THE SPECIALISTS TUCKER'S INSTANT REACTION - Smackdown 11/30: The decay of WWE's Friday night show continues...
Nov 30, 2012 - 11:23:15 PM
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Instant Reaction - WWE Smackdown 11/30
By Benjamin Tucker, PWTorch TV specialist
Overall Score - 4.0
Competent wrestling alone cannot make a competent two-hour block of programming. I sat in front of my television the entire broadcast, thinking to myself "What's the point?" Pushing new gimmicks is one thing. Spinning your wheels is another. Not a single thing took place on tonight's broadcast (other than the 30-second promo where Bryan and Kane set aside their differences) that furthered any storyline or pushed any new characters. And if that's the case, what's my impetus to watch it? And I know what several of you are thinking. Yes, I sound like a broken record. Yes, I'm aware that Smackdown wasn't completely terrible. But, what set tonight apart from Main Event? For me, Main Event was one hour shorter and yet did a whole lot more. I've said it once and I'll say it again. There is no focus on the Smackdown show right now, meaning that the show is almost never productive. Instead, it's simply acting as Superstars for the main-eventers. If that's what your number two show is, then there are real issues at hand.
As mentioned above, there were several strong matches tonight. The six-man tag was fun to watch, Cena vs. Del Rio was a good opener, and Ziggler and Sheamus put on an entertaining main event (as they always do). At the same time, though, there wasn't much of a reason for any of the matches to happen. Cena vs. Del Rio (two main-eventers who have hardly crossed paths over the last year) was thrown out for almost no rhyme or reason, with little consequence as to who won or lost. Ziggler's post-match attack on Cena was fine, but then in the main event he lost all of his heat once again by being Cena and Sheamus's punching bag. The segment was nothing more than filler, and matches that happen for no reason easily get boring. If the wrestlers don't seem to care who wins, and there's no consequence for winning or losing the match, why should viewers invest?
As far as Sheamus vs. Ziggler is concerned, it was fine, but the two have wrestled each other so much that it hardly means anything anymore. My favorite food may be tacos, but that doesn't mean I want to eat tacos for dinner every single night of the week. The same concept applies here. At this point, a match between them would have to be a four star-plus encounter to garner my attention.
The three squash matches that filled out this show belonged on Superstars. Damien Sandow was one of the sole highlights of the show with his promo, but his win over Tyson Kidd did nothing. The Great Khali match was random to say the least, and the fact that it all felt inconsequential made for some dull television.
Smackdown is WWE's second most important block of non pay-per-view television, and it's being treated like dirt. Any attention that was given to Smackdown has either been diverted to Raw's third hour or Main Event, leaving Smackdown to decay and have random matches thrown out with minimal context that further feuds in the most minimalistic of ways. If Friday, November 30 never existed, WWE storylines would be in the exact same position that they are right now. Smackdown wasn't entertaining, it wasn't harmless fun, and it certainly wasn't worth spending two hours to watch it. Watch it on YouTube, skip to Kane and Daniel Bryan talking backstage and Damien Sandow's promo, and never turn back. You'll be glad you did.
Any questions or comments? Feel free to message me on Twitter at BTuckertorch .
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