The fact a commercial for Animal Planet's new series "Tanked" aired during tonight's live Smackdown seems oddly appropriate.
With much of the WWE roster already en route to Europe for an upcoming tour, the company tried to make the best of the show by using a "Blast from the Past" theme and filling the void with Hall of Famers and legends.
The fact of the matter is that it didn't work.
Live editions of Smackdown are usually special occasions and frequently produce must-see TV. This week's episode felt pieced together and hard to believe.
Some of the legends were used perfectly, in secondary roles, while others were too heavily involved.
It's been said before, and it will be said again, but nostalgia can only go so far. In this case, it brought down the trend of decent television being produced by WWE.
Some old-school fans may have found tonight's episode appealing, but for me, it may as well be featured on that new Animal Planet series they advertised.
- General Manager John Laurinaitis forcing World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus to apologize to referee Chad Patton for kicking him last week - even though the champ already had - was quite humorous. Not as fun, though, was the use of a "Monopoly money" angle, with Laurinaitis fining Sheamus $500,000, in WWE. Yes, in sports, fines work. But in wrestling, something just seems senseless about these types of angles, especially when considering worse offenses happen on a near-daily basis that go unpunished. It all boils down to Laurinaitis punishing Sheamus, but there are better ways of doing that than bringing play money into the equation.
In the main event, Sheamus teamed with "Mean" Gene Okerlund to face Daniel Bryan and Alberto Del Rio, the two men gunning for "The Great White's" championship. Sheamus did a good job selling the match as a two-on-one encounter, but it didn't last long before the villains cornered Okerlund. At that point, all the legends poured out to the ring, distracting Bryan and enabling Sheamus to hit the Brogue Kick for the win. Post-match, the legends took turns hitting their finishers on Ricardo Rodriguez. The ending seemed appropriate for the two hours that preceded it; let's leave it at that.
- One of the most anticipated segments on Smackdown was Daniel Bryan's appearance on Piper's Pit, but even that failed to reach its full potential. Roddy Piper and Bryan both did their jobs on the mic, and AJ once again excelled at playing her role, but something about the segment just seemed to fall flat. It was announced, though, that Bryan and Sheamus will be in a two-out-of-three falls match at Extreme Rules, so that's something worth getting excited about.
- Kane and Mark Henry rekindled their recent feud with a decent match that saw Henry land a lot of offense leading into his WWE Championship match on Monday. But the bout was cut shot when Kane appeared on the big screen, having attacked Orton's father "Cowboy" Bob Orton. The younger Orton took off looking for his pops and was attacked from behind by Kane. This was an effective use of the elder Orton and gave Kane his heat back after losing to Orton last week.