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TUCKER'S INSTANT REACTION - Smackdown 11/16: The good, the pretty good, and the ugly leading to Survivor Series

Nov 16, 2012 - 10:14:33 PM
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Instant Reaction - WWE Smackdown 11/16
By Benjamin Tucker, PWTorch TV specialist


Overall Score - 7.0

For once, Smackdown actually had a beginning, middle, and end with a sense of story progression. Color me surprised. Even flawed segments such as the opening MizTV segment felt great because they replaced the same dull and drab talking segments that usually kick off Smackdown.

While only two matches were hyped a substantial amount tonight, they were successfully promoted by the night's end. The Survivor Series match has a lot more complexity and interest in it now, and Sheamus has finally completed his change back into the angry Irishman that we all knew and loved.

There were still big misses on tonight's show, though. The Divas match was so bad that I half expected someone to order the women to re-do the match. The Barrett-Kane match ending in one minute was lame, too, and Big Show vs. Great Khali never needs to be seen on my television screen again. At the same time, this is the first episode of Smackdown I've seen in a while that genuinely entertained me for the full two-hour duration.

The opening segment was admittedly a tad cluttered. Miz's ongoing face turn was the focus, as well as the dissension in both Survivor Series teams. But, the fact that there were over ten people out there did not help matters. However, the segment was energetic, benefited from having a hot crowd, and didn't overexpose any of the players too early in the show. And, it set the tone for the rest of the show quite well. The obligatory Survivor Series pre-show brawl was unspectacular, but they got over the concept of dissension within Team Foley much better than any of the previous shows did. The first two matches in relation to the Survivor Series match were solid as well. Sandow and Kofi had a good opener, and the tag team match with Miz and Orton was the match of the night by a landslide.

Miz was the star of the night, playing his tweener role perfectly. He's slowly becoming more likeable, while still maintaining his cocky attitude. He's not Randy Orton, who is still just a heel who beats up bad guys, but he also isn't a guy like Sheamus, who all of a sudden started joking around and acting like he's everyone's friend. The slow burn approach to Miz is working wonders.

The World Title hype was solid tonight. The final segment with the brawl in the parking lot didn't do too much to pique my interest, nor did the Show vs. Khali match (though I do appreciate that they actually put effort into their match). However, the promo exchange earlier in the show did a great job of creating interest in Survivor Series. Sheamus finally has a major issue with Big Show. Now that his promos are serious, he's (ironically) become much more likeable, as opposed to being so jolly that you want to punch him. This is a lot more effective because of the fantastic work of Big Show, who has really stepped up his game as of late.

The rest of the show was... two segments, and they weren't much to speak of. As mentioned above, the Divas match was putrid in its quality. The Cesaro-Cara match was better, and I was shocked to see Cesaro get such a clean win, but it lacked heat and the feud between Truth and Cesaro feels forced and inorganic. That being said, most of the show was a hit. It was nice to have a change of pace tonight, and it seemed to work out pretty well. It didn't sell me on the undercard of Survivor Series, but it provided nice reinforcement for two of the top matches on the card, which is more than I can say for a lot of PPV lead-in shows these days.

Any questions or comments? Feel free to message me on Twitter at BTuckertorch .


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