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Opening Segment – MISS: This felt like the type of interview WWE should have done with Kofi Kingston on the first Smackdown after WrestleMania, not three weeks later. It was odd to see Michael Cole on Smackdown to begin with, and then to have him just recap Kofi’s journey to get the WWE Title match at WM and then the victory over Daniel Bryan was odd. Kofi should have come out on fire talking about what Kevin Owens did to him and Xavier Woods last week. He got there by the end, but the congratulations and the recap which led to the “you deserve it!” chant wasn’t needed and made Kofi look bad for being so happy instead of angry at Owens.
Bayley vs. Lynch – MISS: The quality of the wrestling in this match was certainly Hit worthy. Bayley and Becky Lynch are going to have a good match against each other. But, last week seemed like a new start for Bayley. She’s away from Sasha Banks which is good. She showed more of an edge which was needed. She had a very good match against Charlotte Flair and looked more like a star despite taking the loss. WWE then announced she would be in the Money in the Bank ladder match which was a nice way to capitalize on her momentum. But, then she lost to Becky moments later. After the match, she got destroyed by Charlotte. She was quickly defined down. Instead of having her face Becky (in what could easily be a big PPV match down the line), she should have gotten a win over anyone else on the roster. I wonder if she will get involved in the Charlotte vs. Becky match at MITB.
Aleister Black – HIT: I continue to be a fan of these Aleister Black sit down promos introducing him to the audience. This is the type of thing that should have happened before he and Ricochet got called up to the main roster and put in a tag team. I hope they serve him well when he finally gets back in the ring in a few weeks. Unlike the stupid Firefly Funhouse videos, these videos actually connect to wrestling. It is nice to hear Black talk about how his persona effects his opponents make references to beating opponents in wrestling matches. So it isn’t just about his character, but about how that character helps him as a wrestler.
Hardys – Sullivan – HIT: It is smart to turn Jeff Hardy’s real life injury into a storyline blaming Lars Sullivan for it. It is a shame that Jeff got hurt right when The Hardys were in line for a renewed push as the Tag Team Champions. At least if they can put heat onto Sullivan, then something good will come from it. The fact that R-Truth is the only babyface willing to come out and help the Hardys against Sullivan is not a great statement for the rest of the locker room.
Deville and Rose – HIT: This was a short, good segment with Sonya Deville and Mandy Rose. It is an example of how you can advance a storyline, get some character development, and create some intrigue in just a few minutes. We found out that only one of these friends can be in MITB, showed that they each still like each other despite having to pick which one gets to be in the match, and we got the ultimate decision in a way that left us thinking that maybe Rose was being disingenuous while Deville was more genuine. It was a good script and they played their parts well.
Reigns – B-Team – MISS: Roman Reigns had a chance to remake himself after his return from battling leukemia. He did good things early on when he first returned, but now is back to being the same old Big Dog. He will create resentment by calling Smackdown his yard. WWE will create resentment towards him by stacking the deck against him like this handicap match against The B-Team with Elias as the guest enforcer and still have him win in Super Reigns style. Also, how did the B-Team get to Smackdown? Why won’t the Superstar Shakeup ever end? The B-Team has some connection with the fans as lovable underdogs, so why have them playing heels and doing Shane McMahon’s bidding here? Why have Reigns punch Vince in the face only to have him say he only did it because Vince was the first person he saw? That was an odd explanation. Overall, this was a long stretch of time with a bad use of Reigns.
Andrade & Orton vs. Balor & Ali – MISS: Raw has a tag team with the two babyfaces in MITB against the two heels in MITB. Why did Smackdown have to do the same? Maybe when Smackdown moves to Friday nights, it won’t feel like such a copy cat so often. There was so much talent in this match, but it only went 8 minutes (the Reigns handicap match went 11!) and nearly half of that was on commercial. I couldn’t get into this match at all. I’m sure the quality was good, but the early commercial break and the quick ending meant the match didn’t amount to much.
The KO Show – MISS: Kevin Owens did his best to make the fans care about whatever he was talking about, but those live fans were sitting on their hands. I don’t blame them. He died out there. Crickets make more noise. After what Owens did last week, and how he got the better of Xavier Woods and re-injured him at the start of the show, why was it taking Kofi so long to come out and attack Owens? The interview with the two action figures was amusing, but didn’t feel main event worthy. The physicality at the very end was good, but it took too long to get to that point.
Jon Mezzera is PWTorch.com’s WWE Hits & Misses Specialist, providing his point of view for Raw and Smackdown each week. Email him at email@example.com.
Follow me on Twitter @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.