Friday’s Smackdown was surprisingly good and when it is good in wrestling, it is good all over.
It made up for Raw, and treated the fans at Manchester to some excellent matches and personalities. Perhaps having limited time to work with and less chance to weave a bad story is the recipe for WWE to excel. It is also ironic that John Cena didn’t wrestle, but just tossed through a table after an arm wrestling match. Randy Orton and the Shield also were absent, so I was able to keep my eyes open throughout the program.
It seemed like someone allowed some control to be given back to the wrestlers, allowing them to work with what they know best.
The Primetime Players were hilarious, and it showed in their rap scene with R-Truth. Titus O Neil abruptly barking in R-Truth’s face making the latter’s eyes bulge was priceless, and makes Truth’s role believable as an old head trying to lead young bucks through the maze of the business.
By showing these little segments before the match, as brief as they are, it allows the fans to relate with them on a level you can’t find in the UFC, or in boxing. It is what makes wrestling so great. It creates memorable segments that stick with you through a lifetime.
I wish WWE would pick up on this more. When will they stop dedicating all their airtime to Orton and Cena, and realize that they have humor and talent everywhere on the roster? From the athleticism displayed among the Usos against the entertaining Union Jacks (former 3MB), to the finale where CM Punk and Daniel Bryan fooled the Wyatts, Smackdown was a success.
It will not last long. Orton, the Shield, and Cena will return and demand all of the airtime, but it was fun while it lasted. This has proven once again that in the absence of good storytelling, the wrestlers themselves can put on a heck of a show!