SMACKDOWN HITS & MISSES 12/13: Fatal Four-Way for No. 1 Contendership, Nikki Bella attacker mystery, Miz TV, Battle Royal

By Jon Mezzera, PWTorch Specialist

The Miz (Photo credit Scott Lunn @ScottLunn © PWTorch)



Pre-Open Recap: This Hit is for the concept of what WWE did with the pre-opening recap on Smackdown, not as much for the specific content of it. Instead of just showing a recap video of what happened last week involving Dean Ambrose, The Miz, and James Ellsworth, they showed the video being watched and reviewed by Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan. We got their immediate reaction to what happened in their response to Ellsworth. I found it to be a better way of recapping than just a video. It put the recap in the context of the story with them chastising Ellsworth for what he did last week. I may not have liked the way they were so disgusted by Ellsworth’s cold. But, this is a good tool to keep using going forward.

Fatal Four-Way: I did not love the fatal four way to determine a #1 contender for Styles’ WWE World Championship. I hated how the match came about (more later). But, the match was good enough to get a Hit even with some of the issues I had with it. I appreciate that this was an elimination match. I appreciate that with so much interference in these matches lately, it was set up to do away with that interference by saying that if someone interfered on a wrestler’s behalf, that wrestler would be disqualified. While there were a few moments in the match where a save was made that didn’t make sense (why would you stop Luke Harper from doing a torture rack on Dolph Ziggler? He might get a tap out victory to eliminate one of your competitors), most of the match was booked well. I don’t know why David Otunga was so down on Miz trying to get pins on wrestlers hurt by other wrestlers as picking up the scraps or whatever he said. It is an elimination match. Get an elimination any way you can. But, the wrestling action was pretty good throughout. They played their parts well and contributed to the match. I was disappointed that after promising no interference, Miz came back to interfere after being eliminated. They are setting up more of him against Dean Ambrose which is ok with Ziggler ultimately getting the win, despite not seeming like a deserving challenger at this point (again, more later).


Miz TV: I liked the beginning of this segment with Miz interviewing Styles. It was a nice change of pace to have Miz interviewing someone he gets along with instead of the usual constant bickering back and forth that we usually get on Miz TV. I liked their mutual admiration society. But by the end, they were doing the same thing as two heels arguing against each other as usually happens with one heel and one face. And then you got the interruption by Ambrose and then again by Ziggler. Everything went downhill at that point. The ultimate problem is that Ambrose has lost multiple times to Styles, even if it has been because of Ellsworth. He lost to Miz last week. He doesn’t seem worthy of being #1 contender to the WWE World Championship at this point. And Ziggler has lost multiple times to Miz for the Intercontinental Championship lately, so he doesn’t seem worthy either. And then you have the ridiculously random appearance by Luke Harper who isn’t a strong challenger at all. And just because those three happened to run out at that point, they had somehow earned a #1 contender match? If Tyler Breeze had run out after Harper and attacked them all, would he have been added to the match? What a sad batch of possible World Title contenders. This is a result of the crappy way WWE has handled its top stars on Smackdown where there isn’t a good option to face Styles next.

Who Attacked Nikki Bella?: The answer is, I don’t care. I like a good mystery in my wrestling storylines every once in a while. But, this isn’t a good mystery. I have a feeling that if we ever get a resolution (and I’m not convinced we will get one), it won’t be a big deal. The crowds aren’t reacting strongly to Natalya or Carmella. Their match was fine, but Natalya looked like such a fool for ignoring her match to try to talk to Nikki about who attacked her right in the middle of it. Natalya has been a heel and I have liked her character lately, but here we are supposed to ignore that she has been a heel to accept the fact that despite being a heel since she and Nikki are friends on “Total Divas” that she isn’t really a heel or something. But the fans aren’t going to react positively to her over Carmella since she has been a heel. Nikki wasn’t very good on guest commentary either. She was ok, but not good enough to elevate the situation.

Tag Team Battle Royal: Did I miss an injury to the Usos? Why weren’t they in this battle royal? If I did miss it which is possible, did they announce it on Smackdown ever? Was there a reason given on tv for them not being in this match? Anyway, this wasn’t very good. It shows that splitting up the tag teams into two separate divisions isn’t a good idea. Yes they have enough teams to fill out two rosters, but not enough good teams. Now they have two singles wrestlers who are a team for some reason in Randy Orton and Bray Wyatt as the Tag Team Champions, replacing two other singles wrestlers who had been randomly placed together in Rhyno and Heath Slater. Plus there are only two other really good established teams in the Usos and American Alpha, neither of whom is now in the Title picture. I’m ok with the Hype Bros winning to have a short program against the Wyatt Family. But, this mostly boring battle royal points out the lack of quality teams on Smackdown.

Bliss vs. Lynch: The mic work from Alexa Bliss before the match ignoring her opponent and ultimately beating her up was good. Becky Lynch was fine in interrupting and trying to once again get her rematch for the Women’s Championship. The match should not have happened right away. It felt forced when Shane came out to make the match. And then the match itself was not good. It was ok while it lasted, but not great. The real issue is that Bliss was faking a knee injury and hobbling around outside the ring to get herself counted out. Why did Lynch allow her to do that? Why didn’t she go out there after her? This was not a case where the referee was holding her back to allow Bliss a chance to see if she could continue wrestling. She was outside getting counted out while Lynch stood there in the ring letting it happen. And right after the count out was announced, she then went out and attacked Bliss and threw her back in the ring. What the hell was she waiting for? This made her look so bad. I mean she looked terrible. The match was still going. She wasn’t running away up the ramp. Go get her and get your Title back.

NOW CHECK OUT THE RAW HITS & MISSES COLUMN: RAW HITS & MISSES 12/12: New Day, Gallagher, The Rollins Report, Roadblock Hype, Sami Zayn-Braun Strowman

OR CHECK OUT JASON POWELL’S HITLIST ON THIS SAME SHOW: Powell’s WWE Smackdown Live Hit List: Four-way determines the No. 1 contender to the WWE Championship, battle royal determines No. 1 contenders to the Smackdown Tag Titles, Alexa Bliss vs. Becky Lynch for the Smackdown Women’s Championship

Jon Mezzera is’s WWE Hits & Misses Specialist, providing his point of view for Raw and Smackdown each week. Email him at Act now and become my 68th Twitter follower@JonMezzera (pretty clever handle right?). Just be aware that I don’t live tweet Raw, I don’t tweet much about wrestling, and I don’t tweet much at all.

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