By Jason Powell
WWE Smackdown Live Hits
The Miz vs. Dean Ambrose for the Intercontinental Championship: The match was a reminder of how much better of Miz is now that his character has developed an edge. There was a time when I would have groaned at the thought of the finish being Ambrose winning clean or Miz cheating to keep his title. And while Miz did indeed get help from Maryse and James Ellsworth, it was a good back and forth match before then with Miz coming off as much more of a threat to Ambrose than he has in past matches. Ellsworth acting as if he was trying to help Ambrose conflicted with the cockiness that he showed in the opening segment. I don’t think the guy has a split personality, but rather than his main event antics were a ruse and it will be revealed that he was trying to sabotage Ambrose.
Randy Orton and Bray Wyatt vs. Heath Slater and Rhyno: A better match than the one they had at TLC. Rhyno and Slater were given a fair amount of offense before the new champions put them away to retain the tag titles. The angle on Talking Smack made it seem as if this is not only the end of Slater and Rhyno as challengers, but also as a tag team.
Miz TV with Dean Ambrose: The Miz Participation Award followed by the live crowd chanting “You deserve it” was the highlight of my week. Daniel Bryan also did a good job of working up the crowd while announcing the Intercontinental Title match.
Alexa Bliss and Becky Lynch: A good segment with Bliss delivering a nice promo before being interrupted, which led to the two of them setting up their upcoming rematch. As much as I’m anxious to see Smackdown move on from some of these long running feuds, this one still has some life left in it.
Chad Gable vs. Tyler Breeze: A nice showcase win for Gable. It still annoys me that Breeze and Fandango are cast as the ridiculous fashion police of WWE when they have the potential to be a good heel tag team. The Usos didn’t crack TLC or Smackdown Live, so Breeze and Fandango (I hate using their gimmick name) are not the only duo being wasted.
WWE Smackdown Live Misses
Baron Corbin vs. Kalisto: There was nothing wrong with the match, but how many times does Corbin need to beat Kalisto before he moves on? It feels like Corbin’s main roster run has consisted of matches with Kalisto and Dolph Ziggler.
Carmella and Natalya: Carmella came off like she was delivering a monologue in a high school play more than a pro wrestling promo. Her delivery wasn’t great, but the bigger problem was the lengthy script she clearly was handed. At this point, I don’t care who attacked Nikki Bella at Survivor Series, but you’d think that heel Natalya would say she didn’t do it, yet also add that she doesn’t care what Nikki thinks. Instead, she’s pleading with Nikki to believe her as if they are babyface buddies.
The Hype Bros vs. The Ascension: This is what happens when WWE cancels WWE Superstars and turns WWE Main Event into a Raw show. In other words, this belonged on a secondary show, but there is no longer a secondary show for Smackdown.
The Best of The Boom features Jim Ross joining Jason Powell in this May 9, 2018 discussion regarding his relationship with Vince McMahon, why Vince sticks with Roman Reigns, how Triple H has changed over the years, and more. New episodes of the Boom are typically available mid-week...