By Jason Powell
WWE Smackdown Live Hits
Dolph Ziggler vs. The Miz for the Intercontinental Title: Another strong title match from Ziggler and Miz. It’s amazing that this feud felt so lifeless when it started up again on Smackdown, yet it has turned out to be one of the better feuds in WWE this year. The Spirit Squad running out again was cringe worthy, yet the actual finish with Maryse rolling Miz over was simple and effective. The Miz regaining the championship makes me fear that they actually intend to move the IC Title back to Raw. I mentioned this scenario in Tuesday’s All Access Daily Podcast. The short version is that I could see them wanting to have Miz take the blame for losing the IC Title to Raw.
Kalisto vs. Oney Lorcan: This was obviously going to be a showcase match for Kalisto given that he’s challenging for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship on Sunday. However, it was a nice surprise to see Lorcan get that brief yet strong flurry of offense to start the match. Does this mean Lorcan is being called up from NXT to work in the cruiserweight division or was this just a one-off?
WWE Smackdown Live Misses
Undertaker and Edge return: Edge may look like he belonged in the “More Cowbell” sketch, but serious Edge rather than E&C Show comedy Edge is still a star. Meanwhile, Undertaker’s return was very well done. His “win one for the Taker” speech to Team Smackdown also helped make it seem like someone other than the authority figures and broadcast teams actually care about the outcome of the elimination matches. Taker declaring that he’s back and will no longer be defined by WrestleMania is an interesting development. Is he back for a Last Ride tour or is he feeling better post surgery and now intends to work more than just a few dates each year?
Team Raw attacks Team Smackdown: A fine brawl between the women. However, it was absurd that Bayley took part in the beatdown of Nikki Bella. Who thought this was true to her character?!? I take less issue with Sasha Banks getting involved because there is a bit of an edge to her babyface persona. That said, it was a big stretch to have Sasha help Charlotte just 24 hours after they spent all of their television time bickering with one another. Some viewers will chalk it up to it being Survivor Series time, but it’s just atrocious attention to detail. They easily could have had the Smackdown heel women attack Nikki and then have Bayley and Sasha get involved once the rest of Team Smackdown showed up. On a positive note, the actual match between Nikki and Carmella was entertaining.
Backstage with King Booker and the Team Smackdown tag teams: King Bookah was a nice throwback surprise and that part gets a nostalgia Hit. I just couldn’t get past the Usos getting along with the two babyface teams. I guess they want to show that Team Smackdwown is unified compared to Raw, which leads me to believe they will win on Sunday. However, it takes the edge away from the Usos and makes the babyfaces look like saps for coexisting with two guys who intentionally injured them. The actual tag match was more of the same with the Usos basically reverting to their babyface personas for one night.
The Best of The Boom features Tony Schiavone joining Jason Powell in this May 30, 2018 discussion in which he looks back on when he went to Ric Flair's house for his first pro wrestling assignment, his year with WWE, his one appearance for TNA Impact Wrestling, and more...