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From PWTorch

http://pwtorch.com/artman2/publish/caldwellstake/article_54266.shtml

Caldwell:
Very true. This week's Smackdown rating drops to a 1.7 and all of a sudden Show is World champ at Vengeance! I'm going with my prediction from the Livecast yesterday that I think WWE keeps Henry strong the rest of the year, then Orton wins the Rumble and they go from there leading to Mania with Daniel Bryan somewhere in the picture. Speaking of Bryan and the somewhat non-existent mid-card as of late, what are your thoughts on the supporting characters like Sin Cara(s), Bryan, Mahal, etc.? It seems like a lot of those spots are being taken by Raw cameos as of late.

Parks:
Correct, and that's the downside of Smackdown. Once known for its bustling mid-card, the blue brand has seen it's mid-card disappear like a speck of sand in the wind. Both Sin Caras need some rehabilitation after a lackluster reception to their PPV match, and I wouldn't be surprised if many fans had forgotten that Daniel Bryan is indeed still the holder of the MITB briefcase. I'd like to see some more work get done in this area in the near future.
Look at this week's SmackDown. The only true SD midcard match was Hunico vs Gabriel, and Gabriel was squashed. Raw wrestlers Ziggler and Swagger challenged Ryder and Kingston. Where have Daniel Bryan, Wade Barrett, Ted DiBiase, Justin Gabriel, Heath Slater all gone? They're either on Superstars or jobbing on SD. Meanwhile Rhodes has moved up the card to feud with Orton. The only thing going on is the Sin Cara feud, and as shown by HIAC, the audience doesn't like it at all. WWE has got to stop feeding the midcard to beaten by the Sin Caras and involve the SD midcarders on TV instead of too much focus on Raw wrestlers.
 

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Cody Rhodes is single handedly carrying the Smackdown mid-card. Other than him none of the Smackdown mid-carders are doing anything noteworthy.
 

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I think Gabriel has a chance to be a star if given the chance. They seem to have no clue what to do with Bryan.

Nobdy can wrestle the lucha style of Sin Cara. He is still around because he was HHH first big signing
 

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As far as Daniel Bryan goes, trying to keep a momentum on him from right now until WM will make him drastically stale. I don't mind that they're not focusing on him too much right now because, unless under circumstances where he loses the briefcase, they will HAVE TO focus on him during the road to WM. A fresh storyline/feud with whomever might be the champion at that time will be great.
 

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Name me some Smackdown mid-carders that are doing anything noteworthy atm, not counting Sheamus and Christian since they can be considered as main eventers.
Not that I disagree with Cody Rhodes doing great things for the mid card, but Sheamus isn't exactly a Main Eventer. Christian is a main eventer due to his stable thing.
 

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Not that I disagree with Cody Rhodes doing great things for the mid card, but Sheamus isn't exactly a Main Eventer. Christian is a main eventer due to his stable thing.
I'd call both Sheamus and Christian main eventers. I do agree with the prior posting about Rhodes carrying the mid-card, because he's the only one it seems who has any direction. what's Wade Barrett's storyline? What's Yoshi tatsu's? For that matter, Mr. MITB Daniel Bryan?
 

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Name me some Smackdown mid-carders that are doing anything noteworthy atm, not counting Sheamus and Christian since they can be considered as main eventers.
Yes none of them have been given the opportunities that Rhodes has had but Rhodes is horrible in every aspect of being a wrestler/superstar he is as bad Ted.
 

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Yes none of them have been given the opportunities that Rhodes has had but Rhodes is horrible in every aspect of being a wrestler/superstar he is as bad Ted.
I can see Rhodes is turning into the next Morrison on this forum... I'll admit, I've been a fan of Rhodes since Legacy, so I'm a little biased. Rhodes is strong on the mic, very persuasive, and plays a psychotic, mentally deranged character quite well. In the ring? yeah, he doesn't wear kneepads, so he looks "different", but he has this weird ability to come across as in control of the match no matter who he's facing.
 

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I can see Rhodes is turning into the next Morrison on this forum... I'll admit, I've been a fan of Rhodes since Legacy, so I'm a little biased. Rhodes is strong on the mic, very persuasive, and plays a psychotic, mentally deranged character quite well. In the ring? yeah, he doesn't wear kneepads, so he looks "different", but he has this weird ability to come across as in control of the match no matter who he's facing.
That annoys me sooo much....Just get some fucking kneepads for christ sake, He's the best thing going in WWE.
 

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Cody Rhodes is single handedly carrying the Smackdown mid-card. Other than him none of the Smackdown mid-carders are doing anything noteworthy.
Because they aren't given the chances to do anything.

It's nice and all to see that Rhodes is having credible showings against Orton but I honestly feel that he should've been looking to get involved in more singles competition in the mid-card beforehand. It would've been a good sign for the mid-card, if nothing else. I don't know why WWE is so hesitant to give SmackDown mid-card guys something to do. Instead of putting these guys on Superstars, why not invest in some intense rivalries?

Cody Rhodes could gain some serious traction by thrashing Ted DiBiase in a series of matches. Throw out a mild stipulation here & there to maintain interest, then just keep adding layers to the grudge. If WWE wanted, they could bring the Intercontinental Title into the equation. Cody could get in some mic work by talking about how Ted DiBiase's days of being a blooming flower are long gone, etc. Ted could get some serious fan support by stating that he'd take that IC Title away from Cody to validate his new chapter of his career. That's all you'd need.

Likewise, Bryan and Barrett could have a ready-made rivalry. They already have a short rivalry before and they already had a match on SummerSlam behind them. It'd probably be mutually beneficial for both of them to engage in another chapter of that heated rivalry. Barrett, who's all smiles, could confront Bryan. Barrett already stated that Bryan is the only rookie he found to be useless on Nexus and said that he's been right all along. Barrett could trash Bryan's W/L record, and puts over the fact that he beat Bryan at SummerSlam, and he knew Bryan made the a huge mistake when he needlessly took away his rightful MITB contract at MITB PPV. Bryan says he won't quit. He'll reach his goal. Bryan could state that he busted his ass to get where he's at. And, now that he has the briefcase, it's his time, and he will keep it and becomes a World Champion at 'Mania. So he challenges Barrett to a rematch, but it's 2 out of 3 falls. And he vows to defeat Barrett twice in the same night, to compensate for his loss. Just like that, you've got a mini-angle within the "underdog tale" angle. They could also put the MITB briefcase on the line, but it isn't absolutely necessary. Besides, I'd rather have Bryan hold onto that contract until WrestleMania.

They could also give other mid-card guys like Gabriel, Slater, etc. some basic premise for their rivalry and just go from there.

WWE could rejuvenate a rivalry between these guys, it may just provide a spark of upward momentum when all these men need it most. As I said, the history is there. The in-ring chemistry is there. And the stark contrasts of their personalities provides a lot of fuel for verbal warfare.

It'd just be a case of stringing together a series of matches that feel like they matter. They'd need to feel intense, emotional, and personal.

It's simple. Heated rivaries in the mid-card would do more for these guys than putting them on the shelf or meaningless Superstars matches.
 

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Like I've said before, the Supershow era is KILLING SmackDown.

2/3 Raw. 1/3 SmackDown. WWE programming has become the Raw roster and the top SmackDown stars. That's it. And the low ratings are proof that this merger isn't doing a damn thing to help draw viewers. The sooner this ends, the better. Let Raw stars stay on Raw, and SmackDown stars be on SmackDown. That's it.

And don't give me the whole "they're on NXT and Superstars online" excuse. That's horseshit. Only 100 people watch NXT and WWE Superstars, the people aren't on television, and nothing they do on either show amounts to anything on Raw or SmackDown, so they might as well be wrestling dark matches.
 

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Tyson Kid needs to be in smackdowns mid card, the guy is phenomenal, him and bryan or him and sheamus could have great fueds, i really wish he gets a chance
 

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Tyson Kid needs to be in smackdowns mid card, the guy is phenomenal, him and bryan or him and sheamus could have great fueds, i really wish he gets a chance
I would say Trent Barreta.

Daniel Bryan, the new Yoshi Tatsu, Trent Barreta, Wade Barrett, Justin Gabriel(give him a gimmick and a new look, for God's sake), The Usos, even Heath Slater... they all deserve more air time in Smackdown, in my opinion.
 

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This was one of my arguments against rushing headlong into Rhodes feuding with Orton this fall, but it looks like they've already crossed that Rubicon. It's a net plus for Rhodes but a net minus for the Smackdown midcard, which, with Rhodes out of it, has no guiding force or anchor behind it whatsoever.

It's very true: Smackdown, once known as being the home of midcarders and the brand on which midcarders thrived, has recently, quietly, become a complete hollow shell of itself. You have a few select guys who could potentially be enmeshed in some angles and feuds--Gabriel, Bryan, Barrett, Sin Cara x2, Mahal, Slater... And then you have guys beneath them who the company has apparently given up on either indefinitely or forever: DiBiase, Tatsu, Kidd, Barreta (keep thinking his time will come one day, at least to be seen on TV). They've even let Raw "steal" Brodus Clay from them, as he's being hyped to debut on Raw when, I believe, he's still technically a "Smackdown Superstar" (as if the brand distinctions mean anything anymore).

Side note: it speaks volumes both of how much he's underperformed and how poorly he's been utilized that I literally forgot all about Ezekiel Jackson until this moment. God, talk about someone who's continually regressed throughout 2011, starting off strong back in January when he "re-debuted" on Smackdown and slammed Big Show. The guy just isn't designed to be a happy, smiling babyface, his accent is a killer, he's proven that he needs to be the generic heel stable enforcer of WWE for the rest of his career, as he's now 33-1/2 and shows not one sign of making the audience care about him in any way whatsoever as a singles entity out on his own, and he's become death to crowds as a face. Still remember going to a Stockton, CA house show two months back and the one guy to receive almost literally zero reaction whatsoever on the entire card was him. Oh well.

Smackdown's midcard is a barren wasteland. And that presents multiple serious problems, not the least of which being Cody Rhodes finds himself attempting to revitalize an Intercontinental Championship which, despite misuse and mistreatment by WWE over the years, still feels too lofty a prize for most of his more immediate peers on the blue brand, so on that score I can't blame WWE for pulling the trigger on Rhodes/Orton, a feud that could, among other things, fully reestablish the Intercontinental Championship as a benchmark and allow somebody--a Gabriel, a Sin Cara, even a Barreta perhaps were they allow him to become a regular entity on Smackdown--to become "big" by midcard standards upon attaining it down the road in 2012 (no doubt Rhodes should be carrying it into Wrestlemania XXVIII).

The worst sin of all is that WWE is not offering any thought or direction toward its Smackdown midcarders. Bryan and Barrett can't make it on TV most weeks; Gabriel still has no direction beyond his South African promo spots; Slater is a very decent hand, in-ring, with an easily understood character, but he has a lower ceiling than everybody else, thus it's not surprising that he's utilized more (as enhancement for others). The Sin Cara/Sin Cara feud needs to wrap up at Vengeance following the Mexican tour, as it has been another item WWE's dropped the proverbial ball with for its home base audience.

The truth is WWECW circa 2009 with Christian, William Regal, Hart Dynasty, Zack Ryder (and the one time Rosa Mendes was properly utilized), Shelton Benjamin, Zeke and Kozlov, and The Dudebusters had more direction on a week-to-week basis at its very worst than Smackdown has had in the last couple of months. The whole thing is just a big mess with a bunch of underutilized guys waiting to be put in the game.
 

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It's amazing when you think back to last year when they had easily the best midcard in the WWE, they need someone like McIntyre.
 

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It's because;

- ) They are/were over-selling the whole conspiracy story, which led to RAW superstars wrestling on SD.

- ) They promote RAW as RAW Supershows, to make people tune into SD, so they put RAW guys on SD so people will keep watching. Pretty flawed concept ofcourse.
 

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Smackdown's midcard isn't dying. It's just hit a rough patch, with this Sin Cara feud not panning out. And either way, I don't really care. I don't mind Raw guys taking over. As long as they're putting on a good show.

WWE needs more stars period. If they have to use both shows to get guys like Ziggler over once and for all, then so be it.
 
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