Title This: WWE Smackdown Reaction 2-3-12

Josh Isenberg

Opening Segment:

Teddy Long comes out and announces the Smackdown Elimination Chamber match, including Cody Rhodes, Wade Barrett, Big Show, Randy Orton, Mark Henry, and Daniel Bryan. Mark Henry makes his way out and complains about not getting his one on one title shot. He threatens Long, and says to take him out and give him his match. Long takes him out of the match but Henry will not push him around. He smacks his tie, and gets suspended. Henry goes after Long, but Sheamus comes out to make the save. Cody Rhodes comes out and talks about how long he lasted in the Rumble. He says he is going to be duel champion/and bashes Sheamus. Long books Rhodes vs. Sheamus.

What I Liked:

Very solid beginning of the show, giving the fans the SD Chamber match, as well as suspending Henry. We all know he is missing time due to his injury, so this was an effective way, rather than having someone "take him out." That would make his Hall of Pain and his dominant gimmick less effective. Rhodes vs. Sheamus is a solid match to start off Smackdown, getting the crowd involved with arguably their top face and their top heel.

What I Disliked:

I really feel there needs to be a switch from Teddy Long to ANYBODY else. He has been there way too long, especially creative wise. He is a guy who has become predictable, boring, and an authority figure who we really do not take seriously. Smackdown needs a shift in that area, create some new power figure, and build from that down.

Grade: B

Sheamus def. Cody Rhodes:

What I Liked:

Sheamus and Rhodes put on a very solid, entertaining, and character effective match. Rhodes hit a Beautiful Disaster off the barricade, which came off perfectly. Sheamus sold it, Rhodes connected, and the crowd loved it. I really enjoyed the difference in styles, with Cody picking the pace up, while Sheamus used his strength and untimely athleticism to progress the match. Sheamus will continue to roll until Mania.

What I Disliked:

It does not bury Rhodes, but they still need to find him a legit feud heading into WrestleMania. Will it be Goldust, or will they find someone else? I am not sure who they have in mind besides Goldust, but Rhodes and Goldust will be a great match with a lot of personal conflict. I want to see some sort of interaction between the two. Also, Sheamus needs to win every match with the Brogue Kick or even the Celtic Cross. Establish a finisher, use it every victory, and make the crowd know when it is coming.

Grade: B+

Justin Gabriel vs Hunico:

What I Liked:

No match here, as Rhodes attacks Gabriel before the match, Hunico and Camacho join in. We get the Great Khali making the save. I like Rhodes and Gabriel, even though I feel like Gabriel is nowhere near his level, but this can be something for Rhodes to work on for a few more weeks until he moves on. Gabriel cannot be harmed here either. He is not going to get the best of Rhodes, but will get some spotlight shined on his very unique and athletic in ring ability.

What I Disliked:

Why Khali? This is an awful booking decision. I cannot begin to explain my frustration of seeing him back. He gives us absolutely nothing each week. Nobody wants to see him, and his creative angles are one dimensional. He has nothing else to offer besides his size. We have seen it, it's overdue, and he is going to take a spot away from someone who deserves it. I hate and loathe that Khali is back.

Grade: D

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