By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
WWE Smackdown Hits
Dolph Ziggler attacks Kofi Kingston: More of an in the middle than a true Hit or Miss. The beatdown was well done. Ziggler’s promo was decent. He showed some emotion and avoided his usual complaints about not getting chances, which just never ring true given that fans saw him lose so many matches over the years. I suspect this is a one-off for Saudi Arabia. It’s hard to see Ziggler as a real threat to win the championship, but perhaps he can show a different side of his personality and work his way back into the main mix. If nothing else, Ziggler’s involvement means the Saudi Royal family will be tortured in the form of listening to his hideous entrance music.
New Day opening: The return of Big E brought a smile to my face (jaded pro wrestling writers smile occasionally, but don’t tell anyone). There have been times when I’ve tired of the trio’s act and not all of their jokes click, but the act just wasn’t the same without the big man.
Ali vs. Andrade: A well worked match. I’m not sure how it builds up Andrade heading into his Intercontinental Title match at WWE Super ShowDown, but it was still an entertaining television match and a nice win for Ali.
Kofi Kingston vs. Sami Zayn: A solid non-title win for Kingston. I’m still hopeful that we’ll see Kingston successfully defend the championship against one of the company’s top wrestlers. There will be legit suspense when it happens, and he needs that type of win to be elevated into the position of a top guy himself rather than a longtime mid-card talent who is getting a feel good title reign.
Becky Lynch and Bayley vs. Lacey Evans and Charlotte Flair: This felt like the biggest tag team match that the women’s division has to offer at the moment. I was surprised to see Flair lose clean to Bayley. Hopefully the idea is to move Flair away from the title picture for the time being. Charlotte is a tremendous talent, but it’s time to move someone else into that role while finding a way to keep Charlotte in a meaningful program away from the championship.
WWE Smackdown Misses
WWE 24/7 Title: The Carmella vs. Mandy Rose match was fodder for the newest championship. R-Truth’s bad disguise was silly fun, but I just have no interest in a championship belt for the undercard talent that requires them to run around like buffoons while chasing a title that just doesn’t mean anything.
Roman Reigns vs. Elias: A minor Miss in that there was no sense of mystery regarding the outcome. The post match angle with Drew McIntyre was solid. The problem is that we saw Reigns pin McIntyre with ease at WrestleMania, and they just had to show that Reigns was on the verge of pinning McIntyre in a rematch that ended with outside interference. Unfortunately, we’re already back to Reigns being booked as if he’s invincible aside from a cheap finish. And it didn’t have to be this way. They could be in the midst of telling a comeback story with Reigns, but Vince McMahon couldn’t resist telling the world that Reigns was back in full force by having him beat McIntyre at WrestleMania.
Check below for the latest Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell and guest Conrad Thompson discussing Starrcast II, Undertaker pulling out of the event, hosting AEW rallies and his friendship with Tony Khan, thoughts on how WWE podcasts could work, and more.
The new edition of the Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features Ricky Starks on his NWA run, doing enhancement work for WWE, leaving NOLA due to Hurricane Katrina, the January 24 NWA Hard Times PPV on FITE.TV, his relationship with Nick Aldis, and much more...