memorable matches with a bit of angle advancement to try and keep things interesting. The involvement of the Legends kept it from being a massive failure like last night's Raw, but still not a strong show on any real level.

 

 

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