TOP 3 DEVELOPMENTS – SMACKDOWN 3/19: Miz Atones, Becky and Charlotte Face Off, Kofi Loses

By Jeff Vandrew Jr, PW Torch Specialist


Kofi Kingston (art credit Grant Gould (c) PWTorch)

MIZ ATONES…

Recap: The show led off with Miz in the ring, recapping Shane McMahon’s prior betrayal. He recounted that due to his singular focus on WrestleMania, he had spent his career taking shortcuts and taking advantage of people. He said he had ruined every relationship other than the ones with his wife and child.

He then recounted how his partnership with Shane directly led to  a level of success that caused his dad to tell him that he loved him and was proud of him for the first time ever. He said that the guys backstage had warned him about Shane being different from how he portrays himself on TV, but he didn’t want to believe it. Miz then became emotional as he told the story of Shane attacking his father.

Miz then said he wasn’t born with any privileges, and called himself a genuine success story. He said he was always told that he was average, but that his hard work would beat someone with talent who didn’t work hard enough. He contrasted this with Shane, who he said wasn’t born Best in the World, but was rather the “worst,” just like his father. Miz then gave a plug to Kofi Kingston before wrapping up the promo.

Evaluation: This was very good. Miz’s explanation of his years of treachery was emotional and believable. As fans, we understood why he did all those things. He was an underdog doing anything he could to get ahead.

I liked that Miz explicitly mentioned his wife and child as the relationships that he hadn’t let suffer, avoiding the normal WWE face trope of using a poor relationship with a wife and children as evidence of being a hard worker. On the other hand, the continual references to Miz’s dad never having told him he loved him before makes Miz’s dad out to be a heel.

Forecast: With all the emotion behind this story and the fact that Shane isn’t a full-time worker, Miz really should win at WrestleMania.

BECKY & CHARLOTTE FACE OFF…

Recap: At the bottom of the first hour, Kevin Owens came out for the “KO Show.” His guests were Charlotte and Becky Lynch. Owens read off a variety of prior trash talk from Becky, Ronda, and Charlotte, but finished by saying the fans didn’t want to hear them talk. They wanted them to fight. Owens then left the ring and the two began to brawl.

Referees and backstage hands struggled to get Becky and Charlotte under control. The brawl continued in fits and starts as they would pull apart and escape. Becky threw a security guard into the barricade at one  point. Eventually the camera went backstage as the continued to brawl, ending the segment.

Evaluation: Ending this segment by cutting to a backstage interview while the brawl continued was something directly from WCW. Otherwise it was okay, not great, not terrible.

Forecast: Nothing new happened tonight to make me think it’s less likely that Becky defeats Charlotte at WrestleMania.

Recap: Throughout the night, numerous faces (Owens, A.J., Miz) gave Kofi plugs. Just before the scheduled gauntlet, Daniel Bryan came out and disputed Kofi’s status as being held back by the McMahons. He said that Kofi was chosen for an unearned title shot out of the tag division. He said Kofi was a B+ Player and that the fans liked him because to them B+ was good enough.

KOFI IN THE GAUNTLET…

In the gauntlet:

  • Kofi defeated Sheamus with Trouble in Paradise, followed by an immediate European Uppercut from Cesaro
  • Kofi defeated Cesaro with the SOS
  • Kofi defeated Rowan by DQ after an attack with a chair followed by further brutality after the match
  • Kofi defeated Samoa Joe by sliding out of a Muscle Buster attempt into a rollup; Joe put Kofi out with a Coquina Clutch after the match
  • Kofi defeated Randy Orton with a rollup

After the match Vince McMahon congratulated Kofi, but then stated Kofi must defeat one more opponent to advance to WrestleMania. The opponent was Daniel Bryan. Vince ordered Big E and Xavier to leave ringside and wished him good luck.

Kofi nearly won the match with the SOS, but Bryan ultimately pinned with with a running knee.

Evaluation: Kofi is treated unfairly yet again. This angle has already hit maximum heat, so these additional denials to Kofi are only serving to kill time before WrestleMania.

Forecast: Based on the booking and fan reactions, it’s starting to look more likely that Kofi takes the title at WrestleMania.


NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S COLUMN: TOP 3 DEVELOPMENTS – SMACKDOWN 3/12: Shane Explains Himself, AJ & Randy Face Off, A Tougher New Day

6 Comments on TOP 3 DEVELOPMENTS – SMACKDOWN 3/19: Miz Atones, Becky and Charlotte Face Off, Kofi Loses

  1. I am glad Kofi lost. I am no fan of him and I sure hope he does not win at WM over Bryan. I was not happy at all seeing Kofi pin Samoa Joe. Vince likes to bury his stars. Vince had an A+ match with Becky against Rhonda but Vince had made that match much less exciting by putting Charlotte in it. Vince outright buried Becky over the last month with terrible booking of her to make her much less exciting to fans. Vince wanted her to lose steam so he outright buried her and messed up her character with a horrible storyline to deliberately derail her from becoming a huge star. He did the same crap to Sasha Banks years ago. WWE Creative is so bad with their writing I am tempted to not even watch WM 35 because I do not really care about it anymore.

    • I agree with everything you said except for the first part. I am a fan of Kofi, but you are right about the burying of stars. I loved watching the Gauntlet match and seeing Kofi win it, which I did not expect, but I hated seeing Joe and Orton take those unrealistic pins. It’s as if Vince thinks he needed to do this to make Kofi worthy enough of the Wrestlemania spot, but The Raw Womens and Mens title matches are already set to overshadow it. I personally think Kofi was already good enough for the title match, but even if you don’t, building him up this was seems counterproductive.

  2. Hey Vince, you wonder why Gedo has won Best Booker the past 3 years in the Wrestling Observer awards? Because he doesn’t get too cute for his promotion’s own good.

    Waiting for the contract signing of Bryan vs. Cena next week. This has been as disorganized a buildup for a WM as I’ve ever seen.

  3. OK, I love the developments column, and Jeff, you do a great job. I do have to take issue with one thing.

    For many years, JCP/ WCW was a good promotion, a fun promotion to watch, at least to me. Only in 1999-2000, early 2001 did it become a completely awful product, ran by narcissists and jerks who knew nothing about the business, and wrestlers who were overpaid taking advantage of that. Every time WWE does something stupid, it shouldn’t be referred to as “something straight out of WCW.” I won’t deny late WCW was atrocious, but for much of its existence, the promotion was a good one. Shockmaster? Yes, dreadful. The Bash at the Beach mini-movies (like the exploding boat, the White Castle of Fear, etc)? Horrible. But in-ring product, interviews, storylines for the most part were very good.

    In contrast, actually, I would say that the current state of WWE is pretty darn bad. Maybe switching to the interview is something WWE should/would have done — did.

  4. The state of the average wrestling fan in 2019 is a bit scary. I can’t tell you how many people I see online talking about how Vince is racist and that Kofi should go to AEW where he will be “treated with respect.” Every week the cameras pan to the crowd and you see grown adults with their jaws dropped or they appear to be visibly upset about something. It’s as if they can’t follow along with basic storylines or they’re just choosing to be a fan in kayfabe. Either way, it’s extremely weird and a bit scary.

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