SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
Liv Morgan Tegan Nox vs. Damage Ctrl for the women’s tag team championship – MISS
The work got there in the last 3 minutes of the match. I want to complement Liv Morgan. This was the best work I’ve seen from here in a long time. Beating a new debut in their first match is the worst WWE trope. Why should I care about Tegan Nox? You just had her distracted and pinned in the middle of the ring. With this Triple H era of WWE, I would appreciate it if he let the handcuffs of the women’s division. You can tell if these women are so worried about following a script rather than just wrestling.
L.A Knight Bray Wyatt backstage and in-ring promos – DOUBLE MISS
Bray Wyatt is saying he’s sick of L.A Knight? No, Bray, we are sick of you and this entire bit. L. A Knight said what we feel about Bray’s whole gimmick, but once you show fear of the cereal killer act, you are a geek. With the production WWE has available, could Kevin Dunn get a laugh track that is in sync with whatever goofball dressed up in the Uncle Howdy costume?
Gunther vs. Ricochet Intercontinental Championship – HIT
Fantastic match between these two. The last 3 minutes of this match were incredible. Ricochet realizing he has to go chop for chop with Gunther to slay the champion was a good touch. Gunther’s 2022 has been phenomenal, and cheers to a great 2023.
Triple threat Legado del Fantasma vs. Hit Row vs. Viking Raiders – MISS
Reports from Wrestlevotes this week detailed that some talent brought back in the “rehiring wave” over the summer have underperformed and severely underwhelmed Triple H & others since returning to the company. I’ve been firm in saying Triple H has not done any favors for Hit Row since their re-debut, but man, it’s time to say Hit Row needs to go back down to NXT. This act isn’t connecting with the audience, and Top Dolla almost killed himself on live television. Legado del Fantasma looked miles ahead of the other teams and would have been the obvious choice if WWE was looking to have a fun t.v match. Unfortunately, the Usos have their work cut out next week, as Hit Row will face off against the team champs.
Bloodline closing segment – MISS
The segment was used as a fixture to set up the main event tag match in two weeks with K.O. and John Cena. The match on the night should be very good, but I would have liked to see more substance from the main event segment of WWE Smackdown.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Gunther vs. Ricochet are the MVPs of this show, but other than that, the most significant talking points from this show will be the Cena return and Top Dolla almost breaking his neck.
CATCH-UP: RADICAN’S TAKE: What does no TV deal mean for ROH’s future?
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