Shore's WWE Smackdown Hit List: Randy Orton vs. Chris Jericho Hits even as the announce team distracts rom it, Bo Dallas gets it right, Summer Rae and Layla score big, Roman Reigns has a rough night, and more
By Chris Shore
WWE Smackdown Hits
Randy Orton vs. Chris Jericho: An entertaining match with a finish that managed to keep Jericho strong enough to not damage his upcoming match with Bray Wyatt. This wasn't a high spot type of match, just a well thought out match with solid ring psychology. My only complaint about it was the announce team spending so much time talking about other things (see below), which did manage to take away from the match some. We've seen these guys work together before, but it was a nice reminder of what they can do together, and I wouldn’t mind seeing it again on Raw or even on a PPV where they could really show out.
Bo Dallas: I don't know if beating up El Torito is the best way to draw heat from anyone over the age of 10, but Dallas right now is on a Hit streak. After spending way too much time in an ambiguous state, Dallas is finally starting to be the douche we saw in NXT and is getting the right reactions from the crowd. If WWE can keep him on this path he will be a solid mid-card heel in no time.
Summer Rae and Layla dancing: This story jumped the shark a long time ago, and the actual dancing from the two women isn't that big of a deal. But the crowd reaction to this moment is what made this a big Hit. If you haven't seen this yet, please go watch it for the guys in the front row if nothing else. The dawning realization that there might be a pseudo-lesbian moment in the ring is hands down the funniest moment of the whole show. Plus, this gets a Hit because it appears this tired storyline is finally over.
WWE Smackdown Misses
Roman Reigns promo: Reigns wasn't terrible in his promo, but he gets a miss on it if for no other reason that the use of "boy" to punctuate his sentences. That's a tired and cliché troupe that he will have to break if he wants to be taken seriously as a main eventer. As someone who grew up listening to rednecks use it constantly, it comes across empty and ignorant. Especially when talking to a man the size of Rusev. It will only stick out worse if the Internet rumors of Reigns ultimately facing, and beating, Brock Lesnar are true.
Roman Reigns vs. Rusev: It wasn't a good night for Reigns on the whole as his match also gets a miss. It's not that the match was bad. There were no blown spots or anything of that nature. But it wasn't all that good either. It came across as an opening brawl for the entire 10 minutes of the match. Plus, you know WWE is going to protect Rusev, as they should, so it was hard to buy in knowing that a screwy finish had to be coming. Rusev, for all his impressive size, doesn't come across as a main eventer yet either, so this felt out of place on the end of the show. All of that combined to give this a miss. None of this really hurt Reigns, but there can be no doubt it was a bad night for him.
Announce team duties: This isn't an indictment of Michael Cole and JBL as much as it is on what they are expected to say. There were several moments during the show when they were so busy selling other things that is directly distracted from what was going on in the ring. The Jericho vs. Orton match had the most glaring example, but it wasn't the only time. I understand the need to sell the WWE Network, but telling people they can go see a Steve Austin documentary by switching over in the middle of a match, especially a match with that level of talent, is absurd.
Randy Orton's promo: I don't want to oversell this, but when Orton said some people call Jericho a legend it stood out for all the wrong reasons. Jericho is in my top 10 of all time talents, but I believe words have meanings and legend is just too strong for him. Legends are people who have reached a mythical status, and Jericho--a guy who absolutely deserves to be in the Hall of Fame when he hangs up his boots--hasn't achieved that level of success. I realize it was a way for them to allow Orton to use his "Legend Killer" moniker, and it's not a mortal sin by any means, but it was still a miss.
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