Friday Night SmackDown, April 20: GSM’s Analysis and Aftermath
For the third straight week, WWE presented an unenjoyable SmackDown broadcast, but were able to make the show worth watching for the first thirty minutes.
Here, I will analyze each significant segment presented on the show. I will also provide a combination of aftermath and wishful thinking about what we hope to see in coming weeks.
Daniel Bryan scolds AJ
Strong promo from Daniel Bryan and AJ to kick off the show. Since WrestleMania, Bryan has shown more aggression with his mic skills being stronger than ever before. He and AJ have excellent chemistry, and that truly shined here. Bryan verbally abusing AJ will certainly garner him heat, and AJ played her role fairly well during this promo. The only thing that bothered me about this segment was the fact that you could clearly see the English crowd chanting “YES!” for Bryan, but were instead muted due to the show being taped.
Natalya def. AJ by disqualification
Intense segment with AJ getting herself disqualified in her match against Natalya. While she may not fit the raging role, AJ certainly let her aggressive antics speak louder than her words spoken to Bryan earlier on. Natalya is more of a tweener at the moment, but she did look sympathetic towards AJ, so it worked. AJ looked strong beating up a former Divas Champion, so I hope she keeps up this attitude as she nears a possible heel turn.
Brodus Clay def. Hunico
Typical match with Brodus Clay squashing Hunico within a minute. Sure, his entrance with Hornswoggle was fun and all, but this served no purpose. If nothing else, at least he’s getting over with the crowd nicely. Hunico hasn’t meant anything in a while, so he didn’t lose anything he didn’t already have here.
Darren Young and Titus O’Neil def. The Usos
Decent tag team match with the debuting team of Darren Young and Titus O’Neil defeating The Usos. It’s about time Young and O’Neil were called up to the main shows, as they have improved immensely on NXT and deserve their time to shine. The tag team match was fine for what it was, but a win over the Usos doesn’t mean all that much. I’m interested as to how they’ll chase the tag team titles if the straps are held by heels.
Alberto Del Rio def. Intercontinental Champion Big Show (non-title)
Boring match between Intercontinental Champion Big Show and Alberto Del Rio. These two have had plenty of matches before, and this bout was no different. The interference from Cody Rhodes was logical, and Del Rio’s quick victory was overshadowed and gains nothing from it. If they expect Del Rio to shine on Friday nights again, they need to push him accordingly so and give him significant victories.
Ryback def. local althlete
Quick match with Ryback defeating yet another local athlete. He looks impressive, of course, but he needs to be moved into a real program soon to avoid losing momentum and growing stale in the eyes of the audience.
World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus, Intercontinental Champion Big Show, and Randy Orton def. Daniel Bryan, Cody Rhodes, and Mark Henry
Good six-man tag team match to close the show with World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus, Randy Orton, and Intercontinental Champion Big Show defeating the team of Daniel Bryan, Mark Henry, and Cody Rhodes. If the plan was to have Great Khali be written out of the bout to begin with, then why not place Show in that spot originally? I had no desire to see Show compete twice in one night, and didn’t add much to this match. The main focus of this bout should have been focused on Sheamus and Bryan, but they were once again lost in the shuffle. The heels really should have gone over here to give them momentum, but I guess they wanted to send the English crowd home happy. The action was fun, but it didn’t progress anything storyline wise.
Overall, a lackluster show that didn’t have much to offer besides the solid opening promo featuring AJ and Daniel Bryan. Come to think of it, they’ve seemed to be the only focal point of this show in recent weeks, since most of the other programs have no intrigue to them. However, one aspect of the blue brand that I am satisfied with is the many new faces we’ve seen debut such as Ryback, Damien Sandow, Darren Young, Titus O’Neil, and that Antonio guy that debuted backstage. Hopefully they are given their respective time to shine other than getting lost in the shuffle on Friday nights. None of the matches on this show are worth a second look, and this episode is skippable if you just happened to miss it.