By Chris Shore
WWE Smackdown Hits
The Shield: WWE decided Smackdown was going to be the place where they showcased the Shield and it led to a huge Hit for the team and the show. In fact, the only quibble I have with any of the Shield segments concerns Dean Ambrose's attack on Brad Maddox, and that wouldn't have been so bad if Maddox hadn't taken the roughest bump of the night when they slammed him into the wall. And of course the Shield gets an even bigger Hit for preventing yet another terrible match involving the mix of Santino. Emma, Fandango, and Layla. That, more than anything else, made me pop for the three men! In all seriousness, WWE did a fantastic job of building these three guys tonight and I'm looking forward to what they do on Raw.
Bray Wyatt: Another stellar performance from Bray Wyatt. The former Husky Harris (can you believe that!) continues to have Hit after Hit with his unique promo style and masterful command of the audience. WWE found a good story to play off of the mixed reactions John Cena gets, and Hershey and other crowds have played along perfectly by singing along with Wyatt. It hasn't always worked--see Monday for example--but all in all Bray Wyatt continues to be the best act on any wrestling TV each and every week.
Paul Heyman vs. Zeb Colter: My eyes nearly rolled out of my head as the "debate" between these two started, but by the end I was reminded how great both of these guys are as talkers, and they managed to take what I thought was a sure fire miss and turn it into a Hit. The most compelling argument for the Hit is the reaction of the crowd when it looked like Heyman and Colter might come to blows. I don't want to see a match between these two, but a little physicality at some point in the near future would probably also get a big pop from the crowd as well.
WWE Smackdown Misses
Jey Uso vs. Curtis Axel: It's not so much these guys as the miss as it is the tag division as a whole. WWE had started to rebuild the interest in the tag teams when the belts were on the Rhodes brothers. Since putting the belts on the New Age Outlaws, the division hasn't recovered. The Usos win didn't give them the boost they needed, and I don’t think Rybaxel can do anything either. It is a frustrating situation to say the least.