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If you saw my blog earlier this week following Raw or saw any of my tweets during the program then you know how I felt about Monday's show. At least by recent standards it did a great job at showcasing a mix of great matches and storyline advancement. So how did WWE follow up with its signature Friday show?
One thing SmackDown did well this week is build anticipation for next Sunday's TLC pay-per-view. I'm no business insider and I know next to nothing about marketing but purely as a fan I feel more compelled to see TLC following tonight's program. That is the whole point, right?
Although the no-contact clause thrown in between Big Show and Sheamus up to the pay-per-view has been done more than a few times it still seems to work to some extent. I mean, how much more could these guys beat each other up without running out of reasons to ask us to pay to see it happen all over again? We also saw some hype for the Intercontinental and United States title matches coming at TLC as well as the newly-added six-man TLC match itself.
More quality matches
SmackDown followed Raw's example in its exhibition of really good matches. One that stood out to me was Big Show versus Daniel Bryan. I love David and Goliath matches and Daniel Bryan has become one of my favorite Davids in the company. Needless to say Big Show makes one hell of a Goliath and the only thing that stunk this match up a little bit was the Shield interruption. Call me old-fashioned, but usually I loathe interference in a great match no matter the purpose. At least it ended in a clean pinfall after all. This was one of my my favorite matches of the week.
Divas take two steps back
Fans of women's wrestling quickly learn to take what WWE gives us and cherish it, and that hasn't changed (at least not yet). While Raw gave us a great (albeit brief) showing of the female talent they keep hidden among their Divas, by Friday they were back to relegating their women athletes to managerial and romantic interest roles. Despite a minor altercation with Rosa Mendes at ringside, Natalya, one of the toughest women in wrestling, was reduced to being a cheerleader for The Great Khali and Hornswoggle. Perhaps next Monday's Raw will give us more to appreciate from WWE's talented women, but let's not hold our breath.
Ultimately, no, SmackDown did not perform on the level of Raw this week, but no one really expected it to. It was, however, better than it has been in weeks. Great wrestling and hype-building for next Sunday's big pay-per-view made the show a worthwhile watch, but as a massive fan of women's wrestling I was left disappointed and maybe even a bit sour.
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