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 29th, 2020 episode on Fox.
•Lacey Evans vs. Sonya Deville: We already know Sonya can cut a good promo. But there was no way to anticipate Deville having a real chemistry with Lacey Evans. They worked off each other well during their backstage faceoff, then they had a surprisingly fine match. Since WWE never officially turned Lacey Evans into a fan favorite, it made sense to have the ex-Marine attack Deville from behind. This could become a good feud.
•A Moment of Bliss: WWE actually had the New Day appear on Alexa & Nikki’s talk show as a device to set up their rivalry with Bayley and Sasha Bliss. I didn’t see that one coming, but I liked it.
•Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus: We didn’t get a great buildup for this match, but the Celtic Warrior and the Goat Faced Killer delivered in the longest match of the night.
•Fast Times at Mandy’s Pool: Nice work, everybody. We had a segment that fleshed out the Rozovic dynamic a little bit. It was nice to see Mandy shine, as she came to the segment and gave without taking.
•A Live Studio Audience: This is the first week with Performance Center trainees at ringside. This brough us more noise, more interaction for the wrestlers and more fun than an empty arena.
•The Crash: WWE’s attempt to create a “reality storyline” out of Jeff Hardy’s driving record came up short against the actual reality playing out on cable news. It was executed better than the usual skits on the program, but it wasn’t great. Having said that, I understand why WWE didn’t want to have Jeff Hardy lose clean so soon after his return. Normally, this would set up a feud between Jeff Hardy and Sheamus. It won’t happen here, because Smackdown producer Adam Pearce is going to have to fire Sheamus for running over Elias with a car and framing Jeff Hardy for a DUI. Or I am overthinking the situation?
•The Intercontinental Trail: After Jeff Hardy and Elias were removed from the tournament, we had an Impromptu roster meeting with Smackdown agent Adam Pearce. Pearce has always been good on camera, but this raised more questions than it answered. Why would Daniel Bryan insist on having someone else take Jeff’s spot in the tournament? He looked competitive, but he also looked naïve and a little foolish. And why expose how few wrestlers actually make up the Smackdown roster these days?
•Shorty G vs. Cesaro: I like watching Chad Gable wrestle Cesaro as much as the next fan does. But it really feels like creative has nothing for these two men. At the very least, they’re not doing anything new.
You can find Pat McNeill of Greenville, South Carolina on Twitter at @realpatmcneill. Listen to his weekly “Wayback Playback” watchalong podcast with Jim Valley HERE or sign up for their Patreon at HERE.