Smackdown is summed up by one theory: HHH always goes too far. In a push scenario, HHH always seems to do too much and shifts the spotlight back onto him. I get that this is a story arc that encompasses more than one wrestler and the end result is going to be a McMahon storyline vehicle as much as a Orton/Bryan vehicle, but that doesn’t mean that it should be.
The good news is that they haven’t gone “too far” yet. I will be honest; it is kind of like SoCo. When I was in college I ended up drinking 18 shots of Sothern Comfort in an hour. I got as sick as you would assume. Ever since then, even the slightest whiff of SoCo in a drink and my peristaltic reaction throws itself into reverse and, if I am lucky, I can stop full on barfing with some deep breathing and trying to think of anything but the taste of peach and whisky. We have all been burned by HHH storylines in the past, so the gut reaction is that if you give him an inch, he will marry the boss’s daughter and do whatever the fuck he wants. But the truth is, he hasn’t gone “too far” yet. He has established himself as the enemy. He is minimally involved physically, allowing Orton to do the evil work, a Manservant Heccubus to his Simon.
And yes, there is some tearing around the edges: The Big Show storyline is ridiculous. His “iron clad” contract is either that or it isn’t. When he was heel and HHH was face, where was this threat on his contract? Also, converting the Shield from “Freedom fighting heels” to “Bodyguard stooges” pretty much buries them. It kills the momentum their angle had by turning into what they were fighting: The establishment.
So yeah, They are pushing it a bit too far, but they haven’t ruined it yet.
The end result is most everything that wasn’t Bryan/HHH was forgettable. Miz took on Orton, who won with help from the Shield. It also allowed Bryan to come out and be a hero, if just for one day. Del Rio, the actual Heavyweight champion and normally the “champion” of the Smackdown brand, is reduced to a mid-card appearance where he cuts a promo on RVD after he beats Sandow. Bryan beat Ryback after the Shield ran in, kicked the crap out of him, picked him up while Orton beat the crap out of him, and then ate an RKO and got a “NO” spray-painted on his chest.
So they are making the odds insurmountable. That is fine. The problem is you can’t let it happen so much that the face comes off unbelievable when he wins against said insurmountable odds. The end of Smackdown kind of felt that way: The crest was looming on the giant wave, ready to wash over Bryan in a sea of relegation.
They are capitalizing on Bryan’s popularity. They recognize that this could be a stone cold type of angle. The problem is they tend to go overboard trying to make that happen instead of just letting it happen naturally. Think it is coincidence that they have Stone Cold giving Bryan advice on the WWE website this week?
I forgot half of what happened on Smackdown. It is worth it if Bryan becomes SCSA. Problem is, the odds are not in his favor.