SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
So when I get mad, I make a fist. I grab my pen and I write out a list. Of all the wrestling stuff that hit and missed. Let’s see who’s made the WWE Smackdown Hitlist for the May 22nd, 2020 episode on FOX.
•Bayley vs. Charlotte: We’re going to get a lot of matches and storylines like this until WWE can wrestle in front of live fans again. The company is not going to give away its best matchups while we’re in quarantine. They’re also not going to advance big stories like the (eventual) Bayley-Sasha breakup. As a result, your Smackdown main event saw the Queen of Karens defeat the Queen of NXT in a match that can best be described as “entertaining filler”. I liked it, and WWE might the right call by having the “home team” champion go over.
•Otis Dozovic: Otis is getting the little things right. For example, we hsaw Mandy check on Otis after the big man got knocked into the ringsteps. At that point, Otis audibly told Mandy to get back into the ring and beat the count. Later, Otis managed to distract Sonya Deville long enough for Mandy to get some offense. Otis & Mandy’s out-of-ring chemistry might be flat, but their in-ring chemistry is improving.
•Memorial Day Video: It was nice for what it was. Call me when The Forgotten Sons cut a promo refusing to show up at Crown Jewel due to what happened on 9/11.
•The A.J. Styles Trade: The Phenomenal One will be part of the Friday Night flagship every week, and business just picked up. He is needed on Smackdown, and he was in danger of being lost in the shuffle on Raw. Good move. It would be an ever better move to have Styles win the Intercontinental Title and have Bryan or Jeff Hardy giving chase.
•Jeff Hardy vs. Sheamus: Good prematch promo by Jeff. Good work by both wrestlers. Good job by Cole & Graves setting up how important the match was to Jeff. And the match had a good finish, which left the viewers happy and anticipating next week’s show. Well done.
•The Dirt Sheet: Miz & Morrison use their talk show segment to call out WWE Universal Champion Braun Strowman. Okay. So far, so good. Strowman shows up and crashes the ring. By wrestling logic, Miz and Morrison can either double team the big man or take a powder. Neither one happens. Instead, Braun stops at the invisible line, so we can have more talking that leads to Miz fighting the champ in a throwaway non-title match.
After Miz gets pinned (in four minutes), Miz & Morrison challenge Braun to a handicap title match at Backlash. Instead of laughing them off, Braun acceptable. Instead of telling the Hollywood Brunettes to beat Braun in a non-title match to earn a shot, WWE signs Strowman vs. Miz & Morrison for the big show. Poor writing like this is why wrestling promotions can’t have nice things.
•Backlash Hype: If WWE is going to talk about Edge and Randy Orton having the “greatest wrestling match ever” on Raw, Smackdown and NXT, we’re in for a long three weeks.
•The A.J. Styles Trade: When Mr. McMahon adjusts his storylines and rosters on the fly, this is what we get. What does Raw get in return for sending a former two-time WWE Heavyweight Champion over to Smackdown? The Usos? Lars Sullivan? Mayor Kane? Bruce Prichard and a Hickory Farms gift pack?
Never mind. I just figured it out. Sheamus is going to Raw, isn’t he?