Well, finally, Smackdown is off of the Elimination Chamber track and onto the Wrestlemania track. Honestly, this is a much better angle for the show because it stopped trying to bring the stars of Raw over. While Smackdown has still grown repetitive on who shows up from week to week instead of the show that starred some of the people that weren’t featured enough, this week it seemed to try to do something with plot, even if the plot was twisted within the matches, which is how it should be.
4. Cody Rhodes/Kaitlyn Awkward Flirtation
Wow, this couldn’t have been more awkward, which was part of the charm. And someone backstage remembered that Kaitlyn has a thing for mustaches, which worked perfectly into this little segment. It wasn’t much, it was short, but it helped build what could become a great storyline, at least I have faith it could. That is, if Vince doesn’t forget who Kaitlyn is next week or that Cody Rhodes is no longer Damien Sandow’s partner.
3. Miz vs. Cody Rhodes
This may have been the second shortest match of the show (the divas, of course, being that shortest) but it was a well told story in the ring. Miz still has his shoulder taped and suffered through his trials in winning. Rhodes seems to have some of the fervor back that he was missing in matches recently. Together they brought together a four minute match and made it a story worth finding out more about.
2. Alberto Del Rio vs. Wade Barrett
I am not going to discuss what happened with Swagger earlier in the week and what I think it means for his future. I want to discuss what they are doing with Swagger right now, in this episode, and why the Hell they couldn’t have done this sooner? He looks on in this match, adding a hint of malice outside of the ring without him even having to step to ringside. He stands on the ramp and has this look of boredom and calculation the entire time that Del Rio and Barrett fight that you nearly forget that there is an epic match happening in the ring. But forget you do not because luckily for us the camera pans to all of the right angles. As a main event it did everything it should have and there isn’t a dull moment between the two wrestlers.
1. Randy Orton vs. Jack Swagger
At just over 13 minutes I expected to be bored. Instead, Swagger, despite being a heel, has picked up the pace in his wrestling. Orton, to me and possibly only me, is a better wrestler as a face because he has picked up his own speed. He’s less methodical, though he of course has his own moves of doom. However Orton is also willing to lose, or at least McMahon is willing to let him lose. Which is a great part about Orton’s matches. You don’t always go in expecting, “Orton wins, LOL”. And he doesn’t win. There is a great back and forth between the two where each dominate the other for awhile, but ultimately Swagger wins to continue his rise to the top and Orton has another reason to be bitter and anger, possibly, and hopefully, leading to a great story for him instead of his just seeming to be a general menace with no direction.