Wrestling Night in America Reunion: PWTorch columnist Greg Parks is joined by former PWTorch columnist Pat McNeill for a full match-by-match preview of WrestleMania 36
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Miz TV – MISS: Smackdown got off to a poor start this week with The Miz hosting Miz TV with guest John Morrison. I’m happy to see Morrison back in WWE and re-teaming him with Miz makes sense. Giving him some time to talk this week after that reveal last week made sense. But, this segment went on far too long without particularly good mic work from anyone involved. The Miz and Morrison part was ok at best. Part of the problem is that it stems from an arrest-able offense by Bray Wyatt in breaking into Miz’s house and threatening a child. You can’t go there in wrestling when you aren’t going to actually have police involvement. You got the predictable interruption by New Day. That part was particularly bad because of the way Morrison mocked Kofi Kingston for losing to Brock Lesnar in six seconds. The 8 second comeback wasn’t good. It reminded the audience of how poorly his WWE Title reign ended and how weak he looked for not caring or trying to get a rematch or anything. None of this was good and it went on forever.
Miz vs. Kingston – HIT: The match that followed, a rematch from last week between Miz and Kingston, was good. It went a nice length at 12 minutes. Morrison getting involved to help Miz win worked well. They are obviously going to build towards a Miz & Morrison vs. New Day Tag Team Championship match which has potential to be very good.
Elias – MISS: I continue to not be a fan of Elias’ babyface troll singing character. I don’t want to see him in the Royal Rumble. If each brand gets 10 wrestlers in the Rumble, Smackdown easily has 10 better than Elias at this point. I’m not interested in him right now at all.
Rose vs. Bliss – MISS: This Miss is really for the story surrounding the match. Overall, the story with Mandy Rose and Ottis has been ok, but here we have a heel wrestler winning a match because the babyface wrestler got distracted by another babyface wrestler coming out for no real reason. Shouldn’t the fans be mad at Ottis for costing Alexa Bliss the match?
Evans – Bayley – MISS: We got a bait-and-switch with the announced match of Sasha Banks vs. Lacey Evans not happening. I get that Banks’ flimsy excuse is supposed to get heat on her and her buddy, the Smackdown Women’s Champion Bayley. But, it really gets heat on WWE instead. My other issue is that Evans was putting down Banks for being in California, my state, and not in the heartland of America. That gets a cheap pop in Indiana, but how are the fans in the largest state in the country going to react to her? I’m not going to cheer her, that’s for damn sure. There’s plenty of ammunition of her not being there at all to have to go the cheap pop route that Evans went which only works in the moment. And neither Evans nor Bayley were good on the mic otherwise.
Wyatt – Bryan – MISS: Does Bray Wyatt have multiple personalities – the host of the Firefly Funhouse, The Fiend, and all the puppets too? Or is he just messing with people? I don’t care. Bryan gave a good interview about his history with Wyatt, but then he gets interrupted by a puppet rabbit. It is hard to take serious. Seeing a dead puppet later in the show was stupid. Am I supposed to feel bad that the puppet got murdered? It is clear that they are setting up Roman Reigns to face The Fiend for the Universal Title (or WWE Title, I honestly don’t remember which one it is) at WrestleMania, so Bryan is just a place holder, so I can’t really get into this match as I don’t feel he has any chance to win.
Strowman vs. Nakamura – HIT: This wasn’t as good as the Braun Strowman vs. Cesaro match from last week, but it was still good. I’m not a fan of having a Champion like Shinsuke Nakamura lose. I don’t like non-title matches at all. Strowman was earning an Intercontinental Championship match without having to beat the IC Champion. But, it was a good match and hopefully a sign that they will have another good match for the Title.
Reigns and The Usos – HIT: The mic work from Reigns and the Usos before the main event was strong. It was good to see them all together with their family bond on display. The interruption by Baron Corbin with Dolph Ziggler was ok. The only problem that I had with it was that it set up Reigns vs. Corbin for the Royal Rumble when they are both already in the Rumble match itself. WWE has far too much talent between the three brands to have wrestlers do double duty. They can have Reigns vs. Corbin on Smackdown next week, or the final show before the PPV, or save the match for later. Why have it on the same night? There are other wrestlers who can have matches on the PPV without appearing in the Rumble, or take away a match and make the show shorter!
Main Event – MISS: WWE built up to this tag match, but it was too gimmicky with The Revival coming out at one point, being beat up by Reigns, who then stayed at ringside and later cost his cousins the match by getting them disqualified. The return of Robert Roode was fine. It got the heels the advantage and sets up a six man tag. But, overall, Corbin, Roode and Ziggler being the top heels behind Wyatt (and as I’ve made perfectly clear, I’m not a fan of him either) is pretty week.
CHECK OUT JASON POWELL’S ORIGINAL HITLIST ON THIS PROGRAM 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 email@example.com.