Hits & Misses 7/23 WWE Smackdown Hits & Misses: Ambrose vs. Sheamus, Sasha Banks Video, Owens' Promo, Rollins vs. Cesaro
Jul 24, 2015 - 5:17:12 PM
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By Jon Mezzera, PWTorch Specialist
Ambrose vs. Sheamus: I liked the start of Smackdown. WWE did a nice job of recapping some issues coming into the show and announcing some of the big matches for later on. Then, instead of what we get every week on Raw, we got an actual match to start off Smackdown. Dean Ambrose's presence got the fans excited right from the start. His match against Sheamus was good. The ending with the distraction from Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper was to be expected, but it worked. It furthered their issue with Ambrose and Romand Reigns, while also allowing for Mr. Money in the Bank Sheamus to bet the pin fall victory. I didn't mind Randy Orton beating Sheamus at Battleground, but for the most part, Sheamus should be winning to be kept strong, making him look like a deserving future WWE World Champion.
Sasha Banks Video: This was a good video package, helping to introduce a wider audience to the NXT Women's Champion. We need to see more of this for Charlotte and Becky Lynch as well. WWE can't just rest on having some people know them from NXT and having them look impressive in the ring. They need to establish their characters and their motives (beyond just shaking up the Divas division), and show why they would make a good team with their new partners. This video did that for Banks.
Owens's Promo: Kevin Owens gave the promo on Smackdown that he should have given on Raw. It wasn't great, but it was good enough and should have been done earlier in the week. I meant to give a Miss to a lack of mic time for Owens to Raw, so I was glad to see it here. I liked his excuse for tapping out. He always comes across as mostly reasonable, with enough heel characteristics to make fans realize that what he is saying is total b.s. It works for his character and he is very good at playing that character. His match that followed against Rusev was ok. It was a necessity I suppose after what happened in their tag match on Raw, but I'm not a fan of heel vs. heel matches. I couldn't really invest in the match as I didn't want to cheer for either of these two. But, it had solid wrestling action so I won't give it a Miss.
Cesaro - Owens: Owens vs. Rusev was followed by the backstage interview with Cesaro that Owens ultimately interrupted. This was a pretty good performance from Cesaro. He started out well in talking about all of his sacrifices to get to this point and wanting to prove himself against Seth Rollins. He was a bit shaky after Owens' initial interruption delivering the line about Owens knowing all about abandoning things since he always abandons his matches. I mean the line was ok, but the delivery was poor. However, his delivery after that point got back on track and he was good for the rest of the segment. Owens himself was good too. As I said before, he plays this character so well. I certainly don't mind the Owens vs. Cesaro feud that we are set to get. It has potential to elevate both wrestlers and should feature very good matches.
Naomi & Banks vs. The Bellas: While I do have some criticisms for how this whole Divas Revolution has been presented, the nice thing is that so far it has resulted in some longer good Divas matches. This tag match with Naomi & Banks taking on The Bella twins was another example. The match went over 12 minutes and featured good wrestling action. WWE is doing a nice job of mixing the news Divas with the old in these matches. I still wish they were more consistent with Team Bella in terms of heel vs. face. Here they were 100% babyface, but that just isn't always the case.
Rollins vs. Cesaro: A very good episode of Smackdown had a very good ending with the main event of Rollins vs. Cesaro. It shouldn't surprise anyone that Rollins and Cesaro would be able to have such a good match, especially given 13 minutes to work. The match went back and forth nicely and continued to show that Cesaro can compete with the top stars in WWE. Rollins is the Champion, so it was right that he got the win. But, he is also a heel so it made sense for him to take the shortcut and poke Cesaro in the eye to gain the upper hand and allow himself to win. The appearance by Owens afterwards to beat down Cesaro worked well to further their new feud. By having good matches and actually advancing some feuds, this felt like a consequential episode of Smackdown which I haven't been able to say much lately.
The Announcing: My thoughts and prayers are with Jerry Lawler and his family this week. I understand that having Byron Saxton on the announce team was a last minute move due to Lawler not being available. But, I don't need to hear Saxton on my tv twice in a week. Really, I don't need to hear him once. He has shown some improvement, but he still isn't very good. And Jimmy Uso seems totally miscast to me. He doesn't add much if anything to the broadcast team. And he isn't hurt. He is a good wrestler, even if his brother is injured. So, why not have him continuing to wrestle? His mic skills are far from his strong suit, so I don't understand why they made this move at all. He also has improved some, but not much. It is also awkward that he is playing a babyface announcer, at times having to discuss his wife's heel character. These three just didn't have any chemistry as a team and it took away from the show.
Jon Mezzera is PWTorch.com's WWE Hits & Misses Specialist, providing his point of view for Raw and Smackdown each week. Email him at his NEW email address - email@example.com.
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For another view from the original Hitlist author, compare Jason Powell's views to mine by visiting prowrestling.NET's "Hitlist" section here.
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