Sunday, January 16, 2011

WWE Smackdown Thoughts - January 14, 2011

Sorry for the delay on this week's Smackdown review, got engagement photos done today for my impending nuptials and it's been a pretty exhausting weekend, so I hope you don't mind if this week's review is mostly cliff notes. Also, my DVR screwed up this week, cutting out the first 25 minutes of the show, so I missed a good portion of Rey Mysterio & R-Truth vs. Cody Rhodes & Alberto Del Rio, but what I saw was quite enjoyable and yes, a lot of fun.

Wade Barrett comparing himself to Julius Caesar was brilliant and a great way to reestablish him after a less than stellar exit from Raw. He wasn't unceremoniously kicked out of Nexus, he became too powerful and the people around him had to conspire to eliminate him.

I actually really liked Trent Baretta vs. Drew McIntyre a couple weeks ago, Baretta was wrestling like his career depended on it (perhaps it did), and this week he got the shock win over McIntyre! I saw someone on Tumblr refer to him as the 1-2-3 Kid of Friday Night Smackdown and I wouldn't argue if they went with something like that for him, but I'm sure it's going to be little more than a means to an end in his Kelly Kelly storyline. Yawn.

Unfortunately, the brilliance of Wade Barrett's earlier promo came to an end during his match with The Big Show, with the debut of Nexus 3.0... or 2.5, or New New Nexus, or Ex-us, or whatever the hell we want to call it. Heath Slater & Justin Gabriel have jumped ship after refusing to put up with CM Punk on Raw and they've also enlisted the help of Ezekiel Jackson.

I gotta give it time, but at first glance, I hate this idea. First off, Wade Barrett got kicked off Raw because he couldn't be taken seriously as the Nexus leader after Cena annihilated him at TLC, but now two weeks later he's leading another group on Smackdown with two of the same guys? And Big Zeke is back on sidekick duty when he showed last year that he's more than capable of being on his own? These guys could definitely be a cool Four Horsemen-esque group, and I love old school stables, it's a classic idea that needs to come back, but we're veering into nWo Wolfpac territory here. If this culminates in CM Punk giving Wade Barrett the Fingerpoke of Doom, I quit.

I really enjoyed Beth Phoenix vs. Michelle McCool, and while it's still nowhere near respectable, WWE continues to take baby steps towards a decent women's division. Still... #WeWantKong

Kofi Kingston & Jack Swagger had a little war of words next, that naturally led into a full-blown match. Really good, entertaining stuff here, but I'd like to see Kofi branch out and get in a feud with someone like Cody Rhodes instead of working even more with Jack Swagger, especially just after another extensive program with Dolph Ziggler. I'm sure a lot of that has to do with the fact that we're heading into the Rumble and fresh match-ups and feuds are going to be saved for the WrestleMania build, but there can be more than three guys in the IC Title scene.

Loved the final segment with Dolph Ziggler & Vickie Guerrero on The Cutting Edge. Obviously Vickie's history with Edge makes Ziggler a natural rival for him, and I loved the back and forth between all three. Vickie was absolutely terrific, her delivery keeps getting better and better and Ziggler showed a great mean streak that we haven't really seen from him yet. The sight of him standing over the World Champion at the end of the show is exactly the kind of thing he needs to do to show that he's the next big thing. Perfect ending to an otherwise underwhelming show.

Didn't dig this episode of Smackdown so much, especially the Wade Barrett stuff, but I'm hopeful that they'll distance themselves as far as they can from Nexus and just become a more traditional stable. The wrestling was good, but much less than what I'm used to on Friday nights, but I did miss the opener, so that obviously didn't help. Better than Raw on Monday night, that's for sure, but not the Smackdown I know and love.

WWE Smackdown vs Raw 2011WWE: Viva La Raza - The Legacy of Eddie GuerreroWWE: Bobby "The Brain" Heenan


  1. I like this new group Barrett has. I think the big heel role is perfect for Ezekiel Jackson - no man that physically intimidating should be a babyface. THAT'S a monster.

    But I have a suspicion WWE are position Barrett to be Undertaker's next Mania victim. Hey, if A-Train and Nathan Jones can have a match with Taker at Mania, Barrett is overly qualified.

    Plus, we haven't resolved the issue of Nexus helping Kane bury Taker.

  2. I disagree. I think, with the proper build up, Ezekiel Jackson could've been a "black Goldberg", only with more charisma. He was more then capable on the mic, and the fans seemed like they wanted to get behind him during his brief face run a few months ago

  3. I think Zeke works fine as a face or heel, he's good enough to fit either role, but most importantly, he's outgrown the role of bodyguard or sidekick. He's ready to break out on his own and doesn't need to be Wade Barrett's muscle, Barrett's 6'5", 265 lbs., he's his own muscle.

    I'm willing to give it a shot because I love classic stables, but I just don't get it.