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By Revin Samuel on 1/14/2012 10:04 AM

SMACKDOWN – 13/1/11
What the goals should be for this week’s Smackdown?
•It seems alot of the goals I’ve mentioned lately have not come to fruition and that is due mainly to the greatest weakness of the once great promoter, Vince McMahon, which is pay per view promotion! My priority goal for Smackdown this week is Royal Rumble promotion, I won’t hold my breath, but I’ll cross my fingers
•Comedy reduction. There is too much comedy in the overall WWE product right now and that needs to come to an end. This means minimize the usage of Santino and Hornswoggle and also having Sheamus begin to cut more intense promos as comedy as only worked for one guy in wrestling and that guy went on to become one of Hollywood’s finest
•Protect your talent. I’m not sure what happened with Natalya and Ted Dibiase, but both need to be treated better than glorified jobbers. For Ted, while he’s been a jobber for quite a while, he got a on a nice winning streak for a brief time and now he’s gone back to losing. As for Natalya, she’s always been left unprotected by the company, but she was at least aligned with the divas champ, now she’s a pure jobber losing to lesser talents in seconds
Show Breakdown

  1. I like the opening video package for the World Title match and the compelling story between Show-Bryan and Henry.

  1. Lilian looking good as always. I forgot to mention, but last week that dress she was wearing was an interesting choice to say the least; I like her choice this week alot better!

  1. Daniel Bryan is just fantastic in this new role; he is becoming very comfortable on the mic as a heel performer.  

  1. Big pop for the message board callout and “Heymanrules152”.

  1. As has been pointed out many times, it doesn’t really make alot of sense for Cole to be ripping Bryan if Bryan is going to be a heel.

  1. Smart way to setup a title match for next week, while still having a big title match this week.

  1. Nice promo for Rock-Cena and Wrestlemania. I’m not sure how I feel about that theme song, hopefully it’s not the officially Wrestlemania song. Also I wish WWE would stop using the word “entertainment”, they’ve turned it into a negative connotation.

  1. The arm drag sequences between Gabriel and Slater would not make Ricky Steamboat happy.

  1. Hornswoggle needs to go, I just hate the character. I can’t imagine even The Bubble backstage is entertained by him at this point. I guess Heath Slater is the 2012 version of Chavo Guerrero, which is one storyline that we don’t need repeated, but there isn’t much more you can do with Hornswoggle.

  1. “I love you” was a bit too soon in the AJ-Bryan dynamic. WWE moving things extremely quickly in standard form or their writers don’t know how to tell a good love story, I’m guessing a bit of both!

  1. WWE seems to think just doing promos and flashbacks, while promoting this as the 25th anniversary of The Royal Rumble is enough to hype this show and I think they are going to be gravely mistaken. They are so obsessed with “entertaining” that they no longer make the big shows feel important. It’s a rinse, wash repeat cycle of words that I repeat every week.

  1. I have to say I’m a big fan of the Cody Rhodes theme music.

  1. Cody Rhodes is really the total package. Great promo emphasizing how long his reign has been as IC Champion therefore putting importance on the title and letting us know that he is another man in The Royal Rumble.

  1. I’m watching this Cody-Zek match and I hear the announcers bickering, which of course takes away from the match. The commentary through their producers I’m sure are so focused on entertaining us instead of telling us the story in the ring that the match has no value. I’m almost positive The Bubble sees the match as useless and that they have to keep us entertained through the argumentative commentary. I am also almost positive that the commentary and specifically Michael Cole is a big reason ratings continue to go down particularly on the Raw brand. Vince seems to have a bad case of denial when it comes to Michael Cole and I doubt he’s going to be changing his tune anytime soon.  

  1. Great win for Cody. I hope WWE doesn’t come back in two weeks with new vignettes trying to pass Ezekiel Jackson off as the next big thing like they’ve done in the past.

  1. Love the video package for Edge. I hope WWE will allow his best friend Christian to do the honours. Knowing how weird they can be they might feel Christian isn’t worthy of being the inductor in the main event spot.

  1. Santino’s ideas seem to be right out of WCW 2001 or the Raw creative team.

  1. Shouldn’t Teddy know when Aksana is coming in since the whacky porn music plays?

  1. Did someone really bring a sign for Dibiase? Must be a plant.

  1. It wasn’t pretty, but it was an attempt at character development by putting Hunico and Camacho on commentary. Good win for Dibiase to get him back on track. It’s too bad I look at this from a win/loss perspective and WWE treats it like it doesn’t matter, because Dibiase will probably lose next week again.

  1. Does WWE really think anyone can be excited for Mahal-Sheamus when Mahal was just beaten by Santino on Raw? I forgot it’s not about making matches feel important, but being entertained.

  1. I always like when Cole talks about someone’s past history in a Royal Rumble. That’s a nice touch in trying to promote the Rumble match.

  1. Jinder has been treated like such a jobber, I’m not sure it does anything for Sheamus to have to sell for him for an extended time period.

  1. The one thing that makes Bryan different from almost every other heel WWE books is that in segments like the one backstage just now and the one last week with Big Show, he’s not backing down, which is a refreshing change. I don’t trust it will last, but it’s nice to see.

  1. It looks like Bryan is going to try and use AJ’s love for him in the World Title match. Clever heel move and I guess we now know the reason AJ told Bryan she loved him so quickly into their on screen romance.

  1. There’s a rare win for David Otunga, I guess he needs one every now and then.

  1. Another sweet edition to the HOF with the Horsemen. Will Dusty induct them? My guess is that Triple H or Triple H and Shawn together will do the honours.

  1. I am fast forwarding through the Cena-Kane recap, it’s just putrid television.

  1. The Brodus Clay character is interesting; I don’t really mind it from the aspect that it’s different than anything else on television that being said they’ve done this type of character before. My main concern is that WWE is so bad at comedy and there is rarely anything serious on television these days. WWE doesn’t take themselves seriously and so the fans learn to do the same.

  1. What really irritates me about the character is the Tough Enough contestant, Arianne Andrew is one of the dancers. I guess she proved Steve Austin wrong! This was the first girl eliminated and she knew nothing about the business. I guess that’s the type of person WWE likes to hire, because they can teach her what they want her to know about the business and not the reality of the business. It really says something about how screwed up WWE is when this girl was the first contestant eliminated, yet she’s the first one to make television, meanwhile the likes of Luke Robinson, Jeremiah Riggs and Martin can’t get WWE contracts.

  1. No comment on Teddy-Aksana, I think we know where I stand at this point on that garbage.

  1. Why are they doing Tamina and Natalya again when Tamina squashed Natalya like she was Iron Mike Sharpe last week? If they are going to push Tamina, she could probably use some character development and I don’t mean through

  1. Natalya squashed again. Where is her partner in crime Beth to save her? Oh yeah that got dropped without mention. Who did Natalya piss off? It’s a real shame that this girl gets jobbed out this way.

  1. Nice promo from Barrett to hype next week’s Las Vegas Smackdown that being said I’d like to see more Royal Rumble hype from interviews especially ones who have already been announced as participants.

  1. I like that WWE took the time to dedicate a segment to promoting next week’s Smackdown. How about they do that for The Royal Rumble? I guess because they have one match announced and another match with very little participants. WWE can’t even long term plan the rumble match. I suspect they’ll eventually announce an extended list of competitors and a few of them will be changed during unnecessary rewrites on the day of the show.

  1. Booker T just went from saying Big Show is on fire to saying Daniel Bryan is on fire.

  1. Great facial reactions from Big Show during this closing angle.

  1. I suspect this is what Bryan had in mind when he took AJ aside as he evolves more and more into a heel.

  1. Great closing segment with Show-Bryan and AJ. Phenomenal stuff!

What this show accomplished?
The Good
•WWE has done some great stuff this week with intermixing the divas (Eve and AJ) into top storylines and that is something I have encouraged for a long time. The reality is the divas are used in such cog in the machine segments when they are in matches, that they are best served as part of male storyline angles. I liked the usage of AJ this week and Bryan the heel using her love to get out of another World Title defence
•Promoting next week’s Smackdown. WWE did a solid job promoting next week’s Smackdown with Barrett challenging Sheamus and the Henry world title shot
•Cody Rhodes announced as a participant in The Royal Rumble. It was basically the only mention of the Rumble on this show and were two weeks out. I’m a little disappointed that there was no follow up to a potential Cody-Goldust match. Fantasy booking here, but I’d have Goldust enter as a surprise in the Rumble and eliminate Cody leading to a match at The Elimination Chamber where Cody gets the win
•David Otunga and Ted Dibiase get wins. Good to see guys who are usually jobbers getting wins, it makes their competition look worse of course, but one step at a time
•Mark Henry. Mark Henry continues to a bright spot on Smackdown even with his lack of ring activity due to his groin injury
•The use of Santino on the show. I’m a little concerned with Santino as the new assistant to Teddy that we will be dealing with bad comedy sketches for a while, but this week they kept it short and sweet.
•Brodus Clay. There is an aspect to this I like and that’s Brodus does the role really, really well. I think he’ll get over like Rikishi in the attitude era and he reminds me of one of my all time favourites, Akeem, the African Dream.  I also like that they finally found a role for Naomi, who if I remember was probably the best in ring talent from NXT season 3.
•Show closing segment was beautiful television and actually a little too good for what I’m used to from WWE. Everyone performed their role well and Show’s facial reactions were awesome after he bumped AJ and Bryan scolding him up the ramp was tremendous.

The Bad
•Lack of Royal Rumble hype. That’s all, we know what needs to be done, we know how to execute it, but we refuse to do it and I just can’t figure out why
•Natalya is the female Iron Mike Sharpe. I supposed it doesn’t matter, but man she is getting destroyed in these matches. Tyson also got destroyed so I guess Vince has a hatred for the Canadians going on? Back to Natalya, I’m not sure what’s the point for her to be jobbing out to Tamina when they do no character development with Tamina. Also can they just give Tamina the Superfly theme song instead of having to always use new generic music that doesn’t stand out
•Jinder Mahal has been treated like a total jobber, I didn’t think he should have got as much offense on Sheamus as he did. This isn’t an indictment on Mahal, but more so on WWE booking of course
•Teddy-Aksana, Hornswoggle and Slater. I’ll combine these two. They are both useless. We’ve seen this Hornswoggle story before and we don’t need to see it again. The Aksana-Teddy thing doesn’t appear to be going anywhere but justifying a Junior Writers pay check on The Bubble’s creative staff.
•Arianne Andrews gets on TV. I know her role is minor and its part of a bigger act, but I just can’t stand the fact that not only did they hire this girl, she who was eliminated first on Tough Enough and actually ended up being the winner because she was the first to make television! It’s is the most perfect example to showcase how far gone The Bubble that is WWE’s inner circle really is.
•The commentary was wretched again and I think The Bubble needs to have an intervention for Vince McMahon to let him know that no matter how funny he thinks it is, it just is the most counterproductive thing on television. If I recall Vince in last year’s stockholders meeting, he referred to the Michael Cole storyline and character like a menu and having to have a variety of different things to keep everyone entertained and all I can say about that is BS. Michael Cole’s purpose is to entertain one man, and that’s the senior citizen owner of this company.
What needs to happen on next week’s Smackdown
•Royal Rumble promotion. We know what needs to happen, let’s find out what the World Title match will be at The Royal Rumble. We are two weeks out and were having another World Title match next week so I’m almost thinking we are not going to find out what the World Title match at the Rumble will be until the go home show. Also David Otunga referred to a list of Smackdown competitors to be in the Royal Rumble in a backstage segment with Teddy, hopefully they actually start naming that list next week. As I have said numerous times, flashback segments are a nice touch, but that’s they are. Let’s dedicate a segment of the show to hyping the actual Royal Rumble match.
•Character development for Tamina, Hunico and Camacho. They are having Tamina squash Natalya and they put Hunico and Camacho on commentary, but I got nothing out of either thing. Tamina needs to talk and get new music, while Hunico could use more time on the mic as well.
•Let’s move the Drew McIntyre storyline along. I get the feeling with this McIntyre story, kind of like the Aksana-Teddy story is that WWE does it every week to make use of the talent, but they don’t know where they are taking it so they just keep on doing it weekly. I hope this McIntyre story ends up going somewhere and not like the Aksana-Teddy nonsense
•Natalya. I assume she is just jobbing and this isn’t a storyline, but Josh did make a point to say “Natalya could really use a win” so perhaps it is another losing streak storyline except with a diva this time. I suspect Natalya and Tyson are on borrowed time with this company, which is too bad. Anyways if this is a storyline WWE should make a move on it next week.
•Bryan/AJ-Show-Henry – What a compelling story this is and I am really looking forward to seeing where they take it next week.