Smackdown jumps the shark
Wedding angles on wrestling programs have traditionally done well in the ratings, and I usually find these segments entertaining. Except for a cameo appearance by The Godfather, however, the Theodore Long-Kristal wedding ceremony on Smackdown last night was boring, annoying and just plain awful.
For a story line like this to work, the characters involved have to be over. Past wedding angles involving Kane and Lita, Edge and Lita, Stephanie McMahon and Test, and Stephanie McMahon and Triple H were memorable for that reason. While Long does a good job in his role as Smackdown general manager, he and Kristal are not characters in which the audience has a significant emotional investment. Everyone knows that something unexpected always happens at these ceremonies and they have a perverse car-wreck quality to them, but when you don’t care about the people involved, there really is no suspense.
The big surprise ending was that Long suffered a “heart attack” just as he was about to say “I do.” Ugh. Long and Kristal’s horrible acting here made me groan louder than when Hornswoggle was revealed as Vince McMahon’s illegitimate son last week. And speaking of Hornswoggle, he was on hand to disrupt the ceremony, so we got to see two bad story lines converge. It was like Gigli Meets Plan Nine From Outer Space.
The worst part of the show was that two guys known as The Ying Yang Twins – who I learned are an Atlanta-based crunk rap duo after doing a Google search – were seemingly in every segment. One of them, I’m not sure if it was Ying or Yang, kept doing this grating honking sound, proving something that I didn’t think was possible: there actually is a human being more irritating than The Miz and a catchphrase more asinine than “Hoo-rah.”
As I was watching the show, I began thinking that if WWE really wanted to get the fans to like John Cena again, the creative team should have had him crash the wedding and deliver the FU to everyone in sight. I know I would have marked out for sure.
A few other quick thoughts on Smackdown:
I like Batista and I’m glad he’s world heavyweight champion again, but he still needs a lot of work on his promos. … JBL, on the other hand, cut a very good promo on Rey Mysterio. … Jimmy Wang Yang – who is not one of the Ying Yang Twins – is always fun to watch. Seeing him in a match with Jamie Noble that included interference by Shannon Moore reminded me of the good old days of The Yung Dragons and 3 Count in WCW. Where was Evan Karagias when you needed him? … MVP and Matt Hardy, as usual, were the best part of the show.