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Wrestling’s 4R’s 5.07.13: WWE Smackdown & Updated PPV Rankings

May 7, 2013 | Posted by Tony Acero

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

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Smackdown! 05.03.13:
– 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.

    The 411

    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 PPVs:

  • NJPW WrestleKingdom 7 iPPV – 9.9
  • NJPW Invasion Attack iPPV – 9.0
  • ROH Supercard of Honor VII iPPV – 8.8
  • Dragon Gate USA Open The Ultimate Gate iPPV – 8.5
  • ROH 11th Anniversary iPPV – 8.5
  • NJPW A New Beginning iPPV – 7.9
  • Dragon Gate USA Mercury Rising iPPV – 7.7
  • Dragon Gate USA Revolt iPPV – 7.5
  • ROH Border Wars iPPV – 7.4
  • TNA One Night Only: X-Travaganza – 7.1
  • WWE Royal Rumble – 7.0
  • Dragon Gate USA Open the Golden Gate iPPV – 7.0
  • NJPW New Japan Cup Finals iPPV – 7.0
  • Dragon Gate Heat iPPV – 6.9
  • FIP: Ascension iPPV – 6.5
  • WWE Elimination Chamber – 6.0
  • TNA Lockdown – 5.5
  • TNA One Night Only: Joker’s Wild – 5.5
  • WWE WrestleMania 29 – 5.0
  • TNA Genesis – 5.0
  • EVOLE 19 iPPV – 5.0


  • From NJPW Invasion Attack iPPV – Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Kazuchika Okada [****¾]
  • From The NJPW WrestleKingdom 7 iPPV: IWGP Heavyweight Title Bout – Hiroshi Tanahashi © vs. Kazuchika Okada [****¾]
  • From The NJPW “A New Beginning” iPPV: IWGP Heavyweight Title Bout – Hiroshi Tanahashi © vs. Karl Anderson [****¾]
  • From Dragon Gate USA Open The Ultimate Gate iPPV – Akira Tozowa vs. Riccochet [****½]
  • From Dragon Gate USA Open The Ultimate Gate iPPV – Johnny Gargano vs. Shingo [****½]
  • From ROH Supercard of Honor VII iPPV – Jay Lethal vs. Michael Elgin [****½]
  • From The WWE WrestleMania 29 – CM Punk vs. Undertaker [****½]
  • From The NJPW WrestleKingdom 7 iPPV: IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Title Bout – Prince Devitt © vs. Low Ki vs. Kota Ibushi [****½]
  • From The NJPW WrestleKingdom 7 iPPV: IWGP Intercontinental Title – Shinsuke Nakamura © vs. Kazushi Sakuraba [****½]
  • From Dragon Gate USA Mercury Rising iPPV –Shingo vs. Akira Tozawa [****¼ ]
  • From Dragon Gate USA Mercury Rising iPPV – CIMA, EITA & Tomahawk TT vs. Johnny Gargano, Rich Swann & Ricochet [****¼]
  • From The NJPW New Japan Cup iPPV: Kazuchika Okada vs. Hirooki Goto [****¼]
  • From the ROH Border Wars iPPV – Eddie Edwards vs. Taiji Ishimori [****¼]
  • From The NJPW WrestleKingdom 7 iPPV: Togi Makabe vs. Katsuyori Shibata [****]
  • From The NJPW WrestleKingdom 7 iPPV: Yuji Nagata vs. Minoru Suzuki [****]
  • From The NJPW “A New Beginning” iPPV: Kazuchika Okada vs. Minoru Suzuki [****]
  • From TNA Genesis – Elimination Match for the TNA World Title: Jeff Hardy © vs. Bobby Roode vs. Austin Aries [****]
  • From DGUSA’s Revolt iPPV – AR Fox vs. Samuray del Sol [****]
  • From DGUSA’s Revolt iPPV – Akira Tozawa vs. Sami Calihan [****]
  • From DGUSA’s Heat iPPV – AR Fox and Akira Tozowa vs. The Young Bucks [****]
  • From the ROH 11th Anniversary iPPV – The American Wolves vs. Forever Hooligans [****]
  • From the ROH 11th Anniversary iPPV – ROH Tag Team Title Match: Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly vs. The Briscoes [****]
  • From the ROH 11th Anniversary iPPV – ROH World Title Match: Kevin Steen vs. Jay Lethal [****]
  • From NJPW Invasion Attack iPPV – Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Davey Boy Smith Jr [****]
  • From ROH Supercard of Honor VII iPPV – ROH Tag Team Title Match: Kyle O’Reilly & Bobby Fish vs. The American Wolves [****]
  • From ROH Supercard of Honor VII iPPV – ROH Title Match: Kevin Steen vs. Jay Briscoe [****]
  • From TNA’s One Night Only: X-Travaganza: Samoa Joe vs. Austin Aries [****]
  • From NJPW Invasion Attack iPPV IWGP Jr Tag Team Title Match: Alex Shelley & Kushida vs. Prince Devitt & Ryusuke Taguchi [****]
  • From NJPW Invasion Attack iPPV Masato Tanaka & Yujiro Takahashi vs. Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Honma [****]
  • From FIP: Ascension iPPV: AR Fox vs. Trent Baretta [****]
  • From The WWE Elimination Chamber – The Elimination Chamber Match: Jack Swagger vs. Mark Henry vs. Kane vs. Daniel Brian vs. Randy Orton vs. Chris Jericho [***¾]
  • From The WWE Elimination Chamber – The Shield vs. Cena, Sheamus and Ryback [***¾]
  • From The WWE Royal Rumble – The Royal Rumble Match [***¾]
  • From The WWE Royal Rumble – WWE Title Match: The Rock vs. CM Punk [***¾]
  • From DGUSA’s Revolt iPPV – Open the Freedom Gate No Ropes-No DQ Match: Johnny Gargano vs. Jon Davis [***¾]
  • From The NJPW “A New Beginning” iPPV: IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Title Bout – Prince Devitt © vs. Ryusuke Taguchi [***¾]
  • from the ROH 11th Anniversary iPPV – No Holds Barred Match: BJ Whitmer vs. Charlie Haas [***¾]
  • From TNA Lockdown – Tag Team Title Match: Austin Aries & Bobby Roode vs. Daniels & Kazarian vs. Chavo & Hernandez [***¾]
  • From EVOLVE 19 iPPV: EVOLVE Title Tournament Semifinal Match: Ricochet vs. AR Fox [***¾]
  • From ROH Supercard of Honor VII iPPV – Roderick Strong vs. Karl Anderson [***¾]
  • From Dragon Gate USA Open The Ultimate Gate iPPV – The Young Bucks vs. AR Fox and CIMA [***¾]
  • From Dragon Gate USA Open The Ultimate Gate iPPV – Super Smash Brothers vs. EITA & Tomahawk TT [***¾]
  • From Dragon Gate USA Open The Ultimate Gate iPPV – Chuck Taylor vs. Arik Cannon vs. Jigsaw vs. Tony Nese vs. Fire Ant vs. Shane Strickland [***¾]

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