By Jason Powell
WWE Smackdown Live Hits
AJ Styles vs. James Ellsworth with Dean Ambrose as special referee: The great Ellsworth managed to overcome a clearly biased referee to defeat the WWE Champion. Well, something like that. I love that they are having some fun with Ellsworth during a stretch where there’s not a pay-per-view to build toward. Styles lost nothing by losing in the manner in which he did, as Ambrose was completely responsible for the Ellsworth victory. The only negative was Ellsworth taking the Styles Clash poorly. Fortunately, he seemed no worse for wear when he appeared on the Talking Ellsworth post show.
Dolph Ziggler and The Miz: A good celebratory promo from Ziggler. I really like the way he said “we” as he talked about his win, as he made it feel like the fans were on the journey with him. Miz and Maryse mourning the death of the Intercontinental Championship was well done, and Miz taking credit for bringing the prestige back to the Intercontinental Title was honestly a fair assessment. Miz’s fiery speech about his desire to win back his championship also helped that cause. I was ready for this feud to end the moment it was reintroduced. It’s amazing how hard work, strong heel promos, and the right stipulation can draw a person back in.
The Spirit Squad: Mikey and Kenny felt so last week. As much as I enjoyed their surprise return and even their involvement on Sunday, the thrill was gone the moment that Miz introduced them for the handicap match. After reading all of that, you may be asking whether they were mistakenly listed in the wrong segment. I actually like the idea of having Heath Slater and Rhyno plow through them too before they bow out.
WWE Smackdown Live Misses
Randy Orton and Kane vs. Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper: Bray disappeared from a shipping container last week. Now they apparently want us to buy that Kane somehow disappeared when the lights went out. Hocus Pocus Bray Wyatt sucks. Vince McMahon has been known to tell his writers that the WWE audience is too sophisticated for certain storyline ideas, yet we’re watching disappearing wrestlers? Awful.
Chad Gable vs. Jimmy Uso: A minor miss for a mostly forgettable match with an oddball finish. It was nice to see one of the Usos actually get a win. They continue to be entertaining as heels. Conversely, American Alpha are just spinning their wheels at this point. The Smackdown tag division lacks depth and there’s just no one meaningful for them to work with while the Usos are chasing the tag titles.
The Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features Kenny Herzog discussing his journalism career, his new Outside Interference podcast, doing a feature story on CM Punk, pro wrestling in the pandemic, WWE talk on Retribution, The Hurt Business, Roman Reigns as a heel, and much more...