Wrestling’s 4R’s 5.07.13: WWE Smackdown & Updated PPV Rankings
How the 4R’s of wRestling Work!
Here is a quick explanation of the 4R’s. The column will run TWO times a week. We will group our feelings on the shows in various categories: The Right, the wRong and the Ridiculous. The Right is stuff that worked very well: a great promo, a great match and so on. PuRgatoRy is a section between the right and wrong. It shows equal traits from both sides that cannot be ignored and needs discussed. It is not a bad place per say, as things can get remedied or go the wrong way the very next week. The wRong is what it sounds like: bad matches, bad or boring promos and so on. The Ridiculous is stuff that had no right on TV: Stupid angles and so on. And there is always a possibility of a 5th R, which is as bad as they come. This column is supposed to be analytical, and at the right time very critical of the shows, it was the whole reason it was created. This is not a “mark” column, nor a “smark” column, our goal is to analyze the show from many different fronts, reward the good and call out the bad. We will not apologize for our opinions, they are as they are, whether positive or negative.
By: Tony Acero
– Ryback Defeated Daniel Bryan [***1/2]
– Fandango Defeated Zack Ryder [*]
– Ricardo Rodriguez and Alberto Del Rio Defeated Zeb Coulter and Jack Swagger and Big E Langston and Dolph Ziggler [*1/2]
– Randy Orton Defeated Damien Sandow [**]
– Dean Ambrose Defeated Kane [**1/2]
RYBACK: I don’t know how many times I have to say it, but there are numerous times within the WWE where ONE good match that goes over 10 minutes and is entertaining can do MORE for any wrestler than any number of squash matches. Case in point, tonight’s opening contest. Not only did this stem from Monday Night RAW as a way to tie a few stories together, but it was quite possibly the best match Ryback has had to date. I like what they’re doing with this storyline as I think we all know Cena is going to come out on top, but as an effective heel, Ryback is doing quite all right. I’m not feelin the “Ryback Rules” tagline, though…
TAG TEAM MATCH, PLAYA: It seems they’ll be going the deportation route after all, maybe. I think some may have gotten annoyed at this little segment here, but I liked most of it. It’s always fun when the WWE pokes fun at themselves, even if it is essentially them telling us that they are WELL AWARE of what they do wRong, and simply don’t care. Keeping it positive, however, I liked the little nod to our complaints over the years about Teddy Long.
Then we get to the match, which was a nice way to get all involved and add intrigue to the World Heavyweight Championship match. The issue – and I’m sure this is of no surprise to you – is that Dolph should NOT have been the one to lose. In a triple team match, you had five other people that could have taken the fall. Maybe they’re trying to point out that Dolph is vulnerable but if they paid any attention to the past year of Dolph Ziggler, we ALL know he is vulnerable and needs the alternate look – that being of a Champion worthy of the name. Instead, they opt to continue to make him look unbelievable. It’s a shame, and I know they didn’t just blatantly do it, but there are numerous ways this match could have gone, and they chose one of the worst possible outcomes.
JUSTICE PREVAILS: Another win for The Shield, and, finally, a notion for something wanted other than “justice” (which, have any of us been able to define yet?). People have been saying it for years, and as a guy who has only ever seen Ambrose while he is…Ambrose, I can say that I have definitely listened and enjoyed others being right. Ambrose just has the “it” factor and I feel The Shield is only the beginning of his talent. Of course, this isn’t saying the match was a classic, not by any means, but it’s nice to see a new face in the main event, a crisp wrestler, a solid character, and uniqueness in the ring that is few and far between.
DIVAS GOT A STORYLINE: But how long will it last? It looks like they’re going the ol mystery route, and at the very least…it’s interesting. I fear Hornswoggle will be the payoff, but for now, I’ll bite. Let’s see what happens.
ORTON: Obviously, Orton’s match with Rhodes was much better than this right here. It wasn’t bad, exactly, but it lead to questioning – namely, just what the hell are they doing with Orton, or The Rhodes Scholars for that matter. It was short, the end wasn’t in question, and there wasn’t any really wow factor. Smackdown is a shorter show, so I’m not upset about the time, but maybe they could have left this for RAW and given us some time like they did Rhodes.
ARM-WRESTLING: In reviewing RAW, I mentioned that the tug-of-war as a gimmick was a bad choice and was unnecessary. A couple of readers pointed out that the crowd loved it and they themselves found it uninsulting. I thought about it, and although maybe I was being a bit of a sour puss, I want to stress that I didn’t mind the moment as a whole exactly, just more the placement of it within a feud. We started this with spears backstage, and random attacks. We started this with violence, and either man upping the stakes against each other…as the feud continues, we get…feats of strength? I just feel it’s backwards. No one likes watching Henry be a bad ass more than I do, but that’s not how this thing was built, and instead of gaining traction and highlighting tension, it has slowly dissipated to a 2005 Smackdown feud.
FANDANGO: With my opening blurb, I referred to superstar-making contests, and this is the other end of the spectrum. While I don’t assume Fandango will be flirting with the main event any time soon – if ever – he started out with a hell of an impact that could have quite possibly given us a fresh face in any feud. What they opted to do, however, is have him look subpar to Jericho and now we’re here; right back where EVERY debuting superstar begins – a number of squash matches that mean jack shit. I’m not saying give the man 20 minute affairs week after week, but give him a reason to be there and us a reason to care. Although I’m referring to Fandango right now, this goes for their entire midcard – all of which have the same, cyclical booking of squash, squash, lather, rinse, repeat. The ship is about to sail for Fandango, and they are doing nothing about it.
I thought Smackdown was a solid effort with only minor issues as stated above. The show has a great start, a pretty solid main event, and nice sprinkles of coolness in between. Sometimes, we wrestling fans just want a little bit of fun and cohesion with storylines to be happy. At the same time, it wasn’t anything spectacular save for the first match, and even that was simply a piece of proof that Ryback isn’t as one-note as some think.
SHOW RATING: 7.5
YEAR IN REVIEW (PPV) by Csonka:
TOP PPV MATCHES: