Sunday, August 21, 2011

WWE Smackdown - August 19, 2011

This week's Smackdown review is brought to you in Fair to Flair's award-anticipating WOO!/BOO! format. You're smart enough to determine which one is good and which one is bad.

WOO!

Teddy Long announcing a Battle Royal to determine a new #1 contender? Yay! Who doesn't love a good ol' fashioned Battle Royal.

"Zackdown" could do more for Zack Ryder than "Woo Woo Woo" ever would.

Justin Gabriel vs. Tyson Kidd was just a terrific match. I hope WWE appreciates the fact that Tyson Kidd has quietly become their star-making utility player in the last few months. Gabriel's no slouch either, now that all this Nexus/Corre/Slariel business is behind him, he can finally find his groove as a good guy. If WWE's really serious about rebuilding the tag division, imagine how fun it would be if Gabriel and Evan Bourne teamed up?

Oh and that 450 from damn near half way across the ring? Gorgeous.

I liked Teddy Long & Zack Ryder arguing that the WWE Champion was invited to Smackdown, assuming it would be Punk or Cena, but it turned out to be Alberto Del Rio! It was a nice little touch to keep people from screaming "OMG ROZTER SPLUT DEAD!" and it resulted in an excellent match.

While Del Rio really had no business being out there, so was just talking for the hell of it, it opened the door for Daniel Bryan's challenge. Bryan took issue with ADR going the cliché route with his Money in the Bank cash-in and Bryan wanted to prove that he was the more legitimate competitor. Unfortunately for the Bryans and Cenas of the world, they keep trash-talking Del Rio, but then they have to deal with him in the ring and Del Rio is kind of a beast! Bryan and Del Rio continued WWE's week-long streak of excellent wrestling; make sure you watch this match if you missed it, it made Bryan look even more like a star and solidified Del Rio as a fighting WWE Champion.

That's what I love about Del Rio, despite Cena's claims on Monday, Del Rio wants to fight. He's not a cowardly heel and sure, he'll take a shortcut, but he'll still kick your ass and make you tap out.

Surprisingly, Kelly Kelly & AJ vs. Natalya & Alicia Fox was yet another decent Divas match. Call me crazy, but I've been enjoying the Divas stuff since Kelly won the title. The matches are still too short, but the actual wrestling has been rock solid. Natalya locking Fox in the Sharpshooter after failing was a nice touch too.

I really hope they go with Sin Cara Uno vs. Sin Cara Dos

The Battle Royal was fun, but as usual with Battle Royals, difficult to write about. There's no story to tell, a bunch of guys you haven't seen in months were involved, and it's all about getting to the final moments. Fun to watch, sure, but not much fun to look back and reflect on. Mark Henry picked up a well-deserved win and considering the roll he's been on, I think he should plow through Randy Orton. Still think they should've waited on that match and done a Scramble at Night of Champions though.

BOO!

Randy Orton starting a show always makes me sad. It's bad enough he's carrying Christian's World Title around. Not even Cody Rhodes could get me to care here and honestly, Cody's character needs some evolution. It's becoming a little too one-dimensional, which is a shame since it was one of WWE's best-realized characters earlier this year. I'm just spitballin' here, but how about Cody flipping back and forth between "Dashing" and "Disfigured," kinda like a serious take on the Three Faces of Foley? If he gets hit in the face, he rushes to the plastic mask under the ring and turns extremely vicious? Perhaps a little cartoonish or "attack his weak point for massive damage!" but I think it would at least be a start. I'm glad Cody's IC Champ, he's still incredibly good, I just don't want to see him stall out. If he does, I blame Ted DiBiase.

Cody Rhodes vs. Ezekiel Jackson didn't really do it for me either. Where's the Zeke from ECW 2009? He just hasn't been clicking for me much since he split from The Corre (remember that?) and I think WWE is agreeing due to how decisively Cody Rhodes beat him here. Again, I'm all for the IC Champ getting clean wins, but watching Cody beat Zeke that easily would be like Kelly Kelly squashing Beth Phoenix.

Aksana is awful.

No one cares about Jinder Mahal, period. Khali has had two really good matches lately though, maybe WWE should invest some more time in him?

Overall

Not a lot of BOO! this week, but the show wasn't exactly a must-see episode. Definitely catch the Del Rio/Bryan match and Kidd/Gabriel is worth watching, but the rest is missable. That doesn't mean it was a bad show, it certainly wasn't, but your wrestling life will not be worse if you missed this show. It's just one of those nights, everything was fine, but more of a placeholder show than anything.

Money in the Bank 2011WWE '12WWE: The Best of Saturday Night's Main Event

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