Powell’s WWE Smackdown Live Hit List: Daniel Bryan and Sami Zayn, Jinder Mahal challenges Brock Lesnar to a Survivor Series match, Shinsuke Nakamura and Randy Orton vs. Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn


By Jason Powell

WWE Smackdown Live Hits

Daniel Bryan and Sami Zayn opening: It’s always a treat to see Bryan appear in his home market where the fans absolutely adore him. Bryan started as the star of the segment, but the focus shifted nicely to Zayn as he blamed the fans for not getting behind him the same way they did Bryan. He also took some great cheap shots at Bryan over his retirement to the point that the fans broke out a “Sami sucks” chant. Zayn was a condescending prick and I loved every second of it. It’s just a shame that this can’t lead to Bryan returning to the ring to team with a partner against Owens and Zayn.

Shinsuke Nakamura and Randy Orton vs. Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn: A good television main event and the biggest win of Zayn’s main roster run. I like the storytelling in that Zayn resorting to the heel tactics that Owens uses paid off with a win over Orton. The post match angle was brief and effective in setting up the return of Shane McMahon for next week.

Charlotte, Becky Lynch, and Naomi vs. Lana, Tamina, and Natalya: A minor Hit for the latest six-woman tag match. The crowd was pleased by the outcome and the spotlight was clearly on Charlotte. The brief post match angle also put the focus on her title feud with Natalya.

WWE Smackdown Live Misses

Jinder Mahal and AJ Styles segment: If WWE wants viewers to be excited by the feud between these two, it’s probably not a great idea to have Michael Cole tell viewers moments before the segment that Mahal will be the first Indian to defend the WWE Championship in India in December. In other words, Cole basically told viewers that Mahal won’t be losing the title before then. Meanwhile, the idea of Mahal facing Brock Lesnar in a non-title champion vs. champion match as the Survivor Series main event does nothing for me. They have some time to generate enthusiasm for the match, but I can’t help but wonder how much more excitement there would be if AJ Styles was the long term champion issuing the same challenge to Lesnar.

Baron Corbin vs. Sin Cara: Corbin pinned AJ Styles clean last week only to turn around and lose via count-out to Sin Cara? Was it really worth it to set up what I assume will be a throwaway title match?

Dolph Ziggler vs. Bobby Roode: A better match than they had at Hell in a Cell, but the rollup and tight grabbing finish was weak given that there’s no heat in Ziggler winning in that manner given that Roode did the same thing to him. This would have worked better if the order had been reversed and this felt like a case of turnabout being fair play for the babyface.


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