SMACKDOWN PREVIEW & PICKS

Posted January 19th, 2012 by Bill Apter

Scheduling and balancing can pose a problem if not done properly, but those issues seem to be a thing of the past. A workable system has been implemented and we’re going to see what kind of magic we can create here in 2012. I want to thank all of you who read my return column on the closing of the legendary ECW Arena this past weekend. A follow up report on the two shows that took place that day is forthcoming. This is the New Year edition of The Referee’s Position.

I heard rumors last week that the Raw “Roulette” wheel was on its way to SmackDown. An intriguing idea to say the least since to my knowledge, its never happened before. I’m a stickler for stats and historical nuggets, and this is one of them. Unfortunately, due to the current climate in the business, these nuggets are passed off or overlooked at times. SmackDown comes to the “City of Sin” this Friday night, and as an extra-added attraction for the fans at the old Thomas & Mack Center, the Roulette wheel will be in play… which will surely make for some unusual moments this week to say the least. Due to the unpredictability of the wheel itself, it makes it rather difficult to pick a winner in any given match. Mainly because no one knows what kind of matches are going to be determined when a wrestler spins the wheel. The WWE’s version of this roller coaster event is less exciting for me due to the types of matches placed around the wheel each time the specialty surfaces. It’s clearly geared more towards entertainment value instead of delivering on a number of stipulation matches that could effectively advance any creative going on at the time. The one match I have always enjoyed is the “Strange Bedfellows” option that often calls for bitter rivals to join forces, if only for one night. The rest of them are silly, pointless choices for the most part. You may occasionally see a really good match on the wheel…but the thing never stops on it. Instead, it will stop on a Snowbunny Match, a Bikini Contest, or maybe even an Arm Wrestling match. However the nature of the stips, it at least offers a deviation from the norm, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing in today’s wrestling.

Since its inception, I’ve said WWE should try their best to capitalize on the whole “Roulette” idea it sort of borrowed from WCW. You long time fans may remember a little something known as the “Lethal Lottery”. “Spin The Wheel. Make The Deal”. Yeah, you remember. Also a great concept that some charge as falling short of its expectations, but at least they were on the right track. One man’s opinion…but I’d rather see the possibility of a Texas Death or Cole Miner’s Glove match over half of the things that have showed up on WWE’s Roulette wheel over the years! That percentage could easily be more than half. The Lethal Lottery was an amazing concept that offered unpredictability and wielded chaos at every turn. If given another chance with the right architects and players behind it in today’s market, who knows where it could go or what it could be? I strongly feel that today’s Roulette deal should be presented as a sick, twisted, and incredibly unnecessary game handed down by the powers-that-be whenever they want to get their fix of watching the Superstars annihilate each other. Hopefully we’ll get to see something even remotely close to this at some point in wrestling again. It’s not a bad idea at all. I mean after all…this is wrestling…isn’t it?

As I said, it is difficult to pick em this week because no one knows what types of matches the Superstars will compete in. However, it looks as if WWE will attempt to advance some of the storylines that’s been going on, and possibly spark a fire with some new ones. The unfortunate fall of Air Boom due to Evan Bourne’s second Wellness Policy violation can undoubtedly open the door for other teams looking to make a mark on the big stage. I have been writing about the USOS for quite some time now, and their time may be all but imminent. The family duo of Epico & Primo have been impressing fans and WWE officials alike for weeks now…hence their immediate ascension in light of Bourne’s 60-day suspension. The new champs will face the Samoan tandem of Jimmy & Jey Uso this Friday night in what could very well be the beginning of a great tag team rivalry. Come on WWE…you can do it!!! The situation between Daniel Bryan, Big Show, and Mark Henry is sure to elevate as the “questionable” champion is penned against the World’s Most Strongest Man once again. It also appears Wade Barrett will continue his attempt to force the Barrett Barrage on the WWE Universe as he steamrolls forward towards the Royal Rumble. All that and more is on tap for you to kick off your weekend this Friday night on SyFy when SmackDown comes your way from the dessert city of Las Vegas, Nevada!!!

Cody Rhodes vs. Hornswoggle

Primo & Epico (WWE Tag Team Champions) vs. The Usos

Sheamus vs. Wade Barrett

Ted DiBiase vs. Hunico

Mark Henry vs. Daniel Bryan

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Category: Wrestling.

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