Hits & Misses 3/9 WWE Smackdown Hits & Misses: Kane - Orton, Bryan - Sheamus, Six-Man Tag Main Event
Mar 12, 2012 - 1:43:07 PM
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By Jon Mezzera, Torch Specialist
Swagger vs. Marella: I did not expect to see Santino Marella in a Steel Cage match. It doesn't fit his personality and it is usually saved for more important angles than he is usually involved it. It was interesting to see him in one, in a rematch for the United States Championship against Jack Swagger. Santino is very good at what he does well, which is not wrestling long matches. He is over with the crowd, and he can be entertaining, but 10 minute matches should be the exception for him. This exposed the fact that he isn't that good in the ring. Swagger is and helped to carry this match. There was enough going on with the cage format and the storyline that made the match entertaining enough for it to get a marginal Hit, but in the future, if Santino is going to be in longer matches, they need to be multi-man matches (like what is likely to happen at WrestleMania) where he can be in the match for a short time, hit his signature moves and that's it.
Henry Wins: It was nice to see Mark Henry finally getting a strong win. Not that Ezekiel Jackson has been built up as a credible opponent, losing twice recently to David Otunga, but at least it is a start. If he had lost to Jackson, then you know his career is over. The only problem here is that it makes me think about how weak Teddy Long's potential team at WM is going to be. John Laurinaitis potentially has guys like Dolph Ziggler, Jack Swagger, Mark Henry, Christian, Alberto Del Rio, and David Otunga (assuming all are healthy, that is probably his team, though maybe Drew McIntyre). Five of those six are former WWE or World Champions, including four of them last year. Jackson is a possible member of Team Long and he always looks weak. Other possibilities are The Great Khali who is a former World Champion, but sucks, Kofi Kingston, R-Truth, Santino Marella, and maybe Zack Ryder. His team doesn't look strong (who else am I forgetting?), but instead of building up Jackson to look like a difference maker, he keeps losing. I'm still giving this a Hit, as I would rather see Henry getting strong wins, but if Jackson is going to be on Team Long, he needs to be rehabilitated in a very quick manner.
Kingston & Truth vs. Epico & Primo: This was a good, albeit somewhat short match between Kofi Kingston & R-Truth and the Tag Team Champions, Epico & Primo. The match went about 5 minutes and was enjoyable to watch. There certainly was plenty of athleticism in this match. Kingston is always fun to watch, and Primo & Epico have been showing good chemistry in the ring together. We already saw Kingston & Truth get a non-Title win over the Champs, but lost in the Title match. Will the same thing happen here? Will we actually get an extended feud over the Tag Titles? Or will Kingston & Truth win to add credibility as Tag Team Champions to Team Long at WM?
Six-Man Tag Main Event: Smackdown had a strong ending with the six man tag main event. It was a good match and it helped to hype Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus (though much more needs to be done - more later) and Cody Rhodes vs. The Big Show. It also played into The Miz's storyline of trying desperately to be a part of WM (another possible member of Team Laurinaitis?). I'm not a fan of seeing Miz job out all the time, but at least it is part of a storyline and they seem to be going somewhere with it. Hopefully, they will get there soon and it will mean an actual push for him. So, this match worked on a number of levels and was a nice set up for the show closing brawl between Orton and Kane.
McIntyre vs. Hornswoggle: It was predictable that John Laurinaitis would rehire Drew McIntyre this week (or at least give him a chance to win his job back). The problem is, why? Just because he is a heel? This points out some of the problems with the announcing. Michael Cole and Booker T have gone back and forth on McIntyre, whether he deserves a job or not. I'm pretty sure last week Cole was happy McIntyre finally got fired. This week, Laurinaitis, whom Cole loves, rehires him. So, shouldn't Cole question that move? It is a mess. I think WWE characters should have stronger constitutions than just being a heel. McIntyre has shown nothing to suggest he deserves a spot on the roster. Mark Henry backs Laurinaitis, not because they are both heels, but because he has recently been suspended by Teddy Long and therefore doesn't want him to run Smackdown any more. There is more to it than just one heel teaming with another since they are both heels. I also didn't like how this played out, with The Great Khali being teased as McIntyre's opponent. Why even do that? It made no sense from an on camera point of view. Behind the scenes, I understand they wanted to tease that McIntyre was going to stay fired and they wanted someone ringside to beat him up after the match, but why would Laurinaitis do it? I'm probably spending way too much time on this.
Kane - Orton: Randy Orton's motives in his feud against Kane are clear. Kane attacked him last week, and now he wants revenge. That makes sense. But, Kane's totally random attack on Orton has yet to be explained. I need more than just Orton wanting revenge to really get wrapped up in this feud. Why did Kane attack Orton? I understand there is still time before WM to explain it, but at least getting a hint would have been nice. Having the announcers make a huge deal about the fact that it is a mystery would at least suggest to me that WWE is thinking about it. They should have questioned multiple times why Kane has now targeted Orton, but they didn't. I don't have enough faith in WWE to give them the benefit of the doubt that an explanation is coming. I hope I am wrong. What they did — Orton attacking Kane before his scheduled match with Aksana, and the brawl at the end, was done well. But why was it happening in the first place is the big unanswered question.
Bryan - Sheamus: Both Daniel Bryan and Sheamus performed well in their interview with Michael Cole, however I am giving the segment a Miss due to its failure to get me excited about their match. Bryan had some good lines towards AJ and continued to do a very good job of looking like a jerk. But, I need more than just him being a jerk and Sheamus wanting to beat him up to really invest myself in a major Championship match at WM. I just feel there needs to be more than what WWE is presenting us with thus far.
Jon Mezzera is PWTorch.com's WWE Hits & Misses Specialist, providing his point of view for Raw and Smackdown each week. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For another view from the original Hitlist author, compare Jason Powell's views to mine by visiting prowrestling.NET's "Hitlist" section here.
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