Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Re-Launching Smackdown – Post-Draft

This is about 15 hours later than I hoped to have this posted. If you don’t know much about Smackdown Spoilers from this week, then this entry will still honor that and my opinions still, despite WWE’s moves.

Christian as World Heavyweight Champion

The validation of Christian as a singles wrestler and now a World Champion was provided on Sunday night, May 1st. Clearly the wrench of Edge’s unexpected retirement and vacating of the title paved the path to this. Yet, even before all of that transpired, there were rumblings that Christian might be ready to turn on Edge and give us a Summer-time feud for the title. People were clearly ready to see Christian in this picture.

Now he has the title and a variety of new opponents that could make for great match-ups. Randy Orton, Sheamus, Cody Rhodes and Wade Barrett come to mind most. It is now in WWE’s hands to make feuds and matches that entertain fans. More so than that, it should be a big goal to create ratings driven and pay-per-view driven efforts above all.

A Re-coiled Viper

Randy Orton comes to Smackdown the biggest superstar not named The Undertaker. Clearly he will be the full-time, top level guy from now through his time in WWE or Smackdown comes to an end. My opinion is that Orton is so head and shoulders above many on Smackdown that it will take some really intentional effort on behalf of those who write and produce Smackdown to get others to the same level as The King of the RKO.

Depending on the direction Orton goes (face or heel), there is potential for good matches/feuds. The most interesting option for me is an Orton-Cody Rhodes extended feud. Whether they acknowledge or not the history of the two with The Legacy, this could be a potential feud of the year on paper. Especially, if Rhodes added another element to his mask. Imagine if the mask neutralized Orton’s Punt Kick, that creates a totally new approach and would allow for a new, untapped psychological element.

Simply Sin Cara

Sin Cara, (the former Mistico) who not only is a tremendous talent, but made tremendous amounts of money in Mexico now gets his WWE opportunity. WWE seems to be behind him from the beginning and will provide the “extras” for him to stand out in the WWE Universe.

I see Sin Cara working through the similar-styled wrestlers like Chavo Guerrero, Tyson Kidd and Trent Baretta to put on action-filled matches. Eventually, he will need to go on and have extended feuds with perceived “top guys.” I could see matches/feuds with Sheamus, Daniel Bryan and Wade Barrett as good opportunities for mutual elevation.

Break On Through…To The Other Side

Smackdown now features many wrestlers who have just tasted a bit a push and still have a ton to give.

Sheamus, as a former World Champion, first comes to mind. His WWE run has been filled with peaks and valleys over the last 18 months and Smackdown might be able to provide the level ground necessary for his career/push to stabilize.

Wade Barrett, who came in as the Leader of The Nexus and was part of a big feud with John Cena, now leads The Corre. Whether Corre is long for WWE or not, Barrett has potential battles against those within (Heath Slater, Justin Gabriel and Ezekiel Jackson) and now new talents, specifically Daniel Bryan, with their NXT and Nexus history.

Daniel Bryan, another former champion and for those who are familiar with him as “American Dragon” Bryan Danielson know, can have some of, if not the best matches. Die-hard fans probably will clamor for a Bryan-Regal feud and if WWE did pull the trigger on that, it would likely be a nice swan song for the final days of Sir William’s career.

Alex Riley, who really did well as the lackey of The Miz and now can show what he may be able to do on his own. Riley looks the part of an athlete to me and if Smackdown chose to re-brand him in that direction, I could see similarities between Riley and a 2006-2008 era, Montel Vontavious Porter (MVP).

Just like RAW, Smackdown has a fresh playing field and much of their short- and long-term success will hinge on the direction they choose to go.


  1. (Comment from Jon S)

    I agree that there are some good opportunities with the new roster on Smackdown. I'm particularly hoping that it gives Daniel Bryan and Sin Cara a chance to shine.

    Whilst I agree that Orton is the biggest star on Smackdown now, I must say that I'm really bored with him as a face. I just don't care about him since he stopped being a heel and his matches aren't interesting me either.

  2. (Comment from Chaosphere)

    Your Alex Riley comment is really all depends on who he gets booked against. What made MVP in a lot of peoples eyes was his feud with Chris Benoit. From a skill perspective there's possibly only Daniel Bryan that could match Benoit however, he's nowhere near as over as Benoit was when he was feuding with MVP.
    Who would you book him against to bring the best out of him and elevate him?