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Firefly Funhouse – MISS: I’m honestly not sure why Bray Wyatt and Randy Orton are feuding. I guess Wyatt is still mad about Orton burning his cabin all those years ago? Nothing that they have done with these two have made me care about their feud or want to see them wrestle. Knowing that they are going to wrestle at the next PPV, I had no interest in seeing them wrestle in this week’s main event just because Wyatt wouldn’t be wearing a mask in this match but he will be in the next one. Orton had a great 2020. It is a shame that it is ending this way.
Baszler vs. Asuka – MISS: In another world, Shayna Baszler vs. Asuka could headline a PPV. It could be a major Women’s Championship match at WrestleMania. Instead, it was thrown out on a random Raw without any type of advanced notice. It only lasted 5 or 6 minutes and most of that was on a commercial break. What a waste. I keep harping on it each week. This story is doing nothing for anyone involved.
Ali & Reckoning vs. Ricochet & Brooke – MISS: Dana Brooke has been so defined down during her entire time in WWE that it is crazy to give her wins over a new act like Mia Yim. They are telling the story of her getting losses to upset Mustafa Ali, but it further damages a talented new act who could mean something in a division which sorely needs a new star. I don’t care what happens in the future, the damage is already being done.
Miz TV – HIT: This is a minor Hit. I liked A.J. Styles at the beginning talking about his TLC match against Drew McIntyre. The Scottish accents from Miz and John Morrison were terrible. Of course, they were supposed to be terrible. But, I’m not giving them a pass for doing a good job of doing a bad job. It is still channel changing in its cringe-worthiness. I did like the job Sheamus did when he came out to interrupt. I have liked most of what WWE has done with Sheamus and McIntyre. McIntyre was good too. The physicality with Styles abandoning Miz & Morrison worked to end the segment. That briefcase toss by McIntyre was great too.
Hurt Business vs. New Day – MISS: The wrestling action in these two short matches was good, but the point is that they were too short. Shelton Benjamin has had a resurgence as part of the Hurt Business. But, he was defined down by losing to Kofi Kingston in 3 minutes. Cedric Alexander gets a boost from beating Kingston next, but not that much considering Kingston was injured in the first match. The announcers acted like Hurt Business earned another Tag Team Title match because of Alexander’s victory, but what about Benjamin’s loss right before? Shouldn’t they have to win a few tag team matches against other teams to re-earn a Title match? I am tired of watching these four wrestle each other. The redundancy is crazy. It feels like they are ultimately going to put those Titles on Alexander & Benjamin. But if that’s the case, why not have them win the Championship the first time?
McIntyre & Sheamus vs. Styles & Miz & Morrison – HIT: This is another marginal Hit. There was good wrestling action throughout. Sheamus and McIntyre continue to dominate Miz & Morrison which isn’t doing any favors to Mr. Money in the Bank. The confusion between Sheamus and McIntyre felt forced. I did like how Styles got the win as he needs to be kept strong going into TLC. But, he also played more of a chicken in refusing to enter the match for so long. I don’t feel that’s the best use of him, especially going into a WWE Title match against a total badass strong dominant wrestler like McIntyre. So, there was definitely some negative aspects to this match, but I enjoyed it just enough and it did a solid job of filling time on a 3 hour show. The fight in the back afterwards was ok. McIntyre doesn’t look great for thinking that Sheamus’ kick was accidental but still deciding to try to beat the crap out of him. The fight itself was fine and the end was amusing with them beating up Pat Buck to “make up” and leave as friends.
Riddle’s Character – MISS: So Matt Riddle is basically a goof who nobody likes, but he doesn’t realize that nobody likes him. How is that a character that is supposed to connect with an audience?
Hardy vs. Lashley – HIT: This was a good match between Jeff Hardy and Bobby Lashley. Normally, the US Champion would lose a non-title match like this, so it was good to see WWE going away from their normal formula. Lashley dominated most of the match, but Hardy got in enough offense and hope spots to keep the match interesting, especially when it had to last as long as it did. Of course there was a distraction in the match, but at least it came early in the match and didn’t play into the ending. I liked Riddle’s role here coming out to support Hardy than his dopey character backstage. I am intrigued by the possibility of a US Title match between Lashley and Riddle.
Orton vs. Wyatt – MISS: These two just don’t work well together in the ring. This was not a good match. It did not make me want to see them wrestle again. I appreciate the fact that Orton is not afraid of The Fiend. He didn’t cower at the lights going out and the tease of The Fiend. But, we’ve seen too many babyfaces crying at him in the past. It is the same problem that they had when babyfaces ran away in fear of Retribution while the heel faction Hurt Business bravely stood up to them. I wasn’t a fan of the hocus-pocus stuff at the end when Wyatt magically put a clown mask on. I have said many times before that I would have left all that paranormal stuff behind with The Undertaker. That belongs in a different era.
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 Jon on Twitter @JonMezzera.