SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
Bloodline opening segment – HIT
Sami Zayn was tremendous in this segment. Roman Reigns is the heartbeat of the Bloodline, but Sami is the pulse. This was the first time it felt like Sami didn’t sound or feel like s stooge in the ring in several years. I loved how Sami referenced Kevin Ownes as a black cloud and was fed up that Kevin Owens has been tied to his name throughout his entire career. Roman’s facial expressions continue to have you on the hook for the day the Bloodline turn on Sami.
Hit Row vs. Usos undisputed WWE tag team championship match – MISS
The nicest thing I will say about this match is that the Usos won clean. It may be in the best interest to send Hit Row to NXT to find their identity as a group, but Hit Row needs more than retooling as a group. The performance center won’t teach Hit Row how to work; these folks need to get back to basics. The Usos are one of the better working teams in WWE, and if you don’t look good against the champs, I’m not sure what your upward trajectory is in this tag division moving forward.
#1 Contender women’s gauntlet match – MISS
Let’s start with the good. Liv Morgan 2nd week in a row I’ve enjoyed her work in the ring. I hope she keeps this up as she tries to find her way back into the title picture. I apologize if I sound like a broken record. I want to be consistent as a reviewer. Why should I care about Emma and Tegan Nox? Emma has not won a match since resigning, and Tegan has already been pinned twice on television. Why should a fan care about these returning characters if a booker (Triple H) beats them like a drum? The result was never in doubt. Raquel Rodriguez was always going to go over this in the match. I preferred this same format that WWE did back in August, where Shayna Baszler went over Raquel Rodriguez to become the #1 contender. Raquel Rodriguez and Rhonda Rousey had a decent match back in May, but my spidey senses are tingling with this match being booked for next week. This match has no contest or DQ written all over it. I assume this feud gets dragged out until the Royal Rumble, where Rhonda goes over, and finally, we can get to Becky Lynch vs. Rhonda Rousey.
Bray Wyatt segment – MISS
Bray Wyatt still demands an apology from LA Knight, so in the worst feud of the year without anyone wrestling, this feud must continue. Bray Wyatt is listed internally within WWE as a babyface. Still, I don’t understand why a babyface attacks someone in the dark or would attack a cameraperson just because they lose their train of thought.
Rey Mysterio vs Angel Garza – Neither
This match was there and went only 4 minutes. So even with Rey Mysterio, this wasn’t a fun house show match. Karrion Kross looks on from the crowd as I imagine Kross and Mysterio are set for the Royal Rumble matchup.
Miracle On 34th Tag Team Street Fight – MISS
WWE should not do plunder-based matches anymore. At a minimum, these matches are meant to be fun, but it was just dudes hitting each other with kendo sticks. Braun Strowman and Ricochet defeat Imperium to build towards the pending Braun vs. Gunther match.
Final Thoughts: The Bloodline carries the show to build towards, which should be a substantial episode next week on Friday Night Smackdown.
CATCH-UP: Cody Rhodes addresses future on this week’s WWE Raw
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