The Katz Files – Arnie Katz

The November Smackdown Roster Report Card!

The Kingfish Arnie Katz presents his November promotion report card for the good folks at WWE’s Smackdown.

About the Report Cards

Each month, I issue a report card for TNA. I examine and grade the promotion in all the vital areas. I discuss strengths and weaknesses and chart the ups and downs. The grades in parentheses are for the previous report card.

Smackdown is barreling toward Survivor Series, one of WWE’s “major” pay per views of the year. This is a good time to hand out the promotion’s monthly grades. Up this time is the report card for Smackdown.

Let’s see how it’s faring in its new broadcast home of the My TB Network.

Talent Pool

The Colon Brothers have become a significant factor in the tag team division, holding the championship. WWE has, apparently, abandon its thoughts about turning them heel or feuding them with each other, at least for now.

Edge is still gone. He decided to take a break, so he is out of the picture for now. That leaves a pretty big hole on the heel side of the ledger.

MVP might as well not be part of the show. I have no idea what he did to piss off WWE, but he has become the designated loser. When you see him head to the ring, his fate is as certain as the member a Star Trek away team in the red polo shirt.

Vladimir Kozlov is part of the roster and, seemingly, headed for a program against Triple H. That means we’ll be seeing a lot of the big Russian over the next couple of months.

Grade: B- (B-)

Star Power

Vladimir Koslov is getting a strong push that has featured a lot of run-ins and grimaces, but very little in the way of major, visible ring work. WWE is treating him like a star and setting up for a championship program with Triple H, but the fans haven’t come along so far. The Cyber Sunday vote was a huge slap in the face, since fans strongly rejected the idea of seeing Kozlov against the WWE Heavyweight Champion. This may change once WWE really revs up the hype machine, but right now he hardly rates as an authentic star or any kind of attraction.

Big Show has done well in a hideous role, He just isn’t Edge and never will be able to approach the intensity that Edge brought to his role. Big Show is a natural babyface who has to work hard to keep himself despised by the fans. He has had some good moments against Undertaker, but I have a sense that this story has continued a little longer than many fans would have liked.

R. Truth looks like the next break-out star for Smackdown and seems likely to soon hold the Intercontinental Championship.

Grade: C+ (B-)

In-Ring Action

The quality of Smackdown’s matches varies wildly, depending on who is involved. The big, slow guys are… well, they’re big and slow. Mark Henry and others of that ilk cause slow, boring matches because those are the only ones they can fight.

The tag team division is looking a little strong with the emergence of the Colon Brothers and the occasional use of the Hardy Boys and the Miz0Morrison team.
The Women’s Division is not doing too well at the moment. Maria and Natalya aren’t getting a lot of time on TV and they are the b=best female workers on Smackdown.

The Diva Championship hasn’t enhanced any of the women on the show, with the possible exception of Michelle McCool. She needs a solid story line and a feud with someone who can wrestle.

Grade: B- (B-)

Booking & Dramatics

Vladimir Kozlov is getting a push, but so far, fans are pushing back. The hey will be to get the big Russian into matches against strong opposition and have him look good. Right now, there’s a credibility problem.

The casket match on the 10/31 Smackdown</I< was appropriate for the holiday, but not a good idea for the show. It was weird for Vickie to send her nephew into it – and it certainly made no sense to have him lose so totally and convincingly.

The booking of the Divas is very poor. Well, if you can call it booking at all.

Grade: C (C+_


The announcing is in good hands, to say the least. Jim Ross has been around a long time, but he is still one of the signature announcers of professional wrestling.

Tazz is not as consistent, but he mostly does an excellent job as color man.

Grade: B+ (B+)


Smackdown is now established on My Network. Now it’s time to pump some life into the show. Maybe John Cena should work on Smackdown for a while when he returns at Survivor Series. The lack of heat on the program is very noticeable; injecting an exciting personality might perk up things.

Grade: C+ (B-)

That’s it for today. I’ll be back tomorrow with another installment of the Internet’s fastest-rising daily wrestling column.

— Arnie Katz
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