By Jason Powell
WWE Smackdown Live Hits
Shane McMahon and Sami Zayn: Shane’s promo about the invasion could not have been better received by this particular live crowd. The fans booed the notion of Raw wrestlers being better than Smackdown wrestlers and actually chanted “under siege” at one point. This whole Raw vs. Smackdown once a year rivalry still does nothing for me, but there’s no denying that this crowd was behind the concept. Meanwhile, Zayn’s arrogant promo in which he announced that he and Kevin Owens were “selflessly and kindly” volunteering their services for Survivor Series was well delivered. Shane responding that he doesn’t want or need them was the right move. From a storyline standpoint, Shane should have stuck to his guns, but the segment worked and set up the Zayn vs. Randy Orton match.
Randy Orton vs. Sami Zayn: A good match with Zayn looking competitive throughout the match. The finish with Orton low-blowing Zayn was a case of turnabout being fair play for the babyface after he lost to Zayn under similar circumstances last week. It will be interesting to see if Zayn still ends up on Team Smackdown somehow or what role he will play at Survivor Series if he does not.
New Day vs. Shelton Benjamin and Chad Gable: So much for the eight-man tag match the company advertised on Tuesday. Anyway, it was good to see Benjamin and Gable get the win as they move into the position of No. 1 contenders to the Smackdown Tag Titles.
AJ Styles vs. Sunil Singh: I thought they would have something a little more creative in mind than Styles simply going over in 40 seconds. That said, they are going with Styles vs. Samir next week, so we’ll see where that goes. Hopefully the idea is to establish unique personalities for the Singh Brothers. If nothing else, I may even remember their first names after these Styles matches, which makes this a minor Hit in my book.
WWE Smackdown Live Misses
Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan: This is more of a fearful Miss than anything. Bryan objecting to Shane leading the Smackdown crew’s invasion of Raw makes Shane seem like a heel. The idea of another heel authority figure is cringe worthy. Plus, Bryan’s objection also makes the babyface wrestlers who took part in the attack seem heelish for going along with Shane. We’ve seen these two have disagreements in the past that didn’t lead to a turn, so hopefully it’s just that. Either way, the acting in the final segment of the show was awful.
Baron Corbin vs. Sin Cara: Sin Cara’s count-out win last week and now his DQ win over Corbin this week will still lead to Corbin pinning him clean. I might feel differently about this if Sin Cara had connected with the fans, but it’s hard to imagine him getting over as a result of this feud.
Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte vs. Naomi vs. Tamina vs. Carmella: Lynch won the right to captain the Survivor Series team. Does anyone know what this actually means? It’s not like she’s assembling the rest of the team or earned any sort of privilege within the match. The last thing Smackdown needed was another excuse to hold a five-way women’s match.
Fashion Files: I thought the Twin Peaks inspired episodes were lost on me because I never got into the actual television show. However, I love Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction and neither one of those themed episodes made me laugh once. The dirty underwear jokes left me wondering if they are more concerned with playing to the audience of one than the actual viewing audience, as that type of humor is right up Vince McMahon’s alley.