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TUCKER ON SMACKDOWN 2/22: Instant Reaction & DVR Guide - Is this show worth watching despite limited roster?

Feb 22, 2013 - 11:22:37 PM
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Instant Reaction - WWE Smackdown 2/22
By Benjamin Tucker, PWTorch TV specialist


What to Watch:

- Sheamus vs. Sandow (Q2)
- Swagger vs. Orton (Q5)
- Barrett vs. Del Rio (Q8)

Overall Score - 7.0

Despite the lack of a large roster tonight, Smackdown provided a good two hours of television. The only actual story progression revolved around the World Title feud, but that was solid and the overall wrestling quality made up for the lack of developments. It's also Smackdown, the show where almost nothing ever happens, so at this point I'm being borderline redundant.

The main issue that stemmed from tonight lacking the entire regular Smackdown crew was how several talents weren't even mentioned by the announce team, detracting from their overall roster standing. Several key talents, most prominently Mark Henry and Big Show, were treated as afterthoughts tonight. Henry has come back strong after his return from injury, but being completely ignored tonight was a big miss. That being said, it's something they will almost definitely rectify by next week, but it was still odd to see the fresh heel Henry glossed over so heavily.

As mentioned above, the main reason to watch tonight's show was for the in-ring action. There wasn't a bad match on the show, and yes, that does include the Divas match. While there were some rough patches, all four Divas delivered a competent tag team match with a solid finish that put both Layla and Kaitlyn over well. Tamina was the only one of the four that looked particularly rough, but given the participants involved it could have been much worse. The three main matches tonight are all worth watching. Sheamus and Sandow continue to work well together, and they produced a fine opening match.

Barrett vs. Del Rio was another fine main event as well, but Swagger vs. Orton was easily the best match of the night. Orton showed a nice fire and sold the effects of Swagger's attacks very well, and Swagger's offense in turn was very effective. The intensity he's showing right now is great, and for as much flak as he's getting right now, I'd hate to see such a great duo not get their time to shine. Either way, the nearfalls were well-executed, and the only thing that detracted from the match was the lame finish. Seriously - a poke to the eyes and putting his feet on the bottom ropes? For a 17-minute match, it seems like a bit of a waste.

Nonetheless, Smackdown was an enjoyable, if not noteworthy show. The opening segment with Del Rio was solid in hyping his currently-scheduled encounter with Swagger, and the show successfully continued to put over Swagger as a main event heel, but other than that there wasn't much outside of the actual wrestling. Someone has to deal with Smackdown dedicating entire segments of their show to Raw Rebounds, though. It doesn't increase viewership, and most people who watch Smackdown watch Raw. It's been said time and time again. Still, if you're looking for quality wrestling, give tonight's Smackdown a try.

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


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