Powell’s WWE Smackdown Hit List: Kofi Kingston vs. Randy Orton, Samoa Joe, Sheamus, Cesaro, and Rowan in a gauntlet match, KO Show with Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair, The Miz responds to Shane McMahon, Sasha Banks and Bayley vs. The Iiconcis

By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

WWE Smackdown Hits

Kofi Kingston vs. Randy Orton, Samoa Joe, Sheamus, Cesaro, and Rowan in a gauntlet match: It was a nice touch to have the babyfaces send their best wishes to Kingston leading up to the match, and then to show many of them cheering him on while watching on a backstage monitor. The match was laid out nicely with Kingston getting good wins over Sheamus and Cesaro before Rowan got himself disqualified while the broadcast team sold the idea that it was all part of a Daniel Bryan plan. The only negative was Samoa Joe taking his second pinfall loss in as many weeks since winning the U.S. Championship, but obviously the Kingston storyline is a higher priority. The final portion of the advertised match with Orton was suspenseful and satisfying. Once the gauntlet ended, you had to know that Vince McMahon was coming out. Instead of pointing out that he merely said Kingston was going to WrestleMania and never mentioned the WWE Championship match, he introduced Daniel Bryan as the real final obstacle and kept the story going for another week. Once Kofi clears whatever the next obstacle is, will Vince go with the wordplay next week and drag this out until the go-home week?

The Miz reacts to being attacked by Shane McMahon: A strong promo with Miz showing good range while framing himself as a hard working guy who came from humble beginnings and earned respect. Shane didn’t really explain why he turned on Miz specifically during his promo last week, but Miz did a great job of making the feud feel very personal on his end.

Sasha Banks and Bayley vs. Peyton Royce and Billie Kay in a non-title match: A minor Hit for a nice non-title win that should put the Iiconics in what will likely be a four-way tag title match at WrestleMania. The match wasn’t particularly strong, but it was good enough for what needed to be accomplished.

Rey Mysterio vs. Samoa Joe announced for WrestleMania: A refreshing change from the usual big multi-person match. It was also cool to see Rey’s son Dominic, who is a trained wrestler and thus feels like quite the target for Joe’s character now that he mentioned he will be ringside at WrestleMania.

WWE Smackdown Misses

KO Show with Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair: A minor Miss. Oddly, Miz’s babyface role is closer to what I envisioned for Kevin Owens. I’m anxious to see a storyline that puts Owens in a position to show heart and deliver serious promos rather than light comedy. Meanwhile, the Ronda Rousey story on Raw is much fresher and edgier than the repetitive segments involving Lynch and Flair on Smackdown. I wonder if Smackdown would get a ratings bump if Rousey announced on Raw that she would confront Lynch and Flair on a Tuesday night show?

Check below for the new Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell and guest Fulvio Cecere discussing the 350 Days documentary that included interviews with over 70 pro wrestling legends including Bret Hart, Ted DiBiase, Wendi Richter, Greg Valentine, and Bill Eadie, why pre-ordering the documentary is so helpful, a nugget regarding Fulvio’s run as Lt. Thorne on Battlestar Galactica, and much more.



Readers Comments (6)

  1. I realise I am in the minority here, but in my opinion this Kofi Kingston storyline is complete crap. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against Kofi being in the spot he is in, but we still have no explanation from Vince about why he is trying to hold Kofi down, just weeks after the McMahons were on Raw basically promising to stay out of the way from a kayfabe standpoint. Also, they just spent over half of their broadcast on a gauntlet match that accomplished nothing in terms of the storyline other than making two of Smackdown’s top three heels look useless for not being able to defeat an exhausted and beaten down opponent. I am sure Kofi vs Bryan is going to be a great Wrestlemania moment, but for me the route to get there has been so unnecessarily convoluted that I am almost not bothered any more.

    • They had a good, organic thing going with Kofi’s emergence, but they’ve overbooked it into oblivion. Today’s WWE is starting to remind me of WCW at its worst. They just won’t get out of their own way.

    • Not only that but from a storyline point of view who is their alternative to take on Bryan?

      The feud has just been McMahons getting inserted into a hot act.

      The worst part is that they are right. Bryan started at number 1 in the chamber and beat Kofi clean.

    • You’re not alone in that thinking, but the WWE some times can’t resist the urge to tinker.

      They have 3 matches on the WM card that sell themselves, and instead of letting them stand on their own, they’ve turned two of them into a convoluted mess. I get they have to fill TV time, but why not invest that into building the undercard, where not a lot jumps out at me, outside of me (and I know I’ll likely be the minority here) wanting to see Mandy win the title.

      • Vince McMahon, Corey Graves and yourself – the list of people who think Mandy Rose is good us up to three 😀

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