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By Dave Scherer on 1/7/2012 2:24 PM

SMACKDOWN – 6/1/12
What the goals for this week’s Smackdown should be?
Royal Rumble promotion and I don’t mean only the flashback moments. Those are great, but let’s learn about some of the participants in the match from the Smackdown side of things
•Daniel Bryan-Mark Henry-Big Show. I don’t think I am on board with the Bryan heel turn as we all know how WWE handles heels whether it’s Miz, Christian or Del Rio, but hopefully they continue to make this a compelling storyline
•Wade Barrett push. Randy Orton is out of the equation and Smackdown needs to continue to push Barrett as the man who put him on the shelf
•Chris Jericho made a mysterious return and Smackdown should do some cross promotion to acknowledge that
Show Breakdown

  1. Love the intro to the show with the video package on Barrett and Orton. It was done like only the WWE production team can do and put an immediate emphasis on Barrett taking out Orton.


  1. I’m not sure why WWE continues to have Cole say Booker T is over the hill as I don’t think that really helps Cody.


  1. Why is Cole saying Booker was Champion a decade ago when he was last Champion in 2006? Even if it’s done to just advance the storyline (kind of like not acknowledging the first Taker-HHH match in the build up to their Wrestlemania match last year), to people who do follow the title lineage history, it is another credibility killer against Michael Cole, if he has any left to begin with.


  1. It’s too bad Cole’s character has completely killed his credibility, because Josh and Cole are doing a nice job on commentary telling the story of this match and the strategy of each competitor.


  1. Great match between Cody and Booker T. I don’t recall Booker working like this at the end of his last WWE run. I would have preferred if Cody had to use Cross Rhodes to beat Booker, but the kick off the ropes makes sense since that’s what did Booker in last time.


  1. I liked the opening video package on Orton and Barrett, WWE needs to be careful not to go too far with it using their ER death scene background music. Of course WWE likes doing that stuff, because then they can say, “See we're more than just pro wrestling”.


  1. Nice backstage segment between Cody and Dustin, hopefully planting seeds for something down the road.


  1. Santino is so bad at comedy as a face. They should have let the crowd turn him instead of doing a forced early turn years ago. I see they already dropped the Aksana eyes for Cody thing and this continues to just be a way for a writer to get his stuff in and for Vince to scream from the mountain tops - “WERE MORE THAN PRO WRESTLING!”


  1. Big fan of the Royal Rumble flashback segments and of course nothing like the 2008 Royal Rumble with the surprises of Piper, Snuka and Cena and my personal favourite moment when Foley and Triple H squared off in the ring.


  1. I like the way Daniel Bryan’s heel turn is going, however I don’t like how I know he’ll be booked once he’s a full blown as a heel.


  1. I’m just going to ignore and fast forward through Hornswoggle and Heath Slater.


  1. Why has Ted Dibiase gone back on a losing streak? This is why the “Universe” doesn’t ever take anyone seriously, because they are used to these start-stop pushes.


  1. Dibiase loses again and joins Natalya on the “rent, don’t buy” list.


  1. I think it would have been better for everyone involved if Hunico, Epico, Primo and Camacho were a four person stable with Rosa Mendes, but of course WWE hasn’t created a worthwhile stable in years and that includes Nexus and The Corre.


  1. I like the Barrett promo talking about Orton being done and the Royal Rumble in Orton’s hometown.


  1. Finally someone talks about winning the Royal Rumble. I guess that means Barrett is a participant.


  1. Sheamus has got to stop with the stories about his Great Uncle. Nobody cares except the writer who wrote it in the back. Luckily Sheamus’s comedy timing isn’t as bad as Cena’s or he’d be getting booed at this point. Sheamus briefly mentions that he’ll be in the Rumble before getting back to the scripted comedy BS.


  1. Why is Sheamus feuding with Jinder Mahal? A man who was jobbing in two seconds to Santino weeks ago. WWE once again not respecting their audience.


  1. Did Jinder score a touchdown? Weird pose there at the end of the Sheamus layout.


  1. “Don’t take Mahal lightly” – Michael Cole. Ah yes, really and why shouldn’t we take him lightly when babyface jobbers beat him in two minutes? That being said I did like Mahal’s intensity and facials in this segment, it’s too bad we all know Sheamus will squash him soon enough.


  1. I like the hype video and tale of the tape for Bryan and Big Show. WWE needs to do more of that for sure.


  1. I don’t get how the contract signing stuff works. They don’t really explain it very well at all. Long signs McIntyre back to Smackdown, yet he doesn’t like the money he paid to get him? I think the idea is that everyone is under contract to WWE and Long took him back to Smackdown, but they don’t fill in those details thus the storyline looks ridiculous.


  1. So were going to get more bad Santino comedy on Smackdown, just perfect. In addition to Hornswoggle’s resurrection, I see that Smackdown rating quickly dropping and staying below the 2.0 area.


  1. Losing streaks never work especially when you are losing to jobbers and yes WWE no matter what you have Michael Cole say, Santino is known as a loser, not a former IC Champion.


  1. Did Kurt Angle lose his mind at Michael Cole using his finishing move in a WWE videogame? I suspect a twitter rant is coming followed by an apology message from Kurt.


  1. I really like Rosa’s dancing...


  1. I don’t really care for the inset promo from Rosa where Primo and Epico aren’t even with her. They need to make the entire team feel important and not just the person outside the ring. I look back on MNM, and while Melina was a strong component, Mercury and Nitro were also positioned as vital components of the team. In this scenario, Rosa is positioned as the only member of the team that matters.


  1. Fine match to continue the tag title story.


  1. I have no faith in Bryan as a heel, I see it as the Bubble using it as a chance to bury him without any uproar, because he’s a heel character and that’s what is supposed to happen.


  1. Well I’m glad they promoted something for next week in Sheamus-Mahal, I just question whether anyone is anticipating that since we’ve seen the outcome many times before.


  1. Ah Natalya, I’d say were looking at perhaps the best female worker in the company, yet the ultimate jobber. It shows just how far gone WWE is to bury her like this that being said Tamina seems to have a special quality about her that the likes of Eve, Kelly and Alicia are all missing.


  1. Is Tamina squashing Natalya, because Vince likes Snuka better than Neidhart?


  1. “Turning point in the matchup here” – Michael Cole says about 20 seconds in.


  1. I don’t need a Raw Rebound telling me about the Kane-Cena story just so WWE production can brag about their slick video packages. Also was there no video package covering Chris Jericho’s return?


  1. These Royal Rumble flashback segments are great. I love Jim Duggan, but there is something about him that just doesn’t fit with the other Rumble winners.


  1. Mark Henry turns himself babyface by shutting Michael Cole down when he tries to ask about Hornswoggle beating Daniel Bryan.


  1. Mark Henry putting Daniel Bryan over better on commentary than anyone in recent memory.


  1. I like that finish to Bryan-Henry-Big Show in terms of furthering the storylines, but that sucks for the live crowd. Good match as well for the opposite styles of Bryan and Show.


What this week’s Smackdown accomplished

The Good

•Cody and Booker T. A fine match and I assume the program is done. Also a good backstage segment with Cody and Dustin where Dustin puts over what it means to beat Booker and Cody plants the seed for a possible match with Dustin down the road. Also Cody mocking Dustin putting on the “gold paint” and claiming he’s close to being better than Dusty was great stuff.

•Daniel Bryan’s heel mannerisms. Bryan’s heel work was great on this show, however as I mentioned before I am sceptical of how he will be handled as a full blown heel especially as a small guy

•Mark Henry’s commentary. WWE has tried to take alot of steam off Henry of late, but he continues to fight the upstream battle and his work on commentary shutting down Michael and Josh was fantastic

•The Tamina push. I like this, I don’t like it at the expense of Natalya, but the overall aspect of a Tamina push is a good thing, however we know nothing about her and I don’t suspect the crowd will get behind her. Tamina needs some mic time and character development if we are to take her seriously as a face challenger for Beth.

•Wade Barrett promo. The Barrett promo before Sheamus arrived was great and Barrett focused on how he took out Orton and how he is going to win the Rumble in Orton’s hometown

•Bryan-Show-Henry storyline. This continues to be a compelling story that appears to be building to some kind of three way

•AJ. I’m a big fan of AJ and love her in the role of Bryan’s girlfriend especially as Bryan turns heel.

The Bad

•The burial of Natalya, Drew and Ted Dibiase. Dibiase went from winning every week to losing every week. This is the formula that has done long term damage to WWE’s product as they’ve taught their fan base not to believe in anyone. Natalya goes from being part of the top divas team to being the biggest jobber in the women’s division. I don’t even think they addressed a Beth-Natalya breakup. Losing streaks don’t work, see MVP, Matt Hardy, etc so I’m not sure what they are attempting to accomplish with Drew’s new storyline

•Santino as the new assistant to the Smackdown GM. This is not a good sign for Smackdown.

•Aksana-Teddy storyline. Get this off television, it’s not going anywhere. The Aksana character is completely useless other than to write backstage segments to validate having writers

•Rosa Mendes, Primo and Epico. I like this team from a presentation perspective, but the entire focus should not be Rosa, but that is the issue with The Bubble in 2012, they just don’t grasp how to develop characters anymore

•Sheamus promo. The Sheamus promo towards Wade Barrett was beyond putrid. Enough with The Great Uncle stuff; it’s not good promo material and once again screams “We have Writers”. Sheamus briefly mentions the Royal Rumble, but of course is more focused on getting comedy lines in, which again is a huge problem for WWE in 2012

•Michael Cole continues to be terrible on commentary. Michael Cole is like a daytime soap villain who always gets the last laugh and never gets what it is coming to him. Cole ruins every show and when he tries to be credible, nobody can buy it. At least if Jim Ross was telling us to take Jinder Mahal seriously after Mahal had been losing 30 second matches to Santino, we might be able to take that seriously, because Ross is respected, Michael Cole has go away heat and his character has no positives in bringing revenue to this company

•Hornswoggle and Heath Slater. I didn’t watch it, but I can tell you just like Michael Cole, Hornswoggle has run his course in 2012

What needs to be accomplished on next week’s Smackdown

•We need to find out about more participants in the Royal Rumble

•We need to figure out the World Title match for the Royal Rumble

•There are several flaws in the product right now that need tweaking such as the handling of Rosa, Primo and Epico, Sheamus comedy promos, the handling of Dibiase, Drew, Natalya, the push of Tamina, etc. I hope WWE works on closing some of these loop holes for next week