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Naomi vs. Bliss: This was far from a Charlotte vs. Sasha Banks caliber match, but it was still a pretty good 10 minute match. It wasn’t great, but it was good enough to get a Hit. There was certainly good athleticism on display. And Bliss needed a clean win with her finisher to help build her up as a legit challenger to Becky Lynch’s Women’s Championship. I also like the job that Alexa Bliss is doing as a heel. The post-match interview was good in getting her character over and continued to build up to the eventual Title match.
Carmella and Nikki: I am not particularly high on either Carmella or Nikki Bella. But, both have things going for them. And they both performed well here. I continue to appreciate that WWE has a women’s feud on Smackdown that has nothing to do with the Women’s Title. They have one on Raw too which just wouldn’t have been the case a few years ago. And while I’m not that big a fan of either of these wrestlers, the story has been well told and in this case, they both were good. As a general rule, I’m not a fan of bringing things in from Total Divas or Total Bellas. However, it worked well in this case. It fit in with the storyline and with the personalities involved.
Natalya: This is a minor Hit since I got a kick out of Natalya’s performance and her dynamic with Daniel Bryan, and found it funny when WWE came back to them and she was still showing them Instagram pics of her cat. Now, Natalya was starting to be a good serious heel, so I didn’t like the fact that they went this route even though it was amusing. Also, it was ridiculous for Bryan to say that they only have 5 spots for the women on the Survivor Series team, so why would he pick Natalya? Well, maybe because there are only 6 to choose from in the first place, and one of those is Eva Marie and only an idiot would put her on the team ahead of any of the others? So, clearly I’m being too generous giving this a Hit.
Styles, Ambrose, and Ellsworth: My thoughts on this are similar to last week. The use of AJ Styles, Dean Ambrose and James Ellsworth was entertaining this week, but it wasn’t great. I liked the backstage scenes leading up to it, from Styles’ interview, to Ambrose giving Ellsworth his own t-shirt, to Ambrose trying to once again be named the special guest referee. The match itself was also fun, but it was very similar and redundant to last week. Ambrose’s antics were amusing. Styles played his part well. I liked how he wasn’t really effected that much by the distractions like when he easily moved out of the way when Ellsworth tried the cross body block from the top rope. The little bit of a near fall at the end was good. And I am hopeful that the intensity that Styles showed in getting disqualified at the end is a sign that they are going to move this feud away from this comedy stuff and get more serious with it soon. This is the same problem that Raw has with the good comedy involving their Universal Title picture, but the top Title shouldn’t be so tied to a comedy angle.
Orton-Wyatt Family: I continue to not care about the feud between Randy Orton and The Wyatt Family. Ooooh, Bray Wyatt is in a coffin. Spoooooky! The storyline is bad. The promos are bad. The cheesy effects are bad. The wrestling has been bad at times, and at best just ok. I wasn’t into the opening segment. I don’t want to see a Casket Match between Orton and Wyatt if that is where they are going which I assume it is. I really hope Wyatt and Orton aren’t both on Team Smackdown at Survivor Series. Orton’s match against Luke Harper was ok, but not particularly good. And Kane’s involvement doesn’t help since he is about as stale a wrestler as they have on the roster at this point. He brings more hocus pocus and more slow deliberate wrestling which were the two big problems with this feud in the first place.
Miz & Spirit Squad vs. Ziggler & Slater & Rhyno: This is a minor Miss. It was a decent enough match and giving Beauty and the Man Beast a new team like Spirit Squad to face for awhile before getting back to a team like the Usos is fine. The real problem is that after that huge win to save his career at No Mercy, Dolph Ziggler is back to where he was before just doing middling stuff like this semi-comedy match. He can get a big boost in his career from that win over The Miz, but not if he’s involved with the comedy teams of Slater & Rhyno and Spirit Squad. It is a waste.
NOW COMPARE MEZZERA’S HITS & MISSES TO JASON POWELL’S: Powell’s WWE Smackdown Live Hit List: James Ellsworth challenges AJ Styles for the WWE Championship, Carmella brings up Nikki Bella’s relationship with John Cena, Kane reappears in a coffin, Baron Corbin destroys Jack Swagger
Jon Mezzera is PWTorch.com’s WWE Hits & Misses Specialist, providing his point of view for Raw and Smackdown each week. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.