In many ways, Smackdown fizzled out of 2010. If not for the Intercontinental Championship match, there probably wouldn’t be much to talk about regarding the show. It just goes to show how much Ziggler’s star is on the rise.
The first real point of interest was Drew McIntyre’s match with up-and-comer, Trent Barretta. It wasn’t quite the clean squash of previous weeks, and Barretta made himself look very good in many ways. Barretta looked like a promising and quick high-flyer, especially after that amazing and hard-to-watch leap over the top rope which saw him crash to the ground without being cushioned by anything. McIntyre for himself has always been an intimidating in-ring figure, and he continued to grow in that sense, especially after adding a Future Shock DDT to Barretta’s troubles after he had already been deemed unfit to continue. This was probably the most compelling part of the show. Regarding his pursuit of Kelly Kelly, it was hinted at that Kelly may have responded to the Sinister Scotsman by both the announce team and Big Show. If that is the case, then the dynamic of their relationship would be very interesting. Could we see a Kelly Kelly heel-turn?
All through the week, WWE had been advertising the Kane & Del Rio vs Rey & Edge, a match that held absolutely no interest for me. All we’ve seen at the top of the show for months has been these four, and to treat this like a treat was a bit of a joke. It was just treated like a house show. It was not a bad match, there was just nothing interesting to see here, and i’m glad it wasn’t reserved for the main event. Not a great sign for Smackdown’s main event.
The Natalya & Beth Phoenix-LayCool feud has been great for female wrestling of late, and that continued in large part this week as the divas were given more time than usual. Like the previous match, we’ve seen this booking in many combinations for some time; the difference being, as I mentioned earlier, that there has been a lot of innovation and progressiveness here. This match was not really that special, but it was high in quality and was treated with parity to a male match it seemed to me, even involving a mid-match commercial break. I think they do need to move on from this on Smackdown though. What else can they do? Just have this match every week until the Royal Rumble? I would like to see new signing Awesome Kong insert herself in to this situation.
The main event was the Intercontinental Championship match, and it was a pretty good one. These three (Jack Swagger, Kofi Kingston and Dolph Ziggler) have built up a lot of chemistry recently in what has become the most interesting feud on the show. Again, I would hardly call it spectacular, but they played the triple-threat stipulation very well with a lot of exciting break-ups of pin attempts and sequences that involve all three, as well as a lot of counters unique to their opponents. The great thing about this being a three way feud is that the putting over of Ziggler doesn’t make either Swagger or Kingston look weak at all. Ziggler gets to continue and impressive run as IC Champ, while winning in such a way as to not bury his opponents. This week, reminiscent of certain title victories of Chris Jericho, Dolph sneaked in after Kofi had incapacitated Swagger and rolled him up (possibly holding the tights) for the victory. The closing image of him as victor and champion, I suspect, is one we should get used to for 2011.