By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
WWE Smackdown Hits
New Day vs. The Usos: Do these teams ever have a bad match together? There’s no storyline between the teams and both teams are babyfaces at the moment and yet they still had a war. Sure, the poor broadcast team had to sell the idea that the teams cared deeply about being the captains of Team Smackdown, but the truth is that they just work incredibly well together. That said, it was a nice touch to have the Usos immediately invite New Day to join the team.
Becky Lynch promo: A tremendous from promo from Lynch in response to Ronda Rousey’s strong promo on Raw. Both women are delivering the best mic work on their respective shows. They have completely sold me on their match. I just hope Lynch is cast in a way where she backs up her badass attitude and isn’t scripted to play the chickenshit heel role who backs down when push comes to shove at Survivor Series.
Rey Mysterio vs. Andrade Almas: Another strong match. I honestly came close to putting this in the Miss category simply because of the way WWE gave it away with zero build or storyline. And while that’s still a head scratching call, ultimately the match quality was strong enough that it could not be put anywhere but in this section.
Samoa Joe vs. Jeff Hardy: A basic match with Joe getting a bounce back win after putting over AJ Styles as Crown Jewel. The post match angle with Joe taunting Bryan left me anxious to see more. It was nice to see Bryan and Miz back on bad terms by the end of this, but Bryan tossing Shane McMahon at the end left me fearful we’ll be seeing the two of them in a feud soon.
The Miz: The limp to the ring was followed by a fun promo in which he claimed two-thirds of the World Cup win and asked Shane if he gets the trophy for 20 days per month while Shane gets it for ten. Miz didn’t have as much promo time in this segment as usual, but he made the most of what he had. I could have done without the co-captaincy with Daniel Bryan if only because it took heated rivals and put them in a spot to have lighthearted buddy cop tension. And I definitely could have done without the two of them agreeing to make Shane McMahon their first pick for Team Smackdown.
WWE Smackdown Misses
Nikki Cross debut: Lynch and Cross had a nice match and it was an unexpected surprise that she came out and challenged Lynch. She also did a nice job with her end of the mic work and this was really fun in the moment. But is it really a good idea to have Cross lose via submission in her first appearance on the show? It’s one match and there’s no shame in losing to the champion, but I’d feel a lot better about the idea of creative seeing Cross as an immediate player in the division if she had debuted in a different manner.
Mandy Rose rips the Team Smackdown women: A minor Miss because it felt a little flat and came out of nowhere. That said, I’m all for creative doing a better job with the women who are not in the title picture and I’m high on Sonya Deville, so we’ll see where it goes.
Check below for the latest Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell and guest John Canton.
The new edition of the Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell and guest Brian Pillman Jr., who discusses his training, following his father's footsteps, his own career aspirations, being part of the Hart Foundation faction, his big match at the MLW Saturday Night SuperFight pay-per-view, working with Jushin Liger, touring the WWE Performance Center, and much more...