As always, this week's Smackdown review will be brought to you in Fair to Flair's "WOO!/BOO!" format... also, by the letter "J" and the number "13."
Alberto Del Rio vs. Sin Cara Azul was a hell of an opening match, but FFS, that German Suplex Del Rio hit was NASTY!!!! I believe I screamed "HOLY SHIT! HOLY SHIT!" and then pressed rewind on the DVR so my wife could see. Her reaction, "why would you show me that?" Little too short for my tastes and perhaps a bit too decisive, but Del Rio is the WWE Champion after all. Sin Cara Negro attack after the match was a bit formulaic, something I'd expect in a WWE video game, but it did what it needed to do.
YAY! The Big Show is back! And there's logical storyline progression, to boot! We didn't see a lot of that on this show (more on that in the BOO!) and I'm genuinely stoked to see Show vs. Mark Henry. If you would've told me a year ago that the thing I'd be most excited for in late 2011 would be a World Heavyweight Title feud between Mark Henry and Big Show, I would've fallen out of my chair like Annie on last week's episode of Community.
Mark Henry was great here as well, asking Show what he's done to deserve a World Title match when all he's done is sit at home on a vacation that Henry gave him. Henry taking it under advisement and promising a response on "Mark Henry time" got a legitimate LOL out of me, and Big Show's promising to induct Henry in the Hall of Pain if he didn't get a response by the end of the night was great as well.
Randy Orton & Sheamus vs. Christian & Cody Rhodes was a fun, Raw-style main event tag match. Of course, that means Orton & Sheamus won, but the match was rock solid (if predictable) and it's nice to see Cody continue to mix it up with the big boys.
Mark Henry tried to decline Big Show's challenge and yeah... he got inducted into his own Hall of Pain. Big Show is one of the few guys who can legitimately overpower Mark Henry, so it all worked when Show started swatting security guards like flies, spearing Henry and of course, chokeslamming the World Champion through the announce table. Glorious and honestly, the only really good thing on this entire show.
A huge BOO! to WWE conveniently working around The Walking Out (Sundays on AMC) without having to do major storyline advancement. Teddy Long told Zack Ryder at the start of the show that Triple H wasn't going to be on Smackdown to avoid another walk out. Granted, David Otunga explained that handing over control to Teddy Long for a night brought them to Smackdown, but they'll walk out if Triple H doesn't resign on Monday, and that would be fine if it was just Christian, Otunga, Jack Swagger, Cody Rhodes, Dolph Ziggler, Vickie Guerrero and Alberto Del Rio. But the entire company walked out on Monday, you can't do something that dramatic and just push pause. I knew they would, but it's still a bummer... how fun would an anarchist Smackdown have been?
WWE, this is YOUR storyline, you're writing it, Triple H isn't just the GM of Raw, he's the COO of the entire company. What makes Smackdown any different? Other than the fact it's the show you don't want to do any major storyline advancement on?
Case in point, Air Boom being wishy-washy and saying Raw's just too chaotic, but they'll be on Smackdown every week... then they get attacked from behind during their entrance by Jack Swagger & Dolph Ziggler. It's fine that Ziggler & Swagger are hypocrites, they're bad guys, they're supposed to be disingenuous and selfish, but the rest of the story is just confused at best and lazy at worst.
I still have no idea why Alicia Fox is a face.
Jinder Mahal vs. Ezekiel Jackson? Really? Poor Big Zeke.
A Hornswoggle filler segment? Really²?
Just a bad show. The Walk Out lost its oomph, there was tons of meaningless filler, loads of contradictions and the only time Teddy Long gained some semblance of control was during Big Show's assault on Henry, and that story is completely separate from the Walk Out. Obviously the Walk Out is all building to something, most likely Survivor Series, but it's become such a mess early on that I'm mighty skeptical. But once WWE dangles that shiny object named Dwayne in front of us, we're all gonna melt like butter and call our cable or satellite provider to order anyway.