By Jason Powell
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WWE Smackdown Hits
AJ Styles, Shinsuke Nakamura, and Randy Orton vs. Jinder Mahal, Kevin Owens, and Sami Zayn: A good yet mostly meaningless six-man tag team main event. It was fitting for a show that was fine if you watched it, yet also fine if you missed it. Hopefully Nakamura getting the win for his team is a sign that WWE intends to crank up his push heading into WrestleMania season, as he remains my pick to win the Royal Rumble match.
Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan: It was refreshing to see a character on WWE television stand up for what’s right rather than simply bow at the feet of the mighty McMahon family. I wish this would carry over to Raw after seeing that ridiculous segment with Stephanie on Monday. Unlike all of the babyfaces who stand there and take it from Stephanie, Bryan actually put doing what’s right in his mind ahead of kissing ass to keep his job.
The Usos vs. Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin: A good outing for Gable and Benjamin as they scored a non-title win over the tag champs. We know both men can go in the ring. Here’s hoping they start to do more than poor impersonations other wrestlers during their promos, which will be the real key to the duo getting over.
New Day vs. Rusev and Aiden English: Grown men pretending to fight while dressed in silly holiday themed costumes and slamming each other’s faces in food. This is normally everything I hate about WWE television around the holidays. However, this was a rare exception in that they featured the right lighthearted acts taking part in the silliness.
WWE Smackdown Misses
Dolph Ziggler leaves the U.S. Championship in the ring: Another long promo about what Ziggler did in the past and how the fans are not worthy while completely ignoring his lopsided loss count in recent years. This time he left the U.S. Title for the fans to remember him by. I seriously hope this means the guy is leaving and he intends to reinvent himself on the independent scene. Ziggler is so talented in the ring, but he really needs a career reset and there’s no reason to believe that it’s going to happen in WWE. I also hope this leads to Jinder Mahal becomes a strong secondary champion.
Charlotte and Naomi vs. Ruby Riott and Sarah Logan: The match quality was Hit worthy. However, the outcome of the match was disappointing and this felt like another step toward Riott Squad going from being the hot new act to quickly becoming lost in the women’s division shuffle that primarily focusses on the champion and her challenger.