A few  years back, each time there was an episode  of RAW or Smackdown, I’d do an article on it where I’d provide some of my thoughts. Some people called it snarky commentary. Some people were entertained. Hopefully some of those people are still around, because I’m not thinking this is going to have any sort of widespread appeal.

I’ll give it a shot, though.

According to the opening video for Smackdown, this is the first time in three years that The Undertaker has competed on Smackdown. At first, I was thinking that they might’ve messed up, because they just said this about his appearance on RAW. Thinking back, however, they’re probably right. The way they should sell it: “Look, Undertaker usually only shows up for WrestleMania, so the fact that he’s wrestling on a regular weekly show? You might want to keep tuning in…”

Hell, I’m thinking they should’ve announced on RAW that he would be wrestling again on Smackdown, because chances are good that if someone’s actually tuning in for the first few minutes of Smackdown, they’re PROBABLY sticking around for the entire show, even if it happens to feature another match that they’ve forced upon us as a feud on the Blue Show 5 times in the past 3 months already.

So let’s get into the meat of the show and see how they start things off.

Curtain Jerking Main Eventers

Jack Swagger in a no disqualification match against….? [Initial guess: Alberto Del Rio]

Right, because who else COULD it be? #BookingStale

With Ricardo Rodriguez carrying the bucket with the colorful stripes of ADR’s homeland on it, showing something he’s proud of, at what point does Swagger start having Zeb Culter carry around a bucket of KFC with him? Perhaps once Swagger has lost to Del Rio for the 15th time, they’ll have him lose weight, let himself go physically, and they can start that up.

Bad? At least it’s not #BookingStale

Weapon of choice in this match so far has ADR and Swagger both trying to use a Kendo stick. A nice touch would’ve been to show clips from the week prior to WreslteMania in that little picture-in-picture they use to typically give us a flashback from 10 seconds ago. Alberto had welts, they may as well remind us of the history.

I guess maybe that’s too complicated to do. They only have about 70 hours to take the show and get it into the same format for broadcast that RAW takes… no… time… delay… at all… to get in…

Anyone who has ever considered attending a Smackdown taping realizes that they tape it on Tuesdays. So why do they still present Smackdown the same way as RAW? Why do we have to miss ANY of the action? It’s already treated like a second-class show, so why not do some things to make it compelling or have a different feel to it? All they do is switch from red to blue.

How about some fallout from RAW? Some clips from things you didn’t see on RAW? Some things that happened the next day… perhaps interviews with people where they give a brief bit of insight into what transpired the day before? They’re in London, how about showing us what some of the guys… and Divas… think about being in that city? Hell, it’s LONDON, which is far more interesting than, say, Boise, and I’d watch Santino or Layla or even the Bellas tour Boise.

Can you imagine Brodus Clay and Tensai (Sweet T?) on a tour of Sacramento? Or Salt Lake City?

Or Damian Sandow touring New Orleans?

Back to the matter at hand, the match I’ve seen 13 times already…

Swagger users as many weapons as he can find, and he finally gets a victory over Alberto Del Rio.

Great, so now they just need to find a way to give Swagger more heat with Dolph Ziggler headed to the next pay per view.

If only they found some natural reason for the tension… something other than just the championship at stake…

…like… some history they’ve had with one another… if only they had once been in a tag team with one another…

Diva Match

This is usually the point in the show where my wife shows up for some reason and I have to explain that WWE isn’t just all about showing scantily clad women rolling around with one another despite the fact that it always happens to be the time when she shows up.

Gee, who’s going to win this match? The former Diva’s Champion, who is wearing ring attire with the British flag all over it… or the Diva who has had fewer WWE matches than Layla has had title defenses?

Okay, so maybe Aksana has had more WWE matches than that, you might add? I guess you’re counting NXT… in which case, we can add Layla’s wardrobe malfunctions.

The outcome is no surprise, and that gives some of the fans along the isle the opportunity to hug her over the top rope… and rub her abs.

You read that right.

Total Divas

A nice two-minute commercial break where WWE tells us all about a show featuring The Bella Twins, the Funkadactyls, Natalya, and some new Divas…. It’ll be on E! coming soon. Seems decent enough… especially compared to anything else I’ve ever seen advertised for E! How about we get to see the Bella Twins with their WWE Superstar boyfriends?

daniel-bryan-brie-bella-john-cena-y-nikki-bella

I doubt we get that, despite the fact that most WWE viewers over the age of 14 probably assume the Bellas are “dating” WWE superstars. Even less likely than that, I’m hoping we’ll get a glimpse at another kind of “Twin Magic”.

SHIELD’s Video Justice

Even after a few months of being heavily inserted into the main event, why does The Shield still introduce their members at the beginning of each of their videos? Isn’t it a bit unnecessary at this point?

So Dean Ambrose is getting a shot at the Undertaker, and he claims he’s going to do something that no one has done to the Undertaker at 21 WrestleManias… how about just saying he’s going to do something to Undertaker that no one has done one-on-one in over three years…? Isn’t THAT more impressive than the fact that Undertaker, who has probably a couple hundred losses over his career, happens to get lucky at one event? Forget the WrestleMania streak, you’d have to think that The Undertaker not having lost AT ALL in about three years would be a big deal.

Another Lame Dance Craze

Fan-dan-go shows up, and the London crowd is way into it. I’m betting they dance and sing throughout his match.

Anyone else like the fact that Fan-dan-go upgraded his dance partner? His former one was too stoic… and considerably less hot than this blonde he’s with now.

Fandango Partners - Take Your Pick

Fandango Partners – Take Your Pick

And by the way, the new dance partner? Her name from NXT was “Summer Rae”, and unless you want some extreme pics of some woman who definitely isn’t affiliated with WWE… I wouldn’t Google Image that name.

While looking for her pics on the net, I saw one pic of Summer Rae where the person who created the image said she’s just a replacement for Maryse…

So the person thinks we should be thanking WWE, right? Because Maryse was amazing.

Notice, I didn’t just say “hot”. And if you want to pretend like Maryse wasn’t an amazing wrestler, you should go back and watch her wrestling, and her body language… and I don’t just mean the moments where she was smokin’ hot.

Fan-dan-go’s opponent for the evening is Justin Gabriel, who essentially has one good moment in the match, where he mocks Fan-dan-go’s dancing.

I’m joking, of course. Gabriel had a couple spots in the match where he had a great arm-drag takeover. And he sold his beating fairly well.

There’s the singing and dancing from the crowd I was talking about before.

At some point, Fan-dan-go needs to get on the mic and taunt the crowd for taunting his dance moves. Just like the “What?” chants during promos… with gaps between thoughts… because you know… wrestlers do have to… think… Acknowledging what the fans are doing (What?) can sometimes empassion them more to interact.

No surprise that Fan-dan-go wins the match, and all kidding aside, Justin Gabriel does a great job in the process. Some of his moves were actually really good, and I even liked the Peter Pan style crowing near the end of the match.

Show vs Sheamus

Just for the record, they get us hyped up for the match between Sheamus and Big Show by showing us all about the history that Sheamus has… with Mark Henry.

Not the times in the past year that Big Show has knocked out Sheamus, or when Sheamus has kicked Big Show…

Nope, Mark Henry & Sheamus.

Despite the size of “The Giant” Big Show, Sheamus still gets to use that signature series of clubbing shots over the top rope… why not play up the sheer SIZE of Big Show by doing the move while Big Show is standing on the arena floor, using the bottom rope or even the middle rope? The apron’s not THAT tall, and I’m sure it would work for one of those ropes, and the visual would look awesome.

Just for the record, after the commercial break, Big Show was outside the ring, and his armpits were EASILY taller than the bottom rope.

Another thing I’m excited about that WWE does on a regular basis… Triple H is the Cerebral Assassin, right? The Game, because he’s a “student of the game” and likes to have good strategies… just like Bret Hart and other technical wrestlers throughout the history of the business. Big Show is huge. He’s strong. You can’t slam him unless you have elite strength. And what do they have him do during this match? They say he has a great strategy. Flawless, I believe, is the term used by JBL.

WHY does a huge man like The Big Show, who often refuses to get knocked off his feet, need the added benefit of being a SMART wrestler, too?

Now something confuses me about the ending of the match.

Sheamus is on the top turnbuckle, waiting for Big Show to get close enough to leap after… And Mark Henry shows up and moves the steel steps.

Mark Henry, who can’t get up onto the apron without the aid of the steel steps… PUSHES the steel steps away… and Sheamus is worried that somehow Mark Henry is going to interfere against him… and THAT gives Big Show the opening to recover AND hit Sheamus on the jaw? Riiiiight….

William Regal Take 2

Yet again William Regal gets a match, since the show is in his homeland… and he gets to face Wade Barrett, who I suppose needs an opponent who the fans are going to want to cheer for.

Nice mention of how close the hometowns of Regal and Barrett are. Definitely gave me cause to think that these two would want to fight…

And before I have enough time to check out Blackpool and Prescott on a map, or even check the spelling of those locations through the respective Wikipedia pages of the two competitors involved, the match is over thanks to a elbow smash from Barrett.

RKO vs WSM

Not 15 minutes after Mark Henry cost Sheamus a match against Big Show, The World’s Strongest Man is in a match against Randy Orton… and I’ll give you one guess what’s going to happen at the end of this match.

During a point where Mark Henry is on the mat, the fans are cheering… hundreds of them, probably, and somehow Randy Orton thinks that it makes sense to call out “I can’t hear you”, which somehow gets a bigger reaction.

Oh really? If you can’t hear hundreds of them yelling out, what makes you think they’re going to hear ONE of you just raising your voice in the ring?

Whatever, I guess it worked.

Right, so the inevitable happens and Sheamus shows up and knocks out Mark Henry with the Brogue Kick, just enough to give Randy Orton the opportunity to hit the RKO.

Looks like Randy Orton has turned a new leaf. Used to be the case that if someone cost him a match, even if it gave him the chance to knock his opponent on his ass, Orton would get a measure of revenge on that person… in this case Sheamus, by hitting him with an RKO too.

Living vs Surviving

Another new movie from WWE Films… and they’re going back to the horror genre. This one’s called No One Lives… which doesn’t make sense, if you think about it, because everyone you see in the trailer is alive… why not call it “No One Survives”? Isn’t the intention to say that in the end, no one will still be living?

Spoiler alert: it’s going to suck.

Main Event

You know what’s fun? With 20 minutes left in the show… where some of it’s going to be taken up by at least a 2 minute commercial break, if not a pair of commercial breaks… how about spending almost 5 minutes to hype up the Cena / Ryback storyline from RAW? Because I’m guessing that most people watching Smackdown already saw RAW… and if they didn’t, they probably know what happened… and it’s going to be recapped a few times on Monday as it is…

But I guess that’s more important than giving a bit more time to The Undertaker… who just happens to be in action on Smackdown for the first time in 3 years… against a member of one of the most ruthless and successful trios of the past few years… who just so happens to be making his singles match debut… and happens to be a cult favorite from fans who have been following him in NXT and in the indies up to this point… Dean Ambrose….

But let’s have another hyping up of the Ryback / Cena situation.

There’s a commercial break… there’s Amrbose’s entrance… and now we have about 7 minutes for the match.

Great psychology by The Undertaker, keeping The Shield at bay while taking the offense directly at Dean Ambrose with The Shield very nearby… almost taunting them to get involved but making it believable that he’s keeping them at bay.

The ending to the match was great, with Taker looking for the chokeslam, then fighting off The Shield, and then Ambrose making a comeback, then Taker locking in the Hell’s Gate… Followed up with a post-match brawl where Taker more than holds his own.

Far better 5 minute match than a lot of stuff we end up seeing on pay per view from WWE and other companies.

This is how you do it, folks.

So how is it, after all they went through, that Sheamus and Randy Orton don’t seem to care about getting involved with The Shield just because it’s The Undertaker who’s standing alone to battle them? They prefer to defend John Cena?

Before The Shield send Undertaker through the table, at the final moments, JBL starts pleading with them to have mercy and to not hit the powerbomb… Something he probably could’ve been asking about when they were removing the monitors and headsets from the table and getting everyone to back away.

Don’t get me wrong, I really did enjoy Smackdown despite my criticisms. But hey, why not point out the things I’d like to see improve along the way?