Smackdown recap: WWE should care about its product at all levels

September 14, 2012|By Adam Testa

Night of Champions is the one night of the year when fans are guaranteed to see every championship in WWE defended.

For most fans, that's a positive thing, as some of the midcard titles frequently go months without a pay-per-view defense. But it's also a double-edged sword.

While a show like Night of Champions ensures each title will be spotlighted on a larger stage, it also illustrates the persistent issues with the booking of some of the midcard championships.

Some of those issues became prevalent on tonight's edition of Smackdown.

First, United States Champion Antonio Cesaro addressed his outrage at the fact his challenger will be decided in a battle royale on the YouTube pre-show, and he's valid in his opinion.

Doing a match like that, much like they did earlier this year when Christian won and then challenged Cody Rhodes for the Intercontinental Championship, may help draw viewers into the pre-show, but why is the champ in a position where there is no clear-cut contender?

Cesaro's only opponent (of any note, anyway) since winning the title has been former champion Santino Marella. Fortunately, that angle seems to be in the past, and there may have been a hint dropped on Smackdown.

During the segment, Tyson Kidd came out to confront Cesaro, but the Swiss superstar disposed of the Canadian. Brodus Clay came out to make the save. So it seems highly likely we may see Clay vs. Cesaro at the pay-per-view, but that doesn't reek of a vastly appealing match.

The United States champion should have an ongoing rivalry that will help propel and fuel storylines, not be dealing with random contenders determined the nights of pay-per-views.

The second match with baffling development on Smackdown was the Intercontinental Championship bout. The Miz hasn't exactly been developing a big rivalry, but on Raw, we saw Rhodes lay him out and hoist the championship.

Miz and Rhodes have also had a common enemy as of late in Rey Mysterio, so WWE opted to take the three of them and toss in Sin Cara, who beat Miz in nontitle action Smackdown, for good measure and make a fatal-fourway.

It seems like Miz may take the backseat in this match to Rhodes and his ongoing issues with both masked luchadors, so that's not exactly the best way to highlight the champ.

All of this isn't meant to say or insinuate that the Intercontinental and United States Championship matches at the pay-per-view will be bad, but they truly feel like an afterthought when this should be the one night a year they are truly highlighted and presented in a serious manner.

Part of making fans care about the product at a deeper level requires WWE caring about the all levels of the product from the main event to the midcard and beyond.

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