WWE Smackdown vs The Rest: No Contest
WWE Smackdown is the best wrestling broadcast on TV.
To use an oft used, perhaps over used term, it “Lays the smack down” on every other wrestling broadcast. This isn’t just Smackdown versus RAW. It also includes ECW, TNA Impact and every other broadcast (or webcast).
Why? Because Smackdown 2009 is again following a very simple formula: Make everything mean something. Something that Raw and the other broadcasts don’t seem to be doing right now. It’s the same thing Paul Heyman has mentioned in his own commentary.
It’s a very simple formula, but that doesn’t mean it’s stereotypical or formulaic. It’s similar to writing a novel or screenplay. You have a base formula and structure that should be followed leading to one point: engrossing the fans.
You make things mean something by either having it further ongoing storylines, affect the “character” in some way, or just have a great match.
Take recent The Undertaker versus Shelton Benjamin match on Smackdown. An excellent match that served two purposes: A) it furthered the storyline of the Royal Rumble by promoting the match as being between two of its participants, B) it was an excellent match in which Benjamin held his own against the Phenom. To a lesser degree it may have helped “put over” Benjamin even more.
The Great Khali’s kiss cam – originally Maria’s – may seem goofy, but does serve a purpose. And it worked. Before the kiss cam, Khali was a one-dimensional monster, shouting and sneering. Now, because of the kiss cam, Khali has been seen smiling, joking and showing he has a personality. The result: Fans cheering for him. A perfect example of how even a goofy angle, done right, can have meaning by affecting a “character.”
The three longest running storylines involve Vickie Guerrero, Edge, Triple HHH, Jeff Hardy and MVP. They were a hit on Smackdown 2008 and it’s really not hard to understand why.
MVP has been on a twenty-plus week losing streak, which was recently snapped with a victory over The Big Show in a Last Man Standing match. This streak seems to have endeared MVP to fans, many who feel sorry for him. There were fans actually cheering for him against the Big Show. The match itself had more meaning than just ending MVP’s losing streak. It was tied into Triple HHH and Vickie’s feud and impacted Triple HHH’s future in the Royal Rumble. MVP’s losing streak ended in a big impactful way, which is a good thing.
Triple HHH’s and Vickie’s war of words carries on the storyline of Triple HHH’s defiance and Vickie punishing anyone who doesn’t go along with her. Plus it furthers the Royal Rumble and keeps Triple HHH in the spotlight – whether people like it or not. For Vickie it cements her status as a heel. Fans are supposed to hate her and they do.
Jeff Hardy being “attacked” in a hotel room and his subsequent “car accident” all serve to further Hardy’s and Edge’s feud – as if the decade long feud needs anymore fuel. Beyond that it also may serve to re-introduce someone who may be returning to WWE 2009 sometime soon.
The nicest thing with Smackdown is that it seems like all the angles and storylines intersect and are connected in some way.
Other broadcasts seem to scattershot, out of control and packed with “filler” to use up the allotted time. While there is some of that on Smackdown, overall the show is booked and produced in a better and more impactful way.
Now, if only someone can figure out a good use for Vladimir Kozlov.
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