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By Revin Samuel on 1/28/2012 6:15 PM

SMACKDOWN – 27/1/12
What this show needs to accomplish?
• I heard on audio this week Mike and Dave talking about how they got a look at this week’s Smackdown script and the creative team had titled the show ‘Ready to Rumble’. You’d think a show with that type of title would indeed be all about promoting the second biggest pay per view of the year. Let’s hope so!
• I am interested to hear what Big Show has to say for the first time since the AJ incident. It will be interesting to see if he can transition his guilt from AJ to his quest for the title
• Randy’s return. WWE didn’t do a very good job of promoting Randy’s return so hopefully they make it feel special tonight, even though the damage has already been done
Show Breakdown

  1. Am I watching a repeat of last week’s Smackdown. Why are they showing me a video package of two weeks ago? Does that mean last week’s show didn’t count? Still a good package, which transitions right into hearing from The Big Show.

  1. Big Show is such a great babyface, very genuine. John Cena could take lessons from the big man.

  1. At the same time Daniel Bryan is a tremendous heel. Such great character development on Smackdown.

  1. The lines they have Mark Henry saying are no doubt going to lead to the fans beginning to cheer for him. Such a great bad ass!

  1. I like Cody’s inset promo because it at least was related to hyping the Royal Rumble and Wrestlemania that being said and this is a slight nitpick, I think Cody is above being called a dark horse to win the Rumble by Cole. A dark horse to me is someone like Jack Swagger or even Miz the way he’s been treated lately.

  1. I don’t like this loss for Gabriel. I understand this might be WWE doing their break him down before you bring him up routine, but that’s a bad habit they need to stop. I’ve always wondered if they did this, because of what happened with Brock Lesnar or more because it’s how Triple H’s WWE career kind of went (punished after the Kliq incident at MSG in 1996), but he was able to recover from that. The only difference is everyone is alot more visible these days and you can’t suffer back to back losses to the same guy and gain anything from it especially as a babyface. This is where enhancement guys would have come in handy or better yet, WWE has so many scrubs on their roster from Trent Barreta to Yoshi Tatsu that I’m sure they could have easily found someone else to do the honours for Cody.

  1. Speaking of Yoshi Tatsu, here he is on Smackdown for the first time in who knows how long!

  1. Are we supposed to take this Drew McIntyre storyline seriously when he already got fired last week?

  1. I remember a couple years ago when Drew McIntyre was getting a push, he did a radio or newspaper interview saying he would one day like to headline Wrestlemania with Sheamus  and that they could possibly top what Shawn and Taker did. You have to like that confidence, however it’s too bad how far his star has fallen in the eyes of The Bubble.

  1. I said it in my Raw column and I’ll say it again here, I like the by the numbers video package, but I really think WWE needs to create one of their five star packages where they interview past winners about what it’s like to win and competitors in this year’s Rumble about what it will mean to them to win the Rumble.

  1. I’d really like to hear Primo and Epico talk and talk in English. The team means very little if you only focus on Rosa, but I guess it doesn’t matter if The Bubble doesn’t care about tag teams.

  1. Did Booker just say Santino knows what he’s doing in the ring? Talk about killing your credibility, I guess that’s Booker’s speciality.

  1. Josh says “Rosa leading her tag champs to victory again...” – So yeah this team is only about Rosa.

  1. Daniel Bryan, master manipulator. I have to admit; I chuckled a bit at Bryan patting Henry on the back at the end of that backstage bit.

  1. Wade really has all the tools in the world, if he could just put it together in the ring, he’d be the full package.

  1. It really irritates me that Wade is cutting this promo in his wrestling gear and then Orton comes out in his wrestling gear. Was a match scheduled between the two? It would be alot easier to suspend disbelief if the two were in normal attire.

  1. I wonder if Randy Orton laying out all these scrubs is going to play into the “Every Superstar is eligible” thing at The Royal Rumble and perhaps his elimination.

  1. These Royal Rumble flashbacks have been great. I’m not the biggest fan of the 2006 Royal Rumble match, but they made it look like something special!

  1. Bryan and Kaitlyn backstage. I don’t like when they do these stories within a show where one person is talking to another about telling someone else something when that person can just watch the show. I guess we just have to suspend disbelief, but still it’s hokey and doesn’t make any of the characters involved come off well.

  1. This storyline between Hunico and Ted Dibiase about not being invited to the Posse Party is right up there with the Chris Jericho spills coffee on Kane story from ten years ago.

  1. This is the second week in a row where they’ve made reference to a live event from the weekend with regards to Dibiase’s injury. I like that touch and I hope it’s something they do more often.

  1. Booker goes from saying “these guys don’t care about Dibiase’s injury, there from the hood” to being appalled at their actions.

  1. How can Aksana be considered a babyface? Why would Natalya want a rematch with Tamina when all she does is lose in five seconds? She should just be hoping she isn’t future endeavoured at this point. Such a waste of talent. Farting sounds? Vince McMahon in 2012, the almost 67 year old with the sense of humour of an eight year old.

  1. I remember some time back R-Truth did an interview where he said Vince McMahon was the one who showed him how to dance when coming out to the “What’s up” song and now what I wouldn’t give to see Vince teaching Brodus how to dance for his character. I almost question if the character is around so Vince gets a chance to dance before each show.

  1. I did find it quite assuming to see Alex Riley dancing along with Brodus and the girls, but my how his stock has fallen. He’s in that grouping with Drew and Natalya.  

  1. I guess WWE liked last week when Regal did that great dancing and Brodus hit him with his moves and the people booed him so they did it again this week with Riley. Doesn’t make sense to me, but whatever works for them seems to be all that matters.

  1. You know what I find interesting about Zack Ryder is that this is a guy who made himself, thus making Stephanie’s team of sixteen writers completely useless so they give him the assistant to the GM job on Smackdown, they then take it away from him to give to a comedy character they created in Santino. They give Zack the US title, only to take it away from him and to use him to get fans to cheer for John Cena. One could almost say that they’ve buried Ryder because of how he got over. WWE wouldn’t be that petty would they? This all being said I don’t believe this is the case and I have to assume that this Ryder story is going somewhere and I hope that isn’t as a heel to be squashed by John Cena. The way they’ve done this story, I actually wouldn’t mind seeing Zack return in time for a Wrestlemania match with Kane where he beats Kane and thus showcasing growth as a babyface character, I’m sceptical of that happening though. The patterns of the Bubble seem to indicate heel turn. The fans liked Christian last year when they weren’t supposed to so they turned him heel. The fans liked Bryan when they weren’t supposed so they turned him heel. The fans like Ryder so the pattern says turn him heel. These aren’t the babyfaces The Bubble wants you to like so they turn them heel. It’s amazing how this company operates sometimes!

  1. I really didn’t need to see a full recap of the Ryder-Kane-Cena angle. I guess it helps to sell the Cena-Kane match on Sunday for those who missed Raw, but I’ll thank fast forward on that one.

  1. Where is Beth Phoenix? Natalya has been made completely useless the last few weeks. We know Beth is working house shows, yet they’ve done nothing to setup a potential Tamina-Beth program. I wouldn’t be surprised knowing how inept this company can be sometimes if they do Beth-Tamina at The Royal Rumble unadvertised.

  1. Again WWE using Cole to bury Bryan isn’t going to help Bryan get booed any further. Cole is the ultimate heel on WWE television, which says it all right there.

  1. Poor Mark Henry suffering another injury. Looks like the ending of Smackdown was an audible and fully focused on Bryan and Show. Hopefully Henry can make it to the Rumble!

What this show accomplished?
The Good
• Daniel Bryan-Big Show-Mark Henry. All three of these guys play their roles fantastically. Bryan is a great manipulative heel, Show is a nice friendly giant and Henry is just a bad ass
• The pushes of Hunico, Brodus Clay and the tag champs. These are three relatively new acts that are all getting spotlighted on Smackdown, however they all need talking time if they are going to get over to the best of their abilities.
• Orton-Barrett segment. I don’t agree with them being in wrestling gear, I don’t even agree with bringing Orton back on the Smackdown before the Royal Rumble, but the segment itself was well done
The Bad
• The hype for the Royal Rumble was even worse than it was on Raw. I’ve said it before, but the fact that they have sixteen writers working on this show tells you all you need to know about why pay per view buys are down. It’s a bunch of geeks sitting around trying to create episodic television and script verbiage instead of selling and promoting shows. I don’t blame them so I guess I shouldn’t call them geeks as they are just doing what they know how to do, but the process is really screwed up as Stephanie, Kevin and Vince continue to try and convince themselves that they are making movies. It’s like the pay per views get in the way of them doing what needs to be done. Also the fact that we’ve only got four matches listed for the Rumble and less than ten guys announced as Rumble participants tells me will be putting up with alot of Creative’s nonsense on Sunday.
• Natalya. This has to be the saddest thing on WWE television in 2012. I just don’t get it and let me stress how much I hate the Aksana character, which makes it even worse for me personally
• Drew McIntyre storyline. This is one of those stories that WWE does alot of now days where they just do the same thing week after week, because they don’t know where to take it. Honestly at this point, I’d have David Otunga come in and say you can’t fire him per some line in his contract and just drop the story.
What needs to happen on next week’s Smackdown?
• Let’s emphasis why the outcome of what happened at the Royal Rumble is important and set the stage for the Elimination Chamber. WWE is usually really good at the first point, not so sure if they have it in them to be able to focus on both
Royal Rumble Predictions
• Cena over Kane or some kind of DQ type angle leading to a no holds barred match of some sort at Elimination Chamber
• Bryan beats Show and Henry by escaping the cage to further that storyline. I think it would be a big mistake to take the title off Bryan now. I’m torn as I really want to see Bryan-Orton at Wrestlemania, but at the same time Mark Henry deserves that spot so perhaps you do a triple threat match of some sort. Also if Shaq is coming in for a match with Big Show, I think Show needs to turn heel soon although it mighty amusing if Shaq played the heel here.
•Punk over Ziggler. I’ve got a theory here that Laurinaitis will indeed count the pin or submission for Punk and then enter himself in the Royal Rumble as the 30 position and still lose so Triple H can hold that over him on Raw during his job evaluation on Monday
• Rumble match. First for surprises, I hope they don’t bring too many old legends back, I can deal with seeing Jim Duggan, but I don’t need to see Jim Duggan, Sgt. Slaughter and Ron Simmons all in the Royal Rumble for example. I hope we see Goldust turn up to eliminate Cody and setup a match  between those two at Elimination Chamber and my dark horse surprise would be the return of Finlay just when we think we are going to see Hornswoggle in the Rumble. As for the winner, I think I’d go with Jericho here, but it is Orton’s hometown so I could see WWE going with him two. I hope they don’t do some complex weird creative angle here, but I wouldn’t be shocked to see them get cute with it especially with the lack of participants announced. Finally, a part of me really thinks Rock is going to be a surprise in the Rumble to do the Hogan-Warrior spot with Cena, but then again we know he’s on a media blitz of the world so that’s probably unlikely.