TV Club: A forward-moving SmackDown! channels the Ruthless Aggression Era

WWE loves to put very episodes into its holiday episodes. Come Christmas time, a stage with trees, candy canes, presents are the bare minimum; just throw in a Miracle on 34th Street Fight and maybe an attack on Santa Claus (who, given his leadership on Monday Night RAW, kind of deserves it) to round it all out. It’s not necessarily a bad thing—WWE can do bad episodes any week, with or without a holiday theme—as there’s usually at least some bit of fun during these shows. But the thing about something as innocuous as Alberto Del Rio hitting Santa with his care and John Cena promising vengeance is that it happened the week after Del Rio’s face turn in front of a raucous Philadelphia crowd. A throwaway episode ended up throwing out character development, which is something WWE does far too often for being so …

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