By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
WWE Smackdown Hits
King Booker and New Day: Good, dumb fun. The highlight was Big E telling Booker that he went “Full Saxton” on him followed by Xavier Woods and Kofi Kingston acting horrified by the accusation. The only thing missing from this silliness was a Queen Sharmell appearance.
Jeff Hardy and Randy Orton: It wasn’t a match that I had pencilled in for being held inside the Hell in a Cell structure. I thought the company would go with AJ Styles and Samoa Joe instead. But when you think about the violent nature of the Hardy vs. Orton feud it actually makes perfect sense.
AJ Styles and Samoa Joe: On second thought, are they sure they don’t want to put this inside the HIAC structure? Styles said he was done with the mind games and was simply ready to fight Joe, who then raised the ante by calling AJ’s wife and then threatening to pay his family a visit next week. If Joe shows up at the back to school BBQ, one can only hope that they find a way to avoid ruining the vibe of the feud by doing something campy.
Daniel Bryan vs. Andrade Almas: A fun while it lasted match. It’s rare that I hope to see the Bryan character lose, but this was a situation where I was hopeful they would use the distracting of Miz and Maryse to give Almas an upset win. If nothing else, at least Almas didn’t lose the match. The attack by Miz and Maryse on Bryan and Brie Bella was a logical move to put more heat on the heels heading into the mixed tag match at HIAC.
Sheamus and Cesaro vs. The Colons vs. Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson: A quality match with the right team going over. The Bar came up short in the four-team tournament that was held to determine the tag title challengers at SummerSlam. Will they get the nod this time or serve as the fall guys again?
WWE Smackdown Misses
Charlotte Flair vs. Carmella for the Smackdown Women’s Championship: This was better than their past performances from an in-ring standpoint. Blame WWE miscasting for the flat crowd and both women playing to a flat crowd. Charlotte wasn’t booed out of the building during the match. It was actually worse in that most of the fans sat on their hands while others chanted for Becky Lynch. The post match attack by Lynch was done in a way that seemed to open the door for the company to correct course. Lynch never heeled on the fans and they had to know that scripting her to refer to Charlotte as a bitch was going to lead to more cheers.
Billie Kay vs. Naomi: An in the middle more than true Hit or Miss. If we were closer to WWE Evolution, I would be wondering if Naomi’s losses to the Iiconics was building up to her bringing in a legend as a tag team partner. We’ll see where it goes, but as it stands, it feels like a bit of a wheeling spinning feud even if it is nice to see the Iiconics get some wins.
Jason, I’ll bite. You think they put the Hardy match inside The Cell just so Hardy could dive off it?