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New Day vs. Orton & The Revival – HIT: It was nice to see Smackdown start off with a very good 6 man tag match that went 20 minutes. There were a few parts that dragged some when the heels were in control, so it might have been better at 17 minutes, but that is a minor complaint as it was overall a fun match to watch. New Day brought a lot of energy. Presumably their feud over the Smackdown Tag Team Championship will continue against The Revival which is good.
Brock Lesnar – HIT: I can honestly say that I did not see that coming at all and I assume that very few people were predicting that Brock Lesnar would come out to challenge Kofi Kingston. The first episode of Friday Night Smackdown on FOX needed a hook and this is a very good one. Lesnar should create some intrigue and get more attention for the show. I’m personally over Lesnar as Champion, so I’m not sure I would want to see him win the WWE Championship. But, we’ll see what happens.
Rowan Interview – MISS: Erick Rowan hasn’t been impressive on the mic since breaking away from Daniel Bryan. He was doing his Joe Pesci impersonation from “Good Fellas” which was odd. Part of me says it was good to hear Michael Cole acknowledge the fact that Rowan tried to kill Roman Reigns, but unfortunately that just reminds us how stupid this storyline has been in the setting of a pro wrestling context.
Owens Sues Shane – MISS: There are certain things that I don’t like to see in wrestling angles (like attempted vehicular homicide) and lawyers is one of them. A babyface’s comeback to an injustice shouldn’t be “talk to my lawyer.” I mean, it makes sense given the story that they’ve been telling, but that only shows that it is a stupid story. And the idea that if Kevin Owens wins his wrongful termination lawsuit against Shane McMahon that he’d be able to fire Shane seems a bit far fetched.
Charlotte vs. Banks – MISS: This Miss is 90% for how this match was booked and 10 percent for the effort put in by Charlotte Flair and Sasha Banks. The Boss is taking on The Man inside Hell in a Cell next month for the Raw Women’s Title, a match that was just made the night before this. She just came back from injury and needs the wins and the momentum. Having her lose here, even via a disqualification is a mistake. She was going to tap out to Charlotte’s figure 8, and having her saved by Bayley doesn’t change that. The match was good for the most part as they are two very talented workers. I still say Charlotte has to stop dong the moonsault. This one was well executed, but it took her so long to climb to the top rope that it made Bayley and Banks look terrible for standing there and watching her climb that whole time. The camera clearly showed them standing looking up at her as she started to climb. I don’t know, maybe walk away slowly and not stand there the entire time? So, that took away from the quality of an otherwise good match. But as I said, the match probably shouldn’t have happened at all, or they should give Banks a win with Bayley’s help. Carmella who has been only involved in 24/7 silliness coming to Flair’s aid was strange. Neither Banks nor Bayley should be selling for Carmella at this point.
Corbin’s Coronation – HIT: This is a minor Hit for the fact that Chad Gable finally showed some fire. It is too little too late in that by losing the finals of the King of the Ring tournament, he proved his detractors right. He is a short loser. He didn’t get it done when he needed to, so watching him attack Corbin here was only a small consolation prize. It is better than just having Corbin doing a lame King schtick which I feared. I hope that by destroying the throne, robe, scepter and crown, WWE is going away from that cheesy stuff. It is fine to call him King Corbin, but don’t do the stupid King stuff with him talking about peasants and having a court and “All Hail King Corbin” crap. And a fired up Gable is better than a sad one.
Rowan & Harper Destroy Bryan and Reigns – HIT: Smackdown ended strong with the total carnage as Rowan and Luke Harper destroyed Daniel Bryan and Roman Reigns. The promo from Bryan which started the segment was interesting. It was hard to get a read on him. It is like he is trying to continue to play the same character, but be a babyface. Can he be closer to that character, but drop a lot of the preachy stuff that was a turnoff (even if he is right about his environmental activism) and make a good babyface? Time will tell. As I said, I’m not impressed with Rowan on the mic. But, he and Harper do make a good team. It is nice to have Harper back after a long hiatus. The physicality was very memorable with them using the numbers game to get the better of Bryan at first and then Reigns when he tried to make the save.
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 him on Twitter @JonMezzera
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