SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
Opening Scene – MISS: If Smackdown was a non-scripted show, the director would NEVER start the show with a shot of Shane McMahon on the phone, just hoping something interesting would happen. What if Elias hadn’t walked in? The other problem here is that you once again have a McMahon emasculating a wrester as Shane stood there insulting Elias to his face the entire time while Elias took it.
New Day – HIT: It was nice to see Big E back after six weeks being gone with an injury. It was typical goofy New Day stuff which I’m not a fan of, but given this was his first night back, it made sense to go that route. Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens were good in their interruption. It was interesting how Owens didn’t say anything, but got disgusted and left. I assume they are setting up an Owens vs. Big E match. Zayn was good on the mic. Kofi Kingston got serious at the end which was nice. This nicely set up Kingston vs. Zayn for later in the show.
24/7 – MISS: This is a stupid concept. I don’t want to talk about it every show since it will be featured on both Raw and Smackdown each week. So going forward, just assume that it is a Miss unless I talk about it specifically. This second week underscored that this is a silly low card comedy title. It is frivolous. I like the combination of Carmella and R-Truth so it was fine that he went to her for help. But, their comedy wasn’t as good as it can be. I did find it amusing that Truth ended up keeping the Title. If he actually holds onto it for 3-4 months, this might turn into a Hit.
Ali vs. Andrade – HIT: It is not surprising that Ali and Andrade had a good match in the battle of the guys who lost half of their name. These are two very talented wrestlers and it was nice to see them in a 12 minute match. They told the story of Andrade taking advantage of Ali’s injured back to make Ali a big underdog as the match built to the end. If Ali weren’t scheduled to face The Demon Finn Balor at Super Showdown, I wouldn’t have any issues with this match. But given that he is scheduled for that match, it would have made more sense to keep him strong and give him that win. At least it was a surprise leverage pin. It was a good match either way.
Dolph Ziggler – HIT: Nobody was expecting Dolph Ziggler to attack Kingston after his match against Zayn. The match itself was good, but too short at to amount to much considering how good a match these two could have in a longer match on a bigger stage. But, the post-match attack from Ziggler was unexpected and well done. It was physical and vert memorable. Having Corey Graves question Ziggler’s actions and talk about how he had gone too far in trying to make a statement helped to make that statement since he usually gives excuses to every heel’s actions. Ziggler’s promo later on was interesting. It was a different presentation for Ziggler considering he wasn’t doing his usual yelling for no reason bit. He wasn’t great, but good in showing emotion over the situation. It was almost like he was sorry for what he did, while saying he had to do it. I’m curious to see where they go with him. It is likely a one off against Kingston, but they needed someone to face him next for the WWE Title and there wasn’t a great option on the established Smackdown heel roster.
Lynch & Bayley vs. Charlotte & Evans – HIT: This should have been the main event. It should have been given more time, but given that it was over 8 minutes and it wasn’t interrupted by a commercial break, I shouldn’t complain. This was a match with the top four women in the company right now, the two Champions, Becky Lynch and Bayley, and their two top challengers, Charlotte Flair and Lacey Evans. It was a good match. I appreciate that the new Smackdown Women’s Champion got the win. In the past, WWE has too often made new Champions look weak with losses coming so soon after winning the Title. They have done a good job of keeping Kingston strong since WrestleMania, and it was good to see Bayley get the win here coming out of Money in the Bank. The tension between Becky and Bayley before the match was nice too as it fit in with Becky’s character to not just accept the fact that she is no longer the Smackdown Women’s Champion.
Reigns vs. Elias – HIT: This was a pretty good match with Elias taking advantage of the help from Shane to get the better of Roman Reigns for much of the match. It was far from great, but just good enough to get a Hit. The post-match surprise Claymore Kick from Drew McIntyre worked well. I am not sold on McIntyre as Shane’s bodyguard, but given what was set up on Raw, this made sense.
For another viewpoint, check out Jason Powell’s original “Hitlist” column on ProWrestling.net covering this episode HERE.
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.
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.