WWE SMACKDOWN HITS & MISSES 6/25: Angry Shane McMahon, Champions Losing Non-Title matches, Nakamura appearance, Aleister hears a knock, KO walks out on Sami

By Jon Mezzera, PWTorch Specialistn

Shane McMahon (photo from McMahon's Twitter banner)


Opening Segment – MISS: Smackdown started off with Angry Shane McMahon. I’m so over him. There hasn’t been any reason why he is now running both Raw and Smackdown while the rest of the McMahon family is totally out of the picture. Then you get New Day which was ok, but Dolph Ziggler came out and I lost interest. He talked about WWE Management. What does that mean? Are there decision makers other than Shane at this point? If so, who are they? Who is WWE management? And if it is Shane, why not just say Shane? Stomping Grounds had a chance to be the end of several storylines, but instead most of them are continuing. So we had to get one more match between Ziggler and Kofi Kingston.

Owens Walks Out on Zayn – MISS: There was a long stretch of solid wrestling that followed the opening segment. It started out with New Day vs. Bryan & Rowan. This was a solid, but not quite Hit-worthy ten minute tag match which ended with the Tag Team Champions losing. Then we got the attack by Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens, followed by the save from Heavy Machinery, followed by a commercial and a five minute eight-man tag which was also ok, but not Hit-worthy. The story coming out of that match was that as Otis was setting up the caterpillar on Zayn, Owens got disgusted and walked out on his team. This seems to be setting up yet another feud between Owens and Zayn. We don’t need that. WWE seemed to smartly put them on separate brands in the Superstar Shakeup, but that has been undermined by the Wildcard Rule and now they are together all the time. They are a fun team, but at some point (and it may have just started) they are going to split up and feud for the 17th time.

Ali Vignette – MISS: I liked the audio from this. Mustafa Ali can talk and can connect to the fans with promos like he delivered in this vignette. These types of promos have worked for him in selfie videos he’s done in the past which felt raw and unscripted. However, the imagery playing during his voice over felt so over produced and fake that it took away from what he had to say. This was the opposite of the types of social media videos that helped him connect to the 205 Live audience once upon a time.

Miz vs. Elias – MISS: This is just more of the same. I do like WWE trying to find ways to not have matches going on during the commercial breaks, but the sudden use of 2 out of 3 falls matches is getting out of hand. We keep getting these first falls that last 1-2 minutes when a 1 fall match between the same wrestlers would never end that quickly. This was more of an angle than a match despite having 3 falls. It was a continuation of a feud that won’t end between Miz and Shane. It was once again an example of Roman Reigns being used on Raw instead of his own show. I’m not complaining that he wasn’t on twice, but he should only be on Smackdown.

Nakamura Appears – HIT: Despite having a disappointing run in WWE, Shinsuke Nakamura is an underutilized talent. A feud with him and Finn Balor over the Intercontinental Championship certainly has potential. This Hit is really just for seeing Nakamura who hasn’t been on and the hope that it leads to something good. I hope he actually does something to earn a Title match, and it can’t just be beating Balor in a non-Title match. Samoa Joe lost the United States Championship, but the next night “earned” a WWE Title match by attacking the Champion from behind. So, I don’t want Nakamura to “earn” an IC Title match just by walking up to Balor and looking at him. Give us a storyline.

Champions Losing – MISS: This Miss is a bridge Miss for Raw and Smackdown. Both Raw and Smackdown Tag Team Champions lost in an elimination 8 man tag on Raw. Ricochet lost to AJ Styles one night after winning the United States Championship in the Raw main event. On Smackdown, Bryan & Rowan lost to New Day. Technically they lost as part of the 8 man tag match too even if neither of them took the pin. So really, that’s 3 losses for the Smackdown Tag Team Champs in two days. Bayley lost to Nikki Cross. That was another solid, but not quite Hit worthy match which is going to lead to another Stomping Grounds rematch. Kofi Kingston is the only Champion who seems to win these days. It is a pattern that has been going on too long, not just this week.

Aleister Black – HIT: Aleister Black’s agitated performance was very strong this week as he was totally exasperated by the fact that nobody will answer his challenge to pick a fight with him. Finally, at the end of his rant, someone knocked on his door. The smile on his face at that point worked well as he showed he was ready to fight. The problem is that he didn’t answer the door. It was supposed to be a hook to find out who was knocking at the door, but next week will be in a different arena. So, whoever was at the door this week shouldn’t be outside his door next week. That wouldn’t make any sense. I’m still giving it a Hit for his performance and the promise that it is moving on to a new stage next week, but the ending was certainly odd.

Ziggler vs. Kingston – HIT: This is a marginal Hit. We once again got some quick falls in this 2 out of 3 falls match. That formula needs to change if WWE is going to keep this up. But, the effort put into the match from Ziggler and Kingston was strong. The last fall was particularly good as the match built to the ending with Kingston kicking out of a ZigZag, and finally hitting the Trouble in Paradise for the win. Kingston continues to win his matches and look strong as WWE Champion. This was predictable as it was highly unlikely that Ziggler would be added to Kingston vs. Joe for a triple threat match. But that’s ok. At least Ziggler should be totally out of the WWE Title picture now.

For another viewpoint, check out Jason Powell’s original “Hitlist” column on ProWrestling.net covering this episode HERE.

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.

Jon Mezzera is PWTorch.com’s WWE Hits & Misses Specialist, providing his point of view for Raw and Smackdown each week. Email him at jmezz_torch@yahoo.com.

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4 Comments on WWE SMACKDOWN HITS & MISSES 6/25: Angry Shane McMahon, Champions Losing Non-Title matches, Nakamura appearance, Aleister hears a knock, KO walks out on Sami

  1. I disagree…I liked the Ali vignette for that very reason, it was a nice counterpoint to the previous selfie-type vignettes…I think it should have had the graphic of his name onscreen. Let’s hope this guy gets the push and treatment he deserves…he busts his ass every time he’s in the ring!

    • Ok Mustafa is in my Fave Five and i stan for him HARD, but I’ve gotta be objective here.

      As a HUGE fan of his 205 vignettes, i was stoked to see one on SDL. While it was indeed well done, there was no crescendo or hook that would make it memorable. It was just there.

      Not to editorialize too much, but IMO it’s yet another brilliant component from the periphery of WWE totally watered down on the Main Roster. Most tellingly, it was the first of his vignettes that I didn’t immediately rush to send all my rassle friends.

      It was just okay. For Mustafa Ali, just okay isn’t okay at all.

  2. Because I’m stubborn as heck I’d be adding a miss every week that Buddy Murphy isn’t seen or mentioned.

    This was well worth getting him off 205 Live for…

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